Posted by on May 03, 2005 at 09:24:22:
A lifeguard at La Jolla Cove realized something was amiss when three neoprene-clad men with spear guns flopped from a boat into a marine ecological reserve. Soon after, he saw them wrestle something big and black into the boat, says California Department of Fish and Game warden Erik Fleet.
When authorities intercepted the vessel, they discovered Blackie — a 50-something-year-old giant black sea bass weighing 171 pounds — skewered. The slain fish, a protected species, had been friendly to swimmers in the cove since the 1950s, says lifeguard Sgt. John Sandmeyer.
"There are groups that are breaking [into] tears over this," he says.
State law prohibits killing the fish species, gentle giants once harvested to the brink of extinction.
Authorities arrested Omid Adhami, 34, of San Diego on April 24. He faces up to one year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
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