Department of Fish and Game NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
02:106 August 29, 2002
Capt. Nancy Foley, Special Operations Unit, (916) 996-9003Formal complaints in Marin, San Mateo, Monterey, and Alameda counties have been issued against operators of eight Commercial Passenger Fishing Vehicles (CPFVs), commonly known as "party boats," the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced today.
The charges resulted from an eight-month DFG investigation of 18 CPFVs, said Capt. Nancy Foley, head of DFG's Special Operations Unit. Complaints from citizens and by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council spurred the investigation that covered nine counties that ranged from Mendocino to the north and Orange to the south.
The complaints reflect the importance of management efforts for maintaining a sustainable fishery resource. Information provided by species identification and accurate logbooks allows DFG to determine annual catch limits used for the sport fishery. DFG allocates fish between sport and commercial users. Without accurate catch data, the potential to over harvest fish is a major concern.
Complaints filed today include:
* William M. Williamson, 47, skipper of the Sur Randy, Monterey charged with failure to leave skin patch on rockfish fillet to determine species, failure to complete logbooks.
* Alann J. Mason, 38, deckhand of Sur Randy, Monterey possess over limit of rockfish, failure to leave skin patch on rockfish fillet to determine species.
* Brian Cutting, 35, skipper of Reelin', Monterey failure to complete logbooks, possess over limit of rockfish.
* Lucky M. Stewart, 29, deckhand of Reelin', Monterey take over limit of rockfish, take of prohibited rockfish species, failure to leave skin patch on rockfish fillet to determine species.
* Domenic A. Davi, 37, skipper of Toronado, Monterey failure to complete logbooks.
* Thomas J. Monaghan, 49, skipper of Capt. John, Half Moon Bay take over limit of rockfish, take of prohibited species, failure to complete logbooks.
* Donald L. Wong, 39, skipper of C Gull II, Emeryville possess over limit of salmon on commercial passenger fishing vessel. The violations occurred in Marin County.
* Nicholas Sakata, 22, deckhand of C Gull II, Emeryville aiding and abetting in use of illegal terminal gear to take salmon. The violations occurred in Marin County.
* Edward L. Gallia, 47, owner/skipper of Eldorado II, Berkeley use of crab traps not registered to commercial passenger fishing vessel.
* Steven J. Sechak, 36, skipper Eldorado III, Berkely take over limit of Dungeness crabs, use of crab traps not registered to commercial passenger fishing vessel. Complaints were filed on over limits of Dungeness crab for three additional deckhands
* Phat Vo, 35, skipper of New Golden Eye, Berkely failure to complete logbook, use crab traps not registered to commercial passenger fishing vessel, license transfers, possess over limit of Dungeness crab.
* Trung Vo, 37, skipper of New Golden Eye, Berkely failure to complete logbook, use crab traps not registered to commercial passenger fishing vessel, license transfers, possess over limit of Dungeness crab.
Last week, Richard Powers, 48, skipper of the New Sea Angler, and his deckhand, Atsushi Yamashita, 33, both of Bodega Bay, were arrested by DFG wardens in Bodega Bay. The two men were charged with felony conspiracy, reflecting a number of alleged misdemeanor violations from throughout the investigation, said Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Brooke Halsey. The Powers/Yamashita arrests were the most egregious of the complaints filed, and are the only felony conspiracy charges in the operation to date.
The investigation, which began in January, utilized wardens from DFG's Marine Region and Special Operations Unit. Party boat inspections, however, are part of the normal duties of a Fish and Game marine warden and have occurred for decades, Foley said. The recent operation was a different method of inspection that enabled the wardens to see what was happening on the water, not just at the landing.