California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) wardens cited two Southern California men for illegally taking abalone from the Marine Protected Area (MPA) near Laguna Beach recently.
CDFW wildlife officers observed Juni Pong, 47, from El Monte and Kuan Yee, 47, from Yorba Linda, entering the ocean at Moss Cove in Laguna Beach in full scuba gear. After more than an hour of diving the two men returned to the beach and were met by an officer who found two green abalone in each of the men’s diving gear.
Both suspects were cited for possession of abalone and take of fish inside a marine protected area, both potential misdemeanor violations, and then released. The abalone were photographed for evidence and returned to the sea, and the men’s diving equipment was confiscated and impounded as evidence.
Abalone may only be taken north of San Francisco Bay during prescribed seasons. For abalone fishing regulations see www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/invertebrate/regulations_rec.asp .
The case will be forwarded to the Orange County District Attorney’s office for prosecution.