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Author Topic: JAIL TIME???  (Read 1645 times)

Offline ji

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Re: JAIL TIME???
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2018, 05:14:14 PM »
I wouldn't be surprised to hear that one or more of the guys who dove that spot were relying on *others* to "guide" them to a safe and legal area. My very first dive south of the Golden Gate a co-worker tried to bring me to Yankee Point see pics. lets just say I didn't get a good vibe from the neighborhood so we drove down and dove Garrapata, this was some time ago. I later looked at dfg map and see NO take. Even with a apology or retraction from the media damaged in done.         



« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 05:16:04 PM by ji »

Offline TheKeeneroo

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Re: JAIL TIME???
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2018, 02:23:05 PM »
Funny you should mention it. That's basically exactly what happened.
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
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Offline jjjjeremy

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Re: JAIL TIME???
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2018, 11:46:41 PM »
I regularly launch from and paddle through no-take zones and have my GPS track my location for this exact reason.

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Offline pclark

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Re: JAIL TIME???
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2018, 09:39:49 AM »
I regularly launch from and paddle through no-take zones and have my GPS track my location for this exact reason.

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Have you ever been hassled about bringing fish through them/from them?

Offline jjjjeremy

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Re: JAIL TIME???
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2018, 10:04:14 AM »
I regularly launch from and paddle through no-take zones and have my GPS track my location for this exact reason.

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Have you ever been hassled about bringing fish through them/from them?


I’ve had my fish checked when landing in no-invertebrate zones a number of times.  But I’ve never seen a warden at my no-take launch spots. 


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Offline nita0708

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Re: JAIL TIME???
« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2018, 06:49:06 PM »
Hello Everyone,
My name is Nicholas Ta, I am one of the four written in these news articles. I wish I could be meeting you all under better circumstances.

I wanted to reach out to provide our side of the story. It is true that we were fishing in a Marine Protected area (MPA), but there are some portrayals that I wanted to clarify from these articles.

http://californiadiver.com/caltip-leads-to-arrest-of-four-poachers-caught-spearfishing-at-big-sur/
https://www.ksbw.com/article/4-big-sur-fishermen-facing-jail-time/23727316
http://www.montereycountyweekly.com/blogs/news_blog/local-fishermen-sentenced-to-jail-and-fined-for-poaching-fish/article_38499632-cdb2-11e8-a2a7-33b4697f9650.html
https://patch.com/california/watsonville/fisherman-get-jail-time-illegal-poaching-big-creek

We did not premeditate going to Big Creek to spear. What happened is that we didn’t check our regulation book and location. We jumped in thinking it was a new site then informed after by observers that we were within the Big Creek Marine Reserve Area. To explain further…

We wanted to explore Big Sur and see new reefs, we drove over an hour into Big Sur keeping an eye out for turnouts that dipped low to the ocean and did not go through private property. We found one that matched our description and it had a rocky trail that allowed you to get to the shore. Pulling up, we assessed the ocean conditions and found that it was incredibly flat and clear blue. Filled with excitement and without hesitation, we put on our gear and entered the water.

After our session, we returned to our car to find the Research Station Staff waiting for us. They informed us we were in Big Creek Marine Reserve and a Fish and Game Warden is on their way. We felt terrible at this point, taking a good look around, we were down the street from the research station. We apologized trying to explain that we didn’t know we were in Big Creek; that this is an honest mistake, and we weren’t the poachers they’re making us out to be. Duly noted, but intentions aside, we still shot within an MPA and we were left to wait for the Warden. We changed out of our gear and sat by the car for a couple minutes; we found that one of our tires has been deflated. We don’t know who did it, but we had a good guess. Without a spare tire, we were left to make a hard decision. We did not want to leave the scene, but we also do not have any means to get a tow truck to get us out of Big Sur. Our driver, also had work later that day. Talking out plans, we unanimously agreed to leave the scene to patch up the car at the nearest gas station AND wave down the warden when we see them.

Shortly after patching up our tire, we saw the warden, waved hello, and immediately pulled off the road to a large turnout as he was turning on his lights.  He spoke with us one by one: about the incident, why we left the scene, why we were in Big Creek. He understood and said that he could see that we’re sport fishermen in the wrong spot and not scumbags. He let us know that if his investigation concludes that these fish are from Big Creek, there will be charges. At the end he confiscated our fish and cooler. We were then let us go with our equipment, vehicle, and licenses.

Since the event, we have read up immensely to ensure this doesn’t happen again, however we still carry the weight of what we did. Absolutely we should have known better, and I feel terrible knowing I shot in an MPA. Even worse is due to our actions, we leave a negative imprint on the spearfishing community. It was a dumb, honest mistake that cost us a lot. As we are facing our charges, we made moves to help our local diving community to make sure this does not happen to anyone else. Between the four of us, we would host Fish ID/ecology workshops and helping new divers with understanding central CA MPA policies and regions when they come into our stores. Its small gestures, but it’s what we could do. None of us (including our lawyer) predicted that an article would be published. We thought that when Oct 11th comes around, we would pay our fines, do community service move on and be smarter.

The take home message of the story is read your books, make sure you know where you are. It is important to call Cal-tip on poachers, but also figure out where you are, so you aren’t labeled as one after your session.

Jim R. reached out to me to post to NCKA as well as here, my delay in posting my side of the story is due to waiting for the courts to settle. We were advised by our lawyer that abrupt defenses could worsen our statement.

Eric, thank you for posting around to get ahead of the story. your suggestion of raising money is very noble, thank you, but we are okay, money is temporary. We just ask the community to not label us as malicious poachers. It was a onetime mistake and we want to move forward, being smarter and to help the community. I understand if you harbor a dislike for us after hearing our story, shooting in MPAs is no joke. People invest part to all of their lives defending it-- It’s a huge insult to many communities by shooting in one accidentally or intentionally.

If you have any questions, you are all more than welcome to DM me, or reply here or email me.

Thank you for reading
-Nicholas Ta

Offline Adam415

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Re: JAIL TIME???
« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2018, 08:29:00 PM »
Glad to hear your side of the story. I think its pretty crazy that coastal communities can come up with big signs declaring areas to be "drone free" zones but they can't come up with a sign in front of the trail to one of the only access points to that mpa.

Offline TheKeeneroo

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Re: JAIL TIME???
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2018, 08:43:54 AM »

Eric, thank you for posting around to get ahead of the story. your suggestion of raising money is very noble, thank you, but we are okay, money is temporary. We just ask the community to not label us as malicious poachers. It was a onetime mistake and we want to move forward, being smarter and to help the community. I understand if you harbor a dislike for us after hearing our story, shooting in MPAs is no joke. People invest part to all of their lives defending it-- It’s a huge insult to many communities by shooting in one accidentally or intentionally.


Thank you for reading
-Nicholas Ta

I am VERY HAPPY that you finally did the write up! Great job - solid message and apology. I still think you getting banned from the aquarium is super whack. Let me know if you want me to reach out to any of my contacts there.

Looking forward to diving with you soon, bro! Let's go slay some legal fish!
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
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Century Free diver, Level 1 Free Dive Cert, EANx
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Offline naturalSelection

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Re: JAIL TIME???
« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2018, 09:25:01 AM »
Thanks for the clear up. Question: had you tossed the fish back into the water before the ranger came, would you still be facing penalties? Just thinking out loud. As always, best to ensure your never in that situation in the first place.

Offline TheKeeneroo

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Re: JAIL TIME???
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2018, 10:36:39 AM »
Thanks for the clear up. Question: had you tossed the fish back into the water before the ranger came, would you still be facing penalties? Just thinking out loud. As always, best to ensure your never in that situation in the first place.

I think Nick Ta is one of the only dudes that would never consider that . BUTTTT.... its not a bad idea  :P
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
Instagram - @thekeeneroo    Facebook - @Ekeener1
Century Free diver, Level 1 Free Dive Cert, EANx
DOTY 2018 - 3rd Place
Bring the Ling 2018 - 1st Place (=P)

Offline charlierobinton

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Re: JAIL TIME???
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2018, 11:48:18 AM »
Thanks for the post Nicholas. Having met and dove with you I can say that you are the last person I would ever expect to do something like this intentionally. It is awesome that you are taking ownership of it and taking steps to help mitigate the effect the event has on the spearfishing community here in Northern California. That said, it totally sucks and I'm sorry it happened to all you guys. It is a good lesson to be super diligent about where you are spearing and the regulations. I also wish they would have clear, posted borders if there are easy public access points so that well intentioned sportsmen wouldn't make mistakes like this.

Charlie



 

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