Deputies Arrest More Than a Dozen Crab Poachers

Poachers caught with a total of 83 crabs off the coast of nearby Tunitas Beach in Half Moon Bay were arrested and levied with major fines earlier this week.


The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is reporting that 14 men were arrested late Wednesday night near Tunitas Beach for poaching crabs.

Over the past few weeks, Sheriff's deputes have been alerted to reports of crab poachers along the San Mateo County coast. Because the  is now closed, poaching is a crime. 

According to the Sheriff's office, on Wednesday night, deputies noticed several vehicles parked at the Tunitas Beach turnout on Cabrillo Highway (SR-1) north of La Honda Road (SR-84).  Due to the late hour, deputies say it is unusual for several vehicles to be parked in that area. 

The deputies looked down to the beach from the clifftop and noticed people fishing for crab. The beach area is isolated, and the access to the beach steep and rugged. 

Deputies notified the (DFG), and at approximately midnight, 14 people ascended from the beach and were greeted by the Sheriff’s deputies and DFG warden.

Most of the individuals were adult Hispanic men from Redwood City and East Palo Alto.

All but one of the poachers were issued citations for Fish and Game infractions, with fines ranging from $400 to $900.  Another was cited for a Fish and Game misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $1,400.  

A total of 83 crabs were confiscated from the poachers and released back into the ocean.      


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