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Over this past weekend, National Park Rangers from Point Reyes National Seashore seized seventeen red abalone from six individuals along Tomales Point. Fines totaling around $2,600 were issued to the individuals. The California Department of Fish & Game requires every abalone diver or rock-picker to have a valid fishing license and abalone report card. The violations include undersized abalone, gear and abalone report card violations.
Red abalone have had low recruitment for 9 of the past 10 years. California Department of Fish & Game says this may be too low to sustain current levels of take. Data from 2005 punch cards indicate nearly 3,000 red abalone were taken from Tomales Point.
Of the seventeen abalone seized, eleven were deemed salvageable and were reattached at another location within the Seashore. The other 6 abalone had received too much damage when they were removed so they could not be returned to their habitat.
Law Enforcement Rangers will continue stepped-up monitoring of abalone divers and rock-pickers to make sure they are in compliance with the regulations. "Our mission is to protect the resources that have been entrusted to us by the American people," stated David Schifsky, Chief Ranger at Point Reyes.
Point Reyes National Seashore is part of the National Park System and was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. With over 90,000 acres managed by the Seashore, Point Reyes and the surrounding marine sanctuaries protect and support an abundance and diversity of species and their essential habitats in a wild, natural state. New survey work is being conducted in the Seashore for black abalone which is a federally-endangered species.