Sign Up for Our Newsletter! »

June 20, 2017

Poachers Get Jail Time After Taking More Than 250 Lobsters From South La Jolla State Marine Reserve

Press Release
Medium_image
Octavio Aburto

The South La Jolla State Marine Reserve is considered a “no take” area where commercial or recreational removal of any living marine resource is prohibited. This and other marine reserves across the state exist to protect habitat and ecosystems and to conserve biological diversity by providing a sanctuary for fish and other sea life. 

On June 1, 2017, San Diego County resident Bryan John Gladis pled guilty to charges that he illegally poached 185 spiny lobsters on two separate occasions from the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve. Under a plea agreement reached with the City Attorney’s Office, Gladis was placed on five years of probation, ordered to serve 120 days in custody, pay a fine of $11,250, forfeit all of the fishing gear seized, and sell his fishing boat. He must also stay away from the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve. 

In a separate case, San Diego County residents Minh T. Ly, Jesse Casarez Martinez, Jr., and Phillip L. Martinez each pled guilty to misdemeanor criminal violations for unlawfully taking 74 lobsters. Under plea agreements reached with the City Attorney’s Office, the three men were placed on three years of probation, ordered to pay fines of $5,000, $500 and $10,000, respectively, and ordered to stay at least 100 yards away from the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve. Jesse Casarez Martinez, Jr. and Phillip L. Martinez were also ordered not to take or possess spiny lobsters from the City’s coastal waters. In addition, Minh T. Ly and Phillip L. Martinez were each ordered to perform ten days of public work service.

 “I’m proud of the role the City Attorney’s Office is playing in preserving our City’s coastal environment,” San Diego City Attorney, Mara Elliott said. “We will continue to work with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to protect precious marine resources so that they are available for future generations.” 

WILDCOAST is pleased to recognize the efforts of local San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in their relentless pursuit of justice across San Diego County’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). A clear message is being sent to poachers that the San Diego community is not amicable towards their illegal actions. One of the greatest threats to our local waters is the illegal take of fish and wildlife. Even small offenses can have long-term damaging effects on these ecosystems and our local economy.

Anyone who believes they are a witness to unlawful hunting, fishing, or pollution is encouraged to call CalTIP, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) confidential secret witness program, at (888) 334-2258.Anyone with a cell phone may send a tip to CDFW by texting "CALTIP", followed by a space and the message, to 847411 (tip411). Callers may remain anonymous and a reward may result from successful capture and prosecution.