Spruce Head Man Charged with Fishing too many lobster traps
Tuesday, November 15th 2016
Brian Tarbox, 52 of Spruce Head has been charged by Marine Patrol Officer Brandon Bezio with fishing 156 lobster traps more than the 800 he was authorized to fish, according to the Marine Patrol.
Fishing traps in excess of the authorized limit is a civil violation that carries a potential fine of between $100 and $500. Tarbox has also been charged with fishing lobster traps that contain tags not registered to his vessel, also a civil violation with a potential for a minimum $100 fine. Tags, which are affixed to each trap, are marked with information that identifies the harvester licensed to fish the trap.
In addition to the fines, Tarbox faces the possibility of a suspension of his lobster license.
“This is a very serious violation of marine resource laws and I’m extremely proud of the diligent work of the Marine Patrol personnel involved in this case,” said Marine Patrol Colonel Jon Cornish. “When someone fishes in excess of trap limits, it not only undermines important conservation laws designed to sustain this valuable resource, it gives violators an unfair advantage over law abiding harvesters.”
The investigation involved four patrol boats and the following Marine Patrol personnel: Officer Bezio, Sergeant Matt Talbot, Officer Johnathan Luellen, Specialist Corrie Roberts, Officer Wesley Dean, Officer Matthew Wyman, Lieutenant Daniel White, Specialist Matthew Sinclair, Sergeant Robert Beal, Officer Joel Tourtelotte, Specialist Michael Neelon, Officer Christopher Hilton, and Officer Rebecca Kavanaugh.
The violation was uncovered by Officer Bezio during a routine patrol in October. Officer Bezio inspected Tarbox’s traps and discovered that they included tags that belonged to another license holder, Eric Caswell, 25 of Lewiston. The discovery of another harvester’s tags on Tarbox’s traps led Marine Patrol to haul all of his traps and determine that he was fishing 156 traps in excess of his allotted 800.
Also charged as a result of the investigation was Tarbox’s son, Samuel, 23 of Spruce Head. Samuel Tarbox has been charged with with fishing lobster traps that contain tags not registered to his vessel. In addition to the minimum $100 fine, he also faces the possibility of license suspension.
Caswell, who is Tarbox’s stepson, is not facing any charges as a result of the investigation, according to a news release from DMR.
Tarbox fishes in Wheeler’s Bay in lobster management zone D, which stretches from Cape Rozier to Pemaquid Point and is authorized to fish 800 traps.