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A crab fisherman has been sentenced to three years’ probation in Sonoma County Superior Court for using 100 illegal Dungeness crab traps in the Stewarts Point State Marine Preserve last April, according the district attorney’s office. Steven Anello, a commercial fisherman, also was sentenced to five days in jail, fined $10,000, required to give up any money he made on crabs he caught, perform 20 hours of community service work and keep out of the marine preserve, the district attorney’s office said. Officials from the California Department of Fish and Game observed Anello using the 100 traps inside the preserve off of the coast of Sonoma County from April 3 to April 7, the district attorney’s office said.
Fish and Wildlife Warden Tiffany Stinson and other department officials raised 23 of Anello’s illegal nets, the district attorney’s office said. Anello’s traps did not contain a state-required safety device allowing the crabs to escape if the traps are not raised, the district attorney’s office said. Under state law, it is prohibited to take anything alive from within the marine preserve and to deploy fishing equipment there, the district attorney’s office said. Anello was initially charged with taking Dungeness crab out of the preserve and using his traps there, but the charges were dismissed after he entered a plea of no contest to possessing the illegal traps, the district attorney’s office said.
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