By Mark Gomez
Divers suspected of poaching abalone off the Northern California coastline were the target this morning of state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials who served 14 search and arrest warrants at homes in the East Bay and Sacramento.
At 7 a.m. state agents served the warrants simultaneously at homes in Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro, Fairfield and Sacramento, according to Patrick Foy, a spokesman for the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Foy said the suspected poachers take multi-day trips up the California coastline to Sonoma and Mendocino counties and dive for abalone, which they quickly sell for profit.
Abalone diving is legal, but divers must have a fishing license and are limited to three in a day and 24 in a season. Honest divers keep track of their hauls with an abalone report card, Foy said.
One of the suspected poachers took 57 abalone in a season, Foy said.
Check back for more information on this breaking story.
Contact Mark Gomez at 408-920-5869. Follow him on Twitter @MarkMgomez.