SPRUCE HEAD — The Marine Patrol has charged a Midcoast lobsterman with fishing more traps than allowed by law.
According to a statement from the Department of Marine Resources, Brian Tarbox, 52, of Spruce Head was charged by Marine Patrol Officer Brandon Bezio with fishing 156 lobster traps more than the 800 he was authorized to fish.
Fishing traps in excess of the authorized limit is a civil violation that carries a potential fine of between $100 and $500.
Tarbox also was charged with fishing lobster traps marked with 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,” Marine Patrol Col. Jon Cornish said in a statement announcing the charges. “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 violation was uncovered by Bezio during a routine patrol in October. Officer Bezio inspected Tarbox’s traps and discovered that they bore tags that belonged to another license holder. That discovery led the Marine Patrol to haul all of Tarbox’s traps and to discover 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. He was charged with fishing lobster traps bearing tags not registered to his vessel. In addition to the minimum $100 fine, he also faces the possibility of license suspension.
Tarbox fishes in Wheeler’s Bay in lobster management zone D, which stretches from Cape Rosier to Pemaquid Point.