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caught red handed

As a proud and yes, privileged 30 plus year member of San Diego Yacht Club, I was dismayed to hear that a couple of my fellow members had broken serious laws regarding poaching abalone and not-in-season lobster. We ran what we knew here, careful not to name names as we certainly did not have all the facts, but today a more complete and, we believe, accurate story came out about the incident.
We all make mistakes, but this was no mistake. This was purposeful breaking of laws that protect the endangered inhabitants of our precious oceans. The accused flaunted the rules in a way that most of us find highly offensive, and completely unacceptable. They are deservedly facing enormous fines for this egregious violation. But we wonder what SDYC thinks of this ethically and morally deplorable behavior.
Today the Commodore of SDYC issued a letter, not naming nor condemning these two members, but rather reminding all members to be on their best behavior at all times. So that’s it? That’s all SDYC has to say on the matter? Are there no repercussions, no consequences from the club for this despicable abuse of endangered species? And just so they could kill and eat them? Pitiful.
Will they lose their memberships over this? Failing that, will there be lengthy suspensions from the club for these two? I know of a rather prominent member who is no longer with us, that was suspended for a year for behavior just as unacceptable as this. Does the same code of behavior from SDYC not apply to these two?
Given that one of the accused is a former commodore at SDYC, will the Good Ol’ Boy network circle the wagons and hope that we all forget about it, while at the same time the rest of us are being admonished for potential bad behavior that, to my knowledge, no other members have engaged in?
Is this how our wonderful, highly principled yacht club is going to handle this? One certainly would hope not.
For daring to question the club, I’ll likely get in more trouble than the accused. – ed.
The story is here:
Game wardens have accused two of San Diego’s top yachtsmen of poaching shellfish, an odd incident that recently sent shockwaves through their genteel world.
On Aug. 25, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife got a tip that guys were diving off a boat near Catalina Island and bringing up lobster and abalone, said Capt. Patrick Foy, a spokesman for the department’s enforcement division, who described what happened that day.
Lobster season was a month away, and it’s now illegal to harvest abalone any time of year, because of population declines up and down the coast. Abalone are prized mollusks that are endangered because of overfishing and disease.
Game wardens got to the boat, named the EZ Rider, that the men had been seen diving from. Read on.