SOUTH THOMASTON, Maine — A local lobsterman from the local village of Spruce Head has been charged with using more traps than state law allows, according to state officials.
The Maine Department of Marine Resource issued a news release Monday morning indicating that Brian Tarbox, 52, is accused of fishing 956 traps, which is 156 more than the 800-trap limit.
Tarbox is facing civil charges of fishing traps in excess of the authorized limit, which is punishable by a fine between $100 and $500, and fishing lobster traps marked with identification tags not registered to his vessel, which has a minimum potential fine of $100. He also faces a possible suspension of his lobster-fishing license.
Tarbox’s son, 23-year-old Samuel Tarbox of Spruce Head, also has been charged with with fishing lobster traps that contain tags not registered to his vessel, according to DMR. Like his father, Samuel Tarbox faces minimum possible fine of $100 and a potential suspension of his fishing 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 wrote in the statement. “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.”
According to the DMR statement, Marine Patrol Officer Brandon Bezio discovered the violation in October during a routine patrol in Wheeler Bay in Zone D, where Tarbox is licensed to fish. Bezio inspected Tarbox’s traps and found tags that belonged to another fishermen, Eric Caswell, 25, of Lewiston, fastened to the traps. Marine Patrol then hauled up all of Tarbox’s traps and determined he was fishing 156 traps in excess of his allotted 800.
Caswell, who is Bruce Tarbox’s stepson, is not facing any charges as a result of the investigation, DMR added.
Correction: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect first name for Brian Tarbox.