Poachers target San Diego's protected abalone - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Poachers target San Diego's protected abalone

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POINT LOMA (CNS) - U.S Park Service rangers asked for the public's help Tuesday in identifying a man wanted for illegally removing an abalone from the Cabrillo National Monument tidepools over the weekend.

A park visitor took photos of the suspect about 2:30 p.m. Sunday after she watched him place a living abalone into a cooler bag, according to Ranger Bonnie Phillips.

"Due to the declining number of species, like abalone, Cabrillo established the Tidepool Protection, Education and Restoration Program in 1996 to provide a refuge area for intertidal flora and fauna to recover," Phillips said in a statement.

"All wildlife in the park is protected. The removal of animals, shells, rocks and any kind of collecting is against the law," she said.

The suspect was described as a white man in his 40s to mid-50s, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, white shorts and white gloves.

Cabrillo National Monument Superintendent Andrea Compton said she was "very appreciative of the reported violation by the park visitor and encourages visitors to report violations to park staff."

Anyone with information was asked to call special agents with the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch at (888) 653-0009 or send a text to (202) 379-4561.

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