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Ventura County

Fisherman Who Exceeded Quota Fined $16,000

November 09, 2002

A commercial fisherman has pleaded guilty to violating federal fishing quotas, the Ventura County district attorney's office said Friday.

Jack Morici, 38, of Oxnard was fined $16,000 and placed on three years' probation for exceeding the quota of shortspine and longspine thornyhead rockfish by more than three tons, officials said.

"It's an extremely high fine for an individual," Deputy Dist. Atty. Karen Wold said. "You usually see this kind of fine when you're dealing with a corporation."

In a complaint filed by the district attorney's office, authorities alleged Morici was trying to get around the limit by falsely identifying a catch in 2001 as broadbanded thornyhead rockfish, a variety found only off the Alaskan shore.

Morici pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of filing false or inaccurate landing receipts, Wold said.

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