A Petersburg crabber was fined this week for using other permit holders’ crab pot tags and fishing more pots than he’s allowed.
54-year-old Andy Knight was originally facing six misdemeanor charges. He was fishing for Dungeness crab in his vessel the Kathy K in Gambier Bay on southern Admiralty Island north of Petersburg just after the start of the summer season June 17th.
Alaska Wildlife Troopers from the Juneau post onboard the trooper vessel Sentry investigated and say Knight was fishing more than the maximum of 300 pots allowed for him and two other permit holders onboard. Troopers say Knight had removed a total of 14 pot identification tags from four other commercial crabbers’ pots, sank those pots and then used the tags to conceal that he was fishing the additional pots. Troopers seized 14 crab pots and over 17-hundred pounds of Dungeness crab worth over 46-hundred dollars.
Under an agreement approved by superior court Judge William Carey December 19th, Knight agreed to plead guilty to three misdemeanors. He was fined 10-thousand dollars on each charge, with six thousand dollars suspended on each. That means a total of 12-thousand dollars he’ll have to pay by December 19th of next year. He also has to pay restitution and is on probation for a year.
Some of other permit holders who lost pots to Knight asked the judge for a stiffer sentence including jail time or loss of his fishing privileges.
In October, the two other permit holders on the Kathy K, Don Peeler of Petersburg and Colin Kuamoo of Hilo, Hawaii, agreed to pay lesser fines for fishing over the limit for crab pots.