Skip to content
Log In | Sign Up Connect

What’s your story?

Share and find customer experiences

Connect with the people behind them

Wacktrap is
feedback made social

Post Your Wack Now

Trending Content


Newport Fisherman Kill Endangered Giant Black Sea Bass

| Share

by underthesea

underthesea's picture
In The News

Two Newport Beach, CA, fishermen stand accused of illegally killing an endangered animal species--a rare Giant Black Sea Bass, weighing up to 200 pounds. Fishermen were caught on video by numerous beach-goers by Balboa Pier. The giant Black Sea Bass is on a Critically Endangered species list. The species usually stays in relatively shallow water, near kelp forests or rocky bottoms. The Black Sea Bass was once fairly common in Southern California waters but faced threat of local extinction off the California state coast approximately thirty years ago. Said to live up to 100 years, early twentieth century documentation makes claims that the now-endangered fish species has been reported as weighing up to 800 pounds each. Jonathan Paul Apothaker, 45, of Valley Village, and John Francis Brady, 45, of Huntington Beach, California, are each being charged and prosecuted with one misdemeanor count of unlawfully taking a Black Sea Bass--an endangered animal and rare fish species. If convicted, each man could face six months probation to six months in jail. Apothaker and Brady are to be arraigned July 16, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. in Department H-8, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach. California Code of Regulation 28.10(a), the unlawful taking of a Black Sea Bass, states that if a giant Black Sea Bass is caught in the State of California it must "immediately" be returned to the water [ocean]. Due to their dwindling numbers as a result of over-fishing, giant Black Sea Bass are a protected species in the State of California and have been labeled critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. These fish can live to be as old as 100 years old and grow as large as 500 pounds. January 3, 2010, Apothaker is accused of fishing off the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach, Brady accused of fishing in a small boat on the water near the Balboa Beach pier. Defendants in the fishing case say they do not know one other. Apothaker apparently phsyically caught the giant Black Sea Bass and struggled with the fish for approximately one hour to pull the fish out of the ocean, until his fishing line broke. Brady is accused of observing the fishing struggle from his boat on the water, allegedly offering to assist Apothaker to catch the endangered animal--in exchange for half of the fish meat. It's alleged that Apothaker used a hook to fishing line to Brady--so that Brady could remove the giant Black Sea Bass from the ocean. Brady is accused of putting three hooks into the Black Sea Bass' mouth, then using his boat to move the endangered fish toward the shore in Newport Beach. Apothaker is accused of swimming out to Brady’s boat, where it’s said that he grabbed the Black Sea Bass and swam with the fish back to shore. Apothaker allegedly pulled the endangered fish out of the water and held it upright like a trophy--for photos to be snapped. After photos, Apothaker is said to have cut the fishing –and part of the fish's mouth--to remove one hook and leave the other two remaining hooks in the Black Sea Bass’s mouth. He then allegedly pushed the mortally-wounded and endangered fish back into the water. Brady is accused of leaving in his boat when he spotted California Department of Fish and Game and animal control from the Newport Beach Police Department. The illegal fishing incident with the giant Black Sea Bass--including the pier struggle and dragging of the endangered animal through the water, was captured on video by people at the beach. The video was then uploaded online, inclusive of the online website YouTube, by dozens of people who witnessed the incident. In one week or less, the giant Black Sea Bass was found dead--washed up on the shore in Newport Beach. It’s estimated that the endangered animal was 62 inches long, weighed between 140 and 200 pounds—and was as old as 20 to 25 years. In possibly not the smartest move, Brady is appearing in television interviews before the case has gone to Court--arraignment hasn’t occurred for either Defendant in the fishing scandal, and won’t until July. Brady and his daughter have been interviewed—the insinuation is that the man shouldn’t be prosecuted because he was not the actual fisherman that hooked the endangered fish, and that he did not know that the hooked fish was an endangered species. The giant Black Sea Bass would not have been physically able to be dragged to shore without use of Brady’s boat, and there are arguments that the men—as fisherman—would have awareness of species. The fish was so large that witnesses have said they first thought the men were catching a Sea Lion. In an interview, Brady said he was unaware that he had been charged with a crime—despite Court arraignment next month. Brady said he has been a fisherman all of his life and was aware that catching a giant Black Sea Bass was illegal, insisting, “I did not know that was a giant Black Sea Bass (despite the fish’s immense size). That fish did not look anything like a giant Black Sea Bass.” Apparently it must have looked like a giant Black Sea Bass—since it was one. The genius added that, if he thought the fish was a giant Black Sea Bass, he would not have had anything to do with the helping bring it ashore. “Hell no,” he said. “I wouldn’t have done anything of the sort.” Yeah, that’s why he took off in his boat when he saw Fish and Game. The Food Network has been blasted for listing a recipe with the endangered Black Sea Bass fish as the main ingredient in an Emeril Lagasse recipe.


Newport Beach, CA 92660
United States
33° 37' 48.4788" N, 117° 52' 19.8048" W
| Share
Average: 1 (1 vote)