Officials seize nearly 700 illegal crab pots near Blaine

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Fresh Dungness Crab at Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. (Photo: Rich Reid/Getty Images)

BLAINE, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Tulalip Police have seized almost 700 illegal crab pots in the waters near Blaine.

The Bellingham Herald reports that officers seized the pots during a two-day sweep last week.

Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Russ Mullins says most of the pots belonged to Canadian commercial fisherman. He says fisherman will cross the border without proper licenses when their own waters have been fished out.

Mullins, who led the investigation, says about half of the crabs taken illegally would otherwise have been taken legally by tribal members.

The department is working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to identify to whom the crab pots belong.

The seized crab pots and gear will be taken to Olympia and auctioned off online.