Re "13 suspected of poaching abalone" (Page B2, Aug. 30): It takes 7 to 12 years for a red abalone to reach a legal size. Many of them are years older.
The demand for permits to collect abalone has drastically increased over the last few years. Since I started diving, the limit has been reduced dramatically to the current rate of 24, and the proposed rate of 18 per year in 2014. The illegal poaching of 250,000 abalone per year is roughly a third of the take if all permitted individuals were to gather their entire limit.
This is alarming. Fines need to be increased. The increased penalties may be a deterrent and could be used directly for increased enforcement. This pillage needs to end.
-- Kirk Brainerd, Placerville