Officers from the Alaska Division of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement in Petersburg conducted an investigation. It revealed that Ettefagh and crew retained 600 pounds of Pacific halibut that was not deducted from their Individual Fishing Quota permit or documented on the landing receipt. When authorities discovered the unreported fish, Ettefagh reported that the intent was to retain it for personal use and not for commercial purposes. It is a federal violation to fail to offload and report all fish taken while commercial fishing, and submit inaccurate information on a required report.
Following our investigation, the NOAA Office of General Counsel Enforcement Section assessed Ettefagh and Sylver Fishing Company a civil penalty of $17,600. Ettefagh took responsibility for the violation in a timely manner and a settlement agreement of $15,840 was accepted by the government for two counts of violating the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982.
NOAA Fisheries stresses the importance of conducting commercial fishing in compliance with all applicable regulations. Reports of illegal fishing activities received from the public will be investigated and violators will be prosecuted.
To report illegal fishing activities, contact the NOAA Fisheries Enforcement hotline at (800) 853-1964.