Weekly Highlights - April 2, 2018
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- Two Enforcement Officers completed a several week JEA patrol with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers. During this patrol, 6 vessels were boarded, 1 remote Federal processor was inspected, and 1 vessel was monitored by radar and AIS. No significant violations were noted.
- An Enforcement Officer completed two JEA boat patrols with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers to monitor marine mammal interactions with the Sitka sac roe herring fleet. Large concentrations of whales and sea lions were observed and two vessels were boarded at-sea with no violations being found. Efforts were also made to locate an injured sea lion but the animal could not be found.
- Enforcement Officers issued more than $3,000 in summary settlements to vessel operators for exceeding bycatch allowances during fishing trips in the Gulf of Alaska.
- The investigative support team hosted a monthly meeting of the VMS Committee with GARFO staff. Topics included VMS software upgrades, changes to scallop regulations, and 2018 NAFO season and vessel participation.
- The Boston Seafood Fraud Working Group conducted an inspection of eight containers at the Boston Conley Seaport Terminal. The agencies which participated included, NOAA OLE, CBP, FDA, USFWS, USDA, and the Massachusetts Environmental Police. Samples were obtained and sent to the NOS lab from three containers which contained species of concern. This aligns with the NED IUU/International Enforcement Priority #1 and Seafood Fraud Enforcement Priority #1.
Pacific Islands Division
- Enforcement Officers provided outreach material and conducted compliance assistance to beachgoers.
- Enforcement Officers conducted offload inspections. No violations were noted.
- An Enforcement Officer conducted a patrol of the Galveston Yacht Basin and Galveston Fisherman’s Wharf. Education was provided to a charter vessel captain on the correct turtle dip net in the turtle mitigation gear.
- An Enforcement Officer received a complaint from GADNR regarding the possession of one undersized black sea bass measuring 12 ¾ inches. Compliance assistance was provided.
- An Enforcement Officer discussed ALWTRP gear requirements with blue crab fisherman dockside, one of which admitted that some of his gear may not be in compliance. The fisherman promptly removed those 5 pots to make corrections.
- An Enforcement Officer and Special Agent conducted a week-long port operation in Panama City, FL. During this operation, 5 containers of seafood were checked with CBP, USCG and Florida FWCC. No violations were discovered.
West Coast Division
- An Enforcement Officer and a Special Agent conducted an inspection of an import of 46,561 pounds of Patagonian toothfish worth $595,779, which entered the U.S. through the Los Angeles/Long Beach Port of Entry. No violations were detected. The OLE team educated a CBP officer and Import Specialist about imports of toothfish and other seafood and agreed to work together in the future.