Weekly Highlights - April 23, 2018
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- Several Enforcement Officers attended the annual Kodiak Children Fair and presented a collection of marine mammal parts that were used to foster understanding of the local marine wildlife and how to safely observe them in the wild. The Officers discussed the importance of not feeding marine mammals, not approaching a sick animal, and what issues should be reported to NOAA. More than 100 children and parents stopped at the booth.
- An Enforcement Officer completed a patrol with the U.S. Coast Guard. Six at-sea boardings were conducted with multiple safety violations and one fisheries violation documented. During the patrol, training was provided to the boarding team members regarding IFQ, charter, and subsistence halibut regulations.
- A Special Agent completed an investigation regarding a vessel operator failing to record set information in their logbook and submitting inaccurate information. The operator of the vessel paid a $1,000 summary settlement. The operator was also informed he failed to submit his logbook pages as required and he should submit them.
- An Enforcement Officer coordinated with the Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police and a local NOAA Fisheries Port Agent to provide compliance assistance to a vessel that recently acquired federal fisheries permits but was not reporting.
- An Enforcement Officer implemented a joint-agency operations plan to patrol and enforce a restricted gear area identified as an area of concern by PRD. The Officer is coordinating with USCG partners in D1 to carry out the plan. The purpose of the op is to mitigating large whale entanglements and further risk to critically endangered Atlantic Right Whales.
- An Enforcement Officer provided compliance assistance to a Virginia commercial scalloper that landed a 10 pound overage of sea scallops on a 600-pound limit trip and failing to comply with the pre-trip notification observer requirements upon landing from an individual fishing quota trip.
Pacific Islands Division
- An Enforcement Officer conducted a beach patrol. The Officer made contact with the individuals, providing compliance assistance regarding safe viewing distances from marine mammals. The Officer also discussed MMPA and ESA regulations with the tourists and answered questions. No further incident was noted.
- A Special Agent was contacted by a member of industry, regarding a recent boarding of one of his commercial vessels by the USCG, while on a scalloping trip. USCG cited the vessel for an “oversized dredge” and its voyage was terminated. The owner requested OLE intervention upon the vessel’s return to port in Beaufort, North Caolina, to complete an examination of the dredge gear. A Special Agent met the vessel at the dock and measured the gear. After sharing the the gear findings via Facetime, it was determined the gear was in full compliance per the federal permit/regulations the vessel was operating under. The Agent contacted the USCG and advised them of the situation. The USCG will be sending a letter to the vessel owner rescinding the EAR.
- A Special Agent attended an HMS Outreach meeting with Federally permitted charter boat fishermen in
- An Enforcement Officer participated in a burial at sea of a fallen Texas Tech police officer who was shot and killed while on duty. Several Law enforcement agencies were involved providing a police vessel escort and procession. The vessels traveled 5 miles offshore of St. Augustine, Florida, where an internal reef ball with the officers ashes mixed in the concrete and his badge placed in it were placed on the bottom of the ocean at this final resting spot.
West Coast Division
- Enforcement Officers along with DMWR agents from American Samoa, conducted a Joint marine patrol along the Fagetele Bay marine sanctuary. Enforcement Officers and JEA Partners patrolled the sanctuary to ensure boaters or swimmers were not disturbing the protected area.