Weekly Highlights - April 9, 2018
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- An Assistant Special Agent in Charge and Supervisory Enforcement Officer met with all of the heads of the Alaska Native non-profit corporations to educate them regarding the legalities of whale hunting. Several recent whale takes were discussed and the group was asked for their cooperation and assistance in educating the villages under their preview.
- An Enforcement Officer and an Air Force Conservation Enforcement Officer participated in a student education night event at the Ft. Richardson Library. The officers discussed the importance of law enforcement in the management of our marine resources.
Over 70 students, parents, and staff participated in this interactive educational event.
- An enforcement officer issued a fix-it ticket to a vessel operator for not having a valid Federal Fisheries Permit onboard their vessel.
- An Enforcement Officer partnered with PRD to post safe seal handling guidelines on a Facebook page that was recently the source of an injured seal complaint. This aligns with Priority 1 under Protected Resources.
- An Enforcement Officer is coordinating a meeting with OLE, HMS, GARFO Port Agent staff, and a Bluefin tuna dealer to help increase compliance with dealer reporting requirements. This aligns with Priority 6 under Sustainable Fisheries.
- A Special Agent attended a multi-agency law enforcement information sharing meeting hosted by USCG Sector Northern New England. At the request of OLE, the Federal Aviation Administration delivered a presentation on unmanned aircraft statutes and regulations. The informative meeting covered a variety of drone topics as well as what to do and who to call during an encounter.
- An Enforcement Officer is coordinating a meeting with OLE, HMS, GARFO and tuna dealer to increase compliance with reporting requirements. This aligns with Priorities 2 and 6 under Sustainable Fisheries.
- An Enforcement Officer issued three New Jersey recreational anglers each $500 summary settlements for possessing and fishing for Atlantic striped bass in the EEZ.
Pacific Islands Division
- An Enforcement Officer and a Special Agent in Hawaii conduct sea patrols off the coast of the Island of Maui in support of the 2018 Humpback Whale enforcement efforts. No violations were observed.
- A Special Agent and Enforcement Officers in Hawaii responded to a complaint at Magic Island Beach Park on the Island of Oahu where they observed visitors in close proximity to an adult Hawaiian Monk Seal that had hauled out on the beach. Officers waited until a NOAA Marine Mammal Response volunteer arrived and roped off the area to keep the public at a safer viewing distance from the seal before they departed the location.
- An Enforcement Officer conducted ESA land patrols along beaches and known Illegal turtle poaching areas on the Eastern and Southeast shores of Guam where he located and observed the activities of swimmers, and anglers in the area. No violations were observed.
- Enforcement Officers conducted compliance assistance to recreational fishermen.
West Coast Division
- An Enforcement Officer conducted a patrol of the Children's Pool area. This year's spring break has brought hundreds of tourists from the eastern United States and people from around the world. The Officer observed multiple individuals surrounding the sea lions that were hauled out and attempting to take selfie photographs with the sea lions. The Officer made contact with the individuals and asked them to step back and give the sea lions space. Individuals complied with the EO ’s request. The Officer also discussed MMPA regulations with the tourists and answered questions regarding the sea lions hauled out in the area. No further incident was noted.
- West Coast Division employees responded to 12 hotline calls: 4 marine mammal harassment; 4 reports of dead marine mammals; and 4 injured, entangled or stranded marine mammals.
- An Enforcement Officer attended a collaborative meeting for the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Law Enforcement TAC. In attendance were members of NOAA/OLE, NOAA/Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Washington Department of Ecology. Topics included a review of agency roles, jurisdictions, and activities around the sanctuary as well as an update on the recent OCNMS incidents and updates on ongoing related enforcement cases.