Weekly Highlights - August 27, 2018
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- A Special Agent received photos and videos of a whale entangled in a crab pot line. The information was forwarded to the Protected Resources Division for evaluation.
Enforcement personnel discussed bycatch, salmon and pollock trip limits at a pre-trawl meeting in Kodiak. Approximately 35 vessel operators and owners attended.
- A Supervisory Enforcement Officer and a NMFS Port Agent attended the captains meeting at the Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament to provide outreach and education to participants regarding permitting, reporting and size/bag limit requirements.
- The Investigative Support Manager and a Special Agent participated in an industry-hosted meeting to discuss the Clam Dredge Framework action under the NE Council’s Habitat Committee. The meeting focused on developing an industry proposal to fish discrete areas based on historical data within the Great South Channel Habitat Management Area (HMA).
- A Supervisory Enforcement Officer issued compliance assistance to a commercial vessel captain for fishing with a non-functional VMS unit. Upon contact, the captain explained that the unit broke during a trip and was replaced before another trip was made.
Pacific Islands Division
Enforcement personnel conducted surveillance operations with State of Hawaii JEA conservation officers from the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE), on the Island of Kauai. The surveillance operations were focused on investigating potential harassment of ESA sea turtles, via the use of plainclothes officers positioned on shoreline locations so they could observe the public’s interactions with the protected species. Additional mobile teams of officers were in place to cite and/or arrest violators if violations occurred. The operation included locations throughout the Island, including a sea cave called Turtle Cove, accessed only by a cliff-side trail, as well as other beach locations on the south side of the Island of Kauai.
During the operations at the Turtle Cove Sea Cave, the officers were able to observe continual compliance by numerous visitors at the cave site. Newly manufactured warning signs provided by NOAA’s Protected Resources Division were subsequently placed in obvious locations of the downward trail. Thus, providing visitors with recommended behaviors towards the turtles prior to their arrival on the beach. The mission served as a great opportunity for PID to work alongside with DOCARE’s Kauai Branch on areas of mutual concern. No citations were issued or arrest made during this op.
An Enforcement Officer in American Samoa conducted a boarding of a U.S. Flagged Purse Seine fishing vessel that was conducting an offload at the Am Samoa tuna processer. Fishing logs, FAD locations, RFMO authorization paperwork, gear, EEZ authorization permits, and compliance with CMM’s were investigated. No violations were found during the time of this boarding.
- A Special Agent conducted regulatory research and contacted South Atlantic Fishery Management Council staff regarding differing interpretations and definitions of commercial trip limits for red snapper.
- A Special Agent represented OLE during the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Council Meeting. The SA provided information to the Council regarding OLE’s stance on a new IFQ regulation proposal. The SA also provided the third quarter OLE update to the Council.
West Coast Division
- An Enforcement Officer conducted a patrol of the Port of Los Angeles, CA commercial fishing docks. The officer conducted a boarding of a fishing vessel landing yellowtail and skipjack tuna to one of the local receivers. The officer inspected logbooks, permits and monitored the offload. No discrepancies observed.
- An Enforcement Officer conducted a patrol of the Los Angeles Terminal Island commercial boat docks. The officer conducted a boarding of a fishing vessel that was returning from a fishing trip and had just landed groundfish. The officer inspected logbooks, permits and inspected the vessel for other fish onboard. No discrepancies observed.