Weekly Highlights - August 28, 2017
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- An enforcement officer issued an $8,729.28 summary settlement offer to a fishing vessel operator for exceeding their IFQ quota.
- An enforcement officer completed an investigation into a fishing vessel operator for not registering with the Observer Declare and Deploy System. The investigation uncovered that the operator was conducting trolling. The Registered Buyer was contacted to revise the landing report with the corrected gear code.
- An enforcement officer was contacted concerning a marine mammal tooth that was found while beachcombing. The tooth was photographed and images sent to Protective Resource Division for identification. If the mammal is not an endangered species, then the enforcement officer will assist the individual with registration.
- Two enforcement officers met with the USCG Boarding Team from the Cutter Sherman. One of the EOs instructed them on specific vessels and flow scale requirements encountered within the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands area to assist with their upcoming Bering Sea Patrol. A joint dockside boarding of two vessels was conducted with no deficiencies identified.
- An EO received intel that a New Jersey party/charter vessel was actively fishing in the EEZ without a permit. A boarding of the vessel and interview of the captain resulted in admissions to having fished in the EEZ for more than three years without a valid permit. A $500 summary settlement was issued and paid.
- An EO provided three New Jersey party / charter vessels compliance assistance for failure to complete fishing vessel trip reports prior to entering port.
- An EO conducted an at sea-patrol with a New Jersey JEA officer in Cape May, NJ. State citations were issued for possession of sub-legal summer flounder, sub-legal black sea bass, and possession of summer flounder parts without a carcass.
Pacific Islands Division
- An Enforcement Officers in American Samoa conducted a patrol on the north side of Tutuila Island including Vai’ava Strait and Vatia Bay. Local citizens were educated about the role and mission of NOAA Office of Law Enforcement. No violations were
- An Enforcement Officer conducted a MMPA patrol on the west shores of the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. The officer overtly surveilled five commercial swim-with- dolphin charter vessels off Makaha beach. The officer detected no violations.
- An Enforcement Officer in American Samoa conducted a Port State Measures boarding of a Cook Islands longline-fishing vessel. The officer documented sea turtle mitigation gear violations for not having a dip net and a de-hooking device.
- A special agent reported that 4 more defendants were sentenced in Raleigh for Lacey Act trafficking violations related to their harvest of thousands of pounds of striped bass from the EEZ. Each defendant received 3 years of probation, 100 hours of community service, and ordered to pay restitution ranging from $54,000 - $69,000. Four more defendants remain to be sentenced.
- Two enforcement officers and a special agent examined a shipment of imported shrimp at the Charleston CBP exam
station. No violations were detected.
- A special agent and the Cape Canaveral, FL enforcement officer conducted a dockside patrol at the Conch House Marina and the Seafood Shoppe commercial dock in St. Augustine, FL. The agent and officer monitored the offload of vermilion snapper from two charter boats and conducted a permit check on another. One commercial snapper-grouper boat was checked. No violations noted.
West Coast Division
- Enforcement officers conducted a joint ESA enforcement patrol with WA Department of Fish and Wildlife officers aboard their
patrol vessel in central Puget Sound. More than 15 recreational salmon vessels were contacted with numerous state violations
- A special agent and enforcement officer conducted an enforcement patrol to San Juan Island, WA in order to assist the Port of Friday Harbor in stopping the long-standing practice of feeding resident harbor seals. A meeting was conducted with the director of the port, and several plans of action were set in motion to assist with the education of locals and tourists on how to lawfully coexist with marine mammals. A local business was also contacted in an effort to curb promotion of this activity.