Weekly Highlights - December 18, 2017
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- A special agent concluded an investigation regarding the potential take and waste of seals. The subject was confirmed to be an Alaska Native juvenile. The investigation found the subject’s family utilizes the hides to make and sell handicrafts as a source of income and no seal carcasses were found.
- A special agent conducted an investigation of an individual advertising the sale of king crab on Facebook at approximately half the market rate. The investigation determined a business owner was advertising. The business was new this year and had lawfully obtained golden king crab. Business licenses, L.L.C. filings, fish tickets and product transfer reports were all filed correctly.
- A special agent received an observer statement reporting that a vessel’s monitoring system (VMS) quit transmitting during a trip in May. The outage occurred while the vessel was fishing near two closed areas. The vessel’s positions were not received during this time. The special agent boarded the vessel and took the logbook and plotter positions. Indications are that the vessel did not fish in the closed
- An enforcement officer completed an 8-day at-sea patrol with the U.S. Coast Guard. The patrol covered the Northern Bering Sea and the U.S.-Russia Maritime Boundary Line. Six vessel boardings were completed — three vessels had no violations and the others had minor infractions resulting in compliance assistance and one written warning. Vessel boarding opportunities were few
because of inclement weather from several arctic storms that moved through the Bering Sea.
- An enforcement officer issued a $500 summary settlement to a charter vessel for not submitting his fishing vessel trip reports (FVTRs) on time. The vessel has not submitted any FVTRs for 2017 and continues to refuse to submit the missing FVTRs.
- A special agent reviewed a case submitted by the U.S. Coast Guard concerning trawling in the Scallop Dredge Exemption Area with the wrong VMS code. The agent issued a written warning.
- During a boat patrol with New York Department of Environmental Conservation, officers identified a New York commercial fishing vessel returning from sea. Prior to being boarded the vessel began dumping summer flounder, which is closed in the State of New York. The vessel was given state citations for refusing to follow commands and dumping fish overboard.
Pacific Islands Division
- An enforcement officer and an Alaska-based Supervisory Enforcement Officer boarded an Albacore trolling vessel recently sold to an entity in American Samoa. The vessel was renamed, federal fisheries permit applications were submitted and are pending approval and issuance. The officers provided compliance assistance and education of American Samoa regulations to the new captain. The captain offered to contact NOAA OLE to inspect the vessel, gear, and permits prior to departing on his first fishing trip out of American Samoa.
- An enforcement officer and an Alaska-based Supervisory Enforcement Officer conducted a patrol of Fagatele Bay, a unit of American Samoa National Marine Sanctuary. The officers spoke with several local citizens swimming at the sanctuary and provided education on the roles of NOAA OLE in American Samoa. No violations were noted.
- An enforcement officer completed an investigation stemming from an observer complaint regarding a Hawaii longline vessel failing to dye bait blue during setting operations. The enforcement officer issued a $1,000 summary settlement notice.
- An enforcement officer met with an individual who had a sperm whale tooth posted for sale on
Craigslist. After interviewing the individual and looking at the tooth, it was determined the tooth was originally purchased in 1965 prior to the MMPA or ESA. Laws and regulations were explained to the individual and several pamphlets explaining the information were provided. The individual decided to take down the ad for sale and hang on to the tooth as a keepsake for his family.
- Enforcement officers conducted four individual fishing quota offload audits with no violations detected.
- A special agent issued a $1,250 summary settlement to a subject who was in possession of nine red snapper in a closed season and two cobia over the daily bag limit.
West Coast Division
- An enforcement officer conducted an inspection of an offload. No violations were found.