Weekly Highlights - February 5, 2018
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- An enforcement officer completed an investigation into a Juneau resident possessing a Subsistence Halibut Registration Certificate (SHARC) for which he was not eligible. A written warning was issued and the subject was instructed to surrender the SHARC.
- Two enforcement officers conducted a dockside boarding to address a trip that was improperly logged into the observer deployment automated system. Compliance assistance was provided.
- An enforcement officer met with an Alaskan Native marine mammal hunter who crafts furs for sale. The individual provided a tour of his shop and gave an overview of his operation. Questions about the MMPA regarding seals and sea lions were fielded.
- OLE staff worked with GARFO Protected Resources Division, the Virginia Stranding Network and the USCG to initiate an investigation of a dead North Atlantic Right Whale. Preliminary findings from a necropsy indicate that the whale died due to chronic entanglement in fishing gear. North Atlantic Right Whales are critically endangered and over the last year, the population has experienced increased mortally.
- An enforcement officer, along with Canada DFO, provided compliance assistance to a Canadian dealer who did not have a current license to export 47 containers of untagged sea urchins to a processor in Scarborough, Maine.
- An enforcement officer provided a New Jersey commercial fishing vessel compliance assistance for failing to properly declare fishing activity into VMS.
- An enforcement officer, lieutenant, and GAFRO port agent contacted 262 HMS fishermen attending the Canyon Runner’s fishing seminar in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This outreach event that was focused specifically on HMS regulations.
Pacific Islands Division
- Two enforcement officers completed the third week of Protected Species sea patrols within the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Sanctuary off the Islands of Maui, Lanai, and Kaho’olawe. During the patrols, officers assisted the Sanctuary’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program in the search for an entangled whale reported off Ka’anapali. Over multiple days, officers observed and monitored approximately 20 whales, but were unsuccessful in locating the whale in question. Officers also contacted multiple recreational boaters, kayakers, paddle boarders, and commercial tour boats regarding humpback whale approach regulations.
- An enforcement officer along with the Guam Customs MITF unit conducted joint at-sea patrols. Officers patrolled two miles off the Northern and Eastern shores of Guam. Officers also monitored fishing vessels as well as dolphin-tour charter vessels. No violations were identified.
- An enforcement officer conducted land patrols along the Southern, Eastern and Western sections of the islands Beaches. While on patrols, the EO monitored two Dolphin watch charter vessels cruising the Western coastlines. The EO continued to follow the vessels while monitoring their activities and did not observe any violations. The EO continued patrolling the beaches, harbors and marina's throughout his patrol.
- A special agent conducted an investigation of a commercial fisherman, who illegally used Smooth Dogfish as bait for a commercial fishing trip. The subject of the investigation was issued a Written Warning.
- An enforcement officer monitored a commercial IFQ offload. Compliance assistance was provided for not possessing all of the required turtle mitigation gear items.
- A special agent SA issued a $750 summary settlement to the operator and owners of a commercial shrimp trawler. The vessel was boarded by the USCG and found to have no bycatch reduction devices (BRD) on the port trawl nets and sewn BRDs on the starboard trawl nets.
- An enforcement officer issued a $500 summary settlement to a crabber that had deployed multiple pots in the ocean that did not have weak links as required by ALWTRP regulations.
West Coast Division
- A Supervisory Enforcement Officer, Oregon JEA Partner and USCG enforcement petty officer participated in a USCG aircraft patrol along the Washington and Oregon coastal waters. The fisheries patrol included portions of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, Oregon Marine Reserves and the southern closure area of the state crab fishery.
- An Enforcement Officer received follow-up from a marine mammal organization regarding the Northern Fur Seal found entangled with fishing line in Winchester Bay, Oregon. The organization successfully removed the fishing line after the seal arrived at the rescue facility. The wounds were treated and the animal released back into the ocean.
- An Enforcement Officers received a report from the Coast Guard of a commercial fishing vessel participating in the state Dungeness crab fishery that was landing crab without the required hold inspection. No Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish and Wildlife officers were available at the time. WCD enforcement officers met the vessel at the nearby processing plant and obtained relevant information. WCD forwarded the information to an OSP Fish and Wildlife officer who subsequently cited the operator criminally for the violation.