Weekly Highlights - July 23, 2018

Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.

Alaska Division

  • An Enforcement Officer conducted multiple Cook Inlet Beluga patrols in Turnagain Arm near Anchorage. Several different user groups were contacted that may encounter endangered Cook Inlet Beluga whales. The Officer provided outreach and education about marine mammals and information to report potential violations.
  • An Enforcement Officer issued a summary settlement to a Ketchikan fisherman for attempting to hit a seal with rocks and a weighted treble hook. In this instance, fishing with a weighted treble hook is illegal under state law so the information was forwarded to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers.
  • An Enforcement Officer assisted Protected Resources with the recovery of a dead harbor seal that had puncture marks consistent with bullet holes. A necropsy will be completed by Protected Resources.

Northeast Division

  • An Enforcement Officer provided compliance assistance to a vessel for 229-pound skate overage.
  • An Enforcement Officer provided compliance assistance to a vessel for an observer refusal.
  • An Enforcement Officer conducted at sea patrols on with Rhode Island JEA officers. Shark regulation outreach was conducted at sea to participants in four area shark tournaments. Compliance assistance was provided and one HMS permit violation was documented.
  • A Supervisory Enforcement Officer (Lieutenant) partnered with the Maryland JEA officers in Baltimore, MD to investigate the contents of a container of Mahi-Mahi imported from Taiwan. Seafood import monitoring program (SIMP) guidelines and import compliance were monitored. No violations were found. This aligns with NED Enforcement Priority #1 under IUU/International.

Pacific Islands Division

  • An Enforcement Officer along with JEA partners from the Guam Customs MITF unit conducted a Port State Measures boarding and investigation of a foreign longline fishing vessel. Once on board, the officers investigated the captain's fishing permits, fish holds, fishing gear, and turtle mitigation equipment. No violations were detected.
  • An Enforcement Officer conducted ESA at sea patrols together with JEA partners from the Guam Customs MITF unit. Officers patrolled the Northern and Eastern waters off the Island of Guam to include the 3-mile territorial mark. During the patrols, officers monitored and made field contact with two jet skis and two private fishing boats. The OLE Officer interviewed all parties on the jet skis and boats regarding their fish catch, and the areas they had been fishing. No violations were detected.

Southeast Division

  • An Enforcement Officer hosted a TED outreach event in Galveston, Texas, for commercial shrimp vessels prior to the July 15 season opener. The Officer completed five compliance checks with no violations.
  • An Enforcement Officer conducted a preliminary container examination with CBP at the Port of Savannah after being contacted by an FWS Inspector out of Atlanta reference a container that had filed entry paperwork on squid with reported quantities that were less than quantities that were in the container. Additionally, there were no other entry documents filed for the rest of the container. After placing the container on hold and having it moved for an exam, paperwork was received for the remaining contents of the container (mackerel). A NOAA Intel Analyst assisted with the shipping documents. The contents of the container and import documentation were found compliant.
  • An Enforcement Officer monitored offloads of two commercial fishing vessels. The Officer issued a $425 Summary Settlement offer to the captain of one vessel for possession of seven undersized king mackerel.

West Coast Division

  • Enforcement Officers led and participated in an operation targeting the area 2A commercial halibut fishery. The derby style fishery consisted of one day of longline fishing. EOs along with USCG, Oregon State Fish and Wildlife officers and Washington State Fish and Wildlife officers conducted air, sea, and dockside surveillance and boardings associated with the Area 2A commercial halibut derby in multiple ports along the west coast. The boardings focused on proper documentation and IPHC permit class, ensuring all fish meet minimum length requirements, overages and VMS requirements associated with other groundfish species onboard. No violations were observed.
  • An Enforcement Officer and Assistant Director conducted a patrol of the La Jolla Children’s Pool area. The location is an area where pinnipeds regularly haul out. This is a popular tourist location as well, which frequently leads to complaints of possible MMPA violations. No violations were observed during the patrol.