Weekly Highlights - July 26, 2019
Read about this week's enforcement efforts from around the country.
An Administrative Law Judge imposed a fine of $17,000 to the owner and operator of a recreational vessel for striking and injuring a humpback whale inside Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. The vessel was operating carelessly around feeding whales and struck one which left a visible wound on one whales’ back.
Three dockside and two vessel patrols were conducted in the Division. Three vessels were boarded at sea, three were boarded dockside, a dealer was inspected and several lobster traps were inspected for take reduction regulation compliance.
An Enforcement Officer and Special Agent participated in a U.S./Canada border patrol operation onboard the P/V Natoma Bay. NOAA OLE boarded a Canadian sport fishing vessel fishing in U.S. waters for halibut without sport fishing licenses and illegal gear being operated by a Canadian citizen in U.S. waters. One U.S. tender vessel was boarded with no violations. One U.S. gill net vessel was observed fishing in U.S. waters 30 feet from the border. Five U.S. vessels were boarded and one vessel could not provide current vessel documentation.
A Special Agent joined other federal agencies during an overnight joint patrol/surveillance of Tolofofo Bay, Guam following reports of drug and human smuggling in the area. NOAA-OLE participated due to potential ESA poaching activities. No violations were noted.