Weekly Highlights - June 28, 2019
Read about this week's enforcement efforts from around the country.
- A Special Agent in Corpus Christi, TX received notice that the General Counsel Enforcement Section issued a $24,000 Notice of Violation and Assessment to a Texas based charter operation for conducting reef fish charter trips in federal waters without a federal permit, fishing during closed season, and circle hook violations.
Three Enforcement Officers boarded approximately 30 commercial fishing vessels participating in the Area 2A commercial halibut fishing derby. This fishery is only open for one day, a 10 hour period from 0800-1800 hours. Officers began the boardings during the evening hours of 6-26-2019 and continued throughout the following day. Vessels were inspected for permits, logbooks, gear markings, undersized halibut, and VMS requirements. Hold inspections were performed after offloads were completed. Vessels were measured dockside to ensure declared length of vessels matched the IPHC permits allocating maximum quotas. The closely monitored fishery participants were found to be in compliance with regulations. No significant violations were identified.
An Enforcement Officer investigated a lodge for providing guide services without a guide or a Commercial Halibut Permit. A boarding found an employee of the lodge fishing with two individuals who are staying at the lodge. The employee did not have a guide license or a permit.
- An Enforcement Officer boarded a Hawaii based longline fishing vessel, registered for use under a Hawaii longline limited access permit. The vessel was reported by the NOAA Observer Program for failing to fish in accordance with seabird take mitigation regulations. Specifically, not thawing or dyeing bait and not strategically discarding bait while birds were present.