Weekly Highlights - March 8, 2019
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
Special Agents interviewed an expert on the transmission of disease among marine animals. This was in relation to an observer interference complaint. In this investigation, the fisher refused to allow marine mammals to be brought on board due to perceived health concerns. The expert advised that with the use of gloves, there was a negligible risk of disease transmission and that the fish being caught posed a higher cause of disease or infection.
Enforcement Officers from Galveston, Houston, Newport News and Panama City, and a U.S. Coast Guard boarding officer conducted offshore patrols aboard NOAA OLE F3402. The officers boarded four shrimp vessels resulting in two violations. One shrimp vessel was found in possession of two red snapper in a closed federal season. A $600 Summary Settlement was issued. Another shrimp vessel was found in possession of 62 Spanish mackerel fillets in Texas state waters. The case was forwarded for prosecution.
A Panama City Enforcement Officer participated in a joint NOAA/FWC patrol out of Carrabelle, Florida. Four commercial shrimping vessels were boarded in federal waters. One vessel was found to possess five gray triggerfish during the federal closure.
A Special Agent notified the captain of a fishing vessel that their VMS was not transmitting. The captain had a bad connection replaced. The Agent and an Enforcement Officer measured the vessel to make sure it was allowed to fish in the >50 ft. Pacific cod season.
An Enforcement Officer responded to a report of a large crowd around a Hawaiian Monk Seal at Makaha Surfing Beach in Waianae, Hawaii. Upon arrival, the officer monitored the situation and spoke with beachgoers, educating them on the Hawaiian Monk Seal and related federal regulations. The officer also spoke with ocean safety lifeguards and provided them with new Hawaiian Monk Seal warning signs. No violations were noted.