Weekly Highlights - May 28, 2021
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
Two SAs assisted with the surrender/processing of two defendants at Eastern District of NY-Islip. The two defendants, along with their company, were arraigned later in the day. The defendants were released on a $100,000 signature bond.
An EO provided compliance assistance to two Illinois-based seafood importers who recently received non-compliant SIMP Audits. The EO went over the issues that the SIMP audits identified and provided the importer with the SIMP Compliance Guides. Both importers have taken steps to correct to ensure compliance with the SIMP regulations.
- A Corpus Christi EO provided compliance assistance to a vessel operator which was not transmitting it’s VMS as required. The operator stated he was not aware of the requirement to keep the unit powered while tied to the dock. He did not have a power down exemption, but advised he would have the unit properly wired.
An Enforcement Officer conducted an at-sea patrol onboard the Alaska Wildlife Trooper Patrol Vessel COURAGE. The two-day patrol covered an area in the Gulf of Alaska from Sitka to Yakobi Island and back. Eight boardings of charter vessels were conducted at-sea. One state violation was documented.
A Special Agent received a report of a Ring seal, being observed on the beach in Dutch Harbor. The seal was monitored for several days and appeared to be in need of medical evaluation/treatment, as its health appeared to be declining. Ring seals are a species of ice seals (Phoca hispida hispida) that are found in the Arctic region, and the only place found in US waters. They are currently listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Based on the deteriorating health of the animal a decision was made to capture the seal and transport it to the Alaska Sea Life Center for medical evaluation/rehabilitation.
Thirteen land patrols completed (four Magnuson Stevens Act, one Endangered Species Act, and eight Marine Mammal Protection Act). During a dockside boarding for an Alaska IFQ halibut offload, one violation was documented with compliance assistance provided (Magnuson Stevens Act.) A charter vessel targeted and caught one halibut, but the operator did not possess an IPHC license.
- An SA received a complaint about critically endangered Hawksbill turtle nesting site disturbances by human contact. The SA conducted surveillance at multiple nesting sites in the Kau district of Hawaii isle. Hawaii isle hosts multiple ethnic cultures from around the South Pacific who are known to harvest sea turtles and the eggs as a food source. The location of the sites are at shoreline accessible only by foot in remotely rugged locations. The SA discovered and inspected nine (9) nesting sites, eight (8) of sites were undisturbed and one (1) site had little disturbance on the surface from what appeared to be from a dog. The SA made contact with a male and female couple who had their dog off-leash. The SA educated the couple about state dog leash law and the sensitive nesting sites at the location.