Weekly Highlights - November 13, 2017
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
A Special Agent provided outreach and compliance assistance to a catcher-processor that was experiencing communication errors.
A Special Agent initiated an investigation into the vessel operator for fishing in a regulatory area with more sablefish onboard that quota available for the area. The vessel operator also failed to record all longline fishing sets in his IPHC logbook while fishing for and retaining IFQ halibut.
- An Enforcement Officer issued a $500 summary settlement to a charter vessel captain for conducting charter operations with an Atlantic Tunas General Category HMS permit. During the boarding, the EO also determined that the captain was not in possession of his USCG license and was in possession of an undersized yellowfin tuna. Compliance assistance was given for the latter two violations.
- An Enforcement Officer issued a $250 summary settlement for possession of HMS without a valid permit.
- A Special Agent issued a $1,250 summary settlement for a catching/possessing a shark without the proper permits and failure to land a shark with fins attached.
- An Enforcement Officer investigated a gillnet fishermen utilizing gear that was out of compliance with take reduction regulations.
- Compliance assistance was provided to the vessel owner/operator and the owner of the gear.
Pacific Islands Division
- An Enforcement Officer issued a $750 Summary Settlement to an individual who captured a Green Sea Turtle swimming in shallow water in Hawaii. The subject had posted the photo on social media showing him holding the turtle while standing on the beach. OLE received Hotline calls about the social media post.
- An Enforcement Officer issued a $500 Summary Settlement to a vessel captain/owner for failing to notify the NOAA Observer Program prior to departing for fishing. The investigation revealed a lack of communication between the owner and captain.
- Enforcement Officers conducted a 3-day TED pulse operation off the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi. During the operation 17 shrimp vessels were boarded resulting in 23 violations. Nine violations were handled with compliance assistance, 2 will receive $500 Summary Settlements, and the remaining 12 issues were onboard 3 vessels that will ultimately be submitted to GCES.
- An Enforcement Officer issued:
- a $1,125 joint and several summary settlement to 3 recreational anglers for possession of 4 prohibited red snapper, possession of 6 undersized vermilion snapper, and vermilion snapper not in whole condition;
- a $1,150 joint and several summary settlement to 4 recreational anglers for possessing 16 undersized vermilion snapper and failure to use non-stainless steel circle hooks while bottom fishing north of the 28 degree line;
- and a $450 joint and several summary settlement to a charter fishing vessel and its captain for possession of 8 undersized reef fish.
- Enforcement Officers boarded a charter boat in Jupiter, FL and checked fish, gear, and permits and found the permits onboard to be expired. Officers checked the permit status in PIMS and determined that the vessel did have valid permits issued to it. Officers provided compliance assistance and instructed the captain to put his updated permits on the vessel.
West Coast Division
- Two Enforcement Officers conducted two Endangered Species Act patrols on rivers with ESA-listed wild Coho salmon, a dockside patrol for groundfish compliance, and a Marine Mammal Protection Act patrol in the area of Newport, OR.
- An Enforcement Officer participated in Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife patrols contacting and inspecting non-tribal casinos known to sell exotic seafood. No federal violations were observed.
- An Enforcement Officer conducted a joint patrol and inspection with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife of several International Seafood shipping companies at SEATAC Airport. No violations were observed.