Weekly Highlights - November 20, 2020
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
A Special Agent in St. Petersburg, FL reviewed collected evidence, conducted a telephonic interview of a subject, and issued a $5,000 Summary Settlement Offer. The case involves a commercial fishing vessel which failed to take a NOAA Observer when selected to do so on two occasions.
A Special Agent flew on a Coast Guard C-130 patrol to enforce the Rockfish Program trawl closure and the IFQ season closure. No violations were found.
A Special Agent provided a virtual online Zoom presentation for 29 members of the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association in Sitka to discuss the current IFQ sablefish pot fishery regulations. Since some of their members are considering a switch from hook and line gear to pot gear, they discussed the difference between the regulatory schemes of the two gear types.
A Special Agent, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife game warden and a biologist monitored the dewatering of the Vern Freeman Diversion Dam fish screen bay on the Santa Clara River, a critical habitat for ESA listed Southern California steelhead. The water district is currently on a federal court order which requires NOAA/NMFS to be present whenever they conduct any operations that can cause take of the fish and none were observed during the activity. (NOTE: OLE is supporting this effort due to NMFS West Coast Region being unable to support due to current COVID 19 restrictions.)
- An Enforcement Officer conducted a Marine Mammal Protection Act land patrol along the Kona coastline. During the patrol, the officer observed two swimmers approaching a pod of dolphins near two commercial tour boats. The two swimmers pursued the pod of dolphins away from the commercial boats and down the coastline. The officer lost sight of the two swimmers as they got out of the water somewhere near the condominiums along the shoreline.
- A Supervisory Enforcement Officer attended and presented at the virtual Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary 2020 Hawaii Ocean Users Workshop. Due to COVID-19, the Ocean Users Workshops were cancelled yet moved to a virtual platform. A virtual workshop was recorded and made accessible for the public. The virtual workshop covered proper guidelines on interaction with the Hawaiian Marine Mammals and Endangered Species.