Weekly Highlights - November 27, 2017
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- A special agent issued an $800 summary settlement for retaining 24 subsistence halibut when the limit was 20 and for using 60 hooks when the limit was 30 hooks.
- Two enforcement officer observed a sea lion hauled out onto a heavily used public dock. The Alaska Wildlife Troopers advised the sea lion had been using the dock frequently. Using verbal commands the two enforcement officers safely encouraged the sea lion to move to another location with less potential for conflict.
- A special agent tested a database trial run that looked for pollock and Pacific cod boats not transmitting VMS. Eight non-compliant boats were identified and several violation patterns detected. The run is part of a larger project being developed by Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to flag violations by comparing various databases.
- An enforcement officer provided compliance assistance to a New Jersey charter vessel for failing to complete an fishing vessel trip report (FVTR) prior to entering port, failing to have the vessel’s permits onboard, and failing to retain one year of completed FVTRs onboard the vessel.
- An enforcement officer issued a New Jersey party/head vessel captain a $500 summary settlement for failing to complete an FVTR prior to entering port. The vessel operator had been educated on the FVTR requirement multiple times in the past.
- An enforcement officer conducted a dockside boarding of a New Jersey charter vessel and identified an undersized Atlantic striped bass onboard. The officer notified state officers, which responded and issued the vessel operator a state citation.
- An enforcement officer assisted an angler who reported that a bald eagle became entangled in his fishing line attempting to steal the bait off his hook. The eagle snapped the line but it was unable to fly. The officer notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and a local zoo. As rescuers attempted to capture the bird, it removed the hook from its talon and flew away.
Pacific Islands Division
- An Enforcement Officer completed an investigation regarding a subject harassing an endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal on the Island of Kauai. Upon review of the subject’s social media posts, an additional video was found of the same subject pursuing a Green Sea Turtle while snorkeling, ultimately touching the turtle as it tried to swim away. The Enforcement Officer issued the subject a $1,500 Summary Settlement.
- An Enforcement Officer along with the Guam Customs MITF unit (state partner) conducted a joint vessel boarding and investigation of a foreign longline-fishing vessel in Guam. Officers questioned crew members and the vessel’s captain about their fishing activities and reviewed the vessel’s fishing logs, permits and electronics. Officers also conducted inspections within the vessel’s fish holds, gear and storage compartments. No violations were found.
- An Enforcement Officer conducted an MMPA/ESA patrol on the West Shore of the Island of Oahu. During this patrol, Honolulu City and County Ocean Rescue personnel notified the officer that two (2) endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals had hauled out at Makaha Surfing Beach in Waianae. Upon arrival, only one (1) seal remained on the beach but a substantial crowd had gathered and surfers were entering, and exiting the water near the seal. The officer remained on scene speaking with the public and monitoring the seal until a volunteer arrived from the Hawaii Marine Mammal Response team and put up signage, and roped off the area.
- An enforcement officer conducted an offshore patrol of Jacksonville, FL. A crew member onboard the vessel was found to be using a J-hook while fishing for snapper/grouper North of the 28-degree line. A commercial shrimp trawler was also boarded during the patrol with no violations noted.
- Two enforcement officers conducted a MMPA patrol of a local boat ramp and high vessel traffic area in Jacksonville, FL. No violations were observed.
West Coast Division
- Two Special Agents conducted a dockside patrol and inspection of offloads. No violations were found.