Weekly Highlights - October 1, 2018
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- NOAA General Counsel issued a $37,000 Notice of Violation and Assessment to a charter halibut operator, charging 11 counts under the Northern Pacific Halibut Act for failing to submit logbook reports, Guided Angler Fish landing reports, and for unlawfully fishing while serving as the charter vessel operator.
- An Enforcement Officer completed a three day, 470 nautical mile patrol with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers. The patrol encompassed the circumnavigation of Admiralty Island and the North and West sides of Kuiu and Kupreanof Islands. Federal violations encountered include sport-caught halibut onboard with a commercial product, unlawful subsistence gear, failure to possess subsistence halibut registration card. State violations discovered include; taking game without harvest tags, possession of prohibited species, operate subsistence/personal use gear without a permit, and failing to display commercial fisheries entry commission registration.
- Two Enforcement Officers conducted a 400-mile multi-day patrol on the patrol vessel Kingfisher from Kodiak to Lazy Bay on the South end of Kodiak where they remained overnight at the Ocean Beauty cannery. The officers met with the seasonal caretakers and discussed plant operations and logistics.
- An Enforcement Officer provided a New Jersey commercial fishing vessel captain compliance assistance for failing to complete a fishing vessel trip report prior to entering port and possessing undersized multispecies for home consumption.
- An Enforcement Officer provided compliance assistance to a New Jersey charter vessel operator for failing to provide information to NMFS recreational survey representative, as required.
- An Enforcement Officer received a complaint of a recreational boater harassing humpback whales. The Officer provided compliance assistance to subject on marine mammal safe viewing guidelines.
- An Enforcement Officer is working with U.S. Customs to locate and recall 15,000 kilograms of embargoed canned yellowfin tuna that was illegally imported into the U.S. The NOAA Fisheries Tuna Tracking and Verification Program provided the initial information.
- An Enforcement Officer and Special Agent, alongside the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, performed a two-week patrol in support of North Atlantic Fishery Organization Conservation and Enforcement Measures. The collaborative enforcement efforts align closely with domestic and international sustainable fisheries and IUU priorities.
- An Enforcement Officer monitored the commercial offload of a bandit boat returning from a commercial fishing trip in the EEZ. The captain and owner of the vessel were provided compliance assistance concerning a 20 pound overage of vermilion snapper and a seven pound overage of amberjack.
- An Enforcement Officer monitored commercial offloads from an IFQ and HMS vessel. No violations were documented during the with the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Blue Star Operator Program at the Florida Keys ECO Discovery Center on three different days throughout the week. The EO discussed regulations and current issues pertaining to the FKNMS.
- An Enforcement Officer attended and provided regulation assistance at the Captains meeting for the 70th Annual Destin Fishing Rodeo.
- An Enforcement Officer issued a summary settlement in the amount of $1,000 to a local HMS dealer for late reporting.
- An Enforcement Officer conducted an MMPA Patrol with GADNR and boarded two vessels in state waters with one state warning issued for having undersized fish. Dolphin compliance guides were passed out to multiple vessels.
Pacific Islands Division
- Enforcement Officers and Supervisory Enforcement Officer provided compliance assistance to the owner and captain of a Hawaii deep-water commercial shrimping vessel out of Kawalo Harbor, Oahu. The owner and captain failed to turn in logbooks for harvesting deep-water shrimp. No other action is taken.
- All Division sworn personnel completed UTV/side-by-side training sanctioned by the nationally recognized Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA), hosted by the Hawaii Fire Department training division. Basic driving and handling skills were conducted, using OLE’s UTV and a second UTV belonging to the HFD. All participants are now nationally certified UTV operators.
- The Divison's sworn personnel participated in SIMMS training conducted by PID FIs. The instructors created scenarios to include the use of a vehicle as cover. The agents and officers completed several scenarios involving entering and exiting a vehicle and identifying and engaging threats.
West Coast Division
- A father and son, co-owners of a company based in Tucson, AZ, were sentenced in San Diego federal court for knowingly conspiring with others to import sea cucumbers contrary to law using a false classification of weight, submitting a false record for fish or wildlife intended to be imported, and importing sea cucumber in violation of Mexican law. The father received a sentence of 2 years’ probation and a $1,000 fine. The company and son received an order to forfeit $237,879 to Customs and Border Protection, $40,000 restitution to the Government of Mexico (CONAPESCA), five years’ probation, and a fine of $973,490. This is an upward
departure of $255,790 from an original agreement by the Government and defense. This was a joint investigation by NOAA Enforcement and U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
- An Enforcement Officer and Special Agent conducted a border operation at the Pacific Highway border crossing in Blaine, WA. The operation included coordination with Customs and Border Protection, Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Food and Drug Administration and Fish and Wildlife Service. The focus of the operation was to ensure compliance with the U.S. and foreign laws of commercial trade in fish and wildlife products and provide training to CBP officers regarding products of concern to NOAA.
- An Enforcement Officer conducted two Endangered Species Act patrols of areas where recreational anglers are likely to catch wild Coho salmon. The Officer contacted several recreational anglers and found no wild Coho salmon retained.