Weekly Highlights - October 16, 2017
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- An enforcement officer was notified that a vessel failed to log two out of the last six trips into the Observer Declare and Deploy
System. The vessel operates as a halibut catcher and a sablefish catcher/processor.The investigating officer determined the case was unfounded.
- Three enforcement officers conducted a dockside boarding of a vessel conducting its Alaska Department of Fish and Game cost recovery offload of Alaskan Red King Crab. No deficiencies were noted. Based on another year of quota reduction by 20% and an estimated opening price of $14.00/lb.
- A special agent and an enforcement officer conducted an at-sea boarding of a vessel returning from a geoduck opener. No violations were noted. Extensive outreach was given to the crew regarding sport-caught halibut aboard while commercial shellfish product was also aboard.
- An enforcement officer conducted a dockside boarding of a sea cucumber boat and discovered the occupants were removing sea cucumbers from the vessel and transporting them without a valid a fish ticket or tender permit. Information forwarded to the local Alaska Wildlife Troopers.
- An enforcement officer conducted an at-sea boarding. No violations were noted. Extensive outreach was given to the crew regarding ground fisheries and marine mammal protection regulations.
Pacific Islands Division
Two enforcement officers conducted Marine Mammal Protection Act and dockside fisheries enforcement patrols. No violations detected.
- A special agent issued a $100 Summary Settlement for dolphin harassment investigation. A video, posted by the subject to their Instagram account depicted the approach of her recreational vessel upon a pod of bottlenose dolphins and the pod’s response to this interaction. The initial information for this case was discovered by a Northeast Division enforcement officer and referred to the Southeast Division for investigation.
- A special agent personally served a written warning on the owner/operator and passenger of a Massachusetts homeported sport-fishing vessel at a marina in St. Augustine. Compliance assistance was offered via a South Atlantic Fishery Management Council “Bringing Fish Back from The Bahamas” brochure. The agent also inquired about an HMS permit which the owner had onboard. The vessel was returning from The Bahamas when officers boarded it and discovered fillets without skin identified as dolphins.
- An enforcement officer reviewed and submitted two case packages resulting in summary settlements of $725 for out of season red snapper and greater amberjack.
West Coast Division
- A San Diego man formally pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy for his role in smuggling protected fisheries products into the U.S. In February 2016, he and a co-conspirator (currently awaiting trial) concealed 38 kg of frozen endangered black abalone and 78 kg fresh and dried fuscus sea cucumber in luggage when attempting to enter the U.S. through the San Ysidro POE. The individual claimed during an interview that the product was personal use for his family. The estimate of the value of the product is $16,000. Sentencing will be in January 2018.