Weekly Highlights - October 22, 2018
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- An Enforcement Officer investigated a possible illegal take of a Cook Inlet beluga whale. The scientist necropsy concluded the whale died of natural causes. The Officer provided bear security during the necropsy.
- A Special Agent boarded a vessel offloading IFQ sablefish and found the IFQ hired master/captain did not complete logbook entries for a 6-day trip. A summary settlement will be issued.
- A Special Agent boarded a vessel and found the operator had not obtained a Federal Fisheries Permit.
The operator was told he would be receiving a Summary Settlement.
- The liaison agent to the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program researched observer program complaint information for FY Q3 and Q4 and submitted a summary to the OLE National Observer Program Team representative. Overall program compliance is calculated to be greater than 99%. The compliance rate is determined by comparing the total number of referred complaints to the number of completed trips per quarter.
- An Enforcement Officer responded to a complaint received from the Virginia Stranding Network regarding an individual who possessed a green sea turtle in his home. The subject self-reported the take from his gill net and took the animal home because he felt the turtle was in poor health. Compliance assistance on ESA regulations was provided to the subject. The stranding team took custody of the turtle for rehabilitation.
- A Speical Agent met with an investigator from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to discuss current trends in the movement of seafood from Canada into the United States.
- A Special Agent conducted outreach at four marinas on the east coast of Puerto Rico to address recent complaints of dolphin harassment at Palominos Island just offshore. Captains from three of the main catamaran tour boat operations were provided with outreach materials in both English and Spanish and Dolphin Feeding signs were hung at the marinas.
- An Enforcement Officer interviewed a subject after receiving an anonymous complaint. The subject was found in violation of catching a white marlin, bringing it on board for a photo, then released the white marlin. The subject admitted fault for the violation. A written warning was issued to the subject.
- A Supervisory Enforcement Officer reviewed a USCG submitted case package where a commercial shrimp vessel was boarded and found with multiple violations. The violations consisted of two red snapper out of season, a TED with bar spacing measuring 8-inches, and a TED flap measuring 26-inches. The EO issued a $1,200 summary settlement.
Pacific Islands Division
- A Special Agent completed an investigation involving the captain of a U.S. Hawaii based commercial longline vessel that had his fishing gear drift inside the boundary lines surrounding the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) Longline Fishing Prohibited Area. The captain self-reported the incident to OLE and explained that there were rough weather conditions due to the hurricane that was passing through the Hawaiian Islands at that time which caused the violation. A Written Warning was issued.
- An Enforcement Officer in American Samoa conducted a boarding of a U.S. flagged purse seine vessel to investigate for compliance with the High Seas fishing closure for U.S. flagged purse seine vessels in the WCPFC convention area. The captain and observer were both interviewed about the trip which spanned two RFMOs and lasted 78 days. Fishing logs, positioning data, and bunkering receipts were all examined. No violations were found.
West Coast Division
- Three Enforcement Officers conducted patrols with Oregon State Police along inland river systems in Central Oregon. Four rivers were targeted due to the fall run of ESA listed Coho salmon. The patrols were conducted over a 2-day period. A total of 174 anglers fishing from boats and the shorelines were contacted. Six written warnings and one state generated citation were issued. Out of all the anglers contacted, only one subject was found to be in possession of a wild Coho salmon. The fish was confiscated and the subject was cited.
- A Special Agent interviewed a Happy Camp, CA business owner who unlawfully purchased and transported subsistence-caught Klamath River salmon from a tribal member. The person was adamant that he did nothing wrong until the agent provided copies of the 2018 tribal fishing regulations. He also agreed to abandon the fish that were previously seized by the local JEA wardens. The business owner will be issued a summary settlement for the violation.