Weekly Highlights - October 24, 2017
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- Two enforcement officers conducted an at-sea boarding of a foreign cargo vessel with Canadian Board Patrol and USCG. No deficiencies were noted.
- An enforcement officer met with Sustainable Fisheries and a new vessel captain to address concerns the captain had regarding prior logbook violations. A review of the logbook identified that the two prior operators failed to log substantive required information and failed to submit logbooks to NMFS. A $3000 summary settlement will be issued.
- An enforcement officer assisted a citizen with laws regarding gifted Alaskan coral and the legality of retaining the coral. The officer determined that the state of Alaska has jurisdiction on the coral; there is no commercial harvest of coral in Alaska, and there are no protected species of coral in Alaskan waters. Based on this information, the officer determined that it was lawful for the individual to retain the coral.
- An EO investigated an HMS commercial vessel that filleted Atlantic swordfish and discarded the carcass. A $1000 Summary Settlement was issued for landing the HMS in the improper form.
- An EO conducted a boarding of a scallop vessel in furtherance of an investigation related to non-submitted FVTRs by this vessel and others owned by the same company. The EO met with the fleet owner and was able to coordinate for the company to submit all missing FVTRs. A $500 Summary Settlement will be issued for one count of not submitting FVTRs in a timely fashion.
- An EO issued a written warning to three subjects for retaining a great white shark.
- An EO issued a New Jersey charter vessel a written warning for failing to complete an FVTR. The vessel operator was provided
- compliance assistance on the FVTR regulations during its previous boarding. The EO also identified an overage of blackfish and referred the case to NJ JEA officers.
Pacific Islands Division
- Enforcement Officers along with the Department of Marine Wildlife Resources (DMWR) conducted Port State Measure Investigations of three Taiwanese longline fishing vessels in Pago Pago, American Samoa. The officers examined the fishing logs and transshipment documentation. No Conservation Management Measure (CMM) violations were found.
- Enforcement Officers conducted an ESA patrol on the North Shore of the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. The officers traversed an off-road trail, via their Ford F-150, and proceeded on foot for the last mile. The officers monitored two Hawaiian Monk Seals resting at the end of the trail and spoke with some ten (10) people who had also hiked in to view wildlife in the area regarding proper interactions with the seals.
- Enforcement Officers and a Special Agent participated in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection-led multi-agency seaport Regional Coordinating Mechanism (ReCom), “Operation Safe Harbor” in Honolulu, Hawaii. Participating agencies consisted of CBP, HSI, USCG, NOAA-OLE, HI Department of Public Safety, State of Hawaii DOCARE (JEA partner), and Honolulu Harbor Police. Enforcement boardings were conducted of U.S. longline fishing vessels docked at Honolulu, Harbor in order to identify and investigate possible immigration violations, U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Safety Act, National Marine Fisheries Service laws/regulations, and other Federal, State and local laws. A total of 46 longline vessels were boarded and eight enforcement actions issued including a commercial fishing vessel failing to turn in completed fishing logs.
- A special agent forwarded a summary settlement expiration letter to the owner/operator of a vessel found trawling/possessing shrimp in the EEZ without the required permit. The $3,000 summary settlement was due to be paid by the owner/operator of the vessel on September 30, 2017.
- Enforcement officers reviewed and processed 6 JEA cases from Florida resulting in proposed summary settlements totaling $2,375. The case packages consisted of possession of undersized vermilion snapper and out of season gray triggerfish, red snapper, and amberjack.
- Enforcement Officers and Special Agents examined fish and paperwork at two federal dealers in Florida. No violations were detected.
- Enforcement Officers and Special Agents monitored a commercial grouper offload in Cape Canaveral, FL. Fish, permits, and gear were examined. No violations were detected.
West Coast Division
- An Enforcement Officer received five JEA case referrals from Oregon State Police (OSP) regarding commercial salmon fishing vessels landing groundfish along with salmon taken in the EEZ. None of the fishing vessels had VMS. After interviewing all of the owner/operators, four were determined to be in violation of VMS regulations. The four subjects were issued written warnings. During the investigation, numerous other owner/operators of commercial salmon vessels were interviewed dockside. The result of the interviews showed the majority of the fleet did not understand the regulations and were relying on misinformation from other operators. The enforcement officer provided compliance assistance to everyone contacted in order to resolve this problem.
- Two Enforcement Officers conducted an investigation of a dead sea lion on a heavily used public beach in Oregon. The sea lion had a small half-inch hole in its hide directly between its eyes. Peeling back the hide from the skull indicated no evident damage or penetrating marks beyond the hide. WCD referred the case to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
- Enforcement Officers conducted multiple Endangered Species Act (ESA) and groundfish enforcement patrols along critical habitat areas, and ports and marinas near Newport, OR. No violations were found.