Weekly Highlights - October 9, 2018
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- NOAA General Counsel issued a $91,472 notice of violation and assessment to the owners and operator of an individual fishing quota fishing vessel for two counts of falsifying IFQ landing reports and ADF&G fish tickets.
- An Enforcement Officer gave a presentation to Ketchikan Indian Community High School students on the MMPA and subsistence halibut regulations.
- An Enforcement Officer assisted an Alaska Wildlife Trooper (AWT) with serving a state search warrant on a fishing vessel. The vessel operator is suspected of committing multiple state violations including failure to report commercially caught salmon and selling the unreported salmon to businesses in and out of Alaska. AWT seized electronic equipment and various documents including receipts and account statements.
- An Enforcement Officer attended meetings with three Municipalities and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to discuss the Unusual Mortality Event for marine mammals and protocols developed by NOAA and MDEP for disposal of a large number of deceased seals washing up on area beaches.
- An Enforcement Officer attended an Emergency Vehicle Day outreach event. The event was a benefit for Cops for Kids with Cancer. The Officer staffed a table with Massachusetts JEA partners and focused their outreach on marine mammal protection and HMS regulations. This aligns with NED Divisional Priority within Protected Resources strategic objective.
- A Special Agent participated in an observer training program from the organization Standing Together Against Rape (STAR). The purpose of the meeting was to review operations and emergency response, learn how to recognize and respond appropriately to observers who have been harmed, and to learn what support is available for observers. Future training is expected.
- A Special Agent and a Florida Keys Agent participated and presented at the "Formulation of a National Strategy and Action Plan for Compliance with the 2009 FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing" in Trinidad and Tobago. The OLE team worked with FAO experts and Trinidad and Tobago participants to identify their legal, operational, and institutional gaps/needs in order to strengthen existing capacities and assist Trinidad and Tobago in fulfilling their responsibilities as a port, flag, coastal, and market state as they move forward with signing onto the agreement.
- A Special Agent, Enforcement Officer, and Investigative Support Technician provided training to the NOAA Observer Training Program at the NOAA Galveston Lab. The crew provided education on federal laws and regulations that are enforced by NOAA OLE. The Agent provided information to the students on recent observer harassment cases during the training session. The Officer and Technician provided training to the observer students by role-playing in observer harassment cases to provide the students with hands-on training. The crew provided contact information to the observer students and other observer instructors; the Officer is coordinating with local USCG units and the observer instructor for future training sessions on portable P6 pumps.
Pacific Islands Division
- An Enforcement Officer conducted an MMPA Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin Patrol at Makua Bay in Waianae on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. During the patrol, the Officer monitored five commercial swims with and dolphin watching (tour) vessels. No violations were observed by the Officer during the monitoring of said vessels.
- An Enforcement Officer and Supervisory Enforcement Officer in American Samoa conducted a dockside patrol at Samoa Tuna Processors. Several foreign-flagged vessels were re-inspected from a previous Port State Measures inspection offloads. In addition, compliance assistance was provided to the captain of an American Samoa longline fishing vessel regarding the correct sizing of his WIN call sign on the port and starboard sides of the vessel. No PSMA violations were found during the aforementioned investigations of the foreign-flagged vessels.
- An Enforcement Officer attended the Makua Beach Westside Cleanup Festival while on land patrol along the Waianae Coast on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. During this cleanup, approximately 14,000 pounds of debris and trash were cleared from the area. The Makua coastal area is known for its excellent snorkeling and is frequented by pods of Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins, Hawaiian Monk Seals, and Green Sea Turtles. While at Makua Beach, the Officer also assisted the City and County of Honolulu Ocean Safety teams during the attempted rescue and recovery of a snorkeler. The snorkeler was a passenger on a dolphin tour boat and had drowned while offshore Makua Beach. The catamaran came close to the beach where the victim was unloaded. Although Ocean Rescue and EMS attempted to resuscitate the victim, they were unable to do so and the snorkeler was pronounced dead at the scene.
West Coast Division
- An Enforcement Officer provided compliance assistance on a report of marine mammal harassment. The Officer provided information on the Marine Mammal Protection Act and permissible deterrent methods to remove unwanted marine mammals.
- An Enforcement Officer participated in a U.S. Coast Guard organized Multi-Agency Strike Force Operation (MASFO), to check shipping containers entering and departing the Port of Tacoma in Washington. Approximately 35 officers and agents from various local, state, and federal agencies participated. Ninety-eight containers were inspected, with two state violations recorded. No contraband or federal violations found.
- An Enforcement Officer boarded a commercial fishing vessel offloading albacore tuna at a first receiver. The vessel operator failed to complete the HMS logbook and failed to submit logbook pages from four earlier trips this year. After determining the owner/operator had no priors, a written warning was issued for the violation. The owner/operator stated he was a board member of the American Albacore Fishing Association and would share details of the enforcement action with fellow board members in order to get the word out to the fleet to comply with logbook regulations.