Weekly Highlights - September 18, 2017
Read about this week's enforcement actions from around the country.
- An overage occurred when a charter halibut permit holder exceeded their allowable limit listed on the Guided Angler Fishing (GAF) permit. A special agent is investigating and has so far determined that that the violation is most likely a data entry error on the GAF report. A similar violation was recently addressed with this permit holder.
- An enforcement officer issued a written warning to a processor for failing to submit an IFQ landing within the required time limits.
- An enforcement officer completed an investigation into a potential whale harassment, after receiving a report from the USCG of a fishing vessel making multiple transits through a pod of whales. The investigation determined no violation.
- An EO issued a $500 summary settlement to the captain of a commercial fishing vessel for failing to accurately complete his FVTR. While fishing on a squid trip, the vessel retained swordfish that the crew filleted before landing and was not
reported on the FVTR. Compliance assistance was given to the captain for proper form for landing HMS.
- An EO provided compliance assistance to a New York vessel that failed to report two bluefin tuna.
- An EO issued a NJ Charter/headboat fisherman a $500 Summary Settlement for failing to complete a FVTR.
- An EO issued a NOVA for transfer of HMS (Porbeagle shark) at sea.
Pacific Islands Division
- Enforcement Officers and a Supervisory Enforcement Officer conducted an MMPA/ESA vessel patrol aboard the Division’s F3503 patrol boat. Also aboard was a multimedia specialist with Earth Resources Technology, a NOAA affiliate. The patrol departed from Pearl Harbor and reached Haleiwa Harbor on the North Shore, a first for the PID. Officers witnessed two incidents involving snorkelers in the water pursuing spinner dolphins. The officer immediately gave a verbal warning and then continued to educate the snorkelers about the regulations, and addressing each instance. The multimedia specialist filmed a public service
announcement concerning marine mammal viewing guidelines on a beach where a molting monk seal was hauled out.
- An Enforcement Officer and Special Agent in American Samoa conducted a dockside boarding and investigation of a U.S. flagged purse seine vessel. The OLE team examined fishing logs, authorizations, and gear. The boarding team also discussed current regulations and issues within the U.S. purse seine fleet. The boarding team previously received reports uncompensated work by the crew. The boarding team addressed the issue with the captain and forwarded it to the vessel agent for correction.
- An enforcement officer reviewed and processed 4 JEA cases from the Panama City area resulting in proposed summary settlements totaling $1,950. All of the cases consisted of out of season red snapper and gray triggerfish.
- A Galveston ASAC provided guidance for approximately 10 commercial fishing vessels and dealers during a time when all reef fish and IFQ systems are offline.
West Coast Division
- An enforcement officer boarded a fishing vessel offloading sablefish in Charleston, Oregon. The owner/operator of the vessel was found to have a limited entry permit and fishing in the EEZ without an operational VMS unit. The subject admitted to failing to activate the VMS system prior to the fishing trip. A summary settlement offer for $2,000 was accepted.
- An enforcement officer received information regarding an observer violation out of Charleston, Oregon. The observer program selected a commercial fishing vessel for observer coverage for the pink shrimp fishery, and the owner of the vessel failed to provide coverage as required. The vessel was in Charleston, Oregon, offloading pink shrimp, again without the required federal observer. The investigation was completed and submitted for NOVA.