|NOAA Office of General Counsel|
Keep up to date with the latest enforcement decisions and orders (2010 through 2015).
On a weekly basis, we'll post highlights of our enforcement actions here as well as occasional examples of high-interest violation notices.
Weekly Highlights — August 24, 2015
- A special agent contacted two fishermen with chunked halibut without skin on. The halibut had been processed in port and was being transported on the vessel with fishing gear onboard. Written warnings were issued to each subject.
- A special agent received a call from a NH based charter boat owner who self-reported striking a humpback whale off the coast of NH. The special agent conducted interviews of the captain, mate and several witnesses that observed the incident. The agent also obtained photographs of the whale and it’s injuries as a result of the strike. It was determined that the strike was unavoidable and an accident. The whale sustained minor superficial injuries. The whale will be monitored in the near future by the Blue Ocean Society in partnership with the Rye, NH whale watch fleet. The captain was advised of MMPA regulations and approach recommendations.
Pacific Islands Division:
- The Pacific Islands General Counsel Enforcement attorney received approval and settled a case involving the F/V Sea Fox in the amount of $69,243.68. This case reflected one count of setting on a fish aggregate device (FAD) during the 2012 WCPFC FAD closure period and one count of setting gear illegally on marine mammals (MMPA) while fishing in the Western Pacific.
- PID Enforcement Officers conducted a dockside inspection of a Hawaii Long Line vessel. They issued an Enforcement
Action Report to the captain for having 61 short buoy lines, 57 unmarked buoys, and undersize official numbers of the vessels painted on the top deck. PID Special Agents assisted with measuring the buoy lines. The case will be forwarded to NOAA GCES for prosecutorial consideration.
A special agent was informed by HSI inspectors assigned to a Fed-Ex Package Operations port that a packaged labeled as “TOYS” was inspected and seized after such package contained approx. 2.5 lbs. of dried sea cucumbers.
- A special agent completed and closed a case involving MSFCMA violations of 30 red porgies and 8 vermillion snapper over the limit, possession of 3 prohibited red snapper, and one undersized gray triggerfish. The case was settled by OLE receiving a full payment of a $1,800 summary settlement that was issued joint and several.
- An OLE enforcement officer issued 11 summary settlements in amounts ranging from $275 to $800 to 11 different recreational vessels found in possession of red snapper during the seasonal closure.
West Coast Division:
- A longline tuna boat was boarded in San Pedro following a complaint that the crew had removed the fins from a shark while at sea.
The captain was interviewed and he stated his crew members had removed the fins from a mako shark in order to fit the carcass in
the freezer and that the crew had tossed the fins overboard. This was confirmed in the observer’s report. The captain stated when saw what the crew members did with the fins he contacted NOAA via email and received clarification of the shark fining regulations. Once he learned of the regulations, he disposed the shark carcass over the side of the vessel. The captain was given a verbal warning.
- The WCD conducted two vessel patrols to enforce vessel regulations related to the recovery of Southern Resident Killer Whales(SRKW). A Written Warning notice and multiple compliance assistance contacts were made during the patrols. Area and program familiarization training was given to a new enforcement officer.