|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 below and examples of high-interest violation notices. This does not include all weekly actions taken by our Officer or Special Agents.
Weekly Highlights — May 23, 2016
- A $1,000 Summary Settlement was issued by an Enforcement Officer to a fishing vessel for allowing salmon to pass the observer
sample point on at least two occasions.
- A fishing vessel is under investigation for failure to submit any fish tickets since July 2014, even though they continue to process
fish in the EEZ and offload product. An Enforcement Officer initiated the investigation, and has forwarded applicable information to
Alaska Wildlife Trooper and to the Wildlife Investigation Unit.
- A fishing vessel made a settlement agreement of $49,000 for fishing in multiple areas and having more fish onboard then quota in
the last area fished.
- A Special Agent completed four harbor patrols. 11 vessels were boarded. Two state violations were documented.
- An Enforcement Officer participated in a JEA patrol with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers. Contact was made with eight vessels. Two State
violations were found. No federal violations were found.
- An SA received a call from a New York JEA officer regarding a possible sea scallop overage at Shinnecock. Case closed due to lack of evidence.
- An EO received confirmation of payment of a $1,500 Summary Settlement that was issued for possessing three striped bass in the EEZ. The case was referred to OLE by the US Coast Guard, District 5.
- An EO conducted a patrol in Virginia Beach for the purpose of conducting outreach to HMS industry participants. During the patrol, the EO contacted captains and vessel owners and discussed HMS recreational compliance regulations and the safe handling and release of billfish for the upcoming fishing season.
Pacific Islands Division:
- A PID Special Agent in Guam submitted an affidavit for a federal criminal complaint concerning the take of two green sea turtles.
- An EO received a case package from the USCG regarding a recreational black sea bass overage that occurred in the Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. The officer conducted interviews and completed the investigation, which resulted in the issuance of a summary settlement.
- An SA completed a case package involving a federally permitted vessel that was found in federal waters in possession of 19 large coastal sharks that were finned while at sea. The case was submitted for supervisory approval for referral to NOAA GCES for prosecution.
- An EO and SCDNR conducted an offshore TED patrol. Two vessels were boarded with no violations.
- An EO organized and participated in a joint agency offshore operation with the USCG/FWCC. The patrol resulted in the issuance of nine summary settlements. Violations included undersize amberjack, undersize gray triggerfish, and possession of red snapper in federal waters. The combined total of summary settlement offers was $3,200.
- An SA issued a written warning to an individual who was within 500 yards of a right whale and failed to adhere to the right whale avoidance measures.
West Coast Division:
- A California State Water Board investigation, by which the WCD provided assistance in drafting an administrative inspection warrant
partly based on potential ESA impacts, concluded this week with the issuance of an Administrative Civil Liability in the amount of
$4,600,000. OLE provided enforcement support with the execution and service of the warrant, perimeter and staff security, as well
as assistance with the search and evaluation of the 50-acre property at the center of this investigation. The liability is based on
allegations that the property owner violated the San Francisco Bay Basin Water Quality Control Plan and Clean Water Act for
unauthorized discharge of fill to waters of the State and United States and a failure to obtain a Water Quality Certification. In
addition, a tentative Cleanup and Abatement Order (CAO) was issued requiring the property owner to abate the effects on beneficial
uses resulting from unauthorized activities.