|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 — July 18, 2016
- A $42,306.70 Notice of Violation Assessment was issued for the operator of a fishing vessel for falsely reporting sablefish as harvested in regulatory area Western Gulf. The owner of the vessel has requested a hearing.
- An Enforcement Officer boarded a Canadian tender delivering sockeye salmon to Wrangell, AK. Contact was made with U.S.
Customs officer. No violations were found.
- An EO issued a $200 summary settlement to an angler who retained over the daily bag limit of halibut.
- An EO assisted Seward Fire Department with a search and rescue at Fourth of July Creek, where a truck was submerged in the river and all occupants trapped inside. On scene, it was confirmed all occupants were able to egress from the vehicle and were stranded on the shallow banks across from emergency responders. The OLE EO became the liaison between Seward Fire Department and Alaska State Troopers (AST) due to AST responding to another emergency. After four hours, all four occupants and one dog were successfully recovered. Only one minor injury and early signs of hypothermia was treated by Seward Ambulance.
- Three SAs conducted four container inspections at Boston’s Conley Seaport Terminal in conjunction with CBP. The containers inspected were identified by a NOAA HQ Intelligence Analyst for being generically coded or involving importers with prior history.
- An EO issued a written warning for possessing a small overage of scallops hidden in the refrigerator and having an inaccurate VTR.
- An EO issued a NY recreational fishing vessel owner a written warning for landing a thresher shark with no HMS permit.
Pacific Islands Division:
- Three PID Enforcement Officers, a Special Agent and a Guam Marine Interdiction Task Force Officer participated in the 2016 Inouye Regional Center Camp outreach event at the Pacific Islands Regional Office in Honolulu, Hawaii. During the camp, three groups of 15 students each learned about the regulations that OLE enforces. Students were also given a tour of PID’s 33’ Safeboat and a chance to examine the division’s law enforcement trucks.
- An special agent issued 2 summary settlements, $275 and $375 to recreational anglers out of Fernandina Beach and Atlantic Beach for possession of prohibited red snapper and undersized black sea bass.
- A special agent issued a $1000 summary settlement to two federally permitted dealers located in Bayou Labatre, AL and Venice, LA for submitting late dealer reports. As a result of the dealers submitting late reports, the hammerhead shark quota was exceeded by approximately 40% in the Western Gulf of Mexico.
- A special agent assisted the AUSA at the sentencing hearing for Caridad Rioseco in Key West. Rioseco was sentenced to 48 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release for her involvement in the filing of false claims in connection with the Deepwater Horizon incident. Rioseco had previously pled guilty to one count of mail fraud. The agent has been part of a multi-agency DWH fraud task force in Monroe Co. lead by the FBI and provided subject matter expertise of the commercial fishing industry.
West Coast Division:
- Two separate investigations involving IFQ groundfish vessels concluded with both vessel owners/operators agreeing to pay civil
fines of $10,000 and $6,000 respectively. The vessels mistakenly fished in two different IFQ management areas during the same
- An investigation was initiated resulting from the grounding of a 50-foot sail vessel that occurred near Big Sur, CA within the
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). WCD staff coordinated with MBNMS personnel to determine the circumstances
involved, and initial interviews have been conducted with the subjects. Enforcement staff continue to investigate the incident and
track salvage efforts.