|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 — August 1, 2016
- A local school teacher was featured on televised news after taking a rotting piece of whale skin from a stranded humpback whale
An enforcement officer found one undersize Pacific halibut during the monitoring of an IFQ offload. The captain was issued a
summary settlement for $200 and the fish was donated to Sea Shares for hunger relief.
- An observer reported to NOAA that they were feeling threatened aboard a processing vessel in the Bering Sea. An enforcement
officer and an Alaskan state trooper responded to the observer’s report by picking up the observer using of the State of Alaska
Patrol Vessel Stimpson.
- An enforcement officer participated with a patrol aboard the USCGC Mustang. The officer was able to provide training to the crew
about federal fisheries, as well as board 13 vessels over the three day period. Several federal record keeping violations were found
on halibut charter vessels. In addition, the Coast Guard terminated the voyage of one vessel for safety violations.
- An EO issued a fishing vessel a verbal warning for failure to maintain an accurate VTR.
- An EO issued a fishing vessel owner a $2500 SS for refusing to take an observer on a fishing trip after being formally selected to do so.
- An EO investigated an individual for collecting a suspected dolphin skull and posting photos of the skull online, potentially for sale. The EO interviewed the suspect who stated that he found the skull on the eastern shore of Virginia and was not selling the item. The EO provided the subject with information regarding how to properly register the artifact with NOAA’s Protected Resources Division which he did.
Pacific Islands Division:
- An Enforcement Officer completed an investigation involving a Hawaii longline limited entry vessel that failed to submit their
logbooks within 72 hours as required on two back-to-back trips. The captain was issued a $1,000 Summary Settlement
- An Enforcement Officer patrolled along the Waianae Coast of the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, for marine mammal activity, specifically
Spinner Dolphin encounters with vessels and or swimmers.
- A PID Enforcement Officer’s assistance was requested by PIRO’s PR at Mokuleia Beach on the Island of Oahu, where a Hawaiian
Monk Seal pup had recently been left alone by his mother. The EO stood by while the PR volunteers tagged and vaccinated the
seal. No incidents occurred during the tagging and vaccination.
- An enforcement officer in SC issued four summary settlements on three case referrals from FWCC. The summary
settlements were for possession of red snapper in federal waters and were in the amounts of $300, $300, $300, and $375.
- A special agent is working with a FWCC officer regarding a charter fishing vessel that has been landing prohibited sharks under State regulations. As part of this investigation, it was discovered that the charter vessel has an incorrect category HMS permit and that would not allow the harvest of sharks, while under charter, from federal waters. Therefore, the charter vessel can no longer harvest State prohibited sharks with a claim the sharks were harvested from federal waters.
- An enforcement officer received a call from GADNR asking for assistance identifying fish purchased by undercover officers from a dealer that they believe are federally prohibited red snapper. Due to the condition of the fish positive identification could not be made visually. The enforcement officer took custody of the fish and delivered them to the NOAA Forensics Lab in Charleston, SC for DNA analysis.
West Coast Division:
- An investigation was initiated related to a vessel grounding complaint within the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS). OLE coordinated with GFNMS staff to identify the individuals responsible for the vessel and the circumstances involved with the grounding of a 27’ sail vessel in the vicinity of Bodega Bay, CA. Through a coordinated effort of OLE staff, GFNMS personnel and
other first responders, the vessel was safely removed from the beach.
- An investigation was initiated after an unscreened water pump was identified in the lower Smith River area of Smith River, CA,
which has been identified as critical habitat for endangered Coho salmon. It was determined that the pump provides water to a large
cattle ranch at that location, and the ranch manager was contacted to ensure compliance with screening requirements. The subject
is working with Habitat Conservation Division staff to correct the problem.