|NOAA Office of General Counsel|
Keep up to date with the latest enforcement decisions and orders (2010 through 2016).
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 — December 5, 2016
An enforcement officer issued a $1,000 summary settlement offer to the operator of an IFQ fishing vessel for failing to log all sets as
- An enforcement officer issued a $1,000 summary settlement offer to a charter halibut guide for allowing clients to retain halibut over
the annual limit and during a closed period.
- A special agent analyzed observer data from pollock trawlers delivering to a specific processing plant. The data showed that the plant directed where boats landed based on observer sample results. The intent was to minimize the observer salmon counts. The company provided a letter that backed up the observer data.
- An EO issued a $500 summary settlement to the captain of a fishing vessel for not completing his FVTR accurately. A priors check of the vessel indicated that the same captain was issued compliance assistance by a different EO in September.
- An EO conducted compliance assistance to the captain of a fishing vessel for providing an incomplete FVTR.
- An EO conducted compliance assistance to the captain of a recreational vessel for fishing for HMS without a valid permit. The case was a referral from the NJ JEA. Upon investigation, the EO determined that the captain had obtained the proper permit shortly after the boarding occurred.
Pacific Islands Division:
- An Enforcement Officer conducted an ESA patrol on the East and North shores of the island of Oahu. While on patrol at Bellow’s Beach, the officer spotted a protected Hawaiian Shearwater sea bird that was resting on the ground and not flying (atypical of the species as it is mainly nocturnal). Conservation and Resource Officer with the USMC was notified of the bird as this is his AOR in dealing with this species. No violations were noted.
- Enforcement Officers conducted an ESA patrol on the North shore of the island of Oahu. While on patrol the officers met up with a monk seal volunteer who was monitoring a pregnant monk seal. The officers talked with the volunteer and asked if there were any problems. The volunteer was happy to talk with the officers and glad to see a NOAA law enforcement presence in the area. No violations noted.
- A special agent reported that a subject entered a plea of guilty to 1 count of Lacey Act trafficking in Wilmington NC this week regarding an ongoing criminal striped bass investigation. This marks the second plea out of twelve trawl captains indicted in January 2015 for Lacey Act, false statement and obstruction charges. The team continues to prepare for a Jan 23 trial.
- A special agent issued the following summary settlements in cases referred by FL FWC officers from recent JEA patrols: $300 summary settlement to a Jacksonville angler for possession of red drum in the EEZ; $400 joint and several summary settlement to two Winter Park anglers for possession of red drum and prohibited red snapper in the EEZ; $600 joint and several summary settlement to the owner and operator of a Texas shrimper for TED angle and bar spacing violations; $375 joint and several summary settlement to two Jacksonville anglers for possession of prohibited red snapper; and a $275 summary settlement to a Orlando angler for possession of prohibited red snapper. Compliance assistance in the form of regulation summaries was provided in each case.
- A special agent issued a $1,000 summary settlement, joint and several, to the crew and the owner of a federally permitted shrimp vessel for possessing out of season and undersize red snapper. The vessel was boarded by officers with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) on JEA patrol in the GOM EEZ. The boarding revealed the crew of the vessel was in possession of 20 red snapper during the closed season, 11 which were undersize.
West Coast Division:
- A multi-agency cargo blitz operation was conducted by OLE, FWS and FDA personnel focusing on commercial imports of seafood coming through the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and outbound mail parcels at the USPS international Mail Facility. On day one, the team inspected approximately 25 shipments declared as farm-raised salmon from Chile, sea cucumber and octopus from Korea, tuna from the Maldives, Mahi from Panama, and live tropical fish from Indonesia. The second day, the team inspected approximately 120 boxes of outbound mail parcels at the mail facility which were destined for Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. No violations were documented.