|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 — June 15, 2016
- An enforcement officer issued a $500 summary settlement to the operator of a charter vessel for failing to have clients properly document their catch of halibut.
- An enforcement officer issued summary settlements totaling $1,825 to two vessels operating out of Sitka for retaining over the maximum amount of rockfish.
- An enforcement officer initiated investigations into two vessels, based on observer statements and logs, for failing to offer reasonable assistance to the observer. Summary settlements of $500 were issued to the vessel operators.
- Two enforcement officers conducted a vessel patrol of the Sugarloaf Island Steller sea lion rookery. Several vessels were contacted, but no violations were noted.
- A special agent boarded a vessel and found one undersized crab onboard. The violation was forwarded to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers in Ketchikan, Alaska and a $130 citation was issued.
- James Kaminsky, a fisherman from Mattituck, New York, pleaded guilty to federal felonies stemming from his role in systematically covering up the landing and sale of illegal fluke (summer flounder), scup and black sea bass that were overharvested in violation of New York state quotas and the federal Research Set-Aside (RSA) Program. Kaminsky pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting false documents in connection with a scheme that ran from May through August 2011. The second charge stems from material, false statements that Kaminsky made to NOAA
criminal investigators during a November 2014 proffer session with a federal prosecutor.
- An EO Conducted patrol of Portland waterfront observed 3 offloads and inspected 1 dealer. No violations were noted.
- An EO issued a written warning to a seafood dealer/processor who has been purchasing and processing regulated species without a Federal dealer permit.
Pacific Islands Division:
- A PID Special Agent received a telephone call from the U.S. Marshal Service regarding a Green Turtle that was discovered in a Guam home by the U.S. Marshal Service during the execution of a Federal Arrest Warrant. During pursuit of the suspect, the U.S. Marshal discovered a wading pool with a 25 lb. Green Turtle in it. Guam DOAG-LES was contacted and responded to the scene.The Green Turtle was taken to Under Water World for rehabilitation. Investigation is ongoing.
- A special agent issued 3 summary settlements ($625, $300, and $375) to recreational fishers for possession of prohibited red snapper, no non-stainless steel circle hooks, and failure to maintain snapper-grouper in whole condition.
- A special agent issued a written warning to a commercial snapper-grouper vessel owner/operator for not having all of the required sea turtle mitigation gear onboard.
- A special agent issued a Summary Settlement to a subject returning from a recreational fishing trip in the Bahamas. The vessel had exceeded the allowable sport fishing Bahamian limits for fin fish.
- A special agent responded to a pilot whale stranding off of the west coast of Puerto Rico. Stranding Network personnel made unsuccessfully attempts to steer the whale back to sea, and the decision was made for network personnel to euthanize the whale. NOAA OLE received additional reports of whale sightings near the stranding event, but no additional stranding events occurred.
West Coast Division:
- WCD enforcement staff participated in a week long mooring/buoy tagging operation in Tomales Bay, CA in partnership with the
Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) and the National Park Service. The operation is focused on stemming
further degradation of critical habitat (eelgrass) in Tomales Bay. OLE is assisting with locating, tagging, chronicling and prioritizing
non-permitted moorings/buoys and vessels impacting eelgrass within the GFNMS. The next phase of the operation will involve OLE
informing property owners to either achieve compliance by means of a mooring permit, or remove moorings and vessels that are