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 22, 2017
- An enforcement officer completed an investigation on a charter operator for failing to have their client sign the charter halibut logbook. Compliance assistance was provided.
- An enforcement officer started an investigation on a vessel for retaining undersized IFQ halibut. An Alaska Wildlife Trooper seized the undersized halibut and will transfer custody to the enforcement officer.
- An enforcement officer issued three $400 summary settlements to charter anglers for exceeding their annual halibut limits.
- Two enforcement officers conducted outreach on St Lawrence Island in the Bering Strait Region. Environmental climatic change of short winters and lack of sea ice forced hunters to travel farther by hunting skiffs over open water to hunt seals and walrus. Last year, the Tribal Government of Savooga applied for subsistence disaster funding due to the low availability of marine mammals. Other topics discussed were expanding into CDQ halibut processing, native handicraft, and the Norton Sound Economic Development Community.
- An EO conducted a patrol of Trenton, Maine and inspected two federal dealers.
- An EO conducted a patrol of Hancock, Sorrento, Winter Harbor, and Gouldsboro. No violations were found.
- A VMS Technician notified a scallop-declared vessel that VMS activity indicated the vessel entered and exited the Elephant Trunk Flex Access Area three times on April 28. The captain responded to the VMS message and it was determined that he was using an incorrect boundary for the access area.
- An EO coordinated with NOAA’s Seafood Inspection Program in resolving a concern associated with the shipment of lobster to the EU.
Pacific Islands Division:
- An Enforcement Officer conducted an investigation involving a Enforcement Officers conducted a dockside investigation of a Hawaii long lone fishing vessel at Pier 38 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Marine Mammal Authorization Permit onboard was expired. The officers provided compliance assistance after checking with the NOAA PIRO permit office that verified that the vessel had a current valid permit but was not aboard.
- An Enforcement Officer completed an investigation involving a Hawaii based longline fishing vessel that failed to follow seabird mitigation techniques by not using blue dyed bait and not discarding spent bait. Information was predicated on information obtained from an NOAA Observer’s report. A $2,000 Summary Settlement was issued.
- Enforcement Officers conducted land patrols along the western, northern, and eastern sectors of the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. There they monitored a chartered tour vessel and swimmers near a group of Spinner Dolphins in the Pokai Bay area; patrolled the shoreline areas at Laniakea Beach Park on the north shore where they spoke with NOAA volunteers who were monitoring ESA listed Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. The volunteers advised the EOs about several locations where ESA listed Hawaiian Monk Seals had recently been sighted on shore.
- A special agent issued a $1,250 summary settlement for a recreational violation of possessing a prohibited Sand Tiger Shark and no HMS Angling Permit.
- A special agent assisted the USCG in a directed red snapper patrol off the Texas coast. As a result of this USCG patrol, the agent issued two summary settlements ($425, $500) for the possession of red snapper during a closed season.
- An enforcement officer conducted a dockside patrol at a popular recreational boat ramp and conducted eleven recreational vessel boardings. One vessel had caught and released a blue marlin without an HMS permit, and the officer provided compliance assistance. Another vessel was found to be in possession of a red snapper and a $275 summary settlement was issued.
West Coast Division:
- An Enforcement Officer conducted a dockside boarding and offload monitor of a limited entry groundfish trawler delivering product to a processing plant in Charleston, Oregon. Permits, logbooks, identification and catch were inspected. The GPS plotted was checked against the logbook entries. The federal observer on board reported no problems or issues. The F/V did not have the required Limited Entry Permit (LEP) on board as required. An EAR was issued (Fix-it) for the violation.
- An Enforcement Officer was contacted by a Coast Guard cutter in regards to a F/V contacted in the EEZ. The vessel operatorwas found in possession of an undersized salmon. The gear deployed had 10 barbed hooks. The Coast Guard terminated the fishing trip due to safety violations and escorted the F/V back to port. OLE Enforcement Officers met the vessel at the boat dock. The undersized salmon was voluntarily abandoned. The vessel operator confirmed the Coast Guard report of using barbed hooks. A summary settlement was accepted in the amount of $150 for the undersized salmon and $450 for the use of 10 barbed hooks.