Caught: NWHI Fishing Violations

Posted by Marti Townsend at Mar 03, 2009 07:48 AM |
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websealBelow is an excerpt from a press release sent out by the US Coast Guard today regarding possible illegal fishing in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands over the weekend.  They didn’t provide much by way of details whether it was a local or foreign vessel, commercial or recreational, or what was on-board.  As the investigation progresses, however, we will try to post updates on this incident.

“U.S. Coast Guardsmen aboard a buoy tender and a C-130 long-range aircraft from Honolulu documented the crew of a vessel believed to be illegally fishing in the protected waters of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument this past weekend.

A Coast Guard C-130 crew was launched late last week from Air Station Barbers Point on Oahu and located the 79-foot U.S.-flagged long-line fishing vessel believed to be fishing inside the monument Friday, Feb. 27, 2009. The aircraft documented the vessel suspected of having its long-line fishing gear in the water approximately three miles inside the monument and approximately 875 miles from Midway.

The Coast Guard cutter Kukui, an Oahu-based 225-foot buoy tender, was diverted to the fishing vessel’s last-known position in the monument and dispatched a law enforcement team via small boat to board the vessel in order to examine the logs and interview crew members.

The Coast Guard buoy tender’s boarding team gathered evidence that was forwarded to NOAA’s Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement. In the event of a violation, the owner and operator of the vessel may face potential civil penalties and/or permit sanctions.”

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