Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sitka direct marketer nets $13,000 fine

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Sitka
Type: Conviction
On 4/9/19 Justin Eberhard, 45, of Sitka, entered guilty pleas to charges including failure to complete fish tickets as part of an agreement through the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals. Eberhard was fined a total of $30,000 with $17,000 suspended and placed on probation for one year. Eberhard is required to pay unpaid fish taxes from 2017 and 2018 as a condition of probation. The charges stem from an investigation into the unreported export of commercial troll-caught salmon from the F/V Surf Bay during 2017 and 2018. Investigation revealed Eberhard had sold multiple shipments of fish out of the state of Alaska while acting as an unlicensed direct marketer. The fish caught and exported were never documented on a commercial fish ticket as required. The value of the unreported catch for 2017 and 2018 was in excess of $45,000 and represented large numbers of unreported king salmon. Investigation showed the fish were otherwise legally taken during open commercial seasons and with appropriate commercial permits.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Kodiak crabber fined $25,000, pots forfeited

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Kodiak
Type: Commercial crab closed season
On 11/2/17 during a patrol on the P/V Cama'i, the Alaska Wildlife Troopers pulled and inspected 156 commercial Dungeness crab pots belonging to the F/V Silver Fox, operated by Raleigh Eager, 47, of Kodiak. All 156 pots were baited and in fishing configuration after the season had closed on Oct. 31, 2017. The pots were seized and transported back to Kodiak. On 1/15/19 Eager pled guilty on multiple counts of commercial Dungeness crab fishing during a closed season. Eager was fined $25,000 and the 156 pots were forfeited to the state of Alaska.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Feds issue $91K penalty in sablefish case

A federal enforcement report presented last week to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council included this item:

F/V Tribute — IFQ permit holder/operator and vessel owners were charged under the Magnuson-Stevens Act for intentionally making false prior notice of landing reports and signing false landing receipts to conceal IFQ sablefish violations. A $91,472.00 NOVA (Notice of Violation and Assessment) was issued. Case pends.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sitka troller cited

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Sitka
Type: Commercial troll closed period
On 5/7/18 Alaska Wildlife Troopers cited Jeffery M. Farvour, 49, of Sitka, for commercial power trolling during a closed period aboard the F/V Apollo. Farvour was observed by AWT commercial trolling approximately 2.2 nautical miles into the "Western Channel" troll area which was not opened by emergency order to commercial trolling. Proceeds from a king salmon taken in the area were seized by the state.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Fines imposed after Russian, U.S. authorities respond to suspected outlaw fishing vessel

The U.S. Coast Guard reported the following last week to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

On 14 Jan 2018, representatives from the Russian Border Guard (RBG) notified USCG District 17 of a possible illegal unreported and unregulated (IUU) transshipment vessel operating within the U.S. EEZ. The Russian Border Guard stated that the vessel "SEA BREEZE" (Sierra Leone flag) was located 185 nm SSW of Attu, Alaska and was suspected of illegally fishing for crab in U.S. and Russian waters, and linked to organized crime. Russia planned to conduct a search for the M/V SEA BREEZE and requested USCG assistance. D17 responded to Russia's request by launching a HC130 from Air Station Kodiak to detect the suspect vessel and successfully located it operating in the Central Bering Sea (aka Donut Hole) with what appeared to be crab pots onboard. The aircraft attempted to hail and query the vessel, but the vessel was not responsive. All information was passed to the RBG who deployed afloat assets, reacquired the vessel in the Russian EEZ, and conducted an at-sea enforcement boarding. The Russian media reports the M/V SEA BREEZE was detained by the Kamchatka Border Guard for two violations: not authorized to fish in the Russian EEZ and failure to have a logbook onboard. Total fines exceeded 6.5 million rubles ($114,000). The vessel was escorted back to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky for further investigation. M/V SEA BREEZE represents the eighth potential IUU transshipment vessel attempting to operate along the U.S.-Russia maritime boundary line since January of 2017.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Shooting at vessel results in arrest

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Wadleigh Island
Type: Weapons
On 3/27/18 at approximately 0458 hours, Alaska State Troopers on Prince of Wales Island received a report of an individual shooting at a fishing vessel in the herring fishery near Wadleigh Island. Troopers responded via the P/V Interceptor. Investigation revealed Donald Austin, 60, of Wadleigh Island, had placed the crew in fear of imminent serious physical injury after firing multiple rounds with at least one round striking a fishing vessel. Austin was arrested on charges of assault and misconduct involving weapons. He was remanded to the Craig jail without bail pending arraignment. Alcohol was believed to be a factor.