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.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Three charged, boat seized in sea cucumber case

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Whale Pass
Type: Commercial fish closed waters
On 3/7/18 Alaska Wildlife Troopers from Klawock, Petersburg and Wrangell concluded an investigation which began in December 2017. Investigation determined Jonathan McGraw Jr., 43, Keith Wagner, 52, and Curtis Looper, 27, all from Naukati, were commercially harvesting sea cucumbers from closed waters including from the sea cucumber preserve in Whale Pass. McGraw’s boat the F/V Bottom Time, his dive gear, and 1,263 pounds of sea cucumbers were seized on 12/19/17. McGraw was charged with seven counts of commercial fishing in closed waters, seven counts of illegal possession, six counts falsifying fish tickets, one count of violating conditions of release, one count of failure to display vessel identification, and one count of employing an unlicensed crewmember. Wagner and Looper were charged with one count each of commercial fishing in closed waters and illegal possession. Looper was additionally charged with one count of no crewmember license. In all, McGraw is suspected of unlawfully harvesting sea cucumbers on seven occasions totaling 7,506 pounds of sea cucumbers valued at a total of $35,288.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Kodiak man charged with skate bycatch overage

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Kodiak
Type: Bycatch overage
On 2/19/18 Alaska Wildlife Troopers contacted Michael McKee, 50, of Kodiak, aboard the F/V Tanusha. Investigation found McKee offloaded an overage of 748 pounds of longnose skate, which was 54 percent over his allowable bycatch of skate. McKee was issued a court summons, and the funds from the overage were seized by the state.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Kodiak crabber cited

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Kodiak
Type: Undersized Tanner crab
On 1/23/18 Alaska Wildlife Troopers conducted a dockside boarding of the F/V New Dawn. Following inspection of the Tanner crab being offloaded, Clifton Ivanoff, 31, of Kodiak, was charged with retaining undersized crab during the Kodiak commercial Tanner crab fishery.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sitka man charged with damaging fisherman's gear

From the Alaska State Troopers:

Location: Sitka
Type: Interfere with commercial fishing gear
On 1/22/18 Alaska Wildlife Troopers charged Joseph J. Daniels, 39, of Sitka, with interfering with commercial fishing gear and criminal mischief. The charges result from an investigation in April 2017 which concluded Daniels, onboard the F/V Amnicon, had intentionally damaged the fishing gear of another fisherman, causing over $700 damage and lost fishing time.