Coast Guard crew conducts fisheries surveillance flight to preserve marine resources

Lt. Allison Majcher pilots an HC-130 Hercules aircraft, the Coast Guard’s largest aerial asset, during a fisheries surveillance flight of the Pacific Northwest, Sept. 30, 2015. During the flight, the crew identified and documented 32 commercial fishing vessels in support of the Coast Guard's Living Marine Resources mission and partner agencies. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Sarah Wilson)

Lt. Allison Majcher pilots an HC-130 Hercules aircraft during a fisheries surveillance flight of the Pacific Northwest, Sept. 30, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Sarah Wilson)

SEATTLE — An HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento and members of the Coast Guard 13th District enforcement division conducted a fisheries surveillance flight over 6,000 square miles of ocean, Wednesday.

During the flight, which covered territory between the Canadian border and central Oregon, the team identified and collected information on 32 fishing vessels.

Information collected from the vessel observations will be evaluated to ensure compliance with domestic federal fishing regulations.

The surveillance also focused on maintaining the integrity of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone by ensuring no Canadian fishing vessels continued to fish in the U.S. EEZ following the Sept. 15 deadline under the U.S./Canada Tuna Treaty.

At the request of federal and state partners including NOAA and local law enforcement agencies, the HC-130 crew also observed specific areas and vessels under investigation for potential criminal activity. The Coast Guard will share findings from the flight to further those investigations.

“The extended range of the C-130 allowed us to search beyond the effective patrol area of our local Coast Guard assets,” said Brian Corrigan of the Coast Guard 13th District  “In addition to carrying out the Coast Guard’s own living marine resources enforcement mission, we were able to provide valuable information to partner agencies about commercial fishing activity in the area.”

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