HONOLULU — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349) returned home to Honolulu, Monday, after a five-day patrol throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands.
The crew conducted eight total boardings, issued 23 notices of violation and 22 safety violations.
The Galveston Island’s boarding team also terminated the voyage of the fishing vessel Lady Anne Margaret after a non-U.S. citizen was found to be serving as master of the U.S. documented vessel.
“Although our patrol was short, it was very successful and directly supports our mission under the Ocean Guardian Strategy to protect the nation’s living marine resources, ensure fish for the future and economic stability by employing the right tools in the right place at the right time,” said Lt. Ryan Ball, commanding officer, Galveston Island. “Our goal is to ensure the overall safety of the Hawaii-based commercial fishing fleet, provide presence and enforce the fishing laws and regulations within our Exclusive Economic Zone, which ultimately safeguards fish stock sustainability.”
Galveston Island’s crew also embarked a Samoan shiprider, who served as an observer during six of the eight boardings. Coast Guard teams and Pacific Island Nation shipriders routinely conduct professional exchanges and joint boardings within the U.S. and Pacific Island Nation’s EEZs to protect the ocean and the living marine resources.
The Coast Guard’s priorities under the Ocean Guardian Strategy are to: protect the U.S. EEZ from foreign encroachment, enforce domestic living marine resource laws, and ensure compliance with international agreements. The U.S. EEZ is the second largest in the world, comprising 4.38 million sq. miles of ocean.
On the commercial fishing vessel safety front, mandatory dockside safety exams must be completed for all commercial fishing vessels that operate beyond 3 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline. These exams are free and any discrepancies found at the dock may not result in fines. Fishing vessels that are required to carry National Marine Fisheries Service observers are required to have a valid decal (not expired). Mariners interested in scheduling commercial fishing vessel safety exams may contact Charlie Medlicott at 808-535-3417 or Charles.J.Medlicott@uscg.mil.
The independent state of Samoa is a self governing island country about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand in the Polynesian region of the Pacific Ocean and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It comprises two main islands and eight small islets whose total land area is 1,097 sq. miles. Samoa’s Exclusive Economic Zone, however, covers only 46,332 sq. miles of ocean as it does not extend a full 200 nautical miles in any direction and borders the U.S. EEZ via American Samoa. The professional exchange was conducted to strengthen partnerships and examine both nations’ approach to fisheries enforcement and safety requirements aboard vessels operating in the Pacific.
The Galveston Island is a 110-foot Island class patrol boat homeported in Honolulu. The cutter is a multi-mission platform with a primary operation area in the main Hawaiian Islands that completes several such patrols annually.