Coast Guard, NOAA seize illegal shrimp catch

A Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration joint boarding team board the 68-foot commercial fishing vessel Ronald E. near the Dry Tortugas Shrimp Sanctuary Preservation Area to ensure fisheries and safety regulations compliance, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. The boarding team seized approximately 6,000 pounds of shrimp with an estimated price of $60,000 from the fishing vessel and cited the vessel with illegal fishing and safety violations. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans.

A Coast Guard and NOAA joint boarding team seized approximately 6,000 pounds of shrimp with an estimated price of $60,000. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans.

MIAMI — The Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seized approximately 6,000 pounds of shrimp with an estimated price of $60,000 from the 68-foot fishing vessel Ronald E. near the Dry Tortugas Shrimp Sanctuary Preservation Area, Friday.

The vessel Ronald E. was observed fishing inside the marine sanctuary and was boarded by a Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans and NOAA joint boarding team. The boarding team cited the vessel for illegally fishing inside a national marine sanctuary and safety violations.

“This case demonstrates the importance of strategic partnership,” said Capt. Jeffery Janzsen, commander, Coast Guard Sector Key West. “Within the Florida Keys, we take protecting the National Marine Sanctuary very seriously. Boaters and fishermen should familiarize themselves with the boundaries of the sanctuary to make sure they are complying with federal law.”

Fishing within federally protected waters is illegal.

“The partnership between NOAA and the Coast Guard allows for efficient enforcement of the commercial fishing fleet in the waters surrounding the Florida Keys,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Wolstenholme, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans. “Integrating NOAA enforcement officers into our boarding teams ensures quality at sea inspections of both required safety equipment and fishing gear.”

The evidence package for this seizure has been forwarded to the National Marine Fisheries Service, who will determine if a formal Notice of Violation will be issued.

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