Coast Guard seizes illegal fishing gear from Canadian-flagged commercial vessel in Lake Erie

9th Coast Guard District NewsCLEVELAND — A U.S. Coast Guard boarding team from Coast Guard Station Marblehead, Ohio, boarded and seized gear aboard the Canadian-flagged commercial fishing vessel ADCO II, Wednesday, after locating fishing equipment belonging to the vessel in Lake Erie in waters subject to U.S. and Ohio jurisdiction.

Enforcement action is already pending against the vessel after it was observed allegedly fishing in U.S. and Ohio waters, Thursday. Click here to read about that case.

Law enforcement personnel from Station Marblehead, aboard a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement, discovered five gill nets straddling the U.S. and Canadian border southeast of Middle Sister Island, Wednesday morning. The Coast Guard was alerted by a marine asset from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine of possible illegal fishing activity.

“Working with federal, Ohio and Canadian partners, the Coast Guard conducted a boarding and seized illegal fishing gear in U.S. waters,” said Cmdr. David Beck, chief of enforcement for the 9th Coast Guard District. “The Coast Guard takes seriously violations of state, tribal and federal fishing laws. Accordingly, we have a great relationship with our fellow enforcement agencies to detect, deter and prevent illegal activity on or near our shared border.”

After boarding the vessel just after noon, under authority granted by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the law enforcement team seized about 960 feet of fishing nets and five net anchors. The fishing gear will be transferred to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, who will be pursuing enforcement action against the vessel.

Coast Guard personnel also documented about 350 pounds of walleye in the nets. The vessel was permitted to keep the catch and will be met by personnel from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, who will be investigating possible enforcement action upon the vessel’s return to Canada.

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