BOSTON — The Coast Guard terminated the trip of a 23-foot charter vessel today in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, due to an expired operator’s license and evidence of illegal fishing.
During a random safety boarding, a crew from Coast Guard Station Woods Hole, Massachusetts, boarded the vessel and discovered the master’s license had expired in 2008. Upon further inspection, the crew found black sea bass which were illegally caught during the off season. Black sea bass season does not open until May 23rd in the State of Massachusetts.
The Station Woods Hole crew escorted the vessel and its five passengers back to the dock. Upon arrival at the dock, the Massachusetts Environmental Police found more than 100 black sea bass aboard and seized the catch.
“The Coast Guard takes the passenger safety and local marine resources sustainability very seriously,” said Tom Walker, the passenger vessel safety specialist at the 1st Coast Guard District in Boston. “Our job is to ensure a safe and level playing field for charter boat captains and fishermen,” he said.
For voluntary exams or to learn more about the Uninspected Passenger Vessel program in New England, visit the Coast Guard Auxiliary site: www.d1upv.org.
Sector Southeastern New England conducts more than 200 fisheries boardings and 1,000 recreational safety boardings annually.