Coast Guard Cutter Munro boards Taiwanese fishing vessel

17th Coast Guard District NewsKODIAK, Alaska – Coast Guardsmen from the Kodiak-based cutter Munro conducted a high-seas boarding and inspection of a Taiwan-flagged fishing vessel Monday under the authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

A law enforcement team from the Munro boarded the fishing vessel, a 72-foot tuna long-liner targeting sharks, and conducted an inspection of the vessels’s catch, fishing gear and all relevant documentation to ensure it was operating in compliance with conservation and management measures adopted by the WCPFC.

The vessel’s master was cited for violations of conservation and management measures related to record keeping, seabird mitigation and retention of shark fins. The vessel has since returned to fishing and the responsibility for investigating the violations has been handed over to the Taiwanese government.

The WCPFC is an international fisheries management organization established in 2000 by the Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. The convention seeks to ensure, through effective management, the long-term conservation and sustainable use of highly migratory fish stocks including tunas, billfish, and sharks.

The WCPFC high-seas boarding and inspection program was enacted in 2008 to allow enforcement agencies of member countries to inspect vessels at sea for compliance with WCPFC measures. The Munro conducted the first-ever WCPFC inspection in August of that year. Since then, Pacific area Coast Guard cutters have conducted more than 40 boardings and inspections of foreign WCPFC-registered vessels.

Cutter Munro is a 378-foot Hamilton-Class high endurance cutter and is named after Petty Officer 1st Class Douglas A. Munro,a signalman during World War II and the only Coast Guardsman to receive the Medal of Honor.

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