Coast Guard cutter seizes illegal catch of striped bass

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Staten Island, homeported in Fort Macon, N.C., found 2 recreational vessels with illegally caught fish, Wednesday.

During the boarding of the vessels, one vessel was found with 10 striped bass aboard while the second had four striped bass.

The economic pressures being felt nationwide and the meteorological conditions driving the striped bass population farther off shore into warmer waters have set the stage for a situation that may entice fishermen to break the law, as evidenced by recent reports from members of the maritime community.

However, in an effort to ensure the longevity of the striped bass population and maintain a level playing field for all fishermen, federal authorities are taking action. In response to multiple reports of commercial and recreational striped bass fishing within the Exclusive Economic Zone, the Coast Guard and NOAA have combined efforts to curtail this illegal activity.

Fishing for striped bass is permitted within state waters, but catching or possessing striped bass outside three nautical miles from shore is a violation of federal regulations.

“Our operations are meant to enforce regulations to safeguard our resources and promote public safety,” said Lt. Cdr. James Klein, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Staten Island.

The evidence package for the seizure has been forwarded to the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement who will determine if a formal Notice of Violation will be issued.

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