Coast Guard discovers illegal halibut catch near Kodiak, Alaska

The fishing vessel Competition, that a Coast Guard law enforcement boarding team discovered illegally caught fish on approximately 12 nautical miles northeast of Kodiak, Alaska, February 19, 2022. The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Bailey Barco, homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska, boarded the 38-foot fishing vessel Competition and discovered 18 halibut and one ling cod onboard that were retained while the season was closed. - U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo

The fishing vessel Competition, that a Coast Guard law enforcement boarding team discovered illegally caught fish on approximately 12 nautical miles northeast of Kodiak, Alaska, February 19, 2022.  U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo

JUNEAU, Alaska – A Coast Guard law enforcement boarding team discovered illegally caught fish approximately 12 nautical miles northeast of Kodiak, Alaska, Saturday.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Bailey Barco, homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska, boarded the 38-foot fishing vessel Competition and discovered 18 halibut and one ling cod onboard that were retained while the season was closed. The crew seized the catch and issued violations for possession of halibut during a closed fishery, operating beyond 3 nautical miles with an expired EPIRB hydrostatic release, and not having a current commercial fishing vessel safety examination.

The cutter crew transferred the seized catch to NOAA Office of Law Enforcement officers in Kodiak.

“Working with our partners in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, our enforcement efforts help the many legitimate Alaskan fishermen we encounter on a daily basis, ensuring nobody gains an unfair competitive advantage at the expense of biological sustainability,” said Lt. Brian Williams, Bailey Barco commanding officer.

The illegal retention of fish is being investigated by NOAA.

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