Coast Guard, NOAA encourage Alaskan fishermen to know before they go

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Office of Law Enforcement in Alaska are encouraging all fishermen to become familiar with laws before going fishing.

The Coast Guard and NOAA have encountered various anglers this season who are not familiar with all the laws specific to the area where they are fishing, leading to problems when they are approached by law enforcement personnel. Recent violations have included exceeding the possession limit of halibut, as well as illegally processing halibut catch while still on the water. Violations can lead to financial penalties that can quickly put a damper on what would otherwise be a great day.

“It is important to review the regulations prior to your trip, as fishing laws in Alaska vary greatly depending on region,” said Lt. Drew Stafford, a fisheries enforcement officer for the 17th Coast Guard District in Juneau. “The Coast Guard will continue to work with NOAA, as well as other federal, state, and local law enforcement entities to ensure compliance with laws protecting the living marine resources that make Alaska such a special place.”

“NOAA is happy to help anglers with questions about the regulations and we greatly prefer to provide compliance assistance than to issue fines and penalties,” said Will Ellis, Assistant Director for NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement in Alaska. “Anglers can reach out to their local OLE office if they have questions or are unclear about the rules. We are happy to help them understand all the regulations that apply to them.”

A listing of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement’s local offices

NOAA’s Alaska Sport fishing regulations.

Links for all Alaska Sport fishing regulations.

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