Coast Guard Seizes Illegal Catch of Atlantic Striped Bass

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A boat crew with Coast Guard Station Cape Charles, Va., seized 11 Atlantic Striped Bass from the charter vessel Poacher fishing illegally in federal waters off the coast of Virginia Thursday afternoon.

The fish were donated to the Cape Charles Food Pantry, a local food bank for those in need.

A Coast Guard HH-60 helicopter aircrew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., located the charter vessel Poacher, approximately four miles off the coast of Virginia, which is located in the exclusive economic zone better known to mariners as the EEZ. The Poacher is homeported in Oregon Inlet, N.C.

The EEZ separates local state waters from federal waters. In Virginia, it is legal to fish for Atlantic Striped bass, but once a vessel crosses over the EEZ, it is prohibited.

In addition, Station Cape Charles seized five fish on Sunday, and donated the fish to a local church.

Ed: what an appropriately named boat, Poacher.

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One Comment

  1. US Citizen says:

    QUOTE From the Captain Devin, “Fishing was slow with all the slick calm and 70 degree weather and I was headed up towards the Eastern shore when some bait was spotted and a few birds. I stopped to check it out and nothing,trolled around and came up without a bite, again I state NOTHING…..The whole time this was going on a helicopter had been flying all over the ocean,we saw him but what the heck we’re setting there eating nabs and drinking cokes,no worries. So I move on and a buddy tells me about some bait and a few gannets hitting so I set out there. We start whacking them,doubles,singles set back out another double-it was getting good. Then about an 45 minutes goes by and here comes a boarding officer-WE HAVE 2 STRIPERS ON WHEN HE PULLS UP! He acknowledges that we are 2.5 miles off the beach and in legal waters but we take our lines in-all 9 of them. He asks me what I was doing in the EEZ earlier and I say looking for something to catch which didn’t happen and it’s not illegal to be in the EEZ as long as you don’t have stripers. While this is going on several boats in the area are still catching stripers,again in legal waters-right inside of me. 3 hours later after who knows how many phone calls he gives me a ticket for Possession of striped bass in the EEZ,but I was boarded in state waters while engaged in fishing-I WASN’T IN THE EEZ! How can you get a ticket for possession of striped bass in the EEZ when you are not in the EEZ and have possession while fishing in state waters! I asked if it was illegal to be in the EEZ and was told no,so what did that have to do with me fishing in state waters-I don’t get it! Any way they gave me a ticket and took the striped bas,at least they feed the homeless-life goes on. So the morale of the story is: when you leave Rudee heading for Cape Charles,a 1 mile out straight line will take you several miles into the EEZ while crossing the bay. If you are seen stopping, later that afternoon while fishing off Cape Henry you could get a ticket for possession in the EEZ even though you are in state waters, just based on a hypothetical situation that you may have landed some earlier with no proof. It happened to me,I’m an overachiever,the only person in history to get a ticket for possession in the EEZ while fishing in State waters!! After are of this rhetoric I will say that the boarding officers were very nice and courtesy and they were just doing what they were told.They didn’t give me any grief and were well mannered and very professional. I’m getting over it and going fishing-so here we go! Good luck, Devin”