Vessel Sited for Illegal Fishing

Honolulu, HI – The Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service are investigating a Honolulu-based fishing vessel for potentially fishing illegally inside the main Hawaiian Islands longline closed area north of Kauai.

The Coast Guard observed the movements of the fishing vessel Black Magic when it appeared to have entered and loitered more than five miles inside an area closed to longline fishing.

Coast Guard Sector Honolulu then directed the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Ahi to intercept the Black Magic at sea as it was returning to Honolulu. A law enforcement team from the Ahi boarded the Black Magic and conducted an at-sea inspection of the vessel’s log books to confirm the illegal activity.

In addition, the Coast Guard notified the NOAA Fisheries enforcement office in Honolulu to alert them to the possible illegal activity. NOAA enforcement agents met the Black Magic at the dock when it returned to Honolulu.

The Coast Guard is compiling all potential evidence gathered during the at-sea boarding to provide to NOAA enforcement agents to assist them with their investigation.

The longline prohibited fishing area around the main Hawaiian Islands extends roughly fifty miles offshore during the winter from Oct. 1 to Jan. 31 and extends from shore to 75 miles offshore to the northeast in the summer from Feb. 1 to Sept. 30.

A similar longline closure area extends 50 miles out from the Northwest Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) coincident with the newly established NWHI Marine National Monument. Longline vessels may not actively set lines or fish inside these closed areas.

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