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State, federal officials confiscate, sell nearly 3,600 pounds of fish from longline vessel

  • COURTESY U.S. COAST GUARD

    A boarding team from the USCGC Galveston Island, homeported in Honolulu, returns aboard a small boat from the 71-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady Ann Margaret for a fisheries boarding more than 350 miles off Oahu on March, 4.

State and federal authorities seized the catch of a longline fishing vessel and cited seven fishermen for not having valid commercial marine licenses, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a news release today.

The Coast Guard cutter Galveston Island boarded the 71-foot fishing vessel Lady Ann Margret earlier this month about 350 miles off Oahu and found the boat’s high seas fishing permit expired last year. The Coast Guard directed the captain to return to port because of expired permit and to fix safety violations.

When the Lady Ann Margret arrived in Honolulu to offload its catch at the United Fishing Agency’s Pier 38 on Monday, state conservation officers and officers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observed the catch of ahi and other fish being offloaded and sold.

The conservation officers seized 3,598 pounds of fish and it was sold for $14,265, the DNLR said.

Conservation officers also checked the captain and crews of five other longline vessels at the pier and cited seven people for not having valid commercial marine licenses. They were told they could not fish until they renewed their licences and could be fined $250 for fishing without a license.

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  • That’s the best job that Government is suited for: Law Enforcement. So I heed the advice my grandmother gave me 50 years ago, and that is to watch out for the junsa, which is Police in Japanese.

    • Actually, the State is doing a horrible job of this. The Feds should share the blame. Here’s a thought; Why not require that any buyer (United Fish Agency, UFA, in this case) of fish from a vessel must see, acknowledge, and confirm the vessel owner and captain are up to date and the caught fish is legal? This is accomplished by providing the buyer with copies of permits and licenses and kept on file in their office. ALL these boats routinely use UFA all year round, every year, and have been doing so for a generation. It isn’t like they all don’t know each other. Most of the entire fleet is owned by a handful of owners anyway. So providing a copy of their legal fishing permits is nowhere near a monumental effort or problem. They have to have them on the boat to be shown to any law enforcement inspector immediately on request. Why the State/Feds do not do this random inspection routinely is appalling. Stand on the dock when they come in 1 or 2 days a week and randomly ask to see paperwork. How hard is that?

  • The article cites “expired high seas fishing permit” and “not having valid commercial marine licenses.” The latter could result in a $250 fines if the licenses were not renewed. I gather the high seas fishing permit and commercial fishing licenses are not the same. And it must be under the invalid high seas fishing permit that allowed authorities to seize the catch that sold for $14,265. Now why would a commercial fishing vessel not renew their high seas permit when the application (3 pages) cost is only $129/application? Shucks, a lot cheaper than registering your car in Honolulu.

  • Just another example of how anti-business the Federal and State governments are toward island businesses. You wonder why island favorites like poke and sashimi have seen the prices over double over the last few years? Just look at the over regulation and crazy treaties that the idiots in Washington agree to. Thanks, Obama for making the life in these islands less bearable.

      • Any idea how far out DLNR can impose itself? Certainly not to someplace like the high seas near Guam or a foreign country. I have no problem busting illegal fishermen and controlling the catch. (My concern is DLNR and its ability to create fines and laws without any public scrutiny).

  • The fines the State cited these fishermen of the “Lady Ann Margret” is warranted.However, after complying with DLNR and Coast Guard officials.By doing the necessary repairs,renewing their license ,paying their fines….and (if this is the only law they broke).
    The State should give the Fishermen BACK their Money! They earned It!This is their livelihood!! How do you expect them to pay the fines and re-new their licenses and most importantly,pay the expense of this large vessel….$14,265 is a lot on money! The seizure seems a bit excessive to me.IMUA

    • Actually no they shouldn’t. Its the whole point of obeying the law. Motivation to obey is met with a penalty if you don’t. Its applicable to anything. “Imua”???? So you’re ok with these guys (and there were several that one day they bothered to even check) going out and catching any kine fix, any where, anytime, doing whatever they want? Great attitude. Most of the crews on these boats are foreigners who are paid peanuts, compared to owner who takes the vast majority of the catch value. It’s precisely why they are hired to work onboard and not Americans.

  • Apparently the previous comment was deleted. So just wondering who has the pleasure of eating this possibly radiated fukushima fish? Please send these fishies back to Japan’s kids. And by the way, is anyone testing these fishes level of cesium, and strotium. Can someone tell me what the readings are?

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