In a 60-day patrol of living marine resources along the California coast, crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alert did 38 vessel boardings to enforce fishing regulations resulting in reporting compliance resulting in 47 violations. The patrol ran from Humboldt County to the Southern Maritime Border with Mexico, enforcing federal, state and local policies aboard U.S. commercial fishing vessels.
The Alert crew discovered 30 safety violations and terminated the voyages of three commercial fishing vessels, which were determined to be unsafe to continue operating. The Coast Guard said the vessel terminations were due to overdue survival craft servicing, expired hydrostatic releases on survival craft and expired flares. At-sea boardings are critical to ensuring safety of life for fleets operating in offshore fishing grounds. These efforts identified potential life-threating situations and required the three vessel operators to correct these deficiencies before continuing their voyage.
The Alert Crew also checked for fisheries regulation compliance and issued 17 living marine resources violations, primarily consisting of fishing vessels not broadcasting vessel monitoring system codes, declaring incorrect vessel monitoring codes, fishing in closed waters and not having required vessel markings or logbooks aboard.
Due to the global pandemic, numerous safety measures and precautions are in place aboard the Alert. Boarding team members are following Coast Guard and CDC guidelines to protect the fishing fleets and crews too. Personal protective equipment was worn and the Alert’s small boats were decontaminated after each boarding.