A Coast Guard Station Menemsha crew issued a violation to a fishing vessel for its illegal catch Friday, October 11, 2013, at approximately 8 a.m.
The New Bedford, Massachusetts-based, 85’ scallop fishing vessel was loaded with more than 50 bushels of in-shell scallops within a line of demarcation in Buzzards Bay. The time outside the line of demarcation counts against a vessel’s days at sea; vessels shucking more than the permitted 50 bushels of scallops inside the line creates a competitive advantage by increasing their catch while not counting against their days at sea.
At the time of the boarding, the vessel was carrying well in excess of the 50 bushels permitted for the trip. Law enforcement authorities are still determining an exact number.
Station Menemsha and other regional Coast Guard units conduct fishery boardings on a regular basis in coordination with partner law enforcement agencies and Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod. The Coast Guard forwards violations of fishery regulations to NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement for prosecution.
Coast Guard units throughout the Northeast are responsible for protecting living marine resources in one of the nation’s most economically significant fishing regions. Crews throughout the region conduct almost 2,000 total boardings each year, and in addition to protecting the resource for future generations, they also maintain an even level for all commercial fishermen.