A U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement boarding team discovered illegally caught fish about 12 nautical miles northeast of Kodiak, Alaska on Feb. 19, officials said.
The crew of Coast Guard cutter Bailey Barco, homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska, boarded the 38-foot fishing vessel Competition and discovered 18 halibut and one lingcod onboard that were retained while the season was closed.
The crew seized the catch; those aboard the Competition crew are suspected of violating three regulations—possession of halibut during a closed fishery, operating beyond three nautical miles with an expired radio beacon hydrostatic release and not having a current commercial fishing vessel safety examination.
The cutter crew transferred the seized catch to NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement in Kodiak, for an investigation of the illegal retention of fish, the Coast Guard said.
“Working with our partners in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, our enforcement efforts help the many legitimate Alaskan fishermen we encounter on a daily basis, ensuring nobody gains an unfair competitive advantage at the expense of biological sustainability,” Bailey Barco Commanding Officer Lt. Brian Williams said.