Coast Guard Cutter Puts Heavy Focus on Albacore Tuna Vessels off Washington, Oregon

Crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Alert out of Astoria, Oregon, have completed 60-day law enforcement patrol focused on albacore tuna fishing within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone of the coasts of Washington and Oregon.

During the two-month patrol that concluded on Aug. 7, law enforcement teams from the Alert boarded 31 vessels, many of which had not been boarded in over a decade and issued 22 violations to commercial fishing vessel operators.

Coast Guard officials note their key role in maintaining health populations of marine fish which includes preventing the decline of protected marine species populations and promoting the recovery of endangered marine habitats. They also partner with other agencies to enhance and sustain marine ecosystems.

In addition to their enforcement of federal law and safety regulations, the crew of the Alert aided in saving the life of a commercial fisherman whose boat sank 160 miles off Grays Harbor, Washington, and who escaped in a life raft before the boat submerged.

The cutter was dispatched from another location on July 30 to assist in the rescue. Upon arrival, the crew served as on-scene coordinator and directed the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Blue Shark, homeported in Everett, Washington, to launch its small boat and recover the man in the lifeboat.

Cmdr. Matthew Kolodica, commanding officer of the Alert, credited the success of the deployment to strong partnerships with the 13th Coast Guard District and Coast Guard Air Stations Port Angeles, Astoria and North Bend.