MIAMI — Law enforcement crews from Coast Guard Station Islamorada intercepted a fishing vessel illegally fishing in U.S. waters, April 14.
Coast Guard Sector Key West, Fla., received a report of a 36-foot motor vessel heading northbound from Cay Sal Bank, Bahamas. A law enforcement boat crew from Station Islamorada was dispatched to investigate the report.
Once on scene, the Coast Guard crew made contact with the motor vessel and discovered yellow tail snapper and Wahoo fish aboard. After consulting with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), it was recommended the Station Islamorada issue a fisheries violation and for the master of the vessel abandoned the illegal catch.
“Coast Guard Stations of the Florida Keys provide support to vast missions," said Chief Warrant Officer Jaret C. Mats, Station Islamorada commanding officer. "One important mission of Station Islamorada is the protection and enforcement of living marine resource laws which preserve our natural resources and are vital to maintain with the close proximity of our neighboring Bahamian waters. To prevent mariners from violating these laws, we need to enhance the knowledge of our boating public through education and enforcement. Educating the boating public will ensure they are aware of correct Customs procedure for reentry to U.S water which can be found on the Custom Border Protection website. The Men and women of Station Islamorada continue to serve the Upper Keys by providing our services and assist in educating the boating public.”
Protection and management of vital living marine resources in U.S. waters is a primary mission of the United States Coast Guard, in addition to search and rescue and homeland security.