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Fishing vessel cited for having “paper captain”

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124) crew conducts a boarding from its 26-foot over-the-horizon small boat off the Hawaiian Islands Dec. 19, 2017

JANUARY 2, 2018 — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry (WPC 1124), a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter homeported in Honolulu, recently completed a 10-day patrol of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the Hawaiian Islands region.

Oliver Berry’s crew enforced fishery regulations in the region, to ensure the estimated $7 billion industry, which provides more than half of the global tuna commercial catch, remains sustainable. Boarding teams also ensured crews are in compliance with federal and state regulations regarding all required lifesaving equipment.

Citations were issued when applicable, requiring masters to correct discrepancies. T

Oliver Berry’s crew conducted six boardings on Hawaii-based, U.S.-flagged long-line fishing vessels and issued eight safety and fisheries regulations violations.

On Dec. 19, while conducting a boarding of a U.S.-flagged longline fishing vessel, the boarding team suspected a foreign national was acting as the vessel captain and operating the vessel.

The operation of a U.S.-flagged commercial fishing vessel by a foreign national is illegal.

After an investigation, the vessel was cited for the alleged manning violation (also known as a “paper captain”) and the evidence was forwarded to the Coast Guard Hearing Office for further review and possible legal action.

The penalty for operating with a “paper captain,” once the individual’s documentation has been voided, is a civil fine of up to $15,000 per day.

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