Tag Archives: Office of Law Enforcement.

Despite guilty plea, ‘Codfather’ continues to fish

New England fishermen are wondering how the fishing fleet owned by New Bedford fishing mogul Carlos Rafael continues to fish nearly five months after he pleaded guilty on March 30 in federal district court in Boston to 28 offenses, including conspiracy, false labeling of fish, bulk cash smuggling, tax evasion and falsifying federal records. Those vessels include many Rafael agreed to forfeit in his plea deal for their role in his scheme to sell fish he didn’t have enough quota to catch, under the name of species for which he had enough quota. The fishing year starts May 1 and Rafael won’t be sentenced until Sep. 25 and 26. Many are angry that Rafael’s fleet has been allowed to operate through the summer months when fishermen traditionally catch most of their fish. click here to read the story 09:51

Landing Reports Indicate Violations in Alaska’s Restricted Fishing Area

Halibut Fisherman, Andrew Halverson, a resident of Washington, was fined $5,000 for the unlawful harvest of halibut. The halibut were harvested from the closed waters defined in the Sitka Sound Local Area Management Plan (LAMP). An enforcement officer with NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement initiated an investigation after he reviewed landing reports for the Sitka area. “OLE personnel regularly review landing reports,” said Lt. Bob Marvelle, supervisory enforcement officer for the OLE Alaska Division. “Since we’re unable to inspect every offload and landing, we review the reports to ensure compliance and identify areas of concern that need to be addressed.” Upon further investigation of the documents and log books, OLE identified that on Nov. 4, 2016, while fishing from a vessel larger than 35 feet, Halverson retained 130 pounds of halibut fished from approximately 4.3 nautical miles inside the Sitka LAMP closed area. continue reading the report here 08:05

Alaska IPHC board member fined $49K for fishing violation, resigns

IPHC flagJeff Kauffman resigned as the Alaska resident member of the International Pacific Halibut Commission on June 22, shortly after he and two fellow fishermen agreed to a $49,000 fine for harvesting more than 10,000 pounds of halibut over their combined quota limit in June 2012. The settlement the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement agreed to was nearly $13,000 less than the original Notice of Violation and Assessment of $61,781 issued on March 1 of this year. Kauffman, who is the vice president of the Central Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association, or CBSFA, and a member of the Advisory Panel to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, did not respond to a request for comment. Interesting article that should raise some questions regarding conflicting relationships. Read the story here 08:40

NOAA Office of Law Enforcement releases its first-ever Annual Report.

clip_image002_001From tackling seafood fraud nationally to helping crack down on illegal fishing internationally, we’re here to make sure that those who obey the rules reap the benefits of fair competition and an even playing field in the market. We protect marine resources and their habitat and help safeguard the health of seafood consumers and the livelihoods of coastal communities. OLE releases its first-ever Annual Report. Read the Report here 16:34

Fish cops issue striped bass warning

striped_bassFederal fishing officials are warning anglers and commercial fishermen it is illegal to catch striped bass in waters outside three miles. The ban on catching stripers is in an area called the “Exclusive Economic Zone,” or EEZ, which runs from 3 to 200 miles offshore and is under federal jurisdiction. The ban, which dates back to 1990, is not in place in state waters that are inside three miles. In recent years the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement has teamed up with the U.S. Coast Guard and state agencies to,,, Read the article here 15:12

National Marine Fisheries Service’s Office of Law Enforcement returns to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor

clip_image002_001A federal fisheries agency office is reopening in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, as soon as three enforcement officers are hired and trained, according to Kevin Heck, acting deputy special agent in charge, in Anchorage. In recent years, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Office of Law Enforcement has been flying in agents from around the state for short tours of temporary duty lasting between a week and a month, Heck said Monday Read the rest here 07:57

Lotsa NOAA OLE RAH RAH – Oregon deck boss charged with assaulting federal fishery observer – allegedly

clip_image002_001Law enforcement officers this week arrested the deck boss of a groundfish trawler from Astoria, Ore., for allegedly assaulting, impeding and interfering with a federal fishery observer while the vessel was at sea in May. “Observers are trained scientists who add to the credibility and integrity of fisheries by collecting data,,,  Read more here 16:42

F/V ‘Sea Mac’ Owner/Operator Indicted on Lacey Act Charges

In announcement made Friday, U.S. Attorney  Karen Loeffler reported that State of Washington resident, 54-year-old Steven Carr was indicted by a Grand Jury in Anchorage for making false records under Fish and Wildlife laws and making false material statements to a Federal government agency. The indictment states that as the owner and operator of the F/V Sea Mac out of Kodiak, Alaska, in 2008, Carr held permits allowing him to fish in the entry-level Pockfish Pilot Program. [email protected]

NOAA’s retreat to ‘Camelot’ – FOIA Docs spotlight $288,500 ‘workshop’ agenda

Last May, a month after a special judicial master’s second report on misdeeds by NOAA enforcement lawyers had been delivered to the secretary of commerce, NOAA General Counsel Lois Schiffer led her national staff of 145 lawyers on a three day training program in Philadelphia at a cost of $288,500, according to documents released to the Times under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. At the time of the conference, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was in damage control mode after news reports beginning in the publications Government Executive and Politico reported that another arm of NOAA, the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, had advertised for a magician as a motivational speaker for a June conference at NOAA’s general offices in Silver Spring, Md. That ad was posted on the day the Philadelphia conference began — and was withdrawn on its final day. –  Read more here