Coast Guard halts illegal use of “paper captains” in WA-based tuna fishing operation

The Coast Guard said in a statement last week that it intervened Oct. 19 to stop the use of illegal foreign nationals on a commercial fishing vessel that operated out of the state of Washington. A Coast Guard Sector Columbia River law enforcement team inspected an 89-foot fishing vessel and determined that the vessel was in violation of the Jones Act — specifically, they were in violation for utilizing a “paper captain.” Paper captain is a term applied to an individual listed on documents as a U.S.-flagged vessel’s captain but in actuality serves as a deckhand or in a similar lower-level capacity. It is federal law that a documented vessel be under the command of a U.S. citizen. In addition to violating the Jones Act, the vessel had several safety violations, including: Degraded immersion suits; an inoperable Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) hydrostatic release; and failure to conduct safety drills. >click to read< 18:00

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