Coast Guard conducts 9 fisheries boardings, issues 26 violations off Texas coast

Published 9:17 am Saturday, September 17, 2022

HOUSTON — The Coast Guard boarded nine commercial fishing vessels and issued 26 safety and living marine resource violations during a patrol off the Texas coast, Sept. 2-16.  

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Alligator, an 87-foot coastal patrol boat homeported in Galveston, Texas, boarded five shrimp boats and four purse seine fishing vessels to review the vessels’ documentation, examine the captains’ permits and inspect the vessels’ required safety equipment, fishing gear and, when applicable, the on-board catch. 

The 23 safety infractions observed by the cutter’s boarding teams included expired commercial fishing vessel safety examinations, expired hydrostatic releases for life rafts and emergency position indication radio beacons, unregistered EPIRBs, EPIRBs with expired batteries and improper stowage of life rafts.

The three LMR violations included improper bar spacing on turtle escape devices and improper sizing and placement of bycatch reduction devices. The Alligator crew required fishing vessel captains to remedy all LMR violations before getting underway or resuming fishing.

“While we take all violations seriously, we felt it was especially important to address the hazards that put endangered creatures like sea turtles at risk,” said Chief Petty Officer Kyle Gaub, executive petty officer aboard the Alligator. “Our crew is committed to maritime stewardship and promoting responsible fishing practices.”

Since Oct. 1, 2021, the Alligator crew has boarded 45 commercial fishing vessels and issued 151 safety and LMR violations.

In addition to fishery patrols, the Coast Guard’s fleet of 87-foot coastal patrol boats perform search and rescue, law enforcement, drug interdictions, illegal migrant interdictions and homeland security duties up to 200 miles offshore. 

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