Coast guard cracks down on illegal striped bass fishing
- January 15th, 2011 7:38 am ET
The Coast Guard cited several fishing boats off the North Carolina coast Friday for violating laws concerning striped bass, including one vessel that was in possession of 58 illegal stripers.
The Norfolk, Virginia based Coast Guard cutter Beluga stopped and boarded the fishing boats during its patrol of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Fishing for striped bass is allowed within state waters, but catching or possessing striped bass in the EEZ, which begins three nautical miles from shore, is a federal violation. A person caught fishing for striped bass in the EEZ is subject to fines starting at $100 per striper.
“The Coast Guard is working with state law enforcement and the National Marine Fisheries Service to enforce regulations prohibiting fishing for striped bass outside of 3 nautical miles,” said Lt. Kevin Saunders of the 5th Coast Guard District’s enforcement branch in a press release
. “By working to curtail the illegal actions of a few fishermen, we can help ensure future generations have the opportunity to participate in this fishery.”
The Coast Guard says that the poor economy combined with weather conditions which have driven striped bass farther offshore are enticing some anglers to break the law. Reports of both commercial and recreational striped bass fishing within the EEZ have led the Coast Guard and NOAA to combined efforts in order to stop the illegal striper fishing.
An Atlantic Striped Bass Reporting Hotline
has been established by the Coast Guard at 757-398-6598 and the public is encouraged
Continue reading on Examiner.com: Coast guard cracks down on illegal striped bass fishing - Charlotte Fish and Wildlife Policy | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/fish-and-wil...#ixzz1BQpJefEC