ED. NOTE: The following is a corrected release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard. It originally stated that commercial fishing vessels were involved.
PORTSMOUTH, VA. — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Rollin Fritch, a 154-foot vessel homeported in Cape May, found five recreational vessels fishing for highly migratory species without Federal Fisheries Permits, a violation discovered during the routine boarding process over the weekend near Oregon Inlet, N.C.
According to a release, recreational fishing in federal waters without the appropriate permit violates the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Fishermen found in violation of this act can be subject to fines up $3,750.
“Applying for and maintaining a Federal Fisheries Permit and abiding by appropriate catch limits facilitates NOAA's ability to regulate overfishing keeping the species healthy,” stated Lt. Brittany Fifer, commanding officer of the Cutter Rollin Fitch. “The Federal Fisheries Permit program levels the playing field for all fisherman.”
Information about fishing permits to include the acquisition process can be found on the National Marine Fisheries Service website.