A North Pacific Guard Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fisheries patrol in 2021 by the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf recently resulted in The Fisheries Agency of Taiwan issuing penalties against five Chinese Taipei-flagged vessels.
The Fisheries Agency of Taiwan announced May 24, 2022, that a fine of approximately $203,190 was imposed against the operator of a fishing vessel, and the operator’s license was suspended for one month. The agency imposed a fine of approximately $40,600 against the captain of that vessel, revoked their fishing vessel crew identification, and suspended their certificate of fishing vessel officer for one month. The vessel was listed as a high-risk fishing vessel and is subject to special management measures.
The agency imposed fines of approximately $1,693 against the vessel operators and $338 against the captains of three other fishing vessels, who were fined for illegal retention of salmon. The agency fined a fifth vessel for improper vessel identification markings.
The Bertholf crew conducted its North Pacific Guard patrol in late 2021 to support the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and North Pacific Fisheries Commission. Also aboard and participating were two officers from Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans and one officer from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement.
During the patrol, the crew boarded 15 fishing vessels and identified 32 potential violations of conservation and management measures under the WCPFC and NPFC. These potential violations were then investigated by Fisheries Agency of Taiwan in accordance with their own domestic laws and regulations. More information about the Bertholf’s patrol is available here.
“The success of Bertholf’s patrol highlights the value of our ongoing international partnerships in protecting food and economic security of coastal states across the globe,” said Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister, Coast Guard Pacific Area commander. “The penalties imposed by the Fisheries Agency of Taiwan exemplify the collaborative approach and role of law enforcement in protecting the global food chain.”
Operation North Pacific Guard is an annual multi-mission effort between the Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, five Pacific Rim countries and three regional fisheries management organizations to include the WCPFC, NPFC, and the North Pacific Anadromous Fishing Commission. The goal is for each nation to work collaboratively to detect and intercept illicit fishing activity.