Red. Handed.

Posted by Miwa at Jun 23, 2009 05:07 PM |
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Vessel caught illegally fishing in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands:

A Coast Guard search plane on patrol of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument spotted a U.S.-flagged vessel fishing in a special preservation area within the monument on June 15. The Coast Guard said it took video and still photos of the vessel’s crew hauling its lines out of the water and the ship then “abruptly getting underway.”

The aircraft flew out of sight, but when it returned the vessel’s crew had put its lines back in the water and resumed fishing, the Coast Guard said. The incident was reported to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Law Enforcement, which ordered the vessel to cease fishing and return to Honolulu.

The name of the vessel, which reached port on Saturday, was not released because the case is under investigation. The vessel’s owner faces charges of illegally fishing in the national monument and fines from $1,000 to $130,000 for a repeat offense.

Papahanaumokuakea spans nearly 140,000 miles and is the largest marine protected area in the world. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands chain is home to more than 7,000 marine species and is the primary habitat for critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtles.

See full article in the Honolulu Advertiser.

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