Coast Guard, NOAA OLE Conduct Joint Boardings, Identify Potential Illegal Fishing Operations

A joint patrol effort between the crew of the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB 1349), a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Honolulu, and  NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement in early March identified two potential cases of illegal fishing in the Pacific Ocean.

The crew of USCGC Galveston Island (WPB 1349), homeported in Honolulu, lowers their small boat to take a boarding team to the 71-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady Ann Margaret for a fisheries boarding more than 350 miles off Oahu in support of the Coast Guard's Ocean Guardian Strategy March, 4, 2016. While on patrol with a NOAA National Marine Fisheries agent aboard, the crew conducted nine joint boardings resulting in two documented cases of illegal fishing. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Calsea Clemens/Released)

The crew of USCGC Galveston Island (WPB 1349), homeported in Honolulu, lowers their small boat to take a boarding team to the 71-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady Ann Margaret for a fisheries boarding more than 350 miles off Oahu in support of the Coast Guard’s Ocean Guardian Strategy March, 4, 2016. While on patrol with a NOAA National Marine Fisheries agent aboard, the crew conducted nine joint boardings resulting in two documented cases of illegal fishing. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Calsea Clemens/Released)

“This patrol directly supports our mission under our Ocean Guardian Strategy to protect the nation’s living marine resources by employing the right tools in the right place at the right time,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Bendle, chief of enforcement, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.

While on patrol with an enforcement officer from NOAA OLE aboard, the crew conducted nine joint boardings resulting in two cases of apparently illegal fishing being referred to NOAA for possible prosecution.

A boarding team from the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB 1349), homeported in Honolulu, approaches the 71-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady Ann Margaret for a fisheries boarding more than 350 miles off Oahu in support of the Coast Guard's Ocean Guardian Strategy March, 4, 2016. While on patrol with a NOAA National Marine Fisheries agent aboard, the crew conducted nine joint boardings resulting in two documented cases of illegal fishing. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Calsea Clemens/Released)

A boarding team from the USCGC Galveston Island (WPB 1349), homeported in Honolulu, approaches the 71-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady Ann Margaret for a fisheries boarding more than 350 miles off Oahu in support of the Coast Guard’s Ocean Guardian Strategy March, 4, 2016. While on patrol with a NOAA National Marine Fisheries agent aboard, the crew conducted nine joint boardings resulting in two documented cases of illegal fishing. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Calsea Clemens/Released)

“The Pacific Islands Division of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement has a long and continuous working relationship with our U.S. Coast Guard colleagues throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific,” said Bill Pickering, assistant director, NOAA OLE Pacific Islands Division. “This just concluded successful joint patrol operation aboard the USCGC Galveston is another fine example of both agencies’ commitments to fulfill our international agreements and preserve the natural marine resources that surround our islands.”

Galveston Island’s boarding team conducted  boardings on the 77-foot commercial fishing vessel Captain D and the 71-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady Ann Margaret, both more than 350 miles off Oahu. Neither vessel had the federal permit required to fish on the high seas. The master of the Captain D was advised to return to the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, an area in which the vessel was allowed to fish, if the vessel intended to continue fishing. The master of the Lady Ann Margaret was directed to return to port due to numerous safety violations.

Both alleged fisheries violation cases are being investigated by NOAA OLE, who will handle any subsequent actions.

“The efforts of the Galveston Island crew during this deployment highlighted the Coast Guard’s commitment to sustaining Western and Central Pacific fisheries while ensuring safety among our fishing fleet and strengthening relationships with our NOAA partners,” said Bendle.

The crew of USCGC Galveston Island (WPB 1349), homeported in Honolulu, prepares to lower their small boat to take a boarding team to the 71-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady Ann Margaret for a fisheries boarding more than 350 miles off Oahu in support of the Coast Guard's Ocean Guardian Strategy March, 4, 2016. While on patrol with a NOAA National Marine Fisheries agent aboard, the crew conducted nine joint boardings resulting in two documented cases of illegal fishing. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Calsea Clemens/Released)

The crew of USCGC Galveston Island (WPB 1349), homeported in Honolulu, prepares to lower their small boat to take a boarding team to the 71-foot commercial fishing vessel Lady Ann Margaret for a fisheries boarding more than 350 miles off Oahu in support of the Coast Guard’s Ocean Guardian Strategy March, 4, 2016. While on patrol with a NOAA National Marine Fisheries agent aboard, the crew conducted nine joint boardings resulting in two documented cases of illegal fishing. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Calsea Clemens/Released)

The Coast Guard’s priorities under the Ocean Guardian Strategy are to: protect the U.S. EEZ from foreign encroachment, enforce domestic living marine resource laws, and ensure compliance with international agreements.

Commissioned in 1992, Galveston Island is the last of 49 Island Class cutters built to replace the 95-foot Cape Class cutters. With a 17 person mixed-gender crew and an operating range exceeding 2,300 miles, it is an excellent platform to conduct search and rescue response, ports waterways and coastal security operations, and to enforce the laws and treaties of the United States.

Sir Richard Branson Welcomes Navigator Nainoa Thompson and Hokulea to the British Virgin Islands

Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea made a special stop and visited The Branson Estate on Moskito Island, which is owned by Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

Branson and Nainoa

Branson greeted master navigator Nainoa Thompson and the crew as the canoe arrived on March 5, 2016.  The visit gave Branson and Thompson an opportunity to share their respective efforts and thoughts about ocean conservation.  During the visit, Thompson also honoured Branson as a Great Navigator of Island Earth in recognition for his contribution to the Earth and mankind and for his lifetime achievement of making the world a better place. During the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Thompson has been seeking out the Earth’s great navigators and has honored leaders such His Holiness Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

During the two day visit at Moskito Island, the crew was hosted at a welcome gathering and were able to explore the island’s pristine beaches.

Branson and Hokulea“On behalf of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Worldwide Voyage, it was an honor to bring Hokulea to Moskito Island while we are sailing through the Caribbean,” said Thompson.  “We were able to learn more about Sir Richard Branson’s work to conserve the Caribbean and hear how the region is becoming a leader in ocean conservation and sustainability,” he added.

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said: “The Hokulea, just like our ocean, is majestic and performs remarkably so it’s good to see she is sailing around the world urging citizens of our planet to care of our oceans.

“Caribbean islands emit less than 1% of total global greenhouse gases, but with rising sea levels and extreme weather events, they are bearing the brunt of climate change. I truly believe the small islands in the Caribbean can be global leaders in ocean conservation and sustainability. By working together we can act as a test bed to demonstrate and scale innovative, clean energy solutions.”

Branson and Nainoa 2

While on Moskito Island, the crew also hosted Branson, community members and students from the environmental club of Lavity Stoutt Community College on a sail on Hokulea.

Both Branson and Thompson are members of the Ocean Elders, an independent group of global leaders focused on the protection of the ocean.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 261

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 261:

Mosquito Bite

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently, as many as 1 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

IMPORTANT: Infectious mosquitoes may still be present, even if no cases remain infectious to mosquitoes. “Fight the bite” preventative measures remain crucial throughout the Big Island.

Potentially infectious individuals
1 onset 3/4/16
Cases no longer infectious
260 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 2/13/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
261

Of the confirmed cases, 236 are Hawaii Island residents and 25 are visitors.
215 cases have been adults; 46 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 3/4/16.

As of today, a total of 1440 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.