Alabama Marine Resources conservation enforcement officers have assisted federal enforcement officers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Office of Law Enforcement (NOAA/OLE) in citing the captain of the F/V Capt Dukes III, a commercial fishing vessel in Bon Secour, Ala., for multiple commercial fishing violations. On Thursday night, July 25, 2013, Matthias Kumm of Foley, Ala., was cited for failing to make a three-hour landing notification, insufficient allocation for red snapper, possession of gray triggerfish during closed season, and failure to maintain fish with head and fins intact (gag grouper). Nine hundred seventy-seven pounds of illegal product were confiscated and sold by federal officers.
Commercial fishing vessels that hold a Gulf Reef Fish permit and are landing certain species of fish are required to give notice to NOAA and state agencies of their return time, pounds of certain species on board and landing location a minimum of three hours prior to coming to the dock. Red snapper is one such species that requires the landing notification. The vessels are issued an allocation called an “individual fishing quota” (IFQ) of red snapper each year based on their share and the total allowable catch for the Gulf of Mexico, and are required to be monitored under the vessel monitoring system. Failure to report the landings of these fish affects the management of the fishery.
Under a joint enforcement agreement, Alabama Marine Resources officers assist NOAA officers and agents as well as enforce federal laws and regulations.