Coast Guard seizes illegally caught halibut near Homer

A U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement team seized 117 pounds of illegally harvested halibut from a commercial vessel near Homer and issued a $2,400 fine to the boat’s captain.

The southern Kenai Peninsula boat was in the individual fishing quota category. The commercial fishermen had not documented the harvest in the vessel’s logbook, and the halibut was filleted in such a way that the size and number of fish could not be determined. The fish seized by the Coast Guard had an estimated net worth of $3,510.

The Coast Guard officer aboard the Cutter Naushon determined that the commercial crew near Homer violated regulation for “fishing for halibut except in accordance with the annual management measures” outlined in federal law.

“Managing fish populations sustainably requires effective enforcement of our fishing regulations,” said NOAA Fisheries Alaska Regional Administrator Jon Kurland. “We thank the U.S. Coast Guard for their vigilance and strong partnership in so many ways, including in fisheries enforcement actions like this that contribute to keeping Alaska’s fisheries fair for law-abiding fishermen.”

The Coast Guard’s vessel Cutter Naushon is a 110-foot Island Class patrol boat homeported in Homer. The crew specializes in waterway security, national defense readiness, search and rescue, marine environmental protection, and protection of living marine resources.

Because the case is still under investigation, the names of the vessel, owner and captain weren’t released. The Coast Guard issued a $2,400 fine to the vessel’s captain.