Fish and Wildlife Cites Fishing Boats Near Channel Islands

The Four Vessels Were Found in Violation of Marine Protected Area Laws

Monday, March 25, 2013
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On Sunday, March 17, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) patrol boat — the Swordfish — cited four boats for violating fishing regulations in the marine protected areas (MPAs) off the coasts of the Channel Islands. The boats — three of which were private vessels and the other a commercial passenger fishing vessel — were cited for violations such as fishing inside MPAs, fishing without proper licensing, and the taking of illegal amounts of particular fish, noted a press release by Fish and Wildlife. Attempts to contact agency representatives with questions and clarifications were unsuccessful.

The MPAs — which include 36 different regions that extend between Point Conception and Mexico — were established at the beginning of 2012. As a result, stricter regulations were put into place outlawing certain types of fishing activities in numerous areas along the California coastline, including many areas throughout Santa Barbara County and the Channel Islands.

According to the press release, the CDFW patrol boat — based out of Ventura Harbor — caught all four of the boats fishing well below the maximum 120 foot depth permitted, with the commercial passenger fishing vessel — the Ranger 85 — “fishing at a depth of at least 170 feet.” The private boats were also cited for “taking rockfish in closed waters.”

The Ranger 85, which “was stopped and inspected at the Osborne Bank, 5 miles south of Santa Barbara Island,” had on board 611 fish, said the CDFW press release, 371 of which were ocean whitefish. Fish and Game regulations limit the take of ocean whitefish to “10 per day per angler.” The illegally taken fish were confiscated by authorities and are in the process of being donated to local food banks and charities.

Already this year, the Swordfish crew has issued 39 citations. According to captain Lt. Wes Boyle, “The marine protected areas were established to help fish species recover and thrive. … Every fisherman and boat captain needs to be 100 percent aware of the MPA areas and boundaries.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

About time. Cattle boats run on the mentality that their customers won't keep coming back if they don't put them on the fish, so they do what ever it takes. This has been going on for decades. I would hope that their party boat license would be at risk if they are caught again and not just the anglers punished.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2013 at 2:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I definitely think the people running the ship should be the ones held responsible in the party boat scenario. The passengers have no say and probably even less knowledge.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2013 at 3:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Go Swordfish! Great news!

Riceman (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2013 at 7:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is great news, not because folks got caught breaking the law, but because the law is being enforced. It is a well-known fact that regulations that do not get enforced are not taken seriously. It is a "tragedy of the commons" that people will deplete a resource to zero if not regulated. This has been proven again and again. As Riceman says, "Go Swordfish."

Eckermann (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2013 at 7:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Heard that they have been busting a lot of free divers in Isla Vista too.

laxer (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2013 at 10:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

But what about their property rights ahead of this government intervention shoved down their throats in a fit of socialism?

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2013 at 9:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How do I get me some of this ocean whitefish?

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
March 26, 2013 at 10:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Can somebody explain to me logically how shutting certain areas down for fishing HELPS the environment? Doesn't that mean that the areas open for fishing will have that much more impact?

I'm all for protecting the environment and perhaps a good argument could be made in the case of boats using nets in some areas since they can end up capturing anything and everything in their path...but I can't imagine why anybody on earth would be rooting for somebody to get a fine for going out on a private boat and fishing in the ocean. Maybe the area maps are too confusing and they had no idea they were fishing in waters they weren't supposed to.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
March 27, 2013 at 5:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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