USCG Intercepting Illegal Fishing Vessels

US Coast Guard boarding illegal fishing vessels

The US Coast Guard has been intercepting a number of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels within American EEZ areas in the Central and Western Pacific for the first time in eight years. Although fishing boat interdiction is a common task for the Coast Guard off the coast of Texas, where Mexican fishing boats are routinely intercepted, IUU fishing by foreign vessels is almost unheard of in the Pacific Ocean EEZ regions.

In both cases, the Coast Guard was conducting surveillance flights in zones off Guam and Hawaii with HC-130 aircraft based near Pearl Harbor when the IUU boats were found.

Many of the IUU vessels in the Central Pacific are targeting tuna, which has a land wholesale value of $10 billion to $12 billion per year – at the dock – and most of it comes from the Pacific Ocean “tuna belt.”

By Pacific Maritime