The Coast Guard cited several fishing boats off the North Carolina coast Friday for violating laws concerning striped bass, including one vessel that was in possession of 58 illegal stripers.
The Norfolk, Virginia based Coast Guard cutter Beluga stopped and boarded the fishing boats during its patrol of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Fishing for striped bass is allowed within state waters, but catching or possessing striped bass in the EEZ, which begins three nautical miles from shore, is a federal violation. A person caught fishing for striped bass in the EEZ is subject to fines starting at $100 per striper.
“The Coast Guard is working with state law enforcement and the National Marine Fisheries Service to enforce regulations prohibiting fishing for striped bass outside of 3 nautical miles,” said Lt. Kevin Saunders of the 5th Coast Guard District’s enforcement branch in a press release. “By working to curtail the illegal actions of a few fishermen, we can help ensure future generations have the opportunity to participate in this fishery.”