A Coast Guard boarding team located an insulated void while boarding a commercial fishing vessel in Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts, on August 7, 2011.
During routine measurements of the vessel to account for all spaces, the 4-person boarding team from Coast Guard Station Menemsha identified an unaccounted-for space, possibly used to hide illegal fish. With consent from the master of the vessel, the boarding team removed a panel from the forward bulkhead of the crew head to account for the space.
Removal of the panel revealed an insulated space with lighting and a deck drain.
Upon completion of the boarding, the boarding team issued 2 violations. A summary settlement was issued for 1 berried female lobster found in the catch and later abandoned at sea. The master was also issued a violation for a compartment inconsistent with fishing operations.
“Coast Guard fisheries boardings concentrate on ensuring compliance with trip catch limits, among other things,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Hamel, an enforcement officer for the 1st Coast Guard District. “We conduct these boardings to protect our nation’s shared resources and ensure fair competition among industry participants.”