As the Nation’s environmental and Homeland Security priorities continue to evolve, the Coast Guard’s living marine resources mission will continue to evolve in order to meet shifting demands. Throughout all the changes, however, one thing will remain certain: the Coast Guard will remain ‘Semper Paratus’ to ensure safety, security and stewardship- protecting life, not only at sea, but within the sea as well.
North Pacific nations are gathering this week to discuss the North Pacific Ocean, the body of water they all border that encompasses 21 percent of the world’s ocean area. The safety and economic security of these nations depends considerably upon the secure use of the ocean; for the large expanse of the North Pacific, this means strong relationships between nations with overlapping sovereignty, economic, security, emergency response and law enforcement concerns in the region. These relationships are bolstered each year through the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum.
Large-scale drift net fishing on the high seas is not only illegal, it also poses a significant threat to our oceans’ ecosystems. Together with international partners, Coast Guard cutters routinely participate in efforts to detect and deter these activities. One such cutter is Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau, who recently transferred custody of the fishing vessel Yin Yuan, a 191-foot fishing vessel seized 625 miles east of Tokyo, Japan for large-scale high seas drift net fishing to the China Coast Guard vessel 2102.
Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Bob Papp finished his recent international trip last week with an official visit to New Zealand. Like the other three countries on his itinerary, this visit was aimed at strengthening ties with partner maritime governance organizations and learning more about the dynamic Asia-Pacific Region.
In 1867 the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, predecessor service to the U.S. Coast Guard, transported the first federal officials to the territory of Alaska. From this modest beginning, cutters would eventually sail into the Arctic and the Bering Sea to protect the sea and those on it. Thus, “The Bering Sea Patrol” was born. Today, Coast Guard men and women continue to sail the Bering’s frigid waters, from the Akutan to the Pribilofs. It takes a certain type of sailor to perform operations in these waters; Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Valdes is one such Coast Guardsman.
The pre-dawn January morning was chilled with a light breeze while wisps of fog clung to the distant skylines of Portsmouth and Norfolk. The crew of Shearwater was underway for Operation Striper Swiper, a federal and state initiative to preserve the striped bass population in federal waters — three nautical miles out from the shore and beyond to 200 nautical miles.
A destructive fishing practice indiscriminately killing massive amounts of marine life is taking place in our world’s oceans. The practice of dragging enormous nets suspended for miles in open water is called high seas drift net fishing and is a form of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
As part of U.S. Africa Command’s mission, Coast Guardsmen from the Deployable Operations Group deployed to support the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership program. The program, commonly referred to as AMLEP, enables African partner nations to build maritime security capacity and improve management of their maritime environment through combined law enforcement operations.
In less than a week’s time, Heron’s crew was responsible for five fisheries seizures, totaling more than 31,000 pounds of shrimp and netting a fair market value of more than $69,000. While it was truly a team effort for Heron, there was one shipmate the crew turned to for his expertise and guidance – Chief Petty Officer Foy Melendy.
In February, a Coast Guard airplane circled high off the coast of New Jersey. Scallopers were suspected of illegally fishing in a closed area, damaging the recovery of the Hudson Canyon’s scallop population. However, locating and gathering evidence against them in a large, exposed area presented challenges. Protecting living marine resources has been a Coast Guard mission since 1894, although the execution has evolved. Nowhere is this truer than in the 5th Coast Guard District.