Monday, October 31, 2005
The U.S. Coast Guard, in cooperation with other state, local and federal agencies, will be on patrol during the opening of the oyster season in Texas to check commercial fishing vessels for compliance with all federal laws and regulations.
They will be examining vessels for compliance with the Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Act (CFVSA), which requires commercial fishing vessels to maintain onboard safety items including, but not limited to, personal flotation devices, life rafts, fire fighting equipment, and an operating bilge system. The patrols will also be examining vessels for compliance with a federal law that requires all documented commercial vessels be placed only under the command of a citizen of the United States. In accordance with federal law, resident aliens or aliens employed under work permits are not citizens of the United States and therefore cannot command a documented commercial vessel. Violations of any regulations may lead to the termination of the vessel’s voyage. The vessel will not be able to continue their voyage until violations have been corrected. The Coast Guard periodically increases patrols during various fisheries seasons to ensure commercial fishing vessel compliance with all federal laws and regulations. The Coast Guard is dedicated to safeguarding all mariners.