Tortugas Shrimping Violation Brings $20,000 Penalty

Cheva Heck Cheva.Heck at
Thu Feb 13 17:03:06 EST 2003


FEBRUARY 13, 2003

CONTACT:   Cheva Heck
                    Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
                    305.292.0311, ext. 26
                    305.304.0179 (cell)

NOAA Cites Owner and Operator of Shrimp Trawler

Attorneys for the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) have issued a $20,000 civil penalty in the case of a
vessel cited for illegal shrimp trawling in the Florida Keys National Marine
Sanctuary’s protected Tortugas Ecological Reserve last December.

 Christine Ho of Abbeville, La., owner of the Fishing Vessel Miss Christine
V, and vessel captain Cu T. Nguyen of Port Arthur, Texas, face a combined
penalty in the incident.  The Coast Guard vessel Nantucket cited the Miss
Christine V on Dec. 16, 2002.  The Nantucket escorted the Miss Christine V
to Key West, where its catch of 1,117 lbs. of pink shrimp was seized and
sold by a NOAA agent.  The $1,733.38 proceeds from the sale remain in escrow
pending settlement of the case.

 Five days previously, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
officers had cited the Miss Christine V for illegal shrimp trawling inside
the Tortugas Shrimp Sanctuary, a cooperative closure between the State of
Florida and the Department of Commerce.

 “Once again, we thank the United States Coast Guard for helping to provide
the effective enforcement that is critical to the success of the Tortugas
Ecological Reserve,” said Sanctuary Superintendent Billy Causey.
“Law-abiding commercial and recreational fishermen, who are by far the
majority, deserve to know that those who violate the reserve’s protections
will pay the price.”

 The Tortugas Ecological Reserve, established in 2001, protects 151 square
nautical miles of deep coral reefs and other essential habitat for fish and
other marine life.  The reserve is the largest of the sanctuary’s network of
24 “no-take” areas set aside to protect habitat and preserve the diversity
of marine life in the coral reef ecosystem of the Florida Keys.

 NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) seeks to increase the public
awareness of America’s maritime heritage by conducting scientific research,
monitoring, exploration and educational programs.  Today, 13 national marine
sanctuaries encompass more than 18,000 square miles of America’s ocean and
Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.  In addition, the NMSP is
conducting a sanctuary designation process to incorporate the Northwestern
Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve into the national sanctuary

 NOAA National Ocean Service (NOAA Oceans and Coasts) manages the National
Marine Sanctuary Program and is dedicated to exploring, understanding,
conserving and restoring the nation’s coasts and oceans.  NOAA Oceans and
Coasts balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in
fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal
communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety
through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events
and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine

On the internet:
NOAA Oceans and Coasts -
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary -

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