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Old 30-05-2019, 06:52   #1
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Regulation Question for Cruisers who Fish

In almost all jurisdictions in the USA, and many others too, while you are out fishing, it is not allowed to have cleaned fish onboard. Usually, only gutting is allowed, and sometime filleting (if you leave the skin on). This make perfect sense for fisheries enforcement, because the inspecting officer needs to ID the species and size of fish caught, and for 99.8% of all recreational fishing boats it is not a problem.

For a live-aboard boat that cruises full time, with a freezer full of fish from the past month it is impossible to comply with the letter of the regulations. I have never worried about it, the few times I have been boarded for inspection the officer never got down to looking in the freezer. Even if he did, my experience is that LE are smart enough to understand the issue and not pursue a strictly technical violation.

But I am curious, has anyone been dinged under these rules? If so what were the circumstances and jurisdiction?
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:14   #2
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Re: Regulation Question for Cruisers who Fish

We've had a similar problem when cruising/fishing in Alaska. The rules don't really allow well for long term cruisers.

Internationally agreed regs for Pacific Halibut say you may fillet them, provided you keep the four "fletches" whole, with some skin on them. Easy for enforcement folks to check and count, but pretty hard to deal with if we catch one of any size - our freezer isn't large, and we wouldn't want to have to thaw a piece big enough for several meals. One way to comply would be to release all but quite small halibut. Or, if we keep whole fletches of smaller Hals, we could saw off a dinner-sized piece and thaw that.

So far we have ignored this requirement, while adhering strictly to possession limits etc. Last summer we had one large Hal on board, and were checked and warned by a Fisheries officer. Will need to be more compliant from now on.
Richard Cook
Dream Catcher (Nordic Tug 37)
"Cruising in a Big Way"
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