The Coast Guard will enforce new commercial fishing vessel owners and operators to comply to new commercial fishing mandates that went into effect, Tuesday, October 16, 2012.
"All commercial fishing, fish tender and fish processing vessels that operate or transit more than three nautical miles offshore need to demonstrate full compliance with all existing commercial fishing vessel safety regulations during a dockside safety examination," said Petty Officer 1st Class Douglas Gross, a commercial fishing vessel safety examiner at Sector St. Petersburg's Prevention Department.
To demonstrate compliance with this new requirement, fishermen are encouraged to contact Coast Guard fishing vessel safety examiners to obtain a Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Decal.
The examination requirement is one of several new mandates established by the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. The act requires a mandatory safety examination for fishing vessels that operate beyond three nautical miles of the baseline regardless of whether the vessel is state-registered or federally documented. More information about this change and methods for achieving compliance can be viewed at fishsafe.info.
For additional information or to schedule a vessel examination, please contact the Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg commercial fishing vessel safety office at 813-228-2196, ext. 8136.