Fishy Business: The anatomy of a boarding with Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless

A boarding team and boat crew from Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless approaches the shrimp vessel Jake M to conduct a boarding, Nov. 15, 2013. 
(Click image for YouTube video on fisheries boarding.)

It was pitch-black, I squinted my eyes tightly in attempts to adjust them to the darkness. If it weren’t for the sound of the waves bouncing off the side of the boat there would be no indication of where I was. My other senses seem to heighten. I hear plain as day, “that one, that’s the one we’re boarding.” I looked off into the distance and my eyes caught a faint light. The lights were of a shrimp vessel; the first of many that the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless would board that night.

Ensign Caroline Dewechter, a member of Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, measures a fishing vessel's turtle exlusion device and by-catch reduction device Nov. 15, 2013. A boarding team peridically deploys from the cutter to conduct fisheries boarding to ensures that all fishing vessels are within compliance. U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Manda M. Emery

Ensign Caroline Dewechter, a member of Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, measures a fishing vessel’s turtle exclusion device and by-catch reduction device Nov. 15, 2013.

Living marine resources, one of the 11 Coast Guard missions, may not hold the suspense of a large law enforcement drug bust or climactic search and rescue case, but it is vital to sustaining the country’s environment as well as maintaining a diverse and rich ocean.

After spending a few weeks of November in the Gulf of Mexico with the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter home ported in Galveston, Texas, I immediately realized the importance of the execution of this mission.

The crew worked tirelessly during their living marine resources patrol, ensuring compliance of all federal fishing laws and regulations. They conducted more than 25 fisheries boarding’s while underway, ensuring the protection of our nations marine ecosystems.

I was able to accompany the crew on a few of these boarding’s and in turn share with you the anatomy of a boarding and how we as Coast Guard men and women continue to ensure, protect and enhance stewardship of the sea. Click here to watch.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,