Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) returned to homeport in Alameda Monday, following a 105-day deployment throughout the North Pacific.
The crew patrolled more than 27,000 miles for approximately three months alongside partner agencies to support international cooperation for Operation North Pacific Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard’s annual Northern Pacific illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing patrol.
An integrated international law enforcement boarding team inspected 28 fishing vessels in the North Pacific Ocean and identified 42 violations of conservation and management measures under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and North Pacific Fisheries Commission. The team discovered a total of 702 shark fins and 20 salmon during the inspections.
The detection of violations within both regional fisheries management organizations trigger processes to hold countries accountable for ensuring their fishing fleets comply with conservation and management measures designed to conserve important fish stocks. Coast Guard boardings and inspections are critically important as the only at-sea enforcement presence across vast ocean areas, helping to ensure the sustainable harvest of fisheries resources.
Operation North Pacific Guard is an annual multi-mission effort between the Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Pacific Rim countries and three regional fisheries management organizations to include the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the North Pacific Fisheries Commission, and the North Pacific Anadromous Fishing Commission. Operation North Pacific Guard 2021 was jointly planned and executed with support from Canada, Republic of Korea, and Japan. Each nation provides surface and air patrols and shares information that guides patrol assets to detect and intercept the most likely illicit fishing activity.
“The crew of the Bertholf displayed remarkable perseverance throughout the duration of the patrol,” said Capt. Timothy Brown, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf. “Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is a major global maritime security threat, and I’m incredibly proud of the Bertholf crew for their roles in confronting predatory and irresponsible actions in international fisheries.”