PORT ANGELES — Coast Guard Cutter Active has returned to its homeport in Port Angeles after a 52-day patrol off the Washington and Oregon coast.
Active’s crew, which returned Friday, executed the fast-paced patrol enforcing federal fisheries regulations along the coasts. The patrol was part of Operation Pacific Fortune, which aims to maintain a level playing field among Pacific Northwest fishers and safeguard the commercial and recreational fishing industries, the Coast Guard said.
The Active established an overt presence amongst the West Coast albacore tuna fleet, which congregates off the Pacific Northwest coast each summer.
Maritime law enforcement teams from the Active boarded 61 commercial fishing vessels, documenting a wide range of safety and fisheries violations, including retention of prohibited species and the use of illegal gear.
A unique part of the deployment included support of international agreements, the Coast Guard said.
Under the U.S. Canada Albacore Tuna Treaty, 45 Canadian-flagged vessels are specifically authorized in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for a prescribed time period.
To strengthen the international partnership between the Coast Guard and Canada’s Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) Pacific Region, the Active crew welcomed aboard a Canadian DFO Enforcement Officer for joint law enforcement boardings, the Coast Guard said.
“The unified effort between the two countries demonstrated a shared commitment to managing precious natural resources,” according to a press release.
The crew aboard the 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter — which is equipped with two small boats, a helicopter flight deck and refueling capabilities — practiced day and night helicopter landings with Coast Guard aircrews stationed out of Port Angeles and North Bend, Ore., as well as helicopter in-flight refueling and hoist operations with aircrews from Astoria, Ore.
Cmdr. James O’Mara, Active’s commanding officer, noted that for many years, the Active had been focused on countering narcotics.
“But this shifting of gears off our own coasts, to focus on fisheries, safety, search and rescue – it was fantastic. The crew of the Active stepped up in spectacular fashion.”