NOAA cracks down on charter boats in the Gulf

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal agents have cited 15 charter boat
companies that take anglers out into the Gulf of Mexico for a
variety of violations, such as working without permits, fishing out
of season and catching undersized fish.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday
said it sent undercover agents on chartered trips across the Gulf
and documented a multitude of violations.

NOAA said charter boat companies were found operating in
violation of state, Coast Guard and fishery laws.

Hal Robbins, a special agent in charge of the NOAA division in
St. Petersburg, Fla., said the crack down protects "law-abiding
charter operations from unfair competition."


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