Alaska seafood companies to pay fish waste fines
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined four fishing vessels operated by three different seafood companies more than USD 300,000 for violations of seafood waste discharge regulations, according to a release from the EPA.
The companies, Aleutian Spray Fisheries Inc., United States Seafoods LLC and Ocean Peace Inc. agreed to settle the violations with the EPA in separate agreements and pay fines.
Aleutian Spray has agreed to pay USD 120,000 for violations by two of its vessels between 2007 and 2011. Ocean Peace agreed to pay USD 98,000 for violations by one of its vessels between 2007 and 2010, and United States Seafoods agreed to pay USD 90,600 for violations by one of its ships between 2007 and 2011.
All four ships were operating off the Alaska coast when the violations occurred. According to the EPA, the ships, processing Pacific cod, Atka mackerel, flathead sole, Pacific Ocean perch, yellowfin sole and/or rock sole, discharged fish waste into the ocean, but didn’t keep proper records of the discharge, and/or didn’t take samples of the discharge, which is required by the federal Clean Water Act.
“These permits are intended to protect Alaska's marine habitat and species,” said Jeff KenKnight, manager of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Compliance Unit at the EPA in Seattle. “Companies processing seafood must all play by the same rules and comply with the permit conditions. In general, we find that seafood processing vessels are staying in compliance, but when they don’t, it can have negative consequences.”