After a Little River fishing crew was caught laying and retrieving fishing traps in a prohibited area off Cape Romain, the Coast Guard cited them for illegal fishing on Thursday.
The crew of "The Long Line" — a 44-foot fishing vessel — was issued fishing and safety violations 19 miles east of the cape, according to a news release from the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard Cutter Cormorant — a patrol boat stationed in Charleston — saw The Long Line crew setting their pots Wednesday night and retrieving them the next morning. A Cormorant boarding team then got on The Long Line and cited the crew for not complying with area restrictions, the release explains.
The vessel had approximately 800 pounds of illegally caught black sea bass on board so the crew was also issued two safety violations.
The captain also faces a civil penalty for illegally fishing that the Coast Guard will assess in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the release says
"This is a great example of interagency coordination to stop illegal fishing," said Lt. Casey Paris, the Cormorant's commanding officer. "Our marine resources are extremely valuable to the public and our nation."
The crew returned to Little River after they were issued the citations.