A 83-foot commercial fishing vessel, named Lady Kristie, with three people aboard, was stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard Thursday after it was spotted in a protected area near the Tortugas Ecological Reserve.
According to the Coast Guard, the boat was detected about 12:30 a.m. Thursday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prohibits anyone from fishing in an ecological reserve, the Coast Guard said.
Crews boarded the boat and found several additional violations, including an inoperable high water bilge alarm and exceeding their tow time restriction of 75 minutes.
“Our partnership with NOAA is a valuable asset for the effective enforcement of both federal and state fisheries regulations,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Diaz, an operations specialist at Coast Guard Sector Key West, in a news release. “Our marine resources are extremely valuable to our nation. We encourage boaters to familiarize themselves with the fishing regulations to make sure they are complying with federal law.”