Florida Keys

A Keys fishing boat was in a protected area, the Coast Guard says. It had other problems

The 83-foot commercial fishing vessel, Lady Kristie, was stopped by the Coast Guard Feb. 21, 2019, near Tortugas Ecological Reserve, because it was in a protected area. Crews boarded the boat and found several violations including fishing inside an ecological reserve.
The 83-foot commercial fishing vessel, Lady Kristie, was stopped by the Coast Guard Feb. 21, 2019, near Tortugas Ecological Reserve, because it was in a protected area. Crews boarded the boat and found several violations including fishing inside an ecological reserve. U.S. Coast Guard

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.”

In the works for 15 years, the new management plan sets aside a 10,500-acre marine reserve that bans fishing to protect fragile reefs. By Jenny Staletovich

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.


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