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USCG sets new regs for local commercial fishing vessels

fili@samoanews.com

Beginning Oct. 16 this year, all commercial fishing vessels that operate more than three nautical miles off shore of territorial waters “must have a valid safety decal,” according to the local U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Marine Safety Detachment Unit.

“This includes state registered vessels such as alia. To obtain a decal, vessels must demonstrate full compliance with existing vessel safety regulations,” said USCG officials, who explained that a “decal” is a safety sticker on the vessel for owners and operators, who successfully complete a commercial fishing vessel examination.

A USCG official said Friday that the safety decal is good for two years and vessel owners and operators are encouraged to schedule their exams as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary delays in fishing operations.

The official says that there are already locals booked to take the exam. To schedule an exam call the local office at 633-2299 and the office - located at the second floor of Pago Plaza - is open during business hours for anyone wanting more information.

“Failure to comply with the existing regulations could result in civil penalties or termination of the vessel’s voyager,” according to a USCG announcement.



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