Tuna company responds to Coast Guard's concerns - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Tuna company responds to Coast Guard's concerns

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The South Pacific Tuna Corporation is in hot water with the U.S. Coast Guard. According to a media release Coast Guard Sector Guam levied fines against the company for eight separate violations of federal law. The company was found to be using unlicensed foreign personnel to illegally fill the roles of chief mate and chief engineer on U.S. flagged vessels.

The violations were determined to have occurred in March 2012 on five of the company's 14 purse seine vessels while conducting dockside vessel safety examinations in Pohnpei.

South Pacific Tuna Corporation responds they were mostly cited for violations stemming from expired safety documentation created by a delay in its annual inspection scheduling. According to a press release, "despite the expired documents, the foreign officers on board were licensed and had been approved in accordance with regulation;the expired documentation was later reissued and the deficiency corrected." The Company noted that although legislation was passed in 2012 that addressed these and other safety documentation issues, the official federal guidance was only issued in 2014 as Coast Guard headquarters staff worked with industry to deveop that guidance. 

"Under today's regulation and subsequent guidance, most of the 2012 citations against the company would not have been issued," the release stated.

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