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Copyright vEsti24
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Dec 17 2009
Observer Fined for Harassment PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 December 2009

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            A NOAA fisheries observer is being punished for sexually harassing and creating a hostile work environment for another observer. Benjamin Lewis Michlig worked for Saltwater Incorporated and Alaskan Observers Incorporated and is originally from Wisconsin.

            He admitted to harassing another observer while living in a bunkhouse in Kodiak in September, 2008.

            The NOAA Office of Law Enforcement's Alaska Division issued Michlig a 10,000-dollar fine with 9,000 suspended. He won't have to pay the suspended amount if, after five years he has committed no similar offenses. He also is prohibited from working as an observer anywhere in the country for the next 10 years.

            In a written statement, NOAA Special Agent Frank Bonadonna said it was important that the entire commercial fishing industry understand that harassment of fisheries observers will be punished, whether it's done by a vessel captain, crewman or another observer.

            Federal fisheries observers are responsible for collecting real-time catch and bycatch data that is used to help manage fisheries in federal waters.

 
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