Court: Feds can require tracking of charter fishing boats

NEW ORLEANS – A federal judge in New Orleans has rejected a lawsuit filed by Gulf of Mexico charter fishing boat operators opposed to federal regulations that include a requirement that they affix tracking equipment to their vessels.

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan ruled Monday in favor of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The agency says the use of limited electronic tracking will help make sure logbooks are correct and that data on catches are accurately reported.

Morgan rejected the boat operators’ arguments that permanent tracking amounts to a violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.