Summary: H.R.1841 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (06/28/1988)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988 - Amends Federal law concerning uninspected fishing vessels to direct and authorize the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to prescribe certain safety standards on all fishing, fish tender, or fish processing vessels. Directs the Secretary to examine a fish processing vessel at least once every two years to ensure compliance with requirements under this Act. Requires a fish processing vessel built or subjected to a major conversion after July 27, 1990, to have on board a certificate evidencing that it meets all survey and classification requirements of the American Bureau of Shipping or similar approved organization. Authorizes the appropriate safety official to take action with respect to vessels operating in an unsafe condition or in violation of certification requirements set forth under this Act. Authorizes the Secretary to exempt certain vessels from such standards for good cause shown. Imposes civil and criminal penalties for violations of this Act.

Directs the Secretary to establish a Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Advisory Committee (the Committee) to advise, consult with, report to, and make recommendations to the Secretary concerning various vessel safety matters. Directs the Secretary, at least once a year, to publish a notice soliciting nominations for membership on the Committee. Directs the Secretary to designate a representative to participate as an observor with the Committee. Requires the Secretary, whenever practicable, to consult with the Committee before taking action affecting fishing, fish tender, or fish processing vessels. Terminates such Committee on September 30, 1992. Requires the Committee, two years prior to such termination, to recommend to the Congress whether the Committee should be renewed and continue beyond the termination date.

Directs the Secretary to prepare and submit to the Congress a plan for the licensing of operators of documented fishing, fish processing, and fish tender vessels.

Requires the Secretary to compile statistics concerning marine casualties in connection with fishing, fish tender, or fish processing vessels. Requires a person underwriting insurance for such vessels to periodically submit to the Secretary certain data regarding marine casualties. Authorizes the Secretary to delegate the authority to compile the statistics. Provides penalties for failure to provide the data.

Directs the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a study of the safety problems on fishing industry vessels and to make recommendations to the Congress regarding whether a vessel inspection program should be implemented, including the nature and scope of that inspection.

Directs the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating to conduct a study of certain aspects affecting the safe operation at sea of fish processing vessels that are not surveyed and classed by an organization approved by the Secretary. Directs the Secretary to submit the study, with recommendations, to the Congress.

Amends Federal law to create a new chapter regulating fishing voyages. Requires the master or individual in charge of certain fishing, fish processing, or fish tender vessels to make a written fishing agreement with each seaman on board concerning wages, shares, or other compensation. Makes the vessel liable in rem for the wages and shares of the seamen. Requires the owner to produce an accounting of the sale and division of proceeds under the agreement. Declares that these provisions do not affect a common law right of a seaman to bring an action to recover the seaman's share of the fish or proceeds.

Requires a seaman on a fishing, fish processing, or fish tender vessel to notify the agent of the owner regarding any illness, disability, or injury suffered when in service to the vessel. Mandates posting of this requirement on board each vessel.

Repeals the current chapter of Federal law which regulates fishing voyages.

Deems, until July 28, 1990, certain foreign built fish processing vessels to be in compliance with the requirements of this Act relating to safety and uninspected fishing vessels.