Summary: H.R.2061 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Senate agreed to House amendment with amendment (10/27/1990)

Fishery Conservation Amendments of 1990 - Title I: Amendments to Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act - Amends the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson Act) to replace provisions excluding highly migratory fish from the U.S. assertion of sovereign rights and exclusive fishery management authority with provisions requiring the United States to cooperate, directly or through international organizations, with nations involved in fisheries for highly migratory species to ensure conservation and promote optimum utilization of such species throughout their range, both within and beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Sets the total allowable level of fishing by a foreign fishery subject to U.S. exclusive fishery management authority at the portion of the optimum yield of such fishery which will not be harvested by vessels of the United States.

Directs the Secretary of State to: (1) evaluate the effectiveness of each existing international fishery agreement which pertains to highly migratory species; (2) initiate negotiations to obtain access for vessels of the United States fishing for tuna species within the exclusive economic zones of other nations; (3) report to the Congress on the evaluation and the negotiations; and (4) negotiate for international fishery agreements on highly migratory species as necessary to correct inadequacies identified by the evaluation. Declares that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States shall negotiate to extend a specified treaty (often referred to as the South Pacific Tuna Treaty) and its Annexes, Schedules, and implementing agreements for an additional term of ten years on terms at least as favorable to vessels of the United States and the U.S. Government.

Amends provisions requiring the prohibition of importing fish and fish products to require the prohibition if the Secretary of State determines that: (1) the Secretary has been unable to conclude with any foreign nation an international fishery agreement allowing equitable access to fisheries over which that nation asserts exclusive fishery management authority, including fisheries for tuna species (current law makes no reference to including tuna species), in accordance with fishing activities of the vessels (currently, in accordance with traditional fishing activities of the vessels); and (2) any foreign nation is not allowing fishing vessels of the United States to fish for tuna (currently, highly migratory species) in accordance with an agreement.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the appropriate Regional Fishery Management Council, to establish reasonable foreign fishing permit fees that apply nondiscriminatorily to each foreign nation.

Declares that these provisions incorporate and expand upon provisions of the Driftnet Impact Monitoring, Assessment, and Control Act of 1987 and may be cited as the Driftnet Act Amendments of 1990.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce, through the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, to seek international agreements to implement specified findings, policies, and provisions of this Act, in particular an international ban on large-scale driftnet fishing. Lists required agreement elements. Requires an annual report to specified congressional committees, including a list of nations that conduct, or allow their nationals to conduct, large-scale driftnet fishing beyond the exclusive economic zone of any nation inconsistent with agreements. Directs the Secretary of Commerce, if the Secretary identifies any nation that warrants inclusion in such list, to certify that fact to the President. Deems the certification to be a certification for the purposes of the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967.

Directs the Secretary to prescribe criteria for determining whether an individual satisfies certain Regional Fishery Management Council qualification requirements. Directs the Secretary, in making appointments, to ensure a fair and balanced apportionment of the active participants in the commercial and recreational fisheries under the jurisdiction of the Council. Directs the Secretary to make appointments from a list of qualified individuals submitted by the Governor of each applicable constituent State.

Limits the voting members of Regional Fishery Management Councils to three consecutive terms. Provides for compensation of Council members, lowering the compensation after 1991. Provides for reimbursement of expenses to Council members and staff.

Requires each Council to meet at appropriate times and places in any of the constituent States of the Council. (Current law makes no reference to appropriate times and requires each Council to meet in the geographic area concerned.)

Requires the regional director of the National Marine Fisheries Service serving on the Council to submit a statement to the Secretary if the regional director disagrees with any matter transmitted to the Secretary by the Council.

Requires each Council to establish a fishing industry advisory committee to assist in the development of fishery management plans.

Mandates that each Council comment and make recommendations on State or Federal activity that is likely to substantially affect the habitat of an anadromous fishery resource under its jurisdiction. Requires the State or Federal agency involved to respond in writing, describing mitigating measures being considered.

Provides for: (1) publication of notice of closed Council meetings; and (2) consideration by a Council of new information.

Mandates that fishery management plans: (1) prevent overfishing and protect, restore, and promote the long-term health and stability of the fishery; (2) be consistent with regulations implementing recommendations by international organizations, including closed areas, quotas, and size limits; (3) provide temporary fishery access adjustments for vessels prevented from harvesting due to ocean conditions affecting the safe conduct of the fishery; (4) specify the nature and extent of scientific data needed to ensure the effectiveness of the plan in conserving and managing fishery resources; and (5) include an impact statement assessing the likely effects of the plan on participants in the fisheries affected by the plan and on participants in the fisheries conducted in adjacent areas.

Permits each plan to: (1) impose permit fees on fishing vessels, the operators of such vessels, or U.S. fish processors who first receive fish that are subject to the plan; (2) require fish processors to submit data necessary for the conservation and management of the fishery; and (3) require that observers be carried on U.S. vessels fishing for species that are subject to the plan for the purpose of collecting data necessary for the conservation and management of the fishery.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to promulgate regulations to restrict the use, in civil enforcement or criminal proceedings under the Magnuson Act or specified other Acts, of information collected by voluntary fishery data collectors.

Replaces provisions relating to fisheries research with provisions directing the Secretary, at least every three years, to publish a strategic plan for fisheries research for the five years following the publication, including research: (1) to support fishery conservation and management; (2) on conservation engineering; and (3) on information management.

Gives to the Secretary authority over any highly migratory species fishery that is within the geographical area of more than one of the New England, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf, and Caribbean Councils. Directs the Secretary, with regard to highly migratory species, to: (1) identify research and information priorities; (2) prepare fishery management plans; and (3) pursue international fishery management measures.

Sets forth the duties of the Secretary in preparing management plans, including evaluating likely effects of conservation and management measures and minimizing any disadvantage to U.S. fishermen in relation to foreign competitors. Requires conservation and management measures to be fair and equitable in allocating fishing privileges among U.S. fishermen and not have economic allocation as the sole purpose.

Directs the Secretary to establish a three-year program to assess the impact of fishery resources of incidental harvest by the shrimp trawl fishery within the authority of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Councils. Directs the Secretary to conduct, for stocks of fish which are subject to significant incidental harvest and with priority given to stocks which are overfished: (1) a program to collect and evaluate data on the nature and extent of incidental mortality; (2) an assessment of the status and condition of the stocks; and (3) a program of data collection and evaluation on the magnitude and distribution of fishing mortality and fishing effort by sources of fishing mortality other than shrimp trawl fishing. Directs the Secretary to: (1) commence a program to design and evaluate technological devices and other changes in fishing technology for the reduction of incidental mortality of nontarget fishery resources; and (2) report to specified congressional committees. Prohibits the Secretary, until January 1, 1994, from implementing any measures under this Act to reduce incidental mortality of nontarget resources which would restrict the period during which shrimp are harvested or would require the use of any technological device or other change in fishing technology.

Allows the New England Fishery Management Council to submit to the Secretary an amendment to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan providing for conservation and management not based primarily on the scallop meat count but which may include controls on scallop harvesting effort.

Provides for judicial review of certain implementing actions.

Requires the application of a foreign fishing vessel's owner or operator to a Governor to engage in fish processing within State internal waters to specify the species to be processed. Prohibits a State Governor from approving such an application for foreign fish processing in a fishery which occurs in the waters of more than one State or in the Exclusive Economic Zone, except after consulting with the appropriate Council and Marine Fisheries Commission and considering comments received from other affected Governors.

Makes it unlawful to: (1) knowingly steal or without authorization remove, damage, or tamper with another person's fishing gear, or fish within such gear, in the Exclusive Economic Zone; (2) intimidate, interfere with, or assault an observer on a vessel under this Act; (3) engage in large-scale driftnet fishing; or (4) strip pollock of its roe and discard the flesh of the pollock. Prohibits U.S. vessels from fishing in the waters of another nation in a manner that violates an international fishery agreement between that nation and the United States. Increases the civil monetary penalty for those who engage in prohibited acts. Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to impose fishing permit sanctions against vessels or their owners or operators for engaging in prohibited acts or failing to pay fines.

Makes the intimidation of, interference with, or assault of, an observer on a vessel under this Act a criminal offense and increases criminal fines.

Establishes a rebuttable presumption in civil forfeiture proceedings that certain fish found on board a fishing vessel within the migratory range of such fish are of U.S. origin.

Increases the uses to which fines, penalties, or forfeitures of property may be put. Provides that such fines, penalties, or forfeitures may be proceeds from violations of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act or any other fishery resource law enforced by the Secretary of Commerce.

Permits the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to prepare and submit to the Secretary a fisheries research plan for all fisheries under the Council's jurisdiction except salmon fisheries which: (1) requires that observers be carried on fishing and processing vessels to collect data necessary for the conservation, management, and scientific understanding of fisheries within such region; and (2) establishes a system of fees to cover plan costs.

Establishes in the Treasury the North Pacific Fishery Observer Fund, to be available only to the Secretary to carry out these research plan provisions.

Directs the Secretary, if the Secretary determines it feasible, to establish a risk sharing pool through a reasonable fee to provide coverage for vessels and owners against liability from civil suits by observers unless: (1) comprehensive commercial insurance is available; and (2) such commercial insurance will provide a greater measure of coverage at a lower cost.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out this Act.

Makes miscellaneous technical amendments.

Title II: Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 - Amends the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 to establish qualification requirements for, and term of office limitations on, U.S. Commissioners on the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. Terminates the terms of current U.S. Commissioners on the Commission on March 1, 1991. Covers the travel expenses of U.S. Commissioners and their advisory committee.

Authorizes the U.S. Commissioners to establish species working groups to provide advice to the Commissioners and the advisory committee relating to conservation and management of any highly migratory species covered by the Convention.

Directs the Secretary to promulgate any additional regulations necessary to ensure that the United States is in compliance with all recommendations made by the Commission that have been accepted by the United States and with other agreements under the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas between the United States and any other nation which is a party to the Convention. Provides that such regulations may require fishermen to obtain permits from the Secretary and report the quantity of the catch of a regulated species and require that observers be carried aboard fishing vessels.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Secretary should seek support for a Commission recommendation to ban large-scale driftnet fishing. Directs the Secretary to: (1) request the Commission to adopt recommendations necessary for the conservation and management of Atlantic swordfish; and (2) notify the Congress as to the nature and results of such request.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975, including for payment of the U.S. share of the joint expenses of the Commission.

Title III: Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967 - Amends the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967 to extend, through FY 1993, provisions requiring the Secretary to reimburse certain owners of commercial fishing vessels for the foreign seizure of their vessels for reasons unrelated to fishery conservation or management.

Title IV: Anadromous Fish Conservation Act - Amends the Anadromous Fish Conservation Act to authorize appropriations to carry out the Act.

Title V: Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act of 1986 - Amends the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act of 1986 to allow a State to receive an apportionment of less than one-third of one percent if the State has an agreement with the Secretary of Commerce or the Secretary of the Interior under which the personnel, services, and equipment of the State and the Federal agency concerned will be made mutually available for the enforcement of Federal and State laws pertaining to the protection of fishery resources which are managed under an interstate fishery management plan. (Current law makes no reference to the resources being managed under an interstate fishery management plan.)

Sets the Federal share of the cost of any activity carried out under the Act at 75 percent.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out the Act.

Title VI: Central, Western, and South Pacific Fisheries Development Act - Amends the Central, Western, and South Pacific Fisheries Development Act to authorize appropriations to carry out the Act.

Title VII: National Fish and Seafood Promotional Council - Amends the Fish and Seafood Promotion Act of 1986 to extend, until December 31, 1991, the termination date of the National Fish and Seafood Promotional Council.

Amends Federal law (commonly known as the Saltonstall-Kennedy Act) to authorize transfers of funds to the Fisheries Promotion Fund.

Deems individuals serving on September 30, 1990, as members of the Council to continue as members in uninterrupted service since the date of their initial appointment. Requires, notwithstanding specified provisions, that any vacancy on the National Fish and Seafood Promotion Act not filled as of September 30, 1990, be filled within 60 days after enactment of this Act. Provides for continuity of Council functions, contracts, and personnel.

Title VIII: Miscellaneous - Directs the Secretary of State to negotiate with other nations which import or export anadromous fish or anadromous fish products to secure bilateral or multilateral agreements, possibly including trade agreements, to prohibit international trade in such fish or fish products unless accompanied by a certificate of legal origin attesting that the fish or fish product was lawfully harvested according to specified criteria. Requires the Secretary of Commerce, if the Secretary finds that any nation is engaging in trade in unlawfully taken anadromous fish or anadromous fish products, to certify that fact to the President. Deems that certification to be a certification for purposes of the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967.

Title IX: Dolphin Protection Consumer Information - Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act - Declares that it is a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act for any producer, importer, exporter, distributor, or seller of any tuna product that is exported from or offered for sale in the United States to include on the label the term "Dolphin Safe" or any other term or symbol that falsely claims or suggests that the tuna was harvested using a method of fishing that is not harmful to dolphins if the product contains tuna harvested: (1) on the high seas by driftnet fishing; or (2) in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean by purse seine nets which do not meet dolphin safe requirements of this Act. Requires, in certain circumstances, certification by specified parties of the method of harvesting. Provides for civil fines.

Amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to require that nations whose fishing vessels use specified methods provide documentary evidence that tuna was not harvested using certain methods in order to avoid a ban on the importation of fish or fish products.

Directs the Secretary of State to negotiate with foreign governments to reduce and eliminate the harvesting of tuna through purse seine nets intentionally deployed to encircle dolphins.

Title X: Fisheries Commission - Declares that the Congress consents to and approves of amendments to the interstate compact which constituted the Pacific Marine Fisheries Commission. Describes the amendments as redesignating the Commission as the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Title XI: Report on Marine Mammals - Directs the Secretary of Commerce to provide to specified congressional committees a report: (1) assessing population sizes and trends of specified species of marine mammals off the coast of the State of Washington; (2) assessing the effectiveness of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972; and (3) specifying long range management plans for those species of marine mammals.