Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate amended (08/02/1990)

Fishery Conservation Amendments of 1990 - Title I: Amendments to Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act - Amends the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act to replace provisions excluding highly migratory species (HMSs) from U.S. sovereign rights and exclusive fishery management authority with provisions mandating that the United States cooperate with nations involved in fisheries for HMSs to ensure conservation and promote optimum utilization of HMSs throughout their range.

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 evaluate the effectiveness of each existing international fishery agreement which pertains to HMSs and to negotiate on such agreements as necessary to correct identified inadequacies.

Directs the Secretary of Commerce to establish reasonable foreign fishing permit fees that apply nondiscriminatorily to each foreign nation.

Repeals provisions setting forth sanctions for violations of the Act.

Driftnet Act Amendments of 1990 - Incorporates and expands upon provisions of the Driftnet Impact Monitoring, Assessment, and Control Act of 1987. Directs the Secretary of Commerce (the Secretary), through the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, to seek to secure international agreements to implement enumerated findings, policy statements, and other provisions of this Act regarding driftnet fishing.

Directs the Secretary, through the Secretary of State, to include specified matters in any agreement which addresses the taking of living marine resources of the United States, especially with regard to driftnet fishing.

Directs the Secretary, if the Secretary identifies any nation that conducts, or authorizes its nationals to conduct, driftnet fishing meeting certain requirements, to certify that fact to the President. Deems the certification to be a certification for purposes of the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967.

Directs the Secretary to appoint the members of each Regional Fishery Management Council from a list of at least three individuals submitted by the Governor of each constituent State. Limits the voting members of regional fishery management councils to three consecutive terms. Requires that each Council comment on and make recommendations concerning any State or Federal agency activity that is likely to substantially affect an anadromous fishery resource habitat under its jurisdiction. Requires that the agency respond, describing measures being considered for mitigating the impact of the activity. Makes other procedural or administrative amendments affecting such Councils.

Requires that fishery management plans: (1) provide temporary fishery access adjustments for vessels prevented from harvesting due to ocean conditions affecting the safe conduct of the fishery; (2) specify the nature and extent of scientific data needed for effective implementation of the plan; and (3) include a fishery impact statement. 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 for the purpose of collecting data necessary for the conservation and management of the fishery.

Replaces provisions directing the Secretary to maintain a program of fishery research with provisions directing the Secretary to develop a plan for fisheries research in the areas of conservation and management, conservation engineering, and information management.

Grants the Secretary authority over any HMS fishery that is within the geographic area of more than one of the New England, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf, and Caribbean Councils. Directs the Secretary to identify research and information priorities, prepare fishery management plans, and, in order to encourage international fishery management with regard to HMS fishing, work with international entities. Sets forth requirements for conservation and management measures included in any such plan.

Authorizes the Secretary, in order to avoid overfishing, to establish a moratorium that prohibits participation in a fishery by vessels that have not participated substantially in the fishery during the three years prior to the moratorium. Limits the moratorium to 18 months, allowing renewal for no longer than one additional period of 18 months.

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 Regional Fishery Management Council and Marine Fisheries Commission and considering comments received from other affected Governors.

Makes it unlawful to: (1) knowingly steal, 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 certain driftnet fishing; or (4) strip pollock of its roe and discard the flesh. 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 prohibited acts. Authorizes the Secretary 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. Increases the maximum criminal fines.

Establishes a rebuttable presumption in civil forfeiture proceedings that fish of a species which spawns in fresh or estuarine waters and migrates to ocean waters that is 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 its jurisdiction except salmon fisheries which: (1) requires that observers be carried on U.S. vessels fishing for or processing species within the Council's jurisdiction 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 implementation costs. Limits the total amount of fees.

Establishes in the Treasury a North Pacific Fishery Observer Fund. Requires that the Fund be available, without appropriation or fiscal year limitation, only to the Secretary for carrying out provisions of this Act relating to the North Pacific fisheries research plan.

Directs the Secretary to review: (1) the feasibility of establising a risk sharing pool through a fee to provide coverage for vessels and owners against liability suits by observers; and (2) the availability of comprehensive commercial insurance for such coverage. Directs the Secretary, if feasible, to establish the pool unless commercial insurance is available at a lower cost.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

Makes miscellaneous technical amendments.

Approves a specified agreement between the United States and the German Democratic Republic as a governing international fishery agreement for the purposes of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act, notwithstanding specified provisions of such Act relating to congressional oversight of international fishery agreements.

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 a specified date. Provides for reimbursement of the travel expenses of U.S. Commissioners and their advisory committee.

Authorizes U.S. Commissioners to establish species working groups to provide advice to the Commissioners and the advisory committee relating to the conservation and management of any HMS covered by the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.

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 made under 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. Authorizes appropriations for commission-related activities.

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 change the eligibility requirements for apportionments to States to include consideration of whether a State has entered into an agreement with the Secretary of Commerce or the Secretary of the Interior involving fishery resources which are 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 and to support the efforts of specified interstate commissions to develop interstate fishery management plans for interjurisdictional fishery resources.

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.