Summary: H.R.716 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (06/30/1995)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: High Seas Fishing Compliance

Title II: Implementation of Convention on Future

Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic

Fisheries

Title III: Atlantic Tunas Convention Act

Title IV: Fishermen's Protective Act

Title V: Fisheries Enforcement in Central Sea of Okhotsk

Title VI: Driftnet Moratorium

Title VII: Yukon River Salmon Act

Title VIII: Miscellaneous

Fisheries Act of 1995 - Title I: High Seas Fishing Compliance - High Seas Fishing Compliance Act of 1995 - Prohibits a high seas vessel from engaging in harvesting operations on the high seas unless the vessel has on board a valid permit issued under this Act. Makes any U.S. vessel eligible to receive such a permit unless the vessel was previously authorized to be used for fishing on the high seas by a foreign nation and such nation suspended or, within the last three years preceding application for a permit, withdrew such authorization because the vessel undermined the effectiveness of international conservation and management measures. Makes such restriction inapplicable in cases where the Secretary of Commerce determines that issuing a permit would not subvert the Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas. Sets forth application and fee provisions.

(Sec. 105) Directs the Secretary to maintain a record of high seas vessels issued permits under this Act and to notify the flag State if a foreign fishing vessel has engaged in activities undermining the effectiveness of international conservation and management measures.

(Sec. 106) Sets forth activities which are unlawful for any person subject to U.S. jurisdiction, including: (1) the use of a high seas fishing vessel in contravention of international conservation and management measures; (2) fishing on the high seas without a permit; (3) falsification of required information; (4) impeding or assaulting an officer in the conduct of a search or inspection; and (5) engaging in the commerce of any resource taken or retained in violation of this title.

(Sec. 107) Sets forth enforcement and penalty provisions.

Title II: Implementation of Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries - Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Convention Act of 1995 - Provides for the implementation of the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, including regarding: (1) appointment of U.S. representatives and alternate representatives as Commissioners and on the Scientific Council; (2) handling of requests for scientific advice; (3) the authorities of the Secretary of State; and (4) cooperation between various agencies, private institutions, and organizations.

(Sec. 207) Makes certain actions unlawful, including: (1) violating any regulation issued under this Act or any measure legally binding on the United States under the Convention; (2) resisting, impeding, intimidating, or interfering with certain actions; and (3) transporting, selling, or possessing fish taken in violation of these provisions. Provides for: (1) civil and criminal penalties, permit sanctions, and forfeiture of vessels, cargo, and fish; (2) enforcement by the Coast Guard; and (3) U.S. district court exclusive jurisdiction.

(Sec. 208) Directs the Secretaries of State and Commerce to jointly establish a consultative committee on issues related to the Convention and the agreement with Canada.

(Sec. 211) Authorizes appropriations.

Title III: Atlantic Tunas Convention Act - Atlantic Tunas Convention Authorization Act of 1995 - Amends the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 to require a report to specified congressional committees on the current research and monitoring activities on Atlantic bluefin tuna and other highly migratory species.

(Sec. 302) Mandates a comprehensive research program to support the conservation and management of Atlantic bluefin tuna and other highly migratory species, including identifying and defining the range of stocks.

Amends Federal law to remove a provision authorizing appropriations for a currently-mandated biennial report on bluefin tuna.

(Sec. 304) Regulates operational matters for the advisory committee established by the Act, including regarding quorums, a chairman, meetings, and administrative and technical support.

(Sec. 305) Prohibits the promulgation of regulations to increase or decrease fishing mortality levels. Authorizes the President to enter into consultations with nations whose fishing vessels fish in the convention area in a way that diminishes the effectiveness of a conservation recommendation to obtain an agreement to terminate and prevent the resumption of fishing that diminishes such effectiveness, mitigate negative impacts, and result in the establishment by those nations of reporting, monitoring, and enforcement measures adequate to ensure conservation recommendation effectiveness.

(Sec. 306) Makes the civil penalty and permit sanctions of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act applicable to violations of this Act.

(Sec. 307) Authorizes appropriations to carry out the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 and to carry out research activities under provisions relating to research on Atlantic Bluefin Tuna.

(Sec. 308) Directs the Secretary of Commerce to submit a report annually to specified congressional committees that: (1) details for the previous ten years the catches and exports to the United States of highly migratory species from nations fishing on Atlantic stocks that are subject to management by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas; (2) identifies those fishing nations whose harvests are inconsistent with existing international conservation and management programs; and (3) describes reporting requirements to ensure that imported fish are in compliance with international management measures.

(Sec. 309) Provides for the Secretary to implement the recommendations of the Commission regarding yellowfin tuna.

(Sec. 310) Mandates a report to specified congressional committees on the historic rationale, effectiveness, and biological and economic efficiency of existing bluefin tuna regulations for U.S. Atlantic fisheries.

(Sec. 311) Declares that it is the sense of the Congress that: (1) future conservation actions recommended by international commissions and implemented by the Secretary provide fair and equitable sharing of the conservation burden among all contracting harvesters in negotiations with those commissions; (2) during Commission negotiations on swordfish and other highly migratory species managed by the Commission, the Congress urges U.S. Commissioners to add enforcement provisions similar to those applicable to bluefin tuna; (3) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Customs Service should enhance monitoring activities to ascertain what stocks are being imported into the United States and the country of origin; and (4) the U.S. Commissioners should pursue the establishment and implementation of an effective multilateral process that will enable Commission nations to enforce the Commission's conservation recommendations.

Title IV: Fishermen's Protective Act - Amends the Fisherman's Protective Act of 1967 to direct the Secretary of State, subject to the availability of appropriated funds, to reimburse vessel owners for fees paid to a foreign government to navigate in its waters if such a fee is regarded by the United States as being inconsistent with international law. Makes funds for that reimbursement available from the unobligated balance of previously appropriated funds remaining in the Fishermen's Protective Fund and authorizes additional appropriations as needed.

Provides for heads of Federal agencies to impose reciprocal conditions on nations that impose conditions on U. S. fishing vessels that are inconsistent with international law.

Requires, notwithstanding any other provision of law, reimbursement to the owner of any U.S. vessel for costs incurred due to the seizure of the vessel in 1994 by Canada on the basis of a claim to jurisdiction over sedentary species that was not recognized by the United States at the time of the seizure.

(Sec. 403) Extends the Act's termination date from October 1, 1993, to October 1, 2000.

Title V: Fisheries Enforcement in Central Sea of Okhotsk - Sea of Okhotsk Fisheries Enforcement Act of 1995 - Amends the Central Bering Sea Fisheries Enforcement Act of 1992 to prohibit U.S. vessels and nationals from fishing in the Central Sea of Okhotsk, except in accordance with an international fishery agreement to which the United States and the Russian Federation are parties.

Title VI: Driftnet Moratorium - High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act - Prohibits the United States from entering into any international agreement with respect to fisheries, marine resources, the use of the high seas, or trade in fish or fish products that would prevent full implementation of the global moratorium on large-scale driftnet fishing on the high seas, as such moratorium is expressed in a certain United Nations (U.N.) resolution.

(Sec. 604) Directs the Secretary of State to seek to enhance the implementation and effectiveness of U.N. resolutions and decisions regarding the moratorium on large-scale driftnet fishing on the high seas through appropriate international agreements and organizations.

(Sec. 606) Requires the President to use appropriate assets of the Federal Government to detect, monitor, and prevent violations of such U.N. moratoriums.

Title VII: Yukon River Salmon Act - Yukon River Salmon Act of 1995 - Regulates the U.S. representation on the Yukon River Panel established by a specified interim agreement for the conservation of salmon stocks originating from the Yukon River in Canada. Authorizes the Governor of Alaska to appoint an advisory committee. Designates the State of Alaska as the responsible management entity for the United States for purposes of the agreement. Applies the provisions of this title regarding the Panel to the Yukon River Salmon Commission if a specified treaty between Canada and the United States concerning Pacific Salmon terminates prior to the termination of the agreement. Authorizes appropriations to carry out the agreement and this title.

Title VIII: Miscellaneous - Amends the South Pacific Tuna Act of 1988 to allow, notwithstanding specified provisions of law, any U.S. vessel (documented as of the date of enactment of this Act and licensed to fish in the Licensing Area under the Act) to fish for tuna in the Treaty Area of the Act, provided that no such vessel in the Treaty Area intentionally deploys a purse seine net to encircle any dolphin or other marine mammal.

(Sec. 802) Declares that, notwithstanding any other law: (1) no allocation may be made to any foreign nation or vessel under specified provisions of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act in any fishery for which there is not a fishery management plan implemented; and (2) the Secretary of Commerce may not approve the portion of any permit application under specified provisions of the Act that proposes fishing by a foreign vessel for Atlantic mackerel or Atlantic herring unless the appropriate regional council recommends approval and the Secretary includes in the permit any conditions or restrictions recommended by that council.