Text: H.R.1658 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 105-146 (12/16/1997)

 
[105th Congress Public Law 146]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ146.105]


[[Page 2671]]

        ATLANTIC STRIPED BASS CONSERVATION ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1997

[[Page 111 STAT. 2672]]

Public Law 105-146
105th Congress

                                 An Act


 
To reauthorize and amend the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act and 
          related laws. <<NOTE: Dec. 16, 1997 -  [H.R. 1658]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Atlantic Striped 
Bass Conservation Act Amendments of 1997. Intergovernmental 
relations. 16 USC 1851 note.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation 
Act Amendments of 1997''.

SEC. 2. REAUTHORIZATION AND AMENDMENT OF ATLANTIC STRIPED BASS 
            CONSERVATION ACT.

    The Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 1851 note) is 
amended to read as follows:

``SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. <<NOTE: 16 USC 668dd note.>> 

    ``This Act may be cited as the `Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation 
Act'.

``SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    ``(a) Findings.--The Congress finds and declares the following:
            ``(1) Atlantic striped bass are of historic commercial and 
        recreational importance and economic benefit to the Atlantic 
        coastal States and to the Nation.
            ``(2) No single government entity has full management 
        authority throughout the range of the Atlantic striped bass.
            ``(3) The population of Atlantic striped bass--
                    ``(A) has been subject to large fluctuations due to 
                natural causes, fishing pressure, environmental 
                pollution, loss and alteration of habitat, inadequacy of 
                fisheries conservation and management practices, and 
                other causes; and
                    ``(B) risks potential depletion in the future 
                without effective monitoring and conservation and 
                management measures.
            ``(4) It is in the national interest to implement effective 
        procedures and measures to provide for effective 
        interjurisdictional conservation and management of this species.

    ``(b) Purpose.--It is therefore declared to be the purpose of the 
Congress in this Act to support and encourage the development, 
implementation, and enforcement of effective interstate action regarding 
the conservation and management of the Atlantic striped bass.

[[Page 111 STAT. 2673]]

``SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    ``As used in this Act--
            ``(1) the term `Magnuson Act' means the Magnuson-Stevens 
        Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et 
        seq.).
            ``(2) The term `Atlantic striped bass' means members of 
        stocks or populations of the species Morone saxatilis, which 
        ordinarily migrate seaward of the waters described in 
        paragraph (3)(A)(i).
            ``(3) The term `coastal waters' means--
                    ``(A) for each coastal State referred to in 
                paragraph (4)(A)--
                          ``(i) all waters, whether salt or fresh, of 
                      the coastal State shoreward of the baseline from 
                      which the 
                      territorial sea of the United States is measured; 
                      and
                          ``(ii) the waters of the coastal State seaward 
                      from the baseline referred to in clause (i) to the 
                      inner boundary of the exclusive economic zone;
                    ``(B) for the District of Columbia, those waters 
                within its jurisdiction; and
                    ``(C) for the Potomac River Fisheries Commission, 
                those waters of the Potomac River within the boundaries 
                established by the Potomac River Compact of 1958.
            ``(4) The term `coastal State' means--
                    ``(A) Pennsylvania and each State of the United 
                States bordering on the Atlantic Ocean north of the 
                State of South Carolina;
                    ``(B) the District of Columbia; and
                    ``(C) the Potomac River Fisheries Commission 
                established by the Potomac River Compact of 1958.
            ``(5) The term `Commission' means the Atlantic States Marine 
        Fisheries Commission established under the interstate compact 
        consented to and approved by the Congress in Public Laws 77-539 
        and 81-721.
            ``(6) The term `exclusive economic zone' has the meaning 
        given such term in section 3(6) of the Magnuson Act (16 U.S.C. 
        1802(6)).
            ``(7) The term `fishing ' means--
                    ``(A) the catching, taking, or harvesting of 
                Atlantic striped bass, except when incidental to 
                harvesting that occurs in the course of commercial or 
                recreational fish catching activities directed at a 
                species other than Atlantic striped bass;
                    ``(B) the attempted catching, taking, or harvesting 
                of Atlantic striped bass; and
                    ``(C) any operation at sea in support of, or in 
                preparation for, any activity described in subparagraph 
                (A) or (B).
        The term does not include any scientific research authorized by 
        the Federal Government or by any State government.
            ``(8) The term `moratorium area' means the coastal waters 
        with respect to which a declaration under section 5(a) applies.
            ``(9) The term `moratorium period' means the period 
        beginning on the day on which moratorium is declared under 
        section 5(a) regarding a coastal State and ending on the day on 
        which the Commission notifies the Secretaries that that State 
        has

[[Page 111 STAT. 2674]]

        taken appropriate remedial action with respect to those matters 
        that were the case of the moratorium being declared.
            ``(10) The term `Plan' means a plan for managing Atlantic 
        striped bass, or an amendment to such plan, that is prepared and 
        adopted by the Commission.
            ``(11) The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of 
        Commerce or a designee of the Secretary of Commerce.
            ``(12) The term `Secretaries' means the Secretary of 
        Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior or their designees.

``SEC. 4. MONITORING OF IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT BY COASTAL 
            STATES.

    ``(a) Determination.--During December of each fiscal year, and at 
any other time it deems necessary the Commission shall determine--
            ``(1) whether each coastal State has adopted all regulatory 
        measures necessary to fully implement the Plan in its coastal 
        waters; and
            ``(2) whether the enforcement of the Plan by each coastal 
        State is satisfactory.

    ``(b) Satisfactory State Enforcement.--For purposes of subsection 
(a)(2), enforcement by a coastal State shall not be considered 
satisfactory by the Commission if, in its view, the enforcement is being 
carried out in such a manner that the implementation of the Plan within 
the coastal waters of the State is being, or will likely be, 
substantially and adversely affected.
    ``(c) Notification of Secretaries.--The Commission shall immediately 
notify the Secretaries of each negative determination made by it under 
subsection (a).

``SEC. 5. MORATORIUM.

    ``(a) Secretarial Action After Notification.--Upon receiving notice 
from the Commission under section 4(c) of a negative determination 
regarding a coastal State, the Secretaries shall determine jointly, 
within 30 days, whether that coastal State is in compliance with the 
Plan and, if the State is not in compliance, the Secretaries shall 
declare jointly a moratorium on fishing for Atlantic striped bass within 
the coastal waters of that coastal State. In making such a 
determination, the Secretaries shall carefully consider and review the 
comments of the Commission and that coastal State in question.
    ``(b) Prohibited Acts During Moratorium.--During a 
moratorium period, it is unlawful for any person--
            ``(1) to engage in fishing within the moratorium area;
            ``(2) to land, or attempt to land, Atlantic striped bass 
        that are caught, taken, or harvested in violation of paragraph 
        (1);
            ``(3) to land lawfully harvested Atlantic striped bass 
        within the boundaries of a coastal State when a moratorium 
        declared under subsection (a) applies to that State; or
            ``(4) to fail to return to the water Atlantic striped bass 
        to which the moratorium applies that are caught incidental to 
        harvesting that occurs in the course of commercial or 
        recreational fish catching activities, regardless of the 
        physical condition of the striped bass when caught.

    ``(c) Civil Penalties.--
            ``(1) Civil penalty.--Any person who commits any act that is 
        unlawful under subsection (b) shall be liable to the

[[Page 111 STAT. 2675]]

        United States for a civil penalty as provided by section 308 of 
        the Magnuson Act (16 U.S.C. 1858).
            ``(2) Civil forfeitures.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Any vessel (including its gear, 
                equipment, appurtenances, stores, and cargo) used, and 
                any fish (or the fair market value thereof ) taken or 
                retained, in any manner, in connection with, or as the 
                result of, the commission of any act that is unlawful 
                under subsection (b) shall be subject to forfeiture to 
                the United States as provided in section 310 of the 
                Magnuson Act (16 U.S.C. 1860).
                    ``(B) Disposal of fish.--Any fish seized pursuant to 
                this Act may be disposed of pursuant to the order of a 
                court of competent jurisdiction, or, if perishable, in a 

                manner prescribed in regulations.

    ``(d) Enforcement.--A person authorized by the Secretaries or the 
Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating may 
take any action to enforce a moratorium declared under subsection (a) 
that an officer authorized by the Secretary under section 311(b) of the 
Magnuson Act (16 U.S.C. 1861(b)) may take to enforce that Act (16 U.S.C. 
1801 et seq.). The Secretaries may, by agreement, on a reimbursable 
basis or otherwise, utilize the personnel, services, equipment 
(including aircraft and vessels), and facilities of any other Federal 
department or agency and of any agency of a State in carrying out that 
enforcement.
    ``(e) Regulations.--The Secretaries may issue regulations to 
implement this section.

``SEC. 6. CONTINUING STUDIES OF STRIPED BASS POPULATIONS.

    ``(a) In General.--For the purposes of carrying out this Act, the 
Secretaries shall conduct continuing, comprehensive studies of Atlantic 
striped bass stocks. These studies shall include, but shall not be 
limited to, the following:
            ``(1) Annual stock assessments, using fishery-dependent and 
        fishery-independent data, for the purposes of extending the 
        long-term population record generated by the annual striped bass 
        study conducted by the Secretaries before 1994 and understanding 
        the population dynamics of Atlantic striped bass.
            ``(2) Investigations of the causes of fluctuations in 
        Atlantic striped bass populations.
            ``(3) Investigations of the effects of water quality, land 
        use, and other environmental factors on the recruitment, 
        spawning potential, mortality, and abundance of Atlantic striped 
        bass populations, including the Delaware River 
        population.
            ``(4) Investigations of--
                    ``(A) the interactions between Atlantic striped bass 
                and other fish, including bluefish, menhaden, mackerel, 
                and other forage fish or possible competitors, stock 
                assessments of these species, to the extent appropriate; 
                and
                    ``(B) the effects of interspecies predation and 
                competition on the recruitment, spawning potential 
                mortality, and abundance of Atlantic striped bass.

    ``(b) Socio-Economic Study.--The Secretaries, in consultation with 
with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, shall conduct a 
study of the socio-economic benefits of the Atlantic striped bass 
resource. <<NOTE: Reports.>>  The Secretaries shall issue a report to 
the Congress

[[Page 111 STAT. 2676]]

concerning the findings of this study no later than September 30, 1998.
    ``(c) Reports.--The Secretaries shall make biennial reports to the 
Congress and to the Commission concerning the progress and findings of 
studies conducted under subsection (a) and shall make those reports 
public. Such reports shall, to the extent appropriate, contain 
recommendations of actions which could be taken to encourage the 
sustainable management of Atlantic striped bass.

``SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS; COOPERATIVE 
            AGREEMENTS.

    ``(a) Authorization.--For each of fiscal years 1998, 1999, and 2000, 
there are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act--
            ``(1) $800,000 to the Secretary of Commerce; and
            ``(2) $250,000 to the Secretary of the Interior.

    ``(b) Cooperative Agreements.--The Secretaries may enter into 
cooperative agreements with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries 
Commission or with States, for the purpose of using amounts appropriated 
pursuant to this section to provide financial assistance for carrying 
out the purposes of this Act.

``SEC. 8. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN PREPARATION OF MANAGEMENT PLANS AND 
            AMENDMENTS.

    ``(a) Standards and Procedures.--In order to ensure the opportunity 
for public participation in the preparation of management plans and 
amendments to management plans for Atlantic striped bass, the Commission 
shall prepare such plans and amendments in accordance with the standards 
and procedures established under section 805(a)(2) of the Atlantic 
Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act.
    ``(b) Application.--Subsection (a) shall apply to management plans 
and amendments adopted by the Commission after the 6-month period 
beginning on the date of enactment of the Atlantic Striped Bass 
Conservation Act Amendments of 1997.

``SEC. 9. PROTECTION OF STRIPED BASS IN THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE.

    ``(a) Regulation of Fishing in Exclusive Economic Zone.--The 
Secretary shall promulgate regulations governing fishing for Atlantic 
striped bass in the exclusive economic zone that the 
Secretary determines--
            ``(1) are consistent with the national standards set forth 
        in section 301 of the Magnuson Act (16 U.S.C. 1851);
            ``(2) are compatible with the Plan and each Federal 
        moratorium in effect on fishing for Atlantic striped bass within 
        the coastal waters of a coastal State;
            ``(3) ensure the effectiveness of State regulations on 
        fishing for Atlantic striped bass within the coastal waters of a 
        coastal State; and
            ``(4) are sufficient to assure the long-term conservation of 
        Atlantic striped bass populations.

    ``(b) Consultation; Periodic Review of Regulations.--In preparing 
regulations under subsection (a), the Secretary shall consult with the 
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the appropriate Regional 
Fishery Management Councils, and each affected Federal, State, and local 
government entity. The Secretary shall periodically review regulations 
promulgated under subsection

[[Page 111 STAT. 2677]]

(a), and if necessary to ensure their continued consistency with the 
requirements of subsection (a), shall amend those regulations.
    ``(c) Applicability of Magnuson Act Provisions.--The provisions of 
sections 307, 308, 309, 310, and 311 of the Magnuson Act (16 U.S.C. 
1857, 1858, 1859, 1860, and 1861) regarding prohibited acts, civil 
penalties, criminal offenses, civil forfeitures, and enforcement shall 
apply with respect to regulations and any plan issued under subsection 
(a) of this section as if such regulations or plan were issued under the 
Magnuson Act.''.

SEC. 3. REPEALS.

    (a) Anadromous Fish Conservation Act.--Section 7 of the Anadromous 
Fish Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 757g) is repealed.
    (b) Albemarle Sound-Roanoke River Basin.--Section 5 of the Act 
entitled ``An Act to authorize appropriations to carry out the Atlantic 
Striped Bass Conservation Act for fiscal years 1989 through 1991, and 
for other purposes'', approved November 3, 1988 (16 U.S.C. 1851 note; 
102 Stat. 2984), relating to studies of the Albermarle Sound-Roanoke 
River Basin striped bass stock, is repealed.
    (c) Regulation of Fishing in Exclusive Economic Zone.--Section 6 of 
the Act entitled ``An Act to authorize appropriations to carry out the 
Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act for fiscal years 1989 through 
1991, and for other purposes'', approved November 3, 1988 (16 U.S.C. 
1851 note; 102 Stat. 2986) is repealed.

    Approved December 16, 1997.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 1658:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 105-169 (Comm. on Resources).
SENATE REPORTS: Nos. 105-148 (Comm. on Commerce, Science and 
Transportation) and 105-149 (Comm. on Environment and Public Works).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 143 (1997):
            July 8, considered and passed House.
            Nov. 10, considered and passed Senate, amended.
            Nov. 13, House concurred in Senate amendements.

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