Text: H.R.1658 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)
Public Law No: 105-146 (12/16/1997)
[105th Congress Public Law 146]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
ATLANTIC STRIPED BASS CONSERVATION ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1997
[[Page 111 STAT. 2672]]
Public Law 105-146
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
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
``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
``(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
``(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
``(3) The term `coastal waters' means--
``(A) for each coastal State referred to in
``(i) all waters, whether salt or fresh, of
the coastal State shoreward of the baseline from
territorial sea of the United States is measured;
``(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
``(6) The term `exclusive economic zone' has the meaning
given such term in section 3(6) of the Magnuson Act (16 U.S.C.
``(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
[[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
``(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
``(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
``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
``(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
``(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
``(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;
``(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
[[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
``(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
``(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
``(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
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.