Summary: H.R.2673 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2673. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (05/26/2005)

Ocean Habitat Protection Act - Amends the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to prohibit the use of bottom trawls with rollers, bobbins, tires, rockhoppers, or any other device affixed to the footrope and in excess of eight inches in diameter, for fishing that is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including fishing by a U.S. vessel beyond the equivalent of the exclusive economic zone of all countries.

Permits the Secretary of Commerce or his designee to exempt from this prohibition fishing in the exclusive economic zone if the Council having jurisdiction over the area submits to the Secretary: (1) substantial evidence that the area is composed predominately of sand and mud bottom and that the prohibited devices are necessary to prevent a significant increase from rates of bycatch of non-target managed species, or to provide other significant benefits; (2) the geographic boundaries of the area; and (3) a credible and effective vessel monitoring plan of bottom trawl fishing in the area that is adopted by the Secretary.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide to the owner of a qualified fishing vessel: (1) the depreciated cost of prohibited fishing devices that are part of the fishing gear of a vessel on the date of the enactment of this Act, and are disposed of in an approved manner; (2) the cost of converting trawl nets to compliance; and (3) payment for cessation of trawling.

Requires the Secretary to provide economic assistance to the owners and crew members of any qualified fishing vessel that ceases fishing in bottom trawl fisheries and does not continue fishing in other fisheries.

Requires the Secretary to undertake a program to collect, and make available to Regional Fishery Management Councils, information and maps on diverse bottom habitats of the exclusive U.S. economic zone.