Text: H.R.2939 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (06/28/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2939


To prohibit the commercial harvesting of Atlantic blackfish in the coastal waters and the exclusive economic zone, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 28, 2007

Mr. Pallone introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources


A BILL

To prohibit the commercial harvesting of Atlantic blackfish in the coastal waters and the exclusive economic zone, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Atlantic Blackfish Conservation Act”.

SEC. 2. Prohibition on commercial harvesting of Atlantic blackfish.

(a) Prohibition.—It is unlawful to engage in, or to attempt to engage in—

(1) the commercial harvesting of Atlantic blackfish, popularly known as tautog, in the coastal waters or in the exclusive economic zone established by Proclamation Numbered 5030, dated March 10, 1983; or

(2) the sale of Atlantic blackfish taken in violation of paragraph (1) or any part thereof.

(b) Penalties.—

(1) CIVIL PENALTY.—Any person who is found by the Secretary of Commerce after notice and an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with section 554 of title 5, United States Code, to have committed an act that is unlawful under subsection (a), is liable to the United States for a civil penalty. The amount of the civil penalty may not exceed $1,000 for each violation. Each day of continuing violation constitutes a separate offense. The amount of the civil penalty shall be assessed by the Secretary of Commerce by written notice. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Secretary of Commerce shall take into account the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited act committed and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior violations, ability to pay, and such other matters as justice may require.

(2) REVIEW; FAILURE TO PAY, COMPROMISE, AND SUBPOENAS.—Subsections (b) through (e) of section 308 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1858(b)–(e); relating to review of civil penalties; acting upon failure to pay assessment, compromise, and subpoenas) shall apply to penalties assessed under paragraph (1) to the same extent and in the same manner as if those penalties were assessed under subsection (a) of such section 308.

(c) Civil forfeitures.—

(1) 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 the result of, the commission of any act that is unlawful under subsection (a), is subject to forfeiture to the United States. All or part of the vessel may, and all such fish (or the fair market value thereof) shall, be forfeited to the United States under a civil proceeding described in paragraph (2). The district courts of the United States have jurisdiction over proceedings under this subsection.

(2) JUDGMENT, PROCEDURE, AND REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTIONS.—Subsections (c) through (e) of section 310 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1860(c)–(e); relating to judgment, procedure, and rebuttable presumptions) shall apply with respect to proceedings for forfeiture commenced under this subsection to the same extent and in the same manner as if the proceeding were commenced under subsection (a) of such section 310.

SEC. 3. Consequential effects on existing law.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission shall promptly take action to amend the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for Atlantic blackfish, including addenda thereto as appropriate, to take into account the prohibition established under section 2.

SEC. 4. Definitions.

As used in this Act:

(1) COASTAL STATE.—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.

(2) COASTAL WATERS.—The term “coastal waters” means—

(A) for each coastal State referred to in paragraph (1)(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.


Share This