Text: H.R.3099 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/12/2013)


113th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 3099


To provide for the development of a fishery management plan for the Gulf of Mexico red snapper, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 12, 2013

Mr. Miller of Florida (for himself, Mr. Richmond, Mr. Boustany, Mr. Duncan of South Carolina, Mr. Farenthold, Mr. Latta, Mr. Olson, Mr. Palazzo, Mr. Rogers of Alabama, Mr. Scalise, Mr. Austin Scott of Georgia, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Mr. Walz, Mr. Westmoreland, and Mr. Wittman) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources


A BILL

To provide for the development of a fishery management plan for the Gulf of Mexico red snapper, 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 “Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act of 2013”.

SEC. 2. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) COASTAL WATERS.—The term “coastal waters” means all waters of the Gulf of Mexico—

(A) shoreward of the baseline from which the territorial sea of the United States is measured; and

(B) seaward from the baseline described in subparagraph (A) to the inner boundary of the exclusive economic zone.

(2) COMMISSION.—The term “Commission” means the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.

(3) EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE.—The term “exclusive economic zone” has the meaning given to such term in section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1802).

(4) FEDERAL FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN.—The term “Federal fishery management plan” means the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council pursuant to section 622.1 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations.

(5) FISHERY MANAGEMENT MEASURE.—The term “fishery management measure” means any policy, process, or tool used by a Gulf coastal State to implement the fishery management plan.

(6) FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN.—The term “fishery management plan” means a plan created by the Commission for the sustainability of Gulf of Mexico red snapper and the economic and community benefits of each of the Gulf coastal States.

(7) GULF COASTAL STATE.—The term “Gulf coastal State” means any of—

(A) Alabama;

(B) Florida;

(C) Louisiana;

(D) Mississippi; or

(E) Texas.

(8) GULF OF MEXICO RED SNAPPER.—The term “Gulf of Mexico red snapper” means members of stocks or populations of the species Lutjanis campechanus, which ordinarily are found shoreward of coastal waters.

(9) OVERFISHING.—The term “overfishing” has the meaning given to such term in section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1802).

(10) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Commerce.

SEC. 3. Data collection strategy for Gulf of Mexico red snapper.

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission, with the support of the Secretary, shall prepare and adopt by vote a strategy for the collection of data on the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery that shall include—

(1) measures to enhance interstate collaboration on the collection of data regarding the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery; and

(2) a plan to undertake annual stock assessments of Gulf of Mexico red snapper.

SEC. 4. Adopting a fishery management plan.

(a) In general.—Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall prepare and adopt by vote a fishery management plan and submit the plan to the Secretary.

(b) Requirements.—In adopting a fishery management plan under subsection (a), the Commission shall ensure—

(1) adequate opportunity for public participation prior to a vote under subsection (a), including—

(A) at least 1 public hearing held in each Gulf coastal State; and

(B) procedures for submitting written comments on the fishery management plan to the Commission and for making such comments and responses of the Commission available to the public; and

(2) that such plan contains standards and procedures for the long-term sustainability of Gulf of Mexico red snapper based on the available science.

(c) Limitations on quotas.—The fishery management plan shall address the quotas of Gulf of Mexico red snapper on the date of the enactment of this Act as follows:

(1) Based on stock assessments, the fishery management plan may increase the quota apportioned to commercial fishing in a fair and equitable manner.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the fishery management plan shall not reduce such quota until the date that is 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(3) If there is a reduction in the stock of Gulf of Mexico red snapper prior to the date specified in paragraph (2), the fishery management plan shall reduce quotas apportioned to all fishing sectors in a fair and equitable manner that ensures a sustainable harvest of Gulf of Mexico red snapper.

(d) Gulf coastal State requirements.—The fishery management plan shall describe standards of compliance for Gulf coastal States to use in developing fishery management measures.

SEC. 5. Review and certification by Secretary.

(a) Plan review.—The Secretary shall review the fishery management plan submitted pursuant to section 4 to determine if the plan—

(1) is compatible, to the extent practicable, with section 301 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1851); and

(2) will ensure the long-term sustainability of Gulf of Mexico red snapper populations.

(b) Plan certification.—The Secretary shall determine whether to certify the fishery management plan based on the review conducted under subsection (a).

(c) Failure To certify.—If the Secretary does not certify the fishery management plan under subsection (b), the Secretary shall submit a written explanation to the Commission explaining why the plan was not certified. The Commission may submit a new fishery management plan to the Secretary pursuant to section 4.

(d) Time for Secretary response.—If the Secretary fails to act pursuant to subsection (b) within 120 days of receipt of the fishery management plan, the plan shall be treated as certified by the Secretary.

SEC. 6. State implementation of the fishery management plan.

(a) Management measures deadline.—The Commission shall establish a deadline for each Gulf coastal State to submit fishery management measures to the Commission.

(b) Review and approval.—Within 60 days of receipt of the fishery management measures, the Commission shall review and approve such measures that ensure each Gulf coastal State is in compliance with the objectives of the fishery management plan.

(c) Revocation of Federal management.—The Commission shall certify to the Secretary that the Commission has approved the fishery management measures submitted under subsection (a) for all Gulf coastal States. Upon receipt of the certification, the Secretary shall—

(1) publish a notice in the Federal Register revoking those regulations and portions of the Federal fishery management plan that are in conflict with the fishery management plan submitted under section 4, including the deletion of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper from the Federal fishery management plan; and

(2) transfer management of Gulf of Mexico red snapper to the Gulf coastal States.

(d) Implementation.—Upon the transfer of management described in subsection (c)(2), each Gulf coastal State shall implement the measures approved under subsection (b).

SEC. 7. Commission oversight responsibilities.

(a) Implementation and enforcement of fishery management measures.—In December of the year following the transfer of management described in section 6(c)(2), and at any other time the Commission considers appropriate after that December, the Commission shall determine if—

(1) each Gulf coastal State has fully adopted and implemented fishery management measures;

(2) such measures continue to be in compliance with the fishery management plan; and

(3) the enforcement of such measures by each Gulf coastal State is satisfactory to maintain the long-term sustainability and abundance of Gulf of Mexico red snapper.

(b) Certification of overfishing and rebuilding plans.—If the Gulf of Mexico red snapper in a Gulf coastal State is experiencing overfishing or is subject to a rebuilding plan, that Gulf coastal State shall submit a certification to the Commission showing that such State—

(1) has implemented the necessary measures to end overfishing or rebuild the fishery; and

(2) in consultation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has implemented a program to provide for data collection adequate to monitor the harvest of Gulf of Mexico red snapper by such Gulf coastal State.

SEC. 8. Opportunity to remedy.

(a) In general.—If the Commission finds that a Gulf coastal State is noncompliant under section 7, the Commission shall offer assistance to that Gulf coastal State to remedy the finding of noncompliance.

(b) Notification to Secretary for continued noncompliance.—If, after such time as determined by the Commission, the Gulf coastal State receiving assistance described in subsection (a) remains noncompliant, the Commission shall vote on whether to notify the Secretary.

SEC. 9. Closure of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery.

(a) Conditions for closure.—Not later than 60 days after the receipt of a notice under section 8(b), the Secretary may declare a closure of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery within the Federal waters adjacent to the waters of the Gulf coastal State that is the subject of such notice.

(b) Considerations.—Prior to making a declaration under subsection (a) the Secretary shall consider the comments of such Gulf coastal State and the Commission.

(c) Actions prohibited during closure.—During a closure of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery under subsection (a), it is unlawful for any person—

(1) to engage in fishing for Gulf of Mexico red snapper within the Federal waters adjacent to the waters of the Gulf coastal State covered by the closure;

(2) to land, or attempt to land, the Gulf of Mexico red snapper to which the closure applies; or

(3) to fail to return to the water any Gulf of Mexico red snapper to which the closure applies that are caught incidental to commercial harvest or in other recreational fisheries.

SEC. 10. Economic analysis and report.

(a) Economic analysis of Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery.—The Secretary, in consultation with the Gulf coastal States and the Commission, shall conduct a study and analysis of the economic impacts for the local, regional, and national economy of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery. The study shall include an analysis of—

(1) the beneficial economic impacts on industries directly related to the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery, including boat sales, marina activity, boat construction and repair, fishing gear and tackle sales, and other closely related industries; and

(2) the downstream economic impacts of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery on the economies of the Gulf coastal States, including hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, related tourism, and other peripheral businesses and industries.

(b) Biennial reports.—Beginning 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary shall submit a report on the findings of the study conducted under subsection (a) to Congress, the Governor of each of the Gulf coastal States, and the Commission. Each report shall be made available to the public and shall include recommendations for additional actions to be taken to encourage the sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery.