Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/12/2016)

(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on September 6, 2016. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act

TITLE I--NORTH PACIFIC FISHERIES CONVENTION IMPLEMENTATION

This bill authorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to promulgate regulations to implement U.S. participation in the North Pacific Fisheries Convention and South Pacific Fisheries Convention. These conventions are designed to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources and marine ecosystems in the North Pacific and South Pacific Ocean of the United States.

(Sec. 102) The United States must be represented by five commissioners on the North Pacific Fisheries Commission.

(Sec. 103) The Department of State has the authority to receive and transmit various communications concerning the North Pacific commission.

(Sec. 104) The bill details NOAA's authority in implementing this bill and measures adopted by the commission.

(Sec. 105) NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard are required to administer and enforce this bill.

(Sec. 106) This bill lists 15 fishing and shipping activities that are prohibited in the North Pacific Ocean.

(Sec. 107) NOAA may cooperate with public and private institutions in the United States and abroad to carry out this bill. Federal agencies are authorized to cooperate with NOAA in conducting research and providing facilities and personnel to assist the commission.

(Sec. 108) The State Department must ensure that American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands participate with the commission in the same manner as territories of other nations.

(Sec. 109) Operators of commercial fishing vessels that do not carry vessel monitoring systems capable of communicating with U.S. enforcement authorities must ensure that all fishing gear is stowed below deck and not readily available for fishing.

TITLE II--IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION ON THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF HIGH SEAS FISHERY RESOURCES IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN

(Sec. 202) The United States must be represented by no more than three commissioners on the Commission of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization.

(Sec. 203) The State Department has the authority to receive and transmit various communications concerning the South Pacific commission, and can approve or disapprove bylaws and rules adopted by the commission.

(Sec. 204) This bill details NOAA's authority in implementing this bill and measures adopted by the commission.

(Sec. 205) NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard are required to administer and enforce this bill.

(Sec. 206) This bill lists 14 fishing and shipping activities that are prohibited in the South Pacific Ocean.

(Sec. 207) NOAA may cooperate with public and private institutions in the United States and abroad to carry out this bill. Federal agencies are authorized to cooperate with NOAA in conducting research and providing facilities and personnel to assist the commission.

(Sec. 208) The State Department must ensure that American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands participate with the commission in the same manner as territories of other nations.

(Sec. 209) Operators of commercial fishing vessels that do not carry vessel monitoring systems capable of communicating with U.S. enforcement authorities must ensure that all fishing gear is stowed below deck and not readily available for fishing.

TITLE III--WESTERN AND CENTRAL PACIFIC FISHERIES COMMISSION

(Sec. 301) The bill also amends the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act to include commercial fishing as practical experience the President must consider when selecting a commissioner for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. The advisory committee is required to submit agenda recommendations at least 30 days prior to the annual Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting. The recommendations must be considered in formulating the U.S. position for meetings and negotiations. In addition, NOAA must conduct negotiations to secure agreements with other nations to ensure access and equal treatment of United States fishing boats in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean while taking conservation and management measures into consideration.

TITLE IV--ILLEGAL, UNREGULATED, AND UNREPORTED FISHING

(Sec. 401) The bill amends the High Seas Drifnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act to direct NOAA to submit a biennial report on international compliance with fishery agreements to Congress by June 1 of the submission year.

TITLE V--NORTHWEST ATLANTIC FISHERIES CONVENTION AMENDMENTS ACT

Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Convention Amendments Act

(Sec. 509) The bill amends the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Convention Act of 1995 to repeal the provisions requiring NOAA to establish and report a new fishing quota allocation practice in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.