Summary: H.R.6452 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 114-327 (12/16/2016)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Ensuring Access to Pacific Fisheries Act

TITLE I--NORTH PACIFIC FISHERIES

Subtitle A--North Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation

(Sec. 102) This bill authorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to promulgate regulations to implement U.S. participation in the North Pacific Fisheries Convention. The convention is designed to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources and marine ecosystems in the North Pacific Ocean.

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

Additionally, a permanent advisory committee is established, which shall be comprised of 11 members. Advisory committee members shall represent groups concerned with fishery resources covered by the North Pacific Fisheries Convention.

(Sec. 103) The Department of State has the authority to receive and transmit various communications concerning the North Pacific commission, and can approve or disapprove bylaws and rules adopted by the 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.

Subtitle B--Miscellaneous

(Sec. 121) The State Department may pay the necessary travel expenses of the advisory panel and commission. NOAA may reimburse the State Department for such expenses.

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

(Sec. 202) The bill authorizes NOAA to promulgate regulations to implement U.S. participation in the South Pacific Fisheries Convention. The convention is designed to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources and marine ecosystems in the South Pacific Ocean.

The United States must be represented by no more than three commissioners on the Commission of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation.

Additionally, a permanent advisory committee is established, which shall be comprised of seven members. Advisory committee members shall represent groups concerned with fishery resources covered by the South Pacific Fisheries Convention.

(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) The 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 should 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 should 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 Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Act to direct NOAA to submit its 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. 502) The bill reauthorizes and amends the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Convention Act of 1995, which provides for: (1) the implementation of the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, done in Ottawa on October 24, 1978 (1978 Convention); and (2) the management and conservation of fish in the convention area (specified waters in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean). The Convention on Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, which was adopted in Lisbon on September 28, 2007, is implemented as well. The 2007 Convention amends the 1978 Convention.

(Sec. 508) The bill applies to all fish, mollusks, and crustaceans within the convention area, excluding: (1) sedentary species over which coastal states may exercise sovereign rights consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (1982 Convention), and (2) anadromous and catadromous stocks and highly migratory species managed under other international treaties and listed in the 1982 Convention.

The bill also applies to vessels engaged in fishing activities, including fish harvesting vessels, fish processing vessels, vessels engaged in transshipment of fishery resources, and vessels engaged in experimental or exploratory fishing activities.

(Sec. 510) The bill repeals provisions requiring the NOAA to establish and report on a new quota allocation practice.

TITLE VI--MISCELLANEOUS

(Sec. 601) The bill also eliminates the requirement that NOAA annually provide Congress with a report of findings developed under NOAA's Oceans and Human Health Initiative which is a series of programs designed to enhance understanding between the oceans and human health.