Summary: H.R.6778 — 93rd Congress (1973-1974)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.6778. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (04/10/1973)

North Atlantic Fishing Operations Act - Authorizes the acceptance and enforcement of the International Convention on Conduct of Fishing Operations in the North Atlantic, signed on June 1, 1967, in London. Directs the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating, in cooperation with the Secretary of Commerce, to act through the U.S. Coast Guard to appoint Fisheries Conduct Officers to carry out the provisions of the Convention.

Authorizes Fisheries Conduct Officers to investigate and report on apparent or reported violations, to seek information in cases of damage to ships or gear, to draw attention of vessels of contracting parties to the provisions of the convention, and to cooperate with authorized officers of other contracting parties. Authorizes such officers to board a vessel involved in damage to another vessel and its gear, and to offer to assist parties involved to reach a settlement, enforceable in any court of competent jurisdiction.

Provides a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for the first offense, and not more than $5,000 for the second offense for any person or vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who violates provisions of the Convention. Provides a maximum $5,000 fine or imprisonment for not more than 3 years or both for any person on a U.S. vessel within the Convention area who fails to comply or prevents others from complying with requirements imposed by Fisheries Conduct Officers. Imposes a maximum $25,000 fine and/or 3 years imprisonment for subsequent offenses committed within five years of any previous offense. Provides for the forfeiture of fishing gear involved in a subsequent violation in a separate civil action.

Provides for arrest and search without warrant, for execution of warrant or process, for issuance of warrants, and for seizure of fishing gear involved and disposition of property so seized.

States that with property subject to in rem process the marshal or other officer may stay execution or discharge property if process has been already levied where the claimant puts up a bond or stipulation for double the value of the property with sufficient surety to be approved by a judge of the district court with jurisdiction of the offense.

Provides that in a proceeding where a person is in violation of the provisions of the Convention by causing personal injury or damage to property, and where there remains uncompensated damage which resulted from that violation the value of which does not substantially exceed $2,500, the court may give an additional judgment in an amount not to exceed $2,500 as compensation to be paid to the injured party.

Provides for, in the absence of agreement among Contracting Parties concerning the resolution of disputes arising between a national of another Contracting Party and a person or persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States as to damaged gear or damage to vessels resulting from entanglement of gear, for the appointment of a reveiw board to examine the facts surrounding referred dusputes.

States that the reveiw board shall consist of at least three members, a majority of whom must agree on any decision rendered. Specifies that the rules of decision for the review board will be the terms of the Convention and, to the extent not inconsistent therewith, the admiralty law of the United States and the international law of the sea. Provides that the decision of the review board will have the force and effect of a binding agreement between the parties which shall be enforceable in any court of competent jurisdiction.