Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 569
106th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     106-302
_______________________________________________________________________



                 FISHERMEN'S PROTECTIVE ACT AMENDMENTS

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                               H.R. 1651





                                     

                  May 23, 2000.--Ordered to be printed

                               __________

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
79-010                     WASHINGTON : 2000

       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                       one hundred sixth congress
                             second session

                     JOHN McCAIN, Arizona, Chairman
TED STEVENS, Alaska                  ERNEST F. HOLLINGS, South Carolina
CONRAD BURNS, Montana                DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii
SLADE GORTON, Washington             JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West 
TRENT LOTT, Mississippi                  Virginia
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas          JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts
OLYMPIA SNOWE, Maine                 JOHN B. BREAUX, Louisiana
JOHN ASHCROFT, Missouri              RICHARD H. BRYAN, Nevada
BILL FRIST, Tennessee                BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota
SPENCER ABRAHAM, Michigan            RON WYDEN, Oregon
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas                MAX CLELAND, Georgia
                       Mark Buse, Staff Director
                  Martha P. Allbright, General Counsel
               Kevin D. Kayes, Democratic Staff Director
                  Moses Boyd, Democratic Chief Counsel
                Gregg Elias, Democratic General Counsel
                                                       Calendar No. 569
106th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     106-302

======================================================================



 
                 FISHERMEN'S PROTECTIVE ACT AMENDMENTS

                                _______
                                

                  May 23, 2000.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

       Mr. McCain, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1651]

  The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the act (H.R. 1651), ``An act to amend the 
Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967 to extend the period during 
which reimbursement may be provided to owners of United States 
fishing vessels for costs incurred when such a vessel is seized 
and detained by a foreign country, and for other purposes,'' 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with 
amendment and recommends that the act as amended do pass.

                           Purpose of the Act

  H.R. 1651, as amended, the Fishermen's Protective Act 
Amendments of 1999 has three titles. Title I provides an 
extension of current law from fiscal year 2000 to fiscal year 
2003 so that reimbursement may be provided to owners of U.S. 
fishing vessels illegally detained or seized by foreign 
countries. Title II establishes a panel to advise the 
Secretaries of State and Interior on Yukon River Salmon 
management issues in Alaska and authorizes $3 million for fish 
stock restoration. Title III authorizes the Secretary of 
Commerce to acquire up to six new fishery research vessels and 
authorizes appropriations of $60 million in each of fiscal 
years 2002 and 2003 for the acquisition of the first two 
fishery research vessels.

                          Background and Needs

                TITLE I--THE FISHERMEN'S PROTECTIVE ACT

  The Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967 (FPA) was originally 
enacted in response to illegal seizures and detainments of U.S. 
fishing vessels by the governments of a number of South 
American countries. At the time, the United States claimed only 
a 12-mile jurisdictional limit over fisheries resources, while 
seven South American countries claimed a 200-mile national 
jurisdiction. Since the United States did not recognize the 
jurisdiction of other countries beyond 12 miles, some U.S. 
vessels fished in areas of the Pacific Ocean they considered to 
be high seas. However, certain South American countries 
believed the U.S. vessels were encroaching upon sovereign 
waters. In 1967, Ecuador seized nine U.S. tuna vessels and Peru 
seized two U.S. vessels.
  The FPA established a program under which the Secretary of 
State may reimburse fishermen for the fines and direct costs 
incurred from the illegal seizure and detention of a vessel by 
a foreign government. These payments are made out of the 
Fishermen's Protective Fund (Protective Fund), established 
under section 9 of the FPA. In addition, section 7 established 
the Fishermen's Guaranty Fund (Guaranty Fund). Vessel owners, 
through fee agreements with the federal government, pay fees 
into the Guaranty Fund, which serves as a type of insurance to 
recover the indirect costs resulting from illegal seizure and 
detention of commercial fishing vessels. This program was 
designed to cover lost income and the value of the fish caught 
and seized. The fees charged to fishing vessel owners under the 
Guaranty Fund more than doubled in 1985, when the Solomon 
Islands seized a tuna fishing vessel, the Jeanette Diane, and 
Brazil seized and detained a number of U.S. shrimp vessels, 
resulting in multimillion dollar payments from the Fund.
  The Fisheries Act of 1995 (P.L. 104-43) amended the FPA to 
authorize the Secretary of State to make reimbursements from 
the Protective Fund to U.S. commercial fishing vessels that 
were charged by the Canadian government for use of the Inside 
Passage. The Inside Passage is a waterway located between 
Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia. It is the 
traditional route U.S. fishermen travel between the contiguous 
United States and the Alaskan salmon fishing grounds to avoid 
dangerous conditions in the open ocean outside of the Passage. 
In June 1994 after negotiations failed between the United 
States and Canada on the Pacific Salmon Treaty, Canada began to 
impose a $1,100 transit fee on U.S. vessels using the Inside 
Passage. Canadian officials hoped the fee would induce the 
United States to return to the negotiations. The U.S. 
Administration regards collection of this fee as a violation of 
international law. Nevertheless, Canada has refused to 
reimburse the U.S. government for fees Canada has collected 
from U.S. vessels for Inside Passage transit.
  The Protective Fund has an authorized appropriation of $3 
million. In 1996 and 1997, 261 claims were filed against the 
Protective Fund and payments totaled approximately $290,000. 
Between 1989 and 1996, three reimbursements were made from the 
Protective Fund out of seven claims and no claims were made in 
1998. Only one reimbursement from the Guaranty Fund has been 
made since 1987, totaling $186,000 for indirect costs resulting 
from the seizure of four vessels by the Costa Rican government. 
H.R. 1651, as amended, extends the current authorization in 
fiscal year 2000 to fiscal year 2003.

                      TITLE II--YUKON RIVER SALMON

  The Yukon River is a major North American river, draining an 
area of approximately 328,000 square miles over its 1,980 mile 
length. Its headwaters are in British Columbia and the Yukon 
Territory, Canada. The river travels about 700 miles through 
Canada before it crosses the Alaskan border. In Alaska, it 
moves in a general westward direction for over 1,200 miles 
across the state to empty into Norton Sound in the Bering Sea. 
The river basin is not heavily populated or developed.
  The Yukon River is an important habitat for Pacific salmon, 
an anadromous fish species that alternates its life cycles 
between fresh and salt water. Pacific salmon hatch and spend 
their early lives in freshwater streams, after one to three 
years migrate to the open ocean to mature, and then return back 
to the freshwater stream where they were originally hatched in 
order to spawn. Many of the Yukon River salmon travel the 
almost 2,000 mile length of the river to spawn in Canadian 
waters. The general lack of manmade barriers along the Yukon 
River, as compared to other more heavily engineered rivers, 
aids in the completion of their journey.
  Salmon have historically played an important role, both 
culturally and economically, in Alaska. The Alaskan salmon 
fishery is a mixture of commercial, recreational, and 
subsistence fishing. Both state and Federal agencies have 
control over management of more than 25 different commercial 
salmon fisheries. However, because of the transboundary nature 
of the salmon resource, management is also negotiated with 
Canada.
  U.S.-Canadian disputes over management and conservation of 
salmon stocks have occurred since the early 19th century. 
International agreements on salmon management were ratified in 
1929 and 1957, but both countries had a number of concerns that 
were not resolved by the pacts. In 1971, the countries began to 
negotiate a new agreement, ultimately resulting in the signing 
of the Pacific Salmon Treaty in 1985.
  The Pacific Salmon Treaty attempted to establish a framework 
under which the United States and Canada could bilaterally 
manage their shared salmon stock. After ten years of 
negotiations over the catch and long-term conservation of Yukon 
River salmon, the two countries reached an interim agreement in 
1995. The United States implemented this agreement through the 
Fisheries Act of 1995. Title VII of that law created the United 
States section of the Yukon River Salmon Panel and a U.S. 
Advisory Committee.
  The United States and Canada were each allotted six 
appointees to the panel. U.S. membership includes one person 
appointed by the Secretary of State, one appointed by the 
Governor of Alaska, and four other members that are nominated 
by the Governor of Alaska and selected by the Secretary of 
State. Additionally, the law allowed for the creation of an 
eight to twelve member Yukon RiverAdvisory Committee to provide 
information and recommendations to the Panel. The Fisheries Act of 1995 
also authorized $4 million a year, including up to $3 million a year 
for the Department of Commerce and Interior for survey, restoration, 
and enhancement activities that relate to Yukon River salmon.
  Negotiations continued with the 1995 interim agreement in 
place, during which the countries attempted to reach a 
permanent or long-term agreement. However, the interim 
agreement expired in March 1998 without another such agreement. 
H.R. 1651, as amended, codifies the Yukon River Salmon Panel, 
established under the 1995 interim agreement, to advise the 
Secretary of State on Yukon River Salmon management, advise the 
Secretary of Interior on enhancement and restoration of the 
salmon stocks, and perform other activities that relate to the 
conservation and management of Yukon River salmon stocks. The 
reported bill also maintains the Yukon River Advisory 
Committee. If a permanent or long-term agreement is reached, 
H.R. 1651, as amended, allows for the continuation of the Panel 
and Advisory Committee under the terms of the new agreement.
  H.R. 1651, as amended, authorizes $4 million a year for each 
of fiscal years 2000 through 2003. Up to $3 million of these 
funds can be used by the Departments of Commerce and Interior 
for survey, restoration, and enhancement projects related to 
Yukon River salmon. In addition, the reported act authorizes 
$600,000 for cooperative salmon research and management 
projects in the United States portion of the Yukon River 
drainage area that have been recommended by the Panel.

               TITLE III--FISHERY INFORMATION ACQUISITION

  Dependable research platforms are essential for conducting 
the fisheries stock assessment surveys necessary to monitor 
species abundance, recruitment, age composition, and their 
response to ecological change and fisheries pressure. 
Collection of such information is critical to the development 
of the regulatory regime governing commercial and recreational 
fishing. Without reliable information, the regulatory framework 
often lacks credibility.
  In 1996, Congress passed the Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA), 
the most substantial and comprehensive revision of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, the 
primary Federal law governing marine fisheries. To date, the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the 
federal fishery management councils are still attempting to 
implement the new requirements established by the SFA. Many of 
these new responsibilities and the resulting fishery management 
decisions depend on the survey data and other stock assessment 
information collected by NOAA's existing fishery research 
vessels (FRVs), some of which are nearing the end of their 
useful lives.
  In FY 2000, the Administration requested $51.6 million to 
acquire the first of four new fisheries research vessels. The 
new FRVs will be designed to collect survey and stock 
assessment information in an efficient and effective manner. In 
addition, these vessels will be used to meet continuing 
obligations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the 
Endangered Species Act. The first new FRV was substantially 
funded in FY 2000. However, in FY 2001, the Administration only 
requested $8.3 million to continue the construction of the 
first new FRV. The Committee was disappointed that funding for 
the construction of the second new FRV was not included in the 
FY 2001 request. The Committee notes, however, that the FY 2001 
request does propose funding for replacement of existing 
obsolete and deteriorating research vessels in the out years. 
One new FRV has been proposed in each of FY 2002, FY 2003, and 
FY 2004.
  The President's FY 2001 request also included $8 million to 
reactivate, convert, and upgrade the NOAA vessel Adventurous to 
support fisheries research activities. The Adventurous is a 
modern T-AGOS class vessel acquired from the Navy to be 
converted to meet marine mammal survey and high priority 
fisheries data collection requirements. NOAA plans to replace 
the Townsend Cromwell with the Adventurous. According to NOAA, 
the Townsend Cromwell is 35 years old and beyond its service 
life.
  The Committee is hopeful that in FY 2002 the Administration 
will resume its commitment to meeting the nation's urgent 
fisheries data and information collection needs by fully 
funding the second new FRV. Further delays in this acquisition 
project will only exacerbate management problems associated 
with the substantial data and information shortfall the 
Committee has identified in its regional hearings on the 
reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
  Perhaps the most compelling argument for vessel replacement 
needs is found in New England, which has experienced a crisis 
in the management of valuable cod and other groundfish stocks. 
As a result, the New England Fishery Management Council 
(Council) expends a considerable amount of time and energy on 
groundfish management, including consideration of stock biology 
as well as the ocean conditions that can influence differing 
rates of stock recovery. In fact, during the 1999 fishing 
season, the Council changed the fishing regulations five times 
in an attempt to appropriately manage and conserve the 
groundfish stocks. In the Council's view, these changes were 
necessary to meet SFA mandates. The Committee notes that this 
constantly changing regulatory climate is unfair to the small, 
family run businesses that support the affected fishing 
communities
  To make matters more difficult, the Albatross IV, a 38-year 
old fishery research vessel, is the Northeast region's primary 
tool for conducting surveys of the fishery resources upon which 
these fishing communities depend. While the Albatross IV 
continues to collect the survey data necessary for management 
decisions for all Northeast fisheries stocks, its operations 
are increasingly less reliable. According to the Commerce 
Department, the deterioration of the Albatross IV has created 
an urgent need for a replacement vessel in the Northeast. The 
Committee agrees and further notes that this vessel's 
effectiveness in continuing its critical data collection 
functions cannot be guaranteed without prohibitively expensive 
and major repairs. One of the principal requirements of a 
standardized survey is minimizing the variables associated with 
collection of data. For that reason, the Northeast bottom trawl 
survey program has been conducted for close to 40 years using 
the Albatross IV almost exclusively, which has minimized the 
introduction of vessel-based variability in the survey data. In 
order to maintain continuity of the Northeast surveys, a 
replacement vessel is needed so that the required calibration 
with the Albatross IV can be performed before it is retired.
  The Committee notes that maintaining the existing capability 
to collect this long time series of data and information on 
Northeast fish stocks is critical to rebuild and manage the 
Northeast groundfish stocks, as well as other important fish 
stocks in the North- and Mid-Atlantic. Furthermore, the new 
acoustically quiet vessel proposed by the Administration would 
be able to collect oceanographic and biological data necessary 
to support the growing need for multispecies management 
measures in New England. The vessel would also make available 
an expanded survey area, which could fill recently identified 
information gaps for species with ranges that go beyond the 
current survey scope.
  H.R. 1651, as amended, authorizes acquisition of up to six 
new FRVs and authorizes appropriations of $60 million in each 
of FYs 2002 and 2003 for the acquisition of the second and 
third new FRVs. The Committee notes that several of NOAA's nine 
existing fisheries research vessels are becoming 
technologically obsolete and reaching the end of their useful 
lives. Consequently, NOAA's vessel replacement strategy should 
be implemented in an urgent needs- based manner.
  During the Committee's Executive Session, two amendments were 
adopted, relating to the new FRV's. First, Senator Snowe and 
Senator Kerry offered an amendment which clarifies that $60 
million would be authorized in each of FYs 2002 and 2003 for 
the acquisition of the second and third new FRVs. The House 
passed version authorized $60 million without designating the 
applicable fiscal year.
  Second, Senator Lott offered an amendment which requires the 
Commerce Department to procure the new FRVs through full and 
open competition from U.S. shipbuilding companies. NOAA should 
utilize a best-value method for source selection to ensure that 
the contract award is made to that offer which is overall the 
most advantageous to the Government, considering all evaluation 
factors in the solicitation. The Committee reminds the 
Secretary of Commerce that the procurement must be conducted 
consistent with the authorization levels contained in the 
Snowe-Kerry amendment.

             Atlantic Bluefin Tuna--Use of Spotter Aircraft

  The Snowe-Kerry amendment referred to above also contained a 
provision relating to the use of spotter aircraft in the 
Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABT) fishery. H.R. 1651 was amended to 
include a new section which would prohibit the use of aircraft 
in the General and Harpoon categories of the ABT fishery.
  Due to the wide ranging nature of bluefin tuna and other 
highly migratory species, management and conservation authority 
rests with the Secretary of Commerce, rather than the regional 
fishery management councils. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) 
established advisory panels to assist, advise and make 
recommendations to the Secretary during the development of 
management plans and plan amendments for highly migratory 
species.
  In August 1998, the highly migratory species advisory panel 
(HMS AP) unanimously requested and advised (apart from three 
abstentions) that the Secretary, through the National Marine 
Fisheries Service (NMFS), prohibit the use of spotter aircraft 
in the General and Harpoon categories of the ABT fishery. 
However, in October 1998, when NMFS published the draft HMS 
fishery management plan (FMP), it did not propose to change the 
regulations relating to the use of spotter aircraft. 
Nonetheless, the agency indicated that it would address the 
issue in a separate rulemaking prior to the start of the June 
1, 1999 ABT season. On May 28, 1999, NMFS published a proposed 
rule to prohibit the use of spotter planes in the General and 
Harpoon categories. For reasons still unclear to the Committee, 
the Secretary never finalized this rule. Consequently, it is 
the Committee's view that the Secretary did not adequately 
address this issue prior to the start of the 1999 ABT season 
nor did the Secretary do so in a timely or meaningful manner at 
any time thereafter.
  H.R. 1651, as amended, adopts the HMS AP recommendation and 
prohibits the use of spotter aircraft in the General and 
Harpoon categories. According to NMFS, such action is necessary 
in order to meet the goals and objectives of the HMS FMP. In 
fact, after a review of extensive public comment and guidance 
from the HMS AP, NMFS concluded that the status quo is 
unacceptable and that prohibiting the use of spotter aircraft 
would best address management concerns and ensure that the 
objectives of the FMP are met, consistent with the Magnuson- 
Stevens Act. The use of spotter aircraft to locate ABT can 
accelerate the catch rates and closures in the General and 
Harpoon categories. An accelerated catch rate in either 
category would have an adverse impact on the scientific 
objectives of the FMP and traditional fishing communities. For 
instance, it would undermine NMFS regulations designed to 
control effort in the General category. Moreover, the use of 
such aircraft is inconsistent with the reasoning behind the 
initial establishment of the Harpoon category, which is a 
weather-dependent, multiple catch fishery.
  Upon enactment of this provision, the Committee directs NMFS 
to provide Atlantic tuna permit holders an appropriate period 
of time to change permit categories for calendar year 2000, if 
such permit holders so choose.

                          Legislative History

  Representative Young (R-AK) introduced H.R. 1651 on April 29, 
1999, and it was referred to the House Committee on Resources. 
Reps. Faleomavaega (D-AS) and Saxton (R-NJ) were co-sponsors of 
the act. H.R. 1651 passed the House of Representatives on 
September 13, 1999 by voice vote.
  On September 14, 1999, the act was received in the Senate and 
referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation. On April 13, 2000, H.R. 1651 was considered by 
the Committee in an open executive session. The Committee 
ordered the act to be reported with amendments favorably.

                      Summary of Major Provisions

  Title I provides an extension of current law from fiscal year 
2000 to fiscal year 2003 so that reimbursement may be provided 
to owners of U.S. fishing vessels illegally detained or seized 
by foreign countries.
  Title II establishes a panel to advise the Secretaries of 
State and Interior on Yukon River Salmon management issues in 
Alaska and authorizes $3 million for restoration of Pacific 
Salmon stocks.
  Title III authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to acquire up 
to six new fishery research vessels and authorizes 
appropriations of $60 million in each of fiscal year 2002 and 
fiscal year 2003 for the acquisition of the first two fishery 
research vessels.
  H.R. 1651, as amended, also prohibits the use of aircraft in 
the General and Harpoon categories of the Atlantic bluefin tuna 
fishery.

                            Estimated Costs

  In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                       Washington, DC, May 5, 2000.
Hon. John McCain,
Chairman, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1651, an act to 
amend the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967 to extend the 
period during which reimbursement may be provided to owners of 
United States fishing vessels for costs incurred when such a 
vessel is seized and detained by a foreign country, and for 
other purposes.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Mark Hadley 
and Deborah Reis (for federal costs), and Jean Wooster (for the 
private-sector impact).
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1651--An act to amend the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967 to 
        extend the period during which reimbursement may be provided to 
        owners of United States fishing vessels for costs incurred when 
        such a vessel is seized and detained by a foreign country, and 
        for other purposes

    Summary: Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, 
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1651 would cost $136 
million over the 2000-2005 period. The act would affect direct 
spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply, but 
CBO estimates that any such effects would not be significant. 
H.R. 1651 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no 
significant costs on state, local, or tribal governments. Any 
costs incurred by the state of Alaska to manage an agreement 
with Canada would be incurred voluntarily.
    H.R. 1651 would impose a private-sector mandate, as defined 
by UMRA, on some vessel operators. CBO estimates that the cost 
of complying with the mandate would be well below the threshold 
established by UMRA ($109 million in 2000, adjusted annually 
for inflation).
    H.R. 1651 would authorize the Fisherman's Guaranty Fund 
through fiscal year 2003, and would allow additional fee 
payments into that fund. Title II of the act would create a 
six-member Yukon River Salmon Panel to advise the Secretary of 
State regarding the negotiation of any international agreement 
with Canada concerning the management of certain salmon stocks. 
This title also would authorize the Secretary of the Interior 
to carry out projects to restore such salmon stocks and would 
authorize the appropriation of $4 million for each of fiscal 
years 2000 through 2003 for these purposes. Title III would 
authorize the Secretary of Commerce to purchase, lease, or 
charter up to six fishery survey vessels. For this purpose, the 
act would authorize the appropriation of $60 million for each 
of fiscal years 2002 and 2003.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1651 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2000     2001     2002     2003     2004     2005
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level.......................................        4        4       64       64        0        0
Estimated Outlays.........................................        3        4       25       46       34       24
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For purposes of this estimate, CBO 
assumes that H.R. 1651 will be enacted during fiscal year 2000 
and that the entire amounts authorized by titles II and III 
will be appropriated for each fiscal year. The authorization 
level for each of fiscal years 2000 through 2003 contains $4 
million for salmon restoration and other activities authorized 
under title II. Fiscal years 2002 and 2003 authorization levels 
include an additional $60 million annually for the acquisition 
of fishery research vessels.
    Title I of H.R. 1651 would authorize the Fisherman's 
Guaranty Fund through fiscal year 2003, allowing additional 
payments of fees into that fund. The Fisherman's Guaranty Fund 
pays owners of U.S. fishing vessels for certain financial 
losses if their vessels are seized by a foreign nation. Owners 
pay fees sufficient to cover the costs of these payments. The 
fund has a current balance of $2.8 million. However, no owners 
have applied to participate in the program in recent years, and 
the funds has paid only one claim since 1987. (That claim 
resulted in payments for four vessels totaling less than 
$200,000.) Thus, CBO estimates that any additional offsetting 
receipts from fees or spending for claims would not be 
significant.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: The Balanced Budget and 
Emergency Deficit Control Act sets up pay-as-you-go procedures 
for legislation affecting direct spending and receipts. Because 
H.R. 1651 would affect direct spending and receipts, pay-as-
you-go procedures would apply, but CBO estimates any such 
effects would not be significant.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 1651 contains no intergovernmental mandates defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no significant 
costs on state, local, or tribal governments. Any costs 
incurred by the state of Alaska to manage an agreement with 
Canada regarding salmon stocks originating from the Yukon River 
in Canada would be incurred voluntarily.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 1651 would 
impose a private-sector mandate, as defined by UMRA, on some 
vessel operators. CBO estimates that the cost of complying with 
the mandate would be well below the threshold established by 
UMRA ($109 million in 2000, adjusted annually for inflation).
    The bill would amend the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act to 
prohibit vessel operators that hold federal boat permits in the 
harpoon and general categories from using aircraft to locate, 
catch, retain, or possess Atlantic bluefin tuna. Less than 1 
percent of operators that hold those permits use such aircraft.
    The vessel operators that use aircraft catch more Atlantic 
bluefin tuna compared with those that do not use such aircraft. 
Based on information from government and industry sources, 
under H.R. 1651, it is likely that the vessel operators 
prohibited from using such aircraft would have a reduction in 
their income because their total catch would be less. Moreover, 
some of their loss in income could be realized by other vessel 
operators not now using aircraft whose catch could increase. 
Current estimates of the size of the harpoon and general 
fisheries range from $10 million to $20 million annually. 
Consequently, CBO estimates that the net direct costs of the 
mandate to vessel operators in the affected fisheries would be 
well below the private-sector threshold.
    Previous CBO estimates: On June 21, 1999, CBO transmitted a 
cost estimate for H.R. 1651, the Fisherman's Protective Act 
Amendments of 1999, as ordered reported by the House Committee 
on Resources on June 9, 1999. The CBO estimate for title I of 
the Senate version of H.R. 1651 is identical to our estimate 
for the House version of H.R. 1651. The House version of H.R. 
1651, however, did not contain a private-sector mandate.
    On July 20, 1999, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
2181, the Fisheries Survey Vessel Authorization Act of 1999, as 
ordered reported by the House Committee on Resources on June 
30, 1999. The provisions of H.R. 2181 and those of title III of 
the Senate version of H.R. 1651 are similar, but our estimates 
are different to reflect the fact that H.R. 2181 would 
authorize the appropriation of $60 million for five years 
instead of two, as in the Senate version of H.R. 1651.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis and Mark 
Hadley; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: 
Victoria Heid Hall; and Impact on the Private Sector: Jean 
Wooster.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

  H.R. 1651, as reported, reauthorizes and extends the 
Fishermen's Protective Act and the Yukon River Advisory Panel. 
The reported act also authorizes NOAA to acquire new fishery 
research vessels and prohibits the use of aircraft in the 
General and Harpoon categories in the Atlantic bluefin tuna 
fishery. The reported act would have little, if any, regulatory 
impact, but a few of acts provisions could impact some 
individuals and businesses, and the effect of these sections 
can be clarified as follows:
  Section 401 of the reported act prohibits the use of aircraft 
in the General and Harpoon categories of the Atlantic bluefin 
tuna fishery. This section could have the effect of reducing 
business opportunities for bluefin tuna permit holders and 
aircraft pilots that might be currently available, but the 
reduction could only apply to less than one percent of bluefin 
tuna permit holders and aircraft pilots. Additionally, the 
Commerce Department advisory panel for highly migratory species 
unanimously recommended that the Department prohibit the use of 
such aircraft.

                            economic impact

  As noted above, section 401 of the reported act could have an 
economic impact on some individuals and businesses. However, in 
addition to the advisory panel recommendation noted above, the 
use of aircraft in the General and Harpoon categories could 
have an adverse impact on traditional fishing communities and 
the scientific objectives of the federal management plan for 
bluefin tuna.

                                privacy

  The reported act will not have a significant impact on the 
personal privacy of individuals.

                               paperwork

  H.R. 1651, as reported, should not significantly increase 
paperwork requirements for individuals and businesses.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


              TITLE I--FISHERMEN'S PROTECTIVE ACT OF 1967

Section 101. Short title

  This section of the act cites the short title of the reported 
act as the ``Fishermen's Protective Act Amendments of 1999.''

Sec. 102. Extension of period for reimbursement under Fishermen's 
        Protective Act of 1967

  This section of the reported act amends Section 7(e) of the 
Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967 (22 U.S.C. 1977(e)) to 
extend current law from fiscal year 2000 to fiscal year 2003. 
It also makes technical changes.

                      TITLE II--YUKON RIVER SALMON

Sec. 201. Short title

  This section cites title II of the reported act as the 
``Yukon River Salmon Act of 1999.''

Sec. 202. Yukon River Salmon Panel

  This section of the reported act establishes a Yukon River 
Salmon Panel and designates the criteria for appointment of 
U.S. members to the Panel.

Sec. 203. Advisory Committee

  This section of the reported act establishes a Yukon River 
Advisory Committee and designates the criteria for appointment 
of members to the Advisory Committee.

Sec. 204. FACA exemption

  This section exempts the Panel and any advisory committees 
created under section 203 of the reported act from the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act.

Sec. 205. Authority and responsibility

  This section of the reported act designates the State of 
Alaska Department of Fish and Game as the responsible 
management entity for the U.S. for agreements with Canada 
regarding Yukon River Salmon stocks. It also authorizes the 
Panel to make recommendations that are advisory in nature to a 
number of federal and state entities.

Sec. 206. Administrative matters

  This section of the reported act clarifies compensation, 
expenses, and treatment as federal employees for members of the 
Panel.

Sec. 207. Yukon River salmon stock restoration and enhancement projects

  This section of the reported act authorizes the Secretaries 
of Interior and Commerce to carry out projects to restore or 
enhance salmon stocks originating in the Yukon River. This 
section also provides direction for carrying out such projects 
if there is an agreement in effect between the United States 
and Canada.

Sec. 208. Authorization of appropriations

  This section of the reported act authorizes $4 million for 
each of the fiscal years 2000 through 2003 to carry out this 
title.

              TITLE III--FISHERIES INFORMATION ACQUISITION

Sec. 301. Short title

  This section cites the short title of the reported act as the 
``Fisheries Survey Vessel Authorization Act of 1999.''

Sec. 302. Acquisition of fishery survey vessels

  Subsection (a) of this Section authorizes the acquisition of 
up to six fishery research and survey vessels. Subsection (b) 
sets requirements for the capabilities of such vessels. 
Subsection (c) authorizes $60 million dollars in fiscal year 
2002 and fiscal year 2003 for acquiring one vessel in each 
respective fiscal year.

                        TITLE IV--MISCELLANEOUS

Sec. 401. Use of aircraft prohibited

  This section of the reported act amends section 7(a) of the 
Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 (16 U.S.C. 971e(a)) to 
prohibit the use of aircraft in the General and Harpoon 
categories in the Atlantic bluefin tuna fishery.

Sec. 402. Fisheries Research Vessel procurement

  This section of the reported act requires the Secretary of 
Commerce to procure Fisheries Research Vessels through full and 
open competition from responsible U.S. shipbuilding companies 
irrespective of size.

                        Changes in Existing Law

  In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the act, 
as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new material is printed 
in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown 
in roman):

                 ATLANTIC TUNAS CONVENTION ACT OF 1975

SEC. 7. VIOLATIONS; FINES AND FORFEITURES; RELATED LAWS. [16 U.S.C. 
                    971E]

  (a) In General.--It shall be unlawful--
          (1) for any person in charge of a fishing vessel or 
        any fishing vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the 
        United States to engage in fishing in violation of any 
        regulation adopted pursuant to section 6 of this Act; 
        [or]
          (2) for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the 
        United States to ship, transport, purchase, sell, offer 
        for sale, import, export, or have in custody, 
        possession, or control any fish which he knows, or 
        should have known, were taken or retained contrary to 
        the recommendations of the Commission made pursuant to 
        article VIII of the Convention and adopted as 
        regulations pursuant to section 6 of this Act, without 
        regard to the citizenship of the person or vessel which 
        took the [fish.] fish; or
          (3) for any person, other than a person holding a 
        valid Federal permit in the purse seine category--
                  (A) to use an aircraft to locate or otherwise 
                assist in fishing for, catching, or retaining 
                Atlantic bluefin tuna; or
                  (B) to catch, possess, or retain Atlantic 
                bluefin tuna located by use of an aircraft.
  (b) Failure to Furnish Returns, Records, or Reports.--It 
shall be unlawful for the master or any person in charge of any 
fishing vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States 
to fail to make, keep, or furnish anycatch returns, statistical 
records, or other reports as are required by regulations 
adopted pursuant to this Act to be made, kept, or furnished by 
such master or person.
  (c) Refusal of Request to Board and Inspect Vessel.--It shall 
be unlawful for the master or any person in charge of any 
fishing vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States 
to refuse to permit any person authorized to enforce the 
provisions of this Act and any regulations adopted pursuant 
thereto, to board such vessel and inspect its catch, equipment, 
books, documents, records, or other articles or question the 
persons onboard in accordance with the provisions of this Act, 
or the Convention, as the case may be, or to obstruct such 
officials in the execution of such duties.
  (d) Importation of Ineligible Species or Species Under 
Investigation.--It shall be unlawful for any person to import, 
in violation of any regulation adopted pursuant to section 6(c) 
or (d) of this Act, from any country, any fish in any form of 
those species subject to regulation pursuant to a 
recommendation of the Commission, or any fish in any form not 
under regulation but under investigation by the Commission, 
during the period such fish have been denied entry in 
accordance with the provisions of section 6(c) or (d) of this 
Act. In the case of any fish as described in this subsection 
offered for entry in the United States, the Secretary shall 
require proof satisfactory to him that such fish is not 
ineligible for such entry under the terms of section 6(c) or 
(d) of this Act.
  (e) Sanctions.--The civil penalty and permit sanctions of 
section 308 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1858) are hereby made applicable to 
violations of this section as if they were violations of 
section 307 of that Act.
  (f) Forfeiture.--All fish taken or retained in violation of 
subsection (a) of this section, or the monetary value thereof, 
may be forfeited.
  (g) Applicability of Other Laws.--All provisions of law 
relating to the seizure, judicial forfeiture, and condemnation 
of a cargo for violation of the customs laws, the disposition 
of such cargo or the proceeds from the sale thereof, and the 
remission or mitigation of such forfeitures shall apply to 
seizures and forfeitures incurred, or alleged to have been 
incurred, under the provisions of this Act, insofar as such 
provisions of law are applicable and not inconsistent with the 
provisions of this Act.

                   FISHERMEN'S PROTECTIVE ACT OF 1967

SEC. 7. REIMBURSEMENT FOR SEIZED COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN. [22 U.S.C. 1977]

  (a) Agreement to Reimburse for Actual Costs, Confiscation or 
Spoilage of Fish, and Loss of Income.--The Secretary, upon 
receipt of an application filed with him at any time after the 
effective date of this section by the owner of any vessel of 
the United States which is documented or certificated as a 
commercial fishing vessel, shall enter into an agreement with 
such owner subject to the provisions of this section and such 
other terms and conditions as the Secretary deems appropriate. 
Such agreement shall provide that, if said vessel is seized by 
a foreign country and detained under the conditions of section 
2 of this Act, the Secretary shall guarantee--
          (1) the owner of such vessel for all actual costs, 
        except those covered by section 3 of this Act, incurred 
        by the owner during the seizure and detention period 
        and as a direct result thereof, as determined by the 
        Secretary, resulting (A) from any damage to, or 
        destruction of, such vessel, or its fishing gear or 
        other equipment, (B) from the loss or confiscation of 
        such vessel, gear, or equipment, or (C) from dockage 
        fees or utilities;
          (2) the owner of such vessel and its crew for the 
        market value of fish caught before seizure of such 
        vessel and confiscated or spoiled during the period of 
        detention; and
          (3) the owner of such vessel and its crew for not to 
        exceed 50 per centum of the gross income lost as a 
        direct result of such seizure and detention, as 
        determined by the [Secretary of the Interior,] 
        Secretary of Commerce, based on the value of the 
        average catch per day's fishing during the three most 
        recent calendar years immediately preceding such 
        seizure and detention of the vessel seized, or, if such 
        experience is not available, then of all commercial 
        fishing vessels of the United States engaged in the 
        same fishery as that of the type and size of the seized 
        vessel.
  (b) Distribution of Payments According to Commercial Fishing 
Practices and Procedures.--Payments made by the Secretary under 
paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of this section shall 
be distributed by the Secretary in accordance with the usual 
practices and procedures of the particular segment of the 
United States commercial fishing industry to which the seized 
vessel belongs relative to the sale of fish caught and the 
distribution of the proceeds of such sale.
  (c) Establishment of Fees; Amount of Fees; Credit of Fees to 
Separate Treasury Account; Payment From Collected Fees; 
Authorization of Appropriations.--The Secretary shall from time 
to time establish by regulation fees which shall be paid by the 
owners of vessels entering into agreements under this section. 
Such fees shall be adequate (1) to recover the costs of 
administering this section, and (2) to cover a reasonable 
portion of any payments made by the Secretary under this 
section. All fees collected by the Secretary shall be credited 
to a separate account established in the Treasury of the United 
States which shall remain available without fiscal year 
limitation to carry out the provisions of this section. Those 
fees not currently needed for payments under this section shall 
be kept on deposit or invested in obligations of, or guaranteed 
by, the United States and all revenues accruing from such 
deposits or investments shall be credited to such separate 
account. If a transfer of funds is made to the separate account 
under section 5(b)(2) with respect to an unpaid claim and such 
claim is later paid, the amount so paid shall be covered into 
the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts. All payments under this 
section shall be made first out of such fees so long as they 
are available, and thereafter out of funds which are hereby 
authorized to be appropriated to such account to carry out the 
provisions of this section.
  (d) Finality of Determinations; Insured Losses.--All 
determinations made under this section shall be final. No 
payment under this section shall be made with respect to any 
losses covered by any policy of insurance or other provision of 
law.
  (e) Effective Date.--The provisions of this section shall be 
effective until October 1, [2000;] 2003; except that payments 
may be made under this section only to such extent and in such 
amounts as are provided in advance inappropriation Acts.
  (f) Definitions.--For the purposes of this section--
          (1) the term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        State.
          (2) the term ``owner'' includes any charterer of a 
        commercial fishing vessel.