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                                                      Calendar No. 283
115th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session      }                                     {      115-193
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

               AMERICAN FISHERIES ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 1322







[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]










               December 11, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                   ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

79-010                         WASHINGTON : 2017 






























       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                     one hundred fifteenth congress
                             first session

                   JOHN THUNE, South Dakota, Chairman
 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi         BILL NELSON, Florida
 ROY BLUNT, Missouri                  MARIA CANTWELL, Washington
 TED CRUZ, Texas                      AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
 DEB FISCHER, Nebraska                RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
 JERRY MORAN, Kansas                  BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii
 DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska                 EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts
 DEAN HELLER, Nevada                  CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
 JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma            TOM UDALL, New Mexico
 MIKE LEE, Utah                       GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
 RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin               TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
 SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO, West           TAMMY DUCKWORTH, Illinois
    Virginia
 CORY GARDNER, Colorado               MARGARETWOODHASSAN,NewHampshire
 TODD C. YOUNG, Indiana               CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO, Nevada
                       Nick Rossi, Staff Director
                 Adrian Arnakis, Deputy Staff Director
                    Jason Van Beek, General Counsel
                 Kim Lipsky, Democratic Staff Director
           Christopher Day, Democratic Deputy Staff Director




























                                                      Calendar No. 283
115th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session      }                                     {      115-193

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



 
               AMERICAN FISHERIES ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT

                                _______
                                

               December 11, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1322]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1322) to establish the American 
Fisheries Advisory Committee to assist in the awarding of 
fisheries research and development grants, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and 
recommends that the bill (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of the American Fisheries Advisory Committee 
(Advisory Committee) Act is to create a committee to do the 
following: identify the needs of the seafood industry; develop 
requests for proposals; review grant applications; and select 
grant applications for approval. The Act also would require 
that all final decisions be at the discretion of the Secretary 
of Commerce (Secretary) and that the Advisory Committee meet 
not more than two times each year.

                          Background and Needs

    The fishery management standards established by the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
(MSA)\1\ have led to the recovery of most stocks of Federal 
managed fish; as of 2016, less than 10 percent of stocks were 
subject to overfishing and 16 percent of stocks were 
overfished.\2\ Additionally, in 2016, two stocks were declared 
rebuilt and added to the list of rebuilding success stories.\3\ 
One of the reasons stocks have recovered in recent years is 
that the 2006 amendments to the MSA required hard annual catch 
limits on stocks. Thus, in recent years, in order to increase 
profits, fishermen have had to primarily focus on increasing 
the value of their catch rather than catching more fish.
    The Saltonstall-Kennedy Fund (Fund) was established to 
``carry out a national program of research and development 
addressed to such aspects of United States fisheries 
(including, but not limited to, harvesting, processing, 
marketing, and associated infrastructures).''\4\ It is funded 
by tariffs on imported fishery products.\5\ Originally, the 
previous advisory committee oversaw the Fund's activity,\6\ but 
that advisory committee was disbanded due to the enactment of 
the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.). Since the 
disbanding of that advisory committee, the funds have been 
distributed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association 
(NOAA) either as grants or to fund internal projects.
    Concerns have been raised, however, that NOAA does not 
distribute grants in accordance with the Fund's governing 
statute. For example, out of the 50 grants given out by NOAA in 
2016, only 3 have been to improve the marketing of fish.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\16 U.S.C. Sec. 1801 et seq.
    \2\National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ``Status of 
Stocks 2016: Annual Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. 
Fisheries,'' at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/fisheries_eco/
status_of_fisheries/archive/2016/status-of-stocks-2016-web.pdf.
    \3\Ibid.
    \4\15 U.S.C. Sec. 713e-3
    \5\Ibid.
    \6\P.L. 83-466; 68 Stat. 376.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         Summary of Provisions

    The Act would establish the Advisory Committee to evaluate 
grants and make recommendations on which projects should be 
funded by the Fund.

                          Legislative History

    On June 8, 2017, S. 1322 was introduced by Senator Sullivan 
(for himself and Senators Cantwell and Murkowski). It is also 
cosponsored by Senator Warren. On August 2, 2017, the Committee 
met in open Executive Session and, by a voice vote, ordered S. 
1322 to be reported favorably with an amendment (in the nature 
of a substitute). A substitute amendment was proposed by 
Senator Schatz. S. 1322 is nearly identical to S. 3087 that was 
reported out of Committee in the 114th Congress.
    In the 114th Congress, several amendments to S. 3087, 
including four from Senator Markey and two from Senator Schatz, 
were adopted at Executive Session and incorporated in the bill 
as reported. This Congress, S. 1322 reflects the changes that 
were agreed to last Congress, namely the following: requiring 
grant recipients to publicly post the title and abstract of the 
project; reorganizing of geographic areas; requiring that one 
member of the Board represent the fisheries science community; 
providing criteria by which the Secretary would evaluate grant 
applications; and requiring the Secretary to submit to the 
Advisory Committee a justification if the recommendations of 
the Advisory Committee are not followed.

                            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:

S. 1322--American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act

    S. 1322 would establish the American Fisheries Advisory 
Committee within the Department of Commerce (DOC). The 
committee would comprise three representatives from each of six 
geographic regions and seven at-large members with experience 
in the seafood and fisheries industries, as selected by DOC. 
Under the bill, the committee would be responsible for 
identifying needs of the fishing industry, developing requests 
for grants to meet those needs, and reviewing and selecting 
applications for an existing grant program for approval by DOC. 
Under current law, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) 
within DOC is responsible for those activities. In 2016, the 
program awarded 50 grants totaling $11 million. That amount is 
derived from permanent authority to spend certain customs 
duties that are imposed on imported fishery products. S. 1322 
also would expand the scope of projects eligible for a grant 
under the program.
    Based on an analysis of information from DOC, CBO estimates 
that the committee's operations would cost $2 million a year 
over the 2018-2022 period to operate the grant program. 
However, because any increases in amounts spent on 
administering the grant program would result in a corresponding 
reduction in amounts awarded for the grants, CBO estimates that 
implementing S. 1322 would have no significant net effect on 
the federal budget. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because 
enacting the bill would affect direct spending. Enacting S. 
1322 would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 1322 would not significantly 
increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of 
the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 1322 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Stephen Rabent. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, 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

    The Act, as reported, would cover anyone applying for a 
Fund grant; last year NOAA recommended over 40 projects 
totaling $10 million.

                            economic impact

    Enactment of this legislation is not expected to have any 
significant adverse impacts on the Nation's economy.

                                privacy

    This bill would not have any adverse impact on the privacy 
of individuals.

                               paperwork

    The Secretary would provide a written document to the 
Advisory Committee justifying the decision in failing to 
provide funding for a grant selected by the Advisory Committee.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.


                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title.

    This section would provide that the Act may be cited as 
``the American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act.''

Section 2. American Fisheries Advisory Committee.

    This section would establish the Advisory Committee. 
Membership of the Advisory Committee would include 10 members 
from various States and 9 At-Large Members. The Advisory 
Committee would be required to do the following: identify the 
needs of the seafood industry; develop requests for proposals; 
review grant applications; and select applications for approval 
for grants. The Advisory Committee would meet not more than 
biannually. All decisions would be subject to a feasibility 
review by the Secretary.

Section 3. Expansion of specified purposes of fisheries research and 
        Development Projects Grants Program to include fisheries 
        research and development projects.

    This section would amend and expand the Saltonstall-Kennedy 
Fund governing statute to include fisheries science and 
recreational fishing as approved projects for grant 
application.

Section 4. Public availability of grants proposals.

    This section would require any person awarded a grant to 
make publicly available the title and abstract of the project.

                        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 bill, 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):

                             AUGUST 11, 1939


                            [53 Stat. 1412]

SEC. 2. PROMOTION OF THE FREE FLOW OF DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED FISHERY 
                    PRODUCTS.

                           [15 U.S.C. 713c-3]

  (a) * * *
  (c) Fisheries Research and Development Projects.--
          (1) The Secretary shall make grants from the fund 
        established under subsection (b) to assist persons in 
        carrying out research and development projects 
        addressed to any aspect of United States fisheries, 
        including, but not limited to, fisheries science, 
        recreational fishing, harvesting, processing, 
        marketing, and associated infrastructures.
          (2) The Secretary shall--
                  (A) at least once each fiscal year, receive, 
                during a 60-day period specified by him, 
                applications for grants under this subsection;
                  (B) prescribe the form and manner in which 
                applications for grants under this subsection 
                must be made, including, but not limited to, 
                the specification of the information which must 
                accompany applications to ensure that the 
                proposed projects comply with Federal law and 
                can be evaluated in accordance with paragraph 
                (3)(B); and
                  (C) approve or disapprove each such 
                application before the close of the 120th day 
                after the last day of the 60-day period 
                (specified under subparagraph (A)) in which the 
                application was received.
          [(3) No application for a grant under this subsection 
        may be approved unless the Secretary--
                  [(A) is satisfied that the applicant has the 
                requisite technical and financial capability to 
                carry out the project; and
                  [(B) evaluates the proposed project as to--
                          [(i) soundness of design,
                          [(ii) the possibilities of securing 
                        productive results,
                          [(iii) minimization of duplication 
                        with other fisheries research and 
                        development projects,
                          [(iv) the organization and management 
                        of the project,
                          [(v) methods proposed for monitoring 
                        and evaluating the success or failure 
                        of the project, and
                          [(vi) such other criteria as the 
                        Secretary may require.]
  (3)(A) No application for a grant under this subsection may 
be approved unless--
                  (i) the Secretary is satisfied that the 
                applicant has the requisite technical and 
                financial capability to carry out the project;
                  (ii) the Secretary evaluates the proposed 
                project as to--
                          (I) the selections of the Committee 
                        established in subsection (f);
                          (II) soundness of design;
                          (III) the possibilities of securing 
                        productive results;
                          (IV) minimization of duplication with 
                        other fisheries research and 
                        development projects;
                          (V) the organization and management 
                        of the project;
                          (VI) methods proposed for monitoring 
                        and evaluating the success or failure 
                        of the project; and
                          (VII) such other criteria as the 
                        Secretary may require; and
                  (iii) the application selected for funding 
                meets the proposal developed by the American 
                Fisheries Advisory Committee under subsection 
                (f).
          (B) Justification.--If the Secretary fails to provide 
        funds to a grant selected by the Committee, the 
        Secretary shall provide a written document to the 
        Committee justifying the decision.
          (4) Each grant made under the subsection shall be 
        subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary 
        may require to protect the interests of the United 
        States, including, but not limited to, the following:
                  (A) The recipient of the grant must keep such 
                records as the Secretary shall require as being 
                necessary or appropriate for disclosing the use 
                made of grant funds and shall allow the 
                Secretary and the Comptroller General of the 
                United States, or any of their authorized 
                representatives, access to such records for 
                purposes of audit and examination.
                  (B) The amount of a grant may not be less 
                than 50 percent of the estimated cost of the 
                project.
                  (C) The recipient of the grant must submit to 
                the Secretary periodic project status reports.
          (5)(A) If the cost of a project will be shared by the 
        grant recipient, the Secretary shall accept, as a part 
        or all of that share, the value of in-kind 
        contributions made by the recipient, or made available 
        to, and applied by, the recipient, with respect to the 
        project.
                  (B) For purposes of subparagraph (A), in-kind 
                contributions may be in the form of, but are 
                not limited to, personal services rendered in 
                carrying out functions related to, and 
                permission to use real or personal property 
                owned by others (for which consideration is not 
                required) in carrying out the project. The 
                Secretary shall establish (i) the training, 
                experience, and other qualifications which 
                shall be required in order for services to be 
                considered as in-kind contributions; and (ii) 
                the standards under which the Secretary will 
                determine the value of in-kind contributions 
                for purposes of subparagraph (A).
                  (C) Any valuation determination made by the 
                Secretary for purposes of this paragraph shall 
                be conclusive.
          (6) Any person awarded a grant under this subsection 
        shall make publicly available a title and abstract of 
        the project to be carried out by the grant funds that 
        serves as the public justification for funding the 
        project that includes a statement describing how the 
        project serves to enhance United States fisheries, 
        including harvesting, processing, marketing, and 
        associated infrastructures, if applicable.
  (d) * * *
  (f) American Fisheries Advisory Committee.--
          (1) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                  (A) Committee.--The term ``Committee'' means 
                the American Fisheries Advisory Committee 
                established under paragraph (2).
                  (B) Fishing community.--The term ``fishing 
                community'' means harvesters, marketers, 
                growers, processors, recreational fishermen, 
                charter fishermen, and persons providing them 
                with goods and services.
                  (C) Marketing and promotion.--The term 
                ``marketing and promotion'' means an activity 
                aimed at encouraging the consumption of seafood 
                or expanding or maintaining commercial markets 
                for seafood.
                  (D) Processor.--The term ``processor'' means 
                any person in the business of preparing or 
                packaging seafood (including seafood of the 
                processor's own harvesting) for sale.
                  (E) Seafood.--The term ``seafood'' means 
                farm-raised and wild-caught fish, shellfish, or 
                marine algae harvested in the United States or 
                by a United States flagged vessel for human 
                consumption.
          (2) Establishment.--Not later than 90 days after the 
        date of the enactment of the American Fisheries 
        Advisory Committee Act, the Secretary shall establish 6 
        regions within the American Fisheries Advisory 
        Committee as follows:
                  (A) Region 1 shall consist of Alaska, Hawaii, 
                the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
                Islands, and the Territories of Guam and 
                American Samoa.
                  (B) Region 2 shall consist of Maine, New 
                Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and 
                Connecticut.
                  (C) Region 3 shall consist of Texas, Alabama, 
                Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas, 
                Puerto Rico, and territory of the Virgin 
                Islands.
                  (D) Region 4 shall consist of California, 
                Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
                  (E) Region 5 shall consist of New Jersey, New 
                York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North 
                Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
                  (F) Region 6 shall consist of Michigan, 
                Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, 
                and Pennsylvania.
          (3) Membership.--The Committee shall be composed of 
        the following members:
                  (A) Regional representation.--Each of the 
                regions listed in subparagraphs (A) through (F) 
                of paragraph (2) shall be represented on the 
                Committee by 3 members--
                          (i) who are appointed by the 
                        Secretary;
                          (ii) who reside in a State or 
                        territory in the region that the member 
                        will represent;
                          (iii) of which--
                                  (I) one shall have experience 
                                as a seafood harvester;
                                  (II) one shall have 
                                experience as a processor; and
                                  (III) one shall have 
                                experience as a recreational 
                                fisher; and
                          (iv) that are selected so that the 
                        members of the Committee have 
                        experience or expertise with as many 
                        seafood species as practicable.
                  (B) At-large members.--The Secretary shall 
                appoint to the Committee at-large members to 
                ensure that the Committee fairly reflects the 
                expertise and interest of the fishing community 
                located in each region, as follows:
                          (i) One individual with experience in 
                        mass market food distribution.
                          (ii) One individual with experience 
                        in mass market food retail or food 
                        service.
                          (iii) One individual with experience 
                        in the marketing of seafood.
                          (iv) One individual with experience 
                        in growing seafood.
                          (v) One individual with experience as 
                        a recreational fisher.
                          (vi) One individual who is an 
                        employee of the National Marine 
                        Fisheries Service with expertise in 
                        fisheries research.
                          (vii) One individual that represents 
                        the fisheries science community.
          (4) Member terms.--The term for a member of the 
        Committee shall be 3 years, except that the Secretary 
        shall designate staggered terms for the members 
        initially appointed to the Committee.
          (5) Responsibilities.--The Committee shall be 
        responsible for--
                  (A) identifying needs of the fishing 
                community that may be addressed by a project 
                funded with a grant under subsection (c);
                  (B) developing the request for proposals for 
                such grants;
                  (C) reviewing applications for such grants; 
                and
                  (D) selecting applications for approval under 
                subsection (c)(2)(B).
          (6) Chair.--The Committee shall elect a chair by a 
        majority of those voting, if a quorum is present.
          (7) Quorum.--A simple majority of members of the 
        Committee shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser 
        number may hold hearings.
          (8) Meetings.--
                  (A) Frequency.--The Committee shall meet not 
                more than 2 times each year.
                  (B) Location.--The meetings of the Committee 
                shall rotate between the geographic regions 
                described under paragraph (2).
          (9) Staff.--The Committee may employ staff as 
        necessary.
          (10) Per diem and expenses and funding.--
                  (A) In general.--A member of the Committee 
                shall serve without compensation, but shall be 
                reimbursed in accordance with section 5703 of 
                title 5, United States Code, for reasonable 
                travel costs and expenses incurred in 
                performing duties as a member of the Committee.
                  (B) Funding.--The reimbursements made under 
                subparagraph (A) shall be paid with the funds 
                made available for grants under subsection (c).
          (11) Conflict of interest.--The conflict of interest 
        and recusal provisions set out in section 302(j) of the 
        Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
        Act (16 U.S.C. 1852(j)) shall apply to any decision by 
        the Committee and to all members of the Committee as if 
        each member of the Committee is an affected individual 
        within the meaning of such section 302(j), except that 
        in addition to the disclosure requirements of section 
        302(j)(2)(C) of such Act (16 U.S.C. 1852(j)(2)(C)), 
        each member of the Committee shall disclose any 
        financial interest or relationship in an organization 
        or with an individual that is applying for a grant 
        under subsection (c) held by the member of the 
        Committee, including an interest as an officer, 
        director, trustee, partner, employee, contractor, 
        agent, or other representative.

                                  [all]