50 CFR 300.223 - Purse seine fishing restrictions.

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§ 300.223 Purse seine fishing restrictions.
All dates used in this section are in Universal Coordinated Time, also known as UTC; for example: the year 2009 starts at 00:00 on January 1, 2009 UTC and ends at 24:00 on December 31, 2009 UTC; and August 1, 2009, begins at 00:00 UTC and ends at 24:00 UTC.
(a) Fishing effort limits. This section establishes limits on the number of fishing days that fishing vessels of the United States equipped with purse seine gear may collectively spend in the ELAPS.
(1) The limits are as follows:
(i) For each of the years 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 there is a limit of 3,882 fishing days.
(ii) For each of the two-year periods 2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012, there is a limit of 6,470 fishing days.
(iii) For each of the three-year periods 2009-2011 and 2010-2012, there is a limit of 7,764 fishing days.
(2) NMFS will determine the number of fishing days spent in the ELAPS in each of the applicable time periods using data submitted in logbooks and other available information. After NMFS determines that the limit in any applicable time period is expected to be reached by a specific future date, and at least seven calendar days in advance of the closure date, NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the purse seine fishery in the ELAPS will be closed starting on that specific future date and will remain closed until the end of the applicable time period.
(3) Once a fishery closure is announced pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section, fishing vessels of the United States equipped with purse seine gear may not be used to fish in the ELAPS during the period specified in the Federal Register notice.
(b) Use of fish aggregating devices. From August 1 through September 30, 2009, and from July 1 through September 30 in each of 2010, 2011, and 2012, owners, operators, and crew of fishing vessels of the United States shall not do any of the following in the Convention Area:
(1) Set a purse seine around a FAD or within one nautical mile of a FAD.
(2) Set a purse seine in a manner intended to capture fish that have aggregated in association with a FAD, such as by setting the purse seine in an area from which a FAD has been moved or removed within the previous eight hours, or setting the purse seine in an area in which a FAD has been inspected or handled within the previous eight hours, or setting the purse seine in an area into which fish were drawn by a vessel from the vicinity of a FAD.
(3) Deploy a FAD into the water.
(4) Repair, clean, maintain, or otherwise service a FAD, including any electronic equipment used in association with a FAD, in the water or on a vessel while at sea, except that:
(i) A FAD may be inspected and handled as needed to identify the owner of the FAD, identify and release incidentally captured animals, un-foul fishing gear, or prevent damage to property or risk to human safety; and
(ii) A FAD may be removed from the water and if removed may be cleaned, provided that it is not returned to the water.
(c) Closed areas.
(1) Effective January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2012, a fishing vessel of the United States may not be used to fish with purse seine gear on the high seas within either Area A or Area B, the respective boundaries of which are the four lines connecting, in the most direct fashion, the coordinates specified as follows:
(i) Area A: 7° N. latitude and 134° E. longitude; 7° N. latitude and 153° E. longitude; 0° latitude and 153° E. longitude; and 0° latitude and 134° E. longitude.
(ii) Area B: 4° N. latitude and 156° E. longitude; 4° N. latitude and 176° E. longitude; 12° S. latitude and 176° E. longitude; and 12° S. latitude and 156° E. longitude.
(2) NMFS may, through publication of a notice in the Federal Register, nullify any or all of the area closures specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
(d) Catch retention.
(1) Based on its determination as to whether an adequate number of WCPFC observers is available for the purse seine vessels of all Members of the Commission as necessary to ensure compliance by such vessels with the catch retention requirements established by the Commission, NMFS will, through publication of a notice in the Federal Register, announce the effective date of the provisions of paragraph (d) of this section. The effective date will be no earlier than January 1, 2010.
(2) If, after announcing the effective date of the these requirements under paragraph (1) of this section, NMFS determines that there is no longer an adequate number of WCPFC observers available for the purse seine vessels of all Members of the Commission as necessary to ensure compliance by such vessels with the catch retention requirements established by the Commission, NMFS may, through publication of a notice in the Federal Register, nullify any or all of the requirements specified in paragraph (d) of this section.
(3) Effective from the date announced pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section through December 31, 2012, a fishing vessel of the United States equipped with purse seine gear may not discard at sea within the Convention Area any bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus), yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), or skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), except in the following circumstances and with the following conditions:
(i) Fish that are unfit for human consumption, including but not limited to fish that are spoiled, pulverized, severed, or partially consumed at the time they are brought on board, may be discarded.
(ii) If at the end of a fishing trip there is insufficient well space to accommodate all the fish captured in a given purse seine set, fish captured in that set may be discarded, provided that no additional purse seine sets are made during the fishing trip.
(iii) If a serious malfunction of equipment occurs that necessitates that fish be discarded.
(e) Observer coverage.
(1) From August 1 through September 30, 2009, a fishing vessel of the United States that is equipped with purse seine gear may not be used to fish in the Convention Area without a WCPFC observer or an observer deployed by NMFS on board. This requirement does not apply to fishing trips that meet any of the following conditions:
(i) The portion of the fishing trip within the Convention Area takes place entirely within areas under U.S. jurisdiction or entirely within areas under jurisdiction of a single nation other than the United States.
(ii) No fishing takes place during the fishing trip in the Convention Area in the area between 20° N. latitude and 20° S. latitude.
(iii) The Pacific Islands Regional Administrator has determined that an observer is not available for the fishing trip and a written copy of the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator's determination, which must include the approximate start date of the fishing trip and the port of departure, is carried on board the fishing vessel during the entirety of the fishing trip.
(2) Effective January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2012, a fishing vessel of the United States may not be used to fish with purse seine gear in the Convention Area without a WCPFC observer on board. This requirement does not apply to fishing trips that meet any of the following conditions:
(i) The portion of the fishing trip within the Convention Area takes place entirely within areas under U.S. jurisdiction or entirely within the areas under jurisdiction of a single nation other than the United States.
(ii) No fishing takes place during the fishing trip in the Convention Area in the area between 20° N. latitude and 20° S. latitude.
(iii) The Pacific Islands Regional Administrator has determined that a WCPFC observer is not available for the fishing trip and a written copy of the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator's determination, which must include the approximate start date of the fishing trip and the port of departure, is carried on board the fishing vessel during the entirety of the fishing trip.
(3) Owners, operators, and crew of fishing vessels subject to paragraphs (e)(1) or (e)(2) of this section must accommodate WCPFC observers in accordance with the provisions of § 300.215(c).
(4) Meeting any of the conditions in paragraphs (e)(1)(i), (e)(1)(ii), (e)(1)(iii), (e)(2)(i), (e)(2)(ii), or (e)(2)(iii) of this section does not exempt a fishing vessel from having to carry and accommodate a WCPFC observer pursuant to § 300.215 or other applicable regulations.
(f) Sea turtle take mitigation measures.
(1) Possession and use of required mitigation gear. Any owner or operator of a fishing vessel of the United States equipped with purse seine gear that is used to fish in the Convention Area must carry aboard the vessel the following gear:
(i) Dip net. A dip net is intended to facilitate safe handling of sea turtles and access to sea turtles for purposes of removing sea turtles from fishing gear, bringing sea turtles aboard the vessel when appropriate, and releasing sea turtles from the vessel. The minimum design standards for dip nets that meet the requirements of this section are:
(A) An extended reach handle. The dip net must have an extended reach handle with a minimum length of 150 percent of the freeboard height. The extended reach handle must be made of wood or other rigid material able to support a minimum of 100 lb (34.1 kg) without breaking or significant bending or distortion.
(B) Size of dip net. The dip net must have a net hoop of at least 31 inches (78.74 cm) inside diameter and a bag depth of at least 38 inches (96.52 cm). The bag mesh openings may be no more than 3 inches 3 inches (7.62 cm 7.62 cm) in size.
(ii) Optional turtle hoist. A turtle hoist is used for the same purpose as a dip net. It is not a required piece of gear, but a turtle hoist may be carried on board and used instead of the dip net to handle sea turtles as required in paragraph (f)(2) of this section. The minimum design standards for turtle hoists that are used instead of dip nets to meet the requirements of this section are:
(A) Frame and net. The turtle hoist must consist of one or more rigid frames to which a bag of mesh netting is securely attached. The frame or smallest of the frames must have a minimum opening (e.g., inside diameter, if circular in shape) of 31 inches (78.74 cm) and be capable of supporting a minimum of 100 lb (34.1 kg). The frame or frames may be hinged or otherwise designed so they can be folded for ease of storage, provided that they have no sharp edges and can be quickly reassembled. The bag mesh openings may be no more than 3 inches x 3 inches (7.62 cm x 7.62 cm) in size.
(B) Lines. Lines used to lower and raise the frame and net must be securely attached to the frame in multiple places such that the frame remains stable when lowered and raised.
(2) Handling requirements. Any owner or operator of a fishing vessel of the United States equipped with purse seine gear that is used to fish in the Convention Area must, if a sea turtle is observed to be enclosed or entangled in a purse seine, a FAD, or other fishing gear, comply with these handling requirements, including using the required mitigation gear specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section as prescribed in these handling requirements. Any captured or entangled sea turtle must be handled in a manner to minimize injury and promote survival.
(i) Sea turtles enclosed in purse seines. If the sea turtle is observed enclosed in a purse seine but not entangled, it must be released immediately from the purse seine with the dip net or turtle hoist.
(ii) Sea turtles entangled in purse seines. If the sea turtle is observed entangled in a purse seine, the net roll must be stopped as soon as the sea turtle comes out of the water, and must not start again until the turtle has been disentangled and released. The sea turtle must be handled and released in accordance with paragraphs (f)(2)(iv), (f)(2)(v), (f)(2)(vi), and (f)(2)(vii) of this section.
(iii) Sea turtles entangled in FADs. If the sea turtle is observed entangled in a FAD, it must be disentangled or the FAD must be cut immediately so as to remove the sea turtle. The sea turtle must be handled and released in accordance with paragraphs (f)(2)(iv), (f)(2)(v), (f)(2)(vi), and (f)(2)(vii) of this section.
(iv) Disentangled sea turtles that cannot be brought aboard. After disentanglement, if the sea turtle is not already on board the vessel and it is too large to be brought aboard or cannot be brought aboard without sustaining further injury, it shall be left where it is in the water, or gently moved, using the dip net or turtle hoist if necessary, to an area away from the fishing gear and away from the propeller.
(v) Disentangled sea turtles that can be brought aboard. After disentanglement, if the sea turtle is not too large to be brought aboard and can be brought aboard without sustaining further injury, the following actions shall be taken:
(A) Using the dip net or a turtle hoist, the sea turtle must be brought aboard immediately; and
(B) The sea turtle must be handled in accordance with the procedures in paragraphs (f)(2)(vi) and (f)(2)(vii) of this section.
(vi) Sea turtle resuscitation. If a sea turtle brought aboard appears dead or comatose, the following actions must be taken:
(A) The sea turtle must be placed on its belly (on the bottom shell or plastron) so that it is right side up and its hindquarters elevated at least 6 inches (15.24 cm) for a period of no less than 4 hours and no more than 24 hours. The amount of the elevation varies with the size of the sea turtle; greater elevations are needed for larger sea turtles;
(B) A reflex test must be administered at least once every 3 hours. The test is to be performed by gently touching the eye and pinching the tail of a sea turtle to determine if the sea turtle is responsive;
(C) The sea turtle must be kept shaded and damp or moist (but under no circumstances place the sea turtle into a container holding water). A water-soaked towel placed over the eyes (not covering the nostrils), carapace and flippers is the most effective method of keeping a sea turtle moist; and
(D) If the sea turtle revives and becomes active, it must be returned to the sea in the manner described in paragraph (f)(2)(vii) of this section. Sea turtles that fail to revive within the 24-hour period must also be returned to the sea in the manner described in paragraph (f)(2)(vii) of this section, unless NMFS requests that the turtle or part thereof be kept on board and delivered to NMFS for research purposes.
(vii) Sea turtle release. After handling a sea turtle in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (f)(2)(v) and (f)(2)(vi) of this section, the sea turtle must be returned to the ocean after identification unless NMFS requests the retention of a dead sea turtle for research. In releasing a sea turtle the vessel owner or operator must:
(A) Place the vessel engine in neutral gear so that the propeller is disengaged and the vessel is stopped;
(B) Using the dip net or a turtle hoist to release the sea turtle with little impact, gently release the sea turtle away from any deployed gear; and
(C) Observe that the turtle is safely away from the vessel before engaging the propeller and continuing operations.
(viii) Other sea turtle requirements. No sea turtle, including a dead turtle, may be consumed or sold. A sea turtle may be landed, offloaded, transshipped or kept below deck only if NMFS requests the retention of a dead sea turtle or a part thereof for research.
[74 FR 38554, Aug. 4, 2009, as amended at 76 FR 82183, Dec. 30, 2011]

Title 50 published on 2013-10-01

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  • 2014-09-18; vol. 79 # 181 - Thursday, September 18, 2014
    1. 79 FR 56017 - International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Fishing Restrictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Whale Shark Conservation Measures
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      DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective October 20, 2014.
      50 CFR Part 300

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United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 16 - CONSERVATION

§ 773 - Definitions

§ 773a - International Pacific Halibut Commission

§ 773b - Acceptance or rejection of Commission recommendations

§ 773c - General responsibility

§ 773d - Cooperation of Federal agencies

§ 773e - Prohibited acts

§ 773f - Civil penalties

§ 773g - Crimes and criminal penalties

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§ 773k - Location of office space and other facilities on or near University of Washington campus in State of Washington

§ 951 - Definitions

§ 952 - Commissioners; number, appointment, and qualification

§ 953 - General Advisory Committee and Scientific Advisory Subcommittee

§ 954 - Repealed.

§ 955 - Secretary of State to act for United States

§ 956 - Inspection of returns, records, or other reports

§ 957 - Violations; fines and forfeitures; application of related laws

§ 958 - Cooperation with other agencies

§ 959 - Enforcement of chapter

§ 960 - Commissions’ functions not restrained by this chapter or State laws

§ 961 - Authorization of appropriations

§ 962 - Reduction of bycatch in eastern tropical Pacific Ocean

§ 971 - Definitions

§ 971a - Commissioners

§ 971b - Advisory committee

16 U.S. Code § 921 to 923 - Omitted

§ 971c - Authority of Secretary of State; cooperative enforcement agreements

§ 971d - Administration

§ 971e - Violations

§ 971f - Enforcement

§ 971g - Cooperation in carrying out Convention

§ 971h - Authorization of appropriations

§ 971i - Research on Atlantic highly migratory species

§ 971j - Annual report

§ 971k - Savings clause

§ 973 - Definitions

§ 973a - Application to other laws

§ 973b - Regulations

§ 973c - Prohibited acts

§ 973d - Exceptions

§ 973e - Criminal offenses

§ 973f - Civil penalties

§ 973g - Licenses

§ 973h - Enforcement

§ 973i - Findings by Secretary

§ 973j - Reporting requirements; disclosure of information

§ 973k - Closed Area stowage requirements

16 U.S. Code § -

§ 973m - Technical assistance

§ 973n - Arbitration

16 U.S. Code § -

§ 973p - Additional agreements

§ 973q - Secretary of State to act for United States

§ 973r - Authorization of appropriations

§ 1801 - Findings, purposes and policy

§ 1802 - Definitions

§ 1803 - Authorization of appropriations

§ 1821 note - Foreign fishing

§ 1826d - Prohibition

§ 1826e - Negotiations

§ 1826f - Certification

§ 1826g - Enforcement

§ 1826h - Biennial report on international compliance

§ 1826i - Action to strengthen international fishery management organizations

§ 1826j - Illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing

§ 1826k - Equivalent conservation measures

§ 1827 - Observer program regarding certain foreign fishing

§ 1827a - Prohibition on sale of billfish

§ 1828 - Foreign fishing incursions

§ 1829 - International monitoring and compliance

§ 2431 - Findings and purpose

§ 2432 - Definitions

§ 2433 - Representatives

§ 2434 - Conservation measures; system of observation and inspection

§ 2435 - Unlawful activities

§ 2436 - Regulations

§ 2437 - Civil penalties

§ 2438 - Criminal offenses

§ 2439 - Enforcement

§ 2440 - Jurisdiction of courts

§ 2441 - Federal agency cooperation

§ 2442 - Relationship to existing treaties and statutes

§ 2443 - Authorization of appropriations

§ 2444 - Severability

§ 3371 - Definitions

§ 3372 - Prohibited acts

§ 3373 - Penalties and sanctions

§ 3374 - Forfeiture

§ 3375 - Enforcement

§ 3376 - Administration

§ 3377 - Exceptions

§ 3378 - Miscellaneous provisions

§ 3636 - Rulemaking

§ 5501 - Purpose

§ 5502 - Definitions

§ 5503 - Permitting

§ 5504 - Responsibilities of Secretary

§ 5505 - Unlawful activities

§ 5506 - Enforcement provisions

§ 5507 - Civil penalties and permit sanctions

§ 5508 - Criminal offenses

§ 5509 - Forfeitures

U.S. Code: Title 31 - MONEY AND FINANCE

Title 50 published on 2013-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 50 CFR 300 after this date.

  • 2014-09-18; vol. 79 # 181 - Thursday, September 18, 2014
    1. 79 FR 56017 - International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Fishing Restrictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, Whale Shark Conservation Measures
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective October 20, 2014.
      50 CFR Part 300