50 CFR 635.31 - Restrictions on sale and purchase.

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§ 635.31 Restrictions on sale and purchase.

(a) Atlantic tunas.

(1) A person that owns or operates a vessel from which an Atlantic tuna is landed or offloaded may sell such Atlantic tuna only if that vessel has a valid HMS Charter/Headboat permit; a valid General, Harpoon, Longline, Purse Seine, or Trap category permit for Atlantic tunas; or a valid HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat permit issued under this part and the appropriate category has not been closed, as specified at § 635.28(a). However, no person may sell a bluefin tuna smaller than the large medium size class. Also, no large medium or giant bluefin tuna taken by a person aboard a vessel with an Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat permit fishing in the Gulf of Mexico at any time, or fishing outside the Gulf of Mexico when the fishery under the General category has been closed, may be sold (see § 635.23(c)). A person may sell Atlantic bluefin tuna only to a dealer that has a valid permit for purchasing Atlantic bluefin tuna issued under this part. A person may not sell or purchase Atlantic tunas harvested with speargun fishing gear.

(2) Dealers may purchase Atlantic tunas only from a vessel that has a valid commercial permit for Atlantic tunas issued under this part in the appropriate category and the appropriate category has not been closed, as specified at § 635.28(a).

(i) Dealers may purchase Atlantic bluefin tuna only from a vessel that has a valid Federal commercial permit for Atlantic tunas issued under this part in the appropriate category. Vessel owners and operators of vessels that have been issued an Atlantic Tunas Longline category permit can sell bluefin tuna and dealers can purchase bluefin tuna from such vessels only if the Longline category is open, per § 635.28(a) and if:

(A) The vessel has met the minimum quota allocation and accounting requirements at § 635.15(b)(4) and (5) for vessels departing on a trip with pelagic longline gear aboard, and

(B) The dealer and vessel have met the IBQ program participant requirements at § 635.15(a)(2).

(ii) Dealers may first receive BAYS tunas only if they have submitted reports to NMFS according to reporting requirements at § 635.5(b)(1)(ii), and only from a vessel that has a valid Federal commercial permit for Atlantic tunas issued under this part in the appropriate category. Vessel owners and operators of vessels that have been issued an Atlantic Tunas Longline category permit can sell BAYS tunas and dealers can purchase BAYS tunas from such vessels only if the Longline category is open per § 635.28(a). Individuals issued a valid HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat permit, and operating in the U.S. Caribbean as defined at § 622.2 of this chapter, may sell their trip limits of BAYS tunas, codified at § 635.24(c), to dealers and non-dealers. Persons may only sell albacore tuna and dealers may only first receive albacore tuna if the northern albacore tuna fishery has not been closed as specified at § 635.28 (d).

(3) Dealers or seafood processors may not purchase or sell a BFT smaller than the large medium size class unless it is lawfully imported and is accompanied by a bluefin tuna statistical document, as specified in § 300.185(a) of this title.

(4) A BFT in the possession of a dealer or seafood processor is deemed to be from the Atlantic Ocean. However, a BFT will not be deemed to be from the Atlantic Ocean if -

(i) It was landed in a Pacific state and remains in the state of landing, or

(ii) It is accompanied by a bluefin tuna statistical document, as specified in § 300.185(a) of this title.

(b) Billfish.

(1) Persons may not sell or purchase a billfish taken from its management unit.

(2) A billfish or a closely related species, namely, black marlin, Makaira indica, striped marlin, Tetrapturus audax, or shortbill spearfish, Tetrapturus angustirostris, or a part thereof, in the possession of a dealer or seafood processor is considered, for purposes of this part, to be a billfish from the Atlantic Ocean management unit. However, a billfish or a closely related species will not be considered to be from the Atlantic Ocean management unit if -

(i) It was landed in a Pacific state and remains in the state of landing, or

(ii) It is accompanied by a Billfish Certificate of Eligibility (COE) form, obtained from NMFS, or its equivalent that documents that the fish was harvested from other than the Atlantic Ocean management unit.

(A) The Billfish COE required under this section must indicate, in English, the name and homeport of the harvesting vessel, and the date and port of offloading. Only the purchaser of the billfish from the harvesting vessel must complete this information.

(B) The Billfish COE must be signed and dated by each dealer in possession of the product throughout the chain of custody up to but not including the consumer. This signature indicates a declaration that the billfish were not harvested from the management unit.

(C) A Billfish COE may refer to billfish taken from only one harvesting vessel. If a shipment contains billfish taken from more than one vessel, a separate billfish COE must accompany the shipment for each harvesting vessel.

(D) A model Billfish COE can be obtained by contacting the Division Chief. An equivalent form may be used provided it contains all of the information required under this section.

(3) For the purposes of this paragraph, a dealer or seafood processor means any individual, other than a consumer, who engages in any activity, other than fishing, of industry, trade, or commerce, including but not limited to the buying or selling of a regulated species or parts thereof and activities conducted for the purpose of facilitating such buying and selling.

(c) Shark.

(1) Persons that own or operate a vessel that possesses, retains, or lands a shark from the management unit may sell such shark only if the vessel has a valid commercial shark permit issued under this part. Persons may possess, retain, land, and sell a shark only to a federally-permitted dealer and only when the fishery for that species, management group, region, and/or sub-region has not been closed, as specified in § 635.28(b). Persons that own or operate a vessel that has pelagic longline gear onboard can possess, retain, land, and sell a shark only if the Atlantic Tunas Longline category has not been closed, as specified in § 635.28(a).

(2) Persons that own or operate a vessel for which a valid Federal Atlantic commercial shark permit has been issued and on which a shark from the management unit is possessed, may sell, barter or trade such shark only to a dealer that has a valid permit for shark issued under this part.

(3) Regulations governing the harvest, possession, landing, purchase, and sale of shark fins are found at part 600, subpart N, of this chapter and in § 635.30(c).

(4) Only dealers who have a valid Federal Atlantic shark dealer permit and who have submitted reports to NMFS according to reporting requirements of § 635.5(b)(1)(ii) may first receive a shark from an owner or operator of a vessel that has, or is required to have, a valid Federal Atlantic commercial shark permit issued under this part. Dealers may purchase a shark only from an owner or operator of a vessel who has a valid commercial shark permit issued under this part, except that dealers may purchase a shark from an owner or operator of a vessel who does not have a Federal Atlantic commercial shark permit if that vessel fishes exclusively in state waters and does not possess a HMS Angling permit or HMS Charter/Headboat permit pursuant to § 635.4. Atlantic shark dealers may purchase a sandbar shark only from an owner or operator of a vessel who has a valid shark research permit and who had a NMFS-approved observer onboard the vessel for the trip in which the sandbar shark was collected. Atlantic shark dealers may purchase a shark from an owner or operator of a fishing vessel who has a valid commercial shark permit issued under this part only when the fishery for that species, management group, region, and/or sub-region has not been closed, as specified in § 635.28(b). Atlantic shark dealers may first receive a shark from a vessel that has pelagic longline gear onboard only if the Atlantic Tunas Longline category has not been closed, as specified in § 635.28(a).

(5) An Atlantic shark dealer issued a permit under this part may first receive shark fins from an owner or operator of a fishing vessel only if the shark fins were harvested in accordance with the regulations found at part 600, subpart N, of this chapter and in § 635.30(c).

(6) A dealer issued a permit under this part may not first receive silky sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks or scalloped, smooth, or great hammerhead sharks from an owner or operator of a fishing vessel with pelagic longline gear on board, or from the owner of a fishing vessel issued both a HMS Charter/Headboat permit and a commercial shark permit when tuna, swordfish or billfish are on board the vessel, offloaded from the vessel, or being offloaded from the vessel.

(d) Swordfish.

(1) Persons that own or operate a vessel on which a swordfish in or from the Atlantic Ocean is possessed may sell such swordfish only if the vessel has a valid commercial permit for swordfish issued under this part. Persons may offload such swordfish only to a dealer who has a valid permit for swordfish issued under this part; except that individuals issued a valid HMS Commercial Caribbean Small Boat permit, and operating in the U.S. Caribbean as defined at § 622.2 of this chapter, may sell swordfish, as specified at § 635.24(b)(3), to non-dealers. Persons that own or operate a vessel that has pelagic longline gear onboard can only possess and sell a swordfish if the Atlantic Tunas Longline category has not been closed, as specified in § 635.28(a)(4).

(2) Atlantic swordfish dealers may first receive a swordfish harvested from the Atlantic Ocean only from an owner or operator of a fishing vessel that has a valid commercial permit for swordfish issued under this part, and only if the dealer has submitted reports to NMFS according to reporting requirements of § 635.5(b)(1)(ii). Atlantic swordfish dealers may first receive a swordfish from a vessel that has pelagic longline gear onboard only if the Atlantic Tunas Longline category has not been closed, as specified in § 635.28(a)(4).

[64 FR 29135, May 28, 1999]
Editorial Note:
For Federal Register citations affecting § 635.31, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

Title 50 published on 2015-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 50 CFR Part 635 after this date.

  • 2015-12-02; vol. 80 # 231 - Wednesday, December 2, 2015
    1. 80 FR 75436 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico Region
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      Temporary rule; closure.
      The commercial fishery for non-blacknose SCS in the Gulf of Mexico region is closed effective 11:30 p.m. local time December 5, 2015, until the end of the 2015 fishing season on December 31, 2015, and will reopen on January 1, 2016.
      50 CFR Part 635