§ 251. Vessels employed in coasting trade or fisheries

(a) Landing of catch of fish by foreign-flag vessels
Except as otherwise provided by treaty or convention to which the United States is a party, no foreign-flag vessel shall, whether documented as a cargo vessel or otherwise, land in a port of the United States its catch of fish taken on board such vessels on the high seas or fish products processed therefrom, or any fish or fish products taken on board such vessel on the high seas from a vessel engaged in fishing operations or in the processing of fish or fish products. The Secretary of Commerce may issue any regulations that the Secretary considers necessary to obtain information on the transportation of fish products by vessels of the United States for foreign fish processing vessels to points in the United States.
(b) Sale or transfer for immediate consumption
Subsection (a) of this section shall not be deemed to prohibit the landing by a foreign-flag vessel of not more than fifty feet overall length in a port of the Virgin Islands of the United States for immediate consumption in such islands of its catch of fresh fish, whole or with the heads, viscera, or fins removed, but not frozen, otherwise processed, or further advanced. No fish landed under this authorization shall be sold or transferred except for immediate consumption. Sale or transfer to an agent, representative, or employee of a freezer or cannery shall be deemed to be prohibited in the absence of satisfactory evidence that such sale or transfer is for immediate consumption. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “immediate consumption” shall not preclude the freezing, smoking, or other processing of such fresh fish by the ultimate consumer thereof.
(c) Forfeitures and penalties
Any fish landed in the Virgin Islands of the United States which are retained, sold, or transferred other than as authorized in subsection (b) of this section shall be liable to forfeiture and any person or persons retaining, selling, transferring, purchasing, or receiving such fish shall severally be liable to a penalty of $1,000 for each offense, in addition to any other penalty provided in law.
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