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Regulations and Reports

Annual Report to Congress on the Status of U.S. Fisheries

Section 304(e)(1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Public Law 94-294, as amended in 1996 by the Sustainable Fisheries Act and again in 2007 by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006, requires an annual report on the status of fisheries within each Regional Fishery Management Council’s geographic area of authority and to identify fisheries that are overfished or approaching a condition of being overfished.  This annual report lists the managed marine fish stocks in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, including stocks that straddle international boundaries and highly migratory stocks.

Annual Report to Congress Pursuant to the Shark Finning Prohibition Act

Section 6 of the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-557) requires an annual report to Congress describing domestic and international efforts to implement the provisions of the Statute. The legislation amends the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to prohibit any person under U.S. jurisdiction from (i) engaging in the finning of sharks; (ii) possessing shark fins aboard a fishing vessel without the corresponding carcass; and (iii) landing shark fins without the corresponding carcass. The Act also requires the National Marine Fisheries Service to promulgate regulations to implement the prohibitions of the Act, initiate discussion with other nations to develop international agreements on shark finning and data collection, provide congress with annual reports describing efforts to carry out the Act, and establish research programs.
e-mail:Galen Tromble

Latest CCAMLR Final Rule Effective May 10, 2010

The Office of Sustainable Fisheries in NMFS headquarters generated a final rule in order to further detail requirements for importing and re-exporting toothfish (Dissostichus spp.), to facilitate enforcement, to fulfill U.S. obligations in the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), and to simplify the process for informing the public of annual conservation measures. 

The four-part final rule:

  1. further details current U.S. requirements to only allow importation and/or re-exportation of frozen toothfish or toothfish product with verifiable documentation that the harvesting vessel participated in the Centralized-Vessel Monitoring System (C-VMS) regardless of where the fish was harvested;
  2. revises the NMFS catch-documentation requirements for re-exporting toothfish and adds requirements for exporting U.S.-caught toothfish;
  3. requires applicants for an AMLR harvesting permit for krill to apply to NMFS no later than June 1 preceding the harvesting season for krill; and
  4. rescinds the existing regulatory framework for annual management measures. 

CCAMLR Final Rule governing Antarctic Marine Living Resources

Beginning September 24, 2007, a new CCAMLR Rule (8-23-07) imposes the mandatory use of electronic catch documents (ECD) for all import shipments of toothfish into the United States, including shipments of toothfish harvested by artisanal fishers. Paper-based catch documents for toothfish will no longer be accepted after September 23, 2007. The use of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources’ centralized vessel monitoring system (C-VMS) will also be a condition for the import of Patagonian and Antarctic toothfish (wherever harvested) into U.S. markets. The artisanal fleets of Peru and Chile are exempt from the C-VMS requirement.

In addition, the CCAMLR rule exempts all fresh toothfish from the preapproval process and allows importers of frozen toothfish to submit the U.S. Customs 7501 entry number subsequent to initial application for preapproval; requires the use of a seal excluder device on U.S. krill vessels using trawl gear; expands requirements and prohibitions regarding scientific observers; identifies new information requirements for harvesting vessels; and adds or amends definitions in the CCAMLR regulations.

Establish a Longline Catcher Processor Fishing Capacity Reduction (Buyback) Program in the BSAI Non-Pollock Groundfish Fishery

(Final Rule 9/29/06) This would be a $36 million voluntary buyback program designed by industry and implemented by NMFS regulations. The Freezer Longline Conservation Cooperative, representing industry, is to submit a Reduction Plan that includes Reduction Agreements and Contracts signed by subsector members submitting offers, for approval by the Secretary. After approval, NMFS will conduct a referendum to determine industry's willingness for fishermen remaining in the fishery to repay the 30-year loan that financed the buyback. A 2/3 majority vote in favor would bind all parties and complete the reduction process.

Status of U.S. Fisheries

CCAMLR FINAL Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

Bycatch Strategy

National Plans of Action
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