113. Prohibited acts
[MSFCMA section 307]
Summary: Prohibited acts have been added or amended throughout
section 307. Section 113(a)(2) safeguards adherence to a
uniform, minimum size for American lobsters for certain
activities in interstate or foreign commerce, even if the Federal
FMP is withdrawn; the minimum under the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission's plan would be substituted. Section
113(b)(1) addresses a concern over gear conflict cases. Section
113(c) tries to broaden the scope of protections afforded to
fisheries observers or data collectors employed by NMFS or under
contract. Section 113(d) prohibits voting by Council members if
not in conformance with new disclosure/recusal standards. The
rest of the revisions are technical, to conform prohibitions with
Legislative history: Increasing gear conflicts, particularly in
the Northeast, led to a request for agency assistance from
Congress. NOAA had interpreted the prior prohibition on gear
interference to require intent to be proven; nearly all cases had
only circumstantial evidence, hence there were few prosecutions.
The industry was frustrated by what it perceived to be agency
inaction. Now a negligence standard has been added, which should
make proving certain types of gear conflict cases easier. The
phrase "without authorization" clearly applies to tampering,
removing, and damaging activities.
By adding prohibitions against sexually harassing and bribing
observer and data collectors, protections have been extended for
civil, though not criminal, violations.
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