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e-CFR data is current as of April 20, 2021

Title 50Chapter IIIPart 300Subpart C → §300.28

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
Subpart C—Eastern Pacific Tuna Fisheries

§300.28   FAD restrictions.

(a) FAD identification requirements for purse seine vessels. (1) For each FAD deployed or modified on or after January 1, 2017, in the IATTC Convention Area, the vessel owner or operator must either: obtain a unique code from HMS Branch; or use an existing unique identifier associated with the FAD (e.g., the manufacturer identification code for the attached buoy).

(2) U.S. purse seine vessel owners and operators shall ensure the characters of the unique code or unique identifier be marked indelibly at least five centimeters in height on the upper portion of the attached radio or satellite buoy in a location that does not cover the solar cells used to power the equipment. For FADs without attached radio or satellite buoys, the characters shall be on the uppermost or emergent top portion of the FAD. The vessel owner or operator shall ensure the marking is visible at all times during daylight. In circumstances where the on-board observer is unable to view the code, the captain or crew shall assist the observer (e.g., by providing the FAD identification code to the observer).

(b) Activating FADs for purse seine vessels. When deploying a FAD, a vessel owner, operator, or crew shall turn on the tracking equipment while the FAD is onboard the purse seine vessel and before it is deployed in the water.

(c) Restrictions on Active FADs for purse seine vessels. U.S. vessel owners and operators of purse-seine vessels with the following well volume (m3) must not have more than the following number of Active FADs per vessel in the IATTC Convention Area at any one time:

Well volume
Active FAD limit
1,200 or more450

(d) Restrictions on FAD deployments and removals. (1) U.S. vessel owners, operators, and crew of purse seine vessels of class size 4-6 (more than 182 metric tons carrying capacity) must not deploy a FAD during a period of 15 days prior to the start of the selected closure period described in §300.25(e)(1).

(2) During the 15 days prior to the start of the closure period selected by the vessel per §300.25(e)(1), U.S. vessel owners, operators, and crew of purse seine vessels of class size 6 (greater than 363 metric tons carrying capacity) must remove from the water a number of FADs equal to the number of FADs set upon by the vessel during that same 15 day period.

(e) FAD design requirements to reduce entanglements. All FADs onboard or deployed by U.S. vessel owners, operators, or crew, must comply with the following design requirements:

(1) Raft: If the FAD design includes a raft (e.g., flat raft or rolls of material) and if mesh netting is used as part of the structure, the mesh netting shall have a mesh size less than 7 centimeters and the mesh net must be tightly wrapped such that no netting hangs below the FAD when deployed; and,

(2) Subsurface: Any netting used in the subsurface structure of the FAD must be tightly tied into bundles (“sausages”), or have stretched mesh size less than 7 centimeters in a panel that is weighted on the lower end with at least enough weight to keep the netting taut in the water column.

[83 FR 15510, Apr. 11, 2018, as amended at 83 FR 62734, Dec. 6, 2018]

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