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e-CFR data is current as of May 5, 2021

Title 50Chapter IIIPart 300Subpart R → §300.338

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
Subpart R—High Seas Fisheries

§300.338   Observers.

(a) Where observer coverage is not otherwise required by other regulations or relevant RFMO conservation and management measures, NMFS may select for at-sea observer coverage any vessel that has been issued a high seas fishing permit. A vessel so selected by NMFS must carry an observer when directed to do so.

(b) NMFS will contact a vessel owner, in writing, when his or her vessel is selected for observer coverage under this section.

(c) A vessel shall not fish on the high seas without taking an observer if NMFS contacted the vessel owner under paragraph (b) of this section, or if so required as a condition of a permit issued under this subpart or pursuant to other legal authorities, unless the requirement to carry an observer has been waived under paragraph (d) of this section.

(d) The vessel owner that NMFS contacts under paragraph (b) of this section must notify NMFS of his or her next fishing trip that may take place on the high seas before commencing the fishing trip. NMFS will specify the notification procedures and information requirements, such as expected gear deployment, trip duration and fishing area, in its selection letter. Once notified of a trip by the vessel owner, NMFS will assign an observer for that trip or notify the vessel owner that coverage pursuant to this subpart is not required, given the existing requirement for observer coverage under other legal authorities.

(e) The owner, operator, and crew of a vessel on which a NMFS-approved observer is assigned must comply with safety regulations at §§600.725 and 600.746 of this title and—

(1) Facilitate the safe embarkation and debarkation of the observer.

(2) Provide the observer with accommodations, food, and amenities that are equivalent of those provided to vessel officers.

(3) Allow the observer access to all areas of the vessel necessary to conduct observer duties.

(4) Allow the observer free and unobstructed access to the vessel's bridge, working decks, holding bins, weight scales, holds, and any other space used to hold, process, weigh, or store fish.

(5) Allow the observer access to EMTUs, communications equipment, and navigation equipment to verify operation, obtain data, and use the communication capabilities of the units for official purposes.

(6) Allow the observer to inspect and copy the vessel's log, communications logs, and any records associated with the catch and disposition of fish for that trip.

(7) Provide accurate vessel locations by latitude and longitude upon request by the observer.

(8) Provide access to sea turtle, marine mammal, sea bird, or other specimens as requested by the observer.

(9) Notify the observer in a timely fashion when commercial fishing activity is to begin and end.

(f) The permit holder, vessel operator, and crew must cooperate with the observer in the performance of the observer's duties.

(g) The permit holder, vessel operator, and crew must comply with other terms and conditions to ensure the effective deployment and use of observers that the Regional Administrator or Office Director imposes by written notice.

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