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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of October 16, 2019

Title 50Chapter IIIPart 300Subpart O → §300.224


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS
Subpart O—Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species


§300.224   Longline fishing restrictions.

(a) Establishment of bigeye tuna catch limits. (1) There is a limit of 3,554 metric tons of bigeye tuna per calendar year that may be captured in the Convention Area by longline gear and retained on board by fishing vessels of the United States.

(2) [Reserved]

(b) Exception for bigeye tuna landed in territories. Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d), bigeye tuna landed in American Samoa, Guam, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands will be attributed to the longline fishery of the territory in which it is landed and will not be counted against the limit established under paragraph (a) of this section, provided that:

(1) The bigeye tuna were not caught in the portion of the EEZ surrounding the Hawaiian Archipelago; and

(2) The bigeye tuna were landed by a fishing vessel operated in compliance with a valid permit issued under §660.707 or §665.801 of this title.

(c) Exception for bigeye tuna caught by vessels with American Samoa Longline Limited Access Permits. Except as provided in paragraph (d), bigeye tuna caught by a vessel registered for use under a valid American Samoa Longline Limited Access Permit issued under §665.801(c) of this title will be attributed to the longline fishery of American Samoa and will not be counted against the limit established under paragraph (a) of this section, provided that:

(1) The bigeye tuna were not caught in the portion of the EEZ surrounding the Hawaiian Archipelago; and

(2) The bigeye tuna were landed by a fishing vessel operated in compliance with a valid permit issued under §660.707 or §665.801 of this title.

(d) Exception for bigeye tuna caught by vessels included in specified fishing agreements under §665.819(c) of this title. Bigeye tuna caught by a vessel that is included in a specified fishing agreement under §665.819(c) of this title will be attributed to the longline fishery of American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands, according to the terms of the agreement to the extent the agreement is consistent with §665.819(c) of this title and other applicable laws, and will not be counted against the limit, provided that:

(1) The start date specified in §665.819(c)(9)(i) of this title has occurred or passed; and

(2) NMFS has not made a determination under §665.819(c)(9)(iii) of this title that the catch of bigeye tuna exceeds the limit allocated to the territory that is a party to the agreement.

(e) Announcement of catch limit being reached and fishing prohibitions. NMFS will monitor retained catches of bigeye tuna with respect to the limit established under paragraph (a) of this section using data submitted in logbooks and other available information. After NMFS determines that the limit is expected to be reached by a specific future date, and at least seven calendar days in advance of that specific future date, NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing that specific prohibitions will be in effect starting on that specific future date and ending December 31 of that calendar year.

(f) Prohibitions after catch limit is reached. Once an announcement is made pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section, the following restrictions will apply during the period specified in the announcement:

(1) A fishing vessel of the United States may not be used to retain on board, transship, or land bigeye tuna captured by longline gear in the Convention Area, except as follows:

(i) Any bigeye tuna already on board a fishing vessel upon the effective date of the prohibitions may be retained on board, transshipped, and/or landed, to the extent authorized by applicable laws and regulations, provided that they are landed within 14 days after the prohibitions become effective. The 14-day landing requirement does not apply to a vessel that has declared to NMFS, pursuant to §665.803(a) of this title, that the current trip type is shallow-setting.

(ii) Bigeye tuna captured by longline gear may be retained on board, transshipped, and/or landed if they are landed in American Samoa, Guam, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, provided that:

(A) The bigeye tuna were not caught in the portion of the EEZ surrounding the Hawaiian Archipelago;

(B) Such retention, transshipment, and/or landing is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations; and

(C) The bigeye tuna are landed by a fishing vessel operated in compliance with a valid permit issued under §660.707 or §665.801 of this title.

(iii) Bigeye tuna captured by longline gear may be retained on board, transshipped, and/or landed if they are caught by a vessel registered for use under a valid American Samoa Longline Limited Access Permit issued under §665.801(c) of this title, provided that:

(A) The bigeye tuna were not caught in the portion of the EEZ surrounding the Hawaiian Archipelago;

(B) Such retention, transshipment, and/or landing is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations; and

(C) The bigeye tuna are landed by a fishing vessel operated in compliance with a valid permit issued under §660.707 or §665.801 of this title.

(iv) Bigeye tuna caught by longline gear may be retained on board, transshipped, and/or landed if they were caught by a vessel that is included in a specified fishing agreement under §665.819(c) of this title, if the agreement provides for bigeye tuna to be attributed to the longline fishery of American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands, provided that:

(A) The start date specified in §665.819(c)(9)(i) of this title has occurred or passed; and

(B) NMFS has not made a determination under §665.819(c)(9)(iii) of this title that the catch of bigeye tuna exceeds the limit allocated to the territory that is a party to the agreement.

(2) Bigeye tuna caught by longline gear in the Convention Area may not be transshipped to a fishing vessel unless that fishing vessel is operated in compliance with a valid permit issued under §660.707 or §665.801 of this title.

(3) A fishing vessel of the United States may not be used to fish in the Pacific Ocean using longline gear both inside and outside the Convention Area during the same fishing trip, with the exception of a fishing trip during which the prohibitions were put into effect as announced under paragraph (e) of this section, in which case the bigeye tuna on board the vessel may be retained on board, transshipped, and/or landed, to the extent authorized by applicable laws and regulations, provided that they are landed within 14 days after the prohibitions become effective. This prohibition does not apply to a vessel that catches bigeye tuna that is to be attributed to the longline fishery of American Samoa, Guam, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in accordance with paragraphs (b), (c), or (d) of this section, or to a vessel for which a declaration has been made to NMFS, pursuant to §665.803(a) of this title, that the current trip type is shallow-setting.

(4) If a fishing vessel of the United States, other than a vessel that catches bigeye tuna that is to be attributed to the longline fishery of American Samoa, Guam, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, in accordance with paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section, or a vessel for which a declaration has been made to NMFS, pursuant to §665.803(a) of this title, that the current trip type is shallow-setting, is used to fish in the Pacific Ocean using longline gear outside the Convention Area and the vessel enters the Convention Area at any time during the same fishing trip, the longline gear on the fishing vessel must, while it is in the Convention Area, be stowed in a manner so as not to be readily available for fishing; specifically, the hooks, branch or dropper lines, and floats used to buoy the mainline must be stowed and not available for immediate use, and any power-operated mainline hauler on deck must be covered in such a manner that it is not readily available for use.

[78 FR 58246, Sept. 23, 2013, as amended at 79 FR 64111, Oct. 28, 2014; 80 FR 43636, July 23, 2015; 81 FR 41251, June 24, 2016; 83 FR 33870, July 18, 2018]

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