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e-CFR data is current as of February 24, 2021

Title 50Chapter IIIPart 300Subpart N → §300.204


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS
Subpart N—Identification and Certification of Nations


§300.204   Identification and certification of nations whose vessels are engaged in shark catch.

(a) Procedures to identify nations if fishing vessels of that nation are engaged in fishing activities or practices in waters beyond any national jurisdiction that target or incidentally catch sharks during the preceding calendar year. (1) NMFS will identify and list in the biennial report to Congress nations—

(i) Whose fishing vessels are engaged, or have been engaged during the calendar year prior to publication of the biennial report to Congress, in fishing activities or practices in waters beyond any national jurisdiction that target or incidentally catch sharks; and

(ii) Where that nation has not adopted a regulatory program to provide for the conservation of sharks, including measures to prohibit removal of any of the fins of a shark (including the tail) and discard the carcass of the shark at sea, that is comparable in effectiveness to that of the United States, taking into account different conditions, including conditions that could bear on the feasibility and effectiveness of measures.

(2) When determining whether to identify nations for these activities, NMFS will take into account all relevant matters including, but not limited to, the history, nature, circumstances, duration, and gravity of the fishing activity of concern.

(b) Notification of nations identified as having fishing vessels engaged in fishing activities or practices that target or incidentally catch sharks. Upon identifying in the biennial report to Congress a nation whose vessels engaged in fishing activities or practices in waters beyond any national jurisdiction that target or incidentally catch sharks, the Secretary of Commerce will notify the President of such identification. Within 60 days after submission of the biennial report to Congress, the Secretary of Commerce, acting through or in consultation with the Secretary of State, will notify identified nations about the requirements under the Moratorium Protection Act and this subpart N.

(c) Consultations and negotiations. Upon submission of the biennial report to Congress, the Secretary of Commerce, acting through or in consultation with the Secretary of State, will:

(1) Initiate consultations within 60 days after submission of the biennial report to Congress with the governments of identified nations for the purposes of encouraging adoption of a regulatory program for the conservation of sharks that is comparable in effectiveness to that of the United States, taking into account different conditions, and establishment of a management plan that assists in the collection of species-specific data;

(2) Seek to enter into bilateral and multilateral treaties or other arrangements with such nations to protect sharks; and

(3) Seek agreements through the appropriate international organizations calling for international restrictions on the fishing activities or practices described in the biennial report and, as necessary, request the Secretary of State to initiate the amendment of any existing international treaty to which the United States is a party for the conservation of sharks to make such agreements consistent with this subpart.

(d) International Cooperation and Assistance. To the greatest extent possible, consistent with existing authority and the availability of funds, the Secretary shall:

(1) Provide appropriate assistance to nations identified by the Secretary under paragraph (a) of this section and international organizations of which those nations are members to assist those nations in qualifying for a positive certification under paragraph (e) of this section;

(2) Undertake, where appropriate, cooperative research activities on species assessments and harvesting techniques aimed at mitigating or eliminating the non-target catch of sharks, with those nations or organizations;

(3) Encourage and facilitate the transfer of appropriate technology to those nations or organizations to assist those nations in qualifying for positive certification under paragraph (e) of this section; and

(4) Provide assistance to those nations or organizations in designing, implementing, and enforcing appropriate fish harvesting plans for the conservation and sustainable management of sharks.

(e) Procedures to certify nations identified as having fishing vessels engaged in fishing activities or practices that target or incidentally catch sharks. Each nation that is identified as having fishing vessels engaged in fishing activities or practices in waters beyond any national jurisdiction that target or incidentally catch sharks and has not adopted a regulatory program for the conservation of sharks, including measures to prohibit removal of any of the fins of a shark (including the tail) and discard the carcass of the shark at sea, that is comparable to that of the United States, taking into account different conditions, shall receive either a positive or a negative certification from the Secretary of Commerce. This certification will be published in the biennial report to Congress. The Secretary of Commerce shall issue a positive certification to an identified nation upon making a determination that:

(1) Such nation has provided evidence documenting its adoption of a regulatory program for the conservation of sharks that is comparable in effectiveness to regulatory measures required under U.S. law in the relevant fisheries, taking into account different conditions, including conditions that could bear on the feasibility and effectiveness of measures; and such nation has established a management plan that will assist in the collection of species-specific data on sharks to support international stock assessments and conservation efforts for sharks.

(2) Prior to a formal certification determination, nations will be provided with preliminary certification determinations, and an opportunity to support and/or refute the preliminary determinations, and communicate actions taken to adopt a regulatory program that is comparable in effectiveness to that of the United States, taking into account different conditions. The Secretary of Commerce shall consider any relevant information received during consultations when making its formal certification determination.

[78 FR 3343, Jan. 16, 2013]

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