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e-CFR data is current as of March 4, 2021

Title 50Chapter IIIPart 300Subpart O → §300.215


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


§300.215   Observers.

(a) Applicability. This section applies to the following categories of fishing vessels:

(1) Any fishing vessel of the United States with a WCPFC Area Endorsement.

(2) Any fishing vessel of the United States for which a WCPFC Area Endorsement is required.

(3) Any fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing that receives or offloads in the Convention Area a transshipment of HMS at sea.

(b) Notifications. The owner or operator of a vessel required to carry a WCPFC observer under paragraph (d) of this section during a given fishing trip must ensure the provision of notice to the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator at least 72 hours (exclusive of weekends and Federal holidays) before the vessel leaves port on the fishing trip, indicating the need for an observer. The notice must be provided to the office or telephone number designated by the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator and must include the official number of the vessel, the name of the vessel, the intended departure date, time, and location, the name of the operator of the vessel, and a telephone number at which the owner, operator, or a designated agent may be contacted during the business day (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time). If applicable, notice may be provided in conjunction with the notice required under §665.803(a) of this title.

(c) Accommodating observers. (1) Fishing vessels specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section must carry, when directed to do so by NMFS, a WCPFC observer on fishing trips during which the vessel at any time enters or is within any part of the Convention Area other than the Overlap Area. The operator and each member of the crew of the fishing vessel shall act in accordance with paragraphs (c)(3), (4), and (5) of this section with respect to any WCPFC observer.

(2) Fishing vessels specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section must carry an observer when required to do so under paragraph (d) of this section, except for within the Overlap Area. The operator and each member of the crew of the fishing vessel shall act in accordance with paragraphs (c)(3), (4), and (5) of this section, as applicable, with respect to any WCPFC observer.

(3) The operator and crew shall allow and assist WCPFC observers to:

(i) Embark at a place and time determined by NMFS or otherwise agreed to by NMFS and the vessel operator;

(ii) Have access to and use of all facilities and equipment as necessary to conduct observer duties, including, but not limited to: Full access to the bridge, the fish on board, and areas which may be used to hold, process, weigh and store fish; full access to the vessel's records, including its logs and documentation, for the purpose of inspection and copying; access to, and use of, navigational equipment, charts and radios; and access to other information relating to fishing;

(iii) Remove samples;

(iv) Disembark at a place and time determined by NMFS or otherwise agreed to by NMFS and the vessel operator; and

(v) Carry out all duties safely.

(4) The operator shall provide the WCPFC observer, while on board the vessel, with food, accommodation and medical facilities of a reasonable standard equivalent to those normally available to an officer on board the vessel, at no expense to the WCPFC observer.

(5) The operator and crew shall not assault, obstruct, resist, delay, refuse boarding to, intimidate, harass or interfere with WCPFC observers in the performance of their duties, or attempt to do any of the same.

(d) Transshipment observer coverage—(1) Receiving vessels. Any fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing that receives in the Convention Area a transshipment of HMS at sea must have a WCPFC observer on board during such transshipment unless at least one of the following sets of conditions applies:

(i) The vessel is less than or equal to 33 meters in registered length, the transshipment does not include any fish caught by purse seine gear, the transshipment does not include any frozen fish caught by longline gear, and, during the transshipment, there is a WCPFC observer on board the vessel that offloads the transshipment;

(ii) The transshipment takes place entirely within the territorial seas or archipelagic waters of any nation, as defined by the domestic laws and regulations of that nation and recognized by the United States, or entirely within the Overlap Area, and only includes fish caught in such waters; or

(iii) The transshipment is an emergency, as specified under §300.216(b)(4).

(2) Offloading vessels. Any fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing that offloads a transshipment of HMS at sea in the Convention Area must have a WCPFC observer on board, unless one or more of the following conditions apply:

(i) The vessel that receives the transshipment has a WCPFC observer on board;

(ii) The vessel that receives the transshipment is greater than 33 meters in registered length;

(iii) The transshipment includes fish caught by purse seine gear;

(iv) The transshipment includes frozen fish caught by longline gear;

(v) The transshipment takes place entirely within the territorial seas or archipelagic waters of any nation, as defined by the domestic laws and regulations of that nation and recognized by the United States, or entirely within the Overlap Area, and only includes fish caught in such waters; or

(vi) The transshipment is an emergency, as specified under §300.216(b)(4).

(e) Related observer requirements. Observers deployed by NMFS pursuant to regulations issued under other statutory authorities on vessels used for fishing for HMS in the Convention Area will be deemed by NMFS to have been deployed pursuant to this section.

[77 FR 71509, Dec. 3, 2012, as amended at 85 FR 37388, June 22, 2020]

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