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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 12, 2019

Title 50Chapter IIIPart 300 → Subpart A


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS


Subpart A—General


Contents
§300.1   Purpose and scope.
§300.2   Definitions.
§300.3   Relation to other laws.
§300.4   General prohibitions.
§300.5   Facilitation of enforcement.

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 2431 et seq., 31 U.S.C. 9701 et seq.

§300.1   Purpose and scope.

The purpose of this part is to implement the fishery conservation and management measures provided for in the international treaties, conventions, or agreements specified in each subpart, as well as certain provisions of the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981. The regulations in this part apply, except where otherwise specified in this part, to all persons and all places subject to the jurisdiction of the United States under the acts implemented under each subpart.

§300.2   Definitions.

In addition to the definitions in each act, agreement, convention, or treaty specified in subparts B through K of this part, the terms used in this part have the following meanings:

Assistant Administrator means the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, or a designee. Address: Room 14555, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

Authorized officer means:

(1) Any commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard; or any U.S. Coast Guard personnel accompanying and acting under the direction of a commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard;

(2) Any special agent or fisheries enforcement officer of NMFS; or

(3) Any person designated by the head of any Federal or state agency that has entered into an agreement with the Secretary of Commerce or the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard to enforce the provisions of any statute administered by the Secretary.

CCAMLR inspector means a person designated by a member of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources as an inspector under Article XXIV of the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to verify compliance with measures in effect under the Convention.

Exclusive Economic Zone or EEZ means the zone established by Presidential Proclamation 5030, dated March 10, 1983, as defined in 16 U.S.C. 1802(6).

Fishing or to fish means:

(1) The catching or taking of fish;

(2) The attempted catching or taking of fish;

(3) Any other activity that can reasonably be expected to result in the catching or taking of fish; or

(4) Any operations at sea in support of, or in preparation for, any activity described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this definition.

Fishing vessel means any vessel, boat, ship, or other craft that is used for, equipped to be used for, or of a type normally used for fishing.

IATTC means the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, established pursuant to the Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.

Import means to land on, bring into, or introduce into, or attempt to land on, bring into, or introduce into, any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, whether or not such landing, bringing, or introduction, constitutes an importation within the meaning of the customs laws of the United States.

IRCS means International Radio Call Sign.

Magnuson-Stevens Act means the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

National of the United States or U.S. national means any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including, but not limited to, a citizen or resident of the United States, or a person employed on a vessel of the United States. In the case of a corporation, partnership or other non- natural person, this includes, but is not limited to, any entity that is the owner of a vessel of the United States.

NMFS means the National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, Department of Commerce.

NMFS Headquarters means NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Attention: Office of International Affairs.

Official number means the documentation number issued by the USCG or the certificate number issued by a state or the USCG for an undocumented vessel, or any equivalent number if the vessel is registered in a foreign nation.

Operator means, with respect to any vessel, the master or other individual aboard and in charge of that vessel.

Owner means, with respect to any vessel:

(1) Any person who owns that vessel in whole or part (whether or not the vessel is leased or chartered);

(2) Any charterer of the vessel, whether bareboat, time, or voyage;

(3) Any person who acts in the capacity of a charterer, including but not limited to parties to a management agreement, operating agreement, or any similar agreement that bestows control over the destination, function, or operation of the vessel; or

(4) Any agent designated as such by a person described in this definition.

Person means any individual (whether or not a citizen or national of the United States), any corporation, partnership, association, or other entity (whether or not organized, or existing under the laws of any state), and any Federal, state, local, or foreign government or any entity of any such government.

Regional Administrator means the Administrator of one of the six NMFS Regions, described in Table 1 of §600.502 of this title, or a designee.

Science and Research Director means the Director of one of the six NMFS Fisheries Science Centers described in Table 1 of §600.502 of this title, or a designee, also known as the Science Director.

Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce or a designee.

USCG means the United States Coast Guard.

Yellowfin tuna means any fish of the species Thunnus albacares (synonomy: Neothunnus macropterus).

[61 FR 35550, July 5, 1996, as amended at 76 FR 59305, Sept. 26, 2011]

§300.3   Relation to other laws.

Other laws that may apply to fishing activities addressed herein are set forth in §600.705 of chapter VI of this title.

§300.4   General prohibitions.

It is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to:

(a) Violate the conditions or restrictions of a permit issued under this part.

(b) Fail to submit information, fail to submit information in a timely manner, or submit false or inaccurate information, with respect to any information required to be submitted, reported, communicated, or recorded pursuant to this part.

(c) Make any false statement, oral or written, to an authorized officer concerning the catching, taking, harvesting, possession, landing, purchase, sale, or transfer of fish, or concerning any other matter subject to investigation by that officer under this part.

(d) Conceal any material fact (including by omission), concerning any matter subject to investigation by an authorized officer under this part.

(e) Refuse to allow an authorized officer to inspect any report or record required to be made or kept under this part.

(f) Falsify, cover, or otherwise obscure, the name, home port, official number (if any), or any other similar marking or identification of any fishing vessel subject to this part such that the vessel cannot be readily identified from an enforcement vessel or aircraft.

(g) Fail to comply immediately with any of the enforcement and boarding procedures specified in this part.

(h) Refuse to allow an authorized officer to board a fishing vessel, or enter any other area of custody (i.e., any vessel, building, vehicle, live car, pound, pier, or dock facility where fish might be found) subject to such person's control, for the purpose of conducting any inspection, search, seizure, investigation, or arrest in connection with the enforcement of this part or any other applicable law.

(i) Destroy, stave, or dispose of in any manner, any fish, gear, cargo, or other matter, upon any communication or signal from an authorized officer of the United States, or upon the approach of such an officer, enforcement vessel, or aircraft, before the officer has had the opportunity to inspect same, or in contravention of directions from such an officer.

(j) Intentionally destroy evidence that could be used to determine if a violation of this part has occurred.

(k) Assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, threaten, obstruct, delay, prevent, or interfere, in any manner, with an authorized officer in the conduct of any boarding, inspection, search, seizure, investigation, or arrest in connection with enforcement of this part.

(l) Resist a lawful arrest or detention for any act prohibited by this part.

(m) Interfere with, delay, or prevent, by any means, the apprehension, arrest, or detection of another person, knowing that such person has committed any act prohibited by this part.

(n) Interfere with, obstruct, delay, or prevent, by any means, an investigation, search, seizure, or disposition of seized property in connection with enforcement of this part.

(o) Ship, transport, offer for sale, sell, purchase, import, export, or have custody, control, or possession of, any fish imported, exported or re-exported in violation of this part.

(p) Import, export, or re-export any fish regulated under this part without a valid International Fisheries Trade Permit as required under §300.322 or applicable shipment documentation as required under §300.323.

(q) Violate any provision of any statute implemented by this part.

(r) Attempt to do any of the foregoing.

[61 FR 35550, July 5, 1996, as amended at 81 FR 51133, Aug. 3, 2016]

§300.5   Facilitation of enforcement.

(a) Compliance. The operator of, or any other person aboard, any fishing vessel subject to this part must immediately comply with instructions and signals issued by an authorized officer or CCAMLR inspector to stop the vessel, and with instructions to facilitate safe boarding and inspection of the vessel, its gear, equipment, fishing record (where applicable), and catch for purposes of enforcing this part.

(1) For the purposes of this section “freeboard” means the working distance between the top rail of the gunwale of a vessel and the water's surface. Where cut-outs are provided in the bulwarks for the purpose of boarding personnel, freeboard means the distance between the threshold of the bulwark cut-out and the water's surface.

(2) For the purposes of this section, “pilot ladder” means a flexible ladder constructed and approved to meet the U.S. Coast Guard standards for pilot ladders at 46 CFR subpart 163.003 entitled Pilot Ladder.

(b) Communications. (1) Upon being approached by a USCG vessel or aircraft, or other vessel or aircraft with an authorized officer or CCAMLR inspector aboard, the operator of a fishing vessel must be alert for communications conveying enforcement instructions.

(2) VHF-FM radiotelephone is the preferred method of communicating between vessels. If the size of the vessel and the wind, sea, and visibility conditions allow, a loudhailer may be used instead of the radio. Hand signals, placards, high frequency radiotelephone, voice, flags, whistle or horn may be employed by an authorized officer or CCAMLR inspector, and message blocks may be dropped from an aircraft.

(3) If other communications are not practicable, visual signals may be transmitted by flashing light directed at the vessel signaled. USCG units will normally use the flashing light signal “L” which, in the International Code of Signals, means “you should stop your vessel instantly.”

(4) Failure of a vessel's operator promptly to stop the vessel when directed to do so by an authorized officer or CCAMLR inspector, or by an enforcement vessel or aircraft, using loudhailer, radiotelephone, flashing light, flags, whistle, horn or other means constitutes prima facie evidence of the offense of refusal to allow an authorized officer or CCAMLR inspector to board.

(5) A person aboard a vessel who does not understand a signal from an enforcement unit and who is unable to obtain clarification by loudhailer or radiotelephone must consider the signal to be a command to stop the vessel immediately.

(c) Boarding. The operator of a vessel directed to stop must:

(1) Monitor Channel 16, VHF-FM, if so equipped.

(2) Stop immediately and lay to or, if appropriate and/or directed to do so by the authorized officer or CCAMLR inspector, maneuver in such a way as to allow the safe boarding of the vessel by the authorized officer or CCAMLR inspector and the boarding party.

(3) Except for fishing vessels with a freeboard of 4 feet (1.25 m) or less, provide, when requested by an authorized officer or CCAMLR inspector, a pilot ladder capable of being used for the purpose of enabling the authorized officer or CCAMLR inspector to embark and disembark the vessel safely. The pilot ladder must be maintained in good condition and kept clean.

(4) When necessary to facilitate the boarding or when requested by an authorized officer or CCAMLR inspector, provide a manrope or safety line, and illumination for the pilot ladder.

(5) Take such other actions as necessary to facilitate boarding and to ensure the safety of the authorized officer or CCAMLR inspector and the boarding party.

(d) Signals. The following signals, extracted from the International Code of Signals, may be sent by flashing light by an enforcement unit when conditions do not allow communications by loudhailer or radiotelephone. Knowledge of these signals by vessel operators is not required. However, knowledge of these signals and appropriate action by a vessel operator may preclude the necessity of sending the signal “L” and the necessity for the vessel to stop instantly.

(1) “AA” repeated (.- .-) is the call to an unknown station. The operator of the signaled vessel should respond by identifying the vessel by radiotelephone or by illuminating the vessel's identification.

(2) “RY-CY” (.-. -.-- -.-. -.--) means “you should proceed at slow speed, a boat is coming to you.” This signal is normally employed when conditions allow an enforcement boarding without the necessity of the vessel being boarded coming to a complete stop, or, in some cases, without retrieval of fishing gear that may be in the water.

(3) “SQ3” (... --.- ...--) means “you should stop or heave to; I am going to board you.”

[61 FR 35550, July 5, 1996, as amended at 73 FR 67809, Nov. 17, 2008]

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