United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Oct 29, 2020

§ 1824.
Permits for foreign fishing
(a)
In general

After February 28, 1977, no foreign fishing vessel shall engage in fishing within the exclusive economic zone, or for anadromous species or Continental Shelf fishery resources beyond such zone, unless such vessel has on board a valid permit issued under this section for such vessel.

(b)
Applications and permits under governing international fishery agreements
(1)
Eligibility; duration

Each foreign nation with which the United States has entered into a governing international fishery agreement shall submit an application to the Secretary of State each year for a permit for each of its fishing vessels that wishes to engage in fishing described in subsection (a). No permit issued under this section may be valid for longer than a year; and section 558(c) of title 5 does not apply to the renewal of any such permit.

(2)
Forms

The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, shall prescribe the forms for permit applications submitted under this subsection and for permits issued pursuant to any such application.

(3)
Contents
Any application made under this subsection shall specify—
(A)
the name and official number or other identification of each fishing vessel for which a permit is sought, together with the name and address of the owner thereof;
(B)
the tonnage, hold capacity, speed, processing equipment, type and quantity of fishing gear, and such other pertinent information with respect to characteristics of each such vessel as the Secretary may require;
(C)
each fishery in which each such vessel wishes to fish;
(D)
the estimated amount of tonnage of fish which will be caught, taken, or harvested in each such fishery by each such vessel during the time the permit is in force;
(E)
the amount or tonnage of United States harvested fish, if any, which each such vessel proposes to receive at sea from vessels of the United States;
(F)
the ocean area in which, and the season or period during which, such fishing will be conducted; and
(G)
all applicable vessel safety standards imposed by the foreign country, and shall include written certification that the vessel is in compliance with those standards;
and shall include any other pertinent information and material which the Secretary may require.
(4)
Transmittal for action
Upon receipt of any application which complies with the requirements of paragraph (3), the Secretary of State shall publish a notice of receipt of the application in the Federal Register. Any such notice shall summarize the contents of the applications from each nation included therein with respect to the matters described in paragraph (3). The Secretary of State shall promptly transmit—
(A)
such application, together with his comments and recommendations thereon, to the Secretary;
(B)
a copy of the application to the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating; and
(C)
a copy or a summary of the application to the appropriate Council.
(5)
Action by Council

After receiving a copy or summary of an application under paragraph (4)(C), the Council may prepare and submit to the Secretary such written comments on the application as it deems appropriate. Such comments shall be submitted within 45 days after the date on which the application is received by the Council and may include recommendations with respect to approval of the application and, if approval is recommended, with respect to appropriate conditions and restrictions thereon. Any interested person may submit comments to such Council with respect to any such application. The Council shall consider any such comments in formulating its submission to the Secretary.

(6)
Approval
(A)
After receipt of any application transmitted under paragraph (4)(A), the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of State and, with respect to enforcement, with the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating. The Secretary, after taking into consideration the views and recommendations of such Secretaries, and any comments submitted by any Council under paragraph (5), may approve, subject to subparagraph (B), the application, if he determines that the fishing described in the application will meet the requirements of this chapter, or he may disapprove all or any portion of the application.
(B)
(i)
In the case of any application which specifies that one or more foreign fishing vessels propose to receive at sea United States harvested fish from vessels of the United States, the Secretary may approve the application unless the Secretary determines, on the basis of the views, recommendations, and comments referred to in subparagraph (A) and other pertinent information, that United States fish processors have adequate capacity, and will utilize such capacity, to process all United States harvested fish from the fishery concerned.
(ii)
The amount or tonnage of United States harvested fish which may be received at sea during any year by foreign fishing vessels under permits approved under this paragraph may not exceed that portion of the optimum yield of the fishery concerned which will not be utilized by United States fish processors.
(iii)
In deciding whether to approve any application under this subparagraph, the Secretary may take into account, with respect to the foreign nation concerned, such other matters as the Secretary deems appropriate.
(7)
Establishment of conditions and restrictions
The Secretary shall establish conditions and restrictions which shall be included in each permit issued pursuant to any application approved under paragraph (6) or subsection (d) and which must be complied with by the owner or operator of the fishing vessel for which the permit is issued. Such conditions and restrictions shall include the following:
(A)
All of the requirements of any applicable fishery management plan, or preliminary fishery management plan, and any applicable Federal or State fishing regulations.
(B)
The requirement that no permit may be used by any vessel other than the fishing vessel for which it is issued.
(C)
The requirements described in section 1821(c)(1), (2), and (3) of this title.
(D)
(E)
If the permit is issued pursuant to an application approved under paragraph (6)(B), the maximum amount or tonnage of United States harvested fish which may be received at sea from vessels of the United States.
(F)
Any other condition and restriction related to fishery conservation and management which the Secretary prescribes as necessary and appropriate.
(8)
Notice of approval
The Secretary shall promptly transmit a copy of each application approved under paragraph (6) and the conditions and restrictions established under paragraph (7) to—
(A)
the Secretary of State for transmittal to the foreign nation involved;
(B)
the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating; and
(C)
any Council which has authority over any fishery specified in such application.
(9)
Disapproval of applications

If the Secretary does not approve any application submitted by a foreign nation under this subsection, he shall promptly inform the Secretary of State of the disapproval and his reasons therefore. The Secretary of State shall notify such foreign nation of the disapproval and the reasons therefor. Such foreign nation, after taking into consideration the reasons for disapproval, may submit a revised application under this subsection.

(10)
Fees
(A)
Fees shall be paid to the Secretary by the owner or operator of any foreign fishing vessel for which a permit has been issued pursuant to this section. The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall establish a schedule of reasonable fees that shall apply nondiscriminatorily to each foreign nation.
(B)
Amounts collected by the Secretary under this paragraph shall be deposited in the general fund of the Treasury.
(11)
Issuance of permits

If a foreign nation notifies the Secretary of State of its acceptance of the conditions and restrictions established by the Secretary under paragraph (7), the Secretary of State shall promptly transmit such notification to the Secretary. Upon payment of the applicable fees established pursuant to paragraph (10), the Secretary shall thereupon issue to such foreign nation, through the Secretary of State, permits for the appropriate fishing vessels of that nation. Each permit shall contain a statement of all conditions and restrictions established under paragraph (7) which apply to the fishing vessel for which the permit is issued.

(c)
Registration permits

The Secretary of State, in cooperation with the Secretary, shall issue annually a registration permit for each fishing vessel of a foreign nation which is a party to an international fishery agreement under which foreign fishing is authorized by section 1821(b) of this title and which wishes to engage in fishing described in subsection (a). Each such permit shall set forth the terms and conditions contained in the agreement that apply with respect to such fishing, and shall include the additional requirement that the owner or operator of the fishing vessel for which the permit is issued shall prominently display such permit in the wheelhouse of such vessel and show it, upon request, to any officer authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter (as provided for in section 1861 of this title). The Secretary of State, after consultation with the Secretary and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, shall prescribe the form and manner in which applications for registration permits may be made, and the forms of such permits. The Secretary of State may establish, require the payment of, and collect fees for registration permits; except that the level of such fees shall not exceed the administrative costs incurred by him in issuing such permits.

(d)
Transshipment permits
(1)
Authority to issue permits
The Secretary may issue a transshipment permit under this subsection which authorizes a vessel other than a vessel of the United States to engage in fishing consisting solely of transporting fish or fish products at sea from a point within the exclusive economic zone or, with the concurrence of a State, within the boundaries of that State, to a point outside the United States to any person who—
(A)
submits an application which is approved by the Secretary under paragraph (3); and
(B)
pays a fee imposed under paragraph (7).
(2)
Transmittal

Upon receipt of an application for a permit under this subsection, the Secretary shall promptly transmit copies of the application to the Secretary of State, Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, any appropriate Council, and any affected State.

(3)
Approval of application
The Secretary may approve, in consultation with the appropriate Council or Marine Fisheries Commission, an application for a permit under this section if the Secretary determines that—
(A)
the transportation of fish or fish products to be conducted under the permit, as described in the application, will be in the interest of the United States and will meet the applicable requirements of this chapter;
(B)
the applicant will comply with the requirements described in section 1821(c)(2) of this title with respect to activities authorized by any permit issued pursuant to the application;
(C)
the applicant has established any bonds or financial assurances that may be required by the Secretary; and
(D)
no owner or operator of a vessel of the United States which has adequate capacity to perform the transportation for which the application is submitted has indicated to the Secretary an interest in performing the transportation at fair and reasonable rates.
(4)
Whole or partial approval

The Secretary may approve all or any portion of an application under paragraph (3).

(5)
Failure to approve application

If the Secretary does not approve any portion of an application submitted under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall promptly inform the applicant and specify the reasons therefor.

(6)
Conditions and restrictions

The Secretary shall establish and include in each permit under this subsection conditions and restrictions, including those conditions and restrictions set forth in subsection (b)(7), which shall be complied with by the owner and operator of the vessel for which the permit is issued.

(7)
Fees

The Secretary shall collect a fee for each permit issued under this subsection, in an amount adequate to recover the costs incurred by the United States in issuing the permit, except that the Secretary shall waive the fee for the permit if the foreign nation under which the vessel is registered does not collect a fee from a vessel of the United States engaged in similar activities in the waters of such foreign nation.

(e)
Pacific Insular Areas
(1)
Negotiation of Pacific Insular Area fishery agreements
The Secretary of State, with the concurrence of the Secretary and in consultation with any appropriate Council, may negotiate and enter into a Pacific Insular Area fishery agreement to authorize foreign fishing within the exclusive economic zone adjacent to a Pacific Insular Area—
(A)
in the case of American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands, at the request and with the concurrence of, and in consultation with, the Governor of the Pacific Insular Area to which such agreement applies; and
(B)
in the case of a Pacific Insular Area other than American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands, at the request of the Western Pacific Council.
(2)
Agreement terms and conditions
A Pacific Insular Area fishery agreement—
(A)
shall not be considered to supersede any governing international fishery agreement currently in effect under this chapter, but shall provide an alternative basis for the conduct of foreign fishing within the exclusive economic zone adjacent to Pacific Insular Areas;
(B)
shall be negotiated and implemented consistent only with the governing international fishery agreement provisions of this subchapter specifically made applicable in this subsection;
(C)
may not be negotiated with a nation that is in violation of a governing international fishery agreement in effect under this chapter;
(D)
shall not be entered into if it is determined by the Governor of the applicable Pacific Insular Area with respect to agreements initiated under paragraph (1)(A), or the Western Pacific Council with respect to agreements initiated under paragraph (1)(B), that such an agreement will adversely affect the fishing activities of the indigenous people of such Pacific Insular Area;
(E)
shall be valid for a period not to exceed three years and shall only become effective according to the procedures in section 1823 of this title; and
(F)
shall require the foreign nation and its fishing vessels to comply with the requirements of paragraphs (1), (2), (3) and (4)(A) of section 1821(c) of this title, section 1821(d) of this title, and section 1821(h) of this title.
(3)
Permits for foreign fishing
(A)
Application for permits for foreign fishing authorized under a Pacific Insular Areas fishing agreement shall be made, considered and approved or disapproved in accordance with paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (6), (7)(A) and (B), (8), and (9) of subsection (b), and shall include any conditions and restrictions established by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, the Governor of the applicable Pacific Insular Area, and the appropriate Council.
(B)
If a foreign nation notifies the Secretary of State of its acceptance of the requirements of this paragraph, paragraph (2)(F), and paragraph (5), including any conditions and restrictions established under subparagraph (A), the Secretary of State shall promptly transmit such notification to the Secretary. Upon receipt of any payment required under a Pacific Insular Area fishing agreement, the Secretary shall thereupon issue to such foreign nation, through the Secretary of State, permits for the appropriate fishing vessels of that nation. Each permit shall contain a statement of all of the requirements, conditions, and restrictions established under this subsection which apply to the fishing vessel for which the permit is issued.
(4)
Marine conservation plans
(A)
Prior to entering into a Pacific Insular Area fishery agreement, the Western Pacific Council and the appropriate Governor shall develop a 3-year marine conservation plan detailing uses for funds to be collected by the Secretary pursuant to such agreement. Such plan shall be consistent with any applicable fishery management plan, identify conservation and management objectives (including criteria for determining when such objectives have been met), and prioritize planned marine conservation projects. Conservation and management objectives shall include, but not be limited to—
(i)
Pacific Insular Area observer programs, or other monitoring programs, that the Secretary determines are adequate to monitor the harvest, bycatch, and compliance with the laws of the United States by foreign fishing vessels that fish under Pacific Insular Area fishing agreements;
(ii)
conduct of marine and fisheries research, including development of systems for information collection, analysis, evaluation, and reporting;
(iii)
conservation, education, and enforcement activities related to marine and coastal management, such as living marine resource assessments, habitat monitoring and coastal studies;
(iv)
grants to the University of Hawaii for technical assistance projects by the Pacific Island Network, such as education and training in the development and implementation of sustainable marine resources development projects, scientific research, and conservation strategies; and
(v)
western Pacific community-based demonstration projects under section 112(b) of the Sustainable Fisheries Act and other coastal improvement projects to foster and promote the management, conservation, and economic enhancement of the Pacific Insular Areas.
(B)
In the case of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, the appropriate Governor, with the concurrence of the Western Pacific Council, shall develop the marine conservation plan described in subparagraph (A) and submit such plan to the Secretary for approval. In the case of other Pacific Insular Areas, the Western Pacific Council shall develop and submit the marine conservation plan described in subparagraph (A) to the Secretary for approval.
(C)
If a Governor or the Western Pacific Council intends to request that the Secretary of State renew a Pacific Insular Area fishery agreement, a subsequent 3-year plan shall be submitted to the Secretary for approval by the end of the second year of the existing 3-year plan.
(5)
Reciprocal conditions

Except as expressly provided otherwise in this subsection, a Pacific Insular Area fishing agreement may include terms similar to the terms applicable to United States fishing vessels for access to similar fisheries in waters subject to the fisheries jurisdiction of another nation.

(6)
Use of payments by American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands
Any payments received by the Secretary under a Pacific Insular Area fishery agreement for American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands shall be deposited into the United States Treasury and then covered over to the Treasury of the Pacific Insular Area for which those funds were collected. Amounts deposited in the Treasury of a Pacific Insular Area shall be available, without appropriation or fiscal year limitation, to the Governor of the Pacific Insular Area—
(A)
to carry out the purposes of this subsection;
(B)
to compensate (i) the Western Pacific Council for mutually agreed upon administrative costs incurred relating to any Pacific Insular Area fishery agreement for such Pacific Insular Area, and (ii) the Secretary of State for mutually agreed upon travel expenses for no more than 2 Federal representatives incurred as a direct result of complying with paragraph (1)(A); and
(C)
to implement a marine conservation plan developed and approved under paragraph (4).
(7)
Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund
There is established in the United States Treasury a Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund into which any payments received by the Secretary under a Pacific Insular Area fishery agreement and any funds or contributions received in support of conservation and management objectives under a marine conservation plan for any Pacific Insular Area other than American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands shall be deposited. The Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund shall be made available, without appropriation or fiscal year limitation, to the Secretary, who shall provide such funds only to—
(A)
the Western Pacific Council for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this subsection, including implementation of a marine conservation plan approved under paragraph (4);
(B)
the Secretary of State for mutually agreed upon travel expenses for no more than 2 Federal representatives incurred as a direct result of complying with paragraph (1)(B); and
(C)
the Western Pacific Council to meet conservation and management objectives in the State of Hawaii if monies remain in the Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund after the funding requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (B) have been satisfied.
Amounts deposited in such fund shall not diminish funding received by the Western Pacific Council for the purpose of carrying out other responsibilities under this chapter.
(8)
Use of fines and penalties

In the case of violations occurring within the exclusive economic zone off American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands, amounts received by the Secretary which are attributable to fines or penalties imposed under this chapter, including such sums collected from the forfeiture and disposition or sale of property seized subject to its authority, after payment of direct costs of the enforcement action to all entities involved in such action, shall be deposited into the Treasury of the Pacific Insular Area adjacent to the exclusive economic zone in which the violation occurred, to be used for fisheries enforcement and for implementation of a marine conservation plan under paragraph (4). In the case of violations by foreign vessels occurring within the exclusive economic zones off Midway Atoll, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, Jarvis, Howland, Baker, and Wake Islands, amounts received by the Secretary attributable to fines and penalties imposed under this chapter, shall be deposited into the Western Pacific Sustainable Fisheries Fund established under paragraph (7) of this subsection.

(Pub. L. 94–265, title II, § 204, Apr. 13, 1976, 90 Stat. 342; Pub. L. 95–354, § 4(5)–(8), Aug. 28, 1978, 92 Stat. 520, 521; Pub. L. 96–470, title I, § 111(b), title II, § 208, Oct. 19, 1980, 94 Stat. 2239, 2245; Pub. L. 96–561, title II, § 232, Dec. 22, 1980, 94 Stat. 3298; Pub. L. 97–453, § 3, Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2483; Pub. L. 99–272, title VI, § 6021, Apr. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 123; Pub. L. 99–659, title I, §§ 101(c)(2), 102, 103(b), Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 3707, 3709; Pub. L. 101–627, title I, §§ 106, 120(b), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 4440, 4459; Pub. L. 102–251, title III, § 301(f), Mar. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 64; Pub. L. 104–297, title I, § 105(d), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3564; Pub. L. 109–479, § 6, title IV, § 404(b), Jan. 12, 2007, 120 Stat. 3579, 3632.)
cite as: 16 USC 1824