United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Oct 31, 2020

§ 1853.
Contents of fishery management plans
(a)
Required provisions
Any fishery management plan which is prepared by any Council, or by the Secretary, with respect to any fishery, shall—
(1)
contain the conservation and management measures, applicable to foreign fishing and fishing by vessels of the United States, which are—
(A)
necessary and appropriate for the conservation and management of the fishery, to prevent overfishing and rebuild overfished stocks, and to protect, restore, and promote the long-term health and stability of the fishery;
(B)
described in this subsection or subsection (b), or both; and
(C)
consistent with the national standards, the other provisions of this chapter, regulations implementing recommendations by international organizations in which the United States participates (including but not limited to closed areas, quotas, and size limits), and any other applicable law;
(2)
contain a description of the fishery, including, but not limited to, the number of vessels involved, the type and quantity of fishing gear used, the species of fish involved and their location, the cost likely to be incurred in management, actual and potential revenues from the fishery, any recreational interests in the fishery, and the nature and extent of foreign fishing and Indian treaty fishing rights, if any;
(3)
assess and specify the present and probable future condition of, and the maximum sustainable yield and optimum yield from, the fishery, and include a summary of the information utilized in making such specification;
(4)
assess and specify—
(A)
the capacity and the extent to which fishing vessels of the United States, on an annual basis, will harvest the optimum yield specified under paragraph (3),
(B)
the portion of such optimum yield which, on an annual basis, will not be harvested by fishing vessels of the United States and can be made available for foreign fishing, and
(C)
the capacity and extent to which United States fish processors, on an annual basis, will process that portion of such optimum yield that will be harvested by fishing vessels of the United States;
(5)
specify the pertinent data which shall be submitted to the Secretary with respect to commercial, recreational,1
1
 So in original. Probably should be followed by “and”.
charter fishing, and fish processing in the fishery, including, but not limited to, information regarding the type and quantity of fishing gear used, catch by species in numbers of fish or weight thereof, areas in which fishing was engaged in, time of fishing, number of hauls, economic information necessary to meet the requirements of this chapter, and the estimated processing capacity of, and the actual processing capacity utilized by, United States fish processors,2
2
 So in original. The comma probably should be a semicolon.
(6)
consider and provide for temporary adjustments, after consultation with the Coast Guard and persons utilizing the fishery, regarding access to the fishery for vessels otherwise prevented from harvesting because of weather or other ocean conditions affecting the safe conduct of the fishery; except that the adjustment shall not adversely affect conservation efforts in other fisheries or discriminate among participants in the affected fishery;
(7)
describe and identify essential fish habitat for the fishery based on the guidelines established by the Secretary under section 1855(b)(1)(A) of this title, minimize to the extent practicable adverse effects on such habitat caused by fishing, and identify other actions to encourage the conservation and enhancement of such habitat;
(8)
in the case of a fishery management plan that, after January 1, 1991, is submitted to the Secretary for review under section 1854(a) of this title (including any plan for which an amendment is submitted to the Secretary for such review) or is prepared by the Secretary, assess and specify the nature and extent of scientific data which is needed for effective implementation of the plan;
(9)
include a fishery impact statement for the plan or amendment (in the case of a plan or amendment thereto submitted to or prepared by the Secretary after October 1, 1990) which shall assess, specify, and analyze the likely effects, if any, including the cumulative conservation, economic, and social impacts, of the conservation and management measures on, and possible mitigation measures for—
(A)
participants in the fisheries and fishing communities affected by the plan or amendment;
(B)
participants in the fisheries conducted in adjacent areas under the authority of another Council, after consultation with such Council and representatives of those participants; and
(C)
the safety of human life at sea, including whether and to what extent such measures may affect the safety of participants in the fishery;
(10)
specify objective and measurable criteria for identifying when the fishery to which the plan applies is overfished (with an analysis of how the criteria were determined and the relationship of the criteria to the reproductive potential of stocks of fish in that fishery) and, in the case of a fishery which the Council or the Secretary has determined is approaching an overfished condition or is overfished, contain conservation and management measures to prevent overfishing or end overfishing and rebuild the fishery;
(11)
establish a standardized reporting methodology to assess the amount and type of bycatch occurring in the fishery, and include conservation and management measures that, to the extent practicable and in the following priority—
(A)
minimize bycatch; and
(B)
minimize the mortality of bycatch which cannot be avoided;
(12)
assess the type and amount of fish caught and released alive during recreational fishing under catch and release fishery management programs and the mortality of such fish, and include conservation and management measures that, to the extent practicable, minimize mortality and ensure the extended survival of such fish;
(13)
include a description of the commercial, recreational, and charter fishing sectors which participate in the fishery, including its economic impact, and, to the extent practicable, quantify trends in landings of the managed fishery resource by the commercial, recreational, and charter fishing sectors;
(14)
to the extent that rebuilding plans or other conservation and management measures which reduce the overall harvest in a fishery are necessary, allocate, taking into consideration the economic impact of the harvest restrictions or recovery benefits on the fishery participants in each sector, any harvest restrictions or recovery benefits fairly and equitably among the commercial, recreational, and charter fishing sectors in the fishery and; 3
3
 So in original. Probably should be “fishery; and”.
(15)
establish a mechanism for specifying annual catch limits in the plan (including a multiyear plan), implementing regulations, or annual specifications, at a level such that overfishing does not occur in the fishery, including measures to ensure accountability.
(b)
Discretionary provisions
Any fishery management plan which is prepared by any Council, or by the Secretary, with respect to any fishery, may—
(1)
require a permit to be obtained from, and fees to be paid to, the Secretary, with respect to—
(A)
any fishing vessel of the United States fishing, or wishing to fish, in the exclusive economic zone or for anadromous species or Continental Shelf fishery resources beyond such zone;
(B)
the operator of any such vessel; or
(C)
any United States fish processor who first receives fish that are subject to the plan;
(2)
(A)
designate zones where, and periods when, fishing shall be limited, or shall not be permitted, or shall be permitted only by specified types of fishing vessels or with specified types and quantities of fishing gear;
(B)
designate such zones in areas where deep sea corals are identified under section 1884 of this title, to protect deep sea corals from physical damage from fishing gear or to prevent loss or damage to such fishing gear from interactions with deep sea corals, after considering long-term sustainable uses of fishery resources in such areas; and
(C)
with respect to any closure of an area under this chapter that prohibits all fishing, ensure that such closure—
(i)
is based on the best scientific information available;
(ii)
includes criteria to assess the conservation benefit of the closed area;
(iii)
establishes a timetable for review of the closed area’s performance that is consistent with the purposes of the closed area; and
(iv)
is based on an assessment of the benefits and impacts of the closure, including its size, in relation to other management measures (either alone or in combination with such measures), including the benefits and impacts of limiting access to: users of the area, overall fishing activity, fishery science, and fishery and marine conservation;
(3)
establish specified limitations which are necessary and appropriate for the conservation and management of the fishery on the—
(A)
catch of fish (based on area, species, size, number, weight, sex, bycatch, total biomass, or other factors);
(B)
sale of fish caught during commercial, recreational, or charter fishing, consistent with any applicable Federal and State safety and quality requirements; and
(C)
transshipment or transportation of fish or fish products under permits issued pursuant to section 1824 of this title;
(4)
prohibit, limit, condition, or require the use of specified types and quantities of fishing gear, fishing vessels, or equipment for such vessels, including devices which may be required to facilitate enforcement of the provisions of this chapter;
(5)
incorporate (consistent with the national standards, the other provisions of this chapter, and any other applicable law) the relevant fishery conservation and management measures of the coastal States nearest to the fishery and take into account the different circumstances affecting fisheries from different States and ports, including distances to fishing grounds and proximity to time and area closures;
(6)
establish a limited access system for the fishery in order to achieve optimum yield if, in developing such system, the Council and the Secretary take into account—
(A)
present participation in the fishery;
(B)
historical fishing practices in, and dependence on, the fishery;
(C)
the economics of the fishery;
(D)
the capability of fishing vessels used in the fishery to engage in other fisheries;
(E)
the cultural and social framework relevant to the fishery and any affected fishing communities;
(F)
the fair and equitable distribution of access privileges in the fishery; and
(G)
any other relevant considerations;
(7)
require fish processors who first receive fish that are subject to the plan to submit data which are necessary for the conservation and management of the fishery;
(8)
require that one or more observers be carried on board a vessel of the United States engaged in fishing for species that are subject to the plan, for the purpose of collecting data necessary for the conservation and management of the fishery; except that such a vessel shall not be required to carry an observer on board if the facilities of the vessel for the quartering of an observer, or for carrying out observer functions, are so inadequate or unsafe that the health or safety of the observer or the safe operation of the vessel would be jeopardized;
(9)
assess and specify the effect which the conservation and management measures of the plan will have on the stocks of naturally spawning anadromous fish in the region;
(10)
include, consistent with the other provisions of this chapter, conservation and management measures that provide harvest incentives for participants within each gear group to employ fishing practices that result in lower levels of bycatch or in lower levels of the mortality of bycatch;
(11)
reserve a portion of the allowable biological catch of the fishery for use in scientific research;
(12)
include management measures in the plan to conserve target and non-target species and habitats, considering the variety of ecological factors affecting fishery populations; and
(14)
4
4
 So in original. No par. (13) has been enacted.
prescribe such other measures, requirements, or conditions and restrictions as are determined to be necessary and appropriate for the conservation and management of the fishery.
(c)
Proposed regulations
Proposed regulations which the Council deems necessary or appropriate for the purposes of—
(1)
(2)
making modifications to regulations implementing a fishery management plan or plan amendment may be submitted to the Secretary at any time after the plan or amendment is approved under section 1854 of this title.
(Pub. L. 94–265, title III, § 303, Apr. 13, 1976, 90 Stat. 351; Pub. L. 95–354, § 5(2), (3), Aug. 28, 1978, 92 Stat. 521; Pub. L. 97–453, § 6, Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2486; Pub. L. 99–659, title I, §§ 101(c)(2), 105(a)(1), (b), Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 3707, 3711; Pub. L. 101–627, title I, § 109, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 4447; Pub. L. 102–251, title III, § 301(g), Mar. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 64; Pub. L. 104–297, title I, § 108(a), (c)–(e), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3574–3576; Pub. L. 106–554, § 1(a)(4) [div. B, title I, § 144(a)(1), (2)], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2763, 2763A–238; Pub. L. 109–479, title I, §§ 101(b), 104(a), 105, 106(a)(1), Jan. 12, 2007, 120 Stat. 3579, 3584–3586.)
cite as: 16 USC 1853