United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Apr 19, 2019

§ 5154.
Moratorium
(a)
Secretarial action after notification

Upon receiving notice from the Commission under section 5153(c) of this title of a negative determination regarding a coastal State, the Secretaries shall determine jointly, within 30 days, whether that coastal State is in compliance with the Plan and, if the State is not in compliance, the Secretaries shall declare jointly a moratorium on fishing for Atlantic striped bass within the coastal waters of that coastal State. In making such a determination, the Secretaries shall carefully consider and review the comments of the Commission and that coastal State in question.

(b)
Prohibited acts during moratorium
During a moratorium period, it is unlawful for any person—
(1)
to engage in fishing within the moratorium area;
(2)
to land, or attempt to land, Atlantic striped bass that are caught, taken, or harvested in violation of paragraph (1);
(3)
to land lawfully harvested Atlantic striped bass within the boundaries of a coastal State when a moratorium declared under subsection (a) applies to that State; or
(4)
to fail to return to the water Atlantic striped bass to which the moratorium applies that are caught incidental to harvesting that occurs in the course of commercial or recreational fish catching activities, regardless of the physical condition of the striped bass when caught.
(c)
Civil penalties
(1)
Civil penalty

Any person who commits any act that is unlawful under subsection (b) shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty as provided by section 308 of the Magnuson Act (16 U.S.C. 1858).

(2)
Civil forfeitures
(A)
In general

Any vessel (including its gear, equipment, appurtenances, stores, and cargo) used, and any fish (or the fair market value thereof) taken or retained, in any manner, in connection with, or as the result of, the commission of any act that is unlawful under subsection (b) shall be subject to forfeiture to the United States as provided in section 310 of the Magnuson Act (16 U.S.C. 1860).

(B)
Disposal of fish

Any fish seized pursuant to this chapter may be disposed of pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction, or, if perishable, in a manner prescribed in regulations.

(d)
Enforcement

A person authorized by the Secretaries or the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating may take any action to enforce a moratorium declared under subsection (a) that an officer authorized by the Secretary under section 311(b) of the Magnuson Act (16 U.S.C. 1861(b)) may take to enforce that Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). The Secretaries may, by agreement, on a reimbursable basis or otherwise, utilize the personnel, services, equipment (including aircraft and vessels), and facilities of any other Federal department or agency and of any agency of a State in carrying out that enforcement.

(e)
Regulations

The Secretaries may issue regulations to implement this section.

(Pub. L. 98–613, § 5, Oct. 31, 1984, 98 Stat. 3189; Pub. L. 99–432, § 3, Oct. 1, 1986, 100 Stat. 990; Pub. L. 100–589, § 6(g)(2), Nov. 3, 1988, 102 Stat. 2988; Pub. L. 102–130, § 2(a), Oct. 17, 1991, 105 Stat. 626; Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title I, § 101(a) [title II, § 211(b)], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009, 3009–41; Pub. L. 105–146, § 2, Dec. 16, 1997, 111 Stat. 2674.)
cite as: 16 USC 5154