Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 1025 (ih) To authorize the Secretary of Transportation to issue a certificate of documentation with appropriate endorsement for employment in the fisheries for each of 3 vessels. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 1025 (ih) To authorize the Secretary of Transportation to issue a certificate of documentation with appropriate endorsement for employment in the fisheries for each of 3 vessels. [Introduced in House] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1024

    To establish in the National Marine Fisheries Service a pelagic 
   longline highly migratory species bycatch and mortality reduction 
               research program, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           February 27, 2003

  Mr. Saxton introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                         Committee on Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
    To establish in the National Marine Fisheries Service a pelagic 
   longline highly migratory species bycatch and mortality reduction 
               research program, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. HIGHLY MIGRATORY SPECIES BYCATCH MORTALITY REDUCTION 
              RESEARCH PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment of a Program.--(1) There is established within 
the National Marine Fisheries Service a pelagic longline highly 
migratory species bycatch and mortality reduction research program. The 
Program shall be developed by a design team established by the 
Secretary of Commerce. The Program design shall be submitted to the 
Secretary no later than 120 days after the first meeting of the design 
team and shall include a statistically significant recommendation for 
the level of observer coverage on pelagic longline fishing vessels that 
is necessary to monitor the fishery effectively and participate in the 
research program. The design team shall be available as a resource to 
the Secretary throughout the research and the development of the 
recommendations.
    (2) The program shall identify and test a variety of pelagic 
longline fishing gear configurations and uses and determine which of 
those configurations and uses are the most effective in reducing highly 
migratory species mortality. The program shall place an emphasis on 
determining the gear configurations and uses that are the most 
effective in reducing blue and white marlin mortality in the exclusive 
economic zone of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean. The program 
shall also include a provision for observers to be placed on pelagic 
longline fishing vessels for the purposes of monitoring the fishery and 
participating in the research program.
    (3) The highly migratory species program shall conduct research to 
determine the impact of existing time and area closures designed to 
reduce the bycatch of longline vessels. The program shall focus on 
whether existing closures should be modified to decrease bycatch by 
longline vessels and shall determine what adjustments to the existing 
boundaries and temporal constraints should be made as a result of any 
research. Any vessel participating in the program shall be provided an 
observer by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The full cost of the 
observer and any incidental costs to the vessel as a result of being 
included in the research program shall be paid for by the National 
Marine Fisheries Service. The National Marine Fisheries Service may 
authorize, without notice and comment, scientific research permits 
authorizing a vessel to enter and fish in any closed area in the 
Atlantic Ocean so long as there is 100 percent observer coverage and 
the activities of the vessel are in furtherance of the research 
program. Access to any closed area may be granted only after 
consideration of the scientific need for access.
    (b) Design Team.--(1) Knowledgeable members of the pelagic longline 
fishing sector, the recreational billfish and tuna sector, and the 
conservation community, along with scientists associated with each such 
entity, shall be appointed by the Secretary to the program design team. 
Each of the sectors shall to the extent practicable be fairly 
represented on the design team. The design team shall not exceed nine 
members only one of which may be an employee of the Federal Government. 
The design team shall select a chairman and establish its own rules of 
operation. Each member of the design team who is not employed by the 
Federal Government shall be compensated in the manner provided for 
members of a Fishery Management Council under section 302(d) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 
1852(d)).
    (2) The design team shall not be considered to be an advisory 
committee for the purposes of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 
U.S.C. App.), but shall hold its deliberations in meetings for which 
prior noticed is published in the Federal Register and that are open to 
the public.
    (c) Mid-Atlantic Conservation Zone for Highly Migratory Species.--
Section 304(g) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1854(g)) is amended by adding at the end the 
following:
            ``(3) Mid-atlantic conservation zone for highly migratory 
        species.--
                    ``(A) No person shall engage in pelagic longline 
                fishing--
                            ``(i) in the lower mid-Atlantic 
                        Conservation Zone in the period beginning 
                        August 15 and ending October 1 each year; or
                            ``(ii) in the upper mid-Atlantic 
                        Conservation Zone in the period beginning July 
                        15 and ending September 1 each year.
                    ``(B) In this paragraph the term `lower mid-
                Atlantic Conservation Zone' means the area that is 
                enclosed by a series of geodesics connecting in 
                succession the points at the following coordinates:
                            ``(i) 36 degrees 30 minutes north latitude, 
                        75 degrees 0 minutes west longitude.
                            ``(ii) 37 degrees 0 minutes north latitude, 
                        75 degrees 0 minutes west longitude.
                            ``(iii) 38 degrees 0 minutes north 
                        latitude, 74 degrees 0 minutes west longitude.
                            ``(iv) 38 degrees 0 minutes north latitude, 
                        73 degrees 0 minutes west longitude.
                            ``(v) 37 degrees 0 minutes north latitude, 
                        74 degrees 0 minutes west longitude.
                            ``(vi) 36 degrees 30 minutes north 
                        latitude, 75 degrees 0 minutes west longitude.
                    ``(C) In this paragraph the term `upper mid-
                Atlantic Conservation Zone' means the area that is 
                enclosed by a series of geodesics connecting in 
                succession the points at the following coordinates:
                            ``(i) 38 degrees 0 minutes north latitude, 
                        74 degrees 0 minutes west longitude.
                            ``(ii) 40 degrees 0 minutes north latitude, 
                        72 degrees 0 minutes west longitude.
                            ``(iii) 39 degrees 0 minutes north 
                        latitude, 72 degrees 0 minutes west longitude.
                            ``(iv) 38 degrees 0 minutes north latitude, 
                        73 degrees 0 minutes west longitude.
                            ``(v) 38 degrees 0 minutes north latitude, 
                        74 degrees 0 minutes west longitude.
                    ``(D) This paragraph shall not apply after the end 
                of the 4-year period beginning on the date of the 
                enactment of this paragraph.''.
    (d) Report to Congress.--The Secretary of Commerce shall submit to 
the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate--
            (1) an interim report of the findings of the research 
        conducted under this section within two years after the date of 
        enactment of this Act; and
            (2) a final report with the necessary regulatory documents 
        to initiate implementation of any adjustments to time and area 
        closures, gear configurations, or fishing techniques warranted 
        as a result of the research.
    (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--For research under this 
section there is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of 
Commerce $5,000,000 for fiscal years 2004 through 2008.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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