16 U.S.C. § 1861 - Enforcement

Cite as:16 U.S.C. § 1861
Currency:Current through P.L. 115-122
 
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(a) Responsibility

The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Secretary and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating. Such 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 agency, including all elements of the Department of Defense, and of any State agency, in the performance of such duties.

(b) Powers of authorized officers

(1) Any officer who is authorized (by the Secretary, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, or the head of any Federal or State agency which has entered into an agreement with such Secretaries under subsection (a)) to enforce the provisions of this chapter may-

(A) with or without a warrant or other process-

(i) arrest any person, if he has reasonable cause to believe that such person has committed an act prohibited by section 1857 of this title;

(ii) board, and search or inspect, any fishing vessel which is subject to the provisions of this chapter;

(iii) seize any fishing vessel (together with its fishing gear, furniture, appurtenances, stores, and cargo) used or employed in, or with respect to which it reasonably appears that such vessel was used or employed in, the violation of any provision of this chapter;

(iv) seize any fish (wherever found) taken or retained in violation of any provision of this chapter;

(v) seize any other evidence related to any violation of any provision of this chapter; and

(vi) access, directly or indirectly, for enforcement purposes any data or information required to be provided under this subchapter or regulations under this subchapter, including data from vessel monitoring systems, satellite-based maritime distress and safety systems, or any similar system, subject to the confidentiality provisions of section 1881a of this title;

(B) execute any warrant or other process issued by any court of competent jurisdiction; and

(C) exercise any other lawful authority.

(2) Subject to the direction of the Secretary, a person charged with law enforcement responsibilities by the Secretary who is performing a duty related to enforcement of a law regarding fisheries or other marine resources may make an arrest without a warrant for an offense against the United States committed in his presence, or for a felony cognizable under the laws of the United States, if he has reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing a felony. The arrest authority described in the preceding sentence may be conferred upon an officer or employee of a State agency, subject to such conditions and restrictions as are set forth by agreement between the State agency, the Secretary, and, with respect to enforcement operations within the exclusive economic zone, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating.

(c) Issuance of citations

If any officer authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter (as provided for in this section) finds that a fishing vessel is operating or has been operated in violation of any provision of this chapter, such officer may, in accordance with regulations issued jointly by the Secretary and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, issue a citation to the owner or operator of such vessel in lieu of proceeding under subsection (b). If a permit has been issued pursuant to this chapter for such vessel, such officer shall note the issuance of any citation under this subsection, including the date thereof and the reason therefor, on the permit. The Secretary shall maintain a record of all citations issued pursuant to this subsection.

(d) Jurisdiction of courts

The district courts of the United States shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any case or controversy arising under the provisions of this chapter. In the case of Hawaii or any possession of the United States in the Pacific Ocean, the appropriate court is the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, except that in the case of Guam and Wake Island, the appropriate court is the United States District Court for the District of Guam, and in the case of the Northern Mariana Islands, the appropriate court is the United States District Court for the District of the Northern Mariana Islands. Any such court may, at any time-

(1) enter restraining orders or prohibitions;

(2) issue warrants, process in rem, or other process;

(3) prescribe and accept satisfactory bonds or other security; and

(4) take such other actions as are in the interest of justice.

(e) Payment of storage, care, and other costs

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary or the Secretary of the Treasury may pay from sums received as fines, penalties, and forfeitures of property for violations of any provisions of this chapter or of any other marine resource law enforced by the Secretary, including the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 ( 16 U.S.C. 3371 et seq.)-

(A) the reasonable and necessary costs incurred in providing temporary storage, care, and maintenance of seized fish or other property pending disposition of any civil or criminal proceeding alleging a violation of any provision of this chapter or any other marine resource law enforced by the Secretary with respect to that fish or other property;

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