16 U.S.C. § 1861a - Transition to sustainable fisheries

Cite as:16 U.S.C. § 1861a
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-65 (10/09/2019)

(a) Fisheries disaster relief

(1) At the discretion of the Secretary or at the request of the Governor of an affected State or a fishing community, the Secretary shall determine whether there is a commercial fishery failure due to a fishery resource disaster as a result of-

(A) natural causes;

(B) man-made causes beyond the control of fishery managers to mitigate through conservation and management measures, including regulatory restrictions (including those imposed as a result of judicial action) imposed to protect human health or the marine environment; or

(C) undetermined causes.

(2) Upon the determination under paragraph (1) that there is a commercial fishery failure, the Secretary is authorized to make sums available to be used by the affected State, fishing community, or by the Secretary in cooperation with the affected State or fishing community for assessing the economic and social effects of the commercial fishery failure, or any activity that the Secretary determines is appropriate to restore the fishery or prevent a similar failure in the future and to assist a fishing community affected by such failure. Before making funds available for an activity authorized under this section, the Secretary shall make a determination that such activity will not expand the size or scope of the commercial fishery failure in that fishery or into other fisheries or other geographic regions.

(3) The Federal share of the cost of any activity carried out under the authority of this subsection shall not exceed 75 percent of the cost of that activity.

(4) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary such sums as are necessary for each of the fiscal years 2007 through 2013.

(b) Fishing capacity reduction program

(1) The Secretary, at the request of the appropriate Council for fisheries under the authority of such Council, the Governor of a State for fisheries under State authority, or a majority of permit holders in the fishery, may conduct a voluntary fishing capacity reduction program (referred to in this section as the "program") in a fishery if the Secretary determines that the program-

(A) is necessary to prevent or end overfishing, rebuild stocks of fish, or achieve measurable and significant improvements in the conservation and management of the fishery;

(B) is consistent with the Federal or State fishery management plan or program in effect for such fishery, as appropriate, and that the fishery management plan-

(i) will prevent the replacement of fishing capacity removed by the program through a moratorium on new entrants, practicable restrictions on vessel upgrades, and other effort control measures, taking into account the full potential fishing capacity of the fleet; and

(ii) establishes a specified or target total allowable catch or other measures that trigger closure of the fishery or adjustments to reduce catch; and

(C) is cost-effective and, in the instance of a program involving an industry fee system, prospectively capable of repaying any debt obligation incurred under section 53735 of title 46.

(2) The objective of the program shall be to obtain the maximum sustained reduction in fishing capacity at the least cost and in a minimum period of time. To achieve that objective, the Secretary is authorized to pay-

(A) the owner of a fishing vessel, if the permit authorizing the participation of the vessel in the fishery is surrendered for permanent revocation and the vessel owner and permit holder relinquish any claim associated with the vessel or permit that could qualify such owner or holder for any present or future limited access system permit in the fishery for which the program is established or in any other fishery and such vessel is (i) scrapped, or (ii) through the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, subjected to title restrictions (including loss of the vessel's fisheries endorsement) that permanently prohibit and effectively prevent its use in fishing in federal 1 or state 1 waters, or fishing on the high seas or in the waters of a foreign nation; or

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