PDF _ RL33459 - Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 109th Congress
18-Jan-2007; Eugene H. Buck; 30 p.

Update: Previous Releases:
January 5, 2007

December 19, 2006 August 16, 2006
August 3, 2006

/NLE/CRSreports/06jun/RL33459.pdf
/NLE/CRSreports/06jul/RL33459.pdf MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS:
On July 28, 2006, the House passed H.R. 4, including language exempting certain multi-employer pension plans from excise taxes where employers participated in a federal fishery capacity reduction program or the Northeast Fisheries Assistance Program. On July 28, 2006, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure reported (amended) H.R. 5681, containing language (1) modifying provisions of the American Fisheries Act for fishing vessel rebuilding and replacement and for how pollock allocations are calculated when vessels leave fishing cooperatives; (2) amending 46 U.S.C. Chapter 313 to prohibit maritime liens on fishing permits; and (3) modifying the criteria for documenting fishing vessels. On July 28, 2006, the House Committee on Resources reported H.R. 4957 (amended), directing the Secretary of the Interior to convey the Tylersville division of the Lamar National Fish Hatchery and Fish Technology Center to the State of Pennsylvania. On July 25, 2006, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure reported S. 362 (amended), establishing NOAA and Coast Guard programs to manage marine debris — including lost fishing gear — and address its adverse impacts. On July 24, 2006, the House passed H.R. 233, containing language to authorize continuation of traditional commercial surf fishing in Redwood National and State Parks, CA. On July 20, 2006, the House Committee on the Judiciary reported H.R. 3049, amending the Lacey Act to add four species of carp to the list of injurious species that are prohibited from being imported or shipped. On July 19, 2006, the Senate passed H.R. 2864 (amended), including provisions relating to implementation of the Kings River (CA) Fisheries Management Program Framework Agreement, provisions that modify requirements for mitigating aquatic resource losses at Corps of Engineers projects, provisions relating to implementation of Great Lakes fishery restoration activities, provisions amending the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan to authorize aquatic and riparian ecosystem restoration, provisions for restoring oyster habitat in Long Island Sound and Chesapeake Bay, and provisions authorizing construction and upgrading of Chesapeake Bay oyster hatcheries. On July 19, 2006, the House Committee on Resources ordered reported H.R. 5381, authorizing a volunteer program and community partnerships benefitting national fish hatcheries. On July 17, 2006, the House passed H.R. 4075 (amended), extensively amending the MMPA, authorizing appropriations for several programs, and implementing the Agreement on the Conservation and Management of the Alaska-Chukotka Polar Bear Population. On July 17, 2006, the House Committee on Resources reported H.R. 5018, reauthorizing and extensively amending the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. On July 13, 2006, the Senate Committee on Appropriations reported H.R. 5672 (amended), proposing NMFS FY2007 funding at $903.7 million. On July 13, 2006, the House Committee on Resources reported S. 260, proposing to expand the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to assist private landowners in restoring, enhancing, and managing fish and marine mammal habitat on private land through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. On July 11, 2006, President Bush signed P.L. 109-241 (H.R. 889), including provisions that (1) defined western Alaska community development quota plans in the context of the MSFCMA; (2) modified vessel shares for crab fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; (3) required the Coast Guard to integrate vessel monitoring system data into existing databases to improve monitoring and enforcement of fishery law; (4) required a Coast Guard report on detection and interdiction of foreign fishing incursions; (5) allowed U.S. tuna vessels operating out of American Samoa to use non-United States licensed and documented personnel to meet manning requirements for four years; (6) required the Coast Guard to continue to provide marine vessel safety training and cold water immersion education and outreach programs for fishermen; and (7) waived the Jones Act for certain foreign vessels that have transported fish or shellfish in Maine waters. On July 11, 2006, the Senate passed (amended) S. 2430, implementing recommendations of the Great Lakes Fishery Resources Restoration Study. (Members and staff may request e-mail notification of new CRS reports on marine and freshwater fisheries, aquaculture, and marine mammal issues by contacting Gene Buck at [gbuck@crs.loc.gov] and requesting to be added to his notification list.)

Abstract: Fish and marine mammals are important resources in open ocean and nearshore coastal areas; many federal laws and regulations guide their management. Bills to reauthorize and amend major legislation — the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) — were acted upon by the 109th Congress; the authorization of appropriations for both laws expired at the end of FY1999. A bill offering extensive amendments to the MSFCMA was passed by both the House and the Senate (H.R. 5946) and awaits the President’s signature; a bill extensively amending the MMPA was passed by the House (H.R. 4075). Commercial and sport fishing are jointly managed by the federal government and individual states. States have jurisdiction generally within 3 miles of the coast. Beyond state jurisdiction and out to 200 miles, the federal government manages fisheries under the MSFCMA through eight regional fishery management councils. Beyond 200 miles, the United States participates in international agreements relating to specific areas or species. Legislation related to commercial and sport fisheries enacted by the 109th Congress included measures to protect fishermen under bankruptcy law (§1007 of P.L. 109-8), revise visa requirements to allow seasonal seafood processing workers to enter the United States (§402 of P.L. 109-13 and §1074 of P.L. 109-364), reaffirm state authority to regulate fishing to distinguish between state and out-of-state residents (§6036 of P.L. 109-13), allow hydropower licensees to propose alternatives to fishways as long as the alternatives would not diminish fish passage (§241 of P.L. 109-58), provide $112 million for Gulf Coast fishery recovery (P.L. 109-234), amend the Sport Fish Restoration Program to permanently appropriate boat safety funding and modify distribution of funds (Title X of P.L. 109-59), and implement the Great Lakes Fishery Resources Restoration Study (P.L. 109-326). Aquaculture — the farming of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic animals and plants in a controlled environment — is expanding rapidly, both in the United States and abroad. In the United States, important species cultured include catfish, salmon, shellfish, and trout. Legislation related to aquaculture enacted by the 109th Congress protects aquaculture under bankruptcy law (§1007 of P.L. 109-8) and clarifies aquaculture grants for 2005 hurricane disaster relief (§3032 of P.L. 109-234). Marine mammals are protected under the MMPA. With few exemptions, the MMPA prohibits harm or harassment (“take”) of marine mammals, unless restrictive permits are obtained. It addresses specific situations of concern, such as dolphin mortality, primarily associated with the eastern tropical Pacific tuna fishery. No marine mammal legislation was enacted by the 109th Congress. This report replaces CRS Issue Brief IB10139, Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation in the 109th Congress, by Eugene H. Buck.

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Topics: Marine, Legislative, Biodiversity

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