United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Mar 26, 2023
No high seas fishing vessel shall engage in harvesting operations on the high seas unless the vessel has on board a valid permit issued under this section.
Any vessel of the United States is eligible to receive a permit under this section, unless the vessel was previously authorized to be used for fishing on the high seas by a foreign nation, and
the foreign nation suspended such authorization because the vessel undermined the effectiveness of international conservation and management measures, and the suspension has not expired; or
the foreign nation, within the last three years preceding application for a permit under this section, withdrew such authorization because the vessel undermined the effectiveness of international conservation and management measures.
The restriction in paragraph (1) does not apply if ownership of the vessel has changed since the vessel undermined the effectiveness of international conservation and management measures, and the new owner has provided sufficient evidence to the Secretary demonstrating that the previous owner or operator has no further legal, beneficial or financial interest in, or control of, the vessel.
The restriction in paragraph (1) does not apply if the Secretary makes a determination that issuing a permit would not subvert the purposes of the Agreement.
The Secretary may not issue a permit to a vessel unless the Secretary is satisfied that the United States will be able to exercise effectively its responsibilities under the Agreement with respect to that vessel.
The owner or operator of a high seas fishing vessel may apply for a permit under this section by completing an application form prescribed by the Secretary.
The application form shall contain—
the vessel’s name, previous names (if known), official numbers, and port of record;
the vessel’s previous flags (if any);
the vessel’s International Radio Call Sign (if any);
the names and addresses of the vessel’s owners and operators;
where and when the vessel was built;
the type of vessel;
the vessel’s length; and
any other information the Secretary requires for the purposes of implementing the Agreement.
The Secretary shall establish such conditions and restrictions on each permit issued under this section as are necessary and appropriate to carry out the obligations of the United States under the Agreement, including but not limited to the following:
The vessel shall be marked in accordance with the FAO Standard Specifications for the Marking and Identification of Fishing Vessels, or with regulations issued under section 1855 of this title; and
The permit holder shall report such information as the Secretary by regulation requires, including area of fishing operations and catch statistics. The Secretary shall promulgate regulations concerning conditions under which information submitted under this paragraph may be released.
The Secretary shall by regulation establish the level of fees to be charged for permits issued under this section. The amount of any fee charged for a permit issued under this section shall not exceed the administrative costs incurred in issuing such permits. The permitting fee may be in addition to any fee required under any regional permitting regime applicable to high seas fishing vessels.
The fees authorized by paragraph (1) shall be collected and credited to the Operations, Research and Facilities account of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Fees collected under this subsection shall be available for the necessary expenses of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in implementing this chapter, and shall remain available until expended.
A permit issued under this section for a vessel is void if—
any other permit or authorization required for the vessel to fish is expired, revoked, or suspended; or
the vessel is no longer documented under the laws of the United States or eligible for such documentation.
(Pub. L. 104–43, title I, § 104,
Nov. 3, 1995, 109 Stat. 369; Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title I, § 101(a) [title II, § 211(b)], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009, 3009–41; Pub. L. 114–81, title I, § 108, Nov. 5, 2015, 129 Stat. 658.)
cite as: 16 USC 5503