United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 26, 2023

§ 7701.
In this chapter:

The term “Commission” means the North Pacific Fisheries Commission established in accordance with the North Pacific Fisheries Convention.


The term “Commissioner” means a United States Commissioner appointed under section 7702(a) of this title.

Convention Area

The term “Convention Area” means the area to which the Convention on the Conservation and Management of High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean applies under Article 4 of such Convention.


The term “Council” means the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, the Pacific Fishery Management Council, or the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council established under section 1852 of this title, as the context requires.

Exclusive economic zone
The term “exclusive economic zone” means—
with respect to the United States, the zone established by Presidential Proclamation Numbered 5030 of March 10, 1983 (16 U.S.C. 1453 note); and
with respect to a foreign country, a designated zone similar to the zone referred to in subparagraph (A) for that country, consistent with international law.
Fisheries resources
In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term “fisheries resources” means all fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and other marine species caught by a fishing vessel within the Convention Area, as well as any products thereof.

The term “fisheries resources” does not include—
sedentary species insofar as they are subject to the sovereign rights of coastal nations consistent with Article 77, paragraph 4 of the 1982 Convention and indicator species of vulnerable marine ecosystems as listed in, or adopted pursuant to, Article 13, paragraph 5 of the North Pacific Fisheries Convention;
catadromous species;
marine mammals, marine reptiles, or seabirds; or
other marine species already covered by preexisting international fisheries management instruments within the area of competence of such instruments.
Fishing activities
In general
The term “fishing activities” means—
the actual or attempted searching for, catching, taking, or harvesting of fisheries resources;
engaging in any activity that can reasonably be expected to result in the locating, catching, taking, or harvesting of fisheries resources for any purpose;
the processing of fisheries resources at sea;
the transshipment of fisheries resources at sea or in port; or
any operation at sea in direct support of, or in preparation for, any activity described in clauses (i) through (iv), including transshipment.

The term “fishing activities” does not include any operation related to an emergency involving the health or safety of a crew member or the safety of a fishing vessel.

Fishing vessel

The term “fishing vessel” means any vessel used or intended for use for the purpose of engaging in fishing activities, including a processing vessel, a support ship, a carrier vessel, or any other vessel directly engaged in such fishing activities.

High seas

The term “high seas” does not include an area that is within the exclusive economic zone of the United States or of any other country.

North Pacific Fisheries Convention

The term “North Pacific Fisheries Convention” means the Convention on the Conservation and Management of the High Seas Fisheries Resources in the North Pacific Ocean (including any annexes, amendments, or protocols that are in force, or have come into force) for the United States, which was adopted at Tokyo on February 24, 2012.

The term “person” means—
any individual, whether or not a citizen or national of the United States;
any corporation, partnership, association, or other entity, whether or not organized or existing under the laws of any State; or
any Federal, State, local, tribal, or foreign government or any entity of such government.

Except as otherwise specifically provided, the term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Commerce.


The term “State” means each of the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

Straddling stock

The term “straddling stock” means a stock of fisheries resources that migrates between, or occurs in, the economic exclusion zone of one or more parties to the Convention and the Convention Area.


The term “transshipment” means the unloading of any fisheries resources taken in the Convention Area from one fishing vessel to another fishing vessel either at sea or in port.

1982 convention

The term “1982 Convention” means the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982.

(Pub. L. 114–327, title I, § 101, Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1974.)
cite as: 16 USC 7701