United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Apr 13, 2024

§ 1977.
Reimbursement for seized commercial fishermen
Agreement to reimburse for actual costs, confiscation or spoilage of fish, and loss of income
The Secretary, upon receipt of an application filed with him at any time after the effective date of this section by the owner of any vessel of the United States which is documented or certificated as a commercial fishing vessel, shall enter into an agreement with such owner subject to the provision of this section and such other terms and conditions as the Secretary deems appropriate. Such agreement shall provide that, if said vessel is seized by a foreign country and detained under the conditions of section 1972 of this title, the Secretary shall guarantee—
the owner of such vessel for all actual costs, except those covered by section 1973 of this title, incurred by the owner during the seizure and detention period and as a direct result thereof, as determined by the Secretary, resulting (A) from any damage to, or destruction of, such vessel, or its fishing gear or other equipment, (B) from the loss or confiscation of such vessel, gear, or equipment, or (C) from dockage fees or utilities;
the owner of such vessel and its crew for the market value of fish caught before seizure of such vessel and confiscated or spoiled during the period of detention; and
the owner of such vessel and its crew for not to exceed 50 per centum of the gross income lost as a direct result of such seizure and detention, as determined by the Secretary of State, based on the value of the average catch per day’s fishing during the three most recent calendar years immediately preceding such seizure and detention of the vessel seized, or, if such experience is not available, then of all commercial fishing vessels of the United States engaged in the same fishery as that of the type and size of the seized vessel.
Distribution of payments according to commercial fishing practices and procedures

Payments made by the Secretary under paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of this section shall be distributed by the Secretary in accordance with the usual practices and procedures of the particular segment of the United States commercial fishing industry to which the seized vessel belongs relative to the sale of fish caught and the distribution of the proceeds of such sale.

Establishment of fees; amount of fees; credit of fees to separate Treasury account; payment from collected fees; authorization of appropriations

The Secretary shall from time to time establish by regulation fees which shall be paid by the owners of vessels entering into agreements under this section. Such fees shall be adequate (1) to recover the costs of administering this section, and (2) to cover a reasonable portion of any payments made by the Secretary under this section. All fees collected by the Secretary shall be credited to a separate account established in the Treasury of the United States which shall remain available without fiscal year limitation to carry out the provisions of this section. Those fees not currently needed for payments under this section shall be kept on deposit or invested in obligations of, or guaranteed by, the United States and all revenues accruing from such deposits or investments shall be credited to such separate account. If a transfer of funds is made to the separate account under section 1975(b)(2) of this title with respect to an unpaid claim and such claim is later paid, the amount so paid shall be covered into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts. All payments under this section shall be made first out of such fees so long as they are available and thereafter out of funds which are hereby authorized to be appropriated to such account to carry out the provisions of this section.

Finality of determinations; insured losses

All determinations made under this section shall be final. No payment under this section shall be made with respect to any losses covered by any policy of insurance or other provision of law.


Payments may be made under this section only to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in advance in appropriation Acts.

For the purposes of this section—
the term “Secretary” means the Secretary of State.
the term “owner” includes any charterer of a commercial fishing vessel.
(Aug. 27, 1954, ch. 1018, § 7, as added Pub. L. 90–482, § 1, Aug. 12, 1968, 82 Stat. 729; amended Pub. L. 92–569, § 4, Oct. 26, 1972, 86 Stat. 1183; Pub. L. 92–594, §§ 1, 2, Oct. 27, 1972, 86 Stat. 1313; Pub. L. 94–273, § 3(17), Apr. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 377; Pub. L. 95–194, § 1, Nov. 18, 1977, 91 Stat. 1413; Pub. L. 95–376, § 1, Sept. 18, 1978, 92 Stat. 714; Pub. L. 97–68, § 1, Oct. 26, 1981, 95 Stat. 1040; Pub. L. 98–364, title III, § 301, July 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 444; Pub. L. 99–659, title IV, § 408, Nov. 14, 1986, 100 Stat. 3740; Pub. L. 100–151, § 1, Nov. 3, 1987, 101 Stat. 884; Pub. L. 100–350, § 2, June 27, 1988, 102 Stat. 660; Pub. L. 101–627, title III, § 301, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 4462; Pub. L. 104–43, title IV, § 403, Nov. 3, 1995, 109 Stat. 390; Pub. L. 106–450, title I, § 102, Nov. 7, 2000, 114 Stat. 1941; Pub. L. 107–228, div. A, title II, § 209, Sept. 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 1365; Pub. L. 108–219, title III, § 302, Apr. 13, 2004, 118 Stat. 616; Pub. L. 114–323, title VII, § 705, Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1942; Pub. L. 117–81, div. E, title LI, § 5111(a), Dec. 27, 2021, 135 Stat. 2350.)
cite as: 22 USC 1977