H. R. 3841
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
October 16, 2007
Mr. Gilchrest introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
To prohibit the commercial harvesting of Atlantic menhaden for reduction purposes in the coastal waters and the exclusive economic zone.
Prohibition on commercial harvesting of menhaden
It is unlawful to engage in, or to attempt to engage in, the commercial harvesting of Atlantic menhaden for reduction purposes in the Atlantic coastal waters or in the exclusive economic zone established by Proclamation Numbered 5030, dated March 10, 1983.
Any person who is found by the Secretary of Commerce after notice and an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with section 554 of title 5, United States Code, to have committed an act that is unlawful under subsection (a), is liable to the United States for a civil penalty. The amount of the civil penalty may not exceed $1,000 for each violation. Each day of continuing violation constitutes a separate offense. The amount of the civil penalty shall be assessed by the Secretary of Commerce by written notice. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Secretary of Commerce shall take into account the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the prohibited act committed and, with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior violations, ability to pay, and such other matters as justice may require.
Subsections (b) through (e) of section 308 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1858(b)–(e); relating to review of civil penalties; acting upon failure to pay assessment, compromise, and subpoenas) shall apply to penalties assessed under paragraph (1) to the same extent and in the same manner as if those penalties were assessed under subsection (a) of such section.
Any vessel (including its gear, equipment, appurtenances, stores, and cargo) used, and any fish (or the fair market value thereof) taken or retained, in any manner, in connection with, or the result of, the commission of any act that is unlawful under subsection (a), is subject to forfeiture to the United States. All or part of the vessel may, and all such fish (or the fair market value thereof) shall, be forfeited to the United States under a civil proceeding described in paragraph (2). The district courts of the United States have jurisdiction over proceedings under this subsection.
Subsections (c) through (e) of section 310 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1860(c)–(e); relating to judgment, procedure, and rebuttable presumptions) shall apply with respect to proceedings for forfeiture commenced under this subsection to the same extent and in the same manner as if the proceeding were commenced under subsection (a) of such section.
A person authorized by the Secretary of Commerce or the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating may take any action to enforce this section that an officer authorized under section 311 of the Magnuson Act (16 U.S.C. 1861) may take to enforce that Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). Either such Secretary may, by agreement, on a reimbursable basis or otherwise, utilize the personnel, services, equipment (including aircraft and vessels), and facilities of any other Federal department or agency and of any agency of a State in carrying out that enforcement.
Action by Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission shall promptly take action to amend the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden Amendment 1, dated July 2001, to take into account the prohibition established under section 2 on the commercial harvesting of menhaden in coastal waters.
Not later than 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shall submit to Congress a report on—
the progress the Commission has made toward understanding the structure of the Atlantic menhaden population on the Atlantic Coast of the United States and in the Chesapeake Bay;
the role of such population as a filter feeder and prey species for predatory fish in the Chesapeake Bay and in coastal ecosystems;
the impact on the Atlantic coastal and Chesapeake Bay ecosystems of commercial harvesting of menhaden for reduction; and
its recommendations for future sustainable management of such harvesting.
Coastal waters defined
As used in this Act,
coastal waters has the meaning that term has in section
3 of the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act (Public Law 98–613; 16 U.S.C.
1851 note), as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.