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S. 906 (116th): Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act


The text of the bill below is as of Dec 4, 2020 (Preprint (Suspension)).

Summary of this bill

President Donald Trump vetoed two bills during the final month of his presidency. One attracted front page headlines. The other did not.

Context

Large mesh driftnets (or gillnets) are huge tarps sometimes as long as 1.5 miles, left overnight under the ocean surface by commercial fisheries to catch permitted fish. Because they also catch a host of endangered species that get caught in them — such as dolphins and whales — their use has been outlawed in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and in both the Pacific Ocean’s state and federal waters off of Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington state. The extraneous marine life the nets capture are ...


116TH CONGRESS
   2D SESSION
                     S. 906

                    AN ACT
     To improve the management of driftnet fishing.

1      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

2 1 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 2 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Driftnet Modernization 3 and Bycatch Reduction Act’’. 4 SEC. 2. DEFINITION. 5 Section 3(25) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Con- 6 servation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1802(25)) is 7 amended by inserting ‘‘, or with a mesh size of 14 inches 8 or greater,’’ after ‘‘more’’. 9 SEC. 3. FINDINGS AND POLICY. 10 (a) FINDINGS.—Section 206(b) of the Magnuson-Ste- 11 vens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 12 U.S.C. 1826(b)) is amended— 13 (1) in paragraph (6), by striking ‘‘and’’ at the 14 end; 15 (2) in paragraph (7), by striking the period and 16 inserting ‘‘; and’’; and 17 (3) by adding at the end the following: 18 ‘‘(8) within the exclusive economic zone, large- 19 scale driftnet fishing that deploys nets with large 20 mesh sizes causes significant entanglement and mor- 21 tality of living marine resources, including myriad 22 protected species, despite limitations on the lengths 23 of such nets.’’. 24 (b) POLICY.—Section 206(c) of the Magnuson-Ste- 25 vens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 26 U.S.C. 1826(c)) is amended— † S 906 ES
3 1 (1) in paragraph (2), by striking ‘‘and’’ at the 2 end; 3 (2) in paragraph (3), by striking the period and 4 inserting ‘‘; and’’; and 5 (3) by adding at the end the following— 6 ‘‘(4) prioritize the phase out of large-scale 7 driftnet fishing in the exclusive economic zone and 8 promote the development and adoption of alternative 9 fishing methods and gear types that minimize the in- 10 cidental catch of living marine resources.’’. 11 SEC. 4. TRANSITION PROGRAM. 12 Section 206 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Con- 13 servation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1826) is 14 amended by adding at the end the following— 15 ‘‘(i) FISHING GEAR TRANSITION PROGRAM.— 16 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—During the 5-year period 17 beginning on the date of enactment of the Driftnet 18 Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act, the Sec- 19 retary shall conduct a transition program to facili- 20 tate the phase-out of large-scale driftnet fishing and 21 adoption of alternative fishing practices that mini- 22 mize the incidental catch of living marine resources, 23 and shall award grants to eligible permit holders 24 who participate in the program. † S 906 ES
4 1 ‘‘(2) PERMISSIBLE USES.—Any permit holder 2 receiving a grant under paragraph (1) may use such 3 funds only for the purpose of covering— 4 ‘‘(A) any fee originally associated with a 5 permit authorizing participation in a large-scale 6 driftnet fishery, if such permit is surrendered 7 for permanent revocation, and such permit 8 holder relinquishes any claim associated with 9 the permit; 10 ‘‘(B) a forfeiture of fishing gear associated 11 with a permit described in subparagraph (A); or 12 ‘‘(C) the purchase of alternative gear with 13 minimal incidental catch of living marine re- 14 sources, if the fishery participant is authorized 15 to continue fishing using such alternative gears. 16 ‘‘(3) CERTIFICATION.—The Secretary shall cer- 17 tify that, with respect to each participant in the pro- 18 gram under this subsection, any permit authorizing 19 participation in a large-scale driftnet fishery has 20 been permanently revoked and that no new permits 21 will be issued to authorize such fishing.’’. 22 SEC. 5. EXCEPTION. 23 Section 307(1)(M) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 24 Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. † S 906 ES
5 1 1857(1)(M)) is amended by inserting before the semicolon 2 the following: ‘‘, unless such large-scale driftnet fishing— 3 ‘‘(i) deploys, within the exclusive eco- 4 nomic zone, a net with a total length of 5 less than two and one-half kilometers and 6 a mesh size of 14 inches or greater; and 7 ‘‘(ii) is conducted within 5 years of 8 the date of enactment of the Driftnet Mod- 9 ernization and Bycatch Reduction Act’’. 10 SEC. 6. FEES. 11 (a) IN GENERAL.—The North Pacific Fishery Man- 12 agement Council may recommend, and the Secretary of 13 Commerce may approve, regulations necessary for the col- 14 lection of fees from charter vessel operators who guide rec- 15 reational anglers who harvest Pacific halibut in Inter- 16 national Pacific Halibut Commission regulatory areas 2C 17 and 3A as those terms are defined in part 300 of title 18 50, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regula- 19 tions). 20 (b) USE OF FEES.—Any fees collected under this sec- 21 tion shall be available, without appropriation or fiscal year 22 limitation, for the purposes of— 23 (1) financing administrative costs of the Rec- 24 reational Quota Entity program; † S 906 ES
6 1 (2) the purchase of halibut quota shares in 2 International Pacific Halibut Commission regulatory 3 areas 2C and 3A by the recreational quota entity 4 authorized in part 679 of title 50, Code of Federal 5 Regulations (or any successor regulations); 6 (3) halibut conservation and research; and 7 (4) promotion of the halibut resource by the 8 recreational quota entity authorized in part 679 of 9 title 50, Code of Federal Regulations (or any suc- 10 cessor regulations). Passed the Senate July 22, 2020. Attest: Secretary. † S 906 ES

116TH CONGRESS 2D SESSION S. 906 AN ACT To improve the management of driftnet fishing.