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S. 2549 (96th): An act to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 1981, 1982, and 1983 for the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975, and for other purposes.

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 28, 1980.

(Senate agreed to House amendments with an amendment) Amends the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 to add five new positions to the advisory committee appointed by the U.S. Commissioners to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. Declares that each member of such committee shall serve for a term of two years and shall be eligible through reappointment. Authorizes appropriations through fiscal year 1983 for the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975. Requires the Secretary of Commerce to establish a program under which a United States observer will be stationed aboard each foreign fishing vessel while that vessel is in waters that are within the Fishery Conservation Zone and the Convention area and is taking, or attempting to take, any species of fish which may result in the incidental taking of billfish. Requires such observers, while aboard foreign fishing vessels, to carry out such scientific and other functions as the Secretary deems necessary or appropriate. Imposes fees for each year after 1980 on the owner or operator of each foreign fishing vessel that will engage in fishing in such waters in an amount sufficient to cover all of the costs of providing an observer aboard that vessel. Establishes in the Treasury of the United States the Foreign Fishing Observer Fund which shall consist of the fees collected under this Act. Declares that it is unlawful for any person who is the owner or operator of a foreign fishing vessel to which this Act applies to: (1) violate any regulation issued under this Act; (2) refuse to pay the fee imposed by the Secretary; or (3) refuse to permit an individual who is authorized to act as an observer to board the vessel for purposes of carrying out observer functions. Requires the Secretary to prepare, for each biennial period commencing with the period covering calendar years 1981 and 1982, and submit to the Congress a report regarding bluefin tuna, with respect to such period.