It would impose the sanctions of the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act and apply civil penalties, criminal offenses, and civil forfeitures against persons violating new enforcement provisions. $450,000 in appropriations would be authorized in each fiscal year between 2016 and 2020 to implement enforcement provisions of this bill.
The newly implemented agreements include:
This bill implements the Port State Measures Agreement that seeks to prevent illegally caught fish from entering the world ports and global seafood market. Vessels would be required to provide information specified in the Port State Measures Agreement to the Secretary of Commerce prior to entering port.
Based on the information supplied, the Secretary could allow or deny port entry, and can deny entry if it is listed as an IUU vessel, if there is reasonable suspicion that it has engaged in IUU activities in violation of this act. Notice of the denial would be sent to the vessel’s flag nation, international organizations, and relevant coastal nations. If a suspected IUU vessel has already entered port, it would be denied the ability to use the port for processing and packing of fish, refueling, resupplying, maintenance or repairs.
The Department of Commerce and the Coast Guard would be required to conduct vessel inspections, and authorized officers could make arrests; board, search, or inspect vessels; seize gear; execute and serve subpoenas; and perform other activities if there is probable cause that violations of this act have occurred.