[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 97 (Thursday, May 19, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 28954-28955]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-12339]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XA324


International Conservation and Management Measures Recognized by 
the United States

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The High Sea Fishing Compliance Act (HSFCA) requires the 
Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to 
publish from time to time in the Federal Register a list of 
international conservation and management measures recognized by the 
United States. To fulfill this requirement, a list of agreements 
resulting in international conservation and management measures was 
first published in the Federal Register in 1996. This notice provides 
an updated list of such agreements. The HSFCA and its implementing 
regulations prohibit the use of a fishing vessel on the high seas in 
contravention of international conservation and management measures, as 
well as specify the permitting and vessel identification requirements 
for fishing vessels of the United States operating on the high seas.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: MiAe Kim, Trade and Marine Stewardship 
Division, Office of International Affairs, NMFS (phone 301-713-9090, 
fax 301-713-2313, or e-mail mi.ae.kim@noaa.gov).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The HSFCA is the United States' domestic legislation implementing 
the Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and 
Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas (Compliance 
Agreement), adopted by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture 
Organization of the United Nations on November 24, 1993 and ratified by 
the United States in 1995. One of the purposes of the Compliance 
Agreement is to impose on nations whose fishing vessels operate on the 
high seas obligations to ensure the activities of those vessels do not 
undermine the effectiveness of international conservation and 
management measures for living marine resources.
    As a party to the Compliance Agreement, the United States must 
ensure that its fishing vessels operating on the high seas do not 
undermine international measures to conserve and manage species of 
living marine resources that are adopted by global, regional, or 
subregional fisheries organizations, by treaties, or by other 
international agreements.
    The term ``international conservation and management measures'' is 
defined in HSFCA, consistent with the Compliance Agreement, as 
``measures to conserve or manage one or more species of living marine 
resources that are adopted and applied in accordance with the relevant 
rules of international law, as reflected in the 1982 United Nations 
Convention on the Law of the Sea, and that are recognized by the United 
States. Such measures may be adopted by global, regional, or 
subregional fisheries organizations, subject to the rights and 
obligations of their members, or by treaties or other international 
agreements.''
    International conservation and management measures fulfill a range 
of purposes, such as:
     Ensuring long-term sustainability and optimum utilization 
of fish stocks;
     Maintaining or restoring populations of species belonging 
to the same ecosystem or associated with or dependent upon target 
stocks;
     Minimizing catch by lost or abandoned gear and catch of 
non-target species; and
     Minimizing impacts on associated or dependent species 
through, to the extent practicable, the use of selective, 
environmentally safe and cost-effective fishing gear and techniques.
    In the case of international conservation and management measures 
adopted by regional fisheries management organizations, the full text 
of such measures can be found on the Web sites of the respective 
organizations. These measures are subject to change. Measures may be 
adopted or modified based on information on stocks, bycatch, illegal 
fishing activities, and other issues. Sometimes the adoption of 
measures by regional fisheries management organizations is driven by 
study results or activities undertaken through other international 
bodies, such as resolutions adopted by the United Nations General 
Assembly and guidelines and plans of action developed under the 
auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United 
Nations. Certain international instruments can also influence the 
development of conservation and management measures by regional 
fisheries management organizations, such as the Agreement for the 
Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on 
the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the Conservation and 
Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks; 
the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate 
Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing; the Inter-American 
Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles; the 
Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels; and 
instruments concluded under the framework of the Convention on the 
Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.
    The international conservation and management measures adopted by 
regional fisheries management organizations of which the United States 
is a member are implemented in the United States, if applicable and as 
appropriate, through domestic legislation and corresponding 
regulations.
    To undertake fishing operations on the high seas, the owner or 
operator of a United States fishing vessel must apply for a permit and 
follow regulations implementing HSFCA, found at 50 CFR part 300, 
subpart B. The Secretary has statutory and regulatory authority to 
include appropriate conditions and restrictions in individual permits. 
Taken together, the requirements of the HSFCA, as implemented by the 
regulations and permit conditions and restrictions, fulfill certain 
U.S. obligations and responsibilities under the Compliance Agreement 
with respect to its fishing vessels that operate on the high seas.
    For purposes of the HSFCA, the Secretary, in consultation with the 
Secretary of State, has determined that all conservation and management 
measures for living marine resources set forth in, or adopted pursuant 
to, the following international agreements are included within the term 
``international conservation and management measures recognized by the 
United States.'' For those agreements to which the United States is 
party, the term excludes

[[Page 28955]]

measures to which the United States has lodged an objection or 
reservation, consistent with the terms of such agreement. At the time 
this notice was prepared, the United States had not objected to, or 
taken a reservation against, any such measures.
    A list of agreements resulting in international conservation and 
management measures was first published in the Federal Register in 1996 
(61 FR 11751, March 22, 1996). Where applicable, the updated list of 
agreements is organized by ocean areas and includes the organization 
created by the agreement.

Agreements to Which the United States Is Party

Atlantic Ocean

    Convention for the Conservation of Salmon in the North Atlantic 
Ocean (Basic Instrument for the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation 
Organization--NASCO);
    Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest 
Atlantic Fisheries (Basic Instrument for the Northwest Atlantic 
Fisheries Organization--NAFO);
    International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas 
(Basic Instrument for the International Commission for the Conservation 
of Atlantic Tunas--ICCAT);

Pacific Ocean

    Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program 
(AIDCP);
    Convention for the Conservation of Anadromous Stocks in the North 
Pacific Ocean (Basic Instrument for the North Pacific Anadromous Fish 
Commission--NPAFC);
    1949 Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical 
Tuna Commission (Basic Instrument for the Inter-American Tropical Tuna 
Commission--IATTC); \1\
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    \1\ On August 27, 2010, the Convention for the Strengthening of 
the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Established by the 1949 
Convention Between the United States of America and the Republic of 
Costa Rica (``Antigua Convention'') entered into force for countries 
that have deposited their instrument of ratification. Pursuant to 
Article XXXI of the Antigua Convention, the 1949 Convention for the 
Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission will be 
considered terminated upon the entry into force of the Antigua 
Convention for all Parties to the 1949 Convention. The United States 
is a party to the 1949 Convention and signatory to the Antigua 
Convention. As of the date of this Federal Register notice, the 
United States has not ratified the Antigua Convention. Therefore the 
1949 Convention remains the basis of the United States' membership 
in the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.
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    Convention on the Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources 
in the Central Bering Sea;
    Treaty on Fisheries between the Governments of Certain Pacific 
Island States and the Government of the United States of America (South 
Pacific Tuna Treaty--SPTT);
    Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory 
Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Basic Instrument 
for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission--WCPFC);

Southern Ocean

    Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources 
(Basic Instrument for the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic 
Marine Living Resources--CCAMLR);
    Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (CCAS);

Other

    Convention for the Prohibition of Fishing with Long Driftnets in 
the South Pacific Ocean; and
    International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (Basic 
Instrument for the International Whaling Commission--IWC).
Agreements To Which the United States Is Not Party
    Agreement for the Establishment of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission 
(Basic instrument of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission--IOTC);
    Convention on the Conservation and Management of Fisheries 
Resources in the Southeast Atlantic Ocean (Basic instrument for the 
South East Atlantic Fisheries Organization--SEAFO);
    Convention for the Strengthening of the Inter-American Tropical 
Tuna Commission Established by the 1949 Convention Between the United 
States of America and the Republic of Costa Rica (``Antigua 
Convention''; Basic instrument for the Inter-American Tropical Tuna 
Commission--IATTC);
    Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (Basic 
instrument for the Commission on the Conservation of Southern Bluefin 
Tuna--CCSBT);
    Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in North-East 
Atlantic Fisheries (Basic instrument for the North-East Atlantic 
Fisheries Commission--NEAFC); and
    Agreement between the Government of the Kingdom of Norway and the 
Government of the USSR Concerning Cooperation in the Field of 
Fisheries.
    This listing of ``international conservation and management 
measures recognized by the United States'' will be revised and updated 
from time to time by publication in the Federal Register. The inclusion 
or exclusion of items from this listing is without prejudice to any 
positions or views the United States Government may take or express 
with regard to such items in the future. This notice is not intended to 
and does not otherwise operate to amend, supplement, revise or 
supersede the regulations implementing the HSFCA at 50 CFR 300.15.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 5501-5509.

    Dated: May 12, 2011.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-12339 Filed 5-18-11; 8:45 am]
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