16 U.S. Code §5008. Enforcement provisions

Section Text

(a) Duties of Secretaries of Commerce and Transportation

This chapter shall be enforced by the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Transportation. Such Secretaries may by agreement utilize, on a reimbursable basis or otherwise, the personnel, services, equipment (including aircraft and vessels), and facilities of any other Federal agency, including all elements of the Department of Defense, and of any State agency, in the performance of such duties. Such Secretaries shall, and the head of any Federal or State agency that has entered into an agreement with either such Secretary under the preceding sentence may (if the agreement so provides), authorize officers to enforce the provisions of the Convention, this chapter, and regulations issued under this chapter. Any such agreement or contract entered into pursuant to this section shall be effective only to such extent or in such amounts as are provided in advance in appropriations Acts.

(b) District court jurisdiction

The district courts of the United States shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any case or controversy arising under the provisions of this chapter.

(c) Powers of enforcement officers

Authorized officers may, shoreward of the outer boundary of the exclusive economic zone, or during hot pursuit from the zone—

(1) with or without a warrant or other process—

(A) arrest any person, if the officer has reasonable cause to believe that such person has committed an act prohibited by section 5009 of this title;

(B) board, and search or inspect, any fishing vessel subject to the provisions of the Convention and this chapter;

(C) seize any fishing vessel (together with its fishing gear, furniture, appurtenances, stores, and cargo) used or employed in, or with respect to which it reasonably appears that such vessel was used or employed in, the violation of any provision of the Convention, this chapter, or regulations issued under this chapter;

(D) seize any fish (wherever found) taken or retained in violation of any provision referred to in subparagraph (C);

(E) seize any other evidence related to any violation of any provision referred to in subparagraph (C);

(2) execute any warrant or other process issued by any court of competent jurisdiction; and

(3) exercise any other lawful authority.

(d) Additional powers

(1) An authorized officer may in the Convention area—

(A) board a vessel of any Party that reasonably can be believed to be engaged in directed fishing for, incidental taking of, or processing of anadromous fish, and, without warrant or process, inspect equipment, logs, documents, catch, and other articles, and question persons, on board the vessel, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the Convention, this chapter, or any regulation issued under this chapter; and

(B) If 1 any such vessel or person on board is actually engaged in operations in violation of any such provision, or there is reasonable ground to believe any person or vessel was obviously so engaged before the boarding of such vessel by the authorized officer, arrest or seize such person or vessel and further investigate the circumstance if necessary.

If an authorized officer, after boarding and investigation, has reasonable cause to believe that any such fishing vessel or person engaged in operations in violation of any provision referred to in subparagraph (A), the officer shall deliver the vessel or person as promptly as practicable to the enforcement officers of the appropriate Party, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention.

(2) When requested by the appropriate authorities of a Party, an authorized officer may be directed to attend as a witness, and to produce such available records and files or duly certified copies thereof as may be necessary, for the prosecution by that Party of any violation of the provisions of the Convention or any law of that Party relating to the enforcement thereof.

Editorial Notes

CODIFICATION Title VIII of Pub. L. 102–567 and Pub. L. 102–587 enacted substantially identical sections. Title VIII of Pub. L. 102–587 was repealed by Pub. L. 106–562.


16 U.S.C. § 5008 (2018)