(a) Secretarial review of Commission determination of noncompliance
Within 30 days after receiving a notification from the Commission under section 5105(b) of this title and after review of the Commission’s determination of noncompliance, the Secretary shall make a finding on—
(1) whether the State in question has failed to carry out its responsibility under section 5104 of this title; and
(2) if so, whether the measures that the State has failed to implement and enforce are necessary for the conservation of the fishery in question.
(b) Consideration of comments
In making a finding under subsection (a), the Secretary shall—
(A) give careful consideration to the comments of the State that the Commission has determined under section 5105(a) of this title is not in compliance with a coastal fishery management plan, and provide such State, upon request, with the opportunity to meet with and present its comments directly to the Secretary; and
(B) solicit and consider the comments of the Commission and the appropriate Councils.
(1) Upon making a finding under subsection (a) that a State has failed to carry out its responsibility under section 5104 of this title and that the measures it failed to implement and enforce are necessary for conservation, the Secretary shall declare a moratorium on fishing in the fishery in question within the waters of the noncomplying State. The Secretary shall specify the moratorium’s effective date, which shall be any date within 6 months after declaration of the moratorium.
(2) If after a moratorium is declared under paragraph (1) the Secretary is notified by the Commission that the Commission is withdrawing under section 5105(c) of this title the determination of noncompliance, the Secretary shall immediately determine whether the State is in compliance with the applicable plan. If so, the moratorium shall be terminated.
(d) Implementing regulations
The Secretary may issue regulations necessary to implement this section. Such regulations—
(1) may provide for the possession and use of fish which have been produced in an aquaculture operation, subject to applicable State regulations; and
(2) shall allow for retention of fish that are subject to a moratorium declared under this section and unavoidably taken as incidental catch in fisheries directed toward menhaden if—
(A) discarding the retained fish is impracticable;
(B) the retained fish do not constitute a significant portion of the catch of the vessel; and
(C) retention of the fish will not, in the judgment of the Secretary, adversely affect the conservation of the species of fish retained.
(e) Prohibited acts during moratorium
During the time in which a moratorium under this section is in effect, it is unlawful for any person to—
(1) violate the terms of the moratorium or of any implementing regulation issued under subsection (d);
(2) engage in fishing for any species of fish to which the moratorium applies within the waters of the State subject to the moratorium;
(3) land, attempt to land, or possess fish that are caught, taken, or harvested in violation of the moratorium or of any implementing regulation issued under subsection (d);
(4) fail to return to the water immediately, with a minimum of injury, any fish to which the moratorium applies that are taken incidental to fishing for species other than those to which the moratorium applies, except as provided by regulations issued under subsection (d);
(5) refuse to permit any officer authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter to board a fishing vessel subject to such person’s control for purposes of conducting any search or inspection in connection with the enforcement of this chapter;
(6) forcibly assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, or interfere with any such authorized officer in the conduct of any search or inspection under this chapter;
(7) resist a lawful arrest for any act prohibited by this section;
(8) ship, transport, offer for sale, sell, purchase, import, or have custody, control, or possession of, any fish taken or retained in violation of this chapter; or
(9) interfere with, delay, or prevent, by any means, the apprehension or arrest of another person, knowing that such other person has committed any act prohibited by this section.
(f) Civil and criminal penalties
(1) Any person who commits any act that is unlawful under subsection (e) shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty as provided by section 308 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1858).
(2) Any person who commits an act prohibited by paragraph (5), (6), (7), or (9) of subsection (e) is guilty of an offense punishable as provided by section 309(a)(1) and (b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1859(a)(1) and (b)).
(g) Civil forfeitures
(1) Any vessel (including its gear, equipment, appurtenances, stores, and cargo) used, and any fish (or the fair market value thereof) taken or retained, in any manner, in connection with, or as the result of, the commission of any act that is unlawful under subsection (e), shall be subject to forfeiture to the United States as provided in section 310 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1860).
(2) Any fish seized pursuant to this chapter may be disposed of pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction or, if perishable, in a manner prescribed in regulation.
A person authorized by the Secretary or the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating may take any action to enforce a moratorium declared under subsection (c) of this section that an officer authorized by the Secretary under section 311(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1861(b)) may take to enforce that Act [16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.]. The Secretary may, by agreement, on a reimbursable basis or otherwise, utilize the personnel, services, equipment (including aircraft and vessels), and facilities of any other Federal department or agency and of any agency of a State in carrying out that enforcement.
REFERENCES IN TEXT The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, referred to in subsec. (h), is Pub. L. 94–265, Apr. 13, 1976, 90 Stat. 331, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 38 (§1801 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1801 of this title and Tables.AMENDMENTS 2000—Subsecs. (f) to (h). Pub. L. 106—555 substituted "Magnuson-Stevens Fishery" for "Magnuson Fishery" wherever appearing.TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.
16 U.S.C. § 5106 (2018)