16 U.S. Code §5506. Enforcement provisions

Section Text

(a) Duties of Secretaries

This chapter shall be enforced by the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating. 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, or 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 this section may (if the agreement so provides), authorize officers to enforce the provisions of this chapter or any regulation or permit issued under this chapter.

(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. In the case of Guam, and any Commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States in the Pacific Ocean, the appropriate court is the United States District Court for the District of Guam, except that in the case of American Samoa, the appropriate court is the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.

(c) Powers of enforcement officers

(1) Any officer who is authorized under subsection (a) to enforce the provisions of this chapter may—

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

(i) arrest any person, if the officer has reasonable cause to believe that such person has committed an act prohibited by paragraph (6), (7), (8), or (9) of section 5505 of this title;

(ii) board, and search or inspect, any high seas fishing vessel;

(iii) seize any high seas 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 this chapter or any regulation or permit issued under this chapter;

(iv) seize any living marine resource (wherever found) taken or retained, in any manner, in connection with or as a result of the commission of any act prohibited by section 5505 of this title;

(v) seize any other evidence related to any violation of any provision of this chapter or any regulation or permit issued under this chapter;

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

(C) exercise any other lawful authority.

(2) Subject to the direction of the Secretary, a person charged with law enforcement responsibilities by the Secretary who is performing a duty related to enforcement of a law regarding fisheries or other marine resources may make an arrest without a warrant for an offense against the United States committed in his presence, or for a felony cognizable under the laws of the United States, if he has reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing a felony.

(d) Issuance of citations

If any authorized officer finds that a high seas fishing vessel is operating or has been operated in violation of any provision of this chapter, such officer may issue a citation to the owner or operator of such vessel in lieu of proceeding under subsection (c). If a permit has been issued pursuant to this chapter for such vessel, such officer shall note the issuance of any citation under this subsection, including the date thereof and the reason therefor, on the permit. The Secretary shall maintain a record of all citations issued pursuant to this subsection.

(e) Liability for costs

Any person assessed a civil penalty for, or convicted of, any violation of this chapter shall be liable for the cost incurred in storage, care, and maintenance of any living marine resource or other property seized in connection with the violation.

Editorial Notes

REFERENCES IN TEXT This chapter, referred to in subsec. (e), was in the original "this Act", and was translated as reading "this title", meaning title I of Pub. L. 104–43, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.EFFECTIVE DATE Section effective 120 days after Nov. 3, 1995, see section 111 of Pub. L. 104–43, set out as a note under section 5501 of this title.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. § 5506 (2018)