International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; Procedures for the Active and Inactive Vessel Register
NMFS is issuing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act of 1950 (TCA), as amended, and Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, to implement International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements in Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) Resolution C-18-06 (Resolution (Amended) on a Regional Vessel Register) and amendments to existing regulations governing inclusion on the IATTC Regional Vessel Register (Vessel Register) by purse seine vessels fishing in the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO).
This final rule would expand the IMO number requirements to include certain categories of smaller U.S. vessels fishing for tuna and tuna-like species in the EPO. This final rule would also relax the restrictions on retention of incidental catch by purse seine vessels. These revisions would provide more clarity and make U.S. regulations more consistent with the IATTC management framework, while allowing controlled operational flexibility for the U.S. industry.