Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean Vessel Permit
The owner or managing owner of a U.S. purse seine fishing vessel of greater than 400 st (362.8 mt) carrying capacity that participates in commercial fishing operations in the ETP must possess a valid vessel permit.
Fishery Type: Open access
Harvest Type: Commercial
Species Covered: Highly Migratory Species
Online Renewal: No.
Logbook Requirements: Yes
Expiration Date: Annual; December 31.
Eligibility: Inclusion on the vessel register. Inclusion on the tuna purse seine portion of the Vessel Register is valid through December 31 of each year. New tuna purse seine vessels may be added to the Vessel Register at any time to replace those previously removed by the Regional Administrator, provided that the total capacity of the replacement vessel or vessels does not exceed that of the tuna purse seine vessel or vessels being replaced.
See “Additional Requirements” Section below.
The Eastern Tropical Pacific is the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean which includes the Pacific Ocean area bounded by 40° N. latitude, 40° S. latitude, 160° W. longitude and the coastlines of North, Central and South America.
Any person using a U.S. purse seine fishing vessel of greater than 400 st (362.8 mt) carrying capacity that does not have a valid permit obtained under these regulations to catch, possess, or land tuna if any part of the vessel's fishing trip is in the ETP.
As early as August 1 of each year, vessel owners or managing owners may request that a purse seine vessel qualified to be listed on the Vessel Register be categorized as active for the following calendar year.
To request a purse seine vessel in excess of 400 st (362.8 mt) carrying capacity be listed on the Vessel Register and be categorized as active, the vessel owner or managing owner must submit to the Regional Administrator the vessel permit application and payment of the permit application fee and vessel assessment fee.
To request a purse seine vessel of 400 st (362.8 mt) carrying capacity or less be listed on the Vessel Register and be categorized as active, the vessel owner or managing owner must submit to the Regional Administrator written notification including, but not limited to, a vessel photograph, the vessel information, and the owner or managing owner's signature and business telephone and fax numbers.
If a purse seine vessel of 400 st (362.8 mt) carrying capacity or less is required by the Agreement on the IDCP to carry an observer, the vessel owner or managing owner must also submit payment of the vessel assessment fee to the Regional Administrator. Vessel permit applications and written notifications must be submitted by fax to (562) 980-4047. The Regional Administrator must receive the vessel permit application or written notification and payment of the permit application fee and vessel assessment fee no later than September 15 for vessels for which a Dolphin Mortality Limit (DML) was requested for the following year and no later than November 30 for vessels for which a DML was not requested for the following year. Submission of the vessel permit application or written notification and payment of the vessel assessment fee and permit application fee will be interpreted by the Regional Administrator as a request for a vessel to be categorized as active.
The following restrictions apply to active status:
- The cumulative carrying capacity of all purse seine vessels categorized as active on the Vessel Register may not exceed 31,775 cubic meters in a given year;
- A purse seine vessel may not be added to active status on the Vessel Register unless the captain of the vessel has obtained a valid operator permit under §216.24(b)(2) of this title;
- Requests for active status will be prioritized according to the following hierarchy:
- Requests received for vessels that were categorized as active in the previous year, unless the request for active status was determined to be frivolous by the Regional Administrator
- Requests received for vessels that were categorized as inactive
- Requests for vessels not described above will be prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis according to the date and time stamp printed by the incoming fax machine upon receipt, provided that the associated vessel assessment fee is paid.
- Requests received from owners or managing owners of vessels that were determined by the Regional Administrator to have made a frivolous request for active status.
IATTC Vessel assessment fee: The vessel assessment fee supports the placement of observers on individual tuna purse seine vessels, and maintenance of the observer program, as established by the IATTC or other approved observer program.