Effective: 01/09/1989; Reviewed Last: 07/22/2020
SECTION 1. PURPOSE.
This administrative order establishes NOAA policy with respect to the disposition of fish taken aboard NOAA vessels during scientific research or as a result of recreational fishing by off-duty crew members and others aboard NOAA vessels.
SECTION 2. BACKGROUND.
From time to time, questions have arisen concerning the disposition of fish taken aboard NOAA vessels in the course of scientific research or as a result of crew members' off-duty recreational fishing. While fish caught by NOAA vessels during scientific research are not subject to state law, 16 U.S.C. 745, and are not subject to the Magnuson Act's prohibitions, 16 U.S.C. 1802(10), these provisions do not insulate NOAA employees from other Federal, state and local laws.
SECTION 3. POLICY.
.01 Fish taken during scientific research. Fish caught by NOAA vessels during scientific research are Federal property. Those that are not required as scientific samples will be disposed of in the following manner:
- Live fish that could survive must be returned to the water.
- Dead fish, or live fish that could not survive, may be used for crew consumption aboard the vessel.
- Those fish in category b. which are in excess of the needs of the crew, if they can be retained for human consumption, may be donated to an appropriate charity.
- Fish that cannot be retained for consumption on board or charitable donation must be dumped overboard having due regard for the marine environment.
02. Recreational fishing. Crew members, scientific parties, and others aboard NOAA vessels may engage in recreational fishing from such vessels with the captain's permission. Any such fishing must be in full compliance with the laws and regulations in effect in that locality. Fish caught recreationally may be consumed aboard the vessel or, with the permission of the captain, may be retained after the vessel returns to port if otherwise allowed by the laws and regulations applicable to private persons in that locality.
Acting Under Secretary of Commerce
for Oceans and Atmosphere
Office of Primary Interest:
National Marine Fisheries Service
Office of Management and Budget