The Fishing Vessel Safety Division of the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) July 13, 2017, titled Application of Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety (CFVS) Requirements on NMFS Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Permitted Handgear Vessels.
MSIB 008-17 (corrected) provides guidance to highly migratory species (HMS) charter fishing vessels, the commercial fishing industry, and the Coast Guard. It represents the Coast Guard’s current interpretation on the applicability of commercial fishing vessel safety requirements and regulations for those vessels fishing for Atlantic HMS. Catch that is landed and sold constitutes commercial fishing and subjects the vessel to the commercial fishing vessel regulations under 46 CFR Part 28. Catch that is not sold under an HMS permit, but kept by the vessel’s crew or passengers, is considered recreational fishing and does not subject the vessel to 46 CFR Part 28.
The compliance posture outlined in the bulletin applies if the vessel/owner/operator holds ONLY an Atlantic HMS or Tunas permit. If the vessel/owner/operator holds another type of fisheries permit that allows the landing and selling of catch, and the permit is being utilized during the trip, the vessel will be considered a commercial fishing vessel and must comply with Coast Guard requirements in 46 CFR Part 28.
The following table serves only as a general guide for those HMS-permitted handgear vessels that may need to comply with CFVS equipment and examination requirements. This table is neither a substitute for all applicable legal requirements, nor is a comprehensive rule. Contact federal, state, or Coast Guard safety officials for specific details or further clarification.
View MSIB 008-17 (corrected) for full details.
Questions concerning the applicability of commercial fishing vessel safety requirements and regulations may be directed to the Fishing Vessels Division, at 202-372-1249, to Mr. Jack Kemerer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or to the Atlantic Area Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Coordinator at 757-398-6565.
This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.