H.R. 2560 - Reef Assassin Act

115TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION
H. R. 2560

To amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to encourage elimination of lionfish from United States waters by allowing individuals to exchange lionfish for tags authorizing fishing for certain species in addition to the number of such species otherwise authorized to be taken by such individuals, and for other purposes.
 
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. GAETZ introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee.
A BILL To amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to encourage elimination of lionfish from United States waters by allowing individuals to exchange lionfish for tags authorizing fishing for certain species in addition to the number of such species otherwise authorized to be taken by such individuals, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-1 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2 SECTION 1. SHORT
TITLE. 3 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Reef Assassin Act’’.
 
2 [Discussion Draft] SEC. 2. ENCOURAGING ELIMINATION OF LIONFISH. 1 (a) IN GENERAL.—Title III of the Magnuson-Stevens 2 Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 3 1851 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the fol-4 lowing: 5 ‘‘SEC. 321. ENCOURAGING ELIMINATION OF LIONFISH. 6 ‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall issue regula-7 tions under which a participating State may issue to an 8 individual submitting lionfish taken in Federal or State 9 waters a tag authorizing the taking of a fish of a covered 10 species in Federal waters in addition to any other fish of 11 that species the individual is authorized to take in Federal 12 waters. 13 ‘‘(b) REQUIREMENTS FOR ISSUANCE OF TAG.—The 14 regulations shall require—15 ‘‘(1) the submission of 100 lionfish for each tag 16 issued; 17 ‘‘(2) that lionfish taken in State waters must be 18 taken by an individual holding a valid license to en-19 gage in such fishing issued under the laws of such 20 State; 21 ‘‘(3) that each lionfish shall be submitted by re-22 moving the tail, placing it in a resealable plastic bag, 23 and submitting such bag to a participating State be-24 fore the tail has significantly deteriorated.
 
3 [Discussion Draft] ‘‘(c) NO LIMITATION ON NUMBER OF TAGS.—The 1 regulations shall not limit the number of tags that may 2 be issued to an individual. 3 ‘‘(d) USE OF TAGS.—The regulations shall provide 4 that a tag issued under the regulations—5 ‘‘(1) shall be valid for the 5-year period begin-6 ning on the date it is issued; 7 ‘‘(2) shall authorize only the recreational or 8 commercial taking of a fish that complies with any 9 size limit that otherwise applies to fishing for such 10 fish in the waters in which it is taken; 11 ‘‘(3) shall authorize such taking without regard 12 to any seasonal limitation that otherwise applies to 13 the species of fish taken; 14 ‘‘(4) shall authorize—15 ‘‘(A) the transfer of tags to any other per-16 son; and 17 ‘‘(B) use of transferred tags in the same 18 manner as such tags may be used by the person 19 to whom the tags were issued; and 20 ‘‘(5) shall require that any fish taken under 21 such tag outside any seasonal limitation that other-22 wise applies to such fish must have the tag fastened 23 between the mouth and gill before being placed in 24 any cooler.
 
4 [Discussion Draft] ‘‘(e) APPROVAL OF STATE TO PARTICIPATE.—1 ‘‘(1) CONDITIONS.—The regulations shall re-2 quire that as a condition of approving a State to 3 issue tags under this section the Secretary shall re-4 quire the State to designate a repository for lionfish 5 submitted for such tags. 6 ‘‘(2) PROVISION OF FREEZER.—The Secretary 7 shall provide to each participating State freezers in 8 which to store submitted lionfish, at a cost of not 9 more than $500 for each freezer. 10 ‘‘(f) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.—The Secretary—11 ‘‘(1) shall encourage participating States to use 12 existing infrastructure and staff or volunteers to 13 conduct the State’s program under this section; 14 ‘‘(2) shall include on the webpage of the Na-15 tional Marine Fisheries Service information about 16 the program under this section; and 17 ‘‘(3) encourage State and local governments to 18 work with retailers and distributors to advance the 19 purchasing and consumption of lionfish. 20 ‘‘(g) OTHER PROVISIONS NOT AFFECTED.—21 ‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—This section—22 ‘‘(A) is intended to protect species of fish 23 that are native to waters of the United States 24 or the exclusive economic zone; and
 
5 [Discussion Draft] ‘‘(B) shall not be construed to constrain 1 any fishery, fishing quota, or fishing allocation. 2 ‘‘(2) LIMITATION ON CONSIDERATION OF 3 TAGS.—This section and tags issued or authorized to 4 be issued under this section shall not be considered 5 in any determination of fishing levels, quotas, or al-6 locations. 7 ‘‘(h) DEFINITION.—In this section—8 ‘‘(1) the term ‘covered fish’—9 ‘‘(A) except as provided in subparagraph 10 (B), means red snapper, gag grouper, 11 triggerfish, amberjack; and 12 ‘‘(B) does not include any species included 13 in a list of endangered species or threatened 14 species under the Endangered Species Act of 15 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); and 16 ‘‘(2) the term ‘participating State’ means a 17 State that has applied and been approved by the 18 Secretary to issue tags under regulations under this 19 section.’’. 20 (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of contents 21 in the first section of such Act is amended by adding at 22 the end of the items relating to title III the following:23
‘‘Sec. 301. Encouraging elimination of lionfish’’. (c) DEADLINE FOR REGULATIONS.—The Secretary of 24 Commerce shall issue regulations under the amendment
 
6 [Discussion Draft] made by subsection (a) by not later than ølll?¿ after 1 the date of the enactment of this Act.
Issues: