Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Fishermen's Protective Act

Fishermen's Protective Act (22 USC 1971-1979; 68 Stat. 883) as amended -- Section 8, also known as the Pelly Amendment, was added to this 1954 statute by P.L. 92-219 (85 Stat. 786).

The section originally required the Secretary of Commerce to report to the President when he or she determines that nationals of a foreign country are diminishing the effectiveness of an international fishery conservation program. The President is then authorized to direct the Secretary of the Treasury to prohibit the importation of fish products from the offending nation for such duration as he or she determines appropriate and to the extent that such prohibition is consistent with the General Agreements on Trade and Tariffs.

The Pelly Amendment was expanded by P.L. 95-376 (92 Stat. 714), September 18, 1978, to authorize the President to embargo wildlife products (including all fish not previously covered) whenever the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce certifies that nationals of a foreign country are engaging in trade or taking that diminishes the effectiveness of an international program in force with respect to the United States for the conservation of endangered or threatened species.

Public Law 96-61 (93 Stat. 408) added requirements that the Secretary of Commerce or the Secretary of the Interior monitor and investigate foreign activities and periodically review any certifications under the Act.

Public Law 100-711 (102 Stat. 4755) broadened the definition of fish products to include all aquatic species, specifically plants.

Public Law 102-582, approved November 2, 1992, (106 Stat. 4904) made a technical, trade policy change which limited the importation of any products from an offending country. P.L. 102-582 also made language changes.

Public Law 104-43, approved November 3, 1995, (109 Stat. 390) and Public Law 104-208, approved September 30, 1996, (110 Stat. 3009, 3009-41) made language changes.

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