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O. Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, Public Law 84-1024, 70 Stat. 1117, August 8, 1956

(16 USC 741-742j-1), as amended by: Public Laws 85-888,72 Stat. 1710, September 2, 1958; 87-367, 75 Stat. 785, October 4, 1961; 87-793, 76 Stat. 832, October 11, 1962; 88-309, 78 Stat. 197, May 20, 1964; 89-85, 79 Stat. 262, July 24, 1965; 91-279, 84 Stat. 307, June 12, 1970; 91-387, 84 Stat. 829, August 24, 1970; 92-159, 85 Stat. 480, November 18, 1971; 92-502, 86 Stat. 905, October 18, 1972; 93-271, 88 Stat. 92, April 22, 1974; 94-273, 90 Stat. 375, April 21, 1976, and 95-616, 92 Stat. 3110, November 8, 1978.

An Act

To establish a sound and comprehensive national policy with respect to fish and wildlife; to strengthen the fish and wildlife segments of the national economy; to establish within the Department of the Interior the position of Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife; to establish a United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the “Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956”.

Declaration of Policy

Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956.

Sec. 2. The Congress hereby declares that the fish, shellfish, and wildlife resources of the
Nation make a material contribution to our national economy and food supply, as well as a
material contribution to the health, recreation, and well-being of our citizens; that such
resources are a living, renewable form of national wealth that is capable of being maintained
and greatly increased with proper management, but equally capable of destruction if neglected
or unwisely exploited; that such resources afford outdoor recreation throughout the Nation and
provide employment, directly or indirectly, to a substantial number of citizens; that the fishing
industries strengthen the defense of the United States through the provision of a trained
seafaring citizenry and action-ready fleets of seaworthy vessels; that the training and sport
afforded by fish and wildlife resources strengthen the national defense by contributing to the
general health and physical fitness of millions of citizens; and that properly developed, such fish
and wildlife resources are capable of steadily increasing these valuable contributions to the life
of the Nation.
The Congress further declares that the fishing industry, in its several branches, can prosper and
thus fulfill its proper function in national life only if certain fundamental needs are satisfied by
means that are consistent with the public interest and in accord with constitutional functions of
governments. Among these needs are:

(1) Freedom of enterprise-freedom to develop new areas, methods, products, and markets in accordance with sound economic principles, as well as freedom from unnecessary administrative or legal restrictions that unreasonably conflict with or ignore economic needs;

(2) Protection of opportunity-maintenance of an economic atmosphere in which domestic production and processing can prosper; protection from subsidized competing products; protection of opportunity to fish on the high seas in accordance with international

law;

(3) Assistance-assistance consistent with that provided by the Government for industry generally, such as is involved in promoting good industrial relations, fair trade standards, harmonious labor relations, better health standards and sanitation; and including, but not limited to

(A) services to provide current information on production and trade, market promotion and development, and an extension service,

(B) research services for economic and technologic development and resource conservation, and

(C) resource management to assure the maximum sustainable production for the

fisheries. The Congress further declares that the provisions of this Act are necessary in order to accomplish the objective of proper resource development, and that this Act shall be administered with due regard to the inherent right of every citizen and resident of the United States to engage in fishing for his own pleasure, enjoyment, and betterment, and with the intent of maintaining and increasing the public opportunities for recreational use of our fish and wildlife resources, and stimulating the development of a strong, prosperous, and thriving fishery and fish processing industry.

Reorganization Within the Department of the Interior

Sec. 3.

(a) There is hereby established within the Department of the Interior the position of

Assistant

Secretary for
Fish and
Wildlife;
Commissioner
of Fish and
Wildlife.

Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife. Such Assistant Secretary shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall be compensated at the same rate as other Assistant Secretaries.

(b) There is established within the Department of the Interior the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The functions of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service shall be administered under the supervision of the Director, who shall be subject to the supervision of the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife. The Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. No individual may be appointed as the Director unless he is, by reason of scientific education and experience, knowledgeable in the principles of fisheries and wildlife management.

(c) The United States Fish and Wildlife Service established by subsection (b) shall succeed to and replace the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (as constituted on June 30, 1974) and the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife (as constituted on such date). All laws and regulations in effect on June 30, 1974, which relate to matters administered by the Department of the Interior through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (as constituted on such date) and the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife (as constituted on such date) shall remain in effect.

(d) All functions and responsibilities placed in the Department of the Interior or any official thereof by this Act shall be included among the functions and responsibilities of the Secretary of the Interior, as the head of the Department, and shall be carried out under his direction pursuant to such procedures or delegations of authority as he may deem advisable and in the public interest.

(As amended by P.L. 87-367,75 Stat. 785, October 4, 1961; P.L. 87-793, 76 Stat. 832, October 11, 1962; and P.L. 93-271, 88 Stat. 92, April 22, 1974)

Loan Procedures

Interest rate formula.

Conditions for loans.

Sec. 4.

(a) The Secretary of the Interior is authorized, under such rules and regulations and under such terms and conditions as he may prescribe, to make loans for financing or refinancing of the cost of purchasing, constructing, equipping, maintaining, repairing, or operating new or used commercial fishing vessels or gear.

(b) Any loans made under the provisions of this section shall be subject to the following restrictions:

(1) Bear an interest rate of not less than (a) a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, taking into consideration the average market yield on outstanding Treasury obligations of comparable maturity, plus (b) such additional charge, if any, toward covering other costs of the program as the Secretary may determine to be consistent with its purpose.

(2) Mature in not more than ten years, except that where a loan is for all or part of the costs of constructing a new fishing vessel, such period may be fourteen years.

(3) No financial assistance shall be extended pursuant to this section unless reasonable financial assistance applied for is not otherwise available on reasonable terms.

(4) Loans shall be approved only upon the furnishing of such security or other reasonable assurance of repayment as the Secretary may require considering the objectives of this section which are to upgrade commercial fishing vessels and gear and to provide reasonable financial assistance not otherwise available to commercial fishermen. The proposed collateral for a loan must be of such a nature that, when considered with the integrity and ability of the management, and the applicant's past and prospective earnings, repayment of the loan will be reasonably assured.

(5) The applicant shall possess the ability, experience, resources, and other qualifications necessary to enable him to operate and maintain new or used commercial fishing vessels or gear.

(6) Before the Secretary approves a loan for the purchase or construction of a new or used vessel which will not replace an existing commercial fishing vessel, he shall determine that the applicant's contemplated operation of such vessel in a fishery will not cause economic hardship or injury to the efficient vessel operators already operating in that fishery.

(7) An applicant for a fishery loan must be a citizen or national of the United States.

(8) Within the meaning of this section, a corporation, partnership, or association shall not be deemed to be a citizen of the United States unless the Secretary determines that it satisfactorily meets all of the requirements set forth in section 2 of the Shipping Act, 1916, as amended, for determining the United States citizenship of a corporation, partnership, or association operating a vessel in the coastwise trade.

U.S. citizen or national.

41 Stat. 1008; 73 Stat. 597. 46 USC 802.

(9) (A) The nationality of an applicant shall be established to the satisfaction of the American Secretary. Within the meaning of this section, no corporation, partnership, or Samoa, association organized under the laws of American Samoa shall be deemed a national of corporation the United States unless 75 per centum of the interest therein is owned by nationals of ownership the United States, citizens of the United States,

or both, and in the case of a corporation, requirements. unless its president or other chief executive officer and the chairman of its board are nationals or citizens of the United States and unless no more of its directors than a minority of the number necessary to constitute a quorum are nonnationals and noncitizens.

(B) Seventy-five per centum of the interest in a corporation shall not be deemed to be owned by nationals of the United States, citizens of the United States, or both,

(i) if the title to 75 per centum of its stock is not vested in such nationals and citizens free from any trust or fiduciary obligation in favor of any person not a national or citizen of the United States; or

(ii) if 75 per centum of the voting power in such corporation is not vested in nationals of the United States, citizens of the United States, or both; or

(iii) if through any contract or understanding it is so arranged that more than 25 per centum of the voting power may be exercised, directly or indirectly, in behalf of any person who is not a national or citizen of the United States; or

(iv) if by any other means whatsoever control of any interest in the corporation in excess of 25 per centum is conferred upon or permitted to be

exercised by any person who is not a national or citizen of the United States. (c) There is created a fisheries loan fund, which shall be used by the Secretary as a revolving 41 Stat. 1008. fund to make loans for financing and refinancing under this section. Any funds received by the 46 USC 802. Secretary on or before September 30, 1980, in payment of principal or interest on any loans so Fisheries loan made shall be deposited in the fund and be available for making additional loans under this fund, extension. section. The Secretary shall pay from the fund into the miscellaneous receipts of the Treasury, 72 Stat. 1710. at the close of each fiscal year, interest on the cumulative amount of appropriations available as capital to the fund from and after July 1, 1965, less the average undispersed cash balance in the fund during the year. The rate of such interest shall be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, taking into consideration the average market yield during the month preceding each fiscal year on outstanding Treasury obligations of maturity comparable to the average maturity of loans made from the fund. Interest payments may be deferred with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, but any interest payments so deferred shall themselves bear interest. Any funds received in the fisheries loan fund after September 30, 1980, and any balance remaining therein at the close of September 30, 1980 (at which time the fund shall cease to exist), shall be covered into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts. There is authorized to be appropriated to the fisheries loan fund the sum of $20,000,000 to provide initial capital.

(d) The Secretary, subject to the specific limitations in this section, may consent to the modification, with respect to the rate of interest, time of payment of any installment of principal, or security, of any loan contract to which he is a party.

(e) The Secretary is authorized under such terms and conditions and pursuant to regulations Fishing vessels, prescribed by him to use the funds appropriated under this section to make loans to commercial chartering. fishermen for the purpose of chartering fishing vessels pending the construction or repair of Loans to vessels lost, destroyed, or damaged by the earthquake of March 27, 1964, and subsequent tidal Alaskan waves related thereto: Provided,

That any loans made under

this subsection shall only be repaid earthquake from the net profits of the operations of such chartered vessels, which profits shall be reduced by victims. such reasonable amount as determined by the Secretary for the salary of the fishermen chartering such vessels. The funds authorized herein shall not be available for such loans after June 30, 1966.

(As amended by P.L. 85-888, 72 Stat. 1710, September 2, 1958; P.L. 88-309, 78 Stat. 197, May 20, 1964; P.L. 89-85, 79 Stat. 262, July 24, 1965; P.L. 91-279, 84 Stat. 307, June 12, 1970; P.L. 91-387, 84 Stat. 829, August 24, 1970; and P.L. 94-273, 90 Stat. 375, April 21, 1976)

Investigations, Information, Reports

Sec. 5.

(a) The Secretary shall conduct continuing investigations, prepare and disseminate information, and make periodical reports to the public, to the President, and to Congress, with respect to the following matters:

(1) The production and flow to market of fish and fishery products domestically produced, and also those produced by foreign producers which affect the domestic fisheries;

(2) The availability and abundance and the biological requirements of the fish and wildlife resources;

1989

(3) The competitive economic position of the various fish and fishery products with respect to each other, and with respect to competitive domestic and foreign-produced commodities;

(4) The collection and dissemination of statistics on commercial and sport fishing;

(5) The collection and dissemination of statistics on the nature and availability of wildlife, progress in acquisition of additional refuges and measures being taken to foster a coordinated program to encourage and develop wildlife values;

(6) The improvement of production and marketing practices in regard to commercial species and the conduct of educational and extension services relative to commercial and sport fishing, and wildlife matters;

(7) Any other matters which in the judgment of the Secretary are of public interest in connection with any phases of fish and wildlife operations.

Transfer of Functions-Assistance of Other Agencies

Sec. 6.

(a) There shall be transferred to the Secretary all functions of the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, and the head of any other department or agency, as determined by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget to relate primarily to the development, advancement, management, conservation, and protection of commercial fisheries; but nothing in this section shall be construed to modify the authority of the Department of State or the Secretary of State

to negotiate or enter into any international agreements, or conventions with respect to the development, management, or protection of any fisheries and wildlife resources or with respect to international commissions operating under conventions to which the United States is a party.

(b) There shall be transferred to the Department of the Interior so much of the personnel, property, facilities, records, and unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, and other funds (available or to be made available) as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget determines to be necessary in connection with the exercise of any functions transferred to the Secretary pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The Secretary may request and secure the advice or assistance of any department or agency of the Government in carrying out the provisions of this Act, and any such department or agency which furnishes advice or assistance to the Secretary may expend its own funds for such purposes, with or without reimbursement from the Secretary as may be agreed upon between the Secretary, and the department or agency.

Policies, Procedures, Recommendations

Sec. 7.

(a) The Secretary of the Interior, with such advice and assistance as he may require from the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife, shall consider and determine the policies and procedures that are necessary and desirable in carrying out efficiently and in the public interest the laws relating to fish and wildlife. The Secretary, with the assistance of the departmental staff herein authorized, shall

(1) develop and recommend measures which are appropriate to assure the maximum sustainable production of fish and fishery products and to prevent unnecessary and excessive fluctuations in such production;

(2) study the economic condition of the industry, and whenever he determines that any segment of the domestic fisheries has been seriously disturbed either by wide fluctuation in the abundance of the resource supporting it, or by unstable market or fishing conditions or due to any other factors he shall make such recommendations to the President and the Congress as he deems appropriate to aid in stabilizing the domestic fisheries;

(3) develop and recommend special promotional and informational activities with a view to stimulating the consumption of fishery products whenever he determines that there is a prospective or actual surplus of such products;

(4) take such steps as may be required for the development, advancement, management, conservation, and protection of fish and wildlife resources including, but not limited to, research, development of existing facilities, and acquisition by purchase or exchange of land and water, or interests therein. (b) (1) In furtherance of the purposes of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to accept any gifts, devises, or bequests of real and personal property, or proceeds therefrom, or interests therein, for the benefit of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in performing its activities and services. Such acceptance may be subject to the terms of any restrictive or affirmative covenant, or condition of servitude, if such terms are deemed by the Secretary to be in accordance with law and compatible with the purpose for which acceptance is sought.

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