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HQ 114460

September 3, 1998

VES-7-02-RR:IT:EC 114460 GOB


Earl Deveau
Novarea Trading Co. Ltd.
P.O. Box 45
Saulnierville, Nova Scotia

RE: Grading of fish; 46 U.S.C. 12101, 12108; Fisheries

Dear Mr. Deveau:

This is in response to your letter of August 13, 1998 with respect to the use of Novarea Trading Co. Ltd.'s 97-foot Canadian "well boat."


Novarea Trading Co. Ltd. ("Novarea") proposes to engage in the "grading" of fish. You describe the process as follows:

What is involved in grading of salmon at [the] aquaculture sites is by use of Novarea's "well boat." The "well boat" is equipped with technology to handle the extraction of the salmon from various cages owned by the fish farms. Salmon are pumped into the well on board, by a pump, or brail. Once contained in the well, the salmon are fed into a large grader. This grader distributes fish to a table and then into a piece of equipment which grades the fish by size. Salmon are then distributed into various holds with other fish which match in size and are then distributed back to appropriate cages on site. This procedure is necessary for survival of salmon in the cages...

It is Novarea's intention to sail the M.V. Forrest Glenn from port in Saulnierville, Nova Scotia to Machias Bay, Maine ... The vessel will be anchored on the site [which is] approximately 3.5 miles from Buck's Harbour ... All salmon will remain the property of Atlantic Salmon Maine throughout this process.


Whether the subject vessel may engage in the above-described "grading" of fish?


46 U.S.C. 12101 provides in pertinent part as follows:

? 12101. Definitions and related terms in other laws

(a) In this chapter-

(1) "fisheries" includes processing, storing, transporting (except in foreign commerce), planting, cultivating, catching, taking, or harvesting fish, shellfish, marine animals, pearls, shells, or marine vegetation in the navigable waters of the United States or in the exclusive economic zone.

46 U.S.C. 12108 provides in pertinent part:

? 12108. Fishery endorsements

(b) Subject to the laws of the United States regulating the fisheries, only a vessel for which a certificate of documentation with a fishery endorsement is issued may be employed in the fisheries.

The Exclusive Economic Zone is defined as follows:

The Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States is a zone contiguous to the territorial sea, including zones contiguous to the territorial sea of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (to the extent consistent with the Covenant and the United Nations Trusteeship Agreement), and United States overseas territories and possessions. The exclusive Economic Zone extends to a distance 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

Based upon the above-stated facts and authorities, it is our determination that the proposed use of your Canadian well boat would constitute an engagement in the fisheries, including " ... catching, taking, or harvesting fish ..." Pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 12108, a vessel may not engage in the fisheries unless it has a fisheries endorsement. In order to obtain a fisheries endorsement, a vessel must be documented in the United States.

Accordingly, your vessel may not engage in the proposed activity of fish grading.

In the event that you wish to consider documenting your vessel in the United States, you should contact:

The U.S. Coast Guard
National Vessel Documentation Center
2039 Stonewall Jackson Drive
Falling Water, West Virginia 25419


The proposed activity is an engagement in the fisheries. The subject vessel may not engage in such activity unless it has a fisheries endorsement.


Jerry Laderberg
Entry Procedures and Carriers

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