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Exemption for Consumption at Sea

IntheslotIntheslot Posts: 342 Deckhand
So here's the statutes:

622.38 Landing fish intact.
The operator of a vessel that fishes in the EEZ is responsible for ensuring that fish on that vessel in the EEZ are maintained intact and, if taken from the EEZ, are maintained intact through offloading ashore, as specified in this section.

(a) The following must be maintained with head and fins intact: cobia, king mackerel, and Spanish mackerel in or from the Gulf, Mid-Atlantic, or South Atlantic EEZ, except as specified for king mackerel in paragraph (g) of this section; dolphin and wahoo in or from the Atlantic EEZ; South Atlantic snapper-grouper in or from the South Atlantic EEZ, except as specified in paragraph (h) of this section; finfish in or from the Caribbean EEZ, except as specified in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section; and finfish in or from the Gulf EEZ, except as specified in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section. Such fish 151 may be eviscerated, gilled, and scaled, but must otherwise be maintained in a whole condition.
(b) A Caribbean spiny lobster in or from the Caribbean EEZ must be maintained with head and carapace intact.
(c) Shark, swordfish, and tuna species are exempt from the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section.
(d) In the Gulf EEZ or Caribbean EEZ:
(1) Bait is exempt from the requirement to be maintained with head and fins intact. See § 622.31(n) regarding a prohibition on the use of Gulf reef fish as bait.
(i) For the purpose of this paragraph (d)(1), “bait” means--
(A) Packaged, headless fish fillets that have the skin attached and are frozen or refrigerated;
(B) Headless fish fillets that have the skin attached and are held in brine; or
(C) Small pieces no larger than 3 in3 (7.6 cm3) or strips no larger than 3 inches by 9 inches (7.6 cm by 22.9 cm) that have the skin attached and are frozen, refrigerated, or held in brine.
(ii) Paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section notwithstanding, a finfish or part thereof possessed in or landed from the Gulf EEZ or Caribbean EEZ that is subsequently sold or purchased as a finfish species, rather than as bait, is not bait.
(2) Legal-sized finfish possessed for consumption at sea on the harvesting vessel are exempt from the requirement to have head and fins intact, provided--
(i) Such finfish do not exceed any applicable bag limit;
(ii) Such finfish do not exceed 1.5 lb (680 g) of finfish parts per person aboard; and
(iii) The vessel is equipped to cook such finfish on board.

And here's the question... on the last part of this it would seem that I am allowed to posses up to 1.5 lbs of fish per person for consumption at sea provided of course that I have a method to cook it, which I do.

Now, must it be consumed and not brought back to the dock and brought home? What if my intentions were to after my fishing trip to pick up the wimmims and grill up some fish at Peanut Island but instead I have boat trouble, storms come up or half my party hurls because of high waves and we don't get a chance to eat it. The statute says 'possesed for consumption", which seems to express the intent to consume rather that saying "consumed" meaning that it must be eaten.

Can I take it off the boat to cook it at an oceanside park or must I cook it on the boat?

Just want to be within the law.

Replies

  • Grady-ladyGrady-lady east of the river, west of the woodsPosts: 5,282 Admiral
    That's an interesting question...one that I have also wondered about.

    Mr gl asked an FWC officer (Keys) a similar question concerning the cooking and consumption of spiny lobster on board. He was told (my repeating of the answer is third hand, any inaccuracy is unintentional)...yes, you may cook legal sized lobster on board if your boat is equipped with a galley (we have an onboard grill) or you are at least three(?) miles offshore. (Atlantic side) Now, I can't remember if it was three miles or nine.

    Maybe when your question is answered they could clarify the onboard consumption of spiny lobster also.
    I find my peace out on the sand...Beside the sea, not beyond or behind. R.A. Britt

  • Roc N RolRoc N Rol Posts: 1,352 Officer
    (2) Legal-sized finfish possessed for consumption at sea on the harvesting vessel
    You are only allowed to do this on your boat at sea. It does not say you can take it off the boat and cook it. It has to be intact head and tail to take off the boat.
  • AscholtenAscholten Posts: 13 Greenhorn
    Here's the deal. If the fish is on the boat, it must be in whole condition when you bring it to shore. UNLESS you are going to cook it and eat it on board the boat. Do NOT clean the thing hours before you intend to cook it. Other laws stating similar verbage also state, for IMMEDIATE cooking and consumption on the boat. In other words don't have 3 pounds of cobia filets in a zip lock baggy and think you will get away with, oh we were going to eat those for lunch later.

    If you want to eat on the boat fine, fire up the cooker, clean the fish and slap it on.

    As for bringing it to an island and cooking it. That can get tricky. The law states you must 'land' the fish. 'land' means bringing it to 'land' ... the definition of 'land' meaning you can reach it by means other than boat. In other words if you can walk to the place or drive to it then it is considered 'land'. You of course ALWAYS must obey bag limits,but once you get it on shore, be it the boat ramp, your backyard dock, whatever, you are free to do what you want with the fish then. This again requires the fish to be 'landed' whole. Once the boat is tied off, it's yours to do what you want with.

    As for the island thing. ... technically since you really can't reach it 'by' land, it's by 'boat' only, they could get snotty, but I honestly can't see any FWC or other getting that petty if you are sitting down ON LAND having a picnic with the fish. I mean we could bring in the arguement, does this mean that the ISLAND of Hawaii they can't eat fish because you can't reach it by driving or walking?

    The 'reachable by foot' verbage I believe was to keep people from scraping their boat up against a low tide oyster head sticking up and saying, see im on land, it's solid, im eating all my fish now!

    Now Please be informed, I am NOT FWC or any other LEO; however I have asked them specifically these very type questions on my own in the past and am reciting what I was told. It is always the anglers responsibility to practice due diligence concerning the laws and unless the person giving such advice is a KNOWN authority, use it as guidance, not rule of the land.

    Hope this helps.

    Aaron
  • We eat sashimi all the time. I do have the ability to cook but I am not sure why that matters.
  • osprey11osprey11 Posts: 1,187 Officer
    Easy a lime or lemon is cooking ability.


  • NOAA-EnforcementNOAA-Enforcement Posts: 202 Moderator
    You can not return to shore unless the fish is intact.

    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
    50 CFR Part 622



    622.38 Landing fish intact.



    (2) Legal-sized finfish possessed for consumption at sea on
    the harvesting vessel are exempt from the requirement to have
    head and fins intact, provided--
    (i) Such finfish do not exceed any applicable bag limit;
    (ii) Such finfish do not exceed 1.5 lb (680 g) of finfish
    parts per person aboard; and
    (iii) The vessel is equipped to cook such finfish on board.

    Link to regulations:


    http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/regulations/reg.htm
    My purpose on this site is to help everyone understand Federal Fishery Regulations and to provide information. Working with the Florida Sportsman is a collateral (volunteer) duty I asked for and enjoy; I will only give you an answer that I’m willing to put my name on and stand behind. Sometimes that means checking with other agents/offices in the area of concern.
    Please Stay Safe And Have A Wonderful Day.
    Special Agent Allan Coker
    NOAA's Office For Fishery Law Enforcement
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