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24.1003 Definitions.

Cite as [A.S.A.C. § 24.1003]

The following definitions shall apply to the regulations of the Community-based Fisheries Management Program. Any definition referring to the male gender also includes the female gender.

(1) “Barter” means the exchange or trade of Fish or Shellfish, or any Fish or Shellfish parts:

(a) Taken for any use;

(b) For other Fish, Shellfish or game or their parts; or

(c) For other food or for non-edible items other than money if the exchange or trade is of a noncommercial nature.

(2) “Bleaching Agent” means any chemical-based product, solution, or liquid that may damage marine resources.

(3) “Closed Area(s) ” means an area designated by the Village Monitoring and Enforcement Committee, and the Department, where it is illegal or prohibited to take Fish or Shellfish or any marine organism;

(4) “Closed Season” means the time during which Fish or Shellfish and any marine organism may not be Taken;

(5) “Commercial Fishing” means any Fishing activity in which part or all of the catch is sold or marketed or for which the fisherman receives income as a result of the Fishing activity, such as payment for Fishing charter, a salary for Fishing, or cash for their portion of the catch and includes the Taking, Fishing for, or possession of Fish, Shellfish, or other Fishery resources with the intent of disposing of them for profit, or by sale, Barter, trade or in commercial channels.

(6) “Coral” means the hard and soft corals. Hard corals are corals with hard or stony skeleton of marine creatures formed by polyps that live and grow in the Waters of American Samoa and also includes any Live Rock composed of dead coral skeleton or any living aquatic organism of the phylum Cnidaria that are capable of secreting hard skeletal parts or can incorporate stony secretions within or around their tissues e.g. hermatypiccorals, black coral, precious corals, blue coral, organ pipe corals, fire corals, lace corals or other similar corals. Soft corals are members of phylum Cnidaria, Class Anthozoa, order Octocorallia that have soft fleshy tissues, attach to the sea bottom and may have a flexible skeleton. They include Alcyonaca soft corals and gorgonians.

(7) “Cultural uses” means the Taking of Fish or Shellfish needed or used by a person where the Fish or Shellfish is normally or regularly used in cultural activities, ceremonies or traditions.

(8) “Cyanide” means compounds that include cyanide salts, such as sodium cyanide or potassium cyanide which can be solids or in solutions, and the gas hydrogen cyanide (HCN), also known as hydrocyanic acid gases, also known as hydrocyanic acid gas.

(9) “Cyanide Fishing” means a Fishing method using Cyanide compounds to Take Fish or Shellfish.

(10) “Day” means a twenty-four (24) hour period beginning at one minute after midnight (12:01 a.m.) and ending at midnight, 24hours later.

(11) “Department” means the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR).

(12) “Director” means the director of DMWR.

(13) “Domicile” means the true and permanent home of a Person from which that Person has no present intention or plan of moving away from and to which that Person intends or plans to return to whenever that Person is away; domicile may be proved by presenting evidence acceptable to the Department or the Village Monitoring and Enforcement Committee.

(14) “Fish” means any aquatic species of mammal, finfish, invertebrate, seaweeds, limu, or amphibian, in any state of its life cycle, found in or introduced into the Waters of American Samoa, and includes any part of such aquatic finfish, invertebrate, or amphibian, and includes but is not limited to octopi, urchins, sea cucumbers, snails, sea slugs, lobsters, crabs, shrimp, clams, sharks, rays, anemones, and those fish species of the classesOsteoichthyes, Chondrichtyes, and Macroalgaes occurring in the Waters of American Samoa. The term “Fish” includes all stages of development and the bodily parts of fish species.

(15) “Fishery” means a specific area of water or Reef in which a specific Marine Resource is Taken with a specific type of Fishing Gear; additionally, the Department may designate a Fishery to include more than one specific type of Fishing Gear or Marine Resource;

(16) “Habitat” means any natural or man-made material so configured as to create an environment that attracts, retains or is significantly used by populations of Fish, Shellfish and/or any living organism.

(17) “Fishing” means to Take or attempt to Take Fish or Shellfish or any marine organism by any means including, but not limited to, the following:

(a) The use of Fishing Gear such as hook and line, spears, nets, traps, weirs, and any other device or method used to Take or attempt to Take Fish or Shellfish or any marine and aquatic organism;

(b) Searching for catching, Taking or harvesting Fish or Shellfish or any marine and aquatic organism;

(c) The attempted searching for, catching, Taking, or harvesting of Fish or Shellfish or any marine and aquatic organism;

(d) Engaging in any other activity which can reasonably be expected to result in locating, catching, Taking or harvesting of Fish or Shellfish or any marine and aquatic organism;

(e) Placing and/or deploying, searching and recovery of any associated equipment such as radio beacons, buoy markers, Fish Aggregation Devices (FAD) except Department FAD's; or

(f) Any operation in the Waters of American Samoa in support of, or in preparation of any activity described in this definition.

(18) “Fishing Gear” means any equipment, implement or other thing or item that can be used in the act of Fishing or Taking of Fish, including any fishing net, fishing line, float trap, hook, winch, spear, or any other device used to Take or attempt to Take Fish or Shellfish or any marine and aquatic organism.

(19) “Fish Trap” means any portable or removable baited or unbaited Fish catching apparatus consisting of an enclosure with entrances designed to admit and retain Fish or Shellfish.

(20) “Fish Weir” means any baited or unbaited Fish or Shellfish or any marine or aquatic organism catching apparatus consisting of a pocket, trap, and/or fixed barrier that is placed in a fixed position. This term includes any material or item used in the construction of the apparatus including any net, pole, rope, wire, mesh, branch, leaves, or other similar materials. For the purposes of these regulations, there are two types of Fish Weirs:

(a) “Main Weir” means the central collection pocket or trap of a Fish Weir including its leader (main entrance) and any wings (side entrances);

(b) “Auxiliary Weir” means any secondary pocket or trap and its leader and wings that are attached to a Main Weir.

(21) “Gleaning” means the Taking of Fish or Shellfish or any marine and aquatic organism using the hand and/or with a handheld knife or other handheld instrument.

(22) “Live Rock” means any Coral, basalt rock, or other natural structure with any living organisms growing in or on the Coral, basalt rock, or structure.

(23) “Legal Entity” or “Legally Recognized Entity” means any corporation, partnership, joint venture, affiliation, association, or any other entity recognized by the laws of American Samoa.

(24) “Length of Fish” means the length from the tip of the snout of the Fish to the tip of the tail of the Fish (total length).

(25) “Limit” means the maximum legal Take per Person per day in the area in which the Person is Fishing even though part or all of the Fish are immediately preserved; a Fish when landed and killed becomes a part of the Limit of the Person originally hooking or catching it and cannot be transferred or given to another Person for the purposes of determining a Person’s Limit.

(26) “Village Marine Protected Area” (VMPA) means any shore, shoreline, Reef or other designated marine area, that is established to serve the purpose(s) of these regulations.

(27) “Marine Resource” means any Fish, Shellfish, marine animal, Coral, Live Rock or other living creature or marine life found in or on the salt Waters of American Samoa or found in or on a Reef.

(28) “Mean High Water Mark” means the average level of the ocean's high tide for a particular area of shoreline or Reef.

(29) “Mean Low Water Mark” means the average level of the ocean's low tide for a particular area of shoreline or Reef.

(30) “Night Fishing” means the Fishing or Taking of Fish or Shellfish in the time period between one (1) hour after sunset until one (1) hour before sunrise.

(31) “Open Season” means the time during which Fish or Shellfish may lawfully be Taken; each period of time prescribed as an open season shall be interpreted to begin at 12:01 a.m. on the first day of the stated Time Period and end at midnight of the last day of the stated Time Period unless otherwise stated in a designation of an Open Season.

(32) “Participating Village” means a village that has agreed to participate in the Community-based Fisheries Management Program under Section 24.1004.

(33) “Person” means an individual, corporation, company, association, partnership or any other Legally Recognized Entity.

(34) “Persons” means more than one Person.

(35) “Reef” means the area from the shore line at Mean High Water Mark to a point one hundred (100) yards past the point where breakers form during the lowest low tide (i.e., during spring tide) which shall contain the entire area, length, growth, and structure of any Coral including all Live Rock(s), and atolls located on or in the Reef.

(36) “Resident” means:

(a) A person who for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the claim of residence is made has maintained the Person's Domicile in American Samoa and who is neither claiming residency in another state, territory, or country, nor obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another state, territory, or country;

(b) A native Samoan who resides in a village;

(c) A Legal Entity that has its main office or headquarters in American Samoa; a natural person who does not otherwise qualify as a resident under this paragraph may not qualify as a resident by virtue of an interest in a partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation;

(d) A member of the military service, or United States Coast Guard, who has been stationed in American Samoa for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the claim of residence is made;

(e) A person who is the dependent of a resident member of the military service, or the United States Coast Guard, and who has lived in American Samoa for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the claim of residence is made; or

(f) An alien who for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the claim of residence is made has maintained the person's Domicile in American Samoa and who is neither claiming residency in another state, territory, or country, nor obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another state, territory, or country.

(37) “Sandmining” means the act of or actual removal of sand from the coastline or in the village marine protected areaby a Person by any means or method and for any commercial use or personal use, including but not limited to removal by shovel, vehicle, ricebags, barrels, bare hands, buckets, or any mechanism or manner in which sand is removed from a Village Marine Protected Area.

(38) “Season” means a stated period of time that occurs in yearly cycles.

(39) “Shellfish” means any aquatic animal with a shell and also includes all species of marine and freshwater invertebrates occurring in the Waters of American Samoa. The term “Shellfish” includes all stages of development and the bodily parts of Shellfish species.

(40) “Shellfish Trap” means any removable or portable, baited or unbaited Shellfish catching apparatus consisting of an enclosure with entrances designed to admit and retain Shellfish.

(41) “Subsistence Fishing” means any legal Fishing activity where the catch is not sold or marketed but is shared within the family or Village for the purpose of home consumption and includes Cultural Uses.

(42) “Subsistence Uses” means the noncommercial, customary and traditional uses of wild, renewable Marine Resources by a Resident, whose Domicile is American Samoa, such use being for the direct personal or family consumption as food or for the customary trade, Barter, or sharing for personal or family consumption; in this paragraph, "family" means persons related by blood, marriage, adoption, Samoan custom or culture, or a person living in the Resident’s household on a permanent basis.

(43) “Take”; “Taking”; “Takes” means to harass, harm, pursue, hung, shoot, wound, kill, capture, trap or collect, or attempt to engage in any such conduct.

(44) “Taken” means the removal, captured, killed or transferred of Fish/Shellfish or any other marine and aquatic organism.

(45) “Time Period” means any stated measurement or amount of time, including but not limited to, hours, days, weeks, or months.

(46) “Toxicant” means any material or chemical put, placed or introduction into the salt Waters of American Samoa by direct or indirect means that will kill, stun, or intoxicate Fish or Shellfish, or drive Fish or Shellfish from their normal or natural location.

(47) “Underwater Breathing Device” means any mechanical, fabricated, or man-made device or apparatus, including SCUBA equipment, Hookah equipment, used by a Person to allow that Person to breathe while submerged or while partly submerged. An Underwater Breathing Device does not include a snorkel that is less than twenty (20) inches in length.

(48) “Village” means a common association or grouping of houses, families, or people based upon traditional, recognized boundaries

(49) “Village Monitoring and Enforcement Committee” means the individual or group of individuals from a Village who have been selected, designated and trained to monitor their Village's Marine Protected Area through Village by-laws.

(50) “Village Policeman” means any elected or chosen policeman of a Village.

(51) “Village Pulenu’u” means the elected or chosen mayor of a Village.

(52) “Wastewater” means water or liquid that is discarded, discharged or released by a Person from any residence, vessel, guesthouse, house, or business, including but not limited to, sewage or the discharge from a washing machine.

History: Rule 1-08, eff 2008.