NAO 202-735A: COMMERCIAL FISHING BY NOAA EMPLOYEES

Issued 06/02/88; Effective 05/20/88

SECTION 1. PURPOSE.

.01 This directive prescribes NOAA policy and the approval process for commercial fishing activities by employees which might constitute a conflict of interest. .02 This reissuance contains no change in current NOAA policy on this subject.

.02 This reissuance contains no change in current NOAA policy on this subject.

SECTION 2. BACKGROUND.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) provides important financial, regulatory and research services to the nation's fishing industry. Because of their interest and expertise, many NOAA employees have been drawn from the commercial fishing industry. Moreover, many agency employees have access to data or information concerning fish abundance, location, market demand, and other factors which could be misused for personal profit if not properly controlled or which could appear to the general public to be misused.

SECTION 3. POLICY.

.01 It is NOAA policy that no employee shall sell marine or anadromous fish or otherwise receive compensation from the private activity of fishing unless it has been determined, in writing, by the appropriate NMFS Regional Director or the NMFS Executive Director that the employee (1) does not make recommendations concerning the regulation of the species of fish involved, and (2) does not have access to confidential data or information concerning the abundance, location, or market demand for the species of fish involved.

.02 Besides these restrictions on the sale of fish, there are several other statutory or regulatory provisions which will restrict NOAA employees from having financial ties to the fishing industry. Investment in, or employment by, activities regulated or provided financial assistance by the agency is governed by Departmental regulations found in 15 CFR Part O. The statutory restrictions are listed in Appendix A to that section. These regulations and statutes, which apply to all Department employees, place limitations on certain outside activities, use of Government information, and acceptance of gifts, among other things. The absence of specific guidance on other possible employee relationships with the fishing industry does not imply that any relationship is approved or condoned. Further guidance should be sought from the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Administration, Department of Commerce on 377-5387, before any employee concludes that he or she may derive financial benefit from any outside activity related to fishing.

SECTION 4. SCOPE.

.01 This policy applies to all employees in the National Marine Fisheries Service and those whose duties substantially include NMFS matters, including employees of NOAA General Counsel and other NOAA staff offices.

.02 The financial interests of a spouse or minor child are attributable to an employee under this policy. This policy applies whether or not the employee holds or could obtain a Federal, State or local license or permit otherwise authorizing the sale of fish.

SECTION 6. EFFECT ON OTHER ISSUANCES.

This directive supersedes NOAA Directives Manual (NDM) 89-01 dated November 11, 1983.

SIGNED,

Assistant Administrator,
National Marine Fisheries Service

Office of Primary Interest:
Management and Budget Staff, NMFS (F/MB)