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Operators of domestic fishing vessels with a freeboard of four feet or more are required to provide a U.S. Coast Guard-approved pilot ladder for authorized personnel to board fishing vessels in carrying out their duties under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, and other applicable fisheries laws and treaties. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of personnel boarding domestic fishing vessels, as current standards have proven to be inadequate. These final regulations establish a safer and more enforceable national standard for ladders used by authorized officers for boarding domestic fishing vessels subject to Federal regulation. The effective date of this requirement is January 1, 2009. For more information, contact William Chappell at (301) 713-2337
 
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