United States Statutes at Large/Volume 1/2nd Congress/1st Session/Chapter 6

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United States Statutes at Large, Volume 1
United States Congress
Public Acts of the Second Congress, 1st Session, Chapter 6

Feb. 16, 1792
Chap. VI.—An Act concerning certain Fisheries of the United States, and for the regulation and government of the Fishermen employed therein.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,Act of April 12, 1800, ch. 22.
Allowance in lieu of drawback on exportation of dried fish limited to June 1792.
Act of June 19, 1813. Act of July 29, 1813.
And as an equivalent each fishing vessel allowed a sum according to burden not to exceed $170.
1792, ch. 27, sec. 6.
1797, ch. 15, sec. 2.
That the allowance now made upon the exportation of dried fish of the fisheries of the United States, in lieu of a drawback of the duties paid on the salt used in preserving the same, shall cease on all dried fish exported after the tenth day of June next, and as a commutation and equivalent therefor, there shall be afterwards paid on the last day of December annually, to the owner of every vessel or his agent, by the collector of the district where such vessel may belong, that shall be qualified agreeably to law, for carrying on the bank and other cod fisheries, and that shall actually have been employed therein at sea for the term of four months at the least, of the fishing season, next preceding which season is accounted to be from the last day of February to the last day in November in every year, for each and every ton of such vessel’s burthen according to her admeasurement as licensed or enrolled, if of twenty tons and not exceeding thirty tons, one and an half dollars, and if above thirty tons two and an half dollars, of which allowance aforesaid three eighth parts shall accrue and belong to the owner of such fishing vessel, and the other five eighths thereof shall be divided by him, his agent or lawful representative, to and among the several fishermen who shall have been employed in such vessel during the season aforesaid, or a part thereof, as the case may be, in such proportions as the fish they shall respectively have taken may bear to the whole quantity of fish taken on board such vessel during such season: Provided, That the allowance aforesaid on any one vessel, for one season, shall not exceed one hundred and seventy dollars.

Annual allowance to fishing vessels above five tons,Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That on the last day of December annually, as aforesaid, there shall also be paid to the owner of every fishing boat or vessel of more than five tons, and less than twenty tons, or to his agent or lawful representative, by the collector of the district where such boat or vessel may belong, the sum of one dollar upon every ton admeasurement of such boat or vessel; which allowance shall be accounted for as part of the proceeds of the fares of said boat or vessel, and shall accordingly be so divided among all persons interested therein: Provided however, That this allowance shall be made only to such boats or vessels as shall have actually been employed at sea in the cod fishery, for the term of four months at the least, of the preceding season: And provided also,under what regulations. That such boat or vessel shall have landed in the course of said preceding season, a quantity of fish not less than twelve quintals for every ton of her admeasurement; the said quantity of fish to be ascertained when dried and cured fit for exportation, and according to the weight thereof, as the same shall weigh at the time of delivery when actually sold; which account of the weight, with the original adjustment and settlement of the fare or fares among the owners and fishermen, together with a written account of the length, breadth and depth of said boat or vessel, and the time she has actually been employed in the fishery in the preceding season, shall in all cases be produced and sworn or affirmed to, before the said collector of the district, in order to entitle the owner, his agent or lawful representative, to receive the allowance aforesaid. And if at any time within one year after payment of such allowance, it shall appear that any fraud or deceit has been practised in obtaining the same, the boat or vessel upon which such allowance shall have been paid, if found within the district aforesaid, shall be forfeited; otherwise the owner or owners having practised such fraud or deceit, shall forfeit and pay one hundred dollars; to be sued for, recovered and appropriated in like manner as forfeitures and penalties are to be sued for, recovered and appropriated for any breach of an act, entitled 1790, ch. 35.An act to provide more effectually for the collection of the duties imposed by law on goods, wares and merchandise imported into the United States, and on the tonnage of ships or vessels.”

Owners of fishing vessels how to proceed to obtain the allowances granted by this act.Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the owner or owners of every fishing vessel of twenty tons and upwards, his or their agent or lawful representative, shall, previous to receiving the allowance which is provided for in this act, produce to the collector who is authorized to pay the same, the original agreement or agreements which may have been made with the fishermen employed on board such vessel, as is herein before required, and also a certificate to be by him or them subscribed, therein mentioning the particular days on which such vessel sailed and returned on the several voyages or fares, she may have made in the preceding fishing season, to the truth of which they shall swear or affirm before the collector aforesaid.

Owners of fishing vessels how to proceed to obtain the allowances granted by this act.Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That no ship or vessel of twenty tons or upwards, employed as aforesaid, shall be entitled to the allowance granted by this act, unless the skipper or master thereof shall, before he proceeds on any fishing voyage, make an agreement in writing or in print, with every fisherman employed therein, excepting only any apprentice or servant of himself or owner; and in addition to such terms of shipment as may be agreed on, shall in such agreement express whether the same is to continue for one voyage or for the fishing season, and shall also express that the fish or the proceeds of such fishing voyage or voyages which may appertain to the fishermen, shall be divided among them in proportion to the quantities or number of said fish they may respectively have caught; which agreement shall be endorsed or countersigned by the owner of such fishing vessel, or his agent: And if any fisherman having engaged himself for a voyage or for the fishing season, in any fishing vessel, and signed an agreement therefor as aforesaid, shall thereafter and while such agreement remains in force and to be performed, desert or absent himself from such vessel, without leave of the master or skipper thereof, or of the owner or his agent, such deserter shall be liable to the same penalties as deserting seamen or mariners are subject to in the merchant’s service, and may in the like manner, and upon the like complaint and proof, be apprehended and detained; and all costs of process and commitment, if paid by the master or owner, shall be deducted out of the share of fish, or proceeds of any fishing voyage to which such deserter had or shall become entitled. 1790, ch. 29, sec. 7.And any fisherman, having engaged himself as aforesaid, who shall during such fishing voyage, refuse or neglect his proper duty on board the fishing vessel, being thereto ordered or required by the master or skipper thereof, or shall otherwise resist his just commands, to the hindrance or detriment of such voyage, beside being answerable for all damages arising thereby, shall forfeit to the use of the owner of such vessel, his share of the allowance, which shall be paid upon such voyage as is herein granted.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That where an agreement or contract shall be so made and signed, for a fishing voyage or for the fishing season, and any fish which may have been caught on board such vessel during the same, shall be delivered to the owner or to his agent, for cure, and shall be sold by said owner or agent, such vessel shall for the term of six months after such sale, be liable and answerable for the skipper’s and every other fisherman’s share of such fish, and may be proceeded against in the same form, and to the same effect, as any other vessel is by law liable, and may be proceeded against for the wages of seamen or mariners in the merchant’s service. 1790, ch. 29, sec. 6.And upon such process for the value of a share or shares of the proceeds of fish delivered and sold as aforesaid, it shall be incumbent on the owner or his agent, to produce a just account of the sales and division of such fish according to such agreement or contract, otherwise the said vessel shall be answerable upon such process for what may be the highest value of the share or shares demanded. But in all cases, the owner of such vessel or his agent, appearing to answer to such process, may offer thereupon his account of general supplies made for such fishing voyage, and of other supplies therefor made, to either of the demandants, and shall be allowed to produce evidence thereof in answer to their demands respectively, and judgment shall be rendered upon such process, for the respective balances, which upon such an inquiry shall appear: Provided always, That when process shall be issued against any vessel liable as aforesaid, if the owner thereof or his agent will give bond to each fisherman in whose favour such process shall be instituted, with sufficient security, to the satisfaction of two justices of the peace, one of whom shall be named by such owner or agent, and the other by the fisherman or fishermen pursuing such process; or if either party shall refuse, then the justice first appointed shall name his associate, with condition to answer and pay whatever sum shall be recovered by him or them on such process, there shall be an immediate discharge of such vessel: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall prevent any fisherman from having his action at common law, for his share or shares of fish, or the proceeds thereof as aforesaid.

Drawback on salted fish, &c. repealed, andSec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the drawback heretofore allowed on the exportation of foreign dried and pickled fish, and other foreign salted provisions, be and the same is hereby repealed.

monies arising therefrom appropriated to pay allowances granted by this act.
1789, ch. 2.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the monies which shall remain in consequence of the abolition of the allowance on the exportation of the dried fish of the United States, and of the drawback on foreign dried and pickled fish, and other foreign salted provisions, be, and the same are hereby appropriated to the payment of the allowances granted by this act, and in case the monies so appropriated shall be inadequate, the deficiency shall be supplied out of any monies which from time to time shall be in the treasury of the United States, and not otherwise appropriated.

Penalty on swearing falsely.Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That any person who shall declare falsely in any oath or affirmation required by this act, being duly convicted thereof in any court of the United States, having jurisdiction of such offence, shall suffer the same penalties as are provided for false swearing, or affirming,1790, ch. 35, sec. 66. by the act before mentioned, and to be in like manner sued for, recovered and appropriated.

1800, ch. 22.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That this act shall continue and be in force for the term of seven years, and from thence to the end of the next session of Congress, and no longer.

Approved, February 16, 1792.