[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 249 (Friday, December 27, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 78779-78782]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-31069]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 130409354-3999-02]
RIN 0648-BD21


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Revisions to Headboat Reporting Requirements for Species Managed by the 
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: NMFS issues this final rule to implement the Joint South 
Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico Generic Charter Vessel/Headboat Reporting in 
the South Atlantic Amendment (For-Hire Reporting Amendment). The For-
Hire Reporting Amendment amends the following Fishery Management Plans 
(FMPs): the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region and 
the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic, as prepared by the South 
Atlantic Fishery Management Council (South Atlantic Council); and the 
Coastal Migratory Pelagic (CMP) Resources of the Atlantic and Gulf of 
Mexico (Gulf), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management 
Council (Gulf Council) and the South Atlantic Council. This final rule 
modifies the recordkeeping and reporting requirements for headboat 
owners and operators who fish for species managed by the South Atlantic 
Council through the previously mentioned FMPs. These revisions require 
fishing records to be submitted electronically (via computer or 
internet) on a weekly basis or at intervals shorter than a week if 
notified by the NMFS' Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) 
Science and Research Director (SRD), and prohibits

[[Page 78780]]

headboats from continuing to fish if they are delinquent in submitting 
reports. The purpose of this final rule is to obtain timelier fishing 
information from headboats to better monitor recreational annual catch 
limits (ACLs), improve stock assessments, and to help obtain 100 
percent compliance with reporting in South Atlantic fisheries.

DATES: This rule is effective January 27, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the For-Hire Reporting Amendment, which 
includes an environmental assessment and a regulatory impact review, 
may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.
    Comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of 
the collection-of-information requirements contained in this final rule 
may be submitted in writing to Anik Clemens, Southeast Regional Office, 
NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; and Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB), by email at OIRA Submission@omb.eop.gov, 
or by fax to 202-395-7285.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karla Gore, Southeast Regional Office, 
NMFS, telephone 727-824-5305; email: Karla.Gore@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Councils manage the fisheries 
for South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper, Atlantic Dolphin and Wahoo, and 
Gulf and South Atlantic CMP under their respective FMPs. The FMPs were 
prepared by the Gulf and South Atlantic Councils and are implemented 
through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act).
    On September 18, 2013, NMFS published a notice of availability for 
the For-Hire Reporting Amendment and requested public comment (78 FR 
57339). On September 27, 2013, NMFS published a proposed rule for the 
For-Hire Reporting Amendment and requested public comment (78 FR 
59641). NMFS approved the For-Hire Reporting Amendment on December 16, 
2013. The proposed rule and the For-Hire Reporting Amendment outline 
the rationale for the actions contained in this final rule. A summary 
of the actions implemented by the For-Hire Reporting Amendment and this 
final rule is provided below.
    This final rule requires electronic reporting for headboat vessels 
in the South Atlantic snapper-grouper, Atlantic dolphin and wahoo, and 
South Atlantic CMP fisheries, increases the reporting frequency for the 
headboat vessels in these fisheries, and prohibits headboats from 
continuing to fish if they are delinquent in submitting their reports.

Comments and Responses

    NMFS received a total of 6 comments on the For-Hire Reporting 
Amendment and the proposed rule, which included comments from private 
citizens, fishermen, non-governmental organizations, and fishermen 
associations. Four comments were in support of the action contained in 
the amendment. Three comments provided recommendations that were 
outside the scope of the amendment and rulemaking. Two comments 
expressed concern with the requirement for increased reporting 
frequency. These two comments are summarized into one comment which is 
responded to below.
    Comment: The requirement to report weekly instead of monthly is too 
burdensome on fishermen.
    Response: NMFS estimates the requirement for headboat owners and 
operators to report more frequently (weekly instead of monthly) does 
not create more burden on headboat owners and operators. Keeping 
accurate records is essential to successful business operation. As a 
result, recording trips as they are completed, or as soon as is 
practical, is expected to be the common business practice. Electronic 
recording and reporting is expected to support additional labor and 
business management efficiencies because it is expected to allow better 
data storage, retrieval, and production of annual performance summaries 
for use in business planning. Therefore, the increase in the frequency 
of reporting is expected to require little, if any, change in business 
practices or associated operational costs. Headboat owners and 
operators will still be reporting the same amount of information; they 
will just be clicking the send button to transmit the data more 
frequently. Currently, 95 percent of headboats are reporting 
electronically, and 80 to 90 percent of these headboats are submitting 
their monthly reports on time. This requirement is intended to obtain 
timelier fishing information from headboats to better monitor 
recreational ACLs, improve stock assessments, and to help obtain 100 
percent compliance with reporting in South Atlantic fisheries.

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
that this final rule is necessary for the management of the South 
Atlantic snapper-grouper, dolphin and wahoo, and CMP fisheries and is 
consistent with the For-Hire Reporting Amendment, the FMPs, the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration during the proposed rule stage that this rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for this determination was published in the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received 
regarding the certification and NMFS has not received any new 
information that would affect its determination. As a result, a final 
regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.
    This final rule contains collection-of-information requirements 
subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), which 
have been approved by OMB under control number 0648-0016. NMFS 
estimates the requirement for South Atlantic headboat owners and 
operators to report electronically results in a net zero effect on the 
reporting burden under OMB control number 0648-0016, because headboat 
owners and operators will continue to report all species harvested, 
however, now electronically instead of by paper. NMFS estimates the 
requirement for headboat owners and operators to report more frequently 
(weekly instead of monthly) does not create more burden on headboat 
owners and operators, because the headboat owners and operators will 
still be reporting the same amount of information; they will just be 
clicking the send button to transmit the data more frequently. Keeping 
accurate records is essential to successful business operation. As a 
result, recording trips as they are completed, or as soon as is 
practical, is expected to be the common business practice. These 
estimates of the public reporting burden include the time for reviewing 
instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing 
and reviewing the collection-of-information.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required 
to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure 
to comply with, a collection-of-information subject to the requirements 
of the PRA, unless that collection-of-information displays a currently 
valid OMB control number.

[[Page 78781]]

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Fisheries, Fishing, Headboat, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, South Atlantic.

    Dated: December 20, 2013.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, Performing the functions and 
duties of the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is amended 
as follows:

PART 622--FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH 
ATLANTIC

0
1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.


0
2. In Sec.  622.13, paragraph (g) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  622.13  Prohibitions--general.

* * * * *
    (g) Harvest or possess fish if the required headboat reports have 
not been submitted in accordance with this part.
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  622.176, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  622.176  Recordkeeping and reporting.

* * * * *
    (b) Charter vessel/headboat owners and operators--(1) General 
reporting requirement--(i) Charter vessels. The owner or operator of a 
charter vessel for which a charter vessel/headboat permit for South 
Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued, as required under Sec.  
622.170(b)(1), or whose vessel fishes for or lands such snapper-grouper 
in or from state waters adjoining the South Atlantic EEZ, who is 
selected to report by the SRD must maintain a fishing record for each 
trip, or a portion of such trips as specified by the SRD, on forms 
provided by the SRD and must submit such record as specified in 
paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
    (ii) Headboats. The owner or operator of a headboat for which a 
charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has 
been issued, as required under Sec.  622.170(b)(1), or whose vessel 
fishes for or lands such snapper-grouper in or from state waters 
adjoining the South Atlantic EEZ, who is selected to report by the SRD 
must submit an electronic fishing record for each trip of all fish 
harvested within the time period specified in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of 
this section, via the Southeast Region Headboat Survey.
    (iii) Electronic logbook/video monitoring reporting. The owner or 
operator of a vessel for which a charter vessel/headboat permit for 
South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been issued, as required under Sec.  
622.170(b)(1), or whose vessel fishes for or lands such snapper-grouper 
in or from state waters adjoining the South Atlantic EEZ, who is 
selected to report by the SRD must participate in the NMFS-sponsored 
electronic logbook and/or video monitoring program as directed by the 
SRD. Compliance with the reporting requirements of this paragraph 
(b)(1)(iii) is required for permit renewal.
    (2) Reporting deadlines--(i) Charter vessels. Completed fishing 
records required by paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section for charter 
vessels must be submitted to the SRD weekly, postmarked no later than 7 
days after the end of each week (Sunday). Completed fishing records 
required by paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section for charter vessels 
may be required weekly or daily, as directed by the SRD. Information to 
be reported is indicated on the form and its accompanying instructions.
    (ii) Headboats. Electronic fishing records required by paragraph 
(b)(1)(ii) of this section for headboats must be submitted at weekly 
intervals (or intervals shorter than a week if notified by the SRD) by 
11:59 p.m., local time, the Sunday following a reporting week. If no 
fishing activity occurred during a reporting week, an electronic report 
so stating must be submitted for that reporting week by 11:59 p.m., 
local time, the Sunday following a reporting week.
    (3) Catastrophic conditions. During catastrophic conditions only, 
NMFS provides for use of paper forms for basic required functions as a 
backup to the electronic reports required by paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of 
this section. The RA will determine when catastrophic conditions exist, 
the duration of the catastrophic conditions, and which participants or 
geographic areas are deemed affected by the catastrophic conditions. 
The RA will provide timely notice to affected participants via 
publication of notification in the Federal Register, NOAA weather 
radio, fishery bulletins, and other appropriate means and will 
authorize the affected participants' use of paper forms for the 
duration of the catastrophic conditions. The paper forms will be 
available from NMFS. During catastrophic conditions, the RA has the 
authority to waive or modify reporting time requirements.
    (4) Compliance requirement. Electronic reports required by 
paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section must be submitted and received by 
NMFS according to the reporting requirements under this section. A 
report not received within the time specified in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) 
of this section is delinquent. A delinquent report automatically 
results in the owner and operator of a headboat for which a charter 
vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper has been 
issued being prohibited from harvesting or possessing such species, 
regardless of any additional notification to the delinquent owner and 
operator by NMFS. The owner and operator who are prohibited from 
harvesting or possessing such species due to delinquent reports are 
authorized to harvest or possess such species only after all required 
and delinquent reports have been submitted and received by NMFS 
according to the reporting requirements under this section.
* * * * *

0
4. In Sec.  622.271, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  622.271  Recordkeeping and reporting.

* * * * *
    (b) Charter vessel/headboat owners and operators--(1) General 
reporting requirement--(i) Charter vessels. The owner or operator of a 
charter vessel for which a charter vessel/headboat permit for Atlantic 
dolphin and wahoo has been issued, as required under Sec.  
622.270(b)(1), or whose vessel fishes for or lands Atlantic dolphin or 
wahoo in or from state waters adjoining the Atlantic EEZ, who is 
selected to report by the SRD must maintain a fishing record for each 
trip, or a portion of such trips as specified by the SRD, on forms 
provided by the SRD and must submit such record as specified in 
paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
    (ii) Headboats. The owner or operator of a headboat for which a 
charter vessel/headboat permit for Atlantic dolphin and wahoo has been 
issued, as required under Sec.  622.270(b)(1), or whose vessel fishes 
for or lands Atlantic dolphin or wahoo in or from state waters 
adjoining the South Atlantic EEZ, who is selected to report by the SRD 
must submit an electronic fishing record for each trip of all fish 
harvested within the time period specified in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of 
this section, via the Southeast Region Headboat Survey.
    (2) Reporting deadlines--(i) Charter vessels. Completed fishing 
records required by paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section for charter 
vessels must be submitted to the SRD weekly, postmarked no later than 7 
days after the end of each week (Sunday).

[[Page 78782]]

Information to be reported is indicated on the form and its 
accompanying instructions.
    (ii) Headboats. Electronic fishing records required by paragraph 
(b)(1)(ii) of this section for headboats must be submitted at weekly 
intervals (or intervals shorter than a week if notified by the SRD) by 
11:59 p.m., local time, the Sunday following a reporting week. If no 
fishing activity occurred during a reporting week, an electronic report 
so stating must be submitted for that reporting week by 11:59 p.m., 
local time, the Sunday following a reporting week.
    (3) Catastrophic conditions. During catastrophic conditions only, 
NMFS provides for use of paper forms for basic required functions as a 
backup to the electronic fishing records required by paragraph 
(b)(1)(ii) of this section. The RA will determine when catastrophic 
conditions exist, the duration of the catastrophic conditions, and 
which participants or geographic areas are deemed affected by the 
catastrophic conditions. The RA will provide timely notice to affected 
participants via publication of notification in the Federal Register, 
NOAA weather radio, fishery bulletins, and other appropriate means and 
will authorize the affected participants' use of paper forms for the 
duration of the catastrophic conditions. The paper forms will be 
available from NMFS. During catastrophic conditions, the RA has the 
authority to waive or modify reporting time requirements.
    (4) Compliance requirement. Electronic reports required by 
paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section must be submitted and received by 
NMFS according to the reporting requirements under this section. A 
report not received within the time specified in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) 
of this section is delinquent. A delinquent report automatically 
results in the owner and operator of a headboat for which a charter 
vessel/headboat permit for Atlantic dolphin and wahoo has been issued 
being prohibited from harvesting or possessing such species, regardless 
of any additional notification to the delinquent owner and operator by 
NMFS. The owner and operator who are prohibited from harvesting or 
possessing such species due to delinquent reports are authorized to 
harvest or possess such species only after all required and delinquent 
reports have been submitted and received by NMFS according to the 
reporting requirements under this section.
* * * * *

0
5. In Sec.  622.374, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  622.374  Recordkeeping and reporting.

* * * * *
    (b) Charter vessel/headboat owners and operators--(1) General 
reporting requirement--(i) Charter vessels. The owner or operator of a 
charter vessel for which a charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf 
coastal migratory pelagic fish or South Atlantic coastal migratory 
pelagic fish has been issued, as required under Sec.  622.370(b)(1), or 
whose vessel fishes for or lands Gulf or South Atlantic coastal 
migratory pelagic fish in or from state waters adjoining the Gulf or 
South Atlantic EEZ, who is selected to report by the SRD must maintain 
a fishing record for each trip, or a portion of such trips as specified 
by the SRD, on forms provided by the SRD and must submit such record as 
specified in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section.
    (ii) South Atlantic headboats. The owner or operator of a headboat 
for which a charter vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic coastal 
migratory fish has been issued, as required under Sec.  622.370(b)(1), 
or whose vessel fishes for or lands South Atlantic coastal migratory 
pelagic fish in or from state waters adjoining the South Atlantic EEZ, 
who is selected to report by the SRD must submit an electronic fishing 
record of each trip of all fish harvested within the time period 
specified in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, via the Southeast 
Region Headboat Survey.
    (iii) Gulf headboats. The owner or operator of a headboat for which 
a charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal migratory pelagic 
fish has been issued, as required under Sec.  622.370(b)(1), or whose 
vessel fishes for or lands Gulf coastal migratory fish in or from state 
waters adjoining the Gulf EEZ, who is selected to report by the SRD 
must maintain a fishing record for each trip, or a portion of such 
trips as specified by the SRD, on forms provided by the SRD and must 
submit such record as specified in paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this 
section.
    (2) Reporting deadlines--(i) Charter vessels. Completed fishing 
records required by paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section for charter 
vessels must be submitted to the SRD weekly, postmarked no later than 7 
days after the end of each week (Sunday). Information to be reported is 
indicated on the form and its accompanying instructions.
    (ii) South Atlantic headboats. Electronic fishing records required 
by paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section for South Atlantic headboats 
must be submitted at weekly intervals (or intervals shorter than a week 
if notified by the SRD) by 11:59 p.m., local time, the Sunday following 
a reporting week. If no fishing activity occurred during a reporting 
week, an electronic report so stating must be submitted for that 
reporting week by 11:59 p.m., local time, the Sunday following a 
reporting week.
    (iii) Gulf headboats. Completed fishing records required by 
paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section for Gulf headboats must be 
submitted to the SRD monthly and must be made available to an 
authorized statistical reporting agent or be postmarked no later than 7 
days after the end of each month. Information to be reported is 
indicated on the form and its accompanying instructions.
    (3) Catastrophic conditions. During catastrophic conditions only, 
NMFS provides for use of paper forms for basic required functions as a 
backup to the electronic reports required by paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of 
this section. The RA will determine when catastrophic conditions exist, 
the duration of the catastrophic conditions, and which participants or 
geographic areas are deemed affected by the catastrophic conditions. 
The RA will provide timely notice to affected participants via 
publication of notification in the Federal Register, NOAA weather 
radio, fishery bulletins, and other appropriate means and will 
authorize the affected participants' use of paper forms for the 
duration of the catastrophic conditions. The paper forms will be 
available from NMFS. During catastrophic conditions, the RA has the 
authority to waive or modify reporting time requirements.
    (4) Compliance requirement. Electronic reports required by 
paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section must be submitted and received by 
NMFS according to the reporting requirements under this section. A 
report not received within the time specified in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) 
of this section is delinquent. A delinquent report automatically 
results in the owner and operator of a headboat for which a charter 
vessel/headboat permit for South Atlantic coastal migratory pelagic 
fish has been issued being prohibited from harvesting or possessing 
such species, regardless of any additional notification to the 
delinquent owner and operator by NMFS. The owner and operator who are 
prohibited from harvesting or possessing such species due to delinquent 
reports are authorized to harvest or possess such species only after 
all required and delinquent reports have been submitted and received by 
NMFS according to the reporting requirements under this section.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-31069 Filed 12-26-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P