[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 3 (Monday, January 6, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 603-608]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-31556]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 121029593-3999-02]
RIN 0648-BC73


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands Management Area; Amendment 99

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: NMFS publishes regulations to implement Amendment 99 to the 
Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian 
Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP). Amendment 99 enables the holders of 
license limitation program (LLP) licenses authorizing a designated 
vessel to catch and process Pacific cod in the BSAI hook-and-line 
fisheries to use newly built or existing vessels that are not eligible 
under current vessel length and capacity restrictions. This action is 
necessary to promote safety-at-sea by encouraging the replacement of 
older vessels with newer and more efficient vessels that are able to 
meet modern vessel safety standards. This action is intended to 
facilitate the increased retention and utilization of groundfish by 
allowing sector participants to use larger vessels with increased 
processing and hold capabilities. This action is intended to promote 
the goals and objectives of the BSAI FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and other 
applicable laws.

DATES: Effective February 6, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) and 
the Categorical Exclusion prepared for this action may be obtained from 
http://www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at 
http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other 
aspects of the collection of information requirements contained in this 
final rule may be submitted by mail to NMFS, Alaska Region, P.O. Box 
21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668, Attn: Ellen Sebastian, Records Officer; 
in person at NMFS, Alaska Region, 709 West 9th Street, Room 420A, 
Juneau, AK; or by email to OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 
395-7285.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Seanbob Kelly, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulatory Authority

    NMFS establishes regulations to implement Amendment 99 to the BSAI 
FMP. NMFS manages the U.S. groundfish fisheries of the Exclusive 
Economic Zone (EEZ) off Alaska under the Fishery Management Plan for 
Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) and the BSAI FMP. The North 
Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the GOA FMP and 
BSAI FMP pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable 
laws. Regulations implementing the GOA FMP and BSAI FMP appear at 50 
CFR part 679. General regulations that pertain to U.S. fisheries appear 
at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600.

Background

    NMFS published the Notice of Availability for Amendment 99 in the 
Federal Register on September 30, 2013 (78 FR 59908), with a 60-day 
comment period that ended November 29, 2013. NMFS published a proposed 
rule for Amendment 99 in the Federal Register on October 25, 2013 (78 
FR 63951). The 30-day comment period on the proposed rule ended 
November 25, 2013. NMFS received a total of three comment letters from 
the same person during the comment periods on Amendment 99 and the 
proposed rule. The letters contained one substantive comment. A summary 
of this comment and NMFS' response is provided in the Comments and 
Responses section of this preamble.
    A detailed review of the provisions of Amendment 99, the proposed 
regulations, and the rationale for these regulations is provided in the 
preamble to the proposed rule (78 FR 63951, October 25, 2013) and is 
not repeated here. The proposed rule is available from the NMFS Alaska 
Region Web site (see ADDRESSES). The preamble to this final rule 
provides a brief review of the regulatory changes made by this final 
rule.
    Amendment 99 amends the BSAI FMP and this final rule revises 
Federal regulations to: (1) Increase the maximum length overall (MLOA) 
to 220 feet (67 m) on an LLP license that authorizes a vessel to catch 
and process Pacific cod with hook-and-line gear in the BSAI; (2) allow 
a holder of an LLP license authorized to catch and process Pacific cod 
with both hook-and-line and pot gear in the BSAI to increase the MLOA 
on the LLP license to 220 feet (67 m) only if the pot gear endorsement 
is surrendered within a specific time frame; and (3) allow a vessel 
that catches and processes Pacific cod with hook-and-line gear in the 
BSAI to exceed length, tonnage, and power limits established under the 
American Fisheries Act (AFA). The following sections provide background 
on the need for, the objectives of, and the provisions of Amendment 99 
and this final rule.
    Under the LLP, which was implemented by NMFS on January 1, 2000 (63 
FR 52642, October 1, 1998), an LLP license is required for most vessels 
directed fishing for groundfish in the BSAI and GOA. Directed fishing 
is defined in regulations at Sec.  679.2. For a vessel designated on an 
LLP license, the

[[Page 604]]

LLP license authorizes the type of fishing gear that may be used by the 
vessel, the maximum size of the vessel, and whether the vessel may 
catch and process fish at sea or if it is limited to delivering catch 
without at-sea processing. LLP licenses that allow vessels to catch and 
process at-sea are assigned a catcher/processor (C/P) endorsement. LLP 
licenses specify the MLOA of the vessel to which that LLP license may 
be assigned. Regulations implementing the LLP prohibit participants in 
LLP groundfish fisheries from using a vessel to fish for LLP groundfish 
that has a length overall that is greater than the MLOA specified on 
the LLP license (see Sec.  679.7(i)(6)).
    The LLP also includes a species endorsement for Pacific cod in the 
BSAI and GOA. A vessel can directed fish for Pacific cod in the BSAI or 
GOA only if the vessel is designated on an LLP license that has this 
specific endorsement. The LLP Pacific cod endorsement requirement has, 
in effect, limited the number of vessels that are eligible to fish for 
Pacific cod in the BSAI and GOA. Specific to this final rule, vessels 
currently used to directed fish for Pacific cod in the BSAI using hook-
and-line gear and to process that catch at sea must be assigned an LLP 
license with a BSAI Pacific cod hook-and-line C/P endorsement. Public 
Law 108-447, 118 Stat. 2887, Dec. 8, 2004, at section 219(a)(6), 
defines the term ``longline catcher processor subsector'' as ``the 
holders of an LLP license that is noninterim and transferable, or that 
is interim and subsequently becomes noninterim and transferable, and 
that is endorsed for Bering Sea or Aleutian Islands catcher processor 
fishing activity, C/P, Pcod [Pacific cod], hook and line gear.'' There 
are 36 LLP licenses that meet the eligibility criteria for the BSAI 
longline C/P subsector.
    Currently, each of the 36 LLP licenses eligible for the BSAI 
longline C/P subsector have an MLOA equal to or less than 220 feet (67 
m). Increasing the MLOA on the LLP licenses in the BSAI longline C/P 
subsector to 220 feet (67 m) will not constrain any existing LLP 
licenses in terms of vessel length. Additional detail on the LLP 
licenses currently eligible for the BSAI longline C/P subsector can be 
found in the preamble to the proposed rule (78 FR 63951, October 25, 
2013) and section 1.5.1 of the RIR for this action (see ADDRESSES).
    Under this final rule, NMFS will increase the MLOA on LLP licenses 
in the BSAI longline C/P subsector that are not also endorsed for pot 
gear to 220 feet (67 m). NMFS and the Council have determined that a 
220-foot (67 m) MLOA for these eligible LLP licenses will encourage LLP 
license holders in the BSAI longline C/P subsector to replace aging 
vessels with newer, safer, and more efficient vessels. NMFS determined 
that a 220-foot (67 m) MLOA provides adequate incentives to meet the 
objectives of the action. It will promote the sustainable harvest of 
groundfish, especially Pacific cod in the BSAI and GOA, by removing 
disincentives for owners of vessels to rebuild or replace their vessels 
with larger vessels. It will promote efficient utilization of the 
Pacific cod resource in the BSAI and GOA. The action will also promote 
safety-at-sea by allowing vessel owners to replace existing vessels 
with vessels that can accommodate improved safety features and minimize 
the risks faced by crew members.
    The 220-foot (67 m) MLOA is intended to allow vessel owners to 
replace vessels with new vessels that could accommodate improved 
efficiency and safety design. Additional detail on the rationale for 
the 220-foot (67 m) MLOA limit is provided in the preamble to the 
proposed rule (78 FR 63951, October 25, 2013) and section 1.6.2.2 of 
the RIR prepared for this action (see ADDRESSES).
    NMFS is also implementing regulations that are intended to protect 
historical participants in the Pacific cod pot fisheries that could be 
adversely affected by the use of larger, more efficient vessels in the 
BSAI longline C/P subsector. NMFS recognizes that three of the 36 LLP 
licenses endorsed for participation in the BSAI longline C/P subsector 
also authorize the designated vessel to target Pacific cod with C/Ps 
using pot gear in the BSAI: two of those LLP licenses authorize 
participation in the BSAI Pacific cod fisheries with C/Ps using pot 
gear; one of the LLP licenses authorizes participation in the BSAI and 
Western GOA Pacific cod fisheries with C/Ps using pot gear. Under the 
final rule, NMFS will authorize a person holding an LLP license 
endorsed to catch and process Pacific cod with hook-and-line and pot 
gear in the BSAI to increase the MLOA on the LLP license to 220 feet 
(67 m) only if the LLP license holder elects to surrender any Pacific 
cod pot gear endorsements within a specific time frame.
    Regulations implemented by this final rule are intended to prevent 
adverse competitive effects of increased fishing capacity by the BSAI 
longline C/P subsector relative to the C/Ps using pot gear in both the 
BSAI and the GOA. Under this final rule, the holders of the two BSAI 
longline C/P subsector LLP licenses with BSAI Pacific cod pot gear C/P 
endorsements can either surrender the BSAI Pacific cod pot gear C/P 
endorsements and receive an LLP license with a 220-foot (67 m) MLOA or 
retain their current MLOA and continue to participate in both 
fisheries. Similarly, the holder of the BSAI longline C/P subsector LLP 
license with BSAI and Western GOA Pacific cod pot gear C/P endorsements 
can either surrender the BSAI and GOA Pacific cod pot gear C/P 
endorsements and receive an LLP license with a 220-foot (67 m) MLOA or 
retain the BSAI Pacific cod pot gear C/P endorsements and the current 
LLP license MLOA will continue to apply.
    This final rule will limit holders of LLP licenses with Pacific cod 
pot gear C/P endorsements from naming larger vessels on those LLP 
licenses that could increase vessel capacity in the pot gear C/P 
fisheries and could disadvantage historical participants in the sector 
who would continue to be constrained by the MLOAs specified on their 
LLP licenses. Without this limitation, these participants could harvest 
a greater proportion of the GOA Pacific cod sector allocation relative 
to their historical catch. This could negatively impact historical 
participants in the Pacific cod pot fisheries and would not promote a 
fair and equitable standard for all participants in the pot gear C/P 
fisheries.
    This final rule establishes regulations to ensure that holders of 
LLP licenses eligible for the BSAI longline C/P subsector that choose 
to retain Pacific cod pot gear C/P endorsements will continue to be 
restricted by the current MLOAs on the LLP licenses. This final rule 
establishes a time limit on the one-time permanent election for these 
LLP license holders that would close 36 months from the date of 
implementation of this action. The deadline for making the one-time 
election is intended to promote the conservation and management of the 
BSAI and GOA Pacific cod fisheries by clearly identifying pot gear C/P 
sector participants within a reasonable time frame and by establishing 
an upper limit on vessel capacity in the BSAI longline C/P subsector.

Regulatory Amendments

    This final rule lists the groundfish LLP licenses that are modified 
by this action at Table 9 to part 679. Table 9 to part 679 will list in 
Column A the 36 LLP licenses endorsed to participate in the BSAI 
longline C/P subsector. Table 9 indicates which LLP licenses are 
eligible for an increase in MLOA to 220 feet (67 m), as designated in 
Column B, and the LLP license holders that are eligible for a one-time 
election to

[[Page 605]]

permanently surrender and extinguish certain LLP license endorsements 
in exchange for an increase in the MLOA to 220 feet (67 m), as 
designated in Column C.
    This final rule modifies the regulatory definition of ``Maximum LOA 
(MLOA)'' at Sec.  679.2 and establishes regulatory provisions at Sec.  
679.4(k)(3)(i)(D) for a new MLOA category. Under this provision, NMFS 
will revise MLOAs on the LLP licenses designated in Column B of Table 9 
to part 679. The NMFS Restricted Access Management Division will issue 
new LLP licenses with an MLOA of 220 feet (67 m) to the holders of the 
eligible licenses designated in Column B of Table 9 to part 679. The 
new LLP licenses will be mailed to the address provided to NMFS by the 
holder of the qualifying LLP license. NMFS has revised the definition 
of ``Maximum LOA (MLOA)'' at Sec.  679.2 to ensure that all LLP 
licenses designated in Column B of Table 9 to part 679 are revised on 
the effective date of this final rule.
    This final rule implements regulations at Sec.  
679.4(k)(3)(i)(D)(2) to ensure that the MLOA on an LLP license endorsed 
for participation in the BSAI longline C/P subsector is not revised if 
the LLP license holder retains an endorsement to participate in Pacific 
cod pot fisheries in the BSAI or GOA. Under this final rule, NMFS will 
establish a process for eligible LLP license holders to surrender a 
Pacific cod pot gear endorsement on LLP licenses also endorsed to 
participate in the BSAI longline C/P subsector. Regulations implemented 
by this final rule will assign an MLOA of 220 feet (67 m) to any of the 
three LLP licenses listed in Column C of Table 9 to part 679 whose 
holders surrender the Pacific cod pot gear endorsements on their LLP 
license. This final rule provides a one-time election to permanently 
surrender the Pacific cod pot gear endorsements on an LLP license, and 
NMFS will extinguish the surrendered Pacific cod pot gear endorsements. 
NMFS will not transfer the endorsements to another person, and the 
endorsements cannot be used in other areas, with other gears, or for 
other operational types.
    This final rule includes provisions at Sec.  679.4(k)(6)(xi) that 
describe the requirements for holders of LLP licenses eligible to 
participate in the BSAI longline C/P subsector to surrender their 
Pacific cod pot gear C/P endorsements. NMFS will notify in writing the 
three LLP license holders listed in Column C of Table 9 to part 679 of 
their option to elect to surrender their Pacific cod pot gear C/P 
endorsements on their LLP license and receive a 220-foot (67 m) MLOA. 
Owners of eligible licenses, or their agents, will need to notify NMFS 
in writing at the address specified at Sec.  679.4(k)(6)(xi) that they 
elect to surrender the endorsements. The request will need to include a 
signed statement notifying NMFS that the holder of the LLP license 
acknowledges that the election is permanent and irreversible and that 
all pot gear Pacific cod endorsements on that LLP will be extinguished. 
Each LLP license holder has 36 months from February 6, 2014, to notify 
NMFS in writing of the one-time permanent election. If the written 
notification is received by NMFS within the 36 months prior to the 
deadline, NMFS will issue a revised LLP license to the holder of that 
LLP license. LLP license holders who choose not to make the one-time 
election or who do not submit a written notification within the 36-
month deadline will retain their current MLOA and continue to be 
eligible to participate in both the Pacific cod pot fisheries and 
longline fisheries in the BSAI and GOA.

American Fisheries Act and United States Maritime Administration

    In order for a vessel to participate in a U.S. fishery, a vessel 
must obtain a certificate of documentation with a fishery endorsement 
from either the U.S. Coast Guard or the Maritime Administration 
(MARAD), as set forth in regulations at 46 U.S.C. 12102(a) and 
12151(b). The AFA of 1998, as amended, Title II, Division C, Public Law 
105-277, was enacted to increase U.S. citizen participation in U.S. 
fisheries. The AFA required the Maritime Administration to ensure 
compliance with the U.S. citizenship ownership and control requirements 
for U.S.-flag fishing industry vessels of 100 feet or greater in 
registered length. Therefore, a vessel 100 feet or greater in 
registered length must receive this documentation from MARAD.
    The AFA and MARAD implementing regulations prohibit larger vessels 
from obtaining a fishery endorsement unless specific conditions are 
met. Unless an exemption applies, a vessel is not eligible for a 
fishery endorsement if it is greater than 165 feet in length overall, 
has more than 750 gross registered tons, or has engines capable of 
producing more than 3,000 shaft horsepower.
    These regulations were intended to limit, but not reduce, fishing 
capacity in the BSAI; however, the regulations effectively limit the 
ability of vessel owners to replace vessels currently participating in 
the BSAI longline C/P subsector with newer vessels of an equivalent 
size. There are currently nine vessels named on LLP licenses eligible 
to participate within the BSAI longline C/P subsector that exceed at 
least one of the thresholds described at 46 CFR 356.47(a) and (c). 
These vessels are able to participate in the fishery because they 
received a fishery endorsement prior to September 25, 1997; however, 
the license holders could not replace vessels named on their LLP 
licenses with vessels of comparable or additional capacity and continue 
to participate in the BSAI longline C/P subsector because such vessels 
would not be eligible for a fishery endorsement.
    An exemption from these regulations is possible if the owner of 
such a vessel demonstrates to MARAD that the regional fishery 
management council of jurisdiction, established under section 302(a)(1) 
of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, has recommended after October 21, 1998, 
and the Secretary has approved, conservation and management measures in 
accordance with regulations implementing the AFA at 46 CFR 356.47, to 
allow vessels that may exceed the length, horsepower, and tonnage 
requirements to be used in fisheries under such council's authority. 
NMFS and MARAD General Counsel consulted to determine what action on 
the part of the Council and NMFS would satisfy this exemption. NMFS and 
MARAD General Counsel determined, based on the regulatory requirements 
established at 46 CFR 356.47(c), that the Council would need to 
recommend, and the Secretary would need to approve, conservation and 
management measures that would allow such a vessel to be used in the 
BSAI longline C/P subsector fisheries. The statutory vessel capacity 
restrictions are described in more detail in section 1.2.2 of the RIR 
for this action (See ADDRESSES).
    The Secretary approved Amendment 99 on December 19, 2013, and has 
issued this final rule to implement Amendment 99; therefore, the 
Secretary has approved conservation and management measures that permit 
a vessel to exceed the limits specified at 46 U.S.C. 12113(d) in order 
to participate in the BSAI longline C/P subsector. Secretarial approval 
of Amendment 99 and the publication of implementing regulations are 
intended to provide MARAD with documentation that eligible vessels 
qualify to receive a fishery endorsement. Following the implementation 
of this final rule on February 6, 2014, NMFS will notify MARAD that any 
vessel named on an LLP license endorsed for participation in the BSAI 
longline C/P subsector, which is greater than 165 feet in registered 
length, of more than 750 gross registered tons, or that has an engine 
or engines capable of producing a total of

[[Page 606]]

more than 3,000 shaft horsepower, is authorized for use in the EEZ 
under the jurisdiction of the Council, and is eligible to receive a 
certificate of documentation consistent with 46 U.S.C. 12113(d) and 
MARAD regulations at 46 CFR 356.47.

Recordkeeping, Reporting, Monitoring and Enforcement

    This final rule does not change existing recordkeeping, monitoring 
and enforcement requirements for participants in the BSAI C/P longline 
subsector. This action will add a reporting requirement for the LLP 
licenses identified in Column C to Table 9 to part 679. The holders of 
these three LLP licenses would need to notify NMFS of their election to 
permanently surrender all Pacific cod pot gear endorsements in exchange 
for a 220-foot (67 m) MLOA on an LLP, as described in more detail in 
the Collection-of-Information Requirements section of this preamble.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    No changes were made between the proposed and final regulations. 
However, NMFS acknowledges one error on page 63954 in the preamble to 
the proposed rule (78 FR 63951, October 25, 2013). The first column, 
first paragraph incorrectly states that the MLOA on an LLP license 
would increase to 200 feet, and not 220 feet. The sentence should read 
as follows: ``Under Amendment 99, the MLOA specified on LLP licenses in 
the BSAI longline C/P subsector that are not also endorsed for pot gear 
would be increased to 220 feet (67 m).''

Comments and Responses

    During the public comment period on the Notice of Availability for 
Amendment 99 and the proposed rule to implement Amendment 99, NMFS 
received three comments, only one of which was substantive. The same 
member of the public submitted all three comments. All of the comments 
expressed a general dislike of fishery management policies that are 
outside the scope of this action. One comment expressed general 
discontent with this action and is included below with NMFS' response. 
No changes were made to this final rule in response to the comment 
letters received. NMFS' response to the one substantive public comment 
on Amendment 99 and the proposed rule to implement Amendment 99 is 
presented below.
    Comment: Older vessels should not be replaced with newer, larger, 
and more efficient vessels because these larger vessels will increase 
catch to unsustainable levels.
    Response: NMFS analyzed whether this action would increase catch of 
groundfish in Section 1.6.2 of the RIR. Section 1.6.2 of the RIR 
indicates that NMFS expects that this action will not increase the 
catch of groundfish by vessels in the BSAI longline C/P subsector in 
the BSAI or GOA. The preamble to the proposed rule (78 FR 63951, 
October 25, 2013) notes that management constraints, such as Pacific 
cod species endorsements on LLP licenses in the BSAI and GOA (see 67 FR 
18129, April 15, 2002 for the BSAI; and 76 FR 15826, March 22, 2011 for 
the GOA), sector allocations for Pacific cod in the BSAI and GOA (see 
72 FR 50788, September 4, 2007 for the BSAI; and 76 FR 74670, December 
1, 2011 for the GOA), and halibut prohibited species catch limits in 
the BSAI and GOA (see 78 FR 13813, March 1, 2013 for the BSAI; and 78 
FR 13162, February 26, 2013 for the GOA), limit the ability of vessels 
in the BSAI longline C/P subsector to expand their overall fishing 
operations in groundfish fisheries.
    The preamble to the proposed rule notes that the potential for 
expanded participation in the Pacific cod pot fishery is constrained by 
the limitations on LLP licenses with Pacific cod hook-and-line and pot 
C/P endorsements that are implemented under this final rule (78 FR 
63951, October 25, 2013). These provisions are described in the 
Background and Regulatory Amendments sections of this preamble. 
Additional information describing the management measures that limit 
the ability of all vessels, including new vessels, to increase catch in 
the BSAI longline C/P subsector in the BSAI and GOA are found in 
Section 1.6.2 of the RIR prepared for this action (See ADDRESSES).

Classification

    The NMFS Assistant Administrator determined that Amendment 99 to 
the BSAI FMP is necessary for the conservation and management of the 
BSAI groundfish fishery and that it is consistent with the BSAI and GOA 
FMPs, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws.
    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 action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received 
regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility 
analysis was not required and none was prepared.

Collection-of-Information Requirements

    This final rule contains a collection-of-information requirement 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and which has been 
approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under control 
number 0648-0334. Public reporting burden per response is estimated to 
be 2 hours for One-time Election to Permanently Surrender Pacific Cod 
Pot Gear Endorsement for the BSAI and GOA in Exchange for Receiving an 
LLP with an MLOA of 220 feet Authorizing Participation in the BSAI 
Pacific cod Longline C/P fisheries. Public reporting burden includes 
the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, 
gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing 
the collection of information.
    Send comments regarding this burden estimate, or any other aspect 
of this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, 
to NMFS (see ADDRESSES) and by email to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov, 
or fax to (202) 395-7285.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any 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.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 679

    Alaska, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: December 31, 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, NMFS amends 50 CFR part 
679 as follows:

PART 679-- FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA

0
1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 679 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1801 et seq.; 3631 et seq.; 
Pub. L. 108-447.

0
2. In Sec.  679.2, add paragraph (2)(v) to the definition of ``Maximum 
LOA (MLOA)'' to read as follows:

[[Page 607]]

Sec.  679.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Maximum LOA (MLOA) means:
    (2) * * *
    (v) The MLOA of a groundfish LLP license endorsed to catch and 
process Pacific cod with hook-and-line gear in the BS or AI, or both, 
and is designated in Column B of Table 9 to this part is 220 feet (67 
m).
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  679.4, add paragraphs (k)(3)(i)(D) and (k)(6)(xi) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  679.4  Permits.

* * * * *
    (k) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (D) Modification of the MLOA on a groundfish LLP license listed in 
column A of Table 9 to this part. (1) Each groundfish LLP license 
endorsed to catch and process Pacific cod with hook-and-line gear in 
the BS or AI, or both, and designated in column B of Table 9 to this 
part will receive a 220-foot (67 m) MLOA following February 6, 2014.
    (2) Each groundfish LLP license endorsed to catch and process 
Pacific cod with hook-and-line gear in the BS or AI, or both, and 
designated in column C of Table 9 to this part is eligible to be 
assigned a 220-foot (67 m) MLOA if the LLP holder submits a timely 
written request to remove all pot gear Pacific cod endorsements on that 
LLP following the process established under paragraph (k)(6)(xi) of 
this section.
* * * * *
    (6) * * *
    (xi) Surrender and extinguishment of a groundfish LLP endorsement. 
Endorsements specified on a groundfish LLP license are not severable 
from a license and cannot be surrendered except that pot gear Pacific 
cod endorsements specified on groundfish LLP licenses listed in Column 
C of Table 9 to this part, can be permanently surrendered, removed, and 
extinguished if:
    (A) The holder of the groundfish LLP license listed in Column C of 
Table 9 to this part requests, in writing, that NMFS permanently remove 
and extinguish all pot gear Pacific cod endorsements specified on that 
LLP license and acknowledges in that written request that the surrender 
and removal are permanent and irreversible and that all pot gear 
Pacific cod endorsements on that LLP license are extinguished;
    (B) The holder of the groundfish LLP license listed in Column C of 
Table 9 to this part requests, in writing, that NMFS assign a 220-foot 
(67 m) MLOA on that LLP license;
    (C) The holder of the eligible LLP license, or the authorized 
agent, signs the request;
    (D) NMFS receives the written request to permanently remove and 
extinguish all pot gear Pacific cod endorsements specified on the LLP 
groundfish license by February 6, 2017; and
    (E) The written request is submitted to NMFS using one of the 
following methods:
    (1) Mail: Regional Administrator, c/o Restricted Access Management 
Program, NMFS, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668;
    (2) Fax: 907-586-7354; or
    (3) Hand delivery or carrier: NMFS, Room 713, 709 West 9th Street, 
Juneau, AK 99801.
* * * * *

0
4. Table 9 to part 679 is added to read as follows:

  Table 9 to Part 679--Groundfish LLP Licenses Eligible for Use in the
BSAI Longline Catcher/Processor Subsector, Column A. X Indicates Whether
                      Column B or Column C Applies.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Column A                  Column B              Column C
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Is eligible to
                              Is eligible under 50    request that NMFS
                                       CFR          permanently assign a
  The Holder of Groundfish    679.4(k)(3)(i)(D)(1)  220-foot (67 m) MLOA
    License Number . . .      to be assigned a 220-  on that LLP License
                               foot (67 m) MLOA on      under 50 CFR
                                that LLP license    679.4(k)(3)(i)(D)(2)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
LLG 4508....................                  X
LLG 1785....................                  X
LLG 3681....................                  X
LLG 3676....................                  X
LLG 3609....................                  X
LLG 1400....................                  X
LLG 1401....................                  X
LLG 3617....................                  X
LLG 1916....................                  X
LLG 1917....................                  X
LLG 1989....................                  X
LLG 1127....................                  X
LLG 1128....................                  X
LLG 1125....................                  X
LLG 4823....................                  X
LLG 2783....................                  X
LLG 1988....................                  X
LLG 2238....................                  X
LLG 2958....................                  X
LLG 3973....................                  X
LLG 3637....................                  X
LLG 2421....................                  X
LLG 1713....................                  X
LLG 3616....................                  X
LLG 2892....................                  X
LLG 2112....................                  X
LLG 5222....................                  X

[[Page 608]]

 
LLG 1578....................                  X
LLG 2026....................                  X
LLG 3847....................                  X
LLG 3602....................                  X
LLG 2081....................                  X
LLG 4008....................                  X
LLG 3090....................                                        X
LLG 1576....................                                        X
LLG 2959....................                                        X
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. 2013-31556 Filed 1-3-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P