[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 90 (Friday, May 9, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 26690-26709]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-10324]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 140305202-4379-01]
RIN 0648-BE07


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop 
Fishery and Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Framework Adjustment 25

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to approve and implement regulations for 
Framework Adjustment 25 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management 
Plan (Framework 25), which the New England Fishery Management Council 
adopted and submitted to NMFS for approval. Framework 25 would set 
specifications for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery for fishing year 
2014, including days-at-sea allocations, individual fishing quotas, and 
sea scallop access area trip allocations. This action would also set 
precautionary default FY 2015 specifications, in case NMFS implements 
the next framework after the March 1, 2015, start of fishing year 2015, 
and the fishery must operate under transitional measures. Framework 25 
would allow pounds that went unharvested in Closed Area I Access Area 
in 2012 and 2013 to be landed in a future year; develop Southern New 
England/Mid-Atlantic windowpane flounder accountability measures; and 
provide full-time scallop vessels the option to exchange their 
allocated Delmarva Access Area trip for 5 days-at-sea.

DATES: Comments must be received by 5 p.m., local time, on May 27, 
2014.

ADDRESSES: The Council developed an environmental assessment (EA) for 
this action that describes the proposed action and other considered 
alternatives and provides a thorough analysis of the impacts of the 
proposed measures and alternatives. Copies of the Framework, the EA, 
and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), are available 
upon request from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England 
Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950.
    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-
2014-0048, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0048, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, NMFS, 
Northeast Regional Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 
01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, ``Comments on Scallop 
Framework 25 Proposed Rule.''
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in 
Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 
978-281-9233.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The scallop fishery's management unit ranges from the shorelines of 
Maine through North Carolina to the outer boundary of the Exclusive 
Economic Zone. The Scallop Fishery Management Plan (FMP), first 
established in 1982, includes a number of amendments and framework 
adjustments that have revised and refined the fishery's management. The 
Council sets scallop fishery specifications through framework 
adjustments that occur annually or biennially. This action includes 
allocations for fishing year (FY) 2014, as well as other scallop 
fishery management measures.
    The Council adopted Framework 25 on January 29, 2014, and submitted 
it to NMFS on March 13, 2014, for review and approval. Framework 25 
specifies measures for FY 2014, but includes FY 2015 measures that will 
go into place as a default, should the next specifications-setting 
framework be delayed beyond the start of FY 2015. NMFS will implement 
Framework 25, if approved, after the start of FY 2014; FY 2014 default 
measures have been in place since March 1, 2014. Because the default 
allocation for the Limited Access General Category (LAGC) Individual 
Fishing Quota (IFQ) fleet is higher for FY 2014 than what is proposed 
under Framework 25, payback measures are identified and described 
below, to address unintended consequences of the late implementation of 
this action. This action includes some measures that are not explicitly 
proposed in Framework 25, which we are proposing under the authority of 
section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (MSA), which provides that the Secretary of Commerce may 
promulgate regulations necessary to ensure that amendments to an FMP 
are carried out in accordance with the FMP and the MSA. These measures, 
which are separately identified and described below, are necessary to 
address unintended consequences of the projected late implementation of 
this action, as well as to clarify implied measures which may not have 
been explicitly included in Framework 25. The Council has reviewed the 
Framework 25 proposed rule regulations as drafted by NMFS and deemed 
them to be necessary and appropriate as specified in section 303(c) of 
the MSA.

Specification of Scallop Overfishing Limit (OFL), Acceptable Biological 
Catch (ABC), Annual Catch Limits (ACLs), Annual Catch Targets (ACTs), 
and Set-Asides for FY 2014 and Default Specifications for FY 2015

    The Council sets the OFL based on a fishing mortality rate (F) of 
0.38, equivalent to the F threshold updated through the most recent 
scallop stock assessment. The Council sets the ABC and the equivalent 
total ACL for each FY based on an F of 0.32, which is the F associated 
with a 25-percent probability of exceeding the OFL. The Council's 
Scientific and Statistical Committee recommended scallop fishery ABCs 
for FYs 2014 and 2015 of 45.8 M lb (20,782 mt) and 52.9 M lb (23,982 
mt), respectively, after accounting for discards and incidental 
mortality. The Scientific and Statistical Committee will reevaluate an 
ABC for FY 2015 when the Council develops the next framework 
adjustment.

[[Page 26691]]



 Table 1--Scallop Catch Limits for FYs 2014 and 2015 for the LA and LAGC
                               IFQ Fleets
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         2014                2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overfishing Limit...............  30,419 mt           34,247 mt
                                   (67,062,427 lb).    (75,501,724 lb)
ABC/ACL w/ discards removed.....  20,782 mt           23,982 mt
                                   (45,816,475 lb).    (52,871,269 lb)
Incidental TAC..................  22.7 mt (50,000     22.7 mt (50,000
                                   lb).                lb)
Research Set-Aside (RSA)........  567 mt (1,250,000   567 mt (1,250,021
                                   lb).                lb)
Observer Set-aside (1 percent of  208 mt (458,562     240 mt (529,110
 ABC/ACL).                         lb).                lb)
LA sub-ACL (94.5 percent of       18,885 mt           21,879 mt
 total ACL, after deducting set-   (41,634,305 lb).    (48,234,778 lb)
 asides and incidental catch).
LA sub-ACT(adjusted for           15,567 mt           16,540 mt
 management uncertainty).          (34,319,360 lb).    (36,463,509 lb)
LAGC IFQ sub-ACL (5.0 percent of  999.2 mt            1,158 mt
 total ACL, after deducting set-   (2,202,859 lb).     (2,552,105 lb)
 asides and incidental catch).
LAGC IFQ sub-ACL for vessels      99.9 mt (220,286    116 mt (255,210
 with LA scallop permits (0.5      lb).                lb)
 percent of total ACL, after
 deducting set-asides and
 incidental catch).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 1 outlines the scallop fishery catch limits that are derived 
from the ABC values. After deducting the incidental target total 
allowable catch (TAC) and the research and observer set-asides, the 
Council proportions out the remaining ACL available to the fishery 
according to the fleet allocations established in Amendment 11 to the 
Scallop FMP (Amendment 11; 72 FR 20090; April 14, 2008): 94.5 percent 
allocated to the limited access (LA) scallop fleet (i.e., the larger 
``trip boat'' fleet); 5 percent allocated to the LAGC IFQ fleet (i.e., 
the smaller ``day boat'' fleet); and the remaining 0.5 percent 
allocated to LA scallop vessels that also have LAGC IFQ permits. These 
separate ACLs and their corresponding ACTs are referred to as sub-ACLs 
and sub-ACTs, respectively, throughout this action. Amendment 15 to the 
Scallop FMP (76 FR 43746; July 21, 2011) specified that no buffers to 
account for management uncertainty are necessary in setting the LAGC 
sub-ACLs, meaning that the LAGC sub-ACL would equal the LAGC sub-ACT. 
As a result, the LAGC sub-ACL values in Table 1, based on an F of 0.32, 
represent the amount of catch from which IFQ percentage shares will be 
applied to calculate each vessel's IFQ for a given FY. For the LA 
fleet, the Council set a management uncertainty buffer based on the F 
associated with a 75-percent probability of remaining below the F 
associated with ABC/ACL, which results in an F of 0.28.
    This action would deduct 1.25 M lb (567 mt) of scallops annually 
for FYs 2014 and 2015 from the ABC and set it aside as the Scallop RSA 
to fund scallop research and to compensate participating vessels 
through the sale of scallops harvested under RSA projects. Beginning 
March 1, 2014, this set-aside is available for harvest by RSA-funded 
projects in open areas. In an effort to reduce mortality of both larger 
and smaller scallops in the Nantucket Lightship (NLS) and Delmarva 
(DMV) access areas, Framework 25 would not allow RSA to be harvested 
from these two areas, and once this action is approved and implemented, 
applicable vessels would be able to harvest RSA from the Closed Area II 
access area (CA2) or open areas.
    This action would also remove 1 percent from the ABC and set it 
aside for the industry-funded observer program to help defray the cost 
of carrying an observer. The observer set-aside for FYs 2014 and 2015 
are 208 mt (458,562 lb) and 240 mt (529,110 lb), respectively.

Temporary Adjustment to the Principles Used for Setting Target Catch 
Levels

    This action would temporarily modify a current principle used for 
setting target catch levels in this fishery. Specifically, the 
overfishing definition approved in Amendment 15 includes three main 
principles to set target catch: (1) F in open areas cannot exceed 0.38; 
(2) spatially averaged F target is limited to 0.28 for all areas 
combined (open and closed areas); and (3) F targets for access areas 
are based on a time-averaged principle (i.e., higher F in some years 
followed by closures or limited fishing levels in subsequent years). 
This action would temporarily modify the first principle, and allow 
open area F to exceed Fthreshold (0.38) for FY 2014 only. Because we do 
not consider this a modification of the overall overfishing definition 
for the fishery as a whole, this temporary change is a frameworkable 
measure under the Scallop FMP. This minor, temporary adjustment is 
consistent with the FMP, and, when analyzed in connection with measures 
for access to closed areas, still consistent with achieving an overall 
F of 0.28. Open area F would increase to a level that provides 
projected catch levels similar to FY 2013, but would not exceed an 
overall combined F of 0.28 for all areas. The OFL for the scallop stock 
as a whole (F of 0.38) would remain unchanged. The estimates of F for 
this action are 0.52 for open areas, and 0.21 for all areas combined. 
Framework 25 projects that this level of effort in the open area would 
provide short-term economic benefits that outweigh any reduction in 
benefits due to projected marginal reductions in future DAS allocations 
in open areas.

Open Area Days-at-Sea (DAS) Allocations

    This action would implement vessel-specific DAS allocations for 
each of the three LA scallop DAS permit categories (i.e., full-time, 
part-time, and occasional) for FYs 2014 and 2015 (Table 2). FY 2015 DAS 
allocations are precautionary, and are set at 75 percent of what 
current biomass projections indicate could be allocated to each LA 
scallop vessel for the entire FY so as to avoid over-allocating DAS to 
the fleet in the event that the framework that would set those 
allocations, if delayed past the start of FY 2015, estimates that DAS 
should be less than currently projected. The allocations in Table 2 
exclude any DAS deductions that are required if the limited access 
scallop fleet exceeded its 2013 sub-ACL.

    Table 2-- Scallop Open Area DAS Allocations for FYs 2014 and 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Permit category                     FY 2014   FY 2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full-Time...........................................        31        17
Part-Time...........................................        12         7
Occasional..........................................         3         1
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On March 1, 2014, full-time, part-time, and occasional vessels 
received 23, 9, and 2 DAS, respectively. These allocations would 
increase as soon as Framework 25 is implemented, if approved.

[[Page 26692]]

LA Trip Allocations, the Random Allocation Process, and Possession 
Limits for Scallop Access Areas

    In terms of pounds allocated, the proposed access area allocations 
for FY 2014 are slightly lower than FY 2013 allocations, which were 
about 35 percent less than FY 2012 access area trip allocations. 
Allocations have been lower in recent years due, in part, to a decline 
in recruitment since 2008. From 1998-2008 recruitment in the Mid-
Atlantic was unusually high. This led to higher allocations in the Mid-
Atlantic access areas in several years thereafter. The decline in 
allocations in recent years, FY 2013 and FY 2014, is a result of 
recruitment returning to normal levels following this boom. In 
addition, scallop biomass was above maximum sustainable yield levels 
from 2003 through 2011. As a result, the Council set high scallop 
allocations to allow for maximum harvest of the resource. While this 
has been a very successful time for the scallop fishing industry, the 
scallop stock was not replenishing itself at a level that could sustain 
these high allocations indefinitely. Although all recent 2013 survey 
results show that there has been a large recruitment event in the 
Elephant Trunk Access Area (ETA) (second only to the massive 
recruitment that occurred in 2001), these young scallops should not be 
harvested until they have had at least another year to grow (i.e., 
harvest in FY 2015 at the earliest). As a result, the proposed FY 2014 
access area allocations are similar to FY 2013 access area allocations. 
Because the Council does not know what will happen to the recruitment 
in the Mid-Atlantic over the course of next year, and because potential 
changes could occur based on the Essential Fish Habitat Omnibus 
Amendment (in development), the Council decided to develop Framework 25 
as a 1-year specification-setting framework. Framework 25 is not 
allocating FY 2015 default access area trips, and the Council will wait 
for the 2014 survey results to develop final FY 2015 measures through 
the next framework adjustment (i.e., Framework 26).
    Framework 25 would maintain the current closure of the ETA for FYs 
2014 and 2015. The Council proposes to continue the closure of this 
area to protect the large number of small scallops that are located 
inside the area. In addition, Framework 25 would close the Hudson 
Canyon Access Area (HCA) for FYs 2014 and 2015. According to all 2012 
survey results, recruitment was very widespread in the Mid-Atlantic and 
dense in all Mid-Atlantic access areas, especially ETA. The PDT was 
concerned that these high levels of recruitment would not materialize, 
but many 2-year old scallops are still present. Overall, recruitment in 
2013 is still relatively high. Protecting these small scallops will 
allow them to grow to a more marketable size for harvest, likely in FY 
2015. Additionally, Framework 25 would close the Closed Area 1 Access 
Area (CA1) for FYs 2014 and 2015 because there is no longer enough 
biomass in this area to provide profitable access area trips to the 
fleet.
    For FY 2014, full-time LA vessels would receive two 12,000-lb 
(5,443-kg) access area trips. Vessels would be allocated one trip in 
either the NLS or CA2 access area, and one trip in the DMV. Table 3 
shows the total number of trips allocated to full-time vessels for each 
area.

     Table 3--Total Number of FY 2014 Full-Time Trips by Access Area
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Number of
                                                              full-time
                        Access area                             vessel
                                                                trips
------------------------------------------------------------------------
HC.........................................................            0
DMV........................................................          313
ET.........................................................            0
CA1........................................................            0
CA2........................................................          197
NLS........................................................          116
                                                            ------------
  Total....................................................         *626
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* There are a total of 313 full-time vessels and each vessel would
  receive 2 trips.

    Part-time vessels would receive one FY 2014 access area trip 
allocation in 2014 equivalent to 9,600 lb (4,354 kg), and vessels with 
limited access occasional permits would receive one 2,000-lb (907-kg) 
trip (although there are currently no vessels with an occasional 
scallop permit). These trips could be taken in any one of the access 
areas that is open to the fishery for FY 2014 (i.e., DMV, NLS, or CA2).
    In order to ensure appropriate access area allocations in the next 
framework adjustment, there would be no access area trips allocated 
under FY 2015 default measures. The next framework that would replace 
these FY 2015 default measures would include the FY 2015 access area 
allocations based on updated scallop projections. If Framework 26 is 
delayed past March 1, 2015, scallop vessels would be restricted to 
fishing in open areas until final FY 2015 specifications are 
implemented. However, vessels would be able to fish FY 2014 
compensation trips in the access areas that were open in FY 2014 (e.g., 
DMV, NLS, and CA2) for the first 60 days that those areas are open in 
FY 2015, or until Framework 26 is approved and implemented, whichever 
occurs first. This level of effort is not expected to greatly impact 
the scallop resource or affect FY 2015 allocations.
    In order to avoid allocating trips into access areas with scallop 
biomass levels not large enough to support a full trip by all 313 LA 
full-time vessels, Framework 25 proposes to allocate ``split-fleet'' 
trips into certain access areas. First, Framework 25 would allocate 
each full-time vessel one trip in the DMV area. Then Framework 25 would 
randomly allocate one trip to each full-time vessel into either NLS or 
CA2. To accomplish this random trip allocation assignment, the Scallop 
Plan Development Team (PDT) developed a system similar to the one 
developed in Framework Adjustment 22 to the Scallop FMP (Framework 22; 
76 FR 43774; July 21, 2011), where permit numbers are selected based on 
a simple random number generator in Microsoft Excel and the vessels 
associated with a permit number would receive trip assignments into the 
access area where they can fish. In order to facilitate trading trips 
between vessels, the Council has already proposed allocations for full-
time vessels for FY 2014. These allocations are listed in Appendix IV 
of the Framework 25 document (See ADDRESSES), as well as NMFS's Web 
site. NMFS would update these preliminary allocations, subject to NMFS 
approval of Framework 25 and permit renewal requirements, with any 
changes in vessel ownership and/or vessel replacements.

Ability To Exchange a DMV Trip for 5 DAS

    In response to uncertain projections of scallop sizes and densities 
in DMV, this action would give LA vessels the flexibility to exchange 
their 12,000-pound DMV trip for 5 open area DAS. If scallops are of 
harvestable size in DMV and in higher densities than open areas, as 
projected, then vessels would be expected to fish there. If projections 
are not correct, however, giving vessels a choice to fish in open areas 
instead would help reduce impacts on smaller scallops. This flexibility 
may help self-regulate the area based on the fishing condition in DMV, 
which is more uncertain than some of the other access areas due to the 
large proportion of smaller scallops and more uncertainty about natural 
mortality and growth in that access area. Providing this flexibility 
does have the potential to increase fishing mortality in open areas 
further above the current target of 0.38 that would already be exceeded 
by the

[[Page 26693]]

proposed 31 DAS allocation. Although we do not know how the fleet would 
behave if they were given this option, the estimated additional effort 
was included in the projected F of 0.52 for the open area.
    A vessel would receive automatically an additional 5 DAS for not 
fishing its DMV trip in one of two ways. First, from the date this 
action goes into place, DMV would be open for 90 days. If DMV closes 
for the remainder of the FY and a vessel did not take its DMV trip, 
that vessel would automatically be credited 5 additional DAS. For 
example, Vessel A would receive 31 DAS once this action goes into 
place. If the DMV closed on August 15, 2014, and Vessel A never 
declared or fished a DMV trip, then Vessel A would automatically be 
credited with 5 additional DAS, giving Vessel A a total of 36 DAS for 
FY 2014. Alternatively, a vessel could fish its initial allocation of 
31 open area DAS before the DMV closes, and, then fish five additional 
DAS by deciding not fish a DMV trip, regardless of whether the DMV has 
closed. For example, if Vessel B fishes a total of 31 DAS prior to the 
DMV closing, it could fish up to an additional 5 DAS even if the DMV 
hasn't closed. Vessel B could not fish in the DMV subsequent to using 
any or all of the additional 5 DAS. NMFS will track trips and 
declarations to automatically convert the non-used DMV trip into 5 
additional DAS. All vessel owners would be notified of this process 
upon the implementation of this action.

LAGC Measures

    1. Sub-ACL for LAGC vessels with IFQ permits. For LAGC vessels with 
IFQ permits, this action proposes a 2,202,859-lb (999.2-mt) ACL for FY 
2014 and an initial ACL of 2,552,105 lb (1,158 mt) for FY 2015 (Table 
1). We calculate IFQ allocations by applying each vessel's IFQ 
contribution percentage to these ACLs. These allocations assume that no 
LAGC IFQ AMs are triggered. If a vessel exceeds its IFQ in a given FY, 
its IFQ for the subsequent FY would be reduced by the amount of the 
overage.
    Because Framework 25 would not go into effect until after the March 
1 start of FY 2014, we implemented the default FY 2014 IFQ allocations. 
These default FY 2014 IFQ allocations are higher than those proposed in 
Framework 25. To provide the ability for IFQ permit holders to transfer 
the entirety of their final FY 2014 quota, industry members requested 
that vessels have access to their full allocation at the beginning of 
the FY. Consequently, it is possible that scallop vessels could exceed 
their Framework 25 IFQ allocations during this interim period between 
March 1, 2014, and NMFS's implementation of the proposed IFQ 
allocations in Framework 25. To account for this possibility, Framework 
25 specifies the following payback measure for LAGC IFQ vessels: If a 
vessel transfers (i.e., temporary lease or permanent transfer) all of 
its allocation to other vessels prior to Framework 25's implementation 
(i.e., transfers more than it is ultimately allocated for FY 2014), the 
vessel that transferred in the pounds would receive a pound-for-pound 
deduction in FY 2014 (not the vessel that leased out the IFQ). This is 
the identical process that NMFS took at the start of last year (FY 
2013) to account for lower proposed allocations that would be 
implemented mid-year. For example, Vessel A is allocated 1,000 lb (454 
kg) of scallops at the start of FY 2014, but would receive 880 lb (399 
kg) of scallops once Framework 25 is implemented. If Vessel A transfers 
its full March 1, 2014, allocation of 1,000 lb (454 kg) to Vessel B 
prior to Framework 25's implementation, Vessel B would lose 120 lb (54 
kg) of that transfer once Framework 25 is implemented.
    In situations where a vessel transfers out its IFQ to multiple 
vessels, only the vessel(s) that, in turn, transferred in quota 
resulting in an overage would have to pay back that quota. Using the 
example above, if Vessel A first leases 500 lb (227 kg) of scallops to 
Vessel B and then leases 500 lb (227 kg) of scallops to Vessel C, only 
Vessel C would have to pay back IFQ in excess of Vessel A's ultimate FY 
2014 allocation (i.e., Vessel C would have to give up 120 lb (54 kg) of 
that quota because Vessel A ultimately only had 380 lb (172 kg) of IFQ 
to lease out). In this example, if Vessel C already fished all of its 
leased-in quota, it would incur an overage of 120 lb (54 kg) and could 
either lease in more quota to make up for that overage during FY 2014, 
or would have that overage, along with any other overages incurred in 
FY 2014, applied against its FY 2015 IFQ allocation as part of the 
individual AM applied to the LAGC IFQ fleet. We will attempt to notify 
all parties involved of the possible consequences of transferring IFQ 
that would be reduced by implementing Framework 25.
    Since March 1, 2014, vessel owners have been able to transfer all 
IFQ on their vessel to other vessels, including IFQ that was previously 
transferred permanently or temporarily from another vessel (i.e., they 
may re-transfer, or sub-lease, IFQ). If a vessel transfers (i.e., 
temporary lease or permanent transfer) all of its allocation to another 
vessel prior to Framework 25's implementation (i.e., transfers more 
than it is ultimately allocated for FY 2014), and then the vessel 
receiving the allocation retransfers out that allocation to another 
vessel, the vessel that transferred in the pounds initially would 
receive a pound-for-pound deduction in FY 2014 (not the vessel that 
leased out the IFQ or the vessel that received the retransferred 
pounds). For example, if Vessel A transfers its full March 1, 2014, 
allocation of 1,000 lb (454 kg) to Vessel B prior to Framework 25's 
implementation, then Vessel B proceeded to sub-lease all 1,000 lb (454 
kg) to Vessel C, Vessel B would lose 120 lb (54 kg) of that transfer 
once Framework 25 is implemented.
    The onus is on the vessel owners to have a business plan to account 
for the mid-year adjustments in light of these payback measures. NMFS 
sent a letter to IFQ permit holders providing both March 1, 2014, IFQ 
allocations and Framework 25 proposed IFQ allocations so that vessel 
owners know how much they can transfer to avoid any overages incurred 
through transferring full allocations prior to the implementation of 
Framework 25. NMFS has explained the consequences of owners' leasing 
decisions that involve full allocations that would be reduced under 
Framework 25.
    2. Sub-ACL for LA Scallop Vessels with IFQ Permits. For LA scallop 
vessels with IFQ permits, this action proposes a 220,286-lb (99.9-mt) 
ACL for FY 2014 and an initial 255,210-lb (116-mt) ACL for FY 2015 
(Table 1). We calculate IFQ allocations by applying each vessel's IFQ 
contribution percentage to these ACLs. These allocations assume that no 
LAGC IFQ AMs are triggered. If a vessel exceeds its IFQ in a given FY, 
its IFQ for the subsequent FY would be reduced by the amount of the 
overage.
    If a vessel fishes all of the scallop IFQ it receives at the start 
of FY 2014, it would incur a pound-for-pound overage deduction that 
would be applied against its FY 2015 IFQ allocation, along with any 
other overages incurred in FY 2014, as part of the individual AM 
applied to the LA vessels with LAGC IFQ permits. These vessels cannot 
participate in the IFQ transfer program, so transferring in more quota 
is not an option.
    3. LAGC IFQ Trip Allocations and Possession Limits for Scallop 
Access Areas. Table 4 outlines the total number of FY 2014 LAGC IFQ 
fleetwide access area trips. Once the total number of trips is 
projected to be fished, we would close that access area to LAGC IFQ 
vessels for the remainder of FY 2014.

[[Page 26694]]



    Table 4--LAGC Fleet-Wide Access Area Trip Allocations for FY 2014
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Access area                            FY 2014
------------------------------------------------------------------------
CA1..........................................................          0
CA2..........................................................          0
NLS..........................................................        241
HC...........................................................          0
ETA..........................................................          0
DMV..........................................................        516
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In previous years, the Council did not allocate trips for LAGC IFQ 
vessels into CA2, because the Council and NMFS do not expect many of 
these vessels to fish in that area due to its distance from shore, and 
the total number of fleetwide trips only reflected 5.5 percent of each 
open access area. To make up for the fact that the IFQ vessels would 
not be able to access CA2, the Council proposes in Framework 25 to 
include 5.5 percent of the CA2 available TAC in setting LAGC IFQ 
fleetwide access area trip allocations, essentially shifting those CA2 
trips to other access areas closer to shore, so that LAGC IFQ vessels 
would have the opportunity to harvest up to 5.5 percent of the overall 
access area TAC, not just that available in areas open to them. 
Specifically, this action would equally divide 226 trips that would 
have been allocated to CA2 into the other 2 areas (DMV and NLS), adding 
113 additional trips per area.
    In order to preserve appropriate access area allocations, there 
would be no access area trips allocated to LAGC IFQ vessels under FY 
2015 default measures. The next framework that would replace these FY 
2015 default measures would include the FY 2015 access area allocations 
based on updated scallop projections. If Framework 26 is delayed past 
March 1, 2015, LAGC IFQ scallop vessels would be restricted to fishing 
their IFQ allocations in open areas until final FY 2015 specifications 
are implemented.
    4. NGOM TAC. This action proposes a 70,000-lb (31,751-kg) annual 
NGOM TAC for FYs 2014 and 2015. The allocation for FY 2015 assumes that 
there are no overages in FY 2014, which would trigger a pound-for-pound 
deduction in FY 2015 to account for the overage.
    5. Scallop Incidental Catch Target TAC. This action proposes a 
50,000-lb (22,680-kg) scallop incidental catch target TAC for FYs 2014 
and 2015 to account for mortality from this component of the fishery, 
and to ensure that F-targets are not exceeded. The Council may adjust 
this target TAC in the future if vessels catch more scallops under the 
incidental target TAC than predicted.

Restrictions to the DMV

1. Seasonal Restriction
    Framework 25 would allow all scallop vessels to fish their FY 2014 
DMV trips from June 1 through August 31 or until 90 days after 
Framework 25 becomes effective, whichever is later. The proposed delay 
of entrance in DMV would give the scallops in that area some additional 
time to grow if Framework 25 were to become effective prior to June 1, 
2014. The proposed closure of DMV following the 3-month fishery would 
reduce mortality by concentrating harvest in the area when meat yields 
are the highest.
2. Crew Limit Restrictions
    Limited access scallop vessels have crew size limits when fishing 
in open areas. These limits are in place to restrict the shucking 
capacity of a vessel to help reduce landings per unit effort while on 
DAS. However, in access areas there are possession limits so there is 
no crew limit restriction. In an effort to protect small scallops and 
discourage vessels from highgrading (discarding smaller scallops in 
exchange for larger ones), Framework 25 would impose a crew limit of 
seven individuals per LA vessel in DMV. If a vessel is participating in 
the small dredge program it may not have more than five people on 
board.

Unharvested Pounds in Closed Area 1

1. FY 2012
    The FY 2012 scallop specifications were the second-year 
specifications developed by the Council through Framework 22. In FY 
2012, vessels were allocated access area trips into HC, DMV, NLS, CA1, 
and CA2. Based on updated survey results presented at the Council's 
Scallop PDT meeting on January 5, 2012, DMV showed lower-than-expected 
scallop biomass and strong recruitment present. In order to prevent 
high levels of fishing effort in this area, which could have reduced 
long-term scallop biomass and yield from DMV, and could have 
compromised the overall success of the scallop area rotational 
management program, we issued an Emergency Closure of the DMV (77 FR 
28311; May 14, 2012). At the industry's request we reallocated unused 
2012 DMV trips to CA1, which appeared at the time to have enough 
biomass to support these trips. However, towards the end of FY 2012 and 
into FY 2013 catch rates in CA1 began to drop below profitable levels. 
Many vessels were unable to harvest the pounds associated with their 
CA1 trips. This action would allow unused pounds associated with FY 
2012 CA1 trips to be to be harvested by some of those vessels in CA1 
when it reopens in the future. For FY 2012 CA1 trips, this would be 
limited to vessels that submitted a broken trip adjustment sheet and 
qualified for a compensation trip.
2. FY 2013
    Because catch rates had not yet begun to fall in CA1 during 
development of the FY 2013 specifications, Framework 24 allocated an 
additional 118 trips into CA1 in FY 2013. Most of the vessels allocated 
CA1 FY 2013 trips were unable to fish some or any of their trips. 
Framework 25 would allow unharvested pounds associated with FY 2013 CA1 
trips to be harvested by the vessel in CA1 when it reopens in the 
future. Because the potential for this provision had been discussed 
throughout the year, for FY 2013 CA1 trips, vessels would not be 
required to submit a broken trip adjustment sheet to receive the 
permission to harvest these unused pounds. Instead, we would determine 
which vessels have scallop pounds left to harvest and would inform them 
after Framework 25 is implemented.
    Any CA1 pounds that would be allocated to vessels from FYs 2012 or 
2013 to be harvested in a future FY would come off that future FY's LA 
sub-ACL. The Scallop FMP sets an ACL for every FY based on the most up-
to-date surveys, and we cannot allocate the fleet any additional 
scallops above this limit even if they are ``carried over'' from prior 
years.

Addition of Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) Windowpane 
Flounder AMs

    Framework Adjustment 48 to the Northeast Multispecies FMP (78 FR 
26118, May 3, 2013) established a sub-ACL for SNE/MA windowpane 
flounder. The proposed action contains two alternatives for AMs to 
respond to and prevent, reactive and proactive, respectively, overages 
in the SNE/MA windowpane flounder sub-ACL.
1. Reactive AM
    This action proposes to add a reactive AM for SNE/MA windowpane 
flounder. If the scallop sub-ACL for the scallop fishery is exceeded, 
the area west of 71[deg] W. Long., excluding Mid-Atlantic access areas 
(HCA, ETA, and DMV), would be considered the SNE/MA windowpane flounder 
gear restricted area. Scallop vessels participating in the DAS or LAGC 
IFQ scallop fisheries would be required to comply with the gear

[[Page 26695]]

restrictions described below for the months of February or February 
through March, depending on the severity of the overage (Table 5).

    Table 5--SNE/MA Windowpane Flounder AM Length of Gear Restriction
------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Percent overage of YTF sub-ACL         Length of gear restriction
------------------------------------------------------------------------
0-20...............................  February.
>20................................  February through March.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    When a vessel is subject to the SNE/MA windowpane flounder 
accountability measure gear restricted area, the vessel would be 
required to fish with dredges where:
    (1) The maximum number of rows of rings in the apron of the topside 
does not exceed five rows; and
    (2) The maximum hanging ratio for a net, net material, or any other 
material on the top of a scallop dredge (twine top) possessed or used 
by vessels fishing with scallop dredge gear does not exceed 1.5:1 
overall. An overall hanging ratio of 1.5:1 means that the twine top is 
hung alternating 2 meshes per ring and 1 mesh per ring (counted at the 
bottom where the twine top connects to the apron), for an overall 
average of 1.5 meshes per ring for the entire width of the twine top. 
For example, an apron that is 40 meshes wide (not including any ring in 
the side pieces) would only be able to use a twine top with 60 or fewer 
meshes so that the overall ratio of meshes to rings did not exceed 1.5 
(60 meshes/40 rings = 1.5) (copies of a figure depicting this gear are 
available from the Regional Administrator upon request).
2. Proactive AM
    In addition to the reactive AM described above, this action 
proposes to implement a gear restriction in the area west of 71[deg] W. 
Long., excluding Mid-Atlantic access areas that are meant to help 
reduce bycatch of windowpane flounder and other species of flatfish. 
This is considered to be a proactive AM because it may avoid the 
exceeding of the sub-ACL for this stock. The specific gear restriction 
would require dredge vessels to have a maximum of seven rows in the 
apron. Current twine top restrictions state that a dredge greater than 
8 feet (2.44 m) in width, must have at least 7 rows of rings between 
the terminus of the dredge (clubstick) and the twine top. Framework 
Adjustment 5 to the Scallop FMP (June 29, 1995; 60 FR 33757) 
implemented this regulation to protect against the overharvest of small 
scallops. At that time some vessels were running twine top along the 
topside of the dredge all the way down to the clubstick. Since the mesh 
used for twine top was much smaller than it is today this practice 
essentially turned the dredge bag into a net, which has higher 
mortality on small scallops. Now that twine top mesh is a required to 
be a minimum of 10 inches (25.4 cm) there is less incentive to run it 
back to the terminus of the dredge. However, recent gear research has 
shown that a shorter apron, for example five rows of rings from the 
clubstick, may reduce flatfish bycatch.
    This action applies to the area west of 71[deg] W. Long., excluding 
Mid-Atlantic access areas, year-round. This measure may reduce flatfish 
bycatch by requiring vessels that fish in the AM area all year to use a 
maximum of seven rows, and enable vessels to voluntarily fish with an 
even shorter apron, less than seven rings, to proactively reduce 
flatfish bycatch in any area or season. This measure would apply to all 
scallop dredge vessels (LA and LAGC IFQ).

Other Clarifications and Modifications

    This proposed rule includes several revisions to the regulatory 
text to address text that is duplicative and unnecessary, outdated, 
unclear, or otherwise could be improved. NMFS proposes these changes 
consistent with section 305(d) of the MSA. For example, we are removing 
regulations that referred to payback measure from FY 2013 due to the 
delayed implementation of Framework 24. NMFS proposes to revise the 
regulations to remove measures intended by previous rulemaking, and to 
provide more ease in locating these regulations by updating cross 
references.
    This action also proposes revisions that would clarify the intent 
of certain regulations. For example, and we added clarifying language 
to the IFQ quota transfer regulations to make it clear that the intent 
of Amendment 11 to the Scallop FMP was to allow vessels in confirmation 
of permit history to transfer IFQ. Additionally, regulations are 
unclear regarding how a LAGC IFQ vessel's potential carryover is 
calculated. We clarified that a vessel's potential carryover is 15 
percent of the vessel's original IFQ and the total of transferred in 
minus transferred out IFQ. As such, NMFS proposes to clarify these 
regulations. NMFS also proposes to add more description to some access 
area and habitat closed area coordinates to clarify the boundaries of 
those areas.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the MSA, the NMFS Assistant 
Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with 
the FMP, other provisions of the MSA, and other applicable law, subject 
to further consideration after public comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    This rule does not contain a collection-of-information requirement 
subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act.
    An IRFA has been prepared, as required by section 603 of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The IRFA consists of Framework 25 
analyses, its draft IRFA, and the preamble to this action.

Statement of Objective and Need

    This action proposes the management measures and specifications for 
the Atlantic sea scallop fishery for FY 2014, with FY 2015 default 
measures. A description of the action, why it is being considered, and 
the legal basis for this action are contained in Framework 25 and the 
preamble of this proposed rule and are not repeated here.

Description and Estimate of Number of Small Entities to Which the Rule 
Would Apply

    The proposed regulations would affect all vessels with LA and LAGC 
scallop permits. The Framework 25 document provides extensive 
information on the number and size of vessels and small businesses that 
would be affected by the proposed regulations, by port and state (see 
ADDRESSES). There were 313 vessels that obtained full-time LA permits 
in 2012, including 250 dredge, 52 small-dredge, and 11 scallop trawl 
permits. In the same year, there were also 34 part-time LA permits in 
the sea scallop fishery. No vessels were issued occasional scallop 
permits. NMFS issued 278 LAGC-IFQ permits in 2012. Since all scallop 
permits are limited access, vessel owners would cancel permits only if 
they decide to stop fishing for scallops on the permitted vessel 
permanently or if they transfer IFQ to another IFQ vessel and 
permanently relinquish the vessel's scallop permit. This is not likely 
to occur due to the value of retaining the permit. As such, the number 
of scallop permits could decline over time, but would likely be fewer 
than 10 permits per year.
    The RFA defines a small business in shellfish fishery as a firm 
that is

[[Page 26696]]

independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of 
operation, with receipts of up to $5 M annually. In scallop FMP actions 
prior to Framework 24, each vessel was considered a small business 
entity and was treated individually for the purposes of the RFA 
analyses. Since Framework 24, the Council recognizes ownership 
affiliations and makes very basic connections between multiple vessels 
to single owners and makes distinctions between large business entities 
and small business entities, as defined by the RFA. Every LA vessel has 
multiple owners and some owners of a particular vessel have ownership 
interest in other vessels with different entities. There have been 132 
distinct business entities (23 larger business entities and 109 small 
business entities) in the scallop limited access fishery as of FY 2012, 
slightly lower than the number of businesses in FY 2010. The primary 
industry of all these individual businesses was identified as 
``scallop'' fishery, because their revenues from the scallop fishery 
exceeded the revenues from all other species. Scallop revenue averaged 
over 96-percent of the total revenue during FYs 2010-2012 for the 
businesses with LA permits. The sum of annual gross receipts from all 
scallop vessels operated by the majority of the multiple boat owners 
(but not all) would exceed $5 M in 2011 and 2012, qualifying them as 
``large'' entities. From FY 2010 to FY 2012, 193 vessels, including LA 
and LAGC permitted-vessels, belonged to 23 large business entities that 
grossed more than $5 M annually in scallop revenue. In the same year, 
155 vessels belonged to 109 small business entities (ownership ranged 
from 1 to 4 vessels) that grossed less than $5 M a year in scallop 
revenue.
    The Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration (SBA) 
suggests two criteria to consider in determining the significance of 
regulatory impacts on small entities; namely, disproportionality and 
profitability. The disproportionality criterion compares the effects of 
the regulatory action on small versus large entities (using the SBA-
approved size definition of ``small entity''), not the difference 
between segments of small entities. The changes in profits, costs, and 
net revenues due to Framework 25 are not expected to be disproportional 
for small versus large entities since each vessel will receive the same 
number of open areas DAS and access area trips allocations according to 
the categories they belong to (i.e., the allocations for all full-time 
vessels are identical, and the allocations for the part-time and 
occasional vessels are proportional to the full-time allocations, 40 
percent and 8.33 percent of the full-time allocations, respectively). 
As a result, this action would have proportionally similar impacts on 
revenues and profits of each vessel and each multi-vessel owner 
compared both to status quo (i.e., FY 2013) and no action levels. 
Therefore, this action is not expected to have disproportionate impacts 
or place a substantial number of small entities at a competitive 
disadvantage relative to large entities. A summary of the economic 
impacts relative to the profitability criterion is provided below under 
``Economic Impacts of Proposed Measures and Alternatives.''

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance 
Requirements

    This action contains no new collection-of-information, reporting, 
or recordkeeping requirements. It does not duplicate, overlap, or 
conflict with any other Federal law.

Economic Impacts of Proposed Measures and Alternatives

Summary of the Aggregate Economic Impacts
    A detailed analysis of the economic impacts of the proposed actions 
may be found in Section 5.4 of the Framework 25 document (see 
ADDRESSES). All economic values are presented in terms of 2012 dollars 
and projected economic values presented below use a 7-percent (3-
percent when indicated) discount rate to compare results to current 
values.
    The impact of six allocation alternatives were evaluated in 
Framework 25: Three alternatives (No Action, Alternatives 2, and 
Alternative 3) each proposed the same number of DAS (23 for full-time 
vessels), but varied in the number of access area trips. The No Action 
alternative proposed no access area trips, while Alternatives 2 and 
Alternative 3 each proposed two 12,000-lb (5,443-kg) full-time access 
area trips (one in DMV and one in either NLS or CL2). However, 
Alternative 3 included an option for each vessel to exchange their DMV 
trip for five additional DAS to be used in the open area. Alternatives 
4 and 5 had the same access area options as Alternative 3 (two 12,000-
lb (5,443-kg) full-time trips with the DMV option), but varied in the 
number of DAS allocated to each full-time vessel, 31 DAS and 28 DAS, 
respectively. Finally, Alternative 6 proposed allocating each full-time 
vessel 37 DAS, but only issuing one 12,000-lb (5,443-kg) access area 
trip to be taken in either NLS or CA2 and keeping DMV closed.
    The definition of ``No Action'' refers to the implementation of FY 
2014 default measures that are currently assigned in the regulations. 
The No Action alternative does not result in the same allocations or 
revenues as in FY 2013. During the development of Framework 24 the 
Council decided to wait for the 2013 survey results to develop final 
measures for FY 2014. Therefore, the No Action would result in 10 fewer 
DAS in FY 2014 compared to FY 2013, and would not allocate any trips 
into access areas. As a result of fewer open area DAS, combined with 
the lack of access area trips, revenues for No Action would be lower 
($280.5 M in FY 2014) compared to the actual revenues in FY 2012 ($546 
M) and FY 2013 (estimated to be about $460 M in inflation-adjusted 2013 
prices).
    The previous frameworks also included a status quo scenario to 
reflect the changes in landings and economic benefits as a result of 
changes in allocations from their current values. Alternative 4 in this 
action reflects a scenario that maintains landings at the projected FY 
2013 levels by allocating full-time vessels 31 DAS and two access area 
trips with a flexibility to exchange a DMV trip for five open areas 
DAS. This is also the preferred alternative for Framework 25. 
Therefore, for the purposes of Framework 25 analyses, the projected 
economic benefits for other alternatives will also be compared to the 
benefits for Alternative 4 instead of to a hypothetical status quo 
scenario that keeps the allocations at FY 2013 levels (33 DAS and 2 
access area trips).
    In summary, the aggregate economic impacts of the proposed 
measures, including the open area DAS and access area allocations for 
LA vessels and ACLs for the LAGC IFQ fishery, are expected to have 
positive impacts on the revenues and profits of the small businesses in 
the scallop industry in FY 2014 compared to the No Action alternative 
and neutral impacts compared to FY 2013 conditions. However, the 
measures included in Framework 25 are not expected to offset the gains 
and profits of the scallop industry, or to jeopardize the financial 
viability of scallop vessels either in the short term or in the medium 
term, especially in this highly profitable industry. The proposed 
measures (Alternative 4) would have the highest increase in revenues, 
producer surplus and total economic benefits in FY 2014, but would have 
a smaller increase in revenues ($18.5 million), producer surplus ($15.1 
million) and total economic benefits ($6.5 million) over

[[Page 26697]]

the long term compared to No Action and other alternatives except for 
Alternative 6. The economic impacts of the proposed action are expected 
to be positive over the long term.

Economic Impacts of the Proposed Measures and Alternatives

1. Allocations for the LA and LAGC Scallop Fleets--Aggregate Impacts
    The proposed open area DAS allocations are expected to prevent 
overfishing in open areas. The proposed action would implement the 
following vessel-specific DAS allocations for FYs 2014 and 2015: Full-
time vessels would be allocated 31 and 17 DAS, respectively; part-time 
vessels would be allocated 12 and 7 DAS, respectively; and occasional 
vessels would receive 3 and 1 DAS, respectively. Additionally, in FY 
2014 full-time vessels would receive a total of two access area trips 
at 12,000 lb (5,443 kg), and part-time vessels and occasional vessels 
would receive one access area trip, at 9,600 lb (4,354 kg) and 2,000-lb 
(907-kg), respectively. The proposed default FY 2015 DAS would be set 
at precautionary levels and would be reevaluated in the next 
specifications-setting framework action. No access area trips would be 
allocated under FY 2015 default measures, and vessels would have to 
wait until the next framework to fish in access areas in FY 2015.
    The Framework 25 analysis of the fleet-wide aggregate economic 
impacts indicate that the proposed action and all other alternatives 
are expected to be positive both in the short (2014) and the long term 
compared to the No Action alternative. The proposed alternative 
(Alternative 4) would result in highest landings (17,463 mt), revenues 
($427.8 M) and total economic benefits ($429.9 M) in 2014 among all the 
alternatives considered. The total economic benefits of the proposed 
alternative would exceed the No Action levels by $151.8 in FY 2014 and 
by $6.5 M ($26.3 M) over the long-term if a 7-percent (3-percent) 
discount rate was used to estimate the present value of cumulative 
benefits. However, long-term economic benefits under the preferred 
alternative would be less than the benefits for Alternative 3 using a 
7-percent discount rate, and would be less than the benefits for 
Alternative 2, Alternative 3 and Alternative 5 using a discount rate of 
3-percent to estimate cumulative present value of net economic 
benefits. The proposed alternative also reflects status quo conditions 
by maintaining the landings at the projected FY 2013 levels. Therefore, 
the economic impacts of the proposed alternative are expected to be low 
compared to the levels in FY 2013.
    As for LAGC IFQ vessels, the economic impacts of the proposed 
action are the same under all of the specification alternatives 
considered since the IFQ allocation remains the same under all the 
alternatives, 1,099 mt. This total catch would be very similar to that 
from FY 2013, 1,111 mt.
    In summary, the economic impacts of the proposed LA and LAGC 
allocation measures are expected to have positive impacts on the 
revenues and profits of the small businesses in the scallop industry in 
FY 2014, compared to the No Action alternative and similar impacts 
compared to FY 2013 conditions. Over the long term, the economic 
impacts of the proposed alternative on the majority of small business 
entities in scallop fishing industry are projected to be positive when 
compared to No Action.
2. Measures To Reduce Mortality on Smaller Scallops in NLS and DMV in 
FY 2014
    This action would prohibit RSA compensation fishing in NLS and DMV. 
This would be more restrictive than the No Action alternative because 
it would limit operational flexibility possibly resulting in slightly 
higher costs. However, prohibiting RSA compensation fishing in these 
areas may have slight benefits on the scallop resource by limiting 
effort in those areas with potential impacts on smaller scallops from 
incidental mortality. Therefore, this action would have positive 
impacts on long-term yield, revenues and total economic benefits 
compared to No Action overall.
    This action would also constrain fishing in DMV between June and 
August, or three months after implementation of this action to 
concentrate fishing in a season with higher yields. In addition, it 
would restrict crew limits in DMV to limits used in open area fishing 
to reduce potential highgrading on small scallops in DMV. As a result, 
this action could have beneficial impacts on the scallop resource and 
would therefore have long-term positive impacts on landings, revenues 
and total economic benefits compared to No Action.
3. Measures To Address Unused CA1 Trips
    This action would allow rollover of unused FY 2012 and FY 2013 CA1 
trips a future FY. No Action would prevent a vessel from fully 
utilizing its allocation if it had, for example, a broken trip, which 
would have a negative impact on the revenues and profits if those 
vessels with unused trips. This action would have positive economic 
impacts on vessels with unused trips by allowing them to land their CA1 
allocations in a future year and low negative impacts on the rest of 
the fishery since this rollover would likely result in reduction in 
allocations in future years for the fleet.
    This measure will impact future access for the LA fishery overall 
since this unused catch will need to be accounted for within the LA 
sub-ACL. Future access in and around CA1 will be lower for the overall 
fleet compared to No Action. Spreading access over 2 years would lower 
those negative impacts somewhat although not totally. Therefore, the 
economic impacts of the proposed alternatives would be positive for 
those vessels that are allowed to use their unused trips in a future 
year and would be low negative on the remainder of the fleet with no 
unused trips.
4. Payback Measures for LAGC Vessels for Overages Incurred Between 
March 1, 2014, and Framework 25's Implementation
    Framework 25 would be implemented after the start of FY 2014 (March 
1, 2014) and the FY 2014 default measures would be in place until the 
proposed action is implemented. LAGC IFQ vessels have received 
allocations at the start of FY 2014 that are roughly 13 percent higher 
than Framework 25 allocations. Framework 25 included a number of 
provisions to account for the inconsistencies between allocations in 
effect at the start of FY 2014 and those that would be implemented 
under Framework 25. These ``payback'' measures create a disincentive to 
fish higher March 1, 2014, allocations and would help reduce the 
negative impacts of overfishing in 2014 on the scallop resource if 
vessels adhere to the lower Framework 25 allocations.
    LAGC IFQ vessels that exceed their ultimate FY 2014 allocations 
through IFQ transfers would have a pound-for-pound deduction in FY 2014 
to account for the excess allocated IFQ. The payback would be applied 
to the vessel that transfers the IFQ in (i.e., not the vessel that 
transfers out the IFQ). LAGC IFQ vessels that exceed their ultimate FY 
2014 allocations would have a pound-for-pound payback in FY 2015 as 
their individual AM, specified in Amendment 15 to the Scallop FMP 
(Amendment 15).
    As a result, LAGC vessels that choose to exceed the FY 2014 
allocations proposed in Framework 25 would have slightly lower revenues 
than the estimated fleet average in FY 2014, resulting in negative 
short-term impacts

[[Page 26698]]

on those individual vessels in FY 2014. Over the long term, the overage 
provisions proposed in Framework 25 are expected to reduce the negative 
impacts of overfishing in FY 2014 on the scallop resource. Therefore, 
these measures will have positive fleet-wide impacts on landings and 
revenues over the long term. There are no alternatives that would 
generate higher economic benefits for the participants of the scallop 
fishery. Members of the scallop industry assisted in the development of 
these payback measures.
5. RSA and OBS TACs
    The proposed action would set aside 1 percent of the ABC for the 
industry-funded OBS program, and would set aside 1.25 M lb (567 mt) 
from the ABC for the RSA program. These set-asides are expected to have 
indirect economic benefits for the scallop fishery by improving scallop 
information and data made possible by research and the observer 
program. Although allocating a higher OBS percentage or higher RSA 
allocation could result in higher indirect benefits to the scallop 
fleet by increasing available funds for research and the observer 
program, these set-aside increases could also decrease direct economic 
benefits to the fishery by reducing revenues, and no such alternatives 
were considered.
6. NGOM TAC
    The proposed action (No Action alternative) specifies a 70,000-lb 
(31,751-kg) TAC for the NGOM and would not have additional economic 
impacts on the participants of the NGOM fishery. The NGOM TAC has been 
specified at this level since FY 2008, and the fishery has harvested 
less than 60 percent of the TAC in each FY; therefore, the TAC has no 
negative economic impacts. There are no alternatives that would 
generate higher benefits for NGOM scallop vessels. The alternative for 
setting the NGOM TAC at 58,000 lb (26,308 kg) is expected to reduce the 
chance of excess fishing in Federal waters in the NGOM management area, 
but considering that NGOM vessels have never exceeded the TAC, neither 
alternative is expected to impact vessels. Thus, negligible economic 
impacts are expected from the No Action alternative and the other NGOM 
Alternative.
7. SNE/MA Windowpane Flounder Reactive AM--Seasonal Gear Restricted 
Area
    The proposed action would implement a gear restricted area for a 
specified period of time with higher bycatch rates of SNE/MA windowpane 
flounder if the scallop fishery exceeds its sub-ACL and the entire ACL 
is exceeded, or the sub-ACL is exceeded by more than 50 percent. The AM 
area would be all waters west of 71[deg] W Long., not including scallop 
access areas. If AMs are triggered and the overage by the scallop 
fishery is estimated to be >0 and <20-percent the AM would be in place 
for the month of February. If the overage is over 20 percent the AM 
season would be for the months of February and March.
    Although reduced flexibility and potentially reduced landings due 
to fishing with modified gear will have some negative economic impacts 
on the scallop vessels, these impacts are expected to be low. Based on 
input from the Scallop Advisory Panel, the required gear modification 
is expected to have minor impacts on fishing costs. If a vessel 
switches its gear several times a year there is labor cost involved, 
but some vessels may just fish with this gear all year, and that could 
even result in some costs savings since there is less gear with the 
modified dredge.
    The gear modifications will only be applied during the month of 
February if the overage rate is less than 20 percent and in both 
February and March if the overage is 20 percent or more. About 1 
percent of the landings in Mid-Atlantic open areas took place February 
and another 10 percent in March by the LA vessels, however, in terms of 
overall landings in all open areas, 2 percent of scallop pounds were 
landed in February and 8 percent in March as an average for 2011-2012 
fishing years. Therefore, this alternative could result some effort 
displacement for some vessels that choose not to fish during these 
months with modified gear. The economic impacts could be slightly 
higher for the LAGC vessels if instead of fishing with the modified 
gear they chose not to fish in February or March if the AM triggered. 
About 3 percent of LAGC scallop landings took place during February and 
another 6 percent in March in the open Mid-Atlantic areas.
    The dredge modification in this alternative is expected to reduce 
scallop catch, up to 10 percent fewer in terms of catch weights. 
Therefore, vessels may need to tow longer to attain the same amount of 
scallop catch, which could increase the trip costs. However, the 
results from this gear study demonstrated that while the modified gear 
caught fewer scallops, the gear is more selective at catching larger 
scallops. If the gear is less efficient at catching smaller scallops, 
then the impacts on total scallop pounds landed could be small or 
negligible. In addition, given that larger scallops usually sell at a 
higher price, the impacts on revenues could be negligible or slightly 
positive.
    Therefore, the net economic impacts of this measure could be 
slightly negative, neutral, or slightly positive depending on the 
relative impacts on fishing costs, landings and revenues. However, when 
compared to the area closure alternative, this alternative could have 
potentially low positive impacts, because instead of closures, it would 
require fishing with modified gear in those areas for at most two 
months in February and March and would still allow the vessels the 
option to fish in other areas or seasons if they choose not to modify 
their gear.
    The Council clarified that vessels with trawl gear are included, 
meaning they are not exempt from the AM. This could have low negative 
economic impacts on trawl vessels compared to No Action since they are 
unlikely to change their gear to fish in February and March in the 
event of an AM trigger.
    A trawl vessel could switch to dredge gear and fish with the 
modified gear during the AM season, but this may not be very likely for 
many trawl vessels, especially if the season is only for two months of 
the year. In FYs 2010 and 2011 about 5.6 percent of scallops were 
landed in February and another 5.6 percent in March by LAGC vessels 
that use a trawl, therefore, this option is likely to increase the 
costs due to the displacement with effort. Again, however, the net 
economic impacts will depend to what extent the fishing in seasons when 
meat weights are larger will outweigh or falls short of the costs 
associated with reduced flexibility due to a narrower fishing season.
8. SNE/MA Windowpane Flounder Proactive Gear Modification
    Under this action, all scallop dredge vessels (LA and LAGC) would 
only be able to fish with a maximum of seven rows of rings in the apron 
of their dredge in waters west of 71[deg] W Long., excluding the Mid-
Atlantic access areas to reduce the chance the fishery would exceed the 
sub-ACL. The current regulation is a minimum of seven rows of rings, so 
vessels are not able to fish with fewer than seven rows. Most scallop 
vessels already fish with seven rows of rings on the topside of the 
dredge bag, so they will not be affected by this measure. However, some 
vessels may want to fish with more rows in the apron of their dredge in 
harder bottoms (i.e. Great South Channel). Therefore, this proactive 
measure would be confined to SNE and the MA for now.
    If vessels decide to fish with fewer than seven rows (i.e. five 
rows as was tested in the gear modification study)

[[Page 26699]]

tow times may increase since shorter aprons are expected to catch fewer 
scallops. However, shorter aprons are expected to be more selective and 
retain fewer small scallops. If that is the case, then the impacts on 
scallop landings could be negligible if the composition of catch 
changes towards larger scallops.
    In short, this alternative could increase fishing costs for vessels 
that fish with more than seven rows of rings. However, given that this 
measure will affect only a subset of vessels and fishing in SNE and 
Mid-Atlantic, it likely would have low negative economic impacts on the 
participants of the scallop fishery. Over the long-term, compared to No 
Action, this measure could have potentially positive economic benefits 
on the resource if it enables vessels to reduce bycatch and reduce the 
likelihood that AMs are triggered.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: April 30, 2014.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 648--FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  648.10, paragraph (f)(4)(i) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  648.10  VMS and DAS requirements for vessel owners/operators.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (4) * * *. (i) The owner or operator of a limited access or LAGC 
IFQ vessel that fishes for, possesses, or retains scallops, and is not 
fishing under a NE Multispecies DAS or sector allocation, must submit 
reports through the VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided 
by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished, including open area 
trips, access area trips as described in Sec.  648.60(a)(9), and trips 
accompanied by a NMFS-approved observer. The reports must be submitted 
for each day (beginning at 0000 hr and ending at 2400 hr) and not later 
than 0900 hours of the following day. Such reports must include the 
following information:
    (A) FVTR serial number;
    (B) Date fish were caught;
    (C) Total pounds of scallop meats kept;
    (D) Total pounds of yellowtail flounder discarded; and
    (E) Total pounds of all other fish kept.
* * * * *
0
3. In Sec.  648.14:
0
a. Revise paragraphs (i)(1)(iii)(A)(3) introductory text, 
(i)(2)(ii)(B)(3), (i)(2)(ii)(B)(5), (i)(2)(ii)(B)(6), (i)(2)(ii)(B)(9);
0
b. Add paragraph (i)(2)(ix);
0
c. Remove and reserve paragraph (i)(4)(iii)(D);
    The additions and revisions to read as follows.


Sec.  648.14  Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (i) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (iii) * * *
    (A) * * *
    (3) In excess of 600 lb (272.2 kg) of shucked scallops at any time, 
75 bu (26.4 hL) of in-shell scallops per trip South of 42[deg]20' N. 
Lat. and shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line or 100 bu (35.2 hL) in-
shell scallops South of 42[deg]20' N. Lat. and seaward of the VMS 
Demarcation Line, unless:
* * * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) * * *
    (B) * * *
    (3) Fail to comply with the turtle deflector dredge vessel gear 
restrictions specified in Sec.  648.51(b)(5), and turtle dredge chain 
mat requirements in Sec.  223.206(d)(11) of this chapter.
* * * * *
    (5) Fish under the small dredge program specified in Sec.  
648.51(e) with more than five persons on board the vessel, including 
the operator, unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator 
or unless participating in the Area Access Program, with the exception 
of the Delmarva Access Area in from March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015, 
pursuant to the requirements specified in Sec.  648.60.
    (6) Participate in the DAS allocation program with more persons on 
board the vessel than the number specified in Sec.  648.51(c), 
including the operator, when the vessel is not docked or moored in 
port, unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator, or 
unless participating in the Area Access Program, with the exception of 
the Delmarva Access Area in from March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015, 
pursuant to the requirements specified in Sec.  648.60.
* * * * *
    (9) Fail to comply with the gear restrictions described in Sec.  
648.51.
* * * * *
    (ix) Fish for scallops west of 71[deg] W. long., outside of the Sea 
Scallop Access Areas, with gear that does not meet the specifications 
described in Sec.  648.65 during the period specified in the notice 
announcing the windowpane flounder accountability measure gear 
restricted area described in Sec.  648.65.
* * * * *
    (4) * * *
    (iii) * * *
    (D) [Reserved]
* * * * *
0
4. In Sec.  648.51, paragraph (b)(3)(iii) is removed, and paragraphs 
(b)(4)(iv), (b)(5)(ii)(A), (b)(5)(ii)(C), (c) introductory text, 
(c)(1), (c)(2), and (e)(3)(i), are revised to read as follows:


Sec.  648.51  Gear and crew restrictions.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (4) * * *
    (iv) Twine top restrictions. In addition to the minimum twine top 
mesh size specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section the following 
restrictions apply:
    (A) Vessels issued limited access scallop permits that are fishing 
for scallops under the DAS Program are also subject to the following 
restrictions:
    (1) If a vessel is rigged with more than one dredge, or if a vessel 
is rigged with only one dredge and such dredge is greater than 8 ft 
(2.4 m) in width, there must be at least seven rows of non-overlapping 
steel rings unobstructed by netting or any other material between the 
terminus of the dredge (club stick) and the net material on the top of 
the dredge (twine top).
    (2) If a vessel is rigged with only one dredge, and such dredge is 
less than 8 ft (2.4 m) in width, there must be at least four rows of 
non-overlapping steel rings unobstructed by netting or any other 
material between the club stick and the twine top of the dredge. (A 
copy of a diagram showing a schematic of a legal dredge with twine top 
is available from the Regional Administrator upon request)
    (B) Twine top restrictions in waters west of 71[deg] W long. as a 
proactive accountability measure. In addition to the minimum twine top 
mesh size specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, limited access 
and limited access general category IFQ vessels fishing for scallops 
outside of the Scallop Access Areas specified in Sec.  648.59, may not 
fish with a dredge having more than seven rows of non-overlapping steel 
rings unobstructed by netting or any other material between the 
terminus of the dredge (club stick) and the net material on the top of 
the dredge (twine top) (A copy of a diagram

[[Page 26700]]

showing a schematic of a legal dredge with twine top is available from 
the Regional Administrator upon request).
* * * * *
    (5) * * *
    (ii) * * * A) From May 1 through October 31, any limited access 
scallop vessel using a dredge, regardless of dredge size or vessel 
permit category, or any LAGC IFQ scallop vessel fishing with a dredge 
with a width of 10.5 ft (3.2 m) or greater, that is fishing for 
scallops in waters west of 71[deg] W long., from the shoreline to the 
outer boundary of the EEZ, must use a TDD. The TDD requires five 
modifications to the rigid dredge frame, as specified in paragraphs 
(b)(5)(ii)(A)(1) through (b)(5)(ii)(A)(5) of this section. See 
paragraph (b)(5)(ii)(D) of this section for more specific descriptions 
of the dredge elements mentioned below.
* * * * *
    (C) A vessels subject to the requirements in paragraph (b)(5)(ii) 
of this section transiting waters west of 71[deg] W. long., from the 
shoreline to the outer boundary of the EEZ, is exempted from the 
requirement to only possess and use TDDs, provided the dredge gear is 
stowed in accordance with Sec.  648.23(b) and not available for 
immediate use.
* * * * *
    (c) Crew restrictions. A full-time limited access vessel 
participating in or subject to the scallop DAS allocation program and a 
full-time limited access vessel fishing in the Delmarva Access Area 
from March 1, 2014, through February 28, 2015, may have no more than 
seven people aboard, including the operator, when not docked or moored 
in port, except as follows:
    (1) There is no restriction on the number of people on board for 
vessels participating in the Sea Scallop Area Access Program as 
specified in Sec.  648.60 other than the Delmarva Access Area.
    (2) A vessel participating in the small dredge program is 
restricted as specified in paragraph (e) of this section;
* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) There is no restriction on the number of people on board for 
vessels participating in the Sea Scallop Area Access Program as 
specified in Sec.  648.60 other than the Delmarva Access Area.
* * * * *
    5. In Sec.  648.53:
    (a) Revise paragraphs (a) introductory text, (a)(1), (a)(3), 
(a)(4)(i), (a)(4)(ii);
    (b) Revise (b)(1)(i) and (ii), (b)(4) introductory text;
    (c) Add (b)(4)(i);
    (d) Revise (g)(1) introductory text, (h)(2)(v)(A), and (h)(5)(i), 
(h)(5)(ii)(A), (h)(5)(iii), (h)(5)(iv) introductory text, 
(h)(5)(iv)(A), (h)(5)(iv)(D);
    The additions and revisions to read as follows:


Sec.  648.53  Acceptable biological catch (ABC), annual catch limits 
(ACL), annual catch targets (ACT), DAS allocations, and individual 
fishing quotas (IFQ).

    (a) Scallop fishery ABC. The ABC for the scallop fishery shall be 
established through the framework adjustment process specified in Sec.  
648.55 and is equal to the overall scallop fishery ACL. The ABC/ACL 
shall be divided as sub-ACLs between limited access vessels, limited 
access vessels that are fishing under a LAGC permit, and LAGC vessels 
as specified in paragraphs (a)(3) and (a)(4) of this section, after 
deducting the scallop incidental catch target TAC specified in 
paragraph (a)(2) of this section, observer set-aside specified in 
paragraph (g)(1) of this section, and research set-aside specified in 
Sec.  648.56(d). The ABC/ACL for the 2015 fishing year is subject to 
change through a future framework adjustment.
    (1) ABC/ACL for fishing years 2014 through 2015 shall be:
    (i) 2014: 20,782 mt (45,816,475 lb).
    (ii) 2015: 23,982 mt (52,871,269 lb).
* * * * *
    (3) Limited access fleet sub-ACL and ACT. The limited access 
scallop fishery shall be allocated 94.5 percent of the ACL specified in 
paragraph (a)(1) of this section, after deducting incidental catch, 
observer set-aside, and research set-aside, as specified in this 
paragraph (a). ACT for the limited access scallop fishery shall be 
established through the framework adjustment process described in Sec.  
648.55. DAS specified in paragraph (b) of this section shall be based 
on the ACTs specified in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section. The 
limited access fleet sub-ACL and ACT for the 2015 fishing year are 
subject to change through a future framework adjustment.
    (i) The limited access fishery sub-ACLs for fishing years 2014 and 
2015 are:
    (A) 2014: 18,885 mt (41,634,305 lb).
    (B) 2015: 21,879 mt (48,234,778 lb).
    (ii) The limited access fishery ACTs for fishing years 2014 and 
2015 are:
    (A) 2014: 15,567 mt (34,319,360 lb).
    (B) 2015: 16,540 mt (36,463,509 lb).
    (4) * * *
    (i) The ACLs for fishing years 2014 and 2015 for LAGC IFQ vessels 
without a limited access scallop permit are:
    (A) 2014: 999.2 mt (2,202,859 lb).
    (B) 2015: 1,158 mt (2,552,105 lb).
    (ii) The ACLs for fishing years 2014 and 2015 for vessels issued 
both a LAGC and a limited access scallop permits are:
    (A) 2014: 99.9 mt (220,286 lb).
    (B) 2015: 116 mt (255,210 lb).
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) 2014 fishing year: 2,581 lb/DAS (1,171 kg/DAS).
    (ii) 2015 fishing year: 2,590 lb/DAS (1,175 kg/DAS).
* * * * *
    (4) Each vessel qualifying for one of the three DAS categories 
specified in the table in this paragraph (b)(4) (full-time, part-time, 
or occasional) shall be allocated the maximum number of DAS for each 
fishing year it may participate in the open area limited access scallop 
fishery, according to its category, excluding carryover DAS in 
accordance with paragraph (d) of this section. DAS allocations shall be 
determined by distributing the portion of ACT specified in paragraph 
(a)(3)(ii) of this section, as reduced by access area allocations 
specified in Sec.  648.59, and dividing that amount among vessels in 
the form of DAS calculated by applying estimates of open area LPUE 
specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. Allocation for part-time 
and occasional scallop vessels shall be 40 percent and 8.33 percent of 
the full-time DAS allocations, respectively. The annual open area DAS 
allocations for each category of vessel for the fishing years indicated 
are as follows:

                    Scallop Open Area DAS Allocations
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Permit category                       2014    2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full-Time...............................................      31      17
Part-Time...............................................      12       7
Occasional..............................................       3       1
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (i) Additional DAS for Full-time limited access vessels that 
exchange a FY 2014 Delmarva Access Area trip. A vessel that exchanges a 
Delmarva Access Area trip for open area DAS, as specified in Sec.  
648.60(a)(3)(iii) shall be allocated 5 additional DAS in the 2014 
fishing year.
* * * * *
    (g)* * * . (1) To help defray the cost of carrying an observer, 1 
percent of the ABC/ACL specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section 
shall be set aside to be used by vessels that are assigned to take an 
at-sea observer on a trip. The total TAC for observer set aside is 208 
mt (458,562 lb) in fishing year 2014, and 240 mt (529,110lb) in fishing 
year 2015.
* * * * *
    (h) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (v) * * * (A) With the exception of vessels that held a 
confirmation of permit history as described in

[[Page 26701]]

Sec.  648.4(a)(2)(ii)(L) for the entire fishing year preceding the 
carry-over year, LAGC IFQ vessels that have unused IFQ on the last day 
of February of any year may carry over up to 15 percent of the vessel's 
original IFQ plus the total of IFQ transferred to such vessel minus the 
total IFQ transferred from such vessel (either temporary or permanent) 
IFQ into the next fishing year. For example, a vessel with a 10,000-lb 
(4,536-kg) IFQ and 5,000-lb (2,268-kg) of leased IFQ may carry over 
2,250 lb (1,020 kg) of IFQ (i.e., 15 percent of 15,000 lb (6,804 kg)) 
into the next fishing year if it landed 12,750 lb (5,783 kg) (i.e., 85 
percent of 15,000 lb (6,804 kg)) of scallops or less in the preceding 
fishing year. Using the same IFQ values from the example, if the vessel 
landed 14,000 lb (6,350 kg) of scallops, it could carry over 1,000 lb 
(454 kg) of scallops into the next fishing year.
* * * * *
    (5) * * * (i) Temporary IFQ transfers. Subject to the restrictions 
in paragraph (h)(5)(iii) of this section, the owner of an IFQ scallop 
vessel (and/or IFQ scallop permit in confirmation of permit history) 
not issued a limited access scallop permit may temporarily transfer 
(e.g. lease) its entire IFQ allocation, or a portion of its IFQ 
allocation, to another IFQ scallop vessel. Temporary IFQ transfers 
shall be effective only for the fishing year in which the temporary 
transfer is requested and processed. For the remainder of the 2013 
fishing year, IFQ, once temporarily transferred, cannot be temporarily 
transferred again to another vessel. Beginning on March 1, 2014, IFQ 
can be temporarily transferred more than once (i.e., re-transferred). 
For example, if a vessel temporarily transfers IFQ to a vessel, the 
transferee vessel may re-transfer any portion of that IFQ to another 
vessel. There is no limit on how many times IFQ can be re-transferred 
in a fishing year after March 1, 2014. The Regional Administrator has 
final approval authority for all temporary IFQ transfer requests.
    (ii) * * * (A) Subject to the restrictions in paragraph (h)(5)(iii) 
of this section, the owner of an IFQ scallop vessel (and/or IFQ scallop 
permit in confirmation of permit history) not issued a limited access 
scallop permit may transfer IFQ permanently to or from another IFQ 
scallop vessel. Any such transfer cannot be limited in duration and is 
permanent as to the transferee, unless the IFQ is subsequently 
permanently transferred to another IFQ scallop vessel. For the 
remainder of the 2013 fishing year, IFQ permanently transferred to a 
vessel during the 2013 fishing year may then be temporarily transferred 
(i.e., leased) to another vessel(s) in any amount not to exceed the 
original permanent transfer. IFQ may be permanently transferred to a 
vessel and then be re-transferred (temporarily transferred (i.e., 
leased) or permanently transferred) by such vessel to another vessel in 
the same fishing year. There is no limit on how many times IFQ can be 
re-transferred in a fishing year after March 1, 2014.
* * * * *
    (iii) IFQ transfer restrictions. The owner of an IFQ scallop vessel 
(and/or IFQ scallop permit in confirmation of permit history) not 
issued a limited access scallop permit may transfer that vessel's IFQ 
to another IFQ scallop vessel, regardless of whether or not the vessel 
has fished under its IFQ in the same fishing year. Requests for IFQ 
transfers cannot be less than 100 lb (46.4 kg), unless that the 
transfer reflects the total IFQ amount remaining on the transferor's 
vessel, or the entire IFQ allocation. IFQ may be temporarily or 
permanently transferred to a vessel and then temporarily re-transferred 
(i.e., leased) or permanently re-transferred by such vessel to another 
vessel in the same fishing year. There is no restriction on how many 
times IFQ can be re-transferred. A transfer of an IFQ may not result in 
the sum of the IFQs on the receiving vessel exceeding 2.5 percent of 
the ACL allocated to IFQ scallop vessels. A transfer of an IFQ, whether 
temporary or permanent, may not result in the transferee having a total 
ownership of, or interest in, general category scallop allocation that 
exceeds 5 percent of the ACL allocated to IFQ scallop vessels. Limited 
access scallop vessels that are also issued an IFQ scallop permit may 
not transfer to or receive IFQ from another IFQ scallop vessel.
    (iv) Application for an IFQ transfer. The owners of vessels 
applying for a transfer of IFQ must submit a completed application form 
obtained from the Regional Administrator. The application must be 
signed by both parties (transferor and transferee) involved in the 
transfer of the IFQ, and must be submitted to the NMFS Northeast 
Regional Office at least 30 days before the date on which the 
applicants desire to have the IFQ effective on the receiving vessel. 
The Regional Administrator shall notify the applicants of any 
deficiency in the application pursuant to this section. Applications 
may be submitted at any time during the scallop fishing year, 
regardless of whether or not the vessel has fished under its IFQ in the 
same fishing year. Applications for temporary transfers received less 
than 45 days prior to the end of the fishing year may not be processed 
in time for a vessel to utilize the transferred IFQ, if approved, prior 
to the expiration of the fishing year.
    (A) Application information requirements. An application to 
transfer IFQ must contain at least the following information: 
Transferor's name, vessel name, permit number, and official number or 
state registration number; transferee's name, vessel name, permit 
number, and official number or state registration number; total price 
paid for purchased IFQ; signatures of transferor and transferee; and 
date the form was completed. In addition, applications to transfer IFQ 
must indicate the amount, in pounds, of the IFQ allocation transfer. 
Information obtained from the transfer application will be held 
confidential, and will be used only in summarized form for management 
of the fishery. If the applicants are requesting a transfer of IFQ that 
has already been transferred in a given fishing year, both parties must 
be up-to-date with all data reporting requirements (e.g., all necessary 
VMS catch reports, VTR, and dealer data must be submitted) in order for 
the application to be processed.
* * * * *
    (D) If an LAGC IFQ vessel transfers (i.e., temporary lease or 
permanent transfer) all of its allocation to other IFQ vessels prior to 
Framework 25's implementation (i.e., transfers more than what it is 
allocated for fishing year 2014 pursuant to the implantation of 
Framework 25), the vessel(s) to which the scallops were transferred 
(i.e., the transferee) shall receive a pound-for-pound deduction in 
fishing year 2014 equal to the difference between the amount of 
scallops transferred and the amount allocated to the transferring 
vessel for 2014 pursuant to Framework 25. The vessel that transferred 
the scallops shall not be assessed this deduction. For example, Vessel 
A is allocated 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of scallops at the start of fishing 
year 2014, but would receive 3,500 lb (1,588 kg) of scallops once 
Framework 25 is implemented. If Vessel A transfers its full March 1, 
2014, allocation of 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) to Vessel B prior to Framework 
25's implementation, Vessel B would lose 1,500 lb (680 kg) of that 
transfer once Framework 25 is implemented. In situations where a vessel 
leases out its IFQ to multiple vessels, the deduction of the difference 
between the original amount of scallops allocated and the amount 
allocated pursuant to Framework 25 shall begin to

[[Page 26702]]

apply only to the transfer(s) that exceed the original allocation. 
Using the example above, if Vessel A first leases 3,000 lb (1,361 kg) 
of scallops to Vessel B and then leases 2,000 lb (907 kg) of scallops 
to Vessel C, only Vessel C would have to pay back IFQ in excess of 
Vessel A's ultimate fishing year 2014 allocation (i.e., Vessel C would 
have to give up 1,500 lb (680 kg) of that quota because Vessel A 
ultimately only had 500 lb (227 kg) of IFQ to lease out). If a vessel 
has already fished its leased-in quota in excess of the amount 
ultimately allocated pursuant to Framework 25, the vessel must either 
lease in more quota to make up for that overage during fishing year 
2014, or the overage, along with any other overages incurred in fishing 
year 2014, shall be deducted from its fishing year 2015 IFQ allocation 
as part of the individual AM applied to the LAGC IFQ fleet, as 
specified in paragraph (h)(2)(vi) of this section.
0
6. In Sec.  648.55, paragraph (d) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  648.55  Framework adjustments to management measures.

* * * * *
    (d) Yellowtail flounder and windowpane flounder sub-ACLs. The 
Council shall specify the yellowtail flounder and windowpane flounder 
sub-ACLs allocated to the scallop fishery through the framework 
adjustment process specified in Sec.  648.90.
* * * * *
0
7. Section 648.57 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  648.57  Sea scallop area rotation program.

    An area rotation program is established for the scallop fishery, 
which may include areas closed to scallop fishing defined in Sec.  
648.58, and/or Sea Scallop Access Areas defined in Sec.  648.59, 
subject to the Sea Scallop Area Access program requirements specified 
in Sec.  648.60. Areas not defined as Rotational Closed Areas, Sea 
Scallop Access Areas, EFH Closed Areas, or areas closed to scallop 
fishing under other FMPs, are open to scallop fishing as governed by 
the other management measures and restrictions in this part. The 
Council's development of area rotation programs is subject to the 
framework adjustment process specified in Sec.  648.55, including the 
Area Rotation Program factors included in Sec.  648.55(a). The 
percentage of the total allowable catch for each Sea Scallop Access 
Area that is allocated to limited access scallop vessels and limited 
access general category scallop vessels shall be through the framework 
adjustment process specified in Sec.  648.55.
0
8. In Sec.  648.58 paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  648.58  Rotational Closed Areas.

* * * * *
    (b) Hudson Canyon Closed Area. No vessel may fish for scallops in, 
or possess or land scallops from, the area known as the Hudson Canyon 
Closed Area. No vessel may possess scallops in the Hudson Canyon Closed 
Area, unless such vessel is only transiting the area as provided in 
paragraph (c) of this section. The Hudson Canyon Closed Area is defined 
by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated 
(copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional 
Administrator upon request):

 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                     Latitude           Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
H1...............................  39[deg]30' N        73[deg]10' W
H2...............................  39[deg]30' N        72[deg]30' W
H3...............................  38[deg]30' N        73[deg]30' W
H4...............................  38[deg]50' N        73[deg]30' W
H5...............................  38[deg]50' N        73[deg]42' W
H1...............................  39[deg]30' N        73[deg]10' W
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
0
9. In Sec.  648.59, paragraphs (b), (c), (d), and (e) are revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  648.59  Sea Scallop Access Areas.

* * * * *
    (b) Closed Area I Access Area--(1) From March 1, 2014, through 
February 29, 2016 (i.e., fishing year 2014 and 2015), vessels issued 
scallop permits may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from, 
the area known as the Closed Area I Access Area, described in paragraph 
(b)(3) of this section, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of 
this section. Vessels issued both a NE Multispecies permit and an LAGC 
scallop permit may fish in an approved SAP under Sec.  648.85 and under 
multispecies DAS in the scallop access area, provided they comply with 
restrictions in paragraph (b)(5)(ii)(C) of this section.
    (2) [Reserved]
    (3) The Closed Area I Access Area is defined by straight lines 
connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a chart 
depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon 
request), and so that the line connecting points CAIA3 and CAIA4 is the 
same as the portion of the western boundary line of Closed Area I, 
defined in Sec.  648.81(a)(1), that lies between points CAIA3 and 
CAIA4:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Point                           Latitude                   Longitude                 Note
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CAIA1.................................  41[deg]26' N                68[deg]30' W               .................
CAIA2.................................  40[deg]58' N                68[deg]30' W               .................
CAIA3.................................  40[deg]54.95' N             68[deg]53.37' W            (\1\)
CAIA4.................................  41[deg]04.32' N             69[deg]01.27' W            (\1\)
CAIA1.................................  41[deg]26' N                68[deg]30' W               .................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ From Point CAIA3 to Point CAIA4 along the western boundary of Closed Area I, defined in Sec.   648.81(a)(1).

    (4) [Reserved]
    (c) Closed Area II Access Area--(1) From March 1, 2014, through 
February 28, 2015 (i.e., fishing year 2014), subject to the seasonal 
restrictions specified in paragraph (c)(4) of this section, a vessel 
issued a scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in 
or from the area known as the Closed Area II Sea Scallop Access Area, 
described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, unless the vessel is 
participating in, and complies with the requirements of, the area 
access program described in Sec.  648.60.
    (2) From March 1, 2015, through February 29, 2016 (i.e., fishing 
year 2015), unless fishing a 2014 fishing year compensation trip, as 
specified in Sec.  648.60(c)(5)(v), a vessel issued scallop permit may 
not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from, the area known as 
the Closed Area II Access Area, described in paragraph (c)(3) of this 
section, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, a 
vessel issued both a NE Multispecies permit and an LAGC scallop permit 
may not fish in an approved SAP under Sec.  648.85 and under 
multispecies DAS in the scallop access area, unless it complies with 
restrictions in paragraph (c)(5)(ii)(C) of this section.
    (3) The Closed Area II Sea Scallop Access Area is defined by 
straight lines, except where noted, connecting the

[[Page 26703]]

following points in the order stated (copies of a chart depicting this 
area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Point                           Latitude                   Longitude                 Note
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CAIIA1................................  41[deg]00' N                67[deg]20' W               .................
CAIIA2................................  41[deg]00' N                66[deg]35.8' W             .................
CAIIA3................................  41[deg]18.6' N              (\1\)                      (\2\)
CAIIA4................................  41[deg]30' N                (\3\)                      (\2\)
CAIIA5................................  41[deg]30' N                67[deg]20' W               .................
CAIIA1................................  41[deg]00' N                67[deg]20' W               .................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The intersection of 41[deg]18.6 N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41[deg]18.6' N
  lat. and 66[deg]25.01' W long.
\2\ From Point CAIIA3 connected to Point CAIIA4 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.
\3\ The intersection of 41[deg]30' N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41[deg]30' N
  lat., 66[deg]34.73' W long.

    (4) Season. A vessel issued a scallop permit may not fish for, 
possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as the Closed Area 
II Sea Scallop Access Area, described in paragraph (c)(3) of this 
section, during the period of August 15 through November 15 of each 
year the Closed Area II Access Area is open to scallop vessels, unless 
transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.
    (d) Nantucket Lightship Access Area --(1) From March 1, 2014, 
through February 28, 2015 (i.e., fishing year 2014), a vessel issued a 
scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from 
the area known as the Nantucket Lightship Sea Scallop Access Area, 
described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section, unless the vessel is 
participating in, and complies with the requirements of, the area 
access program described in Sec.  648.60.
    (2) From March 1, 2015, through February 29, 2016 (i.e., fishing 
year 2015), unless fishing a 2014 fishing year compensation trip, as 
specified in Sec.  648.60(c)(5)(v), a vessel issued scallop permits may 
not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as 
the Nantucket Lightship Access Area, described in paragraph (d)(3) of 
this section, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this 
section. A vessel issued both a NE multispecies permit and an LAGC 
scallop permit may not fish in an approved SAP under Sec.  648.85 and 
under multispecies DAS in the scallop access area, unless it complies 
with restrictions in paragraph (d)(5)(ii)(C) of this section.
    (3) The Nantucket Lightship Sea Scallop Access Area is defined by 
straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated 
(copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional 
Administrator upon request):

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                     Latitude           Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NLAA1............................  40[deg]50' N        69[deg]30' W
NLAA2............................  40[deg]50' N        69[deg]00' W
NLAA3............................  40[deg]20' N        69[deg]00' W
NLAA4............................  40[deg]20' N        69[deg]30' W
NLAA1............................  40[deg]50' N        69[deg]30' W
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (4) [Reserved]
    (e) Delmarva Sea Scallop Access Area. (1) Beginning upon the 
effective date of Framework 25 and for 90 days following that effective 
date, a vessel issued a scallop permit may not fish for, possess, or 
land scallops in or from the area known as the Delmarva Sea Scallop 
Access Area, described in paragraph (e)(3) of this section, unless the 
vessel is participating in, and complies with the requirements of, the 
area access program described in Sec.  648.60.
    (2) From March 1, 2015, through February 29, 2016 (i.e., fishing 
year 2015), unless fishing a 2014 fishing year compensation trip, as 
specified in Sec.  648.60(c)(5)(v), a vessel issued scallop permits may 
not fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the area known as 
the Hudson Canyon Access Area, described in paragraph (e)(3) of this 
section, unless transiting pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.
    (3) The Delmarva Sea Scallop Access Area is defined by straight 
lines connecting the following points in the order stated (copies of a 
chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator 
upon request):

------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                     Latitude           Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
DMV1.............................  38[deg]10' N        74[deg]50' W
DMV2.............................  38[deg]10' N        74[deg]00' W
DMV3.............................  37[deg]15' N        74[deg]00' W
DMV4.............................  37[deg]15' N        74[deg]50' W
DMV1.............................  38[deg]10' N        74[deg]50' W
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
0
10. In Sec.  648.60:
0
(a) Revise paragraphs (a) introductory text, (a)(3)(i), (a)(5)(i);
0
(b) Add paragraph (a)(3)(iii);
0
(c) Revise paragraphs (c)(5)(ii), (c)(5)(v), (e), and (g);
    The additions and revisions to read as follows:


Sec.  648.60  Sea Scallop access area program requirements.

    (a) A limited access scallop vessel may only fish in the Sea 
Scallop Access Areas specified in Sec.  648.59, subject to the seasonal 
restrictions specified in Sec.  648.59, provided the vessel complies 
with the requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(9), 
and (b) through (f) of this section. An LAGC scallop vessel may fish in 
the Sea Scallop Access Areas specified in Sec.  648.59, subject to the 
seasonal restrictions specified in Sec.  648.59, provided the vessel 
complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (g) of this 
section.
* * * * *
    (3) * * * (i) Limited access vessel trips. (A) Except as provided 
in paragraph (c) of this section, paragraphs (a)(3)(i)(B) through (E) 
of this section specify the total number of trips that a limited access 
scallop vessel may take into Sea Scallop Access Areas during applicable 
seasons specified in Sec.  648.59. The number of trips per vessel in 
any one Sea Scallop Access Area may not exceed the maximum number of 
trips allocated for such Sea Scallop Access Area, unless the vessel 
owner has exchanged a trip with another vessel owner for an additional 
Sea Scallop Access Area trip, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of 
this section, or has been allocated a compensation trip pursuant to 
paragraph (c) of this section. No access area trips are allocated for 
fishing year 2015.
    (B) Full-time scallop vessels. In fishing year 2014, each full-time 
vessel shall have a total of two access area trips, including one trip 
in the Delmarva Access Area and one trip in either Closed Area II 
Access Area or the Nantucket Lightship Access Area. These allocations 
shall be determined by the Regional Administrator through a random 
assignment and shall be made publically available on the NMFS Northeast 
Region Web site prior to the start of the 2014 fishing year.

[[Page 26704]]

    (C) Part-time scallop vessels. (1) For the 2014 fishing year, a 
part-time scallop may take one trip in the Closed Area II Access Area, 
or one trip in the Nantucket Lightship Access Area, or one trip in the 
Delmarva Access Area.
    (2) For the 2015 fishing year, part-time scallop vessels shall not 
receive access area trip allocations.
    (D) Occasional scallop vessels. For the 2014 fishing year, an 
occasional scallop vessel may take one trip in the Closed Area II 
Access Area, or one trip in the Nantucket Lightship Access Area, or one 
trip in the Delmarva Access Area.
* * * * *
    (iii) Delmarva Access Area Trip Exchange for open area DAS. From 
March 1, 2014, to February 28, 2015, (i.e., fishing year 2014) Full-
Time Limited Access Scallop vessels may exchange a single Delmarva 
Access Area trip for 5 additional open area DAS, as specified in Sec.  
648.53(b)(4)(i). A vessel may not exchange more than one Delmarva 
Access Area trip for five DAS. For example, a vessel's initially issued 
31 DAS and 2 Scallop Access Area trips, one in the Delmarva Access Area 
and one in the Nantucket Lightship Access Area, that exchanges its 
Nantucket Lightship Access Area trip for another Delmarva Access Area 
trip may only exchange one Delmarva Access Area trip for an additional 
five DAS.
* * * * *
    (5) * * * (i) Scallop possession limits. Unless authorized by the 
Regional Administrator, as specified in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this 
section, after declaring a trip into a Sea Scallop Access Area, a 
vessel owner or operator of a limited access scallop vessel may fish 
for, possess, and land, per trip, scallops, up to the maximum amounts 
specified in the table in this paragraph (a)(5). No vessel declared 
into the Access Areas as described in Sec.  648.59(a) through (e) may 
possess more than 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops outside of the 
Access Areas described in Sec.  648.59(a) through (e).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Permit category possession limit
           Fishing year            -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                          Full-time              Part-time                  Occasional
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014..............................  12,000 lb (5,443 kg).  9,600 lb (4,354 kg).  2,000 lb (907 kg).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (5) * * *
    (ii) If a vessel is authorized more than one additional 
compensation trip into any Sea Scallop Access Area as the result of 
more than one terminated trip in the same Access Area, the possession 
limits for the authorized trips may be combined, provided the total 
possession limit on a combined additional compensation trip does not 
exceed the possession limit for a trip as specified in paragraph (a)(5) 
of this section. For example, if the possession limit for a full-time 
vessel is 18,000 lb (8,165 kg) per trip, a full-time vessel that has 
two broken trips with corresponding additional compensation trip 
authorizations of 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) and 8,000 lb (3,629 kg) may 
combine the authorizations to allow one compensation trip with a 
possession limit of 18,000 lb (8,165 kg).
* * * * *
    (v) Additional compensation trip carryover. Unless otherwise 
specified in Sec.  648.59, if an Access Area trip conducted during the 
last 60 days of the open period or season for the Access Area is 
terminated before catching the allowed possession limit, and the 
requirements of paragraph (c) of this section are met, the vessel 
operator shall be authorized to fish an additional trip as compensation 
for the terminated trip in the following fishing year. The vessel 
owner/operator must take such additional compensation trips, complying 
with the trip notification procedures specified in paragraph 
(a)(2)(iii) of this section, within the first 60 days of that fishing 
year the Access Area first opens in the subsequent fishing year. For 
example, a vessel that terminates an Delmarva Access Area trip on 
December 29, 2011, must declare that it is beginning its additional 
compensation trip during the first 60 days that the Delmarva Access 
Area is open (March 1, 2012, through April 29, 2012). If an Access Area 
is not open in the subsequent fishing year, then the additional 
compensation trip authorization would expire at the end of the Access 
Area Season in which the trip was broken. For example, a vessel that 
terminates a Closed Area I trip on December 10, 2012, may not carry its 
additional compensation trip into the 2013 fishing year because Closed 
Area I is not open during the 2013 fishing year, and must complete any 
compensation trip by January 31, 2013.
* * * * *
    (e) Sea Scallop Research Set-Aside Harvest in Access Areas--(1) 
Access Areas available for harvest of research set-aside (RSA). Unless 
otherwise specified, RSA may be harvested in any access area that is 
open in a given fishing year, as specified through a framework 
adjustment and pursuant to Sec.  648.56. The amount of pounds that can 
be harvested in each access area by vessels participating in approved 
RSA projects shall be determined through the RSA application review and 
approval process. The access areas open for RSA harvest for fishing 
years 2014 and 2015 are:
    (i) 2014: Closed Area II Access Area
    (ii) 2015: None.
    (2) [Reserved]
* * * * *
    (g) Limited Access General Category Vessels. (1) An LAGC scallop 
vessel may only fish in the scallop access areas specified in Sec.  
648.59(a) through (e), subject to the seasonal restrictions specified 
in Sec.  648.59(b)(4), (c)(4), and (d)(4), and subject to the 
possession limit specified in Sec.  648.52(a), and provided the vessel 
complies with the requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), 
(a)(6) through (9), (d), (e), (f), and (g) of this section. A vessel 
issued both a NE multispecies permit and an LAGC scallop permit may 
fish in an approved SAP under Sec.  648.85 and under multispecies DAS 
in the Closed Area I, Closed Area II, and Nantucket Lightship Sea 
Scallop Access Areas specified in Sec.  648.59(b) through (d), provided 
the vessel complies with the requirements specified in Sec.  
648.59(b)(5)(ii), (c)(5)(ii), and (d)(5)(ii), and this paragraph (g), 
but may not fish for, possess, or land scallops on such trips.
    (2) Limited Access General Category Gear restrictions. An LAGC IFQ 
scallop vessel authorized to fish in the Access Areas specified in 
Sec.  648.59(a) through (e) must fish with dredge gear only. The 
combined dredge width in use by, or in possession on board of, an LAGC 
scallop vessel fishing in Closed Area I, Closed Area II, and Nantucket 
Lightship Access Areas may not exceed 10.5 ft (3.2 m). The combined 
dredge width in use by, or in possession on board of, an LAGC scallop 
vessel fishing in the remaining Access Areas described in Sec.  648.59 
may not exceed 31 ft (9.4 m). Dredge width is measured at the widest 
point in the bail of the dredge.

[[Page 26705]]

    (3) LAGC IFQ Access Area Trips.--(i) An LAGC scallop vessel 
authorized to fish in the Access Areas specified in Sec.  648.59(a) 
through (e) may land scallops, subject to the possession limit 
specified in Sec.  648.52(a), unless the Regional Administrator has 
issued a notice that the number of LAGC IFQ access area trips have been 
or are projected to be taken. The total number of LAGC IFQ trips in a 
specified Access Area for fishing year 2014 and 2015 are:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Access Area                         2014    2015
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hudson Canyon...........................................       0       0
Delmarva................................................     516       0
Elephant Trunk..........................................       0       0
Closed Area 1...........................................       0       0
Closed Area 2...........................................       0       0
Nantucket Lightship.....................................     241       0
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ii) Scallops landed by each LAGC IFQ vessel on an access area trip 
shall count against the vessel's IFQ.
    (iii) Upon a determination from the Regional Administrator that the 
total number of LAGC IFQ trips in a specified Access Area have been or 
are projected to be taken, the Regional Administrator shall publish 
notification of this determination in the Federal Register, in 
accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Once this 
determination has been made, an LAGC IFQ scallop vessel may not fish 
for, possess, or land scallops in or from the specified Access Area 
after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal 
Register.
    (4) Possession Limits--(i) Scallops. A vessel issued a NE 
multispecies permit and a general category scallop permit that is 
fishing in an approved SAP under Sec.  648.85 under multispecies DAS, 
and that has not enrolled in the LAGC Access Area fishery, is 
prohibited from possessing scallops. An LAGC scallop vessel authorized 
to fish in the Access Areas specified in Sec.  648.59(a) through (e) 
may possess scallops up to the possession limit specified in Sec.  
648.52(a).
    (ii) Other species. Unless issued an LAGC scallop permit and 
fishing under an approved NE multispecies SAP under NE multispecies 
DAS, an LAGC IFQ vessel fishing in the Access Areas specified in Sec.  
648.59(b) through (d) is prohibited from possessing any species of fish 
other than scallops and monkfish, as specified in Sec.  
648.94(c)(8)(i).
0
11. Section 648.61 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  648.61  EFH closed areas.

    (a) No vessel fishing for scallops, or person on a vessel fishing 
for scallops, may enter, fish in, or be in the EFH Closure Areas 
described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (6) of this section, unless 
otherwise specified. A chart depicting these areas is available from 
the Regional Administrator upon request.
    (1) Western GOM Habitat Closure Area. The restrictions specified in 
this paragraph (a) apply to the Western GOM Habitat Closure Area, which 
is the area bounded by straight lines connecting the following points 
in the order stated:

                    Western GOM Habitat Closure Area
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                     Latitude           Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
WGM1.............................  43[deg]15' N        70[deg]15' W
WGM2.............................  42[deg]15' N        70[deg]15' W
WGM3.............................  42[deg]15' N        70[deg]00' W
WGM4.............................  43[deg]15' N        70[deg]00' W
WGM1.............................  43[deg]15' N        70[deg]15' W
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) Cashes Ledge Habitat Closure Area. The restrictions specified 
in paragraph (a) of this section apply to the Cashes Ledge Habitat 
Closure Area, which is the area bounded by straight lines connecting 
the following points in the order stated:

                    Cashes Ledge Habitat Closure Area
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                     Latitude           Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
CLH1.............................  43[deg]01' N        69[deg]03' W
CLH2.............................  43[deg]01' N        68[deg]52' W
CLH3.............................  42[deg]45' N        68[deg]52' W
CLH4.............................  42[deg]45' N        69[deg]03' W
CLH1.............................  43[deg]01' N        69[deg]03' W
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (3) Jeffrey's Bank Habitat Closure Area. The restrictions specified 
in paragraph (a) of this section apply to the Jeffrey's Bank Habitat 
Closure Area, which is the area bounded by straight lines connecting 
the following points in the order stated:

                   Jeffrey's Bank Habitat Closure Area
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Point                     Latitude           Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
JB1..............................  43[deg]40' N        68[deg]50' W
JB2..............................  43[deg]40' N        68[deg]40' W
JB3..............................  43[deg]20' N        68[deg]40' W
JB4..............................  43[deg]20' N        68[deg]50' W
JB1..............................  43[deg]40' N        68[deg]50' W
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (4) Closed Area I Habitat Closure Areas. The restrictions specified 
in paragraph (a) of this section apply to the Closed Area I Habitat 
Closure Areas, Closed Area I--North and Closed Area I--South, which are 
the areas bounded by straight lines connecting the following points in 
the order stated, and so that the line connecting points CI1 CIH2 and 
CI1CIH1, and CI2 and CIH3 is the same as the portion of the western 
boundary line of Closed Area I, defined in Sec.  648.81(a)(1), that 
lies between those points:

                                    Closed Area I--North Habitat Closure Area
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Point                           Latitude                   Longitude                 Note
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CI1...................................  41[deg]30' N                69[deg]23' W               .................
CI4...................................  41[deg]30' N                68[deg]30' W               .................
CIH1..................................  41[deg]26' N                68[deg]30' W               .................
CIH2..................................  41[deg]04.32' N             69[deg]01.27' W            (\1\)
CI1...................................  41[deg]30' N                69[deg]23' W               (\1\)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ From Point CI2 back to Point CIH3 along the western boundary of Closed Area I, defined in Sec.
  648.81(a)(1).


                                    Closed Area I--South Habitat Closure Area
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Point                           Latitude                   Longitude                 Note
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CIH3..................................  40[deg]54.95' N             68[deg]53.37' W            .................
CIH4..................................  40[deg]58' N                68[deg]30' W               .................
CI3...................................  40[deg]45' N                68[deg]30' W               .................
CI2...................................  40[deg]45' N                68[deg]45' W               (\1\)
CIH3..................................  40[deg]54.95' N             68[deg]53.37' W            (\1\)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ From Point CI2 back to Point CIH3 along the western boundary of Closed Area I, defined in Sec.
  648.81(a)(1).


[[Page 26706]]

    (5) Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area. The restrictions specified 
in this paragraph (a) apply to the Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area 
(also referred to as the Habitat Area of Particular Concern), which is 
the area bounded by straight lines, except where noted, connecting the 
following points in the order stated:

                                       Closed Area II Habitat Closure Area
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Point                           Latitude                   Longitude                 Note
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CIIH1.................................  42[deg]10' N                67[deg]20' W               .................
CIIH2.................................  42[deg]10' N                (\1\)                      (\2\)
CIIH3.................................  42[deg]00' N                (\3\)                      (\2\)
CIIH4.................................  42[deg]00' N                67[deg]10' W               .................
CIIH5.................................  41[deg]50' N                67[deg]10' W               .................
CIIH6.................................  41[deg]50' N                67[deg]20' W               .................
CIIH1.................................  42[deg]10' N                67[deg]20' W               .................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The intersection of 42[deg]10' N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 42[deg]10' N lat.
  and 67[deg]9.38' W long.
\2\ From Point CIIH2 connected to Point CIIH3 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.
\3\ The intersection of 42[deg]00' N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 42[deg]00' N lat.
  and 67[deg]0.63' W long.

    (6) Nantucket Lightship Habitat Closure Area. The restrictions 
specified in paragraph (a) of this section apply to the Nantucket 
Lightship Habitat Closure Area, which is the area bounded by straight 
lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

                 Nantucket Lightship Habitat Closed Area
------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Point                     Latitude            Longitude
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NLH1...........................  41[deg]10' N         70[deg]00' W
NLH2...........................  41[deg]10' N         69[deg]50' W
NLH3...........................  40[deg]50' N         69[deg]30' W
NLH4...........................  40[deg]20' N         69[deg]30' W
NLH5...........................  40[deg]20' N         70[deg]00' W
NLH1...........................  41[deg]10' N         70[deg]00' W
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) Transiting. A vessel may transit the EFH Closure Areas as 
defined in paragraphs (a)(1) through (6) of this section, unless 
otherwise restricted, provided that its gear is stowed in accordance 
with the provisions of Sec.  648.23(b). A vessel may transit the CAII 
EFH closed area, as defined in paragraph (a)(5) of this section, 
provided there is a compelling safety reason to enter the area and all 
gear is stowed in accordance with the provisions of Sec.  648.23(b).
0
12. In Sec.  648.64, paragraphs (a), (b)(1), (c)(1)(i), (c)(2)(ii), 
(c)(2)(iii), and (c)(2)(iv) are revised to read as follows:


Sec.  648.64  Yellowtail flounder sub-ACLs and AMs for the scallop 
fishery.

    (a) As specified in Sec.  648.55(d), and pursuant to the biennial 
framework adjustment process specified in Sec.  648.90, the scallop 
fishery shall be allocated a sub-ACL for the Georges Bank and Southern 
New England/Mid-Atlantic stocks of yellowtail flounder. The sub-ACLs 
for the 2014 fishing year are specified in Sec.  648.90(a)(4)(iii)(C) 
of the NE multispecies regulations.
    (b) Georges Bank accountability measure. (1) Unless otherwise 
specified in Sec.  648.90(a)(5)(iv) of the NE multispecies regulations, 
if the Georges Bank yellowtail flounder sub-ACL for the scallop fishery 
is exceeded, the area defined by the following coordinates, bounded in 
the order stated by straight lines except where noted, shall be closed 
to scallop fishing by vessels issued a limited access scallop permit 
for the period of time specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section:

                             Georges Bank Yellowtail Accountability Measure Closure
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Point                           Latitude                   Longitude                 Note
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GBYT AM 1.............................  41[deg]50' N                (\1\)                      (\2\)
GBYT AM 2.............................  40[deg]30' N                (\3\)                      (\2\)
GBYT AM 3.............................  40[deg]30' N                66[deg]40' W
GBYT AM 4.............................  40[deg]40' N                66[deg]40' W
GBYT AM 5.............................  40[deg]40' N                66[deg]50' W
GBYT AM 6.............................  40[deg]50' N                66[deg]50' W
GBYT AM 7.............................  40[deg]50' N                67[deg]00' W
GBYT AM 8.............................  41[deg]00' N                67[deg]00' W
GBYT AM 9.............................  41[deg]00' N                67[deg]20' W
GBYT AM 10............................  41[deg]10' N                67[deg]20' W
GBYT AM 11............................  41[deg]10' N                67[deg]40' W
GBYT AM 12............................  41[deg]50' N                67[deg]40' W
GBYT AM 1.............................  41[deg]50' N                (\1\)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The intersection of 41[deg]50' N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 41[deg]50' N
  lat., 66[deg]51.94' W long.
\2\ From Point GBYT AM 1 connected to Point GBYT AM 2 along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.
\3\ The intersection of 40[deg]30' N lat. and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximately 40[deg]30' N lat.
  and 65[deg]44.34' W long.

* * * * *
    (c) Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic accountability measures. (1) 
Limited access scallop vessels. (i) Unless otherwise specified in Sec.  
648.90(a)(5)(iv) of the NE multispecies regulations, if the Southern 
New England/Mid-Atlantic yellowtail flounder sub-ACL for the scallop 
fishery is exceeded, the following area shall be closed to scallop 
fishing by vessels issued a limited access scallop permit for the 
period of time specified in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section. The 
Southern New England Yellowtail Accountability Measure Closure Area for 
Limited Access Scallop Vessels is comprised of Northeast Region 
Statistical Areas 537, 539 and 613, and is 
defined by the following coordinates, connected in the order

[[Page 26707]]

listed by straight lines, unless otherwise noted:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Point                           Latitude                   Longitude                 Note
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LA SNEYT AM A.........................  (\1\)                       73[deg]00' W
LA SNEYT AM B.........................  40[deg]00' N                73[deg]00' W
LA SNEYT AM C.........................  40[deg]00' N                71[deg]40' W
LA SNEYT AM D.........................  39[deg]50' N                71[deg]40' W
LA SNEYT AM E.........................  39[deg]50' N                70[deg]00' W
LA SNEYT AM F.........................  (\2\)                       70[deg]00' W               (\3\)
LA SNEYT AM G.........................  41[deg]16.76' N             70[deg]13.47' W            (\3\) (\4\)
LA SNEYT AM H.........................  41[deg]18.01' N             70[deg]15.47' W            (\5\)
LA SNEYT AM I.........................  41[deg]20.26' N             70[deg]18.30' W            (\6\)
LA SNEYT AM J.........................  41[deg]21.09' N             70[deg]27.03' W            (\7\) (\8\)
LA SNEYT AM K.........................  41[deg]20' N                (\9\)                      (\8\)
LA SNEYT AM L.........................  41[deg]20' N                71[deg]10' W
LA SNEYT AM M.........................  (\10\)                      71[deg]10' W               (\11\)
LA SNEYT AM N.........................  (\12\)                      71[deg]40' W               (\11\)
LA SNEYT AM O.........................  41[deg]00' N                71[deg]40' W
LA SNEYT AM P.........................  41[deg]00' N                (\13\)                     (\14\)
LA SNEYT AM A.........................  (\1\)                       73[deg]00' W               (\14\)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The south facing mainland coastline of Long Island.
\2\ The southern coastline of Nantucket.
\3\ From Point F to Point G along the southern coastline of Nantucket.
\4\ Point G represents Esther Island, Nantucket, Massachusetts.
\5\ Point H represents Tuckernuck Island, Nantucket, Massachusetts.
\6\ Point I represents Muskeget Island, Nantucket, Massachusetts.
\7\ Point J represents Wasque Point, Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts.
\8\ From Point J to Point K along the southern coastline of Martha's Vineyard.
\9\ The western coastline of Martha's Vineyard.
\10\ The southern coastline of Rhode Island.
\11\ From Point M to Point N following the mainland coastline of Rhode Island.
\12\ The southern coastline of Rhode Island.
\13\ Southeast facing coastline of Long Island.
\14\ From Point P back to Point A along the southern mainland coastline of Long Island.

* * * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) Closure Area 1 is comprised of Northeast Region Statistical 
Area 537, and is defined by the following coordinates, 
connected in the order listed by straight lines, unless otherwise 
noted:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Point                           Latitude                   Longitude                 Note
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 A...............  41[deg]20' N                (\1\)
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 B...............  41[deg]20' N                71[deg]10' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 C...............  41[deg]10' N                71[deg]10' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 D...............  41[deg]10' N                71[deg]20' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 E...............  40[deg]50' N                71[deg]20' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 F...............  40[deg]50' N                71[deg]40' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 G...............  39[deg]50' N                71[deg]40' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 H...............  39[deg]50' N                70[deg]00' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 I...............  (\2\)                       70[deg]00' W               (\3\)
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 J...............  41[deg]16.76' N             70[deg]13.47' W            (\3\) (\4\)
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 K...............  41[deg]18.01' N             70[deg]15.47' W            (\5\)
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 L...............  41[deg]20.26' N             70[deg]18.30' W            (\6\)
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 M...............  41[deg]21.09' N (\8\)       70[deg]27.03' W            (\7\) (\8\)
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM1 A...............  41[deg]20' N                (\1\)                      (\8\)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The western coastline of Martha's Vineyard.
\2\ The southern coastline of Nantucket.
\3\ From Point I to Point J along the southern coastline of Nantucket.
\4\ Point J represents Esther Island, Nantucket, Massachusetts.
\5\ Point K represents Tuckernuck Island, Nantucket, Massachusetts.
\6\ Point L represents Muskeget Island, Nantucket, Massachusetts.
\7\ Point M represents Wasque Point, Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts.
\8\ From Point M back to Point A along the southern coastline of Martha's Vineyard.

    (iii) Closure Area 2 is comprised of Northeast Region Statistical 
Area 613, and is defined by the following coordinates, 
connected in the order listed by straight lines, unless otherwise 
noted:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Point                           Latitude                   Longitude                 Note
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM2 A...............  (\1\)                       73[deg]00' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM2 B...............  40[deg]00' N                73[deg]00' W

[[Page 26708]]

 
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM2 C...............  40[deg]00' N                71[deg]40' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM2 D...............  41[deg]00' N                71[deg]40' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM2 E...............  41[deg]00' N                (\2\)                      (\3\)
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM2 A...............  (\1\)                       73[deg]00' W               (\3\)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The south facing mainland coastline of Long Island.
\2\ Southeast facing coastline of Long Island.
\3\ From Point E back to Point A along the southern mainland coastline of Long Island.

    (iv) Closure Area 3 is comprised of Northeast Region Statistical 
Area 539, and is defined by the following coordinates, 
connected in the order listed by straight lines, unless otherwise 
noted:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Point                           Latitude                   Longitude                 Note
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM3 A...............  (\1\)                       71[deg]40' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM3 B...............  40[deg]50' N                71[deg]40' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM3 C...............  40[deg]50' N                71[deg]20' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM3 D...............  41[deg]10' N                71[deg]20' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM3 E...............  41[deg]10' N                71[deg]10' W
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM3 F...............  (\1\)                       71[deg]10' W               (\2\)
LAGC Dredge SNEYT AM3 A...............  (\1\)                       71[deg]40' W               (\2\)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The southern coastline of Rhode Island.
\2\ From Point F back to Point A following the southern mainland coastline of Rhode Island.

* * * * *
0
13. Section 648.65 is added:


Sec.  648.65  Windowpane flounder sub-ACL and AM for the scallop 
fishery.

    (a) As specified in Sec.  648.55(d), and pursuant to the biennial 
framework adjustment process specified in Sec.  648.90, the scallop 
fishery shall be allocated a sub-ACL for SNE/MA stock of windowpane 
flounder. The sub-ACLs for the 2014 fishing year are specified in Sec.  
648.90(a)(4)(iii)(E) of the NE multispecies regulations.
    (b) Accountability measure. (1) Unless otherwise specified in Sec.  
648.90(a)(5)(iv) of the NE multispecies regulations, if the SNE/MA 
windowpane flounder sub-ACL for the scallop fishery is exceeded and an 
accountability measure is triggered as described in Sec.  
648.90(a)(5)(iv), the area west of 71[deg] W. long., shall be 
considered the SNE/MA windowpane flounder gear restricted area. Scallop 
vessels participating in the DAS, or LAGC IFQ scallop fishery for the 
period of time specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section must 
comply with the gear restrictions specified in paragraph (b)(3) of this 
section when fishing in open areas. This accountability measure does 
not apply to scallop vessels fishing in Sea Scallop Access Areas.
    (2) Duration of gear restricted area. The SNE/MA windowpane 
flounder accountability measure gear restricted area shall remain in 
effect for the period of time based on the corresponding percent 
overage of the SNE/MA windowpane flounder sub-ACL, as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Percent overage of YTF                 Length of closure
------------------------------------------------------------------------
20 or less.......................  February.
Greater than 20..................  February through March.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (3) Gear restriction. When subject to the SNE/MA windowpane 
flounder accountability measure gear restricted area as described in 
paragraphs (b) and (b)(2) of this section, a vessel must fish with 
scallop dredge gear that conforms to the following restrictions:
    (i) No more than 5 rows of rings shall be used in the apron of the 
dredge. The apron is on the top side of the dredge, extends the full 
width of the dredge, and is the rows of dredge rings that extend from 
the back edge of the twine top (i.e., farthest from the dredge frame) 
to the clubstick; and
    (ii) The maximum hanging ratio for a net, net material, or any 
other material on the top of a scallop dredge (twine top) possessed or 
used by vessels fishing with scallop dredge gear does not exceed 1.5:1 
overall. An overall hanging ratio of 1.5:1 means that the twine top is 
attached to the rings in a pattern of alternating 2 meshes per ring and 
1 mesh per ring (counted at the bottom where the twine top connects to 
the apron), for an overall average of 1.5 meshes per ring for the 
entire width of the twine top. For example, an apron that is 40 rings 
wide (not including any ring in the side pieces) would only be able to 
use a twine top with 60 or fewer meshes so that the overall ratio of 
meshes to rings did not exceed 1.5 (60 meshes/40 rings = 1.5).
    (iii) Vessels may not fish for scallops with trawl gear west of 
71[deg] W. Long when the gear restricted area accountability measure is 
in effect.
    (c) Process for implementing the AM--(1) If reliable information is 
available to make a mid-year determination: On or about January 15 of 
each year, based upon catch and other information available to NMFS, 
the Regional Administrator shall determine whether the SNE/MA 
windowpane flounder sub-ACL was exceeded, or is projected to be 
exceeded, and if an accountability measure was triggered as described 
in Sec.  648.90(a)(5)(iv), by scallop vessels prior to the end of the 
scallop fishing year ending on February 28/29. The determination shall 
include the amount of the overage or projected amount of the overage, 
specified as a percentage of the overall sub-ACL for the SNE/MA 
windowpane flounder stock, in accordance with the values specified in 
paragraph (a) of this section. Based on this initial determination in 
mid-January, the Regional Administrator shall implement the AM in 
accordance with the APA and attempt to notify owners of limited access 
and LAGC scallop vessels by letter identifying the length of the gear 
restricted area and a summary of the SNE/MA windowpane flounder catch, 
overage, and projection that resulted in the gear restricted area.
    (2) If reliable information is not available to make a mid-year 
determination: Once NMFS has compiled the necessary information (e.g., 
when the previous fishing year's observer and catch data are fully 
available), the Regional Administrator shall determine whether the SNE/
MA windowpane flounder sub-ACL was

[[Page 26709]]

exceeded and if an accountability measure was triggered as described in 
Sec.  648.90(a)(5)(iv), by scallop vessels following the end of the 
scallop fishing year ending on February 28/29. The determination shall 
include the amount of the overage, specified as a percentage of the 
overall sub-ACL for the SNE/MA windowpane flounder stock, in accordance 
with the values specified in paragraph (a) of this section. Based on 
this information, the Regional Administrator shall implement the AM in 
accordance with the APA in Year 3 (e.g., an accountability measure 
would be implemented in fishing year 2016 for an overage that occurred 
in fishing year 2014) and attempt to notify owners of limited access 
and LAGC scallop vessels by letter identifying the length of the gear 
restricted area and a summary of the SNE/MA windowpane flounder catch 
and overage information.

[FR Doc. 2014-10324 Filed 5-8-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P