[Title 50 CFR ]
[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) - October 1, 2013 Edition]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



[[Page i]]

          

          Title 50

Wildlife and Fisheries


________________________

Parts 600 to 659

                         Revised as of October 1, 2013

          Containing a codification of documents of general 
          applicability and future effect

          As of October 1, 2013
                    Published by the Office of the Federal Register 
                    National Archives and Records Administration as a 
                    Special Edition of the Federal Register

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                            Table of Contents



                                                                    Page
  Explanation.................................................       v

  Title 50:
          Chapter VI--Fishery Conservation and Management, 
          National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
          Department of Commerce                                     3
  Finding Aids:
      Table of CFR Titles and Chapters........................     843
      Alphabetical List of Agencies Appearing in the CFR......     863
      List of CFR Sections Affected...........................     873

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                     ----------------------------

                     Cite this Code: CFR
                     To cite the regulations in 
                       this volume use title, 
                       part and section number. 
                       Thus, 50 CFR 600.5 refers 
                       to title 50, part 600, 
                       section 5.

                     ----------------------------

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                               EXPLANATION

    The Code of Federal Regulations is a codification of the general and 
permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive 
departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The Code is divided 
into 50 titles which represent broad areas subject to Federal 
regulation. Each title is divided into chapters which usually bear the 
name of the issuing agency. Each chapter is further subdivided into 
parts covering specific regulatory areas.
    Each volume of the Code is revised at least once each calendar year 
and issued on a quarterly basis approximately as follows:

Title 1 through Title 16.................................as of January 1
Title 17 through Title 27..................................as of April 1
Title 28 through Title 41...................................as of July 1
Title 42 through Title 50................................as of October 1

    The appropriate revision date is printed on the cover of each 
volume.

LEGAL STATUS

    The contents of the Federal Register are required to be judicially 
noticed (44 U.S.C. 1507). The Code of Federal Regulations is prima facie 
evidence of the text of the original documents (44 U.S.C. 1510).

HOW TO USE THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS

    The Code of Federal Regulations is kept up to date by the individual 
issues of the Federal Register. These two publications must be used 
together to determine the latest version of any given rule.
    To determine whether a Code volume has been amended since its 
revision date (in this case, October 1, 2013), consult the ``List of CFR 
Sections Affected (LSA),'' which is issued monthly, and the ``Cumulative 
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Register page number of the latest amendment of any given rule.

EFFECTIVE AND EXPIRATION DATES

    Each volume of the Code contains amendments published in the Federal 
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inserted following the text.

OMB CONTROL NUMBERS

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-511) requires 
Federal agencies to display an OMB control number with their information 
collection request.

[[Page vi]]

Many agencies have begun publishing numerous OMB control numbers as 
amendments to existing regulations in the CFR. These OMB numbers are 
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PAST PROVISIONS OF THE CODE

    Provisions of the Code that are no longer in force and effect as of 
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``[RESERVED]'' TERMINOLOGY

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editorially to indicate that a portion of the CFR was left vacant and 
not accidentally dropped due to a printing or computer error.

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

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This material, like any other properly issued regulation, has the force 
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    What is a proper incorporation by reference? The Director of the 
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    (a) The incorporation will substantially reduce the volume of 
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    (b) The matter incorporated is in fact available to the extent 
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    (c) The incorporating document is drafted and submitted for 
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alphabetical list of agencies publishing in the CFR are also included in 
this volume.

[[Page vii]]

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    Charles A. Barth,
    Director,
    Office of the Federal Register.
    October 1, 2013.







[[Page ix]]



                               THIS TITLE

    Title 50--Fish and Wildlife is composed of nine volumes. The parts 
in these volumes are arranged in the following order: Parts 1-16; part 
17 (17.1 to 17.95(b)), part 17 (17.95(c) to end of 17.95), part 17 
(17.96 to 17.99(h)), part 17 (17.99(i) to end of part 17), parts 18-199, 
parts 200-599, parts 600-659, and part 660 to end. The first six volumes 
consist of parts 1-16, part 17 (17.1 to 17.95(b)), part 17 (17.95(c) to 
end of 17.95), part 17 (17.96 to 17.99(h)), part 17 (17.99(i) to end of 
part 17), and parts 18-199 and contain the current regulations issued 
under chapter I--United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of 
the Interior. The seventh volume (parts 200-227) contains the current 
regulations issued under chapter II--National Marine Fisheries Service, 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce; 
chapter III--International Fishing and Related Activities, chapter IV--
Joint Regulations (United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Department 
of the Interior and National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce); Endangered 
Species Committee regulations; and chapter V--Marine Mammal Commission. 
The eighth volume (parts 228-599) contains the current regulations 
issued under chapter II--National Marine Fisheries Service, National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce; chapter 
III--International Fishing and Related Activities, chapter IV--Joint 
Regulations (United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the 
Interior and National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce); Endangered Species 
Committee regulations; and chapter V--Marine Mammal Commission. The 
ninth and tenth volumes (parts 600-659 and part 660 to end) contain the 
current regulations issued under chapter VI--Fishery Conservation and 
Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department 
of Commerce. The contents of these volumes represent all current 
regulations codified under this title of the CFR as of October 1, 2013.

    Alphabetical listings of endangered and threatened wildlife and 
plants appear in Sec. Sec.  17.11 and 17.12.

    The OMB control numbers for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration appear in 15 CFR 902.1.

    For this volume, Robert J. Sheehan, III was Chief Editor. The Code 
of Federal Regulations publication program is under the direction of 
Michael L. White, assisted by Ann Worley.


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                    TITLE 50--WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES




                  (This book contains parts 600 to 659)

  --------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Part

chapter vi--Fishery Conservation and Management, National 
  Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of 
  Commerce..................................................         600

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 CHAPTER VI--FISHERY CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL OCEANIC AND 

           ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE




  --------------------------------------------------------------------


  Editorial Note: Nomenclature changes to chapter VI appear at 69 FR 
53361, 53362, Sept. 1, 2004.
Part                                                                Page
600             Magnuson-Stevens Act provisions.............           5
622             Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, 
                    and South Atlantic......................         217
635             Atlantic highly migratory species...........         389
644             [Reserved]

648             Fisheries of the Northeastern United States.         465
655-659         [Reserved]

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PART 600_MAGNUSON-STEVENS ACT PROVISIONS--Table of Contents



                            Subpart A_General

Sec.
600.5 Purpose and scope.
600.10 Definitions.
600.15 Other acronyms.

             Subpart B_Regional Fishery Management Councils

600.105 Intercouncil boundaries.
600.110 Intercouncil fisheries.
600.115 Statement of organization, practices, and procedures (SOPP).
600.117 Council coordination committee (CCC).
600.120 Employment practices.
600.125 Budgeting, funding, and accounting.
600.130 Protection of confidentiality of statistics.
600.133 Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC).
600.134 Stipends.
600.135 Meeting procedures.
600.140 Procedure for proposed regulations.
600.150 Disposition of records.
600.155 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

                      Subpart C_Council Membership

600.205 Principal state officials and their designees.
600.207 Pacific Fishery Management Council Tribal Indian representative 
          and alternate.
600.210 Terms of Council members.
600.215 Council nomination and appointment procedures.
600.220 Oath of office.
600.225 Rules of conduct.
600.227 Lobbying.
600.230 Removal.
600.235 Financial disclosure.
600.240 Security assurances.
600.245 Council member compensation.
600.250 Council member training.

                      Subpart D_National Standards

600.305 General.
600.310 National Standard 1--Optimum Yield.
600.315 National Standard 2--Scientific Information.
600.320 National Standard 3--Management Units.
600.325 National Standard 4--Allocations.
600.330 National Standard 5--Efficiency.
600.335 National Standard 6--Variations and Contingencies.
600.340 National Standard 7--Costs and Benefits.
600.345 National Standard 8--Communities.
600.350 National Standard 9--Bycatch.
600.355 National Standard 10--Safety of Life at Sea.

                 Subpart E_Confidentiality of Statistics

600.405 Types of statistics covered.
600.410 Collection and maintenance of statistics.
600.415 Access to statistics.
600.420 Control system.
600.425 Release of statistics.

                        Subpart F_Foreign Fishing

600.501 Vessel permits.
600.502 Vessel reports.
600.503 Vessel and gear identification.
600.504 Facilitation of enforcement.
600.505 Prohibitions.
600.506 Observers.
600.507 Recordkeeping.
600.508 Fishing operations.
600.509 Prohibited species.
600.510 Gear avoidance and disposal.
600.511 Fishery closure procedures.
600.512 Scientific research.
600.513 Recreational fishing.
600.514 Relation to other laws.
600.515 Interpretation of 16 U.S.C. 1857(4).
600.516 Total allowable level of foreign fishing (TALFF).
600.517 Allocations.
600.518 Fee schedule for foreign fishing.
600.520 Northwest Atlantic Ocean fishery.
600.525 Applicability of Subpart F to Canadian Albacore Fishing Vessels 
          off the West Coast.
600.530 Pacific albacore fishery.

      Subpart G_Preemption of State Authority Under Section 306(b)

600.605 General policy.
600.610 Factual findings for Federal preemption.
600.615 Commencement of proceedings.
600.620 Rules pertaining to the hearing.
600.625 Secretary's decision.
600.630 Application for reinstatement of state authority.

           Subpart H_General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries

600.705 Relation to other laws.
600.710 Permits.
600.715 Recordkeeping and reporting.
600.720 Vessel and gear identification.
600.725 General prohibitions.
600.730 Facilitation of enforcement.
600.735 Penalties.
600.740 Enforcement policy.
600.745 Scientific research activity, exempted fishing, and exempted 
          educational activity.
600.746 Observers.

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600.747 Guidelines and procedures for determining new fisheries and 
          gear.

                  Subpart I_Fishery Negotiation Panels

600.750 Definitions.
600.751 Determination of need for a fishery negotiation panel.
600.752 Use of conveners and facilitators.
600.753 Notice of intent to establish a fishery negotiation panel.
600.754 Decision to establish a fishery negotiation panel.
600.755 Establishment of a fishery negotiation panel.
600.756 Conduct and operation of a fishery negotiation panel.
600.757 Operational protocols.
600.758 Preparation of report.
600.759 Use of report.
600.760 Fishery Negotiation Panel lifetime.

                 Subpart J_Essential Fish Habitat (EFH)

600.805 Purpose and scope.
600.810 Definitions and word usage.
600.815 Contents of Fishery Management Plans.

      Subpart K_EFH Coordination, Consultation, and Recommendations

600.905 Purpose, scope, and NMFS/Council cooperation.
600.910 Definitions and word usage.
600.915 Coordination for the conservation and enhancement of EFH.
600.920 Federal agency consultation with the Secretary.
600.925 NMFS EFH Conservation Recommendations to Federal and state 
          agencies.
600.930 Council comments and recommendations to Federal and state 
          agencies.

             Subpart L_Fishing Capacity Reduction Framework

600.1000 Definitions.
600.1001 Requests.
600.1002 General requirements.
600.1003 Content of a request for a financed program.
600.1004 Accepting a request for, and determinations about initiating, a 
          financed program.
600.1005 Content of a request for a subsidized program.
600.1006 Accepting a request for, and determinations about conducting, a 
          subsidized program.
600.1007 Reduction amendments.
600.1008 Implementation plan and implementation regulations.
600.1009 Bids.
600.1010 Referenda.
600.1011 Reduction methods and other conditions.
600.1012 Reduction loan.
600.1013 Fee payment and collection.
600.1014 Fee collection deposits, disbursements, records, and reports.
600.1015 Late charges.
600.1016 Enforcement.
600.1017 Prohibitions and penalties.

    Subpart M_Specific Fishery or Program Fishing Capacity Reduction 
                               Regulations

600.1100 General. [Reserved]
600.1101 Inshore fee system for repayment of the loan to harvesters of 
          Pollock from the directed fishing allowance allocated to the 
          inshore component under section 206(b)(1) of the AFA.
600.1102 Pacific Coast groundfish fee.
600.1103 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Crab species program.
600.1104 Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) crab species fee payment 
          and collection system.
600.1105 Longline catcher processor subsector of the Bering Sea and 
          Aleutian Islands (BSAI) non-pollock groundfish fishery 
          program.
600.1106 Longline catcher processor subsector Bering Sea and Aleutian 
          Islands (BSAI) non-pollock groundfish species fee payment and 
          collection system.
600.1107 Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery capacity reduction 
          program, including fee payment and collection system.
600.1108 Longline catcher processor subsector of the Bering Sea and 
          Aleutian Islands (BSAI) non-pollock groundfish fishery 
          program.

                         Subpart N_Shark Finning

600.1200 Purpose and scope.
600.1201 Relation to other laws.
600.1202 Definitions.
600.1203 Prohibitions.
600.1204 Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins.

               Subpart O_Limited Access Privilege Programs

600.1300-600.1309 [Reserved]
600.1310 New England and Gulf of Mexico Individual Fishing Quota 
          Referenda.

      Subpart P_Marine Recreational Fisheries of the United States

600.1400 Definitions.
600.1405 Angler registration.
600.1410 Registry process.
600.1415 Procedures for designating exempted states-general provisions.
600.1416 Requirements for exempted state designation based on submission 
          of state license holder data.

[[Page 7]]

600.1417 Requirements for exempted state designation based on submission 
          of recreational survey data.

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 561 and 16 U.S.C. et seq.

    Source: 61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, unless otherwise noted.



                            Subpart A_General



Sec. 600.5  Purpose and scope.

    (a) This part contains general provisions governing the operation of 
the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils established by the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act and describes the Secretary's role and 
responsibilities under the Act. The Councils are institutions created by 
Federal law and must conform to the uniform standards established by the 
Secretary in this part.
    (b) This part also governs all foreign fishing under the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, prescribes procedures for the conduct of preemption 
hearings under section 306(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and collects 
the general provisions common to all domestic fisheries governed by this 
chapter.
    (c) This part also governs fishing capacity reduction programs under 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 65 
FR 31443, May 18, 2000]



Sec. 600.10  Definitions.

    Unless defined otherwise in other parts of Chapter VI, the terms in 
this chapter have the following meanings:
    Administrator means the Administrator of NOAA (Under Secretary of 
Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere) or a designee.
    Advisory group means a Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC), 
Fishing Industry Advisory Committee (FIAC), or Advisory Panel (AP) 
established by a Council under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    Advisory panel (AP) means a committee formed, selected, and formally 
designated as a Magnuson-Stevens Act Section 302(g)(2) advisory panel by 
the Council's Statement of organization, practices, and procedures 
(SOPP), or by a formal charge to the committee made by the chair and 
recorded in the Council's minutes, to assist it in carrying out its 
functions. An AP may include individuals who are not members of the 
Council.
    Agent, for the purpose of foreign fishing (subpart F), means a 
person appointed and maintained within the United States who is 
authorized to receive and respond to any legal process issued in the 
United States to an owner and/or operator of a vessel operating under a 
permit and of any other vessel of that Nation fishing subject to the 
jurisdiction of the United States. Any diplomatic official accepting 
such an appointment as designated agent waives diplomatic or other 
immunity in connection with such process.
    Aggregate or summary form means confidential data structured in such 
a way that the identity of the submitter cannot be determined either 
from the present release of the data or in combination with other 
releases.
    Albacore means the species Thunnus alalunga, or a part thereof.
    Allocated species means any species or species group allocated to a 
foreign nation under Sec. 600.517 for catching by vessels of that 
Nation.
    Allocation means direct and deliberate distribution of the 
opportunity to participate in a fishery among identifiable, discrete 
user groups or individuals.
    Allowable chemical means a substance, generally used to immobilize 
marine life so it can be captured alive, that, when introduced into the 
water, does not take Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral (as 
defined at 50 CFR 622.2) and is allowed by Florida or Hawaii or the U.S. 
Pacific Insular Area for the harvest of tropical fish.
    Anadromous species means species of fish that spawn in fresh or 
estuarine waters of the United States and that migrate to ocean waters.
    Angling means fishing for, attempting to fish for, catching or 
attempting to catch fish by any person (angler) with a hook attached to 
a line that is hand-held or by rod and reel made for this purpose.
    Area of custody means any vessel, building, vehicle, live car, 
pound, pier or dock facility where fish might be found.

[[Page 8]]

    Assistant Administrator means the Assistant Administrator for 
Fisheries, NOAA, or a designee.
    Atlantic tunas means bluefin, albacore, bigeye, skipjack, and 
yellowfin tunas found in the Atlantic Ocean.
    Atlantic Tunas Convention Act means the Atlantic Tunas Convention 
Act of 1975, 16 U.S.C. 971-971h.
    Authorized officer means:
    (1) Any commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the USCG;
    (2) Any special agent or fishery enforcement officer of NMFS;
    (3) Any officer designated by the head of any Federal or state 
agency that has entered into an agreement with the Secretary and the 
Commandant of the USCG to enforce the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act or any other statute administered by NOAA; or
    (4) Any USCG personnel accompanying and acting under the direction 
of any person described in paragraph (1) of this definition.
    Authorized species means any species or species group that a foreign 
vessel is authorized to retain in a joint venture by a permit issued 
under Activity Code 4 as described by Sec. 600.501(c).
    Automatic reel means a reel that remains attached to a vessel when 
in use from which a line and attached hook(s) are deployed. The line is 
payed out from and retrieved on the reel electrically or hydraulically.
    Bandit gear means vertical hook and line gear with rods that are 
attached to the vessel when in use. Lines are retrieved by manual, 
electric, or hydraulic reels.
    Barrier net means a small-mesh net used to capture coral reef or 
coastal pelagic fishes.
    Bigeye tuna means the species Thunnus obesus, or a part thereof.
    Billfish means Atlantic billfish (blue marlin, white marlin, 
sailfish, longbill spearfish, or roundscale spearfish).
    Bluefin tuna means the species Thunnus thynnus, or a part thereof.
    Blue marlin means the species Makaira nigricans, or a part thereof.
    Bully net means a circular frame attached at right angles to a pole 
and supporting a conical bag of webbing.
    Buoy gear means fishing gear consisting of a float and one or more 
lines suspended therefrom. A hook or hooks are on the lines at or near 
the end. The float and line(s) drift freely and are retrieved 
periodically to remove catch and rebait hooks.
    Carcass means a fish in whole condition or that portion of a fish 
that has been gilled and/or gutted and the head and some or all fins 
have been removed, but that is otherwise in whole condition.
    Cast net means a circular net with weights attached to the 
perimeter.
    Catch limit means the total allowable harvest or take from a single 
fishing trip or day, as defined in this section.
    Catch, take, or harvest includes, but is not limited to, any 
activity that results in killing any fish or bringing any live fish on 
board a vessel.
    Center means one of the five NMFS Fisheries Science Centers.
    Charter boat means a vessel less than 100 gross tons (90.8 mt) that 
meets the requirements of the U.S. Coast Guard to carry six or fewer 
passengers for hire.
    Coast Guard Commander means one of the commanding officers of the 
Coast Guard units specified in Table 1 of Sec. 600.502, or a designee.
    Codend means the terminal, closed end of a trawl net.
    Compensation fishing means fishing conducted for the purpose of 
recovering costs associated with resource surveys and scientific studies 
that support the management of a fishery, or to provide incentive for 
participation in such studies. Compensation fishing may include fishing 
during or subsequent to such surveys or studies.
    Confidential statistics are those submitted as a requirement of an 
FMP and that reveal the business or identity of the submitter.
    Conservation engineering means the development and assessment of 
fishing technologies and fishing techniques designed to conserve target 
and non-target species, and may include the study of fish behavior and 
the development and testing of new gear technologies and fishing 
techniques to minimize bycatch and any adverse effects on essential fish 
habitat and promote efficient harvest of target species. Conservation 
engineering may include the assessment of existing fishing technologies 
applied in novel ways. An example

[[Page 9]]

would be assessing the ability of a bycatch reduction device (BRD), 
designed and proven in one fishery, to reduce bycatch in another 
fishery. Conservation engineering meeting the definition of scientific 
research activity is not fishing.
    Continental shelf fishery resources means the species listed under 
section 3(7) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    Council means one of the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils 
established by the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    Data, statistics, and information are used interchangeably.
    Dealer means the person who first receives fish by way of purchase, 
barter, or trade.
    Designated representative means the person appointed by a foreign 
nation and maintained within the United States who is responsible for 
transmitting information to and submitting reports from vessels of that 
Nation and establishing observer transfer arrangements for vessels in 
both directed and joint venture activities.
    Dip net means a small mesh bag, sometimes attached to a handle, 
shaped and framed in various ways. It is operated by hand or partially 
by mechanical power to capture the fish.
    Directed fishing, for the purpose of foreign fishing (subpart F), 
means any fishing by the vessels of a foreign nation for allocations of 
fish granted that Nation under Sec. 600.517.
    Director means the Director of the Office of Sustainable Fisheries, 
1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
    Discard means to release or return fish to the sea, whether or not 
such fish are brought fully on board a fishing vessel.
    Dredge means a gear consisting of a mouth frame attached to a 
holding bag constructed of metal rings or mesh.
    Drop net means a small, usually circular net with weight around the 
perimeter and a float in the center.
    Essential fish habitat (EFH) means those waters and substrate 
necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to 
maturity. For the purpose of interpreting the definition of essential 
fish habitat: ``Waters'' include aquatic areas and their associated 
physical, chemical, and biological properties that are used by fish and 
may include aquatic areas historically used by fish where appropriate; 
``substrate'' includes sediment, hard bottom, structures underlying the 
waters, and associated biological communities; ``necessary'' means the 
habitat required to support a sustainable fishery and the managed 
species' contribution to a healthy ecosystem; and ``spawning, breeding, 
feeding, or growth to maturity'' covers a species' full life cycle.
    Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) means the zone established by 
Presidential Proclamation 5030, 3 CFR part 22, dated March 10, 1983, and 
is that area adjacent to the United States which, except where modified 
to accommodate international boundaries, encompasses all waters from the 
seaward boundary of each of the coastal states to a line on which each 
point is 200 nautical miles (370.40 km) from the baseline from which the 
territorial sea of the United States is measured.
    Exempted educational activity means an activity that would otherwise 
be considered fishing, conducted by an educational institution 
accredited by a recognized national or international accreditation body, 
of limited scope and duration, that is otherwise prohibited by this 
chapter VI, but that is authorized by the appropriate Regional 
Administrator or Director for educational purposes, i.e., the 
instruction of an individual or group, and authorized capture of only 
the amount of fish necessary to demonstrate the lesson.
    Exempted or experimental fishing means fishing from a vessel of the 
United States that involves activities otherwise prohibited by this 
chapter VI, but that are authorized under an exempted fishing permit 
(EFP). The regulations in Sec. 600.745 refer exclusively to exempted 
fishing. References elsewhere in this chapter to experimental fishing 
mean exempted fishing under this part.
    Fillet means to remove slices of fish flesh from the carcass by cuts 
made parallel to the backbone.
    Fish means:
    (1) When used as a noun, means any finfish, mollusk, crustacean, or 
parts thereof, and all other forms of marine animal and plant life other 
than marine mammals and birds.

[[Page 10]]

    (2) When used as a verb, means to engage in ``fishing,'' as defined 
below.
    Fishery means:
    (1) One or more stocks of fish that can be treated as a unit for 
purposes of conservation and management and that are identified on the 
basis of geographic, scientific, technical, recreational, or economic 
characteristics, or method of catch; or
    (2) Any fishing for such stocks.
    Fishery management unit (FMU) means a fishery or that portion of a 
fishery identified in an FMP relevant to the FMP's management 
objectives. The choice of an FMU depends on the focus of the FMP's 
objectives, and may be organized around biological, geographic, 
economic, technical, social, or ecological perspectives.
    Fishery resource means any fish, any stock of fish, any species of 
fish, and any habitat of fish.
    Fishing, or to fish means any activity, other than scientific 
research conducted by a scientific research vessel, that involves:
    (1) The catching, taking, or harvesting of fish;
    (2) The attempted catching, taking, or harvesting of fish;
    (3) Any other activity that can reasonably be expected to result in 
the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish; or
    (4) Any operations at sea in support of, or in preparation for, any 
activity described in paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of this definition.
    Fishing industry advisory committee (FIAC) means an advisory group 
formed and selected by a regional fishery management council under the 
authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act section 302(g)(3)(A) and formally 
designated in the Council's SOPP or by a formal charge to the FIAC made 
by the chair and recorded in the Council's minutes. A FIAC is not an 
``advisory panel'' as defined under this section.
    Fishing vessel means any vessel, boat, ship, or other craft that is 
used for, equipped to be used for, or of a type that is normally used 
for:
    (1) Fishing; or
    (2) Aiding or assisting one or more vessels at sea in the 
performance of any activity relating to fishing, including, but not 
limited to, preparation, supply, storage, refrigeration, transportation, 
or processing.
    Fish weir means a large catching arrangement with a collecting 
chamber that is made of non-textile material (wood, wicker) instead of 
netting as in a pound net.
    Foreign fishing means fishing by a foreign fishing vessel.
    Foreign fishing vessel (FFV) means any fishing vessel other than a 
vessel of the United States, except those foreign vessels engaged in 
recreational fishing, as defined in this section.
    Gear conflict means any incident at sea involving one or more 
fishing vessels:
    (1) In which one fishing vessel or its gear comes into contact with 
another vessel or the gear of another vessel; and
    (2) That results in the loss of, or damage to, a fishing vessel, 
fishing gear, or catch.
    Gillnet means a panel of netting, suspended vertically in the water 
by floats along the top and weights along the bottom, to entangle fish 
that attempt to pass through it.
    Governing International Fishery Agreement (GIFA) means an agreement 
between the United States and a foreign nation or Nations under section 
201(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    Grants Officer means the NOAA official authorized to sign, on behalf 
of the Government, the cooperative agreement providing funds to support 
the Council's operations and functions.
    Greenwich mean time (GMT) means the local mean time at Greenwich, 
England. All times in this part are GMT unless otherwise specified.
    Handgear means handline, harpoon, or rod and reel.
    Hand harvest means harvesting by hand.
    Handline means fishing gear that is set and pulled by hand and 
consists of one vertical line to which may be attached leader lines with 
hooks.
    Harass means to unreasonably interfere with an individual's work 
performance, or to engage in conduct that creates an intimidating, 
hostile, or offensive environment.
    Harpoon or harpoon gear means fishing gear consisting of a pointed 
dart or

[[Page 11]]

iron attached to the end of a line several hundred feet in length, the 
other end of which is attached to a floatation device. Harpoon gear is 
attached to a pole or stick that is propelled only by hand, and not by 
mechanical means.
    Headboat means a vessel that holds a valid Certificate of Inspection 
issued by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry passengers for hire.
    Hook and line means one or more hooks attached to one or more lines 
(can include a troll).
    Hoop net means a cone-shaped or flat net which may or may not have 
throats and flues stretched over a series of rings or hoops for support.
    Industry means both recreational and commercial fishing, and 
includes the harvesting, processing, and marketing sectors.
    International radio call sign (IRCS) means the unique radio 
identifier assigned a vessel by the appropriate authority of the flag 
state.
    Joint venture means any operation by a foreign vessel assisting 
fishing by U.S. fishing vessels, including catching, scouting, 
processing and/or support. (A joint venture generally entails a foreign 
vessel processing fish received from U.S. fishing vessels and conducting 
associated support activities.)
    Lampara net means a surround net with the sections of netting made 
and joined to create bagging. It is hauled with purse rings and is 
generally much smaller in size than a purse seine net.
    Land means to begin offloading fish, to offload fish, or to arrive 
in port or at a dock, berth, beach, seawall, or ramp.
    Limited access system means a system that limits participation in a 
fishery to those satisfying certain eligibility criteria or requirements 
contained in a fishery management plan or associated regulation.
    Longbill spearfish means the species Tetrapturus pfluegeri, or a 
part thereof.
    Longline means a line that is deployed horizontally and to which 
gangions and hooks or pots are attached. Longlines can be stationary, 
anchored, or buoyed lines that may be hauled manually, electrically, or 
hydraulically.
    Magnuson-Stevens Act means the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), formerly known 
as the Magnuson Act.
    Metric ton (mt) means 1,000 kg (2,204.6 lb).
    nm means nautical mile (6,076 ft (1,852 m)).
    Official number means the documentation number issued by the USCG or 
the certificate number issued by a state or by the USCG for an 
undocumented vessel.
    Operator, with respect to any vessel, means the master or other 
individual aboard and in charge of that vessel.
    Optimum yield (OY) means the amount of fish that:
    (1) Will provide the greatest overall benefit to the Nation, 
particularly with respect to food production and recreational 
opportunities, and taking into account the protection of marine 
ecosystems;
    (2) Is prescribed as such on the basis of the maximum sustainable 
yield from the fishery, as reduced by any relevant economic, social, or 
ecological factor; and
    (3) In the case of an overfished fishery, provides for rebuilding to 
a level consistent with producing the maximum sustainable yield in such 
fishery.
    Owner, with respect to any vessel, means:
    (1) Any person who owns that vessel in whole or in part;
    (2) Any charterer of the vessel, whether bareboat, time, or voyage;
    (3) Any person who acts in the capacity of a charterer, including, 
but not limited to, parties to a management agreement, operating 
agreement, or any similar agreement that bestows control over the 
destination, function, or operation of the vessel; or
    (4) Any agent designated as such by a person described in paragraph 
(1), (2), or (3) of this definition.
    Pelagic longline means a longline that is suspended by floats in the 
water column and that is not fixed to or in contact with the ocean 
bottom.
    Plan Team means a Council working group selected from agencies, 
institutions, and organizations having a role in the research and/or 
management of fisheries, whose primary purpose is to assist the Council 
in the preparation and/or review of FMPs, amendments,

[[Page 12]]

and supporting documents for the Council, and/or SSC and AP.
    Postmark means independently verifiable evidence of the date of 
mailing, such as a U.S. Postal Service postmark, or other private 
carrier postmark, certified mail receipt, overnight mail receipt, or a 
receipt issued upon hand delivery to a representative of NMFS authorized 
to collect fishery statistics.
    Pot means trap.
    Powerhead means any device with an explosive charge, usually 
attached to a spear gun, spear, pole, or stick, that may or may not fire 
a projectile upon contact.
    Predominately means, with respect to fishing in a fishery, that more 
fishing on a stock or stocks of fish covered by the FMP occurs, or would 
occur in the absence of regulations, within or beyond the EEZ than 
occurs in the aggregate within the boundaries of all states off the 
coasts of which the fishery is conducted.
    Processing, for the purpose of foreign fishing (subpart F), means 
any operation by an FFV to receive fish from foreign or U.S. fishing 
vessels and/or the preparation of fish, including, but not limited to, 
cleaning, cooking, canning, smoking, salting, drying, or freezing, 
either on the FFV's behalf or to assist other foreign or U.S. fishing 
vessels.
    Product recovery rate (PRR) means a ratio expressed as a percentage 
of the weight of processed product divided by the round weight of fish 
used to produce that amount of product.
    Prohibited species, with respect to a foreign vessel, means any 
species of fish that that vessel is not specifically allocated or 
authorized to retain, including fish caught or received in excess of any 
allocation or authorization.
    Purchase means the act or activity of buying, trading, or bartering, 
or attempting to buy, trade, or barter.
    Purse seine means a floated and weighted encircling net that is 
closed by means of a drawstring threaded through rings attached to the 
bottom of the net.
    Recreational fishing, with respect to a foreign vessel, means any 
fishing from a foreign vessel not operated for profit and not operated 
for the purpose of scientific research. It may not involve the sale, 
barter, or trade of part or all of the catch (see Sec. 600.513).
    Retain on board means to fail to return fish to the sea after a 
reasonable opportunity to sort the catch.
    Region means one of six NMFS Regional Offices responsible for 
administering the management and development of marine resources of the 
United States in their respective geographical regions.
    Regional Administrator means the Administrator of one of the six 
NMFS Regions described in Table 1 to Sec. 600.502, or a designee.
    Regional Program Officer means the NMFS official designated in the 
terms and conditions of the grant award responsible for monitoring, 
recommending, and reviewing any technical aspects of the application for 
Federal assistance and the award.
    Rod and reel means a hand-held (including rod holder) fishing rod 
with a manually or electrically operated reel attached.
    Round means a whole fish--one that has not been gilled, gutted, 
beheaded, or definned.
    Roundscale spearfish means the species Tetrapturus georgii, or a 
part thereof.
    Round weight means the weight of the whole fish before processing or 
removal of any part.
    Sailfish means the species Istiophorus platypterus, or a part 
thereof.
    Sale or sell means the act or activity of transferring property for 
money or credit, trading, or bartering, or attempting to so transfer, 
trade, or barter.
    Science and Research Director (also referred to as ``Center 
Director'') means the Director of one of the six NMFS Fisheries Science 
Centers described in Table 1 to Sec. 600.502, or a designee.
    Scientific cruise means the period of time during which a scientific 
research vessel is operated in furtherance of a scientific research 
project, beginning when the vessel leaves port to undertake the project 
and ending when the vessel completes the project as provided for in the 
applicable scientific research plan.
    Scientific research activity is, for the purposes of this part, an 
activity in

[[Page 13]]

furtherance of a scientific fishery investigation or study that would 
meet the definition of fishing under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, but for 
the exemption applicable to scientific research activity conducted from 
a scientific research vessel. Scientific research activity includes, but 
is not limited to, sampling, collecting, observing, or surveying the 
fish or fishery resources within the EEZ, at sea, on board scientific 
research vessels, to increase scientific knowledge of the fishery 
resources or their environment, and to test a hypothesis as part of a 
planned, directed investigation or study conducted according to 
methodologies generally accepted as appropriate for scientific research. 
At-sea scientific fishery investigations address one or more topics 
involving taxonomy, biology, physiology, behavior, disease, aging, 
growth, mortality, migration, recruitment, distribution, abundance, 
ecology, stock structure, bycatch or other collateral effects of 
fishing, conservation engineering, and catch estimation of fish species 
considered to be a component of the fishery resources within the EEZ. 
Scientific research activity does not include the collection and 
retention of fish outside the scope of the applicable research plan, or 
the testing of fishing gear. Data collection designed to capture and 
land quantities of fish for product development, market research, and/or 
public display are not scientific research activities. For foreign 
vessels, such data collection activities are considered scientific 
research if they are carried out in full cooperation with the United 
States.
    Scientific research plan means a detailed, written formulation, 
prepared in advance of the research, for the accomplishment of a 
scientific research project. At a minimum, a sound scientific research 
plan should include:
    (1) A description of the nature and objectives of the project, 
including the hypothesis or hypotheses to be tested.
    (2) The experimental design of the project, including a description 
of the methods to be used, the type and class of any vessel(s) to be 
used, and a description of sampling equipment.
    (3) The geographical area(s) in which the project is to be 
conducted.
    (4) The expected date of first appearance and final departure of the 
research vessel(s) to be employed, and deployment and removal of 
equipment, as appropriate.
    (5) The expected quantity and species of fish to be taken and their 
intended disposition, and, if significant amounts of a managed species 
or species otherwise restricted by size or sex are needed, an 
explanation of such need.
    (6) The name, address, and telephone/telex/fax number of the 
sponsoring organization and its director.
    (7) The name, address, and telephone/telex/fax number, and 
curriculum vitae of the person in charge of the project and, where 
different, the person in charge of the research project on board the 
vessel.
    (8) The identity of any vessel(s) to be used including, but not 
limited to, the vessel's name, official documentation number and IRCS, 
home port, and name, address, and telephone number of the owner and 
master.
    Scientific research vessel means a vessel owned or chartered by, and 
controlled by, a foreign government agency, U.S. Government agency 
(including NOAA or institutions designated as federally funded research 
and development centers), U.S. state or territorial agency, university 
(or other educational institution accredited by a recognized national or 
international accreditation body), international treaty organization, or 
scientific institution. In order for a domestic commercial fishing 
vessel to meet this definition, it must be under the control of a 
qualifying agency or institution, and operate in accordance with a 
scientific research plan, for the duration of the scientific research 
activity. In order for a vessel that is owned or chartered and 
controlled by a foreign government to meet this definition, the vessel 
must have scientific research as its exclusive mission during the 
scientific activity in question, and the vessel operations must be 
conducted in accordance with a scientific research plan.
    Scouting means any operation by a vessel exploring (on the behalf of 
an FFV or U.S. fishing vessel) for the presence of fish by visual, 
acoustic, or other means that do not involve the catching of fish.

[[Page 14]]

    Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce or a designee.
    Seine means a net with long narrow wings, that is rigged with floats 
and weights.
    Skipjack tuna means the species Katsuwonus pelamis, or a part 
thereof.
    Slurp gun means a tube-shaped suction device that operates somewhat 
like a syringe by sucking up the fish.
    Snare means a device consisting of a pole to which is attached a 
line forming at its end a loop with a running knot that tightens around 
the fish when the line is pulled.
    Spear means a sharp, pointed, or barbed instrument on a shaft. 
Spears can be operated manually or shot from a gun or sling.
    State means each of the several states, the District of Columbia, 
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, 
Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other Commonwealth, 
territory, or possession of the United States.
    State employee means any employee of the state agency responsible 
for developing and monitoring the state's program for marine and/or 
anadromous fisheries.
    Statement of Organization, Practices, and Procedures (SOPP) means a 
statement by each Council describing its organization, practices, and 
procedures as required under section 302(f)(6) of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act.
    Stock assessment means the process of collecting and analyzing 
biological and statistical information to determine the changes in the 
abundance of fishery stocks in response to fishing, and, to the extent 
possible, to predict future trends of stock abundance. Stock assessments 
are based on resource surveys; knowledge of the habitat requirements, 
life history, and behavior of the species; the use of environmental 
indices to determine impacts on stocks; and catch statistics. Stock 
assessments are used as a basis to ``assess and specify the present and 
probable future condition of a fishery'' (as is required by the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act), and are summarized in the Stock Assessment and 
Fishery Evaluation or similar document.
    Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) means a document or 
set of documents that provides Councils with a summary of the most 
recent biological condition of species in an FMU, and the social and 
economic condition of the recreational and commercial fishing industries 
and the fish processing industries. It summarizes, on a periodic basis, 
the best available scientific information concerning the past, present, 
and possible future condition of the stocks and fisheries being managed 
under Federal regulation.
    Submersible means a manned or unmanned device that functions or 
operates primarily underwater and is used to harvest fish, i.e., 
precious corals, with mechanical arms.
    Substantially (affects) means, for the purpose of subpart G, with 
respect to whether a state's action or omission will substantially 
affect the carrying out of an FMP for a fishery, that those effects are 
important or material, or considerable in degree. The effects of a 
state's action or omission for purposes of this definition include 
effects upon:
    (1) The achievement of the FMP's goals or objectives for the 
fishery;
    (2) The achievement of OY from the fishery on a continuing basis;
    (3) The attainment of the national standards for fishery 
conservation and management (as set forth in section 301(a) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act) and compliance with other applicable law; or
    (4) The enforcement of regulations implementing the FMP.
    Support means any operation by a vessel assisting fishing by foreign 
or U.S. vessels, including supplying water, fuel, provisions, fish 
processing equipment, or other supplies to a fishing vessel.
    Swordfish means the species Xiphias gladius, or a part thereof.
    Tangle net dredge means dredge gear consisting of weights and flimsy 
netting that hangs loosely in order to immediately entangle fish.
    Total length (TL) means the straight-line distance from the tip of 
the snout to the tip of the tail (caudal fin) while the fish is lying on 
its side, normally extended.
    Trammel net means a net consisting of two or more panels of netting, 
suspended vertically in the water column by a common float line and a 
common

[[Page 15]]

weight line. One panel of netting has a larger mesh size than the 
other(s) in order to entrap fish in a pocket.
    Transship means offloading and onloading or otherwise transferring 
fish or fish products and/or transporting fish or products made from 
fish.
    Trap means a portable, enclosed device with one or more gates or 
entrances and one or more lines attached to surface floats. Also called 
a pot.
    Trawl means a cone or funnel-shaped net that is towed through the 
water, and can include a pair trawl that is towed simultaneously by two 
boats.
    Trip means the time period that begins when a fishing vessel departs 
from a dock, berth, beach, seawall, ramp, or port to carry out fishing 
operations and that terminates with a return to a dock, berth, beach, 
seawall, ramp, or port.
    U.S. observer or observer means any person serving in the capacity 
of an observer employed by NMFS, either directly or under contract, or 
certified as a supplementary observer by NMFS.
    Vessel of the United States or U.S. vessel means:
    (1) Any vessel documented under chapter 121 of title 46, United 
States Code;
    (2) Any vessel numbered under chapter 123 of title 46, United States 
Code, and measuring less than 5 net tons;
    (3) Any vessel numbered under chapter 123 of title 46, United States 
Code, and used exclusively for pleasure; or
    (4) Any vessel not equipped with propulsion machinery of any kind 
and used exclusively for pleasure.
    White Marlin means the species Kajikia albidus, or a part thereof.
    Yellowfin tuna means the species Thunnus albacares, or a part 
thereof.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 14646, Mar. 27, 1997; 
62 FR 66551, Dec. 19, 1997; 63 FR 7073, 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 64 FR 4036, 
Jan. 27, 1999; 64 FR 29133, May 28, 1999; 64 FR 67516, Dec. 2, 1999; 67 
FR 2375, Jan. 17, 2002; 67 FR 64312, Oct. 18, 2002; 69 FR 30240, May 27, 
2004; 73 FR 67810, Nov. 17, 2008; 74 FR 42792, Aug. 25, 2009; 75 FR 
59149, Sept. 27, 2010; 75 FR 57701, Sept. 22, 2010]



Sec. 600.15  Other acronyms.

    (a) Fishery management terms. (1) ABC--acceptable biological catch
    (2) ATCA-Atlantic Tunas Convention Act
    (3) BFT (Atlantic bluefin tuna) means the subspecies of bluefin 
tuna, Thunnus thynnus thynnus, or a part thereof, that occurs in the 
Atlantic Ocean.
    (4) BSD means the ICCAT bluefin tuna statistical document.
    (5) CCC-Council coordination committee
    (6) DAH--estimated domestic annual harvest
    (7) DAP--estimated domestic annual processing
    (8) EIS--environmental impact statement
    (9) EY--equilibrium yield
    (10) FIAC-Fishing industry advisory committee
    (11) FMP--fishery management plan
    (12) ICCAT means the International Commission for the Conservation 
of Atlantic Tunas.
    (13) JVP--joint venture processing
    (14) MSY--maximum sustainable yield
    (15) PMP--preliminary FMP
    (16) TAC--total allowable catch
    (17) TALFF--total allowable level of foreign fishing
    (b) Legislation. (1) APA--Administrative Procedure Act
    (2) CZMA--Coastal Zone Management Act
    (3) ESA--Endangered Species Act
    (4) FACA--Federal Advisory Committee Act
    (5) FOIA--Freedom of Information Act
    (6) FLSA--Fair Labor Standards Act
    (7) MMPA--Marine Mammal Protection Act
    (8) MPRSA--Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act
    (9) NEPA--National Environmental Policy Act
    (10) PA--Privacy Act
    (11) PRA--Paperwork Reduction Act
    (12) RFA--Regulatory Flexibility Act
    (c) Federal agencies. (1) CEQ--Council on Environmental Quality
    (2) DOC--Department of Commerce
    (3) DOI--Department of the Interior
    (4) DOS--Department of State
    (5) EPA--Environmental Protection Agency
    (6) FWS--Fish and Wildlife Service
    (7) GSA--General Services Administration

[[Page 16]]

    (8) NMFS--National Marine Fisheries Service
    (9) NOAA--National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    (10) OMB--Office of Management and Budget
    (11) OPM--Office of Personnel Management
    (12) SBA--Small Business Administration
    (13) USCG--United States Coast Guard

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7073, Feb. 12, 1998; 64 
FR 29134, May 28, 1999; 75 FR 59149, Sept. 27, 2010]



             Subpart B_Regional Fishery Management Councils



Sec. 600.105  Intercouncil boundaries.

    (a) New England and Mid-Atlantic Councils. The boundary begins at 
the intersection point of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York at 
41[deg]18[min]16.249[sec] N. lat. and 71[deg]54[min]28.477[sec] W. long. 
and proceeds south 37[deg]22[min]32.75[sec] East to the point of 
intersection with the outward boundary of the EEZ as specified in the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (b) Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic Councils. The boundary begins at 
the seaward boundary between the States of Virginia and North Carolina 
(36[deg]33[min]01.0[sec] N. lat), and proceeds due east to the point of 
intersection with the outward boundary of the EEZ as specified in the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (c) South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Councils. The boundary 
coincides with the line of demarcation between the Atlantic Ocean and 
the Gulf of Mexico, which begins at the intersection of the outer 
boundary of the EEZ, as specified in the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and 
83[deg]00[min] W. long., proceeds northward along that meridian to 
24[deg]35[min] N. lat., (near the Dry Tortugas Islands), thence eastward 
along that parallel, through Rebecca Shoal and the Quicksand Shoal, to 
the Marquesas Keys, and then through the Florida Keys to the mainland at 
the eastern end of Florida Bay, the line so running that the narrow 
waters within the Dry Tortugas Islands, the Marquesas Keys and the 
Florida Keys, and between the Florida Keys and the mainland, are within 
the Gulf of Mexico.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 75 
FR 59149, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.110  Intercouncil fisheries.

    If any fishery extends beyond the geographical area of authority of 
any one Council, the Secretary may--
    (a) Designate a single Council to prepare the FMP for such fishery 
and any amendments to such FMP, in consultation with the other Councils 
concerned; or
    (b) Require that the FMP and any amendments be prepared jointly by 
all the Councils concerned.
    (1) A jointly prepared FMP or amendment must be adopted by a 
majority of the voting members, present and voting, of each 
participating Council. Different conservation and management measures 
may be developed for specific geographic areas, but the FMP should 
address the entire geographic range of the stock(s).
    (2) In the case of joint FMP or amendment preparation, one Council 
will be designated as the ``administrative lead.'' The ``administrative 
lead'' Council is responsible for the preparation of the FMP or any 
amendments and other required documents for submission to the Secretary.
    (3) None of the Councils involved in joint preparation may withdraw 
without Secretarial approval. If Councils cannot agree on approach or 
management measures within a reasonable period of time, the Secretary 
may designate a single Council to prepare the FMP or may issue the FMP 
under Secretarial authority.



Sec. 600.115  Statement of organization, practices, and procedures (SOPP).

    (a) Councils are required to publish and make available to the 
public a SOPP in accordance with such uniform standards as are 
prescribed by the Secretary (section 302(f)(6)) of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act. The purpose of the SOPP is to inform the public how the Council 
operates within the framework of the Secretary's uniform standards.
    (b) Amendments to current SOPPs must be consistent with the 
guidelines in this section, subpart C of this part,

[[Page 17]]

the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement (the funding 
agreement between the Council and NOAA that establishes Council funding 
and mandates specific requirements regarding the use of those funds), 
the statutory requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other 
applicable law. Upon approval of a Council's SOPP amendment by the 
Secretary, a notice of availability must be published in the Federal 
Register that includes an Internet address from which the amended SOPP 
may be read and downloaded and a mailing address to which the public may 
write to request copies.
    (c) Councils may deviate, where lawful, from the guidelines with 
appropriate supporting rationale, and Secretarial approval of each 
amendment to a SOPP would constitute approval of any such deviations for 
that particular Council.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 75 
FR 59149, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.117  Council coordination committee (CCC).

    (a) The Councils may establish a Council coordination committee 
(CCC) consisting of the chairs, vice chairs, and executive directors of 
each of the eight Councils or other Council members or staff, in order 
to discuss issues of relevance to all Councils.
    (b) The CCC is not subject to the requirements of the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 2). Procedures for announcing and 
conducting open and closed meetings of the CCC shall be in accordance 
with Sec. 600.135.

[75 FR 59150, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.120  Employment practices.

    (a) Council staff positions must be filled solely on the basis of 
merit, fitness for duty, competence, and qualifications. Employment 
actions must be free from discrimination based on race, religion, color, 
national origin, sex, age, disability, reprisal, sexual orientation, 
status as a parent, or on any additional bases protected by applicable 
Federal, state, or local law.
    (b) The annual pay rates for Council staff positions shall be 
consistent with the pay rates established for General Schedule Federal 
employees as set forth in 5 U.S.C. 5332, and the Alternative Personnel 
Management System for the U.S. Department of Commerce (62 FR 67434). The 
Councils have the discretion to adjust pay rates and pay increases based 
on cost of living (COLA) differentials in their geographic locations. 
COLA adjustments in pay rates and pay increases may be provided for 
staff members whose post of duty is located in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, the 
U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.
    (1) No pay adjustment based on geographic location shall exceed the 
COLA and locality pay adjustments available to Federal employees in the 
same geographic area.
    (2) [Reserved]
    (c) Salary increases funded in lieu of life and medical/dental 
policies are not permitted.
    (d) Unused sick leave may be accumulated without limit, or up to a 
maximum number of days and contribution per day, as specified by the 
Council in its SOPP. Distributions of accumulated funds for unused sick 
leave may be made to the employee upon his or her retirement, or to his 
or her estate upon his or her death, as established by the Council in 
its SOPP.
    (e) Each Council may pay for unused annual leave upon separation, 
retirement, or death of an employee.
    (f) One or more accounts shall be maintained to pay for unused sick 
or annual leave as authorized under paragraphs (d) and (e) of this 
section, and will be funded from the Council's annual operating 
allowances. Councils have the option to deposit funds into these 
account(s) at the end of the budget period if unobligated balances 
remain. Interest earned on these account(s) will be maintained in the 
account(s), along with the principal, for the purpose of payment of 
unused annual and sick leave only. These account(s), including interest, 
may be carried over from year to year. Budgeting for accrued leave will 
be identified in the ``Other'' object class categories section of the 
SF-424A.

[[Page 18]]

    (g) A Council must notify the NOAA Office of General Counsel before 
seeking outside legal advice, which may be for technical assistance not 
available from NOAA. If the Council is seeking legal services in 
connection with an employment practices question, the Council must first 
notify the Department of Commerce's Office of the Assistant General 
Counsel for Administration, Employment and Labor Law Division. A Council 
may not contract for the provision of legal services on a continuing 
basis.

[66 FR 57886, Nov. 19, 2001]



Sec. 600.125  Budgeting, funding, and accounting.

    (a) Council grant activities are governed by 15 CFR part 14 (Uniform 
Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions 
of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-Profit and Commercial 
Organizations), 2 CFR part 230 (Cost Principles for Non-Profit 
Organizations), 15 CFR part 14 (Audit Requirements for Institutions of 
Higher Education and Other Non-Profit Organizations), and the terms and 
conditions of the cooperative agreement.
    (b) Councils may not independently enter into agreements, including 
grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements, whereby they will receive 
funds for services rendered. All such agreements must be approved and 
entered into by NOAA on behalf of the Councils.
    (c) Councils are not authorized to accept gifts or contributions 
directly. All such donations must be directed to the NMFS Regional 
Administrator in accordance with applicable Department of Commerce 
regulations.

[66 FR 57887, Nov. 19, 2001, as amended at 75 FR 59150, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.130  Protection of confidentiality of statistics.

    Each Council must establish appropriate procedures for ensuring the 
confidentiality of the statistics that may be submitted to it by Federal 
or state authorities and may be voluntarily submitted to it by private 
persons, including, but not limited to (also see Sec. 600.405):
    (a) Procedures for the restriction of Council member, employee, or 
advisory group access and the prevention of conflicts of interest, 
except that such procedures must be consistent with procedures of the 
Secretary.
    (b) In the case of statistics submitted to the Council by a state, 
the confidentiality laws and regulations of that state.



Sec. 600.133  Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC).

    (a) Each Council shall establish, maintain, and appoint the members 
of an SSC to assist it in the development, collection, evaluation, and 
peer review of such statistical, biological, economic, social, and other 
scientific information as is relevant to such Council's development and 
amendment of any fishery management plan.
    (b) Each SSC shall provide its Council ongoing scientific advice for 
fishery management decisions, including recommendations for acceptable 
biological catch, preventing overfishing, maximum sustainable yield, and 
achieving rebuilding targets, and reports on stock status and health, 
bycatch, habitat status, social and economic impacts of management 
measures, and sustainability of fishing practices.
    (c) Members appointed by the Councils to the SSCs shall be Federal 
employees, State employees, academicians, or independent experts and 
shall have strong scientific or technical credentials and experience.
    (d) An SSC shall hold its meetings in conjunction with the meetings 
of the Council, to the extent practicable.

[75 FR 59150, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.134  Stipends.

    Stipends are available, subject to the availability of 
appropriations, to members of committees formally designated as SSCs 
under Sec. 301(g)(1)(a) or APs under Sec. 302(g)(2) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act who are not employed by the Federal Government or a State 
marine fisheries agency. For the purposes of this section, a state 
marine fisheries agency includes any state or tribal

[[Page 19]]

agency that has conservation, management, or enforcement responsibility 
for any marine fishery resource.

[75 FR 59150, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.135  Meeting procedures.

    (a) Regular meetings. Public notice of a regular meeting, including 
the meeting agenda, of each Council, CCC, SSC, AP, FIAC, or other 
committees established under Magnuson-Stevens Act, Sec. 302(g), must be 
published in the Federal Register at least 14 calendar days prior to the 
meeting date. Appropriate notice by any means that will result in wide 
publicity in the major fishing ports of the region (and in other major 
fishing ports having a direct interest in the affected fishery) must be 
given. E-mail notification and website postings alone are not 
sufficient. The published agenda of a regular meeting may not be 
modified to include additional matters for Council action without public 
notice given at least 14 calendar days prior to the meeting date, unless 
such modification is necessary to address an emergency under section 
305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, in which case public notice shall be 
given immediately. Drafts of all regular public meeting notices must be 
received by NMFS headquarters office at least 23 calendar days before 
the first day of the regular meeting. Councils must ensure that all 
public meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities, and that 
the public can make timely requests for language interpreters or other 
auxiliary aids at public meetings.
    (b) Emergency meetings. Drafts of emergency public notices must be 
transmitted to the NMFS headquarters office at least 5 working days 
prior to the first day of the emergency meeting. Although notices of and 
agendas for emergency meetings are not required to be published in the 
Federal Register, notices of emergency meetings must be promptly 
announced through any means that will result in wide publicity in the 
major fishing ports of the region. E-mail notification and website 
postings alone are not sufficient.
    (c) Closed meetings. After proper notification by any means that 
will result in wide publicity in the major fishing ports within the 
region and, having included in the notification the time and place of 
the meeting and the reason for closing any meeting or portion thereof to 
the public, a Council, CCC, SSC, AP, FIAC, or other committees:
    (1) Must close any meeting, or portion thereof, that concerns 
information bearing a national security classification.
    (2) May close any meeting, or portion thereof, that concerns matters 
or information pertaining to national security, employment matters, or 
briefings on litigation in which the Council is interested.
    (3) May close any meeting, or portion thereof, that concerns 
internal administrative matters other than employment. Examples of other 
internal administrative matters include candidates for appointment to 
AP, SSC, and other subsidiary bodies and public decorum or medical 
conditions of members of a Council or its subsidiary bodies. In deciding 
whether to close a portion of a meeting to discuss internal 
administrative matters, the Council, CCC, SSC, AP, FIAC, or other 
committees should consider not only the privacy interests of individuals 
whose conduct or qualifications may be discussed, but also the interest 
of the public in being informed of Council operations and actions.
    (d) Without the notice required by paragraph (c) of this section, a 
Council, CCC, SSC, AP, FIAC, or other committees may briefly close a 
portion of a meeting to discuss employment or other internal 
administrative matters. The closed portion of a meeting that is closed 
without notice may not exceed two hours.
    (e) Before closing a meeting or portion thereof, the Council, CCC, 
SSC, AP, FIAC, or other committees should consult with the NOAA Office 
of General Counsel to ensure that the matters to be discussed fall 
within the exceptions to the requirement to hold public meetings 
described in paragraph (c) of this section.
    (f) Actions that affect the public, although based on discussions in 
closed meetings, must be taken in public. For example, appointments to 
an AP must

[[Page 20]]

be made in the public part of the meeting; however, a decision to take 
disciplinary action against a Council employee need not be announced to 
the public.
    (g) A majority of the voting members of any Council constitute a 
quorum for Council meetings, but one or more such members designated by 
the Council may hold hearings.
    (h) Decisions of any Council are by majority vote of the voting 
members present and voting (except for a vote to propose removal of a 
Council member, see 50 CFR 600.230). Voting by proxy is permitted only 
pursuant to 50 CFR 600.205 (b). An abstention does not affect the 
unanimity of a vote.
    (i) Voting members of the Council who disagree with the majority on 
any issue to be submitted to the Secretary, including principal state 
officials raising federalism issues, may submit a written statement of 
their reasons for dissent. If any Council member elects to file such a 
statement, it should be submitted to the Secretary at the same time the 
majority report is submitted.

[66 FR 57887, Nov. 19, 2001, as amended at 75 FR 59150, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.140  Procedure for proposed regulations.

    (a) Each Council must establish a written procedure for proposed 
regulations consistent with section 303(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. 
The procedure must describe how the Council deems proposed regulations 
necessary or appropriate for the purposes of implementing a fishery 
management plan or a plan amendment, or making modifications to 
regulations implementing a fishery management plan or plan amendment. In 
addition, the procedure must describe how the Council submits proposed 
regulations to the Secretary.
    (b) The Councils must include the procedure for proposed regulations 
in its SOPP, see Sec. 600.115, or other written documentation that is 
available to the public.

[75 FR 59150, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.150  Disposition of records.

    (a) Council records must be handled in accordance with NOAA records 
management office procedures. All records and documents created or 
received by Council employees while in active duty status belong to the 
Federal Government. When employees leave the Council, they may not take 
the original or file copies of records with them.
    (b) Each Council is required to maintain documents generally 
available to the public on its Internet site. Documents for posting must 
include: fishery management plans and their amendments for the fisheries 
for which the Council is responsible, drafts of fishery management plans 
and plan amendments under consideration, analysis of actions the Council 
has under review, minutes or official reports of past meetings of the 
Council and its committees, materials provided by the Council staff to 
Council members in preparation for meetings, and other Council documents 
of interest to the public. For documents too large to maintain on the 
Web site, not available electronically, or seldom requested, the Council 
must provide copies of the documents for viewing at the Council office 
during regular business hours or may provide the documents through the 
mail.

[66 FR 57887, Nov. 19, 2001, as amended at 75 FR 59151, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.155  Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

    (a) FOIA requests received by a Council should be coordinated 
promptly with the appropriate NMFS Regional Office. The Region will 
forward the request to the NMFS FOIA Official to secure a FOIA number 
and log into the FOIA system. The Region will also obtain clearance from 
the NOAA General Counsel's Office concerning initial determination for 
denial of requested information.
    (b) FOIA requests will be controlled and documented in the Region. 
The requests should be forwarded to the NMFS FOIA Officer who will 
prepare the Form CD-244, ``FOIA Request and Action Record'', with the 
official FOIA number and due date. In the event the Region determines 
that the requested information is exempt from disclosure, in full or in 
part, under the FOIA, the denial letter prepared for the Assistant 
Administrator's signature, along with the ``Foreseeable Harm'' Memo and 
list

[[Page 21]]

of documents to be withheld, must be cleared through the NMFS FOIA 
Officer. Upon completion, a copy of the signed CD-244 and cover letter 
transmitting the information should be provided to the NMFS FOIA Officer 
and the NOAA FOIA Officer.

[66 FR 57887, Nov. 19, 2001]



                      Subpart C_Council Membership



Sec. 600.205  Principal state officials and their designees.

    (a) Only a full-time state employee of the state agency responsible 
for marine and/or anadromous fisheries shall be appointed by a 
constituent state Governor as the principal state official for purposes 
of section 302(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (b) A principal state official may name his/her designee(s) to act 
on his/her behalf at Council meetings. Individuals designated to serve 
as designees of a principal state official on a Council, pursuant to 
section 302(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, must be a resident of 
the state and be knowledgeable and experienced, by reason of his or her 
occupational or other experience, scientific expertise, or training, in 
the fishery resources of the geographic area of concern to the Council.
    (c) New or revised appointments by state Governors of principal 
state officials and new or revised designations by principal state 
officials of their designees(s) must be delivered in writing to the 
appropriate NMFS Regional Administrator and the Council chair at least 
48 hours before the individual may vote on any issue before the Council. 
A designee may not name another designee. Written appointment of the 
principal state official must indicate his or her employment status, how 
the official is employed by the state fisheries agency, and whether the 
official's full salary is paid by the state. Written designation(s) by 
the principal state official must indicate how the designee is 
knowledgeable and experienced in fishery resources of the geographic 
area of concern to the Council, the County in which the designee 
resides, and whether the designee's salary is paid by the state.

[66 FR 57888, Nov. 19, 2001]



Sec. 600.207  Pacific Fishery Management Council Tribal Indian representative 

and alternate.

    (a) The tribal Indian representative to the Pacific Fishery 
Management Council may designate an alternate during the period of the 
representative's term. The designee must be knowledgeable concerning 
tribal rights, tribal law, and the fishery resources of the geographical 
area concerned.
    (b) New or revised designations of an alternate by the tribal Indian 
representative must be delivered in writing to the appropriate NMFS 
Regional Administrator and the Council chair at least 48 hours before 
the designee may vote on any issue before the Council. In that written 
document, the tribal Indian representative must indicate how the 
designee meets the knowledge requirements under paragraph (a) of this 
section.

[75 FR 59151, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.210  Terms of Council members.

    (a) Voting members (other than principal state officials, the 
Regional Administrators, or their designees) are appointed for a term of 
3 years and, except as discussed in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this 
section, may be reappointed. A voting member's Council service of 18 
months or more during a term of office will be counted as service for 
the entire 3-year term.
    (b) The anniversary date for measuring terms of membership is August 
11. The Secretary may designate a term of appointment shorter than 3 
years, if necessary, to provide for balanced expiration of terms of 
office. Members may not serve more than three consecutive terms.
    (c) A member who has completed three consecutive terms will be 
eligible for appointment to another term one full year after completion 
of the third consecutive term.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7073, Feb. 12, 1998; 75 
FR 59151, Sept. 27, 2010]

[[Page 22]]



Sec. 600.215  Council nomination and appointment procedures.

    (a) General. (1) Each year, the 3-year terms for approximately one-
third of the appointed members of the Councils expire. The Secretary of 
Commerce (Secretary) will appoint or new members or will reappoint 
seated members to another term to fill the seats being vacated.
    (2) There are two categories of seats to which voting members are 
appointed: ``Obligatory'' and ``At-large.''
    (i) Obligatory seats are state specific. Each constituent state is 
entitled to one seat on the Council on which it is a member, except that 
the State of Alaska is entitled to five seats and the State of 
Washington is entitled to two seats on the North Pacific Fishery 
Management Council. When the term of a state's obligatory member is 
expiring or when that seat becomes vacant before the expiration of its 
term, the governor of that state must submit the names of at least three 
qualified individuals to fill that Council seat.
    (ii) The Magnuson-Stevens Act also provides for appointment, by the 
Secretary, of one treaty Indian tribal representative to the Pacific 
Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council). To fill that seat, the 
Secretary solicits written nominations from the heads of governments of 
those Indian Tribes with federally recognized fishing rights from the 
States of California, Oregon, Washington, or Idaho. The list of nominees 
must contain a total of at least three individuals who are knowledgeable 
and experienced regarding the fishery resources under the authority of 
the Pacific Council. The Secretary will appoint one tribal Indian 
representative from this list to the Pacific Council for a term of 3 
years and rotate the appointment among the tribes.
    (iii) At-large seats are regional. When the term of an at-large 
member is expiring or when that seat becomes vacant before the 
expiration of a term, the governors of all constituent states of that 
Council must each submit the names of at least three qualified 
individuals to fill the seat.
    (b) Responsibilities of State Governors. (1) Council members are 
selected by the Secretary from lists of nominees submitted by Governors 
of the constituent states, pursuant to section 302(b)(2)(C) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act. For each applicable vacancy, a Governor must 
submit the names of at least three nominees who meet the qualification 
requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. A Governor must provide a 
statement explaining how each of his/her nominees meet the qualification 
requirements, and must also provide appropriate documentation to the 
Secretary that each nomination was made in consultation with commercial 
and recreational fishing interests of that state and that each nominee 
is knowledgeable and experienced by reason of his or her occupational or 
other experience, scientific expertise, or training in one or more of 
the following ways related to the fishery resources of the geographical 
area of concern to the Council:
    (i) Commercial fishing or the processing or marketing of fish, fish 
products, or fishing equipment;
    (ii) Fishing for pleasure, relaxation, or consumption, or experience 
in any business supporting fishing;
    (iii) Leadership in a state, regional, or national organization 
whose members participate in a fishery in the Council's area of 
authority;
    (iv) The management and conservation of natural resources, including 
related interactions with industry, government bodies, academic 
institutions, and public agencies. This includes experience serving as a 
member of a Council, Advisory Panel, Scientific and Statistical 
Committee, or Fishing Industry Advisory Committee;
    (v) Representing consumers of fish or fish products through 
participation in local, state, or national organizations, or performing 
other activities specifically related to the education or protection of 
consumers of marine resources; or
    (vi) Teaching, journalism, writing, consulting, practicing law, or 
researching matters related to fisheries, fishery management, and marine 
resource conservation.
    (2) To assist in identifying qualifications, each nominee must 
furnish to the appropriate governor's office a current resume, or 
equivalent, describing

[[Page 23]]

career history--with particular attention to experience related to the 
criteria in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. Nominees may provide such 
information in any format they wish.
    (3) A constituent State Governor must determine the state of 
residency of each of his/her nominees. A Governor may not nominate a 
non-resident of that state for appointment to a Council seat obligated 
to that state. A Governor may nominate residents of another constituent 
state of a Council for appointment to an at large seat on that Council.
    (4) If, at any time during a term, a member changes residency to 
another state that is not a constituent state of that Council, or a 
member appointed to an obligatory seat changes residency to any other 
state, the member may no longer vote and must resign from the Council. 
For purposes of this paragraph, a state resident is an individual who 
maintains his/her principal residence within that constituent state and 
who, if applicable, pays income taxes to that state and/or to another 
appropriate jurisdiction within that state.
    (5) When the terms of both an obligatory member and an at-large 
member expire concurrently, the Governor of the state holding the 
expiring obligatory seat may indicate that the nominees who were not 
selected for appointment to the obligatory seat may be considered for 
appointment to an at-large seat, provided that the resulting total 
number of nominees submitted by that governor for the expiring at-large 
seat is no fewer than three different nominees.
    (c) Nominees to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. (1) 
The Governors of States submitting nominees to the Secretary for 
appointment to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council shall 
include:
    (i) At least one nominee each from the commercial, recreational, and 
charter fishing sectors, except that an individual who owns or operates 
a fish farm outside the United States shall not be considered to be a 
representative of the commercial or recreational sector; and
    (ii) At least one other individual who is knowledgeable regarding 
the conservation and management of fisheries resources in the 
jurisdiction of the Council.
    (2) Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of 
this section, if the Secretary determines that the list of names 
submitted by the Governor does not meet the requirements of paragraph 
(c)(1) of this section, the Secretary shall:
    (i) Publish a notice in the Federal Register asking the residents of 
that State to submit the names and pertinent biographical data of 
individuals who would meet the requirements of this section that were 
not met for appointment to the Council; and
    (ii) Add the name of any qualified individual submitted by the 
public who meets the requirements of this section that were not met to 
the list of names submitted by the Governor.
    (3) The requirements of this paragraph (c) shall expire at the end 
of fiscal year 2012, meaning through September 30, 2012.
    (d) Responsibilities of eligible tribal Indian governments. The 
tribal Indian representative on the Pacific Council will be selected by 
the Secretary from a list of no fewer than three individuals submitted 
by the tribal Indian governments with federally recognized fishing 
rights from California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, pursuant to 
section 302(b)(5) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. To assist in assessing 
the qualifications of each nominee, each head of an appropriate tribal 
Indian government must furnish to the Assistant Administrator a current 
resume, or equivalent, describing the nominee's qualifications, with 
emphasis on knowledge and experience related to the fishery resources 
affected by recommendations of the Pacific Council. Prior service on the 
Pacific Council in a different capacity will not disqualify nominees 
proposed by tribal Indian governments.
    (e) Nomination deadlines. Nomination packages (governors' letters 
and completed nomination kits) must be forwarded by express mail under a 
single mailing to arrive at the address specified by the Assistant 
Administrator by March 15. For appointments outside the normal cycle, 
the Secretary will

[[Page 24]]

provide a deadline for receipt of nominations to the affected Council 
and state governors.
    (1) Obligatory seats. (i) The Governor of the state for which the 
term of an obligatory seat is expiring should submit the names of at 
least three qualified individuals to fill that seat by the March 15 
deadline. The Secretary will appoint to the Pacific Fishery Management 
Council a representative of an Indian tribe from a list of no fewer than 
three individuals submitted by the tribal Indian governments.
    (ii) If the Governor or tribal Indian governments fail to provide a 
nomination letter and at least three complete nomination kits by March 
15, the obligatory seat will remain vacant until all required 
information has been received and processed and the Secretary has made 
the appointment.
    (2) At-large seats. (i) If a Governor chooses to submit nominations 
for an at-large seat, he/she must submit lists that contain at least 
three qualified nominees for each vacant seat. A nomination letter and a 
nomination kit for each qualified nominee must be forwarded by express 
mail under a single mailing to arrive at the address specified by the 
Assistant Administrator by March 15.
    (ii) Nomination packages that are not substantially complete by 
March 15 may be returned to the nominating Governor. At-large members 
will be appointed from among the nominations submitted by the governors 
who complied with the nomination requirements.
    (f) Responsibilities of the Secretary. (1) The Secretary must, to 
the extent practicable, ensure a fair and balanced apportionment, on a 
rotating or other basis, of the active participants (or their 
representatives) in the commercial and recreational fisheries in the 
Council's area of authority. Further, the Secretary must take action to 
ensure, to the extent practicable, that those persons dependent for 
their livelihood upon the fisheries in the Council's area of authority 
are fairly represented as voting members on the Councils.
    (2) The Secretary will review each list submitted by a governor or 
the tribal Indian governments to ascertain whether the individuals on 
the list are qualified for the vacancy. If the Secretary determines that 
a nominee is not qualified, the Secretary will notify the appropriate 
Governor or tribal Indian government of that determination. The Governor 
or tribal Indian government shall then submit a revised list of nominees 
or resubmit the original list with an additional explanation of the 
qualifications of the nominee in question. The Secretary reserves the 
right to determine whether nominees are qualified.
    (3) The Secretary will select the appointees from lists of qualified 
nominees provided by the Governors of the constituent Council states or 
of the tribal Indian governments that are eligible to nominate 
candidates for that vacancy.
    (i) For Governor-nominated seats, the Secretary will select an 
appointee for an obligatory seat from the list of qualified nominees 
submitted by the governor of the state. In filling expiring at-large 
seats, the Secretary will select an appointee(s) for an at-large seat(s) 
from the list of all qualified candidates submitted. The Secretary will 
consider only complete slates of nominees submitted by the governors of 
the Council's constituent states. When an appointed member vacates his/
her seat prior to the expiration of his/her term, the Secretary will 
fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term by selecting from 
complete nomination letters and kits that are timely and contain the 
required number of candidates.
    (ii) For the tribal Indian seat, the Secretary will solicit 
nominations of individuals for the list referred to in paragraph (c) of 
this section only from those Indian tribes with federally recognized 
fishing rights from California, Oregon, Washington, or Idaho. The 
Secretary will consult with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of 
the Interior, to determine which Indian tribes may submit nominations. 
Any vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of any term shall be 
filled in the same manner as described in paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of 
this section, except that the Secretary may use the list referred to in 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section from

[[Page 25]]

which the vacating member was chosen. The Secretary shall rotate the 
appointment among the tribes, taking into consideration:
    (A) The qualifications of the individuals on the list referred to in 
paragraph (c) of this section.
    (B) The various rights of the Indian tribes involved, and judicial 
cases that set out the manner in which these rights are to be exercised.
    (C) The geographic area in which the tribe of the representative is 
located.
    (D) The limitation that no tribal Indian representative shall serve 
more than three consecutive terms in the Indian tribal seat.

[64 FR 4600, Jan. 29, 1999, as amended at 75 FR 59151, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.220  Oath of office.

    As trustees of the nation's fishery resources, all voting members 
must take an oath specified by the Secretary as follows: ``I, [name of 
the person taking oath], as a duly appointed member of a Regional 
Fishery Management Council established under the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act, hereby promise to conserve and 
manage the living marine resources of the United States of America by 
carrying out the business of the Council for the greatest overall 
benefit of the Nation. I recognize my responsibility to serve as a 
knowledgeable and experienced trustee of the Nation's marine fisheries 
resources, being careful to balance competing private or regional 
interests, and always aware and protective of the public interest in 
those resources. I commit myself to uphold the provisions, standards, 
and requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act and other applicable law, and shall conduct myself at all 
times according to the rules of conduct prescribed by the Secretary of 
Commerce. This oath is given freely and without mental reservation or 
purpose of evasion.''

[75 FR 59152, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.225  Rules of conduct.

    (a) Council members, as Federal office holders, and Council 
employees are subject to most Federal criminal statutes covering 
bribery, conflict-of-interest, disclosure of confidential information, 
and lobbying with appropriated funds.
    (b) The Councils are responsible for maintaining high standards of 
ethical conduct among themselves, their staffs, and their advisory 
groups. In addition to abiding by the applicable Federal conflict of 
interest statutes, both members and employees of the Councils must 
comply with the following standards of conduct:
    (1) No employee of a Council may use his or her official authority 
or influence derived from his or her position with the Council for the 
purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election to or 
a nomination for any national, state, county, or municipal elective 
office.
    (2) Council members, employees, and contractors must comply with the 
Federal Cost Principles Applicable to Regional Fishery Management 
Council Grants and Cooperative Agreements, especially with regard to 
lobbying, and other restrictions with regard to lobbying as specified in 
Sec. 600.227 of this part.
    (3) No employee of a Council may be deprived of employment, 
position, work, compensation, or benefit provided for or made possible 
by the Magnuson-Stevens Act on account of any political activity or lack 
of such activity in support of or in opposition to any candidate or any 
political party in any national, state, county, or municipal election, 
or on account of his or her political affiliation.
    (4) No Council member or employee may pay, offer, promise, solicit, 
or receive from any person, firm, or corporation a contribution of money 
or anything of value in consideration of either support or the use of 
influence or the promise of support or influence in obtaining for any 
person any appointive office, place, or employment under the Council.
    (5) No employee of a Council may have a direct or indirect financial 
interest that conflicts with the fair and impartial conduct of his or 
her Council duties.
    (6) No Council member, employee of a Council, or member of a Council 
advisory group may use or allow the use,

[[Page 26]]

for other than official purposes, of information obtained through or in 
connection with his or her Council employment that has not been made 
available to the general public.
    (7) No Council member or employee of the Council may engage in 
criminal, infamous, dishonest, notoriously immoral, or disgraceful 
conduct.
    (8) No Council member or employee of the Council may use Council 
property on other than official business. Such property must be 
protected and preserved from improper or deleterious operation or use.
    (9)(i) Except as provided in Sec. 600.235(h) or in 18 U.S.C. 208, 
no Council member may participate personally and substantially as a 
member through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, the 
rendering of advice, investigation, or otherwise, in a particular matter 
in which the member, the member's spouse, minor child, general partner, 
organization in which the member is serving as officer, director, 
trustee, general partner, or employee, or any person or organization 
with whom the member is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning 
prospective employment, has a financial interest. (Note that this 
financial interest is broader than the one defined in Sec. 600.235(a).)
    (ii) No Council member may participate personally and substantially 
as a member through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, the 
rendering of advice, investigation, or otherwise, in a particular matter 
primarily of individual concern, such as a contract, in which he or she 
has a financial interest, even if the interest has been disclosed in 
accordance with Sec. 600.235.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 63 
FR 64185, Nov. 19, 1998; 75 FR 59152, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.227  Lobbying.

    (a) Council members, employees and contractors must comply with the 
requirements of 31 U.S.C. 1352 and Department of Commerce implementing 
regulations published at 15 CFR part 28, ``New Restrictions on 
Lobbying.'' These provisions generally prohibit the use of Federal funds 
for lobbying the Executive or Legislative Branches of the Federal 
Government in connection with the award. Because the Councils receive in 
excess of $100,000 in Federal funding, the regulations mandate that the 
Councils must complete Form SF-LLL, ``Disclosure of Lobbying 
Activities,'' regarding the use of non Federal funds for lobbying. The 
Form SF-LLL shall be submitted within 30 days following the end of the 
calendar quarter in which there occurs any event that requires 
disclosure or that materially affects the accuracy of the information 
contained in any disclosure form previously filed. The recipient must 
submit the Forms SF-LLL, including those received from subrecipients, 
contractors, and subcontractors, to the Grants Officer.
    (b) Council members, employees, and contractors must comply with the 
Federal Cost Principles Applicable to Regional Fishery Management 
Council Grants and Cooperative Agreements summarized as follows:
    (1) Title 2 CFR part 230 - Cost Principles for Nonprofit 
Organizations (OMB CircularA-122) is applicable to the Federal 
assistance awards issued to the Councils.
    (2) The purpose of the cost principles at 2 CFR part 230 is to 
define what costs can be paid on Federal awards issued to non-profit 
organizations. The regulation establishes both general principles and 
detailed items of costs.
    (3) Under 2 CFR part 230, costs for certain lobbying activities are 
unallowable as charges to Federal awards. These activities would include 
any attempts to influence:
    (i) The introduction of Federal or state legislation;
    (ii) The enactment or modification of any pending legislation by 
preparing, distributing, or using publicity or propaganda, or by urging 
members of the general public to contribute to or to participate in any 
demonstration, march, rally, fundraising drive, lobbying campaign, or 
letter writing or telephone campaign.
    (4) Generally, costs associated with providing a technical and 
factual presentation directly related to the performance of a grant, 
through hearing testimony, statements, or letters to

[[Page 27]]

Congress or a state legislature are allowable if made in response to a 
documented request.
    (5) Costs associated with lobbying to influence state legislation in 
order to reduce the cost or to avoid material impairment of the 
organization's authority to perform the grant are also allowable.

[75 FR 59152, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.230  Removal.

    The Secretary may remove for cause any Secretarially appointed 
member of a Council in accordance with section 302(b)(6) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, wherein the Council concerned first recommends 
removal of that member by not less than two-thirds of the voting 
members. A recommendation of a Council to remove a member must be made 
in writing to the Secretary and accompanied by a statement of the 
reasons upon which the recommendation is based.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7073, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.235  Financial disclosure.

    (a) Definitions. For purposes of Sec. 600.235:
    Affected individual means an individual who is--
    (1) Nominated by the Governor of a state or appointed by the 
Secretary of Commerce to serve as a voting member of a Council in 
accordance with section 302(b)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act; or
    (2) A representative of an Indian tribe appointed to the Pacific 
Council by the Secretary of Commerce under section 302(b)(5) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act who is not subject to disclosure and recusal 
requirements under the laws of an Indian tribal government.
    (3) A member of an SSC shall be treated as an affected individual 
for the purposes of paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(5) through (b)(7), and (i) of 
this section.
    Council decision means approval of a fishery management plan (FMP) 
or FMP amendment (including any proposed regulations); request for 
amendment to regulations implementing an FMP; finding that an emergency 
exists involving any fishery (including recommendations for responding 
to the emergency); and comments to the Secretary on FMPs or amendments 
developed by the Secretary. It does not include a vote by a committee of 
a Council.
    Designated official means an attorney designated by the NOAA General 
Counsel.
    Financial Interest Form means NOAA Form 88-195, ``STATEMENT OF 
FINANCIAL INTERESTS For Use By Voting Members of, and Nominees to, the 
Regional Fishery Management Councils, and Members of the Scientific and 
Statistical Committee (SSC)'' or such other form as the Secretary may 
prescribe.
    Financial interest in harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or 
marketing (1) includes:
    (i) Stock, equity, or other ownership interests in, or employment 
with, any company, business, fishing vessel, or other entity or 
employment with any entity that has any percentage ownership in or by 
another entity engaging in any harvesting, processing, lobbying, 
advocacy, or marketing activity in any fishery under the jurisdiction of 
the Council concerned;
    (ii) Stock, equity, or other ownership interests in, or employment 
with, any company or other entity or employment with any entity that has 
any percentage ownership in or by another entity that provides equipment 
or other services essential to harvesting, processing, lobbying, 
advocacy, or marketing activities in any fishery under the jurisdiction 
of the Council concerned, such as a chandler or a dock operation;
    (iii) Employment with, or service as an officer, director, or 
trustee of, an association whose members include companies, vessels, or 
other entities engaged in any harvesting, processing, lobbying, 
advocacy, or marketing activities, or companies or other entities 
providing services essential to harvesting, processing, lobbying, 
advocacy, or marketing activities in any fishery under the jurisdiction 
of the Council concerned; and
    (iv) Employment with an entity that has any percentage ownership in 
or by another entity providing consulting, legal, or representational 
services to

[[Page 28]]

any entity engaging in, or providing equipment or services essential to 
harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing activities in 
any fishery under the jurisdiction of the Council concerned, or to any 
association whose members include entities engaged in the activities 
described in paragraphs (1)(i) and (ii) of this definition;
    (2) Does not include stock, equity, or other ownership interests in, 
or employment with, an entity engaging in scientific fisheries research 
in any fishery under the jurisdiction of the Council concerned, unless 
it is covered under paragraph (1) of this definition. A financial 
interest in such entities is covered by 18 U.S.C. 208, the Federal 
conflict-of-interest statute.
    (b) Reporting. (1) The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires the disclosure 
of any financial interest in harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, 
or marketing activity that is being, or will be, undertaken within any 
fishery over which the Council concerned has jurisdiction. An affected 
individual must disclose such financial interest held by that 
individual; the affected individual's spouse, minor child, partner; or 
any organization (other than the Council) in which that individual is 
serving as an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee. The 
information required to be reported must be disclosed on the Financial 
Interest Form (as defined in paragraph (a) of this section), or such 
other form as the Secretary may prescribe.
    (2) The Financial Interest Form must be filed by each nominee for 
Secretarial appointment to the Council with the Assistant Administrator 
by April 15 or, if nominated after March 15, one month after nomination 
by the Governor. A seated voting member appointed by the Secretary must 
file a Financial Interest Form with the Executive Director of the 
appropriate Council within 45 days of taking office; must file an update 
of his or her statement with the Executive Director of the appropriate 
Council within 30 days of the time any such financial interest is 
acquired or substantially changed by the affected individual or the 
affected individual's spouse, minor child, partner, or any organization 
(other than the Council) in which that individual is serving as an 
officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee; and must update his or 
her form annually and file that update with the Executive Director of 
the appropriate Council by February 1 of each year, regardless of 
whether any information has changed on that form.
    (3) The Executive Director must, in a timely manner, provide copies 
of and updates to the Financial Interest Forms of appointed Council 
members to the NMFS Regional Administrator, the Regional Attorney who 
advises the Council, the Department of Commerce Assistant General 
Counsel for Administration, and the NMFS Office of Sustainable 
Fisheries. These completed Financial Interest Forms shall be kept on 
file in the office of the NMFS Regional Administrator and at the Council 
offices, and shall be made available for public inspection at such 
offices during normal office hours. In addition, the forms shall be made 
available at each Council meeting or hearing and shall be posted for 
download from the Internet on the Council's website.
    (4) Councils must retain the Financial Interest Form for a Council 
member for at least 5 years after the expiration of that individual's 
last term.
    (5) An individual being considered for appointment to an SSC must 
file the Financial Interest Form with the Regional Administrator for the 
geographic area concerned within 45 days prior to appointment. A member 
of the SSC must file an update of his or her statement with the Regional 
Administrator for the geographic area concerned within 30 days of the 
time any such financial interest is acquired or substantially changed by 
the SSC member or the SSC member's spouse, minor child, partner, or any 
organization (other than the Council) in which that individual is 
serving as an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee; and must 
update his or her form annually and file that update with the Regional 
Administrator by February 1 of each year.
    (6) An individual who serves as an SSC member to more than one 
Council shall file Financial Interest Forms with each Regional 
Administrator for the geographic areas concerned.

[[Page 29]]

    (7) The Regional Administrator shall maintain on file the Financial 
Interest Forms of all SSC members for at least five years after the 
expiration of that individual's term on the SSC. Such Forms are not 
subject to sections 302(j)(5)(B) and (C) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (c) Restrictions on voting. (1) No affected individual may vote on 
any Council decision that would have a significant and predictable 
effect on a financial interest disclosed in his/her report filed under 
paragraph (b) of this section.
    (2) As used in this section, a Council decision will be considered 
to have a ``significant and predictable effect on a financial interest'' 
if there is a close causal link between the decision and an expected and 
substantially disproportionate benefit to the financial interest in 
harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing of any affected 
individual or the affected individual's spouse, minor child, partner, or 
any organization (other than the Council) in which that individual is 
serving as an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee, relative 
to the financial interests of other participants in the same gear type 
or sector of the fishery. The relative financial interests of the 
affected individual and other participants will be determined with 
reference to the most recent fishing year for which information is 
available. However, for fisheries in which IFQs are assigned, the 
percentage of IFQs assigned to the affected individual will be the 
determining factor.
    (3) ``Expected and substantially disproportionate benefit'' means a 
quantifiable positive or negative impact with regard to a matter likely 
to affect a fishery or sector of the fishery in which the affected 
individual has a significant interest, as indicated by:
    (i) A greater than 10-percent interest in the total harvest of the 
fishery or sector of the fishery in question;
    (ii) A greater than 10-percent interest in the marketing or 
processing of the total harvest of the fishery or sector of the fishery 
in question; or
    (iii) Full or partial ownership of more than 10 percent of the 
vessels using the same gear type within the fishery or sector of the 
fishery in question.
    (4) A member of an SSC is not subject to the restrictions on voting 
under this section.
    (d) Voluntary recusal. An affected individual who believes that a 
Council decision would have a significant and predictable effect on that 
individual's financial interest disclosed under paragraph (b) of this 
section may, at any time before a vote is taken, announce to the Council 
an intent not to vote on the decision and identify the financial 
interest that would be affected.
    (e) Participation in deliberations. Notwithstanding paragraph (c) of 
this section, an affected individual who is recused from voting under 
this section may participate in Council and committee deliberations 
relating to the decision, after notifying the Council of the voting 
recusal and identifying the financial interest that would be affected.
    (f) Requests for determination. (1) At the request of an affected 
individual, the designated official shall determine for the record 
whether a Council decision would have a significant and predictable 
effect on that individual's financial interest. The determination will 
be based upon a review of the information contained in the individual's 
financial disclosure form and any other reliable and probative 
information provided in writing. All information considered will be made 
part of the public record for the decision. The affected individual may 
request a determination by notifying the designated official--
    (i) Within a reasonable time before the Council meeting at which the 
Council decision will be made; or
    (ii) During a Council meeting before a Council vote on the decision.
    (2) The designated official may initiate a determination on the 
basis of--
    (i) His or her knowledge of the fishery and the financial interests 
disclosed by an affected individual; or
    (ii) Written and signed information received within a reasonable 
time before a Council meeting or, if the issue could not have been 
anticipated before the meeting, during a Council meeting before a 
Council vote on the decision.
    (3) At the beginning of each Council meeting, or during a Council 
meeting

[[Page 30]]

at any time reliable and probative information is received, the 
designated official shall announce the receipt of information relevant 
to a determination concerning recusal, the nature of that information, 
and the identity of the submitter of such information.
    (4) If the designated official determines that the affected 
individual may not vote, the individual may state for the record how he 
or she would have voted. A Council Chair may not allow such an 
individual to cast a vote.
    (5) A reversal of a determination under paragraph (g) of this 
section may not be treated as cause for invalidation or reconsideration 
by the Secretary of a Council's decision.
    (g) Review of determinations. (1) Any Council member may file a 
written request to the NOAA General Counsel for review of the designated 
official's determination. A request for review must be received within 
10 days of the determination.
    (2) A request must include a full statement in support of the 
review, including a concise statement as to why the Council's decision 
did or did not have a significantly disproportionate benefit to the 
financial interest of the affected individual relative to the financial 
interests of other participants in the same gear type or sector of the 
fishery, and why the designated official's determination should be 
reversed.
    (3) If the request for review is from a Council member other than 
the affected individual whose vote is at issue, the requester must 
provide a copy of the request to the affected individual at the same 
time it is submitted to the NOAA General Counsel. The affected 
individual may submit a response to the NOAA General Counsel within 10 
days from the date of his/her receipt of the request for review.
    (4) The NOAA General Counsel must complete the review and issue a 
decision within 30 days from the date of receipt of the request for 
review. The NOAA General Counsel will limit the review to the record 
before the designated official at the time of the determination, the 
request, and any response.
    (h) The provisions of 18 U.S.C. 208 regarding conflicts of interest 
do not apply to an affected individual who is a voting member of a 
Council appointed by the Secretary, as described under section 
302(j)(1)(A)(ii) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and who is in compliance 
with the requirements of this section for filing a financial disclosure 
report. The provisions of 18 U.S.C. 208 do not apply to a member of an 
SSC, unless that individual is an officer or employee of the United 
States or is otherwise covered by the requirements of 18 U.S.C. 208.
    (i) It is unlawful for an affected individual to knowingly and 
willfully fail to disclose, or to falsely disclose, any financial 
interest as required by this section, or to knowingly vote on a Council 
decision in violation of this section. In addition to the penalties 
applicable under Sec. 600.735, a violation of this provision may result 
in removal of the affected individual from Council or SSC membership.

[63 FR 64185, Nov. 19, 1998, as amended at 75 FR 59152, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.240  Security assurances.

    (a) DOC Office of Security will issue security assurances to Council 
members following completion of favorable background investigations. A 
Council member's appointment is conditional until such time as the 
background investigation has been favorably adjudicated. The Secretary 
will revoke the member's appointment if that member receives an 
unfavorable background investigation. In instances in which Council 
members may need to discuss, at closed meetings, materials classified 
for national security purposes, the agency or individual (e.g., 
Department of State, U.S. Coast Guard) providing such classified 
information will be responsible for ensuring that Council members and 
other attendees have the appropriate security clearances.
    (b) Each nominee to a Council is required to complete a 
Certification of Status form (``form''). All nominees must certify, 
pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, whether they 
serve as an agent of a foreign principal. Each nominee must certify, 
date, sign, and return the form with his or her completed nomination 
kit. Nominees will not be considered for appointment to a Council if 
they have

[[Page 31]]

not filed this form. Any nominee who currently is an agent of a foreign 
principal will not be eligible for appointment to a Council, and 
therefore should not be nominated by a Governor for appointment.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended 75 FR 59153, Sept. 27, 2010]



Sec. 600.245  Council member compensation.

    (a) All voting Council members whose eligibility for compensation 
has been established in accordance with NOAA guidelines will be paid 
through the cooperative agreement as a direct line item on a contractual 
basis without deductions being made for Social Security or Federal and 
state income taxes. A report of compensation will be furnished each year 
by the member's Council to the proper Regional Program Officer, as 
required by the Internal Revenue Service. Such compensation may be paid 
on a full day's basis, whether in excess of 8 hours a day or less than 8 
hours a day. The time is compensable where the individual member is 
required to expend a significant private effort that substantially 
disrupts the daily routine to the extent that a work day is lost to the 
member. ``Homework'' time in preparation for formal Council meetings is 
not compensable.
    (b) Non-government Council members receive compensation for:
    (1) Days spent in actual attendance at a meeting of the Council or 
jointly with another Council.
    (2) Travel on the day preceding or following a scheduled meeting 
that precluded the member from conducting his normal business on the day 
in question.
    (3) Meetings of standing committees of the Council if approved in 
advance by the Chair.
    (4) Individual member meeting with scientific and technical 
advisors, when approved in advance by the Chair and a substantial 
portion of any day is spent at the meeting.
    (5) Conducting or attending hearings, when authorized in advance by 
the Chair.
    (6) Other meetings involving Council business when approved in 
advance by the Chair.
    (c) The Executive Director of each Council must submit to the 
appropriate Regional Office annually a report, approved by the Council 
Chair, of Council member compensation authorized. This report shall 
identify, for each member, amount paid, dates, and location and purpose 
of meetings attended.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 66 
FR 57888, Nov. 19, 2001]



Sec. 600.250  Council member training.

    (a) The Secretary shall provide a training course covering a variety 
of topics relevant to matters before the Councils and shall make the 
training course available to all Council members and staff and staff 
from NMFS regional offices and science centers. To the extent resources 
allow, the Secretary will make the training available to Council 
committee and advisory panel members.
    (b) Council members appointed after January 12, 2007, shall, within 
one year of appointment, complete the training course developed by the 
Secretary. Any Council member who completed such a training course 
within 24 months of January 12, 2007, is considered to have met the 
training requirement of this section.

[75 FR 59154, Sept. 27, 2010]



                      Subpart D_National Standards



Sec. 600.305  General.

    (a) Purpose. (1) This subpart establishes guidelines, based on the 
national standards, to assist in the development and review of FMPs, 
amendments, and regulations prepared by the Councils and the Secretary.
    (2) In developing FMPs, the Councils have the initial authority to 
ascertain factual circumstances, to establish management objectives, and 
to propose management measures that will achieve the objectives. The 
Secretary will determine whether the proposed management objectives and 
measures are consistent with the national standards, other provisions of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. The Secretary has an 
obligation under section 301(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens

[[Page 32]]

Act to inform the Councils of the Secretary's interpretation of the 
national standards so that they will have an understanding of the basis 
on which FMPs will be reviewed.
    (3) The national standards are statutory principles that must be 
followed in any FMP. The guidelines summarize Secretarial 
interpretations that have been, and will be, applied under these 
principles. The guidelines are intended as aids to decisionmaking; FMPs 
formulated according to the guidelines will have a better chance for 
expeditious Secretarial review, approval, and implementation. FMPs that 
are in substantial compliance with the guidelines, the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act, and other applicable law must be approved.
    (b) Fishery management objectives. (1) Each FMP, whether prepared by 
a Council or by the Secretary, should identify what the FMP is designed 
to accomplish (i.e., the management objectives to be attained in 
regulating the fishery under consideration). In establishing objectives, 
Councils balance biological constraints with human needs, reconcile 
present and future costs and benefits, and integrate the diversity of 
public and private interests. If objectives are in conflict, priorities 
should be established among them.
    (2) How objectives are defined is important to the management 
process. Objectives should address the problems of a particular fishery. 
The objectives should be clearly stated, practicably attainable, framed 
in terms of definable events and measurable benefits, and based upon a 
comprehensive rather than a fragmentary approach to the problems 
addressed. An FMP should make a clear distinction between objectives and 
the management measures chosen to achieve them. The objectives of each 
FMP provide the context within which the Secretary will judge the 
consistency of an FMP's conservation and management measures with the 
national standards.
    (c) Word usage. The word usage refers to all regulations in this 
subpart.
    (1) Must is used, instead of ``shall'', to denote an obligation to 
act; it is used primarily when referring to requirements of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, the logical extension thereof, or of other 
applicable law.
    (2) Shall is used only when quoting statutory language directly, to 
avoid confusion with the future tense.
    (3) Should is used to indicate that an action or consideration is 
strongly recommended to fulfill the Secretary's interpretation of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and is a factor reviewers will look for in 
evaluating a SOPP or FMP.
    (4) May is used in a permissive sense.
    (5) May not is proscriptive; it has the same force as ``must not.''
    (6) Will is used descriptively, as distinguished from denoting an 
obligation to act or the future tense.
    (7) Could is used when giving examples, in a hypothetical, 
permissive sense.
    (8) Can is used to mean ``is able to,'' as distinguished from 
``may.''
    (9) Examples are given by way of illustration and further 
explanation. They are not inclusive lists; they do not limit options.
    (10) Analysis, as a paragraph heading, signals more detailed 
guidance as to the type of discussion and examination an FMP should 
contain to demonstrate compliance with the standard in question.
    (11) Council includes the Secretary, as applicable, when preparing 
FMPs or amendments under section 304(c) and (g) of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act.
    (12) Stock or stock complex is used as a synonym for ``fishery'' in 
the sense of the Magnuson-Stevens Act's first definition of the term; 
that is, as ``one or more stocks of fish that can be treated as a unit 
for purposes of conservation and management and that are identified on 
the basis of geographic, scientific, technical, recreational, or 
economic characteristics,'' as distinguished from the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act's second definition of fishery as ``any fishing for such stocks.''

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 63 
FR 24229, May 1, 1998]



Sec. 600.310  National Standard 1--Optimum Yield.

    (a) Standard 1. Conservation and management measures shall prevent 
overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, the optimum yield 
(OY)

[[Page 33]]

from each fishery for the U.S. fishing industry.
    (b) General. (1) The guidelines set forth in this section describe 
fishery management approaches to meet the objectives of National 
Standard 1 (NS1), and include guidance on:
    (i) Specifying maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and OY;
    (ii) Specifying status determination criteria (SDC) so that 
overfishing and overfished determinations can be made for stocks and 
stock complexes that are part of a fishery;
    (iii) Preventing overfishing and achieving OY, incorporation of 
scientific and management uncertainty in control rules, and adaptive 
management using annual catch limits (ACL) and measures to ensure 
accountability (AM); and
    (iv) Rebuilding stocks and stock complexes.
    (2) Overview of Magnuson-Stevens Act concepts and provisions related 
to NS1--(i) MSY. The Magnuson-Stevens Act establishes MSY as the basis 
for fishery management and requires that: The fishing mortality rate 
does not jeopardize the capacity of a stock or stock complex to produce 
MSY; the abundance of an overfished stock or stock complex be rebuilt to 
a level that is capable of producing MSY; and OY not exceed MSY.
    (ii) OY. The determination of OY is a decisional mechanism for 
resolving the Magnuson-Stevens Act's conservation and management 
objectives, achieving a fishery management plan's (FMP) objectives, and 
balancing the various interests that comprise the greatest overall 
benefits to the Nation. OY is based on MSY as reduced under paragraphs 
(e)(3)(iii) and (iv) of this section. The most important limitation on 
the specification of OY is that the choice of OY and the conservation 
and management measures proposed to achieve it must prevent overfishing.
    (iii) ACLs and AMs. Any FMP which is prepared by any Council shall 
establish a mechanism for specifying ACLs in the FMP (including a 
multiyear plan), implementing regulations, or annual specifications, at 
a level such that overfishing does not occur in the fishery, including 
measures to ensure accountability (Magnuson-Stevens Act section 
303(a)(15)). Subject to certain exceptions and circumstances described 
in paragraph (h) of this section, this requirement takes effect in 
fishing year 2010, for fisheries determined subject to overfishing, and 
in fishing year 2011, for all other fisheries (Magnuson-Stevens Act 
section 303 note). ``Council'' includes the Regional Fishery Management 
Councils and the Secretary of Commerce, as appropriate (see Sec. 
600.305(c)(11)).
    (iv) Reference points. SDC, MSY, acceptable biological catch (ABC), 
and ACL, which are described further in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this 
section, are collectively referred to as ``reference points.''
    (v) Scientific advice. The Magnuson-Stevens Act has requirements 
regarding scientific and statistical committees (SSC) of the Regional 
Fishery Management Councils, including but not limited to, the following 
provisions:
    (A) Each Regional Fishery Management Council shall establish an SSC 
as described in section 302(g)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (B) Each SSC shall provide its Regional Fishery Management Council 
recommendations for ABC as well as other scientific advice, as described 
in Magnuson-Stevens Act section 302(g)(1)(B).
    (C) The Secretary and each Regional Fishery Management Council may 
establish a peer review process for that Council for scientific 
information used to advise the Council about the conservation and 
management of a fishery (see Magnuson-Stevens Act section 302(g)(1)(E)). 
If a peer review process is established, it should investigate the 
technical merits of stock assessments and other scientific information 
used by the SSC or agency or international scientists, as appropriate. 
For Regional Fishery Management Councils, the peer review process is not 
a substitute for the SSC and should work in conjunction with the SSC. 
For the Secretary, which does not have an SSC, the peer review process 
should provide the scientific information necessary.
    (D) Each Council shall develop ACLs for each of its managed 
fisheries that

[[Page 34]]

may not exceed the ``fishing level recommendations'' of its SSC or peer 
review process (Magnuson-Stevens Act section 302(h)(6)). The SSC 
recommendation that is the most relevant to ACLs is ABC, as both ACL and 
ABC are levels of annual catch.
    (3) Approach for setting limits and accountability measures, 
including targets, for consistency with NS1. In general, when specifying 
limits and accountability measures intended to avoid overfishing and 
achieve sustainable fisheries, Councils must take an approach that 
considers uncertainty in scientific information and management control 
of the fishery. These guidelines describe how to address uncertainty 
such that there is a low risk that limits are exceeded as described in 
paragraphs (f)(4) and (f)(6) of this section.
    (c) Summary of items to include in FMPs related to NS1. This section 
provides a summary of items that Councils must include in their FMPs and 
FMP amendments in order to address ACL, AM, and other aspects of the NS1 
guidelines. As described in further detail in paragraph (d) of this 
section, Councils may review their FMPs to decide if all stocks are ``in 
the fishery'' or whether some fit the category of ``ecosystem component 
species.'' Councils must also describe fisheries data for the stocks, 
stock complexes, and ecosystem component species in their FMPs, or 
associated public documents such as Stock Assessment and Fishery 
Evaluation (SAFE) Reports. For all stocks and stock complexes that are 
``in the fishery'' (see paragraph (d)(2) of this section), the Councils 
must evaluate and describe the following items in their FMPs and amend 
the FMPs, if necessary, to align their management objectives to end or 
prevent overfishing:
    (1) MSY and SDC (see paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section).
    (2) OY at the stock, stock complex, or fishery level and provide the 
OY specification analysis (see paragraph (e)(3) of this section).
    (3) ABC control rule (see paragraph (f)(4) of this section).
    (4) Mechanisms for specifying ACLs and possible sector-specific ACLs 
in relationship to the ABC (see paragraphs (f)(5) and (h) of this 
section).
    (5) AMs (see paragraphs (g) and (h)(1) of this section).
    (6) Stocks and stock complexes that have statutory exceptions from 
ACLs (see paragraph (h)(2) of this section) or which fall under limited 
circumstances which require different approaches to meet the ACL 
requirements (see paragraph (h)(3) of this section).
    (d) Classifying stocks in an FMP--(1) Introduction. Magnuson-Stevens 
Act section 303(a)(2) requires that an FMP contain, among other things, 
a description of the species of fish involved in the fishery. The 
relevant Council determines which specific target stocks and/or non-
target stocks to include in a fishery. This section provides that a 
Council may, but is not required to, use an ``ecosystem component (EC)'' 
species classification. As a default, all stocks in an FMP are 
considered to be ``in the fishery,'' unless they are identified as EC 
species (see Sec. 600.310(d)(5)) through an FMP amendment process.
    (2) Stocks in a fishery. Stocks in a fishery may be grouped into 
stock complexes, as appropriate. Requirements for reference points and 
management measures for these stocks are described throughout these 
guidelines.
    (3) ``Target stocks'' are stocks that fishers seek to catch for sale 
or personal use, including ``economic discards'' as defined under 
Magnuson-Stevens Act section 3(9).
    (4) ``Non-target species'' and ``non-target stocks'' are fish caught 
incidentally during the pursuit of target stocks in a fishery, including 
``regulatory discards'' as defined under Magnuson-Stevens Act section 
3(38). They may or may not be retained for sale or personal use. Non-
target species may be included in a fishery and, if so, they should be 
identified at the stock level. Some non-target species may be identified 
in an FMP as ecosystem component (EC) species or stocks.
    (5) Ecosystem component (EC) species. (i) To be considered for 
possible classification as an EC species, the species should:
    (A) Be a non-target species or non-target stock;

[[Page 35]]

    (B) Not be determined to be subject to overfishing, approaching 
overfished, or overfished;
    (C) Not be likely to become subject to overfishing or overfished, 
according to the best available information, in the absence of 
conservation and management measures; and
    (D) Not generally be retained for sale or personal use.
    (ii) Occasional retention of the species would not, in and of 
itself, preclude consideration of the species under the EC 
classification. In addition to the general factors noted in paragraphs 
(d)(5)(i)(A)-(D) of this section, it is important to consider whether 
use of the EC species classification in a given instance is consistent 
with MSA conservation and management requirements.
    (iii) EC species may be identified at the species or stock level, 
and may be grouped into complexes. EC species may, but are not required 
to, be included in an FMP or FMP amendment for any of the following 
reasons: For data collection purposes; for ecosystem considerations 
related to specification of OY for the associated fishery; as 
considerations in the development of conservation and management 
measures for the associated fishery; and/or to address other ecosystem 
issues. While EC species are not considered to be ``in the fishery,'' a 
Council should consider measures for the fishery to minimize bycatch and 
bycatch mortality of EC species consistent with National Standard 9, and 
to protect their associated role in the ecosystem. EC species do not 
require specification of reference points but should be monitored to the 
extent that any new pertinent scientific information becomes available 
(e.g., catch trends, vulnerability, etc.) to determine changes in their 
status or their vulnerability to the fishery. If necessary, they should 
be reclassified as ``in the fishery.''
    (6) Reclassification. A Council should monitor the catch resulting 
from a fishery on a regular basis to determine if the stocks and species 
are appropriately classified in the FMP. If the criteria previously used 
to classify a stock or species is no longer valid, the Council should 
reclassify it through an FMP amendment, which documents rationale for 
the decision.
    (7) Stocks or species identified in more than one FMP. If a stock is 
identified in more than one fishery, Councils should choose which FMP 
will be the primary FMP in which management objectives, SDC, the stock's 
overall ACL and other reference points for the stock are established. 
Conservation and management measures in other FMPs in which the stock is 
identified as part of a fishery should be consistent with the primary 
FMP's management objectives for the stock.
    (8) Stock complex. ``Stock complex'' means a group of stocks that 
are sufficiently similar in geographic distribution, life history, and 
vulnerabilities to the fishery such that the impact of management 
actions on the stocks is similar. At the time a stock complex is 
established, the FMP should provide a full and explicit description of 
the proportional composition of each stock in the stock complex, to the 
extent possible. Stocks may be grouped into complexes for various 
reasons, including where stocks in a multispecies fishery cannot be 
targeted independent of one another and MSY can not be defined on a 
stock-by-stock basis (see paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of this section); where 
there is insufficient data to measure their status relative to SDC; or 
when it is not feasible for fishermen to distinguish individual stocks 
among their catch. The vulnerability of stocks to the fishery should be 
evaluated when determining if a particular stock complex should be 
established or reorganized, or if a particular stock should be included 
in a complex. Stock complexes may be comprised of: one or more indicator 
stocks, each of which has SDC and ACLs, and several other stocks; 
several stocks without an indicator stock, with SDC and an ACL for the 
complex as a whole; or one of more indicator stocks, each of which has 
SDC and management objectives, with an ACL for the complex as a whole 
(this situation might be applicable to some salmon species).
    (9) Indicator stocks. An indicator stock is a stock with measurable 
SDC that can be used to help manage and evaluate more poorly known 
stocks

[[Page 36]]

that are in a stock complex. If an indicator stock is used to evaluate 
the status of a complex, it should be representative of the typical 
status of each stock within the complex, due to similarity in 
vulnerability. If the stocks within a stock complex have a wide range of 
vulnerability, they should be reorganized into different stock complexes 
that have similar vulnerabilities; otherwise the indicator stock should 
be chosen to represent the more vulnerable stocks within the complex. In 
instances where an indicator stock is less vulnerable than other members 
of the complex, management measures need to be more conservative so that 
the more vulnerable members of the complex are not at risk from the 
fishery. More than one indicator stock can be selected to provide more 
information about the status of the complex. When indicator stock(s) are 
used, periodic re-evaluation of available quantitative or qualitative 
information (e.g., catch trends, changes in vulnerability, fish health 
indices, etc.) is needed to determine whether a stock is subject to 
overfishing, or is approaching (or in) an overfished condition.
    (10) Vulnerability. A stock's vulnerability is a combination of its 
productivity, which depends upon its life history characteristics, and 
its susceptibility to the fishery. Productivity refers to the capacity 
of the stock to produce MSY and to recover if the population is 
depleted, and susceptibility is the potential for the stock to be 
impacted by the fishery, which includes direct captures, as well as 
indirect impacts to the fishery (e.g., loss of habitat quality). 
Councils in consultation with their SSC, should analyze the 
vulnerability of stocks in stock complexes where possible.
    (e) Features of MSY, SDC, and OY--(1) MSY. Each FMP must include an 
estimate of MSY for the stocks and stock complexes in the fishery, as 
described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section).
    (i) Definitions. (A) MSY is the largest long-term average catch or 
yield that can be taken from a stock or stock complex under prevailing 
ecological, environmental conditions and fishery technological 
characteristics (e.g., gear selectivity), and the distribution of catch 
among fleets.
    (B) MSY fishing mortality rate (Fmsy) is the fishing mortality rate 
that, if applied over the long term, would result in MSY.
    (C) MSY stock size (Bmsy) means the long-term average size of the 
stock or stock complex, measured in terms of spawning biomass or other 
appropriate measure of the stock's reproductive potential that would be 
achieved by fishing at Fmsy.
    (ii) MSY for stocks. MSY should be estimated for each stock based on 
the best scientific information available (see Sec. 600.315).
    (iii) MSY for stock complexes. MSY should be estimated on a stock-
by-stock basis whenever possible. However, where MSY cannot be estimated 
for each stock in a stock complex, then MSY may be estimated for one or 
more indicator stocks for the complex or for the complex as a whole. 
When indicator stocks are used, the stock complex's MSY could be listed 
as ``unknown,'' while noting that the complex is managed on the basis of 
one or more indicator stocks that do have known stock-specific MSYs, or 
suitable proxies, as described in paragraph (e)(1)(iv) of this section. 
When indicator stocks are not used, MSY, or a suitable proxy, should be 
calculated for the stock complex as a whole.
    (iv) Specifying MSY. Because MSY is a long-term average, it need not 
be estimated annually, but it must be based on the best scientific 
information available (see Sec. 600.315), and should be re-estimated as 
required by changes in long-term environmental or ecological conditions, 
fishery technological characteristics, or new scientific information. 
When data are insufficient to estimate MSY directly, Councils should 
adopt other measures of reproductive potential, based on the best 
scientific information available, that can serve as reasonable proxies 
for MSY, Fmsy, and Bmsy, to the extent possible. 
The MSY for a stock is influenced by its interactions with other stocks 
in its ecosystem and these interactions may shift as multiple stocks in 
an ecosystem are fished. These ecological conditions should be taken 
into account, to the extent possible, when

[[Page 37]]

specifying MSY. Ecological conditions not directly accounted for in the 
specification of MSY can be among the ecological factors considered when 
setting OY below MSY. As MSY values are estimates or are based on 
proxies, they will have some level of uncertainty associated with them. 
The degree of uncertainty in the estimates should be identified, when 
possible, through the stock assessment process and peer review (see 
Sec. 600.335), and should be taken into account when specifying the ABC 
Control rule. Where this uncertainty cannot be directly calculated, such 
as when proxies are used, then a proxy for the uncertainty itself should 
be established based on the best scientific information, including 
comparison to other stocks.
    (2) Status determination criteria--(i) Definitions. (A) Status 
determination criteria (SDC) mean the quantifiable factors, MFMT, OFL, 
and MSST, or their proxies, that are used to determine if overfishing 
has occurred, or if the stock or stock complex is overfished. Magnuson-
Stevens Act (section 3(34)) defines both ``overfishing'' and 
``overfished'' to mean a rate or level of fishing mortality that 
jeopardizes the capacity of a fishery to produce the MSY on a continuing 
basis. To avoid confusion, this section clarifies that ``overfished'' 
relates to biomass of a stock or stock complex, and ``overfishing'' 
pertains to a rate or level of removal of fish from a stock or stock 
complex.
    (B) Overfishing (to overfish) occurs whenever a stock or stock 
complex is subjected to a level of fishing mortality or annual total 
catch that jeopardizes the capacity of a stock or stock complex to 
produce MSY on a continuing basis.
    (C) Maximum fishing mortality threshold (MFMT) means the level of 
fishing mortality (F), on an annual basis, above which overfishing is 
occurring. The MFMT or reasonable proxy may be expressed either as a 
single number (a fishing mortality rate or F value), or as a function of 
spawning biomass or other measure of reproductive potential.
    (D) Overfishing limit (OFL) means the annual amount of catch that 
corresponds to the estimate of MFMT applied to a stock or stock 
complex's abundance and is expressed in terms of numbers or weight of 
fish. The OFL is an estimate of the catch level above which overfishing 
is occurring.
    (E) Overfished. A stock or stock complex is considered 
``overfished'' when its biomass has declined below a level that 
jeopardizes the capacity of the stock or stock complex to produce MSY on 
a continuing basis.
    (F) Minimum stock size threshold (MSST) means the level of biomass 
below which the stock or stock complex is considered to be overfished.
    (G) Approaching an overfished condition. A stock or stock complex is 
approaching an overfished condition when it is projected that there is 
more than a 50 percent chance that the biomass of the stock or stock 
complex will decline below the MSST within two years.
    (ii) Specification of SDC and overfishing and overfished 
determinations. SDC must be expressed in a way that enables the Council 
to monitor each stock or stock complex in the FMP, and determine 
annually, if possible, whether overfishing is occurring and whether the 
stock or stock complex is overfished. In specifying SDC, a Council must 
provide an analysis of how the SDC were chosen and how they relate to 
reproductive potential. Each FMP must specify, to the extent possible, 
objective and measurable SDC as follows (see paragraphs (e)(2)(ii)(A) 
and (B) of this section):
    (A) SDC to determine overfishing status. Each FMP must describe 
which of the following two methods will be used for each stock or stock 
complex to determine an overfishing status.
    (1) Fishing mortality rate exceeds MFMT. Exceeding the MFMT for a 
period of 1 year or more constitutes overfishing. The MFMT or reasonable 
proxy may be expressed either as a single number (a fishing mortality 
rate or F value), or as a function of spawning biomass or other measure 
of reproductive potential.
    (2) Catch exceeds the OFL. Should the annual catch exceed the annual 
OFL for 1 year or more, the stock or stock complex is considered subject 
to overfishing.
    (B) SDC to determine overfished status. The MSST or reasonable proxy 
must be

[[Page 38]]

expressed in terms of spawning biomass or other measure of reproductive 
potential. To the extent possible, the MSST should equal whichever of 
the following is greater: One-half the MSY stock size, or the minimum 
stock size at which rebuilding to the MSY level would be expected to 
occur within 10 years, if the stock or stock complex were exploited at 
the MFMT specified under paragraph (e)(2)(ii)(A)(1) of this section. 
Should the estimated size of the stock or stock complex in a given year 
fall below this threshold, the stock or stock complex is considered 
overfished.
    (iii) Relationship of SDC to environmental change. Some short-term 
environmental changes can alter the size of a stock or stock complex 
without affecting its long-term reproductive potential. Long-term 
environmental changes affect both the short-term size of the stock or 
stock complex and the long-term reproductive potential of the stock or 
stock complex.
    (A) If environmental changes cause a stock or stock complex to fall 
below its MSST without affecting its long-term reproductive potential, 
fishing mortality must be constrained sufficiently to allow rebuilding 
within an acceptable time frame (also see paragraph (j)(3)(ii) of this 
section). SDC should not be respecified.
    (B) If environmental changes affect the long-term reproductive 
potential of the stock or stock complex, one or more components of the 
SDC must be respecified. Once SDC have been respecified, fishing 
mortality may or may not have to be reduced, depending on the status of 
the stock or stock complex with respect to the new criteria.
    (C) If manmade environmental changes are partially responsible for a 
stock or stock complex being in an overfished condition, in addition to 
controlling fishing mortality, Councils should recommend restoration of 
habitat and other ameliorative programs, to the extent possible (see 
also the guidelines issued pursuant to section 305(b) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act for Council actions concerning essential fish habitat).
    (iv) Secretarial approval of SDC. Secretarial approval or 
disapproval of proposed SDC will be based on consideration of whether 
the proposal:
    (A) Has sufficient scientific merit;
    (B) Contains the elements described in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this 
section;
    (C) Provides a basis for objective measurement of the status of the 
stock or stock complex against the criteria; and
    (D) Is operationally feasible.
    (3) Optimum yield--(i) Definitions--(A) Optimum yield (OY). 
Magnuson-Stevens Act section (3)(33) defines ``optimum,'' with respect 
to the yield from a fishery, as the amount of fish that will provide the 
greatest overall benefit to the Nation, particularly with respect to 
food production and recreational opportunities and taking into account 
the protection of marine ecosystems; that is prescribed on the basis of 
the MSY from the fishery, as reduced by any relevant economic, social, 
or ecological factor; and, in the case of an overfished fishery, that 
provides for rebuilding to a level consistent with producing the MSY in 
such fishery. OY may be established at the stock or stock complex level, 
or at the fishery level.
    (B) In NS1, use of the phrase ``achieving, on a continuing basis, 
the optimum yield from each fishery'' means producing, from each stock, 
stock complex, or fishery: a long-term series of catches such that the 
average catch is equal to the OY, overfishing is prevented, the long 
term average biomass is near or above Bmsy, and overfished 
stocks and stock complexes are rebuilt consistent with timing and other 
requirements of section 304(e)(4) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and 
paragraph (j) of this section.
    (ii) General. OY is a long-term average amount of desired yield from 
a stock, stock complex, or fishery. An FMP must contain conservation and 
management measures, including ACLs and AMs, to achieve OY on a 
continuing basis, and provisions for information collection that are 
designed to determine the degree to which OY is achieved. These measures 
should allow for practical and effective implementation and enforcement 
of the management regime. The Secretary has an obligation to implement 
and enforce the FMP. If management measures prove

[[Page 39]]

unenforceable--or too restrictive, or not rigorous enough to prevent 
overfishing while achieving OY--they should be modified; an alternative 
is to reexamine the adequacy of the OY specification. Exceeding OY does 
not necessarily constitute overfishing. However, even if no overfishing 
resulted from exceeding OY, continual harvest at a level above OY would 
violate NS1, because OY was not achieved on a continuing basis. An FMP 
must contain an assessment and specification of OY, including a summary 
of information utilized in making such specification, consistent with 
requirements of section 303(a)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. A Council 
must identify those economic, social, and ecological factors relevant to 
management of a particular stock, stock complex, or fishery, and then 
evaluate them to determine the OY. The choice of a particular OY must be 
carefully documented to show that the OY selected will produce the 
greatest benefit to the Nation and prevent overfishing.
    (iii) Determining the greatest benefit to the Nation. In determining 
the greatest benefit to the Nation, the values that should be weighed 
and receive serious attention when considering the economic, social, or 
ecological factors used in reducing MSY to obtain OY are:
    (A) The benefits of food production are derived from providing 
seafood to consumers; maintaining an economically viable fishery 
together with its attendant contributions to the national, regional, and 
local economies; and utilizing the capacity of the Nation's fishery 
resources to meet nutritional needs.
    (B) The benefits of recreational opportunities reflect the quality 
of both the recreational fishing experience and non-consumptive fishery 
uses such as ecotourism, fish watching, and recreational diving. 
Benefits also include the contribution of recreational fishing to the 
national, regional, and local economies and food supplies.
    (C) The benefits of protection afforded to marine ecosystems are 
those resulting from maintaining viable populations (including those of 
unexploited species), maintaining adequate forage for all components of 
the ecosystem, maintaining evolutionary and ecological processes (e.g., 
disturbance regimes, hydrological processes, nutrient cycles), 
maintaining the evolutionary potential of species and ecosystems, and 
accommodating human use.
    (iv) Factors to consider in OY specification. Because fisheries have 
limited capacities, any attempt to maximize the measures of benefits 
described in paragraph (e)(3)(iii) of this section will inevitably 
encounter practical constraints. OY cannot exceed MSY in any 
circumstance, and must take into account the need to prevent overfishing 
and rebuild overfished stocks and stock complexes. OY is prescribed on 
the basis of MSY as reduced by social, economic, and ecological factors. 
To the extent possible, the relevant social, economic, and ecological 
factors used to establish OY for a stock, stock complex, or fishery 
should be quantified and reviewed in historical, short-term, and long-
term contexts. Even where quantification of social, economic, and 
ecological factors is not possible, the FMP still must address them in 
its OY specification. The following is a non-exhaustive list of 
potential considerations for each factor. An FMP must address each 
factor but not necessarily each example.
    (A) Social factors. Examples are enjoyment gained from recreational 
fishing, avoidance of gear conflicts and resulting disputes, 
preservation of a way of life for fishermen and their families, and 
dependence of local communities on a fishery (e.g., involvement in 
fisheries and ability to adapt to change). Consideration may be given to 
fishery-related indicators (e.g., number of fishery permits, number of 
commercial fishing vessels, number of party and charter trips, landings, 
ex-vessel revenues etc.) and non-fishery related indicators (e.g., 
unemployment rates, percent of population below the poverty level, 
population density, etc.). Other factors that may be considered include 
the effects that past harvest levels have had on fishing communities, 
the cultural place of subsistence fishing, obligations under Indian 
treaties, proportions of affected minority and low-income groups, and 
worldwide nutritional needs.

[[Page 40]]

    (B) Economic factors. Examples are prudent consideration of the risk 
of overharvesting when a stock's size or reproductive potential is 
uncertain (see Sec. 600.335(c)(2)(i)), satisfaction of consumer and 
recreational needs, and encouragement of domestic and export markets for 
U.S. harvested fish. Other factors that may be considered include: The 
value of fisheries, the level of capitalization, the decrease in cost 
per unit of catch afforded by an increase in stock size, the attendant 
increase in catch per unit of effort, alternate employment 
opportunities, and economic contribution to fishing communities, coastal 
areas, affected states, and the nation.
    (C) Ecological factors. Examples include impacts on ecosystem 
component species, forage fish stocks, other fisheries, predator-prey or 
competitive interactions, marine mammals, threatened or endangered 
species, and birds. Species interactions that have not been explicitly 
taken into account when calculating MSY should be considered as relevant 
factors for setting OY below MSY. In addition, consideration should be 
given to managing forage stocks for higher biomass than Bmsy 
to enhance and protect the marine ecosystem. Also important are 
ecological or environmental conditions that stress marine organisms, 
such as natural and manmade changes in wetlands or nursery grounds, and 
effects of pollutants on habitat and stocks.
    (v) Specification of OY. The specification of OY must be consistent 
with paragraphs (e)(3)(i)-(iv) of this section. If the estimates of MFMT 
and current biomass are known with a high level of certainty and 
management controls can accurately limit catch then OY could be set very 
close to MSY, assuming no other reductions are necessary for social, 
economic, or ecological factors. To the degree that such MSY estimates 
and management controls are lacking or unavailable, OY should be set 
farther from MSY. If management measures cannot adequately control 
fishing mortality so that the specified OY can be achieved without 
overfishing, the Council should reevaluate the management measures and 
specification of OY so that the dual requirements of NS1 (preventing 
overfishing while achieving, on a continuing basis, OY) are met.
    (A) The amount of fish that constitutes the OY should be expressed 
in terms of numbers or weight of fish.
    (B) Either a range or a single value may be specified for OY.
    (C) All catch must be counted against OY, including that resulting 
from bycatch, scientific research, and all fishing activities.
    (D) The OY specification should be translatable into an annual 
numerical estimate for the purposes of establishing any total allowable 
level of foreign fishing (TALFF) and analyzing impacts of the management 
regime.
    (E) The determination of OY is based on MSY, directly or through 
proxy. However, even where sufficient scientific data as to the 
biological characteristics of the stock do not exist, or where the 
period of exploitation or investigation has not been long enough for 
adequate understanding of stock dynamics, or where frequent large-scale 
fluctuations in stock size diminish the meaningfulness of the MSY 
concept, OY must still be established based on the best scientific 
information available.
    (F) An OY established at a fishery level may not exceed the sum of 
the MSY values for each of the stocks or stock complexes within the 
fishery.
    (G) There should be a mechanism in the FMP for periodic reassessment 
of the OY specification, so that it is responsive to changing 
circumstances in the fishery.
    (H) Part of the OY may be held as a reserve to allow for factors 
such as uncertainties in estimates of stock size and domestic annual 
harvest (DAH). If an OY reserve is established, an adequate mechanism 
should be included in the FMP to permit timely release of the reserve to 
domestic or foreign fishermen, if necessary.
    (vi) OY and foreign fishing. Section 201(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act provides that fishing by foreign nations is limited to that portion 
of the OY that will not be harvested by vessels of the United States. 
The FMP must include an assessment to address the following, as required 
by section 303(a)(4) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act:

[[Page 41]]

    (A) DAH. Councils and/or the Secretary must consider the capacity 
of, and the extent to which, U.S. vessels will harvest the OY on an 
annual basis. Estimating the amount that U.S. fishing vessels will 
actually harvest is required to determine the surplus.
    (B) Domestic annual processing (DAP). Each FMP must assess the 
capacity of U.S. processors. It must also assess the amount of DAP, 
which is the sum of two estimates: The estimated amount of U.S. harvest 
that domestic processors will process, which may be based on historical 
performance or on surveys of the expressed intention of manufacturers to 
process, supported by evidence of contracts, plant expansion, or other 
relevant information; and the estimated amount of fish that will be 
harvested by domestic vessels, but not processed (e.g., marketed as 
fresh whole fish, used for private consumption, or used for bait).
    (C) Joint venture processing (JVP). When DAH exceeds DAP, the 
surplus is available for JVP.
    (f) Acceptable biological catch, annual catch limits, and annual 
catch targets. The following features (see paragraphs (f)(1) through 
(f)(5) of this section) of acceptable biological catch and annual catch 
limits apply to stocks and stock complexes in the fishery (see paragraph 
(d)(2) of this section).
    (1) Introduction. A control rule is a policy for establishing a 
limit or target fishing level that is based on the best available 
scientific information and is established by fishery managers in 
consultation with fisheries scientists. Control rules should be designed 
so that management actions become more conservative as biomass 
estimates, or other proxies, for a stock or stock complex decline and as 
science and management uncertainty increases. Examples of scientific 
uncertainty include uncertainty in the estimates of MFMT and biomass. 
Management uncertainty may include late catch reporting, misreporting, 
and underreporting of catches and is affected by a fishery's ability to 
control actual catch. For example, a fishery that has inseason catch 
data available and inseason closure authority has better management 
control and precision than a fishery that does not have these features.
    (2) Definitions. (i) Catch is the total quantity of fish, measured 
in weight or numbers of fish, taken in commercial, recreational, 
subsistence, tribal, and other fisheries. Catch includes fish that are 
retained for any purpose, as well as mortality of fish that are 
discarded.
    (ii) Acceptable biological catch (ABC) is a level of a stock or 
stock complex's annual catch that accounts for the scientific 
uncertainty in the estimate of OFL and any other scientific uncertainty 
(see paragraph (f)(3) of this section), and should be specified based on 
the ABC control rule.
    (iii) ABC control rule means a specified approach to setting the ABC 
for a stock or stock complex as a function of the scientific uncertainty 
in the estimate of OFL and any other scientific uncertainty (see 
paragraph (f)(4) of this section).
    (iv) Annual catch limit (ACL) is the level of annual catch of a 
stock or stock complex that serves as the basis for invoking AMs. ACL 
cannot exceed the ABC, but may be divided into sector-ACLs (see 
paragraph (f)(5) of this section).
    (v) Annual catch target (ACT) is an amount of annual catch of a 
stock or stock complex that is the management target of the fishery, and 
accounts for management uncertainty in controlling the actual catch at 
or below the ACL. ACTs are recommended in the system of accountability 
measures so that ACL is not exceeded.
    (vi) ACT control rule means a specified approach to setting the ACT 
for a stock or stock complex such that the risk of exceeding the ACL due 
to management uncertainty is at an acceptably low level.
    (3) Specification of ABC. ABC may not exceed OFL (see paragraph 
(e)(2)(i)(D) of this section). Councils should develop a process for 
receiving scientific information and advice used to establish ABC. This 
process should: Identify the body that will apply the ABC control rule 
(i.e. , calculates the ABC), and identify the review process that will 
evaluate the resulting ABC. The SSC must recommend the ABC to the 
Council. An SSC may recommend an ABC that differs from the result of the 
ABC

[[Page 42]]

control rule calculation, based on factors such as data uncertainty, 
recruitment variability, declining trends in population variables, and 
other factors, but must explain why. For Secretarial FMPs or FMP 
amendments, agency scientists or a peer review process would provide the 
scientific advice to establish ABC. For internationally-assessed stocks, 
an ABC as defined in these guidelines is not required if they meet the 
international exception (see paragraph (h)(2)(ii)). While the ABC is 
allowed to equal OFL, NMFS expects that in most cases ABC will be 
reduced from OFL to reduce the probability that overfishing might occur 
in a year. Also, see paragraph (f)(5) of this section for cases where a 
Council recommends that ACL is equal to ABC, and ABC is equal to OFL.
    (i) Expression of ABC. ABC should be expressed in terms of catch, 
but may be expressed in terms of landings as long as estimates of 
bycatch and any other fishing mortality not accounted for in the 
landings are incorporated into the determination of ABC.
    (ii) ABC for overfished stocks. For overfished stocks and stock 
complexes, a rebuilding ABC must be set to reflect the annual catch that 
is consistent with the schedule of fishing mortality rates in the 
rebuilding plan.
    (4) ABC control rule. For stocks and stock complexes required to 
have an ABC, each Council must establish an ABC control rule based on 
scientific advice from its SSC. The determination of ABC should be 
based, when possible, on the probability that an actual catch equal to 
the stock's ABC would result in overfishing. This probability that 
overfishing will occur cannot exceed 50 percent and should be a lower 
value. The ABC control rule should consider reducing fishing mortality 
as stock size declines and may establish a stock abundance level below 
which fishing would not be allowed. The process of establishing an ABC 
control rule could also involve science advisors or the peer review 
process established under Magnuson-Stevens Act section 302(g)(1)(E). The 
ABC control rule must articulate how ABC will be set compared to the OFL 
based on the scientific knowledge about the stock or stock complex and 
the scientific uncertainty in the estimate of OFL and any other 
scientific uncertainty. The ABC control rule should consider uncertainty 
in factors such as stock assessment results, time lags in updating 
assessments, the degree of retrospective revision of assessment results, 
and projections. The control rule may be used in a tiered approach to 
address different levels of scientific uncertainty.
    (5) Setting the annual catch limit--(i) General. ACL cannot exceed 
the ABC and may be set annually or on a multiyear plan basis. ACLs in 
coordination with AMs must prevent overfishing (see MSA section 
303(a)(15)). If a Council recommends an ACL which equals ABC, and the 
ABC is equal to OFL, the Secretary may presume that the proposal would 
not prevent overfishing, in the absence of sufficient analysis and 
justification for the approach. A ``multiyear plan'' as referenced in 
section 303(a)(15) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act is a plan that 
establishes harvest specifications or harvest guidelines for each year 
of a time period greater than 1 year. A multiyear plan must include a 
mechanism for specifying ACLs for each year with appropriate AMs to 
prevent overfishing and maintain an appropriate rate of rebuilding if 
the stock or stock complex is in a rebuilding plan. A multiyear plan 
must provide that, if an ACL is exceeded for a year, then AMs are 
triggered for the next year consistent with paragraph (g)(3) of this 
section.
    (ii) Sector-ACLs. A Council may, but is not required to, divide an 
ACL into sector-ACLs. ``Sector,'' for purposes of this section, means a 
distinct user group to which separate management strategies and separate 
catch quotas apply. Examples of sectors include the commercial sector, 
recreational sector, or various gear groups within a fishery. If the 
management measures for different sectors differ in the degree of 
management uncertainty, then sector ACLs may be necessary so that 
appropriate AMs can be developed for each sector. If a Council chooses 
to use sector ACLs, the sum of sector ACLs must not exceed the stock or 
stock complex level ACL. The system of ACLs and AMs designed must be 
effective in protecting the stock or stock complex as a whole. Even if 
sector-ACLs and AMs

[[Page 43]]

are established, additional AMs at the stock or stock complex level may 
be necessary.
    (iii) ACLs for State-Federal Fisheries. For stocks or stock 
complexes that have harvest in state or territorial waters, FMPs and FMP 
amendments should include an ACL for the overall stock that may be 
further divided. For example, the overall ACL could be divided into a 
Federal-ACL and state-ACL. However, NMFS recognizes that Federal 
management is limited to the portion of the fishery under Federal 
authority (see paragraph (g)(5) of this section). When stocks are co-
managed by Federal, state, tribal, and/or territorial fishery managers, 
the goal should be to develop collaborative conservation and management 
strategies, and scientific capacity to support such strategies 
(including AMs for state or territorial and Federal waters), to prevent 
overfishing of shared stocks and ensure their sustainability.
    (6) ACT control rule. If ACT is specified as part of the AMs for a 
fishery, an ACT control rule is utilized for setting the ACT. The ACT 
control rule should clearly articulate how management uncertainty in the 
amount of catch in the fishery is accounted for in setting ACT. The 
objective for establishing the ACT and related AMs is that the ACL not 
be exceeded.
    (i) Determining management uncertainty. Two sources of management 
uncertainty should be accounted for in establishing the AMs for a 
fishery, including the ACT control rule if utilized: Uncertainty in the 
ability of managers to constrain catch so the ACL is not exceeded, and 
uncertainty in quantifying the true catch amounts (i.e., estimation 
errors). To determine the level of management uncertainty in controlling 
catch, analyses need to consider past management performance in the 
fishery and factors such as time lags in reported catch. Such analyses 
must be based on the best available scientific information from an SSC, 
agency scientists, or peer review process as appropriate.
    (ii) Establishing tiers and corresponding ACT control rules. Tiers 
can be established based on levels of management uncertainty associated 
with the fishery, frequency and accuracy of catch monitoring data 
available, and risks of exceeding the limit. An ACT control rule could 
be established for each tier and have, as appropriate, different 
formulas and standards used to establish the ACT.
    (7) A Council may choose to use a single control rule that combines 
both scientific and management uncertainty and supports the ABC 
recommendation and establishment of ACL and if used ACT.
    (g) Accountability measures. The following features (see paragraphs 
(g)(1) through (5) of this section) of accountability measures apply to 
those stocks and stock complexes in the fishery.
    (1) Introduction. AMs are management controls to prevent ACLs, 
including sector-ACLs, from being exceeded, and to correct or mitigate 
overages of the ACL if they occur. AMs should address and minimize both 
the frequency and magnitude of overages and correct the problems that 
caused the overage in as short a time as possible. NMFS identifies two 
categories of AMs, inseason AMs and AMs for when the ACL is exceeded.
    (2) Inseason AMs. Whenever possible, FMPs should include inseason 
monitoring and management measures to prevent catch from exceeding ACLs. 
Inseason AMs could include, but are not limited to: ACT; closure of a 
fishery; closure of specific areas; changes in gear; changes in trip 
size or bag limits; reductions in effort; or other appropriate 
management controls for the fishery. If final data or data components of 
catch are delayed, Councils should make appropriate use of preliminary 
data, such as landed catch, in implementing inseason AMs. FMPs should 
contain inseason closure authority giving NMFS the ability to close 
fisheries if it determines, based on data that it deems sufficiently 
reliable, that an ACL has been exceeded or is projected to be reached, 
and that closure of the fishery is necessary to prevent overfishing. For 
fisheries without inseason management control to prevent the ACL from 
being exceeded, AMs should utilize ACTs that are set below ACLs so that 
catches do not exceed the ACL.
    (3) AMs for when the ACL is exceeded. On an annual basis, the 
Council must

[[Page 44]]

determine as soon as possible after the fishing year if an ACL was 
exceeded. If an ACL was exceeded, AMs must be triggered and implemented 
as soon as possible to correct the operational issue that caused the ACL 
overage, as well as any biological consequences to the stock or stock 
complex resulting from the overage when it is known. These AMs could 
include, among other things, modifications of inseason AMs or overage 
adjustments. For stocks and stock complexes in rebuilding plans, the AMs 
should include overage adjustments that reduce the ACLs in the next 
fishing year by the full amount of the overages, unless the best 
scientific information available shows that a reduced overage 
adjustment, or no adjustment, is needed to mitigate the effects of the 
overages. If catch exceeds the ACL for a given stock or stock complex 
more than once in the last four years, the system of ACLs and AMs should 
be re-evaluated, and modified if necessary, to improve its performance 
and effectiveness. A Council could choose a higher performance standard 
(e.g., a stock's catch should not exceed its ACL more often than once 
every five or six years) for a stock that is particularly vulnerable to 
the effects of overfishing, if the vulnerability of the stock has not 
already been accounted for in the ABC control rule.
    (4) AMs based on multi-year average data. Some fisheries have highly 
variable annual catches and lack reliable inseason or annual data on 
which to base AMs. If there are insufficient data upon which to compare 
catch to ACL, either inseason or on an annual basis, AMs could be based 
on comparisons of average catch to average ACL over a three-year moving 
average period or, if supported by analysis, some other appropriate 
multi-year period. Councils should explain why basing AMs on a multi-
year period is appropriate. Evaluation of the moving average catch to 
the average ACL must be conducted annually and AMs should be implemented 
if the average catch exceeds the average ACL. As a performance standard, 
if the average catch exceeds the average ACL for a stock or stock 
complex more than once in the last four years, then the system of ACLs 
and AMs should be re-evaluated and modified if necessary to improve its 
performance and effectiveness. The initial ACL and management measures 
may incorporate information from previous years so that AMs based on 
average ACLs can be applied from the first year. Alternatively, a 
Council could use a stepped approach where in year-1, catch is compared 
to the ACL for year-1; in year-2 the average catch for the past 2 years 
is compared to the average ACL; then in year 3 and beyond, the most 
recent 3 years of catch are compared to the corresponding ACLs for those 
years.
    (5) AMs for State-Federal Fisheries. For stocks or stock complexes 
that have harvest in state or territorial waters, FMPs and FMP 
amendments must, at a minimum, have AMs for the portion of the fishery 
under Federal authority. Such AMs could include closing the EEZ when the 
Federal portion of the ACL is reached, or the overall stock's ACL is 
reached, or other measures.
    (h) Establishing ACL mechanisms and AMs in FMPs. FMPs or FMP 
amendments must establish ACL mechanisms and AMs for all stocks and 
stock complexes in the fishery, unless paragraph (h)(2) of this section 
is applicable. These mechanisms should describe the annual or multiyear 
process by which specific ACLs, AMs, and other reference points such as 
OFL, and ABC will be established. If a complex has multiple indicator 
stocks, each indicator stock must have its own ACL; an additional ACL 
for the stock complex as a whole is optional. In cases where fisheries 
(e.g., Pacific salmon) harvest multiple indicator stocks of a single 
species that cannot be distinguished at the time of capture, separate 
ACLs for the indicator stocks are not required and the ACL can be 
established for the complex as a whole.
    (1) In establishing ACL mechanisms and AMs, FMPs should describe:
    (i) Timeframes for setting ACLs (e.g., annually or multi-year 
periods);
    (ii) Sector-ACLs, if any (including set-asides for research or 
bycatch);
    (iii) AMs and how AMs are triggered and what sources of data will be 
used (e.g., inseason data, annual catch compared to the ACL, or multi-
year averaging approach); and

[[Page 45]]

    (iv) Sector-AMs, if there are sector-ACLs.
    (2) Exceptions from ACL and AM requirements--(i) Life cycle. Section 
303(a)(15) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act ``shall not apply to a fishery 
for species that has a life cycle of approximately 1 year unless the 
Secretary has determined the fishery is subject to overfishing of that 
species'' (as described in Magnuson-Stevens Act section 303 note). This 
exception applies to a stock for which the average length of time it 
takes for an individual to produce a reproductively active offspring is 
approximately 1 year and that the individual has only one breeding 
season in its lifetime. While exempt from the ACL and AM requirements, 
FMPs or FMP amendments for these stocks must have SDC, MSY, OY, ABC, and 
an ABC control rule.
    (ii) International fishery agreements. Section 303(a)(15) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act applies ``unless otherwise provided for under an 
international agreement in which the United States participates'' 
(Magnuson-Stevens Act section 303 note). This exception applies to 
stocks or stock complexes subject to management under an international 
agreement, which is defined as ``any bilateral or multilateral treaty, 
convention, or agreement which relates to fishing and to which the 
United States is a party'' (see Magnuson-Stevens Act section 3(24)). 
These stocks would still need to have SDC and MSY.
    (3) Flexibility in application of NS1 guidelines. There are limited 
circumstances that may not fit the standard approaches to specification 
of reference points and management measures set forth in these 
guidelines. These include, among other things, conservation and 
management of Endangered Species Act listed species, harvests from 
aquaculture operations, and stocks with unusual life history 
characteristics (e.g., Pacific salmon, where the spawning potential for 
a stock is spread over a multi-year period). In these circumstances, 
Councils may propose alternative approaches for satisfying the NS1 
requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act than those set forth in these 
guidelines. Councils must document their rationale for any alternative 
approaches for these limited circumstances in an FMP or FMP amendment, 
which will be reviewed for consistency with the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (i) Fisheries data. In their FMPs, or associated public documents 
such as SAFE reports as appropriate, Councils must describe general data 
collection methods, as well as any specific data collection methods used 
for all stocks in the fishery, and EC species, including:
    (1) Sources of fishing mortality (both landed and discarded), 
including commercial and recreational catch and bycatch in other 
fisheries;
    (2) Description of the data collection and estimation methods used 
to quantify total catch mortality in each fishery, including information 
on the management tools used (i.e., logbooks, vessel monitoring systems, 
observer programs, landings reports, fish tickets, processor reports, 
dealer reports, recreational angler surveys, or other methods); the 
frequency with which data are collected and updated; and the scope of 
sampling coverage for each fishery; and
    (3) Description of the methods used to compile catch data from 
various catch data collection methods and how those data are used to 
determine the relationship between total catch at a given point in time 
and the ACL for stocks and stock complexes that are part of a fishery.
    (j) Council actions to address overfishing and rebuilding for stocks 
and stock complexes in the fishery--(1) Notification. The Secretary will 
immediately notify in writing a Regional Fishery Management Council 
whenever it is determined that:
    (i) Overfishing is occurring;
    (ii) A stock or stock complex is overfished;
    (iii) A stock or stock complex is approaching an overfished 
condition; or
    (iv) Existing remedial action taken for the purpose of ending 
previously identified overfishing or rebuilding a previously identified 
overfished stock or stock complex has not resulted in adequate progress.
    (2) Timing of actions--(i) If a stock or stock complex is undergoing 
overfishing. FMPs or FMP amendments must establish ACL and AM mechanisms 
in 2010,

[[Page 46]]

for stocks and stock complexes determined to be subject to overfishing, 
and in 2011, for all other stocks and stock complexes (see paragraph 
(b)(2)(iii) of this section). To address practical implementation 
aspects of the FMP and FMP amendment process, paragraphs (j)(2)(i)(A) 
through (C) of this section clarifies the expected timing of actions.
    (A) In addition to establishing ACL and AM mechanisms, the ACLs and 
AMs themselves must be specified in FMPs, FMP amendments, implementing 
regulations, or annual specifications beginning in 2010 or 2011, as 
appropriate.
    (B) For stocks and stock complexes still determined to be subject to 
overfishing at the end of 2008, ACL and AM mechanisms and the ACLs and 
AMs themselves must be effective in fishing year 2010.
    (C) For stocks and stock complexes determined to be subject to 
overfishing during 2009, ACL and AM mechanisms and ACLs and AMs 
themselves should be effective in fishing year 2010, if possible, or in 
fishing year 2011, at the latest.
    (ii) If a stock or stock complex is overfished or approaching an 
overfished condition. (A) For notifications that a stock or stock 
complex is overfished or approaching an overfished condition made before 
July 12, 2009, a Council must prepare an FMP, FMP amendment, or proposed 
regulations within one year of notification. If the stock or stock 
complex is overfished, the purpose of the action is to specify a time 
period for ending overfishing and rebuilding the stock or stock complex 
that will be as short as possible as described under section 304(e)(4) 
of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. If the stock or stock complex is 
approaching an overfished condition, the purpose of the action is to 
prevent the biomass from declining below the MSST.
    (B) For notifications that a stock or stock complex is overfished or 
approaching an overfished condition made after July 12, 2009, a Council 
must prepare and implement an FMP, FMP amendment, or proposed 
regulations within two years of notification, consistent with the 
requirements of section 304(e)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Council 
actions should be submitted to NMFS within 15 months of notification to 
ensure sufficient time for the Secretary to implement the measures, if 
approved. If the stock or stock complex is overfished and overfishing is 
occurring, the rebuilding plan must end overfishing immediately and be 
consistent with ACL and AM requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (3) Overfished fishery. (i) Where a stock or stock complex is 
overfished, a Council must specify a time period for rebuilding the 
stock or stock complex based on factors specified in Magnuson-Stevens 
Act section 304(e)(4). This target time for rebuilding 
(Ttarget) shall be as short as possible, taking into account: 
The status and biology of any overfished stock, the needs of fishing 
communities, recommendations by international organizations in which the 
U.S. participates, and interaction of the stock within the marine 
ecosystem. In addition, the time period shall not exceed 10 years, 
except where biology of the stock, other environmental conditions, or 
management measures under an international agreement to which the U.S. 
participates, dictate otherwise. SSCs (or agency scientists or peer 
review processes in the case of Secretarial actions) shall provide 
recommendations for achieving rebuilding targets (see Magnuson-Stevens 
Act section 302(g)(1)(B)). The above factors enter into the 
specification of Ttarget as follows:
    (A) The ``minimum time for rebuilding a stock'' (Tmin) 
means the amount of time the stock or stock complex is expected to take 
to rebuild to its MSY biomass level in the absence of any fishing 
mortality. In this context, the term ``expected'' means to have at least 
a 50 percent probability of attaining the Bmsy.
    (B) For scenarios under paragraph (j)(2)(ii)(A) of this section, the 
starting year for the Tmin calculation is the first year that 
a rebuilding plan is implemented. For scenarios under paragraph 
(j)(2)(ii)(B) of this section, the starting year for the Tmin 
calculation is 2 years after notification that a stock or stock complex 
is overfished or the first year that a rebuilding plan is implemented, 
whichever is sooner.

[[Page 47]]

    (C) If Tmin for the stock or stock complex is 10 years or 
less, then the maximum time allowable for rebuilding (Tmax) 
that stock to its Bmsy is 10 years.
    (D) If Tmin for the stock or stock complex exceeds 10 
years, then the maximum time allowable for rebuilding a stock or stock 
complex to its Bmsy is Tmin plus the length of 
time associated with one generation time for that stock or stock 
complex. ``Generation time'' is the average length of time between when 
an individual is born and the birth of its offspring.
    (E) Ttarget shall not exceed Tmax, and should 
be calculated based on the factors described in this paragraph (j)(3).
    (ii) If a stock or stock complex reached the end of its rebuilding 
plan period and has not yet been determined to be rebuilt, then the 
rebuilding F should not be increased until the stock or stock complex 
has been demonstrated to be rebuilt. If the rebuilding plan was based on 
a Ttarget that was less than Tmax, and the stock 
or stock complex is not rebuilt by Ttarget, rebuilding 
measures should be revised, if necessary, such that the stock or stock 
complex will be rebuilt by Tmax. If the stock or stock 
complex has not rebuilt by Tmax, then the fishing mortality 
rate should be maintained at Frebuild or 75 percent of the 
MFMT, whichever is less.
    (iii) Council action addressing an overfished fishery must allocate 
both overfishing restrictions and recovery benefits fairly and equitably 
among sectors of the fishery.
    (iv) For fisheries managed under an international agreement, Council 
action addressing an overfished fishery must reflect traditional 
participation in the fishery, relative to other nations, by fishermen of 
the United States.
    (4) Emergency actions and interim measures. The Secretary, on his/
her own initiative or in response to a Council request, may implement 
interim measures to reduce overfishing or promulgate regulations to 
address an emergency (Magnuson-Stevens Act section 304(e)(6) or 305(c)). 
In considering a Council request for action, the Secretary would 
consider, among other things, the need for and urgency of the action and 
public interest considerations, such as benefits to the stock or stock 
complex and impacts on participants in the fishery.
    (i) These measures may remain in effect for not more than 180 days, 
but may be extended for an additional 186 days if the public has had an 
opportunity to comment on the measures and, in the case of Council-
recommended measures, the Council is actively preparing an FMP, FMP 
amendment, or proposed regulations to address the emergency or 
overfishing on a permanent basis.
    (ii) Often, these measures need to be implemented without prior 
notice and an opportunity for public comment, as it would be 
impracticable to provide for such processes given the need to act 
quickly and also contrary to the public interest to delay action. 
However, emergency regulations and interim measures that do not qualify 
for waivers or exceptions under the Administrative Procedure Act would 
need to follow proposed notice and comment rulemaking procedures.
    (k) International overfishing. If the Secretary determines that a 
fishery is overfished or approaching a condition of being overfished due 
to excessive international fishing pressure, and for which there are no 
management measures (or no effective measures) to end overfishing under 
an international agreement to which the United States is a party, then 
the Secretary and/or the appropriate Council shall take certain actions 
as provided under Magnuson-Stevens Act section 304(i). The Secretary, in 
cooperation with the Secretary of State, must immediately take 
appropriate action at the international level to end the overfishing. In 
addition, within one year after the determination, the Secretary and/or 
appropriate Council shall:
    (1) Develop recommendations for domestic regulations to address the 
relative impact of the U.S. fishing vessels on the stock. Council 
recommendations should be submitted to the Secretary.
    (2) Develop and submit recommendations to the Secretary of State, 
and to the Congress, for international actions that will end overfishing 
in the fishery and rebuild the affected stocks, taking into account the 
relative impact of vessels of other nations and vessels of

[[Page 48]]

the United States on the relevant stock. Councils should, in 
consultation with the Secretary, develop recommendations that take into 
consideration relevant provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and NS1 
guidelines, including section 304(e) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and 
paragraph (j)(3)(iv) of this section, and other applicable laws. For 
highly migratory species in the Pacific, recommendations from the 
Western Pacific, North Pacific, or Pacific Councils must be developed 
and submitted consistent with Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act 
section 503(f), as appropriate.
    (3) Considerations for assessing ``relative impact.'' ``Relative 
impact'' under paragraphs (k)(1) and (2) of this section may include 
consideration of factors that include, but are not limited to: Domestic 
and international management measures already in place, management 
history of a given nation, estimates of a nation's landings or catch 
(including bycatch) in a given fishery, and estimates of a nation's 
mortality contributions in a given fishery. Information used to 
determine relative impact must be based upon the best available 
scientific information.
    (l) Relationship of National Standard 1 to other national 
standards--General. National Standards 2 through 10 provide further 
requirements for conservation and management measures in FMPs, but do 
not alter the requirement of NS1 to prevent overfishing and rebuild 
overfished stocks.
    (1) National Standard 2 (see Sec. 600.315). Management measures and 
reference points to implement NS1 must be based on the best scientific 
information available. When data are insufficient to estimate reference 
points directly, Councils should develop reasonable proxies to the 
extent possible (also see paragraph (e)(1)(iv) of this section). In 
cases where scientific data are severely limited, effort should also be 
directed to identifying and gathering the needed data. SSCs should 
advise their Councils regarding the best scientific information 
available for fishery management decisions.
    (2) National Standard 3 (see Sec. 600.320). Reference points should 
generally be specified in terms of the level of stock aggregation for 
which the best scientific information is available (also see paragraph 
(e)(1)(iii) of this section). Also, scientific assessments must be based 
on the best information about the total range of the stock and potential 
biological structuring of the stock into biological sub-units, which may 
differ from the geographic units on which management is feasible.
    (3) National Standard 6 (see Sec. 600.335). Councils must build 
into the reference points and control rules appropriate consideration of 
risk, taking into account uncertainties in estimating harvest, stock 
conditions, life history parameters, or the effects of environmental 
factors.
    (4) National Standard 8 (see Sec. 600.345). National Standard 8 
directs the Councils to apply economic and social factors towards 
sustained participation of fishing communities and to the extent 
practicable, minimize adverse economic impacts on such communities 
within the context of preventing overfishing and rebuilding overfished 
stocks as required under National Standard 1. Therefore, calculation of 
OY as reduced from MSY should include economic and social factors, but 
the combination of management measures chosen to achieve the OY must 
principally be designed to prevent overfishing and rebuild overfished 
stocks.
    (5) National Standard 9 (see Sec. 600.350). Evaluation of stock 
status with respect to reference points must take into account mortality 
caused by bycatch. In addition, the estimation of catch should include 
the mortality of fish that are discarded.
    (m) Exceptions to requirements to prevent overfishing. Exceptions to 
the requirement to prevent overfishing could apply under certain limited 
circumstances. Harvesting one stock at its optimum level may result in 
overfishing of another stock when the two stocks tend to be caught 
together (This can occur when the two stocks are part of the same 
fishery or if one is bycatch in the other's fishery). Before a Council 
may decide to allow this type of overfishing, an analysis must be 
performed and the analysis must contain a justification in terms of 
overall benefits, including a comparison of benefits

[[Page 49]]

under alternative management measures, and an analysis of the risk of 
any stock or stock complex falling below its MSST. The Council may 
decide to allow this type of overfishing if the fishery is not 
overfished and the analysis demonstrates that all of the following 
conditions are satisfied:
    (1) Such action will result in long-term net benefits to the Nation;
    (2) Mitigating measures have been considered and it has been 
demonstrated that a similar level of long-term net benefits cannot be 
achieved by modifying fleet behavior, gear selection/configuration, or 
other technical characteristic in a manner such that no overfishing 
would occur; and
    (3) The resulting rate of fishing mortality will not cause any stock 
or stock complex to fall below its MSST more than 50 percent of the time 
in the long term, although it is recognized that persistent overfishing 
is expected to cause the affected stock to fall below its 
Bmsy more than 50 percent of the time in the long term.

[74 FR 3204, Jan. 16, 2009]



Sec. 600.315  National Standard 2--Scientific Information.

    (a) Standard 2. Conservation and management measures shall be based 
upon the best scientific information available.
    (1) Fishery conservation and management require high quality and 
timely biological, ecological, environmental, economic, and sociological 
scientific information to effectively conserve and manage living marine 
resources. Successful fishery management depends, in part, on the 
thorough analysis of this information, and the extent to which the 
information is applied for:
    (i) Evaluating the potential impact that conservation and management 
measures will have on living marine resources, essential fish habitat 
(EFH), marine ecosystems, fisheries participants, fishing communities, 
and the nation; and
    (ii) Identifying areas where additional management measures are 
needed.
    (2) Scientific information that is used to inform decision making 
should include an evaluation of its uncertainty and identify gaps in the 
information. Management decisions should recognize the biological (e.g., 
overfishing), ecological, sociological, and economic (e.g., loss of 
fishery benefits) risks associated with the sources of uncertainty and 
gaps in the scientific information.
    (3) Information-limited fisheries, commonly referred to as ``data-
poor'' fisheries, may require use of simpler assessment methods and 
greater use of proxies for quantities that cannot be directly estimated, 
as compared to data-rich fisheries.
    (4) Scientific information includes, but is not limited to, factual 
input, data, models, analyses, technical information, or scientific 
assessments. Scientific information includes data compiled directly from 
surveys or sampling programs, and models that are mathematical 
representations of reality constructed with primary data. The complexity 
of the model should not be the defining characteristic of its value; the 
data requirements and assumptions associated with a model should be 
commensurate with the resolution and accuracy of the available primary 
data. Scientific information includes established and emergent 
scientific information. Established science is scientific knowledge 
derived and verified through a standard scientific process that tends to 
be agreed upon often without controversy. Emergent science is relatively 
new knowledge that is still evolving and being verified, therefore, may 
potentially be uncertain and controversial. Emergent science should be 
considered more thoroughly, and scientists should be attentive to 
effective communication of emerging science.
    (5) Science is a dynamic process, and new scientific findings 
constantly advance the state of knowledge. Best scientific information 
is, therefore, not static and ideally entails developing and following a 
research plan with the following elements: Clear statement of 
objectives; conceptual model that provides the framework for 
interpreting results, making predictions, or testing hypotheses; study 
design with an explicit and standardized method of collecting data; 
documentation of methods, results, and conclusions; peer review, as 
appropriate; and communication of findings.

[[Page 50]]

    (6) Criteria to consider when evaluating best scientific information 
are relevance, inclusiveness, objectivity, transparency and openness, 
timeliness, verification and validation, and peer review, as 
appropriate.
    (i) Relevance. Scientific information should be pertinent to the 
current questions or issues under consideration and should be 
representative of the fishery being managed. In addition to the 
information collected directly about the fishery being managed, relevant 
information may be available about the same species in other areas, or 
about related species. For example, use of proxies may be necessary in 
data-poor situations. Analysis of related stocks or species may be a 
useful tool for inferring the likely traits of stocks for which stock-
specific data are unavailable or are not sufficient to produce reliable 
estimates. Also, if management measures similar to those being 
considered have been introduced in other regions and resulted in 
particular behavioral responses from participants or business decisions 
from industry, such social and economic information may be relevant.
    (ii) Inclusiveness. Three aspects of inclusiveness should be 
considered when developing and evaluating best scientific information:
    (A) The relevant range of scientific disciplines should be consulted 
to encompass the scope of potential impacts of the management decision.
    (B) Alternative scientific points of view should be acknowledged and 
addressed openly when there is a diversity of scientific thought.
    (C) Relevant local and traditional knowledge (e.g., fishermen's 
empirical knowledge about the behavior and distribution of fish stocks) 
should be obtained, where appropriate, and considered when evaluating 
the BSIA.
    (iii) Objectivity. Scientific information should be accurate, with a 
known degree of precision, without addressable bias, and presented in an 
accurate, clear, complete, and balanced manner. Scientific processes 
should be free of undue nonscientific influences and considerations.
    (iv) Transparency and openness. (A) The Magnuson-Stevens Act 
provides broad public and stakeholder access to the fishery conservation 
and management process, including access to the scientific information 
upon which the process and management measures are based. Public comment 
should be solicited at appropriate times during the review of scientific 
information. Communication with the public should be structured to 
foster understanding of the scientific process.
    (B) Scientific information products should describe data collection 
methods, report sources of uncertainty or statistical error, and 
acknowledge other data limitations. Such products should explain any 
decisions to exclude data from analysis. Scientific products should 
identify major assumptions and uncertainties of analytical models. 
Finally, such products should openly acknowledge gaps in scientific 
information.
    (v) Timeliness. Mandatory management actions should not be delayed 
due to limitations in the scientific information or the promise of 
future data collection or analysis. In some cases, due to time 
constraints, results of important studies or monitoring programs may be 
considered for use before they are fully complete. Uncertainties and 
risks that arise from an incomplete study should be acknowledged, but 
interim results may be better than no results to help inform a 
management decision. Sufficient time should be allotted to audit and 
analyze recently acquired information to ensure its reliability. Data 
collection methods are expected to be subjected to appropriate review 
before providing data used to inform management decisions.
    (A) For information that needs to be updated on a regular basis, the 
temporal gap between information collection and management 
implementation should be as short as possible, subject to regulatory 
constraints, and such timing concerns should be explicitly considered 
when developing conservation and management measures. Late submission of 
scientific information to the Council process should be avoided if the 
information has circumvented the review process. Data collection is a 
continuous process, therefore analysis of scientific information should 
specify a clear time point beyond which new information would not be 
considered in

[[Page 51]]

that analysis and would be reserved for use in subsequent analytical 
updates.
    (B) Historical information should be evaluated for its relevance to 
inform the current situation. For example, some species' life history 
characteristics might not change over time. Other historical data (e.g., 
abundance, environmental, catch statistics, market and trade trends) 
provide time-series information on changes in fish populations, fishery 
participation, and fishing effort that may inform current management 
decisions.
    (vi) Verification and validation. Methods used to produce scientific 
information should be verified and validated to the extent possible.
    (A) Verification means that the data and procedures used to produce 
the scientific information are documented in sufficient detail to allow 
reproduction of the analysis by others with an acceptable degree of 
precision. External reviewers of scientific information require this 
level of documentation to conduct a thorough review.
    (B) Validation refers to the testing of analytical methods to ensure 
that they perform as intended. Validation should include whether the 
analytical method has been programmed correctly in the computer 
software, the accuracy and precision of the estimates is adequate, and 
the estimates are robust to model assumptions. Models should be tested 
using simulated data from a population with known properties to evaluate 
how well the models estimate those characteristics and to correct for 
known bias to achieve accuracy. The concept of validation using 
simulation testing should be used, to the extent possible, to evaluate 
how well a management strategy meets management objectives.
    (vii) Peer review. Peer review is a process used to ensure that the 
quality and credibility of scientific information and scientific methods 
meet the standards of the scientific and technical community. Peer 
review helps ensure objectivity, reliability, and integrity of 
scientific information. The peer review process is an organized method 
that uses peer scientists with appropriate and relevant expertise to 
evaluate scientific information. The scientific information that 
supports conservation and management measures considered by the 
Secretary or a Council should be peer reviewed, as appropriate. Factors 
to consider when determining whether to conduct a peer review and if so, 
the appropriate level of review, include the novelty and complexity of 
the scientific information to be reviewed, the level of previous review 
and the importance of the information to be reviewed to the decision 
making process. Routine updates based on previously reviewed methods 
require less review than novel methods or data. If formal peer review is 
not practicable due to time or resource constraints, the development and 
analysis of scientific information used in or in support of fishery 
management actions should be as transparent as possible, in accordance 
with paragraph (a)(6)(iv) of this section. Other applicable guidance on 
peer review can be found in the Office of Management and Budget Final 
Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review.
    (b) Peer review process. The Secretary and each Council may 
establish a peer review process for that Council for scientific 
information used to advise about the conservation and management of the 
fishery. 16 U.S.C. 1852(g)(1)(E). A peer review process is not a 
substitute for an SSC and should work in conjunction with the SSC (see 
Sec. 600.310(b)(2)(v)(C)). This section provides guidance and standards 
that should be followed in order to establish a peer review process per 
Magnuson-Stevens Act section 302(g)(1)(E).
    (1) The objective or scope of the peer review, the nature of the 
scientific information to be reviewed, and timing of the review should 
be considered when selecting the type of peer review to be used. The 
process established by the Secretary and Council should focus on 
providing review for information that has not yet undergone rigorous 
peer review, but that must be peer reviewed in order to provide 
reliable, high quality scientific advice for fishery conservation and 
management. Duplication of previously conducted peer review should be 
avoided.
    (i) Form of process. The peer review process may include or consist 
of existing Council committees or panels if they meet the standards 
identified

[[Page 52]]

herein. The Secretary and Council have discretion to determine the 
appropriate peer review process for a specific information product. A 
peer review can take many forms, including individual letter or written 
reviews and panel reviews.
    (ii) Timing. The peer review should, to the extent practicable, be 
conducted early in the process of producing scientific information or a 
work product, so peer review reports are available for the SSC to 
consider in its evaluation of scientific information for its Council and 
the Secretary. The timing will depend in part on the scope of the 
review. For instance, the peer review of a new or novel method or model 
should be conducted before there is an investment of time and resources 
in implementing the model and interpreting the results. The results of 
this type of peer review may contribute to improvements in the model or 
assessment.
    (iii) Scope of work. The scope of work or charge (sometimes called 
the terms of reference) of any peer review should be determined in 
advance of the selection of reviewers. The scope of work contains the 
objectives of the peer review, evaluation of the various stages of the 
science, and specific recommendations for improvement of the science. 
The scope of work should be carefully designed, with specific technical 
questions to guide the peer review process; it should ask peer reviewers 
to ensure that scientific uncertainties are clearly identified and 
characterized, it should allow peer reviewers the opportunity to offer a 
broad evaluation of the overall scientific or technical product under 
review, as well as to make recommendations regarding areas of missing 
information, future research, data collection, and improvements in 
methodologies, and it must not change during the course of the peer 
review. The scope of work may not request reviewers to provide advice on 
policy or regulatory issues (e.g., amount of precaution used in 
decision-making) which are within the purview of the Secretary and the 
Councils, or to make formal fishing level recommendations which are 
within the purview of the SSC.
    (2) Peer reviewer selection. The selection of participants in a peer 
review should be based on expertise, independence, and a balance of 
viewpoints, and be free of conflicts of interest.
    (i) Expertise and balance. Peer reviewers must be selected based on 
scientific expertise and experience relevant to the disciplines of 
subject matter to be reviewed. The group of reviewers that constitute 
the peer review should reflect a balance in perspectives, to the extent 
practicable, and should have sufficiently broad and diverse expertise to 
represent the range of relevant scientific and technical perspectives to 
complete the objectives of the peer review.
    (ii) Conflict of interest. Peer reviewers who are federal employees 
must comply with all applicable federal ethics requirements. Potential 
reviewers who are not federal employees must be screened for conflicts 
of interest in accordance with the NOAA Policy on Conflicts of Interest 
for Peer Review Subject to OMB's Peer Review Bulletin or other 
applicable rules or guidelines.
    (A) Under the NOAA policy, peer reviewers must not have any 
conflicts of interest with the scientific information, subject matter, 
or work product under review, or any aspect of the statement of work for 
the peer review. For purposes of this section, a conflict of interest is 
any financial or other interest which conflicts with the service of the 
individual on a review panel because it: could significantly impair the 
reviewer's objectivity, or could create an unfair competitive advantage 
for a person or organization.
    (B) No individual can be appointed to a review panel if that 
individual has a conflict of interest that is relevant to the functions 
to be performed. For reviews requiring highly specialized expertise, the 
limited availability of qualified reviewers might result in an exception 
when a conflict of interest is unavoidable; in this situation, the 
conflict must be promptly and publicly disclosed. Conflicts of interest 
include, but are not limited to, the personal financial interests and 
investments, employer affiliations, and consulting arrangements, grants, 
or contracts of the individual and of others with whom the

[[Page 53]]

individual has substantial common financial interests, if these 
interests are relevant to the functions to be performed.
    (iii) Independence. Peer reviewers must not have contributed or 
participated in the development of the work product or scientific 
information under review. For peer review of products of higher novelty 
or controversy, a greater degree of independence is necessary to ensure 
credibility of the peer review process. Peer reviewer responsibilities 
should rotate across the available pool of qualified reviewers or among 
the members on a standing peer review panel to prevent a peer reviewer 
from repeatedly reviewing the same scientific information, recognizing 
that, in some cases, repeated service by the same reviewer may be needed 
because of limited availability of specialized expertise.
    (3) Transparency. A transparent process is one that ensures that 
background documents and reports from peer review are publicly 
available, subject to Magnuson-Stevens Act confidentiality requirements, 
and allows the public full and open access to peer review panel 
meetings. The evaluation and review of scientific information by the 
Councils, SSCs or advisory panels must be conducted in accordance with 
meeting procedures at Sec. 600.135. Consistent with that section, 
public notice of peer review panel meetings should be announced in the 
Federal Register with a minimum of 14 days and with an aim of 21 days 
before the review to allow public comments during meetings. Background 
documents should be available for public review in a timely manner prior 
to meetings. Peer review reports describing the scope and objectives of 
the review, findings in accordance with each objective, and conclusions 
should be publicly available. Names and organizational affiliations of 
reviewers also should be publicly available.
    (4) Publication of the peer review process. The Secretary will 
announce the establishment of a peer review process under Magnuson-
Stevens Act section 302(g)(1)(E) in the Federal Register along with a 
brief description of the process. In addition, detailed information on 
such processes will be made publicly available on the Council's Web 
site, and updated as necessary.
    (c) SSC scientific evaluation and advice to the Council. Each 
scientific and statistical committee shall provide its Council ongoing 
scientific advice for fishery management decisions, including 
recommendations for acceptable biological catch, preventing overfishing, 
maximum sustainable yield, achieving rebuilding targets, and reports on 
stock status and health, bycatch, habitat status, social and economic 
impacts of management measures, and sustainability of fishing practices. 
16 U.S.C. 1852(g)(1)(B).
    (1) SSC scientific advice and recommendations to its Council are 
based on scientific information that the SSC determines to meet the 
guidelines for best scientific information available as described in 
paragraph (a) of this section. SSCs may conduct peer reviews or evaluate 
peer reviews to provide clear scientific advice to the Council. Such 
scientific advice should attempt to resolve conflicting scientific 
information, so that the Council will not need to engage in debate on 
technical merits. Debate and evaluation of scientific information is the 
role of the SSC.
    (2) An SSC member may participate in a peer review when such 
participation is beneficial to the peer review due to the expertise and 
institutional memory of that member, or beneficial to the Council's 
advisory body by allowing that member to make a more informed evaluation 
of the scientific information. Participation of an SSC member in a peer 
review should not impair the ability of that member to fulfill his or 
her responsibilities to the SSC.
    (3) If an SSC as a body conducts a peer review established under 
Magnuson-Stevens Act section 302(g)(1)(E) or individual members of an 
SSC participate in such a peer review, the SSC members must meet the 
peer reviewer selection criteria as described in paragraph (b)(2) of 
this section. In addition, the financial disclosure requirements under 
Sec. 600.235, Financial Disclosure for Councils and Council committees, 
apply. When the SSC as a body is conducting a peer review, it should 
strive for consensus and must meet the transparency guidelines under 
paragraphs

[[Page 54]]

(a)(6)(iv) and (b)(3) of this section. If consensus cannot be reached, 
minority viewpoints should be recorded.
    (4) The SSC's evaluation of a peer review conducted by a body other 
than the SSC should consider the extent and quality of peer review that 
has already taken place. For Councils with extensive and detailed peer 
review processes (e.g., a process established pursuant to Magnuson-
Stevens Act section 302(g)(1)(E)), the evaluation by the SSC of the peer 
reviewed information should not repeat the previously conducted and 
detailed technical peer review. However, SSCs must maintain their role 
as advisors to the Council about scientific information that comes from 
a peer review process. Therefore, the peer review of scientific 
information used to advise the Council, including a peer review process 
established by the Secretary and the Council under Magnuson-Stevens Act 
section 302(g)(1)(E), should be conducted early in the scientific 
evaluation process in order to provide the SSC with reasonable 
opportunity to consider the peer review report and make recommendations 
to the Council as required under Magnuson-Stevens Act section 
302(g)(1)(B).
    (5) If an SSC disagrees with the findings or conclusions of a peer 
review, in whole or in part, the SSC must prepare a report outlining the 
areas of disagreement, and the rationale and information used by the SSC 
for making its determination. This report must be made publicly 
available.
    (6) Annual catch limits (ACLs) developed by a Council may not exceed 
its SSC's fishing level recommendations. 16 U.S.C. 1852(h)(6). Per the 
National Standard 1 Guidelines, the SSC fishing level recommendation 
that is most relevant to ACLs is acceptable biological catch (ABC), as 
both ACL and ABC are levels of annual catch (see Sec. 
600.310(b)(2)(v)(D)). The SSC is expected to take scientific uncertainty 
into account when making its ABC recommendation (Sec. 600.310(f)(4)). 
The ABC recommendation may be based upon input and recommendations from 
the peer review process. Any such peer review related to such 
recommendations should be conducted early in the process as described in 
paragraph (c)(4) of this section. The SSC should resolve differences 
between its recommendations and any relevant peer review recommendations 
per paragraph (c)(5) of this section.
    (d) SAFE Report. The term SAFE (Stock Assessment and Fishery 
Evaluation) report, as used in this section, refers to a public document 
or a set of related public documents, that provides the Secretary and 
the Councils with a summary of scientific information concerning the 
most recent biological condition of stocks, stock complexes, and marine 
ecosystems in the fishery management unit (FMU), essential fish habitat 
(EFH), and the social and economic condition of the recreational and 
commercial fishing interests, fishing communities, and the fish 
processing industries. Each SAFE report must be scientifically based 
with appropriate citations of data sources and information. Each SAFE 
report summarizes, on a periodic basis, the best scientific information 
available concerning the past, present, and possible future condition of 
the stocks, EFH, marine ecosystems, and fisheries being managed under 
Federal regulation.
    (1) The Secretary has the responsibility to ensure that SAFE reports 
are prepared and updated or supplemented as necessary whenever new 
information is available to inform management decisions such as status 
determination criteria (SDC), overfishing level (OFL), optimum yield, or 
ABC values (Sec. 600.310(c)). The SAFE report and any comments or 
reports from the SSC must be available to the Secretary and Council for 
making management decisions for each FMP to ensure that the best 
scientific information available is being used. The Secretary or 
Councils may utilize any combination of personnel from Council, State, 
Federal, university, or other sources to acquire and analyze data and 
produce the SAFE report.
    (2) The SAFE report provides information to the Councils and the 
Secretary for determining annual catch limits (Sec. 600.310(f)(5)) for 
each stock in the fishery; documenting significant trends or changes in 
the resource, marine ecosystems, and fishery over time; implementing 
required EFH provisions

[[Page 55]]

(Sec. 600.815(a)(10)); and assessing the relative success of existing 
relevant state and Federal fishery management programs. The SAFE report 
should contain an explanation of information gaps and highlight needs 
for future scientific work. Information on bycatch and safety for each 
fishery should also be summarized. In addition, the SAFE report may be 
used to update or expand previous environmental and regulatory impact 
documents and ecosystem descriptions.
    (3) Each SAFE report should contain the following scientific 
information when it exists:
    (i) Information on which to base catch specifications and status 
determinations, including the most recent stock assessment documents and 
associated peer review reports, and recommendations and reports from the 
Council's SSC.
    (A) A description of the SDC (e.g., maximum fishing mortality rate 
threshold and minimum stock size threshold for each stock or stock 
complex in the fishery) (Sec. 600.310(e)(2)).
    (B) Information on OFL and ABC, preventing overfishing, and 
achieving rebuilding targets. Documentation of the data collection, 
estimation methods, and consideration of uncertainty in formulating 
catch specification recommendations should be included (Sec. 
600.310(f)(2)). The best scientific information available to determine 
whether overfishing is occurring with respect to any stock or stock 
complex, whether any stock or stock complex is overfished, whether the 
rate or level of fishing mortality applied to any stock or stock complex 
is approaching the maximum fishing mortality threshold, and whether the 
size of any stock or stock complex is approaching the minimum stock size 
threshold; and
    (C) The best scientific information available in support of 
management measures necessary to rebuild an overfished stock or stock 
complex (if any) in the fishery to a level consistent with producing the 
MSY in that fishery.
    (ii) Information on sources of fishing mortality (both landed and 
discarded), including commercial and recreational catch and bycatch in 
other fisheries and a description of data collection and estimation 
methods used to quantify total catch mortality, as required by the 
National Standard 1 Guidelines (Sec. 600.310(i)).
    (iii) Information on bycatch of non-target species for each fishery.
    (iv) Information on EFH to be included in accordance with the EFH 
provisions (Sec. 600.815(a)(10)) .
    (v) Pertinent economic, social, community, and ecological 
information for assessing the success and impacts of management measures 
or the achievement of objectives of each FMP.
    (4) Transparency in the fishery management process is enhanced by 
complementing the SAFE report with the documentation of previous 
management actions taken by the Council or Secretary including a summary 
of the previous ACLs, ACTs, and accountability measures (AMs), and 
assessment of management uncertainty.
    (5) To facilitate the use of the information in the SAFE report, and 
its availability to the Council, NMFS, and the public:
    (i) The SAFE report should contain, or be supplemented by, a summary 
of the information and an index or table of contents to the components 
of the report. Sources of information in the SAFE report should be 
referenced, unless the information is proprietary.
    (ii) The SAFE report or compilation of documents that comprise the 
SAFE report and index must be made available by the Council or NMFS on a 
readily accessible Web site.
    (e) FMP development. (1) FMPs must take into account the best 
scientific information available at the time of preparation. Between the 
initial drafting of an FMP and its submission for final review, new 
information often becomes available. This new information should be 
incorporated into the final FMP where practicable; but it is unnecessary 
to start the FMP process over again, unless the information indicates 
that drastic changes have occurred in the fishery that might require 
revision of the management objectives or measures.
    (2) The fact that scientific information concerning a fishery is 
incomplete does not prevent the preparation and implementation of an FMP 
(see related Sec. Sec. 600.320(d)(2) and 600.340(b)).

[[Page 56]]

    (3) An FMP must specify whatever information fishermen and 
processors will be required or requested to submit to the Secretary. 
Information about harvest within state waters, as well as in the EEZ, 
may be collected if it is needed for proper implementation of the FMP 
and cannot be obtained otherwise. Scientific information collections for 
stocks managed cooperatively by Federal and State governments should be 
coordinated with the appropriate state jurisdictions, to the extent 
practicable, to ensure harvest information is available for the 
management of stocks that utilize habitats in state and federal managed 
waters. The FMP should explain the practical utility of the information 
specified in monitoring the fishery, in facilitating inseason management 
decisions, and in judging the performance of the management regime; it 
should also consider the effort, cost, or social impact of obtaining it.
    (4) An FMP should identify scientific information needed from other 
sources to improve understanding and management of the resource, marine 
ecosystem, the fishery, and fishing communities.
    (5) The information submitted by various data suppliers should be 
comparable and compatible, to the maximum extent possible.
    (6) FMPs should be amended on a timely basis, as new information 
indicates the necessity for change in objectives or management measures 
consistent with the conditions described in paragraph (d) of this 
section (SAFE reports). Paragraphs (e)(1) through (5) of this section 
apply equally to FMPs and FMP amendments.

[78 FR 43086, July 19, 2013]



Sec. 600.320  National Standard 3--Management Units.

    (a) Standard 3. To the extent practicable, an individual stock of 
fish shall be managed as a unit throughout its range, and interrelated 
stocks of fish shall be managed as a unit or in close coordination.
    (b) General. The purpose of this standard is to induce a 
comprehensive approach to fishery management. The geographic scope of 
the fishery, for planning purposes, should cover the entire range of the 
stocks(s) of fish, and not be overly constrained by political 
boundaries. Wherever practicable, an FMP should seek to manage 
interrelated stocks of fish.
    (c) Unity of management. Cooperation and understanding among 
entities concerned with the fishery (e.g., Councils, states, Federal 
Government, international commissions, foreign nations) are vital to 
effective management. Where management of a fishery involves multiple 
jurisdictions, coordination among the several entities should be sought 
in the development of an FMP. Where a range overlaps Council areas, one 
FMP to cover the entire range is preferred. The Secretary designates 
which Council(s) will prepare the FMP, under section 304(f) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (d) Management unit. The term ``management unit'' means a fishery or 
that portion of a fishery identified in an FMP as relevant to the FMP's 
management objectives.
    (1) Basis. The choice of a management unit depends on the focus of 
the FMP's objectives, and may be organized around biological, 
geographic, economic, technical, social, or ecological perspectives. For 
example:
    (i) Biological--could be based on a stock(s) throughout its range.
    (ii) Geographic--could be an area.
    (iii) Economic--could be based on a fishery supplying specific 
product forms.
    (iv) Technical--could be based on a fishery utilizing a specific 
gear type or similar fishing practices.
    (v) Social--could be based on fishermen as the unifying element, 
such as when the fishermen pursue different species in a regular pattern 
throughout the year.
    (vi) Ecological--could be based on species that are associated in 
the ecosystem or are dependent on a particular habitat.
    (2) Conservation and management measures. FMPs should include 
conservation and management measures for that part of the management 
unit within U.S. waters, although the Secretary can ordinarily implement 
them only within the EEZ. The measures need not be identical for each 
geographic area within the management unit, if the

[[Page 57]]

FMP justifies the differences. A management unit may contain, in 
addition to regulated species, stocks of fish for which there is not 
enough information available to specify MSY and OY or to establish 
management measures, so that data on these species may be collected 
under the FMP.
    (e) Analysis. To document that an FMP is as comprehensive as 
practicable, it should include discussions of the following:
    (1) The range and distribution of the stocks, as well as the 
patterns of fishing effort and harvest.
    (2) Alternative management units and reasons for selecting a 
particular one. A less-than-comprehensive management unit may be 
justified if, for example, complementary management exits or is planned 
for a separate geographic area or for a distinct use of the stocks, or 
if the unmanaged portion of the resource is immaterial to proper 
management.
    (3) Management activities and habitat programs of adjacent states 
and their effects on the FMP's objectives and management measures. Where 
state action is necessary to implement measures within state waters to 
achieve FMP objectives, the FMP should identify what state action is 
necessary, discuss the consequences of state inaction or contrary 
action, and make appropriate recommendations. The FMP should also 
discuss the impact that Federal regulations will have on state 
management activities.
    (4) Management activities of other countries having an impact on the 
fishery, and how the FMP's management measures are designed to take into 
account these impacts. International boundaries may be dealt with in 
several ways. For example:
    (i) By limiting the management unit's scope to that portion of the 
stock found in U.S. waters;
    (ii) By estimating MSY for the entire stock and then basing the 
determination of OY for the U.S. fishery on the portion of the stock 
within U.S. waters; or
    (iii) By referring to treaties or cooperative agreements.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 24234, May 1, 1998]



Sec. 600.325  National Standard 4--Allocations.

    (a) Standard 4. Conservation and management measures shall not 
discriminate between residents of different states. If it becomes 
necessary to allocate or assign fishing privileges among various U.S. 
fishermen, such allocation shall be:
    (1) Fair and equitable to all such fishermen.
    (2) Reasonably calculated to promote conservation.
    (3) Carried out in such manner that no particular individual, 
corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such 
privileges.
    (b) Discrimination among residents of different states. An FMP may 
not differentiate among U.S. citizens, nationals, resident aliens, or 
corporations on the basis of their state of residence. An FMP may not 
incorporate or rely on a state statute or regulation that discriminates 
against residents of another state. Conservation and management measures 
that have different effects on persons in various geographic locations 
are permissible if they satisfy the other guidelines under Standard 4. 
Examples of these precepts are:
    (1) An FMP that restricted fishing in the EEZ to those holding a 
permit from state X would violate Standard 4 if state X issued permits 
only to its own citizens.
    (2) An FMP that closed a spawning ground might disadvantage 
fishermen living in the state closest to it, because they would have to 
travel farther to an open area, but the closure could be justified under 
Standard 4 as a conservation measure with no discriminatory intent.
    (c) Allocation of fishing privileges. An FMP may contain management 
measures that allocate fishing privileges if such measures are necessary 
or helpful in furthering legitimate objectives or in achieving the OY, 
and if the measures conform with paragraphs (c)(3)(i) through 
(c)(3)(iii) of this section.
    (1) Definition. An ``allocation'' or ``assignment'' of fishing 
privileges is a direct and deliberate distribution of the opportunity to 
participate in a fishery among identifiable, discrete

[[Page 58]]

user groups or individuals. Any management measure (or lack of 
management) has incidental allocative effects, but only those measures 
that result in direct distributions of fishing privileges will be judged 
against the allocation requirements of Standard 4. Adoption of an FMP 
that merely perpetuates existing fishing practices may result in an 
allocation, if those practices directly distribute the opportunity to 
participate in the fishery. Allocations of fishing privileges include, 
for example, per-vessel catch limits, quotas by vessel class and gear 
type, different quotas or fishing seasons for recreational and 
commercial fishermen, assignment of ocean areas to different gear users, 
and limitation of permits to a certain number of vessels or fishermen.
    (2) Analysis of allocations. Each FMP should contain a description 
and analysis of the allocations existing in the fishery and of those 
made in the FMP. The effects of eliminating an existing allocation 
system should be examined. Allocation schemes considered, but rejected 
by the Council, should be included in the discussion. The analysis 
should relate the recommended allocations to the FMP's objectives and OY 
specification, and discuss the factors listed in paragraph (c)(3) of 
this section.
    (3) Factors in making allocations. An allocation of fishing 
privileges must be fair and equitable, must be reasonably calculated to 
promote conservation, and must avoid excessive shares. These tests are 
explained in paragraphs (c)(3)(i) through (c)(3)(iii) of this section:
    (i) Fairness and equity. (A) An allocation of fishing privileges 
should be rationally connected to the achievement of OY or with the 
furtherance of a legitimate FMP objective. Inherent in an allocation is 
the advantaging of one group to the detriment of another. The motive for 
making a particular allocation should be justified in terms of the 
objectives of the FMP; otherwise, the disadvantaged user groups or 
individuals would suffer without cause. For instance, an FMP objective 
to preserve the economic status quo cannot be achieved by excluding a 
group of long-time participants in the fishery. On the other hand, there 
is a rational connection between an objective of harvesting shrimp at 
their maximum size and closing a nursery area to trawling.
    (B) An allocation of fishing privileges may impose a hardship on one 
group if it is outweighed by the total benefits received by another 
group or groups. An allocation need not preserve the status quo in the 
fishery to qualify as ``fair and equitable,'' if a restructuring of 
fishing privileges would maximize overall benefits. The Council should 
make an initial estimate of the relative benefits and hardships imposed 
by the allocation, and compare its consequences with those of 
alternative allocation schemes, including the status quo. Where 
relevant, judicial guidance and government policy concerning the rights 
of treaty Indians and aboriginal Americans must be considered in 
determining whether an allocation is fair and equitable.
    (ii) Promotion of conservation. Numerous methods of allocating 
fishing privileges are considered ``conservation and management'' 
measures under section 303 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. An allocation 
scheme may promote conservation by encouraging a rational, more easily 
managed use of the resource. Or, it may promote conservation (in the 
sense of wise use) by optimizing the yield in terms of size, value, 
market mix, price, or economic or social benefit of the product. To the 
extent that rebuilding plans or other conservation and management 
measures that reduce the overall harvest in a fishery are necessary, any 
harvest restrictions or recovery benefits must be allocated fairly and 
equitably among the commercial, recreational, and charter fishing 
sectors of the fishery.
    (iii) Avoidance of excessive shares. An allocation scheme must be 
designed to deter any person or other entity from acquiring an excessive 
share of fishing privileges, and to avoid creating conditions fostering 
inordinate control, by buyers or sellers, that would not otherwise 
exist.
    (iv) Other factors. In designing an allocation scheme, a Council 
should consider other factors relevant to the FMP's objectives. Examples 
are economic and social consequences of the

[[Page 59]]

scheme, food production, consumer interest, dependence on the fishery by 
present participants and coastal communities, efficiency of various 
types of gear used in the fishery, transferability of effort to and 
impact on other fisheries, opportunity for new participants to enter the 
fishery, and enhancement of opportunities for recreational fishing.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 24234, May 1, 1998]



Sec. 600.330  National Standard 5--Efficiency.

    (a) Standard 5. Conservation and management measures shall, where 
practicable, consider efficiency in the utilization of fishery 
resources; except that no such measure shall have economic allocation as 
its sole purpose.
    (b) Efficiency in the utilization of resources--(1) General. The 
term ``utilization'' encompasses harvesting, processing, marketing, and 
non-consumptive uses of the resource, since management decisions affect 
all sectors of the industry. In considering efficient utilization of 
fishery resources, this standard highlights one way that a fishery can 
contribute to the Nation's benefit with the least cost to society: Given 
a set of objectives for the fishery, an FMP should contain management 
measures that result in as efficient a fishery as is practicable or 
desirable.
    (2) Efficiency. In theory, an efficient fishery would harvest the OY 
with the minimum use of economic inputs such as labor, capital, 
interest, and fuel. Efficiency in terms of aggregate costs then becomes 
a conservation objective, where ``conservation'' constitutes wise use of 
all resources involved in the fishery, not just fish stocks.
    (i) In an FMP, management measures may be proposed that allocate 
fish among different groups of individuals or establish a system of 
property rights. Alternative measures examined in searching for an 
efficient outcome will result in different distributions of gains and 
burdens among identifiable user groups. An FMP should demonstrate that 
management measures aimed at efficiency do not simply redistribute gains 
and burdens without an increase in efficiency.
    (ii) Management regimes that allow a fishery to operate at the 
lowest possible cost (e.g., fishing effort, administration, and 
enforcement) for a particular level of catch and initial stock size are 
considered efficient. Restrictive measures that unnecessarily raise any 
of those costs move the regime toward inefficiency. Unless the use of 
inefficient techniques or the creation of redundant fishing capacity 
contributes to the attainment of other social or biological objectives, 
an FMP may not contain management measures that impede the use of cost-
effective techniques of harvesting, processing, or marketing, and should 
avoid creating strong incentives for excessive investment in private 
sector fishing capital and labor.
    (c) Limited access. A ``system for limiting access,'' which is an 
optional measure under section 303(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, is a 
type of allocation of fishing privileges that may be considered to 
contribute to economic efficiency or conservation. For example, limited 
access may be used to combat overfishing, overcrowding, or 
overcapitalization in a fishery to achieve OY. In an unutilized or 
underutilized fishery, it may be used to reduce the chance that these 
conditions will adversely affect the fishery in the future, or to 
provide adequate economic return to pioneers in a new fishery. In some 
cases, limited entry is a useful ingredient of a conservation scheme, 
because it facilitates application and enforcement of other management 
measures.
    (1) Definition. Limited access (or limited entry) is a management 
technique that attempts to limit units of effort in a fishery, usually 
for the purpose of reducing economic waste, improving net economic 
return to the fishermen, or capturing economic rent for the benefit of 
the taxpayer or the consumer. Common forms of limited access are 
licensing of vessels, gear, or fishermen to reduce the number of units 
of effort, and dividing the total allowable catch into fishermen's 
quotas (a stock-certificate system). Two forms (i.e., Federal fees for 
licenses or permits in excess of administrative costs, and taxation) are 
not permitted under the Magnuson-

[[Page 60]]

Stevens Act, except for fees allowed under section 304(d)(2).
    (2) Factors to consider. The Magnuson-Stevens Act ties the use of 
limited access to the achievement of OY. An FMP that proposes a limited 
access system must consider the factors listed in section 303(b)(6) of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act and in Sec. 600.325(c)(3). In addition, it 
should consider the criteria for qualifying for a permit, the nature of 
the interest created, whether to make the permit transferable, and the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act's limitations on returning economic rent to the 
public under section 304(d). The FMP should also discuss the costs of 
achieving an appropriate distribution of fishing privileges.
    (d) Analysis. An FMP should discuss the extent to which 
overcapitalization, congestion, economic waste, and inefficient 
techniques in the fishery reduce the net benefits derived from the 
management unit and prevent the attainment and appropriate allocation of 
OY. It should also explain, in terms of the FMP's objectives, any 
restriction placed on the use of efficient techniques of harvesting, 
processing, or marketing. If, during FMP development, the Council 
considered imposing a limited-entry system, the FMP should analyze the 
Council's decision to recommend or reject limited access as a technique 
to achieve efficient utilization of the resources of the fishing 
industry.
    (e) Economic allocation. This standard prohibits only those measures 
that distribute fishery resources among fishermen on the basis of 
economic factors alone, and that have economic allocation as their only 
purpose. Where conservation and management measures are recommended that 
would change the economic structure of the industry or the economic 
conditions under which the industry operates, the need for such measures 
must be justified in light of the biological, ecological, and social 
objectives of the FMP, as well as the economic objectives.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 63 
FR 24234, May 1, 1998]



Sec. 600.335  National Standard 6--Variations and Contingencies.

    (a) Standard 6. Conservation and management measures shall take into 
account and allow for variations among, and contingencies in, fisheries, 
fishery resources, and catches.
    (b) Conservation and management. Each fishery exhibits unique 
uncertainties. The phrase ``conservation and management'' implies the 
wise use of fishery resources through a management regime that includes 
some protection against these uncertainties. The particular regime 
chosen must be flexible enough to allow timely response to resource, 
industry, and other national and regional needs. Continual data 
acquisition and analysis will help the development of management 
measures to compensate for variations and to reduce the need for 
substantial buffers. Flexibility in the management regime and the 
regulatory process will aid in responding to contingencies.
    (c) Variations. (1) In fishery management terms, variations arise 
from biological, social, and economic occurrences, as well as from 
fishing practices. Biological uncertainties and lack of knowledge can 
hamper attempts to estimate stock size and strength, stock location in 
time and space, environmental/habitat changes, and ecological 
interactions. Economic uncertainty may involve changes in foreign or 
domestic market conditions, changes in operating costs, drifts toward 
overcapitalization, and economic perturbations caused by changed fishing 
patterns. Changes in fishing practices, such as the introduction of new 
gear, rapid increases or decreases in harvest effort, new fishing 
strategies, and the effects of new management techniques, may also 
create uncertainties. Social changes could involve increases or 
decreases in recreational fishing, or the movement of people into or out 
of fishing activities due to such factors as age or educational 
opportunities.
    (2) Every effort should be made to develop FMPs that discuss and 
take into account these vicissitudes. To the extent practicable, FMPs 
should provide a suitable buffer in favor of conservation. Allowances 
for uncertainties should be factored into the various elements of an 
FMP. Examples are:

[[Page 61]]

    (i) Reduce OY. Lack of scientific knowledge about the condition of a 
stock(s) could be reason to reduce OY.
    (ii) Establish a reserve. Creation of a reserve may compensate for 
uncertainties in estimating domestic harvest, stock conditions, or 
environmental factors.
    (iii) Adjust management techniques. In the absence of adequate data 
to predict the effect of a new regime, and to avoid creating unwanted 
variations, a Council could guard against producing drastic changes in 
fishing patterns, allocations, or practices.
    (iv) Highlight habitat conditions. FMPs may address the impact of 
pollution and the effects of wetland and estuarine degradation on the 
stocks of fish; identify causes of pollution and habitat degradation and 
the authorities having jurisdiction to regulate or influence such 
activities; propose recommendations that the Secretary will convey to 
those authorities to alleviate such problems; and state the views of the 
Council on unresolved or anticipated issues.
    (d) Contingencies. Unpredictable events--such as unexpected resource 
surges or failures, fishing effort greater than anticipated, disruptive 
gear conflicts, climatic conditions, or environmental catastrophes--are 
best handled by establishing a flexible management regime that contains 
a range of management options through which it is possible to act 
quickly without amending the FMP or even its regulations.
    (1) The FMP should describe the management options and their 
consequences in the necessary detail to guide the Secretary in 
responding to changed circumstances, so that the Council preserves its 
role as policy-setter for the fishery. The description should enable the 
public to understand what may happen under the flexible regime, and to 
comment on the options.
    (2) FMPs should include criteria for the selection of management 
measures, directions for their application, and mechanisms for timely 
adjustment of management measures comprising the regime. For example, an 
FMP could include criteria that allow the Secretary to open and close 
seasons, close fishing grounds, or make other adjustments in management 
measures.
    (3) Amendment of a flexible FMP would be necessary when 
circumstances in the fishery change substantially, or when a Council 
adopts a different management philosophy and objectives.



Sec. 600.340  National Standard 7--Costs and Benefits.

    (a) Standard 7. Conservation and management measures shall, where 
practicable, minimize costs and avoid unnecessary duplication.
    (b) Necessity of Federal management--(1) General. The principle that 
not every fishery needs regulation is implicit in this standard. The 
Magnuson-Stevens Act requires Councils to prepare FMPs only for 
overfished fisheries and for other fisheries where regulation would 
serve some useful purpose and where the present or future benefits of 
regulation would justify the costs. For example, the need to collect 
data about a fishery is not, by itself, adequate justification for 
preparation of an FMP, since there are less costly ways to gather the 
data (see Sec. 600.320(d)(2). In some cases, the FMP preparation 
process itself, even if it does not culminate in a document approved by 
the Secretary, can be useful in supplying a basis for management by one 
or more coastal states.
    (2) Criteria. In deciding whether a fishery needs management through 
regulations implementing an FMP, the following general factors should be 
considered, among others:
    (i) The importance of the fishery to the Nation and to the regional 
economy.
    (ii) The condition of the stock or stocks of fish and whether an FMP 
can improve or maintain that condition.
    (iii) The extent to which the fishery could be or is already 
adequately managed by states, by state/Federal programs, by Federal 
regulations pursuant to FMPs or international commissions, or by 
industry self-regulation, consistent with the policies and standards of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (iv) The need to resolve competing interests and conflicts among 
user groups and whether an FMP can further that resolution.

[[Page 62]]

    (v) The economic condition of a fishery and whether an FMP can 
produce more efficient utilization.
    (vi) The needs of a developing fishery, and whether an FMP can 
foster orderly growth.
    (vii) The costs associated with an FMP, balanced against the 
benefits (see paragraph (d) of this section as a guide).
    (c) Alternative management measures. Management measures should not 
impose unnecessary burdens on the economy, on individuals, on private or 
public organizations, or on Federal, state, or local governments. 
Factors such as fuel costs, enforcement costs, or the burdens of 
collecting data may well suggest a preferred alternative.
    (d) Analysis. The supporting analyses for FMPs should demonstrate 
that the benefits of fishery regulation are real and substantial 
relative to the added research, administrative, and enforcement costs, 
as well as costs to the industry of compliance. In determining the 
benefits and costs of management measures, each management strategy 
considered and its impacts on different user groups in the fishery 
should be evaluated. This requirement need not produce an elaborate, 
formalistic cost/benefit analysis. Rather, an evaluation of effects and 
costs, especially of differences among workable alternatives, including 
the status quo, is adequate. If quantitative estimates are not possible, 
qualitative estimates will suffice.
    (1) Burdens. Management measures should be designed to give 
fishermen the greatest possible freedom of action in conducting business 
and pursuing recreational opportunities that are consistent with 
ensuring wise use of the resources and reducing conflict in the fishery. 
The type and level of burden placed on user groups by the regulations 
need to be identified. Such an examination should include, for example: 
Capital outlays; operating and maintenance costs; reporting costs; 
administrative, enforcement, and information costs; and prices to 
consumers. Management measures may shift costs from one level of 
government to another, from one part of the private sector to another, 
or from the government to the private sector. Redistribution of costs 
through regulations is likely to generate controversy. A discussion of 
these and any other burdens placed on the public through FMP regulations 
should be a part of the FMP's supporting analyses.
    (2) Gains. The relative distribution of gains may change as a result 
of instituting different sets of alternatives, as may the specific type 
of gain. The analysis of benefits should focus on the specific gains 
produced by each alternative set of management measures, including the 
status quo. The benefits to society that result from the alternative 
management measures should be identified, and the level of gain 
assessed.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 63 
FR 24234, May 1, 1998]



Sec. 600.345  National Standard 8--Communities.

    (a) Standard 8. Conservation and management measures shall, 
consistent with the conservation requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act (including the prevention of overfishing and rebuilding of 
overfished stocks), take into account the importance of fishery 
resources to fishing communities by utilizing economic and social data 
that are based upon the best scientific information available in order 
to:
    (1) Provide for the sustained participation of such communities; and
    (2) To the extent practicable, minimize adverse economic impacts on 
such communities.
    (b) General. (1) This standard requires that an FMP take into 
account the importance of fishery resources to fishing communities. This 
consideration, however, is within the context of the conservation 
requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Deliberations regarding the 
importance of fishery resources to affected fishing communities, 
therefore, must not compromise the achievement of conservation 
requirements and goals of the FMP. Where the preferred alternative 
negatively affects the sustained participation of fishing communities, 
the FMP should discuss the rationale for selecting this alternative over 
another with a lesser impact on fishing communities. All other things 
being equal, where two alternatives

[[Page 63]]

achieve similar conservation goals, the alternative that provides the 
greater potential for sustained participation of such communities and 
minimizes the adverse economic impacts on such communities would be the 
preferred alternative.
    (2) This standard does not constitute a basis for allocating 
resources to a specific fishing community nor for providing preferential 
treatment based on residence in a fishing community.
    (3) The term ``fishing community'' means a community that is 
substantially dependent on or substantially engaged in the harvest or 
processing of fishery resources to meet social and economic needs, and 
includes fishing vessel owners, operators, and crew, and fish processors 
that are based in such communities. A fishing community is a social or 
economic group whose members reside in a specific location and share a 
common dependency on commercial, recreational, or subsistence fishing or 
on directly related fisheries-dependent services and industries (for 
example, boatyards, ice suppliers, tackle shops).
    (4) The term ``sustained participation'' means continued access to 
the fishery within the constraints of the condition of the resource.
    (c) Analysis. (1) FMPs must examine the social and economic 
importance of fisheries to communities potentially affected by 
management measures. For example, severe reductions of harvests for 
conservation purposes may decrease employment opportunities for 
fishermen and processing plant workers, thereby adversely affecting 
their families and communities. Similarly, a management measure that 
results in the allocation of fishery resources among competing sectors 
of a fishery may benefit some communities at the expense of others.
    (2) An appropriate vehicle for the analyses under this standard is 
the fishery impact statement required by section 303(a)(9) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act. Qualitative and quantitative data may be used, 
including information provided by fishermen, dealers, processors, and 
fisheries organizations and associations. In cases where data are 
severely limited, effort should be directed to identifying and gathering 
needed data.
    (3) To address the sustained participation of fishing communities 
that will be affected by management measures, the analysis should first 
identify affected fishing communities and then assess their differing 
levels of dependence on and engagement in the fishery being regulated. 
The analysis should also specify how that assessment was made. The best 
available data on the history, extent, and type of participation of 
these fishing communities in the fishery should be incorporated into the 
social and economic information presented in the FMP. The analysis does 
not have to contain an exhaustive listing of all communities that might 
fit the definition; a judgment can be made as to which are primarily 
affected. The analysis should discuss each alternative's likely effect 
on the sustained participation of these fishing communities in the 
fishery.
    (4) The analysis should assess the likely positive and negative 
social and economic impacts of the alternative management measures, over 
both the short and the long term, on fishing communities. Any particular 
management measure may economically benefit some communities while 
adversely affecting others. Economic impacts should be considered both 
for individual communities and for the group of all affected communities 
identified in the FMP. Impacts of both consumptive and non-consumptive 
uses of fishery resources should be considered.
    (5) A discussion of social and economic impacts should identify 
those alternatives that would minimize adverse impacts on these fishing 
communities within the constraints of conservation and management goals 
of the FMP, other national standards, and other applicable law.

[63 FR 24234, May 1, 1998, as amended at 73 FR 67810, Nov. 17, 2008]



Sec. 600.350  National Standard 9--Bycatch.

    (a) Standard 9. Conservation and management measures shall, to the 
extent practicable:
    (1) Minimize bycatch; and

[[Page 64]]

    (2) To the extent bycatch cannot be avoided, minimize the mortality 
of such bycatch.
    (b) General. This national standard requires Councils to consider 
the bycatch effects of existing and planned conservation and management 
measures. Bycatch can, in two ways, impede efforts to protect marine 
ecosystems and achieve sustainable fisheries and the full benefits they 
can provide to the Nation. First, bycatch can increase substantially the 
uncertainty concerning total fishing-related mortality, which makes it 
more difficult to assess the status of stocks, to set the appropriate OY 
and define overfishing levels, and to ensure that OYs are attained and 
overfishing levels are not exceeded. Second, bycatch may also preclude 
other more productive uses of fishery resources.
    (c) Definition--Bycatch. The term ``bycatch'' means fish that are 
harvested in a fishery, but that are not sold or kept for personal use.
    (1) Inclusions. Bycatch includes the discard of whole fish at sea or 
elsewhere, including economic discards and regulatory discards, and 
fishing mortality due to an encounter with fishing gear that does not 
result in capture of fish (i.e., unobserved fishing mortality).
    (2) Exclusions. Bycatch excludes the following:
    (i) Fish that legally are retained in a fishery and kept for 
personal, tribal, or cultural use, or that enter commerce through sale, 
barter, or trade.
    (ii) Fish released alive under a recreational catch-and-release 
fishery management program. A catch-and-release fishery management 
program is one in which the retention of a particular species is 
prohibited. In such a program, those fish released alive would not be 
considered bycatch.
    (iii) Fish harvested in a commercial fishery managed by the 
Secretary under Magnuson-Stevens Act sec. 304(g) or the Atlantic Tunas 
Convention Act of 1975 (16 U.S.C. 971d) or highly migratory species 
harvested in a commercial fishery managed by a Council under the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act or the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries 
Convention Implementation Act, that are not regulatory discards and that 
are tagged and released alive under a scientific tagging and release 
program established by the Secretary.
    (d) Minimizing bycatch and bycatch mortality. The priority under 
this standard is first to avoid catching bycatch species where 
practicable. Fish that are bycatch and cannot be avoided must, to the 
extent practicable, be returned to the sea alive. Any proposed 
conservation and management measure that does not give priority to 
avoiding the capture of bycatch species must be supported by appropriate 
analyses. In their evaluation, the Councils must consider the net 
benefits to the Nation, which include, but are not limited to: Negative 
impacts on affected stocks; incomes accruing to participants in directed 
fisheries in both the short and long term; incomes accruing to 
participants in fisheries that target the bycatch species; environmental 
consequences; non-market values of bycatch species, which include non-
consumptive uses of bycatch species and existence values, as well as 
recreational values; and impacts on other marine organisms. To evaluate 
conservation and management measures relative to this and other national 
standards, as well as to evaluate total fishing mortality, Councils 
must--
    (1) Promote development of a database on bycatch and bycatch 
mortality in the fishery to the extent practicable. A review and, where 
necessary, improvement of data collection methods, data sources, and 
applications of data must be initiated for each fishery to determine the 
amount, type, disposition, and other characteristics of bycatch and 
bycatch mortality in each fishery for purposes of this standard and of 
section 303(a)(11) and (12) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Bycatch should 
be categorized to focus on management responses necessary to minimize 
bycatch and bycatch mortality to the extent practicable. When 
appropriate, management measures, such as at-sea monitoring programs, 
should be developed to meet these information needs.
    (2) For each management measure, assess the effects on the amount 
and type of bycatch and bycatch mortality in the fishery. Most 
conservation and management measures can affect the amounts of bycatch 
or bycatch mortality in a

[[Page 65]]

fishery, as well as the extent to which further reductions in bycatch 
are practicable. In analyzing measures, including the status quo, 
Councils should assess the impacts of minimizing bycatch and bycatch 
mortality, as well as consistency of the selected measure with other 
national standards and applicable laws. The benefits of minimizing 
bycatch to the extent practicable should be identified and an assessment 
of the impact of the selected measure on bycatch and bycatch mortality 
provided. Due to limitations on the information available, fishery 
managers may not be able to generate precise estimates of bycatch and 
bycatch mortality or other effects for each alternative. In the absence 
of quantitative estimates of the impacts of each alternative, Councils 
may use qualitative measures. Information on the amount and type of 
bycatch should be summarized in the SAFE reports.
    (3) Select measures that, to the extent practicable, will minimize 
bycatch and bycatch mortality. (i) A determination of whether a 
conservation and management measure minimizes bycatch or bycatch 
mortality to the extent practicable, consistent with other national 
standards and maximization of net benefits to the Nation, should 
consider the following factors:
    (A) Population effects for the bycatch species.
    (B) Ecological effects due to changes in the bycatch of that species 
(effects on other species in the ecosystem).
    (C) Changes in the bycatch of- other species of fish and the 
resulting population and ecosystem effects.
    (D) Effects on marine mammals and birds.
    (E) Changes in fishing, processing, disposal, and marketing costs.
    (F) Changes in fishing practices and behavior of fishermen.
    (G) Changes in research, administration, and enforcement costs and 
management effectiveness.
    (H) Changes in the economic, social, or cultural value of fishing 
activities and nonconsumptive uses of fishery resources.
    (I) Changes in the distribution of benefits and costs.
    (J) Social effects.
    (ii) The Councils should adhere to the precautionary approach found 
in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 
Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (Article 6.5), which is 
available from the Director, Publications Division, FAO, Viale delle 
Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy, when faced with uncertainty 
concerning any of the factors listed in this paragraph (d)(3).
    (4) Monitor selected management measures. Effects of implemented 
measures should be evaluated routinely. Monitoring systems should be 
established prior to fishing under the selected management measures. 
Where applicable, plans should be developed and coordinated with 
industry and other concerned organizations to identify opportunities for 
cooperative data collection, coordination of data management for cost 
efficiency, and avoidance of duplicative effort.
    (e) Other considerations. Other applicable laws, such as the MMPA, 
the ESA, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, require that Councils 
consider the impact of conservation and management measures on living 
marine resources other than fish; i.e., marine mammals and birds.

[63 FR 24235, May 1, 1998, as amended at 73 FR 67811, Nov. 17, 2008]



Sec. 600.355  National Standard 10--Safety of Life at Sea.

    (a) Standard 10. Conservation and management measures shall, to the 
extent practicable, promote the safety of human life at sea.
    (b) General. (1) Fishing is an inherently dangerous occupation where 
not all hazardous situations can be foreseen or avoided. The standard 
directs Councils to reduce that risk in crafting their management 
measures, so long as they can meet the other national standards and the 
legal and practical requirements of conservation and management. This 
standard is not meant to give preference to one method of managing a 
fishery over another.
    (2) The qualifying phrase ``to the extent practicable'' recognizes 
that regulation necessarily puts constraints on fishing that would not 
otherwise exist. These constraints may create pressures on fishermen to 
fish under conditions

[[Page 66]]

that they would otherwise avoid. This standard instructs the Councils to 
identify and avoid those situations, if they can do so consistent with 
the legal and practical requirements of conservation and management of 
the resource.
    (3) For the purposes of this national standard, the safety of the 
fishing vessel and the protection from injury of persons aboard the 
vessel are considered the same as ``safety of human life at sea. The 
safety of a vessel and the people aboard is ultimately the 
responsibility of the master of that vessel. Each master makes many 
decisions about vessel maintenance and loading and about the 
capabilities of the vessel and crew to operate safely in a variety of 
weather and sea conditions. This national standard does not replace the 
judgment or relieve the responsibility of the vessel master related to 
vessel safety. The Councils, the USCG, and NMFS, through the 
consultation process of paragraph (d) of this section, will review all 
FMPs, amendments, and regulations during their development to ensure 
they recognize any impact on the safety of human life at sea and 
minimize or mitigate that impact where practicable.
    (c) Safety considerations. The following is a non-inclusive list of 
safety considerations that should be considered in evaluating management 
measures under national standard 10.
    (1) Operating environment. Where and when a fishing vessel operates 
is partly a function of the general climate and weather patterns of an 
area. Typically, larger vessels can fish farther offshore and in more 
adverse weather conditions than smaller vessels. An FMP should try to 
avoid creating situations that result in vessels going out farther, 
fishing longer, or fishing in weather worse than they generally would 
have in the absence of management measures. Where these conditions are 
unavoidable, management measures should mitigate these effects, 
consistent with the overall management goals of the fishery.
    (2) Gear and vessel loading requirements. A fishing vessel operates 
in a very dynamic environment that can be an extremely dangerous place 
to work. Moving heavy gear in a seaway creates a dangerous situation on 
a vessel. Carrying extra gear can also significantly reduce the 
stability of a fishing vessel, making it prone to capsizing. An FMP 
should consider the safety and stability of fishing vessels when 
requiring specific gear or requiring the removal of gear from the water. 
Management measures should reflect a sensitivity to these issues and 
provide methods of mitigation of these situations wherever possible.
    (3) Limited season and area fisheries. Fisheries where time 
constraints for harvesting are a significant factor and with no 
flexibility for weather, often called ``derby'' fisheries, can create 
serious safety problems. To participate fully in such a fishery, 
fishermen may fish in bad weather and overload their vessel with catch 
and/or gear. Where these conditions exist, FMPs should attempt to 
mitigate these effects and avoid them in new management regimes, as 
discussed in paragraph (e) of this section.
    (d) Consultation. During preparation of any FMP, FMP amendment, or 
regulation that might affect safety of human life at sea, the Council 
should consult with the USCG and the fishing industry as to the nature 
and extent of any adverse impacts. This consultation may be done through 
a Council advisory panel, committee, or other review of the FMP, FMP 
amendment, or regulations. Mitigation, to the extent practicable, and 
other safety considerations identified in paragraph (c) of this section 
should be included in the FMP.
    (e) Mitigation measures. There are many ways in which an FMP may 
avoid or provide alternative measures to reduce potential impacts on 
safety of human life at sea. The following is a list of some factors 
that could be considered when management measures are developed:
    (1) Setting seasons to avoid hazardous weather.
    (2) Providing for seasonal or trip flexibility to account for bad 
weather (weather days).
    (3) Allowing for pre- and post-season ``soak time'' to deploy and 
pick up fixed gear, so as to avoid overloading vessels with fixed gear.

[[Page 67]]

    (4) Tailoring gear requirements to provide for smaller or lighter 
gear for smaller vessels.
    (5) Avoiding management measures that require hazardous at-sea 
inspections or enforcement if other comparable enforcement could be 
accomplished as effectively.
    (6) Limiting the number of participants in the fishery.
    (7) Spreading effort over time and area to avoid potential gear and/
or vessel conflicts.
    (8) Implementing management measures that reduce the race for fish 
and the resulting incentives for fishermen to take additional risks with 
respect to vessel safety.

[63 FR 24236, May 1, 1998]



                 Subpart E_Confidentiality of Statistics



Sec. 600.405  Types of statistics covered.

    NOAA is authorized under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other statutes 
to collect proprietary or confidential commercial or financial 
information. This part applies to all pertinent data required to be 
submitted to the Secretary with respect to any FMP including, but not 
limited to, information regarding the type and quantity of fishing gear 
used, catch by species in numbers of fish or weight thereof, areas in 
which fishing occurred, time of fishing, number of hauls, and the 
estimated processing capacity of, and the actual processing capacity 
utilized by, U.S. fish processors.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.410  Collection and maintenance of statistics.

    (a) General. (1) All statistics required to be submitted to the 
Secretary are provided to the Assistant Administrator.
    (2) After receipt, the Assistant Administrator will remove all 
identifying particulars from the statistics if doing so is consistent 
with the needs of NMFS and good scientific practice.
    (3) Appropriate safeguards as specified by NOAA Directives, or other 
NOAA or NMFS internal procedures, apply to the collection and 
maintenance of all statistics, whether separated from identifying 
particulars or not, so as to ensure their confidentiality.
    (b) Collection agreements with states. (1) The Assistant 
Administrator may enter into an agreement with a state authorizing the 
state to collect statistics on behalf of the Secretary.
    (2) NMFS will not enter into a cooperative collection agreement with 
a state unless the state has authority to protect the statistics from 
disclosure in a manner at least as protective as these regulations.



Sec. 600.415  Access to statistics.

    (a) General. In determining whether to grant a request for access to 
confidential data, the following information will be taken into 
consideration (also see Sec. 600.130):
    (1) The specific types of data required.
    (2) The relevance of the data to conservation and management issues.
    (3) The duration of time access will be required: continuous, 
infrequent, or one-time.
    (4) An explanation of why the availability of aggregate or non-
confidential summaries of data from other sources would not satisfy the 
requested needs.
    (b) Federal employees. Statistics submitted as a requirement of an 
FMP and that reveal the identity of the submitter will only be 
accessible to the following:
    (1) Personnel within NMFS responsible for the collection, 
processing, and storage of the statistics.
    (2) Federal employees who are responsible for FMP development, 
monitoring, and enforcement.
    (3) Personnel within NMFS performing research that requires 
confidential statistics.
    (4) Other NOAA personnel on a demonstrable need-to-know basis.
    (5) NOAA/NMFS contractors or grantees who require access to 
confidential statistics to perform functions authorized by a Federal 
contract or grant.
    (c) State personnel. Upon written request, confidential statistics 
will only be accessible if:
    (1) State employees demonstrate a need for confidential statistics 
for use

[[Page 68]]

in fishery conservation and management.
    (2) The state has entered into a written agreement between the 
Assistant Administrator and the head of the state's agency that manages 
marine and/or anadromous fisheries. The agreement shall contain a 
finding by the Assistant Administrator that the state has 
confidentiality protection authority comparable to the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act and that the state will exercise this authority to limit subsequent 
access and use of the data to fishery management and monitoring 
purposes.
    (d) Councils. Upon written request by the Council Executive 
Director, access to confidential data will be granted to:
    (1) Council employees who are responsible for FMP development and 
monitoring.
    (2) A Council for use by the Council for conservation and management 
purposes, with the approval of the Assistant Administrator. In addition 
to the information described in paragraph (a) of this section, the 
Assistant Administrator will consider the following in deciding whether 
to grant access:
    (i) The possibility that Council members might gain personal or 
competitive advantage from access to the data.
    (ii) The possibility that the suppliers of the data would be placed 
at a competitive disadvantage by public disclosure of the data at 
Council meetings or hearings.
    (3) A contractor of the Council for use in such analysis or studies 
necessary for conservation and management purposes, with approval of the 
Assistant Administrator and execution of an agreement with NMFS as 
described by NOAA Administrative Order (NAO) 216-100.
    (e) Prohibitions. Persons having access to these data are prohibited 
from unauthorized use or disclosure and are subject to the provisions of 
18 U.S.C. 1905, 16 U.S.C. 1857, and NOAA/NMFS internal procedures, 
including NAO 216-100.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.420  Control system.

    (a) The Assistant Administrator maintains a control system to 
protect the identity of submitters of statistics required by an FMP. The 
control system:
    (1) Identifies those persons who have access to the statistics.
    (2) Contains procedures to limit access to confidential data to 
authorized users.
    (3) Provides for safeguarding the data.
    (b) This system requires that all persons who have authorized access 
to the data be informed of the confidentiality of the data. These 
persons are required to sign a statement that they:
    (1) Have been informed that the data are confidential.
    (2) Have reviewed and are familiar with the procedures to protect 
confidential statistics.



Sec. 600.425  Release of statistics.

    (a) The Assistant Administrator will not release to the public any 
statistics required to be submitted under an FMP in a form that would 
identify the submitter, except as required by law.
    (b) All requests from the public for statistics submitted in 
response to a requirement of an FMP will be processed consistent with 
the NOAA FOIA regulations (15 CFR part 903), NAO 205-14, Department of 
Commerce Administrative Orders 205-12 and 205-14 and 15 CFR part 4.
    (c) NOAA does not release or allow access to confidential 
information in its possession to members of Council advisory groups, 
except as provided by law.



                        Subpart F_Foreign Fishing



Sec. 600.501  Vessel permits.

    (a) General. (1) Each FFV fishing under the Magnuson-Stevens Act 
must have on board a permit issued under this section, unless it is 
engaged only in recreational fishing.
    (2) Permits issued under this section do not authorize FFV's or 
persons to harass, capture, or kill marine mammals. No marine mammals 
may be taken in the course of fishing unless that vessel has on board a 
currently valid Authorization Certificate under the MMPA. Regulations 
governing the taking of marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing 
operations are

[[Page 69]]

contained in 50 CFR part 229 of this title.
    (b) Responsibility of owners and operators. The owners and operators 
of each FFV are jointly and severally responsible for compliance with 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the applicable GIFA, this subpart, and any 
permit issued under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and this subpart. The 
owners and operators of each FFV bear civil responsibility for the acts 
of their employees and agents constituting violations, regardless of 
whether the specific acts were authorized or even forbidden by the 
employer or principal, and regardless of knowledge concerning the 
occurrence.
    (c) Activity codes. Permits to fish under this subpart may be issued 
by the Assistant Administrator for the activities described in this 
paragraph, but the permits may be modified by regulations of this 
subpart and by the conditions and restrictions attached to the permit 
(see paragraphs (e)(1)(v) and (l) of this section). The Assistant 
Administrator may issue a permit, as appropriate, for one or more of the 
activity codes listed. Only vessels of nations having a GIFA with the 
United States may be issued permits for activity codes 1 through 9. A 
GIFA is not required for a vessel to be issued a permit for activity 
code 10. The activity codes are described as follows:
    (1) Activity Code 1. Catching, scouting, processing, transshipping, 
and supporting foreign vessels. Activity is limited to fish harvested or 
to be harvested by foreign vessels in the EEZ.
    (2) Activity Code 2. Processing, scouting, transshipping, and 
supporting foreign vessels. Activity is limited to fish harvested or to 
be harvested by foreign vessels in the EEZ.
    (3) Activity Code 3. Transshipping, scouting, and supporting foreign 
vessels. Activity is limited to fish harvested or to be harvested by 
foreign vessels in the EEZ.
    (4) Activity Code 4. Processing, scouting, transshipping, and 
supporting U.S. vessels delivering fish to foreign vessels. Activity is 
limited to the receipt of unprocessed fish harvested or to be harvested 
by U.S. vessels.
    (5) Activity Code 5. Transshipping, scouting, and supporting foreign 
vessels. Transshipment limited to fish received or to be received from 
foreign vessels processing fish from U.S. harvesting vessels.
    (6) Activity Code 6. Transshipping, scouting, and supporting U.S. 
vessels. Transshipment limited to U.S.-harvested fish processed on board 
U.S. vessels.
    (7) Activity Code 7. Processing, transshipping, and supporting 
foreign vessels. Activity limited to fish harvested or to be harvested 
by foreign vessels seaward of the EEZ.
    (8) Activity Code 8. Transshipping and supporting foreign vessels. 
Activity is limited to fish harvested or to be harvested seaward of the 
EEZ by foreign vessels or fish duly authorized for processing in the 
internal waters of one of the states.
    (9) Activity Code 9. Supporting U.S. fishing vessels and U.S. fish 
processing vessels and any foreign fishing vessels authorized under any 
activity code under paragraph (c) of this subpart.
    (10) Activity Code 10. Transshipping at sea for the purpose of 
transporting fish or fish products from a point within the EEZ or, with 
the concurrence of a state, within the boundaries of that state, to a 
point outside the United States.
    (d) Application. (1) Applications for FFV permits authorizing 
activity codes 1 through 9 must be submitted by an official 
representative of a foreign nation to the DOS. Applications for permits 
authorizing activity codes 1 through 9 are available from, and should be 
submitted to, DOS, OES/OMC, Washington, DC 20520. Applications for FFV 
permits authorizing activity code 10 may be submitted by any person to 
the Assistant Administrator. Applications for permits authorizing 
activity code 10 are available from NMFS, Attn: Office of International 
Affairs, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. All 
applicants should allow 90 days for review and comment by the public, 
involved governmental agencies, and appropriate Councils and for 
processing before the anticipated date to begin fishing. The permit 
application fee must be paid at the time of application according to 
Sec. 600.518.

[[Page 70]]

    (2) Applicants must provide complete and accurate information 
requested on the permit application form.
    (3) Applicants for FFV's that will support U.S. vessels in joint 
ventures (Activity Code 4) must provide the additional information 
specified by the permit application form.
    (4) Each applicant may request to substitute one FFV for another of 
the same flag by submitting a new application form and a short 
explanation of the reason for the substitution to the appropriate 
address listed at paragraph (d)(1) of this section. Each substitution is 
considered a new application, and a new application fee must be paid. 
NMFS will promptly process an application for a vessel replacing a 
permitted FFV that is disabled or decommissioned, once the appropriate 
Council(s) and governmental agencies have been notified of the 
substituted application.
    (e) Issuance. (1) Permits may be issued to an FFV by the Assistant 
Administrator after--
    (i) The Assistant Administrator determines that the fishing 
described in the application will meet the requirements of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and approves the permit application.
    (ii) The applicant has paid the fees and provided any assurances 
required by the Secretary in accordance with the provisions of Sec. 
600.518.
    (iii) The applicant has appointed an agent.
    (iv) The applicant has identified a designated representative.
    (v) The applicant has accepted the general ``conditions and 
restrictions'' of receiving permits, as required by section 204(b)(7) of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and any ``additional restrictions'' attached 
to the permit for the conservation and management of fishery resources 
or for the prevention of significant impairment of the national defense 
or security interests.
    (2) The DOS will provide permits for activity codes 1 through 9 to 
the official representative of the applicant foreign nation. The 
Assistant Administrator will provide permits for activity code 10 
directly to the applicant.
    (3) An approved permit will contain--
    (i) The name and IRCS of the FFV and its permit number.
    (ii) The permitted fisheries and/or activity codes.
    (iii) The date of issuance and expiration date, if other than 
December 31.
    (iv) All conditions and restrictions, and any additional 
restrictions and technical modifications appended to the permit.
    (4) Permits are not issued for boats that are launched from larger 
vessels. Any enforcement action that results from the activities of a 
launched boat will be taken against the permitted vessel.
    (f) Duration. A permit is valid from its date of issuance to its 
date of expiration, unless it is revoked or suspended or the nation 
issuing the FFV's documents does not accept amendments to the permit 
made by the Assistant Administrator in accordance with the procedures of 
paragraph (l) of this section. The permit will be valid for no longer 
than the calendar year in which it was issued.
    (g) Transfer. Permits are not transferable or assignable. A permit 
is valid only for the FFV to which it is issued.
    (h) Display. Each FFV operator must have a properly completed permit 
form available on board the FFV when engaged in fishing activities and 
must produce it at the request of an authorized officer or observer.
    (i) Suspension and revocation. NMFS may apply sanctions to an FFV's 
permit by revoking, suspending, or imposing additional permit 
restrictions on the permit under 15 CFR part 904, if the vessel is 
involved in the commission of any violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 
the GIFA, or this subpart; if an agent and a designated representative 
are not maintained in the United States; if a civil penalty or criminal 
fine imposed under the Magnuson-Stevens Act has become overdue; or as 
otherwise specified in the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (j) Fees. Permit application fees are described in Sec. 600.518.
    (k) Change in application information. The applicant must report, in 
writing, any change in the information supplied under paragraph (d) of 
this section to the Assistant Administrator within 15 calendar days 
after the date of the change. Failure to report a change in the 
ownership from that described in

[[Page 71]]

the current application within the specified time frame voids the 
permit, and all penalties involved will accrue to the previous owner.
    (l) Permit amendments. (1) The Assistant Administrator may amend a 
permit by adding ``additional restrictions'' for the conservation and 
management of fishery resources covered by the permit, or for the 
national defense or security if the Assistant Administrator determines 
that such interests would be significantly impaired without such 
restrictions. Compliance with the added additional restrictions is a 
condition of the permit. Violations of added additional restrictions 
will be treated as violations of this subpart.
    (2) The Assistant Administrator may make proposed additional 
restrictions effective immediately, if necessary, to prevent substantial 
harm to a fishery resource of the United States, to allow for the 
continuation of ongoing fishing operations, or to allow for fishing to 
begin at the normal time for opening of the fishery.
    (3) The Assistant Administrator will send proposed additional 
restrictions to each Nation whose vessels are affected (via the 
Secretary of State), to the appropriate Councils, and to the Commandant 
of the Coast Guard. NMFS will, at the same time, publish a document of 
any significant proposed additional restrictions in the Federal 
Register. The document will include a summary of the reasons underlying 
the proposal, and the reasons that any proposed additional restrictions 
are made effective immediately.
    (4) The Nation whose vessels are involved, the owners of the 
affected vessels, their representatives, the agencies specified in 
paragraph (l)(3) of this section, and the public may submit written 
comments on the proposed additional restrictions within 30 days after 
publication in the Federal Register.
    (5) The Assistant Administrator will make a final decision regarding 
the proposed additional restrictions as soon as practicable after the 
end of the comment period. The Assistant Administrator will provide the 
final additional restrictions to the Nation whose vessels are affected 
(via the Secretary of State) according to the procedures of paragraph 
(e) of this section. The Assistant Administrator will include with the 
final additional restrictions to the Nation, a response to comments 
submitted.
    (6) Additional restrictions may be modified by following the 
procedures of paragraphs (l)(2) through (l)(5) of this section.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 64 
FR 39019, July 21, 1999; 76 FR 59305, Sept. 26, 2011]



Sec. 600.502  Vessel reports.

    (a) The operator of each FFV must report the FFV's activities to the 
USCG and NMFS as specified in this section.
    (b) All reports required by this section must be in English and in 
the formats specified in the permit additions and restrictions. Reports 
must be delivered via private or commercial communications facilities, 
facsimile, or other electronic means acceptable to NMFS and the USCG, 
directly to the appropriate NMFS Region or Center and USCG commander. 
Weekly reports must also be delivered directly to the appropriate NMFS 
Region or Center (see tables 1 and 2 of this section). (The required 
reports may be delivered to the closest USCG communication station as 
indicated in table 3 of this section or other USCG communication station 
only if adequate private or commercial communications facilities have 
not been successfully contacted.) Radio reports must be made via 
radiotelegraphy, Telex, or facsimile where available. For the purposes 
of this section, a message is considered ``transmitted'' when its 
receipt is acknowledged by a communications facility and considered 
``delivered'' upon its receipt by the offices of the appropriate USCG 
commander, NMFS Regional Office, or NMFS Center identified in table 2 of 
this section. Reports required by this section may be submitted by the 
vessel's designated representative; however, the operator of the FFV is 
responsible for the correct and timely filing of all required reports.
    (c) Activity reports. The operator of each FFV must report the FFV's 
movements and activities before or upon the event, as specified in this 
paragraph (c). Appropriate forms, instructions, codes, and examples are 
contained in

[[Page 72]]

the conditions and restrictions of the FFV's permit. Each FFV report 
must contain the following information: The message identifier 
``VESREP'' to indicate it is a vessel activity report, FFV name, 
international radio call sign IRCS, date (month and day based on GMT), 
time (hour and minute GMT), position (latitude and longitude to the 
nearest degree and minute) where required, area (by fishing area code) 
where required, the appropriate action code, confirmation codes where 
required, and the other information specified in paragraphs (c)(1) 
through (c)(11) of this section.
    (1) ``BEGIN''. Each operator must specify the date, time, position, 
and area the FFV will actually ``BEGIN'' fishing in the EEZ and the 
species (by species code), product (by product code), and quantity of 
all fish and fish products (by product weight to the nearest hundredth 
of a metric ton) on board when entering the EEZ (action code ``BEGIN''). 
The message must be delivered at least 24 hours before the vessel begins 
to fish.
    (2) ``DEPART''. Each operator must specify the date, time, position, 
and area the FFV will ``DEPART'' the EEZ to embark or debark an 
observer, to visit a U.S. port, to conduct a joint venture in internal 
waters, or to otherwise temporarily leave an authorized fishing area, 
but not depart the seaward limit of the EEZ (action code ``DEPART''). 
The message must be transmitted before the FFV departs the present 
fishing area and delivered within 24 hours of its transmittal.
    (3) ``RETURN''. Each operator must specify the date, time, position, 
and area the FFV will ``RETURN'' to the EEZ following a temporary 
departure, and the species (by species code), product (by product code), 
and quantity of all fish and fish products (by product weight to the 
nearest hundredth of a metric ton) on board that were received in a 
joint venture in internal waters (action code ``RETURN''). The message 
must be transmitted before returning to the EEZ and delivered within 24 
hours of its transmittal.
    (4) ``SHIFT''. Each operator must report each SHIFT in fishing area 
(as described for each fishery) by specifying the date, time, and 
position the FFV will start fishing, and the new area (action code 
``SHIFT''). The message must be transmitted before leaving the original 
area and delivered within 24 hours of its transmittal. If a foreign 
vessel operates within 20 nautical miles (37.04 km) of a fishing area 
boundary, its operator may submit in one message the shift reports for 
all fishing area shifts occurring during 1 fishing day (0001-2400 GMT). 
This message must be transmitted prior to the last shift expected to be 
made in the day and delivered within 24 hours of its transmittal.
    (5) ``JV OPS''. Each operator must specify the date, time, position, 
and area at which the FFV will ``START'' joint venture operations 
(action code ``START JV OPS'') or ``END'' joint venture operations 
(action code ``END JV OPS''). These reports must be made in addition to 
other activity reports made under this section. Each message must be 
transmitted before the event and delivered within 24 hours of its 
transmittal.
    (6) ``TRANSFER''. The operator of each FFV that anticipates a 
transshipping operation in which the FFV will receive fish or fisheries 
products must specify the date, time, position and area the FFV will 
conduct the ``TRANSFER'' and the name and IRCS of the other FFV or U.S. 
vessel involved (action code ``TRANSFER''). The report must include the 
permit activity code under which the transfer will be made. The message 
must be transmitted prior to the transfer and delivered within 24 hours 
of its transmittal. The movement of raw fish from a permitted foreign 
catching vessel or, under an Activity Code 4, from a U.S. fishing vessel 
to the reporting processing vessel and the return of nets or codends is 
not considered a transfer.
    (7) ``OFFLOADED''. Each operator must specify the date, time, 
position, and area the FFV ``OFFLOADED'' fish or fisheries products TO 
another FFV or a U.S. vessel in a transfer, the other FFV's or U.S. 
vessel's name, IRCS, Permit Activity Code under which the transfer was 
made, species (by species code) and quantity of fish and fisheries 
products (by product code and by product weight, to the nearest 
hundredth of a metric ton) offloaded (action code ``OFFLOADED TO''). The 
message

[[Page 73]]

must be transmitted within 12 hours after the transfer is completed and 
delivered within 24 hours of its transmittal and before the FFV ceases 
fishing in the EEZ.
    (8) ``RECEIVED''. Each operator must specify the date, time, 
position and area the vessel ``RECEIVED'' fish or fisheries products 
FROM another FFV in a transfer, the other FFV's or U.S. vessel's name, 
IRCS, Permit Activity Code under which the receipt was made, species (by 
species code) and quantity of fish and fisheries products (by product 
code and by product weight, to the nearest hundredth of a metric ton) 
received (action code ``RECEIVED FROM''). The message must be 
transmitted within 12 hours after the transfer is completed and 
delivered within 24 hours of its transmittal and before the vessel 
ceases fishing in the EEZ.
    (9) ``CEASE''. Each operator must specify the date, time, position, 
and area the FFV will ``CEASE'' fishing in order to leave the EEZ 
(action code ``CEASE''). The message must be delivered at least 24 hours 
before the FFV's departure.
    (10) ``CHANGE''. Each operator must report any ``CHANGE'' TO the 
FFV's operations if the position or time of an event specified in an 
activity report will vary more than 5 nautical miles (9.26 km) or 4 
hours from that previously reported, by sending a revised message 
inserting the word ``CHANGE'' in front of the previous report, repeating 
the name, IRCS, date, and time of the previous report, adding the word 
``TO'' and the complete revised text of the new report (action code 
``CHANGE TO''). Changes to reports specifying an early beginning of 
fishing by an FFV or other changes to reports contained in paragraphs 
(c)(1) through (c)(9) of this section must be transmitted and delivered 
as if the ``CHANGE'' report were the original message.
    (11) ``CANCEL''. Each operator wanting to ``CANCEL'' a previous 
report may do so by sending a revised message, and inserting the word 
``CANCEL'' in front of the previous report's vessel name, IRCS, date, 
time and action code canceled (action code ``CANCEL''). The message must 
be transmitted and delivered prior to the date and time of the event in 
the original message.
    (d) The operator of an FFV will be in violation of paragraphs (c)(1) 
through (c)(9) of this section if the FFV does not pass within 5 
nautical miles (9.26 km) of the position given in the report within 4 
hours of the time given in the report.
    (e) The notices required by this section may be provided for 
individual or groups of FFV's (on a vessel-by-vessel basis) by 
authorized persons. An FFV operator may retransmit reports on the behalf 
of another FFV, if authorized by that FFV's operator. This does not 
relieve the individual vessel operator of the responsibility of filing 
required reports. In these cases, the message format should be modified 
so that each line of text under ``VESREP'' is a separate vessel report.
    (f) Weekly reports. (1) The operator of each FFV in the EEZ must 
submit appropriate weekly reports through the Nation's designated 
representative. The report must arrive at the address and time specified 
in paragraph (g) of this section. The reports may be sent by facsimile 
or Telex, but a completed copy of the report form must be mailed or hand 
delivered to confirm the Telex. Appropriate forms, instructions, codes, 
and examples are contained in the conditions and restrictions of the 
FFV's permit. Designated representatives may include more than one 
vessel report in a facsimile or Telex message, if the information is 
submitted on a vessel-by-vessel basis. Requests for corrections to 
previous reports must be submitted through the Nation's designated 
representative and mailed or hand-delivered, together with a written 
explanation of the reasons for the errors. The appropriate Regional 
Administrator or Science and Research Director may accept or reject any 
correction and initiate any appropriate civil penalty actions.
    (2) Weekly catch report (CATREP). The operator of each FFV must 
submit a weekly catch report stating any catch (Activity Code 1) in 
round weight of each species or species group allocated to that Nation 
by area and days fished in each area for the weekly period Sunday 
through Saturday, GMT, as modified by the fishery in which the FFV is

[[Page 74]]

engaged. Foreign vessels delivering unsorted, unprocessed fish to a 
processing vessel are not required to submit CATREP's, if that 
processing vessel (Activity Code 2) submits consolidated CATREP's for 
all fish received during each weekly period. No report is required for 
FFV's that do not catch or receive foreign-caught fish during the 
reporting period.
    (3) Weekly receipts report (RECREP). The operator of each FFV must 
submit a weekly report stating any receipts of U.S.-harvested fish in a 
joint venture (Activity Code 4) for the weekly period Sunday through 
Saturday, GMT, as modified by the fishery in which the FFV is engaged, 
for each fishing area, by authorized or prohibited species or species 
group; days fish received; round weight retained or returned to the U.S. 
fishing vessel; number of codends received; and number of vessels 
transferring codends. The report must also include the names of U.S. 
fishing vessels transferring codends during the week. No report is 
required for FFV's that do not receive any U.S.-harvested fish during 
the reporting period.
    (4) Marine mammal report (MAMREP). The operator of each FFV must 
submit a weekly report stating any incidental catch or receipt of marine 
mammals (Activity Codes 1 or 2 and/or 4), the geographical position 
caught, the condition of the animal, number caught (if more than one of 
the same species and condition), and nationality of the catching vessel 
for the period Sunday through Saturday, GMT, as modified by the fishery 
in which the vessel is engaged. Foreign catching vessels delivering 
unsorted, unprocessed fish to processing vessel are not required to 
submit MAMREP's, provided that the processing or factory vessel 
(Activity Code 2) submits consolidated MAMREP's for all fish received 
during each weekly period. FFV's receiving U.S.-harvested fish in a 
joint venture (Activity Code 4) must submit consolidated reports for 
U.S. vessels operating in the joint venture. No report is required for 
FFV's that do not catch or receive marine mammals during the reporting 
period.
    (g) Submission instructions for weekly reports. The designated 
representative for each FFV must submit weekly reports in the prescribed 
format to the appropriate Regional Administrator or Science and Research 
Director of NMFS by 1900 GMT on the Wednesday following the end of the 
reporting period. However, by agreement with the appropriate Regional 
Administrator or Science and Research Director, the designated 
representative may submit weekly reports to some other facility of NMFS.
    (h) Alternative reporting procedures. As an alternative to the use 
of the specific procedures provided, an applicant may submit proposed 
reporting procedures for a general type of fishery operation (i.e., 
transshipments under Activity Code 10) to the appropriate Regional 
Administrator and the USCG commander (see tables 1 and 2 to Sec. 
600.502 of this chapter). With the agreement of the USCG commander, the 
Regional Administrator may authorize the use of alternative reporting 
procedures.

                  Table 1 to Sec.  600.502--Addresses
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                NMFS science and      U.S. Coast Guard
NMFS regional administrators   research directors        commanders
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Administrator, Northeast      Director, Northeast   Commander, Atlantic
 Region, National Marine       Fisheries Science     Area, U.S. Coast
 Fisheries Service, NOAA,      Center, National      Guard, 431 Crawford
 One Blackburn Drive,          Marine Fisheries      St., Portsmouth, VA
 Gloucester, MA 01930-2298.    Service, NOAA, 166    23704.
                               Water St., Woods
                               Hole, MA 02543-1097.
Administrator, Southeast      Director, Southeast   Commander, Atlantic
 Region, National Marine       Fisheries Science     Area, U.S. Coast
 Fisheries Service, 263 13th   Center, National      Guard, Governor's
 Ave. South, St. Petersburg,   Marine Fisheries      Island, New York
 FL 33701.                     Service, NOAA, 75     10004.
                               Virginia Beach
                               Drive, Miami, FL
                               33149.
Administrator, Northwest      Director, Northwest   Commander, Pacific
 Region, National Marine       Fisheries Science     Area, U.S. Coast
 Fisheries Service, NOAA,      Center, National      Guard, Government
 7600 Sand Point Way, NE,      Marine Fisheries      Island, Alameda, CA
 BIN C15700, Bldg. 1,          Service, NOAA, 2725   94501.
 Seattle, WA 98115.            Montlake Blvd.
                               East, Seattle, WA
                               98112-2097.

[[Page 75]]

 
Administrator, Alaska         Director, Alaska      Commander,
 Region, National Marine       Fisheries Science     Seventeenth Coast
 Fisheries Service, NOAA,      Center, National      Guard District,
 P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK    Marine Fisheries      P.O. Box 25517,
 99802-1668.                   Service, NOAA, 7600   Juneau, AK 99802.
                               Sand Point Way, NE,
                               BIN C15700, Bldg.
                               4, Seattle, WA
                               98115-0070.
Administrator, Southwest      Director, Southwest   Commander,
 Region, National Marine       Fisheries Science     Fourteenth Coast
 Fisheries Service, NOAA,      Center, National      Guard District, 300
 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite   Marine Fisheries      Ala Moana Blvd.,
 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-   Service, NOAA, P.O.   Honolulu, HI 96850.
 4213.                         Box 271, La Jolla,
                               CA 92038-0271.
Administrator, Pacific        Director, Pacific     Commander,
 Islands Region, National      Islands Fisheries     Fourteenth Coast
 Marine Fisheries Service,     Science Center,       Guard District, 300
 NOAA, 1601 Kapiolani Blvd.,   National Marine       Ala Moana Blvd.,
 Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI      Fisheries Service,    Honolulu, HI 96850.
 96814.                        NOAA, 2570 Dole
                               Street, Honolulu,
                               HI 96822.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


   Table 2 to Sec.  600.502--Areas of Responsibility of NMFS and U.S.
                           Coast Guard Offices
------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Area of responsibility/       National Marine
           fishery              Fisheries Service     U.S. Coast Guard
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atlantic Ocean North of Cape  Director, Northeast   Commander, Atlantic
 Hatteras.                     Science Center,       Area.
                               Attn: Observer
                               Program.
Atlantic Ocean South of Cape  Director, Northeast   Commander, Atlantic
 Hatteras.                     Science Center,       Area.
                               Attn: Observer
                               Program.
Atlantic Tunas, Swordfish,    Director, Office of   Commander, Atlantic
 Billfish and Sharks.          Sustainable           Area.
                               Fisheries.
Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean  Administrator,        Commander, Atlantic
 Sea.                          Southeast Region.     Area.
Pacific Ocean off the States  Administrator,        Commander, Pacific
 of California, Oregon, and    Northwest Region.     Area.
 Washington.
North Pacific Ocean and       Administrator,        Commander,
 Bering Sea off Alaska.        Alaska Region.        Seventeenth Coast
                                                     Guard District.
Pacific Ocean off Hawaii,     Administrator,        Commander,
 American Samoa, Guam,         Pacific Islands       Fourteenth Coast
 Commonwealth of the           Region.               Guard District.
 Northern Mariana Islands,
 and U.S. Insular
 Possessions in the Central
 and Western Pacific.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


               Table 3 to Sec.  600.502--U.S. Coast Guard Communications Stations and Frequencies
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Radiotelephone
   U.S. Coast Guard communications   ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
               station                         IRCS                 Channel \1\                GMT time
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Boston..............................  NMF                     A-E                     2330-1100.
                                      ......................  B,C                     All.
                                      ......................  D                       1100-2330.
                                      ......................  E                       (On request).
CAMSLANT Chesapeake (Portsmouth, VA)  NMN                     A                       2330-1100.
                                      ......................  B,C                     All.
                                      ......................  D                       1100-2330.
                                      ......................  E                       (On request).
New Orleans.........................  NMG                     A                       2330-1100.
                                      ......................  B,C                     All.
                                      ......................  D                       1100-2330.
                                      ......................  E                       (On request).
CAMSPAC Point Reyes (San Francisco,   NMC                     A-D                     All.
 CA).
                                      ......................  E                       (On request).
Honolulu............................  NMO                     A-D                     All.
                                      ......................  E                       (On request).
Kodiak..............................  NOJ                     A-D                     All.
                                      ......................  E                       (On request).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Carrier frequencies of duplex, high-frequency single-sideband channels are:


------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Letter                  Shore transmit     Ship transmit
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A.................................             4426.0             4134.0
B.................................             6501.0             6200.0
C.................................             8764.0             8240.0
D.................................            13089.0            12242.0
E.................................            17314.0            16432.0
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 76]]


[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7073, Feb. 12, 1998; 64 
FR 39020, July 21, 1999; 69 FR 8341, Feb. 24, 2004; 76 FR 34902, June 
15, 2011]



Sec. 600.503  Vessel and gear identification.

    (a) Vessel identification. (1) The operator of each FFV assigned an 
IRCS must display that call sign amidships on both the port and 
starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull, so that it is visible from an 
enforcement vessel, and on an appropriate weather deck so it is visible 
from the air.
    (2) The operator of each FFV not assigned an IRCS, such as a small 
trawler associated with a mothership or one of a pair of trawlers, must 
display the IRCS of the associated vessel, followed by a numerical 
suffix. (For example, JCZM-1, JCZM-2, etc., would be displayed on small 
trawlers not assigned an IRCS operating with a mothership whose IRCS is 
JCZM; JANP-1 would be displayed by a pair trawler not assigned an IRCS 
operating with a trawler whose IRCS is JANP.)
    (3) The vessel identification must be in a color in contrast to the 
background and must be permanently affixed to the FFV in block Roman 
alphabet letters and Arabic numerals at least 1 m in height for FFV's 
over 20 m in length, and at least 0.5 m in height for all other FFV's.
    (b) Navigational lights and shapes. Each FFV must display the lights 
and shapes prescribed by the International Regulations for Preventing 
Collisions at Sea, 1972 (TIAS 8587, and 1981 amendment TIAS 10672), for 
the activity in which the FFV is engaged (as described at 33 CFR part 
81).
    (c) Gear identification. (1) The operator of each FFV must ensure 
that all deployed fishing gear that is not physically and continuously 
attached to an FFV:
    (i) Is clearly marked at the surface with a buoy displaying the 
vessel identification of the FFV (see paragraph (a) of this section) to 
which the gear belongs.
    (ii) Has attached a light visible for 2 nautical miles (3.70 km) at 
night in good visibility.
    (iii) Has a radio buoy.
    Trawl codends passed from one vessel to another are considered 
continuously attached gear and are not required to be marked.
    (2) The operator of each FFV must ensure that deployed longlines, 
strings of traps or pots, and gillnets are marked at the surface at each 
terminal end with: (see paragraphs (c)(1)(i) through (c)(1)(iii) of this 
section).
    (3) Additional requirements may be specified for the fishery in 
which the vessel is engaged.
    (4) Unmarked or incorrectly identified fishing gear may be 
considered abandoned and may be disposed of in accordance with 
applicable Federal regulations by any authorized officer.
    (d) Maintenance. The operator of each FFV must--
    (1) Keep the vessel and gear identification clearly legible and in 
good repair.
    (2) Ensure that nothing on the FFV obstructs the view of the 
markings from an enforcement vessel or aircraft.
    (3) Ensure that the proper navigational lights and shapes are 
displayed for the FFV's activity and are properly functioning.



Sec. 600.504  Facilitation of enforcement.

    (a) General. (1) The owner, operator, or any person aboard any FFV 
subject to this subpart must immediately comply with instructions and 
signals issued by an authorized officer to stop the FFV; to move the FFV 
to a specified location; and to facilitate safe boarding and inspection 
of the vessel, its gear, equipment, records, and fish and fish products 
on board for purposes of enforcing the Magnuson-Stevens Act and this 
subpart.
    (2) The operator of each FFV must provide vessel position or other 
information when requested by an authorized officer within the time 
specified in the request.
    (b) Communications equipment. (1) Each FFV must be equipped with a 
VHF-FM radiotelephone station located so that it may be operated from 
the wheelhouse. Each operator must maintain a continuous listening watch 
on channel 16 (156.8 mHz).

[[Page 77]]

    (2) Each FFV must be equipped with a radiotelephone station capable 
of communicating via 2182 kHz (SSB) radiotelephony and at least one set 
of working frequencies identified in table 3 to Sec. 600.502 
appropriate to the fishery in which the FFV is operating. Each operator 
must monitor and be ready to communicate via 2182 kHz (SSB) 
radiotelephone each day from 0800 GMT to 0830 GMT and 2000 to 2030 GMT, 
and in preparation for boarding.
    (3) FFV's that are not equipped with processing facilities and that 
deliver all catches to a foreign processing vessel are exempt from the 
requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
    (4) FFV's with no IRCS that do not catch fish and are used as 
auxiliary vessels to handle codends, nets, equipment, or passengers for 
a processing vessel are exempt from the requirements of paragraphs 
(b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section.
    (5) The appropriate Regional Administrator, with the agreement of 
the appropriate USCG commander, may, upon request by a foreign nation, 
accept alternatives to the radio requirements of this section to certain 
FFV's or types of FFV's operating in a fishery, provided they are 
adequate for the communications needs of the fishery.
    (c) Communications procedures. (1) Upon being approached by a USCG 
vessel or aircraft, or other vessel or aircraft with an authorized 
officer aboard, the operator of any FFV subject to this subpart must be 
alert for communications conveying enforcement instructions. The 
enforcement unit may communicate by channel 16 VHF-FM radiotelephone, 
2182 kHz (SSB) radiotelephone, message block from an aircraft, flashing 
light or flag signals from the International Code of Signals, hand 
signal, placard, loudhailer, or other appropriate means. The following 
signals, extracted from the International Code of Signals, are among 
those that may be used.
    (i) ``AA, AA, AA, etc.'', which is the call for an unknown station. 
The signaled vessel should respond by identifying itself or by 
illuminating the vessel identification required by Sec. 600.505.
    (ii) ``RY-CY'', meaning ``You should proceed at slow speed, a boat 
is coming to you''.
    (iii) ``SQ3'', meaning ``You should stop or heave to; I am going to 
board you''.
    (iv) ``L'', meaning ``You should stop your vessel instantly.''
    (2) Failure of an FFV's operator to stop the vessel when directed to 
do so by an authorized officer using VHF-FM radiotelephone (channel 16), 
2182 kHz (SSB) radiotelephone (where required), message block from an 
aircraft, flashing light signal, flaghoist, or loudhailer constitutes a 
violation of this subpart.
    (3) The operator of or any person aboard an FFV who does not 
understand a signal from an enforcement unit and who is unable to obtain 
clarification by radiotelephone or other means must consider the signal 
to be a command to stop the FFV instantly.
    (d) Boarding. The operator of an FFV signaled for boarding must--
    (1) Monitor 2182 kHz (SSB) radiotelephone and channel 16 (156.8 mHz) 
VHF-FM radiotelephone.
    (2) Stop immediately and lay to or maneuver in such a way as to 
maintain the safety of the FFV and facilitate boarding by the authorized 
officer and the boarding party or an observer.
    (3) Provide the authorized officer, boarding party, or observer a 
safe pilot ladder. The operator must ensure the pilot ladder is securely 
attached to the FFV and meets the construction requirements of 
Regulation 17, Chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety 
of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974 (TIAS 9700 and 1978 Protocol, TIAS 10009), 
or a substantially equivalent national standard approved by letter from 
the Assistant Administrator, with agreement with the USCG. Safe pilot 
ladder standards are summarized below:
    (i) The ladder must be of a single length of not more than 9 m (30 
ft), capable of reaching the water from the point of access to the FFV, 
accounting for all conditions of loading and trim of the FFV and for an 
adverse list of 15[deg]. Whenever the distance from sea level to the 
point of access to the ship is more than 9 m (30 ft), access must be by 
means of an accommodation ladder or other safe and convenient means.
    (ii) The steps of the pilot ladder must be--

[[Page 78]]

    (A) Of hardwood, or other material of equivalent properties, made in 
one piece free of knots, having an efficient non-slip surface; the four 
lowest steps may be made of rubber of sufficient strength and stiffness 
or of other suitable material of equivalent characteristics.
    (B) Not less than 480 mm (19 inches) long, 115 mm (4.5 inches) wide, 
and 25 mm (1 inch) in depth, excluding any non-slip device.
    (C) Equally spaced not less than 300 millimeters (12 inches) nor 
more than 380 mm (15 inches) apart and secured in such a manner that 
they will remain horizontal.
    (iii) No pilot ladder may have more than two replacement steps that 
are secured in position by a method different from that used in the 
original construction of the ladder.
    (iv) The side ropes of the ladder must consist of two uncovered 
manila ropes not less than 60 mm (2.25 inches) in circumference on each 
side (or synthetic ropes of equivalent size and equivalent or greater 
strength). Each rope must be continuous, with no joints below the top 
step.
    (v) Battens made of hardwood, or other material of equivalent 
properties, in one piece and not less than 1.80 m (5 ft 10 inches) long 
must be provided at such intervals as will prevent the pilot ladder from 
twisting. The lowest batten must be on the fifth step from the bottom of 
the ladder and the interval between any batten and the next must not 
exceed nine steps.
    (vi) Where passage onto or off the ship is by means of a bulwark 
ladder, two handhold stanchions must be fitted at the point of boarding 
or leaving the FFV not less than 0.70 m (2 ft 3 inches) nor more than 
0.80 m (2 ft 7 inches) apart, not less than 40 mm (2.5 inches) in 
diameter, and must extend not less than 1.20 m (3 ft 11 inches) above 
the top of the bulwark.
    (4) When necessary to facilitate the boarding or when requested by 
an authorized officer or observer, provide a manrope, safety line, and 
illumination for the ladder; and
    (5) Take such other actions as necessary to ensure the safety of the 
authorized officer and the boarding party and to facilitate the boarding 
and inspection.
    (e) Access and records. (1) The owner and operator of each FFV must 
provide authorized officers access to all spaces where work is conducted 
or business papers and records are prepared or stored, including but not 
limited to, personal quarters and areas within personal quarters.
    (2) The owner and operator of each FFV must provide to authorized 
officers all records and documents pertaining to the fishing activities 
of the vessel, including but not limited to, production records, fishing 
logs, navigation logs, transfer records, product receipts, cargo stowage 
plans or records, draft or displacement calculations, customs documents 
or records, and an accurate hold plan reflecting the current structure 
of the vessel's storage and factory spaces.
    (f) Product storage. The operator of each permitted FFV storing fish 
or fish products in a storage space must ensure that all non-fish 
product items are neither stowed beneath nor covered by fish products, 
unless required to maintain the stability and safety of the vessel. 
These items include, but are not limited to, portable conveyors, exhaust 
fans, ladders, nets, fuel bladders, extra bin boards, or other movable 
non-product items. These items may be in the space when necessary for 
safety of the vessel or crew or for storage of the product. Lumber, bin 
boards, or other dunnage may be used for shoring or bracing of product 
to ensure safety of crew and to prevent shifting of cargo within the 
space.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.505  Prohibitions.

    (a) It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:
    (1) Ship, transport, offer for sale, sell, purchase, import, export, 
or have custody, control, or possession of any fish taken or retained in 
violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the applicable GIFA, this 
subpart, or any permit issued under this subpart;
    (2) Refuse to allow an authorized officer to board an FFV for 
purposes of conducting any search or inspection in connection with the 
enforcement of the

[[Page 79]]

Magnuson-Stevens Act, the applicable GIFA, this subpart, or any other 
permit issued under this subpart;
    (3) Assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, or interfere with 
any authorized officer in the conduct of any inspection or search 
described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section;
    (4) Resist a lawful arrest for any act prohibited by the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, the applicable GIFA, this subpart, or any permit issued 
under this subpart;
    (5) Interfere with, delay, or prevent by any means the apprehension 
or arrest of another person with the knowledge that such other person 
has committed any act prohibited by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
applicable GIFA, this subpart, or any permit issued under this subpart;
    (6) Interfere with, obstruct, delay, oppose, impede, intimidate, or 
prevent by any means any boarding, investigation or search, wherever 
conducted, in the process of enforcing the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
applicable GIFA, this subpart, or any permit issued under this subpart;
    (7) Engage in any fishing activity for which the FFV does not have a 
permit as required under Sec. 600.501;
    (8) Engage in any fishing activity within the EEZ without a U.S. 
observer aboard the FFV, unless the requirement has been waived by the 
Assistant Administrator or appropriate Regional Administrator;
    (9) Retain or attempt to retain, directly or indirectly, any U.S. 
harvested fish, unless the FFV has a permit for Activity Codes 4, 6, or 
10;
    (10) Use any fishing vessel to engage in fishing after the 
revocation, or during the period of suspension, of an applicable permit 
issued under this subpart;
    (11) Violate any provision of the applicable GIFA;
    (12) Falsely or incorrectly complete (including by omission) a 
permit application or permit form as specified in Sec. 600.501 (d) and 
(k);
    (13) Fail to report to the Assistant Administrator within 15 days 
any change in the information contained in the permit application for a 
FFV, as specified in Sec. 600.501(k);
    (14) Assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, or interfere with 
an observer placed aboard an FFV under this subpart;
    (15) Interfere with or bias the sampling procedure employed by an 
observer, including sorting or discarding any catch prior to sampling, 
unless the observer has stated that sampling will not occur; or tamper 
with, destroy, or discard an observer's collected samples, equipment, 
records, photographic film, papers, or effects without the express 
consent of the observer;
    (16) Prohibit or bar by command, impediment, threat, coercion, or 
refusal of reasonable assistance, an observer from collecting samples, 
conducting product recovery rate determinations, making observations, or 
otherwise performing the observer's duties;
    (17) Harass or sexually harass an authorized officer or observer;
    (18) Fail to provide the required assistance to an observer as 
described at Sec. 600.506 (c) and (e);
    (19) Fail to identify, falsely identify, fail to properly maintain, 
or obscure the identification of the FFV or its gear as required by this 
subpart;
    (20) Falsify or fail to make, keep, maintain, or submit any record 
or report required by this subpart;
    (21) Fail to return to the sea or fail to otherwise treat prohibited 
species as required by this subpart;
    (22) Fail to report or falsely report any gear conflict;
    (23) Fail to report or falsely report any loss, jettisoning, or 
abandonment of fishing gear or other article into the EEZ that might 
interfere with fishing, obstruct fishing gear or vessels, or cause 
damage to any fishery resource or marine mammals;
    (24) Continue Activity Codes 1 through 4 after those activity codes 
have been canceled under Sec. 600.511;
    (25) Fail to maintain health and safety standards set forth in Sec. 
600.506(d);
    (26) Violate any provisions of regulations for specific fisheries of 
this subpart;
    (27) On a scientific research vessel, engage in fishing other than 
recreational fishing authorized by applicable state, territorial, or 
Federal regulations;

[[Page 80]]

    (28) Violate any provision of this subpart, the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act, the applicable GIFA, any notice issued under this subpart or any 
permit issued under this subpart; or
    (29) Attempt to do any of the foregoing.
    (b) It is unlawful for any FFV, and for the owner or operator of any 
FFV except an FFV engaged only in recreational fishing, to fish--
    (1) Within the boundaries of any state, unless:
    (i) The fishing is authorized by the Governor of that state as 
permitted by section 306(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to engage in a 
joint venture for processing and support with U.S. fishing vessels in 
the internal waters of that state; or
    (ii) The fishing is authorized by, and conducted in accordance with, 
a valid permit issued under Sec. 600.501, and the Governor of that 
state has indicated concurrence to allow fishing consisting solely of 
transporting fish or fish products from a point within the boundaries of 
that state to a point outside the United States; or
    (2) Within the EEZ, or for any anadromous species or continental 
shelf fishery resources beyond the EEZ, unless the fishing is authorized 
by, and conducted in accordance with, a valid permit issued under Sec. 
600.501.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 64 
FR 39020, July 21, 1999]



Sec. 600.506  Observers.

    (a) General. To carry out such scientific, compliance monitoring, 
and other functions as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the 
purposes of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the appropriate Regional 
Administrator or Science and Research Director (see table 2 to Sec. 
600.502) may assign U.S. observers to FFV's. Except as provided for in 
section 201(h)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, no FFV may conduct 
fishing operations within the EEZ unless a U.S. observer is aboard.
    (b) Effort plan. To ensure the availability of an observer as 
required by this section, the owners and operators of FFV's wanting to 
fish within the EEZ will submit to the appropriate Regional 
Administrator or Science and Research Director and also to the Chief, 
Financial Services Division, NMFS, 1315 East West Highway, Silver 
Spring, MD 20910 a schedule of fishing effort 30 days prior to the 
beginning of each quarter. A quarter is a time period of 3 consecutive 
months beginning January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of each year. 
The schedule will contain the name and IRCS of each FFV intending to 
fish within the EEZ during the upcoming quarter, and each FFV's expected 
date of arrival and expected date of departure.
    (1) The appropriate Regional Administrator or Science and Research 
Director must be notified immediately of any substitution of vessels or 
any cancellation of plans to fish in the EEZ for FFV's listed in the 
effort plan required by this section.
    (2) If an arrival date of an FFV will vary more than 5 days from the 
date listed in the quarterly schedule, the appropriate Regional 
Administrator or Science and Research Director must be notified at least 
10 days in advance of the rescheduled date of arrival. If the notice 
required by this paragraph (b)(2) is not given, the FFV may not engage 
in fishing until an observer is available and has been placed aboard the 
vessel or the requirement has been waived by the appropriate Regional 
Administrator or Science and Research Director.
    (c) Assistance to observers. To assist the observer in the 
accomplishment of his or her assigned duties, the owner and operator of 
an FFV to which an observer is assigned must--
    (1) Provide, at no cost to the observer or the United States, 
accommodations for the observer aboard the FFV that are equivalent to 
those provided to the officers of that vessel.
    (2) Cause the FFV to proceed to such places and at such times as may 
be designated by the appropriate Regional Administrator or Science and 
Research Director for the purpose of embarking and debarking the 
observer.
    (3) Allow the observer to use the FFV's communications equipment and 
personnel upon demand for the transmission and receipt of messages.
    (4) Allow the observer access to and use of the FFV's navigation 
equipment

[[Page 81]]

and personnel upon demand to determine the vessel's position.
    (5) Allow the observer free and unobstructed access to the FFV's 
bridge, trawl, or working decks, holding bins, processing areas, freezer 
spaces, weight scales, cargo holds and any other space that may be used 
to hold, process, weigh, or store fish or fish products at any time.
    (6) Allow the observer to inspect and copy the FFV's daily log, 
communications log, transfer log, and any other log, document, notice, 
or record required by these regulations.
    (7) Provide the observer copies of any records required by these 
regulations upon demand.
    (8) Notify the observer at least 15 minutes before fish are brought 
on board or fish or fish products are transferred from the FFV to allow 
sampling the catch or observing the transfer, unless the observer 
specifically requests not to be notified.
    (9) Provide all other reasonable assistance to enable the observer 
to carry out his or her duties.
    (d) Health and safety standards. All foreign fishing vessels to 
which an observer is deployed must maintain, at all times that the 
vessel is in the EEZ, the following:
    (1) At least one working radar.
    (2) Functioning navigation lights as required by international law.
    (3) A watch on the bridge by appropriately trained and experienced 
personnel while the vessel is underway.
    (4) Lifeboats and/or inflatable life rafts with a total carrying 
capacity equal to or greater than the number of people aboard the 
vessel. Lifeboats and inflatable life rafts must be maintained in good 
working order and be readily available.
    (5) Life jackets equal or greater in number to the total number of 
persons aboard the vessel. Life jackets must be stowed in readily 
accessible and plainly marked positions throughout the vessel, and 
maintained in a state of good repair.
    (6) At least one ring life buoy for each 25 ft (7.6 m) of vessel 
length, equipped with automatic water lights. Ring life buoys must have 
an outside diameter of not more than 32 inches (81.3 cm) nor less than 
30 inches (76.2 cm), and must be maintained in a state of good repair. 
Ring life buoys must be readily available, but not positioned so they 
pose a threat of entanglement in work areas. They must be secured in 
such a way that they can be easily cast loose in the event of an 
emergency.
    (7) At least one VHF-FM radio with a functioning channel 16 (156.8 
mHz), International Distress, Safety and Calling Frequency, and one 
functioning AM radio (SSB-Single Side Band) capable of operating at 2182 
kHz (SSB). Radios will be maintained in a radio room, chartroom, or 
other suitable location.
    (8) At least one Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), 
approved by the USCG for offshore commercial use, stowed in a location 
so as to make it readily available in the event of an emergency.
    (9) At least six hand-held, rocket-propelled, parachute, red-flare 
distress signals, and three orange-smoke distress signals stowed in the 
pilothouse or navigation bridge in portable watertight containers.
    (10) All lights, shapes, whistles, foghorns, fog bells and gongs 
required by and maintained in accordance with the International 
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
    (11) Clean and sanitary conditions in all living spaces, food 
service and preparation areas and work spaces aboard the vessel.
    (e) Observer transfers. (1) The operator of the FFV must ensure that 
transfers of observers at sea via small boat or raft are carried out 
during daylight hours as weather and sea conditions allow, and with the 
agreement of the observer involved. The FFV operator must provide the 
observer 3 hours advance notice of at-sea transfers, so that the 
observer may collect personal belongings, equipment, and scientific 
samples.
    (2) The FFV's involved must provide a safe pilot ladder and conduct 
the transfer according to the procedures of Sec. 600.504(d) to ensure 
the safety of the during the transfer.
    (3) An experienced crew member must assist the observer in the small 
boat or raft in which the transfer is made.

[[Page 82]]

    (f) Supplementary observers. In the event funds are not available 
from Congressional appropriations of fees collected to assign an 
observer to a foreign fishing vessel, the appropriate Regional 
Administrator or Science and Research Director will assign a 
supplementary observer to that vessel. The costs of supplementary 
observers will be paid for by the owners and operators of foreign 
fishing vessels as provided for in paragraph (h) of this section.
    (g) Supplementary observer authority and duties. (1) A supplementary 
observer aboard a foreign fishing vessel has the same authority and must 
be treated in all respects as an observer who is employed by NMFS, 
either directly or under contract.
    (2) The duties of supplementary observers and their deployment and 
work schedules will be specified by the appropriate Regional 
Administrator or Science and Research Director.
    (3) All data collected by supplementary observers will be under the 
exclusive control of the Assistant Administrator.
    (h) Supplementary observer payment--(1) Method of payment. The 
owners and operators of foreign fishing vessels must pay directly to the 
contractor the costs of supplementary observer coverage. Payment must be 
made to the contractor supplying supplementary observer coverage either 
by letter of credit or certified check drawn on a federally chartered 
bank in U.S. dollars, or other financial institution acceptable to the 
contractor. The letter of credit used to pay supplementary observer fees 
to contractors must be separate and distinct from the letter of credit 
required by Sec. 600.518(b)(2). Billing schedules will be specified by 
the terms of the contract between NOAA and the contractors. Billings for 
supplementary observer coverage will be approved by the appropriate 
Regional Administrator or Science and Research Director and then 
transmitted to the owners and operators of foreign fishing vessels by 
the appropriate designated representative. Each country will have only 
one designated representative to receive observer bills for all vessels 
of that country, except as provided for by the Assistant Administrator. 
All bills must be paid within 10 working days of the billing date. 
Failure to pay an observer bill will constitute grounds to revoke 
fishing permits. All fees collected under this section will be 
considered interim in nature and subject to reconciliation at the end of 
the fiscal year in accordance with paragraph (h)(4) of this section and 
Sec. 600.518(d).
    (2) Contractor costs. The costs charged for supplementary observer 
coverage to the owners and operators of foreign fishing vessels may not 
exceed the costs charged to NMFS for the same or similar services, 
except that contractors may charge to the owners and operators of 
foreign fishing vessels an additional fee to cover the administrative 
costs of the program not ordinarily part of contract costs charged to 
NMFS. The costs charged foreign fishermen for supplementary observers 
may include, but are not limited to the following:
    (i) Salary and benefits, including overtime, for supplementary 
observers.
    (ii) The costs of post-certification training required by paragraph 
(j)(2) of this section.
    (iii) The costs of travel, transportation, and per diem associated 
with deploying supplementary observers to foreign fishing vessels 
including the cost of travel, transportation, and per diem from the 
supplementary observer's post of duty to the point of embarkation to the 
foreign fishing vessel, and then from the point of disembarkation to the 
post of duty from where the trip began. For the purposes of these 
regulations, the appropriate Regional Administrator or Science and 
Research Director will designate posts of duty for supplementary 
observers.
    (iv) The costs of travel, transportation, and per diem associated 
with the debriefing following deployment of a supplementary observer by 
NMFS officials.
    (v) The administrative and overhead costs incurred by the contractor 
and, if appropriate, a reasonable profit.
    (3) NMFS costs. The owners and operators of foreign fishing vessels 
must also pay to NMFS as part of the surcharge required by section 
201(i)(4) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the following costs:
    (i) The costs of certifying applicants for the position of 
supplementary observer.

[[Page 83]]

    (ii) The costs of any equipment, including safety equipment, 
sampling equipment, operations manuals, or other texts necessary to 
perform the duties of a supplementary observer. The equipment will be 
specified by the appropriate Regional Administrator or Science and 
Research Director according to the requirements of the fishery to which 
the supplementary observer will be deployed.
    (iii) The costs associated with communications with supplementary 
observers for transmission of data and routine messages.
    (iv) For the purposes of monitoring the supplementary observer 
program, the costs for the management and analysis of data.
    (v) The costs for data editing and entry.
    (vi) Any costs incurred by NMFS to train, deploy or debrief a 
supplementary observer.
    (vii) The cost for U.S. Customs inspection for supplementary 
observers disembarking after deployment.
    (4) Reconciliation. Fees collected by the contractor in excess of 
the actual costs of supplementary observer coverage will be refunded to 
the owners and operators of foreign fishing vessels, or kept on deposit 
to defray the costs of future supplementary observer coverage. Refunds 
will be made within 60 days after final costs are determined and 
approved by NMFS.
    (i) Supplementary observer contractors--(1) Contractor eligibility. 
Supplementary observers will be obtained by NMFS from persons or firms 
having established contracts to provide NMFS with observers. In the 
event no such contract is in place, NMFS will use established, 
competitive contracting procedures to select persons or firms to provide 
supplementary observers. The services supplied by the supplementary 
observer contractors will be as described within the contract and as 
specified below.
    (2) Supplementary observer contractors must submit for the approval 
of the Assistant Administrator the following:
    (i) A copy of any contract, including all attachments, amendments, 
and enclosures thereto, between the contractor and the owners and 
operators of foreign fishing vessels for whom the contractor will 
provide supplementary observer services.
    (ii) All application information for persons whom the contractor 
desires to employ as certified supplementary observers.
    (iii) Billing schedules and billings to the owners and operators of 
foreign fishing vessels for further transmission to the designated 
representative of the appropriate foreign nation.
    (iv) All data on costs.
    (j) Supplementary observers--certification, training--(1) 
Certification. The appropriate Regional Administrator or Science and 
Research Director will certify persons as qualified for the position of 
supplementary observer once the following conditions are met:
    (i) The candidate is a citizen or national of the United States.
    (ii) The candidate has education or experience equivalent to the 
education or experience required of persons used as observers by NMFS as 
either Federal personnel or contract employees. The education and 
experience required for certification may vary according to the 
requirements of managing the foreign fishery in which the supplementary 
observer is to be deployed. Documentation of U.S. citizenship or 
nationality, and education or experience will be provided from personal 
qualification statements on file with NMFS contractors who provide 
supplementary observer services, and will not require the submission of 
additional information to NMFS.
    (2) Training. Prior to deployment to foreign fishing vessels, 
certified supplementary observers must also meet the following 
conditions:
    (i) Each certified supplementary observer must satisfactorily 
complete a course of training approved by the appropriate Regional 
Administrator or Science and Research Director as equivalent to that 
received by persons used as observers by NMFS as either Federal 
personnel or contract employees. The course of training may vary 
according to the foreign fishery in which the supplementary observer is 
to be deployed.
    (ii) Each certified supplementary observer must agree in writing to 
abide by standards of conduct as set forth in

[[Page 84]]

Department of Commerce Administrative Order 202-735 (as provided by the 
contractor).
    (k) Supplementary observer certification suspension or revocation. 
(1) Certification of a supplementary observer may be suspended or 
revoked by the Assistant Administrator under the following conditions:
    (i) A supplementary observer fails to perform the duties specified 
in paragraph (g)(2) of this section.
    (ii) A supplementary observer fails to abide by the standards of 
conduct described by Department of Commerce Administrative Order 202-
735.
    (2) The suspension or revocation of the certification of a 
supplementary observer by the Assistant Administrator may be based on 
the following:
    (i) Boarding inspection reports by authorized officers of the USCG 
or NMFS, or other credible information, that indicate a supplementary 
observer has failed to abide by the established standards of conduct; or
    (ii) An analysis by NMFS of the data collected by a supplementary 
observer indicating improper or incorrect data collection or recording. 
The failure to properly collect or record data is sufficient to justify 
decertification of supplementary observers; no intent to defraud need be 
demonstrated.
    (3) The Assistant Administrator will notify the supplementary 
observer, in writing, of the Assistant Administrator's intent to suspend 
or revoke certification, and the reasons therefor, and provide the 
supplementary observer a reasonable opportunity to respond. If the 
Assistant Administrator determines that there are disputed questions of 
material fact, then the Assistant Administrator may in this respect 
appoint an examiner to make an informal fact-finding inquiry and prepare 
a report and recommendations.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7074, 7075, Feb. 12, 
1998; 64 FR 39020, July 21, 1999]



Sec. 600.507  Recordkeeping.

    (a) General. The owner and operator of each FFV must maintain timely 
and accurate records required by this section as modified by the 
regulations for the fishery in which the FFV is engaged.
    (1) The owner and operator of each FFV must maintain all required 
records in English, based on Greenwich mean time (GMT) unless otherwise 
specified in the regulation, and make them immediately available for 
inspection upon the request of an authorized officer or observer.
    (2) The owner and operator of each FFV must retain all required 
records on board the FFV whenever it is in the EEZ, for 3 years after 
the end of the permit period.
    (3) The owner and operator of each FFV must retain the required 
records and make them available for inspection upon the request of an 
authorized officer at any time during the 3 years after the end of the 
permit period, whether or not such records are on board the vessel.
    (4) The owner and operator of each FFV must provide to the Assistant 
Administrator, in the form and at the times prescribed, any other 
information requested that the Assistant Administrator determines is 
necessary to fulfill the fishery conservation, management and 
enforcement purposes of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (b) Communications log. The owner and operator of each FFV must 
record in a separate communications log, at the time of transmittal, the 
time and content of each notification made under Sec. 600.504.
    (c) Transfer log. Except for the transfer of unsorted, unprocessed 
fish via codend from a catching vessel to a processing vessel (Activity 
Code 2 or 4), the owner and operator of each FFV must record, in a 
separate transfer log, each transfer or receipt of any fish or fishery 
product, including quantities transferred or offloaded outside the EEZ. 
The operator must record in the log within 12 hours of the completion of 
the transfer:
    (1) The time and date (GMT) and location (in geographic coordinates) 
the transfer began and was completed.
    (2) The product weight, by species and product (use species and 
product codes), of all fish transferred, to the nearest 0.01 mt.
    (3) The name, IRCS, and permit number of both the FFV offloading the 
fish and the FFV receiving the fish.

[[Page 85]]

    (d) Daily fishing log. (1) The owner or operator of each FFV 
authorized to catch fish (Activity Code 1) must maintain a daily fishing 
log of the effort, catch and production of the FFV, as modified by 
paragraph (d)(2) of this section and the regulations for the fishery in 
which the FFV is engaged. The operator must maintain on a daily and 
cumulative basis for the permit period a separate log for each fishery 
(see table 2 to Sec. 600.502) in which the FFV is engaged according to 
this section and in the format specified in the instructions provided 
with the permit or other format authorized under paragraph (i) of this 
section. Daily effort entries are required for each day the vessel 
conducts fishing operations within the EEZ. Daily entries are not 
required whenever the FFV is in port or engaged in a joint venture in 
the internal waters of a state. Each page of log may contain entries 
pertaining to only one day's fishing operations or one gear set, 
whichever is longer.
    (2) The owner or operator of each FFV authorized to catch fish 
(Activity Code 1) and that delivers all catches to a processing vessel, 
must maintain only ``SECTION ONE-EFFORT'', of the daily fishing log, 
provided the processing vessel maintains a daily consolidated fishing 
log as described in paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section.
    (e) Daily fishing log--contents. The daily fishing log must contain 
the following information, as modified by paragraph (d)(2) of this 
section and the regulations for the fishery in which the FFV is engaged, 
and be completed according to the format and instructions provided with 
the permit or other format authorized under paragraph (i) of this 
section.
    (1) ``SECTION ONE-EFFORT'' must contain on a daily basis--
    (i) A consecutive page number, beginning with the first day the 
vessel started fishing operations within the EEZ and continuing 
throughout the log.
    (ii) The date (based on GMT).
    (iii) The FFV's name.
    (iv) The FFV's IRCS.
    (v) The FFV's U.S. permit number.
    (vi) The FFV's noon (1200 GMT) position in geographic coordinates.
    (vii) The master or operator's signature or title.
    (2) ``SECTION ONE-EFFORT'' must contain, for each trawl or set, as 
appropriate to the gear type employed--
    (i) The consecutive trawl or set number, beginning with the first 
set of the calendar year.
    (ii) The fishing area in which the trawl or set was completed.
    (iii) The gear type.
    (iv) The time the gear was set.
    (v) The position of the set.
    (vi) The course of the set.
    (vii) The sea depth.
    (viii) The depth of the set.
    (ix) The duration of the set.
    (x) The hauling time.
    (xi) The position of the haul.
    (xii) The number of pots or longline units (where applicable).
    (xiii) The average number of hooks per longline unit (where 
applicable).
    (xiv) The trawl speed (where applicable).
    (xv) The mesh size of the trawl's codend (where applicable).
    (xvi) The estimated total weight of the catch for the trawl of set, 
to at least the nearest metric ton round weight.
    (3) ``SECTION TWO-CATCH'' must contain, for each trawl or set--
    (i) The consecutive set or trawl number from ``SECTION ONE''.
    (ii) The catch of each allocated species or species group to at 
least the nearest 0.1 mt round weight.
    (iii) The prohibited species catch to at least the nearest 0.1 mt 
round weight or by number, as required by the regulations for the 
fishery in which the FFV is engaged.
    (iv) The species code of each marine mammal caught and its condition 
when released.
    (4) ``SECTION TWO-CATCH'' must contain, on a daily basis--
    (i) The species codes for all allocated or prohibited species or 
species groups caught.
    (ii) For each allocated species--the amount, to at least the nearest 
0.1 mt, and the daily disposition, either processed for human 
consumption, used for fishmeal, or discarded; the daily catch by fishing 
area; the daily catch for all fishing areas; and the cumulative total 
catch.
    (iii) For the total catch of allocated species--the amount to at 
least the

[[Page 86]]

nearest 0.1 mt and the daily disposition, daily total catch by fishing 
area, daily total catch for all fishing areas, and cumulative total 
catch.
    (iv) The catch by fishing area, daily total, and cumulative total of 
each prohibited species.
    (5) ``SECTION THREE--PRODUCTION'' must contain, on a daily basis, 
for each allocated species caught and product produced--
    (i) The product by species code and product type.
    (ii) The daily product recovery rate of each species and product.
    (iii) The daily total product produced by species to at least the 
nearest 0.01 mt.
    (iv) The cumulative total of each product to at least the nearest 
0.01 mt.
    (v) The cumulative amount of product transferred.
    (vi) The balance of product remaining aboard the FFV.
    (vii) The total daily amount, cumulative amount, transferred product 
and balance of frozen product aboard the FFV to the nearest 0.01 mt.
    (viii) Transferred amount and balance of fishmeal and fish oil 
aboard to at least the nearest 0.01 mt.
    (f) Daily consolidated fishing or joint venture log. The operator of 
each FFV that receives unsorted, unprocessed fish from foreign catching 
vessels (Activity Code 2) for processing or receives U.S.-harvested fish 
from U.S. fishing vessels in a joint venture (Activity Code 4) must 
maintain a daily joint venture log of the effort, catch and production 
of its associated U.S. or foreign fishing vessels and the processing 
vessel as modified by the regulations for the fishery in which the FFV 
is engaged. This log is separate and in addition to the log required by 
paragraph (d) of this section. The operator must maintain a separate log 
for each fishery in which the FFV is engaged, on a daily and cumulative 
basis, according to this section and in the format specified in the 
instructions provided with the permit or other format authorized under 
paragraph (i) of this section. Receipts of fish caught outside the EEZ 
must be included. Each page of the log may contain entries pertaining to 
only one day's fishing operations.
    (g) Daily joint venture log--contents. Daily joint venture logs must 
contain the following information, as modified by the fishery in which 
the vessel is engaged, and be completed according to the format and 
instructions provided with the permit or other format authorized under 
paragraph (i) of this section.
    (1) ``SECTION ONE-EFFORT'' must contain, on a daily basis, that 
information required in paragraph (e)(1) of this section.
    (2) ``SECTION ONE-EFFORT'' must contain for each receipt of a 
codend--
    (i) The consecutive codend number, beginning with the first codend 
received for the calendar year.
    (ii) The name of the U.S. fishing vessel or the name and IRCS of the 
foreign fishing vessel the codend was received from.
    (iii) The fishing area where the codend was received.
    (iv) The time the codend was received.
    (v) The position the codend was received.
    (vi) The estimated weight of the codend to at least the nearest 
metric ton round weight.
    (3) ``SECTION TWO-CATCH'' must contain, for each codend received--
    (i) The consecutive codend number from ``SECTION ONE''.
    (ii) The receipts of each authorized species or species group and 
its disposition, either processed for human consumption, used for 
fishmeal, discarded, or returned to the U.S. fishing vessel, to at least 
the nearest 0.1 mt round weight.
    (iii) The estimated receipts of each prohibited species or species 
group and its disposition, either discarded or returned to the U.S. 
fishing vessel if authorized in the fishery in which the U.S. vessel is 
engaged, to at least the nearest 0.1 mt round weight.
    (iv) The species code of each marine mammal received and its 
condition when released.
    (4) ``SECTION TWO-CATCH'' must contain on a daily basis--
    (i) The species codes of all authorized or prohibited species or 
species groups received.
    (ii) The daily disposition, as described in paragraph (g)(3)(ii) of 
this

[[Page 87]]

section, daily total, and cumulative total receipts of each authorized 
species or species groups.
    (iii) The daily disposition, daily total and cumulative total 
receipts of all authorized species or species groups.
    (iv) The daily and cumulative total receipts of prohibited species 
groups and their disposition as described in paragraph (g)(3)(iii) of 
this section.
    (5) ``SECTION THREE--PRODUCTION'' must contain, on a daily basis, 
for each authorized species or species group received and product 
produced, that information required in paragraph (e)(5) of this section.
    (h) Daily log maintenance. The logs required by paragraphs (e) 
through (g) of this section must be maintained separately for each 
fishery (see table 2 to Sec. 600.502).
    (1) The effort section (all of ``SECTION ONE'') of the daily logs 
must be updated within 2 hours of the hauling or receipt time. The catch 
or receipt by trawl or set (``SECTION TWO'') must be entered within 12 
hours of the hauling or receipt time. The daily and cumulative total 
catch or receipts (``SECTION TWO'') and the production portion 
(``SECTION THREE'') of the log must be updated within 12 hours of the 
end of the day on which the catch was taken. The date of catch is the 
day and time (GMT) the gear is hauled.
    (2) Entries for total daily and cumulative catch or receipt weights 
(disposition ``C'' or ``M'') must be based on the most accurate method 
available to the vessel, either scale round weights or factory weights 
converted to round weights. Entries for daily and cumulative weights of 
discarded or returned fish (disposition ``D'' or ``R'') must be based on 
the most accurate method available to the vessel, either actual count, 
scale round weight, or estimated deck weights. Entries for product 
weights must be based on the number of production units (pans, boxes, 
blocks, trays, cans, or bags) and the average weight of the production 
unit, with reasonable allowances for water added. Allowances for water 
added cannot exceed 5 percent of the unit weight. Product weights cannot 
be based on the commercial or arbitrary wholesale weight of the product, 
but must be based on the total actual weight of the product as 
determined by representative samples.
    (3) The owner or operator must make all entries in indelible ink, 
with corrections to be accomplished by lining out and rewriting, rather 
than erasure.
    (i) Alternative log formats. As an alternative to the use of the 
specific formats provided, a Nation may submit a proposed log format for 
FFV's of that Nation for a general type of fishery operation in a 
fishery (i.e., joint venture operations) to the appropriate Regional 
Administrator and the USCG commander (see tables 1 and 2 to Sec. 
600.502). With the agreement of the USCG commander, the Regional 
Administrator may authorize the use of that log format for vessels of 
the requesting Nation.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.508  Fishing operations.

    (a) Catching. Each FFV authorized for activity code 1 may catch 
fish. An FFV may retain its catch of any species or species group for 
which there is an unfilled national allocation. All fish caught will be 
counted against the national allocation, even if the fish are discarded, 
unless exempted by the regulations of the fishery in which the FFV is 
engaged. Catching operations may be conducted as specified by the 
regulations of the fishery in which the FFV is engaged and as modified 
by the FFV's permit.
    (b) Scouting. Each FFV authorized for Activity Codes 1 through 6 may 
scout for fish. Scouting may be conducted only in the fisheries area 
authorized by the scouting vessel's permit and under such other 
circumstances as may be designated in this subpart or the permit.
    (c) Processing. Each FFV with Activity Code 1 or 2 may process fish. 
Processing may only be conducted whenever and wherever catching 
operations for FFV's of that Nation are permitted, whenever and wherever 
joint venture operations are authorized by an FFV's permit under 
Activity Code 4, and under such other circumstances as may be designated 
in this subpart or the permit.
    (d) Support. Each FFV with Activity Codes 1, 2, 3, 5, or 8 may 
support other

[[Page 88]]

permitted FFV's. Each FFV with Activity Codes 4 or 6 may support U.S. 
vessels. Support operations may be conducted only in the fisheries areas 
authorized by the supporting vessel's permit, and under such other 
circumstances as may be designated in this subpart or the permit.
    (e) Joint ventures. Each FFV with Activity Code 4 in addition to 
Activity Codes 1 or 2 may also conduct operations with U.S. fishing 
vessels. These joint venture operations with U.S. fishing vessels may be 
conducted throughout the EEZ, and under such other circumstances as may 
be designated in these regulations or the permit. FFV's with activity 
code 4 may continue operations assisting U.S. fishing vessels, despite 
closures under Sec. 600.511(a).
    (f) Internal waters. For FFV's authorized under section 306(c) of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act:
    (1) Each FFV may engage in fish processing and support of U.S. 
fishing vessels within the internal waters of that state in compliance 
with terms and conditions set by the authorizing Governor.
    (2) The owner or operator of each FFV must submit weekly reports on 
the amount of fish received from vessels of the United States and the 
location(s) where such fish were harvested.
    (i) Reports must include:
    (A) Vessel identification information for the FFV.
    (B) Date of each receipt of fish.
    (C) Amount of fish received, by species.
    (D) Location(s) from which the fish received were harvested and the 
name and official number of the vessel of the United States that 
harvested the fish.
    (ii) Owners or operators of FFV's processing fish in internal waters 
under the provisions of this paragraph (f) must request, from the 
Regional Administrator, the requirements regarding timing and submission 
of the reports, at least 15 days prior to the first receipt of fish from 
a vessel of the United States. The Regional Administrator shall 
stipulate the timing and submission requirements in writing.
    (g) Transshipping. Each FFV with Activity Code 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 
8, or 10 may transship in accordance with this subpart and the vessel's 
permit.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 27183, May 19, 1997; 62 
FR 34397, June 26, 1997; 64 FR 39020, July 21, 1999]



Sec. 600.509  Prohibited species.

    (a) The owner or operator of each FFV must minimize its catch or 
receipt of prohibited species.
    (b) After allowing for sampling by an observer (if any), the owner 
or operator of each FFV must sort its catch of fish received as soon as 
possible and return all prohibited species and species parts to the sea 
immediately with a minimum of injury, regardless of condition, unless a 
different procedure is specified by the regulations for the fishery in 
which the FFV is engaged. All prohibited species must be recorded in the 
daily fishing log and other fishing logs as specified by the regulations 
for the fishery in which the FFV is engaged.
    (c) All species of fish that an FFV has not been specifically 
allocated or authorized under this subpart to retain, including fish 
caught or received in excess of any allocation or authorization, are 
prohibited species.
    (d) It is a rebuttable presumption that any prohibited species or 
species part found on board an FFV was caught and retained in violation 
of this section.



Sec. 600.510  Gear avoidance and disposal.

    (a) Vessel and gear avoidance. (1) FFV's arriving on fishing grounds 
where fishing vessels are already fishing or have set their gear for 
that purpose must ascertain the position and extent of gear already 
placed in the sea and must not place themselves or their fishing gear so 
as to interfere with or obstruct fishing operations already in progress. 
Vessels using mobile gear must avoid fixed fishing gear.
    (2) The operator of each FFV must maintain on its bridge a current 
plot of broadcast fixed-gear locations for the area in which it is 
fishing, as required by the regulations for the fishery in which the FFV 
is engaged.
    (b) Gear conflicts. The operator of each FFV that is involved in a 
conflict or that retrieves the gear of another

[[Page 89]]

vessel must immediately notify the appropriate USCG commander identified 
in tables 1 and 2 to Sec. 600.502 and request disposal instructions. 
Each report must include:
    (1) The name of the reporting vessel.
    (2) A description of the incident and articles retrieved, including 
the amount, type of gear, condition, and identification markings.
    (3) The location of the incident.
    (4) The date and time of the incident.
    (c) Disposal of fishing gear and other articles. (1) The operator of 
an FFV in the EEZ may not dump overboard, jettison or otherwise discard 
any article or substance that may interfere with other fishing vessels 
or gear, or that may catch fish or cause damage to any marine resource, 
including marine mammals and birds, except in cases of emergency 
involving the safety of the ship or crew, or as specifically authorized 
by communication from the appropriate USCG commander or other authorized 
officer. These articles and substances include, but are not limited to, 
fishing gear, net scraps, bale straps, plastic bags, oil drums, 
petroleum containers, oil, toxic chemicals or any manmade items 
retrieved in an FFV's gear.
    (2) The operator of an FFV may not abandon fishing gear in the EEZ.
    (3) If these articles or substances are encountered, or in the event 
of accidental or emergency placement into the EEZ, the vessel operator 
must immediately report the incident to the appropriate USCG Commander 
indicated in tables 1 and 2 to Sec. 600.502, and give the information 
required in paragraph (b) of this section.



Sec. 600.511  Fishery closure procedures.

    (a) Activity Codes 1 and 2 for a fishery are automatically canceled 
in the following cases, unless otherwise specified by regulations 
specific to a fishery, when--
    (1) The OY for any allocated species or species group has been 
reached in that fishery;
    (2) The TALFF or catch allowance for any allocated species or 
species group has been reached in that fishery;
    (3) The foreign nation's allocation for any allocated species or 
species group has been reached; or
    (4) The letter of credit required in Sec. 600.518(b)(2) is not 
established and maintained.
    (b) Activity Code 4 is automatically canceled when--
    (1) The OY for a species with a JVP amount is reached;
    (2) The JVP amount for a species or species group is reached; or
    (3) The letter of credit required in Sec. 600.518(b)(2) is not 
established and maintained.
    (c) Notification. (1) The Regional Administrator is authorized to 
close a fishery on behalf of NMFS. The Regional Administrator will 
notify each FFV's designated representative of closures.
    (2) If possible, notice will be given 48 hours before the closure. 
However, each Nation and the owners and operators of all FFV's of that 
Nation are responsible for ending fishing operations when an allocation 
is reached.
    (d) Catch reconciliation. Vessel activity reports, U.S. surveillance 
observations, observer reports, and foreign catch and effort reports 
will be used to make the determination listed in paragraphs (a) and (b) 
of this section. If NMFS estimates of catch or other values made during 
the season differ from those reported by the foreign fleets, efforts may 
be initiated by the designated representative of each Nation to resolve 
such differences with NMFS. If, however, differences still persist after 
such efforts have been made, NMFS estimates will be the basis for 
decisions and will prevail.
    (e) Duration. Any closure under this section will remain in effect 
until an applicable new or increased allocation or JVP becomes available 
or the letter of credit required by Sec. 600.518(b)(2) is 
reestablished.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.512  Scientific research.

    (a) Scientific research activity. Persons planning to conduct 
scientific research activities on board a scientific research vessel in 
the EEZ that may be confused with fishing are encouraged to submit to 
the appropriate Regional Administrator or Director, 60 days or as soon 
as practicable prior to its start, a scientific research plan for each 
scientific

[[Page 90]]

activity. The Regional Administrator or Director will acknowledge 
notification of scientific research activity by issuing to the operator 
or master of that vessel, or to the sponsoring institution, a Letter of 
Acknowledgment. This Letter of Acknowledgment is separate and distinct 
from any permit or consultation required under the MMPA, the ESA, or any 
other applicable law. The Regional Administrator or Director will 
include text in the Letter of Acknowledgment informing the applicant 
that such permits may be required and should be obtained from the agency 
prior to embarking on the activity. If the Regional Administrator or 
Director, after review of a research plan, determines that it does not 
constitute scientific research activity but rather fishing, the Regional 
Administrator or Director will inform the applicant as soon as 
practicable and in writing. In making this determination, the Regional 
Administrator, Director, or designee shall consider: the merits of the 
individual proposal and the institution(s) involved; whether the 
proposed activity meets the definition of scientific research activity; 
and whether the vessel meets all the requirements for a scientific 
research vessel. Foreign vessels that qualify as scientific research 
vessels and which are engaged in a scientific research activity may only 
engage in compensation fishing during the scientific research cruise and 
in accordance with the applicable scientific research plan. The Regional 
Administrator or Director may also make recommendations to revise the 
research plan to ensure the activity will be considered to be a 
scientific research activity. The Regional Administrator or Director may 
designate a Science and Research Director, or the Assistant Regional 
Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, to receive scientific research 
plans and issue Letters of Acknowledgment. In order to facilitate 
identification of the activity as scientific research, persons 
conducting scientific research activities are advised to carry a copy of 
the scientific research plan and the Letter of Acknowledgment on board 
the scientific research vessel and to make it available for inspection 
upon the request of any authorized officer. It is recommended that for 
any scientific research activity, any fish, or parts thereof, retained 
pursuant to such activity be accompanied, during any ex-vessel 
activities, by a copy of the Letter of Acknowledgment. Activities 
conducted in accordance with a scientific research plan acknowledged by 
such a Letter of Acknowledgment are presumed to be scientific research 
activities. An authorized officer may overcome this presumption by 
showing that an activity does not fit the definition of scientific 
research activity or is outside the scope of the scientific research 
plan.
    (b) Reports. Persons conducting scientific research are requested to 
submit a copy of any cruise report or other publication created as a 
result of the cruise, including the amount, composition, and disposition 
of their catch, to the appropriate Science and Research Director.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 74 
FR 42793, Aug. 25, 2009]



Sec. 600.513  Recreational fishing.

    (a) Foreign vessels conducting recreational fishing must comply only 
with this section, and Sec. Sec. 600.10, 600.504(a)(1), and 600.505 (as 
applicable). Such vessels may conduct recreational fishing within the 
EEZ and within the boundaries of a state. Any fish caught may not be 
sold, bartered, or traded.
    (b) The owners or operator and any other person aboard any foreign 
vessel conducting recreational fishing must comply with any Federal laws 
or regulations applicable to the domestic fishery while in the EEZ, and 
any state laws or regulations applicable while in state waters.



Sec. 600.514  Relation to other laws.

    (a) Persons affected by these regulations should be aware that other 
Federal and state statutes may apply to their activities.
    (b) Fishing vessel operators must exercise due care in the conduct 
of fishing activities near submarine cables. Damage to submarine cables 
resulting from intentional acts or from the failure to exercise due care 
in the conduct

[[Page 91]]

of fishing operations subjects the fishing vessel operator to 
enforcement action under the International Convention for the Protection 
of Submarine Cables, and to the criminal penalties prescribed by the 
Submarine Cable Act (47 U.S.C. 21) and other laws that implement that 
Convention. Fishing vessel operators also should be aware that the 
Submarine Cable Act prohibits fishing operations at a distance of less 
than 1 nautical mile (1.85 km) from a vessel engaged in laying or 
repairing a submarine cable; or at a distance of less than 0.25 nautical 
mile (0.46 km) from a buoy or buoys intended to mark the position of a 
cable when being laid, or when out of order, or broken.



Sec. 600.515  Interpretation of 16 U.S.C. 1857(4).

    Section 307(4) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act prohibits any fishing 
vessel other than a vessel of the United States (foreign fishing vessel) 
from operating in the EEZ if all of the fishing gear on board the vessel 
is not stowed in compliance with that section ``unless such vessel is 
authorized to engage in fishing in the area in which the vessel is 
operating.'' If such a vessel has a permit authorization that is limited 
to fishing activities other than catching, taking or harvesting (such as 
support, scouting or processing activities), it must have all of its 
fishing gear stowed at all times while it is in the EEZ. If such a 
vessel has a permit authorization to engage in catching, taking or 
harvesting activities, but such authorization is limited to a specific 
area within the EEZ, and/or to a specific period of time, the vessel 
must have all of its fishing gear stowed while it is in the EEZ, except 
when it is in the specific area authorized, and/or during the specific 
period of time authorized.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.516  Total allowable level of foreign fishing (TALFF).

    (a) The TALFF, if any, with respect to any fishery subject to the 
exclusive fishery management authority of the United States, is that 
portion of the OY of such fishery, which cannot or will not be harvested 
by vessels of the United States. Allocations of TALFF are discretionary, 
except that the total allowable level shall be zero for fisheries 
determined by the Secretary to have adequate or excess domestic harvest 
capacity.
    (b) Each specification of OY and each assessment of the anticipated 
U.S. harvest will be reviewed during each fishing season. Adjustments to 
TALFF's will be made based on updated information relating to status of 
stocks, estimated and actual performance of domestic and foreign fleets, 
and other relevant factors.
    (c) Specifications of OY and the initial estimates of U.S. harvests 
and TALFF's at the beginning of the relevant fishing year will be 
published in the Federal Register. Adjustments to those numbers will be 
published in the Federal Register upon occasion or as directed by 
regulations implementing FMPs. For current apportionments, contact the 
appropriate Regional Administrator or the Director.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 73 
FR 67811, Nov. 17, 2008]



Sec. 600.517  Allocations.

    The Secretary of State, in cooperation with the Secretary, 
determines the allocation among foreign nations of fish species and 
species groups. The Secretary of State officially notifies each foreign 
nation of its allocation. The burden of ascertaining and accurately 
transmitting current allocations and status of harvest of an applicable 
allocation to fishing vessels is upon the foreign nation and the owner 
or operator of the FFV.



Sec. 600.518  Fee schedule for foreign fishing.

    (a) Permit application fees. Each vessel permit application 
submitted under Sec. 600.501 must be accompanied by a fee. The amount 
of the fee will be determined in accordance with the procedures for 
determining administrative costs of each special product or service 
contained in the NOAA Finance Handbook, which is available upon request 
from the Office of International Affairs (see address at Sec. 
600.501(d)(1)). The fee is specified with the application form. At the 
time the application is submitted, a check for the fees, drawn on a U.S.

[[Page 92]]

bank, payable to the order of ``Department of Commerce, NOAA,'' must be 
sent to the Assistant Administrator. The permit fee payment must be 
accompanied by a list of the vessels for which the payment is made. In 
the case of applications for permits authorizing activity code 10, the 
permit application fee will be waived if the applicant provides 
satisfactory documentary proof to the Assistant Administrator that the 
foreign nation under which the vessel is registered does not collect a 
fee from a vessel of the United States engaged in similar activities in 
the waters of such foreign nation. The documentation presented (e.g., 
copy of foreign fishing regulations applicable to vessels of the United 
States) must clearly exempt vessels of the United States from such a 
fee.
    (b) Poundage fees--(1) Rates. If a Nation chooses to accept an 
allocation, poundage fees must be paid at the rate specified in the 
following table.

                    Table--Species and Poundage Fees
                        [Dollars per metric ton]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Poundage
                           Species                                fees
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Northwest Atlantic Ocean fisheries:
  1. Butterfish..............................................     277.96
  2. Herring, Atlantic.......................................      25.75
  3. Herring, River..........................................      49.59
  4. Mackerel, Atlantic......................................      64.76
  5. Other finfish...........................................      45.48
  6. Squid, Illex............................................      97.56
  7. Squid, Loligo...........................................     321.68
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) Method of payment of poundage fees and observer fees. (i) If a 
Nation chooses to accept an allocation, a revolving letter of credit (L/
C) must be established and maintained to cover the poundage fees for at 
least 25 percent of the previous year's total allocation at the rate in 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section, or as determined by the Assistant 
Administrator, plus the observer fees required by paragraph (c) of this 
section. The L/C must--
    (A) Be irrevocable.
    (B) Be with a bank subscribing to ICC Pub. 290.
    (C) Designate ``Department of Commerce, NOAA'' as beneficiary;
    (D) Allow partial withdrawals.
    (E) Be confirmed by a U.S. bank.
    (ii) The customer must pay all commissions, transmission, and 
service charges. No fishing will be allowed until the L/C is 
established, and authorized written notice of its issuance is provided 
to the Assistant Administrator.
    (3) Assessment of poundage fees. Poundage fees will be assessed 
quarterly for the actual catch during January through March, April 
through June, July through September, and October through December. The 
appropriate Regional Administrator will reconcile catch figures with 
each country following the procedures of Sec. 600.511(d). When the 
catch figures are agreed upon, NOAA will present a bill for collection 
as the documentary demand for payment to the confirming bank. If, after 
45 days from the end of the quarter, catches have not been reconciled, 
the estimate of the Regional Administrator will stand and a bill will be 
issued for that amount. If necessary, the catch figures may be refined 
by the Regional Administrator during the next 60 days, and any 
modifications will be reflected in the next quarter's bill.
    (c) Observer fees. The Assistant Administrator will notify the 
owners or operators of FFV's of the estimated annual costs of placing 
observers aboard their vessels. The owners or operators of any such 
vessel must provide for repayment of those costs by including one-fourth 
of the estimated annual observer fee as determined by the Assistant 
Administrator in a L/C as prescribed in Sec. 600.518(b)(2). During the 
fiscal year, payment will be withdrawn from the L/C as required to cover 
anticipated observer coverage for the upcoming fishery. The Assistant 
Administrator will reconcile any differences between the estimated cost 
and actual costs of observer coverage within 90 days after the end of 
the fiscal year.
    (d) Financial assurances. (1) A foreign nation, or the owners and 
operators of certain vessels of that foreign nation, may be required by 
the Assistant Administrator to provide financial assurances. Such 
assurances may be required if--
    (i) Civil and criminal penalties assessed against fishing vessels of 
the Nation have not effectively deterred violations;

[[Page 93]]

    (ii) Vessels of that Nation have engaged in fishing in the EEZ 
without proper authorization to conduct such activities;
    (iii) The Nation's vessel owners have refused to answer 
administrative charges or summons to appear in court; or
    (iv) Enforcement of Magnuson-Stevens Act civil or criminal judgments 
in the courts of a foreign nation is unattainable.
    (2) The level of financial assurances will be guided by the level of 
penalties assessed and costs to the U.S. Government.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 64 
FR 39020, July 21, 1999; 66 FR 28132, May 22, 2001; 76 FR 59305, Sept. 
26, 2011]



Sec. 600.520  Northwest Atlantic Ocean fishery.

    (a) Purpose. Sections 600.520 and 600.525 regulate all foreign 
fishing conducted under a GIFA within the EEZ in the Atlantic Ocean 
north of 35[deg]00[min] N. lat.
    (b) Authorized fishery--(1) Allocations. Foreign vessels may engage 
in fishing only in accordance with applicable national allocations.
    (2) Time and area restrictions. (i) Fishing, including processing, 
scouting, and support of foreign or U.S. vessels, is prohibited south of 
35[deg]00[min] N. lat., and north and east of a line beginning at the 
shore at 44[deg]22[min] N. lat., 67[deg]52[min] W. long. and 
intersecting the boundary of the EEZ at 44[deg]11[min]12[sec] N. lat., 
67[deg]16[min]46[sec] W. long.
    (ii) The Regional Administrator will consult with the Council prior 
to giving notice of any area or time restriction. NMFS will also consult 
with the USCG if the restriction is proposed to reduce gear conflicts. 
If NMFS determines after such consultation that the restriction appears 
to be appropriate, NMFS will publish the proposed restriction in the 
Federal Register, together with a summary of the information on which 
the restriction is based. Following a 30-day comment period, NMFS will 
publish a final action.
    (iii) The Regional Administrator may rescind any restriction if he/
she determines that the basis for the restriction no longer exists.
    (iv) Any notice of restriction shall operate as a condition imposed 
on the permit issued to the foreign vessels involved in the fishery.
    (3) TALFF. The TALFFs for the fisheries of the Northwest Atlantic 
Ocean are published in the Federal Register. Current TALFFs are also 
available from the Regional Administrator.
    (4) Species definitions. The category ``other finfish'' used in 
TALFFs and in allocations includes all species except:
    (i) The other allocated species, namely: Short-finned squid, long-
finned squid, Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, river herring 
(includes alewife, blueback herring, and hickory shad), and butterfish.
    (ii) The prohibited species, namely: American plaice, American shad, 
Atlantic cod, Atlantic menhaden, Atlantic redfish, Atlantic salmon, all 
marlin, all spearfish, sailfish, swordfish, black sea bass, bluefish, 
croaker, haddock, ocean pout, pollock, red hake, scup, sea turtles, 
sharks (except dogfish), silver hake, spot, striped bass, summer 
flounder, tilefish, yellowtail flounder, weakfish, white hake, 
windowpane flounder, winter flounder, witch flounder, Continental Shelf 
fishery resources, and other invertebrates (except nonallocated squids).
    (5) Closures. The taking of any species for which a Nation has an 
allocation is permitted, provided that:
    (i) The vessels of the foreign nation have not caught the allocation 
of that Nation for any species or species group (e.g., ``other 
finfish''). When vessels of a foreign nation have caught an applicable 
allocation of any species, all further fishing other than scouting, 
processing, or support by vessels of that Nation must cease, even if 
other allocations have not been reached. Therefore, it is essential that 
foreign nations plan their fishing strategy to ensure that the reaching 
of an allocation for one species does not result in the premature 
closing of a Nation's fishery for other allocated species.
    (ii) The fishery has not been closed for other reasons under Sec. 
600.511.
    (6) Allocation utilization. Foreign fishing vessels may elect to 
retain or discard allocated species; however, the computation of 
allocation utilization and fee refunds will be based on the

[[Page 94]]

total quantity of that species that was caught. Prohibited species must 
always be returned to the sea as required under Sec. 600.509.
    (c) Fishing areas. For the purposes of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean 
fishery, fishing areas are that portion of the EEZ shown inside the 
boundaries of the ``three digit statistical areas'' described in Figure 
1 to this section.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR24JN96.000


[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]

[[Page 95]]



Sec. 600.525  Applicability of subpart F to Canadian Albacore Fishing Vessels 

off the West Coast.

    Fishing by vessels of Canada under the 1981 Treaty Between the 
Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada 
on Pacific Coast Albacore Tuna Vessels and Port Privileges is regulated 
only under this section and Sec. 600.530 of this subpart F, and is 
exempt from any other requirements of this subpart F. Regulations 
governing fishing by U.S. vessels in waters under the fisheries 
jurisdiction of the Canada more than 12 nautical miles from the baseline 
from which the territorial sea is measured are found at Sec. Sec. 
300.170-300.176 of chapter II of this title.

[69 FR 31535, June 4, 2004]



Sec. 600.530  Pacific albacore fishery.

    (a) Purpose and scope. This section regulates fishing by Canadian 
vessels under the 1981 Treaty Between the Government of the United 
States of America and the Government of Canada on Pacific Coast Albacore 
Tuna Vessels and Port Privileges as amended in 2002. Notwithstanding any 
other provision of this subpart F, fishing vessels of Canada may be 
authorized to fish in waters under the fisheries jurisdiction of the 
United States more than 12 nautical miles from the baseline from which 
the territorial sea is measured in accordance with the Treaty and this 
section, pursuant to Public Law 108-219 (118 Stat. 616; 16 U.S.C. 1821 
note).
    (b) Definitions. In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and Sec. 600.10, the 
terms used in this subpart have the following meanings:
    Fishing under the Treaty as amended in 2002 means to engage in 
fishing for albacore tuna in waters under the fisheries jurisdiction of 
the United States seaward of 12 nautical miles from the baseline from 
which the territorial sea is measured.
    Regional Administrator means the Regional Administrator, Southwest 
Region, NMFS, 501 W. Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-
4213, or a designee.
    Reporting Office means the office designated by the Regional 
Administrator to take hail-in and hail-out reports from U.S. and 
Canadian vessel operators.
    Treaty means the 1981 Treaty Between the Government of the United 
States of America and the Government of Canada on Pacific Coast Albacore 
Tuna Vessels and Port Privileges as amended in 2002.
    (c) Vessel list. A Canadian vessel is not eligible to fish for 
albacore in U.S. waters under the Treaty as amended in 2002 unless the 
vessel is on the list provided to NMFS by the Government of Canada of 
vessels authorized by Canada to fish under the Treaty as amended in 
2002.
    (d) Vessel identification. A Canadian vessel fishing under the 
Treaty as amended in 2002 must clearly display its Canadian vessel 
registration number followed by the letter C in the same height and size 
as the numerals, consistent with Canadian vessel marking requirements.
    (e) Hail-in reports. The operator of a Canadian Vessel eligible to 
fish for albacore in U.S. waters under the Treaty as amended in 2002 
must file a hail-in report with the Reporting Office at least 24 hours 
prior to beginning any such fishing.
    (f) Hail-out Reports. The operator of a Canadian vessel that has 
been fishing in U.S. waters under the Treaty as amended in 2002 must 
file a hail-out report with the Reporting Office at least 24 hours prior 
to exiting from U.S. waters.
    (g) Prohibitions. It is prohibited for the operator of a Canadian 
vessel to engage in fishing in U.S. waters if the vessel:
    (1) Is not on the vessel list in paragraph (c) of this section;
    (2) Has not filed a hail-in report to advise of an intent to fish 
under the Treaty as amended in 2002 prior to engaging in such fishing; 
or
    (3) Is not clearly marked in accordance with paragraph (d) of this 
section.

[69 FR 31535, June 4, 2004]

[[Page 96]]



      Subpart G_Preemption of State Authority Under Section 306(b)



Sec. 600.605  General policy.

    It is the policy of the Secretary that preemption proceedings will 
be conducted expeditiously. The administrative law judge and counsel or 
other representative for each party are encouraged to make every effort 
at each stage of the proceedings to avoid delay.



Sec. 600.610  Factual findings for Federal preemption.

    (a) The two factual findings for Federal preemption of state 
management authority over a fishery are:
    (1) The fishing in a fishery that is covered by an FMP implemented 
under the Magnuson-Stevens Act is engaged in predominately within the 
EEZ and beyond such zone.
    (2) A state has taken any action, or omitted to take any action, the 
results of which will substantially and adversely affect the carrying 
out of such FMP.
    (b) Whether fishing is engaged in ``predominately'' within or beyond 
the EEZ will be determined after consideration of relevant factors, 
including but not limited to, the catch (based on numbers, value, or 
weight of fish caught, or other relevant factors) or fishing effort 
during the appropriate period, and in light of historical patterns of 
the distribution of catch or fishing effort for such stock or stocks of 
fish.
    (c) Whether relevant effects are substantial will be determined 
after consideration of the magnitude of such actual or potential 
effects. Relevant to this determination are various factors, including 
but not limited to, the proportion of the fishery (stock or stocks of 
fish and fishing for such stocks) that is subject to the effects of a 
particular state's action or omission, the characteristics and status 
(including migratory patterns and biological condition) of the stock or 
stocks of fish in the fishery, and the similarity or dissimilarity 
between the goals, objectives, or policies of the state's action or 
omission and the management goals or objectives specified in the FMP for 
the fishery or between the state and Federal conservation and management 
measures of the fishery.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.615  Commencement of proceedings.

    (a) Notice of proposed preemption. (1) If a proceeding under this 
part is deemed necessary, the Administrator must issue a notice of 
proposed preemption to the Attorney General of the State or States 
concerned. The notice will contain:
    (i) A recital of the legal authority and jurisdiction for 
instituting the proceeding.
    (ii) A concise statement of the Sec. 600.610 factual findings for 
Federal preemption upon which the notice is based.
    (iii) The time, place, and date of the hearing.
    (2) The notice of proposed preemption will also be published in the 
Federal Register. This notification may be combined with any notice of 
proposed rulemaking published under paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
    (b) Response. The state will have the opportunity to respond in 
writing to the notice of proposed preemption.
    (c) Amendment. The Administrator may, at any time prior to the 
Secretary's decision, withdraw the notice of proposed preemption. Upon 
motion of either party before the record is closed, the administrative 
law judge may amend the notice of proposed preemption.
    (d) Proposed regulations--(1) In general. If additional regulations 
are required to govern fishing within the boundaries of a state, the 
Administrator may publish proposed regulations in the Federal Register 
concurrently with issuing the notification indicated in paragraph (a) of 
this section.
    (2) Emergency actions. Nothing in this section will prevent the 
Secretary from taking emergency action under section 305(c) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.620  Rules pertaining to the hearing.

    (a) The civil procedure rules of the NOAA currently set forth in 15 
CFR

[[Page 97]]

part 904, subpart C (or as subsequently amended), apply to the 
proceeding after its commencement by service of notice (pursuant to 
Sec. 600.615) and prior to the Secretary's decision (Sec. 600.625), 
except that the following sections will not apply:
    (1) 15 CFR 904.201 (Definitions);
    (2) 15 CFR 904.206(a)(1) (Duties and powers of Judge); and
    (3) 15 CFR 904.272 (Administrative review of decision).
    (b) Additional duties and powers of judge--(1) Time periods. The 
administrative law judge is authorized to modify all time periods 
pertaining to the course of the hearing (under Sec. Sec. 600.615 and 
600.620) to expedite the proceedings, upon application and appropriate 
showing of need or emergency circumstances by a party.
    (2) Intervention. Intervention by persons not parties is not 
allowed.



Sec. 600.625  Secretary's decision.

    (a) The Secretary will, on the basis of the hearing, record the 
administrative law judge's recommended decision:
    (1) Accept or reject any of the findings or conclusions of the 
administrative law judge and decide whether the factual findings exist 
for Federal preemption of a state's authority within its boundaries 
(other than in its internal waters) with respect to the fishery in 
question;
    (2) Reserve decision on the merits or withdraw the notice of 
proposed preemption; or
    (3) Remand the case to the administrative law judge for further 
proceedings as may be appropriate, along with a statement of reasons for 
the remand.
    (b) Notification. (1) If the factual findings for Federal preemption 
are determined to exist, the Secretary will notify in writing the 
Attorney General of that state and the appropriate Council(s) of the 
preemption of that state's authority. The Secretary will also direct the 
Administrator to promulgate appropriate regulations proposed under Sec. 
600.615(d) and otherwise to begin regulating the fishery within the 
state's boundaries (other than in its internal waters).
    (2) If the factual findings for Federal preemption are determined 
not to exist, the Secretary will notify, in writing, the Attorney 
General of the state and the appropriate Council(s) of that 
determination. The Secretary will also direct the Administrator to issue 
a notice withdrawing any regulations proposed under Sec. 600.615(d).



Sec. 600.630  Application for reinstatement of state authority.

    (a) Application or notice. (1) At any time after the promulgation of 
regulations under Sec. 600.625(b)(1) to regulate a fishery within a 
state's boundaries, the affected state may apply to the Secretary for 
reinstatement of state authority. The Secretary may also serve upon such 
state a notice of intent to terminate such Federal regulation. A state's 
application must include a clear and concise statement of:
    (i) The action taken by the State to correct the action or omission 
found to have substantially and adversely affected the carrying out of 
the FMP; or
    (ii) Any changed circumstances that affect the relationship of the 
state's action or omission to take action to the carrying out of the FMP 
(including any amendment to such plan); and
    (iii) Any laws, regulations, or other materials that the state 
believes support the application.
    (2) Any such application received by the Secretary or notice issued 
to the State will be published in the Federal Register.
    (b) Informal response. The Secretary has sole discretion to accept 
or reject the application or response. If the Secretary accepts the 
application or rejects any responses and finds that the reasons for 
regulation of the fishery within the boundaries of the state no longer 
prevail, the Secretary will promptly terminate such regulation and 
publish in the Federal Register any regulatory amendments necessary to 
accomplish that end.
    (c) Hearing. The Secretary has sole discretion to direct the 
Administrator to schedule hearings for the receipt of evidence by an 
administrative law judge. Hearings before the administrative law judge 
to receive such evidence will be conducted in accordance with Sec. 
600.620. Upon conclusion of such hearings, the administrative law judge 
will certify the record and a recommended

[[Page 98]]

decision to the Secretary. If the Secretary, upon consideration of the 
state's application or any response to the notice published under Sec. 
600.630(a)(2), the hearing record, the recommended decision, and any 
other relevant materials finds that the reasons for regulation of the 
fishery within the boundaries of the state no longer prevail, the 
Secretary will promptly terminate such regulation and publish in the 
Federal Register any regulatory amendments necessary to accomplish that 
end.



           Subpart H_General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries



Sec. 600.705  Relation to other laws.

    (a) General. Persons affected by these regulations should be aware 
that other Federal and state statutes and regulations may apply to their 
activities. Vessel operators may wish to refer to USCG regulations found 
in the Code of Federal Regulations title 33--Navigation and Navigable 
Waters and 46--Shipping; 15 CFR part 904, subpart D--Permit Sanctions 
and Denials; and title 43--Public Lands (in regard to marine 
sanctuaries).
    (b) State responsibilities. Certain responsibilities relating to 
data collection and enforcement may be performed by authorized state 
personnel under a state/Federal agreement for data collection and a 
tripartite agreement among the state, the USCG, and the Secretary for 
enforcement.
    (c) Submarine cables. Fishing vessel operators must exercise due 
care in the conduct of fishing activities near submarine cables. Damage 
to the submarine cables resulting from intentional acts or from the 
failure to exercise due care in the conduct of fishing operations 
subjects the fishing vessel operator to the criminal penalties 
prescribed by the Submarine Cable Act (47 U.S.C. 21) which implements 
the International Convention for the Protection of Submarine Cables. 
Fishing vessel operators also should be aware that the Submarine Cable 
Act prohibits fishing operations at a distance of less than 1 nautical 
mile (1.85 km) from a vessel engaged in laying or repairing a submarine 
cable; or at a distance of less than 0.25 nautical mile (0.46 km) from a 
buoy or buoys intended to mark the position of a cable when being laid 
or when out of order or broken.
    (d) Marine mammals. Regulations governing exemption permits and the 
recordkeeping and reporting of the incidental take of marine mammals are 
set forth in part 229 of this title.
    (e) Halibut fishing. Fishing for halibut is governed by regulations 
of the International Pacific Halibut Commission set forth at part 300 of 
this title.
    (f) Marine sanctuaries. All fishing activity, regardless of species 
sought, is prohibited under 15 CFR part 924 in the U.S.S. Monitor Marine 
Sanctuary, which is located approximately 15 miles southwest of Cape 
Hatteras off the coast of North Carolina.



Sec. 600.710  Permits.

    Regulations pertaining to permits required for certain fisheries are 
set forth in the parts of this chapter governing those fisheries.



Sec. 600.715  Recordkeeping and reporting.

    Regulations pertaining to records and reports required for certain 
fisheries are set forth in the parts of this chapter governing those 
fisheries.



Sec. 600.720  Vessel and gear identification.

    Regulations pertaining to special vessel and gear markings required 
for certain fisheries are set forth in the parts of this chapter 
governing those fisheries.



Sec. 600.725  General prohibitions.

    It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:
    (a) Possess, have custody or control of, ship, transport, offer for 
sale, sell, purchase, land, import, or export, any fish or parts thereof 
taken or retained in violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act or any other 
statute administered by NOAA and/or any regulation or permit issued 
under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (b) Transfer or attempt to transfer, directly or indirectly, any 
U.S.-harvested fish to any foreign fishing vessel, while such vessel is 
in the EEZ, unless the foreign fishing vessel has been issued a permit 
under section 204 of the

[[Page 99]]

Magnuson-Stevens Act, which authorizes the receipt by such vessel of 
U.S.- harvested fish.
    (c) Fail to comply immediately with enforcement and boarding 
procedures specified in Sec. 600.730.
    (d) Refuse to allow an authorized officer to board a fishing vessel 
or to enter areas of custody for purposes of conducting any search, 
inspection, or seizure in connection with the enforcement of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act or any other statute administered by NOAA.
    (e) Dispose of fish or parts thereof or other matter in any manner, 
after any communication or signal from an authorized officer, or after 
the approach by an authorized officer or an enforcement vessel or 
aircraft.
    (f) Assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, threaten, or 
interfere with any authorized officer in the conduct of any search, 
inspection, or seizure in connection with enforcement of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act or any other statute administered by NOAA.
    (g) Interfere with, delay, or prevent by any means, the apprehension 
of another person, knowing that such person has committed any act 
prohibited by the Magnuson-Stevens Act or any other statute administered 
by NOAA.
    (h) Resist a lawful arrest for any act prohibited under the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act or any other statute administered by NOAA.
    (i) Make any false statement, oral or written, to an authorized 
officer concerning the taking, catching, harvesting, landing, purchase, 
sale, offer of sale, possession, transport, import, export, or transfer 
of any fish, or attempts to do any of the above.
    (j) Interfere with, obstruct, delay, or prevent by any means an 
investigation, search, seizure, or disposition of seized property in 
connection with enforcement of the Magnuson-Stevens Act or any other 
statute administered by NOAA.
    (k) Fish in violation of the terms or conditions of any permit or 
authorization issued under the Magnuson-Stevens Act or any other statute 
administered by NOAA.
    (l) Fail to report catches as required while fishing pursuant to an 
exempted fishing permit.
    (m) On a scientific research vessel, engage in fishing other than 
recreational fishing authorized by applicable state or Federal 
regulations.
    (n) Trade, barter, or sell; or attempt to trade, barter, or sell 
fish possessed or retained while fishing pursuant to an authorization 
for an exempted educational activity.
    (o) Harass or sexually harass an authorized officer or an observer.
    (p) Fail to show proof of passing the USCG Commercial Fishing Vessel 
Safety Examination or the alternate NMFS safety equipment examination, 
or fail to maintain the vessel safety conditions necessary to pass the 
examination, when required by NMFS pursuant to Sec. 600.746.
    (q) Fail to display a Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examination 
decal or a valid certificate of compliance or inspection pursuant to 
Sec. 600.746.
    (r) Fail to provide to an observer, a NMFS employee, or a designated 
observer provider information that has been requested pursuant to Sec. 
600.746, or fail to allow an observer, a NMFS employee, or a designated 
observer provider to inspect any item described at Sec. 600.746.
    (s) Fish without an observer when the vessel is required to carry an 
observer.
    (t) Assault, oppose, impede, intimidate, or interfere with a NMFS-
approved observer.
    (u)(1) Prohibit or bar by command, impediment, threat, coercion, 
interference, or refusal of reasonable assistance, an observer from 
conducting his or her duties as an observer; or
    (2) Tamper with or destroy samples or equipment.
    (v) The use of any gear or participation in a fishery not on the 
following list of authorized fisheries and gear is prohibited after 
December 1, 1999. A fish, regardless whether targeted, may be retained 
only if it is taken within a listed fishery, is taken with a gear 
authorized for that fishery, and is taken in conformance with all other 
applicable regulations. Listed gear can only be used in a manner that is 
consistent with existing laws and regulations. The list of fisheries and 
authorized gear does not, in any way, alter or supersede

[[Page 100]]

any definitions or regulations contained elsewhere in this chapter. A 
person or vessel is prohibited from engaging in fishing or employing 
fishing gear when such fishing gear is prohibited or restricted by 
regulation under an FMP or other applicable law. However, after December 
1, 1999, an individual fisherman may notify the appropriate Council, or 
the Director, in the case of Atlantic highly migratory species, of the 
intent to use a gear or participate in a fishery not already on the 
list. Ninety days after such notification, the individual may use the 
gear or participate in that fishery unless regulatory action is taken to 
prohibit the use of the gear or participate in the fishery (e.g., 
through emergency or interim regulations). The list of authorized 
fisheries and gear is as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Fishery                       Authorized gear types
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            I. New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1. Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery (FMP):
    A. Dredge fishery....................  A. Dredge.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Hand harvest fishery..............  C. Hand harvest.
    D. Recreational fishery..............  D. Hand harvest.
 2. Iceland Scallop Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Dredge fishery....................  A. Dredge.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
 3. Atlantic Salmon Fishery (FMP)          No harvest or possession in
                                            the EEZ.
 4. Striped Bass Fishery (Non-FMP)         No harvest or possession in
                                            the EEZ.
 5. Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery
 (FMP):
    A. NE multispecies sink gillnet        A. Gillnet.
     fishery.
    B. North Atlantic bottom trawl         B. Trawl.
     fishery.
    C. Groundfish hook and line fishery..  C. Longline, handline, rod
                                            and reel.
    D. Mixed species trap and pot fishery  D. Trap, pot.
    E. Dredge fishery....................  E. Dredge.
    F. Seine fishery.....................  F. Seine.
    G. Recreational fishery..............  G. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            spear.
 6. American Lobster Fishery (FMP):
    A. Lobster pot and trap fishery......  A. Pot, trap.
    B. North Atlantic bottom trawl         B. Trawl.
     fishery.
    C. Dredge fishery....................  C. Dredge.
    D. Hand harvest fishery..............  D. Hand harvest.
    E. Gillnet fishery...................  E. Gillnet.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Pot, trap, hand harvest.
 7. Atlantic Herring Fishery (FMP):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Purse seine fishery...............  B. Purse seine.
    C. Gillnet fishery...................  C. Gillnet.
    D. Herring pair trawl fishery........  D. Pair trawl.
    E. Dredge fishery....................  E. Dredge.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Hook and line, gillnet.
 8. Spiny Dogfish Fishery (FMP jointly
 managed by MAFMC and NEFMC):
    A. Gillnet fishery...................  A. Gillnet.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Hook and line fishery.............  C. Hook and line, rod and
                                            reel, spear.
    D. Dredge fishery....................  D. Dredge.
    E. Longline fishery..................  E. Longline.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Hook and line, rod and
                                            reel, spear.
 9. Atlantic Bluefish Fishery (FMP
 managed by MAFMC):
    A. Pelagic longline and hook and line  A. Longline, handline.
     fishery.
    B. Seine fishery.....................  B. Purse seine, seine.
    C. Mixed species pot and trap fishery  C. Pot, trap.
    D. Bluefish, croaker, flounder trawl   D. Trawl.
     fishery.
    E. Gillnet fishery...................  E. Gillnet.
    F. Dredge fishery....................  F. Dredge.
    G. Recreational fishery..............  G. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            trap, pot, spear.
10. Atlantic Mackerel, Squid and
 Butterfish Fishery (FMP managed by the
 MAFMC):
    A. Mackerel, squid, and butterfish     A. Trawl.
     trawl fishery.
    B. Gillnet fishery...................  B. Gillnet.
    C. Longline and hook-and-line fishery  C. Longline, handline, rod
                                            and reel.
    D. Purse seine fishery...............  D. Purse seine.
    E. Mixed species pot and trap fishery  E. Pot, trap.
    F. Dredge fishery....................  F. Dredge.
    G. Dip net fishery...................  G. Dip net.

[[Page 101]]

 
    H. Bandit gear fishery...............  H. Bandit gear.
    I. Recreational fishery..............  I. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            pot, spear.
11. Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog Fishery
 (FMP managed by the MAFMC):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Dredge, hand harvest.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Hand harvest.
12. Atlantic Menhaden Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Purse seine fishery...............  A. Purse seine.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Gillnet fishery...................  C. Gillnet.
    D. Commercial hook-and-line fishery..  D. Hook and line.
    E. Recreational fishery..............  E. Hook and line, snagging,
                                            cast nets.
13. Weakfish Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Trawl, gillnet, hook and
                                            line.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Hook and line, spear.
14. Atlantic Mussel and Sea Urchin
 Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Dredge fishery....................  A. Dredge.
    B. Hand harvest fishery..............  B. Hand harvest.
    C. Recreational fishery..............  C. Hand harvest.
15. Atlantic Skate Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Gillnet fishery...................  B. Gillnet.
    C. Hook-and-line fishery.............  C. Longline and handline.
    D. Dredge fishery....................  D. Dredge.
    E. Recreational fishery..............  E. Rod and reel.
16. Crab Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Dredge fishery....................  A. Dredge.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Trap and pot fishery..............  C. Trap, pot.
17. Northern Shrimp Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Shrimp trawl fishery..............  A. Trawl.
    B. Shrimp pot fishery................  B. Pot.
18. Monkfish Fishery (FMP jointly managed
 by NEFMC and MAFMC):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Gillnet fishery...................  B. Gillnet.
    C. Longline fishery..................  C. Longline.
    D. Dredge fishery....................  D. Dredge.
    E. Trap and pot fishery..............  E. Trap, pot.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Rod and reel, spear.
19. Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass
 Fishery (FMP managed by MAFMC):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Longline and hook and line fishery  B. Longline, handline.
    C. Mixed species pot and trap fishery  C. Pot, trap.
    D. Gillnet fishery...................  D. Gillnet.
    E. Dredge fishery....................  E. Dredge.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            pot, trap, spear.
20. Hagfish Fishery (Non-FMP)              Trap, pot.
21. Tautog Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Gillnet fishery...................  A. Gillnet.
    B. Pot and trap fishery..............  B. Pot, trap.
    C. Rod and reel, hook and line         C. Rod and reel, handline,
     fishery.                               hook and line.
    D. Trawl fishery.....................  D. Trawl.
    E. Spear fishery.....................  E. Spear.
    F. Fyke net fishery..................  F. Fyke net.
    G. Recreational fishery..............  G. Rod and reel, hook and
                                            line, handline, spear.
22. Recreational Fishery (Non-FMP)         Rod and reel, handline,
                                            spear, hook and line, hand
                                            harvest, bandit gear,
                                            powerhead, gillnet, cast
                                            net, pot, trap, dip net,
                                            bully net, snare.
23. Commercial Fishery (Non-FMP)           Trawl, pot, trap, gillnet,
                                            pound net, dredge, seine,
                                            handline, longline, hook and
                                            line, rod and reel, hand
                                            harvest, purse seine, spear,
                                            bandit gear, powerhead, dip
                                            net, bully net, snare, cast
                                            net, barrier net, slurp gun,
                                            allowable chemicals.
24. Dolphin/wahoo fishery (FMP managed by  Automatic reel, bandit gear,
 SAFMC)                                     handline, pelagic longline,
                                            rod and reel, spear
                                            (including powerheads).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           II. Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1. Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass
 Fishery (FMP):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Pelagic longline and hook and line  B. Longline, handline, rod
     fishery.                               and reel.
    C. Mixed species pot and trap fishery  C. Pot, trap.

[[Page 102]]

 
    D. Gillnet fishery...................  D. Gillnet.
    E. Dredge fishery....................  E. Dredge.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            pot, trap, spear.
 2. Atlantic Bluefish Fishery (FMP):
    A. Bluefish, croaker, and flounder     A. Trawl.
     trawl fishery.
    B. Pelagic longline and hook and line  B. Longline, handline, bandit
     fishery.                               gear, rod and reel.
    C. Mixed species pot and trap fishery  C. Pot, trap.
    D. Gillnet fishery...................  D. Gillnet.
    E. Seine fishery.....................  E. Purse seine, seine.
    F. Dredge fishery....................  F. Dredge.
    G. Recreational fishery..............  G. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            trap, pot, spear.
 3. Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and
 Butterfish Fishery (FMP):
    A. Mackerel, squid, and butterfish     A. Trawl.
     trawl fishery.
    B. Gillnet fishery...................  B. Gillnet.
    C. Longline and hook-and-line fishery  C. Longline, handline, rod
                                            and reel.
    D. Purse seine fishery...............  D. Purse seine.
    E. Mixed species pot and trap fishery  E. Pot, trap.
    F. Dredge fishery....................  F. Dredge.
    G. Dip net fishery...................  G. Dip net.
    H. Bandit gear fishery...............  H. Bandit gear.
    I. Recreational fishery..............  I. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            pot, spear.
 4. Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog Fishery
 (FMP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Dredge, hand harvest.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Hand harvest.
 5. Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery (FMP
 managed by NEFMC):
    A. Dredge fishery....................  A. Dredge.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Hand harvest fishery..............  C. Hand harvest.
    D. Recreational fishery..............  D. Hand harvest.
 6. Atlantic Menhaden Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Purse seine fishery...............  A. Purse seine.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Gillnet fishery...................  C. Gillnet.
    D. Commercial hook-and-line fishery..  D. Hook and line.
    E. Recreational fishery..............  E. Hook and line, snagging,
                                            cast nets.
 7. Striped Bass Fishery (Non-FMP)         No harvest or possession in
                                            the EEZ.
 8. Northern Shrimp Trawl Fishery (Non-    Trawl.
 FMP)
 9. American Lobster Fishery (FMP managed
 by NEFMC):
    A. Pot and trap fishery..............  A. Pot, trap.
    B. Hand harvest fishery..............  B. Hand harvest.
    C. Trawl fishery.....................  C. Trawl.
    D. Dredge fishery....................  D. Dredge.
    E. Gillnet fishery...................  E. Gillnet.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Pot, trap, hand harvest.
10. Weakfish Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Trawl, gillnet, hook and
                                            line, rod and reel.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Hook and line, spear.
11. Whelk Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Pot and trap fishery..............  B. Pot, trap.
    C. Dredge............................  C. Dredge.
    D. Pound net, gillnet, seine.........  D. Pound net, gillnet, seine.
    E. Recreational fishery..............  E. Hand harvest.
12. Monkfish Fishery (FMP jointly managed
 by NEFMC and MAFMC):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Longline fishery..................  B. Longline, rod and reel.
    C. Gillnet fishery...................  C. Gillnet.
    D. Dredge fishery....................  D. Dredge.
    E. Trap and pot fishery..............  E. Trap and pot.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Rod and reel, spear.
13. Tilefish Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Groundfish hook-and-line fishery..  A. Longline, handline, rod
                                            and fishery reel.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Recreational fishery..............  C. Rod and reel, spear.
14. Spiny Dogfish Fishery (FMP jointly
 managed by MAFMC and NEFMC):
    A. Gillnet fishery...................  A. Gillnet.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Hook and line fishery.............  C. Hook and line, rod and
                                            reel, spear.
    D. Dredge fishery....................  D. Dredge.
    E. Longline fishery..................  E. Longline.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Hook and line, rod and
                                            reel, spear.
15. Tautog Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Gillnet fishery...................  A. Gillnet.

[[Page 103]]

 
    B. Pot and trap fishery..............  B. Pot, trap.
    C. Rod and reel, hook and line         C. Rod and reel, hook and
     handline fishery.                      line, handline.
    D. Trawl fishery.....................  D. Trawl.
    E. Spear fishery.....................  E. Spear.
    F. Fyke net fishery..................  F. Fyke net.
    G. Recreational fishery..............  G. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            hook and line, spear.
16. Coastal Gillnet Fishery (Non-FMP)      Gillnet
17. Recreational Fishery (Non-FMP)         Rod and reel, handline,
                                            spear, hook and line, hand
                                            harvest, bandit gear,
                                            powerhead, gillnet, cast
                                            net.
18. NE Multispecies Fishery (FMP managed
 by NEFMC):
    A. NE multispecies sink gillnet        A. Gillnet.
     fishery.
    B. North Atlantic bottom trawl         B. Trawl.
     fishery.
    C. Groundfish hook and line..........  C. Longline, handline, rod
                                            and fishery reel.
    D. Mixed species trap and pot fishery  D. Trap, pot.
    E. Dredge fishery....................  E. Dredge.
    F. Seine fishery.....................  F. Seine.
    G. Recreational fishery..............  G. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            spear.
19. Atlantic Skate Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Gillnet fishery...................  B. Gillnet.
    C. Hook-and-line fishery.............  C. Longline and handline.
    D. Dredge fishery....................  D. Dredge.
    E. Recreational fishery..............  E. Rod and reel.
20. Crab Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Dredge fishery....................  A. Dredge.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Trap and pot fishery..............  C. Trap, pot.
21. Atlantic Herring Fishery (FMP managed
 by the NEFMC):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Purse seine fishery...............  B. Purse seine.
    C. Gillnet fishery...................  C. Gillnet.
    D. Herring pair trawl fishery........  D. Pair trawl.
    E. Dredge fishery....................  E. Dredge.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Hook and line, gillnet.
22. South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper
 Fishery (FMP managed by the SAFMC):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Longline, rod and reel,
                                            bandit gear, handline,
                                            spear, powerhead.
    B. Black sea bass trap and pot         B. Pot, trap.
     fishery.
    C. Wreckfish fishery.................  C. Rod and reel, bandit gear,
                                            handline.
    D. Recreational fishery..............  D. Handline, rod and reel,
                                            bandit gear, spear,
                                            powerhead.
23. South Atlantic Coastal Migratory
 Pelagics Fishery (FMP managed by the
 SAFMC):
    A. Commercial Spanish mackerel         A. Handline, rod and reel,
     fishery.                               bandit gear, gillnet, cast
                                            net.
    B. Commercial king mackerel fishery..  B. Handline, rod and reel,
                                            bandit gear.
    C. Other commercial coastal migratory  C. Longline, handline, rod
     pelagics fishery.                      and reel, bandit gear.
    D. Recreational fishery..............  D. Bandit gear, rod and reel,
                                            handline, spear.
24. Calico Scallops Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Dredge fishery....................  B. Dredge.
    C. Recreational fishery..............  C. Hand harvest.
25. Sargassum Fishery (Non-FMP)            Trawl.
26. South Atlantic Shrimp Fishery (FMP)    Trawl.
27. Commercial Fishery (Non-FMP)           Trawl, pot, trap, gillnet,
                                            pound net, dredge, seine,
                                            handline, longline, hook and
                                            line, rod and reel, spear.
28. Dolphin/wahoo fishery (FMP managed by  Automatic reel, bandit gear,
 SAFMC)                                     handline, pelagic longline,
                                            rod and reel, spear
                                            (including powerheads).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
             III. South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1. Golden Crab Fishery (FMP)              Trap.
 2. Crab Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Dredge fishery....................  A. Dredge.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Trap and pot fishery..............  C. Trap, pot.
 3. Atlantic Red Drum Fishery (FMP)        No harvest or possession in
                                            the EEZ.
 4. Coral and Coral Reef Fishery (FMP):
    A. Octocoral commercial fishery......  Hand harvest.
    B. Live rock aquaculture fishery.....  Hand harvest.
 5. South Atlantic Shrimp Fishery (FMP)    Trawl.

[[Page 104]]

 
 6. South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper
 Fishery (FMP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Longline, rod and reel,
                                            bandit gear, handline,
                                            spear, powerhead.
    B. Black sea bass pot fishery........  B. Pot.
    C. Wreckfish fishery.................  C. Rod and reel, bandit gear,
                                            handline.
    D. Recreational fishery..............  D. Handline, rod and reel,
                                            bandit gear, spear,
                                            powerhead.
 7. South Atlantic Spiny Lobster Fishery
 (FMP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Trap, pot, dip net, bully
                                            net, snare, hand harvest.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Trap, pot, dip net, bully
                                            net, snare, hand harvest.
 8. South Atlantic Coastal Migratory
 Pelagics Fishery (FMP):
    A. Commercial Spanish mackerel         A. Handline, rod and reel,
     fishery.                               bandit gear, gillnet, cast
                                            net.
    B. Commercial king mackerel fishery..  B. Handline, rod and reel,
                                            bandit gear.
    C. Other commercial coastal migratory  C. Longline, handline, rod
     pelagics fishery.                      and reel, bandit gear.
    D. Recreational fishery..............  D. Bandit gear, rod and reel,
                                            handline, spear.
 9. Spiny Dogfish Fishery (FMP jointly
 managed by NEFMC and SAFMC):
    A. Gillnet fishery...................  A. Gillnet.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Hook and line fishery.............  C. Hook and line, rod and
                                            reel, spear, bandit gear.
    D. Dredge fishery....................  D. Dredge.
    E. Longline fishery..................  E. Longline.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Hook and line, rod and
                                            reel, spear.
10. Smooth Dogfish Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Gillnet fishery...................  A. Gillnet.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Hook and line fishery.............  C. Hook and line, rod and
                                            reel, spear, bandit gear.
    D. Dredge fishery....................  D. Dredge.
    E. Longline fishery..................  E. Longline.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Hook and line, rod and
                                            reel, spear.
11. Atlantic Menhaden Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Purse seine fishery...............  A. Purse seine.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Gillnet fishery...................  C. Gillnet.
    D. Commercial hook-and-line..........  D. Hook and line fishery.
    E. Recreational fishery..............  E. Hook and line, snagging,
                                            cast nets.
12. Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and          Trawl.
 Butterfish Trawl Fishery (Non-FMP)
13. Bait Fisheries (Non-FMP)               Purse seine.
14. Weakfish Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Trawl, gillnet, hook and
                                            line.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Hook and line, spear.
15. Whelk Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Pot and trap fishery..............  B. Pot, trap.
    C. Dredge fishery....................  C. Dredge.
    D. Recreational fishery..............  D. Hand harvest.
16. Marine Life Aquarium Fishery (Non-     Dip net, slurp gun, barrier
 FMP)                                       net, drop net, allowable
                                            chemical, trap, pot, trawl.
17. Calico Scallop Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Dredge fishery....................  A. Dredge.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
    C. Recreational fishery..............  C. Hand harvest.
18. Summer Flounder Fishery (FMP managed
 by MAFMC):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Trawl, longline, handline,
                                            rod and reel, pot, trap,
                                            gillnet, dredge.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            pot, trap, spear.
19. Bluefish, Croaker, and Flounder Trawl  Trawl, gillnet.
 and Gillnet Fishery (Bluefish FMP
 managed by MAFMC)
20. Commercial Fishery (Non-FMP)           Trawl, gillnet, longline,
                                            handline, hook and line, rod
                                            and reel, bandit gear, cast
                                            net, pot, trap, lampara net,
                                            spear.
21. Recreational Fishery (Non-FMP)         Rod and reel, handline,
                                            spear, hook and line, hand
                                            harvest, bandit gear,
                                            powerhead, gillnet, cast
                                            net.
22. Sargassum Fishery (Non-FMP)            Trawl.
23. Octopus Fishery (Non-FMP)              Trap, pot.
24. Dolphin/wahoo fishery (FMP)            Automatic reel, bandit gear,
                                            handline, pelagic longline,
                                            rod and reel, spear
                                            (including powerheads).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              IV. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1. Gulf of Mexico Red Drum Fishery (FMP)  No harvest or possession in
                                            the EEZ.
 2. Coral Reef Fishery (FMP):

[[Page 105]]

 
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Hand harvest.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Hand harvest.
 3. Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Fishery
 (FMP):
    A. Snapper-Grouper reef fish longline  A. Longline, handline, bandit
     and hook and line fishery.             gear, rod and reel, buoy
                                            gear.
    B. Other commercial fishery..........  B. Spear, powerhead, cast
                                            net, trawl.
    C. Recreational fishery..............  C. Spear, powerhead, bandit
                                            gear, handline, rod reel,
                                            cast net.
 4. Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Fishery (FMP):
    A. Gulf of Mexico commercial fishery.  A. Trawl butterfly net,
                                            skimmer, cast net.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Trawl.
 5. Gulf of Mexico Coastal Migratory
 Pelagics Fishery (FMP):
    A. Large pelagics longline fishery...  A. Longline.
    B. King/Spanish mackerel gillnet       B. Gillnet.
     fishery.
    C. Pelagic hook and line fishery.....  C. Bandit gear, handline, rod
                                            and reel.
    D. Pelagic species purse seine         D. Purse seine.
     fishery.
    E. Recreational fishery..............  E. Bandit gear, handline, rod
                                            and reel, spear.
 Gulf of Mexico Spiny Lobster Fishery
 (FMP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Trap, pot, dip net, bully
                                            net, hoop net, trawl, snare,
                                            hand harvest.
    C. Recreational fishery..............  C. Dip net, bully net, pot,
                                            trap, snare, hand harvest.
 6. Stone Crab Fishery (FMP):
    A. Trap and pot fishery..............  A. Trap, pot
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Trap, pot, hand harvest.
 7. Blue Crab Fishery (Non-FMP)            Trap, pot.
 8. Golden Crab Fishery (Non-FMP)          Trap.
 9. Mullet Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Trawl fishery.....................  A. Trawl.
    B. Gillnet fishery...................  B. Gillnet.
    C. Pair trawl fishery................  C. Pair trawl.
    D. Cast net fishery..................  D. Cast net.
    E. Recreational fishery..............  E. Bandit gear, handline, rod
                                            and reel, spear, cast net.
10. Inshore Coastal Gillnet Fishery (Non-  Gillnet.
 FMP)
11. Octopus Fishery (Non-FMP)              Trap, pot.
12. Marine Life Aquarium Fishery (Non-     Dip net, slurp gun, barrier
 FMP)                                       net, drop net, allowable
                                            chemical, trap, pot, trawl.
13. Coastal Herring Trawl Fishery (Non-    Trawl.
 FMP)
14. Butterfish Trawl Fishery (Non-FMP)     Trawl.
15. Gulf of Mexico Groundfish (Non-FMP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Trawl, purse seine,
                                            gillnet.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Hook and line, rod and
                                            reel, spear.
16. Gulf of Mexico Menhaden Purse Seine    Purse seine.
 Fishery (Non-FMP)
17. Sardine Purse Seine Fishery (Non-FMP)  Purse seine.
18. Oyster Fishery (Non-FMP)               Dredge, tongs.
19. Commercial Fishery (Non-FMP)           Trawl, gillnet, hook and
                                            line, longline, handline,
                                            rod and reel, bandit gear,
                                            cast net, lampara net,
                                            spear.
20. Recreational Fishery (Non-FMP)         Bandit gear, handline, rod
                                            and reel, spear, bully net,
                                            gillnet, dip net, longline,
                                            powerhead, seine, slurp gun,
                                            trap, trawl, harpoon, cast
                                            net, hoop net, hook and
                                            line, hand harvest.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 V. Caribbean Fishery Management Council
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1. Caribbean Spiny Lobster Fishery
 (FMP):
    A. Trap/pot fishery..................  A. Trap/pot.
    B. Dip net fishery...................  B. Dip net.
    C. Hand harvest fishery..............  C. Hand harvest, snare.
    D. Recreational fishery..............  D. Dip net, trap, pot.
 2. Caribbean Reef Fish Fishery (FMP):
    A. Longline/hook and line fishery....  A. Longline, hook and line.
    B. Trap/pot fishery..................  B. Trap, pot.
    C. Recreational fishery..............  C. Dip net, handline, rod and
                                            reel, slurp gun, spear.
    D. Other commercial fishery..........  D. Spear.
 3. Coral and Reef Resources Fishery
 (FMP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Dip net, slurp gun.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Dip net, slurp gun, hand
                                            harvest.
 4. Queen Conch Fishery (FMP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Hand harvest.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Hand harvest.
 5. Caribbean Pelagics Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Pelagics drift gillnet fishery....  A. Gillnet.
    B. Pelagics longline/hook and line     B. Longline/hook and line.
     fishery.
    C. Recreational fishery..............  C. Spear, handline, longline,
                                            rod and reel.

[[Page 106]]

 
 6. Commercial Fishery (Non-FMP)           Trawl, gillnet, hook and
                                            line, longline, handline,
                                            rod and reel, bandit gear,
                                            cast net, spear.
 7. Recreational Fishery (Non-FMP)         Rod and reel, hook and line,
                                            spear, powerhead, handline,
                                            hand harvest, cast net.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 VI. Pacific Fishery Management Council
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1. Washington, Oregon, and California
 Salmon Fisheries (FMP):
    A. Salmon set gillnet fishery........  A. Gillnet.
    B. Salmon hook and line fishery......  B. Hook and line.
    C. Trawl fishery.....................  C. Trawl.
    D. Recreational fishery..............  D. Rod and reel.
 2. West Coast Groundfish Fisheries
 (FMP):
    A. Pacific groundfish trawl fishery..  A. Trawl.
    B. Set gillnet fishery...............  B. Gillnet.
    C. Groundfish longline and setline     C. Longline.
     fishery.
    D. Groundfish handline and hook and    D. Handline, hook and line.
     line fishery.
    E. Groundfish pot and trap fishery...  E. Pot, trap.
    F. Recreational fishery..............  F. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            spear, hook and line.
 3. Northern Anchovy Fishery (FMP)         Purse seine, lampara net.
 4. Angel Shark, White Croaker,            Gillnet.
 California Halibut, White Sea Bass,
 Pacific Mackerel Large-Mesh Set Net
 Fishery (Non-FMP)
 5. Thresher Shark and Swordfish Drift     Gillnet.
 Gillnet Fishery (Non-FMP)
 6. Pacific Shrimp and Prawn Fishery (Non-
 FMP):
    A. Pot and trap fishery..............  A. Pot, trap.
    B. Trawl fishery.....................  B. Trawl.
 7. Lobster and Rock Crab Pot and Trap     Pot, trap.
 Fishery (Non-FMP)
 8. Pacific Halibut Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Longline and setline fishery......  A. Longline.
    B. Hook-and-line fishery.............  B. Hook and line.
 9. California Halibut Trawl and Trammel   Trawl, trammel net.
 Net Fishery
10. Shark and Bonito Longline and Setline  Longline.
 Fishery (Non-FMP)
11. Dungeness Crab Pot and Trap Fishery    Pot, trap.
 (Non-FMP)
12. Hagfish Pot and Trap Fishery (Non-     Pot, trap.
 FMP)
13. Pacific Albacore and Other Tuna Hook-  Hook and line.
 and-line Fishery (Non-FMP)
14. Pacific Swordfish Harpoon Fishery      Harpoon.
 (Non-FMP)
15. Pacific Scallop Dredge Fishery (Non-   Dredge.
 FMP)
16. Pacific Yellowfin, Skipjack Tuna,      Purse seine.
 Purse Seine Fishery, (Non-FMP)
17. Market Squid Fishery (Non-FMP)         Purse seine, dip net.
18. Pacific Sardine, Pacific Mackerel,     Purse seine.
 Pacific Saury, Pacific Bonito, and Jack
 Mackerel Purse Seine Fishery (Non-FMP)
19. Finfish and Shellfish Live Trap, Hook- Trap, handline, hook and
 and-line, and Handline Fishery (Non-FMP)   line.
20. Recreational Fishery (Non-FMP)         Spear, trap, handline, pot,
                                            hook and line, rod and reel,
                                            hand harvest.
21. Commercial Fishery (Non-FMP)           Trawl, gillnet, hook and
                                            line, longline, handline,
                                            rod and reel, bandit gear,
                                            cast net, spear.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              VII. North Pacific Fishery Management Council
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1. Alaska Scallop Fishery (FMP)           Dredge.
 2. Bering Sea (BS) and Aleutian Islands
 (AI) King and Tanner Crab Fishery (FMP):
    Pot fishery..........................  Pot.
 3. Bering Sea (BS) and Aleutian Islands
 (AI) King and Tanner Crab Fishery (FMP):
    Recreational fishery.................  Pot.
 4. BS and AI Groundfish Fishery (FMP):
    A. Groundfish trawl fishery..........  A. Trawl.
    B. Bottomfish hook-and-line, and       B. Hook and line, handline.
     handline fishery.
    C. Longline fishery..................  C. Longline.
    D. BS and AI pot and trap fishery....  D. Pot, trap.
 5. BS and AI Groundfish Recreational      Handline, rod and reel, hook
 Fishery (Non-FMP)                          and line, pot, trap.
 6. Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Groundfish
 Fishery (FMP):
    A. Groundfish trawl fishery..........  A. Trawl.
    B. Bottomfish hook-and-line and        B. Hook and line, handline.
     handline fishery.
    C. Longline fishery..................  C. Longline.
    D. GOA pot and trap fishery..........  D. Pot, trap.
    E. Recreational fishery..............  E. Handline, rod and reel,
                                            hook and line, pot, trap.
 7. Pacific Halibut Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Commercial (IFQ and CDQ)..........  A. Hook and line.
    B. Recreational......................  B. Single line with no more
                                            than 2 hooks attached or
                                            spear.

[[Page 107]]

 
    C. Subsistence.......................  C. Setline gear and hand held
                                            gear of not more than 30
                                            hooks, including longline,
                                            handline, rod and reel,
                                            spear, jig, and hand-troll
                                            gear.
 8. Alaska High Seas Salmon Hook and Line
 Fishery:
    (FMP)................................  Hook and line.
 9. Alaska Salmon Fishery (Non-FMP):
    A. Hook-and-line fishery.............  A. Hook and line.
    B. Gillnet fishery...................  B. Gillnet.
    C. Purse seine fishery...............  C. Purse seine.
    D. Recreational fishery..............  D. Handline, rod and reel,
                                            hook and line.
10. Finfish Purse Seine Fishery (Non-FMP)  Purse seine.
11. Octopus/Squid Longline Fishery (Non-   Longline.
 FMP)
12. Finfish Handline and Hook-and-line     Handline, hook and line.
 Fishery (Non-FMP)
13. Recreational Fishery (Non-FMP)         Handline, rod and reel, hook
                                            line.
14. Commercial Fishery (Non-FMP)           Trawl, gillnet, hook and
                                            line, longline, handline,
                                            rod and reel, bandit gear,
                                            cast net, spear.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            VIII. Western Pacific Fishery Management Council
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Western Pacific Crustacean Fishery      Trap, hand harvest, hoop net.
 (FMP) (Fishery Ecosystem Plan, FEP)
2. Western Pacific Crustacean Fishery
 (Non-FEP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Gillnet, hand harvest,
                                            hoop net, spear, snare,
                                            trap, trawl.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Gillnet, hand harvest,
                                            hoop net, spear, snare,
                                            trap.
    C. Charter fishery...................  C. Hand harvest, spear.
3. Western Pacific Precious Corals
 Fishery (FEP):
    A. Tangle net dredge fishery.........  A. Tangle net dredge.
    B. Submersible fishery...............  B. Submersible.
    C. Dive fishery......................  C. Hand harvest.
    D. Recreational fishery..............  D. Hand harvest.
4. Western Pacific Precious Corals         Hand harvest, submersible,
 Fishery (Non-FEP)                          tangle net dredge.
5. Western Pacific Bottomfish and
 Seamount Groundfish Fishery (FEP)
    A. Bottomfish hook-and-line fishery..  A. Bandit gear, buoy gear,
                                            handline, hook and line, rod
                                            and reel, hand harvest.
    B. Seamount groundfish fishery.......  B. Longline, trawl.
    C. Bottom longline fishery...........  C. Longline, hook and line.
    D. Trap fishery......................  D. Trap.
    E. Spear fishery.....................  E. Spear, powerhead.
6. Western Pacific Bottomfish and
 Seamount Groundfish Fishery (Non-FEP):
    A. Commercial fishery................  A. Bandit gear, buoy gear,
                                            gillnet, handline, hook-and-
                                            line, longline, rod and
                                            reel, spear, trap.
    B. Recreational fishery..............  B. Bandit gear, buoy gear,
                                            Gillnet, handline, hook and
                                            line, longline, rod and
                                            reel, spear, trap, slurp
                                            gun, hand harvest.
    C. Charter fishery...................  C. Bandit gear, buoy gear,
                                            handline, hook-and-line, rod
                                            and reel, spear.
7. Western Pacific Pelagics Fishery
 (FEP):
    A. Longline Fishery..................  A. Longline.
    B. Hook and line fishery.............  B. Bandit gear, buoy gear,
                                            handline, hook and line, rod
                                            and reel.
    C. Purse seine fishery...............  C. Lampara net, purse seine.
    D. Spear fishery.....................  D. Spear, powerhead.
    E. Squid jig fishery.................  E. Squid jig.
8. Western Pacific Pelagics Fishery (Non-
 FEP):
    A. Recreational fishery..............  A. Bandit gear, buoy gear,
                                            dip net, handline, hook and
                                            line, hoop net, powerhead,
                                            rod and real, spear.
    B. Commercial fishery................  B. Bandit gear, buoy gear,
                                            dip net, handline, hook and
                                            line, hoop net, powerhead,
                                            rod and reel, spear.
    C. Charter fishery...................  C. Bandit gear, buoy gear,
                                            dip net, handline, hook and
                                            line, hoop net, powerhead,
                                            rod and reel, spear.
9. Western Pacific Coastal Pelagics        Bandit gear, buoy gear, dip
 Fishery (Non-FEP)                          net, gillnet, handline, hook
                                            and line, hoop net, lampara
                                            net, purse seine, rod and
                                            reel, spear.
10. Western Pacific Squid and Octopus      Bandit gear, hand harvest,
 Fishery (Non-FEP)                          hook and line, rod and reel,
                                            spear, trap.
11. Western Pacific Coral Reef Fishery     Allowable chemical, barrier
 (Non-FEP)                                  net, dip net, gillnet, hand
                                            harvest, seine, slurp gun,
                                            trap, spear, rod and reel,
                                            hook and line.
12. Recreational Fishery (Non-FEP)         Rod and reel, hook and line,
                                            handline, hand harvest,
                                            spear.
13. Commercial Fishery (Non-FEP)           Trawl, gillnet, hook and
                                            line, longline, handline,
                                            rod and reel, bandit gear,
                                            cast net, spear.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 108]]

 
                        IX. Secretary of Commerce
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 1. Atlantic Highly Migratory Species
 Fisheries (FMP):
    A. Swordfish handgear fishery........  A. Rod and reel, harpoon,
                                            handline, bandit gear, buoy
                                            gear, green-stick gear.
    B. Swordfish recreational fishery....  B. Rod and reel, handline.
    C. Pelagic longline fishery..........  C. Longline.
    D. Shark gillnet fishery.............  D. Gillnet
    E. Shark bottom longline fishery.....  E. Longline.
    F. Shark handgear fishery............  F. Rod and reel, handline,
                                            bandit gear.
    G. Shark recreational fishery........  G. Rod and reel, handline.
    H. Tuna purse seine fishery..........  H. Purse seine.
    I. Tuna recreational fishery.........  I. Speargun gear (for bigeye,
                                            albacore, yellowfin, and
                                            skipjack tunas only); Rod
                                            and reel, handline (all
                                            tunas); green-stick gear
                                            (HMS Charter/Headboat
                                            Category only).
    J. Tuna handgear fishery.............  J. Rod and reel, harpoon,
                                            handline, bandit gear.
    K. Tuna harpoon fishery..............  K. Harpoon.
    L. Atlantic billfish recreational      L. Rod and reel.
     fishery.
    M. Tuna green-stick fishery..........  M. Green-stick gear.
    N. Commercial Caribbean Small Boat     N. Rod and reel, handline,
     Fishery.                               harpoon, bandit gear, green-
                                            stick gear, buoy gear.
2. Commercial Fisheries (Non-FMP)          Rod and reel, handline,
                                            longline, gillnet, harpoon,
                                            bandit gear, purse seine,
                                            green-stick gear.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (w) Fail to maintain safe conditions for the protection of observers 
including compliance with all U.S. Coast Guard and other applicable 
rules, regulations, or statutes applicable to the vessel and which 
pertain to safe operation of the vessel.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996]

    Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting Sec. 
600.725, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the 
Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.



Sec. 600.730  Facilitation of enforcement.

    (a) General. The operator of, or any other person aboard, any 
fishing vessel subject to parts 622 through 699 of this chapter must 
immediately comply with instructions and signals issued by an authorized 
officer to stop the vessel and with instructions to facilitate safe 
boarding and inspection of the vessel, its gear, equipment, fishing 
record (where applicable), and catch for purposes of enforcing the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act or any other statute administered by NOAA and this 
chapter.
    (1) For the purposes of this section ``freeboard'' means the working 
distance between the top rail of the gunwale of a vessel and the water's 
surface. Where cut-outs are provided in the bulwarks for the purpose of 
boarding personnel, freeboard means the distance between the threshold 
of the bulwark cut-out and the water's surface.
    (2) For the purposes of this section, ``pilot ladder'' means a 
flexible ladder constructed and approved to meet the U.S. Coast Guard 
standards for pilot ladders at 46 CFR subpart 163.003 entitled Pilot 
Ladder.
    (b) Communications. (1) Upon being approached by a USCG vessel or 
aircraft, or other vessel or aircraft with an authorized officer aboard, 
the operator of a fishing vessel must be alert for communications 
conveying enforcement instructions.
    (2) VHF-FM radiotelephone is the preferred method for communicating 
between vessels. If the size of the vessel and the wind, sea, and 
visibility conditions allow, a loudhailer may be used instead of the 
radio. Hand signals, placards, high frequency radiotelephone, or voice 
may be employed by an authorized officer, and message blocks may be 
dropped from an aircraft.
    (3) If other communications are not practicable, visual signals may 
be transmitted by flashing light directed at the vessel signaled. USCG 
units will normally use the flashing light signal ``L'' as the signal to 
stop. In the International Code of Signals, ``L'' (.-..) means ``you 
should stop your vessel instantly.'' (Period (.) means a short flash of 
light; dash (-) means a long flash of light.)

[[Page 109]]

    (4) Failure of a vessel's operator promptly to stop the vessel when 
directed to do so by an authorized officer using loudhailer, 
radiotelephone, flashing light signal, or other means constitutes prima 
facie evidence of the offense of refusal to permit an authorized officer 
to board.
    (5) The operator of a vessel who does not understand a signal from 
an enforcement unit and who is unable to obtain clarification by 
loudhailer or radiotelephone must consider the signal to be a command to 
stop the vessel instantly.
    (c) Boarding. The operator of a vessel directed to stop must:
    (1) Guard Channel 16, VHF-FM, if so equipped.
    (2) Stop immediately and lay to or maneuver in such a way as to 
allow the authorized officer and his/her party to come aboard.
    (3) Except for fishing vessels with a freeboard of 4 feet (1.25 m) 
or less, provide, when requested by an authorized officer or observer 
personnel, a pilot ladder capable of being used for the purpose of 
enabling personnel to embark and disembark the vessel safely. The pilot 
ladder must be maintained in good condition and kept clean.
    (4) When necessary to facilitate the boarding or when requested by 
an authorized officer or observer, provide a manrope or safety line, and 
illumination for the pilot ladder.
    (5) Take such other actions as necessary to facilitate boarding and 
to ensure the safety of the authorized officer and the boarding party.
    (d) Signals. The following signals, extracted from the International 
Code of Signals, may be sent by flashing light by an enforcement unit 
when conditions do not allow communications by loudhailer or 
radiotelephone. Knowledge of these signals by vessel operators is not 
required. However, knowledge of these signals and appropriate action by 
a vessel operator may preclude the necessity of sending the signal ``L'' 
and the necessity for the vessel to stop instantly. (Period (.) means a 
short flash of light; dash (-) means a long flash of light.)
    (1) ``AA'' repeated (.-.-) is the call to an unknown station. The 
operator of the signaled vessel should respond by identifying the vessel 
by radiotelephone or by illuminating the vessel's identification.
    (2) ``RY-CY'' (.-. -.-- -.-. -.--) means ``you should proceed at 
slow speed, a boat is coming to you.'' This signal is normally employed 
when conditions allow an enforcement boarding without the necessity of 
the vessel being boarded coming to a complete stop, or, in some cases, 
without retrieval of fishing gear which may be in the water.
    (3) ``SQ3'' (... --.- ...--) means ``you should stop or heave to; I 
am going to board you.''

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 37225, July 17, 1996; 
63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 73 FR 67809, Nov. 17, 2008]



Sec. 600.735  Penalties.

    Any person committing, or fishing vessel used in the commission of a 
violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act or any other statute administered 
by NOAA and/or any regulation issued under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, is 
subject to the civil and criminal penalty provisions and civil 
forfeiture provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, to this section, to 
15 CFR part 904 (Civil Procedures), and to other applicable law.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.740  Enforcement policy.

    (a) The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides four basic enforcement 
remedies for violations, in ascending order of severity, as follows:
    (1) Issuance of a citation (a type of warning), usually at the scene 
of the offense (see 15 CFR part 904, subpart E).
    (2) Assessment by the Administrator of a civil money penalty.
    (3) For certain violations, judicial forfeiture action against the 
vessel and its catch.
    (4) Criminal prosecution of the owner or operator for some offenses. 
It shall be the policy of NMFS to enforce vigorously and equitably the 
provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act by utilizing that form or 
combination of authorized remedies best suited in a particular case to 
this end.
    (b) Processing a case under one remedial form usually means that 
other

[[Page 110]]

remedies are inappropriate in that case. However, further investigation 
or later review may indicate the case to be either more or less serious 
than initially considered, or may otherwise reveal that the penalty 
first pursued is inadequate to serve the purposes of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act. Under such circumstances, the Agency may pursue other 
remedies either in lieu of or in addition to the action originally 
taken. Forfeiture of the illegal catch does not fall within this general 
rule and is considered in most cases as only the initial step in 
remedying a violation by removing the ill-gotten gains of the offense.
    (c) If a fishing vessel for which a permit has been issued under the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act is used in the commission of an offense prohibited 
by section 307 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NOAA may impose permit 
sanctions, whether or not civil or criminal action has been undertaken 
against the vessel or its owner or operator. In some cases, the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act requires permit sanctions following the assessment 
of a civil penalty or the imposition of a criminal fine. In sum, the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act treats sanctions against the fishing vessel permit 
to be the carrying out of a purpose separate from that accomplished by 
civil and criminal penalties against the vessel or its owner or 
operator.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.745  Scientific research activity, exempted fishing, and exempted 

educational activity.

    (a) Scientific research activity. Nothing in this part is intended 
to inhibit or prevent any scientific research activity conducted by a 
scientific research vessel. Persons planning to conduct scientific 
research activities on board a scientific research vessel in the EEZ are 
encouraged to submit to the appropriate Regional Administrator or 
Director, 60 days or as soon as practicable prior to its start, a 
scientific research plan for each scientific activity. The Regional 
Administrator or Director will acknowledge notification of scientific 
research activity by issuing to the operator or master of that vessel, 
or to the sponsoring institution, a Letter of Acknowledgment. This 
Letter of Acknowledgment is separate and distinct from any permit or 
consultation required by the MMPA, the ESA, or any other applicable law. 
The Regional Administrator or Director will include text in the Letter 
of Acknowledgment informing the applicant that such a permit may be 
required and should be obtained from the agency prior to embarking on 
the activity. If the Regional Administrator or Director, after review of 
a research plan, determines that it does not constitute scientific 
research but rather fishing, the Regional Administrator or Director will 
inform the applicant as soon as practicable and in writing. In making 
this determination, the Regional Administrator, Director, or designee 
shall consider: the merits of the individual proposal and the 
institution(s) involved; whether the proposed activity meets the 
definition of scientific research activity; and whether the vessel meets 
all the requirements for a scientific research vessel. The Regional 
Administrator or Director may also make recommendations to revise the 
research plan to ensure the activity will be considered to be scientific 
research activity or recommend the applicant request an EFP. The 
Regional Administrator or Director may designate a Science and Research 
Director, or the Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable 
Fisheries, to receive scientific research plans and issue Letters of 
Acknowledgment. In order to facilitate identification of the activity as 
scientific research, persons conducting scientific research activities 
are advised to carry a copy of the scientific research plan and the 
Letter of Acknowledgment on board the scientific research vessel and to 
make it available for inspection upon the request of any authorized 
officer. It is recommended that for any scientific research activity, 
any fish, or parts thereof, retained pursuant to such activity be 
accompanied, during any ex-vessel activities, by a copy of the Letter of 
Acknowledgment. Activity conducted in accordance with a scientific 
research plan acknowledged by such a Letter of Acknowledgment is 
presumed to be scientific research activity. An authorized officer may 
overcome this presumption by showing that

[[Page 111]]

an activity does not fit the definition of scientific research activity 
or is outside the scope of the scientific research plan.
    (b) Exempted fishing--(1) General. A NMFS Regional Administrator or 
Director may authorize, for limited testing, public display, data 
collection, exploratory fishing, compensation fishing, conservation 
engineering, health and safety surveys, environmental cleanup, and/or 
hazard removal purposes, the target or incidental harvest of species 
managed under an FMP or fishery regulations that would otherwise be 
prohibited. Exempted fishing may not be conducted unless authorized by 
an EFP issued by a Regional Administrator or Director in accordance with 
the criteria and procedures specified in this section. Compensation 
fishing must be conducted under an EFP if the activity would otherwise 
be prohibited by applicable regulations unless the activity is 
specifically authorized under an FMP or a scientific research permit. 
Conservation engineering that does not meet the definition of scientific 
research activity, but does meet the definition of fishing must be 
conducted under an EFP if the activity would otherwise be prohibited by 
applicable regulations. Data collection designed to capture and land 
quantities of fish for product development, market research, and/or 
public display must be permitted under exempted fishing procedures. An 
EFP exempts a vessel only from those regulations specified in the EFP. 
All other applicable regulations remain in effect. The Regional 
Administrator or Director may charge a fee to recover the administrative 
expenses of issuing an EFP. The amount of the fee will be calculated, at 
least annually, in accordance with procedures of the NOAA Handbook for 
determining administrative costs of each special product or service; the 
fee may not exceed such costs. Persons may contact the appropriate 
Regional Administrator or Director to determine the applicable fee.
    (2) Application. An applicant for an EFP shall submit a completed 
application package to the appropriate Regional Administrator or 
Director, as soon as practicable and at least 60 days before the desired 
effective date of the EFP. Submission of an EFP application less than 60 
days before the desired effective date of the EFP may result in a 
delayed effective date because of review requirements. The application 
package must include payment of any required fee as specified by 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section, and a written application that 
includes, but is not limited to, the following information:
    (i) The date of the application.
    (ii) The applicant's name, mailing address, and telephone number.
    (iii) A statement of the purposes and goals of the exempted fishery 
for which an EFP is needed, including justification for issuance of the 
EFP.
    (iv) For each vessel to be covered by the EFP, as soon as the 
information is available and before operations begin under the EFP:
    (A) A copy of the USCG documentation, state license, or registration 
of each vessel, or the information contained on the appropriate 
document.
    (B) The current name, address, and telephone number of the owner and 
master, if not included on the document provided for the vessel.
    (v) The species (target and incidental) expected to be harvested 
under the EFP, the amount(s) of such harvest necessary to conduct the 
exempted fishing, the arrangements for disposition of all regulated 
species harvested under the EFP, and any anticipated impacts on the 
environment, including impacts on fisheries, marine mammals, threatened 
or endangered species, and EFH.
    (vi) For each vessel covered by the EFP, the approximate time(s) and 
place(s) fishing will take place, and the type, size, and amount of gear 
to be used.
    (vii) The signature of the applicant.
    (viii) The Regional Administrator or Director, as appropriate, may 
request from an applicant additional information necessary to make the 
determinations required under this section. An incomplete application or 
an application for which the appropriate fee has not been paid will not 
be considered until corrected in writing and the fee paid. An applicant 
for an EFP need not be the owner or operator of the vessel(s) for which 
the EFP is requested.

[[Page 112]]

    (3) Issuance. (i) The Regional Administrator or Director, as 
appropriate, will review each application and will make a preliminary 
determination whether the application contains all of the required 
information and constitutes an activity appropriate for further 
consideration. If the Regional Administrator or Director finds that any 
application does not warrant further consideration, both the applicant 
and the affected Council(s) will be notified in writing of the reasons 
for the decision. If the Regional Administrator or Director determines 
that any application warrants further consideration, notification of 
receipt of the application will be published in the Federal Register 
with a brief description of the proposal. Interested persons will be 
given a 15- to 45-day opportunity to comment on the notice of receipt of 
the EFP application. In addition, comments may be requested during 
public testimony at a Council meeting. If the Council intends to take 
comments on EFP applications at a Council meeting, it must include a 
statement to this effect in the Council meeting notice and meeting 
agenda. Multiple applications for EFPs may be published in the same 
Federal Register document and may be discussed under a single Council 
agenda item. The notification may establish a cut-off date for receipt 
of additional applications to participate in the same, or a similar, 
exempted fishing activity. The Regional Administrator or Director will 
also forward copies of the application to the Council(s), the U.S. Coast 
Guard, and the appropriate fishery management agencies of affected 
states, accompanied by the following information:
    (A) The effect of the proposed EFP on the target and incidental 
species, including the effect on any TAC.
    (B) A citation of the regulation or regulations that, without the 
EFP, would prohibit the proposed activity.
    (C) Biological information relevant to the proposal, including 
appropriate statements of environmental impacts, including impacts on 
fisheries, marine mammals, threatened or endangered species, and EFH.
    (ii) If the application is complete and warrants additional 
consultation, the Regional Administrator or Director may consult with 
the appropriate Council(s) concerning the permit application during the 
period in which comments have been requested. The Council(s) or the 
Regional Administrator or Director shall notify the applicant in advance 
of any public meeting at which the application will be considered, and 
offer the applicant the opportunity to appear in support of the 
application.
    (iii) As soon as practicable after receiving a complete application, 
including all required analyses and consultations (e.g., NEPA, EFH, ESA 
and MMPA), and having received responses from the public, the agencies 
identified in paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section, and/or after the 
consultation, if any, described in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, 
the Regional Administrator or Director shall issue the EFP or notify the 
applicant in writing of the decision to deny the EFP and the reasons for 
the denial. Grounds for denial of an EFP include, but are not limited 
to, the following:
    (A) The applicant has failed to disclose material information 
required, or has made false statements as to any material fact, in 
connection with his or her application; or
    (B) According to the best scientific information available, the 
harvest to be conducted under the permit would detrimentally affect the 
well-being of the stock of any regulated species of fish, marine mammal, 
threatened or endangered species, or EFH; or
    (C) Issuance of the EFP would have economic allocation as its sole 
purpose (other than compensation fishing); or
    (D) Activities to be conducted under the EFP would be inconsistent 
with the intent of this section, the management objectives of the FMP, 
or other applicable law; or
    (E) The applicant has failed to demonstrate a valid justification 
for the permit; or
    (F) The activity proposed under the EFP could create a significant 
enforcement problem.
    (iv) The decision of a Regional Administrator or Director to grant 
or deny an EFP is the final action of NMFS. If the permit, as granted, 
is significantly different from the original application, or is denied, 
NMFS may publish notification in the Federal

[[Page 113]]

Register describing the exempted fishing to be conducted under the EFP 
or the reasons for denial.
    (v) The Regional Administrator or Director should attach, as 
applicable, terms and conditions to the EFP, consistent with the purpose 
of the exempted fishing and as otherwise necessary for the conservation 
and management of the fishery resources and the marine environment, 
including, but not limited to:
    (A) The maximum amount of each regulated species that can be 
harvested and landed during the term of the EFP, including trip 
limitations, where appropriate.
    (B) The number, size(s), name(s), and identification number(s) of 
the vessel(s) authorized to conduct fishing activities under the EFP.
    (C) A citation of the regulations from which the vessel is exempted.
    (D) The time(s) and place(s) where exempted fishing may be 
conducted.
    (E) The type, size, and amount of gear that may be used by each 
vessel operated under the EFP.
    (F) Whether observers, a vessel monitoring system, or other 
electronic equipment must be carried on board vessels operating under 
the EFP, and any necessary conditions, such as predeployment 
notification requirements.
    (G) Data reporting requirements necessary to document the 
activities, including catches and incidental catches, and to determine 
compliance with the terms and conditions of the EFP and established time 
frames and formats for submission of the data to NMFS.
    (H) Other conditions as may be necessary to assure compliance with 
the purposes of the EFP, consistent with the objectives of the FMP and 
other applicable law.
    (I) Provisions for public release of data obtained under the EFP 
that are consistent with NOAA confidentiality of statistics procedures 
at set out in subpart E. An applicant may be required to waive the right 
to confidentiality of information gathered while conducting exempted 
fishing as a condition of an EFP.
    (4) Acknowledging permit conditions. Upon receipt of an EFP, the 
permit holder must date and sign the permit, and retain the permit on 
board the vessel(s). The permit is not valid until signed by the permit 
holder. In signing the permit, the permit holder:
    (i) Agrees to abide by all terms and conditions set forth in the 
permit, and all restrictions and relevant regulations; and
    (ii) Acknowledges that the authority to conduct certain activities 
specified in the permit is conditional and subject to authorization and 
revocation by the Regional Administrator or Director.
    (5) Duration. Unless otherwise specified in the EFP or a superseding 
notice or regulation, an EFP is valid for no longer than 1 year. EFPs 
may be renewed following the application procedures in this section.
    (6) Alteration. Any permit that has been altered, erased, or 
mutilated is invalid.
    (7) Inspection. Any EFP issued under this section must be carried on 
board the vessel(s) for which it was issued. The EFP must be presented 
for inspection upon request of any authorized officer. Any fish, or 
parts thereof, retained pursuant to an EFP issued under this paragraph 
must be accompanied, during any ex-vessel activities, by a copy of the 
EFP.
    (8) Inspection. Any EFP issued under this section must be carried on 
board the vessel(s) for which it was issued. The EFP must be presented 
for inspection upon request of any authorized officer.
    (9) Sanctions. Failure of a permittee to comply with the terms and 
conditions of an EFP may be grounds for revocation, suspension, or 
modification of the EFP with respect to all persons and vessels 
conducting activities under the EFP. Any action taken to revoke, 
suspend, or modify an EFP for enforcement purposes will be governed by 
15 CFR part 904, subpart D.
    (c) Reports. (1) NMFS requests that persons conducting scientific 
research activities from scientific research vessels submit a copy of 
any report or other publication created as a result of the activity, 
including the amount, composition, and disposition of their catch, to 
the appropriate Science and Research Director and Regional Administrator 
or Director.

[[Page 114]]

    (2) Upon completion of the activities of the EFP, or periodically as 
required by the terms and conditions of the EFP, persons fishing under 
an EFP must submit a report of their catches and any other information 
required, to the appropriate Regional Administrator or Director, in the 
manner and within the time frame specified in the EFP, but no later than 
6 months after concluding the exempted fishing activity. Persons 
conducting EFP activities are also requested to submit a copy of any 
publication prepared as a result of the EFP activity.
    (d) Exempted educational activities--(1) General. A NMFS Regional 
Administrator or Director may authorize, for educational purposes, the 
target or incidental harvest of species managed under an FMP or fishery 
regulations that would otherwise be prohibited. The trade, barter or 
sale of fish taken under this authorization is prohibited. The decision 
of a Regional Administrator or Director to grant or deny an exempted 
educational activity authorization is the final action of NMFS. Exempted 
educational activities may not be conducted unless authorized in writing 
by a Regional Administrator or Director in accordance with the criteria 
and procedures specified in this section. Such authorization will be 
issued without charge.
    (2) Application. An applicant for an exempted educational activity 
authorization shall submit to the appropriate Regional Administrator or 
Director, at least 15 days before the desired effective date of the 
authorization, a written application that includes, but is not limited 
to, the following information:
    (i) The date of the application.
    (ii) The applicant's name, mailing address, and telephone number.
    (iii) A brief statement of the purposes and goals of the exempted 
educational activity for which authorization is requested, including a 
general description of the arrangements for disposition of all species 
collected.
    (iv) Evidence that the sponsoring institution is a valid educational 
institution, such as accreditation by a recognized national or 
international accreditation body.
    (v) The scope and duration of the activity.
    (vi) For each vessel to be covered by the authorization:
    (A) A copy of the U.S. Coast Guard documentation, state license, or 
registration of the vessel, or the information contained on the 
appropriate document.
    (B) The current name, address, and telephone number of the owner and 
master, if not included on the document provided for the vessel.
    (vii) The species and amounts expected to be caught during the 
exempted educational activity, and any anticipated impacts on the 
environment, including impacts on fisheries, marine mammals, threatened 
or endangered species, and EFH.
    (viii) For each vessel covered by the authorization, the approximate 
time(s) and place(s) fishing will take place, and the type, size, and 
amount of gear to be used.
    (ix) The signature of the applicant.
    (x) The Regional Administrator or Director may request from an 
applicant additional information necessary to make the determinations 
required under this section. An incomplete application will not be 
considered until corrected in writing.
    (3) Issuance. (i) The Regional Administrator or Director, as 
appropriate, will review each application and will make a determination 
whether the application contains all of the required information, is 
consistent with the goals, objectives, and requirements of the FMP or 
regulations and other applicable law, and constitutes a valid exempted 
educational activity. The applicant will be notified in writing of the 
decision within 5 working days of receipt of the application.
    (ii) The Regional Administrator or Director should attach, as 
applicable, terms and conditions to the authorization, consistent with 
the purpose of the exempted educational activity and as otherwise 
necessary for the conservation and management of the fishery resources 
and the marine environment, including, but not limited to:
    (A) The maximum amount of each regulated species that may be 
harvested.

[[Page 115]]

    (B) A citation of the regulations from which the vessel is being 
exempted.
    (C) The time(s) and place(s) where the exempted educational activity 
may be conducted.
    (D) The type, size, and amount of gear that may be used by each 
vessel operated under the authorization.
    (E) Data reporting requirements necessary to document the activities 
and to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of the 
exempted educational activity.
    (F) Such other conditions as may be necessary to assure compliance 
with the purposes of the authorization, consistent with the objectives 
of the FMP or regulations.
    (G) Provisions for public release of data obtained under the 
authorization, consistent with NOAA confidentiality of statistics 
procedures in subpart E. An applicant may be required to waive the right 
to confidentiality of information gathered while conducting exempted 
educational activities as a condition of the authorization.
    (iii) The authorization will specify the scope of the authorized 
activity and will include, at a minimum, the duration, vessel(s), 
persons, species, and gear involved in the activity, as well as any 
additional terms and conditions specified under paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of 
this section.
    (4) Duration. Unless otherwise specified, authorization for an 
exempted educational activity is effective for no longer than 1 year, 
unless revoked, suspended, or modified. Authorizations may be renewed 
following the application procedures in this section.
    (5) Alteration. Any authorization that has been altered, erased, or 
mutilated is invalid.
    (6) Transfer. Authorizations issued under this paragraph (d) are not 
transferable or assignable.
    (7) Inspection. Any authorization issued under this paragraph (d) 
must be carried on board the vessel(s) for which it was issued, or be in 
the possession of at least one of the persons identified in the 
authorization, who must be present while the exempted educational 
activity is being conducted. The authorization must be presented for 
inspection upon request of any authorized officer. Activities that meet 
the definition of ``fishing,'' despite an educational purpose, are 
fishing. An authorization may allow covered fishing activities; however, 
fishing activities conducted outside the scope of an authorization for 
exempted educational activities are illegal. Any fish, or parts thereof, 
retained pursuant to an authorization issued under this paragraph must 
be accompanied, during any ex-vessel activities, by a copy of the 
authorization.
    (e) Observers. NMFS-sanctioned observers or biological technicians 
conducting activities within NMFS-approved sea sampling and/or observer 
protocols are exempt from the requirement to obtain an EFP. For purposes 
of this section, NMFS-sanctioned observers or biological technicians 
include NMFS employees, NMFS observers, observers who are employees of 
NMFS-contracted observer providers, and observers who are employees of 
NMFS-permitted observer providers.

[61 FR 32540, June 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998; 74 
FR 42794, Aug. 25, 2009]



Sec. 600.746  Observers.

    (a) Applicability. This section applies to any fishing vessel 
required to carry an observer as part of a mandatory observer program or 
carrying an observer as part of a voluntary observer program under the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the ATCA (16 U.S.C. 
971 et seq.), the South Pacific Tuna Act of 1988 (16 U.S.C. 973 et 
seq.), or any other U.S. law.
    (b) Observer safety. An observer will not be deployed on, or stay 
aboard, a vessel that is inadequate for observer deployment as described 
in paragraph (c) of this section.
    (c) Vessel inadequate for observer deployment. A vessel is 
inadequate for observer deployment if it:
    (1) Does not comply with the applicable regulations regarding 
observer accommodations (see 50 CFR parts 229, 285, 300, 600, 622, 635, 
648, 660, and 679), or
    (2) Has not passed a USCG Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety 
Examination, or for vessels less than 26 ft (8 m) in length, has not 
passed an alternate safety equipment examination, as described in 
paragraph (g) of this section.

[[Page 116]]

    (d) Display or show proof. A vessel that has passed a USCG 
Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examination must display or show proof 
of a valid USCG Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examination decal that 
certifies compliance with regulations found in 33 CFR Chapter 1 and 46 
CFR Chapter 1, and which was issued within the last 2 years or at a time 
interval consistent with current USCG regulations or policy.
    (1) In situations of mitigating circumstances, which may prevent a 
vessel from displaying a valid safety decal (broken window, etc.), NMFS, 
the observer, or NMFS' designated observer provider may accept the 
following associated documentation as proof of the missing safety decal 
described in paragraph (d) of this section:
    (i) A certificate of compliance issued pursuant to 46 CFR 28.710;
    (ii) A certificate of inspection pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 3311; or
    (iii) For vessels not required to obtain the documents identified in 
(d)(1)(i) and (d)(1)(ii) of this section, a dockside examination report 
form indicating the decal number and date and place of issue.
    (e) Visual inspection. Upon request by an observer, a NMFS employee, 
or a designated observer provider, a vessel owner or operator must 
provide correct information concerning any item relating to any safety 
or accommodation requirement prescribed by law or regulation, in a 
manner and according to a timeframe as directed by NMFS. A vessel owner 
or operator must also allow an observer, a NMFS employee, or a 
designated observer provider to visually examine any such item.
    (f) Vessel safety check. Prior to the initial deployment, the vessel 
owner or operator or the owner or operator's designee must accompany the 
observer in a walk through the vessel's major spaces to ensure that no 
obviously hazardous conditions exist. This action may be a part of the 
vessel safety orientation to be provided by the vessel to the observer 
as required by 46 CFR 28.270. The vessel owner or operator or the owner 
or operator's designee must also accompany the observer in checking the 
following major items as required by applicable USCG regulations:
    (1) Personal flotation devices/ immersion suits;
    (2) Ring buoys;
    (3) Distress signals;
    (4) Fire extinguishing equipment;
    (5) Emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), when 
required, shall be registered to the vessel at its documented homeport;
    (6) Survival craft, when required, with sufficient capacity to 
accommodate the total number of persons, including the observer(s), that 
will embark on the voyage; and
    (7) Other fishery-area and vessel specific items required by the 
USCG.
    (g) Alternate safety equipment examination. If a vessel is under 26 
ft (8 m) in length, and in a remote location, and NMFS has determined 
that the USCG cannot provide a USCG Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety 
Examination due to unavailability of inspectors or to unavailability of 
transportation to or from an inspection station, the vessel will be 
adequate for observer deployment if it passes an alternate safety 
equipment examination conducted by a NMFS certified observer, observer 
provider, or a NMFS observer program employee, using a checklist of USCG 
safety requirements for commercial fishing vessels under 26 ft (8 m) in 
length. Passage of the alternative examination will only be effective 
for the single trip selected for observer coverage.
    (h) Duration. The vessel owner or operator is required to comply 
with the requirements of this section when the vessel owner or operator 
is notified orally or in writing by an observer, a NMFS employee, or a 
designated observer provider, that his or her vessel has been selected 
to carry an observer. The requirements of this section continue to apply 
through the time of the observer's boarding, at all times the observer 
is aboard, and at the time the observer disembarks from the vessel at 
the end of the observed trip.
    (i) Effect of inadequate status. A vessel that would otherwise be 
required to carry an observer, but is inadequate for the purposes of 
carrying an observer, as described in paragraph (c) of this section, and 
for allowing operation of

[[Page 117]]

normal observer functions, is prohibited from fishing without observer 
coverage.

[63 FR 27217, May 18, 1998, as amended at 67 FR 64312, Oct. 18, 2002; 72 
FR 61818, Nov. 1, 2007]



Sec. 600.747  Guidelines and procedures for determining new fisheries and 

gear.

    (a) General. Section 305(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires the 
Secretary to prepare a list of all fisheries under the authority of each 
Council, or the Director in the case of Atlantic highly migratory 
species, and all gear used in such fisheries. This section contains 
guidelines in paragraph (b) for determining when fishing gear or a 
fishery is sufficiently different from those listed in Sec. 600.725(v) 
as to require notification of a Council or the Director in order to use 
the gear or participate in the unlisted fishery. This section also 
contains procedures in paragraph (c) for notification of a Council or 
the Director of potentially new fisheries or gear, and for amending the 
list of fisheries and gear.
    (b) Guidelines. The following guidance establishes the basis for 
determining when fishing gear or a fishery is sufficiently different 
from those listed to require notification of the appropriate Council or 
the Director.
    (1) The initial step in the determination of whether a fishing gear 
or fishery is sufficiently different to require notification is to 
compare the gear or fishery in question to the list of authorized 
fisheries and gear in Sec. 600.725(v) and to the existing gear 
definitions in Sec. 600.10.
    (2) If the gear in question falls within the bounds of a definition 
in Sec. 600.10 for an allowable gear type within that fishery, as 
listed under Sec. 600.725(v), then the gear is not considered 
different, is considered allowable gear, and does not require 
notification of the Council or Secretary 90 days before it can be used 
in that fishery.
    (3) If, for any reason, the gear is not consistent with a gear 
definition for a listed fishery as described in paragraph (b)(2) of this 
section, the gear is considered different and requires Council or 
Secretarial notification as described in paragraph (c) of this section 
90 days before it can be used in that fishery.
    (4) If a fishery falls within the bounds of the list of authorized 
fisheries and gear in Sec. 600.725(v) under the Council's or 
Secretary's authority, then the fishery is not considered different, is 
considered an allowable fishery and does not require notification of the 
Council or Director before that fishery can occur.
    (5) If a fishery is not already listed in the list of authorized 
fisheries and gear in Sec. 600.725(v), then the fishery is considered 
different and requires notification as described in paragraph (c) of 
this section 90 days before it can occur.
    (c) Procedures. If a gear or fishery does not appear on the list in 
Sec. 600.725(v), or if the gear is different from that defined in Sec. 
600.10, the process for notification, and consideration by a Council or 
the Director, is as follows:
    (1) Notification. After July 26, 1999, no person or vessel may 
employ fishing gear or engage in a fishery not included on the list of 
approved gear types in Sec. 600.725(v) without notifying the 
appropriate Council or the Director at least 90 days before the intended 
use of that gear.
    (2) Notification procedures. (i) A signed return receipt for the 
notice serves as adequate evidence of the date that the notification was 
received by the appropriate Council or the Director, in the case of 
Atlantic highly migratory species, and establishes the beginning of the 
90-day notification period, unless required information in the 
notification is incomplete.
    (ii) The notification must include:
    (A) Name, address, and telephone number of the person submitting the 
notification.
    (B) Description of the gear.
    (C) The fishery or fisheries in which the gear is or will be used.
    (D) A diagram and/or photograph of the gear, as well as any 
specifications and dimensions necessary to define the gear.
    (E) The season(s) in which the gear will be fished.
    (F) The area(s) in which the gear will be fished.

[[Page 118]]

    (G) The anticipated bycatch species associated with the gear, 
including protected species, such as marine mammals, sea turtles, sea 
birds, or species listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA.
    (H) How the gear will be deployed and fished, including the portions 
of the marine environment where the gear will be deployed (surface, 
midwater, and bottom).
    (iii) Failure to submit complete and accurate information will 
result in a delay in beginning the 90-day notification period. The 90-
day notification period will not begin until the information received is 
determined to be accurate and complete.
    (3) Action upon receipt of notification--(i) Species other than 
Atlantic Highly Migratory Species. (A) Upon signing a return receipt of 
the notification by certified mail regarding an unlisted fishery or 
gear, a Council must immediately begin consideration of the notification 
and send a copy of the notification to the appropriate Regional 
Administrator.
    (B) If the Council finds that the use of an unlisted gear or 
participation in a new fishery would not compromise the effectiveness of 
conservation and management efforts, it shall:
    (1) Recommend to the RA that the list be amended;
    (2) Provide rationale and supporting analysis, as necessary, for 
proper consideration of the proposed amendment; and
    (3) Provide a draft proposed rule for notifying the public of the 
proposed addition, with a request for comment.
    (C) If the Council finds that the proposed gear or fishery will be 
detrimental to conservation and management efforts, it will recommend to 
the RA that the authorized list of fisheries and gear not be amended, 
that a proposed rule not be published, give reasons for its 
recommendation of a disapproval, and may request NMFS to publish 
emergency or interim regulations, and begin preparation of an FMP or 
amendment to an FMP, if appropriate.
    (D) After considering information in the notification and Council's 
recommendation, NMFS will decide whether to publish a proposed rule. If 
information on the new gear or fishery being considered indicates it is 
likely that it will compromise conservation and management efforts under 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and no additional new information is likely to 
be gained from a public comment period, then a proposed rule will not be 
published and NMFS will notify the appropriate Council. In such an 
instance, NMFS will publish emergency or interim regulations to prohibit 
or restrict use of the gear or participation in the fishery. If NMFS 
determines that the proposed amendment is not likely to compromise 
conservation and management efforts under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS 
will publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register with a request for 
public comment.
    (ii) Atlantic Highly Migratory Species. (A) Upon signing a return 
receipt of the notification by certified mail regarding an unlisted 
fishery or gear for Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS), NMFS will 
immediately begin consideration of the notification.
    (B) Based on information in the notification and submitted by the 
Council, NMFS will make a determination whether the use of an unlisted 
gear or participation in an unlisted HMS fishery will compromise the 
effectiveness of conservation and management efforts under the Magnuson-
Stevens Act. If it is determined that the proposed amendment will not 
compromise conservation and management efforts, NMFS will publish a 
proposed rule.
    (C) If NMFS finds that the proposed gear or fishery will be 
detrimental to conservation and management efforts in this initial stage 
of review, it will not publish a proposed rule and notify the applicant 
of the negative determination with the reasons therefor.
    (4) Final determination and publication of a final rule. Following 
public comment, NMFS will approve or disapprove the amendment to the 
list of gear and fisheries.
    (i) If approved, NMFS will publish a final rule in the Federal 
Register and notify the applicant and the Council, if appropriate, of 
the final approval.
    (ii) If disapproved, NMFS will withdraw the proposed rule, notify 
the applicant and the Council, if appropriate, of the disapproval; 
publish emergency

[[Page 119]]

or interim regulations, if necessary, to prohibit or restrict the use of 
gear or the participation in a fishery; and either notify the Council of 
the need to amend an FMP or prepare an amendment to an FMP in the case 
of Atlantic highly migratory species.

[64 FR 4043, Jan. 27, 1999]



                  Subpart I_Fishery Negotiation Panels

    Source: 62 FR 23669, May 1, 1997, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 600.750  Definitions.

    Consensus means unanimous concurrence among the members on a Fishery 
Negotiation Panel established under this rule, unless such Panel:
    (1) Agrees to define such term to mean a general but not unanimous 
concurrence; or
    (2) agrees upon another specified definition.
    Fishery negotiation panel (FNP) means an advisory committee 
established by one or more Councils or the Secretary in accordance with 
these regulations to assist in the development of fishery conservation 
and management measures.
    Interest means, with respect to an issue or matter, multiple parties 
that have a similar point of view or that are likely to be affected in a 
similar manner.
    Report means a document submitted by an FNP in accordance with the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act.

[62 FR 23669, May 1, 1997, as amended at 63 FR 7075, Feb. 12, 1998]



Sec. 600.751  Determination of need for a fishery negotiation panel.

    A Council or NMFS may establish an FNP to assist in the development 
of specific fishery conservation and management measures. In determining 
whether to establish an FNP, NMFS or the Council, as appropriate, shall 
consider whether:
    (a) There is a need for specific fishery conservation and management 
measures.
    (b) There are a limited number of identifiable interests that will 
be significantly affected by the conservation and management measure.
    (c) There is a reasonable likelihood that an FNP can be convened 
with a balanced representation of persons who:
    (1) Can adequately represent the interests identified under 
paragraph (b) of this section.
    (2) Are willing to negotiate in good faith to reach a consensus on a 
report regarding the issues presented.
    (d) There is a reasonable likelihood that an FNP will reach
    a consensus on a report regarding the issues presented within 1 year 
from date of establishment of the FNP.
    (e) The use of an FNP will not unreasonably delay Council or NMFS 
fishery management plan development or rulemaking procedures.
    (f) The costs of establishment and operation of an FNP are 
reasonable when compared to fishery management plan development or 
rulemaking procedures that do not use FNP procedures.
    (g) The Council or NMFS has adequate resources and is willing to 
commit such resources, including technical assistance, to an FNP.
    (h) The use of an FNP is in the public interest.



Sec. 600.752  Use of conveners and facilitators.

    (a) Purposes of conveners. A Council or NMFS may use the services of 
a trained convener to assist the Council or NMFS in: (1) Conducting 
discussions to identify the issues of concern, and to ascertain whether 
the establishment of an FNP regarding such matter is feasible and 
appropriate.
    (2) Identifying persons who will be significantly affected by the 
issues presented in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
    (b) Duties of conveners. The convener shall report findings under 
paragraph (a)(2) of this section and shall make recommendations to the 
Council or NMFS. Upon request of the Council or NMFS, the convener shall 
ascertain the names of persons who are willing and qualified to 
represent interests that will be significantly affected by the potential 
conservation and management measures relevant to the issues to be 
negotiated. The report and

[[Page 120]]

any recommendations of the convener shall be made available to the 
public upon request.
    (c) Selection of facilitator. Notwithstanding section 10(e) of the 
Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), a Council or NMFS may nominate a 
person trained in facilitation either from the Federal Government or 
from outside the Federal Government to serve as an impartial, neutral 
facilitator for the negotiations of the FNP, subject to the approval of 
the FNP, by consensus. The facilitator may be the same person as the 
convener used under paragraph (a) of this section. If the FNP does not 
approve the nominee of the Council or NMFS for facilitator, the FNP 
shall submit a substitute nomination. If an FNP does not approve any 
nominee of the Council or NMFS for facilitator, the FNP shall select, by 
consensus, a person to serve as facilitator. A person designated to 
represent the Council or NMFS in substantive issues may not serve as 
facilitator or otherwise chair the FNP.
    (d) Roles and duties of facilitator. A facilitator shall:
    (1) Chair the meetings of the FNP in an impartial manner.
    (2) Impartially assist the members of the FNP in conducting 
discussions and negotiations.
    (3) Manage the keeping of minutes and records as required under 
section 10(b) and (c) of FACA.



Sec. 600.753  Notice of intent to establish a fishery negotiation panel.

    (a) Publication of notice. If, after considering the report of a 
convener or conducting its own assessment, a Council or NMFS decides to 
establish an FNP, NMFS shall publish in the Federal Register and, as 
appropriate, in trade or other specialized publications, a document that 
shall include:
    (1) An announcement that the Council or NMFS intends to establish an 
FNP to negotiate and develop a report concerning specific conservation 
and management measures.
    (2) A description of the subject and scope of the conservation and 
management measure, and the issues to be considered.
    (3) A list of the interests that are likely to be significantly 
affected by the conservation and management measure.
    (4) A list of the persons proposed to represent such interests and 
the person or persons proposed to represent the Council or NMFS.
    (5) A proposed agenda and schedule for completing the work of the 
FNP.
    (6) A description of administrative support for the FNP to be 
provided by the Council or NMFS, including technical assistance.
    (7) A solicitation for comments on the proposal to establish the 
FNP, and the proposed membership of the FNP.
    (8) An explanation of how a person may apply or nominate another 
person for membership on the FNP, as provided under paragraph (b) of 
this section.
    (b) Nomination of members and public comment. Persons who may be 
significantly affected by the development of conservation and management 
measure and who believe that their interests will not be adequately 
represented by any person specified in a document under paragraph (a)(4) 
of this section may apply for, or nominate another person for, 
membership on the FNP to represent such interests. Each application or 
nomination shall include:
    (1) The name of the applicant or nominee and a description of the 
interests such person shall represent.
    (2) Evidence that the applicant or nominee is authorized to 
represent parties related to the interests the person proposes to 
represent.
    (3) A written commitment that the applicant or nominee shall 
actively participate in good faith in the development of the 
conservation and management measure under consideration.
    (4) The reasons that the persons specified in the document under 
paragraph (a)(4) of this section do not adequately represent the 
interests of the person submitting the application or nomination.
    (c) Public comment. The Council or NMFS shall provide at least 30 
calendar days for the submission of comments and applications under this 
section.

[[Page 121]]



Sec. 600.754  Decision to establish a fishery negotiation panel.

    (a) Determination to establish an FNP. If, after considering 
comments and applications submitted under Sec. 600.753, the Council or 
NMFS determines that an FNP can adequately represent the interests that 
will be significantly affected and that it is feasible and appropriate 
in the particular case, the Council or NMFS may establish an FNP.
    (b) Determination not to establish FNP. If, after considering such 
comments and applications, the Council or NMFS decides not to establish 
an FNP, the Council or NMFS shall promptly publish notification of such 
decision and the reasons therefor in the Federal Register and, as 
appropriate, in trade or other specialized publications, a copy of which 
shall be sent to any person who applied for, or nominated another person 
for membership on the FNP to represent such interests with respect to 
the issues of concern.



Sec. 600.755  Establishment of a fishery negotiation panel.

    (a) General authority. (1) A Council may establish an FNP to assist 
in the development of specific conservation and management measures for 
a fishery under its authority.
    (2) NMFS may establish an FNP to assist in the development of 
specific conservation and management measures required for:
    (i) A fishery for which the Secretary has authority under section 
304(e)(5) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, regarding rebuilding of 
overfished fisheries;
    (ii) A fishery for which the Secretary has authority under 16 U.S.C. 
section 304(g), regarding highly migratory species; or
    (iii) Any fishery with the approval of the appropriate Council.
    (b) Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) In establishing and 
administering such an FNP, the Council or NMFS shall comply with the 
FACA with respect to such FNP.
    (c) Balance. Each potentially affected organization or individual 
does not necessarily have to have its own representative, but each 
interest must be adequately represented. The intent is to have a group 
that as a whole reflects a proper balance and mix of interests. 
Representatives must agree, in writing, to negotiate in good faith.
    (d) Membership. The Council or NMFS shall limit membership on an FNP 
to no more than 25 members, unless the Council or NMFS determines that a 
greater number of members is necessary for the functioning of the FNP or 
to achieve balanced membership. Each FNP shall include at least one 
person representing the Council in addition to at least one person 
representing NMFS.



Sec. 600.756  Conduct and operation of a fishery negotiation panel.

    (a) Roles and duties of an FNP. Each FNP shall consider the issue 
proposed by the Council or NMFS for consideration and shall attempt to 
reach a consensus concerning a report to assist in the development of a 
conservation and management measure with respect to such matter and any 
other matter the FNP determines is relevant to the development of a 
conservation and management measure. An FNP may adopt procedures for the 
operation of the FNP.
    (b) Roles and duties of representative of the council or NMFS. The 
person or persons representing the Council or NMFS on an FNP shall 
participate in the deliberations and activities of the FNP with the same 
rights and responsibilities as other members of the FNP, and shall be 
authorized to fully represent the Council or NMFS in the discussions and 
negotiations of the FNP.



Sec. 600.757  Operational protocols.

    (a) Services of conveners and facilitators. A Council or NMFS may 
employ or enter into contracts for the services of an individual or 
organization to serve as a convener or facilitator for an FNP 
established under Sec. 600.755, or may use the services of a government 
employee to act as a convener or a facilitator for such an FNP.
    (b) Councils. For an FNP proposed and established by one or more 
Councils approved expenses shall be paid out of the Council's operating 
budget.
    (c) Expenses of FNP members. Members of an FNP shall be responsible 
for their own expenses of participation in such an FNP, except that NMFS 
or the

[[Page 122]]

Council may, in accordance with section 7(d) of FACA, pay for a member's 
reasonable travel and per diem expenses, and a reasonable rate of 
compensation, if:
    (1) Such member certifies a lack of adequate financial resources to 
participate in the FNP.
    (2) The Council or NMFS determines that such member's participation 
in the FNP is necessary to assure an adequate representation of the 
member's interest.
    (d) Administrative support. The Council or NMFS shall provide 
appropriate administrative support to an FNP including technical 
assistance.



Sec. 600.758  Preparation of report.

    (a) At the conclusion of the negotiations, an FNP may submit a 
report. Such report shall specify:
    (1) All the areas where consensus was reached by the FNP, including, 
if appropriate, proposed conservation and management measures.
    (2) Any other information submitted by members of the FNP.
    (b) Upon receipt of the report, the Council or NMFS shall publish 
such report in the Federal Register for public comment.



Sec. 600.759  Use of report.

    A Council or NMFS may, at its discretion, use all or a part of a 
report prepared in accordance with Sec. 600.758 in the development of 
conservation and management measures. Neither a Council nor NMFS, 
whichever is appropriate, is required to use such report.



Sec. 600.760  Fishery Negotiation Panel lifetime.

    (a) An FNP shall terminate upon either:
    (1) Submission of a report prepared in accordance with Sec. 
600.758; or
    (2) Submission of a written statement from the FNP to the Council or 
NMFS that no consensus can be reached.
    (b) In no event shall an FNP exist for longer than 1 year from the 
date of establishment unless granted an extension. Upon written request 
by the FNP to the Council or NMFS, and written authorization from the 
Council or NMFS (whichever is appropriate), the Secretary may authorize 
an extension for a period not to exceed 6 months. No more than one 
extension may be granted per FNP.



                 Subpart J_Essential Fish Habitat (EFH)

    Source: 67 FR 2376, Jan. 17, 2002, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 600.805  Purpose and scope.

    (a) Purpose. This subpart provides guidelines for Councils and the 
Secretary to use in adding the required EFH provisions to an FMP, i.e., 
description and identification of EFH, adverse effects on EFH (including 
minimizing, to the extent practicable, adverse effects from fishing), 
and actions to conserve and enhance EFH.
    (b) Scope--(1) Species covered. An EFH provision in an FMP must 
include all fish species in the fishery management unit (FMU). An FMP 
may describe, identify, and protect the habitat of species not in an 
FMU; however, such habitat may not be considered EFH for the purposes of 
sections 303(a)(7) and 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (2) Geographic. EFH may be described and identified in waters of the 
United States, as defined in 33 CFR 328.3, and in the exclusive economic 
zone, as defined in Sec. 600.10. Councils may describe, identify, and 
protect habitats of managed species beyond the exclusive economic zone; 
however, such habitat may not be considered EFH for the purposes of 
sections 303(a)(7) and 305(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Activities 
that may adversely affect such habitat can be addressed through any 
process conducted in accordance with international agreements between 
the United States and the foreign nation(s) undertaking or authorizing 
the action.



Sec. 600.810  Definitions and word usage.

    (a) Definitions. In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and Sec. 600.10, the terms in this subpart have the 
following meanings:
    Adverse effect means any impact that reduces quality and/or quantity 
of EFH. Adverse effects may include direct or indirect physical, 
chemical, or biological alterations of the waters or substrate and loss 
of, or injury to,

[[Page 123]]

benthic organisms, prey species and their habitat, and other ecosystem 
components, if such modifications reduce the quality and/or quantity of 
EFH. Adverse effects to EFH may result from actions occurring within EFH 
or outside of EFH and may include site-specific or habitat-wide impacts, 
including individual, cumulative, or synergistic consequences of 
actions.
    Council includes the Secretary, as applicable, when preparing FMPs 
or amendments under sections 304(c) and (g) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    Ecosystem means communities of organisms interacting with one 
another and with the chemical and physical factors making up their 
environment.
    Habitat areas of particular concern means those areas of EFH 
identified pursuant to Sec. 600.815(a)(8).
    Healthy ecosystem means an ecosystem where ecological productive 
capacity is maintained, diversity of the flora and fauna is preserved, 
and the ecosystem retains the ability to regulate itself. Such an 
ecosystem should be similar to comparable, undisturbed ecosystems with 
regard to standing crop, productivity, nutrient dynamics, trophic 
structure, species richness, stability, resilience, contamination 
levels, and the frequency of diseased organisms.
    Overfished means any stock or stock complex, the status of which is 
reported as overfished by the Secretary pursuant to section 304(e)(1) of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (b) Word usage. The terms ``must'', ``shall'', ``should'', ``may'', 
``may not'', ``will'', ``could'', and ``can'' are used in the same 
manner as in Sec. 600.305(c).



Sec. 600.815  Contents of Fishery Management Plans.

    (a) Mandatory contents--(1) Description and identification of EFH--
(i) Overview. FMPs must describe and identify EFH in text that clearly 
states the habitats or habitat types determined to be EFH for each life 
stage of the managed species. FMPs should explain the physical, 
biological, and chemical characteristics of EFH and, if known, how these 
characteristics influence the use of EFH by the species/life stage. FMPs 
must identify the specific geographic location or extent of habitats 
described as EFH. FMPs must include maps of the geographic locations of 
EFH or the geographic boundaries within which EFH for each species and 
life stage is found.
    (ii) Habitat information by life stage. (A) Councils need basic 
information to understand the usage of various habitats by each managed 
species. Pertinent information includes the geographic range and habitat 
requirements by life stage, the distribution and characteristics of 
those habitats, and current and historic stock size as it affects 
occurrence in available habitats. FMPs should summarize the life history 
information necessary to understand each species' relationship to, or 
dependence on, its various habitats, using text, tables, and figures, as 
appropriate. FMPs should document patterns of temporal and spatial 
variation in the distribution of each major life stage (defined by 
developmental and functional shifts) to aid in understanding habitat 
needs. FMPs should summarize (e.g., in tables) all available information 
on environmental and habitat variables that control or limit 
distribution, abundance, reproduction, growth, survival, and 
productivity of the managed species. The information should be supported 
with citations.
    (B) Councils should obtain information to describe and identify EFH 
from the best available sources, including peer-reviewed literature, 
unpublished scientific reports, data files of government resource 
agencies, fisheries landing reports, and other sources of information. 
Councils should consider different types of information according to its 
scientific rigor. FMPs should identify species-specific habitat data 
gaps and deficits in data quality (including considerations of scale and 
resolution; relevance; and potential biases in collection and 
interpretation). FMPs must demonstrate that the best scientific 
information available was used in the description and identification of 
EFH, consistent with national standard 2.
    (iii) Analysis of habitat information. (A) The following approach 
should be used to organize the information necessary to describe and 
identify EFH.

[[Page 124]]

    (1) Level 1: Distribution data are available for some or all 
portions of the geographic range of the species. At this level, only 
distribution data are available to describe the geographic range of a 
species (or life stage). Distribution data may be derived from 
systematic presence/absence sampling and/or may include information on 
species and life stages collected opportunistically. In the event that 
distribution data are available only for portions of the geographic area 
occupied by a particular life stage of a species, habitat use can be 
inferred on the basis of distributions among habitats where the species 
has been found and on information about its habitat requirements and 
behavior. Habitat use may also be inferred, if appropriate, based on 
information on a similar species or another life stage.
    (2) Level 2: Habitat-related densities of the species are available. 
At this level, quantitative data (i.e., density or relative abundance) 
are available for the habitats occupied by a species or life stage. 
Because the efficiency of sampling methods is often affected by habitat 
characteristics, strict quality assurance criteria should be used to 
ensure that density estimates are comparable among methods and habitats. 
Density data should reflect habitat utilization, and the degree that a 
habitat is utilized is assumed to be indicative of habitat value. When 
assessing habitat value on the basis of fish densities in this manner, 
temporal changes in habitat availability and utilization should be 
considered.
    (3) Level 3: Growth, reproduction, or survival rates within habitats 
are available. At this level, data are available on habitat-related 
growth, reproduction, and/or survival by life stage. The habitats 
contributing the most to productivity should be those that support the 
highest growth, reproduction, and survival of the species (or life 
stage).
    (4) Level 4: Production rates by habitat are available. At this 
level, data are available that directly relate the production rates of a 
species or life stage to habitat type, quantity, quality, and location. 
Essential habitats are those necessary to maintain fish production 
consistent with a sustainable fishery and the managed species' 
contribution to a healthy ecosystem.
    (B) Councils should strive to describe habitat based on the highest 
level of detail (i.e., Level 4). If there is no information on a given 
species or life stage, and habitat usage cannot be inferred from other 
means, such as information on a similar species or another life stage, 
EFH should not be designated.
    (iv) EFH determination. (A) Councils should analyze available 
ecological, environmental, and fisheries information and data relevant 
to the managed species, the habitat requirements by life stage, and the 
species' distribution and habitat usage to describe and identify EFH. 
The information described in paragraphs (a)(1)(ii) and (iii) of this 
section will allow Councils to assess the relative value of habitats. 
Councils should interpret this information in a risk-averse fashion to 
ensure adequate areas are identified as EFH for managed species. Level 1 
information, if available, should be used to identify the geographic 
range of the species at each life stage. If only Level 1 information is 
available, distribution data should be evaluated (e.g., using a 
frequency of occurrence or other appropriate analysis) to identify EFH 
as those habitat areas most commonly used by the species. Level 2 
through 4 information, if available, should be used to identify EFH as 
the habitats supporting the highest relative abundance; growth, 
reproduction, or survival rates; and/or production rates within the 
geographic range of a species. FMPs should explain the analyses 
conducted to distinguish EFH from all habitats potentially used by a 
species.
    (B) FMPs must describe EFH in text, including reference to the 
geographic location or extent of EFH using boundaries such as longitude 
and latitude, isotherms, isobaths, political boundaries, and major 
landmarks. If there are differences between the descriptions of EFH in 
text, maps, and tables, the textual description is ultimately 
determinative of the limits of EFH. Text and tables should explain 
pertinent physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of EFH for 
the managed species and explain any variability in habitat usage 
patterns, but the boundaries of EFH should be static.

[[Page 125]]

    (C) If a species is overfished and habitat loss or degradation may 
be contributing to the species being identified as overfished, all 
habitats currently used by the species may be considered essential in 
addition to certain historic habitats that are necessary to support 
rebuilding the fishery and for which restoration is technologically and 
economically feasible. Once the fishery is no longer considered 
overfished, the EFH identification should be reviewed and amended, if 
appropriate.
    (D) Areas described as EFH will normally be greater than or equal to 
aquatic areas that have been identified as ``critical habitat'' for any 
managed species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered 
Species Act.
    (E) Ecological relationships among species and between the species 
and their habitat require, where possible, that an ecosystem approach be 
used in determining the EFH of a managed species. EFH must be designated 
for each managed species, but, where appropriate, may be designated for 
assemblages of species or life stages that have similar habitat needs 
and requirements. If grouping species or using species assemblages for 
the purpose of designating EFH, FMPs must include a justification and 
scientific rationale. The extent of the EFH should be based on the 
judgment of the Secretary and the appropriate Council(s) regarding the 
quantity and quality of habitat that are necessary to maintain a 
sustainable fishery and the managed species' contribution to a healthy 
ecosystem.
    (F) If degraded or inaccessible aquatic habitat has contributed to 
reduced yields of a species or assemblage and if, in the judgment of the 
Secretary and the appropriate Council(s), the degraded conditions can be 
reversed through such actions as improved fish passage techniques (for 
stream or river blockages), improved water quality measures (removal of 
contaminants or increasing flows), and similar measures that are 
technologically and economically feasible, EFH should include those 
habitats that would be necessary to the species to obtain increased 
yields.
    (v) EFH mapping requirements. (A) FMPs must include maps that 
display, within the constraints of available information, the geographic 
locations of EFH or the geographic boundaries within which EFH for each 
species and life stage is found. Maps should identify the different 
types of habitat designated as EFH to the extent possible. Maps should 
explicitly distinguish EFH from non-EFH areas. Councils should confer 
with NMFS regarding mapping standards to ensure that maps from different 
Councils can be combined and shared efficiently and effectively. 
Ultimately, data used for mapping should be incorporated into a 
geographic information system (GIS) to facilitate analysis and 
presentation.
    (B) Where the present distribution or stock size of a species or 
life stage is different from the historical distribution or stock size, 
then maps of historical habitat boundaries should be included in the 
FMP, if known.
    (C) FMPs should include maps of any habitat areas of particular 
concern identified under paragraph (a)(8) of this section.
    (2) Fishing activities that may adversely affect EFH--(i) 
Evaluation. Each FMP must contain an evaluation of the potential adverse 
effects of fishing on EFH designated under the FMP, including effects of 
each fishing activity regulated under the FMP or other Federal FMPs. 
This evaluation should consider the effects of each fishing activity on 
each type of habitat found within EFH. FMPs must describe each fishing 
activity, review and discuss all available relevant information (such as 
information regarding the intensity, extent, and frequency of any 
adverse effect on EFH; the type of habitat within EFH that may be 
affected adversely; and the habitat functions that may be disturbed), 
and provide conclusions regarding whether and how each fishing activity 
adversely affects EFH. The evaluation should also consider the 
cumulative effects of multiple fishing activities on EFH. The evaluation 
should list any past management actions that minimize potential adverse 
effects on EFH and describe the benefits of those actions to EFH. The 
evaluation should give special attention to

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adverse effects on habitat areas of particular concern and should 
identify for possible designation as habitat areas of particular concern 
any EFH that is particularly vulnerable to fishing activities. 
Additionally, the evaluation should consider the establishment of 
research closure areas or other measures to evaluate the impacts of 
fishing activities on EFH. In completing this evaluation, Councils 
should use the best scientific information available, as well as other 
appropriate information sources. Councils should consider different 
types of information according to its scientific rigor.
    (ii) Minimizing adverse effects. Each FMP must minimize to the 
extent practicable adverse effects from fishing on EFH, including EFH 
designated under other Federal FMPs. Councils must act to prevent, 
mitigate, or minimize any adverse effects from fishing, to the extent 
practicable, if there is evidence that a fishing activity adversely 
affects EFH in a manner that is more than minimal and not temporary in 
nature, based on the evaluation conducted pursuant to paragraph 
(a)(2)(i) of this section and/or the cumulative impacts analysis 
conducted pursuant to paragraph (a)(5) of this section. In such cases, 
FMPs should identify a range of potential new actions that could be 
taken to address adverse effects on EFH, include an analysis of the 
practicability of potential new actions, and adopt any new measures that 
are necessary and practicable. Amendments to the FMP or to its 
implementing regulations must ensure that the FMP continues to minimize 
to the extent practicable adverse effects on EFH caused by fishing. FMPs 
must explain the reasons for the Council's conclusions regarding the 
past and/or new actions that minimize to the extent practicable the 
adverse effects of fishing on EFH.
    (iii) Practicability. In determining whether it is practicable to 
minimize an adverse effect from fishing, Councils should consider the 
nature and extent of the adverse effect on EFH and the long and short-
term costs and benefits of potential management measures to EFH, 
associated fisheries, and the nation, consistent with national standard 
7. In determining whether management measures are practicable, Councils 
are not required to perform a formal cost/benefit analysis.
    (iv) Options for managing adverse effects from fishing. Fishery 
management options may include, but are not limited to:
    (A) Fishing equipment restrictions. These options may include, but 
are not limited to: seasonal and areal restrictions on the use of 
specified equipment, equipment modifications to allow escapement of 
particular species or particular life stages (e.g., juveniles), 
prohibitions on the use of explosives and chemicals, prohibitions on 
anchoring or setting equipment in sensitive areas, and prohibitions on 
fishing activities that cause significant damage to EFH.
    (B) Time/area closures. These actions may include, but are not 
limited to: closing areas to all fishing or specific equipment types 
during spawning, migration, foraging, and nursery activities and 
designating zones for use as marine protected areas to limit adverse 
effects of fishing practices on certain vulnerable or rare areas/
species/life stages, such as those areas designated as habitat areas of 
particular concern.
    (C) Harvest limits. These actions may include, but are not limited 
to, limits on the take of species that provide structural habitat for 
other species assemblages or communities and limits on the take of prey 
species.
    (3) Non-Magnuson-Stevens Act fishing activities that may adversely 
affect EFH. FMPs must identify any fishing activities that are not 
managed under the Magnuson-Stevens Act that may adversely affect EFH. 
Such activities may include fishing managed by state agencies or other 
authorities.
    (4) Non-fishing related activities that may adversely affect EFH. 
FMPs must identify activities other than fishing that may adversely 
affect EFH. Broad categories of such activities include, but are not 
limited to: dredging, filling, excavation, mining, impoundment, 
discharge, water diversions, thermal additions, actions that contribute 
to non-point source pollution and sedimentation, introduction of 
potentially hazardous materials, introduction of exotic species, and the 
conversion of

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aquatic habitat that may eliminate, diminish, or disrupt the functions 
of EFH. For each activity, the FMP should describe known and potential 
adverse effects to EFH.
    (5) Cumulative impacts analysis. Cumulative impacts are impacts on 
the environment that result from the incremental impact of an action 
when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future 
actions, regardless of who undertakes such actions. Cumulative impacts 
can result from individually minor, but collectively significant actions 
taking place over a period of time. To the extent feasible and 
practicable, FMPs should analyze how the cumulative impacts of fishing 
and non-fishing activities influence the function of EFH on an ecosystem 
or watershed scale. An assessment of the cumulative and synergistic 
effects of multiple threats, including the effects of natural stresses 
(such as storm damage or climate-based environmental shifts) and an 
assessment of the ecological risks resulting from the impact of those 
threats on EFH, also should be included.
    (6) Conservation and enhancement. FMPs must identify actions to 
encourage the conservation and enhancement of EFH, including recommended 
options to avoid, minimize, or compensate for the adverse effects 
identified pursuant to paragraphs (a)(3) through (5) of this section, 
especially in habitat areas of particular concern.
    (7) Prey species. Loss of prey may be an adverse effect on EFH and 
managed species because the presence of prey makes waters and substrate 
function as feeding habitat, and the definition of EFH includes waters 
and substrate necessary to fish for feeding. Therefore, actions that 
reduce the availability of a major prey species, either through direct 
harm or capture, or through adverse impacts to the prey species' habitat 
that are known to cause a reduction in the population of the prey 
species, may be considered adverse effects on EFH if such actions reduce 
the quality of EFH. FMPs should list the major prey species for the 
species in the fishery management unit and discuss the location of prey 
species' habitat. Adverse effects on prey species and their habitats may 
result from fishing and non-fishing activities.
    (8) Identification of habitat areas of particular concern. FMPs 
should identify specific types or areas of habitat within EFH as habitat 
areas of particular concern based on one or more of the following 
considerations:
    (i) The importance of the ecological function provided by the 
habitat.
    (ii) The extent to which the habitat is sensitive to human-induced 
environmental degradation.
    (iii) Whether, and to what extent, development activities are, or 
will be, stressing the habitat type.
    (iv) The rarity of the habitat type.
    (9) Research and information needs. Each FMP should contain 
recommendations, preferably in priority order, for research efforts that 
the Councils and NMFS view as necessary to improve upon the description 
and identification of EFH, the identification of threats to EFH from 
fishing and other activities, and the development of conservation and 
enhancement measures for EFH.
    (10) Review and revision of EFH components of FMPs. Councils and 
NMFS should periodically review the EFH provisions of FMPs and revise or 
amend EFH provisions as warranted based on available information. FMPs 
should outline the procedures the Council will follow to review and 
update EFH information. The review of information should include, but 
not be limited to, evaluating published scientific literature and 
unpublished scientific reports; soliciting information from interested 
parties; and searching for previously unavailable or inaccessible data. 
Councils should report on their review of EFH information as part of the 
annual Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report prepared 
pursuant to Sec. 600.315(e). A complete review of all EFH information 
should be conducted as recommended by the Secretary, but at least once 
every 5 years.
    (b) Development of EFH recommendations for Councils. After reviewing 
the best available scientific information, as well as other appropriate 
information, and in consultation with the Councils, participants in the 
fishery,

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interstate commissions, Federal agencies, state agencies, and other 
interested parties, NMFS will develop written recommendations to assist 
each Council in the identification of EFH, adverse impacts to EFH, and 
actions that should be considered to ensure the conservation and 
enhancement of EFH for each FMP. NMFS will provide such recommendations 
for the initial incorporation of EFH information into an FMP and for any 
subsequent modification of the EFH components of an FMP. The NMFS EFH 
recommendations may be provided either before the Council's development 
of a draft EFH document or later as a review of a draft EFH document 
developed by a Council, as appropriate.
    (c) Relationship to other fishery management authorities. Councils 
are encouraged to coordinate with state and interstate fishery 
management agencies where Federal fisheries affect state and interstate 
managed fisheries or where state or interstate fishery regulations 
affect the management of Federal fisheries. Where a state or interstate 
fishing activity adversely affects EFH, NMFS will consider that action 
to be an adverse effect on EFH pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this 
section and will provide EFH Conservation Recommendations to the 
appropriate state or interstate fishery management agency on that 
activity.



      Subpart K_EFH Coordination, Consultation, and Recommendations

    Source: 67 FR 2376, Jan. 17, 2002, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 600.905  Purpose, scope, and NMFS/Council cooperation.

    (a) Purpose. These procedures address the coordination, 
consultation, and recommendation requirements of sections 305(b)(1)(D) 
and 305(b)(2-4) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The purpose of these 
procedures is to promote the protection of EFH in the review of Federal 
and state actions that may adversely affect EFH.
    (b) Scope. Section 305(b)(1)(D) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act requires 
the Secretary to coordinate with, and provide information to, other 
Federal agencies regarding the conservation and enhancement of EFH. 
Section 305(b)(2) requires all Federal agencies to consult with the 
Secretary on all actions or proposed actions authorized, funded, or 
undertaken by the agency that may adversely affect EFH. Sections 
305(b)(3) and (4) direct the Secretary and the Councils to provide 
comments and EFH Conservation Recommendations to Federal or state 
agencies on actions that affect EFH. Such recommendations may include 
measures to avoid, minimize, mitigate, or otherwise offset adverse 
effects on EFH resulting from actions or proposed actions authorized, 
funded, or undertaken by that agency. Section 305(b)(4)(B) requires 
Federal agencies to respond in writing to such comments. The following 
procedures for coordination, consultation, and recommendations allow all 
parties involved to understand and implement the requirements of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (c) Cooperation between Councils and NMFS. The Councils and NMFS 
should cooperate closely to identify actions that may adversely affect 
EFH, to develop comments and EFH Conservation Recommendations to Federal 
and state agencies, and to provide EFH information to Federal and state 
agencies. NMFS will work with each Council to share information and to 
coordinate Council and NMFS comments and recommendations on actions that 
may adversely affect EFH. However, NMFS and the Councils also have the 
authority to act independently.



Sec. 600.910  Definitions and word usage.

    (a) Definitions. In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and Sec. 600.10, the terms in this subpart have the 
following meanings:
    Adverse effect means any impact that reduces quality and/or quantity 
of EFH. Adverse effects may include direct or indirect physical, 
chemical, or biological alterations of the waters or substrate and loss 
of, or injury to, benthic organisms, prey species and their habitat, and 
other ecosystem components, if such modifications reduce the quality 
and/or quantity of EFH. Adverse effects to EFH may result from actions 
occurring within

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EFH or outside of EFH and may include site-specific or habitat-wide 
impacts, including individual, cumulative, or synergistic consequences 
of actions.
    Anadromous fishery resource under Council authority means an 
anadromous species managed under an FMP.
    Federal action means any action authorized, funded, or undertaken, 
or proposed to be authorized, funded, or undertaken by a Federal agency.
    Habitat areas of particular concern means those areas of EFH 
identified pursuant to Sec. 600.815(a)(8).
    State action means any action authorized, funded, or undertaken, or 
proposed to be authorized, funded, or undertaken by a state agency.
    (b) Word usage. The terms ``must'', ``shall'', ``should'', ``may'', 
``may not'', ``will'', ``could'', and ``can'' are used in the same 
manner as in Sec. 600.305(c).



Sec. 600.915  Coordination for the conservation and enhancement of EFH.

    To further the conservation and enhancement of EFH in accordance 
with section 305(b)(1)(D) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS will compile 
and make available to other Federal and state agencies, and the general 
public, information on the locations of EFH, including maps and/or 
narrative descriptions. NMFS will also provide information on ways to 
improve ongoing Federal operations to promote the conservation and 
enhancement of EFH. Federal and state agencies empowered to authorize, 
fund, or undertake actions that may adversely affect EFH are encouraged 
to contact NMFS and the Councils to become familiar with areas 
designated as EFH, potential threats to EFH, and opportunities to 
promote the conservation and enhancement of EFH.



Sec. 600.920  Federal agency consultation with the Secretary.

    (a) Consultation generally--(1) Actions requiring consultation. 
Pursuant to section 305(b)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Federal 
agencies must consult with NMFS regarding any of their actions 
authorized, funded, or undertaken, or proposed to be authorized, funded, 
or undertaken that may adversely affect EFH. EFH consultation is not 
required for actions that were completed prior to the approval of EFH 
designations by the Secretary, e.g., issued permits. Consultation is 
required for renewals, reviews, or substantial revisions of actions if 
the renewal, review, or revision may adversely affect EFH. Consultation 
on Federal programs delegated to non-Federal entities is required at the 
time of delegation, review, and renewal of the delegation. EFH 
consultation is required for any Federal funding of actions that may 
adversely affect EFH. NMFS and Federal agencies responsible for funding 
actions that may adversely affect EFH should consult on a programmatic 
level under paragraph (j) of this section, if appropriate, with respect 
to these actions. Consultation is required for emergency Federal actions 
that may adversely affect EFH, such as hazardous material clean-up, 
response to natural disasters, or actions to protect public safety. 
Federal agencies should contact NMFS early in emergency response 
planning, but may consult after-the-fact if consultation on an expedited 
basis is not practicable before taking the action.
    (2) Approaches for conducting consultation. Federal agencies may use 
one of the five approaches described in paragraphs (f) through (j) of 
this section to fulfill the EFH consultation requirements. The selection 
of a particular approach for handling EFH consultation depends on the 
nature and scope of the actions that may adversely affect EFH. Federal 
agencies should use the most efficient approach for EFH consultation 
that is appropriate for a given action or actions. The five approaches 
are: use of existing environmental review procedures, General 
Concurrence, abbreviated consultation, expanded consultation, and 
programmatic consultation.
    (3) Early notification and coordination. The Federal agency should 
notify NMFS in writing as early as practicable regarding actions that 
may adversely affect EFH. Notification will facilitate discussion of 
measures to conserve EFH. Such early coordination should occur during 
pre-application planning for projects subject to a Federal permit or 
license and during preliminary planning for projects to be

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funded or undertaken directly by a Federal agency.
    (b) Designation of lead agency. If more than one Federal agency is 
responsible for a Federal action, the consultation requirements of 
sections 305(b)(2) through (4) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act may be 
fulfilled through a lead agency. The lead agency should notify NMFS in 
writing that it is representing one or more additional agencies. 
Alternatively, if one Federal agency has completed an EFH consultation 
for an action and another Federal agency acts separately to authorize, 
fund, or undertake the same activity (such as issuing a permit for an 
activity that was funded via a separate Federal action), the completed 
EFH consultation may suffice for both Federal actions if it adequately 
addresses the adverse effects of the actions on EFH. Federal agencies 
may need to consult with NMFS separately if, for example, only one of 
the agencies has the authority to implement measures necessary to 
minimize adverse effects on EFH and that agency does not act as the lead 
agency.
    (c) Designation of non-Federal representative. A Federal agency may 
designate a non-Federal representative to conduct an EFH consultation by 
giving written notice of such designation to NMFS. If a non-Federal 
representative is used, the Federal action agency remains ultimately 
responsible for compliance with sections 305(b)(2) and 305(b)(4)(B) of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (d) Best available information. The Federal agency and NMFS must use 
the best scientific information available regarding the effects of the 
action on EFH and the measures that can be taken to avoid, minimize, or 
offset such effects. Other appropriate sources of information may also 
be considered.
    (e) EFH Assessments--(1) Preparation requirement. For any Federal 
action that may adversely affect EFH, Federal agencies must provide NMFS 
with a written assessment of the effects of that action on EFH. For 
actions covered by a General Concurrence under paragraph (g) of this 
section, an EFH Assessment should be completed during the development of 
the General Concurrence and is not required for the individual actions. 
For actions addressed by a programmatic consultation under paragraph (j) 
of this section, an EFH Assessment should be completed during the 
programmatic consultation and is not required for individual actions 
implemented under the program, except in those instances identified by 
NMFS in the programmatic consultation as requiring separate EFH 
consultation. Federal agencies are not required to provide NMFS with 
assessments regarding actions that they have determined would not 
adversely affect EFH. Federal agencies may incorporate an EFH Assessment 
into documents prepared for other purposes such as Endangered Species 
Act (ESA) Biological Assessments pursuant to 50 CFR part 402 or National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents and public notices pursuant to 
40 CFR part 1500. If an EFH Assessment is contained in another document, 
it must include all of the information required in paragraph (e)(3) of 
this section and be clearly identified as an EFH Assessment. The 
procedure for combining an EFH consultation with other environmental 
reviews is set forth in paragraph (f) of this section.
    (2) Level of detail. The level of detail in an EFH Assessment should 
be commensurate with the complexity and magnitude of the potential 
adverse effects of the action. For example, for relatively simple 
actions involving minor adverse effects on EFH, the assessment may be 
very brief. Actions that may pose a more serious threat to EFH warrant a 
correspondingly more detailed EFH Assessment.
    (3) Mandatory contents. The assessment must contain:
    (i) A description of the action.
    (ii) An analysis of the potential adverse effects of the action on 
EFH and the managed species.
    (iii) The Federal agency's conclusions regarding the effects of the 
action on EFH.
    (iv) Proposed mitigation, if applicable.
    (4) Additional information. If appropriate, the assessment should 
also include:
    (i) The results of an on-site inspection to evaluate the habitat and 
the site-specific effects of the project.

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    (ii) The views of recognized experts on the habitat or species that 
may be affected.
    (iii) A review of pertinent literature and related information.
    (iv) An analysis of alternatives to the action. Such analysis should 
include alternatives that could avoid or minimize adverse effects on 
EFH.
    (v) Other relevant information.
    (5) Incorporation by reference. The assessment may incorporate by 
reference a completed EFH Assessment prepared for a similar action, 
supplemented with any relevant new project specific information, 
provided the proposed action involves similar impacts to EFH in the same 
geographic area or a similar ecological setting. It may also incorporate 
by reference other relevant environmental assessment documents. These 
documents must be provided to NMFS with the EFH Assessment.
    (f) Use of existing environmental review procedures--(1) Purpose and 
criteria. Consultation and commenting under sections 305(b)(2) and 
305(b)(4) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act should be consolidated, where 
appropriate, with interagency consultation, coordination, and 
environmental review procedures required by other statutes, such as 
NEPA, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, Clean Water Act, ESA, and 
Federal Power Act. The requirements of sections 305(b)(2) and 305(b)(4) 
of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, including consultations that would be 
considered to be abbreviated or expanded consultations under paragraphs 
(h) and (i) of this section, can be combined with existing procedures 
required by other statutes if such processes meet, or are modified to 
meet, the following criteria:
    (i) The existing process must provide NMFS with timely notification 
of actions that may adversely affect EFH. The Federal agency should 
notify NMFS according to the same timeframes for notification (or for 
public comment) as in the existing process. Whenever possible, NMFS 
should have at least 60 days notice prior to a final decision on an 
action, or at least 90 days if the action would result in substantial 
adverse impacts. NMFS and the action agency may agree to use shorter 
timeframes provided that they allow sufficient time for NMFS to develop 
EFH Conservation Recommendations.
    (ii) Notification must include an assessment of the impacts of the 
action on EFH that meets the requirements for EFH Assessments contained 
in paragraph (e) of this section. If the EFH Assessment is contained in 
another document, the Federal agency must identify that section of the 
document as the EFH Assessment.
    (iii) NMFS must have made a finding pursuant to paragraph (f)(3) of 
this section that the existing process can be used to satisfy the 
requirements of sections 305(b)(2) and 305(b)(4) of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act.
    (2) NMFS response to Federal agency. If an existing environmental 
review process is used to fulfill the EFH consultation requirements, the 
comment deadline for that process should apply to the submittal of NMFS 
EFH Conservation Recommendations under section 305(b)(4)(A) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, unless NMFS and the Federal agency agree to a 
different deadline. If NMFS EFH Conservation Recommendations are 
combined with other NMFS or NOAA comments on a Federal action, such as 
NOAA comments on a draft Environmental Impact Statement, the EFH 
Conservation Recommendations will be clearly identified as such (e.g., a 
section in the comment letter entitled ``EFH Conservation 
Recommendations'') and a Federal agency response pursuant to section 
305(b)(4)(B) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act is required for only the 
identified portion of the comments.
    (3) NMFS finding. A Federal agency with an existing environmental 
review process should contact NMFS at the appropriate level (regional 
offices for regional processes, headquarters office for national 
processes) to discuss how to combine the EFH consultation requirements 
with the existing process, with or without modifications. If, at the 
conclusion of these discussions, NMFS determines that the existing or 
modified process meets the criteria of paragraph (f)(1) of this section, 
NMFS will make a finding that the process can be used to satisfy the EFH 
consultation requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. If NMFS does not

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make such a finding, or if there are no existing consultation processes 
relevant to the Federal agency's actions, the agency and NMFS should 
follow one of the approaches for consultation discussed in the following 
sections.
    (g) General Concurrence--(1) Purpose. A General Concurrence 
identifies specific types of Federal actions that may adversely affect 
EFH, but for which no further consultation is generally required because 
NMFS has determined, through an analysis of that type of action, that it 
will likely result in no more than minimal adverse effects individually 
and cumulatively. General Concurrences may be national or regional in 
scope.
    (2) Criteria. (i) For Federal actions to qualify for General 
Concurrence, NMFS must determine that the actions meet all of the 
following criteria:
    (A) The actions must be similar in nature and similar in their 
impact on EFH.
    (B) The actions must not cause greater than minimal adverse effects 
on EFH when implemented individually.
    (C) The actions must not cause greater than minimal cumulative 
adverse effects on EFH.
    (ii) Actions qualifying for General Concurrence must be tracked to 
ensure that their cumulative effects are no more than minimal. In most 
cases, tracking actions covered by a General Concurrence will be the 
responsibility of the Federal agency. However, NMFS may agree to track 
such actions. Tracking should include numbers of actions and the amount 
and type of habitat adversely affected, and should specify the baseline 
against which the actions will be tracked. The agency responsible for 
tracking such actions should make the information available to NMFS, the 
applicable Council(s), and to the public on an annual basis.
    (iii) Categories of Federal actions may also qualify for General 
Concurrence if they are modified by appropriate conditions that ensure 
the actions will meet the criteria in paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this 
section. For example, NMFS may provide General Concurrence for 
additional actions contingent upon project size limitations, seasonal 
restrictions, or other conditions.
    (iv) If a General Concurrence is proposed for actions that may 
adversely affect habitat areas of particular concern, the General 
Concurrence should be subject to a higher level of scrutiny than a 
General Concurrence not involving a habitat area of particular concern.
    (3) General Concurrence development. A Federal agency may request a 
General Concurrence for a category of its actions by providing NMFS with 
an EFH Assessment containing a description of the nature and approximate 
number of the actions, an analysis of the effects of the actions on EFH, 
including cumulative effects, and the Federal agency's conclusions 
regarding the magnitude of such effects. If NMFS agrees that the actions 
fit the criteria in paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this section, NMFS will 
provide the Federal agency with a written statement of General 
Concurrence that further consultation is not required. If NMFS does not 
agree that the actions fit the criteria in paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this 
section, NMFS will notify the Federal agency that a General Concurrence 
will not be issued and that another type of consultation will be 
required. If NMFS identifies specific types of Federal actions that may 
meet the requirements for a General Concurrence, NMFS may initiate and 
complete a General Concurrence.
    (4) Further consultation. NMFS may request notification for actions 
covered under a General Concurrence if NMFS concludes there are 
circumstances under which such actions could result in more than a 
minimal impact on EFH, or if it determines that there is no process in 
place to adequately assess the cumulative impacts of actions covered 
under the General Concurrence. NMFS may request further consultation for 
these actions on a case-by-case basis. Each General Concurrence should 
establish specific procedures for further consultation, if appropriate.
    (5) Notification. After completing a General Concurrence, NMFS will 
provide a copy to the appropriate Council(s) and will make the General 
Concurrence available to the public by posting the document on the 
internet or through other appropriate means.

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    (6) Revisions. NMFS will periodically review and revise its General 
Concurrences, as appropriate.
    (h) Abbreviated consultation procedures--(1) Purpose and criteria. 
Abbreviated consultation allows NMFS to determine quickly whether, and 
to what degree, a Federal action may adversely affect EFH. Federal 
actions that may adversely affect EFH should be addressed through the 
abbreviated consultation procedures when those actions do not qualify 
for a General Concurrence, but do not have the potential to cause 
substantial adverse effects on EFH. For example, the abbreviated 
consultation procedures should be used when the adverse effect(s) of an 
action could be alleviated through minor modifications.
    (2) Notification by agency and submittal of EFH Assessment. 
Abbreviated consultation begins when NMFS receives from the Federal 
agency an EFH Assessment in accordance with paragraph (e) of this 
section and a written request for consultation.
    (3) NMFS response to Federal agency. If NMFS determines, contrary to 
the Federal agency's assessment, that an action would not adversely 
affect EFH, or if NMFS determines that no EFH Conservation 
Recommendations are needed, NMFS will notify the Federal agency either 
informally or in writing of its determination. If NMFS believes that the 
action may result in substantial adverse effects on EFH, or that 
additional analysis is needed to assess the effects of the action, NMFS 
will request in writing that the Federal agency initiate expanded 
consultation. Such request will explain why NMFS believes expanded 
consultation is needed and will specify any new information needed. If 
expanded consultation is not necessary, NMFS will provide EFH 
Conservation Recommendations, if appropriate, pursuant to section 
305(b)(4)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (4) Timing. The Federal agency must submit its EFH Assessment to 
NMFS as soon as practicable, but at least 60 days prior to a final 
decision on the action. NMFS must respond in writing within 30 days. 
NMFS and the Federal agency may agree to use a compressed schedule in 
cases where regulatory approvals or emergency situations cannot 
accommodate 30 days for consultation, or to conduct consultation earlier 
in the planning cycle for actions with lengthy approval processes.
    (i) Expanded consultation procedures--(1) Purpose and criteria. 
Expanded consultation allows maximum opportunity for NMFS and the 
Federal agency to work together to review the action's impacts on EFH 
and to develop EFH Conservation Recommendations. Expanded consultation 
procedures must be used for Federal actions that would result in 
substantial adverse effects to EFH. Federal agencies are encouraged to 
contact NMFS at the earliest opportunity to discuss whether the adverse 
effects of an action make expanded consultation appropriate.
    (2) Notification by agency and submittal of EFH Assessment. Expanded 
consultation begins when NMFS receives from the Federal agency an EFH 
Assessment in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section and a 
written request for expanded consultation. Federal agencies are 
encouraged to provide in the EFH Assessment the additional information 
identified under paragraph (e)(4) of this section to facilitate review 
of the effects of the action on EFH.
    (3) NMFS response to Federal agency. NMFS will:
    (i) Review the EFH Assessment, any additional information furnished 
by the Federal agency, and other relevant information.
    (ii) Conduct a site visit, if appropriate, to assess the quality of 
the habitat and to clarify the impacts of the Federal agency action. 
Such a site visit should be coordinated with the Federal agency and 
appropriate Council(s), if feasible.
    (iii) Coordinate its review of the action with the appropriate 
Council(s).
    (iv) Discuss EFH Conservation Recommendations with the Federal 
agency and provide such recommendations to the Federal agency, pursuant 
to section 305(b)(4)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    (4) Timing. The Federal agency must submit its EFH Assessment to 
NMFS as soon as practicable, but at least 90 days prior to a final 
decision on the action. NMFS must respond within 60

[[Page 134]]

days of submittal of a complete EFH Assessment unless consultation is 
extended by agreement between NMFS and the Federal agency. NMFS and 
Federal agencies may agree to use a compressed schedule in cases where 
regulatory approvals or emergency situations cannot accommodate 60 days 
for consultation, or to conduct consultation earlier in the planning 
cycle for actions with lengthy approval processes.
    (5) Extension of consultation. If NMFS determines that additional 
data or analysis would provide better information for development of EFH 
Conservation Recommendations, NMFS may request additional time for 
expanded consultation. If NMFS and the Federal agency agree to an 
extension, the Federal agency should provide the additional information 
to NMFS, to the extent practicable. If NMFS and the Federal agency do 
not agree to extend consultation, NMFS must provide EFH Conservation 
Recommendations to the Federal agency using the best scientific 
information available to NMFS.
    (j) Programmatic consultation--(1) Purpose. Programmatic 
consultation provides a means for NMFS and a Federal agency to consult 
regarding a potentially large number of individual actions that may 
adversely affect EFH. Programmatic consultation will generally be the 
most appropriate option to address funding programs, large-scale 
planning efforts, and other instances where sufficient information is 
available to address all reasonably foreseeable adverse effects on EFH 
of an entire program, parts of a program, or a number of similar 
individual actions occurring within a given geographic area.
    (2) Process. A Federal agency may request programmatic consultation 
by providing NMFS with an EFH Assessment in accordance with paragraph 
(e) of this section. The description of the proposed action in the EFH 
Assessment should describe the program and the nature and approximate 
number (annually or by some other appropriate time frame) of the 
actions. NMFS may also initiate programmatic consultation by requesting 
pertinent information from a Federal agency.
    (3) NMFS response to Federal agency. NMFS will respond to the 
Federal agency with programmatic EFH Conservation Recommendations and, 
if applicable, will identify any potential adverse effects that could 
not be addressed programmatically and require project-specific 
consultation. NMFS may also determine that programmatic consultation is 
not appropriate, in which case all EFH Conservation Recommendations will 
be deferred to project-specific consultations. If appropriate, NMFS' 
response may include a General Concurrence for activities that qualify 
under paragraph (g) of this section.
    (k) Responsibilities of Federal agency following receipt of EFH 
Conservation Recommendations--(1) Federal agency response. As required 
by section 305(b)(4)(B) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Federal agency 
must provide a detailed response in writing to NMFS and to any Council 
commenting on the action under section 305(b)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act within 30 days after receiving an EFH Conservation Recommendation 
from NMFS. Such a response must be provided at least 10 days prior to 
final approval of the action if the response is inconsistent with any of 
NMFS' EFH Conservation Recommendations, unless NMFS and the Federal 
agency have agreed to use alternative time frames for the Federal agency 
response. The response must include a description of measures proposed 
by the agency for avoiding, mitigating, or offsetting the impact of the 
activity on EFH. In the case of a response that is inconsistent with 
NMFS Conservation Recommendations, the Federal agency must explain its 
reasons for not following the recommendations, including the scientific 
justification for any disagreements with NMFS over the anticipated 
effects of the action and the measures needed to avoid, minimize, 
mitigate, or offset such effects.
    (2) Further review of decisions inconsistent with NMFS or Council 
recommendations. If a Federal agency decision is inconsistent with a 
NMFS EFH Conservation Recommendation, the Assistant Administrator for 
Fisheries may request a meeting with the head of the Federal agency, as 
well as with

[[Page 135]]

any other agencies involved, to discuss the action and opportunities for 
resolving any disagreements. If a Federal agency decision is also 
inconsistent with a Council recommendation made pursuant to section 
305(b)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Council may request that the 
Assistant Administrator initiate further review of the Federal agency's 
decision and involve the Council in any interagency discussion to 
resolve disagreements with the Federal agency. The Assistant 
Administrator will make every effort to accommodate such a request. NMFS 
may develop written procedures to further define such review processes.
    (l) Supplemental consultation. A Federal agency must reinitiate 
consultation with NMFS if the agency substantially revises its plans for 
an action in a manner that may adversely affect EFH or if new 
information becomes available that affects the basis for NMFS EFH 
Conservation Recommendations.



Sec. 600.925  NMFS EFH Conservation Recommendations to Federal and state 

agencies.

    (a) General. Under section 305(b)(4)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 
NMFS is required to provide EFH Conservation Recommendations to Federal 
and state agencies for actions that would adversely affect EFH. NMFS 
will not recommend that state or Federal agencies take actions beyond 
their statutory authority.
    (b) Recommendations to Federal agencies. For Federal actions, EFH 
Conservation Recommendations will be provided to Federal agencies as 
part of EFH consultations conducted pursuant to Sec. 600.920. If NMFS 
becomes aware of a Federal action that would adversely affect EFH, but 
for which a Federal agency has not initiated an EFH consultation, NMFS 
may request that the Federal agency initiate EFH consultation, or NMFS 
will provide EFH Conservation Recommendations based on the information 
available.
    (c) Recommendations to state agencies--(1) Establishment of 
procedures. The Magnuson-Stevens Act does not require state agencies to 
consult with the Secretary regarding EFH. NMFS will use existing 
coordination procedures or establish new procedures to identify state 
actions that may adversely affect EFH, and to determine the most 
appropriate method for providing EFH Conservation Recommendations to 
state agencies.
    (2) Coordination with states on recommendations to Federal agencies. 
When an action that would adversely affect EFH is authorized, funded, or 
undertaken by both Federal and state agencies, NMFS will provide the 
appropriate state agencies with copies of EFH Conservation 
Recommendations developed as part of the Federal consultation procedures 
in Sec. 600.920. NMFS will also seek agreements on sharing information 
and copies of recommendations with Federal or state agencies conducting 
similar consultation and recommendation processes to ensure coordination 
of such efforts.
    (d) Coordination with Councils. NMFS will coordinate with each 
Council to identify the types of actions on which Councils intend to 
comment pursuant to section 305(b)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. For 
such actions NMFS will share pertinent information with the Council, 
including copies of NMFS' EFH Conservation Recommendations.



Sec. 600.930  Council comments and recommendations to Federal and state 

agencies.

    Under section 305(b)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, Councils may 
comment on and make recommendations to the Secretary and any Federal or 
state agency concerning any activity or proposed activity authorized, 
funded, or undertaken by the agency that, in the view of the Council, 
may affect the habitat, including EFH, of a fishery resource under its 
authority. Councils must provide such comments and recommendations 
concerning any activity that, in the view of the Council, is likely to 
substantially affect the habitat, including EFH, of an anadromous 
fishery resource under Council authority.
    (a) Establishment of procedures. Each Council should establish 
procedures for reviewing Federal or state actions that may adversely 
affect the habitat, including EFH, of a species under its authority. 
Each Council may receive information on actions of concern by methods 
such as directing Council staff

[[Page 136]]

to track proposed actions, recommending that the Council's habitat 
committee identify actions of concern, or entering into an agreement 
with NMFS to have the appropriate Regional Administrator notify the 
Council of actions of concern that would adversely affect EFH. Federal 
and state actions often follow specific timetables which may not 
coincide with Council meetings. Therefore, Councils should consider 
establishing abbreviated procedures for the development of Council 
recommendations.
    (b) Early involvement. Councils should provide comments and 
recommendations on proposed state and Federal actions of concern as 
early as practicable in project planning to ensure thorough 
consideration of Council concerns by the action agency. Each Council 
should provide NMFS with copies of its comments and recommendations to 
state and Federal agencies.



             Subpart L_Fishing Capacity Reduction Framework

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1861a(b)-(e).

    Source: 65 FR 31443, May 18, 2000, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 600.1000  Definitions.

    In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and in Sec. 
600.10 of this title, the terms used in this subpart have the following 
meanings:
    Address of Record means the business address of a person, 
partnership, or corporation. Addresses listed on permits or other NMFS 
records are presumed to be business addresses, unless clearly indicated 
otherwise.
    Bid means the price a vessel owner or reduction fishery permit 
holder requests for reduction of his/her fishing capacity. It is an 
irrevocable offer in response to the invitation to bid in Sec. 
600.1009.
    Borrower means, individually and collectively, each post-reduction 
fishing permit holder and/or fishing vessel owner fishing in the 
reduction fishery.
    Business plan means the document containing the information 
specified in Sec. 600.1003(n) and required to be submitted with a 
request for a financed program.
    Business week means a 7-day period, Saturday through Friday.
    Controlling fishery management plan or program (CFMP) means either 
any fishery management plan or any state fishery management plan or 
program, including amendments to the plan or program, pursuant to which 
a fishery is managed.
    Delivery value means:
    (1) For unprocessed fish, all compensation that a fish buyer pays to 
a fish seller in exchange for fee fish; and
    (2) For processed fish, all compensation that a fish buyer would 
have paid to a fish seller in exchange for fee fish if the fee fish had 
been unprocessed fish instead of processed fish.
    Delivery value encompasses fair market value, as defined herein, and 
includes the value of all in-kind compensation or all other goods or 
services exchanged in lieu of cash. It is synonymous with the statutory 
term ``ex-vessel value'' as used in section 312 of the Magnuson Act.
    Deposit principal means all collected fee revenue that a fish buyer 
deposits in a segregated account maintained at a federally insured 
financial institution for the sole purpose of aggregating collected fee 
revenue before sending the fee revenue to NMFS for repaying a reduction 
loan.
    Fair market value means the amount that a buyer pays a seller in an 
arm's length transaction or, alternatively, would pay a seller if the 
transaction were at arm's length.
    Fee means the amount that fish buyers deduct from the delivery value 
under a financed reduction program. The fee is the delivery value times 
the reduction fishery's applicable fee rate under section 600.1013.
    Fee fish means all fish harvested from a reduction fishery involving 
a financed program during the period in which any amount of the 
reduction loan remains unpaid. The term fee fish excludes fish harvested 
incidentally while fishing for fish not included in the reduction 
fishery.
    Final development plan means the document NMFS prepares, under

[[Page 137]]

Sec. 600.1006(b) and based on the preliminary development plan the 
requester submits, for a subsidized program.
    Financed means funded, in any part, by a reduction loan.
    Fish buyer means the first ex-vessel party who:
    (1) In an arm's--length transaction, purchases fee fish from a fish 
seller;
    (2) Takes fish on consignment from a fish seller; or
    (3) Otherwise receives fish from a fish seller in a non arm's-length 
transaction.
    Fish delivery means the point at which a fish buyer first purchases 
fee fish or takes possession of fee fish from a fish seller.
    Fishing capacity reduction specifications means the minimum amount 
of fishing capacity reduction and the maximum amount of reduction loan 
principal specified in a business plan.
    Fish seller means the party who harvests and first sells or 
otherwise delivers fee fish to a fish buyer.
    Fishery Management Plan (FMP) means any Federal fishery management 
plan, including amendments to the plan, that the Secretary of Commerce 
approves or adopts pursuant to section 303 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    Fund means the Fishing Capacity Reduction Fund, and each subaccount 
for each program, established in the U.S. Treasury for the deposit into, 
and disbursement from, all funds, including all reduction loan capital 
and all fee revenue, involving each program.
    Implementation plan means the plan in Sec. 600.1008 for carrying 
out each program.
    Implementation regulations mean the regulations in Sec. 600.1008 
for carrying out each program.
    Net delivery value means the delivery value minus the fee.
    Post-bidding referendum means a referendum that follows bidding 
under Sec. 600.1009.
    Post-reduction means after a program reduces fishing capacity in a 
reduction fishery.
    Pre-bidding referendum means a referendum that occurs at any time 
after a request for a financed program but before a proposal under Sec. 
600.1008 of an implementation plan and implementation regulations.
    Preliminary development plan means the document specified in Sec. 
600.1005(g) and required to be submitted with a request for a subsidized 
program.
    Processed fish means fish in any form different from the form in 
which the fish existed at the time the fish was first harvested, unless 
any such difference in form represents, in the reduction fishery 
involved, the standard ex-vessel form upon which fish sellers and fish 
buyers characteristically base the delivery value of unprocessed fish.
    Program means each instance of reduction under this subpart, in each 
reduction fishery--starting with a request and ending, for a financed 
program, with full reduction loan repayment.
    Reduction means the act of reducing fishing capacity under any 
program.
    Reduction amendment means any amendment, or, where appropriate, 
framework adjustment, to a CFMP that may be necessary for a program to 
meet the requirements of this subpart.
    Reduction amendment specifications mean the reduction amendment to a 
CFMP specified in a business plan.
    Reduction contract means the invitation to bid under Sec. 600.1009, 
together with each bidder's irrevocable offer and NMFS' conditional or 
non-conditional acceptance of each such bid under Sec. 600.1009.
    Reduction cost means the total dollar amount of all reduction 
payments to fishing permit owners, fishing vessel owners, or both, in a 
reduction fishery.
    Reduction fishery means the fishery or portion of a fishery to which 
a program applies. The reduction fishery must specify each included 
species, as well as any limitations by gear type, fishing vessel size, 
geographic area, and any other relevant factor(s).
    Reduction loan means a loan, under section 1111 and section 1112 of 
Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, as amended (46 U.S.C. 1279f 
and g App.), for financing any portion, or all, of a financed program's 
reduction cost and repayable by a fee under, and in accordance with, 
Sec. Sec. 600.1012, 600.1013, and 600.1014.

[[Page 138]]

    Reduction payment means the Federal Government's fishing capacity 
reduction payment to a fishing permit owner, fishing vessel owner, or 
both, under a reduction contract. Additionally, it is payment for 
reduction to each bidder whose bid NMFS accepts under Sec. 600.1009. In 
a financed program each reduction payment constitutes a disbursement of 
a reduction loan's proceeds and is for either revoking a fishing permit 
or both revoking a fishing permit and withdrawing a vessel from fishing 
either by scrapping or title restriction.
    Reduction permit means any fishing permit revoked in a program in 
exchange for a reduction payment under a reduction contract.
    Reduction vessel means any fishing vessel withdrawn from fishing 
either by scrapping or title restriction in exchange for a reduction 
payment under a reduction contract.
    Referendum means the voting process under Sec. 600.1010 for 
approving the fee system for repaying a reduction loan.
    Request means a request, under Sec. 600.1001, for a program.
    Requester means a Council for a fishery identified in Sec. 
600.1001(c) or a state governor for a fishery identified in Sec. 
600.1001(d), or a majority of permit holders in the fishery.
    Scrap means to completely and permanently reduce a fishing vessel's 
hull, superstructures, and other fixed structural components to 
fragments having value, if any, only as raw materials for reprocessing 
or for other non-fisheries use.
    Subsidized means wholly funded by anything other than a reduction 
loan.
    Treasury percentage means the annual percentage rate at which NMFS 
must pay interest to the U.S. Treasury on any principal amount that NMFS 
borrows from the U.S. Treasury in order to generate the funds with which 
to later disburse a reduction loan's principal amount.
    Unprocessed fish means fish in the same form as the fish existed at 
the time the fish was harvested, unless any difference in form 
represents, in the reduction fishery involved, the standard ex-vessel 
form upon which fish sellers and fish buyers characteristically base the 
delivery value of unprocessed fish.
    Vote means a vote in a referendum.

[65 FR 31443, May 18, 2000, as amended at 75 FR 62328, Oct. 8, 2010]



Sec. 600.1001  Requests.

    (a) A Council, the Governor of a State under whose authority a 
proposed reduction fishery is subject, or a majority of permit holders 
in the fishery may request that NMFS conduct a program in that fishery. 
Each request shall be in writing. Each request shall satisfy the 
requirements of Sec. 600.1003 or Sec. 600.1005, as applicable, and 
enable NMFS to make the determinations required by Sec. 600.1004 or 
Sec. 600.1006, as applicable.
    (b) NMFS cannot conduct a program in any fishery subject to the 
jurisdiction of a Council or a state unless NMFS first receives a 
request from the Council or the governor to whose jurisdiction the 
fishery is subject.
    (c) For a fishery subject to the jurisdiction of a Council, only 
that Council can or must make the request. If the fishery is subject to 
the jurisdiction of two or more Councils, those Councils must make a 
joint request. No Council may make a request, or join in making a 
request, until after the Council conducts a public hearing about the 
request.
    (d) For a fishery subject to the jurisdiction of a State, only the 
Governor of that State can make the request. If the fishery is subject 
to the jurisdiction of two or more states, the Governors of those States 
shall make a joint request. No Governor of a State may make a request, 
or join in making a request, until the State conducts a public hearing 
about the request.
    (e) For a fishery under the direct management authority of the 
Secretary, NMFS may conduct a program on NMFS' own motion by fulfilling 
the requirements of this subpart that reasonably apply to a program not 
initiated by a request.
    (f) Where necessary to accommodate special circumstances in a 
particular fishery, NMFS may waive, as NMFS deems necessary and 
appropriate, compliance with any specific requirements

[[Page 139]]

under this subpart not required by statute.

[65 FR 31443, May 18, 2000, as amended at 75 FR 62328, Oct. 8, 2010]



Sec. 600.1002  General requirements.

    (a) Each program must be:
    (1) Necessary to prevent or end overfishing, rebuild stocks of fish, 
or achieve measurable and significant improvements in the conservation 
and management of the reduction fishery;
    (2) Accompanied by the appropriate environmental, economic and/or 
socioeconomic analyses, in accordance with applicable statutes, 
regulations, or other authorities; and
    (3) Consistent with the CFMP, including any reduction amendment, for 
the reduction fishery.
    (b) Each CFMP for a reduction fishery must:
    (1) Prevent the replacement of fishing capacity removed by the 
program through a moratorium on new entrants, restrictions on vessel 
upgrades, and other effort control measures, taking into account the 
full potential fishing capacity of the fleet;
    (2) Establish a specified or target total allowable catch or other 
measures that trigger closure of the fishery or adjustments to reduce 
catch; and
    (3) Include, for a financed program in a reduction fishery involving 
only a portion of a fishery, appropriate provisions for the post-
reduction allocation of fish between the reduction fishery and the rest 
of the fishery that both protect the borrower's reduction investment in 
the program and support the borrower's ability to repay the reduction 
loan.
    (c) The Secretary may not make a fishing capacity reduction program 
payment with respect to a reduction vessel that will not be scrapped 
unless the Secretary certifies that the vessel will not be used for 
fishing in the waters of the U.S., a foreign nation, or on the high 
seas.

[65 FR 31443, May 18, 2000, as amended at 75 FR 62328, Oct. 8, 2010]



Sec. 600.1003  Content of a request for a financed program.

    A request for a financed program shall:
    (a) Specify the reduction fishery.
    (b) Project the amount of the reduction and specify what a reduction 
of that amount achieves in the reduction fishery.
    (c) Specify whether the program is to be wholly or partially 
financed and, if the latter, specify the amount and describe the 
availability of all funding from sources other than a reduction loan.
    (d) Project the availability of all Federal appropriation authority 
or other funding, if any, that the financed program requires, including 
the time at which funding from each source will be available and how 
that relates to the time at which elements of the reduction process are 
projected to occur.
    (e) Demonstrate how the program meets, or will meet after an 
appropriate reduction amendment, the requirements in Sec. 600.1002(a).
    (f) Demonstrate how the CFMP meets, or will meet after an 
appropriate reduction amendment, the requirements in Sec. 600.1002(b).
    (g) If a reduction amendment is necessary, include an actual 
reduction amendment or the requester's endorsement in principle of the 
reduction amendment specifications in the business plan. Endorsement in 
principle is non-binding.
    (h) Request that NMFS conduct, at the appropriate time, a referendum 
under Sec. 600.1010 of this subpart.
    (i) List the names and addresses of record of all fishing permit or 
fishing vessel owners who are currently authorized to harvest fish from 
the reduction fishery, excluding those whose authority is limited to 
incidentally harvesting fish from the reduction fishery during directed 
fishing for fish not in the reduction fishery. The list shall be based 
on the best information available to the requester. The list shall take 
into account any limitation by type of fishing gear operated, size of 
fishing vessel operated, geographic area of operation, or other factor 
that the proposed program involves. The list may include any relevant 
information that NMFS may supply to the requester.
    (j) Specify the aggregate total allowable catch in the reduction 
fishery during each of the preceding 5 years and the aggregate portion 
of such catch

[[Page 140]]

harvested by the parties listed under paragraph (i) of this section.
    (k) Specify the criteria for determining the types and number of 
fishing permits or fishing permits and fishing vessels that are eligible 
for reduction under the program. The criteria shall take into account:
    (1) The characteristics of the fishery;
    (2) Whether the program is limited to a particular gear type within 
the reduction fishery or is otherwise limited by size of fishing vessel 
operated, geographic area of operation, or other factor;
    (3) Whether the program is limited to fishing permits or involves 
both fishing permits and fishing vessels;
    (4) The reduction amendment required;
    (5) The needs of fishing communities;
    (6) Minimizing the program's reduction cost; and
    (7) All other relevant factors.
    (l) Include the requester's assessment of the program's potential 
impact on fisheries other than the reduction fishery, including an 
evaluation of the likely increase in participation or effort in such 
other fisheries, the general economic impact on such other fisheries, 
and recommendations that could mitigate, or enable such other fisheries 
to mitigate, any undesirable impacts.
    (m) Include any other information or guidance that would assist NMFS 
in developing an implementation plan and implementation regulations.
    (n) Include a business plan, prepared by, or on behalf of, 
knowledgeable and concerned harvesters in the reduction fishery, that:
    (1) Specifies a detailed reduction methodology that accomplishes the 
maximum sustained reduction in the reduction fishery's fishing capacity 
at the least reduction cost and in the minimum period of time, and 
otherwise achieves the program result that the requester specifies under 
paragraph (b) of this section. The methodology shall:
    (i) Establish the appropriate point for NMFS to conduct a pre-
bidding referendum and be sufficiently detailed to enable NMFS to 
readily:
    (A) Design, propose, and adopt a timely and reliable implementation 
plan,
    (B) Propose and issue timely and reliable implementation 
regulations,
    (C) Invite bids,
    (D) Accept or reject bids, and
    (E) Complete a program in accordance with this subpart, and
    (ii) Address, consistently with this subpart:
    (A) The contents and terms of invitations to bid,
    (B) Bidder eligibility,
    (C) The type of information that bidders shall supply,
    (D) The criteria for accepting or rejecting bids,
    (E) The terms of bid acceptances,
    (F) Any referendum procedures in addition to, but consistent with, 
those in Sec. 600.1010, and
    (G) All other technical matters necessary to conduct a program;
    (2) Projects and supports the reduction fishery's annual delivery 
value during the reduction loan's repayment period based on documented 
analysis of actual representative experience for a reasonable number of 
past years in the reduction fishery;
    (3) Includes the fishing capacity reduction specifications upon 
which both the pre-bidding referendum and the bidding under Sec. 
600.1009 will be based. The reduction loan's maximum principal amount 
cannot, at the interest rate projected to prevail at the time of 
reduction, exceed the principal amount that can be amortized in 20 years 
by 5 percent of the projected delivery value;
    (4) States the reduction loan's repayment term and the fee rate, or 
range of fee rates, prospectively necessary to amortize the reduction 
loan over its repayment term;
    (5) Analyzes and demonstrates the ability to repay the reduction 
loan at the minimum reduction level and at various reduction-level 
increments reasonably greater than the minimum one, based on the:
    (i) Best and most representative historical fishing revenue and 
expense data and any other relevant productivity measures available in 
the reduction fishery, and

[[Page 141]]

    (ii) Projected effect of the program on the post-reduction operating 
economics of typical harvesters in the reduction fishery, with 
particular emphasis on the extent to which the reduction increases the 
ratio of delivery value to fixed cost and improves harvesting's other 
relevant productivity measures;
    (6) Demonstrates how the business plan's proposed program meets, or 
will meet after an appropriate reduction amendment, the requirements in 
Sec. 600.1002(a);
    (7) Demonstrates how the CFMP meets, or will meet after an 
appropriate reduction amendment, the requirements in Sec. 600.1002(b);
    (8) Includes, if a reduction amendment is necessary, the reduction 
amendment specifications upon which the pre-bidding referendum will be 
based;
    (9) Includes an assessment of the program's potential impact on 
fisheries other than the reduction fishery, including an evaluation of 
the likely increase in participation or effort in such other fisheries, 
the general economic impact on such other fisheries, and recommendations 
that could mitigate, or enable such other fisheries to mitigate, any 
undesirable impacts;
    (10) Specifies the names and addresses of record of all fish buyers 
who can, after reduction, reasonably be expected to receive deliveries 
of fee fish. This shall be based on the best information available, 
including any information that NMFS may be able to supply to the 
business planners;
    (11) Specifies, after full consultation with fish buyers, any 
special circumstances in the reduction fishery that may require the 
implementing regulations to contain provisions in addition to, or 
different from, those contained in Sec. 600.1013 and/or Sec. 600.1014 
in order to accommodate the circumstances of, and practices in, the 
reduction fishery while still fulfilling the intent and purpose of Sec. 
600.1013 and/or Sec. 600.1014--including, but not limited to:
    (i) In the case of reduction fisheries in which state data 
confidentiality laws or other impediments may negatively affect the 
efficient and effective conduct of the same, specification of who needs 
to take what action to resolve any such impediments, and
    (ii) In the case of reduction fisheries in which some fish sellers 
sell unprocessed, and other fish sellers sell processed fish to fish 
buyers, specification of an accurate and efficient method of 
establishing the delivery value of processed fish; and
    (12) Demonstrates by a survey of potential voters, or by any other 
convincing means, a substantial degree of potential voter support for 
the business plan and confidence in its feasibility.
    (o) Include the requester's statement of belief that the business 
plan, the CFMP, the reduction amendment specifications, and all other 
request aspects constitute a complete, realistic, and practical prospect 
for successfully completing a program in accordance with this subpart.



Sec. 600.1004  Accepting a request for, and determinations about initiating, a 

financed program.

    (a) Accepting a request. Once it receives a request, NMFS will 
review any request for a financed program to determine whether the 
request conforms with the requirements of Sec. 600.1003. If the request 
does not conform, NMFS will return the request with guidance on how to 
make the request conform. If the request conforms, NMFS shall accept it 
and publish a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comments 
on the request. Such notice shall state the name and address of record 
of each eligible voter, as well as the basis for having determined the 
eligibility of those voters. This shall constitute notice and 
opportunity to respond about adding eligible voters, deleting ineligible 
voters, and/or correcting any voter's name and address of record. If, in 
NMFS' discretion, the comments received in response to such notice 
warrants it, or other good cause warrants it, NMFS may modify such list 
by publishing another notice in the Federal Register.
    (b) Determination about initiating a financed program. After receipt 
of a conforming request for a financed program, NMFS will, after 
reviewing and responding to any public comments received in response to 
the notice published in the Federal Register under

[[Page 142]]

paragraph (a) of this section, initiate the program if NMFS determines 
that:
    (1) The program meets, or will meet after an appropriate reduction 
amendment, the requirements in Sec. 600.1002(a);
    (2) The CFMP meets, or will meet after an appropriate reduction 
amendment, the requirements in Sec. 600.1002(b);
    (3) The program, if successfully implemented, is cost effective;
    (4) The reduction requested constitutes a realistic and practical 
prospect for successfully completing a program in accordance with this 
subpart and the borrower is capable of repaying the reduction loan. This 
includes enabling NMFS to readily design, propose, and adopt a timely 
and reliable implementation plan as well as propose and issue timely and 
reliable implementation regulations and otherwise complete the program 
in accordance with this subpart; and
    (5) The program accords with all other applicable law.



Sec. 600.1005  Content of a request for a subsidized program.

    A request for a subsidized program shall:
    (a) Specify the reduction fishery.
    (b) Project the amount of the reduction and specify what a reduction 
of that amount achieves in the reduction fishery.
    (c) Project the reduction cost, the amount of reduction cost to be 
funded by Federal appropriations, and the amount, if any, to be funded 
by other sources.
    (d) Project the availability of Federal appropriations or other 
funding, if any, that completion of the program requires, including the 
time at which funding from each source will be available and how that 
relates to the time at which elements of the reduction process are 
projected to occur.
    (e) List the names and addresses of record of all fishing permit or 
fishing vessel owners who are currently authorized to harvest fish from 
the reduction fishery, excluding those whose authority is limited to 
incidentally harvesting fish from the reduction fishery during directed 
fishing for fish not in the reduction fishery. The list shall be based 
on the best information available to the requester, including any 
information that NMFS may supply to the requester, and take into account 
any limitation by type of fishing gear operated, size of fishing vessel 
operated, geographic area of operation, or other factor that the 
proposed program involves.
    (f) Specify the aggregate total allowable catch in the reduction 
fishery during each of the preceding 5 years and the aggregate portion 
of such catch harvested by the parties listed under paragraph (e) of 
this section.
    (g) Include a preliminary development plan that:
    (1) Specifies a detailed reduction methodology that accomplishes the 
maximum sustained reduction in the reduction fishery's fishing capacity 
at the least cost and in a minimum period of time, and otherwise 
achieves the program result that the requester specifies under paragraph 
(b) of this section. The methodology shall:
    (i) Be sufficiently detailed to enable NMFS to prepare a final 
development plan to serve as the basis for NMFS to readily design, 
propose, and adopt a timely and reliable implementation plan and propose 
and issue timely and reliable implementation regulations, and
    (ii) Include:
    (A) The contents and terms of invitations to bid,
    (B) Eligible bidders,
    (C) The type of information that bidders shall supply,
    (D) The criteria for accepting or rejecting bids, and
    (E) The terms of bid acceptances;
    (2) Specifies the criteria for determining the types and numbers of 
fishing permits or fishing permits and fishing vessels that are eligible 
for reduction under the program. The criteria shall take into account:
    (i) The characteristics of the fishery,
    (ii) Whether the program is limited to a particular gear type within 
the reduction fishery, or is otherwise limited by size of fishing vessel 
operated, geographic area of operation, or other factor,
    (iii) Whether the program is limited to fishing permits or involves 
both fishing permits and fishing vessels,
    (iv) The reduction amendment required,

[[Page 143]]

    (v) The needs of fishing communities, and
    (vi) The need to minimize the program's reduction cost; and
    (3) Demonstrates the program's cost effectiveness.
    (h) Demonstrate how the program meets, or will meet after an 
appropriate reduction amendment, the requirements in Sec. 600.1002(a).
    (i) Demonstrate how the CFMP meets, or will meet after an 
appropriate reduction amendment, the requirements in Sec. 
600.1002(b)(1) and (2).
    (j) Specify any other information or guidance that assists NMFS in 
preparing a final development plan and a proposed implementation plan 
and proposed implementation regulations.
    (k) Include the requester's statement of belief that the program 
constitutes a reasonably realistic and practical prospect for 
successfully completing a program in accordance with this subpart.



Sec. 600.1006  Accepting a request for, and determinations about conducting, a 

subsidized program.

    (a) Accepting a request. NMFS will review any request for a 
subsidized program submitted to NMFS to determine whether the request 
conforms with the requirements of Sec. 600.1005. If the request does 
not conform, NMFS will return it with guidance on how to make the 
request conform. If the request conforms, NMFS shall accept it and 
publish a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comments 
about the request.
    (b) Final development plan. After receipt of a conforming request, 
NMFS will prepare a final development plan if NMFS determines that the 
reduction requested constitutes a realistic and practical prospect for 
successfully completing a program in accordance with this subpart. This 
includes enabling NMFS to readily design, propose, and adopt a timely 
and reliable implementation plan as well as propose and issue timely and 
reliable implementation regulations and otherwise complete the program 
in accordance with this subpart. NMFS will, as far as possible, base the 
final development plan on the requester's preliminary development plan. 
Before completing the final development plan, NMFS will consult, as NMFS 
deems necessary, with the requester, Federal agencies, state and 
regional authorities, affected fishing communities, participants in the 
reduction fishery, conservation organizations, and other interested 
parties in preparing the final development plan.
    (c) Reaffirmation of the request. After completing the final 
development plan, NMFS will submit the plan to the requester for the 
requester's reaffirmation of the request. Based on the final development 
plan, the reaffirmation shall: (1) Certify that the final development 
plan meets, or will meet after an appropriate reduction amendment, the 
requirements in Sec. 600.1002(a);
    (2) Certify that the CFMP meets, or will meet after an appropriate 
reduction amendment, the requirements in Sec. 600.1002(b)(1) and (2); 
and
    (3) Project the date on which the requester will forward any 
necessary reduction amendment and, if the requester is a Council, 
proposed regulations to implement the reduction amendment. The requester 
shall base any necessary reduction amendment on the final development 
plan.
    (d) Determinations about conducting a subsidized program. After 
NMFS' receipt of the requester's reaffirmation, any required reduction 
amendment, and any proposed regulations required to implement the 
amendment, NMFS will initiate the program if NMFS determines that:
    (1) The program meets, or will meet after an appropriate reduction 
amendment, the requirements in Sec. 600.1002(a);
    (2) The CFMP meets, or will meet after an appropriate reduction 
amendment, the requirements in Sec. 600.1002(b)(1) and (2); and
    (3) The program is reasonably capable of being successfully 
implemented;
    (4) The program, if successfully implemented, will be cost 
effective; and
    (5) The program is in accord with all other applicable provisions of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act and this subpart.



Sec. 600.1007  Reduction amendments.

    (a) Each reduction amendment may contain provisions that are either 
dependent upon or independent of a program. Each provision of a 
reduction amendment is a dependent provision unless the amendment 
expressly designates the provision as independent.

[[Page 144]]

    (b) Independent provisions are effective without regard to any 
subsequent program actions.
    (c) Dependent provisions are initially effective for the sole 
limited purpose of enabling initiation and completion of the pre-
reduction processing stage of a program.
    (d) All dependent provisions of a reduction amendment for a financed 
program are fully in force and effect for all other purposes only when 
NMFS either:
    (1) For bidding results that conform to the fishing capacity 
reduction specifications and are not subject to any other condition, 
notifies bidders, under Sec. 600.1009(e)(3), that reduction contracts 
then exist between the bidders and the United States; or
    (2) For bidding results that do not conform to the fishing capacity 
reduction specifications or are subject to any other condition, notifies 
bidders whose bids NMFS had conditionally accepted, under Sec. 600.1010 
(d)(8)(iii), that the condition pertaining to the reduction contracts 
between them and the United States is fulfilled.
    (e) If NMFS does not, in accordance with this subpart and any 
special provisions in the implementation regulations, subsequently make 
all reduction payments that circumstances, in NMFS' judgment, reasonably 
permit NMFS to make and, thus, complete a program, no dependent 
provisions shall then have any further force or effect for any purpose 
and all final regulations involving such dependent provisions shall then 
be repealed.



Sec. 600.1008  Implementation plan and implementation regulations.

    (a) As soon as practicable after deciding to initiate a program, 
NMFS will prepare and publish, for a 60-day public comment period, a 
proposed implementation plan and implementation regulations. During the 
public comment period, NMFS will conduct a public hearing of the 
proposed implementation plan and implementation regulations in each 
state that the program affects.
    (b) To the greatest extent practicable, NMFS will base the 
implementation plan and implementation regulations for a financed 
program on the business plan. The implementation plan for a financed 
program will describe in detail all relevant aspects of implementing the 
program, including:
    (1) The reduction fishery;
    (2) The reduction methodology;
    (3) The maximum reduction cost;
    (4) The maximum reduction loan amount, if different from the maximum 
reduction cost;
    (5) The reduction cost funding, if any, other than a reduction loan;
    (6) The minimum acceptable reduction level;
    (7) The potential amount of the fee;
    (8) The criteria for determining the types and number of fishing 
permits or fishing permits and fishing vessels eligible to participate 
in the program;
    (9) The invitation to bid and bidding procedures;
    (10) The criteria for determining bid acceptance;
    (11) The referendum procedures; and
    (12) Any relevant post-referendum reduction procedures other than 
those in the implementation regulations or this subpart.
    (c) NMFS will base each implementation plan and implementation 
regulations for a subsidized program on the final development plan. The 
implementation plan will describe in detail all relevant aspects of 
implementing the program, including:
    (1) The reduction fishery;
    (2) The reduction methodology;
    (3) The maximum reduction cost;
    (4) The reduction-cost funding, if any, other than Federal 
appropriations;
    (5) The criteria for determining the types and number of fishing 
permits or fishing permits and fishing vessels eligible to participate 
in the program;
    (6) The invitation to bid and bidding procedures;
    (7) The criteria for determining bid acceptance; and
    (8) Any relevant post-bidding program procedures other than those in 
the implementation regulations or this subpart.
    (d) The implementation regulations will:
    (1) Specify, for invitations to bid, bids, and reduction contracts 
under Sec. 600.1009:
    (i) Bidder eligibility,

[[Page 145]]

    (ii) Bid submission requirements and procedures,
    (iii) A bid opening date, before which a bidder may not bid, and a 
bid closing date, after which a bidder may not bid,
    (iv) A bid expiration date after which the irrevocable offer 
contained in each bid expires unless NMFS, before that date, accepts the 
bid by mailing a written acceptance notice to the bidder at the bidder's 
address of record,
    (v) The manner of bid submission and the information each bidder 
shall supply for NMFS to deem a bid responsive,
    (vi) The conditions under which NMFS will accept or reject a bid,
    (vii) The manner in which NMFS will accept or reject a bid, and
    (viii) The manner in which NMFS will notify each bidder of bid 
acceptance or rejection;
    (2) Specify any other special referendum procedures or criteria; and
    (3) Specify such other provisions, in addition to and consistent 
with those in this subpart, necessary to regulate the individual terms 
and conditions of each program and reduction loan. This includes, but is 
not limited to:
    (i) Provisions for the payment of costs and penalties for non-
payment, non-collection, non-deposit, and/or non-disbursement of the fee 
in accordance with Sec. 600.1013 and Sec. 600.1014,
    (ii) Prospective fee rate determinations, and
    (iii) Any other aspect of fee payment, collection, deposit, 
disbursement, accounting, record keeping, and/or reporting.
    (e) NMFS will issue final implementation regulations and adopt a 
final implementation plan within 45 days of the close of the public-
comment period.
    (f) NMFS may repeal the final implementation regulations for any 
program if:
    (1) For a financed program, the bidding results do not conform to 
the fishing capacity reduction specifications or a post-bidding 
referendum does not subsequently approve an industry fee system based on 
the bidding results;
    (2) For a subsidized program, NMFS does not accept bids; and
    (3) For either a financed program or a subsidized program, if NMFS 
is unable to make all reduction payments due to a material adverse 
change.



Sec. 600.1009  Bids.

    (a) Each invitation to bid, bid, bid acceptance, reduction contract, 
and bidder--or any other party in any way affected by any of the 
foregoing--under this subpart is subject to the terms and conditions in 
this section:
    (1) Each invitation to bid constitutes the entire terms and 
conditions of a reduction contract under which:
    (i) Each bidder makes an irrevocable offer to the United States of 
fishing capacity for reduction, and
    (ii) NMFS accepts or rejects, on behalf of the United States, each 
bidder's offer;
    (2) NMFS may, at any time before the bid expiration date, accept or 
reject any or all bids;
    (3) For a financed program in which bidding results do not conform 
to the fishing capacity reduction specifications, NMFS' acceptance of 
any bid is subject to the condition that the industry fee system 
necessary to repay the reduction loan is subsequently approved by a 
successful post-bidding referendum conducted under Sec. 600.1010. 
Approval or disapproval of the industry fee system by post-bidding 
referendum is an event that neither the United States nor the bidders 
can control. Disapproval of the industry fee system by an unsuccessful 
post-bidding referendum fully excuses both parties from any performance 
and fully discharges all duties under any reduction contract;
    (4) For a financed program in one reduction fishery that is being 
conducted under appropriate implementation regulations simultaneously 
with another financed program in another reduction fishery, where the 
acceptance of bids for each financed program is conditional upon 
successful post-bidding referenda approving industry fee systems for 
both financed programs, NMFS' acceptance of all bids is, in addition to 
any condition under paragraph (a)(3) of this section, also subject to 
the additional conditions that both referenda approve the industry fee 
systems required for both financed programs--all as otherwise provided 
in paragraph (a)(3) of this section;
    (5) Upon NMFS' acceptance of the bid and tender of a reduction 
payment, the bidder consents to:

[[Page 146]]

    (i) The revocation, by NMFS, of any reduction permit, and
    (ii) Where the program also involves the withdrawal of reduction 
vessels from fishing:
    (A) Title restrictions imposed by the U.S. Coast Guard on any 
reduction vessel that is Federally documented to forever prohibit and 
effectively prevent any future use of the reduction vessel for fishing:
    (1) In any area subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, or 
any state, territory, commonwealth, or possession of the United States, 
or
    (2) On the high seas, or
    (3) In the waters of a foreign nation; or
    (B) Scrapping of all reduction vessels involved in a fishing 
capacity reduction program, unless the reduction program vessel has been 
certified by the Secretary, and the requirements established under Sec. 
600.1002(c) are met. Where reduction vessel scrapping is involved and 
the reduction vessel's owner does not comply with the owner's obligation 
under the reduction contract to scrap the reduction vessel, the 
Secretary may take such measures as necessary to cause the reduction 
vessel's prompt scrapping. The scrapping will be at the reduction vessel 
owner's risk and expense. Upon completion of scrapping, NMFS will take 
such action as may be necessary to recover from the reduction vessel 
owner any cost, damages, or other expense NMFS incurred in the scrapping 
of the reduction vessel.
    (6) Money damages not being an adequate remedy for a bidder's breach 
of a reduction contract, the United States is, in all particulars, 
entitled to specific performance of each reduction contract. This 
includes, but is not limited to, the scrapping of a reduction vessel;
    (7) Any reduction payment is available, upon timely and adequately 
documented notice to NMFS, to satisfy liens, as allowed by law, against 
any reduction permit/and or reduction vessel; provided, however, that:
    (i) No reduction payment to any bidder either relieves the bidder of 
responsibility to discharge the obligation which gives rise to any lien 
or relieves any lien holder of responsibility to protect the lien 
holder's interest,
    (ii) No reduction payment in any way gives rise to any liability of 
the United States for the obligation underlying any lien,
    (iii) No lien holder has any right or standing, not otherwise 
provided by law, against the United States in connection with the 
revocation of any reduction permit or the title restriction or scrapping 
of any reduction vessel under this subpart, and
    (iv) This subpart does not provide any lien holder with any right or 
standing to seek to set aside any revocation of any reduction permit or 
the title restriction or scrapping of any reduction vessel for which the 
United States made, or has agreed to make, any reduction payment. A lien 
holder is limited to recovery against the holder of the reduction permit 
or the owner of the reduction vessel as otherwise provided by law; and
    (8) Each invitation to bid may specify such other terms and 
conditions as NMFS believes necessary to enforce specific performance of 
each reduction contract or otherwise to ensure completing each program. 
This includes, but is not limited to, each bidder's certification, 
subject to the penalties in Sec. 600.1017, of the bidder's full 
authority to submit each bid and to dispose of the property involved in 
the bid in the manner contemplated by each invitation to bid.
    (b) NMFS will not invite bids for any program until NMFS determines 
that:
    (1) Any necessary reduction amendment is fully and finally approved 
and all provisions except those dependent on the completion of reduction 
are implemented;
    (2) The final implementation plan is adopted and the final 
implementation regulations are issued;
    (3) All required program funding is approved and in place, including 
all Federal appropriation and apportionment authority;
    (4) Any reduction loan involved is fully approved;
    (5) Any non-Federal funding involved is fully available at the 
required time for NMFS disbursement as reduction payments; and
    (6) All other actions necessary to disburse reduction payments, 
except for

[[Page 147]]

matters involving bidding and post-bidding referenda, are completed.
    (c) After making the affirmative determinations required under 
paragraph (b) of this section, NMFS will publish a Federal Register 
notice inviting eligible bidders to offer to the United States, under 
this subpart, fishing capacity for reduction.
    (d) NMFS may extend a bid closing date and/or a bid expiration date 
for a reasonable period. NMFS may also issue serial invitations to bid 
if the result of previous bidding, in NMFS' judgment, warrant this.
    (e) After the bid expiration date, NMFS will:
    (1) Analyze responsive bids;
    (2) Determine which bids, if any, NMFS accepts; and
    (3) Notify, by U.S. mail at each bidder's address of
    record, those bidders whose bids NMFS accepts that a reduction 
contract now exists between them and the United States--subject, where 
appropriate, to the conditions provided for elsewhere in this subpart.
    (f) NMFS will keep confidential the identity of all bidders whose 
bids NMFS does not accept. In financed programs where bidding results do 
not conform to the fishing capacity reduction specifications, NMFS also 
will keep confidential the identity of all bidders whose bids NMFS does 
accept until after completing a successful post-bidding referendum under 
Sec. 600.1010.

[65 FR 31443, May 18, 2000, as amended at 75 FR 62329, Oct. 8, 2010]



Sec. 600.1010  Referenda.

    (a) Referendum success. A referendum is successful if at least a 
majority of the permit holders in the fishery who participate in the 
fishery cast ballots in favor of an industry fee system.
    (b) Pre-bidding referendum--(1) Initial referendum. An initial pre-
bidding referendum shall be conducted for each financed program. The 
business plan shall, subject to this subpart, determine the 
chronological relationship of the initial pre-bidding referendum to 
other pre-bidding aspects of the reduction process sequence. The initial 
pre-bidding referendum shall be based on the fishing capacity reduction 
specifications. If the initial pre-bidding referendum precedes the 
adoption of any necessary reduction amendment, the initial pre-bidding 
referendum shall also be based on the reduction amendment 
specifications. If the initial pre-bidding referendum follows the 
adoption of any necessary reduction amendment, the initial pre-bidding 
referendum shall also be based on the adopted reduction amendment;
    (2) Successful initial pre-bidding referendum. If the initial pre-
bidding referendum is successful, the reduction process will proceed as 
follows:
    (i) If the initial pre-bidding referendum follows reduction 
amendment adoption, no second pre-bidding referendum shall be conducted,
    (ii) If the initial pre-bidding referendum precedes reduction 
amendment adoption, a second pre-bidding referendum shall be conducted 
if, in NMFS' judgment, the reduction amendment subsequently adopted 
differs, in any respect materially affecting the borrower's reduction 
investment in the program and the borrower's ability to repay the 
reduction loan, from the reduction amendment specifications upon which 
the initial pre-bidding referendum successfully occurred. The sole 
purpose of any second pre-bidding referendum shall be to determine 
whether the voters authorize an industry fee system despite any such 
difference between the reduction amendment specifications and a 
subsequently adopted reduction amendment.
    (3) Unsuccessful initial pre-bidding referendum. If the initial pre-
bidding referendum is unsuccessful, the reduction process will either 
cease or NMFS may suspend the process pending an appropriate amendment 
of the business plan and the request.
    (c) Post-bidding referendum. A post-bidding referendum shall occur 
only if, in NMFS' judgment, the result of bidding under Sec. 600.1009 
does not conform, in any material respect, to the fishing capacity 
reduction specifications and such result justifies, in NMFS' judgment, 
conducting a post-bidding referendum. Bidding that results in reducing 
fishing capacity in any amount not less than the minimum fishing 
capacity reduction amount for any reduction

[[Page 148]]

loan amount not more than the maximum reduction loan amount, and 
otherwise achieves all material requirements of the fishing capacity 
reduction specifications, shall conform to the fishing capacity 
reduction specifications. The sole purpose of any post-bidding 
referendum shall be to determine whether voters authorize an industry 
fee system for bidding that results in reducing fishing capacity in any 
amount materially less than the minimum amount in the fishing capacity 
reduction specifications.
    (d) NMFS will conduct referenda in accordance with the following:
    (1) Eligible voters. The parties eligible to vote in each referendum 
are the parties whose names are listed as being eligible to vote in the 
notice published in the Federal Register under Sec. 600.1004(a);
    (2) Ballot issuance. NMFS will mail, by U.S. certified mail, return 
receipt requested, a ballot to each eligible voter. Each ballot will 
bear a randomly derived, 5-digit number assigned to each eligible voter. 
Each ballot will contain a place for the voter to vote for or against 
the proposed industry fee system and a place, adjacent to the 5-digit 
number, for the signature of the fishing permit or fishing vessel owner 
to whom the ballot is addressed or, if the fishing permit or fishing 
vessel owner is an organization, the person having authority to vote and 
cast the ballot on the organization's behalf. Each ballot will contain a 
place for the person signing the ballot to print his or her name. NMFS 
will enclose with each ballot a specially-marked, postage-paid, pre-
addressed envelope that each voter shall use to return the ballot to 
NMFS;
    (3) Voter certification. Each ballot will contain a certification, 
subject to the penalties set forth in Sec. 600.1017, that the person 
signing the ballot is the fishing permit or fishing vessel owner to whom 
the ballot is addressed or, if the fishing permit or fishing vessel 
owner is an organization, the person having authority to vote and cast 
the ballot on the organization's behalf;
    (4) Information included on a ballot. Each ballot mailing will:
    (i) Summarize the referendum's nature and purpose,
    (ii) Specify the date by which NMFS must receive a ballot in order 
for the ballot to be counted as a qualified vote,
    (iii) Identify the place on the ballot for the voter to vote for or 
against the proposed industry fee system, the place on the ballot where 
the voter shall sign the ballot, and the purpose of the return envelope,
    (iv) For each pre-bidding referendum, state:
    (A) The fishing capacity reduction specifications,
    (B) The reduction loan's repayment term, and
    (C) The fee rate, or range of fee rates, prospectively necessary to 
amortize the reduction loan over the loan's term,
    (v) For each initial pre-bidding referendum that precedes reduction 
amendment adoption, state the reduction amendment specifications,
    (vi) For each initial pre-bidding referendum that follows reduction 
amendment adoption, summarize the material aspects of the reduction 
amendment adopted,
    (vii) For each second pre-bidding referendum, summarize how the 
adopted reduction amendment materially differs from the reduction 
amendment specifications upon which a successful initial pre-bidding 
referendum occurred and how this material difference affects the 
borrower's reduction investment in the program and the borrower's 
ability to repay the reduction loan,
    (viii) For each post-bidding referendum, specify the actual bidding 
results that do not conform to the fishing capacity reduction 
specifications, and
    (ix) State or include whatever else NMFS deems appropriate;
    (5) Enclosures to accompany a ballot. Each ballot mailing will 
include:
    (i) A specially-marked, postage-paid, and pre-addressed envelope 
that a voter must use to return the original of a ballot to NMFS by 
whatever means of delivery the voter chooses, and
    (ii) Such other materials as NMFS deems appropriate;
    (6) Vote qualification. A completed ballot qualifies to be counted 
as a vote if the ballot:

[[Page 149]]

    (i) Is physically received by NMFS on or before the last day NMFS 
specifies for receipt of the ballot,
    (ii) Is cast for or against the proposed industry fee system,
    (iii) Is signed by the voter,
    (iv) Is the original ballot NMFS sent to the voter bearing the same 
5-digit number that NMFS assigned to the voter, and
    (v) Was returned to NMFS in the specially-marked envelope that NMFS 
provided for the ballot's return;
    (6) Vote tally and notification. NMFS will:
    (i) Tally all ballots qualified to be counted as referendum votes,
    (ii) Notify, by U.S. mail at the address of record, all eligible 
voters who received ballots of:
    (A) The number of potential voters,
    (B) The number of actual voters who returned a ballot,
    (C) The number of returned ballots that qualified to be counted as 
referendum votes,
    (D) The number of votes for and the number of votes against the 
industry fee system, and
    (E) Whether the referendum was successful and approved the industry 
fee system or unsuccessful and disapproved the industry fee system, and
    (iii) If a successful referendum is a post-bidding referendum, NMFS 
will, at the same time and in the same manner, also notify the bidders 
whose bids were conditionally accepted that the condition pertaining to 
the reduction contracts between them and the United States is fulfilled;
    (7) Conclusiveness of referendum determinations. NMFS' 
determinations about ballot qualifications and about all other 
referendum matters, including, but not limited to, eligible voters and 
their addresses of record, are conclusive and final as of the date NMFS 
makes such determinations. No matter respecting such determinations 
shall impair, invalidate, avoid, or otherwise render unenforceable any 
referendum, reduction contract, reduction loan, or fee payment and 
collection obligation under Sec. 600.1013 and Sec. 600.1014 necessary 
to repay any reduction loan;
    (8) Ballot confidentiality. NMFS will not voluntarily release the 
name of any party who voted. NMFS will restrict the availability of all 
voter information to the maximum extent allowed by law; and
    (9) Conclusive authorization of industry fee system. Each successful 
referendum conclusively authorizes NMFS' imposition of an industry fee 
system--including the fee payment, collection, and other provisions 
regarding fee payment and collection under Sec. 600.1013 and Sec. 
600.1014--to repay the reduction loan for each financed program that 
NMFS conducts under this subpart.

[65 FR 31443, May 18, 2000, as amended at 75 FR 62329, Oct. 8, 2010]



Sec. 600.1011  Reduction methods and other conditions.

    (a) Reduction permits or reduction permits and reduction vessels. 
Each program may involve either the surrender and revocation of 
reduction permits or both the surrender and revocation of reduction 
permits and the withdrawal from fishing either by title restriction or 
by scrapping of reduction vessels. No financed program may, however, 
require such title restriction or scrapping of reduction vessels unless 
the business plan voluntarily includes the same.
    (b) Reduction permit revocation and surrender. Each reduction permit 
is, upon NMFS' tender of the reduction payment for the reduction permit, 
forever revoked. Each reduction permit holder shall, upon NMFS' tender 
of the reduction payment, surrender the original reduction permit to 
NMFS. The reduction permit holder, upon NMFS' tender of the reduction 
payment, forever relinquishes any claim associated with the reduction 
permit and with the fishing vessel that was used to harvest fishery 
resources under the reduction permit that could qualify the reduction 
permit holder or the fishing vessel owner for any present or future 
limited access system fishing permit in the reduction fishery.
    (c) Reduction vessel title restriction or scrapping. For each 
program that involves reduction vessel title restriction or scrapping:
    (1) Each reduction vessel that is subject to title restriction only 
and is thus not required to be scrapped, is, upon NMFS' tender of the 
reduction payment, forever prohibited from any future use for fishing in 
any area subject

[[Page 150]]

to the jurisdiction of the United States or any State, territory, 
possession, or commonwealth of the United States. NMFS will request that 
the U.S. Coast Guard permanently restrict each such reduction vessel's 
title to exclude the reduction vessel's future use for fishing in any 
such area;
    (2) Each reduction vessel owner whose reduction vessel is required 
to be scrapped shall, upon NMFS' tender of the reduction payment, 
immediately cease all further use of the reduction vessel and arrange, 
without delay and at the reduction vessel owner's expense, to scrap the 
reduction vessel to NMFS' satisfaction, including adequate provision for 
NMFS to document the physical act of scrapping; and
    (3) Each reduction vessel owner, upon NMFS' tender of the reduction 
payment, forever relinquishes any claim associated with the reduction 
vessel and with the reduction permit that could qualify the reduction 
vessel owner or the reduction permit holder for any present or future 
limited access system fishing permit in the reduction fishery.
    (d) Fishing permits in a non-reduction fishery. A financed program 
that does not involve the withdrawal from fishing or scrapping of 
reduction vessels may not require any holder of a reduction permit in a 
reduction fishery to surrender any fishing permit in any non-reduction 
fishery or restrict or revoke any fishing permit other than a reduction 
permit in the reduction fishery, except those fishing permits 
authorizing the incidental harvesting of species in any non-reduction 
fishery during, and as a consequence of, directed fishing for species in 
the reduction fishery.
    (e) Reduction vessels disposition. Where a business plan requires 
the withdrawal from fishing of reduction vessels as well as the 
revocation of reduction permits:
    (1) Each reduction vessel that is not documented under Federal law 
must in every case always be scrapped, without regard to whether a 
program is a financed program or a subsidized program;
    (2) No financed program may require any disposition of a reduction 
vessel documented under Federal law other than the title restriction in 
paragraph (b) of this section unless the business plan volunteers to do 
otherwise; and
    (3) Any subsidized program may require the scrapping of reduction 
vessels documented under Federal law.
    (f) Reduction payments. NMFS will disburse all reduction payments in 
the amount and in the manner prescribed in reduction contracts, except 
reduction payments that a bidder's reduction-contract nonperformance 
prevents NMFS from disbursing. In financed programs, the reduction 
loan's principal amount is the total amount of all reduction payments 
that NMFS disburses from the proceeds of a reduction loan. Any reduction 
payment that NMFS, because of a bidder's reduction-contract 
nonperformance, disburses but subsequently recovers, shall reduce the 
principal amount of the reduction loan accordingly.
    (g) Effect of reduction-contract nonperformance. No referendum, no 
reduction contract, no reduction loan, and no fee payment and collection 
obligation under Sec. 600.1013 and Sec. 600.1014 necessary to repay 
any reduction loan, shall be impaired, invalidated, avoided, or 
otherwise rendered unenforceable by virtue of any reduction contract's 
nonperformance. This is without regard to the cause of, or reason for, 
nonperformance. NMFS shall endeavor to enforce the specific performance 
of all reduction contracts, but NMFS' inability, for any reason, to 
enforce specific performance for any portion of such reduction contracts 
shall not relieve fish sellers of their obligation to pay, and fish 
buyers of their obligation to collect, the fee necessary to fully repay 
the full reduction loan balance that results from all reduction payments 
that NMFS actually makes and does not recover.
    (h) Program completion. Other than the payment and collection of the 
fee that repays a reduction loan and any other residual matters 
regarding reduction payments and the disposition of reduction permits 
and reduction vessels, a program shall be completed when NMFS tenders or 
makes all reduction payments under all reduction contracts that 
circumstances, in NMFS' judgment, reasonably permit NMFS to make.

[[Page 151]]



Sec. 600.1012  Reduction loan.

    (a) Obligation. The borrower shall be obligated to repay a reduction 
loan. The borrower's obligation to repay a reduction loan shall be 
discharged by fish sellers paying a fee in accordance with Sec. 
600.1013. Fish buyers shall be obligated to collect the fee in 
accordance with Sec. 600.1013 and to deposit and disburse the fee 
revenue in accordance with Sec. 600.1014.
    (b) Principal amount, interest rate, repayment term, and penalties 
for non-payment or non-collection. The reduction loan shall be:
    (1) In a principal amount that shall be determined by subsequent 
program events under this subpart, but which shall not exceed the 
maximum principal amount in the fishing capacity reduction 
specifications;
    (2) At an annual rate, that shall be determined by subsequent 
events, of simple interest on the reduction loan's principal balance 
that shall equal 2 percent plus the Treasury percentage;
    (3) Repayable over the repayment term specified in the business plan 
or otherwise determined by subsequent events; and
    (4) Subject to such provisions as implementation regulations shall 
specify for the payment of costs and penalties for non-payment, non-
collection, non-deposit, and/or non-disbursement in accordance with 
Sec. 600.1013 and Sec. 600.1014.
    (c) Effect of prospective interest rate. Any difference between a 
prospective interest rate projected, for the purpose of any aspect of 
reduction planning or processing under this subpart, before the U.S. 
Treasury determines the Treasury percentage and an interest rate first 
known after the U.S. Treasury determines the Treasury percentage shall 
not void, invalidate, or otherwise impair any reduction contract, any 
reduction loan repayment obligation, or any other aspect of the 
reduction process under this subpart. Should any such difference result 
in a reduction loan that cannot, at the maximum fee rate allowed by law, 
be repaid, as previously projected, within the maximum maturity, any 
amount of the reduction loan remaining unpaid at maturity shall be 
repaid after maturity by continuing fee payment and collection under 
this subpart at such maximum fee rate until the reduction loan's unpaid 
principal balance and accrued interest is fully repaid. The above 
notwithstanding, at the discretion of the Secretary, the reduction 
contract can be voided if a material adverse change affects the 
reduction contract, reduction loan obligation, or any other aspect of 
the reduction process under this subpart.



Sec. 600.1013  Fee payment and collection.

    (a) Amount. The fee amount is the delivery value times the fee rate.
    (b) Rate. NMFS will establish the fee rate. The fee rate may not 
exceed 5 percent of the delivery value. NMFS will establish the initial 
fee rate by calculating the fee revenue annually required to amortize a 
reduction loan over the reduction loan's term, projecting the annual 
delivery value, and expressing such fee revenue as a percentage of such 
delivery value. Before each anniversary of the initial fee rate 
determination, NMFS will recalculate the fee rate reasonably required to 
ensure reduction loan repayment. This will include any changed delivery 
value projections and any adjustment required to correct for previous 
delivery values higher or lower than projected.
    (c) Payment and collection. (1) The full fee is due and payable at 
the time of fish delivery. Each fish buyer shall collect the fee at the 
time of fish delivery by deducting the fee from the delivery value 
before paying, or promising to pay, the net delivery value. Each fish 
seller shall pay the fee at the time of fish delivery by receiving from 
the fish buyer the net delivery value, or the fish buyer's promise to 
pay the net delivery value, rather than the delivery value. Regardless 
of when the fish buyer pays the net delivery value, the fish buyer shall 
collect the fee at the time of fish delivery;
    (2) In the event of any post-delivery payment for fee fish--
including, but not limited to bonuses--whose amount depends on 
conditions that cannot be known until after fish delivery, that either 
first determines the delivery value or later increases the previous 
delivery value, the fish seller shall pay, and the fish buyer shall 
collect, at the time the amount of such post-delivery payment first 
becomes known, the fee that

[[Page 152]]

would otherwise have been due and payable as if the amount of the post-
delivery payment had been known, and as if the post-delivery payment had 
consequently occurred, at the time of initial fish delivery;
    (3)(i) Each fish seller shall be deemed to be, for the purpose of 
the fee collection, deposit, disbursement, and accounting requirements 
of this subpart, both the fish seller and the fish buyer, and shall be 
responsible for all requirements and liable for any penalties under this 
subpart applicable to fish sellers and/or fish buyers, each time that a 
fish seller sells fee fish to:
    (A) Any party whose place of business is not located in the United 
States, who does not take delivery or possession of the fee fish in the 
United States, who is not otherwise subject to this subpart, or to whom 
or against whom NMFS cannot otherwise apply or enforce this subpart,
    (B) Any party who is a general food-service wholesaler or supplier, 
a restaurant, a retailer, a consumer, some other type of end-user, or 
some other party not engaged in the business of buying fish from fish 
sellers for the purpose of reselling the fish, either with or without 
processing the fish, or
    (C) Any other party who the fish seller has good reason to believe 
is a party not subject to this subpart or to whom or against whom NMFS 
cannot otherwise apply or enforce this subpart,
    (ii) In each such case the fish seller shall, with respect to the 
fee fish involved in each such case, discharge, in addition to the fee 
payment requirements of this subpart, all the fee collection, deposit, 
disbursement, accounting, record keeping, and reporting requirements 
that this subpart otherwise imposes on the fish buyer, and the fish 
seller shall be subject to all the penalties this subpart provides for a 
fish buyer's failure to discharge such requirements;
    (4) Fee payment begins on the date NMFS specifies under the 
notification procedures of paragraph (d) of this section and continues 
without interruption at the fee rates NMFS specifies in accordance this 
subpart until NMFS determines that the reduction loan is fully repaid. 
If a reduction loan is, for any reason, not fully repaid at the maturity 
of the reduction loan's original amortization period, fee payment and 
collection shall continue until the reduction loan is fully repaid, 
notwithstanding that the time required to fully repay the reduction loan 
exceeds the reduction loan's initially permissible maturity.
    (d) Notification. (1) At least 30 days before the effective date of 
any fee or of any fee rate change, NMFS will publish a Federal Register 
notice establishing the date from and after which the fee or fee rate 
change is effective. NMFS will then also send, by U.S. mail, an 
appropriate notification to each affected fish seller and fish buyer of 
whom NMFS has notice;
    (2) When NMFS determines that a reduction loan is fully repaid, NMFS 
will publish a Federal Register notice that the fee is no longer in 
effect and should no longer be either paid or collected. NMFS will then 
also send, by U.S. mail, notification to each affected fish seller and 
fish buyer of whom NMFS has knowledge;
    (3) If NMFS fails to notify a fish seller or a fish buyer by U.S. 
mail, or if the fish seller or fish buyer otherwise does not receive the 
notice, of the date fee payments start or of the fee rate in effect, 
each fish seller is, nevertheless, obligated to pay the fee at the fee 
rate in effect and each fish buyer is, nevertheless, obligated to 
collect the fee at the fee rate in effect.
    (e) Failure to pay or collect. (1) If a fish buyer refuses to 
collect the fee in the amount and manner that this subpart requires, the 
fish seller shall then advise the fish buyer of the fish seller's fee 
payment obligation and of the fish buyer's fee collection obligation. If 
the fish buyer still refuses to properly collect the fee, the fish 
seller, within the next 7 calendar days, shall forward the fee to NMFS. 
The fish seller at the same time shall also advise NMFS in writing of 
the full particulars, including:
    (i) The fish buyer's and fish seller's name, address, and telephone 
number,
    (ii) The name of the fishing vessel from which the fish seller made 
fish delivery and the date of doing so,
    (iii) The quantity and delivery value of each species of fee fish 
that the fish seller delivered, and

[[Page 153]]

    (iv) The fish buyer's reason, if known, for refusing to collect the 
fee in accordance with this subpart;
    (2) If a fish seller refuses to pay the fee in the amount and manner 
that this subpart requires, the fish buyer shall then advise the fish 
seller of the fish buyer's collection obligation and of the fish 
seller's payment obligation. If the fish seller still refuses to pay the 
fee, the fish buyer shall then either deduct the fee from the delivery 
value over the fish seller's protest or refuse to buy the fee fish. The 
fish buyer shall also, within the next 7 calendar days, advise NMFS in 
writing of the full particulars, including:
    (i) The fish buyer's and fish seller's name, address, and telephone 
number,
    (ii) The name of the fishing vessel from which the fish seller made 
or attempted to make fish delivery and the date of doing so,
    (iii) The quantity and delivery value of each species of fee fish 
the fish seller delivered or attempted to deliver,
    (iv) Whether the fish buyer deducted the fee over the fish seller's 
protest or refused to buy the fee fish, and
    (v) The fish seller's reason, if known, for refusing to pay the fee 
in accordance with this subpart.
    (f) Implementation regulations at variance with this section. If any 
special circumstances in a reduction fishery require, in NMFS's 
judgment, fee payment and/or collection provisions in addition to, or 
different from, those in this section in order to accommodate the 
circumstances of, and practices in, a reduction fishery while still 
fulfilling the intent and purpose of this section, NMFS may, 
notwithstanding this section, include such provisions in the 
implementation regulations for such reduction fishery.



Sec. 600.1014  Fee collection deposits, disbursements, records, and reports.

    (a) Deposit accounts. Each fish buyer that this subpart requires to 
collect a fee shall maintain a segregated account at a federally insured 
financial institution for the sole purpose of depositing collected fee 
revenue and disbursing the fee revenue directly to NMFS in accordance 
with paragraph (c) of this section.
    (b) Fee collection deposits. Each fish buyer, no less frequently 
than at the end of each business week, shall deposit, in the deposit 
account established under paragraph (a) of this section, all fee 
revenue, not previously deposited, that the fish buyer collects through 
a date not more than two calendar days before the date of deposit. 
Neither the deposit account nor the principal amount of deposits in the 
account may be pledged, assigned, or used for any purpose other than 
aggregating collected fee revenue for disbursement to the Fund in 
accordance with paragraph (c) of this section. The fish buyer is 
entitled, at any time, to withdraw deposit interest, if any, but never 
deposit principal, from the deposit account for the fish buyer's own use 
and purposes.
    (c) Deposit principal disbursement. On the last business day of each 
month, or more frequently if the amount in the account exceeds the 
account limit for insurance purposes, the fish buyer shall disburse to 
NMFS the full amount of deposit principal then in the deposit account. 
The fish buyer shall do this by check made payable to the Fund 
subaccount to which the deposit principal relates. The fish buyer shall 
mail each such check to the Fund subaccount lockbox that NMFS 
establishes for the receipt of the disbursements for each program. Each 
disbursement shall be accompanied by the fish buyer's settlement sheet 
completed in the manner and form that NMFS specifies. NMFS will specify 
the Fund subaccount lockbox and the manner and form of settlement sheet 
by means of the notification in Sec. 600.1013(d).
    (d) Records maintenance. Each fish buyer shall maintain, in a secure 
and orderly manner for a period of at least 3 years from the date of 
each transaction involved, at least the following information:
    (1) For all deliveries of fee fish that the fish buyer buys from 
each fish seller:
    (i) The date of delivery,
    (ii) The seller's identity,
    (iii) The weight, number, or volume of each species of fee fish 
delivered,
    (iv) The identity of the fishing vessel that delivered the fee fish,

[[Page 154]]

    (v) The delivery value of each species of fee fish,
    (vi) The net delivery value,
    (vii) The identity of the party to whom the net delivery value is 
paid, if other than the fish seller,
    (viii) The date the net delivery value was paid, and
    (ix) The total fee amount collected;
    (2) For all fee collection deposits to and disbursements from the 
deposit account:
    (i) The dates and amounts of deposits,
    (ii) The dates and amounts of disbursements to the Fund's lockbox 
account, and
    (iii) The dates and amounts of disbursements to the fish buyer or 
other parties of interest earned on deposits.
    (e) Annual report. In each year, on the date to be specified in each 
implementation regulation, succeeding the year during which NMFS first 
implemented a fee, each fish buyer shall submit to NMFS a report, on or 
in the form NMFS specifies, containing the following information for the 
preceding year, or whatever longer period may be involved in the first 
annual report, for all fee fish each fish buyer purchases from fish 
sellers: (1) Total weight, number, or volume bought;
    (2) Total delivery value paid;
    (3) Total fee amounts collected;
    (4) Total fee collection amounts deposited by month;
    (5) Dates and amounts of monthly disbursements to each Fund lockbox 
account;
    (6) Total amount of interest earned on deposits; and
    (7) Depository account balance at year-end.
    (f) State records. If landing records that a state requires from 
fish sellers contain some or all of the data that this section requires 
and state confidentiality laws or regulations do not prevent NMFS' 
access to the records maintained for the state, then fish buyers can use 
such records to meet appropriate portions of this section's 
recordkeeping requirements. If, however, state confidentiality laws or 
regulations make such records unavailable to NMFS, then fish buyers 
shall maintain separate records for NMFS that meet the requirements of 
this section. If any state law or regulation prohibits fish buyers, or 
fish sellers where appropriate, from keeping, for the purpose of 
complying with any requirement of this section, separate records that 
involve some or all of the same data elements as the landing records 
that the fish buyers also keep, for state purposes and under state law 
or regulation, then a financed reduction program will not be possible.
    (g) Audits. NMFS or its agents may audit, in whatever manner NMFS 
believes reasonably necessary for the duly diligent administration of 
reduction loans, the financial records of fish buyers and fish sellers 
in each reduction fishery in order to ensure proper fee payment, 
collection, deposit, disbursement, accounting, record keeping, and 
reporting. Fish buyers and fish sellers shall make all records of all 
program transactions involving post-reduction fish harvests, fish 
deliveries, and fee payments, collections, deposits, disbursements, 
accounting, record keeping, and reporting available to NMFS or NMFS' 
agents at reasonable times and places and promptly provide all requested 
information reasonably related to these records that such fish sellers 
and fish buyers may otherwise lawfully provide. Trip tickets (or similar 
accounting records establishing the pounds of fee fish that each fish 
buyer buys from each fish seller each time that each fish buyer does so 
and each price that each fish buyer then pays to each fish seller for 
the fee fish) are essential audit documentation.
    (h) Confidentiality of records. NMFS and NMFS' auditing agents shall 
maintain the confidentiality of all data to which NMFS has access under 
this section and shall neither release the data nor allow the data's use 
for any purpose other than the purpose of this subpart; provided, 
however, that NMFS may aggregate such data so as to preclude their 
identification with any fish buyer or any fish seller and use them in 
the aggregate for other purposes).
    (i) Refunds. When NMFS determines that a reduction loan is fully 
repaid, NMFS will refund any excess fee receipts, on a last-in/first-out 
basis, to the fish buyers. Fish buyers shall return the refunds, on a 
last-in/first-out

[[Page 155]]

basis, to the fish sellers who paid the amounts refunded.
    (j) Implementation regulations at variance with this section. If any 
special circumstances in a reduction fishery require, in NMFS's 
judgment, fee collection deposit, disbursement, or records provisions in 
addition to, or different from, those in this section in order to 
accommodate the circumstances of, and practices in, a reduction fishery 
while still fulfilling the intent and purpose of this section, NMFS may, 
notwithstanding this section, include such provisions in the 
implementation regulations for such reduction fishery.



Sec. 600.1015  Late charges.

    The late charge to fish buyers for fee payment, collection, deposit, 
and/or disbursement shall be one and one-half (1.5) percent per month, 
or the maximum rate permitted by state law, for the total amount of the 
fee not paid, collected, deposited, and/or disbursed when due to be 
paid, collected, deposited, and/or disbursed. The full late charge shall 
apply to the fee for each month or portion of a month that the fee 
remains unpaid, uncollected, undeposited, and/or undisbursed.



Sec. 600.1016  Enforcement.

    In accordance with applicable law or other authority, NMFS may take 
appropriate action against each fish seller and/or fish buyer 
responsible for non-payment, non-collection, non-deposit, and/or non-
disbursement of the fee in accordance with this subpart to enforce the 
collection from such fish seller and/or fish buyer of any fee (including 
penalties and all costs of collection) due and owing the United States 
on account of the loan that such fish seller and/or fish buyer should 
have, but did not, pay, collect, deposit, and/or disburse in accordance 
with this subpart. All such loan recoveries shall be applied to reduce 
the unpaid balance of the loan.



Sec. 600.1017  Prohibitions and penalties.

    (a) The following activities are prohibited, and it is unlawful for 
any party to:
    (1) Vote in any referendum under this subpart if the party is 
ineligible to do so;
    (2) Vote more than once in any referendum under this subpart;
    (3) Sign or otherwise cast a ballot on behalf of a voter in any 
referendum under this subpart unless the voter has fully authorized the 
party to do so and doing so otherwise comports with this subpart;
    (4) Interfere with or attempt to hinder, delay, buy, or otherwise 
unduly or unlawfully influence any eligible voter's vote in any 
referendum under this subpart;
    (5) Submit a fraudulent, unauthorized, incomplete, misleading, 
unenforceable by specific performance, or inaccurate bid in response to 
an invitation to bid under this subpart or, in any other way, interfere 
with or attempt to interfere with, hinder, or delay, any invitation to 
bid, any bid submitted under any invitation to bid, any reduction 
contract, or any other reduction process in connection with any 
invitation to bid;
    (6) Revoke or attempt to revoke any bid under this subpart;
    (7) Fail to comply with the terms and conditions of any invitation 
to bid, bid, or reduction contract under this subpart, including NMFS' 
right under such reduction contracts to specific performance;
    (8) Fail to fully and properly pay and collect any fee due payable, 
and collectible under this subpart or otherwise avoid, decrease, 
interfere with, hinder, or delay any such payment and collection,
    (9) Convert, or otherwise use for any purpose other than the purpose 
this subpart intends, any paid or collected fee;
    (10) Fail to fully and properly deposit on time the full amount of 
all fee revenue collected under this subpart into a deposit account and 
disburse the full amount of all deposit principal to the Fund's lockbox 
account--all as this subpart requires;
    (11) Fail to maintain full, timely, and proper fee payment, 
collection, deposit, and/or disbursement records or make full, timely, 
and proper reports of such information to NMFS-all as this subpart 
requires;
    (12) Fail to advise NMFS of any fish seller's refusal to pay, or of 
any fish

[[Page 156]]

buyer's refusal to collect, any fee due and payable under this subpart;
    (13) Refuse to allow NMFS or agents that NMFS designates to review 
and audit at reasonable times all books and records reasonably pertinent 
to fee payment, collection, deposit, disbursement, and accounting under 
this subpart or otherwise interfere with, hinder, or delay NMFS or it 
agents in the course of their activities under this subpart;
    (14) Make false statements to NMFS, any of the NMFS' employees, or 
any of NMFS' agents about any of the matters in this subpart;
    (15) Obstruct, prevent, or unreasonably delay or attempt to 
obstruct, prevent, or unreasonably delay any audit or investigation NMFS 
or its agents conduct, or attempt to conduct, in connection with any of 
the matters in this subpart; and/or
    (16) Otherwise materially interfere with the efficient and effective 
conduct of reduction and the repayment of reduction loans under this 
subpart.
    (b) Any party who violates one or more of the prohibitions of 
paragraph (a) of this section is subject to the full range of penalties 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act and 15 CFR part 904 provide--including, but not 
limited to: civil penalties, sanctions, forfeitures, and punishment for 
criminal offenses--and to the full penalties and punishments otherwise 
provided by any other applicable law of the United States.
    (c) Additionally, NMFS may take any and all appropriate actions, 
including the communication of action at law, against each party 
responsible for the non-payment, non-collection, non-deposit, and/or 
non-disbursement in accordance with Sec. 600.1013 and/or Sec. 600.1014 
to enforce the United States' receipt from such party of any fee--
including penalties and all costs of collection--due and owing the 
United States on account of the reduction loan that such party should 
have, but did not, pay, collect, deposit, and/or disburse in accordance 
with Sec. 600.1013 and/or Sec. 600.1014. All such reduction loan 
recoveries shall be applied to reduce the unpaid balances of reduction 
loans.



    Subpart M_Specific Fishery or Program Fishing Capacity Reduction 

                               Regulations

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 561, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., 16 U.S.C. 1861a(b) 
through (e), 46 App. U.S.C. 53735, section 144(d) of Division B of Pub. 
L. 106-554, section 2201 of Pub. L. 107-20, and section 205 of Pub. L. 
107-117, Pub. L. 107-206, Pub. L. 108-7, Pub. L. 108-199, and Pub. L. 
108-447.

    Source: 69 FR 53361, Sept. 1, 2004, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 600.1100  [Reserved]



Sec. 600.1101  Inshore fee system for repayment of the loan to harvesters of 

Pollock from the directed fishing allowance allocated to the inshore component 

under section 206(b)(1) of the AFA.

    (a) Definition. In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and in Sec. 679.2 of this title, the terms used in this 
subpart have the following meanings:
    American Fisheries Act (AFA) means Title II of Pub.L. 105-277.
    Borrower means (individually and collectively) all persons who, 
after January 1, 2000, harvest fee fish from the IC directed fishing 
allowance.
    Business week means a 7-day period, Saturday through Friday.
    Delivery value means the gross ex-vessel value of all fee fish at 
fish delivery.
    Deposit principal means all collected fee revenue that a fish buyer 
deposits in a segregated deposit account maintained in a federally 
chartered national bank for the sole purpose of aggregating collected 
fee revenue before sending the fee revenue to NMFS for repaying the 
loan.
    Fee means the six-tenths (0.6) of one cent that fish buyers deduct 
at fish delivery from the delivery value of each pound of round weight 
fee fish.
    Fee fish means all pollock harvested from the IC directed fishing 
allowance beginning on February 10, 2000 and ending at such time as the 
loan's principal and interest are fully repaid.
    Fish buyer means the first ex-vessel fish buyer who purchases fee 
fish from a fish seller.
    Fish delivery means the point at which a fish buyer first takes 
delivery

[[Page 157]]

or possession of fee fish from a fish seller.
    Fish seller means the harvester who catches and first sells fee fish 
to a fish buyer.
    IC directed fishing allowance means the directed fishing allowance 
allocated to the inshore component under section 206(b)(1) of the AFA.
    Loan means the loan authorized by section 207(a) of the AFA.
    Net delivery value means the delivery value minus the fee.
    Subaccount means the Inshore Component Pollock Subaccount of the 
Fishing Capacity Reduction Fund in the U.S. Treasury for the deposit of 
all funds involving the loan.
    (b) Loan--(1) Principal amount. The loan's principal amount is 
$75,000,000 (seventy five million dollars).
    (2) Interest. Interest shall, from December 30, 1998, when NMFS 
disbursed the loan, until the date the borrower fully repays the loan, 
accrue at a fixed rate of 7.09 percent. Interest shall be simple 
interest and shall accrue on the basis of a 365-day year.
    (3) Repayment. The fee shall be the exclusive source of loan 
repayment. The fee shall be paid on all fee fish.
    (4) Application of fee receipts. NMFS shall apply all fee receipts 
it receives, first, to payment of the loan's accrued interest and, 
second, to reduction of the loan's principal balance.
    (5) Obligation. The borrower shall repay the loan in accordance with 
the AFA and this subpart.
    (c) Fee payment and collection--(1) Payment and collection. (i) The 
fee is due and payable at the time of fish delivery. Each fish buyer 
shall collect the fee at the time of fish delivery by deducting the fee 
from the delivery value before paying or promising later to pay the net 
delivery value. Each fish seller shall pay the fee at the time of fish 
delivery by receiving from the fish buyer the net delivery value or the 
fish buyer's promise later to pay the net delivery value rather than the 
delivery value. Regardless of when the fish buyer pays the net delivery 
value, the fish buyer shall collect the fee at the time of fish 
delivery;
    (ii)(A) Each fish seller shall be deemed, for the purpose of the fee 
collection, deposit, disbursement, and accounting requirements of this 
subpart, to be both the fish seller and the fish buyer--and all 
requirements and penalties under this subpart applicable to both a fish 
seller and a fish buyer shall equally apply to the fish seller--each 
time that the fish seller sells fee fish to:
    (1) Any fish buyer whose place of business is not located in the 
United States, who does not take delivery or possession of the fee fish 
in the United States, who is not otherwise subject to this subpart, or 
to whom or against whom NMFS cannot otherwise apply or enforce this 
subpart,
    (2) Any fish buyer who is a general food-service wholesaler or 
supplier, a restaurant, a retailer, a consumer, some other type of end-
user, or some other fish buyer not engaged in the business of buying 
fish from fish sellers for the purpose of reselling the fish, or
    (3) Any other fish buyer who the fish seller has good reason to 
believe is a fish buyer not subject to this subpart or to whom or 
against whom NMFS cannot otherwise apply or enforce this subpart,
    (B) In each such case the fish seller shall, with respect to the fee 
fish involved in each such case, discharge, in addition to the fee 
payment requirements of this subpart, all the fee collection, deposit, 
disbursement, accounting, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements that 
this subpart otherwise imposes on the fish buyer, and the fish seller 
shall be subject to all the penalties this subpart provides for a fish 
buyer's failure to discharge such requirements;
    (2) Notification. (i) NMFS will send an appropriate fee payment and 
collection commencement notification to each affected fish seller and 
fish buyer of whom NMFS has knowledge.
    (ii) When NMFS determines that the loan is fully repaid, NMFS will 
publish a Federal Register notification that the fee is no longer in 
effect and should no longer be either paid or collected. NMFS will then 
also send an appropriate fee termination notification to each affected 
fish seller and fish buyer of whom NMFS has knowledge;
    (3) Failure to pay or collect. (i) If a fish buyer refuses to 
collect the fee in the amount and manner that this subpart

[[Page 158]]

requires, the fish seller shall then advise the fish buyer of the fish 
seller's fee payment obligation and of the fish buyer's fee collection 
obligation. If the fish buyer still refuses to properly collect the fee, 
the fish seller, within the next 7 calendar days, shall forward the fee 
to NMFS. The fish seller at the same time shall also advise NMFS in 
writing of the full particulars, including:
    (A) The fish buyer's and fish seller's name, address, and telephone 
number,
    (B) The name of the fishing vessel from which the fish seller made 
fish delivery and the date of doing so,
    (C) The quantity and delivery value of fee fish that the fish seller 
delivered, and
    (D) The fish buyer's reason (if known) for refusing to collect the 
fee in accordance with this subpart;
    (ii) If a fish seller refuses to pay the fee in the amount and 
manner that this subpart requires, the fish buyer shall then advise the 
fish seller of the fish buyer's collection obligation and of the fish 
seller's payment obligation. If the fish seller still refuses to pay the 
fee, the fish buyer shall then either deduct the fee from the delivery 
value over the fish seller's protest or refuse to buy the fee fish. The 
fish buyer shall also, within the next 7 calendar days, advise NMFS in 
writing of the full particulars, including:
    (A) The fish buyer's and fish seller's name, address, and telephone 
number,
    (B) The name of the fishing vessel from which the fish seller made 
or attempted to make fish delivery and the date of doing so,
    (C) The quantity and delivery value of fee fish the fish seller 
delivered or attempted to deliver,
    (D) Whether the fish buyer deducted the fee over the fish seller's 
protest or refused to buy the fee fish, and
    (E) The fish seller's reason (if known) for refusing to pay the fee 
in accordance with this subpart.
    (d) Fee collection deposits, disbursements, records, and reports--
(1) Deposit accounts. Each fish buyer that this subpart requires to 
collect a fee shall maintain a segregated account at a federally insured 
financial institution for the sole purpose of depositing collected fee 
revenue and disbursing the fee revenue directly to NMFS in accordance 
with paragraph (c) of this section.
    (2) Fee collection deposits. Each fish buyer, no less frequently 
than at the end of each business week, shall deposit, in the deposit 
account established under paragraph (a) of this section, all fee 
revenue, not previously deposited, that the fish buyer has collected 
through a date not more than 2 calendar days before the date of deposit. 
Neither the deposit account nor the principal amount of deposits in the 
account may be pledged, assigned, or used for any purpose other than 
aggregating collected fee revenue for disbursement to the subaccount in 
accordance with paragraph (c) of this section. The fish buyer is 
entitled, at any time, to withdraw deposit interest, if any, but never 
deposit principal, from the deposit account for the fish buyer's own use 
and purposes.
    (3) Deposit principal disbursement. On the last business day of each 
month, or more frequently if the amount in the account exceeds the 
account limit for insurance purposes, the fish buyer shall disburse to 
NMFS the full amount of deposit principal then in the deposit account. 
The fish buyer shall do this by check made payable to ``NOAA Inshore 
Component Pollock Loan Subaccount.'' The fish buyer shall mail each such 
check to the subaccount lockbox account that NMFS establishes for the 
receipt of the disbursements of deposit principal. Each disbursement 
shall be accompanied by the fish buyer's settlement sheet completed in 
the manner and form that NMFS specifies. NMFS will specify the 
subaccount's lockbox and the manner and form of settlement sheet by 
means of the notification in Sec. 600.1101(c).
    (4) Records maintenance. Each fish buyer shall maintain, in a secure 
and orderly manner for a period of at least 3 years from the date of 
each transaction involved, at least the following information:
    (i) For all deliveries of fee fish that the fish buyer buys from 
each fish seller:
    (A) The date of delivery,
    (B) The fish seller's identity,
    (C) The round weight of fee fish delivered,

[[Page 159]]

    (D) The identity of the fishing vessel that delivered the fee fish,
    (E) The delivery value,
    (F) The net delivery value,
    (G) The identity of the party to whom the net delivery value is 
paid, if other than the fish seller,
    (H) The date the net delivery value was paid, and
    (I) The total fee amount collected;
    (ii) For all fee collection deposits to and disbursements from the 
deposit account:
    (A) The dates and amounts of deposits,
    (B) The dates and amounts of disbursements to the subaccount's 
lockbox account, and
    (C) The dates and amounts of disbursements to the fish buyer or 
other parties of interest earned on deposits.
    (5) Annual report. By January 15, 2001, and by each January 15 
thereafter until the loan is fully repaid, each fish buyer shall submit 
to NMFS a report, on or in the form NMFS specifies, containing the 
following information for the preceding year for all fee fish each fish 
buyer purchases from fish sellers:
    (i) Total round weight bought;
    (ii) Total delivery value paid;
    (iii) Total fee amount collected;
    (iv) Total fee collection amounts deposited by month;
    (v) Dates and amounts of monthly disbursements to the subaccount 
lockbox;
    (vi) Total amount of interest earned on deposits; and
    (vii) Depository account balance at year-end.
    (6) State records. If landing records that a state requires from 
fish sellers contain some or all of the data that this section requires 
and state confidentiality laws or regulations do not prevent NMFS' 
access to the records maintained for the state, then fish buyers can use 
such records to meet appropriate portions of this section's 
recordkeeping requirements. If, however, state confidentiality laws or 
regulations make such records unavailable to NMFS, then fish buyers 
shall maintain separate records for NMFS that meet the requirements of 
this section.
    (7) Audits. NMFS or its agents may audit, in whatever manner NMFS 
believes reasonably necessary for the duly diligent administration of 
the loan, the financial records of the fish buyers and the fish sellers 
in order to ensure proper fee payment, collection, deposit, 
disbursement, accounting, recordkeeping, and reporting. Fish buyers and 
fish sellers shall make all records of all transactions involving fee 
fish catches, fish deliveries, and fee payments, collections, deposits, 
disbursements, accounting, recordkeeping, and reporting available to 
NMFS or its agents at reasonable times and places and promptly provide 
all requested information reasonably related to these records that such 
fish sellers and fish buyers may otherwise lawfully provide. Trip 
tickets (or similar accounting records establishing the round weight 
pounds of fee fish that each fish buyer buys from each fish seller each 
time that each fish buyer does so) are essential audit documentation.
    (8) Confidentiality of records. NMFS and its auditing agents shall 
maintain the confidentiality of all data to which NMFS has access under 
this section and shall neither release the data nor allow the data's use 
for any purpose other than the purpose of this subpart, unless otherwise 
required by law; provided, however, that NMFS may aggregate such data so 
as to preclude their identification with any fish buyer or any fish 
seller and use them in the aggregate for other purposes.
    (9) Refunds. When NMFS determines that the loan is fully repaid, 
NMFS will refund any excess fee receipts, on a last-in/first-out basis, 
to the fish buyers. Fish buyers shall return the refunds, on a last-in/
first-out basis, to the fish sellers who paid the amounts refunded.
    (e) Late charges. The late charge to fish buyers for fee payment, 
collection, deposit, and/or disbursement shall be one and one-half (1.5) 
percent per month, or the maximum rate permitted by state law, for the 
total amount of the fee not paid, collected, deposited, and/or disbursed 
when due to be paid, collected, deposited, and/or disbursed within 5 
days of the date due. The full late charge shall apply to the fee for 
each month or portion of a month that the fee remains unpaid, 
uncollected, undeposited, and/or undisbursed.

[[Page 160]]

    (f) Enforcement. In accordance with applicable law or other 
authority, NMFS may take appropriate action against each fish seller 
and/or fish buyer responsible for non-payment, non-collection, non-
deposit, and/or non-disbursement of the fee in accordance with this 
subpart to enforce the collection from such fish seller and/or fish 
buyer of any fee (including penalties and all costs of collection) due 
and owing the United States on account of the loan that such fish seller 
and/or fish buyer should have, but did not, pay, collect, deposit, and/
or disburse in accordance with this subpart. All such loan recoveries 
shall be applied to reduce the unpaid balance of the loan.
    (g) Prohibitions and penalties. (1) The following activities are 
prohibited, and it is unlawful for anyone to:
    (i) Avoid, decrease, interfere with, hinder, or delay payment or 
collection of, or otherwise fail to fully and properly pay or collect, 
any fee due and payable under this subpart or convert, or otherwise use 
for any purpose other than the purpose this subpart intends, any paid or 
collected fee;
    (ii) Fail to fully and properly deposit on time the full amount of 
all fee revenue collected under this subpart into a deposit account and 
disburse the full amount of all deposit principal to the subaccount's 
lockbox account--all as this subpart requires;
    (iii) Fail to maintain full, timely, and proper fee payment, 
collection, deposit, and/or disbursement records or make full, timely, 
and proper reports of such information to NMFS-all as this subpart 
requires;
    (iv) Fail to advise NMFS of any fish seller's refusal to pay, or of 
any fish buyer's refusal to collect, any fee due and payable under this 
subpart;
    (v) Refuse to allow NMFS or agents that NMFS designates to review 
and audit at reasonable times all books and records reasonably pertinent 
to fee payment, collection, deposit, disbursement, and accounting under 
this subpart or otherwise interfere with, hinder, or delay NMFS or it 
agents in the course of their activities under this subpart;
    (vi) Make false statements to NMFS, any of the NMFS' employees, or 
any of NMFS' agents about any of the matters in this subpart;
    (vii) Obstruct, prevent, or unreasonably delay or attempt to 
obstruct, prevent, or unreasonably delay any audit or investigation NMFS 
or its agents conduct, or attempt to conduct, in connection with any of 
the matters in this subpart; and/or
    (viii) Otherwise materially interfere with the efficient and 
effective repayment of the loan.
    (2) Anyone who violates one or more of the prohibitions of paragraph 
(a) of this section is subject to the full range of penalties the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act and 15 CFR part 904 provide (including, but not 
limited to: civil penalties, sanctions, forfeitures, and punishment for 
criminal offenses) and to the full penalties and punishments otherwise 
provided by any other applicable law of the United States.



Sec. 600.1102  Pacific Coast groundfish fee.

    (a) Purpose. This section implements the fee for repaying the 
reduction loan financing the Pacific Coast Groundfish Program authorized 
by section 212 of Division B, Title II, of Public Law 108-7 and 
implemented by a final notification in the Federal Register (July 18, 
2003; 68 FR 42613).
    (b) Definitions. Unless otherwise defined in this section, the terms 
defined in Sec. 600.1000 of subpart L expressly apply to this section. 
The following terms have the following meanings for the purpose of this 
section:
    Borrower means, individually and collectively, each post-reduction 
fishing permit holder and/or fishing vessel owner fishing in the 
reduction fishery, in any or all of the fee-share fisheries, or in both 
the reduction fishery and any or all of the fee-share fisheries.
    Deposit principal means all collected fee revenue that a fish buyer 
deposits in an account maintained at a federally insured financial 
institution for the purpose of aggregating collected fee revenue before 
sending the fee revenue to NMFS for repaying the reduction loan.
    Fee fish means all fish harvested from the reduction fishery during 
the period in which any portion of the reduction fishery's subamount is 
outstanding and

[[Page 161]]

all fish harvested from each of the fee-share fisheries during the 
period in which any portion of each fee-share fishery's subamount is 
outstanding.
    Fee-share fishery means each of the fisheries for coastal Dungeness 
crab and pink shrimp in each of the States of California and Oregon and 
the fishery for coastal Dungeness crab and ocean pink shrimp in the 
State of Washington.
    Fee-share fishery subaccount means each of the six subaccounts 
established in the groundfish program's fund subaccount in which each of 
the six fee-share fishery subamounts are deposited.
    Reduction fishery means all species in, and that portion of, the 
limited entry trawl fishery under the Federal Pacific Coast Groundfish 
Fishery Management Plan that is conducted under permits, excluding those 
registered to whiting catcher-processors, which are endorsed for trawl 
gear operation.
    Reduction fishery subaccount means the subaccount established in the 
groundfish program's fund subaccount in which the reduction fishery 
subamount is deposited.
    Subamount means each portion of the reduction loan's original 
principal amount which is allocated either to the reduction fishery or 
to any one of the fee-share fisheries.
    (c) Reduction loan amount. The reduction loan's original principal 
amount is $35,662,471.
    (d) Subamounts. The subamounts of the reduction loan amount are:
    (1) Reduction fishery, $28,428,719; and
    (2) Fee-share fisheries:
    (i) California coastal Dungeness crab fee-share fishery, $2,334,334,
    (ii) California pink shrimp fee-share fishery, $674,202,
    (iii) Oregon coastal Dungeness crab fee-share fishery, $1,367,545,
    (iv) Oregon pink shrimp fee-share fishery, $2,228,845,
    (v) Washington coastal Dungeness crab fee-share fishery, $369,426, 
and
    (vi) Washington ocean pink shrimp fee-share fishery, $259,400.
    (e) Interest accrual inception. Interest began accruing on each 
portion of the reduction loan amount on and from the date each such 
portion was disbursed.
    (f) Interest rate. The reduction loan's interest rate is 6.97 
percent. This is a fixed rate of interest for the full term of the 
reduction loan's life.
    (g) Repayment term. For the purpose of determining fee rates, the 
reduction loan's repayment term shall be 30 years from March 1, 2004, 
but each fee shall continue for as long as necessary to fully repay each 
subamount.
    (h) Reduction loan. The reduction loan shall be subject to the 
provisions of Sec. 600.1012 of subpart L, except that:
    (1) The borrower's obligation to repay the reduction loan shall be 
discharged by fish sellers in the reduction fishery and in each of the 
fee-share fisheries paying the fee applicable to each such fishery's 
subamount in accordance with Sec. 600.1013 of subpart L, and
    (2) Fish buyers in the reduction fishery and in each of the fee-
share fisheries shall be obligated to collect the fee applicable to each 
such fishery's subamount in accordance with Sec. 600.1013 of this 
subpart.
    (i) Fee collection, deposits, disbursements, records, and reports. 
Fish buyers in the reduction fishery and in each of the fee share 
fisheries shall deposit and disburse, as well as keep records for and 
submit reports about, the fees applicable to each such fishery in 
accordance with Sec. 600.1014 of this subpart, except that:
    (1) Deposit accounts. Each fish buyer that this section requires to 
collect a fee shall maintain an account at a federally insured financial 
institution for the purpose of depositing collected fee revenue and 
disbursing the deposit principal directly to NMFS in accordance with 
paragraph (i)(3) of this section. The fish buyer may use this account 
for other operational purposes as well, but the fish buyer shall ensure 
that the account separately accounts for all deposit principal collected 
from the reduction fishery and from each of the six fee-share fisheries. 
The fish buyer shall separately account for all fee collections as 
follows:
    (i) All fee collections from the reduction fishery shall be 
accounted for in a reduction fishery subaccount,
    (ii) All fee collections from the California pink shrimp fee-share 
fishery

[[Page 162]]

shall be accounted for in a California shrimp fee-share fishery 
subaccount,
    (iii) All fee collections from the California coastal Dungeness crab 
fishery shall be accounted for in a California crab fee-share fishery 
subaccount,
    (iv) All fee collections from the Oregon pink shrimp fee-share 
fishery shall be accounted for in an Oregon shrimp fee-share fishery 
subaccount,
    (v) All fee collections from the Oregon coastal Dungeness crab fee-
share fishery shall be accounted for in an Oregon crab fee-share fishery 
subaccount,
    (vi) All fee collections from the Washington ocean pink shrimp fee-
share fishery shall be accounted for in a Washington ocean shrimp fee-
share fishery subaccount, and
    (vii) All fee collections from the Washington coastal Dungeness crab 
fishery shall be accounted for in a Washington crab fee-share fishery 
subaccount;
    (2) Fee collection deposits. Each fish buyer, no less frequently 
than at the end of each month, shall deposit, in the deposit account 
established under paragraph (i)(1) of this section, all collected fee 
revenue not previously deposited that the fish buyer collects through a 
date not more than two calendar days before the date of deposit. The 
deposit principal may not be pledged, assigned, or used for any purpose 
other than aggregating collected fee revenue for disbursement to the 
fund in accordance with paragraph (i)(3) of this section. The fish buyer 
is entitled, at any time, to withdraw interest (if any) on the deposit 
principal, but never the deposit fee principal itself, for the fish 
buyer's own use and purposes;
    (3) Deposit principal disbursement. Not later than the 14th calendar 
day after the last calendar day of each month, or more frequently if the 
amount in the account exceeds the account limit for insurance purposes, 
the fish buyer shall disburse to NMFS the full deposit principal then in 
the deposit account, provided that the deposit principal then totals 
$100 or more. If the deposit principal then totals less than $100, the 
fish buyer need not disburse the deposit principal until either the next 
month during which the deposit principal then totals $100 or more, or 
not later than the 14th calendar day after the last calendar day of any 
year in which the deposit principal has not since the last required 
disbursement totaled $100 or more, whichever comes first. The fish buyer 
shall disburse deposit principal by check made payable to the groundfish 
program's fund subaccount. The fish buyer shall mail each such check to 
the groundfish program's fund subaccount lockbox that NMFS establishes 
for the receipt of groundfish program disbursements. Each disbursement 
shall be accompanied by the fish buyer's fee collection report completed 
in the manner and form which NMFS specifies. NMFS will, before fee 
payment and collection begins, specify the groundfish program's fund 
subaccount lockbox and the manner and form of fee collection report. 
NMFS will do this by means of the notification in Sec. 600.1013(d) of 
subpart L. NMFS' fee collection report instructions will include 
provisions for the fish buyer to specify the amount of each disbursement 
which was disbursed from the reduction fishery subaccount and/or from 
each of the six fee-share fishery subaccounts;
    (4) Records maintenance. Each fish buyer shall maintain, in a secure 
and orderly manner for a period of at least 3 years from the date of 
each transaction involved, at least the following information:
    (i) For all deliveries of fee fish that the fish buyer buys from 
each fish seller:
    (A) The date of delivery,
    (B) The fish seller's identity,
    (C) The weight, number, or volume of each species of fee fish 
delivered,
    (D) Information sufficient to specifically identify the fishing 
vessel which delivered the fee fish,
    (E) The delivery value of each species of fee fish,
    (F) The net delivery value of each species of fee fish,
    (G) The identity of the payor to whom the net delivery value is 
paid, if different than the fish seller,
    (H) The date the net delivery value was paid,
    (I) The total fee amount collected as a result of all fee fish, and

[[Page 163]]

    (J) The total fee amount collected as a result of all fee fish from 
the reduction fishery and/or all fee fish from each of the six fee-share 
fisheries; and
    (ii) For all collected fee deposits to, and disbursements of deposit 
principal from, the deposit account include:
    (A) The date of each deposit,
    (B) The total amount deposited,
    (C) The total amount deposited in the reduction fishery subaccount 
and/or in each of the six fee-share fishery subaccounts,
    (D) The date of each disbursement to the Fund's lockbox,
    (E) The total amount disbursed,
    (F) The total amount disbursed from the reduction fishery subaccount 
and/or from each of the six fee-share fishery subaccounts, and
    (G) The dates and amounts of disbursements to the fish buyer, or 
other parties, of interest earned on deposits; and
    (5) Annual report. No fish buyer needs to submit an annual report 
about fee fish collection activities unless, during the course of an 
audit under Sec. 600.1014(g), NMFS requires a fish buyer to submit such 
a report or reports.
    (j) Other provisions. The reduction loan is, in all other respects, 
subject to the provisions of Sec. 600.1012 through applicable portions 
of Sec. 600.1017, except Sec. 600.1014(e).

[70 FR 40229, July 13, 2005, as amended at 71 FR 28, Jan. 3, 2006]



Sec. 600.1103  Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Crab species program.

    (a) Purpose. This section's purpose is to implement the program that 
Section 144(d) of Division B of Pub. L. 106-554, as amended by section 
2201 of Pub. L. 107-20 and section 205 of Pub. L. 107-117, enacted for 
BSAI crab species.
    (b) Terms. Unless otherwise defined in this section, the terms 
defined in Sec. 600.1000 expressly apply to the program for BSAI crab. 
Likewise, the terms defined in Sec. 679.2 of this chapter also apply to 
terms not otherwise defined in either Sec. 600.1000 or this section. 
The following terms used in this section have the following meanings for 
the purpose of this section:
    Acceptance means NMFS' acceptance, on behalf of the United States, 
of a bid.
    Bid means a bidder's irrevocable offer, in response to an invitation 
to bid under this section, to surrender, to have revoked, to have 
restricted, to relinquish, to have withdrawn, or to have extinguished by 
other means, in the manner this section requires, the bidder's reduction 
fishing interest.
    Bid amount means the dollar amount of each bid.
    Bidder means either a qualifying bidder bidding alone or a 
qualifying bidder and a co-bidder bidding together who at the time of 
bidding holds the reduction fishing interests specified at Sec. 
600.1018(e).
    Bid crab means the crab that NMFS determines each bidder's 
reduction/history vessel (see definition) harvested, according to the 
State of Alaska's records of the documented harvest of crab, from each 
reduction endorsement fishery and from the Norton Sound fishery during 
the most recent 5 calendar years in which each reduction endorsement 
fishery was for any length of time open for directed crab fishing during 
a 10-calendar-year period beginning on January 1, 1990, and ending on 
December 31, 1999.
    Bid score means the criterion by which NMFS decides in what order to 
accept bids in the reverse auction this section specifies.
    Co-bidder means a person who is not a qualifying bidder, but who at 
the time of bidding owns the reduction/privilege vessel this section 
requires to be included in a bid and is bidding together with a 
qualifying bidder.
    Crab means the crab species covered by the Fishery Management Plan 
for the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs pursuant to 
Sec. 679.2 of this chapter.
    Crab license means a License Limitation Program license for crab 
issued pursuant to Sec. 679.4(k)(5) of this chapter.
    Crab reduction permit means a non-interim crab license endorsed for 
one or more reduction endorsement fisheries, regardless of whether it is 
also endorsed for the Norton Sound fishery.
    FSD means NMFS' Financial Services Division, located in NMFS' Silver 
Spring, MD, headquarters office.
    Non-crab reduction permit means a fishing license, including all of 
its predecessor history, for which a bidder

[[Page 164]]

is the holder of record on December 12, 2003 and which was issued based 
on the fishing history of the bidder's -reduction/history vessel.
    Norton Sound fishery means the non-reduction fishery defined in 
Sec. 679.2 of this chapter as the area/species endorsement for Norton 
Sound red king and Norton Sound blue king crab.
    NVDC means the U.S. Coast Guard's National Vessel Documentation 
Center located in Falling Waters, WV.
    Qualifying bidder means a person who at the time of bidding is the 
license holder of record of a crab reduction permit.
    Qualifying voter means a person who at the time of voting in a 
referendum is the license holder of record either of an interim or a 
non-interim crab license, except a crab license whose sole area/species 
endorsement is for the Norton Sound fishery.
    RAM Program means NMFS' Restricted Access Management Program located 
in NMFS' Juneau, AK, regional office.
    Reduction endorsement fishery means any of the seven fisheries that 
Sec. 679.2 of this chapter defines as area/species endorsements except 
the area/species endorsement for the Norton Sound fishery.
    Reduction fishery means the fishery for all crab covered by the 
Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs Fishery Management 
Plan under all area/species endorsements that section 679.2 of the 
chapter defines, except the area/species endorsement for the Norton 
Sound fishery.
    Reduction fishing history means, for each bid, the complete 
documented harvest of the bidder's reduction/history vessel, upon any 
part of which such harvest NMFS based issuance of the crab license 
included in the bid as a crab reduction permit, plus such fishing 
history, after the issuance of such crab license, of any other vessel 
upon which the bidder used such crab license.
    Reduction fishing interest means, for each bid, the bidder's:
    (1) Reduction fishing privilege (see definition);
    (2) Crab reduction permit;
    (3) Non-crab reduction permit;
    (4) Reduction fishing history (see definition); and
    (5) Any other claim that could in any way qualify the owner, holder, 
or retainer of any of the reduction components, or any person claiming 
under such owner, holder, or retainer, for any present or future limited 
access system fishing license or permit in any United States fishery 
(including, but not limited to, any harvesting privilege or quota 
allocation under any present or future individual fishing quota system).
    Reduction fishing privilege means the worldwide fishing privileges 
of a bid's reduction/privilege vessel (see definition).
    Reduction/history vessel means the vessel or vessels which generated 
the reduction fishing history.
    Reduction loan sub-amount means the portion of the original 
principal amount of reduction loan this section specifies each reduction 
endorsement fishery must repay with interest.
    Reduction/privilege vessel means the vessel designated on a crab 
license on December 12, 2003.
    Referendum means a referendum under this section to determine 
whether voters approve the fee required to repay this program's 
reduction loan.
    Replacement vessel means a reduction/history vessel which replaced 
the lost or destroyed one whose reduction fishing history qualified 
during the general qualification period and the endorsement 
qualification period and, which under the exceptions in Amendment 10, 
qualified during the recent participation period.
    (c) Relationship to this subpart--(1) Provisions that apply. The 
provisions of Sec. 600.1000 through Sec. 600.1017 of this subpart 
apply to this program except as paragraph (c)(2) of this section 
provides; and
    (2) Provisions that do not apply. The following sections, or 
portions of them, of this subpart do not apply to this program:
    (i) All of:
    (A) Section 600.1001,
    (B) Section 600.1002,
    (C) Section 600.1003,
    (D) Section 600.1004,
    (E) Section 600.1005,
    (F) Section 600.1006, and

[[Page 165]]

    (G) Section 600.1007,
    (ii) The portions of Sec. 600.1008:
    (A) Pertaining to an implementation plan,
    (B) Pertaining to a 60-day comment period for a proposed 
implementation regulation,
    (C) Pertaining to public hearings in each State that the this 
program affects,
    (D) Pertaining to basing the implementation regulation on a business 
plan,
    (E) Within paragraphs (d)(1)(ii) through (viii),
    (F) Within paragraph (d)(2)(ii),
    (G) Within paragraph (e), and
    (H) Within paragraph (f) and pertaining to fishing capacity 
reduction specifications and a subsidized program,
    (iii) The portions of Sec. 600.1009:
    (A) Pertaining to fishing capacity reduction specifications,
    (B) Within paragraph (a)(4),
    (C) Pertaining to a reduction amendment,
    (D) Within paragraph (a)(5)(ii), to the extent that the paragraph is 
inconsistent with the requirements of this section,
    (E) Within paragraph (b)(i), and
    (F) Pertaining to an implementation plan,
    (iv) The portions of Sec. 600.1010:
    (A) Within paragraph (b),
    (B) Pertaining to fishing capacity reduction specifications,
    (C) Within paragraph (d)(1), and
    (D) Within paragraphs (d)(4))(iv) through (vii),
    (v) The portions of Sec. 600.1011:
    (A) That comprise the last sentence of paragraph (a),
    (B) Within paragraph (d), and
    (C) Within paragraph (e)(2),
    (vi) The portions of Sec. 600.1012:
    (A) Within paragraph (b)(3) following the word ``subpart'', and
    (B) Within paragraph (b)(3), and
    (vii) The last sentence of Sec. 600.1014(f).
    (d) Reduction cost financing. NMFS will use the proceeds of a 
reduction loan, authorized for this purpose, to finance 100 percent of 
the reduction cost. The original principal amount of the reduction loan 
will be the total of all reduction payments that NMFS makes under 
reduction contracts. This amount shall not exceed $100 million.
    (e) Who constitutes a bidder. A bidder is a person or persons who is 
the:
    (1) Holder of record and person otherwise fully and legally entitled 
to offer, in the manner this section requires, the bid's crab reduction 
permit and the bid's non-crab reduction permit;
    (2) Reduction/privilege vessel owner, title holder of record, and 
person otherwise fully and legally entitled to offer, in the manner this 
section requires, the bid's reduction fishing privilege; and
    (3) Retainer and person otherwise fully and legally entitled to 
offer, in the manner this section requires, the bid's reduction fishing 
history.
    (f) How crab licenses determine qualifying bidders and qualifying 
voters--(1) Non-interim crab licenses. Each person who is the record 
holder of a non-interim crab license endorsed for one or more reduction 
endorsement fisheries is both a qualifying bidder and a qualifying voter 
and can both bid and vote;
    (2) Interim crab licenses. Each person who is the record holder of 
an interim crab license endorsed for one or more reduction endorsement 
fisheries is a qualifying voter but not a qualifying bidder and can vote 
but not bid;
    (3) Crab licenses endorsed solely for the Norton Sound Fishery. Each 
person who is the record holder of any crab license endorsed solely for 
the Norton Sound fishery is neither a qualifying bidder nor a qualifying 
voter and can neither bid nor vote; and
    (4) Time at which qualifying bidders and voters must hold required 
crab licenses. A qualifying bidder must be the record holder of the 
required crab license at the time the qualifying bidder submits its bid. 
A qualifying voter must be the record holder of the required crab 
license at the time the qualifying voter submits its referendum ballot.
    (g) Qualifying bidders and co-bidders--(1) Qualifying bidders 
bidding alone. There is no co-bidder when a qualifying bidder owns, 
holds, or retains all the required components of the reduction fishing 
interest;

[[Page 166]]

    (2) Qualifying bidders bidding together with co-bidders. When a 
qualifying bidder does not own the reduction/privilege vessel, the 
person who does may be the qualifying bidder's co-bidder; and
    (3) Minimum reduction components that qualifying bidders must hold 
or retain when bidding with co-bidders. At a minimum, a qualifying 
bidder must hold the crab reduction permit and the non-crab reduction 
permit and retain the reduction fishing history. The reduction/privilege 
vessel may, however, be owned by another person who is a co-bidder.
    (h) Reduction fishing interest--(1) General requirements. Each 
bidder must:
    (i) In its bid, offer to surrender, to have revoked, to have 
restricted, to relinquish, to have withdrawn, or to have extinguished by 
other means, in the manner that this section requires, the reduction 
fishing interest,
    (ii) At the time of bidding, hold, own, or retain the reduction 
fishing interest and be fully and legally entitled to offer, in the 
manner that this section requires, the reduction fishing interest, and
    (iii) Continuously thereafter hold, own, or retain the reduction 
fishing interest and remain fully and legally entitled to offer, in the 
manner that this section requires, the reduction fishing interest until:
    (A) The bid expires without NMFS first having accepted the bid,
    (B) NMFS notifies the bidder that NMFS rejects the bid,
    (C) NMFS notifies the bidder that a reduction contract between the 
bidder and the United States no longer exists, or
    (D) NMFS tenders reduction payment to the bidder;
    (2) Reduction/privilege vessel requirements. The reduction/privilege 
vessel in each bid must be:
    (i) The vessel designated, at the time this final rule is published 
in the Federal Register, on a crab license which becomes a bid's crab 
reduction permit, and
    (ii) Be neither lost nor destroyed at the time of bidding;
    (3) Reduction fishing privilege requirements. The reduction fishing 
privilege in each bid must be the reduction/privilege vessel's:
    (i) Fisheries trade endorsement under the Merchant Marine Act, 1936 
(46 U.S.C.A. 12108),
    (ii) Qualification for any present or future U.S. Government 
approval under section (9)(c)(2) of the Shipping Act, 1916 (46 U.S.C. 
App. 808(c)(2)) for placement under foreign registry or operation under 
the authority of a foreign country, and
    (iii) Any other privilege to ever fish anywhere in the world;
    (4) Crab reduction permit requirements. (i) Except as otherwise 
provided in paragraph (i) of this section, the crab reduction permit 
must in each bid:
    (A) Be the crab license that NMFS issued on the basis of the 
bidder's reduction fishing history,
    (B) Be non-interim at the time each bidder submits its bid, and
    (C) Include an area/species endorsement for any one or more 
reduction endorsement fisheries,
    (ii) Although the Norton Sound fishery is not a reduction 
endorsement fishery, an area/species endorsement for the Norton Sound 
fishery occurring on a crab reduction permit must be surrendered and 
revoked (and all fishing history involving it relinquished) in the same 
manner as all other reduction endorsement fisheries occurring on the 
crab reduction permit;
    (5) Non-crab reduction permit requirements. The non-crab reduction 
permit must in each bid be every license, permit, or other harvesting 
privilege that:
    (i) NMFS issued on the basis of the fishing history of the bidder's 
reduction/history vessel, and
    (ii) For which the bidder was the license holder of record on the 
effective date of this section; and
    (6) Reduction fishing history requirements. Except as otherwise 
provided in paragraph (i) of this section, the reduction fishing history 
in each bid must that of a single reduction/history vessel.
    (i) Exceptions to the reduction fishing interest requirements--(1) 
Lost or destroyed vessel salvaged. When a bidder has salvaged a lost or 
destroyed vessel and has made from the salvaged vessel the documented 
harvest of crab

[[Page 167]]

Sec. 679.4(k)(5)(iii)(B)(3) of this chapter requires, the crab portion 
of the reduction fishing history is the salvaged vessel's documented 
harvest of crab; and
    (2) Lost or destroyed vessel not salvaged. When a bidder has not 
salvaged the lost or destroyed vessel but has made from a replacement 
vessel the documented harvest of crab Sec. 679.4(k)(5)(iii)(B)(3) of 
this chapter requires:
    (i) The crab portion of the reduction fishing history is the total 
of the lost or destroyed vessel's documented harvest of crab through the 
date of such vessel's loss or destruction plus the replacement vessel's 
documented harvest of crab after such date, and
    (ii) For the purposes of this program, the lost or destroyed 
vessel's documented harvest of crab merges with, and becomes a part of, 
the replacement vessel's documented harvest of crab; and
    (3) Acquired crab fishing history. When a bidder, in the manner 
Sec. 679.4(k)(5)(iv) of this chapter requires, has made a documented 
harvest of crab from one vessel and has acquired a replacement vessel's 
documented harvest of crab:
    (i) The crab portion of the reduction fishing history is the total 
of the acquired documented harvest of crab through December 31, 1994, 
plus the documented harvest of crab after December 31, 1994, of the 
vessel from which the bidder made the documented crab harvest Sec. 
679.4(k)(5)(iv) of this chapter requires, and
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (iii) For the purposes of this program, the acquired documented 
harvest of crab merges with, and becomes a part of, the non-acquired 
documented harvest of crab.
    (j) Determining value of reduction/history vessels' bid crab--(1) In 
each fishery. NMFS will determine the dollar value of each reduction/
history vessel's bid crab in each reduction endorsement fishery and in 
the Norton Sound Fishery by multiplying each reduction/history vessel's 
number of pounds of each species of bid crab by the average ex-vessel 
price per pound that the State of Alaska annually publishes for each 
crab species in the bid crab; and
    (2) In all fisheries. NMFS will determine the dollar value of each 
reduction/history vessel's bid crab in all reduction endorsement 
fisheries and in the Norton Sound fishery by adding each of the products 
of the multiplications in paragraph (j)(1) of this section; and
    (3) Crab excluded from bid crab. A reduction/history vessel's bid 
crab may not include, to the extent that NMFS has knowledge:
    (i) Triangle tanner crab, grooved tanner crab, and any other crab 
not involved in the various area/species endorsements,
    (ii) Discarded crab,
    (iii) Crab caught for personal use,
    (iv) Unspecified crab, and
    (v) Any other crab for which the dollar value, crab fishery, landing 
date, or harvesting vessel NMFS cannot, for whatever reason, determine.
    (k) Determining bid score. NMFS will determine each bid score by 
dividing each bid amount by the sum in paragraph (j)(2) of this section.
    (l) Determining reduction loan sub-amount--(1) Value of all bid crab 
in each fishery. NMFS will add the dollar value of bid crab of all 
accepted bidders' reduction/history vessels in each reduction 
endorsement fishery;
    (2) Value of all bid crab in all fisheries. NMFS will add the dollar 
value of bid crab of all accepted bidders' reduction/history vessels in 
all reduction endorsement fisheries plus the Norton Sound fishery;
    (3) Each fishery as a percentage of all fisheries. NMFS will divide 
each of the sums in paragraph (l)(1) of this section by the sum in 
paragraph (l)(2) of this section. The result of this calculation will be 
the dollar value of all bid crab in each reduction endorsement fishery 
as a percentage of the dollar value of all bid crab in all reduction 
endorsement fisheries plus the Norton Sound fishery;
    (4) Applying percentages to loan amount. NMFS will multiply the 
reduction loan's full original principal amount by each of the yields in 
paragraph (l)(3) of this section; and
    (5) Loan sub-amount. Each of the amounts resulting from the 
calculation in paragraph (l)(4) of this section will be the reduction 
loan subamount that a reduction endorsement fishery must repay.

[[Page 168]]

    (m) Prospectively qualifying bidder and voter notification--(1) 
General. At the appropriate point before issuing an invitation to bid, 
NMFS will publish a notification in the Federal Register listing all 
persons who at the time of publishing the notification prospectively are 
qualifying bidders and qualifying voters;
    (2) Qualifying bidder list. The prospectively qualifying bidder list 
will include the names and addresses of record of each license holder of 
record for all non-interim crab licenses except only crab licenses whose 
sole area/species endorsement is for the Norton Sound fishery;
    (3) Qualifying voter list. The prospectively qualifying voter list 
will include the names and addresses of record of each license holder of 
record for all non-interim and interim crab licenses except only crab 
licenses whose sole area/species endorsement is for the Norton Sound 
fishery;
    (4) Basis of lists. NMFS will base both the lists on the RAM 
Program's license holder records for crab licenses meeting the 
requirements of Sec. 679.4(k)(5) of this chapter as well as the 
requirements of this section;
    (5) Purpose. The purpose of the notification is to provide the 
public notice of:
    (i) The prospectively qualifying bidders, and
    (ii) The prospectively qualifying voters; and
    (6) Public comment. Any person who wants to comment about the 
notification has 30 days from the notification's publication date to do 
so. Persons should send their comments to both FSD and the RAM Program 
(at addresses that the notification will specify). Comments may address:
    (i) Persons who appear on one or more lists but should not,
    (ii) Persons who do not appear on one or more lists but should, and
    (iii) Persons who believe their names and/or business mailing 
addresses appearing on one or more lists are incorrect.
    (n) Invitation to bid--(1) Notification. At the appropriate point 
after issuing the notification in paragraph (m) of this section, NMFS 
will publish the invitation to bid in the Federal Register notification 
further specified in Sec. 600.1009(c) of this subpart, along with a 
bidding form and terms of capacity reduction agreement. No person may, 
however, bid at this stage;
    (2) Notification contents. The invitation to bid notification will 
state all applicable bid submission requirements and procedures 
(including, but not limited to, those included in this section). In 
particular, the invitation to bid notification will:
    (i) State the date on which NMFS will invite bids by mailing an 
invitation to bid to each person on the prospectively qualifying bidder 
list,
    (ii) State a bid opening date, before which a bidder may not bid, 
and a bid closing date, after which a bidder may not bid,
    (iii) State a bid expiration date after which each bid expires 
unless, prior to that date, NMFS accepts the bid by mailing a written 
acceptance notice to the bidder at the bidder's address of record,
    (iv) State the manner of bid submission and the information each 
bidder must submit for NMFS to deem a bid responsive,
    (v) State any other information required for bid submission, and
    (vi) Include a facsimile of the invitation to bid, along with a 
bidding form and terms of capacity reduction agreement comprising the 
entire terms and conditions of the reduction contract under which each 
bidder must bid and under which NMFS must accept a bid; and
    (3) Mailing. On the date specified in this notification, NMFS will 
invite bids by mailing the invitation to bid and a bidding package, 
including a bidding form terms of capacity reduction agreement, to each 
person then on the prospectively qualifying bidder list. NMFS will not 
mail the invitation to bid to any potential co-bidder because NMFS will 
not then know which bids may include a co-bidder. Each qualifying bidder 
is solely responsible to have any required co-bidder properly complete 
the bid. No person may bid before receiving the invitation to bid and 
the bidding package that NMFS mailed to that person.
    (o) Bids--(1) Content. Each invitation to bid that NMFS mails to a 
qualifying

[[Page 169]]

bidder will have a bid form requiring each bid to:
    (i) Identify, by name, regular mail address, telephone number, and 
(if available) electronic mail address, the qualifying bidder and each 
co-bidder,
    (ii) State the bid amount in U.S. dollars,
    (iii) Identify, by crab license number, the qualifying bidder's crab 
reduction permit and include an exact copy of this crab license (which 
the RAM Program issued),
    (iv) Identify, by vessel name and official number, the bidder's 
reduction/privilege vessel, and include an exact copy of this vessel's 
official document (which NVDC issued),
    (v) Identify, by license or permit number, each of the bidder's non-
crab reduction permits; and include an exact copy of each of these 
licenses or permits (which the RAM Program issued for licenses or 
permits involving species under the jurisdiction of NMFS' Alaska Region 
and which other NMFS offices issued for licenses or permits involving 
species under those offices' jurisdiction),
    (vi) Identify, separately for crab and for each other species:
    (A) The qualifying bidder's reduction fishing history, and
    (B) The dates that each portion of the reduction fishing history 
encompasses; the name and official number of the reduction/history 
vessel or vessels which gave rise to it; and the dates during which the 
qualifying bidder owned such vessels or, if the qualifying bidder 
acquired any reduction fishing history from another person, the name of 
the person from which the qualifying bidder acquired such reduction 
fishing history and the manner in which and the date on which the 
qualifying bidder did so,
    (vii) State, declare, and affirm that the qualifying bidder holds 
the crab reduction permit and retains the complete reduction fishing 
history, and is fully and legally entitled to offer both in the manner 
this section requires,
    (viii) State, declare, and affirm that either the qualifying bidder 
or the co-bidder owns the reduction/privilege vessel and holds the non-
crab reduction permit and is fully and legally entitled to offer both in 
the manner that this section requires, and
    (ix) Provide any other information or materials that NMFS believes 
is necessary and appropriate; and
    (2) Rejection. NMFS, regardless of bid scores, will reject any bid 
that NMFS believes is unresponsive to the invitation to bid. All bid 
rejections will constitute final agency action as of the date of 
rejection. Before rejection, NMFS may, however, contact any bidder to 
attempt to correct a bid deficiency if NMFS, in its discretion, believes 
the attempt warranted.
    (p) Acceptance--(1) Reverse auction. NMFS will determine which 
responsive bids NMFS accepts by using a reverse auction in which NMFS 
first accepts the responsive bid with the lowest bid score and 
successively accepts each additional responsive bid with the next lowest 
bid score until either there are no more responsive bids to accept or 
acceptance of the last responsive bid with the next lowest bid score 
would cause the reduction cost to exceed $100 million. If two or more 
responsive bid scores are exactly the same, NMFS will first accept the 
bid that NMFS first received;
    (2) Notification. NMFS will, after the conclusion of a successful 
referendum, notify accepted bidders that NMFS had, before the 
referendum, accepted their bids; and
    (3) Post-acceptance reduction permit transfer. After NMFS has 
accepted bids, neither the RAM Program (nor any other NMFS office) will 
transfer to other persons any reduction permits that accepted bidders 
included in the bids unless and until FSD advises the RAM Program (or 
some other NMFS office) that the resulting reduction contracts are no 
longer in effect because a referendum failed to approve the fee that 
this section requires to repay this program's reduction loan.
    (q) Reduction contracts subject to successful post-bidding 
referendum condition. Although this program involves no fishing capacity 
reduction specifications under this subpart, each bid, each acceptance, 
and each reduction contract is nevertheless subject to the successful 
post-bidding referendum condition that Sec. 600.1009(a)(3) of this 
subpart specifies for bidding results that do not

[[Page 170]]

conform to the fishing capacity reduction specifications.
    (r) Post-bidding referendum--(1) Purpose. NMFS will conduct a post-
bidding referendum whose sole purpose is to determine whether, based on 
the bidding results, qualifying voters who cast referendum ballots in 
the manner that this section requires authorize the fee required to 
repay this program's reduction loan;
    (2) Manner of conducting. NMFS will mail a referendum ballot to each 
person then on the prospectively qualifying voter list for each crab 
license that the person holds and otherwise conduct the referendum as 
specified in Sec. 600.1010 of this subpart;
    (3) One vote per crab license. Each qualifying voter may cast only 
one vote for each crab license that each qualifying voter holds;
    (4) Crab license numbers on ballots. Each referendum ballot that 
NMFS mails will contain the license number of the prospectively 
qualifying voter's crab license to which the ballot relates;
    (5) Potential reduction results stated. Each referendum ballot that 
NMFS mails will state the aggregate potential reduction results of all 
the bids that NMFS accepted, including:
    (i) The amount of reduction that all accepted bids potentially 
effect, including:
    (A) The number of crab reduction permits, together with each area/
species endorsement for which each of these licenses is endorsed,
    (B) The number of reduction/privilege vessels and reduction/history 
vessels, and
    (C) The aggregate and average dollar value of bid crab (together 
with the number of pounds of bid crab upon which NMFS based the dollar 
value), in each reduction endorsement fishery and in the reduction 
fishery, for all reduction/history vessels during the period for which 
NMFS calculates the dollar value of bid crab,
    (ii) The reduction loan sub-amount that each reduction endorsement 
fishery must repay if a referendum approves the fee, and
    (iii) Any other useful information NMFS may then have about the 
potential sub-fee rate initially necessary in each reduction endorsement 
fishery to repay each reduction loan sub-amount; and
    (6) Notice that condition fulfilled. If the referendum is 
successful, NMFS will notify accepted bidders, in the manner that Sec. 
600.1010(d)(6)(iii) of this subpart specifies, that a successful 
referendum has fulfilled the reduction contracts' successful post-
bidding referendum condition specified in paragraph (q) of this section.
    (s) Reduction method. In return for each reduction payment, NMFS 
will permanently:
    (1) Revoke each crab reduction permit;
    (2) Revoke each non-crab reduction permit;
    (3) Revoke each reduction fishing privilege (which revocation will 
run with the reduction/privilege vessel's title in the manner Sec. 
600.1009(a)(5)(ii)(A) of this subpart requires and in accordance with 46 
U.S.C. 12108(d));
    (4) Effect relinquishment of each reduction fishing history for the 
purposes specified in this section by noting in the RAM Program records 
(or such other records as may be appropriate for reduction permits 
issued elsewhere) that the reduction fishing history has been 
relinquished under this section and will never again be available to 
anyone for any fisheries purpose; and
    (5) Otherwise restrict in accordance with this subpart each 
reduction/privilege vessel and fully effect the surrender, revocation, 
restriction, relinquishment, withdrawal, or extinguishment by other 
means of all components of each reduction fishing interest.
    (t) Reduction payment tender and disbursement--(1) Fishing continues 
until tender. Each accepted bidder may continue fishing as it otherwise 
would have absent the program until NMFS, after a successful referendum, 
tenders reduction payment to the accepted bidder;
    (2) Notification to the public. After a successful referendum but 
before tendering reduction payment, NMFS will publish a notification in 
the Federal Register listing all proposed reduction payments and putting 
the public on notice:
    (i) Of the crab reduction permits, the reduction/privilege vessels, 
the reduction fishing histories, and the non-crab

[[Page 171]]

reduction permits upon whose holding, owning, retaining, or other legal 
authority representations accepted bidders based their bids and NMFS 
based its acceptances, and
    (ii) That NMFS intends, in accordance with the reduction contracts, 
to tender reduction payments in return for the actions specified in 
paragraph (s) of this section;
    (3) Public response. The public has 30 days after the date on which 
NMFS publishes the reduction payment tender notification to advise NMFS 
in writing of any holding, owning, or retaining claims that conflict 
with the representations upon which the accepted bidders based their 
bids and on which NMFS based its acceptances;
    (4) Tender and disbursement parties. NMFS will tender reduction 
payments only to accepted bidders, unless otherwise provided contrary 
written instructions by accepted bidders. Creditors or other parties 
with secured or other interests in reduction/privilege vessels or 
reduction permits are responsible to make their own arrangements with 
accepted bidders;
    (5) Time of tender. At the end of the reduction payment tender 
notification period, NMFS will tender reduction payments to accepted 
bidders, unless NMFS then knows of a material dispute about an accepted 
bidder's authority to enter into the reduction contract with respect to 
any one or more components of the reduction fishing interest that 
warrants, in NMFS' discretion, an alternative course of action;
    (6) Method of tender and disbursement. NMFS will tender reduction 
payment by requesting from each accepted bidder specific, written 
instructions for paying the reduction payments. Upon receipt of these 
payment instructions, NMFS will immediately disburse reduction payments 
in accordance with the payment instructions; and
    (7) Effect of tender. Concurrently with NMFS' tender of reduction 
payment to each accepted bidder:
    (i) All fishing activity for any species anywhere in the world in 
any way associated with each accepted bidder's reduction fishing 
interest must cease,
    (ii) Each accepted bidder must retrieve all fixed fishing gear for 
whose deployment the accepted bidder's reduction/privilege vessel was 
responsible, and
    (iii) NMFS will fully exercise its reduction contract rights with 
respect to the reduction fishing interest by taking the actions 
specified in paragraph (s) of this section.
    (u) Fee payment and collection--(1) Fish sellers who pay the fee. 
Any person who harvests any crab, but whom ADF&G's fisheries reporting 
requirements do not require to record and submit an ADF&G fish ticket 
for that crab, is a fish seller for the purpose of paying any fee on 
that crab and otherwise complying with the requirements of Sec. 
600.1013 of this subpart;
    (2) Fish buyers who collect the fee. Any person whom ADF&G's 
fisheries reporting requirements require to record and submit an ADF&G 
fish ticket for any crab that another person harvested is a fish buyer 
for the purpose of collecting the fee on that crab and otherwise 
complying with the requirements of Sec. 600.1013 of this subpart; and
    (3) Persons who are both fish sellers and fish buyers and both pay 
and collect the fee. Any person who harvests any crab, and whom ADF&G's 
fisheries reporting requirements require to record and submit an ADF&G 
fish ticket for that crab, is both a fish seller and a fish buyer for 
the purpose of paying and collecting the fee on that crab and otherwise 
complying with the requirements of Sec. 600.1013 of this subpart.
    (v) Fishing prohibition and penalties--(1) General. Fishing, for the 
purpose of this section, includes the full range of activities defined 
in the term ``fishing'' in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801),
    (2) Prohibitions. Concurrently with NMFS' tender of each reduction 
payment, and with the sole exception in paragraph (t)(7)(i) of this 
section, no person whatsoever may, and it is unlawful for any person to:
    (i) Fish with or attempt to fish with, or allow others to fish with 
or attempt to fish with, the reduction/privilege vessel anywhere in the 
world for any species under any conditions and regardless of the 
reduction/privilege vessel's ownership or registry for so long as the 
reduction/privilege vessel exists. This prohibition includes, but is not

[[Page 172]]

limited to, fishing on the high seas or in the jurisdiction of any 
foreign country (to the extent prohibited by law) while operating under 
U.S. flag,
    (ii) Place or attempt to place, or allow others to place or attempt 
to place, the reduction/privilege vessel under foreign flag or registry,
    (iii) Operate or attempt to operate, or allow others to operate or 
attempt to operate, the reduction/privilege vessel under the authority 
of a foreign country to the extent prohibited by law,
    (iv) Otherwise avoid or attempt to avoid, or allow others to avoid 
or attempt to avoid, the revocation of the reduction fishing privilege 
with respect to any reduction/privilege vessel, and
    (v) Make any claim or attempt to make any claim, or allow others to 
claim or attempt to make any claim, for any present or future limited 
access fishing license or permit in any U.S. fishery (including, but not 
limited to, any quota allocation under any present or future individual 
quota allocation system) based in any way on any portion of a reduction 
fishing interest surrendered, revoked, restricted, relinquished, 
withdrawn, or extinguished by other means under this section; and
    (3) Penalties. The activities that this paragraph prohibits are 
subject to the full penalties provided in Sec. 600.1017 of this 
subpart, and immediate cause for NMFS to take action to, among other 
things:
    (i) At the reduction/privilege vessel owner's expense, seize and 
scrap the reduction/privilege vessel, and
    (ii) Pursue such other remedies and enforce such other penalties as 
may be applicable.
    (w) Program administration--(1) FSD responsibilities. FSD is 
responsible for implementing and administering this program. FSD will:
    (i) Issue all notifications and mailings that this section requires,
    (ii) Prepare and issue the invitation to bid,
    (iii) Receive bids,
    (iv) Reject bids,
    (v) Score bids,
    (vi) Make acceptances,
    (vii) Prepare and issue referendum ballots,
    (viii) Receive referendum ballots,
    (ix) Tally referendum ballots,
    (x) Determine referendum success or failure,
    (xi) Tender and disburse reduction payments,
    (xii) Administer reduction contracts,
    (xiii) Administer fees and reduction loan repayment, and
    (xiv) Discharge all other management and administration functions 
that this section requires;
    (2) RAM Program responsibilities. Upon FSD's advice, the RAM Program 
(for fishing licenses under the jurisdiction of NMFS's Alaska Region) 
and any other appropriate NMFS authority (for fishing licenses under the 
jurisdiction of any other NMFS office) will revoke reduction permits and 
effect the surrender of fishing histories in accordance with this 
section; and
    (3) NVDC and MARAD responsibilities. FSD will advise NVDC, MARAD, 
such other agency or agencies as may be involved, or all of them to 
revoke reduction/privilege vessels' fisheries trade endorsements and 
otherwise restrict reduction/privilege vessels in accordance with this 
section.
    (x) Reduction loan and reduction loan sub-amounts. [Reserved]

[68 FR 69337, Dec. 12, 2003. Redesignated at 69 FR 53362, Sept. 1, 2004]



Sec. 600.1104  Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) crab species fee payment 

and collection system.

    (a) Purpose. As authorized by Public Law 106-554, this section's 
purpose is to:
    (1) In accordance with Sec. 600.1012 of subpart L, establish:
    (i) The borrower's obligation to repay a reduction loan, and
    (ii) The loan's principal amount, interest rate, and repayment term; 
and
    (2) In accordance with Sec. 600.1013 through Sec. 600.1016 of 
subpart L, implement an industry fee system for the reduction fishery.
    (b) Definitions. Unless otherwise defined in this section, the terms 
defined in Sec. 600.1000 of subpart L and Sec. 600.1103 of this 
subpart expressly apply to this section. The following terms have the 
following meanings for the purpose of this section:
    Crab rationalization crab means the same as in Sec. 680.2 of this 
chapter.

[[Page 173]]

    Crab rationalization fisheries means the same as in Sec. 680.2 of 
this chapter.
    Reduction endorsement fishery means any of the seven fisheries that 
Sec. 679.2 of this chapter formerly (before adoption of part 680 of 
this chapter) defined as crab area/species endorsements, except the 
area/species endorsement for Norton Sound red king. More specifically, 
the reduction endorsement fisheries, and the crab rationalization 
fisheries which (after adoption of part 680 of this chapter) correspond 
to the reduction endorsement fisheries, are:
    (1) Bristol Bay red king (the corresponding crab rationalization 
fishery is Bristol Bay red king crab),
    (2) Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area C. opilio and C. bairdi 
(the corresponding crab rationalization fisheries are two separate 
fisheries, one for Bering Sea snow crab and another for Bering Sea 
Tanner crab),
    (3) Aleutian Islands brown king (the corresponding crab 
rationalization fisheries are the two separate fisheries, one for 
Eastern Aleutian Islands golden king crab and another for Western 
Aleutian Islands golden king crab),
    (4) Aleutian Islands red king (the corresponding crab 
rationalization fishery is Western Aleutian Islands red king crab),
    (5) Pribilof red king and Pribilof blue king (the corresponding crab 
rationalization fishery is Pribilof red king and blue king crab), and
    (6) St. Matthew blue king (the corresponding crab rationalization 
fishery is also St. Matthew blue king crab).
    Reduction fishery means the fishery for all crab rationalization 
crab, excluding CDQ allocations, in all crab rationalization fisheries.
    Sub-amount means the portion of the reduction loan amount for whose 
repayment the borrower in each reduction endorsement fishery is 
obligated.
    (c) Reduction loan amount. The reduction loan's original principal 
amount is $97,399,357.11.
    (d) Sub-amounts. The sub-amounts are:
    (1) For Bristol Bay red king, $17,129,957.23;
    (2) For Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area C. opilio and C. 
bairdi, $66,410,767.20;
    (3) For Aleutian Islands brown king, $6,380,837.19;
    (4) For Aleutian Islands red king, $237,588.04;
    (5) For Pribilof red king and Pribilof blue king, $1,571,216.35; and
    (6) For St. Matthew blue king, $5,668,991.10.
    (e) Interest accrual from inception. Interest began accruing on each 
portion of the reduction loan amount on and from the date on which NMFS 
disbursed each such portion.
    (f) Interest rate. The reduction loan's interest rate shall be the 
applicable rate which the U.S. Treasury determines at the end of fiscal 
year 2005 plus 2 percent.
    (g) Repayment term. For the purpose of determining fee rates, the 
reduction loan's repayment term is 30 years from January 19, 2005, but 
each fee shall continue indefinitely for as long as necessary to fully 
repay each subamount.
    (h) Reduction loan repayment. (1) The borrower shall, in accordance 
with Sec. 600.1012, repay the reduction loan;
    (2) Fish sellers in each reduction endorsement fishery shall, in 
accordance with Sec. 600.1013, pay the fee at the rate applicable to 
each such fishery's subamount;
    (3) Fish buyers in each reduction endorsement fishery shall, in 
accordance with Sec. 600.1013, collect the fee at the rate applicable 
to each such fishery;
    (4) Fish buyers in each reduction endorsement fishery shall in 
accordance with Sec. 600.1014, deposit and disburse, as well as keep 
records for and submit reports about, the fees applicable to each such 
fishery; except the requirements specified under paragraph (c) of this 
section concerning the deposit principal disbursement shall be made to 
NMFS not later than the 7th calendar day of each month; and the 
requirements specified under paragraph (e) of this section concerning 
annual reports which shall be submitted to NMFS by July 1 of each 
calendar year; and,
    (5) The reduction loan is, in all other respects, subject to the 
provisions of Sec. 600.1012 through Sec. 600.1017.

[70 FR 54656, Sept. 16, 2005, as amended at 71 FR 27210, May 10, 2006]

[[Page 174]]



Sec. 600.1105  Longline catcher processor subsector of the Bering Sea and 

Aleutian Islands (BSAI) non-pollock groundfish fishery program.

    (a) Purpose. This section implements the capacity reduction program 
that Title II, Section 219(e) of Public Law 108-447 enacted for the 
longline catcher processor subsector of the Bering Sea and Aleutian 
Islands (BSAI) non-pollock groundfish fishery.
    (b) Definitions. Unless otherwise defined in this section, the terms 
defined in Sec. 600.1000 of subpart L of this part expressly apply to 
this section. The following terms have the following meanings for the 
purpose of this section:
    Act means Title II, Section 219 of Public Law 108-447.
    AI means the Aleutian Islands.
    Application Form means the form published on the FLCC's website that 
sets forth whether the qualifying LLP License is a Latent License and 
identifies the individual(s) authorized to execute and deliver Offers 
and Offer Ranking Ballots on behalf of the Subsector Member.
    Auditor means Jack V. Tagart, Ph.D., d.b.a. Tagart Consulting.
    Authorized Party means the individuals authorized by Subsector 
Members on the application form to execute and submit Offers, Rankings, 
protests and other documents and/or notices on behalf of Subsector 
Member.
    Ballot means the form found on the auditor's website used to cast a 
vote in favor of, or in opposition to, the currently Selected Offers.
    BS means the Bering Sea.
    BSAI means the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands.
    BSAI Pacific Cod ITAC means the Total Allowable Catch for Pacific 
cod after the subtraction of the 7.5 percent Community Development 
Program reserve.
    Capacity Reduction Agreement or Reduction Agreement means an 
agreement entered into by the Subsector Members and the FLCC under which 
the FLCC is permitted to develop and submit a Capacity Reduction Plan to 
the Secretary.
    Certificate of Documentation (COD) means a document issued by the 
U.S. Coast Guard's National Documentation Center that registers the 
vessel with the United States Government.
    Closing Vote means a vote held pursuant to paragraph (d)(7) of this 
section, after two-thirds (\2/3\) or more of the Nonoffering Subsector 
Members submit Ranking Forms electing to accept the Selected Offerors 
and close the Selection Process, and there are no unresolved Protests or 
Arbitrations.
    Current Offer means an Offer submitted by a Subsector Member to the 
Auditor during any Submission Period and, with regard to such Offer, 
Offeror has not become a Rejected Offeror. The term ``Current Offer'' 
includes Selected Offers.
    Current Offeror means an Offering Subsector Member that has 
submitted an Offer to the Auditor during any Submission Period and, with 
regard to such Offer, Offeror has not become a Rejected Offeror. The 
term ``Current Offeror'' includes Selected Offerors.
    Database means the online LLP License database maintained by NMFS as 
downloaded by the Auditor pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
    Effective Date means the date the Capacity Reduction Agreement 
becomes effective pursuant to section 4.e of the Capacity Reduction 
Agreement.
    Fishing Capacity Reduction Contract or Reduction Contract means the 
contract that any Current Offeror must sign and agree to abide by if 
NMFS accepts the offer by signing the Reduction Contract.
    FLCC Counsel means Bauer Moynihan & Johnson LLP or other counsel 
representing the FLCC in any review or arbitration under the Capacity 
Reduction Agreement.
    Latent License means an LLP License on which a vessel was not 
designated at the time an Offer is submitted.
    LLP License means a Federal License Limitation Program groundfish 
license issued pursuant to Sec. 679.4(k) of this chapter or successor 
regulation that is noninterim and transferable, or that is interim and 
subsequently becomes noninterim and transferable, and that is endorsed 
for BS or AI catcher processor fishing activity, C/P, Pacific cod and 
hook and line gear.
    Longline Subsector means the longline catcher processor subsector of 
the

[[Page 175]]

BSAI non-pollock groundfish fishery as defined in the Act.
    Longline Subsector ITAC means the longline catcher processor 
subsector remainder of the Total Allowable Catch after the subtraction 
of the 7.5 percent Community Development Program reserve.
    Nonoffering Subsector Member shall have the meaning ascribed thereto 
in paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section.
    Offer Content means all information included in Offers submitted to 
the Auditor pursuant to paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section.
    Offer Form means the form found on the Auditor's website used to 
make an offer.
    Offer(s) means a binding offer(s) from a Subsector Member to sell 
its LLP, right to participate in the fisheries, the fishing history 
associated with such LLP, and any vessel set forth on the Offer Form 
submitted by Offeror pursuant to the terms of this Capacity Reduction 
Agreement.
    Opening Date means the first Monday following the Effective Date set 
forth in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.
    Person includes any natural person(s) and any corporation, 
partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, association 
or any other entity whatsoever, organized under the laws of the United 
States or of a state.
    Prequalification Offer shall have the meaning ascribed thereto in 
paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section.
    Ranking Form means the form posted by the Auditor pursuant to 
paragraph (d)(5)(iii) of this section.
    Ranking Period shall have the meaning ascribed thereto in paragraph 
(d)(5)(ii) of this section.
    Reduction Fishery means the BSAI non-pollock groundfish fishery.
    Reduction Fishing Interests shall have the meaning ascribed thereto 
in the Fishing Capacity Reduction Contract.
    Reduction Plan means a business plan prepared by the Subsector 
Members in accordance with Section 1 of the Capacity Reduction Agreement 
and forwarded to the Secretary for approval.
    Reduction Privilege Vessel means the vessel listed on the Offeror's 
License Limitation Program license.
    Rejected Offer means an Offer that has been through one or more 
Rankings and is not a Selected Offer following the latest Ranking 
Period, with respect to which the Offering Subsector Member's 
obligations have terminated pursuant to paragraphs (d)(2)(i) and 
(d)(6)(v) of this section.
    Rejected Offeror means a Subsector Member that has submitted an 
Offer which has been ranked and was not posted as a Selected Offer 
pursuant to paragraph (d)(6)(ii) of this section.
    Restricted Access Management (RAM) means the Restricted Access 
Management Program in the Alaska Region, NMFS, located in Juneau, 
Alaska.
    Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce or a designee.
    Selected Offer shall have the meaning ascribed thereto in paragraph 
(d)(6)(iv) of this section.
    Selected Offeror means a Subsector Member that has submitted an 
Offer which has been ranked and is posted as a Selected Offer pursuant 
to paragraph (d)(6)(ii) of this section.
    Selection Process means the process set forth in paragraph (d) of 
this section for selecting the fishing capacity to be removed by the 
Reduction Plan.
    Submission Period(s) or Submitting Period(s) shall have the meaning 
ascribed thereto in paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section.
    Subsector Member(s) means a member(s) of the Longline Subsector.
    Web site means the internet Web site developed and maintained on 
behalf of the FLCC for implementation of the Selection Process described 
herein with a URL address of http://www.freezerlonglinecoop.org.
    (c) Qualification and enrollment of subsector members--(1) 
Distribution. A copy of the Reduction Agreement, Application Form, and 
Reduction Contract shall be mailed to each holder of record of an LLP 
License endorsed for BS or AI catcher processor activity, C/P, Pacific 
cod and hook and line gear, as the Auditor determines from the Database 
downloaded by the Auditor as of January 30, 2006, regardless of whether 
the LLP License is indicated in the Database as noninterim and 
transferable or otherwise.
    (2) Application. Any person, regardless of whether having received 
the mailing described in paragraph (c)(1) of

[[Page 176]]

this section, may as a Subsector Member apply to enroll with the FLCC to 
participate in the Reduction Program, by submitting all of the following 
documents:
    (i) Fully executed Reduction Agreement;
    (ii) Photocopy of the LLP License(s) evidencing Subsector Member's 
qualification as a member of the Longline Subsector;
    (iii) Unless applying as the holder of a Latent License, a photocopy 
of Federal Fisheries Permit for the vessel(s) designated on the LLP 
License(s) on the date the Reduction Agreement is signed by the 
Subsector Member;
    (iv) Unless applying as the holder of a Latent License, a photocopy 
of the Certificate of Documentation (COD) for the vessel(s) designated 
on the LLP License(s) on the date the Reduction Agreement is signed by 
the Subsector Member; and
    (v) An executed Application Form which sets forth whether the 
qualifying LLP License is a Latent License and identifies the 
individual(s) authorized to execute and deliver Offers and Offer Ranking 
Ballots on behalf of the Subsector Member.
    (3) Examination by Auditor--(i) In general. Each application must be 
submitted to the Auditor who will examine applications for completeness 
and inconsistencies, whether on the face of the documents or with the 
Database. Any application which is incomplete or which contains 
inconsistencies shall be invalid. The Auditor shall notify by e-mail or 
mail an applicant of the basis for the Auditor's finding an application 
invalid. An applicant may resubmit a revised application. If the 
application meets all requirements, the Auditor may accept the 
application as valid and enroll the applicant.
    (ii) Interim LLP Licenses. If an LLP License is interim and/or 
nontransferable, the applicant's enrollment shall be accepted as a 
Subsector Member and may fully participate in the Selection Process. 
However, any posting of an Offer submitted with respect to such LLP 
License shall note the status of such LLP License until that Subsector 
Member submits to the Auditor a letter from the RAM confirming that it 
is within the Subsector Member's control to cause the qualifying LLP 
License to be issued as noninterim and transferable upon withdrawal of 
all applicable appeals.
    (4) Enrollment period. Applications that meet all requirements will 
be accepted until the Selection Process is completed.
    (5) Effective date. The Effective Date of any Reduction Agreement 
shall be ten (10) calendar days after written notice is sent by the 
Auditor to each holder of record of an LLP License endorsed for BS or AI 
catcher processor activity, C/P, Pacific cod and hook and line gear (as 
determined by the Auditor from the Auditor's examination of the 
Database) advising that the number of Subsector Members that have 
delivered to the Auditor a complete Application, including a fully 
executed Reduction Agreement, exceeds seventy percent (70 percent) of 
the members of the Longline Subsector (as determined by the Auditor from 
the Auditor's examination of the Database).
    (6) Notice. All notices related to the effective date of the 
Reduction Agreement shall be sent by the Auditor via registered mail.
    (7) Withdrawal. A Subsector Member, unless such Subsector Member is 
a Current Offeror or Selected Offeror, may terminate the Reduction 
Agreement at any time with respect to that Subsector Member by giving 
ten (10) calendar days written notice to the Auditor preferably via e-
mail. Withdrawal of a Subsector Member shall not affect the validity of 
the Reduction Agreement with respect to any other Subsector Members. 
Once effective, the Reduction Agreement shall continue in full force and 
effect regardless of whether subsequent withdrawals reduce the number of 
Subsector Members below that level required to effectuate the Reduction 
Agreement. Attempted withdrawal by a Current Offeror or Selected Offeror 
shall be invalid, and such Offer shall remain a binding, irrevocable 
Offer, unaffected by the attempted withdrawal.
    (d) Selection of fishing capacity to be removed by Reduction Plan. 
The fishing capacity removed by the Reduction Plan will be the Reduction 
Fishing Interests voluntarily offered through the Reduction Plan by 
offering Subsector

[[Page 177]]

Members and as selected by the Nonoffering Subsector Members, up to an 
aggregate amount of thirty six million dollars ($36,000,000) as set 
forth in this paragraph (d).
    (1) Overview. The Selection Process will begin upon the Effective 
Date of the Reduction Agreement. The Selection Process will alternate on 
a weekly basis between:
    (i) Submitting Periods, during which individual Subsector Members 
may submit Offers of fishing capacity they wish to include in the 
Reduction Plan; and
    (ii) Ranking Periods, during which Nonoffering Subsector Members 
will rank the submitted Offers.
    (2) Offers--(i) Binding agreement. An Offer from a Subsector Member 
shall be a binding, irrevocable offer from a Subsector Member to 
relinquish to NMFS the Reduction Fishing Interests for the price set 
forth on the Offer contingent on such Offer being a Selected Offer at 
the closing of the Selection Process. Once submitted, an Offer may not 
be revoked or withdrawn while that Offer is a Current Offer or Selected 
Offer. An Offer that is submitted by a Subsector Member, but is not a 
Selected Offer during the subsequent Ranking Period, shall be deemed to 
be terminated and the Subsector Member shall have no further obligation 
with respect to performance of that Offer.
    (ii) Offer content. All Offers submitted to the Auditor shall 
include the following information: LLP License number; LLP License 
number(s) of any linked crab LLP Licenses; license MLOA (MLOA--maximum 
length overall of a vessel is defined at Sec. 679.2 of this chapter); 
the license area, gear and species endorsements; a summary of the 
Pacific cod catch history for the calendar years 1995-2004; and the 
offered price. The Offer shall also state whether a vessel is currently 
designated on the LLP License and as such will be withdrawn from all 
fisheries if the Offer is selected for reduction in the Reduction Plan. 
If so, the Offer shall identify such vessel by name, official number, 
and current owner. In addition, the Offer shall provide a summary of the 
Pacific cod catch history for the calendar years 1995-2004 of the vessel 
to be retired from the fisheries. All summary catch histories included 
in Offers shall be calculated utilizing both the weekly production 
report and best blend methodology and shall separately state for each 
methodology the Pacific cod catch in metric tons and as a percentage of 
the overall catch for the longline catcher processor subsector on an 
annual basis for each of the required years. If the vessel stated to be 
withdrawn from the fisheries is not owned by the LLP License owner of 
record, the Offer shall be countersigned by the owner of record of the 
vessel. An Offer offering a Latent License shall state on the Offer Form 
that the offered LLP License is a Latent License. The Offer Form shall 
also include a comment section for any additional information that 
Offerors wish to provide to the Subsector Members concerning the Offer.
    (iii) Prequalification of offers. A Subsector Member may submit a 
Prequalification Offer to the Auditor at any time prior to the Opening 
Date. A Prequalification Offer shall contain all elements of an Offer, 
except that a price need not be provided. The Auditor shall notify the 
Subsector Member submitting a Prequalification Offer as to any 
deficiencies as soon as practicable. All details of a Prequalification 
Offer shall be kept confidential by the Auditor.
    (3) Submitting an offer--(i) Offer submission. Commencing on the 
first Tuesday following the Opening Date and during all Submission 
Periods until the Selection Process is closed, any Subsector Member may 
submit an Offer. All Offers are to be on the applicable form provided on 
the FLCC website, executed by an Authorized Party and submitted to the 
Auditor by facsimile. Any Subsector Member may submit an Offer during 
any Submission Period, even if that Subsector Member has not submitted 
an Offer in any previous Submission Period. If a Subsector Member holds 
more than one LLP License, such Subsector Member may, but is not 
required to, submit an Offer for each LLP License held during a 
Submission Period.
    (ii) Submission periods. The initial Submission Period shall 
commence at 9 a.m. (Pacific time) on the Tuesday following the Opening 
Date and end at 5

[[Page 178]]

p.m. (Pacific time) on the Friday of that week. Subsequent Submission 
Periods shall commence at 9 a.m. (Pacific time) on the first Tuesday 
following the preceding Ranking Period and end at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) 
on the Friday of that week. All times set forth in the Reduction 
Agreement and used in the Offer process shall be the time kept in the 
Pacific time zone as calculated by the National Institute of Standards 
and Technology.
    (iii) Validity of offer. The Auditor shall examine each Offer for 
consistency with the Database and information contained in the 
enrollment documents. If there is an inconsistency in the information 
contained in the Offer, any of the elements required of an Offer 
pursuant to paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section are missing, or the 
Auditor does not receive the original Offer Form before the Offers are 
to be posted pursuant to paragraph (d)(4) of this section, the Auditor 
shall notify the offering Subsector Member by e-mail or mail that the 
Offer is nonconforming as soon as practicable after discovering the 
basis of invalidity. The Subsector Member may submit a revised, 
conforming Offer prior to the close of that Submission Period or, in any 
subsequent Submission Period. Only one Offer may be submitted with 
respect to an LLP License during a Submission Period. In the event a 
Subsector Member submits more than one Offer with respect to an LLP 
License during a Submission Period, the first conforming Offer received 
by the Auditor shall be binding and irrevocable and any subsequent 
Offers shall be deemed invalid.
    (iv) Warranty. By submitting an Offer, the Offering Subsector 
Member, warrants and represents that the Offering Subsector Member has 
read and understands the terms of the Reduction Agreement, the Offer, 
and the Reduction Contract and has had the opportunity to seek 
independent legal counsel regarding such documents and/or agreements and 
the consequences of submitting an Offer.
    (4) Posting offers--(i) Current offers. For each Offer received 
during a Submission Period, the Auditor shall post on the Website no 
later than 5 p.m. (Pacific time) on the following Tuesday all of the 
details of such Offer as set forth on the Offer Form. In addition, the 
Auditor shall post, as available to Auditor, a summary by year of up to 
ten (10) years catch history during the period 1995-2004 in total round 
weight equivalents and percentage of Longline Subsector ITAC harvested 
for any vessel that is included in the Offer. Subsector Member (or 
vessel owner, if other than the Subsector Member) expressly authorizes 
Auditor to release the catch history summary information previously 
prepared for that Subsector Member or vessel owner by the Auditor as 
part of the analysis of FLCC's membership's catch history previously 
conducted by the Auditor on behalf of the FLCC.
    (ii) Posting order. Offers shall be posted on the Website by the 
Auditor in alphabetical order of the Offering Subsector Member's name.
    (iii) Questions as to offer. The Auditor shall respond to no 
questions from Subsector Member regarding Offers except to confirm that 
the posting accurately reflects the details of the Offer. If an Offering 
Subsector Member notices an error in an Offer posting on the Website, 
such Subsector Member shall notify the Auditor as soon as practicable. 
The Auditor shall review such notice, the posting and the original 
Offer. If an error was made in posting the Auditor shall correct the 
posting as soon as practicable and notify the Subsector Members via e-
mail or mail of the correction. In the event such an error is not 
discovered prior to Ranking, an Offering Subsector Member shall be bound 
to the terms of the submitted Offer, not the terms of the posted Offer.
    (iv) Archive. The Auditor shall maintain on the Website an archive 
of prior Offers posted, which shall be available for review by all 
Subsector Members.
    (5) Ranking--(i) Eligibility. Each Subsector Member that has not 
submitted an Offer during the preceding Submission Period, or whose 
vessel is not included as a withdrawing vessel in an Offer during the 
preceding Submission Period (i.e., a Nonoffering Subsector Member), may 
submit to the Auditor a Ranking Form during a Ranking Period. With 
respect to Ranking, a Subsector Member that holds more than

[[Page 179]]

one LLP License may participate in the Ranking process for each LLP 
License not included in an Offer.
    (ii) Ranking period. The initial Ranking Period shall commence 
immediately after the Offers from the preceding Submission Period have 
been posted and end at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) on the Friday of that week. 
Subsequent Ranking Periods shall commence immediately after the Offers 
from the preceding Submission Period have been posted and end at 5 p.m. 
(Pacific time) on the Friday of that week.
    (iii) Ranking form. Prior to each Ranking Period, the Auditor will 
post a Ranking Form on the Website in ``pdf'' file format. Each eligible 
Subsector Member wishing to rank the current Offers shall rank the 
Offers on the Ranking Form numerically in the Subsector Member's 
preferred order of purchase. The Offer that Subsector Member would most 
like to have accepted should be ranked number one (1), and subsequent 
Offers ranked sequentially until the Offer that the Subsector Member 
would least like to see accepted is ranked with the highest numerical 
score. A Subsector Member wishing to call for a Closing Vote shall, in 
lieu of ranking the Current Offers, mark the Ranking Form to accept the 
Selected Offers selected during the prior Ranking Period and close the 
Selection Process. To be valid, the Ranking Form must rank each Current 
Offer listed on the Ranking Form or, if applicable, be marked to call 
for a Closing Vote. Ranking Forms shall be submitted by sending a 
completed Ranking Form, signed by an Authorized Party, to the Auditor by 
facsimile or mail prior to the end of the Ranking Period. A Subsector 
Member is not required to rank the Offers during a Ranking Period or 
call for a Closing Vote.
    (iv) Validity of subsector member ranking. The Auditor shall examine 
each Ranking Form for completeness, whether the form either ranks the 
Offers or calls for a Closing Vote (but not both), and authorized 
signature. Any incomplete or otherwise noncompliant Ranking Form(s) 
shall be invalid, and shall not be included in the Rankings of the 
Current Offers. The Auditor shall notify the Subsector Member of the 
reason for declaring any Ranking Form invalid as soon as practicable. A 
Subsector Member may cure the submission of an invalid Ranking Form by 
submitting a complying Ranking Form if accomplished before the end of 
the applicable Ranking Period.
    (6) Ranking results--(i) Compiling the rankings. Unless two-thirds 
(\2/3\) of the Nonoffering Subsector Members have called for a Closing 
Vote, the Auditor shall compile the results of the Ranking Forms by 
assigning one point for each position on a Ranking Form. That is, the 
Offer ranked number one (1) on a Ranking Form shall be awarded one (1) 
point, the Offer ranked two (2) shall receive two (2) points, and 
continuing on in this manner until all Offers have been assigned points 
correlating to its ranking on each valid Ranking Form. The Offer with 
the least number of total points assigned shall be the highest ranked 
Offer, and the Offer with the greatest total points assigned shall be 
the lowest ranked Offer.
    (ii) Posting rankings. The Auditor shall post the results of the 
compilation of the Ranking Forms on the Website in alphabetical order 
based on the Offering Subsector Member's name no later than 5 p.m. 
(Pacific time) on the Monday following the Ranking Period. The Auditor 
shall post the highest consecutive ranking Offers that total thirty six 
million dollars ($36,000,000) or less. Those Offering Subsector Members 
whose Offers are posted shall be deemed Selected Offerors and their 
Offers shall be deemed Selected Offers. Those Offering Subsector Members 
whose Offers are not posted shall be deemed Rejected Offerors.
    (iii) Selected offer information or confidentiality. The Auditor 
shall post the name of the Offering Subsector Member, the amount of the 
Offer, and a summary of the total number of Ranking Forms received and 
the number of such forms on which the Members called for a Closing Vote. 
Other than the foregoing, the Auditor shall not post any details of the 
compilation of the Ranking Forms.
    (iv) Selected offerors. Selected Offerors may not withdraw their 
Offers unless in subsequent rankings their Offers no longer are within 
the highest ranking Offers and they become Rejected

[[Page 180]]

Offerors. A Selected Offeror may, however, modify a Selected Offer 
solely to the extent such modification consists of a reduction in the 
Offer price. A Selected Offeror may submit a modified Offer to the 
Auditor during the next Offering Period as set forth in paragraph (d)(3) 
of this section. Unless a Selected Offeror becomes a Rejected Offeror in 
a subsequent Ranking, a Selected Offeror shall be bound by the terms of 
the lowest Selected Offer submitted as if such modified Offer had been 
the original Selected Offer. In the event a Selected Offeror submits a 
modified Offer and such Offer is not ranked because sufficient votes are 
received to call for a Closing Vote, the previously Selected Offer shall 
remain the Selected Offer.
    (v) Rejected offerors. The Offer of a Rejected Offeror is terminated 
and the Rejected Offeror is no longer bound by the terms of its Offer. A 
Rejected Offeror may, at its sole discretion, resubmit the same Offer, 
submit a revised Offer, or elect not to submit an Offer during any 
subsequent Submission Period until the Selection Process is closed.
    (vi) Ties. In the event there is a tie with respect to Offers which 
results in the tied Offers exceeding thirty-six million dollars 
($36,000,000), the tied Offers and all Offers ranked lower than the tied 
Offers shall be deemed to be rejected and the Rejected Offerors may, at 
their option, submit an Offer in a subsequent Submission Period.
    (vii) Archive. Auditor shall maintain on the Website an archive of 
prior Offer Rankings as posted over the course of the Selection Process, 
which shall be available for Subsector Member review.
    (7) Closing. The Selection Process will close when two-thirds (\2/
3\) or more of the Nonoffering Subsector Members of the Longline 
Subsector, as determined by the Auditor, affirmatively vote to accept 
the Selected Offerors selected during the prior Ranking Period as part 
of the Reduction Plan to be submitted to the Secretary.
    (i) Call for vote. A Closing Vote will be held when: at least two-
thirds (\2/3\) of the Nonoffering Subsector Members submit Ranking Forms 
electing to accept the Selected Offerors and close the Selection Process 
in lieu of Ranking the current Offers; and there are no unresolved 
Protests or Arbitrations. The Auditor shall notify all Subsector Members 
by e-mail or mail and posting a notice on the Website as soon as 
practicable that a Closing Vote is to be held. Such notice shall state 
the starting and ending dates and times of the voting period, which 
shall be not less than three (3) nor more than seven (7) calendar days 
from the date of such notice. A voting period shall commence at 9 a.m. 
(Pacific time) on Monday and end at 5 p.m. on the Friday of that week.
    (ii) Voting. No less than three (3) calendar days prior to the 
voting period, the Auditor will post a Closing Ballot on the Website in 
``pdf'' file format. Each eligible Nonoffering Subsector Member wishing 
to vote shall print out the Closing Ballot, and, with respect to each of 
the currently Selected Offers on the Closing Ballot, vote either in 
favor of or opposed to accepting that Selected Offer and submit a 
completed and signed Closing Ballot to the Auditor preferably by 
facsimile prior to the end of the Voting Period.
    (iii) Ballot verification. The Auditor shall examine each submitted 
Closing Ballot for completeness and authorized signature. Any incomplete 
Closing Ballot shall be void, and shall not be included in the voting 
results. The Auditor shall not notify the Subsector Member of an invalid 
Closing Ballot.
    (iv) Voting results. The Auditor shall post the results of the Vote 
as soon as practicable after voting closes. Each Offer on the Closing 
Ballot that receives votes approving acceptance of such Offer from two-
thirds (\2/3\) or more of the total number of Nonoffering Subsector 
Members shall be a Selected Offeror and shall be the basis for the 
Reduction Plan submitted to NMFS. Any Offer on the Closing Ballot that 
does not receive such two-thirds (\2/3\) approval shall be rejected and 
shall not be included among the Offers included among the Reduction Plan 
submitted to NMFS.
    (v) Notification to NMFS. Upon closing of the Selection Process, 
FLCC shall notify NMFS in writing of the identities of the Selected 
Offerors and provide to NMFS a completed and fully executed original 
Reduction Agreement from each of the Selected

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Offerors and a certified copy of the fully executed Reduction Agreement 
and Reduction Contract.
    (e) Submission of reduction plan, including repayment. Upon 
completion of the offering process, the FLCC on behalf of the Subsector 
Members shall submit to NMFS the Reduction Plan which shall include the 
provisions set forth in this paragraph (e).
    (1) Capacity reduction. The Reduction Plan shall identify as the 
proposed capacity reduction, without auction process, the LLP Licenses 
as well as the vessels and the catch histories related to the LLP 
Licenses, linked crab LLP Licenses, and any other fishing rights or 
other interests associated with the LLP Licenses and vessels included in 
the Selected Offers. The aggregate of all Reduction Agreements and 
Reduction Contracts signed by Subsector Members whose offers to 
participate in this buyback were accepted by votes of the Subsector 
Members, will together with the FLCC's supporting documents and 
rationale for recognizing that these offers represent the expenditure of 
the least money for the greatest capacity reduction, constitute the 
Reduction Plan to be submitted to NMFS for approval on behalf of the 
Secretary of Commerce.
    (2) Loan repayment--(i) Term. As authorized by Section 219(B)(2) of 
the Act, the capacity reduction loan (the ``Reduction Loan'') shall be 
amortized over a thirty (30) year term. The Reduction Loan's original 
principal amount may not exceed thirty-six million dollars 
($36,000,000), but may be less if the reduction cost is less. Subsector 
Members acknowledge that in the event payments made under the Reduction 
Plan are insufficient to repay the actual loan, the term of repayment 
shall be extended by NMFS until the loan is paid in full.
    (ii) Interest. The Reduction Loan's interest rate will be the U.S. 
Treasury's cost of borrowing equivalent maturity funds plus 2 percent. 
NMFS will determine the Reduction Loan's initial interest rate when NMFS 
borrows from the U.S. Treasury the funds with which to disburse 
reduction payments. The initial interest rate will change to a final 
interest rate at the end of the Federal fiscal year in which NMFS 
borrows the funds from the U.S. Treasury. The final interest rate will 
be 2 percent plus a weighted average, throughout that fiscal year, of 
the U.S. Treasury's cost of borrowing equivalent maturity funds. The 
final interest rate will be fixed, and will not vary over the remainder 
of the reduction loan's 30-year term. The Reduction loan will be subject 
to a level debt amortization. There is no prepayment penalty.
    (iii) Fees. The Reduction Loan shall be repaid by fees collected 
from the Longline Subsector. The fee amount will be based upon: The 
principal and interest due over the next twelve months divided by the 
product of the Hook & Line, Catcher Processor (Longline Subsector; 
sometimes referred to as the ``H&LCP Subsector'') portion of the BSAI 
Pacific cod ITAC (in metric tons) set by the North Pacific Fishery 
Management Council (NPFMC) in December of each year multiplied by 2,205 
(i.e., the number of pounds in a metric ton). In the event that the 
Longline Subsector portion for the ensuing year is not available, the 
Longline Subsector portion forecast from the preceding year will be used 
to calculate the fee.
    (A) The fee will be expressed in cents per pound rounded up to the 
next one-tenth of a cent. For example: If the principal and interest due 
equal $2,900,000 and the Longline Subsector portion equals 100,000 
metric tons, then the fee per round weight pound of Pacific cod will 
equal 1.4 cents per pound. [2,900,000 /(100,000 x 2,205) = .01315]. The 
fee will be accessed and collected on Pacific cod to the extent possible 
and if not, will be accessed and collected as provided for in this 
paragraph (e).
    (B) Fees must be accessed and collected on Pacific cod used for bait 
or discarded. Although the fee could be up to 5 percent of the ex-vessel 
production value of all post-reduction Longline Subsector landings, the 
fee will be less than 5 percent if NMFS projects that a lesser rate can 
amortize the fishery's reduction loan over the reduction loan's 30-year 
term. In the event that the total principal and interest due exceeds 5 
percent of the ex-vessel Pacific cod revenues, a penny per pound round 
weight fee will be calculated based on the latest available revenue 
records

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and NMFS conversion factors for pollock, arrowtooth flounder, Greenland 
turbot, skate, yellowfin sole and rock sole.
    (C) The additional fee will be limited to the amount necessary to 
amortize the remaining twelve months principal and interest in addition 
to the 5 percent fee accessed against Pacific cod. The additional fee 
will be a minimum of one cent per pound. In the event that collections 
exceed the total principal and interest needed to amortize the payment 
due, the principal balance of the loan will be reduced. To verify that 
the fees collected do not exceed 5 percent of the fishery revenues, the 
annual total of principal and interest due will be compared to the 
latest available annual Longline Subsector revenues to ensure it is 
equal to or less than 5 percent of the total ex-vessel production 
revenues. In the event that any of the components necessary to calculate 
the next year's fee are not available, or for any other reason NMFS 
believes the calculation must be postponed, the fee will remain at the 
previous year's amount until such a time that new calculations are made 
and communicated to the post reduction fishery participants.
    (D) It is possible that the fishery may not open during some years 
and no Longline Subsector portion of the ITAC is granted. Consequently, 
the fishery will not produce fee revenue with which to service the 
reduction loan during those years. However, interest will continue to 
accrue on the principal balance. When this happens, if the fee rate is 
not already at the maximum 5 percent, NMFS will increase the fisheries' 
fee rate to the maximum 5 percent of the revenues for Pacific cod and 
the species mentioned in paragraph (e)(2)(iii)(B), apply all subsequent 
fee revenue first to the payment of accrued interest, and continue the 
maximum fee rates until all principal and interest payments become 
current. Once all principal and interest payments are current, NMFS will 
make a determination about adjusting the fee rate.
    (iv) Reduction loan. NMFS has promulgated framework regulations 
generally applicable to all fishing capacity reduction programs (Sec. 
600.1000 et seq.). The reduction loan shall be subject to the provisions 
of Sec. 600.1012, except that: the borrower's obligation to repay the 
reduction loan shall be discharged by the owner of the Longline 
Subsector license regardless of which vessel catches fish under this 
license and regardless of who processes the fish in the reduction 
fishery in accordance with Sec. 600.1013. Longline Subsector license 
owners in the reduction fishery shall be obligated to collect the fee in 
accordance with Sec. 600.1013.
    (v) Collection. The LLP License holder of the vessel harvesting in 
the post-capacity reduction plan Longline Subsector shall be responsible 
for self-collecting the repayment fees owed by that LLP License holder. 
Fees shall be submitted to NMFS monthly and shall be due no later than 
fifteen (15) calendar days following the end of each calendar month.
    (vi) Record keeping and Reporting. The holder of the LLP License on 
which a vessel harvesting in the post-capacity reduction plan Longline 
Subsector is designated shall be responsible for compliance with the 
applicable record keeping and reporting requirements.
    (3) Agreement with Secretary. Each Selected Offeror, and vessel 
owner if not the Subsector Member, that has submitted a Selected Offer 
shall complete and deliver to the FLCC for inclusion in the Reduction 
Plan submitted to NMFS, designee for the Secretary, a completed and 
fully executed Reduction Contract. Any and all LLP License(s) and or 
vessels set forth on a Selected Offer shall be included as Reduction 
Fishing Interests in such Reduction Contract.
    (f) Decisions of the Auditor and the FLCC. Time is of the essence in 
developing and implementing a Reduction Plan and, accordingly, the 
Offerors shall be limited to, and bound by, the decisions of the Auditor 
and the FLCC.
    (1) The Auditor's examination of submitted applications, Offers, 
Prequalification Offers and Rankings shall be solely ministerial in 
nature. That is, the Auditor will verify whether the documents submitted 
by Subsector Members are, on their face, consistent with each other and 
the Database, in compliance with the requirements set forth in the 
Reduction

[[Page 183]]

Agreement, and, signed by an Authorized Party. The Auditor may presume 
the validity of all signatures on documents submitted. The Auditor shall 
not make substantive decisions as to compliance (e.g., whether an 
interim LLP License satisfies the requirements of the Act, or whether a 
discrepancy in the name appearing on LLP Licenses and other documents is 
material).
    (2) [Reserved]
    (g) Enforcement/specific performance. The parties to the Reduction 
Agreement have agreed that the opportunity to develop and submit a 
capacity reduction program for the Longline Subsector under the terms of 
the Act is both unique and finite and that failure of a Selected 
Offeror, and vessel owner, if not a Subsector Member, to perform the 
obligations provided by the Reduction Agreement will result in 
irreparable damage to the FLCC, the Subsector Members and other Selected 
Offerors. Accordingly, the parties to the Reduction Agreement expressly 
acknowledge that money damages are an inadequate means of redress and 
agree that upon the failure of the Selected Offeror, and vessel owner if 
not a Subsector Member, to fulfill its obligations under the Reduction 
Agreement that specific performance of those obligations may be obtained 
by suit in equity brought by the FLCC in any court of competent 
jurisdiction without obligation to arbitrate such action.
    (h) Miscellaneous--(1) Time/Holidays. All times related to the 
Selection Process shall be the time kept in the Pacific time zone as 
calculated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In the 
event that any date occurring within the Selection Process is a Federal 
holiday, the date shall roll over to the next occurring business day.
    (2) Termination. The Reduction Agreement shall automatically 
terminate if no vote of acceptance is completed by December 31, 2007. 
The Reduction Agreement may be terminated at any time prior to approval 
of the Reduction Plan by NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, by written 
notice from 50 percent of Subsector Members.
    (3) Choice of law/venue. The Reduction Agreement shall be construed 
and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington 
without regard to its choice of law provisions. The parties submit to 
the exclusive personal jurisdiction of the United States District Court 
located in Seattle, Washington, with respect to any litigation arising 
out of or relating to the Reduction Agreement or out of the performance 
of services hereunder.
    (4) Incorporation. All executed counterparts of the Reduction 
Agreement, Application Forms and Offers constitute the agreement between 
the parties with respect to the subject matter of the Reduction 
Agreement and are incorporated into the Reduction Agreement as if fully 
written.
    (5) Counterparts. The Reduction Agreement may be executed in 
multiple counterparts and will be effective as to signatories on the 
Effective Date. The Reduction Agreement may be executed in duplicate 
originals, each of which shall be deemed to be an original instrument. 
All such counterparts and duplicate originals together shall constitute 
the same agreement, whether or not all parties execute each counterpart.
    (i) The facsimile signature of any party to the Reduction Agreement 
shall constitute the duly authorized, irrevocable execution and delivery 
of the Reduction Agreement as fully as if the Reduction Agreement 
contained the original ink signatures of the party or parties supplying 
a facsimile signature.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (i) Amendment. Subsector Member acknowledges that the Reduction 
Agreement, the Reduction Contract, and the Reduction Plan may be subject 
to amendment to conform to the requirements for approval of the 
Reduction Plan by NMFS on behalf of the Secretary. The Auditor shall 
distribute to each Subsector Member in electronic format the amended 
form of the Reduction Agreement, the Reduction Contract, and the 
Reduction Plan, which amended documents in the form distributed by the 
Auditor and identified by the Auditor by date and version, the version 
of each such document then in effect at the time of any dispute arising 
or action taken shall be deemed binding upon the parties with respect to 
such dispute and/or action.

[[Page 184]]

    (j) Warranties. Subsector Member must expressly warrant and 
represent in the Reduction Agreement that:
    (1) Subsector Member has had an opportunity to consult with 
Subsector Member's attorney or other advisors of Subsector Member with 
respect to the Reduction Agreement, the Reduction Contract, and the Act 
and the ramifications of the ratification of the Reduction Plan 
contemplated therein;
    (2) Subsector Member has full understanding and appreciation of the 
ramifications of executing and delivering the Reduction Agreement and, 
free from coercion of any kind by the FLCC or any of its members, 
officers, agents and/or employees, executes and delivers the Reduction 
Agreement as the free and voluntary act of Subsector Member;
    (3) The execution and delivery of the Reduction Agreement, does not 
and will not conflict with any provisions of the governing documents of 
Subsector Member;
    (4) The person executing the Reduction Agreement has been duly 
authorized by Subsector Member to execute and deliver the Reduction 
Agreement and to undertake and perform the actions contemplated herein; 
and
    (5) Subsector Member has taken all actions necessary for the 
Reduction Agreement to constitute the valid and binding obligation of 
Subsector Member, enforceable in accordance with its terms.
    (k) Approval of the reduction plan. Acceptance of the Offers are at 
the sole discretion of NMFS on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. To 
be approved by NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, any Reduction Plan 
developed and submitted in accordance with this section and subpart M to 
this part must be found by the Assistant Administrator of NMFS, to:
    (1) Be consistent with the requirements of Section 219(e) of the FY 
2005 Appropriations Act (Public Law 108-447);
    (2) Be consistent with the requirements of Section 312(b) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 
1861(a)) except for the requirement that a Council or Governor of a 
State request such a program (as set out in section 312(b)(1)) and for 
the requirements of section 312(b)(4);
    (3) Contain provisions for a fee system that provides for full and 
timely repayment of the capacity reduction loan by the Longline 
Subsector and that it provide for the assessment of such fees;
    (4) Not require a bidding or auction process;
    (5) Result in the maximum sustained reduction in fishing capacity at 
the least cost and in the minimum amount of time; and
    (6) Permit vessels in the Longline Subsector to be upgraded to 
achieve efficiencies in fishing operations provided that such upgrades 
do not result in the vessel exceeding the applicable length, tonnage, or 
horsepower limitations set out in Federal law or regulation.
    (l) Referenda. The provisions of Sec. 600.1010 (including 
Sec. Sec. 600.1004(a), 600.1008, 600.1009, 600.1013, 600.1014, and 
600.1017(a)(5), (6) and (7)) shall apply to the Reduction Plan of this 
section to the extent that they do not conflict with this section or 
with subpart M of this part.

Appendix to Sec. 600.1105--Fishing Capacity Reduction Contract: Bering 
      Sea and Aleutian Islands Longline Catcher Processor Subsector

  Fishing Capacity Reduction Contract: Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
                  Longline Catcher Processor Subsector

    This agreement, (the ``Reduction Contract'') is entered into by and 
between the party or parties named in section 46 of this contract 
entitled, ``Fishing Capacity Reduction Offer Submission Form and 
Reduction Fishing Interests Identification,'' as the qualifying Offeror 
and as the co-Offeror (if there is a co-Offeror) (collectively the 
``Offeror'') and the United States of America, acting by and through the 
Secretary of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
National Marine Fisheries Service, Financial Services Division 
(``NMFS''). The Reduction Contract is effective when NMFS signs the 
Reduction Contract and, thereby, accepts the Offeror's offer, subject to 
the condition subsequent of NMFS' formal notification of a successful 
referendum.

                               Witnesseth

    Whereas, Section 219, Title II, Division B of the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2005, as

[[Page 185]]

enacted on December 8, 2004, (the ``Act'') authorizes a fishing capacity 
reduction program implementing capacity reduction plans submitted to 
NMFS by catcher processor subsectors of the Bering Sea and Aleutian 
Islands (``BSAI'') non-pollock groundfish fishery as set forth in the 
Act;
    Whereas, the longline catcher processor subsector (the ``Longline 
Subsector'') is among the catcher processor subsectors eligible to 
submit to NMFS a capacity reduction plan under the terms of the Act;
    Whereas, the Freezer Longline Conservation Cooperative (the 
``FLCC'') has developed and is submitting to NMFS concurrently with this 
Reduction Contract a capacity reduction plan for the Longline Subsector 
(the ``Reduction Plan'');
    Whereas, the selection process will be pursuant to the fishing 
capacity Reduction Contract and the Reduction Plan;
    Whereas, the term ``Reduction Fishery'' is defined by the Reduction 
Plan as the longline catcher processor subsector of the BSAI non-pollock 
groundfish fishery;
    Whereas, the Reduction Plan's express objective is to permanently 
reduce harvesting capacity in the Reduction Fishery; Whereas, NMFS 
implements the Reduction Plan pursuant to Section 219 of the Act as well 
as the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 
U.S.C. 1861a(b)-(e))(as excepted by the Act, including inter alia, any 
requirement that the Reduction Plan include a bidding or auction 
process) and other applicable law;
    Whereas, NMFS has promulgated framework regulations generally 
applicable to all fishing capacity reduction programs, portions of which 
are applicable to the Reduction Plan, (50 CFR 600.1000 et seq.);
    Whereas, NMFS can implement the Reduction Plan only after giving 
notice to all members of the Longline Subsector of the Reduction Plan 
pursuant to Section 219(3)(b) of the Act and approval of the Reduction 
Plan by referendum of the Longline Subsector; and
    Whereas, this Reduction Contract is submitted by Offeror and the 
FLCC as an integral element of the Reduction Plan and is expressly 
subject to the terms and conditions set forth herein, the framework 
regulations, the final rule (as used in this contract ``final rule'' 
means the final rule promulgated by NMFS which sets forth the 
regulations implementing the Reduction Plan for the Longline Subsector) 
and applicable law.
    Now therefore, for good and valuable consideration and the premises 
and covenants hereinafter set forth the receipt and sufficiency of which 
the parties to the Reduction Contract hereby acknowledge, and intending 
to be legally bound hereby, the parties hereto agree as follows:
    1. Incorporation of Recitals. The foregoing recitals are true and 
correct and are expressly incorporated herein by this reference.
    2. Further Incorporation. The Act, framework regulations, final rule 
and any other rule promulgated pursuant to the Act are expressly 
incorporated herein by this reference. In the event of conflicting 
language, the framework regulations, the final rule and any other rule 
promulgated pursuant to the Act, take precedence over the Reduction 
Contract.
    3. Contract Form. By completing and submitting the Reduction 
Contract to NMFS the Offeror hereby irrevocably offers to relinquish its 
Reduction Fishing Interests. If NMFS discovers any deficiencies in the 
Offeror's submission to NMFS, NMFS may, at its sole discretion, contact 
the Offeror in an attempt to correct such offer deficiency. ``Reduction 
Fishing Interests'' means all of Offeror(s) rights, title and interest 
to the Groundfish Reduction Permit, Reduction Permit(s), Reduction 
Fishing Privilege and Reduction Fishing History as defined in this 
Reduction Contract.
    4. Groundfish Reduction Permit. Offeror expressly acknowledges that 
it hereby offers to permanently surrender, relinquish, and have NMFS 
permanently revoke the valid non-interim Federal License Limitation 
Program groundfish license issued pursuant to 50 CFR 679.4(k) (or 
successor regulation) endorsed for Bering Sea or Aleutian Islands 
catcher processor fishing activity, C/P, Pacific cod, and hook and line 
gear identified in section 46 of this contract as well as any present or 
future claims of eligibility for any fishery privilege based upon such 
permit, including any Latent License and any offered and accepted 
interim permit that Offeror causes to become a non-interim permit, (the 
``Groundfish Reduction Permit'').
    5. Reduction Permit(s). Offeror hereby acknowledges that it offers 
to permanently surrender, relinquish, and have NMFS permanently revoke 
any and all Federal fishery licenses, fishery permits, and area and 
species endorsements issued for any vessel named on the Groundfish 
Reduction Permit as well as any present or future claims of eligibility 
for any fishery privilege based upon such permit, including any Latent 
License, (the ``Reduction Permits'').
    6. Reduction Privilege Vessel. The Reduction Privilege Vessel is the 
vessel listed on the Offeror's License Limitation Program license.
    7. Reduction Fishing Privilege. If a vessel is specified in section 
46 of this contract (the ``Reduction Privilege Vessel''), Offeror hereby 
acknowledges that Offeror offers to relinquish and surrender the 
Reduction Privilege Vessel's fishing privilege and consents to the 
imposition of Federal vessel documentation restrictions that have the 
effect of permanently revoking the Reduction Privilege Vessel's legal 
ability to fish anywhere in the

[[Page 186]]

world as well as its legal ability to operate under foreign registry or 
control--including the Reduction Privilege Vessel's: fisheries trade 
endorsement under the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Anti-Reflagging 
Act (46 U.S.C. 12108); eligibility for the approval required under 
section 9(c)(2) of the Shipping Act, 1916 (46 U.S.C. App. 808(c)(2)), 
for the placement of a vessel under foreign flag or registry, as well as 
its operation under the authority of a foreign country; and the 
privilege otherwise to ever fish again anywhere in the world (the 
``Reduction Fishing Privilege''). Offeror agrees to instruct the United 
States Coast Guard's Vessel Documentation Center to remove the fishery 
endorsement from the Reduction Privilege Vessel. If the Reduction 
Privilege Vessel is not a federally documented vessel, the Offeror 
offers to promptly scrap the vessel and allow NMFS whatever access to 
the scrapping NMFS deems reasonably necessary to document and confirm 
the scrapping.
    8. Reduction Fishing History. Offeror surrenders, relinquishes, and 
consents to NMFS' permanent revocation of the following Reduction 
Fishing History (the ``Reduction Fishing History''):
    a. The Reduction Privilege Vessel's full and complete documented 
harvest of groundfish;
    b. For any documented harvest of the Reduction Privilege Vessel 
whatsoever, including that specified in section 8 of this contract, any 
right or privilege to make any claim in any way related to any fishery 
privilege derived in whole or in part from any such other and documented 
harvest which could ever qualify any party for any future limited access 
system fishing license, permit, and other harvest authorization of any 
kind; including without limitation crab LLP licenses linked to License 
Limitation Program (``LLP'') licenses, state fishing rights appurtenant 
to Reduction Fishing Vessels, and all fishing history associated 
therewith, but without prejudice to any party who before submission of 
this offer may have for value independently acquired the fishing history 
involving any such documented harvest;
    c. Any documented harvest on any other vessel (Reduction Fishing 
Vessel) that gave rise to the Groundfish Reduction Permit; and
    d. All fishing history associated with the latent LLP license 
identified on the Selected Offer and any fishing history associated with 
the fishing vessel that gave rise to the latent LLP license that remains 
in the Offeror's possession as of August 11, 2006 (i.e., date of 
publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register).
    9. Halibut, Sablefish and Crab IFQs Excluded. Notwithstanding any 
other provision of this Reduction Contract, no right, title and/or 
interest to harvest, process or otherwise utilize individual fishing 
quota (``IFQ'') quota share in the halibut, sablefish and crab fisheries 
pursuant to 50 CFR parts 679 and 680, nor crab LLP license history to 
the extent necessary for the issuance of crab IFQ pursuant to 50 CFR 
part 680 as in effect as of the date of this Contract, shall be included 
among Offeror's Reduction Fishing Interests.
    10. Representations and Warranties. Offeror represents and warrants 
that, as of the date of submission of this Reduction Contract, Offeror 
is:
    a. The holder of record, according to NMFS' official fishing license 
records, at the time of offer, of the Groundfish Reduction Permit and 
the Reduction Permit(s).
    b. The Reduction Privilege Vessel's owner of record, according to 
the National Vessel Documentation Center's official vessel documentation 
records, at the time of offer, and that the Reduction Privilege Vessel 
is neither lost nor destroyed at the time of offer.
    c. In retention of and fully and legally entitled to offer and 
dispose of hereunder, full and complete rights to the Reduction 
Privilege Vessel's full and complete Reduction Fishing History necessary 
to fully and completely comply with the requirements of section 8 of 
this contract.
    11. Offer Amount. NMFS' payment to Offeror in the exact amount of 
the amount set forth by Offeror in section 46 of this contract is full 
and complete consideration for the Offeror's offer.
    12. Additional Offer Elements. Offeror shall include with its offer 
an exact photocopy of the Reduction Privilege Vessel's official vessel 
documentation or registration (i.e., the certificate of documentation 
the U.S. Coast Guard's National Vessel Documentation Center issued for 
federally documented vessels or the registration a State issues for 
State registered vessels) and an exact photocopy of the Groundfish 
Reduction Permit and all Reduction Permit(s). The Offeror shall also 
include with the offer all other information required in this Reduction 
Contract and otherwise comply with Reduction Contract requirements.
    13. Use of Official Fishing License or Permit Databases. Offeror 
expressly acknowledges that NMFS shall use the appropriate official 
governmental fishing license or permit database to:
    Determine the Offeror's address of record; verify the Offeror's 
qualification to offer; determine the holder of record of the Groundfish 
Reduction Permit and Reduction Permit(s); and verify the Offeror's 
inclusion in the offer of all permits and licenses required to be 
offered in the Offer.
    14. Use of National Vessel Documentation Center Database. Offeror 
expressly acknowledges that NMFS shall use the records of the National 
Vessel Documentation Center to determine the owner of record for a 
federally documented Reduction Privilege Vessel and

[[Page 187]]

the appropriate State records to determine the owner of record of a non-
federally documented Reduction Privilege Vessel.
    15. Offeror to Ensure Accurate Records. Offeror shall, to the best 
of its ability, ensure that the records of the databases relevant to 
sections 13 and 14 of this contract are true, accurate, and complete.
    16. Submissions are Irrevocable. The parties hereto expressly 
acknowledge as the essence hereof that the Offeror voluntarily submits 
to NMFS this firm and irrevocable offer. The Offeror expressly 
acknowledges that it hereby waives any privilege or right to withdraw, 
change, modify, alter, rescind, or cancel any portion of the Reduction 
Contract and that the receipt date and time which NMFS marks on the 
Reduction Contract constitutes the date and time of the offer's 
submission.
    17. Offer Rejection. NMFS shall reject an offer that NMFS deems is 
in any way unresponsive or not in conformance with the Reduction 
Contract, and the applicable law or regulations unless the Offeror 
corrects the defect and NMFS, in its sole discretion, accepts the 
correction.
    18. Notarized Offeror Signature(s) Required. NMFS shall deem as non-
responsive and reject an offer whose Offer Submission Form does not 
contain the notarized signatures of all persons required to sign the 
form on behalf of the Offeror.
    19. Offer Rejections Constitute Final Agency Action. NMFS's offer 
rejections are conclusive and constitute final agency action as of the 
rejection date.
    20. Effect of Offer Submission. Submitting an irrevocable offer 
conforming to the requirements stated herein entitles the Offeror to 
have NMFS accept the offer if NMFS, in its sole discretion, deems that 
the offer is fully responsive and complies with the Act, the final rule 
and any other rule promulgated pursuant to the Act.
    21. Offeror Retains Use. After submitting an offer, the Offeror 
shall continue to hold, own, or retain unimpaired every aspect of any 
and all LLP License(s) and or vessels set forth on an Offer included as 
Reduction Fishing Interests, until such time as: NMFS notifies the 
Offeror that the Reduction Plan is not in compliance with the Act or 
other applicable law and will not be approved by NMFS; notifies the 
Offeror that the referendum was unsuccessful; NMFS tenders the reduction 
payment and the Offeror complies with its obligations under the 
Reduction Contract; or NMFS otherwise excuses the Offeror's performance.
    22. Acceptance by Referendum. NMFS shall formally notify the Offeror 
in writing whether the referendum is successful, which written notice 
shall inform Offeror that the condition subsequent has been satisfied. 
Therefore, Offeror expressly acknowledges that all parties must perform 
under the Reduction Contract and the Reduction Contract is enforceable 
against, and binding on, the Reduction Contract parties in accordance 
with the terms and conditions herein.
    23. Reduction Contract Subject to Federal Law. The Reduction 
Contract is subject to Federal law.
    24. Notice to Creditors. Upon NMFS' offer acceptance notice to the 
Offeror, Offeror agrees to notify all parties with secured interests in 
the Reduction Fishing Interests that the Offeror has entered into the 
Reduction Contract.
    25. Referendum. Offeror acknowledges that the outcome of the 
referendum of the Reduction Plan is an occurrence over which NMFS has no 
control.
    26. Unsuccessful Referendum Excuses Performance. An unsuccessful 
referendum excuses all parties hereto from every obligation to perform 
under the Reduction Contract. In such event, NMFS need not tender 
reduction payment and the Offeror need not surrender and relinquish or 
allow the revocation or restriction of any element of the Reduction 
Fishing Interest specified in the Reduction Contract. An unsuccessful 
referendum shall cause the Reduction Contract to have no further force 
or effect.
    27. Offeror Responsibilities upon Successful Referendum. Upon NMFS' 
formal notification to the Offeror that the referendum was successful 
and that NMFS had accepted the Reduction Contract, Offeror shall 
immediately become ready to surrender and relinquish and allow the 
revocation or restriction of (as NMFS deems appropriate) the Reduction 
Fishing Interests.
    28. Written Payment Instructions. After a successful referendum, 
NMFS shall tender reduction payment by requesting the Offeror to provide 
to NMFS, and the Offeror shall subsequently so provide, written payment 
instructions for NMFS' disbursement of the reduction payment to the 
Offeror or to the Offeror's order.
    29. Request for Written Payment Instructions Constitutes Tender. 
NMFS' request to the Offeror for written payment instructions 
constitutes reduction payment tender, as specified in 50 CFR 600.1011.
    30. Offeror Responsibilities upon Tender. Upon NMFS' reduction 
payment tender to the Offeror, the Offeror shall immediately surrender 
and relinquish and allow the revocation or restriction of (as NMFS deems 
appropriate) the Reduction Fishing Interests. The Offeror must then 
return the original of its Groundfish Reduction Permit and Reduction 
Permit(s) to NMFS. Concurrently with NMFS' reduction payment tender, the 
Offeror shall forever cease all fishing for any species with the 
Reduction Privilege Vessel and immediately retrieve all fishing gear, 
irrespective of ownership, previously deployed from the Reduction 
Privilege Vessel. Offeror agrees to authorize the United States Coast

[[Page 188]]

Guard to cancel the fishery endorsement in the Reduction Privilege 
Vessel.
    31. Reduction Privilege Vessel Lacking Federal Documentation. Upon 
NMFS' reduction payment tender to the Offeror, the Offeror shall 
immediately scrap any vessel which the Offeror specified as a Reduction 
Privilege Vessel and which is documented solely under state law or 
otherwise lacks documentation under Federal law. The Offeror shall scrap 
such vessel at the Offeror's expense. The Offeror shall allow NMFS, its 
agents, or its appointees reasonable opportunity to observe and confirm 
such scrapping. The Offeror shall conclude such scrapping within a 
reasonable time.
    32. Future Harvest Privilege and Reduction Fishing History 
Extinguished. Upon NMFS' reduction payment tender to the Offeror, the 
Offeror shall surrender and relinquish and consent to the revocation, 
restriction, withdrawal, invalidation, or extinguishment by other means 
(as NMFS deems appropriate), of any claim in any way related to any 
fishing privilege derived, in whole or in part, from the use or 
holdership of the Groundfish Reduction Permits and the Reduction 
Permit(s), from the use or ownership of the Reduction Privilege Vessel 
(subject to and in accordance with the provisions of section 8 of this 
contract), and from any documented harvest fishing history arising under 
or associated with the same which could ever qualify the Offeror for any 
future limited access fishing license, fishing permit, and other harvest 
authorization of any kind.
    33. Post Tender Use of Federally Documented Reduction Privilege 
Vessel. After NMFS' reduction payment tender to the Offeror, the Offeror 
may continue to use a federally documented Reduction Privilege Vessel 
for any lawful purpose except ``fishing'' as defined under the Magnuson-
Stevens Act and may transfer--subject to all restrictions in the 
Reduction Contract, other applicable regulations, and the applicable 
law--the vessel to a new owner. The Offeror or any subsequent owner 
shall only operate the Reduction Privilege Vessel under the United 
States flag and shall not operate such vessel under the authority of a 
foreign country. In the event the Offeror fails to abide by such 
restrictions, the Offeror expressly acknowledges and hereby agrees to 
allow NMFS to pursue any and all remedies available to it, including, 
but not limited to, recovering the reduction payment and seizing the 
Reduction Privilege Vessel and scrapping it at the Offeror's expense.
    34. NMFS' Actions upon Tender. Contemporaneously with NMFS' 
reduction payment tender to the Offeror, and without regard to the 
Offeror's refusal or failure to perform any of its Reduction Contract 
duties and obligations, NMFS shall: Permanently revoke the Offeror's 
Groundfish Reduction Permit and Reduction Permit(s); notify the National 
Vessel Documentation Center to permanently revoke the Reduction 
Privilege Vessel's fishery trade endorsement; notify the U.S. Maritime 
Administration to make the Reduction Privilege Vessel permanently 
ineligible for the approval of requests to place the vessel under 
foreign registry or operate the vessel under a foreign country's 
authority; record in the appropriate NMFS records that the Reduction 
Fishing History represented by any documented harvest fishing history 
accrued on, under, or as a result of the operation of the Reduction 
Privilege Vessel and/or Reduction Fishing Vessel (subject to and in 
accordance with the provisions of section 8 of this contract), the 
Groundfish Reduction Permit, and the Reduction Permit(s) which could 
ever qualify the Offeror for any future limited access fishing license, 
fishing permit, or other harvesting privilege of any kind shall never 
again be available to anyone for any fisheries purpose; and implement 
any other restrictions the applicable law or regulations impose.
    35. Material Disputes to be Identified. Members of the public shall, 
up until NMFS receives the Offeror's written payment instructions, be 
able to advise NMFS in writing of any material dispute with regard to 
any aspect of any accepted Reduction Contract. Such a material dispute 
shall neither relieve the Offeror of any Reduction Contract duties or 
obligations nor affect NMFS' right to enforce performance of the 
Reduction Contract terms and conditions.
    36. Reduction Payment Disbursement. Once NMFS receives the Offeror's 
written payment instructions and certification of compliance with the 
Reduction Contract, NMFS shall as soon as practicable disburse the 
reduction payment to the Offeror. Reduction payment disbursement shall 
be in strict accordance with the Offeror's written payment instructions. 
Unless the Offeror's written payment instructions direct NMFS to the 
contrary, NMFS shall disburse the whole of the reduction payment to the 
Offeror. If the qualifying Offeror offers with a co-Offeror, both the 
qualifying Offeror and the co-Offeror must approve and sign the written 
payment instructions.
    37. Reduction Payment Withheld for Scrapping or for Other Reasons. 
In the event that a Reduction Privilege Vessel which is not under 
Federal documentation must be scrapped, NMFS shall withhold from 
reduction payment disbursement an amount sufficient to scrap such 
vessel. NMFS shall withhold such sum until the vessel is completely 
scrapped before disbursing any amount withheld. NMFS may confirm, if 
NMFS so chooses, that the vessel has been scrapped before disbursing any 
amount withheld. If NMFS has reason to believe the Offeror has failed to 
comply with any of the Reduction Contract terms and conditions, NMFS 
shall also withhold reduction payment disbursement

[[Page 189]]

until such time as the Offeror performs in accordance with the Reduction 
Contract terms and conditions.
    38. Offeror Assistance with Restriction. The Offeror shall, upon 
NMFS' request, furnish such additional documents, undertakings, 
assurances, or take such other actions as may be reasonably required to 
enable NMFS' revocation, restriction, invalidation, withdrawal, or 
extinguishment by other means (as NMFS deems appropriate) of all 
components of the Reduction Contract's Reduction Fishing Interest in 
accordance with the requirements of the Reduction Contract terms and 
conditions, applicable regulations and the applicable law.
    39. Recordation of Restrictions. Upon the Reduction Fishing 
Privilege's revocation, the Offeror shall do everything reasonably 
necessary to ensure that such revocation is recorded on the Reduction 
Privilege Vessel's Federal documentation (which the National Vessel 
Documentation Center maintains in accordance with Federal maritime law 
and regulations) in such manner as is acceptable to NMFS and as shall 
prevent the Reduction Privilege Vessel, regardless of its subsequent 
ownership, from ever again being eligible for a fishery trade 
endorsement or ever again fishing. The term ``fishing'' includes the 
full range of activities defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1802).
    40. Reduction Element Omission. In the event NMFS accepts the offer 
and the Offeror has failed, for any reason, to specify in the Reduction 
Contract any Groundfish Reduction Permit, non-Groundfish Reduction 
Permit(s), Reduction Privilege Vessel, Reduction Fishing Vessel, 
Reduction Fishing History, or any other element of the Reduction Fishing 
Interest which the Offeror should under Reduction Contract, applicable 
regulations and the applicable law have specified in Reduction Contract, 
such omitted element shall nevertheless be deemed to be included in the 
Reduction Contract and to be subject to the Reduction Contract's terms 
and conditions; and all Reduction Contract terms and conditions which 
should have applied to such omitted element had it not be omitted shall 
apply as if such element had not been omitted. Upon the Offeror 
discovering any such omission, the Offeror shall immediately and fully 
advise NMFS of such omission. Upon either NMFS or the Offeror 
discovering any such omission, the Offeror shall act in accordance with 
the Reduction Contract, applicable regulations and the applicable law.
    41. Remedy for Breach. Because money damages are not a sufficient 
remedy for the Offeror breaching any one or more of the Reduction 
Contract terms and conditions, the Offeror explicitly agrees to and 
hereby authorizes specific performance of the Reduction Contract, in 
addition to any money damages, as a remedy for such breach. In the event 
of such breach, NMFS shall take any reasonable action, including 
requiring and enforcing specific performance of the Reduction Contract, 
NMFS deems necessary to carry out the Reduction Contract, applicable 
regulations and the applicable law.
    42. Waiver of Data Confidentiality. The Offeror consents to the 
public release of any information provided in connection with the 
Reduction Contract or pursuant to Reduction Plan requirements, including 
any information provided in the Reduction Contract or by any other means 
associated with, or necessary for evaluation of, the Offeror's Reduction 
Contract if NMFS finds that the release of such information is necessary 
to achieve the Reduction Plan's authorized purpose. The Offeror hereby 
explicitly waives any claim of confidentiality otherwise afforded to 
catch, or harvest data and fishing histories otherwise protected from 
release under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act (16 U.S.C. 1881 a(b)) or any other law. In the event of such 
information release, the Offeror hereby forever fully and 
unconditionally releases and holds harmless the United States and its 
officers, agents, employees, representatives, of and from any and all 
claims, demands, debts, damages, duties, causes of action, actions and 
suits whatsoever, in law or equity, on account of any act, failure to 
act or event arising from, out of, or in any way related to, the release 
of any information associated with the Reduction Program.
    43. Oral Agreement Invalid. The Reduction Contract, any addendums to 
section 46 of this contract, and enclosures of photocopies of licenses 
and permits required under section 46 of this contract, contain the 
final terms and conditions of the agreement between the Offeror and NMFS 
and represent the entire and exclusive agreement between them. NMFS and 
the Offeror forever waive all right to sue, or otherwise counterclaim 
against each other, based on any claim of past, present, or future oral 
agreement between them.
    44. Severable Provisions. The Reduction Contract provisions are 
severable; and, in the event that any portion of the Reduction Contract 
is held to be void, invalid, non-binding, or otherwise unenforceable, 
the remaining portion thereof shall remain fully valid, binding, and 
enforceable against the Offeror and NMFS.
    45. Disputes. Any and all disputes involving the Reduction Contract, 
and any other Reduction Plan aspect affecting them shall in all respects 
be governed by the Federal laws of the United States; and the Offeror 
and all other parties claiming under the Offeror irrevocably submit 
themselves to the jurisdiction of the Federal courts of the United 
States and/or to any other Federal administrative body which the 
applicable law authorizes to adjudicate such disputes.

[[Page 190]]

    46. Fishing Capacity Reduction Offer Submission Form and Reduction 
Fishing Interests Identification.
    a. Completion and Submission. The Offeror must fully, faithfully, 
and accurately complete this section 46 of this contract and thereafter 
submit the full and complete Reduction Contract to NMFS in accordance 
with the Reduction Contract. If completing this section requires 
inserting more information than the places provided for the insertion of 
such information allows, the Offeror should attach an addendum to the 
Reduction Contract that: Includes and identifies the additional 
information, states that the addendum is a part of the Reduction Fishing 
Interests Identification portion of the Reduction Contract, states (as a 
means of identifying the Reduction Contract to which the addendum 
relates) the NMFS license number designated on the Reduction Contract's 
Groundfish Reduction Permit, and is signed by all persons who signed the 
Reduction Contract as the Offeror.
    b. Offeror Information.
    (1) Offeror name(s). Insert in the table provided under this section 
46.b(1) of this contract the name(s) of the qualifying Offeror and of 
the co-Offeror (if there is a co-Offeror), and check the appropriate box 
for each name listed.
    Each name the Offeror inserts must be the full and exact legal name 
of record of each person, partnership, corporation or other business 
entity identified on the offer. If any Reduction Fishing Interest 
element is co-owned by more than one person, partnership, corporation or 
other business entity, the Offeror must insert each co-owner's name.
    In each case, the Offeror is the holder of record, at the time of 
Offeror's execution of this Reduction Contract, of the Groundfish 
Reduction Permit and the Reduction Permit(s). A co-Offeror is not 
allowed for either the Groundfish Reduction Permit or the Reduction 
Permit(s). If the Offeror is also the owner of record, at the time of 
offering, of the Reduction Privilege Vessel, the qualifying Offeror is 
the sole Offeror. If, however, the owner of record, at the time of 
execution of this Reduction Contract, of the Reduction Privilege Vessel 
is not exactly the same as the Offeror, then the owner of record is the 
co-Offeror; and the Offeror and the co-Offeror jointly offer together as 
the Offeror.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFFEROR NAME(S) If Offeror or co-   Check appropriate box for each name
  Offeror consists of more than        listed in the adjacent column
 one owner, use one row of this  ---------------------------------------
 column to name each co-Offeror.
  If not, use only one row for                          Co-Offeror (if
 Offeror and one row for any co-        Offeror              any)
             Offeror
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(2)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(3)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(4)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(5)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) Offeror address(s) of record. Insert in the table provided under 
this section 46.b(2) of this contract the Offeror's and the co-Offeror's 
(if there is a co-Offeror) full and exact address(s) of record, and 
check the appropriate box for each address listed.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFFEROR ADDRESS(S) If Offeror or  Check appropriate box for each address
co-Offeror consists of more than       listed in the adjacent column
 one owner, use one row of this  ---------------------------------------
 column for address of each co-
 owner. If not, use only one row
 for Offeror and one row for any
 co-Offeror. Always use the same
 row order as is Offeror Name(s)                        Co-Offeror (if
 table in section 46.b(1), i.e.,        Offeror              any)
  address (1) is for name (1),
  address (2) is for name (2),
  address (3) is for name (3),
              etc.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(2)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(3)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(4)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(5)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (3) Offeror business telephone number(s). Insert in the table 
provided under this section 46.b(3) the Offeror's and the co-Offeror's 
(if there is a co-Offeror) full and exact business

[[Page 191]]

telephone number(s), and check the appropriate box for each number 
listed.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
   OFFEROR BUSINESS TELEPHONE         Check appropriate box for each
   NUMBER(S) If Offeror or co-        telephone number listed in the
  Offeror consists of more than               adjacent column
 one owner, use one row of this  ---------------------------------------
 column for the telephone number
  of each co-owner. If not, use
only one row for Offeror and one
 row for any co-Offeror. Always
  use the same row order as is
Offeror Name(s) table in section        Offeror         Co-Offeror (if
 46.b(1), i.e., telephone number                             any)
 (1) is for name (1), telephone
   number (2) is for name (2),
telephone number (3) is for name
            (3), etc.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(2)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(3)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(4)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(5)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (4) Offeror electronic mail address(s) (if available). Insert in the 
table printed under this section 46.b(4) the Offeror's and the co-
Offeror's (if there is a co-Offeror) full and exact electronic mail (e-
mail) address(s), and check the appropriate box for each address.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
  OFFEROR E-MAIL ADDRESS(S) If     Check appropriate box for each e-mail
 Offeror or co-Offeror consists    address listed in the adjacent column
 of more than one owner, use one ---------------------------------------
  row of this column for the e-
 mail address of each co-owner.
  If not, use only one row for
 Offeror and one row for any co-
Offeror. Always use the same row
   order as is Offeror Name in          Offeror         Co-Offeror (if
     section 46.b(1) of this                                 any)
  contract, i.e., e-mail (1) is
 for name (1), e-mail (2) is for
name (2), e-mail (3) is for name
            (3), etc
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(2)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(3)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(4)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(5)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    c. LLP license number for Groundfish Reduction Permit. Insert in the 
place this section 46.c provides the full and exact license number which 
NMFS designated on the LLP license which the Offeror specifies as the 
Groundfish Reduction Permit. Attach with the Reduction Contract an exact 
photocopy of such license.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 LLP LICENSE NUMBER(S) AND FISHERY(S) OF Of LLP LICENSE(S) SPECIFIED AS
                     GROUNDFISH REDUCTION PERMIT(S)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
          License number(s)                        Fishery(s)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(2)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(3)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(4)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(5)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    d. License number(s) for Reduction Permit(s). Insert in the place 
this section 46.d provides the fishery(s) involved in, and the full and 
exact license number(s) with NMFS designated on the license(s) which the 
Offeror specifies in the Reduction Contract as the Reduction Permit(s). 
Enclose with the Reduction Contract an exact photocopy of each such 
license.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 LLP LICENSE NUMBER(S) AND FISHERY OF LICENSE(S) SPECIFIED AS REDUCTION
                                 PERMITS
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
          License number(s)                        Fishery(s)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(2)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(3)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(4)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(5)
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 192]]

    e. Reduction Fishing History. For all Reduction Fishing History 
insert in the place provided in the table under this section 46.e the 
chronological and other information with each column heading therein 
requires. The information required does not include any actual landing 
data. Any Offeror whose Groundfish Reduction Permit whose issuance NMFS 
based on the fishing history of a lost or destroyed vessel plus a 
replacement vessel must insert information for both vessels and meet the 
requirements of the framework regulations, final rule and any other 
regulations promulgated pursuant to the Act. Any Offeror whose 
Groundfish Reduction Permit whose issuance NMFS in any part based on 
acquisition of fishing history from another party must insert 
information regarding such catch history.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        FOR EACH FISHING HISTORY IN 2ND
                                                    COLUMN
   NAMES(S) AND                      -----------------------------------
 OFFICIAL NUMBER        FOR EACH                          If Reduction
   OF REDUCTION        REDUCTION       License No. of   Privilege Vessel
 PRIVILEGE VESSEL   PRIVILEGE VESSEL   each Groundfish  acquired fishing
 AND NAME(S) AND     IN 1ST COLUMN    Reduction Permit    history from
     OFFICIAL       PROVIDE FROM TO     and Reduction    another party,
 NUMBER(S) OF ANY     DATE OF EACH        Permit(s)      provide name of
VESSEL FROM WHICH   FISHING HISTORY    associated with  party, manner in
 FISHING HISTORY   OFFEROR POSSESSES     each vessel     which acquired,
   WAS ACQUIRED                           involved          and date
                                                            acquired
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(2)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(3)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(4)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(5)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    f. Reduction Privilege Vessel. Insert the full and exact name and 
official number which the National Vessel Documentation Center 
designated for the Reduction Privilege Vessel which the Offeror or the 
co-Offeror (if there is a co-Offeror) specifies in the Reduction 
Contract, and check the box appropriate for the vessel's ownership of 
record.
    Enclose with the Reduction Contract an exact photocopy of such 
vessel's official certificate of documentation.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  REDUCTION PRIVILEGE VESSEL                          Check appropriate ownership box below
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Official name                   Official No.                Offeror            Co-Offeror (if any)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      ........................  .......................  .......................
                                                               -------------------------------------------------
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    g. Offer Amount. Insert in the place this section 46.g provides the 
Offeror's full and exact offer amount, both in words and in numbers.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       OFFER AMOUNT [U.S. DOLLARS]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 In words                            In numbers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    h. Reduction Contract Signature. In compliance with the Reduction 
Contract, applicable regulations and the applicable law, the Offeror 
submits the Reduction Contract as the Offeror's irrevocable offer to 
NMFS for the permanent surrender and relinquishment and revocation, 
restriction, withdrawal, invalidation, or extinguishment by other means 
(as NMFS deems appropriate) of the Groundfish Reduction Permit, any 
Reduction Permit(s), the Reduction Fishing Privilege, and the Reduction 
Fishing History--all as identified in the Reduction Contract or as 
required under applicable regulations, or the applicable law.
    The Offeror expressly acknowledges that NMFS' acceptance of the 
Offeror's offer hereunder and NMFS' tender, following a successful 
referendum, of a reduction payment in the same amount specified in 
section 46.g of this contract (less any sum withheld for scrapping any 
Reduction Privilege Vessel lacking Federal documentation or for any 
other purpose) to the Offeror shall, among other things, render the 
Reduction Privilege Vessel permanently ineligible or any fishing 
worldwide, including, but not limited to, fishing on the high seas or in 
the jurisdiction of any foreign country while operating under United 
States flag, and shall impose or create other legal and contractual 
restrictions, impediments, limitations, obligations, or other provisions 
which restrict, revoke, withdraw, invalidate, or extinguish by other 
means (as NMFS deems appropriate) the complete Reduction Fishing 
Interest and any other fishery privileges or claims associated

[[Page 193]]

with the Groundfish Reduction Permit, any Reduction Permit(s), the 
Reduction Privilege Vessel, and the Reduction Fishing History--all as 
more fully set forth in the Reduction Contract, applicable regulations, 
and the applicable law.
    By completing and signing the Reduction Contract, the Offeror 
expressly acknowledges that the Offeror has fully and completely read 
the entire Reduction Contract. The Offeror expressly states, declares, 
affirms, attests, warrants, and represents to NMFS that the Offeror is 
fully able to enter into the Reduction Contract and that the Offeror 
legally holds, owns, or retains, and is fully able under the Reduction 
Contract provisions to offer and dispose of, the full Reduction Fishing 
Interest which the Reduction Contract specifies and the applicable 
regulations, and the applicable law requires that any person or entity 
completing the Reduction Contract and/or signing the Reduction Contract 
on behalf of another person or entity, expressly attests, warrants, and 
represents to NMFS that such completing and/or signing person or entity 
has the express and written permission or other grant of authority to 
bind such other person or entity to the Reduction Contract's terms and 
conditions. The Offeror expressly attests, warrants, and represents to 
NMFS that every co-owner of the Offeror necessary to constitute the 
Offeror's full and complete execution of the Reduction Contract has 
signed the Reduction Contract. The Offeror expressly attests, warrants, 
and represents to NMFS that the Offeror: Fully understands the 
consequences of submitting the completed Reduction Contract of which it 
is a party to NMFS; pledges to abide by the terms and conditions of the 
Reduction Contract; and is aware of, understands, and consents to, any 
and all remedies available to NMFS for the Offeror's breach of the 
Reduction Contract or submission of an offer which fails to conform with 
the Reduction Contract, final rule, applicable regulations and the 
applicable law. The Offeror expressly attests, warrants, and represents 
to NMFS that all information which the Offeror inserted in the Reduction 
Contract is true, accurate, complete, and fully in accordance with the 
Reduction Contract, final rule, other applicable regulations and the 
applicable law.
    In witness whereof, the Offeror has, in the place provided below, 
executed the Reduction Contract either as an Offeror offering alone or 
as an Offeror and co-Offeror (if there is a co-Offeror) jointly offering 
together, in accordance with the requirements specified above, and on 
the date written below. The Reduction Contract is effective as of the 
date NMFS accepts the Offeror's offer by signing the Reduction Contract.
    The Offeror and co-Offeror (if there is a co-Offeror) must each sign 
the Reduction Contract exactly as instructed herein. Each co-owner (if 
there is a co-owner) of each Offeror and co-Offeror (if there is a co-
Offeror) must also sign the Reduction Contract exactly as instructed 
herein. A notary public must, for each person or entity signing on 
behalf of the Offeror, complete and sign the acknowledgment and 
certification provision associated with each such person or entity's 
signature.
    I. Offeror and co-Offeror's (if there is a co-Offeror) signature(s) 
and notary's acknowledgment(s) and certification(s).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
  OFFEROR'S SIGNATURE AND NOTARY'S ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND CERTIFICATION If
  Offeror or co-Offeror consists of more than one owner, use one row of
  column 1 for each co-owner's signature. If not, use only one row for
Offeror and one row for co-Offeror (if any). Always use same Offeror row
   order as in Offeror Name in the table under section 46.b(1) of this
contract (i.e., signature (1) is for name (1), signature (2) is for name
                (2) signature (3) is for name (3), etc.)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
OFFEROR SIGNATURE   Check appropriate column for each   NOTARY SIGNATURE
  (1) Sign. (2)          signature in 1st column         (1) Sign. (2)
    Print: the    ------------------------------------     Print: the
  following: (a)                                         following: (a)
  signer's name,                                       name, (b) signing
   (b) signer's                                          date, (3) date
title (if signing                                          commission
 for corporation                                        expires, and (4)
or other business                                      State and county.
 entity), and (c)                                         Each notary
   signing date                                        signature attests
------------------                                     to the following:
                                                        ``I certify that
                                                         I know or have
                                                          satisfactory
                                                       evidence that the
                                                       person who signed
                                                       in the 1st column
                      Qualifying      Co-Offeror (if    of this same row
                        Offeror            any)        is the person who
                                                        appeared before
                                                          me and: (1)
                                                       acknowledged his/
                                                         her signature;
                                                          (2) on oath,
                                                        stated that he/
                                                            she was
                                                         authorized to
                                                         sign; and (3)
                                                       acknowledged that
                                                         he/she did so
                                                           freely and
                                                         voluntarily.''
                                                      ------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(2)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(3)
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 194]]

    II. United States of America's signature. United States of America, 
Acting by and through the Secretary of Commerce, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Financial 
Services Division.

 Dated:_________________________________________________________________
 By:____________________________________________________________________

Leo C. Erwin, Chief,

Financial Services Division, National Marine Fisheries Service.

[71 FR 57701, Sept. 29, 2006]



Sec. 600.1106  Longline catcher processor subsector Bering Sea and Aleutian 

Islands (BSAI) non-pollock groundfish species fee payment and collection 

system.

    (a) Purpose. As authorized by Public Law 108 447, this section's 
purpose is to:
    (1) In accordance with Sec. 600.1012, establish:
    (i) The borrower's obligation to repay a reduction loan, and
    (ii) The loan's principal amount, interest rate, and repayment term; 
and
    (2) In accordance with Sec. Sec. 600.1013 through 600.1016, 
implement an industry fee system for the reduction fishery.
    (b) Definitions. Unless otherwise defined in this section, the terms 
defined in Sec. 600.1000 and Sec. 600.1105 expressly apply to this 
section. In addition, the following definition applies to this section:
    Reduction fishery means the longline catcher processor subsector of 
the BSAI non-pollock groundfish fishery that Sec. 679.2 of this chapter 
defined as groundfish area/species endorsements.
    (c) Reduction loan amount. The reduction loan's original principal 
amount is $35,000,000.
    (d) Interest accrual from inception. Interest began accruing on the 
reduction loan from May 29, 2007, the date on which NMFS disbursed such 
loan.
    (e) Interest rate. The reduction loan's interest rate shall be the 
applicable rate which the U.S. Treasury determines at the end of fiscal 
year 2007 plus 2 percent.
    (f) Repayment term. For the purpose of determining fee rates, the 
reduction loan's repayment term is 30 years from May 29, 2007, but fees 
shall continue indefinitely for as long as necessary to fully repay the 
loan.
    (g) Reduction loan repayment. (1) The borrower shall, in accordance 
with Sec. 600.1012, repay the reduction loan;
    (2) For the purpose of the fee collection, deposit, disbursement, 
and accounting requirements of this subpart, subsector members are 
deemed to be both the fish buyer and fish seller. In this case, all 
requirements and penalties of Sec. 600.1013 that are applicable to both 
a fish seller and a fish buyer shall equally apply to parties performing 
both functions;
    (3) Subsector members in the reduction fishery shall pay and collect 
the fee amount in accordance with Sec. 600.1105;
    (4) Subsector members in the reduction fishery shall, in accordance 
with Sec. 600.1014, deposit and disburse, as well as keep records for 
and submit reports about, the fees applicable to such fishery; except 
the requirements specified under paragraph (c) of this section 
concerning the deposit principal disbursement shall be made to NMFS no 
later than fifteen (15) calendar days following the end of each calendar 
month; and the requirements specified under paragraph (e) of this 
section concerning annual reports which shall be submitted to NMFS by 
February 1 of each calendar year; and
    (5) The reduction loan is, in all other respects, subject to the 
provisions of Sec. Sec. 600.1012 through 600.1017.

[72 FR 54222, Sept. 24, 2007]



Sec. 600.1107  Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon Fishery capacity reduction 

program, including fee payment and collection system.

    (a) Purpose. This section implements the fishing capacity reduction 
program for the Southeast Alaska purse seine salmon fishery enacted by 
Section 209 of Public Law 108-447 and amended by Section 121 of Public 
Law 109-479, with appropriations authorized by Section 121 of Public Law 
109-479 and Public Law 110-161. The intent of the program is to 
permanently reduce, through an industry-financed permit buyback, the 
most harvesting capacity in the Reduction Fishery at the least cost, 
increase

[[Page 195]]

harvesting productivity for post-reduction Permit Holders and improve 
flexibility in the conservation and management of the fishery. Fishery 
participants will finance this program through a federal loan that will 
be repaid over 40 years through a fee collection system. The intent of 
the fee collection system is to establish the post-reduction Permit 
Holders' obligation to repay the Reduction Loan's principal and accrued 
interest over the repayment term, and to ensure repayment of the loan.
    (b) Definitions. Unless otherwise defined in this section, the terms 
defined in Sec. 600.1000 of subpart L of this part expressly apply to 
this section. The following terms have the following meanings for the 
purpose of this section:
    Acceptance means SRA acceptance of a bid.
    Act means Section 209 of Title II of Division B of Public Law 108-
447, Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005, as amended by Section 121 
of Public Law 109-447, Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act of 2006.
    Authorized party means the individuals authorized by the Permit 
Holder on the application form to execute and submit Bids, protests and 
other documents and/or notices on behalf of the Permit Holder.
    Bid means a bidder's irrevocable offer to relinquish a permit.
    Bid amount means the dollar amount submitted by a bidder.
    Bidder means a permit holder who submits a bid.
    Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) means the Alaska state 
commission mandated to conserve and maintain the economic health of 
Alaska's commercial fisheries by limiting the number of participating 
fishers, by issuing permits and vessel licenses to qualified individuals 
in both limited and unlimited fisheries, and by providing due process 
hearings and appeals.
    CFEC documents means any documents issued by the CFEC in connection 
with the Southeast Alaska purse seine salmon fishery.
    Conditional notice means the CFEC form that any Bidder must sign and 
agree to abide by upon submission of a Bid Agreement (Appendix B to 
Sec. 600.1107).
    Conditional relinquishment means the CFEC form that any Permit 
Holder, agreeing to relinquish a permit, must sign and agree to abide by 
upon SRA acceptance of the bid (Appendix C to Sec. 600.1107).
    Fishery means the Southeast Alaska administrative area as defined 
under Title 5 Alaska Administrative Code Section 33.100 for salmon with 
purse seine gear.
    Magnuson-Stevens Act means the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act codified at 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
    Permit (Southeast Salmon Purse Seine Entry Permit) means a valid 
entry permit issued by CFEC to operate in the Southeast Alaska purse 
seine salmon fishery.
    Permit holder means an individual who at the time of bidding is the 
holder of record of a permit.
    Reduction fishery means the Southeast Alaska Purse Seine Salmon 
Fishery.
    Reduction loan means the loan used to purchase the relinquished 
permits pursuant to the approved Reduction Plan.
    Reduction loan amount means the Reduction Loan's original principal 
amount up to $23,476,500.
    Reduction plan means the aggregate of all Bids, Relinquishment 
Contracts, Conditional Notices, Conditional Relinquishments, and 
supporting documents and rationale, submitted to the Secretary for 
approval.
    Relinquishment contract means the contract that any Permit Holder 
agreeing to relinquish a permit pursuant to Alaska Statute (A.S. 
16.43.150(i)) must sign and agree to abide by upon acceptance of the 
Bid, and before payment of the bid amount (Appendix A to Sec. 
600.1107).
    Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce or his/her designee.
    Southeast Revitalization Association (SRA) means the qualified 
fishery association authorized to develop and implement this capacity 
reduction program under Alaska Statute 16.40.250 and Federal law.
    (c) Enrollment in the capacity reduction program--(1) Distribution. 
The SRA shall

[[Page 196]]

mail a copy of the following four documents via certified mail to each 
Permit Holder: Bid; Fleet Consolidation Relinquishment Contract 
(Relinquishment Contract); Conditional Notice to CFEC and Request by 
Permit Holder; and (Conditional Relinquishment of Southeast Salmon Purse 
Seine Entry Permit. Such mailing shall include a closing date after 
which the SRA will not accept new bids.
    (2) Application. Any Permit Holder, regardless of whether having 
received the mailing described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, may 
participate in the Capacity Reduction Program by submitting all of the 
following documents to the SRA no later than the bid closing date:
    (i) A fully executed Bid consistent with Appendix A to this section;
    (ii) A photocopy of the permit evidencing the applicant's 
qualification as a participant in the fishery;
    (iii) A fully executed Relinquishment Contract: Southeast Alaska 
Salmon Purse Seine Permit Holders consistent with the appendix B to this 
section;
    (iv) A fully executed Conditional Notice to CFEC and Request by 
Permit Holder consistent with the appendix C to this section; and
    (v) A fully executed Conditional Relinquishment of Southeast Salmon 
Purse Seine Entry Permit consistent with the appendix D to this section.
    (A) The submitted Bid shall include the following information: Name, 
address, telephone number, social security number, and (if available) 
electronic mail address of the submitting Permit Holder, permit number, 
and whether any authorized party holds a security interest in the 
permit. Each application must be submitted to the SRA, c/o Elgee, 
Rehfeld, Mertz, LLC, Professional Plaza Building B, 9309 Glacier 
Highway, Suite B-200, Juneau, Alaska 99801. The initial determination 
that an application conforms to the prescribed requirements is made by 
this independent accounting firm and not the SRA.
    (B) The SRA or the independent accounting firm will notify the 
Permit Holder if the Bid is non-conforming and, in such cases, the 
Permit Holder may submit a revised, conforming Bid within the prescribed 
period (i.e., until the bid closing date).
    (3) Enrollment period. Applications that meet all requirements will 
be accepted until the bid selection process is completed but no later 
than the bid closing date specified by the SRA. The SRA will have a 
period of 21 days after the bid closing date to consult with CFEC and 
examine bid results to complete the selection process.
    (4) Effective date. The effective date of any Bid shall be when the 
SRA has completed the selection process and signed the Bid.
    (5) Notice. The SRA will notify each Accepted Bidder, via certified 
mail, of the effective date of the Bid Agreement.
    (6) Conflicts. Where terms and conditions in the Bid, Relinquishment 
Contract, Conditional Notice, and Conditional Relinquishment conflict 
with this regulation, the terms and conditions in the regulation are 
controlling.
    (d) Bid selection process. The fishing capacity removed by the 
Reduction Plan shall be represented by the total number of valid CFEC 
permits, whether active or latent, that are voluntarily offered by 
Permit Holders and selected by the SRA up to an aggregate amount of 
$23,476,500. Due to a rescission of funds, the underlying appropriations 
for this Reduction Program were reduced from $250,000 to $234,765, 
resulting in a loan ceiling of $23,476,500.
    (1) Overview. The Selection Process shall begin upon the receipt by 
the SRA of the first application and shall continue until: The bid 
closing date specified by the SRA (paragraph (c)(1) of this section); or 
the ranking of the next lowest bid would cause the total program costs 
to exceed $23,476,500. The SRA will have a period of 21 days after the 
bid closing date to consult with CFEC and examine bid results to 
complete the selection process. When either one of these events is 
reached, the Selection Process shall be completed.
    (i) During the selection process, the SRA in consultation with the 
CFEC shall examine each submitted Bid for consistency and the necessary 
elements, including the validity of the permit and whether any 
authorized party holds a security interest in the permit.

[[Page 197]]

    (ii) [Reserved]
    (2) Bids. By submitting the Bid, the bidder expressly acknowledges 
that he makes an irrevocable offer to relinquish to CFEC a permit for a 
specific price, and once having submitted the Bid, the bidder is not 
entitled to withdraw or in any way amend the Bid. The permit will be 
relinquished for the price set forth in the Bid contingent on such Bid 
being accepted by the SRA at the closing of the Selection Process. Any 
attempted withdrawal by a bidder shall be invalid, and the Bid shall 
remain a binding, irrevocable offer, unaffected by the attempted 
withdrawal. Any bid that is submitted by a Permit Holder but is not 
accepted by the SRA shall be deemed terminated and both the Permit 
Holder and the SRA will have no further obligation with respect to the 
Bid.
    (i) If a Permit Holder holds more than one permit, the Permit Holder 
must submit a separate Bid for each permit that he/she offers to 
relinquish.
    (ii) By submitting a Bid, the Permit Holder warrants and represents 
that he/she has read and understands the terms of the Program 
Regulations, Bid, Relinquishment Contract, Conditional Notice and 
Conditional Relinquishment, and has had the opportunity to seek 
independent legal counsel regarding such documents and the consequences 
of submitting the Bid Agreement.
    (3) Ranking. The SRA shall rank all conforming bids by using a 
reverse auction in which the SRA ranks the Bid with the lowest dollar 
amount and successively ranks each additional Bid with the next lowest 
dollar amount until there are no more Bids or the ranking of the next 
lowest bid would cause the total program cost to exceed $23,476,500. In 
the event of a tie with bids which results in the tied bids exceeding 
$23,476,500, the SRA will select the tied bid first received, if known. 
If the receipt time cannot be determined, neither bid will be accepted.
    (4) Acceptance and post-acceptance restriction of renewals and 
transfers. Upon expiration of the bid closing date, the SRA shall 
determine whether the number of ranked bids it is willing to accept is 
sufficient to achieve a substantial reduction in harvest capacity and 
increased economic efficiencies for those Permit Holders remaining in 
the fishery. If the SRA makes such a determination and thereafter 
accepts bids, the SRA shall send CFEC the Conditional Notice form 
restricting renewal and transfer of each permit for which a bid was 
accepted. The Bid, Relinquishment Contract, Conditional Notice and 
Conditional Relinquishment are terminated for any rejected bid and the 
applicant is no longer bound by the terms of these documents.
    (e) Plan submission and approval--(1) Submitting the reduction plan. 
Within 30 days of concluding the selection process, the SRA shall submit 
the Reduction Plan, consisting of the aggregate of all Bid Agreements, 
Relinquishment Contracts, Conditional Notices and Conditional 
Relinquishments, together with supporting documents and rationale, to 
NMFS for final approval on behalf of the Secretary. The Reduction Plan 
shall include a listing of accepted bids arranged by bid amount from 
lowest to highest bid, attended by a statement from the SRA that all 
other bids received were higher than the largest dollar amount of the 
last bid accepted.
    (2) Required findings. In order to approve a Reduction Plan, the 
Assistant Administrator of NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, must find 
that: The Reduction Plan is consistent with the amended Consolidated 
Appropriations Act of 2005 and applicable sections of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, particularly that it is cost-effective; the Reduction Plan 
will result in the maximum sustained reduction in fishing capacity at 
the least cost; and the Reduction Plan will increase harvesting 
productivity for post-reduction Permit Holders participating in the 
fishery.
    (3) The referendum. If NMFS approves the Reduction Plan and 
subsequent to the publication of a final rule resulting from this rule, 
NMFS shall conduct a referendum to determine the industry's willingness 
to repay a fishing capacity reduction loan to purchase the permits 
identified in the Reduction Plan. NMFS shall publish a notice in the 
Federal Register requesting votes by Permit Holders on whether to accept 
or reject the Reduction Plan for implementation. The notice shall state 
the starting and ending dates and times of

[[Page 198]]

the voting period, which shall be not less than twenty one (21) nor more 
than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of such notice.
    (i) Such notice shall state the name and address of record of each 
eligible voter, as well as the basis for having determined the 
eligibility of those voters. This shall constitute notice and 
opportunity to respond about adding eligible voters, deleting ineligible 
voters, and/or correcting any voter's name and address of record, and 
will provide a 15 day period to make these changes. If, in NMFS' 
discretion, the comments received in response to such notice warrants 
it, or for other good cause, NMFS may modify such list by publishing 
another notice in the Federal Register. NMFS shall issue ballots to 
eligible voters, tally votes, and notify voters whether the referendum 
was successful or unsuccessful in approving the Reduction Plan 
consistent with the provisions of Sec. 600.1010.
    (ii) A successful referendum by a majority of the Permit Holders in 
the Reduction Fishery shall bind all parties and complete the reduction 
process. NMFS shall publish a notice in the Federal Register advising 
the public that the referendum was successful. Thereafter the Reduction 
Program shall be implemented.
    (iii) The provisions of Sec. 600.1010 and Sec. 600.1017(a)(1)-(4) 
shall apply to any referendum on the Reduction Plan of this section to 
the extent that they do not conflict with this section or with subpart M 
of this part.
    (f) Implementation--(1) Reduction payments. Within 60 days of a 
successful referendum, the CFEC will provide notice to NMFS of the 
permits retired from the Reduction Fishery. Upon receiving such 
notification, NMFS will then tender the accepted bid amounts to the 
Permit Holders. Reduction payments may not exceed $23,476,500 and if the 
SRA accepts a total number of bids in an aggregate amount less than 
$23,476,500, any remaining funds would be available for reduction 
payments as part of a later, separate Reduction Plan conforming to these 
regulations. Upon NMFS tendering the reduction program's payments to the 
selected Permit Holders, each such Permit Holder must permanently stop 
all fishing with the relinquished permit(s).
    (2) Repayment term. As authorized by the Act, the Reduction Loan 
shall be amortized over a forty (40) year term. The Reduction Loan's 
original principal amount may not exceed $23,476,500, but may be less if 
the ultimate reduction cost is less. The final Reduction Loan periodic 
payment amount will be determined by NMFS' analysis of the ability of 
the post-reduction fishery to service debt. The provisions of Sec. Sec. 
600.1012-600.1017 shall apply to any reduction loan, fee payment and 
collection under this section to the extent they do not conflict with 
this section or with subpart M of this part.
    (3) Loan repayment. Permit Holders operating in the fishery shall be 
obligated to pay the fee in accordance with this section. In the event 
that payments made under the Reduction Plan are insufficient to pay the 
Reduction Loan within the 40-year term, NMFS shall extend the term of 
the repayment until the Reduction Loan is paid in full.
    (i) Interest. The Reduction Loan's interest rate will be the U.S. 
Treasury's cost of borrowing equivalent maturity funds plus two percent. 
NMFS will determine the Reduction Loan's initial interest rate when NMFS 
borrows from the U.S. Treasury the funds with which to disburse 
reduction payments. Interest will begin accruing on the Reduction Loan 
from the date on which NMFS disburses such loan. The initial interest 
rate will change to a final interest rate at the end of the Federal 
fiscal year in which NMFS borrows the funds from the U.S. Treasury. The 
final interest rate will be two percent plus a weighted average, 
throughout that fiscal year, of the U.S. Treasury's cost of borrowing 
equivalent maturity funds. The final interest rate will be fixed and 
will not vary over the remainder of the reduction loan's 40-year term. 
The Reduction Loan will be subject to a level debt amortization. There 
is no prepayment penalty.
    (ii) Fees. Post-reduction Permit Holders operating in the fishery 
shall be obligated to pay the fee in accordance with paragraph (f) of 
this section. The amount of such fee will be calculated

[[Page 199]]

by NMFS on an annual basis as the principal and interest payment amount 
necessary to amortize the loan over a 40-year term. The fee shall be 
expressed as a percentage of the ex-vessel value of all salmon harvested 
and landed in the fishery. In the event that payments made under the 
Reduction Plan are insufficient to repay the Reduction Loan within the 
40-year term, NMFS shall extend the term of the repayment until the 
Reduction Loan is paid in full.
    (A) Fees must be assessed and collected on all salmon harvested in 
the fishery. Although the fee could be up to three percent of the ex-
vessel price of all post-reduction landings, the fee will be less than 
three percent if NMFS projects that a lesser rate can amortize the 
Reduction Loan over the 40-year term. To verify that the fees collected 
do not exceed three percent of the fishery revenues, NMFS will compare 
the annual total of principal and interest due with the latest available 
annual revenues in the fishery to ensure that it is equal to or less 
than three percent of the total ex-vessel production revenues. In the 
event that any of the components necessary to calculate the next year's 
fee are not available, or postponed, the fee will remain at the previous 
year's amount until such time as new calculations are made and 
communicated to the post-reduction fishery participants.
    (B) If the fishery does not open during a year, interest will 
continue to accrue on the principal balance even though no fee revenue 
will be generated. When this happens, if the fee is not already at the 
maximum three percent, NMFS shall increase the fee to the maximum three 
percent, apply all subsequent fee revenue first to the payment of 
accrued interest, and continue the maximum fee rates until the principal 
and interest payments become current. Once all principal and interest 
payments are current, NMFS will make a determination about adjusting the 
fee rate.
    (iii) Collection. The buyer who first purchases the salmon landed in 
the fishery shall be responsible for collecting and submitting the 
repayment fees to NMFS monthly. The fees shall be submitted to NMFS no 
later than fifteen (15) calendar days following the end of each calendar 
month.
    (iv) Recordkeeping and reporting. The dealer who first purchases the 
salmon landed in the fishery shall be responsible for compliance with 
the applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
    (A) All requirements and penalties set forth in the provisions of 
Sec. Sec. 600.1013 (Fee payment and collection), 600.1014 (Fee 
collection deposits, disbursements, records, and reports), 600.1015 
(Late charges), and 600.1017 (Prohibitions and penalties) shall apply to 
any dealer who purchases salmon in the fishery, and to any fee 
collection under this section, to the extent they do not conflict with 
this section or with subpart M of this part.
    (B) [Reserved]
    (g) Specific performance under the relinquishment contract. The 
parties to the Relinquishment Contract have agreed that the opportunity 
to develop and submit a capacity reduction program for the fishery under 
the terms of the Act is both unique and finite. The failure of a Permit 
Holder, whose bid was accepted, to perform the obligations under the 
Relinquishment Contract will result in irreparable damage to the SRA and 
all the other Permit Holders. Accordingly, the parties to the 
Relinquishment Contract expressly acknowledge that money damages are an 
inadequate means of redress and agree, that upon failure of the Permit 
Holder to fulfill his/her obligations under the Relinquishment Contract, 
that specific performance of those obligations may be obtained by suit 
in equity brought by the SRA in any court of competent jurisdiction 
without obligation to arbitrate such action.
    (h) Enforcement for failure to pay fees. The provisions and 
requirements of Sec. 600.1016 (Enforcement) shall also apply to fish 
sellers and fish buyers subject to this fishery.
    (i) Prohibitions and penalties. Fish buyers are prohibited from 
purchasing fish from fish sellers who do not pay the required landing 
fees. Fish sellers are prohibited from selling to fish buyers who do not 
pay the required landing fees.

[[Page 200]]

                    Appendix A to Sec. 600.1107--Bid

    This Bid (Bid) is entered between the individual named in section 
III, 11(a) of the Agreement and the Southeast Revitalization Association 
(SRA).

                             I. Definitions

    Unless otherwise defined, the following terms have the following 
meanings for the purpose of this Agreement.
    Acceptance means SRA acceptance of a Bid.
    Act means Section 209 of Title II of Division B of Public Law 108-
447, Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005; as amended by Section 121 
of Public Law 109-447, Magnuson-Stevens (MSA) Reauthorization Act of 
2006.
    Bid means a bidder's irrevocable offer to relinquish a permit.
    Bid amount means the dollar amount submitted by a bidder.
    Bidder means a permit holder who submits a bid.
    Conditional notice means the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission 
(CFEC) form that any Bidder must sign and agree to abide by upon 
submission of a Bid Agreement.
    Conditional relinquishment means the CFEC form that any Permit 
Holder, agreeing to relinquish a permit, must sign and agree to abide by 
upon SRA acceptance of the bid.
    Fishery means the Southeast Alaska administrative area as defined 
under Title 5 Alaska Administrative Code Section 33.100 for salmon with 
purse seine gear.
    Permit means a valid entry permit issued by CFEC to operate in the 
Southeast Alaska purse seine salmon fishery.
    Permit holder means an individual who at the time of bidding is the 
holder of record of a permit.
    Reduction plan means the aggregate of all Bids, Relinquishment 
Contracts (Appendix B), Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (``CFEC'') 
Conditional Notice and Conditional Relinquishment (Appendices C & D), 
and supporting documents and rationale; submitted to the Secretary for 
approval.
    Referendum means the voting procedure to determine the Permit 
Holder's willingness to repay a fishing capacity reduction loan to 
purchase the permits identified in the Plan.
    Relinquishment contract means the contract that any bidder agreeing 
to relinquish a permit pursuant to Alaska Statute (A.S. 16.43.150(i) 
must sign and agree to abide by upon acceptance of the Bid, and before 
payment of the bid amount.
    Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce or his/her designee.
    Southeast Revitalization Association (SRA) means the qualified 
fishery association authorized to develop and implement this capacity 
reduction program under Alaska Statute 16.40.250 and Federal law.

                              II. Recitals

    Whereas Alaska Statute 16.40.250 and the Act authorize a fishing 
capacity reduction program for the fishery;
    Whereas, within 30 days of concluding the selection process, the SRA 
shall submit the Reduction Plan, together with supporting documents and 
rationale, to NMFS for final approval on behalf of the Secretary;
    Whereas, the reduction Plan's express objective is to reduce fishing 
capacity by permanently revoking permits thereby promoting economic 
efficiency, improving flexibility in the conservation and management of 
the fishery and obtain the maximum reduction in permits at the least 
cost;
    Whereas, the SRA can implement the Reduction Plan only after giving 
notice to all Permit Holders and subsequent approval of the reduction 
Plan by referendum.
    Whereas, the Agreement submitted by the bidder and the SRA is an 
integral element of the Reduction Plan.
    Now, therefore, for good and valuable consideration, the sufficiency 
of which is hereby acknowledged, the SRA and bidder agree as follows:

                        III. Terms and Conditions

    1. Form. By completing and submitting this Bid to the SRA the bidder 
hereby offers to permanently relinquish, and have the CFEC revoke, the 
permit. The SRA signing the Bid and subsequent NMFS payment to bidder in 
the exact bid amount set forth in section III, 11(f) of the Bid is full 
and complete consideration.
    2. Irrevocable. The bidder expressly acknowledges that by submitting 
the Bid he/she makes an irrevocable offer to relinquish the permit and 
once having submitted the Bid is not entitled to withdraw or in any 
manner amend the Bid. The receipt date that the SRA marks on the Bid 
constitutes the date of the bidder's submittal.
    3. Warranty. The bidder warrants and represents that he/she is the 
holder of record of the permit, according to the CFEC records, and that 
he/she has read and understands the terms of the Program Regulations, 
Bid, Relinquishment Contract, Conditional Notice and the Conditional 
Relinquishment and has had the opportunity to seek independent legal 
counsel regarding such documents and the consequences of submitting the 
Bid.
    4. Validity. The SRA, in consultation with the CFEC, shall examine 
each Bid for completeness and consistency. The SRA shall notify the 
bidder if the Bid is non-conforming. In such cases, the bidder may 
submit a revised, conforming Bid within the prescribed period (i.e., 
until the bid closing date).
    5. Ranking. The SRA shall rank the bid amount entered in section 
III, 11(f) of this Bid by using a reverse auction in which the SRA ranks 
the Bid with the lowest dollar

[[Page 201]]

amount and successively ranks each additional Bid with the next lowest 
dollar amount until there are no more Bids or the ranking of the next 
lowest Bid would exceed the total program cost. In the event of a tie 
with bids which results in the tied bids exceeding $23,476,500, the SRA 
will select the tied bid first received.
    6. Acceptance and Rejection. If the Bid is accepted, the SRA shall 
formally notify the bidder in writing. If the SRA rejects the Bid, the 
SRA will formally notify the bidder in writing and the Bid shall 
terminate without further obligation.
    7. Restriction of Transfer of permit: Upon acceptance, the SRA will 
send the CFEC the Conditional Notice, restricting transfer of the permit 
until such time as: The SRA notifies the bidder that the Plan is not in 
compliance with the Act and will not be approved; or NMFS notifies the 
bidder the referendum was unsuccessful.
    8. Payment. Within 60 days from the close of the voting period of a 
successful referendum, the CFEC will provide notice to NMFS of the 
permits retired from the Reduction Fishery. Upon receiving such notice, 
NMFS will then tender the accepted bid amounts to the Permit Holders.
    9. Specific Performance. The failure of a bidder whose Bid was 
accepted to comply with the terms of this Bid will result in irreparable 
damage to the SRA and its members because the Bid was part of the basis 
for the Plan submitted to the Secretary for approval. Accordingly, the 
SRA and bidder expressly acknowledge that money damages are an 
inadequate means of redress and agree that specific performance of those 
obligations may be obtained by suit in equity brought by the SRA in any 
court of competent jurisdiction without obligation to arbitrate such 
action.
    10. Submission. This Bid must be submitted within the prescribed 
period to the SRA, c/o Elgee, Rehfeld, Mertz, LLC, Professional Plaza 
Building B, 9309 Glacier Highway, Suite B-200, Juneau, AK 99801.
    11. Complete Bid Information: To fully and accurately complete this 
Bid, the bidder must fully complete the following questions and provide 
an exact photocopy of the permit. The Bidder must further sign this 
form, Appendices B, C, and D to Sec. 600.1107, and acknowledge the 
signature before a notary public.
    (a) BIDDER'S NAME. This must be the full and exact legal name of 
record of the person bidding. Insert the name of the bidder.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) BIDDER'S ADDRESS OF RECORD. Insert the full and exact address of 
record for the bidder.

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (c) BIDDER'S TELEPHONE NUMBER. Insert the full and exact telephone 
number of the bidder.

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (d) BIDDER'S ELECTRONIC MAIL ADDRESS (if available). Insert the full 
and exact e-mail address of the bidder.

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (e) PERMIT. Insert the full and exact permit number(s) of the 
bidder. Enclose with this Bid an exact photocopy of the permit.

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (f) BID AMOUNT. Insert, in U.S. dollars, the bid's full and exact 
amount, both in words and numbers.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  In words                            In numbers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             $
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (g) SECURITY INTERESTS. Insert the name of any authorized third 
party that may hold a security interest in the permit.

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (h) SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. Insert the full and exact social 
security number of the bidder.

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-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (i) BID SIGNATURE. In compliance with applicable law and this Bid, 
the bidder submits the above bid amount as an offer to the

[[Page 202]]

SRA for the permanent relinquishment of his/her permit. By completing 
the sections above and signing below, the bidder acknowledges that the 
bidder has completely reviewed this Bid and attachments. The bidder 
warrants that the bidder is fully able to enter into the Relinquishment 
Contract. The bidder expressly warrants and attests that all information 
included herein is accurate.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
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Signature
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Printed Name
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date of Signature
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    State of: ---------------- County/Borough of: ----------------
    I certify that ------------------------ is the person who appeared 
before me and said person acknowledged that he/she signed this Bid and 
on oath stated that he/she was authorized to execute such document and 
acknowledged it to be the free and voluntary act of him/her for the uses 
and purposes mentioned in such document.
    Notary Public's Signature: ------------------------Dated: ----------
--
    My Commission Expires: ------------------------
    12. SRA SIGNATURE. By signing below, the SRA acknowledges acceptance 
of this Bid, including the bidder's bid amount.

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Signature
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Printed Name
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date of Signature
 
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Appendix B to Sec. 600.1107--Relinquishment Contract: Southeast Alaska 
                    Salmon Purse Seine Permit Holders

    This Relinquishment Contract (``Contract'') and agreement is entered 
into between the Southeast Revitalization Association (``SRA'') and the 
bidder named in Section 11(a) of the Bid. The contract is effective when 
the bidder signs the Bid and this contract and, thereby, agrees to 
relinquish his/her permit, issued by the Alaska Commercial Fisheries 
Entry Commission (``CFEC'') for the Southeast Alaska salmon purse seine 
fishery (``fishery'').
    Whereas Alaska Statute 16.40.250 and Federal law authorize a fishing 
capacity reduction program for the fishery;
    Whereas, upon accepting and signing the Bid, the SRA shall submit a 
Reduction Plan to NMFS;
    Whereas, the Reduction Plan's express objective is to reduce fishing 
capacity by permanently revoking permits thereby promoting economic 
efficiency, improving flexibility in the conservation and management of 
the fishery and obtain the maximum reduction in permits at the least 
cost;
    Whereas, this contract is subject to the terms and conditions set 
forth herein, including the CFEC forms marked as Appendices C and D to 
Sec. 600.1107;
    Now, therefore, for valuable consideration and the covenants 
hereinafter set forth, the parties hereto agree as follows:
    1. The foregoing, including the Bid and specifically the definitions 
under section 1, are expressly incorporated herein by this reference.
    2. Under AS 16.43.150(i), the Bidder agrees to permanently 
relinquish and have the CFEC revoke the permit.
    3. The Bidder represents that, as of the date of submitting the 
contract, he or she is the holder of record of the permit according to 
the CFEC official permit records.
    4. Upon notification by the SRA to the Bidder that the SRA accepted 
the bid; the SRA will submit to the CFEC the Permit Holder's executed 
notice form (Appendix C to Sec. 600.1107) and executed relinquishment 
form (Appendix D to Sec. 600.1107).
    5. In the event an authorized third party holds a security interest 
in the permit, NMFS will not make payment until receiving notice of 
written consent by the third party to the SRA and the CFEC on a form 
provided by the CFEC.
    6. NMFS' payment to the accepted bidder in the exact amount of the 
accepted bid amount is full and complete consideration for the CFEC 
revoking the permit.
    7. The bidder shall, upon the SRA or the CFEC request, furnish such 
additional documents, information, or take such other actions as may be 
reasonably required to enable the CFEC to implement relinquishment of 
the permit.
    8. The bidder consents to the public release of any information 
provided in connection with the contract or program requirements after 
completion of the plan.
    9. The contract contains the final terms and conditions of this 
agreement between the parties and represents the entire and exclusive 
agreement between them.
    10. The contract terms are severable, and, in the event that any 
portion of the contract is held to be unenforceable, the remaining 
portion shall remain fully enforceable against the parties.
    11. Any and all disputes involving the contract shall be governed by 
laws of the State of Alaska. The bidder expressly acknowledges that by 
submitting the Bid, he/she

[[Page 203]]

makes an irrevocable offer to relinquish the permit, and once having 
submitted the Bid, is not entitled to withdraw or in any way amend the 
Bid.
    12. The failure of a bidder to perform his/her obligations under the 
Bid will result in irreparable damage to the SRA and its members upon 
submittal of the Plan to the Secretary for approval. Accordingly, the 
SRA and the bidder expressly acknowledge that money damages are an 
inadequate means of redress and agree that upon failure of the bidder to 
fulfill his/her obligations under the Bid that specific performance of 
those obligations may be obtained by suit in equity brought by the SRA 
in any court of competent jurisdiction without obligation to arbitrate 
such action.

    Bidder's Signature and Notary's Acknowledgement and Certification
------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Bidder signature                     Notary signature
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(1) Sign                             (1) Sign
(2) Print the following:             (2) Print the following:
    (a) signer's name                   (a) name
    (b) signing date                    (b) signing date
    (c) state and city/borough       (3) date commission expires, and
                                      State and city/borough. Each
                                      notary signature attests to the
                                      following: ``I certify that I know
                                      or have satisfactory evidence that
                                      the person who is signed in the
                                      1st column of this same row is the
                                      person who appeared before me and:
                                      (1) Acknowledged his/her
                                      signature; (2) on oath, stated
                                      that he/she was authorized to
                                      sign; and (3) acknowledged that he/
                                      she did so freely and
                                      voluntarily.''
(1)                                  (1)
(2)(a)                               (2)(a)
(2)(b)                               (2)(b)
(2)(c)                               (3)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

      II. Southeast Revitalization Association signature Southeast 
                       Revitalization Association

 Dated:_________________________________________________________________

 By:____________________________________________________________________

Appendix C to Sec. 600.1107--Conditional Notice to CFEC and Request by 
                              Permit Holder

    In support of my Bid to the Southeast Revitalization Association 
(SRA), I have executed this Conditional Notice and request and authorize 
the Southeast Revitalization Association (SRA) to submit this executed 
document to the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) in 
the event that the SRA accepts my bid to permanently relinquish my 
Southeast Salmon Purse Seine Entry Permit under AS 16.43.150(i).
    I hereby notify the CFEC that the SRA has accepted my Bid to 
permanently relinquish my Southeast Salmon Purse Seine Entry Permit 
--------------.
    I request the CFEC: (1) not to renew my above-identified entry 
permit; and (2) not to authorize any transfer of my entry permit.
    DATED this ------ day of ---------- , 2011.
________________________________________________________________________

(Permit Holder/Bidder)
    SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO before me this ------ day of ---------- , 
2011.
________________________________________________________________________

Notary Public, State of ------------------

My commission expires: --------------

 Appendix D to Sec. 600.1107--Conditional Relinquishment of Southeast 
                     Salmon Purse Seine Entry Permit

                            [AS 16.43.150(i)]

    Upon satisfaction of the conditions that the Southeast 
Revitalization Association (SRA) accepts my bid and that NMFS agrees to 
pay my full bid amount to me, the SRA may submit this executed 
Conditional Relinquishment of Southeast Salmon Purse Seine Entry Permit 
to the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission.
    I fully understand this relinquishment of my permanent entry permit 
-------------- under AS 16.43.150(i) is permanent, and I will 
not be able to reinstate the permit.
    DATED this ------ day of ---------- , 2011.
________________________________________________________________________

(Permit Holder/Bidder)

    SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO before me this ------ day of ---------- , 
2011.
________________________________________________________________________

Notary Public, State of ------------------
My commission expires: --------------

[76 FR 61990, Oct. 6, 2011]



Sec. 600.1108  Longline catcher processor subsector of the Bering Sea and 

Aleutian Islands (BSAI) non-pollock groundfish fishery program.

    (a) Purpose. This section implements the capacity reduction program 
that Title II, section 219(e) of Public Law 108-447 established for the 
longline

[[Page 204]]

catcher processor subsector of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
(BSAI) non-pollock groundfish fishery.
    (b) Definitions. Unless otherwise defined in this section, the terms 
defined in Sec. 600.1000 of subpart L and Sec. 600.1105 of subpart M 
of this part expressly apply to this section. The following terms have 
the following meanings for the purpose of this section:
    Reduction fishery means the Hook & Line, Catcher Processor (Longline 
Subsector); sometimes referred to as the ``H&LCP Subsector) portion of 
the BSAI Pacific cod ITAC (in metric tons) set by the North Pacific 
Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) in December of each year multiplied 
by 2,205 (i.e., the rounded number of pounds in a metric ton)or the 
Longline Subsector of the BSAI non-pollock groundfish fishery that Sec. 
679.2 of this chapter defined as groundfish area/species endorsement.
    (c) Capacity Reduction Program. As a result of the completion of the 
Selection Process, written notification from the FLCC to NMFS 
identifying the selected offeror, and submission of the reduction plan, 
the capacity reduction program is implemented as follows:
    (1) Loan repayment--(i) Term. As authorized by section 219(B)(2) of 
the Appropriations Act, the capacity reduction loan (the Reduction Loan) 
shall be amortized over a thirty (30) year term. The Reduction Loan's 
original principal amount may not exceed the amount approved by the 
subsector. The subsector has currently approved a loan of two million 
seven hundred thousand dollars ($2,700,000). Subsector Members 
acknowledge that in the event payments made under the Reduction Plan are 
insufficient to repay the actual loan, the term of repayment shall be 
extended by NMFS until the loan is paid in full. Repayment calculations 
and records will be kept separately for each program.
    (ii) Interest. The Reduction Loan's interest rate will be the U.S. 
Treasury's cost of borrowing equivalent maturity funds plus 2 percent. 
NMFS will determine the Reduction Loan's initial interest rate when NMFS 
borrows from the U.S. Treasury the funds with which to disburse 
reduction payments. The initial interest rate will change to a final 
interest rate at the end of the Federal fiscal year in which NMFS 
borrows the funds from the U.S. Treasury. The final interest rate will 
be 2 percent plus a weighted average, throughout that fiscal year, of 
the U.S. Treasury's cost of borrowing equivalent maturity funds. The 
final interest rate will be fixed, and will not vary over the remainder 
of the reduction loan's 30-year term. The Reduction loan will be subject 
to a level debt amortization. There is no prepayment penalty.
    (iii) Fees. The Reduction Loan shall be repaid by fees collected 
from the Longline Subsector. The fee amount will be based upon: The 
principal and interest due over the next twelve months divided by the 
product of the Longline Subsector. In the event that the Longline 
Subsector portion for the ensuing year is not available, the Longline 
Subsector portion forecast from the preceding year will be used to 
calculate the fee.
    (A) The fee will be expressed in cents per pound rounded up to the 
next one-tenth of a cent. For example: If the principal and interest due 
equal $2,900,000 and the Longline Subsector portion equals 100,000 
metric tons, then the fee per round weight pound of Pacific cod will 
equal 1.4 cents per pound. [2,900,000/(100,000 x 2,205) = .01315]. The 
fee will be assessed and collected on Pacific cod to the extent possible 
and if not, will be assessed and collected as provided for in paragraph 
(c)(1)(iii)(B) of this section.
    (B) Fees must be assessed and collected on Pacific cod used for bait 
or discarded. Although the fee could be up to 5 percent of the ex-vessel 
production value of all post-reduction Longline Subsector landings, the 
fee will be less than 5 percent if NMFS projects that a lesser rate can 
amortize the fishery's reduction loan over the reduction loan's 30-year 
term. In the event that the total principal and interest due exceeds 5 
percent of the ex-vessel Pacific cod revenues, a standardized additional 
fee will be assessed. The additional fee shall be one cent per pound 
round weight, which is calculated based on the latest available revenue 
records and NMFS conversion factors for pollock, arrowtooth flounder, 
Greenland

[[Page 205]]

turbot, skate, yellowfin sole and rock sole.
    (C) To verify that the fees collected do not exceed 5 percent of the 
fishery revenues, the annual total of principal and interest due will be 
compared to the latest available annual Longline Subsector revenues. In 
the event that any of the components necessary to calculate the next 
year's fee are not available, or for any other reason NMFS believes the 
calculation must be postponed, the fee will remain at the previous 
year's amount until such a time that new calculations are made and 
communicated to the post-reduction fishery participants.
    (D) It is possible that the fishery may not open during some years 
and no Longline Subsector portion of the ITAC is granted. Consequently, 
the fishery will not produce fee revenue with which to service the 
reduction loan during those years. However, interest will continue to 
accrue on the principal balance. When this happens, if the fee rate is 
not already at the maximum 5 percent, NMFS will increase the fishery's 
fee rate to the maximum 5 percent of revenue for Pacific cod, apply all 
subsequent fee revenue first to the payment of accrued interest, and 
continue the maximum fee rates until all principal and interest payments 
become current. Once all principal and interest payments are current, 
NMFS will make a determination about adjusting the fee rate.
    (iv) Reduction loan. NMFS has promulgated framework regulations 
generally applicable to all fishing capacity reduction programs in 
subpart L of this part. The reduction loan shall be subject to the 
provisions of Sec. 600.1012, except that: the subsector members' 
obligation to repay the reduction loan shall be discharged by the owner 
of the Longline Subsector license regardless of which vessel catches 
fish under this license and regardless of who processes the fish in the 
reduction fishery in accordance with Sec. 600.1013. Longline Subsector 
license owners in the reduction fishery shall be obligated to collect 
the fee in accordance with Sec. 600.1013.
    (v) Collection. The LLP License holders of vessels harvesting in the 
post-capacity reduction plan Longline Subsector shall be responsible for 
self-collecting the repayment fees owed by the LLP License holder. Fees 
shall be submitted to NMFS monthly and shall be due no later than 
fifteen (15) calendar days following the end of each calendar month.
    (vi) Recordkeeping and reporting. The holder of the LLP Licenses on 
which vessels harvesting in the post-capacity reduction plan Longline 
Subsector is designated shall be responsible for compliance with the 
applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
    (2) Agreement with Secretary. The Selected Offeror shall complete 
and deliver to the FLCC for inclusion in the Reduction Plan submitted to 
NMFS, designee for the Secretary, a completed and fully executed 
Reduction Contract. The LLP License set forth on the Selected Offer 
shall be included as Reduction Fishing Interests in such Reduction 
Contract.
    (d) Decisions of the Auditor and the FLCC. Time was of the essence 
in developing and implementing a Reduction Plan and, accordingly, the 
Offeror is limited to, and bound by, the decisions of the Auditor and 
the FLCC.
    (1) The Auditor's examination of submitted applications, Offers, 
Prequalification Offers and Rankings was solely ministerial in nature. 
That is, the Auditor verified whether the documents submitted by 
Subsector Members were, on their face, consistent with each other and 
the Database, in compliance with the requirements set forth in the 
Reduction Agreement, and signed by an Authorized Party. The Auditor 
presumed the validity of all signatures on documents submitted. The 
Auditor made no substantive decisions as to compliance (e.g., whether an 
interim LLP License satisfies the requirements of the Act, or whether a 
discrepancy in the name appearing on LLP Licenses and other documents 
was material).
    (2) [Reserved]
    (e) Specific performance. The parties to the Reduction Agreement 
have agreed that the opportunity to develop and submit a capacity 
reduction program for the Longline Subsector under the terms of the 
Appropriations Act is both unique and finite and that failure of the 
Selected Offeror to perform the obligations provided by the Reduction

[[Page 206]]

Agreement will result in irreparable damage to the FLCC and the 
Subsector Members. Accordingly, the parties to the Reduction Agreement 
expressly acknowledge that money damages are an inadequate means of 
redress and agree that upon the failure of the Selected Offeror to 
fulfill their obligations under the Reduction Agreement that specific 
performance of those obligations may be obtained by suit in equity 
brought by the FLCC in any court of competent jurisdiction without 
obligation to arbitrate such action.
    (f) Miscellaneous--(1) Termination. The Reduction Agreement may be 
terminated at any time prior to approval of the Reduction Plan by NMFS, 
on behalf of the Secretary, by written notice from 50 percent of 
Subsector Members.
    (2) Choice of law/venue. The Reduction Agreement shall be construed 
and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington 
without regard to its choice of law provisions. The parties submit to 
the exclusive personal jurisdiction of the United States District Court 
located in Seattle, Washington, with respect to any litigation arising 
out of or relating to the Reduction Agreement or out of the performance 
of services hereunder.
    (3) Incorporation. All executed counterparts of the Reduction 
Agreement, Application Forms and Offers constitute the agreement between 
the parties with respect to the subject matter of the Reduction 
Agreement and are incorporated into the Reduction Agreement as if fully 
written.
    (4) Counterparts. The Reduction Agreement may be executed in 
multiple counterparts and will be effective as to signatories on the 
Effective Date. The Reduction Agreement may be executed in duplicate 
originals, each of which shall be deemed to be an original instrument. 
All such counterparts and duplicate originals together shall constitute 
the same agreement, whether or not all parties execute each counterpart.
    (i) The facsimile signature of any party to the Reduction Agreement 
shall constitute the duly authorized, irrevocable execution and delivery 
of the Reduction Agreement as fully as if the Reduction Agreement 
contained the original ink signatures of the party or parties supplying 
a facsimile signature.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (g) Amendment. All Subsector Members acknowledge that the Reduction 
Agreement, the Reduction Contract, and the Reduction Plan may be subject 
to amendment to conform to the requirements for approval of the 
Reduction Plan by NMFS on behalf of the Secretary. The Auditor shall 
distribute to each Subsector Member in electronic format the amended 
form of the Reduction Agreement, the Reduction Contract, and the 
Reduction Plan, which amended documents in the form distributed by the 
Auditor and identified by the Auditor by date and version, the version 
of each such document then in effect at the time of any dispute arising 
or action taken shall be deemed binding upon the parties with respect to 
such dispute and/or action.
    (h) Warranties. The Offeror must expressly warrant and represent in 
the Reduction Agreement that:
    (1) The Offeror has had an opportunity to consult with an attorney 
or other advisors with respect to the Reduction Agreement, the Reduction 
Contract, and the Act and the ramifications of the ratification of the 
Reduction Plan contemplated therein;
    (2) The Offeror has full understanding and appreciation of the 
ramifications of executing and delivering the Reduction Agreement and, 
free from coercion of any kind by the FLCC or any of its members, 
officers, agents and/or employees, executes and delivers the Reduction 
Agreement as the free and voluntary act of the Offeror;
    (3) The execution and delivery of the Reduction Agreement, does not 
and will not conflict with any provisions of the governing documents of 
the Offeror;
    (4) The person executing the Reduction Agreement has been duly 
authorized by the Offeror to execute and deliver the Reduction Agreement 
and to undertake and perform the actions contemplated herein; and
    (5) The Offeror has taken all actions necessary for the Reduction 
Agreement to constitute a valid and binding obligation, enforceable in 
accordance with its terms.

[[Page 207]]

    (i) Approval of the Reduction Plan. Acceptance of the Offer is at 
the sole discretion of NMFS on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. To 
be approved by NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, any Reduction Plan 
developed and submitted in accordance with this section and subpart M of 
this part must be found by the Assistant Administrator of NMFS, to:
    (1) Be consistent with the requirements of section 219(e) of the FY 
2005 Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 108-447);
    (2) Be consistent with the requirements of section 312(b) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 
1861(a)) except for the requirement that a Council or Governor of a 
State request such a program (as set out in section 312(b)(1)) and for 
the requirements of section 312(b)(4);
    (3) Contain provisions for a fee system that provides for full and 
timely repayment of the capacity reduction loan by the Longline 
Subsector and that it provide for the assessment of such fees;
    (4) Not require a bidding or auction process;
    (5) Result in the maximum sustained reduction in fishing capacity at 
the least cost and in the minimum amount of time; and
    (6) Permit vessels in the Longline Subsector to be upgraded to 
achieve efficiencies in fishing operations provided that such upgrades 
do not result in the vessel exceeding the applicable length, tonnage, or 
horsepower limitations set out in Federal law or regulation.
    (j) Referendum. The following provisions apply to the Reduction Plan 
of this section to the extent that they do not conflict with subpart L 
of this part including Sec. Sec. 600.1009, 600.1010, 600.1013, and 
600.1014 or 16 U.S.C. 1861a; except where the referendum is successful 
if a majority of all permit holders within the fishery vote in favor of 
the Reduction Program is accordance with 18 U.S.C. 1861a(d)(1)(B).
    (k)(1) Fee payment and collection system. Upon successful completion 
of the Referendum discussed above as authorized by Public Law 108-447 
and in accordance with 16 U.S.C. 1861a and Sec. 600.1012 this fee 
collection system establishes:
    (i) The subsector members' obligation to repay the reduction loan, 
and
    (ii) The loan's principal amount, interest rate, and repayment term; 
and
    (iii) In accordance with Sec. Sec. 600.1013 through 600.1016, 
implements an industry fee system for the reduction fishery.
    (2) Reduction loan amount. The reduction loan's original principal 
amount is $2,700,000.
    (3) Interest accrual from inception. Interest begins accruing on the 
reduction loan from the date which NMFS disburses such loan.
    (4) Interest rate. The reduction loan's interest rate shall be the 
applicable rate which the U.S. Treasury determines at the end of fiscal 
year in which loan is disbursed plus 2 percent.
    (5) Repayment terms. For the purpose of determining fee rates, the 
reduction loan's repayment term is 30 years from the date NMFS disburses 
the loan. However, fee collections shall continue indefinitely until the 
loan is fully repaid.
    (6) Reduction loan repayment. The subsector members shall repay the 
reduction loan in accordance with Sec. 600.1012. Both fish buyers and 
fish sellers are considered subsector members for purposes of fee 
collection, deposit, disbursement, and accounting in accordance with 
Sec. 600.1013.
    (i) Subsector members in the reduction fishery shall collect and pay 
the fee amount in accordance with Sec. 600.1105;
    (ii) Subsector members in the reduction fishery shall deposit and 
disburse, as well as keep records for and submit reports about, the 
applicable fees in accordance with Sec. 600.1014, except the 
requirements under paragraphs (c) and (e) of this section. All collected 
fee revenue a fish buyer collects to repay the loan identified in 
paragraph (c) of this section shall be made to NMFS no later than 
fifteen (15) calendar days following the end of each calendar month. The 
annual reports identified in paragraph (e) of this section shall be 
submitted to NMFS by February 1 of each calendar year.

[[Page 208]]

    (iii) The reduction loan is, in all other respects, subject to the 
provisions of Sec. Sec. 600.1012 through 600.1017.
    (l) Enforcement for failure to pay fees. The provisions and 
requirements of Sec. 600.1016 (Enforcement) shall also apply to fish 
sellers and fish buyers subject to this fishery.

[77 FR 58779, Sept. 24, 2012]



                         Subpart N_Shark Finning

    Source: 67 FR 6200, Feb. 11, 2002, unless otherwise noted. 
Redesignated at 69 FR 53361, Sept. 1, 2004.



Sec. 600.1200  Purpose and scope.

    The regulations in this subpart govern ``shark finning'' (the 
removal of shark fins and discarding of the carcass), the possession of 
shark fins, and the landing into U.S. ports of shark fins without 
corresponding carcasses under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. 
They implement the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000.



Sec. 600.1201  Relation to other laws.

    (a) The relation of this subpart to other laws is set forth in 
Sec. Sec. 600.514 and 600.705 and in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this 
section.
    (b) Regulations pertaining to shark conservation and management for 
certain shark fisheries are also set forth in this subpart and in parts 
635 (for Federal Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean shark 
fisheries), 648 (for spiny dogfish fisheries), and 660 (for fisheries 
off West Coast states and in the western Pacific) of this chapter 
governing those fisheries.
    (c) Nothing in this regulation supercedes more restrictive state 
laws or regulations regarding shark finning in state waters.
    (d) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued an 
Atlantic Federal commercial shark limited access permit or a spiny 
dogfish permit is subject to the reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements found at parts 635 and 648 of this chapter, respectively.



Sec. 600.1202  Definitions.

    (a) In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-Stevens Act and 
in Sec. 600.10, the terms used in this subpart have the following 
meanings:
    Land or landing means offloading fish, or causing fish to be 
offloaded, from a fishing vessel, either to another vessel or to a 
shoreside location or facility, or arriving in port, or at a dock, 
berth, beach, seawall, or ramp to begin offloading fish.
    Shark finning means taking a shark, removing a fin or fins (whether 
or not including the tail), and returning the remainder of the shark to 
the sea.
    (b) If there is any difference between a definition in this section 
and in Sec. 600.10, the definition in this section is the operative 
definition for the purposes of this subpart.



Sec. 600.1203  Prohibitions.

    (a) In addition to the prohibitions in Sec. Sec. 600.505 and 
600.725, it is unlawful for any person to do, or attempt to do, any of 
the following:
    (1) Engage in shark finning, as provided in Sec. 600.1204(a) and 
(i).
    (2) Possess shark fins without the corresponding carcasses while on 
board a U.S. fishing vessel, as provided in Sec. 600.1204(b) and (j).
    (3) Land shark fins without the corresponding carcasses, as provided 
in Sec. 600.1204(c) and (k).
    (4) Fail to have all shark fins and carcasses from a U.S. or foreign 
fishing vessel landed at one time and weighed at the time of the 
landing, as provided in Sec. 600.1204(d).
    (5) Possess, purchase, offer to sell, or sell shark fins taken, 
landed, or possessed in violation of this section, as provided in Sec. 
600.1204(e) and (l).
    (6) When requested, fail to allow an authorized officer or any 
employee of NMFS designated by a Regional Administrator access to and/or 
inspection or copying of any records pertaining to the landing, sale, 
purchase, or other disposition of shark fins and/or shark carcasses, as 
provided in Sec. 600.1204(f).
    (7) Fail to have shark fins and carcasses recorded as specified in 
Sec. 635.30(c)(3) of this chapter.
    (8) Fail to have all shark carcasses and fins landed and weighed at 
the same time if landed in an Atlantic coastal port, and to have all 
weights recorded on the weighout slips specified in Sec. 635.5(a)(2) of 
this chapter.

[[Page 209]]

    (9) Fail to maintain a shark in the form specified in Sec. Sec. 
600.1204(h) and 635.30(c) of this chapter.
    (b)(1) For purposes of this section, it is a rebuttable presumption 
that shark fins landed by a U.S. or foreign fishing vessel were taken, 
held, or landed in violation of this section if the total weight of the 
shark fins landed exceeds 5 percent of the total dressed weight of shark 
carcasses on board or landed from the fishing vessel.
    (2) For purposes of this section, it is a rebuttable presumption 
that shark fins possessed by a U.S. fishing vessel were taken and held 
in violation of this section if the total weight of the shark fins on 
board, or landed, exceeds 5 percent of the total dressed weight of shark 
carcasses on board or landed from the fishing vessel.

[67 FR 6200, Feb. 11, 2002. Redesignated at 69 FR 53361, Sept. 1, 2004, 
as amended at 73 FR 40707, July 15, 2008]



Sec. 600.1204  Shark finning; possession at sea and landing of shark fins.

    (a)(1) No person aboard a U.S. fishing vessel shall engage in shark 
finning in waters seaward of the inner boundary of the U.S. EEZ.
    (2) No person aboard a foreign fishing vessel shall engage in shark 
finning in waters shoreward of the outer boundary of the U.S. EEZ.
    (b) No person aboard a U.S. fishing vessel shall possess on board 
shark fins harvested seaward of the inner boundary of the U.S. EEZ 
without the corresponding carcass(es), as may be determined by the 
weight of the shark fins in accordance with Sec. 600.1203(b)(2), except 
that sharks may be dressed at sea.
    (c) No person aboard a U.S. or foreign fishing vessel (including any 
cargo vessel that received shark fins from a fishing vessel at sea) 
shall land shark fins harvested in waters seaward of the inner boundary 
of the U.S. EEZ without corresponding shark carcasses, as may be 
determined by the weight of the shark fins in accordance with Sec. 
600.1203(b)(1).
    (d) Except as provided in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this section, a 
person who operates a U.S. or foreign fishing vessel and who lands shark 
fins harvested in waters seaward of the inner boundary of the U.S. EEZ 
shall land all fins and corresponding carcasses from the vessel at the 
same point of landing and shall have all fins and carcasses weighed at 
that time.
    (e) A person may not purchase, offer to sell, or sell shark fins 
taken, landed, or possessed in violation of this section.
    (f) Upon request, a person who owns or operates a vessel or a dealer 
shall allow an authorized officer or any employee of NMFS designated by 
a Regional Administrator access to, and/or inspection or copying of, any 
records pertaining to the landing, sale, purchase, or other disposition 
of shark fins and/or shark carcasses.
    (g) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a 
Federal Atlantic commercial shark permit and who lands shark in an 
Atlantic coastal port must have all fins weighed in conjunction with the 
weighing of the carcasses at the vessel's first point of landing. Such 
weights must be recorded on the ``weighout slips'' specified in Sec. 
635.5(a)(2) of this chapter.
    (h) A person who owns or operates a vessel that has been issued a 
Federal Atlantic commercial shark permit and who lands shark in or from 
the U.S. EEZ in an Atlantic coastal port must comply with regulations 
found at Sec. 635.30(c) of this chapter.
    (i) No person aboard a vessel that has been issued a Federal 
Atlantic commercial shark permit shall engage in shark finning.
    (j) No person aboard a vessel that has been issued a Federal 
Atlantic commercial shark permit shall possess on board shark fins 
without the fins being naturally attached to the corresponding 
carcass(es), although sharks may be dressed at sea.
    (k) No person aboard a vessel that has been issued a Federal 
Atlantic commercial shark permit shall land shark fins without the fins 
being naturally attached to the corresponding carcass(es).
    (l) A dealer may not purchase shark fins, from an owner or operator 
of a fishing vessel issued a Federal Atlantic commercial shark permit 
who lands shark in an Atlantic coastal port, unless such fins were 
naturally attached to the corresponding carcass at the

[[Page 210]]

time of landing and their combined wet weight is less than 5 percent of 
the dressed weight of the corresponding carcass(es).

[67 FR 6200, Feb. 11, 2002. Redesignated at 69 FR 53361, Sept. 1, 2004, 
as amended at 73 FR 40707, July 15, 2008; 75 FR 30524, June 1, 2010]



               Subpart O_Limited Access Privilege Programs

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

    Source: 73 FR 75973, Dec. 15, 2008, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. Sec. 600.1300-600.1309  [Reserved]



Sec. 600.1310  New England and Gulf of Mexico Individual Fishing Quota 

Referenda.

    (a) Purpose and scope. This section establishes procedures and 
guidelines for referenda to be conducted on Individual Fishing Quota 
(IFQ) program proposals developed by the New England Fishery Management 
Council (NEFMC) and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council 
(GMFMC). These procedures and guidelines also apply to IFQ program 
proposals developed by NMFS for fisheries under the jurisdiction of the 
NEFMC or GMFMC, except for certain provisions that only apply to a 
fishery management council. This section provides guidance on developing 
voter eligibility and vote weighting, and establishes general procedures 
to ensure referenda are conducted in a fair and equitable manner.
    (b) Initiating IFQ referenda. (1) The NEFMC and the GMFMC shall not 
submit, and the Secretary shall not approve, an FMP or FMP amendment 
that would create an IFQ program until the IFQ program proposal, as 
ultimately developed, has been approved by a referendum of eligible 
voters. Paragraph (h) of this section provides criteria for determining 
the outcome of IFQ referenda.
    (2) To initiate a referendum on a proposed IFQ program:
    (i) The relevant Council must have held public hearings on the FMP 
or FMP amendment in which the IFQ program is proposed;
    (ii) The relevant Council must have considered public comments on 
the proposed IFQ program;
    (iii) The relevant Council must have selected preferred alternatives 
for the proposed IFQ program;
    (iv) The chair of the Council with jurisdiction over such proposed 
IFQ fishery must request a referendum on the proposed IFQ program in a 
letter to the appropriate NMFS Regional Administrator;
    (v) The letter requesting initiation of a referendum must recommend 
voter eligibility criteria that are consistent with the applicable 
requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section and may also include 
recommended criteria for vote weighting. The letter must provide the 
rationale supporting the Council's recommendation, as well as such 
additional information and analyses as needed, consistent with 
applicable law and provisions of this section. If a Council recommends 
vote weighting criteria, the letter should fully describe the rationale 
for and the expected effects of such weighting on the referendum;
    (vi) NEFMC referenda initiation letters must: recommend criteria 
that are consistent with paragraph (c)(2)(iii) of this section for NMFS 
to use in determining the eligibility of other fishery participants to 
vote in the referendum; include the minimum percentage of a crew 
member's total income that must have been earned during the eligibility 
periods in the proposed IFQ fishery as discussed in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) 
of this section; and include criteria for ``referendum eligible 
vessels'' as described in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section; and
    (vii) GMFMC letters initiating referenda of multispecies permit 
holders in the Gulf of Mexico must include recommended criteria to be 
used in identifying those permit holders who have substantially fished 
the species to be included in the proposed IFQ program, along with 
alternatives to the recommendation, and supporting analyses. Guidelines 
for developing such recommendations are provided at paragraph (c)(3) of 
this section.
    (3) Following a referendum that has failed to approve the IFQ 
proposal, any request from a Council for a new referendum in the same 
fishery must include an explanation of the substantive changes to the 
proposed IFQ program

[[Page 211]]

or the changes of circumstances in the fishery that would warrant 
initiation of an additional referendum.
    (c) Referenda voter eligibility--(1) Permit holders and other 
fishery participants. (i) To be eligible to vote in IFQ referenda, 
permit holders and other fishery participants must meet voter 
eligibility criteria.
    (ii) Holders of multispecies permits in the Gulf of Mexico must have 
substantially fished the species proposed to be included in the IFQ 
program to be eligible to vote in a referendum on the proposed program.
    (iii) When developing eligibility criteria for permit holders in an 
IFQ program referendum, the relevant Council or Secretary must consider, 
but is not limited to considering:
    (A) The full range of entities likely to be eligible to receive 
initial quota allocation under the proposed IFQ program;
    (B) Current and historical harvest and participation in the fishery; 
and
    (C) Other factors as may be determined by the Council with 
jurisdiction over the fishery for which an IFQ program is proposed to be 
relevant to the fishery and to the proposed IFQ program.
    (2) Crew member eligibility in NEFMC IFQ referenda. (i) For the 
purposes of this section, ``referendum-eligible vessel'' means a vessel, 
the permit holder or owner of which has been determined to be eligible 
to vote in the referendum on the basis of such vessel's history or other 
characteristics.
    (ii) To be eligible to vote in an NEFMC IFQ referendum, crew members 
must meet the following requirements:
    (A) The crew member must have worked aboard a referendum-eligible 
vessel at sea, during the qualifying period(s), while the vessel was 
engaged in fishing;
    (B) If requested, the crew member must produce documentary proof of 
employment or service as a crew member and income during the qualifying 
periods. Documents that may be required include, but are not limited to, 
signed crew contracts, records of payment, settlement sheets, income tax 
records, a signed statement from the permit holder, and other 
documentary evidence of the period of employment and the vessel upon 
which the crew member worked;
    (C) During the qualifying period(s), the crew member must have 
derived a percentage of his/her total income from the fishery under the 
proposed IFQ program that is equal to or greater than the percentage 
determined to be significant relative to the economic value and 
employment practices of the fishery; and
    (D) Any additional eligibility criteria promulgated by the NMFS.
    (iii) When developing criteria for determining whether other fishery 
participants, including crew members, may participate in a NEFMC IFQ 
referendum, the Council or Secretary must consider, but is not limited 
to considering:
    (A) The full range of entities likely to be eligible to receive 
initial quota under the proposed IFQ program;
    (B) A crew member's current and historical participation in the 
fishery aboard a referendum-eligible vessel;
    (C) The economic value of the proposed IFQ fishery, employment 
practices in the proposed IFQ fishery, and other economic and social 
factors that would bear on a determination of what percentage of a crew 
member's total income from the fishery should be considered significant 
for the purposes of this section;
    (D) The availability of documentary proof of employment and income 
to validate eligibility; and
    (E) Any other factors as may be determined by the Council to be 
relevant to the fishery and the proposed IFQ program.
    (3) GMFMC's substantially fished criterion. When developing criteria 
for identifying those multispecies permit holders who have substantially 
fished the species to be included in the IFQ program proposal, the 
Council or Secretary must consider, but is not limited to considering:
    (i) Current and historical harvest and participation in the fishery;
    (ii) The economic value of and employment practices in the fishery; 
and
    (iii) Any other factors determined by the Council with jurisdiction 
over the fishery for which an IFQ program is

[[Page 212]]

proposed to be relevant to the fishery and the proposed IFQ program.
    (d) Council-recommended criteria under paragraph (c) of this section 
may include, but are not limited to, levels of participation or reliance 
on the fishery as represented by landings, sales, expenditures, or other 
considerations. A Council may also apply the same criteria for weighting 
eligible referendum votes.
    (e) Actions by NMFS: Review of Council referendum criteria and 
Secretarial IFQ plans. (1) NMFS shall determine whether Council 
recommended referendum criteria will provide for a fair and equitable 
referendum and will be consistent with national standards and other 
provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable legal 
standards. The Secretary's considerations shall include, but shall not 
be limited to:
    (i) Whether the criteria are rationally connected to or further the 
objectives of the proposed IFQ program;
    (ii) Whether the criteria are designed in such a way to prevent any 
person or single entity from obtaining an excessive share of voting 
privileges;
    (iii) Whether the criteria are reasonable relative to the 
availability of documentary evidence and the possibility of validating a 
participant's eligibility; and
    (iv) Whether the referendum can be administered and executed in a 
fair and equitable manner, in a reasonable time, and without subjecting 
industry members, the Council, or NMFS to administrative burdens, costs 
or other requirements that would be considered onerous.
    (2) If NMFS determines that referendum criteria would not provide 
for a fair and equitable referendum; would not be consistent with 
national standards and other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and 
other applicable legal standards; or, in the case of a referendum 
request subsequent to a failed referendum in the same fishery, that the 
Council has not substantively amended the IFQ proposal or circumstances 
have not changed sufficiently to warrant initiation of a new referendum, 
NMFS shall inform the Council of the Agency's decision to deny the 
referendum request and of the reasons for the decision.
    (3) If NMFS determines that referendum criteria would provide for a 
fair and equitable referendum and would be consistent with national 
standards and other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other 
applicable legal standards; then NMFS shall conduct the referendum in 
accordance with procedures and guidelines provided in paragraph (f) of 
this section.
    (4) In accordance with paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section, 
NMFS may initiate a referendum and promulgate referendum criteria for 
any IFQ program proposal advanced through a Secretarial fishery 
management plan (FMP) or FMP amendment under the authority of section 
304(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act for a New England or Gulf of Mexico 
fishery. Such criteria must provide for a fair and equitable referendum 
and NMFS shall conduct the referendum in accordance with procedures and 
guidelines provided in paragraph (f) of this section.
    (f) Conducting IFQ referenda. (1) NMFS shall promulgate specific 
referenda procedural requirements, voter eligibility requirements, and 
any vote weighting criteria through appropriate rulemaking.
    (i) Proposed rule. A proposed rule shall seek public comment on the 
specific schedule, procedures, and other requirements for the referendum 
process.
    (A) For NEFMC IFQ program referenda, the proposed rule shall 
establish procedures for documenting or certifying that other fishery 
participants, including crew members, meet the proposed voter 
eligibility criteria.
    (B) For GMFMC IFQ program referenda for multispecies permit holders, 
the proposed rule shall include criteria to be used in identifying those 
permit holders who have substantially fished the species that are the 
subject of the proposed IFQ program.
    (ii) Final rule. (A) If NMFS decides to proceed with the referendum 
after reviewing public comments, NMFS shall publish implementing 
regulations through a final rule in the Federal Register as soon as 
practicable after the Council determines the IFQ program proposal and 
supporting analyses are complete and ready for Secretarial

[[Page 213]]

review. Otherwise, NMFS shall publish a notice in the Federal Register 
to inform the Council and the public of its decision not to conduct the 
referendum, as proposed, including reasons for the Agency's decision.
    (B) Upon implementation of the referendum through a final rule, NMFS 
shall provide eligible voters referenda ballots and shall make available 
information about the schedule, procedures, and eligibility requirements 
for the referendum process and the proposed IFQ program.
    (2) NMFS shall notify the public in the region of the subject 
fishery of the referendum eligibility criteria.
    (3) Individuals who wish to vote as other fishery participants in a 
NEFMC IFQ referendum, based on criteria established by the NEFMC under 
(c)(2), must contact NMFS and produce all required documentation and 
certifications to receive a ballot. NMFS shall provide sufficient time 
in the referendum process to allow for crew members to request, receive, 
and submit referendum ballots.
    (g) Referenda ballots. (1) Ballots shall be composed such that 
voters will indicate approval or disapproval of the preferred IFQ 
program proposal.
    (2) NMFS may require voters to self-certify on referenda ballots 
that they meet voter eligibility criteria. To be considered valid, 
ballots must be signed by the eligible voter.
    (3) Referenda ballots shall be numbered serially or otherwise 
designed to guard against submission of duplicate ballots.
    (4) If votes are weighted, the value of weighted votes shall be 
indicated on the ballot. The weighted vote must be cast as a single 
unit. Its value may not be split. The full value must be applied to the 
selection made on the ballot.
    (5) NMFS shall allow at least 30 days for eligible voters to receive 
and return their ballots and shall specify a deadline by which ballots 
must be received. Ballots received after the deadline shall not be 
considered valid.
    (h) Determining the outcome of an IFQ referendum. (1) NMFS shall 
tally and announce the results of the referendum within 90 days of the 
deadline by which completed ballots must be received. NMFS may declare a 
referendum invalid if the Agency can demonstrate the referendum was not 
conducted in accordance with the procedures established in the final 
rule implementing the referendum.
    (2) A NEFMC IFQ program referendum shall be considered approved only 
if more than \2/3\ of the votes submitted on valid ballots are in favor 
of the referendum question.
    (3) A GMFMC IFQ program referendum shall be considered approved only 
if a majority of the votes submitted on valid ballots are in favor of 
the referendum question.
    (i) Council actions. (1) If NMFS notifies a Council that an IFQ 
program proposal has been approved through a referendum, then the 
Council may submit the associated FMP or FMP amendment for Secretarial 
review and implementation.
    (2) Any changes that would modify an IFQ program proposal that was 
reviewed by referenda voters may invalidate the results of the 
referendum and require the modified program proposal to be approved 
through a new referendum before it can be submitted to the Secretary for 
review and implementation.
    (3) If NMFS notifies a Council that an IFQ referendum has failed, 
then the Council may modify its IFQ program proposal and request a new 
referendum pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section.



      Subpart P_Marine Recreational Fisheries of the United States

    Source: 73 FR 79717, Dec. 30, 2008, unless otherwise noted.



Sec. 600.1400  Definitions.

    In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and in Sec. 
600.10 of this title, the terms used in this subpart have the following 
meanings. For purposes of this subpart, if applicable, the terms used in 
this subpart supersede those used in Sec. 600.10.
    Anadromous species means the following:

American shad: Alosa sapidissima
Blueback herring: Alosa aestivalus
Alewife: Alosa pseudoharengus

[[Page 214]]

Hickory shad: Alosa mediocris
Alabama shad: Alosa alabamae
Striped bass: Morone saxatilis
Rainbow smelt: Osmerus mordax
Atlantic salmon: Salmo salar
Chinook, or king, salmon:
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Coho, or silver, salmon: Oncorhynchus kisutch
Pink salmon: Oncorhynchus gorbuscha
Sockeye salmon: Oncorhynchus nerka
Chum salmon: Oncorhynchus keta
Steelhead: Oncorhynchus mykiss
Coastal cutthroat trout: Oncorhynchus clarki clarki
Eulachon or candlefish: Thaleichthys pacificus
Dolly varden: Salvelinus malma
Sheefish or inconnu: Stenodus leucichthys
Atlantic sturgeon: Acipenser oxyrhynchus oxyrhynchus
Shortnose sturgeon: Acipenser brevirostrum
Gulf sturgeon: Acipenser oxyrhynchus desotoi
White sturgeon: Acipenser transmontanus
Green sturgeon: Acipenser medirostris

    Angler means a person who is angling (see 50 CFR 600.10) in tidal 
waters.
    Authorized officer has the same meaning as in 50 CFR 600.10.
    Combination license means either:
    (1) A single state fishing license that permits fishing in fresh 
waters and tidal waters at one price; or
    (2) A single state license that permits a group of fishing and 
hunting activities, including fishing in tidal waters, at a price that 
is less than the sum of the cost of the individual licenses.
    Commercial fishing has the same meaning as in 16 U.S.C. 1802.
    Continental shelf fishery resources has the same meaning as in 16 
U.S.C. 1802.
    Exempted state means a state that has been designated as an exempted 
state by NMFS pursuant to Sec. 600.1415.
    For-hire fishing vessel means a vessel on which passengers are 
carried to engage in angling or spear fishing, from whom a consideration 
is contributed as a condition of such carriage, whether directly or 
indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent or any other 
person having an interest in the vessel.
    Indigenous people means persons who are documented members of a 
federally recognized tribe or Alaskan Native Corporation or persons who 
reside in the western Pacific who are descended from the aboriginal 
people indigenous to the region who conducted commercial or subsistence 
fishing using traditional fishing methods, including angling.
    Spearfishing means fishing for, attempting to fish for, catching or 
attempting to catch fish in tidal waters by any person with a spear or a 
powerhead (see 50 CFR 600.10).
    State has the same meaning as in 16 U.S.C. 1802.
    Tidal waters means waters that lie below mean high water and seaward 
of the first upstream obstruction or barrier to tidal action and that 
are subject to the ebb and flow of the astronomical tides under ordinary 
conditions.

[77 FR 42191, July 18, 2012]



Sec. 600.1405  Angler registration.

    (a) Effective January 1, 2010, the requirements of this section 
apply to any person who does any of the following:
    (1) Engages in angling or spearfishing for:
    (i) Fish in the EEZ;
    (ii) Anadromous species in any tidal waters; or
    (iii) Continental Shelf fishery resources beyond the EEZ.
    (2) Operates a for-hire fishing vessel in the EEZ.
    (3) Operates a for-hire fishing vessel that engages in angling or 
spearfishing for:
    (i) Anadromous species in any tidal waters; or
    (ii) Continental shelf fishery resources beyond the EEZ.
    (4) Possesses equipment used for angling or spearfishing and also 
possesses:
    (i) Fish in the EEZ;
    (ii) Anadromous species in any tidal waters; or
    (iii) Continental shelf fishery resources beyond the EEZ.
    (b) No person may engage in the activities listed in paragraph (a) 
of this section unless that person:
    (1) Has registered annually with NMFS in accordance with Sec. 
600.1410 of this part;
    (2) Holds a valid fishing license issued by, or is registered by, an 
exempted state;
    (3) Is a resident of an exempted state, but is not required to hold 
a fishing license, or to be registered to fish, under the laws of that 
state;

[[Page 215]]

    (4) Holds a permit issued by NMFS for for-hire fishing under 50 CFR 
622.4(a)(1), 635.4(b), 648.4(a), or 660.707(a)(1);
    (5) Is under the age of 16;
    (6) Is angling aboard a for-hire fishing vessel that is in 
compliance with NMFS and state for-hire vessel permit, license or 
registration requirements;
    (7) Holds a commercial fishing license or permit issued by NMFS or a 
state and is lawfully fishing or in possession of fish taken under the 
terms and conditions of such license or permit;
    (8) Holds an HMS Angling permit under 50 CFR 635.4(c) or a MHI Non-
commercial Bottomfish permit under 50 CFR 665.203(a)(2);
    (9) Holds a subsistence fishing license or permit issued by NMFS or 
a state and is lawfully fishing or in possession of fish taken under the 
terms and conditions of such license or permit; or
    (10) Is angling or spearfishing for, or operating a for-hire fishing 
vessel that engages in fishing for, anadromous species or Continental 
Shelf fishery resources, in waters under the control of a foreign 
nation.
    (c) Any angler or spear fisher or operator of a for-hire vessel 
must, on request of an authorized officer, produce the NMFS registration 
number and certificate or evidence that such person or for-hire vessel 
operator is exempt from the registration requirement pursuant to Sec. 
600.1405(b)(2) through Sec. 600.1405(b)(10).

[73 FR 79717, Dec. 30, 2008, as amended at 77 FR 42191, July 18, 2012]



Sec. 600.1410  Registry process.

    (a) A person may register through the NMFS web site at 
www.nmfs.noaa.gov or by calling a toll-free telephone number available 
by contacting NMFS or at the NMFS website.
    (b) Individuals must submit their name; address; telephone number; 
date of birth; region(s) of the country in which they intend to fish in 
the upcoming year; and additional information necessary for the issuance 
or administration of the registration.
    (c) To register a for-hire fishing vessel, the vessel owner or 
operator must submit vessel owner name, address, date of birth, and 
telephone number; vessel operator (if different) name, address, date of 
birth and telephone number; vessel name; vessel's state registration or 
U.S. Coast Guard documentation number; home port or principal area of 
operation; and additional information necessary for the issuance or 
administration of the registration.
    (d) NMFS will issue a registration number and certificate to 
registrants. A registration number and certificate will be valid for one 
year from the date on which it is issued.
    (e) It shall be unlawful for any person to submit false, inaccurate 
or misleading information in connection with any registration request.
    (f) Fees. Effective January 1, 2011, persons registering with NMFS 
must pay an annual fee. The annual schedule for such fees will be 
published in the Federal Register. Indigenous people engaging in angling 
or spear fishing must register, but are not required to pay a fee.



Sec. 600.1415  Procedures for designating exempted states-general provisions.

    (a) States with an exempted state designation must:
    (1) Submit state angler and for-hire vessel license holder data to 
NMFS for inclusion in a national or regional registry database; or
    (2) Participate in regional surveys of recreational catch and effort 
and make the data from those surveys available to NMFS.
    (b) Process for getting an exempted state designation:
    (1) To apply for exempted state designation, a state must submit:
    (i) A complete description of the data it intends to submit to NMFS;
    (ii) An assessment of how the data conforms to the requirements of 
Sec. Sec. 600.1416 or 600. 1417;
    (iii) A description of the database in which the data exists and 
will be transmitted; and
    (iv) The proposed process, schedule and frequency of submission of 
the data.
    (2) If NMFS determines the submitted material meets the requirements 
of Sec. Sec. 600.1416 or 600.1417, NMFS will initiate negotiations with 
the state on a Memorandum of Agreement.

[[Page 216]]

The Memorandum of Agreement must include the terms and conditions of the 
data-sharing program. The Memorandum of Agreement and state designation 
may be limited to data-sharing related to only anglers or only for-hire 
fishing vessels.
    (3) Following execution of a Memorandum of Agreement, NMFS will 
publish a notice of the exempted state designation in the Federal 
Register.



Sec. 600.1416  Requirements for exempted state designation based on submission 

of state license holder data.

    (a) A state must annually update and submit to NMFS, in a format 
consistent with NMFS guidelines, the name, address and, to the extent 
available in the state's database, telephone number and date of birth, 
of all persons and for-hire vessel operators, and the name and state 
registration number or U.S. Coast Guard documentation number of for-hire 
vessels that are licensed to fish, or are registered as fishing, in the 
EEZ, in the tidal waters of the state, or for anadromous species. The 
Memorandum of Agreement developed in accordance with Sec. 
600.1415(b)(2) will specify the timetable for a state to compile and 
submit complete information telephone numbers and dates of birth for its 
license holders/registrants. The waters of the state for which such 
license-holder data must be submitted will be specified in the 
Memorandum of Agreement.
    (b) A state is eligible to be designated as an exempted state even 
if its licensing program excludes anglers who are:
    (1) Under 17 years of age;
    (2) Over age 59 (see Sec. 600.1416(d)(1));
    (3) Customers on licensed for-hire vessels;
    (4) Customers on state-licensed fishing piers, provided that the 
pier license holder provides to the state complete angler contact 
information or angler effort information for users of the pier;
    (5) On active military duty while on furlough; or
    (6) Disabled or a disabled Veteran as defined by the state.
    (7) Fishing on days designated as ``free fishing days'' by states. 
``Free fishing days'' means fishing promotion programs by which states 
allow new anglers to fish for a specified day without a license or 
registration.
    (c) Unless the state can demonstrate that a given category of 
anglers is so small it has no significant probability of biasing 
estimates of fishing effort if these anglers are not included in a 
representative sample, a state may not be designated as an exempted 
state if its licensing or registration program excludes anglers in any 
category other than those listed in paragraph (b) of this section.
    (d) Required enhancements to exempted state license-holder data. An 
exempted state must submit the following angler identification data by 
Jan. 1, 2012, or within two years of the effective date of the 
Memorandum of Agreement, whichever is later, and thereafter in 
accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement. States that provide NMFS 
with notice that they are required to enact legislation or to enter into 
formal memoranda of agreement or contracts with other state agencies to 
comply with this requirement must submit the data within three years of 
the effective date of the Memorandum of Agreement:
    (1) Name, address and telephone number, updated annually, of 
excluded anglers over age 59, unless the state can demonstrate that the 
number of anglers excluded from the license or registration requirement 
based on having a date of birth before June 1, 1940 is so small it has 
no significant probability of biasing estimates of fishing effort if 
these anglers are not included in a representative sample;
    (2) Name, address and telephone number, updated annually, of holders 
of state lifetime and multi-year licenses;
    (3) Name, address and telephone number of state combination license 
holders who fished in tidal waters in the prior year, or who intend to 
fish in tidal waters. The Memorandum of Agreement will define the 
boundaries of the state's tidal waters for this purpose.

[73 FR 79717, Dec. 30, 2008, as amended at 77 FR 42191, July 18, 2012]

[[Page 217]]



Sec. 600.1417  Requirements for exempted state designation based on submission 

of recreational survey data.

    (a) To be designated as an exempted state based on the state's 
participation in a regional survey of marine and anadromous recreational 
fishing catch and effort, a state may submit to NMFS a proposal that 
fully describes the state's participation in a qualifying regional 
survey, and the survey's sample design, data collection and 
availability.
    (b) A qualifying regional survey must:
    (1) Include all of the states within each region as follows:
    (i) Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, 
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida (Atlantic coast);
    (ii) Florida (Gulf of Mexico coast), Alabama, Mississippi, 
Louisiana, and Texas;
    (iii) Puerto Rico;
    (iv) U.S. Virgin Islands;
    (v) California, Oregon and Washington;
    (vi) Alaska;
    (vii) Hawaii; or
    (viii) American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands.
    (2) Utilize angler registry data, or direct field counts to obtain 
angler effort, or other appropriate statistical means to obtain fishing 
effort;
    (3) Utilize angler registry data to identify individuals to be 
surveyed by telephone, mail or Internet if such regional survey includes 
a telephone survey component; and
    (4) Meet NMFS survey design and data collection standards.

[73 FR 79717, Dec. 30, 2008, as amended at 77 FR 42192, July 18, 2012]



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

of Contents



                      Subpart A_General Provisions

Sec.
622.1 Purpose and scope.
622.2 Definitions and acronyms.
622.3 Relation to other laws and regulations.
622.4 Permits and fees--general.
622.5 Recordkeeping and reporting--general.
622.6 Vessel identification.
622.7 Fishing years.
622.8 Quotas--general.
622.9 Prohibited gear and methods--general.
622.10 Landing fish intact---general.
622.11 Bag and possession limits--general applicability.
622.12 Annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for 
          Caribbean island management areas/Caribbean EEZ.
622.13 Prohibitions--general.
622.14 Area closures related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
622.15 Notice regarding area closures to protect corals.
622.16 Notice regarding South Atlantic special management zones (SMZs).
622.17 Notice regarding seasonal/area closures to protect Gulf reef 
          fish.

           Subpart B_Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico

622.20 Permits and endorsements.
622.21 Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf red snapper.
622.22 Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf groupers and 
          tilefishes.
622.23-622.24 [Reserved]
622.25 Exemptions for the Gulf groundfish trawl fishery.
622.26 Recordkeeping and reporting.
622.27 At-sea observer coverage.
622.28 Vessel monitoring systems (VMSs).
622.29 Conservation measures for protected resources.
622.30 Required fishing gear.
622.31 Buoy gear identification.
622.32 Prohibited gear and methods.
622.33 Prohibited species.
622.34 Seasonal and area closures designed to protect Gulf reef fish.
622.35 Gear restricted areas.
622.36 Seasonal harvest limitations.
622.37 Size limits.
622.38 Bag and possession limits.
622.39 Quotas.
622.40 Restrictions on sale/purchase.
622.41 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and 
          accountability measures (AMs).
622.42 Adjustment of management measures.
622.43 Commercial trip limits.

             Subpart C_Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico

622.50 Permits, permit moratorium, and endorsements.
622.51 Recordkeeping and reporting.
622.52 At-sea observer coverage.

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622.53 Bycatch reduction device (BRD) requirements.
622.54 Prohibited gear and methods.
622.55 Closed areas.
622.56 Size limits.
622.57 Quotas.
622.58 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and 
          accountability measures (AMs).
622.59 Prevention of gear conflicts.
622.60 Adjustment of management measures.

          Subpart D_Coral and Coral Reefs of the Gulf of Mexico

622.70 Permits.
622.71 Recordkeeping and reporting.
622.72 Prohibited gear and methods.
622.73 Prohibited species.
622.74 Area closures to protect Gulf corals.
622.75 Harvest limitations.
622.76 Restrictions on sale/purchase.
622.77 Adjustment of management measures.

            Subpart E_Red Drum Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico

622.90 Recordkeeping and reporting.
622.91 Prohibited species.
622.92 Adjustment of management measures.

Subparts F-H [Reserved]

     Subpart I_Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region

622.170 Permits and endorsements.
622.171 South Atlantic snapper-grouper limited access.
622.172 Wreckfish individual transferable quota (ITQ) system.
622.173-622.175 [Reserved]
622.176 Recordkeeping and reporting.
622.177 Gear identification.
622.178 At-sea observer coverage.
622.179 Conservation measures for protected species.
622.180 Prohibited gear and methods.
622.181 Prohibited and limited-harvest species.
622.182 Gear-restricted areas.
622.183 Area and seasonal closures.
622.184 Seasonal harvest limitations.
622.185 Size limits.
622.186 Landing fish intact.
622.187 Bag and possession limits.
622.188 Required gear, authorized gear, and unauthorized gear.
622.189 Restrictions and requirements for sea bass pots.
622.190 Quotas.
622.191 Commercial trip limits.
622.192 Restrictions on sale/purchase.
622.193 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and 
          accountability measures (AMs).
622.194 Adjustment of management measures.

          Subpart J_Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic Region

622.200 Permits.
622.201 South Atlantic rock shrimp limited access.
622.202 [Reserved]
622.203 Recordkeeping and reporting.
622.204 At-sea observer coverage.
622.205 Vessel monitoring systems (VMSs).
622.206 Area and seasonal closures.
622.207 Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) requirements.
622.208 Minimum mesh size applicable to rock shrimp off Georgia and 
          Florida.
622.209 Restrictions on sale/purchase.
622.210 Adjustment of management measures.

Subpart K_Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/Hard Bottom Habitats of the South 
                             Atlantic Region

622.220 Permits.
622.221 Recordkeeping and reporting.
622.222 Prohibited gear and methods.
622.223 Prohibited species.
622.224 Area closures to protect South Atlantic corals.
622.225 Harvest limitations.
622.226 Restrictions on sale/purchase.
622.227 Adjustment of management measures.

       Subpart L_Golden Crab Fishery of the South Atlantic Region

622.240 Permits.
622.241 South Atlantic golden crab controlled access.
622.242 Recordkeeping and reporting.
622.243 Gear identification.
622.244 At-sea observer coverage.
622.245 Prohibited species.
622.246 Area closures.
622.247 Landing golden crab intact.
622.248 Authorized gear.
622.249 Gear restrictions and requirements.
622.250 Restrictions on sale/purchase.
622.251 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and 
          accountability measures (AMs).
622.252 Adjustment of management measures.

       Subpart M_Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery Off the Atlantic States

622.270 Permits.
622.271 Recordkeeping and reporting.
622.272 Authorized gear.

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622.273 Conservation measures for protected species.
622.274 Pelagic longline closed areas.
622.275 Size limits.
622.276 Landing fish intact.
622.277 Bag and possession limits.
622.278 Commercial trip limits.
622.279 Restrictions on sale/purchase.
622.280 Annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs).
622.281 Adjustment of management measures.

    Subpart N_Pelagic Sargassum Habitat of the South Atlantic Region

622.300 At-sea observer coverage.
622.301 Area and seasonal restrictions.
622.302 Minimum mesh size.
622.303 Quotas.

Subparts O-P [Reserved]

Subpart Q_Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources (Gulf of Mexico and South 
                                Atlantic)

622.370 Permits.
622.371 Limited access system for commercial vessel permits for king 
          mackerel.
622.372 Limited access system for king mackerel gillnet permits 
          applicable in the southern Florida west coast subzone.
622.373 Limited access system for charter vessel/headboat permits for 
          Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish.
622.374 Recordkeeping and reporting.
622.375 Authorized and unauthorized gear.
622.376 Gear identification.
622.377 Gillnet restrictions.
622.378 Seasonal closures of the Gulf group king mackerel gillnet 
          fishery.
622.379 Purse seine incidental catch allowance.
622.380 Size limits.
622.381 Landing fish intact.
622.382 Bag and possession limits.
622.383 Limited harvest species.
622.384 Quotas.
622.385 Commercial trip limits.
622.386 Restrictions on sale/purchase.
622.387 Prevention of gear conflicts.
622.388 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and 
          accountability measures (AMs).
622.389 Adjustment of management measures.

Subpart R_Spiny Lobster Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic

622.400 Permits and fees.
622.401 Recordkeeping and reporting. [Reserved]
622.402 Vessel and gear identification.
622.403 Seasons.
622.404 Prohibited gear and methods.
622.405 Trap construction specifications and tending restrictions.
622.406 Areas closed to lobster trap gear.
622.407 Minimum size limits and other harvest limitations.
622.408 Bag/possession limits.
622.409 Spiny lobster import prohibitions.
622.410 Restrictions within Tortugas marine reserves.
622.411 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and 
          accountability measures (AMs).
622.412 Adjustment of management measures.
622.413 Incorporation by reference.
622.414 [Reserved]
622.415 Limited exemption regarding harvest in waters of a foreign 
          nation.

 Subpart S_Reef Fish Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

622.430 Gear identification.
622.431 Trap construction specifications and tending restrictions.
622.432 Anchoring restriction.
622.433 Prohibited gear and methods.
622.434 Prohibited species.
622.435 Seasonal and area closures.
622.436 Size limits.
622.437 Bag limits.
622.438 Restrictions on sale/purchase.
622.439 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and 
          accountability measures (AMs).
622.440 Adjustment of management measures.

   Subpart T_Spiny Lobster Fishery of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin 
                                 Islands

622.450 Gear identification.
622.451 Trap construction specifications and tending restrictions.
622.452 Prohibited gear and methods.
622.453 Prohibition on harvest of egg-bearing spiny lobster.
622.454 Minimum size limit.
622.455 Landing spiny lobster intact.
622.456 Bag limits.
622.457 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and 
          accountability measures (AMs).
622.458 Caribbean spiny lobster import prohibitions.
622.459 Adjustment of management measures.

Subpart U_Corals and Reef Associated Plants and Invertebrates of Puerto 
                    Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

622.470 Permits.
622.471 Prohibited gear and methods.
622.472 Prohibited species.
622.473 Restrictions on sale/purchase.

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622.474 Adjustment of management measures.

   Subpart V_Queen Conch Resources of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin 
                                 Islands

622.490 Prohibited gear and methods.
622.491 Seasonal and area closures.
622.492 Minimum size limit.
622.493 Landing Caribbean queen conch intact.
622.494 Bag limit.
622.495 Commercial trip limit.
622.496 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and 
          accountability measures (AMs).
622.497 Adjustment of management measures.

Appendix A to Part 622--Species Tables
Appendix B to Part 622--Gulf Areas
Appendix C to Part 622--Fish Length Measurements
Appendix D to Part 622--Specifications for Certified BRDs
Appendix E to Part 622--Caribbean Island/Island Group Management Areas
Appendix F to Part 622--Specifications for Sea Turtle Mitigation Gear 
          and Sea Turtle Handling and Release Requirements

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

    Source: 78 FR 22952, Apr. 17, 2013, unless otherwise noted.



                      Subpart A_General Provisions



Sec. 622.1  Purpose and scope.

    (a) The purpose of this part is to implement the FMPs prepared under 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act by the CFMC, GMFMC, and/or SAFMC listed in 
Table 1 of this section.
    (b) This part governs conservation and management of species 
included in the FMPs in or from the Caribbean, Gulf, Mid-Atlantic, South 
Atlantic, or Atlantic EEZ, unless otherwise specified, as indicated in 
Table 1 of this section. For the FMPs noted in the following table, 
conservation and management extends to adjoining state waters for the 
purposes of data collection and monitoring.
    (c) This part also governs importation of Caribbean spiny lobster 
into Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    (d) This part also governs importation of spiny lobster into any 
place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

                            Table 1 to Sec.  622.1--FMPs Implemented Under Part 622
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Responsible fishery
              FMP title                    management council(s)                   Geographical area
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FMP for Coastal Migratory Pelagic      GMFMC/SAFMC..................  Gulf \1\, Mid-Atlantic \1\ South
 Resources.                                                            Atlantic.\1\
FMP for Coral, Coral Reefs, and Live/  SAFMC........................  South Atlantic.\5\
 Hard Bottom Habitats of the South
 Atlantic Region.
FMP for Coral and Coral reefs of the   GMFMC........................  Gulf.
 Gulf of Mexico.
FMP for Corals and Reef Associated     CFMC.........................  Caribbean.
 Plants and Invertebrates of Puerto
 Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
FMP for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery  SAFMC........................  Atlantic.
 off the Atlantic States.
FMP for the Golden Crab Fishery of     SAFMC........................  South Atlantic.
 the South Atlantic Region.
FMP for Pelagic Sargassum Habitat of   SAFMC........................  South Atlantic.
 the South Atlantic Region.
FMP for Queen Conch Resources of       CFMC.........................  Caribbean.
 Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
 Islands.
FMP for the Red Drum Fishery of the    GMFMC........................  Gulf.\1\
 Gulf of Mexico.
FMP for the Reef Fish Fishery of       CFMC.........................  Caribbean.
 Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
 Islands.
FMP for the Reef Fish Resources of     GMFMC........................  Gulf. \1 3 4\
 the Gulf of Mexico.
FMP for the Shrimp Fishery of the      GMFMC........................  Gulf. \1\
 Gulf of Mexico.
FMP for the Shrimp Fishery of the      SAFMC........................  South Atlantic.
 South Atlantic Region.
FMP for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery    SAFMC........................  South Atlantic. \1 2\
 of the South Atlantic Region.
FMP for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of   CFMC.........................  Caribbean.
 Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin
 Islands.
FMP for the Spiny Lobster Fishery of   GMFMC/SAFMC..................  Gulf \1\, South Atlantic.\1\
 the Gulf of Mexico and South
 Atlantic.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Regulated area includes adjoining state waters for purposes of data collection and quota monitoring.
\2\ Black sea bass and scup are not managed by the FMP or regulated by this part north of 35[deg]15.9[min] N.
  lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC.
\3\ Regulated area includes adjoining state waters for Gulf red snapper harvested or possessed by a person
  aboard a vessel for which a Gulf red snapper IFQ vessel account has been established or possessed by a dealer
  with a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement.

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\4\ Regulated area includes adjoining state waters for Gulf groupers and tilefishes harvested or possessed by a
  person aboard a vessel for which an IFQ vessel account for Gulf groupers and tilefishes has been established
  or possessed by a dealer with a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement.
\5\ Octocorals are managed by the FMP or regulated by this part only in the EEZ off North Carolina, South
  Carolina, and Georgia.



Sec. 622.2  Definitions and acronyms.

    In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson Act and in Sec. 
600.10 of this chapter, and the acronyms in Sec. 600.15 of this 
chapter, the terms and acronyms used in this part have the following 
meanings:
    Accountability measure means a management control implemented such 
that overfishing is prevented, where possible, and mitigated if it 
occurs.
    Actual ex-vessel price means the total monetary sale amount a 
fisherman receives per pound of fish for IFQ landings from a registered 
IFQ dealer before any deductions are made for transferred (leased) 
allocation and goods and services (e.g. bait, ice, fuel, repairs, 
machinery replacement, etc.).
    Allowable chemical means a substance, generally used to immobilize 
marine life so that it can be captured alive, that, when introduced into 
the water, does not take Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral and is 
allowed by Florida for the harvest of tropical fish (e.g., quinaldine, 
quinaldine compounds, or similar substances).
    Allowable octocoral means an erect, nonencrusting species of the 
subclass Octocorallia, except the seafans Gorgonia flabellum and G. 
ventalina, plus the attached substrate within 1 inch (2.54 cm) of an 
allowable octocoral. (Note: An erect, nonencrusting species of the 
subclass Octocorallia, except the seafans Gorgonia flabellum and G. 
ventalina, with attached substrate exceeding 1 inch (2.54 cm) is 
considered to be live rock and not allowable octocoral.)
    Annual catch limit (ACL) means the level of catch that serves as the 
basis for invoking accountability measures.
    Annual catch target (ACT) means an amount of annual catch of a stock 
or stock complex that is the management target of the fishery, and 
accounts for management uncertainty in controlling the actual catch at 
or below the ACL.
    Aquacultured live rock means live rock that is harvested under a 
Federal aquacultured live rock permit, as required under Sec. 
622.70(a)(2).
    Atlantic means the North Atlantic, Mid-Atlantic, and South Atlantic.
    Authorized statistical reporting agent means:
    (1) Any person so designated by the SRD; or
    (2) Any person so designated by the head of any Federal or State 
agency that has entered into an agreement with the Assistant 
Administrator to collect fishery data.
    Automatic reel means a reel that remains attached to a vessel when 
in use from which a line and attached hook(s) are deployed. The line is 
payed out from and retrieved on the reel electrically or hydraulically.
    Bandit gear means a rod and reel that remain attached to a vessel 
when in use from which a line and attached hook(s) are deployed. The 
line is payed out from and retrieved on the reel manually, electrically, 
or hydraulically.
    Bottom longline means a longline that is deployed, or in combination 
with gear aboard the vessel, e.g., weights or anchors, is capable of 
being deployed to maintain contact with the ocean bottom.
    BRD means bycatch reduction device.
    Bully net means a circular frame attached at right angles to the end 
of a pole and supporting a conical bag of webbing. The webbing is 
usually held up by means of a cord which is released when the net is 
dropped over a lobster.
    Buoy gear means fishing gear that fishes vertically in the water 
column that consists of a single drop line suspended from a float, from 
which no more than 10 hooks can be connected between the buoy and the 
terminal end, and the terminal end contains a weight that is no more 
than 10 lb (4.5 kg). The drop line can be rope (hemp, manila, cotton or 
other natural fibers; nylon, polypropylene, spectra or other synthetic 
material) or monofilament, but must not be cable or wire. The gear is 
free-floating and not connected to other gear or the vessel. The drop 
line

[[Page 222]]

must be no greater than 2 times the depth of the water being fished. All 
hooks must be attached to the drop line no more than 30 ft (9.1 m) from 
the weighted terminal end. These hooks may be attached directly to the 
drop line; attached as snoods (defined as an offshoot line that is 
directly spliced, tied or otherwise connected to the drop line), where 
each snood has a single terminal hook; or as gangions (defined as an 
offshoot line connected to the drop line with some type of detachable 
clip), where each gangion has a single terminal hook.
    Carapace length means the measurement of the carapace (head, body, 
or front section) of a spiny lobster from the anteriormost edge (front) 
of the groove between the horns directly above the eyes, along the 
middorsal line (middle of the back), to the rear edge of the top part of 
the carapace, excluding any translucent membrane. (See Figure 1 in 
appendix C of this part.)
    Caribbean means the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean seaward of 
Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and possessions of the United 
States in the Caribbean Sea.
    Caribbean coral reef resource means one or more of the species, or a 
part thereof, listed in table 1 in appendix A of this part, whether 
living or dead.
    Caribbean prohibited coral means, in the Caribbean; a gorgonian, 
that is, a Caribbean coral reef resource of the Class Anthozoa, Subclass 
Octocorallia, Order Gorgonacea; a live rock; or a stony coral, that is, 
a Caribbean coral reef resource of the Class Hydrozoa (fire corals and 
hydrocorals) or of the Class Anthozoa, Subclass Hexacorallia, Orders 
Scleractinia (stony corals) and Antipatharia (black corals); or a part 
thereof.
    Caribbean queen conch or queen conch means the species, Strombus 
gigas, or a part thereof.
    Caribbean reef fish means one or more of the species, or a part 
thereof, listed in table 2 in appendix A of this part.
    Caribbean spiny lobster or spiny lobster means the species Panulirus 
argus, or a part thereof.
    CFMC means the Caribbean Fishery Management Council.
    Charter vessel means a vessel less than 100 gross tons (90.8 mt) 
that is subject to the requirements of the USCG to carry six or fewer 
passengers for hire and that engages in charter fishing at any time 
during the calendar year. A charter vessel with a commercial permit, as 
required under this part, is considered to be operating as a charter 
vessel when it carries a passenger who pays a fee or when there are more 
than three persons aboard, including operator and crew, except for a 
charter vessel with a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish. A 
charter vessel that has a charter vessel permit for Gulf reef fish and a 
commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish is considered to be 
operating as a charter vessel when it carries a passenger who pays a fee 
or when there are more than four persons aboard, including operator and 
crew. A charter vessel that has a charter vessel permit for Gulf reef 
fish, a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish, and a valid 
Certificate of Inspection (COI) issued by the USCG to carry passengers 
for hire will not be considered to be operating as a charter vessel 
provided--
    (1) It is not carrying a passenger who pays a fee; and
    (2) When underway for more than 12 hours, that vessel meets, but 
does not exceed the minimum manning requirements outlined in its COI for 
vessels underway over 12 hours; or when underway for not more than 12 
hours, that vessel meets the minimum manning requirements outlined in 
its COI for vessels underway for not more than 12-hours (if any), and 
does not exceed the minimum manning requirements outlined in its COI for 
vessels that are underway for more than 12 hours.
    Circle hook means a fishing hook designed and manufactured so that 
the point is turned perpendicularly back to the shank to form a 
generally circular, or oval, shape.
    Coastal migratory pelagic fish means a whole fish, or a part 
thereof, of one or more of the following species:
    (1) Cobia, Rachycentron canadum.
    (2) King mackerel, Scomberomorus cavalla.
    (3) Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus maculatus.

[[Page 223]]

    Commercial fishing means, for the purpose of subpart R of this part 
only, any fishing or fishing activities which result in the harvest of 
any marine or freshwater organisms, one or more of which (or parts 
thereof) is sold, traded, or bartered.
    Coral area means marine habitat in the Gulf or South Atlantic EEZ 
where coral growth abounds, including patch reefs, outer bank reefs, 
deep water banks, and hard bottoms.
    Dealer, in addition to the definition specified in Sec. 600.10 of 
this chapter, means the person who first receives rock shrimp harvested 
from the EEZ or dolphin or wahoo harvested from the Atlantic EEZ upon 
transfer ashore.
    Deep-water grouper (DWG) means, in the Gulf, yellowedge grouper, 
warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, and speckled hind. In addition, for the 
purposes of the IFQ program for Gulf groupers and tilefishes in Sec. 
622.22, scamp are also included as DWG as specified in Sec. 
622.22(a)(7).
    Deep-water snapper-grouper (DWSG) means, in the South Atlantic, 
yellowedge grouper, misty grouper, warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, 
speckled hind, blueline tilefish, queen snapper, and silk snapper.
    Dehooking device means a device intended to remove a hook embedded 
in a fish to release the fish with minimum damage.
    Dolphin means a whole fish, or a part there of, of the species 
Coryphaena equiselis or C. hippurus.
    Drift gillnet, for the purposes of this part, means a gillnet, other 
than a long gillnet or a run-around gillnet, that is unattached to the 
ocean bottom, regardless of whether attached to a vessel.
    Fish trap means--
    (1) In the Caribbean EEZ, a trap and its component parts (including 
the lines and buoys), regardless of the construction material, used for 
or capable of taking finfish.
    (2) In the Gulf EEZ, a trap and its component parts (including the 
lines and buoys), regardless of the construction material, used for or 
capable of taking finfish, except a trap historically used in the 
directed fishery for crustaceans (that is, blue crab, stone crab, and 
spiny lobster).
    (3) In the South Atlantic EEZ, a trap and its component parts 
(including the lines and buoys), regardless of the construction 
material, used for or capable of taking fish, except a sea bass pot, a 
golden crab trap, or a crustacean trap (that is, a type of trap 
historically used in the directed fishery for blue crab, stone crab, red 
crab, jonah crab, or spiny lobster and that contains at any time not 
more than 25 percent, by number, of fish other than blue crab, stone 
crab, red crab, jonah crab, and spiny lobster).
    Fork length means the straight-line distance from the tip of the 
head (snout) to the rear center edge of the tail (caudal fin). (See 
Figure 2 in appendix C of this part.)
    Golden crab means the species Chaceon fenneri, or a part thereof.
    Golden crab trap means any trap used or possessed in association 
with a directed fishery for golden crab in the South Atlantic EEZ, 
including any trap that contains a golden crab in or from the South 
Atlantic EEZ or any trap on board a vessel that possesses golden crab in 
or from the South Atlantic EEZ.
    GMFMC means the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
    Gulf means the Gulf of Mexico. The line of demarcation between the 
Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico is specified in Sec. 600.105(c) 
of this chapter.
    Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral means, in the Gulf and 
South Atlantic, one or more of the following, or a part thereof:
    (1) Coral belonging to the Class Hydrozoa (fire corals and 
hydrocorals).
    (2) Coral belonging to the Class Anthozoa, Subclass Hexacorallia, 
Orders Scleractinia (stony corals) and Antipatharia (black corals).
    (3) A seafan, Gorgonia flabellum or G. ventalina.
    (4) Coral in a coral reef, except for allowable octocoral.
    (5) Coral in an HAPC, including allowable octocoral.
    Gulf reef fish means one or more of the species, or a part thereof, 
listed in table 3 in appendix A of this part.
    Handline means a line with attached hook(s) that is tended directly 
by hand.
    HAPC means habitat area of particular concern.

[[Page 224]]

    Headboat means a vessel that holds a valid Certificate of Inspection 
(COI) issued by the USCG to carry more than six passengers for hire.
    (1) A headboat with a commercial vessel permit, as required under 
this part, is considered to be operating as a headboat when it carries a 
passenger who pays a fee or--
    (i) In the case of persons aboard fishing for or possessing South 
Atlantic snapper-grouper, when there are more persons aboard than the 
number of crew specified in the vessel's COI; or
    (ii) In the case of persons aboard fishing for or possessing coastal 
migratory pelagic fish, when there are more than three persons aboard, 
including operator and crew.
    (2) However a vessel that has a headboat permit for Gulf reef fish, 
a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish, and a valid COI issued by 
the USCG to carry passengers for hire will not be considered to be 
operating as a headboat provided--
    (i) It is not carrying a passenger who pays a fee; and
    (ii) When underway for more than 12 hours, that vessel meets, but 
does not exceed the minimum manning requirements outlined in its COI for 
vessels underway over 12 hours; or when underway for not more than 12 
hours, that vessel meets the minimum manning requirements outlined in 
its COI for vessels underway for not more than 12-hours (if any), and 
does not exceed the minimum manning requirements outlined in its COI for 
vessels that are underway for more than 12 hours.
    Headrope length means the distance, measured along the forwardmost 
webbing of a trawl net, between the points at which the upper lip (top 
edge) of the mouth of the net are attached to sleds, doors, or other 
devices that spread the net.
    Hook-and-line gear means automatic reel, bandit gear, buoy gear, 
handline, longline, and rod and reel.
    Hoop net means a frame, circular or otherwise, supporting a shallow 
bag of webbing and suspended by a line and bridles. The net is baited 
and lowered to the ocean bottom, to be raised rapidly at a later time to 
prevent the escape of lobster.
    IFQ means individual fishing quota.
    Import means--
    (1) For the purpose of Sec. 622.1(c) and subpart T of this part 
only--To land on, bring into, or introduce into, or attempt to land on, 
bring into, or introduce into, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, 
whether or not such landing, bringing, or introduction constitutes an 
importation within the meaning of the customs laws of the United States;
    (2) For the purpose of Sec. 622.1(d) and subpart R of this part 
only--To land on, bring into, or introduce into, or attempt to land on, 
bring into, or introduce into, any place subject to the jurisdiction of 
the United States, whether or not such landing, bringing, or 
introduction constitutes an importation within the meaning of the 
customs laws of the United States;
    (3) But does not include any activity described in paragraph (1) or 
(2) of this definition with respect to fish caught in the U.S. exclusive 
economic zone by a vessel of the United States.
    Live rock means living marine organisms, or an assemblage thereof, 
attached to a hard substrate, including dead coral or rock (excluding 
individual mollusk shells).
    Live well means a shaded container used for holding live lobsters 
aboard a vessel in which aerated seawater is continuously circulated 
from the sea. Circulation of seawater at a rate that replaces the water 
at least every 8 minutes meets the requirement for aeration.
    Long gillnet means a gillnet that has a float line that is more than 
1,000 yd (914 m) in length.
    Longline means a line that is deployed horizontally to which 
gangions and hooks are attached. A longline may be a bottom longline, 
i.e., designed for use on the bottom, or a pelagic longline, i.e., 
designed for use off the bottom. The longline hauler may be manually, 
electrically, or hydraulically operated.
    MAFMC means the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
    Mid-Atlantic means the Atlantic Ocean off the Atlantic coastal 
states from the boundary between the New England Fishery Management 
Council and the MAFMC, as specified in Sec. 600.105(a) of this chapter, 
to the

[[Page 225]]

boundary between the MAFMC and the SAFMC, as specified in Sec. 
600.105(b) of this chapter.
    Migratory group, for king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia, 
means a group of fish that may or may not be a separate genetic stock, 
but that is treated as a separate stock for management purposes. King 
mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia are divided into migratory 
groups--the boundaries between these groups are as follows:
    (1) King mackerel--(i) Summer separation. From April 1 through 
October 31, the boundary separating the Gulf and Atlantic migratory 
groups of king mackerel is 25[deg]48[min] N. lat., which is a line 
directly west from the Monroe/Collier County, FL, boundary to the outer 
limit of the EEZ.
    (ii) Winter separation. From November 1 through March 31, the 
boundary separating the Gulf and Atlantic migratory groups of king 
mackerel is 29[deg]25[min] N. lat., which is a line directly east from 
the Volusia/Flagler County, FL, boundary to the outer limit of the EEZ.
    (2) Spanish mackerel. The boundary separating the Gulf and Atlantic 
migratory groups of Spanish mackerel is 25[deg]20.4[min] N. lat., which 
is a line directly east from the Miami-Dade/Monroe County, FL, boundary 
to the outer limit of the EEZ.
    (3) Cobia. The boundary separating the Gulf and Atlantic migratory 
groups of cobia is the line of demarcation between the Atlantic Ocean 
and the Gulf of Mexico, as specified in Sec. 600.105(c) of this 
chapter.
    MPA means marine protected area.
    North Atlantic means the Atlantic Ocean off the Atlantic coastal 
states from the boundary between the United States and Canada to the 
boundary between the New England Fishery Management Council and the 
MAFMC, as specified in Sec. 600.105(a) of this chapter.
    Off Florida means the waters in the Gulf and South Atlantic from 
30[deg]42[min]45.6[sec] N. lat., which is a line directly east from the 
seaward terminus of the Georgia/Florida boundary, to 
87[deg]31[min]06[sec] W. long., which is a line directly south from the 
Alabama/Florida boundary.
    Off Georgia means the waters in the South Atlantic from a line 
extending in a direction of 104[deg] from true north from the seaward 
terminus of the South Carolina/Georgia boundary to 
30[deg]42[min]45.6[sec] N. lat., which is a line directly east from the 
seaward terminus of the Georgia/Florida boundary.
    Off Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama means the waters in the Gulf 
other than off Florida and off Texas.
    Off Monroe County, Florida means the area from the Florida coast to 
the outer limit of the EEZ between a line extending directly east from 
the Dade/Monroe County, Florida boundary (25[deg]20.4[min] N. latitude) 
and a line extending directly west from the Monroe/Collier County, 
Florida boundary (25[deg]48.0[min] N. latitude).
    Off North Carolina means the waters in the South Atlantic from 
36[deg]34[min]55[sec] N. lat., which is a line directly east from the 
Virginia/North Carolina boundary, to a line extending in a direction of 
135[deg]34[min]55[sec] from true north from the North Carolina/South 
Carolina boundary, as marked by the border station on Bird Island at 
33[deg]51[min]07.9[sec] N. lat., 78[deg]32[min]32.6[sec] W. long.
    Off South Carolina means the waters in the South Atlantic from a 
line extending in a direction of 135[deg]34[min]55[sec] from true north 
from the North Carolina/South Carolina boundary, as marked by the border 
station on Bird Island at 33[deg]51[min]07.9[sec] N. lat., 
78[deg]32[min]32.6[sec] W. long., to a line extending in a direction of 
104[deg] from true north from the seaward terminus of the South 
Carolina/Georgia boundary.
    Off Texas means the waters in the Gulf west of a rhumb line from 
29[deg]32.1[min] N. lat., 93[deg]47.7[min] W. long. to 26[deg]11.4[min] 
N. lat., 92[deg]53[min] W. long., which line is an extension of the 
boundary between Louisiana and Texas.
    Off the Gulf states, other than Florida means the area from the 
coast to the outer limit of the EEZ between the Texas/Mexico border to 
the Alabama/Florida boundary (87[deg]31[min]06[sec] W. long.).
    Off the southern Atlantic states, other than Florida means the area 
from the coast to the outer limit of the EEZ between the Virginia/North 
Carolina boundary (36[deg]34[min]55[sec] N. lat.) to the Georgia/Florida 
boundary (30[deg]42[min]45.6[sec] N. lat.).
    Official sunrise or official sunset means the time of sunrise or 
sunset as determined for the date and location in The

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Nautical Almanac, prepared by the U.S. Naval Observatory.
    Pelagic longline means a longline that is suspended by floats in the 
water column and that is not fixed to or in contact with the ocean 
bottom.
    Pelagic sargassum means the species Sargassum natans or S. fluitans, 
or a part thereof.
    Penaeid shrimp means one or more of the following species, or a part 
thereof:
    (1) Brown shrimp, Farfantepenaeus aztecus.
    (2) Pink shrimp, Farfantepenaeus duorarum.
    (3) White shrimp, Litopenaeus setiferus.
    Penaeid shrimp trawler means any vessel that is equipped with one or 
more trawl nets whose on-board or landed catch of penaeid shrimp is more 
than 1 percent, by weight, of all fish comprising its on-board or landed 
catch.
    Powerhead means any device with an explosive charge, usually 
attached to a speargun, spear, pole, or stick, that fires a projectile 
upon contact.
    Processor means a person who processes fish or fish products, or 
parts thereof, for commercial use or consumption.
    Purchase means the act or activity of buying, trading, or bartering, 
or attempting to buy, trade, or barter.
    Recreational fishing means, for the purpose of subpart R of this 
part only, fishing or fishing activities which result in the harvest of 
fish, none of which (or parts thereof) is sold, traded, or bartered.
    Red drum, also called redfish, means Sciaenops ocellatus, or a part 
thereof.
    Red snapper means Lutjanus campechanus, or a part thereof, one of 
the Gulf reef fish species.
    Regional Administrator (RA), for the purposes of this part, means 
the Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. 
Petersburg, FL 33701, or a designee.
    Rod and reel means a rod and reel unit that is not attached to a 
vessel, or, if attached, is readily removable, from which a line and 
attached hook(s) are deployed. The line is payed out from and retrieved 
on the reel manually, electrically, or hydraulically.
    Run-around gillnet means a gillnet, other than a long gillnet, that, 
when used, encloses an area of water.
    SAFMC means the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
    Sale or sell means the act or activity of transferring property for 
money or credit, trading, or bartering, or attempting to so transfer, 
trade, or barter.
    Science and Research Director (SRD), for the purposes of this part, 
means the Science and Research Director, Southeast Fisheries Science 
Center, NMFS (see table 1 of Sec. 600.502 of this chapter).
    Sea bass pot means a trap has six rectangular sides and does not 
exceed 25 inches (63.5 cm) in height, width, or depth.
    Shallow-water grouper (SWG) means, in the Gulf, gag, red grouper, 
black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper. Other 
shallow-water grouper (Other SWG) means, in the Gulf, SWG excluding gag 
and red grouper (i.e., black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and 
yellowmouth grouper). In addition, for the purposes of the IFQ program 
for Gulf groupers and tilefishes in Sec. 622.22, speckled hind and 
warsaw grouper are also included as Other SWG as specified in Sec. 
622.22(a)(6).
    Shrimp means one or more of the following species, or a part 
thereof:
    (1) Brown shrimp, Farfantepenaeus aztecus.
    (2) White shrimp, Litopenaeus setiferus.
    (3) Pink shrimp, Farfantepenaeus duorarum.
    (4) Royal red shrimp, Hymenopenaeus robustus.
    (5) Rock shrimp, Sicyonia brevirostris.
    Shrimp trawler means any vessel that is equipped with one or more 
trawl nets whose on-board or landed catch of shrimp is more than 1 
percent, by weight, of all fish comprising its on-board or landed catch.
    Smalltooth sawfish means the species Pristis pectinata, or a part 
thereof.
    SMZ means special management zone.
    South Atlantic means the Atlantic Ocean off the Atlantic coastal 
states from the boundary between the MAFMC and the SAFMC, as specified 
in Sec. 600.105(b) of this chapter, to the

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line of demarcation between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, 
as specified in Sec. 600.105(c) of this chapter.
    South Atlantic shallow-water grouper (SASWG) means, in the South 
Atlantic, gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, 
yellowmouth grouper, yellowfin grouper, graysby, and coney.
    South Atlantic snapper-grouper means one or more of the species, or 
a part thereof, listed in table 4 in appendix A of this part.
    Stab net means a gillnet, other than a long gillnet, or trammel net 
whose weight line sinks to the bottom and submerges the float line.
    Tail length means the lengthwise measurement of the entire tail 
(segmented portion), not including any protruding muscle tissue, of a 
spiny lobster along the top middorsal line (middle of the back) to the 
rearmost extremity. The measurement is made with the tail in a flat, 
straight position with the tip of the tail closed.
    Total length (TL), for the purposes of this part, means the 
straight-line distance from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail 
(caudal fin), excluding any caudal filament, while the fish is lying on 
its side. The mouth of the fish may be closed and/or the tail may be 
squeezed together to give the greatest overall measurement. (See Figure 
2 in appendix C of this part.)
    Toxic chemical means any substance, other than an allowable 
chemical, that, when introduced into the water, can stun, immobilize, or 
take marine life.
    Trammel net means two or more panels of netting, suspended 
vertically in the water by a common float line and a common weight line, 
with one panel having a larger mesh size than the other(s), to entrap 
fish in a pocket of netting.
    Trip means a fishing trip, regardless of number of days duration, 
that begins with departure from a dock, berth, beach, seawall, or ramp 
and that terminates with return to a dock, berth, beach, seawall, or 
ramp.
    Try net, also called test net, means a net pulled for brief periods 
by a shrimp trawler to test for shrimp concentrations or determine 
fishing conditions (e.g., presence or absence of bottom debris, 
jellyfish, bycatch, sea grasses).
    Venting device means a device intended to deflate the abdominal 
cavity of a fish to release the fish with minimum damage.
    Wahoo means the species Acanthocybium solandri, or a part thereof, 
in the Atlantic.
    Wild live rock means live rock other than aquacultured live rock.
    Wreckfish means the species Polyprion americanus, or a part thereof, 
one of the South Atlantic snapper-grouper species.



Sec. 622.3  Relation to other laws and regulations.

    (a) The relation of this part to other laws is set forth in Sec. 
600.705 of this chapter and paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section.
    (b) Except for regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South 
Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock, this part is intended to apply 
within the EEZ portions of applicable National Marine Sanctuaries and 
National Parks, unless the regulations governing such sanctuaries or 
parks prohibit their application. Regulations on allowable octocoral, 
Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock do not apply 
within the EEZ portions of the following National Marine Sanctuaries and 
National Parks:
    (1) Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922, subpart 
P).
    (2) Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922, subpart 
I).
    (3) Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922, subpart F).
    (4) Everglades National Park (36 CFR 7.45).
    (5) Biscayne National Park (16 U.S.C. 410gg).
    (6) Fort Jefferson National Monument (36 CFR 7.27).
    (c) For allowable octocoral, if a state has a catch, landing, or 
gear regulation that is more restrictive than a catch, landing, or gear 
regulation in this part, a person landing in such state allowable 
octocoral taken from the South Atlantic EEZ must comply with the more 
restrictive state regulation.
    (d) General provisions on facilitation of enforcement, penalties, 
and enforcement policy applicable to all domestic fisheries are set 
forth in Sec. Sec. 600.730,

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600.735, and 600.740 of this chapter, respectively.
    (e) An activity that is otherwise prohibited by this part may be 
conducted if authorized as scientific research activity, exempted 
fishing, or exempted educational activity, as specified in Sec. 600.745 
of this chapter.



Sec. 622.4  Permits and fees--general.

    This section contains general information about procedures related 
to permits. See also Sec. Sec. 622.70, 622.220, and 622.470 regarding 
certain permit procedures unique to coral permits in the Gulf of Mexico, 
South Atlantic Region, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, 
respectively. Permit requirements for specific fisheries, as applicable, 
are contained in subparts B through V of this part.
    (a) Applications for permits. Application forms for all permits are 
available from the RA. Completed application forms and all required 
supporting documents must be submitted to the RA at least 30 days prior 
to the date on which the applicant desires to have the permit made 
effective. All vessel permits are mailed to owners, whether the 
applicant is an owner or an operator.
    (1) Vessel permits. (i) The application for a commercial vessel 
permit, other than for wreckfish, or for a charter vessel/headboat 
permit must be submitted by the owner (in the case of a corporation, an 
officer or shareholder; in the case of a partnership, a general partner) 
or operator of the vessel. A commercial vessel permit that is issued 
based on the earned income qualification of an operator is valid only 
when that person is the operator of the vessel. The applicant for a 
commercial vessel permit for wreckfish must be a wreckfish shareholder.
    (ii) An applicant must provide the following:
    (A) A copy of the vessel's valid USCG certificate of documentation 
or, if not documented, a copy of its valid state registration 
certificate.
    (B) Vessel name and official number.
    (C) Name, address, telephone number, and other identifying 
information of the vessel owner and of the applicant, if other than the 
owner.
    (D) Any other information concerning the vessel, gear 
characteristics, principal fisheries engaged in, or fishing areas, as 
specified on the application form.
    (E) Any other information that may be necessary for the issuance or 
administration of the permit, as specified on the application form.
    (F) If applying for a commercial vessel permit, documentation, as 
specified in the instructions accompanying each application form, 
showing that applicable eligibility requirements of this part have been 
met.
    (G) If a sea bass pot will be used, the number, dimensions, and 
estimated cubic volume of the pots that will be used and the applicant's 
desired color code for use in identifying his or her vessel and buoys 
(white is not an acceptable color code).
    (2) Operator permits. An applicant for an operator permit must 
provide the following:
    (i) Name, address, telephone number, and other identifying 
information specified on the application.
    (ii) Two recent (no more than 1-yr old), color, passport-size 
photographs.
    (iii) Any other information that may be necessary for the issuance 
or administration of the permit, as specified on the application form.
    (3) Dealer permits. (i) The application for a dealer permit must be 
submitted by the owner (in the case of a corporation, an officer or 
shareholder; in the case of a partnership, a general partner).
    (ii) An applicant must provide the following:
    (A) A copy of each state wholesaler's license held by the dealer.
    (B) Name, address, telephone number, date the business was formed, 
and other identifying information of the business.
    (C) The address of each physical facility at a fixed location where 
the business receives fish.
    (D) Name, address, telephone number, other identifying information, 
and official capacity in the business of the applicant.
    (E) Any other information that may be necessary for the issuance or 
administration of the permit, as specified on the application form.
    (b) Change in application information. The owner or operator of a 
vessel with

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a permit, a person with a coral permit, a person with an operator 
permit, or a dealer with a permit must notify the RA within 30 days 
after any change in the application information specified in paragraph 
(a) of this section or in Sec. Sec. 622.70(b), 622.220(b), 622.400(b), 
or 622.470(b). The permit is void if any change in the information is 
not reported within 30 days.
    (c) Fees. Unless specified otherwise, a fee is charged for each 
application for a permit, license, or endorsement submitted under this 
part, for each request for transfer or replacement of such permit, 
license, or endorsement, and for each sea bass pot identification tag 
required under Sec. 622.177(a)(1). The amount of each fee is calculated 
in accordance with the procedures of the NOAA Finance Handbook, 
available from the RA, for determining the administrative costs of each 
special product or service. The fee may not exceed such costs and is 
specified with each application form. The appropriate fee must accompany 
each application, request for transfer or replacement, or request for 
sea bass pot identification tags.
    (d) Initial issuance. (1) The RA will issue an initial permit at any 
time to an applicant if the application is complete and the specific 
requirements for the requested permit have been met. An application is 
complete when all requested forms, information, and documentation have 
been received.
    (2) Upon receipt of an incomplete application, the RA will notify 
the applicant of the deficiency. If the applicant fails to correct the 
deficiency within 30 days of the date of the RA's letter of 
notification, the application will be considered abandoned.
    (e) Duration. A permit remains valid for the period specified on it 
unless it is revoked, suspended, or modified pursuant to subpart D of 15 
CFR part 904 or, in the case of a vessel or dealer permit, the vessel or 
dealership is sold.
    (f) Transfer--(1) Vessel permits, licenses, and endorsements and 
dealer permits. A vessel permit, license, or endorsement or a dealer 
permit or endorsement issued under this part 622 is not transferable or 
assignable, except as provided in the permits sections of subparts B 
through V of this part, where applicable. A person who acquires a vessel 
or dealership who desires to conduct activities for which a permit, 
license, or endorsement is required must apply for a permit, license, or 
endorsement in accordance with the provisions of this section and other 
applicable sections of this part. If the acquired vessel or dealership 
is currently permitted, the application must be accompanied by the 
original permit and a copy of a signed bill of sale or equivalent 
acquisition papers. In those cases where a permit, license, or 
endorsement is transferable, the seller must sign the back of the 
permit, license, or endorsement and have the signed transfer document 
notarized.
    (2) Operator permits. An operator permit is not transferable.
    (g) Renewal--(1) Vessel permits, licenses, and endorsements and 
dealer permits. Unless specified otherwise, a vessel owner or dealer who 
has been issued a permit, license, or endorsement under this part must 
renew such permit, license, or endorsement on an annual basis. The RA 
will mail a vessel owner or dealer whose permit, license, or endorsement 
is expiring an application for renewal approximately 2 months prior to 
the expiration date. A vessel owner or dealer who does not receive a 
renewal application from the RA by 45 days prior to the expiration date 
of the permit, license, or endorsement must contact the RA and request a 
renewal application. The applicant must submit a completed renewal 
application form and all required supporting documents to the RA prior 
to the applicable deadline for renewal of the permit, license, or 
endorsement and at least 30 days prior to the date on which the 
applicant desires to have the permit made effective. If the RA receives 
an incomplete application, the RA will notify the applicant of the 
deficiency. If the applicant fails to correct the deficiency within 30 
days of the date of the RA's letter of notification, the application 
will be considered abandoned. A permit, license, or endorsement that is 
not renewed within the applicable deadline will not be reissued.
    (2) Operator permits. An operator permit required by this part 622 
is issued for a period not longer than 3 years. A

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permit not renewed immediately upon its expiration would expire at the 
end of the operator's birth month that is between 2 and 3 years after 
issuance. For renewal, a new application must be submitted in accordance 
with paragraph (a)(2) of this section.
    (h) Display. A vessel permit, license, or endorsement issued under 
this part 622 must be carried on board the vessel. A dealer permit 
issued under this part 622, or a copy thereof, must be available on the 
dealer's premises. In addition, a copy of the dealer's permit must 
accompany each vehicle that is used to pick up from a fishing vessel 
reef fish harvested from the Gulf EEZ. A Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement 
must accompany each vehicle that is used to pick up Gulf IFQ red snapper 
and/or Gulf IFQ groupers and tilefishes. The operator of a vessel must 
present the vessel permit, license, or endorsement for inspection upon 
the request of an authorized officer. A dealer or a vehicle operator 
must present the permit or a copy for inspection upon the request of an 
authorized officer. An operator of a vessel in a fishery in which an 
operator permit is required must present his/her operator permit and one 
other form of personal identification that includes a picture (driver's 
license, passport, etc.) for inspection upon the request of an 
authorized officer.
    (i) Sanctions and denials. (1) A permit, license, or endorsement 
issued pursuant to this part 622 may be revoked, suspended, or modified, 
and a permit, license, or endorsement application may be denied, in 
accordance with the procedures governing enforcement-related permit 
sanctions and denials found at subpart D of 15 CFR part 904.
    (2) A person whose operator permit is suspended, revoked, or 
modified may not be aboard any fishing vessel subject to Federal fishing 
regulations in any capacity, if so sanctioned by NOAA, while the vessel 
is at sea or offloading. The vessel's owner and operator are responsible 
for compliance with this measure. A list of operators whose permits are 
revoked or suspended may be obtained from the RA.
    (j) Alteration. A permit, license, or endorsement that is altered, 
erased, or mutilated is invalid.
    (k) Replacement. A replacement permit, license, or endorsement may 
be issued. An application for a replacement permit, license, or 
endorsement is not considered a new application. An application for a 
replacement operator permit must include two new photographs, as 
specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section.



Sec. 622.5  Recordkeeping and reporting--general.

    This section contains recordkeeping and reporting requirements that 
are broadly applicable, as specified, to most or all fisheries governed 
by this part. Additional recordkeeping and reporting requirements 
specific to each fishery are contained in the respective subparts B 
through V of this part.
    (a) Collection of additional data and fish inspection. In addition 
to data required to be reported as specified in subparts B through V of 
this part, additional data will be collected by authorized statistical 
reporting agents and by authorized officers. A person who fishes for or 
possesses species in or from the EEZ governed in this part is required 
to make the applicable fish or parts thereof available for inspection by 
the SRD or an authorized officer on request.
    (b) Commercial vessel, charter vessel, and headboat inventory. The 
owner or operator of a commercial vessel, charter vessel, or headboat 
operating in a fishery governed in this part who is not selected to 
report by the SRD under the recordkeeping and reporting requirements in 
subparts B through V of this part must provide the following information 
when interviewed by the SRD:
    (1) Name and official number of vessel and permit number, if 
applicable.
    (2) Length and tonnage.
    (3) Current home port.
    (4) Fishing areas.
    (5) Ports where fish were offloaded during the last year.
    (6) Type and quantity of gear.
    (7) Number of full- and part-time fishermen or crew members.



Sec. 622.6  Vessel identification.

    This section does not apply to subpart R of this part, which has its 
own

[[Page 231]]

specific vessel identification requirements in Sec. 622.402.
    (a) Applicability--(1) Official number. A vessel for which a permit 
has been issued under subparts B through V of this part except for 
subpart R, and a vessel that fishes for or possesses pelagic sargassum 
in the South Atlantic EEZ, must display its official number--
    (i) On the port and starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull and, 
for vessels over 25 ft (7.6 m) long, on an appropriate weather deck, so 
as to be clearly visible from an enforcement vessel or aircraft.
    (ii) In block arabic numerals permanently affixed to or painted on 
the vessel in contrasting color to the background.
    (iii) At least 18 inches (45.7 cm) in height for vessels over 65 ft 
(19.8 m) long; at least 10 inches (25.4 cm) in height for vessels over 
25 ft (7.6 m) long; and at least 3 inches (7.6 cm) in height for vessels 
25 ft (7.6 m) long or less.
    (2) Official number and color code. The following vessels must 
display their official number as specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section and, in addition, must display their assigned color code: A 
vessel for which a permit has been issued to fish with a sea bass pot, 
as required under Sec. 622.170(a)(1); a vessel in the commercial 
Caribbean reef fish fishery fishing with traps; and a vessel in the 
Caribbean spiny lobster fishery. Color codes required for the Caribbean 
reef fish fishery and Caribbean spiny lobster fishery are assigned by 
Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands, whichever is applicable; color 
codes required in all other fisheries are assigned by the RA. The color 
code must be displayed--
    (i) On the port and starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull and, 
for vessels over 25 ft (7.6 m) long, on an appropriate weather deck, so 
as to be clearly visible from an enforcement vessel or aircraft.
    (ii) In the form of a circle permanently affixed to or painted on 
the vessel.
    (iii) At least 18 inches (45.7 cm) in diameter for vessels over 65 
ft (19.8 m) long; at least 10 inches (25.4 cm) in diameter for vessels 
over 25 ft (7.6 m) long; and at least 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter for 
vessels 25 ft (7.6 m) long or less.
    (b) Duties of operator. The operator of a vessel specified in 
paragraph (a) of this section must keep the official number and the 
color code, if applicable, clearly legible and in good repair and must 
ensure that no part of the fishing vessel, its rigging, fishing gear, or 
any other material on board obstructs the view of the official number or 
the color code, if applicable, from an enforcement vessel or aircraft.



Sec. 622.7  Fishing years.

    The fishing year for species or species groups governed in this part 
is January 1 through December 31 except for the following:
    (a) Allowable octocoral--October 1 through September 30.
    (b) King and Spanish mackerel. The fishing year for the king and 
Spanish mackerel bag limits specified in Sec. 622.382 is January 1 
through December 31. The following fishing years apply only for the king 
and Spanish mackerel quotas specified in Sec. 622.384:
    (1) Gulf migratory group king mackerel--July 1 through June 30.
    (2) Gulf migratory group Spanish mackerel--April through March.
    (3) South Atlantic migratory group king and Spanish mackerel--March 
through February.
    (c) Wreckfish--April 16 through April 15.
    (d) South Atlantic greater amberjack--May 1 through April 30.
    (e) South Atlantic black sea bass--June 1 through May 31.



Sec. 622.8  Quotas--general.

    (a) Quotas apply for the fishing year for each species or species 
group, unless accountability measures are implemented during the fishing 
year pursuant to the applicable annual catch limits and accountability 
measures sections of subparts B through V of this part due to a quota 
overage occurring the previous year, in which case a reduced quota will 
be specified through notification in the Federal Register. Annual quota 
increases are contingent on the total allowable catch for the applicable 
species not being exceeded in the previous fishing year. If the total

[[Page 232]]

allowable catch is exceeded in the previous fishing year, the RA will 
file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to maintain 
the quota for the applicable species from the previous fishing year for 
following fishing years, unless the best scientific information 
available determines maintaining the quota from the previous year is 
unnecessary. Except for the quotas for Gulf and South Atlantic coral, 
the quotas include species harvested from state waters adjoining the 
EEZ.
    (b) Quota closures. When a quota specified in this part is reached, 
or is projected to be reached, the Assistant Administrator will file a 
notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register. On 
and after the effective date of such notification, for the remainder of 
the fishing year, the applicable closure restrictions for such a quota, 
as specified in this part apply. (See the applicable annual catch limits 
(ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs) 
sections of subparts B through V of this part for closure provisions 
when an applicable ACL or ACT is reached or projected to be reached).
    (c) Reopening. When a sector has been closed based on a projection 
of the quota specified in this part, or the ACL specified in the 
applicable annual catch limits and accountability measures sections of 
subparts B through V of this part being reached and subsequent data 
indicate that the quota or ACL was not reached, the Assistant 
Administrator may file a notification to that effect with the Office of 
the Federal Register. Such notification may reopen the sector to provide 
an opportunity for the quota or ACL to be harvested.



Sec. 622.9  Prohibited gear and methods--general.

    This section contains prohibitions on use of gear and methods that 
are of general applicability, as specified. Additional prohibitions on 
use of gear and methods applicable to specific species or species groups 
are contained in subparts B through V of this part.
    (a) Explosives. An explosive (except an explosive in a powerhead) 
may not be used to fish in the Caribbean, Gulf, or South Atlantic EEZ. A 
vessel fishing in the EEZ for a species governed in this part, or a 
vessel for which a permit has been issued under this part, may not have 
on board any dynamite or similar explosive substance.
    (b) Chemicals and plants. A toxic chemical may not be used or 
possessed in a coral area, and a chemical, plant, or plant-derived toxin 
may not be used to harvest a Caribbean coral reef resource in the 
Caribbean EEZ.
    (c) Fish traps. A fish trap may not be used or possessed in the Gulf 
or South Atlantic EEZ. A fish trap deployed in the Gulf or South 
Atlantic EEZ may be disposed of in any appropriate manner by the 
Assistant Administrator or an authorized officer.
    (d) Weak link. A bottom trawl that does not have a weak link in the 
tickler chain may not be used to fish in the Gulf EEZ. For the purposes 
of this paragraph, a weak link is defined as a length or section of the 
tickler chain that has a breaking strength less than the chain itself 
and is easily seen as such when visually inspected.
    (e) Use of Gulf reef fish as bait prohibited. Gulf reef fish may not 
be used as bait in any fishery, except that, when purchased from a fish 
processor, the filleted carcasses and offal of Gulf reef fish may be 
used as bait in trap fisheries for blue crab, stone crab, deep-water 
crab, and spiny lobster.



Sec. 622.10  Landing fish intact---general.

    This section contains requirements for landing fish intact that are 
broadly applicable to finfish in the Gulf EEZ and Caribbean EEZ, as 
specified. See subparts B through V, as applicable, for additional 
species specific requirements for landing fish intact.
    (a) Finfish in or from the Gulf EEZ or Caribbean EEZ, except as 
specified in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, must be maintained 
with head and fins intact.
    (b) Shark, swordfish, and tuna species are exempt from the 
requirements of paragraph (a) of this section.
    (c) In the Gulf EEZ or Caribbean EEZ:
    (1) Bait is exempt from the requirement to be maintained with head 
and fins intact.
    (i) For the purpose of this paragraph (c)(1), ``bait'' means--

[[Page 233]]

    (A) Packaged, headless fish fillets that have the skin attached and 
are frozen or refrigerated;
    (B) Headless fish fillets that have the skin attached and are held 
in brine; or
    (C) Small pieces no larger than 3 in\3\ (7.6 cm\3\) or strips no 
larger than 3 inches by 9 inches (7.6 cm by 22.9 cm) that have the skin 
attached and are frozen, refrigerated, or held in brine.
    (ii) Paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section notwithstanding, a finfish 
or part thereof possessed in or landed from the Gulf EEZ or Caribbean 
EEZ that is subsequently sold or purchased as a finfish species, rather 
than as bait, is not bait.
    (2) Legal-sized finfish possessed for consumption at sea on the 
harvesting vessel are exempt from the requirement to have head and fins 
intact, provided--
    (i) Such finfish do not exceed any applicable bag limit;
    (ii) Such finfish do not exceed 1.5 lb (680 g) of finfish parts per 
person aboard; and
    (iii) The vessel is equipped to cook such finfish on board.
    (d) The operator of a vessel that fishes in the EEZ is responsible 
for ensuring that fish on that vessel in the EEZ are maintained intact 
and, if taken from the EEZ, are maintained intact through offloading 
ashore, as specified in this section.



Sec. 622.11  Bag and possession limits--general applicability.

    This section describes the general applicability provisions for bag 
and possession limits specified in subparts B through V of this part.
    (a) Applicability. (1) The bag and possession limits apply for 
species/species groups in or from the EEZ. Unless specified otherwise, 
bag limits apply to a person on a daily basis, regardless of the number 
of trips in a day. Unless specified otherwise, possession limits apply 
to a person on a trip after the first 24 hours of that trip. The bag and 
possession limits apply to a person who fishes in the EEZ in any manner, 
except a person aboard a vessel in the EEZ that has on board the 
commercial vessel permit required under this part for the appropriate 
species/species group. The possession of a commercial vessel permit 
notwithstanding, the bag and possession limits apply when the vessel is 
operating as a charter vessel or headboat. A person who fishes in the 
EEZ may not combine a bag limit specified in subparts B through V of 
this part with a bag or possession limit applicable to state waters. A 
species/species group subject to a bag limit specified in subparts B 
through V of this part taken in the EEZ by a person subject to the bag 
limits may not be transferred at sea, regardless of where such transfer 
takes place, and such fish may not be transferred in the EEZ. The 
operator of a vessel that fishes in the EEZ is responsible for ensuring 
that the bag and possession limits specified in subparts B through V of 
this part are not exceeded.
    (2) [Reserved]
    (b) [Reserved]



Sec. 622.12  Annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for 

Caribbean island management areas/Caribbean EEZ.

    (a) If landings from a Caribbean island management area, as 
specified in Appendix E to this part, except for landings of queen conch 
(see Sec. 622.491(b)), or landings from the Caribbean EEZ for tilefish 
and aquarium trade species, are estimated by the SRD to have exceeded 
the applicable ACL, as specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section for 
Puerto Rico management area species or species groups, paragraph (a)(2) 
of this section for St. Croix management area species or species groups, 
paragraph (a)(3) of this section for St. Thomas/St. John management area 
species or species groups, or paragraph (a)(4) of this section for the 
Caribbean EEZ, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the 
Federal Register, at or near the beginning of the following fishing 
year, to reduce the length of the fishing season for the applicable 
species or species groups that year by the amount necessary to ensure 
landings do not exceed the applicable ACL. If NMFS determines the ACL 
for a particular species or species group was exceeded because of 
enhanced data collection and monitoring efforts instead of an increase 
in total catch of the species or species group, NMFS will not reduce the 
length of the

[[Page 234]]

fishing season for the applicable species or species group the following 
fishing year. Landings will be evaluated relative to the applicable ACL 
based on a moving multi-year average of landings, as described in the 
FMP. With the exceptions of Caribbean queen conch in Puerto Rico and St. 
Thomas/St. John management areas, goliath grouper, Nassau grouper, 
midnight parrotfish, blue parrotfish, and rainbow parrotfish, ACLs are 
based on the combined Caribbean EEZ and territorial landings for each 
management area. The ACLs specified in paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), 
(a)(3), and (a)(4) of this section are given in round weight.
    (1) Puerto Rico--(i) Commercial ACLs. The following ACLs apply to 
commercial landings of Puerto Rico management area species or species 
groups.
    (A) Queen conch--0 lb (0 kg), for the EEZ only.
    (B) Parrotfishes--52,737 lb (23,915 kg).
    (C) Snapper Unit 1--284,685 lb (129,131 kg).
    (D) Snapper Unit 2--145,916 lb (66,186 kg).
    (E) Snapper Unit 3--345,775 lb (156,841 kg).
    (F) Snapper Unit 4--373,295 lb (169,324 kg).
    (G) Groupers--177,513 lb (80,519 kg).
    (H) Angelfish--8,984 lb (4,075 kg).
    (I) Boxfish--86,115 lb (39,061 kg).
    (J) Goatfishes--17,565 lb (7,967 kg).
    (K) Grunts--182,396 lb (82,733 kg).
    (L) Wrasses--54,147 lb (24,561 kg).
    (M) Jacks--86,059 lb (39,036 kg).
    (N) Scups and porgies, combined--24,739 lb (11,221 kg).
    (O) Squirrelfish--16,663 lb (7,558 kg).
    (P) Surgeonfish--7,179 lb (3,256 kg).
    (Q) Triggerfish and filefish, combined--58,475 lb (26,524 kg).
    (R) Spiny lobster--327,920 lb (148,742 kg).
    (ii) Recreational ACLs. The following ACLs apply to recreational 
landings of Puerto Rico management area species or species groups.
    (A) Queen conch--0 lb (0 kg), for the EEZ only.
    (B) Parrotfishes--15,263 lb (6,921 kg).
    (C) Snapper Unit 1--95,526 lb (43,330 kg).
    (D) Snapper Unit 2--34,810 lb (15,790 kg).
    (E) Snapper Unit 3--83,158 lb (37,720 kg).
    (F) Snapper Unit 4--28,509 lb (12,931 kg).
    (G) Groupers--77,213 lb (35,023 kg).
    (H) Angelfish--4,492 lb (2,038 kg).
    (I) Boxfish--4,616 lb (2,094 kg).
    (J) Goatfishes--362 lb (164 kg).
    (K) Grunts--5,028 lb (2,281 kg).
    (L) Wrasses--5,050 lb (2,291 kg).
    (M) Jacks--51,001 lb (23,134 kg).
    (N) Scups and porgies, combined--2,577 lb (1,169 kg).
    (O) Squirrelfish--3,891 lb (1,765 kg).
    (P) Surgeonfish--3,590 lb (1,628 kg).
    (Q) Triggerfish and filefish, combined--21,929 lb (9,947 kg).
    (2) St. Croix--(i) ACLs. The following ACLs apply to landings of St. 
Croix management area species or species groups.
    (A) Queen conch--50,000 lb (22,680 kg).
    (B) Parrotfishes--240,000 lb (108,863 kg).
    (C) Snappers--102,946 lb (46,696 kg).
    (D) Groupers--30,435 lb (13,805 kg).
    (E) Angelfish--305 lb (138 kg).
    (F) Boxfish--8,433 lb (3,825 kg).
    (G) Goatfishes--3,766 lb (1,708 kg).
    (H) Grunts--36,881 lb (16,729 kg).
    (I) Wrasses--7 lb (3 kg).
    (J) Jacks--15,489 lb (7,076 kg).
    (K) Scups and porgies, combined--4,638 lb (2,104 kg).
    (L) Squirrelfish--121 lb (55 kg).
    (M) Surgeonfish--33,603 lb (15,242 kg).
    (N) Triggerfish and filefish, combined--24,980 lb (11,331 kg).
    (O) Spiny lobster--107,307 lb (48,674 kg).
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (3) St. Thomas/St. John -- (i) ACLs. The following ACLs apply to 
landings of St. Thomas/St. John management area species or species 
groups.
    (A) Queen conch--0 lb (0 kg), for the EEZ only.
    (B) Parrotfishes--42,500 lb (19,278 kg).
    (C) Snappers--133,775 lb (60,679 kg).
    (D) Groupers--51,849 lb (23,518 kg).
    (E) Angelfish--7,897 lb (3,582 kg).
    (F) Boxfish--27,880 lb (12,646 kg).
    (G) Goatfishes--320 lb (145 kg).
    (H) Grunts--37,617 lb (17,063 kg).
    (I) Wrasses--585 lb (265 kg).
    (J) Jacks--52,907 lb (23,998 kg).
    (K) Scups and porgies, combined--21,819 lb (9,897 kg).
    (L) Squirrelfish--4,241 lb (1,924 kg).
    (M) Surgeonfish--29,249 lb (13,267 kg).

[[Page 235]]

    (N) Triggerfish and filefish, combined--74,447 lb (33,769 kg).
    (O) Spiny lobster--104,199 lb (47,264 kg).
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (4) Caribbean EEZ-- (i) ACLs. The following ACLs apply to landings 
of species or species groups throughout the Caribbean EEZ.
    (A) Tilefish--14,642 lb (6,641 kg).
    (B) Aquarium trade species--8,155 lb (3,699 kg).
    (ii) [Reserved]



Sec. 622.13  Prohibitions--general.

    In addition to the general prohibitions in Sec. 600.725 of this 
chapter, it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:
    (a) Engage in an activity for which a valid Federal permit, license, 
or endorsement is required under this part without such permit, license, 
or endorsement.
    (b) Falsify information on an application for a permit, license, or 
endorsement or submitted in support of such application, as specified in 
this part.
    (c) Fail to display a permit, license, or endorsement, or other 
required identification, as specified in this part.
    (d) Falsify or fail to maintain, submit, or provide information or 
fail to comply with inspection requirements or restrictions, as 
specified in this part.
    (e) Fail to make a fish, or parts thereof, available for inspection, 
as specified in this part.
    (f) Falsify or fail to display and maintain vessel and gear 
identification, as specified in this part.
    (g)-(h) [Reserved]
    (i) Fail to comply with any requirement or restriction regarding ITQ 
coupons, as specified in Sec. 622.172.
    (j) Possess wreckfish as specified in Sec. 622.172, receive 
wreckfish except as specified in Sec. 622.172, or offload a wreckfish 
except as specified in Sec. 622.172.
    (k) Transfer--
    (1) A wreckfish, as specified in Sec. 622.172;
    (2) A limited-harvest species, as specified in this part;
    (3) A species/species group subject to a bag limit, as specified in 
this part;
    (4) South Atlantic snapper-grouper from a vessel with unauthorized 
gear on board, as specified in Sec. 622.188; or
    (5) A species subject to a commercial trip limit, as specified in 
this part.
    (l) Use or possess prohibited gear or methods or possess fish in 
association with possession or use of prohibited gear, as specified in 
this part.
    (m) Fish for, harvest, or possess a prohibited species, or a 
limited-harvest species in excess of its limitation, sell or purchase 
such species, fail to comply with release requirements, molest or strip 
eggs from a lobster, or possess a lobster, or part thereof, from which 
eggs, swimmerettes, or pleopids have been removed or stripped, as 
specified in this part.
    (n) Fish in violation of the prohibitions, restrictions, and 
requirements applicable to seasonal and/or area closures, including but 
not limited to: Prohibition of all fishing, gear restrictions, 
restrictions on take or retention of fish, fish release requirements, 
and restrictions on use of an anchor or grapple, as specified in this 
part or as may be specified under this part.
    (o) Harvest, possess, offload, sell, or purchase fish in excess of 
the seasonal harvest limitations, as specified in this part.
    (p) Except as allowed for king and Spanish mackerel and Gulf of 
Mexico and South Atlantic spiny lobster, possess undersized fish, fail 
to release undersized fish, or sell or purchase undersized fish, as 
specified in this part.
    (q) Fail to maintain a fish intact through offloading ashore, as 
specified in this part.
    (r) Exceed a bag or possession limit, as specified in this part.
    (s) Fail to comply with the limitations on traps and pots, including 
but not limited to: Tending requirements, constructions requirements, 
and area specific restrictions, as specified in this part.
    (t) Fail to comply with the species-specific limitations, as 
specified in this part.
    (u) Fail to comply with the restrictions that apply after closure of 
a fishery, sector, or component of a fishery, as specified in this part.
    (v) Possess on board a vessel or land, purchase, or sell fish in 
excess of the

[[Page 236]]

commercial trip limits, as specified in this part.
    (w) Fail to comply with the restrictions on sale/purchase, as 
specified in this part.
    (x) Interfere with fishing or obstruct or damage fishing gear or the 
fishing vessel of another, as specified in this part.
    (y) Fail to comply with the requirements for observer coverage as 
specified in this part.
    (z) Assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, or interfere with a 
NMFS-approved observer aboard a vessel.
    (aa) Prohibit or bar by command, impediment, threat, coercion, or 
refusal of reasonable assistance, an observer from conducting his or her 
duties aboard a vessel.
    (bb) Fish for or possess golden crab in or from a fishing zone or 
sub-zone of the South Atlantic EEZ other than the zone or sub-zone for 
which the vessel is permitted or authorized, as specified in Sec. 
622.241.
    (cc) Falsify information submitted regarding an application for 
testing a BRD or regarding testing of a BRD, as specified in Sec. Sec. 
622.53 and 622.207.
    (dd) Make a false statement, oral or written, to an authorized 
officer regarding the installation, use, operation, or maintenance of a 
vessel monitoring system (VMS) unit or communication service provider.
    (ee) Operate or own a vessel that is required to have a permitted 
operator aboard when the vessel is at sea or offloading without such 
operator aboard, as specified in this part.
    (ff) When a vessel that is subject to Federal fishing regulations is 
at sea or offloading, own or operate such vessel with a person aboard 
whose operator permit is revoked, suspended, or modified.
    (gg) Fail to comply with any provision related to a vessel 
monitoring system (VMS) as specified in this part, including but not 
limited to, requirements for use, installation, activation, access to 
data, procedures related to interruption of VMS operation, and 
prohibitions on interference with the VMS.
    (hh) Fail to comply with the protected species conservation measure 
as specified in this part.
    (ii) Fail to comply with any provision related to the IFQ program 
for Gulf red snapper as specified in Sec. 622.21, or the IFQ program 
for Gulf groupers and tilefishes as specified in Sec. 622.22.
    (jj) Falsify any information required to be submitted regarding the 
IFQ program for Gulf red snapper as specified in Sec. 622.21, or the 
IFQ program for Gulf groupers and tilefishes as specified in Sec. 
622.22.
    (kk) Fail to comply with the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South 
Atlantic spiny lobster import prohibitions, as specified in this part.
    (ll) Possess a Gulf of Mexico or South Atlantic spiny lobster trap 
in the EEZ at a time not authorized, as specified in subpart R.
    (mm) Harvest or attempt to harvest a Gulf of Mexico or South 
Atlantic spiny lobster by diving without having and using in the water a 
measuring device, as specified in subpart R.
    (nn) Possess Gulf of Mexico or South Atlantic spiny lobsters aboard 
a vessel that uses or has on board a net or trawl in an amount exceeding 
the limits, as specified in subpart R.
    (oo) Operate a vessel that fishes for or possesses Gulf of Mexico or 
South Atlantic spiny lobster in or from the EEZ with spiny lobster 
aboard in an amount exceeding the cumulative bag and possession limit, 
as specified in subpart R.
    (pp) [Reserved]
    (qq) Fail to comply with any other requirement or restriction 
specified in this part or violate any provision(s) of this part.

[78 FR 57535, Sept. 19, 2013]



Sec. 622.14  Area closures related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    (a) Caribbean EEZ area closure related to Deepwater Horizon oil 
spill. Effective May 11, 2010, all fishing is prohibited in the portion 
of the Caribbean EEZ identified in the map shown on the NMFS Web site: 
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/deepwater--horizon--oil--spill.htm.
    (b) Gulf EEZ area closure related to Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 
Effective May 11, 2010, all fishing is prohibited in the portion of the 
Gulf EEZ identified in the map shown on the NMFS Web site: http://
sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/deepwater--horizon--oil--spill.htm.

[[Page 237]]

    (c) Atlantic EEZ area closure related to Deepwater Horizon oil 
spill. Effective May 11, 2010, all fishing is prohibited in the portion 
of the South Atlantic EEZ identified in the map shown on the NMFS Web 
site: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/deepwater--horizon--oil--spill.htm.



Sec. 622.15  Notice regarding area closures to protect corals.

    See Sec. Sec. 622.74 and 622.224, respectively, regarding coral 
protective restrictions in the Gulf EEZ and South Atlantic EEZ that 
apply broadly to multiple fisheries and gear types.



Sec. 622.16  Notice regarding South Atlantic special management zones (SMZs).

    See Sec. Sec. 622.182(a) and 622.382(a)(1)(v), respectively, 
regarding fishing and gear restrictions in South Atlantic SMZs that 
apply to snapper-grouper and coastal migratory pelagic fisheries and 
broadly to gear types of multiple fisheries.



Sec. 622.17  Notice regarding seasonal/area closures to protect Gulf reef 

fish.

    See Sec. 622.34, paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(3) through (6), 
regarding Gulf reef fish protective restrictions in the Gulf EEZ that 
apply broadly to multiple Gulf fisheries and gear types.



           Subpart B_Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico



Sec. 622.20  Permits and endorsements.

    (a) Commercial vessels--(1) Commercial vessel permits. For a person 
aboard a vessel to be eligible for exemption from the bag limits, to 
fish under a quota, as specified in Sec. 622.39, or to sell Gulf reef 
fish in or from the Gulf EEZ, a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef 
fish must have been issued to the vessel and must be on board. If 
Federal regulations for Gulf reef fish in subparts A or B of this part 
are more restrictive than state regulations, a person aboard a vessel 
for which a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued 
must comply with such Federal regulations regardless of where the fish 
are harvested. See paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section regarding a 
limited access system for commercial vessel permits for Gulf reef fish. 
See Sec. Sec. 622.21(b)(1) and 622.22(b)(1), respectively, regarding an 
IFQ vessel account required to fish for, possess, or land Gulf red 
snapper or Gulf groupers and tilefishes and paragraph (a)(2) of this 
section regarding an additional bottom longline endorsement required to 
fish for Gulf reef fish with bottom longline gear in a portion of the 
eastern Gulf.
    (i) Limited access system for commercial vessel permits for Gulf 
reef fish. (A) No applications for additional commercial vessel permits 
for Gulf reef fish will be accepted. Existing vessel permits may be 
renewed, are subject to the restriction on transfer in paragraph 
(a)(1)(i)(B) of this section, and are subject to the requirement for 
timely renewal in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section. An application 
for renewal or transfer of a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish 
will not be considered complete until proof of purchase, installation, 
activation, and operational status of an approved VMS for the vessel 
receiving the permit has been verified by NMFS VMS personnel.
    (B) An owner of a permitted vessel may transfer the commercial 
vessel permit for Gulf reef fish to another vessel owned by the same 
entity. A permit holder may also transfer the commercial vessel permit 
for Gulf reef fish to the owner of another vessel or to a new vessel 
owner when he or she transfers ownership of the permitted vessel.
    (C) A commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish that is not 
renewed or that is revoked will not be reissued. A permit is considered 
to be not renewed when an application for renewal is not received by the 
RA within 1 year of the expiration date of the permit.
    (ii) Option to consolidate commercial vessel permits for Gulf reef 
fish. A person who has been issued multiple commercial vessel permits 
for Gulf reef fish and wants to consolidate some or all of those 
permits, and the landings histories associated with those permits, into 
one permit must submit a completed permit consolidation application to 
the RA. The permits consolidated must be valid, non-expired permits and 
must be issued to the same entity. The application form and instructions 
are available online at sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.

[[Page 238]]

After consolidation, such a person would have a single permit, and the 
permits that were consolidated into that permit will be permanently 
terminated.
    (2) Commercial vessel endorsements--(i) Eastern Gulf reef fish 
bottom longline endorsement. For a person aboard a vessel, for which a 
valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued, to 
use a bottom longline for Gulf reef fish in the Gulf EEZ east of 
85[deg]30[min] W. long., a valid eastern Gulf reef fish bottom longline 
endorsement must have been issued to the vessel and must be on board. A 
permit or endorsement that has expired is not valid. This endorsement 
must be renewed annually and may only be renewed if the associated 
vessel has a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish or if the 
endorsement and associated permit are being concurrently renewed. The RA 
will not reissue this endorsement if the endorsement is revoked or if 
the RA does not receive a complete application for renewal of the 
endorsement within 1 year after the endorsement's expiration date.
    (A) Transferability. An owner of a vessel with a valid eastern Gulf 
reef fish bottom longline endorsement may transfer that endorsement to 
an owner of a vessel that has a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf 
reef fish.
    (B) Fees. A fee is charged for each renewal, transfer, or 
replacement of an eastern Gulf reef fish bottom longline endorsement. 
The amount of each fee is calculated in accordance with the procedures 
of the NOAA Finance Handbook, available from the RA, for determining the 
administrative costs of each special product or service. The fee may not 
exceed such costs and is specified with each application form. The 
appropriate fee must accompany each application for renewal, transfer, 
or replacement.
    (ii) [Reserved]
    (b) Charter vessel/headboat permits. For a person aboard a vessel 
that is operating as a charter vessel or headboat to fish for or possess 
Gulf reef fish, in or from the EEZ, a valid charter vessel/headboat 
permit for Gulf reef fish must have been issued to the vessel and must 
be on board.
    (1) Limited access system for charter vessel/headboat permits for 
Gulf reef fish. No applications for additional charter vessel/headboat 
permits for Gulf reef fish will be accepted. Existing permits may be 
renewed, are subject to the restrictions on transfer in paragraph 
(b)(1)(i) of this section, and are subject to the renewal requirements 
in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section.
    (i) Transfer of permits--(A) Permits without a historical captain 
endorsement. A charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish that 
does not have a historical captain endorsement is fully transferable, 
with or without sale of the permitted vessel.
    (B) Permits with a historical captain endorsement. A charter vessel/
headboat permit for Gulf reef fish that has a historical captain 
endorsement may only be transferred to a vessel operated by the 
historical captain and is not otherwise transferable.
    (C) Procedure for permit transfer. To request that the RA transfer a 
charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish, the owner of the 
vessel who is transferring the permit and the owner of the vessel that 
is to receive the transferred permit must complete the transfer 
information on the reverse side of the permit and return the permit and 
a completed application for transfer to the RA. See Sec. 622.4(f) for 
additional transfer-related requirements applicable to all permits 
issued under this part.
    (ii) Renewal. (A) Renewal of a charter vessel/headboat permit for 
Gulf reef fish is contingent upon the permitted vessel and/or captain, 
as appropriate, being included in an active survey frame for, and, if 
selected to report, providing the information required in one of the 
approved fishing data surveys. Surveys include, but are not limited to--
    (1) NMFS' Marine Recreational Fishing Vessel Directory Telephone 
Survey (conducted by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission);
    (2) NMFS' Southeast Headboat Survey (as required by Sec. 
622.26(b)(1));
    (3) Texas Parks and Wildlife Marine Recreational Fishing Survey; or
    (4) A data collection system that replaces one or more of the 
surveys in

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paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(A),(1),(2), or (3) of this section.
    (B) A charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish that is not 
renewed or that is revoked will not be reissued. A permit is considered 
to be not renewed when an application for renewal, as required, is not 
received by the RA within 1 year of the expiration date of the permit.
    (iii) Requirement to display a vessel decal. Upon renewal or 
transfer of a charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish, the RA 
will issue the owner of the permitted vessel a vessel decal for Gulf 
reef fish. The vessel decal must be displayed on the port side of the 
deckhouse or hull and must be maintained so that it is clearly visible.
    (iv) Passenger capacity compliance requirement. A vessel operating 
as a charter vessel or headboat with a valid charter vessel/headboat 
permit for Gulf reef fish, which is carrying more passengers on board 
the vessel than is specified on the permit, is prohibited from 
harvesting or possessing the species identified on the permit.
    (2) A charter vessel or headboat may have both a charter vessel/
headboat permit and a commercial vessel permit. However, when a vessel 
is operating as a charter vessel or headboat, a person aboard must 
adhere to the bag limits. See the definitions of ``Charter vessel'' and 
``Headboat'' in Sec. 622.2 for an explanation of when vessels are 
considered to be operating as a charter vessel or headboat, 
respectively.
    (3) If Federal regulations for Gulf reef fish in subparts A or B of 
this part are more restrictive than state regulations, a person aboard a 
charter vessel or headboat for which a charter vessel/headboat permit 
for Gulf reef fish has been issued must comply with such Federal 
regulations regardless of where the fish are harvested.
    (c) Dealer permits and conditions--(1) Permits. For a dealer to 
receive Gulf reef fish harvested from the EEZ, a dealer permit for Gulf 
reef fish must be issued to the dealer.
    (2) State license and facility requirements. To obtain a dealer 
permit or endorsement, the applicant must have a valid state 
wholesaler's license in the state(s) where the dealer operates, if 
required by such state(s), and must have a physical facility at a fixed 
location in such state(s).
    (d) Permit procedures. See Sec. 622.4 for information regarding 
general permit procedures including, but not limited to application, 
fees, duration, transfer, renewal, display, sanctions and denials, and 
replacement.

[78 FR 22952, Apr. 17, 2013, as amended at 78 FR 46293, July 31, 2013]



Sec. 622.21  Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf red snapper.

    (a) General. This section establishes an IFQ program for the 
commercial red snapper component of the Gulf reef fish fishery. Shares 
determine the amount of Gulf red snapper IFQ allocation, in pounds 
gutted weight, a shareholder is initially authorized to possess, land, 
or sell in a given calendar year. As of January 1, 2012, IFQ shares and 
allocation can only be transferred to U.S. citizens and permanent 
resident aliens. See paragraph (b)(11) of this section regarding 
eligibility to participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program as of 
January 1, 2012. Shares and annual IFQ allocation are transferable. See 
paragraph (b)(1) of this section regarding a requirement for a vessel 
landing red snapper subject to this IFQ program to have a Gulf red 
snapper IFQ vessel account. See paragraph (b)(2) of this section 
regarding a requirement for a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement. Details 
regarding eligibility, applicable landings history, account setup and 
transaction requirements, constraints on transferability, and other 
provisions of this IFQ system are provided in the following paragraphs 
of this section.
    (1) Scope. The provisions of this section regarding the harvest and 
possession of Gulf IFQ red snapper apply to Gulf red snapper in or from 
the Gulf EEZ and, for a person aboard a vessel with a Gulf red snapper 
IFQ vessel account as required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section or 
for a person with a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement as required by paragraph 
(b)(2) of this section, these provisions apply to Gulf red snapper 
regardless of where harvested or possessed.
    (2) Duration. The IFQ program established by this section will 
remain in effect until it is modified or terminated; however, the 
program will be evaluated

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by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council every 5 years.
    (3) Electronic system requirements. (i) The administrative functions 
associated with this IFQ program, e.g., registration and account setup, 
landing transactions, and transfers, are designed to be accomplished 
online; therefore, a participant must have access to a computer and 
Internet access and must set up an appropriate IFQ online account to 
participate. The computer must have browser software installed, e.g., 
Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox; as well as the software Adobe 
Flash Player version 9.0 or greater, which may be downloaded from the 
Internet for free. Assistance with online functions is available from 
IFQ Customer Service by calling 1-866-425-7627 Monday through Friday 
between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time.
    (ii) The RA mailed initial shareholders and dealers with Gulf reef 
fish dealer permits information and instructions pertinent to setting up 
an IFQ online account. Other eligible persons who desire to become IFQ 
participants by purchasing IFQ shares or allocation or by obtaining a 
Gulf red snapper IFQ dealer endorsement must first contact IFQ Customer 
Service at 1-866-425-7627 to obtain information necessary to set up the 
required IFQ online account. As of January 1, 2012, all U.S. citizens 
and permanent resident aliens are eligible to establish an IFQ online 
account. As of January 1, 2012, all current IFQ participants must 
complete and submit the application for an IFQ Online Account to certify 
their citizenship status and ensure their account information (e.g., 
mailing address, corporate shareholdings, etc.) is up to date. See Sec. 
622.21(b)(11) regarding requirements for the application for an IFQ 
Online Account. Each IFQ participant must monitor his/her online account 
and all associated messages and comply with all IFQ online reporting 
requirements.
    (iii) During catastrophic conditions only, the IFQ program provides 
for use of paper-based components for basic required functions as a 
backup. The RA will determine when catastrophic conditions exist, the 
duration of the catastrophic conditions, and which participants or 
geographic areas are deemed affected by the catastrophic conditions. The 
RA will provide timely notice to affected participants via publication 
of notification in the Federal Register, NOAA weather radio, fishery 
bulletins, and other appropriate means and will authorize the affected 
participants' use of paper-based components for the duration of the 
catastrophic conditions. NMFS will provide each IFQ dealer the necessary 
paper forms, sequentially coded, and instructions for submission of the 
forms to the RA. The paper forms will also be available from the RA. The 
program functions available to participants or geographic areas deemed 
affected by catastrophic conditions will be limited under the paper-
based system. There will be no mechanism for transfers of IFQ shares or 
allocation under the paper-based system in effect during catastrophic 
conditions. Assistance in complying with the requirements of the paper-
based system will be available via IFQ Customer Service 1-866-425-7627 
Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time.
    (4) IFQ allocation. IFQ allocation is the amount of Gulf red 
snapper, in pounds gutted weight, an IFQ shareholder or allocation 
holder is authorized to possess, land, or sell during a given fishing 
year. IFQ allocation is derived at the beginning of each year by 
multiplying a shareholder's IFQ share times the annual commercial quota 
for Gulf red snapper. If the quota is increased after the beginning of 
the fishing year, then IFQ allocation is derived by multiplying a 
shareholder's IFQ share at the time of the quota increase by the amount 
the annual commercial quota for red snapper is increased.
    (5) Initial shareholder IFQ account setup information. As soon as 
possible after an IFQ Online Account is established, the RA will provide 
IFQ account holders information pertinent to the IFQ program. This 
information will include:
    (i) General instructions regarding procedures related to the IFQ 
online system; and
    (ii) A user identification number--the personal identification 
number (PIN) is provided in a subsequent letter.
    (6) Dealer notification and IFQ account setup information. As soon 
as possible

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after November 22, 2006, the RA mailed each dealer with a valid Gulf 
reef fish dealer permit information pertinent to the IFQ program. Any 
such dealer is eligible to receive a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement, which 
can be downloaded from the IFQ Web site at ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov once 
an IFQ account has been established. The information package included 
general information about the IFQ program and instructions for accessing 
the IFQ Web site and establishing an IFQ dealer account.
    (b) IFQ operations and requirements--(1) IFQ vessel accounts for 
Gulf red snapper. For a person aboard a vessel, for which a commercial 
vessel permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued, to fish for, possess, 
or land Gulf red snapper, regardless of where harvested or possessed, a 
Gulf IFQ vessel account for Gulf red snapper must have been established. 
As a condition of the IFQ vessel account, a person aboard such vessel 
must comply with the requirements of this section, Sec. 622.21, when 
fishing for red snapper regardless of where the fish are harvested or 
possessed. An owner of a vessel with a commercial vessel permit for Gulf 
reef fish, who has established an IFQ account for Gulf red snapper as 
specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, online via the NMFS 
IFQ Web site ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, may establish a vessel account 
through that IFQ account for that permitted vessel. If such owner does 
not have an online IFQ account, the owner must first contact IFQ 
Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627 to obtain information necessary to 
access the IFQ Web site and establish an online IFQ account. There is no 
fee to set-up an IFQ account or a vessel account. Only one vessel 
account may be established per vessel under each IFQ program. An owner 
with multiple vessels may establish multiple vessel accounts under each 
IFQ account. The purpose of the vessel account is to hold IFQ allocation 
that is required to land the applicable IFQ species. A vessel account 
must hold sufficient IFQ allocation, at least equal to the pounds in 
gutted weight of the red snapper on board, from the time of advance 
notice of landing through landing (except for any overage allowed as 
specified in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. The vessel account 
remains valid as long as the vessel permit remains valid; the vessel has 
not been sold or transferred; and the vessel owner is in compliance with 
all Gulf reef fish and IFQ reporting requirements, has paid all 
applicable IFQ fees, and is not subject to sanctions under 15 CFR part 
904. The vessel account is not transferable to another vessel. The 
provisions of this paragraph do not apply to fishing for or possession 
of Gulf red snapper under the bag limit specified in Sec. 622.38(b)3).
    (2) Gulf IFQ dealer endorsements. In addition to the requirement for 
a dealer permit for Gulf reef fish as specified in Sec. 622.20(c), for 
a dealer to receive red snapper subject to the Gulf red snapper IFQ 
program, as specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, or for a 
person aboard a vessel with a Gulf IFQ vessel account to sell such red 
snapper directly to an entity other than a dealer, such persons must 
also have a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement. A dealer with a Gulf reef fish 
permit can download a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement from the NMFS IFQ Web 
site at ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. If such persons do not have an IFQ 
online account, they must first contact IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-
425-7627 to obtain information necessary to access the IFQ Web site and 
establish an IFQ online account. There is no fee for obtaining this 
endorsement. The endorsement remains valid as long as the Gulf reef fish 
dealer permit remains valid and the dealer is in compliance with all 
Gulf reef fish and IFQ reporting requirements, has paid all IFQ fees 
required, and is not subject to any sanctions under 15 CFR part 904. The 
endorsement is not transferable.
    (3) IFQ Landing and transaction requirements. (i) Gulf red snapper 
subject to this IFQ program can only be possessed or landed by a vessel 
with a Gulf red snapper IFQ vessel account with allocation at least 
equal to the pounds of red snapper on board, except as provided in 
paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. Such red snapper can only be 
received by a dealer with a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement.
    (ii) A person on board a vessel with an IFQ vessel account landing 
the

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shareholder's only remaining allocation, can legally exceed, by up to 10 
percent, the shareholder's allocation remaining on that last fishing 
trip of the fishing year, i.e., a one-time per fishing year overage. Any 
such overage will be deducted from the shareholder's applicable 
allocation for the subsequent fishing year. From the time of the overage 
until January 1 of the subsequent fishing year, the IFQ shareholder must 
retain sufficient shares to account for the allocation that will be 
deducted the subsequent fishing year. Share transfers that would violate 
this requirement will be prohibited.
    (iii) The dealer is responsible for completing a landing transaction 
report for each landing and sale of Gulf red snapper via the IFQ Web 
site at ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov at the time of the transaction in 
accordance with the reporting form(s) and instructions provided on the 
Web site. This report includes, but is not limited to, date, time, and 
location of transaction; weight and actual ex-vessel price of red 
snapper landed and sold; and information necessary to identify the 
fisherman, vessel, and dealer involved in the transaction. The fisherman 
must validate the dealer transaction report by entering his unique PIN 
when the transaction report is submitted. After the dealer submits the 
report and the information has been verified, the Web site will send a 
transaction approval code to the dealer and the allocation holder.
    (iv) If there is a discrepancy regarding the landing transaction 
report after approval, the dealer or vessel account holder (or his or 
her authorized agent) must initiate a landing transaction correction 
form to correct the landing transaction. This form is available via the 
IFQ Web site at ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. The dealer must then print out 
the form, both parties must sign it, and the form must be mailed to 
NMFS. The form must be received by NMFS no later than 15 days after the 
date of the initial landing transaction.
    (4) IFQ cost recovery fees. As required by section 304(d)(2)(A)(i) 
of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the RA will collect a fee to recover the 
actual costs directly related to the management and enforcement of the 
Gulf red snapper IFQ program. The fee cannot exceed 3 percent of the ex-
vessel value of Gulf red snapper landed under the IFQ program as 
described in the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Such fees will be deposited in 
the Limited Access System Administration Fund (LASAF). Initially, the 
fee will be 3 percent of the actual ex-vessel price of Gulf red snapper 
landed per trip under the IFQ program, as documented in each landings 
transaction report. The RA will review the cost recovery fee annually to 
determine if adjustment is warranted. Factors considered in the review 
include the catch subject to the IFQ cost recovery, projected ex-vessel 
value of the catch, costs directly related to the management and 
enforcement of the IFQ program, the projected IFQ balance in the LASAF, 
and expected non-payment of fee liabilities. If the RA determines that a 
fee adjustment is warranted, the RA will publish a notification of the 
fee adjustment in the Federal Register.
    (i) Payment responsibility. The IFQ allocation holder specified in 
the documented red snapper IFQ landing transaction report is responsible 
for payment of the applicable cost recovery fee