[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 222 (Tuesday, November 18, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 68610-68619]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-27081]



[[Page 68610]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

15 CFR Part 902

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 140113040-4919-02]
RIN 0648-BD90


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Monitoring 
and Enforcement; At-Sea Scales Requirements

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: NMFS issues regulations to revise the at-sea scales program 
for catcher/processor vessels (C/Ps) and motherships that are required 
to weigh catch at sea. This action makes three major changes to current 
regulations. First, this action requires enhancements of daily scale 
testing for flow scales used to weigh catch at sea and requires 
electronic reporting of the daily flow scale test results. Second, this 
action requires that vessels required to use flow scales to weigh catch 
have electronics capable of logging and printing the frequency and 
magnitude of scale calibrations, as well as the time and date of each 
scale fault (or error) and scale startup. Third, this action requires 
that vessels use video to monitor the flow scale and the area around 
the flow scale. In addition, this action revises minor technical 
regulations related to equipment and operation regulations and removes 
certain regulations that are no longer applicable; and improves the 
accuracy of catch estimation by the C/Ps and motherships using at-sea 
scales and reduces the possibility of scale tampering. This action is 
intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management 
Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management 
Area, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska, 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other 
applicable laws.

DATES: Effective December 18, 2014.

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Watson, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the U.S. groundfish fisheries 
of the exclusive economic zone off Alaska under the Fishery Management 
Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska and the Fishery Management 
Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management 
Area. The fishery management plans (FMPs) were prepared by the North 
Pacific Fishery Management Council and approved by the Secretary of 
Commerce under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The 
FMPs are implemented by regulations at 50 CFR parts 679 and 680.

Background

    The use of at-sea scales can provide precise and accurate 
groundfish catch estimates. At-sea scales are now used to account for 
the vast majority of catch by C/Ps and motherships fishing off Alaska. 
The at-sea scales program was developed in the mid-1990s to provide 
catch accounting methods for vessels, specifically C/Ps, that were more 
precise and verifiable and less dependent on estimates generated by at-
sea observers. Improved catch estimation was necessary because of the 
implementation of large-scale catch share programs. Catch share 
programs require NMFS to provide verifiable and precise estimates of 
quota harvest. Because catch share programs limit vessel operators to 
specific amounts of catch, vessel operators may have an incentive to 
underreport catch and then fish beyond specific catch limits. A method 
for independently verifying catch, such as a requirement to weigh catch 
on a scale, reduces the vessel operator's ability to underreport catch.
    Because C/Ps and motherships do not deliver their catch onshore 
where land-based scales can be used, catch must be weighed at sea. The 
requirements for weighing catch at sea were first implemented in 1998, 
and subsequently expanded to nearly all C/Ps operating off Alaska and 
motherships operating in the Bering Sea pollock fishery. Since 1998, 
the at-sea scales program has grown significantly, from fewer than 20 
to more than 60 participating vessels today.
    Since the at-sea scales program was first implemented in 1998, 
there have been substantial improvements in scale technology, NMFS has 
developed greater expertise with at-sea scales, and vessels are able to 
communicate more quickly and easily with NMFS while at sea. In 
addition, when at-sea scales regulations were first implemented in 
1998, none of the vessels that were required to use scales had onboard 
video systems. Now, most of the vessels subject to at-sea scales 
requirements are required to use video monitoring to monitor the flow 
of catch. Collectively, these advancements in technology and expertise 
provide opportunities for NMFS to improve scale accuracy, monitoring, 
and reporting.
    Recently, enforcement concerns have been raised about compliance 
with at-sea scales regulations. These enforcement concerns indicate 
that catch estimates based on inaccurate scale weights could 
systematically underestimate harvests in fisheries using scale weights 
for catch accounting. Modifications to the at-sea scales program will 
reduce the potential for scale tampering, improve catch accounting 
accuracy, and bring regulations up to date with current technology.

Actions Implemented by Rule

    The proposed rule for this action was published in the Federal 
Register on July 31, 2014 (79 FR 44372). The 30-day comment period on 
the proposed rule ended September 2, 2014. The regulatory provisions 
implemented by this action are summarized here. Additional information 
and a description of this action are provided in detail in the preamble 
to the proposed rule and are not repeated here.
    This action affects the owners and operators of the following C/Ps 
and motherships that are required to weigh catch at sea:
     Trawl C/Ps permitted for pollock in the Bering Sea and 
Aleutian Islands (BSAI) under the American Fisheries Act (AFA);

[[Page 68611]]

     motherships permitted to receive deliveries of pollock in 
the BSAI under the AFA;
     trawl C/Ps permitted to fish for groundfish under 
Amendment 80 to the BSAI FMP;
     trawl C/Ps permitted to fish for rockfish in the Central 
Gulf of Alaska (GOA);
     longline C/Ps with a license limitation program license 
endorsed for C/P operations that fish for Pacific cod using hook-and-
line gear in the Bering Sea (BS) or Aleutian Islands areas; and
     C/Ps that harvest catch in the BSAI under the Multispecies 
Community Development Quota (MS-CDQ) Program.
    All C/Ps and motherships that harvest catch in the BSAI under the 
MS-CDQ Program are subject to the same requirements as all other 
vessels that are required to weigh groundfish catch at sea under this 
action. This action is consistent with section 305(i)(1)(B)(iv) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, which requires that Community Development Quota 
(CDQ) fisheries ``shall be regulated by the Secretary [NMFS] in a 
manner no more restrictive than for other participants in the 
applicable sector.''
    This action implements three major and several minor technical 
changes to at-sea scale regulations. First, this action changes daily 
scale test methods for flow scales used to weigh catch at sea and 
requires electronic reporting of daily flow scale test results. These 
changes will improve the accuracy of flow scale estimates, and allow 
NMFS to monitor and correct potential bias in scale estimates. Second, 
this action requires that flow scales used to weigh catch be capable of 
logging and printing the frequency and magnitude of scale calibrations 
relative to previous calibrations as well as the time and date of each 
scale fault (or error) and scale startup. These changes will allow NMFS 
to monitor adjustments to the flow scale made by vessel crew. This will 
help NMFS detect and address the accidental or intentional flow scale 
weight biasing. Third, this action requires that the area around the 
flow scale be monitored by video. This action will enhance NMFS' 
ability to detect vessel crew activities that could bias or adversely 
affect flow scale operations. Overall, this action will improve the 
accuracy of catch estimation by the C/Ps and motherships using at-sea 
scales and reduce the possibility of scale tampering.
    This action also revises and consolidates the technical video 
requirements for fleets currently required to use video monitoring. 
Doing so will reduce confusion and prevent inconsistent compliance with 
the new video monitoring requirements. Finally, this action makes nine 
minor revisions to the equipment and operational regulations that, 
among other changes, remove regulations that are no longer applicable, 
clarify or add processes to request scale inspections or changes to 
equipment, and clarify other related requirements.

Comments and Responses

    NMFS received five comment letters containing 15 distinct comments 
on the proposed rule. A summary of the relevant comments and NMFS' 
responses follows. Two technical corrections were made to the proposed 
rule as a result of these comments.
    Comment 1: The commenter supports the use of at-sea scales and 
recognizes the need to update aging at-sea scales technology to ensure 
accurate data.
    Response: NMFS acknowledges the comment. Since NMFS first 
implemented at-sea scales requirements for some C/Ps in 1998, the 
program has grown dramatically, scale technologies have evolved, and 
NMFS has developed greater expertise with at-sea scales. The suite of 
modifications to the at-sea scales program will reduce the potential 
for fraud, improve catch account accuracy, and bring regulations up to 
date with improvements in technology.
    Comment 2: The commenter states that NMFS has cited a series of 
flow scale fraud cases as one of the reasons for changes to the at-sea 
scales requirements. Not all vessels using flow scales have been 
charged with fraud, so new regulations are unnecessary for many 
vessels.
    Response: NMFS agrees that not all vessels using flow scales have 
been charged with scale fraud. However, NMFS disagrees that all vessels 
need to have been charged with fraud before at-sea scales regulations 
are improved and revised. NMFS has an obligation to ensure accurate and 
reliable catch accounting. Documented cases of fraud have shown the 
accuracy and reliability of catch accounting systems can be undermined 
and pointed out a need for revisions and improvements to the at-sea 
scales program. Improving at-sea scales regulations will help NMFS 
ensure accurate and reliable catch accounting among all vessels and 
reduce the potential for additional fraud.
    While reducing the potential for fraud is one of the reasons for 
revising the at-sea scales program, NMFS cites other reasons for 
revising the at-sea scales program in the problem statement for this 
action (see the Introduction section of the Analysis). First, the at-
sea scales program has expanded from 20 vessels when it was first 
developed to more than 60 vessels today. This increase in the number 
and variety of vessel types has created the need to be more efficient 
with time and resources; by automating many of the tasks needed to 
monitor the at-sea scales program NMFS may gain these efficiencies. 
This final rule establishes regulations to improve the automation of 
many of these tasks. Second, when the at-sea scales program was first 
developed, NMFS did not have a direct communication link with the 
vessels at sea, such as the e-logbook program that is now in place. The 
requirement in the final rule that vessels use the e-logbook will allow 
daily reporting of flow scale tests to better track the accuracy of the 
flow scales and improve catch accounting for these programs. Third, at 
the time the at-sea scales program was implemented, flow scales could 
store only minimal data. Today, flow scales are significantly easier to 
program and offer much greater storage capacity. These improvements 
will allow NMFS to determine how well the flow scales are performing 
while at sea, and improve the accuracy and reliability of flow scale 
measurements. Finally, video technology will allow NMFS to monitor 
activities around the flow scales at times when an observer may not be 
present or is completing other duties. This final rule establishes 
regulations to require video monitoring technology to ensure that all 
fish are sorted and weighed correctly, which enhances overall catch 
accounting.
    Comment 3: The commenter states that NMFS anticipates most of these 
first-generation flow scale electronics will be replaced by the time of 
a final rule. However, not all affected vessels were planning to update 
their first-generation flow scale electronics. Therefore, the 
assumptions and cost projections in the analysis are likely 
underestimated and significant.
    Response: NMFS disagrees. In Section B of the Analysis NMFS 
acknowledges that 19 vessels of the 68 vessels regulated by this action 
are using first generation flow scale electronics and that 10 of these 
vessels were not planning to acquire new flow scale electronics prior 
to implementation of these regulations. Section B of the Analysis 
describes the estimated costs for the vessels that were not planning to 
upgrade to new flow scale electronics. The cost estimates were based on 
the difference between the cost of replacement today and the present 
value of replacement at the time the vessel owners would have chosen. 
The analysis assumes that these flow scale electronics would otherwise 
have had

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five years of additional life. The difference between the cost of 
replacement today and the present value of replacement in 5 years would 
be about $4,100 per unit, or about $41,000 for 10 units. The commenter 
does not present any new information that undermines NMFS' evaluation 
of the number of vessels or the estimated costs of compliance presented 
in the Analysis.
    Comment 4: The commenter states that the proposed rule includes 
provisions that require vessel operators to invest in new software and 
cameras to capture additional data from the flow scale and more 
comprehensively monitor activity at and around the flow scale area. The 
proposed regulations will be onerous and expensive and are unnecessary 
for the vessels in the BSAI longline C/P fleet since the flow scales 
and cameras on these vessels are no more than a year old.
    Response: NMFS disagrees. The requirements in this final rule are 
necessary to reduce the potential for fraud, improve catch accounting 
accuracy, and bring regulations up to date with improvements in 
technology for all C/Ps affected by this final rule. The regulations 
implemented in 2013 to allow the use of at-sea scales to monitor catch 
on BSAI longline C/Ps do not preclude NMFS from implementing additional 
regulatory changes to enhance the monitoring of flow scales used by 
these BSAI longline C/Ps (see final rule implementing revised 
regulations for longline C/Ps, 77 FR 59053, September 26, 2012).
    Because at-sea scales have only recently been placed on longline C/
Ps, the costs of compliance with this final rule are likely to be lower 
for longline C/Ps compared to other C/Ps. Section B of the Analysis 
explains that because the flow scales used on longline C/Ps are the 
most current generation of flow scale electronics, these vessels will 
not be required to purchase new flow scale electronics, but will be 
required to update their flow scale software. The cost of updating flow 
scale software is significantly lower than the costs of replacing flow 
scale electronics. The video monitoring requirements implemented by 
this action are very similar to the requirements that were implemented 
in 2013 to enhance the monitoring of at-sea scales used by longline C/
Ps (see the final rule, 77 FR 59053, September 26, 2012). Only 7 
vessels out of 30 active vessels in the longline C/P fleet will be 
impacted by the video monitoring requirements in this action. Section C 
of the Analysis explains that these 7 vessels may need to purchase an 
additional camera and connect them to the existing video system on the 
vessel.
    Comment 5: The commenter states that the installation of new video 
monitoring systems and flow scale software, while not cost prohibitive, 
are nonetheless additional expenses for vessels since they will have to 
spend valuable time to install these systems and software while at the 
dock. This will leave less time to prepare the vessel for fishing.
    Response: NMFS acknowledges this comment. Section C of the Analysis 
describes the costs and time to install the video monitoring systems 
and new software. The administrative costs to NMFS to approve and 
monitor installations also are explained in Section C. Based on past 
experience with video monitoring systems and flow scale software 
installations, NMFS anticipates most video and flow scale software 
installations will occur just prior to an annual inspection. NMFS 
usually conducts annual inspections when a vessel is already in a 
shipyard or after the fishery season when the vessel is already at the 
dock so that additional fishing time is not lost. Therefore, NMFS 
expects video and flow scale software installations will not reduce the 
fishing time available to most vessels. Flow scale software upgrades on 
vessels with the latest generation of flow scale electronics are not 
expected to take long and will likely be incorporated as part of the 
vessel's annual maintenance of the flow scale. However, installation of 
video monitoring systems by the vessel may take longer depending on the 
layout of a specific vessel. Personnel needed to install video 
monitoring systems are likely not the same personnel doing other work 
on board a vessel (e.g., preparing the factory) so video monitoring 
system installation and other vessel preparations may occur 
concurrently. The specific time for video installation will vary from 
vessel-to-vessel and depends on a range of design factors and 
availability of personnel to complete the installation.
    Comment 6: The commenter states that the proposed regulations at 
Sec.  679.28(b)(5)(v) allow vessels that have been inspected between 
March 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014, the ability to wait until the 
next annual at-sea scale inspection to meet the new fault and 
calibration log requirements. It is unclear if vessels that are 
inspected during December 2014, but that plan to begin fishing on 
January 20, 2015, will have to meet the new fault and calibration log 
requirements or if they will be able to wait until December 2015 to 
meet the new fault and calibration log requirements.
    Response: The final rule requires fault and calibration log 
recording for all vessels in 2015 depending on when they received NMFS 
inspections during 2014. The proposed regulations at Sec.  
679.28(b)(5)(v) were intended to delay the requirements to comply with 
the flow scale fault and calibration log recording only for vessels for 
which NMFS conducted an at-sea scale inspection outside the winter 
scale inspection schedule (i.e., prior to December 2014). The timing of 
some fisheries requires NMFS to conduct some at-sea scale inspections 
during the spring and summer. Without a delay in the fault and 
calibration log requirements, these vessels would be required to have 
an additional at-sea scale inspection at the beginning of 2015. 
Requiring an additional inspection within 6 months of the last 
inspection will present significant logistical difficulties and 
increased costs for both NMFS and the vessel owners and at-sea scale 
providers. NMFS, however, did not intend to propose to delay 
implementation of the flow scale fault and calibration log requirements 
for vessels that NMFS normally inspects after December 1, 2014, and 
prior to fishing in 2015. The proposed regulations at Sec.  
679.28(b)(5)(v) mistakenly included December 31, 2014, as the last day 
vessels could receive an inspection and not need to comply with the 
flow scale fault and calibration log requirements, thus creating 
confusion about when vessels would need to comply with the 
requirements. The final rule clarifies the effective date is December 
1, 2014, and not December 31, 2014. This modification clarifies that 
vessels that received at-sea scale inspections after March 1, 2014, and 
before December 1, 2014, will have to comply with the calibration log 
requirements and the fault log requirements at the time the flow scale 
is inspected by NMFS in 2015. Vessel operators that receive at-sea 
inspections in December 2014 will be required to comply with the new 
flow scale fault and calibration log requirements at the time of 
inspection.
    Comment 7: The commenter proposes a phased-in approach to the 
software and flow scale electronics upgrades needed to comply with the 
flow scale fault and calibration log requirements for vessels using 
first generation flow scale electronics. The commenter states that the 
proposed rule already allows some flexibility for flow scales that have 
recently been certified. The commenter states that allowing all vessels 
this flexibility would amortize these

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significant capital expenses over several years.
    Response: NMFS disagrees. This rule requires the recording of scale 
faults and calibrations in 2015. Vessels will need to update flow scale 
software to allow the recording of scale faults and calibrations. 
Vessels with older versions of flow scale electronics will also need to 
upgrade those electronics to accommodate this new software. The final 
rule allows vessels that were inspected after March 1, 2014, and before 
December 1, 2014, to delay the implementation of the new fault log and 
calibration log requirements until their next annual inspection during 
2015 (see regulations at Sec.  679.28(b)(5)(v)) for the reasons 
described in the response to Comment 6. NMFS will not further delay the 
requirements of this final rule beyond 2015. As stated in the problem 
statement of the Analysis, NMFS raised enforcement concerns about 
compliance with at-sea scale regulations. Inaccurate scale weights 
could systematically underestimate harvest in fisheries using scale 
weights for catch accounting. These fault and calibration log 
requirements and the updated software to accommodate these requirements 
are needed by 2015 to improve catch accounting accuracy.
    The regulatory requirement to incorporate the fault and calibration 
logs into flow scales is an integral piece in preventing scale fraud 
and systematic underestimation of harvest. The fault and calibration 
logs will provide useful information to NMFS' Office of Law Enforcement 
about improper flow scale use. Additionally, the first generation flow 
scale electronics are nearing the end of their service life. First 
generation flow scale electronics are no longer sold and finding 
replacing parts for these scales is becoming increasingly difficult. 
Recent annual inspections by NMFS and inseason reports from vessels 
have identified problems with the maintenance and functioning of these 
flow scales, such as taking multiple attempts to pass both the daily 
tests and the annual inspection. Given these problems, NMFS expects 
that some of these first generation flow scale electronics would not be 
able to pass their future annual inspections or daily scale tests even 
under existing regulatory requirements. The implementation of this 
final rule is necessary given the recent advances in scale and software 
technology and the limited serviceable life of existing first 
generation flow scale electronics.
    Comment 8: The commenter states that the regulations at Sec.  
679.28(e)(7) will require NMFS' approval for changes to a vessel's 
video monitoring system. However, the proposed rule is not clear about 
what constitutes a change that will require approval. Vessel personnel 
need the ability to maintain video monitoring systems during fishing 
operations. Regular maintenance includes replacing cameras, computers, 
and wiring and monitors that are no longer serviceable, and other 
similar tasks. NMFS should clarify what activities will require NMFS' 
approval.
    Response: NMFS acknowledges the comment. The regulation noted by 
the commenter is not substantively new. Prior to the implementation of 
this final rule, regulations at Sec.  679.28(i)(1)(iii)(K), (j)(4), and 
(k)(7) also required that changes to the video monitoring systems be 
approved by either NMFS or the Regional Administrator. The final rule 
consolidates the approval process for changes in all video monitoring 
programs into one regulatory provision at Sec.  679.28(e)(7). Changes 
to all the video systems must now be submitted for approval to the 
Regional Administrator. Changes to approved video monitoring systems 
that must be submitted for Regional Administrator approval are those 
that affect the functionality of the video system, such as changing the 
camera view. Any video equipment replacements that allow the system to 
continue to function in the same manner as when it was approved by the 
Regional Administrator will not need to be approved. For example, 
replacing broken or malfunctioning components of the video system with 
identical parts will not be considered to affect the functionality of 
the system. However, moving cameras to different locations or changing 
video software systems could change the functionality of the video 
system and will need approval.
    Comment 9: The commenter states that NMFS claims that the proposed 
regulations will improve its ability to detect fault and calibration 
fraud through retention of the last 1,000 faults, 1,000 calibrations 
and scale startups. However, the rule does not describe how and when 
the additional data will be used. For example, how will NMFS use data 
in a timely fashion to determine if fraud is occurring in real time? 
The assumption that collecting more data provides deterrence to 
intentional fraud is false if NMFS is not able to detect fraud under 
the current reporting requirement (last 10 faults and startups).
    Response: NMFS disagrees. The current software does not have the 
capability to record any faults or calibrations. The current 
regulations only require an audit trail that records when the weighing 
parameters inside the flow scale software are changed. As stated in the 
Analysis in Section B, both miscalibrating the flow scale and 
frequently running the flow scale in fault mode can indicate fraudulent 
activity. One miscalibration or fault error may occur accidently and be 
quickly resolved by the vessel. By requiring the vessel to provide a 
printout of this information at the end of the year with the last 1,000 
calibrations and 1,000 faults, NMFS can look for patterns that might 
suggest improper flow scale calibrations or detect significant amounts 
of time when the flow scale is running in fault mode. Although NMFS 
anticipates reviewing these data on an annual basis, NMFS staff or 
enforcement personnel could request this printout at any time during 
the year.
    Comment 10: The commenter states that the proposed regulations 
include new provisions on flow scale tests that will require daily 
submission of flow scale tests to NMFS and reporting of all daily scale 
tests, including failed tests (see regulations at Sec.  
679.5(f)(1)(ix)). These reporting requirements will create additional 
burdens on vessel crew and additional work and expenditures by NMFS to 
review and process the data collected under the new regulations. The 
value of the additional data does not warrant the expense for the 
industry and NMFS. If NMFS is interested in all flow scale tests 
performed on a vessel in a day, there already exists capabilities for 
the observer to monitor these actions as needed. It is also likely that 
video monitoring could capture the activities of interest.
    Response: NMFS disagrees. Video monitoring systems are unable to 
determine the specific results of a flow scale test. The video 
monitoring systems are meant to ensure that the flow scale is 
functioning properly (e.g., that the flow scale is not running while in 
a fault (error) state), ensure that all fish are being weighed, detect 
when crew members are working on the flow scale, and ensure that daily 
flow scale tests are being conducted on the required schedule and with 
the appropriate test weights. Observers monitor the daily flow scale 
test, but they are not required to report those results to NMFS.
    The vessel operator is responsible for ensuring that the flow scale 
is in working order and passes the daily flow scale test before 
weighing fish. The vessel operator is also responsible for reporting 
those results to NMFS and maintaining the at-sea scales so that the 
performance error is as close to zero as practicable. By requiring 
electronic submission of the daily flow scale tests, NMFS is reducing 
the reporting

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requirements for the vessel overall. Although the vessel operator will 
be required to report all the flow scale tests performed (pass and 
fail), which could nominally increase the workload of the vessel 
operator, the vessel would be conducting these flow scale tests anyway 
until the flow scale passed the test, or the vessel repaired the flow 
scale. The information that is reported electronically is simplified 
compared to the paper form the vessel operators must currently 
complete. Under this final rule, only three blocks of information are 
required to be submitted to NMFS through the e-logbook: The weight of 
the test material on the platform scale, the weight of the material on 
the flow scale being tested, and the time of the test. Prior to this 
final rule, the vessel operator had to report 10 blocks of information 
through the paper form called Record of Daily Flow Scale Tests. These 
blocks were the vessel name, the date of test, the time of test, the 
weight of fish or sandbags on the platform scale, the weight of fish or 
sandbags on the flow scale, the calculated error of the flow scale, the 
calculated percent error of the flow scale, the sea conditions at the 
time of the test, the signature of the vessel operator, and the 
signature of the observer. The electronic reporting also allows data to 
be automatically submitted. For example, the percent error of a flow 
scale test is automatically calculated and entered into the report by 
the electronic reporting software. Also, because the reporting of the 
daily flow scale tests is part of the software that the majority of 
vessels already use to report catch and effort data daily to NMFS, no 
additional transmission requirements would be required for most vessel 
operators. Additionally, the vessel operator would only be required to 
sign the electronic logbook form, not both the logbook form and the 
daily scale test form. Finally, as the Analysis states in Section A.2, 
by receiving this information on a daily basis, NMFS can monitor the 
test results daily and identify flow scale issues immediately instead 
of requesting the test results at the end of the year, reviewing 
hundreds of paper forms, and entering the results by hand. Overall, 
daily reporting is likely to reduce workload and allow for errors in 
flow scale functions to be identified and corrected more quickly than 
under existing reporting requirements.
    Comment 11: The commenter states that currently only two companies 
provide certified at-sea flow scales: Marel and Scanvaegt. However, 
currently Scanvaegt's flow scale will not meet the proposed 
requirements, eliminating competition among at-sea flow scale 
providers. Scanvaegt is working towards a solution that meets proposed 
requirements. However, NMFS should not adopt regulations that can only 
be met by a single vendor and should delay implementation until at-sea 
flow scales from additional vendors are approved.
    Response: NMFS disagrees. The flow scale requirements in the final 
rule were developed independent of any specific scale company's 
available products, and any scale company could meet the requirements. 
Other entities, including commercial scale manufacturers other than the 
two noted by the commenter, could develop an at-sea flow scale that 
meets the requirements described in the regulations and NMFS could 
approve those at the time they became available. NMFS has no 
information to indicate that the company currently providing at-sea 
flow scales that meet these requirements will increase costs beyond the 
normal market prices that were estimated in the analysis. NMFS does not 
have any information to indicate when other scale manufacturers may 
choose to enter the market with an at-sea flow scale that meets the 
requirements. Flow scales that meet the requirements established in 
this final rule are currently available, and new manufacturers can 
choose to enter the market at any time. Delaying these regulations 
until additional scale manufacturers have entered the market is not 
necessary.
    Comment 12: The commenter states that the proposed regulations at 
Sec.  679.28(e)(1)(iv) state that ``color cameras must have at a 
minimum 470 TV (television) lines of resolution.'' There are many 
digital video cameras that no longer use TV lines within their 
specifications and have their resolution measured in pixels. Digital 
cameras with specific Megapixel (MP) ratings do not directly compare to 
TV line ratings. Some manufacturers produce video cameras that have 
high MP ratings but a low quality lens, which may contribute to 
distortion and blurriness of the image. In most cases, a digital camera 
will output to the equivalent of 470 TV lines so the regulations should 
provide an alternative standard in MP for digital cameras.
    Response: NMFS disagrees. While some digital camera manufacturers 
may not use TV lines in their specifications, it remains the industry 
standard to determine video quality, and digital cameras can be tested 
and their resolution can be compared to a TV line standard. As the 
commenter mentions, a higher MP rating will not necessarily result in 
higher video quality. As the commenter also states, most current 
digital cameras are able to meet the 470 TV line standard. Because 
digital cameras can be tested against a TV line standard, it is not 
necessary to establish a new minimum MP standard in these regulations 
to ensure adequate video quality requirements are met.
    Comment 13: The commenter states that the proposed regulations at 
Sec.  679.28(e)(1)(iii) state that the video files from the video 
monitoring system must output to an open source format. This regulation 
should be rephrased to correspond with the video output formats 
currently provided with commercially available equipment. Most 
commercially available video recording software and digital video 
recorders do not use, or output to, open source formats; rather, they 
use industry-generated standards like H.264 or MPEG4. The regulations 
should require video data to use formats such as H.264. This revision 
would establish a standard data format, but allow the use of 
alternative data formats, provided those formats are not proprietary 
and meet the performance standards set forth by the video security 
surveillance industry.
    Response: NMFS disagrees that the proposed regulations must be 
changed to allow the use of multiple video data formats. The final 
regulations at Sec.  679.28(e)(1)(iii) state that the video monitoring 
system ``must output video files to an open source format or the vessel 
owner must provide software capable of converting the output video file 
to an open source format or commercial software must be available for 
converting the output video file to an open source format.'' This 
regulation does not require that the software must use an open source 
format, but instead that the software has the ability to convert to an 
open source format. Most H.264 video compression formats have the 
ability to be converted to an open source format using commercially 
available software. However, some video surveillance systems use 
software that is not commercially available. These are considered 
custom written or proprietary format systems. Although video monitoring 
systems using a proprietary format may have advantages in that the 
video files are less likely to be manipulated, these proprietary format 
systems limit NMFS' ability to store and review the output video 
imagery from several different systems. This is problematic because 
these different systems may be deployed on different vessels, and so 
absent this requirement NMFS would have to use different proprietary 
video software for each vessel's system. The video

[[Page 68615]]

monitoring systems currently in use by all the vessels regulated by 
this final rule are able to output video data in an open source format 
that does not require NMFS to purchase specific proprietary video 
software. The final rule will not require one specified video format, 
such as H.264, because this may limit the types of video systems that 
could be used in this program and a specified video format may become 
outdated in a short period of time.
    Comment 14: The proposed regulations at Sec.  679.28(e)(1)(ii) 
require that video systems have at least one external Universal Serial 
Bus (USB) port using version 1.1 or 2.0. There are currently computers 
that are available that only offer USB ports with version 3.0. This 
regulation should be revised to include ``USB 3.0'' or remove the 
reference to specific versions of USB and allow any external USB port.
    Response: NMFS agrees. The proposed regulations stated that the 
video system must have at least one external USB (1.1 or 2.0) port or 
other removable storage device approved by NMFS. Under the proposed 
rule the new industry standard USB 3.0 port would be covered because 
its use could be approved by NMFS. However, the commenter highlights 
the potential for confusion. To provide clarity, in this final rule 
NMFS has removed the reference to the version of USB port in the 
regulations at Sec.  679.28(e)(1)(ii). With this change, the video 
system could have one external port using any current or future 
versions of USB, or any other removable storage devices that are 
approved by NMFS.
    Comment 15: The commenter states that NMFS should consider 
including a minimum recording resolution for the proposed video 
monitoring requirements, such as 640 x 480 pixels. The proposed 
regulations specify that a video system must record at a speed of no 
less than 5 unique frames per second (FPS) at all times when the use of 
a video monitoring system is required (see regulations at Sec.  
679.28(e)(1)(vi)). The requirement to record at 5 unique FPS does not 
specify the resolution of the video image that is saved to the storage 
device. Without a minimum recording resolution requirement, it does not 
matter if images are recorded at 5 unique FPS because the quality of 
the image may not be adequate for review and storage.
    Response: NMFS agrees and the regulations do require that the video 
system meet a performance standard for the recording resolution. This 
final rule does not specify one resolution standard because there are 
four different video monitoring programs, each with a different 
resolution need. These programs are the bin monitoring program for 
Amendment 80 vessels; video monitoring program on C/Ps and motherships 
in the BS pollock fishery, including CDQ; the video monitoring program 
for BSAI longline C/Ps; and the video monitoring program for flow 
scales. Each video monitoring program has a different monitoring 
objective, and a single recording resolution standard is not applicable 
to all of these video monitoring programs. Instead, each of these video 
monitoring programs describes qualitatively what the recorded 
resolution must be to meet the monitoring objectives. For example, 
regulations for BSAI longline C/Ps at Sec.  679.28(k)(1)(i) state the 
video monitoring system must ``Provide sufficient resolution and field 
of view to monitor all areas where Pacific cod are sorted from the 
catch, all fish passing over the motion-compensated scale, and all crew 
actions in these areas.'' Other standards apply to other video 
monitoring programs.
    Additionally, NMFS requires the vessels to identify their recording 
resolution on the Video Monitoring Inspection Request Form that must be 
submitted in order to conduct an inspection. This form and the 
qualitative description of the resolution for each system allow NMFS to 
determine if the video system will be approved.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    Eight changes to the regulations were made: Two were based on 
public comment and seven modify language to improve clarity of the 
regulations. First, in response to comment Sec.  679.28(b)(5)(v) is 
changed to clarify that vessel operators that receive an at-sea scale 
inspection for a vessel after March 1, 2014, and before December 1, 
2014, will have to comply with the calibration log requirements and 
fault log requirements at the time the flow scale is inspected by NMFS 
in 2015. All vessels that normally have their inspections completed in 
December 2014, and January 2015, must comply with the requirements of 
this final rule prior to fishing in 2015. Further discussion of this 
change can be found in the response to Comment 6. Second, in response 
to public comment, the final rule is changed at Sec.  679.28(e)(1)(ii) 
to remove the specific version of USB port the video system must have. 
With this change, the video system could have one external port using 
any current or future versions of USB, or any other removable storage 
devices that are approved by NMFS. Further discussion of this change 
can be found in the response to Comment 14. Finally, editorial changes 
have been made to Sec.  679.28(b)(5)(v), Sec.  679.28(b)(5)(iii), Sec.  
679.28(b)(5)(iv), Sec.  679.28(b)(8), Sec.  679.28(e)(1), Sec.  
679.28(e)(1)(v), and Sec.  679.28(e)(7) to clarify the regulations, but 
do not change the effect of the regulations.

OMB Revisions to Paperwork Reduction Act References in 15 CFR 902.1(b)

    Section 3507(c)(B)(i) of the PRA requires that agencies inventory 
and display a current control number assigned by the Director, OMB, for 
each agency information collection. Section 902.1(b) identifies the 
location of NOAA regulations for which OMB approval numbers have been 
issued. Because this final rule revises and adds data elements within a 
collection-of-information for recordkeeping and reporting requirements, 
15 CFR 902.1(b) is revised to reference correctly the sections 
resulting from this final rule.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS 
Assistant Administrator has determined that this rule is consistent 
with the FMPs, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other 
applicable law.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received 
regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility 
analysis was not required and none was prepared.

Collection-of-Information Requirements

    This final rule contains collection-of-information requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and which have been 
approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The collection-
of-information requirements are presented below by OMB control number.

OMB Control No. 0648-0213

    Public reporting burden is estimated to average 31 minutes per 
active response and 5 minutes per inactive response for Mothership 
Daily Cumulative Production Logbook (DCPL)

[[Page 68616]]

(with this action the mothership DCPL is removed and is replaced by the 
mothership electronic logbook (ELB)); 30 minutes per active response 
and 5 minutes inactive response for C/P trawl gear DCPL; and 41 minutes 
per active response and 5 minutes per inactive response for C/P 
longline and pot gear DCPL.

OMB Control No. 0648-0330

    Public reporting burden is estimated to average 45 minutes for 
daily record of flow scale test; 1 minute for printed reports from the 
calibration log; 1 minute for printed reports from the fault log; 6 
minutes for request for inspection with a diagram, At-sea Scale; 2 
hours for request for inspection with a diagram, Observer Sampling 
Station; 2 hours for request for inspection with a diagram, Flow Scale 
Video Monitoring System; 2 hours for request for inspection with a 
diagram, Freezer Longline Video Monitoring System; 2 hours for request 
for inspection with a diagram, Chinook Salmon Bycatch Video Monitoring 
System; 2 hours for request for inspection with a diagram, Bin Video 
Monitoring System; and 30 minutes to notify NMFS of Pacific cod 
Monitoring Option.

OMB Control No. 0648-0515

    Public reporting burden is estimated to average 15 minutes per 
active response and 5 minutes per inactive response for C/P ELB (both 
trawl gear and longline or pot gear); and 15 minutes per active 
response and 5 minutes per inactive response for Mothership ELB.
    Estimated responses include the time for reviewing instructions, 
searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data 
needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. 
Send comments regarding these burden estimates or any other aspect of 
this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to 
NMFS (see ADDRESSES) and by email to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov, or 
fax to 202-395-7285.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB control number. All currently approved NOAA 
collections of information may be viewed at: http://www.cio.noaa.gov/services_programs/prasubs.html.

List of Subjects

15 CFR Part 902

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

50 CFR Part 679

    Alaska, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: November 6, 2014.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS amends 15 CFR part 
902 and 50 CFR part 679 as follows:

PART 902--NOAA INFORMATION COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE 
PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT: OMB CONTROL NUMBERS

0
1. The authority citation for part 902 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.


0
2. In Sec.  902.1, in the table in paragraph (b), under the entry ``50 
CFR'':
0
a. Remove entries for ``679.28(b), (c), (d), (e), (g), and (j)'' and 
``679.28(k)''; and
0
b. Add entries in alphanumeric order for ``679.28(b), (c), (d), (e), 
(g), (j), and (k)''.
    The additions read as follows:


Sec.  902.1  OMB control numbers assigned pursuant to the Paperwork 
Reduction Act.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Current OMB
                                                          control number
  CFR part or section where the information collection     (all numbers
                 requirement is located                     begin with
                                                              0648-)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                * * * * *
50 CFR:
 
                                * * * * *
679.28 (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), (j), and (k)............           -0330
 
                                * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

0
3. The authority citation for part 679 continues to read as follows:

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


0
4. In Sec.  679.5, add paragraph (f)(1)(ix) to read as follows:


Sec.  679.5  Recordkeeping and reporting (R&R).

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ix) Catcher/processors and motherships required to weigh catch on 
NMFS-approved scales. Catcher/processors and motherships required to 
weigh catch on a NMFS-approved scale must use a NMFS-approved ELB. The 
vessel operator must ensure that each scale is tested as specified in 
Sec.  679.28(b)(3) and that the following information from all scale 
tests, including failed tests, is reported within 24 hours of the 
testing using the ELB:
    (A) The weight of test material from the observer platform scale;
    (B) The total weight of the test material as recorded by the scale 
being tested;
    (C) Percent error as determined by subtracting the known weight of 
the test material from the weight recorded on the scale being tested, 
dividing that amount by the known weight of the test material, and 
multiplying by 100; and
    (D) The time, to the nearest minute A.l.t. when testing began.
* * * * *

0
5. In Sec.  679.28,
0
a. Revise paragraphs (a), (b)(3) introductory text, (b)(3)(i)(B), 
(b)(3)(ii)(B)(2), and (b)(3)(iii)(B)(7);
0
b. Remove paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(C);
0
c. Add paragraphs (b)(5)(iii), (b)(5)(iv), and (b)(5)(v);
0
c. Revise paragraph (b)(6);
0
d. Add paragraph (b)(8); and
0
e. Revise paragraphs (b)(6), (d)(1), (d)(9)(i), (e), (i)(1)(ii) and 
(iii), (i)(3), (j), and (k).
    The revisions and additons read as follows:


Sec.  679.28  Equipment and operational requirements.

    (a) Applicability. This section contains the operational 
requirements for scales, observer sampling stations, vessel monitoring 
system hardware, catch monitoring and control plans, catcher vessel 
electronic logbook software, and video monitoring systems. The operator 
or manager must retain a copy of all records described in this section 
(Sec.  679.28) as indicated at Sec.  679.5(a)(5) and (6) and make 
available the records upon request of NMFS observers and authorized 
officers as indicated at Sec.  679.5(a)(5).
    (b) * * *
    (3) At-sea scale tests. To verify that the scale meets the MPEs 
specified in this paragraph (b)(3), the vessel operator must test each 
scale or scale system used by the vessel to weigh catch at least one 
time during each calendar day.

[[Page 68617]]

No more than 24 hours may elapse between tests when use of the scale is 
required. The vessel owner must ensure that these tests are performed 
in an accurate and timely manner.
    (i) * * *
    (B) Test procedure. The vessel operator must conduct a material 
test by weighing no less than 400 kg of test material, supplied by the 
scale manufacturer or approved by a NMFS-authorized scale inspector, on 
the scale under test. The test material may be run across the scale 
multiple times in order to total 400 kg; however, no single batch of 
test material may weigh less than 40 kg. The known weight of the test 
material must be determined at the time of each scale test by weighing 
it on a platform scale approved for use under paragraph (b)(7) of this 
section.
    (ii) * * *
    (B) * * *
    (2) Scales used to weigh catch. Test weights equal to the largest 
amount of fish that will be weighed on the scale in one weighment.
    (iii) * * *
    (B) * * *
    (7) Signature of vessel operator.
* * * * *
    (5) * * *
    (iii) Printed reports from the calibration log. The vessel operator 
must print the calibration log on request by NMFS employees or any 
individual authorized by NMFS. The calibration log must be printed and 
retained by the vessel owner and operator before any information stored 
in the scale computer memory is replaced. The calibration log must 
detail either the prior 1,000 calibrations or all calibrations since 
the scale electronics were first put into service, whichever is less. 
The printout from the calibration log must show:
    (A) The vessel name and Federal fisheries or processor permit 
number;
    (B) The month, day, and year of the calibration;
    (C) The time of the calibration to the nearest minute in A.l.t.;
    (D) The weight used to calibrate the scale; and
    (E) The magnitude of the calibration in comparison to the prior 
calibration.
    (iv) Printed reports from the fault log. The vessel operator must 
print the fault log on request by NMFS employees or any individual 
authorized by NMFS. The fault log must be printed and retained by the 
vessel owner and operator before any information stored in the scale 
computer memory is replaced. The fault log must detail either the prior 
1,000 faults and startups, or all faults and startups since the scale 
electronics were first put into service, whichever is less. A fault, 
for the purposes of the fault log, is any condition other than 
underflow detected by the scale electronics that could affect the 
metrological accuracy of the scale. The printout from the fault log 
must show:
    (A) The vessel name and Federal fisheries or processor permit 
number;
    (B) The month, day, year, and time of each startup to the nearest 
minute in A.l.t.;
    (C) The month, day, year, and time that each fault began to the 
nearest minute in A.l.t.;
    (D) The month, day, year, and time that each fault was resolved to 
the nearest minute in A.l.t.
    (v) Calibration and log requirements for 2015 only. The owner and 
operator of a vessel with a scale used by the vessel crew to weigh 
catch that was approved after March 1, 2014, and before December 1, 
2014, under Sec.  679.28(b)(2) are not required to comply with the 
calibration log requirements at Sec.  679.28(b)(5)(iii) or the fault 
log requirements at Sec.  679.28(b)(5)(iv) until that scale is 
reapproved by a NMFS-authorized scale inspector in 2015.
    (6) Scale installation requirements. The scale display must be 
readable from the location where the observer collects unsorted catch 
unless otherwise authorized by a NMFS-authorized scale inspector.
* * * * *
    (8) Video monitoring for scales used by the vessel crew to weigh 
catch. The owner and operator of a vessel fishing for groundfish who 
are required to weigh catch under the regulations in this section must 
provide and maintain a NMFS-approved video monitoring system as 
specified in paragraph (e) of this section. Additionally, the system 
must:
    (i) Provide sufficient resolution and field of view to monitor: All 
areas where catch enters the scale, moves across the scale and leaves 
the scale; any access point to the scale from which the scale may be 
adjusted or modified by vessel crew while the vessel is at sea; and the 
scale display and the indicator for the scale operating in a fault 
state.
    (ii) Record and retain video for all periods when catch that must 
be weighed is on board the vessel.
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) Accessibility. All the equipment required for an observer 
sampling station must be available to the observer at all times while a 
sampling station is required and the observer is aboard the vessel, 
except that the observer sampling scale may be used by vessel personnel 
to conduct material tests of the scale used to weigh catch under 
paragraph (b)(3) of this section, as long as the use of the observer's 
sampling scale by others does not interfere with the observer's 
sampling duties.
* * * * *
    (9) * * *
    (i) How does a vessel owner arrange for an observer sampling 
station inspection? The vessel owner must submit an Inspection Request 
for Observer Sampling Station with all the information fields 
accurately filled in to NMFS by fax (206-526-4066) or emailing 
(station.inspections@noaa.gov) at least 10 working days in advance of 
the requested date of inspection. The request form is available on the 
NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
* * * * *
    (e) Video Monitoring System Requirements--(1) What requirements 
must a vessel owner and operator comply with for a video monitoring 
system? (i) The system must have sufficient data storage capacity to 
store all video data from an entire trip. Each frame of stored video 
data must record a time/date stamp in Alaska local time (A.l.t.).
    (ii) The system must include at least one external USB port or 
other removable storage device approved by NMFS.
    (iii) The system must output video files to an open source format 
or the vessel owner must provide software capable of converting the 
output video file to an open source format or commercial software must 
be available for converting the output video file to an open source 
format.
    (iv) Color cameras must have at a minimum 470 TV lines of 
resolution, auto-iris capabilities, and output color video to the 
recording device with the ability to revert to black and white video 
output when light levels become too low for color recognition.
    (v) The video data must be maintained by the vessel operator and 
made available on request by NMFS employees, or any individual 
authorized by NMFS. The data must be retained on board the vessel for 
no less than 120 days after the date the video is recorded, unless NMFS 
has notified the vessel operator that the video data may be retained 
for less than this 120-day period.
    (vi) The system must record at a speed of no less than 5 unique 
frames per second at all times when the use of a video monitoring 
system is required.

[[Page 68618]]

    (vii) NMFS employees, or any individual authorized by NMFS, must be 
able to view any video footage from any point in the trip using a 16-
bit or better color monitor that can display all cameras simultaneously 
and must be assisted by crew knowledgeable in the operation of the 
system.
    (viii) Unless exempted under paragraph (D) below, a 16-bit or 
better color monitor must be provided within the observer sampling 
station or at the location where the observer sorts and weighs samples. 
The monitor:
    (A) Must have the capacity to display all cameras simultaneously;
    (B) Must be operating when the use of a video monitoring system is 
required;
    (C) Must be securely mounted at or near eye level;
    (D) Is not applicable to longline C/Ps subject to Sec.  
679.100(b)(2).
    (2) How does a vessel owner or operator arrange for NMFS to conduct 
a video monitoring system inspection? The vessel owner or operator must 
submit an Inspection Request for a Video Monitoring System to NMFS with 
all information fields accurately filled in at least 10 working days in 
advance of the requested date of inspection. The request form is 
available on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site (http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov).
    (3) What additional information is required for a video monitoring 
system inspection? (i) A diagram drawn to scale showing all sorting 
locations, the location of the motion-compensated scale, the location 
of each camera and its coverage area, and the location of any 
additional video equipment must be submitted with the Inspection 
Request for a Video Monitoring System form. Diagrams for C/Ps and 
motherships in the BSAI pollock fishery, including pollock CDQ, must 
include the location of the salmon storage container.
    (ii) Any additional information requested by the Regional 
Administrator.
    (4) Where will NMFS conduct video monitoring and bin monitoring 
system inspections? Inspections will be conducted on vessels tied to 
docks at Dutch Harbor, Alaska; Kodiak, Alaska; and in the Puget Sound 
area of Washington State.
    (5) A video monitoring system is approved for use when NMFS 
employees, or any individual authorized by NMFS, completes and signs a 
Video Monitoring Inspection Report verifying that the video system 
meets all applicable requirements of this section.
    (6) A vessel owner or operator must maintain a current NMFS-issued 
Video Monitoring System Inspection Report on board the vessel at all 
times the vessel is required to provide an approved video monitoring 
system. The Video Monitoring System Inspection Report must be made 
available to the observer, NMFS personnel, or to an authorized officer 
upon request.
    (7) How does a vessel owner make a change to the video monitoring 
system? Any change to the video monitoring system that would affect the 
system's functionality must be submitted by a vessel owner to, and be 
approved by, the Regional Administrator in writing before that change 
is made.
* * * * *
    (i) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) Option 2--Line of sight option. From the observer sampling 
station, the location where the observer sorts and weighs samples, and 
the location from which the observer collects unsorted catch, an 
observer of average height (between 64 and 74 inches (140 and 160 cm)) 
must be able to see all areas of the bin or tank where crew could be 
located preceding the point where the observer samples catch. The 
observer must be able to view the activities of crew in the bin from 
these locations.
    (iii) Option 3--Video monitoring system option. A vessel owner and 
operator must provide and maintain a NMFS-approved video monitoring 
system as specified in paragraph (e) of this section. Additionally, the 
vessel owner and operator must ensure that:
    (A) All periods when fish are inside the bin are recorded and 
stored;
    (B) The system provides sufficient resolution and field of view to 
see and read a text sample written in 130 point type (corresponding to 
line two of a standard Snellen eye chart) from any location within the 
tank where crew could be located.
* * * * *
    (3) How does a vessel owner arrange for a bin monitoring option 
inspection? The owner must submit an Inspection Request for Bin 
Monitoring to NMFS with all the information fields filled in at least 
10 working days in advance of the requested date of inspection. The 
request form is available on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site (http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov).
* * * * *
    (j) Video monitoring on catcher/processors and motherships in the 
BS pollock fishery, including pollock CDQ. The owner and operator of a 
catcher/processor or a mothership must provide and maintain a video 
monitoring system approved under paragraph (e) of this section. These 
video monitoring system requirements must be met when the catcher/
processor is directed fishing for pollock in the BS, including pollock 
CDQ, and when the mothership is taking deliveries from catcher vessels 
directed fishing for pollock in the BS, including pollock CDQ. 
Additionally, the system must--
    (1) Record and retain video for all periods when fish are flowing 
past the sorting area or salmon are in the storage container.
    (2) The system must provide sufficient resolution and field of view 
to observe all areas where salmon are sorted from the catch, all crew 
actions in these areas, and discern individual fish in the salmon 
storage container.
    (k) Video monitoring in the longline catcher/processor subsector. 
The owner and operator of a catcher/processor subject to Sec.  
679.100(b)(2) must provide and maintain a video monitoring system 
approved under paragraph (e) of this section. These video monitoring 
system requirements must be met when the vessel is operating in either 
the BSAI or GOA groundfish fisheries when directed fishing for Pacific 
cod is open in the BSAI, or while the vessel is groundfish CDQ fishing. 
Additionally, the system must:
    (1) Record and retain video for all periods when Pacific cod are 
being sorted and weighed.
    (2) Provide sufficient resolution and field of view to monitor all 
areas where Pacific cod are sorted from the catch, all fish passing 
over the motion-compensated scale, and all crew actions in these areas.

0
6. In Sec.  679.100, revise paragraphs (b) introductory text and 
(b)(2)(i)(D) and remove paragraph (d).
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  679.100  Applicability.

* * * * *
    (b) Monitoring option selection. The owner of a vessel subject to 
this subpart that does not opt out under paragraph (a) of this section 
must submit a completed notification form for one of two monitoring 
options to NMFS. The notification form is available on the NMFS Alaska 
Region Web site (http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/). The vessel owner 
must comply with the selected monitoring option at all times when the 
vessel is operating in either the BSAI or GOA groundfish fisheries when 
directed fishing for Pacific cod is open in the BSAI, or while the 
vessel is groundfish CDQ fishing. If NMFS does not receive a 
notification to opt out or a notification for one of the two monitoring 
options, NMFS will assign that vessel to the increased observer 
coverage option under paragraph (b)(1) of this section

[[Page 68619]]

until the notification form has been received by NMFS.
* * * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (D) The vessel is in compliance with the video monitoring 
requirements described at Sec.  679.28(k).
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-27081 Filed 11-17-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P