50 C.F.R. PART 679—FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA


Title 50 - Wildlife and Fisheries


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries

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PART 679—FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA

Section Contents

Subpart A—General

§ 679.1   Purpose and scope.
§ 679.2   Definitions.
§ 679.3   Relation to other laws.
§ 679.4   Permits.
§ 679.5   Recordkeeping and reporting (R&R).
§ 679.6   Exempted fisheries.
§ 679.7   Prohibitions.
§ 679.8   Facilitation of enforcement.
§ 679.9   Penalties.

Subpart B—Management Measures

§ 679.20   General limitations.
§ 679.21   Prohibited species bycatch management.
§ 679.22   Closures.
§ 679.23   Seasons.
§ 679.24   Gear limitations.
§ 679.25   Inseason adjustments.
§ 679.26   Prohibited Species Donation Program.
§ 679.27   Improved Retention/Improved Utilization Program.
§ 679.28   Equipment and operational requirements.

Subpart C—Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program

§ 679.30   General CDQ regulations.
§ 679.31   CDQ reserves.
§ 679.32   Groundfish and halibut CDQ catch monitoring.

Subpart D—Individual Fishing Quota Management Measures

§ 679.40   Sablefish and halibut QS.
§ 679.41   Transfer of quota shares and IFQ.
§ 679.42   Limitations on use of QS and IFQ.
§ 679.43   Determinations and appeals.
§ 679.44   Penalties.
§ 679.45   IFQ cost recovery program.

Subpart E—Groundfish Observer Program

§ 679.50   Groundfish Observer Program applicable through December 31, 2007.

Subpart F—American Fisheries Act and Aleutian Island Directed Pollock Fishery Management Measures

§ 679.60   Authority and related regulations.
§ 679.61   Formation and operation of fishery cooperatives.
§ 679.62   Inshore sector cooperative allocation program.
§ 679.63   Catch weighing requirements for vessels and processors.
§ 679.64   Harvesting sideboards limits in other fisheries.
§ 679.65   [Reserved]
Appendix A to Part 679—Performance and Technical Requirements for Scales Used To Weigh Catch at Sea in the Groundfish Fisheries Off Alaska
Figure 1 to Part 679—Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Statistical and Reporting Areas
Figure 2 to Part 679—BSAI Catcher Vessel Operational Area
Figure 3 to Part 679—Gulf of Alaska Statistical and Reporting
Figure 4 to Part 679—BSAI Herring Savings Areas in the BSAI
Figure 5 to Part 679—Kodiak Island Areas Closed to Non-Pelagic Trawl Gear
Figure 6 to Part 679—Length Overall of Vessel
Figure 7 to Part 679—Location of Trawl Gear Test Areas in the GOA and the BSAI
Figure 8 to Part 679—Chinook Salmon Savings Areas of the BSAI
Figure 9 to Part 679—Chum Savings Area (CSSA) of the CVOA
Figure 10 to Part 679—Pribilof Islands Area Habitat Conservation Zone in the Bering Sea
Figure 11 to Part 679—Red King Crab Savings Area (RKCSA)
Figure 12 to Part 679—Nearshore Bristol Bay Trawl Closure Area
Figure 13 to Part 679—BSAI C. Opilio Tanner Crab Bycatch Limitations Zone
Figure 14 to Part 679—Sablefish Regulatory Areas
Figure 15 to Part 679—Regulatory Areas for the Pacific Halibut Fishery
Figure 16 to Part 679 [Reserved]
Figure 17 to Part 679 [Reserved]
Figure 18 to Part 679—Sitka Pinnacles Marine Reserve
Figure 19 to Part 679—Shelikof Strait Conservation Area
Figure 20 to Part 679—Steller sea lion conservation area (SCA) of the Bering Sea
Figure 21 [Reserved]
Figure 22 to Part 679—Chiniak Gully Research Area (applicable through December 31, 2010)
Figure 23 to Part 679—Salmon Management Area (see §679.2)
Table 1 to Part 679—Product and Delivery Codes
Table 2a to Part 679—Species Codes: FMP Groundfish
Table 2b to Part 679—Species Code: FMP Prohibited Species
Table 2c to Part 679—Species Codes: FMP Forage Fish Species
Table 2d to Part 679—Species Codes—Non-FMP Species
Table 3 to Part 679—Product Recovery Rates for Groundfish Species and Conversion Rates for Pacific Halibut
Table 4 to Part 679—Steller Sea Lion Protection Areas Pollock Fisheries Restrictions
Table 5 to Part 679—Steller Sea Lion Protection Areas Pacific Cod Fisheries Restrictions
Table 6 to Part 679—Steller Sea Lion Protection Areas Atka Mackerel Fisheries Restrictions
Table 7 to Part 679—Communities Determined To Be Eligible To Apply for Community Development Quotas
Table 8 to Part 679—Harvest Zone Codes for Use With Vessel Activity Reports
Table 9 to Part 679—Required Logbooks, Reports, Forms and Electronic Logbook and Reports From Participants in the Federal Groundfish Fisheries
Table 10 to Part 679—Gulf of Alaska Retainable Percentages
Table 11 to Part 679—BSAI Retainable Percentages
Table 12 to Part 679—Steller Sea Lion Protection Areas 3nm No Groundfish Fishing Sites
Table 13 to Part 679—Transfer Form Summary
Table 14a to Part 679—Port of Landing Codes1 : Alaska
Table 14b to Part 679—Port of Landing Codes: Non-Alaska (California, Canada, Oregon, Washington)
Table 14c At-sea Operation Type Codes To Be Used as Port Codes for Vessels Matching This Type of Operation
Table 15 to Part 679—Gear Codes, Descriptions, and Use (X indicates where this code is used)
Table 16 to Part 679—Area Codes and Descriptions for Use With State of Alaska ADF&G Commercial Operator's Annual Report (COAR)
Table 17 to Part 679—Process Codes for Use With State of Alaska Commercial Operator's Annual Report (COAR)
Table 18 to Part 679—Required Buying and Production Forms for use With State of Alaska Commercial Operator's Annual Report (COAR)
Table 19 to Part 679—Seabird Avoidance Gear Codes
Table 20 to Part 679—Seabird Avoidance Gear Requirements for Vessels, based on Area, Gear, and Vessel Type. (See §679.24(e) for complete seabird avoidance program requirements; see 679.24(e)(1) for applicable fisheries)
Table 21 to Part 679—Eligible GOA Communities, Halibut IFQ Regulatory Use Areas, and Community Governing Body that Recommends the Community Quota Entity
Table 22 to Part 679— Alaska Seamount Habitat Protection Areas
Table 23 to Part 679—Aleutian Islands Coral Habitat Protection Areas
Table 24 to Part 679—Except as Noted, Locations in the Aleutian Islands Habitat Conservation Area Open to Nonpelagic Trawl Fishing
Table 25 to Part 679—Bowers Ridge Habitat Conservation Zone
Table 26 to Part 679—Gulf of Alaska Coral Habitat Protection Areas
Table 27 to Part 679—Gulf of Alaska Slope Habitat Conservation Areas


Authority:  16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1540(f); 1801 et seq.; 1851 note; 3631 et seq.

Source:  61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

Editorial Note:  Nomenclature changes to part 679 appear at 61 FR 56438, Nov. 1, 1996; 62 FR 2047, Jan. 15, 1997; 66 FR 27909, May 21, 2001; and 67 FR 79739, Dec. 30, 2002.

Subpart A—General
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§ 679.1   Purpose and scope.
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Regulations in this part were developed by the Council under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Northern Pacific Halibut Act. Along with part 600 of this chapter, these regulations implement the following:

(a) Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. (1) Regulations in this part govern commercial fishing for groundfish in the GOA by vessels of the United States (see subparts A, B, D, and E of this part).

(2) The following State of Alaska regulations are not preempted by this part for vessels regulated under this part fishing for demersal shelf rockfish in the Southeast Outside District, and which are registered under the laws of the State of Alaska: 5 AAC 28.110, fishing seasons; 5 AAC 28.130, gear; 5 AAC 28.160, harvest guidelines; 5 AAC 28.190, harvest of bait by commercial permit holders.

(b) Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. Regulations in this part govern commercial fishing for groundfish in the BSAI by vessels of the United States (see subparts A, B, C, D, and E of this part).

(c) [Reserved]

(d) IFQ Program for sablefish and halibut. The IFQ management measures for the commercial fisheries that use fixed gear to harvest sablefish and halibut (see subparts A, B, D, and E of this part).

(1) Sablefish. (i) Regulations in this part govern commercial fishing for sablefish by vessels of the United States:

(A) Using fixed gear within that portion of the GOA and the BSAI over which the United States exercises exclusive fishery management authority; and

(B) Using fixed gear in waters of the State of Alaska adjacent to the BSAI and the GOA, provided that aboard such vessels are persons who currently hold quota shares, IFQ permits, or IFQ cards.

(ii) Regulations in this part do not govern commercial fishing for sablefish in Prince William Sound or under a State of Alaska limited entry program.

(2) Halibut. Regulations in this part govern commercial fishing for halibut by vessels of the United States using fixed gear, as that term is defined in 50 CFR 679.2, in and off of Alaska.

(e) Western Alaska CDQ Program. The goals and purpose of the CDQ program are to allocate CDQ to eligible Western Alaska communities to provide the means for starting or supporting commercial fisheries business activities that will result in an ongoing, regionally based, fisheries-related economy.

(f) Groundfish Observer Program (applicable through December 31, 2007). Regulations in this part govern elements of the Groundfish Observer Program for the BSAI groundfish and GOA groundfish fisheries under the Council's authority (see subpart E of this part).

(g) Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs. Regulations in this part govern commercial fishing for king and Tanner crab in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area by vessels of the United States, and supersede State of Alaska regulations applicable to the commercial king and Tanner crab fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutians Islands Area EEZ that are determined to be inconsistent with the FMP (see subpart A, B, and E of this part). Additional regulations governing commercial fishing for, and processing of, king and Tanner crab managed pursuant to section 313(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the Crab Rationalization Program are codified at 50 CFR part 680.

(h) Fishery Management Plan for the Scallop Fishery off Alaska. (1) Regulations in this part govern commercial fishing for scallops in the Federal waters off Alaska by vessels of the United States (see subpart A of this part).

(2) State of Alaska laws and regulations that are consistent with the FMP and with the regulations in this part apply to vessels of the United States that are fishing for scallops in the Federal waters off Alaska.

(i) Fishery Management Plan for the Salmon Fisheries in the EEZ off the Coast of Alaska (Salmon FMP). (1) Regulations in this part govern fishing for salmon by fishing vessels of the United States in the Salmon Management Area.

(2) State of Alaska laws and regulations that are consistent with the Salmon FMP and with the regulations in this part apply to vessels of the United States that are fishing for salmon in the Salmon Management Area.

(j) License Limitation Program (LLP). (1) Regulations in this part implement the LLP for the commercial groundfish fisheries in the EEZ off Alaska and the LLP for the commercial crab fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutians Islands Area.

(2) Regulations in this part govern the commercial fishing for groundfish under the LLP by vessels of the United States using authorized gear within the GOA and the Bering Sea and Aleutians Islands Area and the commercial fishing for crab species under the LLP by vessels of the United States using authorized gear within the Bering Sea and Aleutians Islands Area.

(k) American Fisheries Act and AI directed pollock fishery measures. Regulations in this part were developed by NMFS and the Council under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the American Fisheries Act (AFA), and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 to govern commercial fishing for BSAI pollock according to the requirements of the AFA and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004. This part also governs payment and collection of the loan, under the AFA, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, made to all those persons who harvest pollock from the directed fishing allowance allocated to the inshore component under section 206(b)(1) of the AFA.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §679.1, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

§ 679.2   Definitions.
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Link to an amendment published at 71 FR 17381, Apr. 6, 2006.

In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-Stevens Act and in part 600 of this chapter, the terms used in this part have the following meanings:

Active/inactive periods (see §679.5(a)(7)(i)).

Adequate evidence, for purposes of subpart E of this part, means information sufficient to support the reasonable belief that a particular act or omission has occurred.

ADF&G means the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

ADF&G fish ticket number means a nine-digit number designated by one alphabet letter (i.e., G = groundfish), two numbers that identify the year (i.e., 98), followed by six numbers.

ADF&G processor code means State of Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) Intent to operate processor license number (example: F12345).

AFA catcher/processor means a catcher/processor permitted to harvest BS pollock under §679.4(l)(2).

AFA catcher vessel means a catcher vessel permitted to harvest BS pollock under §679.4(l)(3).

AFA crab processing facility means a processing plant, catcher/processor, mothership, floating processor or any other operation that processes any FMP species of BSAI crab, and that is affiliated with an AFA entity that processes pollock harvested by a catcher vessel cooperative operating in the inshore or mothership sectors of the BS pollock fishery.

AFA entity means a group of affiliated individuals, corporations, or other business concerns that harvest or process pollock in the BS directed pollock fishery.

AFA inshore processor means a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor permitted to process BS pollock under §679.4(l)(5).

AFA mothership means a mothership permitted to process BS pollock under §679.4(l)(5).

Affiliates, for purposes of subpart E of this part, means business concerns, organizations, or individuals are affiliates of each other if, directly or indirectly, either one controls or has the power to control the other, or a third party controls or has the power to control both. Indicators of control include, but are not limited to, interlocking management or ownership, identity of interests among family members, shared facilities and equipment, common use of employees, or a business entity organized following the decertification, suspension, or proposed decertification of an observer provider that has the same or similar management, ownership, or principal employees as the observer provider that was decertified, suspended, or proposed for decertification.

Affiliation for the purpose of defining AFA entities means a relationship between two or more individuals, corporations, or other business concerns in which one concern directly or indirectly owns a 10–percent or greater interest in another, exerts control over another, or has the power to exert control over another; or a third individual, corporation, or other business concern directly or indirectly owns a 10 percent or greater interest in both, exerts control over both, or has the power to exert control over both.

(1) What is 10-percent or greater ownership? For the purpose of determining affiliation, 10–percent or greater ownership is deemed to exist if an individual, corporation, or other business concern directly or indirectly owns 10 percent or greater interest in a second corporation or other business concern.

(2) What is an indirect interest? An indirect interest is one that passes through one or more intermediate entities. An entity's percentage of indirect interest in a second entity is equal to the entity's percentage of direct interest in an intermediate entity multiplied by the intermediate entity's direct or indirect interest in the second entity.

(3) What is control? For the purpose of determining affiliation, control is deemed to exist if an individual, corporation, or other business concern has any of the following relationships or forms of control over another individual, corporation, or other business concern:

(i) Controls 10 percent or more of the voting stock of another corporation or business concern;

(ii) Has the authority to direct the business of the entity which owns the fishing vessel or processor. The authority to “direct the business of the entity” does not include the right to simply participate in the direction of the business activities of an entity which owns a fishing vessel or processor;

(iii) Has the authority in the ordinary course of business to limit the actions of or to replace the chief executive officer, a majority of the board of directors, any general partner or any person serving in a management capacity of an entity that holds 10 percent or greater interest in a fishing vessel or processor. Standard rights of minority shareholders to restrict the actions of the entity are not included in this definition of control provided they are unrelated to day-to-day business activities. These rights include provisions to require the consent of the minority shareholder to sell all or substantially all the assets, to enter into a different business, to contract with the major investors or their affiliates or to guarantee the obligations of majority investors or their affiliates;

(iv) Has the authority to direct the transfer, operation or manning of a fishing vessel or processor. The authority to “direct the transfer, operation, or manning” of a vessel or processor does not include the right to simply participate in such activities;

(v) Has the authority to control the management of or to be a controlling factor in the entity that holds 10 percent or greater interest in a fishing vessel or processor;

(vi) Absorbs all the costs and normal business risks associated with ownership and operation of a fishing vessel or processor;

(vii) Has the responsibility to procure insurance on the fishing vessel or processor, or assumes any liability in excess of insurance coverage;

(viii) Has the authority to control a fishery cooperative through 10–percent or greater ownership or control over a majority of the vessels in the cooperative, has the authority to appoint, remove, or limit the actions of or replace the chief executive officer of the cooperative, or has the authority to appoint, remove, or limit the actions of a majority of the board of directors of the cooperative. In such instance, all members of the cooperative are considered affiliates of the individual, corporation, or other business concern that exerts control over the cooperative; and

(ix) Has the ability through any other means whatsoever to control the entity that holds 10 percent or greater interest in a fishing vessel or processor.

Agent (1) For purposes of permits issued under §679.4, means a person appointed and residing within the United States who may apply for permits and may otherwise act on behalf of the owner, operator, or manager of a catcher vessel, catcher/processor, mothership, shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, buying station, support vessel, or on behalf of the IFQ permit holders, IFQ registered buyers, or CDQ halibut permit holders.

(2) For purposes of groundfish product distribution under §679.5(g), means a buyer, distributor, or shipper but not a buying station, who may receive and distribute groundfish on behalf of the owner, operator, and manager of a catcher/processor, mothership, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor.

(3) For purposes of IFQ recordkeeping and reporting under §679.5(l), means a person who on behalf of the Registered Buyer may submit IFQ reports.

AI directed pollock fishery means directed fishing for pollock in the AI under the allocation to the Aleut Corporation authorized at §679.20(a)(5)(iii).

Alaska local time (A.l.t.) means the time in the Alaska time zone.

Alaska Seamount Habitat Protection Areas means management areas established for the protection of seamount habitat areas of particular concern in the BSAI and GOA. See Table 22 to this part.

Alaska State waters means waters adjacent to the State of Alaska and shoreward of the EEZ off Alaska.

Aleut Corporation means the Aleut Corporation incorporated pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).

Aleut Corporation entity means a harvester or processor selected by the Aleut Corporation and approved by NMFS to harvest or process pollock in the AI directed pollock fishery.

Aleutian Islands Subarea (AI) of the BSAI means that portion of the EEZ contained in Statistical Areas 541, 542, and 543 (see Figure 1 to this part).

Aleutian Islands Coral Habitat Protection Areas means management areas established for the protection of certain coral garden areas in the Aleutian Islands subarea. See Table 23 to this part.

Aleutian Islands Habitat Conservation Area means a management area established for the protection of fish habitat in the Aleutian Islands subarea. See Table 24 to this part.

American Fisheries Act (AFA) means Title II—Fisheries Subtitles I and II, as cited within the Omnibus Appropriations Bill FY99 (Pub. L. 105–277).

Ancillary product (see Table 1 to this part).

Appointed agent for service of process means an agent appointed by the members of a fishery cooperative to serve on behalf of the cooperative. The appointed agent for service of process may be the owner of a vessel listed as a member of the cooperative or a registered agent.

Area endorsement means (for purposes of groundfish LLP) a designation on a license that authorizes a license holder to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish in the designated area, subarea, or district. Area endorsements, which are inclusive of, but not necessarily the same as, management areas, subareas, or districts defined in this part, are as follows:

(1) Aleutian Islands area endorsement. Authorizes the license holder to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish in the Aleutian Islands Subarea;

(2) Bering Sea area endorsement. Authorizes the license holder to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish in the Bering Sea Subarea;

(3) Central Gulf area endorsement. Authorizes the license holder to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish in the Central GOA regulatory area and the West Yakutat District;

(4) Southeast Outside area endorsement. Authorizes the license holder to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish in the Southeast Outside District; and

(5) Western Gulf area endorsement. Authorizes the license holder to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish in the Western GOA regulatory area.

Area/species endorsement means (for purposes of LLP) a designation on a license that authorizes a license holder to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for the designated crab species in Federal waters in the designated area (see Figures 16 and 17 to this part). Area/species endorsements for crab species licenses are as follows:

(1) Aleutian Islands brown king in waters with an eastern boundary the longitude of Scotch Cap Light (164°44' W. long.), a western boundary of the U.S.-Russian Convention Line of 1867, and a northern boundary of a line from the latitude of Cape Sarichef (54°36' N. lat.) westward to 171° W. long., then north to 55°30' N. lat., then west to the U.S.-Russian Convention line of 1867.

(2) Aleutian Islands red king in waters with an eastern boundary the longitude of Scotch Cap Light (164°44' W. long.), a western boundary of the U.S.-Russian Convention Line of 1867, and a northern boundary of a line from the latitude of Cape Sarichef (54°36' N. lat.) westward to 171° W. long., then north to 55°30' N. lat., and then west to the U.S.-Russian Convention line of 1867.

(3) Bristol Bay red king in waters with a northern boundary of 58°39' N. lat., a southern boundary of 54°36' N. lat., and a western boundary of 168° W. long. and including all waters of Bristol Bay.

(4) Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area C. opilio and C. bairdi in Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea waters east of the U.S.-Russian Convention Line of 1867, excluding all Pacific Ocean waters east of a boundary line extending south (180°) from Scotch Cap Light.

(5) Norton Sound red king and Norton Sound blue king in waters with a western boundary of 168° W. long., a southern boundary of 61°49' N. lat., and a northern boundary of 65°36' N. lat.

(6) Pribilof red king and Pribilof blue king in waters with a northern boundary of 58°39' N. lat., an eastern boundary of 168° W. long., a southern boundary line from 54°36' N. lat., 168° W. long., to 54°36' N. lat., 171° W. long., to 55°30' N. lat., 171° W. long., to 55°30' N. lat., 173°30' E. lat., and then westward to the U.S.-Russian Convention line of 1867.

(7) St. Matthew blue king in waters with a northern boundary of 61°49' N. lat., a southern boundary of 58°39' N. lat., and a western boundary of the U.S.-Russian Convention line of 1867.

Associated processor means, a federally permitted mothership, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor that has a contractual relationship with a buying station to conduct groundfish buying station activities for that processor.

Authorized distributor means a tax-exempt organization authorized by NMFS to coordinate the processing, storage, transportation, and distribution of salmon taken as incidental catch in the groundfish trawl fisheries to tax-exempt hunger relief agencies, food bank networks, and food bank distributors.

Authorized fishing gear (see also §679.24 for gear limitations and Table 15 to this part for gear codes) means trawl gear, fixed gear, longline gear, pot gear, and nontrawl gear as follows:

(1) Bottom contact gear means nonpelagic trawl, dredge, dinglebar, pot, or hook-and-line gear.

(2) Dinglebar gear means one or more lines retrieved and set with a troll gurdy or hand troll gurdy, with a terminally attached weight from which one or more leaders with one or more lures or baited hooks are pulled through the water while a vessel is making way.

(3) Dredge means a dredge-like device designed specifically for and capable of taking scallops by being towed along the ocean floor.

(4) Fixed gear means:

(i) For sablefish harvested from any GOA reporting area, all longline gear and, for purposes of determining initial IFQ allocation, all pot gear used to make a legal landing.

(ii) For sablefish harvested from any BSAI reporting area, all hook-and-line gear and all pot gear.

(iii) For halibut harvested from any IFQ regulatory area, all fishing gear comprised of lines with hooks attached, including one or more stationary, buoyed, and anchored lines with hooks attached.

(5) Hand troll gear means one or more lines, with lures or hooks attached, drawn through the water behind a moving vessel, and retrieved by hand or hand-cranked reels or gurdies and not by any electrically, hydraulically, or mechanically powered device or attachment.

(6) Handline gear means a hand-held line, with one or more hooks attached, that may only be operated manually.

(7) Hook-and-line gear means a stationary, buoyed, and anchored line with hooks attached, or the taking of fish by means of such a device.

(8) Jig gear means a single, non-buoyed, non-anchored line with hooks attached, or the taking of fish by means of such a device.

(9) Longline gear means hook-and-line, jig, troll, and handline or the taking of fish by means of such a device.

(10) Longline pot means a stationary, buoyed, and anchored line with two or more pots attached, or the taking of fish by means of such a device.

(11) Mobile bottom contact gear means nonpelagic trawl, dredge, or dinglebar gear.

(12) Nonpelagic trawl means a trawl other than a pelagic trawl.

(13) Nontrawl gear means pot and longline gear.

(14) Pelagic trawl gear means a trawl that:

(i) Has no discs, bobbins, or rollers;

(ii) Has no chafe protection gear attached to the footrope or fishing line;

(iii) Except for the small mesh allowed under paragraph (10)(ix) of this definition:

(A) Has no mesh tied to the fishing line, headrope, and breast lines with less than 20 inches (50.8 cm) between knots and has no stretched mesh size of less than 60 inches (152.4 cm) aft from all points on the fishing line, headrope, and breast lines and extending passed the fishing circle for a distance equal to or greater than one half the vessel's LOA; or

(B) Has no parallel lines spaced closer than 64 inches (162.6 cm) from all points on the fishing line, headrope, and breast lines and extending aft to a section of mesh, with no stretched mesh size of less than 60 inches (152.4 cm) extending aft for a distance equal to or greater than one-half the vessel's LOA;

(iv) Has no stretched mesh size less than 15 inches (38.1 cm) aft of the mesh described in paragraph (10)(iii) of this definition for a distance equal to or greater than one-half the vessel's LOA;

(v) Contains no configuration intended to reduce the stretched mesh sizes described in paragraphs (10)(iii) and (iv) of this definition;

(vi) Has no flotation other than floats capable of providing up to 200 lb (90.7 kg) of buoyancy to accommodate the use of a net-sounder device;

(vii) Has no more than one fishing line and one footrope for a total of no more than two weighted lines on the bottom of the trawl between the wing tip and the fishing circle;

(viii) Has no metallic component except for connectors (e.g., hammerlocks or swivels) or a net-sounder device aft of the fishing circle and forward of any mesh greater than 5.5 inches (14.0 cm) stretched measure;

(ix) May have small mesh within 32 ft (9.8 m) of the center of the headrope as needed for attaching instrumentation (e.g., net-sounder device); and

(x) May have weights on the wing tips.

(15) Pot gear means a portable structure designed and constructed to capture and retain fish alive in the water. This gear type includes longline pot and pot-and-line gear. Each groundfish pot must comply with the following:

(i) Biodegradable panel. Each pot used to fish for groundfish must be equipped with a biodegradable panel at least 18 inches (45.72 cm) in length that is parallel to, and within 6 inches (15.24 cm) of, the bottom of the pot, and that is sewn up with untreated cotton thread of no larger size than No. 30.

(ii) Tunnel opening. Each pot used to fish for groundfish must be equipped with rigid tunnel openings that are no wider than 9 inches (22.86 cm) and no higher than 9 inches (22.86 cm), or soft tunnel openings with dimensions that are no wider than 9 inches (22.86 cm).

(16) Pot-and-line gear means a stationary, buoyed line with a single pot attached, or the taking of fish by means of such a device.

(17) Power troll gear means one or more lines, with hooks or lures attached, drawn through the water behind a moving vessel, and originating from a power gurdy or power-driven spool fastened to the vessel, the extension or retraction of which is directly to the gurdy or spool.

(18) Trawl gear means a cone or funnel-shaped net that is towed through the water by one or more vessels. For purposes of this part, this definition includes, but is not limited to, beam trawls (trawl with a fixed net opening utilizing a wood or metal beam), otter trawls (trawl with a net opening controlled by devices commonly called otter doors), and pair trawls (trawl dragged between two vessels) and is further described as pelagic or nonpelagic trawl.

(19) Troll gear means one or more lines with hooks or lures attached drawn through the water behind a moving vessel. This gear type includes hand troll and power troll gear and dinglebar gear.

(20) Snap gear means a type of hook-and-line gear where the hook and gangion are attached to the groundline using a mechanical fastener or snap.

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.

Basis species means any species or species group that is open to directed fishing that the vessel is authorized to harvest.

Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area, for purposes of regulations governing the commercial King and Tanner crab fisheries, means those waters of the EEZ off the west coast of Alaska lying south of Point Hope (68°21' N. lat), and extending south of the Aleutian Islands for 200 nm west of Scotch Cap Light (164°44'36" W. long).

Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI), for purposes of regulations governing the groundfish fisheries, means the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands subareas (see Figure 1 to this part).

Bering Sea Subarea of the BSAI means that portion of the EEZ contained in Statistical Areas 508, 509, 512, 513, 514, 516, 517, 518, 519, 521, 523, 524, and 530 (see Figure 1 to this part).

Bled codend means a form of discard by vessels using trawl gear wherein some or all of the fish are emptied into the sea from the net before fish are brought fully on board.

Bogoslof District means that part of the Bering Sea Subarea contained in Statistical Area 518 (see Figure 1 to this part).

Bowers Ridge Habitat Conservation Zone means a management area established for the protection of the Bowers Ridge and Ulm Plateau habitat areas of particular concern in the BSAI. See Table 25 to this part.

Breast line means the rope or wire running along the forward edges of the side panels of a net, or along the forward edge of the side rope in a rope trawl.

Briefing means a short (usually 2–4 day) training session that observers must complete to fulfill endorsement requirements.

Bulwark means a section of a vessel's side continuing above the main deck.

Buying station means a tender vessel or land-based entity that receives unprocessed groundfish from a vessel for delivery to a shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or mothership and that does not process those fish.

Bycatch Limitation Zone 1 (Zone 1) means that part of the Bering Sea Subarea that is contained within the boundaries of Statistical Areas 508, 509, 512, and 516 (see Figure 1 to this part).

Bycatch Limitation Zone 2 (Zone 2) means that part of the Bering Sea Subarea that is contained within the boundaries of Statistical Areas 513, 517, and 521 (see Figure 1 to this part).

Bycatch or bycatch species means fish caught and released while targeting another species or caught and released while targeting the same species.

Bycatch rate means:

(1) For purposes of §679.21(f) with respect to halibut, means the ratio of the total round weight of halibut, in kilograms, to the total round weight, in metric tons, of groundfish for which a TAC has been specified under §679.20 while participating in any of the fisheries defined under §679.21(f).

(2) For purposes of §679.21(f) with respect to red king crab, means the ratio of number of red king crab to the total round weight, in metric tons, of BSAI groundfish for which a TAC has been specified under §679.20 while participating in the BSAI yellowfin sole and BSAI “other trawl” fisheries, as defined under §679.21(f).

Catch (see 50 CFR 600.10.)

Catcher/processor means:

(1) With respect to groundfish recordkeeping and reporting, a vessel that is used for catching fish and processing that fish.

(2) With respect to subpart E of this part, a processor vessel that is used for, or equipped to be used for, catching fish and processing that fish.

Catcher/processor vessel designation means, for purposes of the license limitation program, a license designation that authorizes the license holder:

(1) Designated on a groundfish license to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish and process license limitation groundfish on that vessel or to conduct only directed fishing for license limitation groundfish; or

(2) Designated on a crab species license to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for crab species and process crab species on that vessel or to conduct only directed fishing for crab species.

Catcher vessel means a vessel that is used for catching fish and that does not process fish on board.

Catcher vessel designation means, for purposes of the license limitation program, a license designation that authorizes the license holder:

(1) Designated on a groundfish license to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for, but not process, license limitation groundfish on that vessel; or

(2) Designated on a crab species license to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for, but not process, crab species on that vessel.

Catcher Vessel Operational Area (CVOA) (see Figure 2 to this part and §679.22(a)(5)).

CBL means crab bycatch limit.

CDQ means community development quota and is the amount of a CDQ reserve that is allocated to a CDQ group.

CDQ allocation means a percentage of a CDQ reserve specified under §679.31 that is assigned to a CDQ group when NMFS approves a proposed CDP.

CDQ group means a qualified applicant with an approved CDP.

CDQ group number means a number assigned to a CDQ group by NMFS that must be recorded and is required in all logbooks and all reports submitted by the CDQ group, vessels harvesting CDQ, or processors taking deliveries of CDQ.

CDQ Program means the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program implemented under subpart C of this part.

CDQ project means any program that is funded by a CDQ group's assets for the economic or social development of a community or group of communities that are participating in a CDQ group, including, but not limited to, infrastructure development, CDQ investments, employment and training programs, and CDP administration.

CDQ representative means any individual who is authorized by a CDQ group to sign documents submitted to NMFS on behalf of the CDQ group.

CDQ reserve means a percentage of each groundfish TAC apportioned under §679.20(b)(1)(iii), a percentage of a catch limit for halibut, or a percentage of a guideline harvest level for crab that has been set aside for purposes of the CDQ Program.

CDQ species means any species or species group that is allocated from a CDQ reserve to a CDQ group.

Central Aleutian District means that part of the Aleutian Islands Subarea contained in Statistical Area 542 (see Figure 1 to this part).

Central GOA Regulatory Area means that portion of the GOA EEZ that is contained in Statistical Areas 620 and 630 (see Figure 3 to this part).

Chinook Salmon Savings Area of the BSAI (see §679.21(e)(7)(viii) and Figure 8a and Figure 8b to this part).

Chum Salmon Savings Area of the BSAI CVOA (See §679.21(e)(7)(vii) and Figure 9 to this part.)

Civil judgment, for purposes of subpart E of this part, means a judgment or finding of a civil offense by any court of competent jurisdiction.

Clearing officer means, a NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement (OLE) special agent, an OLE fishery enforcement officer, or an OLE enforcement aide.

Commercial fishing means:

(1) For purposes of the salmon fishery, fishing for salmon for sale or barter.

(2) For purposes of the Pacific halibut fishery, fishing, the resulting catch of which either is, or is intended to be, sold or bartered but does not include subsistence fishing for halibut, as defined at 50 CFR 300.61.

Commercial Operator's Annual Report (COAR) means the annual report of information on exvessel and first wholesale values for fish and shellfish required under Title 5 of the Alaska Administrative Code, chapter 39.130 (see §679.5 (p)).

Commissioner of ADF&G means the principal executive officer of ADF&G.

Community Development Plan (CDP) means a business plan for the economic and social development of a specific Western Alaska community or group of communities under the CDQ program at §679.30.

Community quota entity (CQE): (for purposes of the IFQ Program) means a non-profit organization that:

(1) Did not exist prior to April 10, 2002;

(2) Represents at least one eligible community that is listed in Table 21 of this part; and,

(3) Has been approved by the Regional Administrator to obtain by transfer and hold QS, and to lease IFQ resulting from the QS on behalf of an eligible community.

Conviction, for purposes of subpart E of this part, means a judgment or conviction of a criminal offense by any court of competent jurisdiction, whether entered upon a verdict or a plea, and includes a conviction entered upon a plea of nolo contendere.

C. Opilio Crab Bycatch Limitation Zone (COBLZ) (see §679.21(e) and Figure 13 to this part.

Council means North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Crab species means (see also king crab and tanner crab) all crab species covered by the Fishery Management Plan for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs, including, but not limited to, red king crab (Paralithodes camtschatica), blue king crab (Paralithodes platypus), brown or golden king crab (Lithodes aequispina), scarlet or deep sea king crab (Lithodes couesi), Tanner or bairdi crab (Chionoecetes bairdi), opilio or snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio), grooved Tanner crab (Chionoecetes tanneri), and triangle Tanner crab (Chionoecetes angulatus).

Crab species license means a license issued by NMFS that authorizes the license holder designated on the license to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for crab species.

Daily reporting period or day is the period from 0001 hours, A.l.t., until the following 2400 hours, A.l.t.

Debriefing means the post-deployment process that includes a one-on-one interview with NMFS staff, a NMFS preliminary data review, observer completion of all data corrections noted, observer preparation of affidavits and reports, and completion of tasks related to biological specimens or special projects.

Decertification, as used in §679.50(j), means action taken by a decertifying official under §679.50(j)(7) to revoke indefinitely certification of observers or observer providers under this section; an observer or observer provider whose certification is so revoked is decertified.

Decertifying official, for purposes of subpart E of this part, means a designee authorized by the Regional Administrator to impose decertification.

Deep water flatfish (see Table 10 to this part pursuant to §679.20(c).)

Deployment means the period between an observer's arrival at the point of embarkation and the date the observer disembarks for travel to debriefing.

Designated contact for the Aleut Corporation means an individual who is designated by the Aleut Corporation for the purpose of communication with NMFS regarding the identity of selected AI directed pollock fishery participants and weekly reports required by §679.5.

Designated cooperative representative means an individual who is designated by the members of a fishery cooperative to fulfill requirements on behalf of the cooperative including, but not limited to, the signing of cooperative fishing permit applications; submitting catcher vessel pollock cooperative catch reports, and submitting annual cooperative fishing reports.

Designated primary processor means an AFA inshore processor that is designated by an inshore pollock cooperative as the AFA inshore processor to which the cooperative will deliver at least 90 percent of its BS pollock allocation during the year in which the AFA inshore cooperative fishing permit is in effect.

Direct financial interest means any source of income to, or capital investment or other interest held by, an individual, partnership, or corporation or an individual's spouse, immediate family member or parent that could be influenced by performance or non-performance of observer or observer provider duties.

Directed fishing means:

(1) Unless indicated otherwise, any fishing activity that results in the retention of an amount of a species or species group on board a vessel that is greater than the maximum retainable amount for that species or species group as calculated under §679.20.

(2) With respect to license limitation groundfish species, directed fishing as defined in paragraph (1) of this definition.

(3) With respect to crab species under this part, the catching and retaining of any crab species.

(4) With respect to the harvest of groundfish by AFA catcher/processors and AFA catcher vessels, any fishing activity that results in the retention of an amount of a species or species group on board a vessel that is greater than the maximum retainable percentage for that species or species group as calculated under §679.20.

Discard (see §600.10.)

Dockside sale means, the transfer of IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut or IFQ sablefish from the person who harvested it to individuals for personal consumption, and not for resale.

Documented harvest means a lawful harvest that was recorded in compliance with Federal and state commercial fishing regulations in effect at the time of harvesting.

Donut Hole means the international waters of the Bering Sea outside the limits of the EEZ and Russian economic zone as depicted on the current edition of NOAA chart INT 813 Bering Sea (Southern Part).

Eastern Aleutian District means that part of the Aleutian Islands Subarea contained in Statistical Area 541 (see Figure 1 to this part).

Eastern GOA Regulatory Area means the Reporting Areas 649 and 659 and that portion of the GOA EEZ that is contained in Statistical Areas 640 and 650 (see Figure 3 to this part).

Eligible applicant means (for purposes of the LLP program) a qualified person who submitted an application during the application period announced by NMFS and:

(1) For a groundfish license or crab species license, who owned a vessel on June 17, 1995, from which the minimum number of documented harvests of license limitation groundfish or crab species were made in the relevant areas during the qualifying periods specified in §679.4(k)(4) and (k)(5), unless the fishing history of that vessel was transferred in conformance with the provisions in paragraph (2) of this definition; or

(2) For a groundfish license or crab species license, to whom the fishing history of a vessel from which the minimum number of documented harvests of license limitation groundfish or crab species were made in the relevant areas during the qualifying periods specified in §679.4(k)(4) and (k)(5) has been transferred or retained by the express terms of a written contract that clearly and unambiguously provides that the qualifications for a license under the LLP have been transferred or retained; or

(3) For a crab species license, who was an individual who held a State of Alaska permit for the Norton Sound king crab summer fishery at the time he or she made at least one harvest of red or blue king crab in the relevant area during the period specified in §679.4(k)(5)(ii)(G), or a corporation that owned or leased a vessel on June 17, 1995, that made at least one harvest of red or blue king crab in the relevant area during the period in §679.4(k)(5)(ii)(G), and that was operated by an individual who was an employee or a temporary contractor; or

(4) For a scallop license, who qualifies for a scallop license as specified at §679.4(g)(2) of this part; or

(5) Who is an individual that can demonstrate eligibility pursuant to the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 at 29 U.S.C. 794 (a).

Eligible community means:

(1) For purposes of the CDQ program, a community that is listed in Table 7 to this part or that meets all of the following requirements:

(i) The community is located within 50 nm from the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured along the Bering Sea coast from the Bering Strait to the most western of the Aleutian Islands, or on an island within the Bering Sea. A community is not eligible if it is located on the GOA coast of the North Pacific Ocean, even if it is within 50 nm of the baseline of the Bering Sea;

(ii) That is certified by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the Native Claims Settlement Act (P.L. 92–203) to be a native village;

(iii) Whose residents conduct more than half of their current commercial or subsistence fishing effort in the waters of the BSAI; and

(iv) That has not previously deployed harvesting or processing capability sufficient to support substantial groundfish fisheries participation in the BSAI, unless the community can show that benefits from an approved CDP would be the only way to realize a return from previous investment. The community of Unalaska is excluded under this provision.

(2) For purposes of the IFQ program, a community that is listed in Table 21 to this part, and that:

(i) Is a municipality or census designated place, as defined in the 2000 United States Census, located on the GOA coast of the North Pacific Ocean;

(ii) Has a population of not less than 20 and not more than 1,500 persons based on the 2000 United States Census;

(iii) Has had a resident of that community with at least one commercial landing of halibut or sablefish made during the period from 1980 through 2000, as documented by the State of Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission; and

(iv) Is not accessible by road to a community larger than 1,500 persons based on the 2000 United States Census.

Eligible community resident means, for purposes of the IFQ Program, any individual who:

(1) Is a citizen of the United States;

(2) Has maintained a domicile in a rural community listed in Table 21 to this part for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the time when the assertion of residence is made, and who is not claiming residency in another community, state, territory, or country, except that residents of the Village of Seldovia shall be considered to be eligible community residents of the City of Seldovia for the purposes of eligibility to lease IFQ from a CQE; and

(3) Is an IFQ crew member.

Eligible vessel means, for the purposes of the CDQ Program, a fishing vessel designated by a CDQ group to harvest part or all of its CDQ allocation and approved by NMFS under §679.32(c).

Endorsement. (1) (See area endorsement for purposes of the groundfish LLP permits);

(2) (See area/species endorsement for purposes of the crab LLP permits);

(3) (See §679.4(g)(3)(ii) area endorsements for purposes of the scallop permit).

Experimental fishery (see Exempted fishery, §679.6).

Federal waters means waters within the EEZ off Alaska (see also reporting area).

Federally permitted vessel means a vessel that is named on either a Federal fisheries permit issued pursuant to §679.4(b) or on a Federal crab vessel permit issued pursuant to §680.4(k) of this chapter. Federally permitted vessels must conform to regulatory requirements for purposes of fishing restrictions in habitat conservation areas, habitat conservation zones, and habitat protection areas; for purposes of anchoring prohibitions in habitat protection areas; and for purposes of VMS requirements.

Fishery cooperative or cooperative means any entity cooperatively managing directed fishing for BS pollock and formed under section 1 of the Fisherman's Collective Marketing Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 521). In and of itself, a cooperative is not an AFA entity subject to excessive harvest share limitations, unless a single person, corporation or other business entity controls the cooperative and the cooperative has the power to control the fishing activity of its member vessels.

Fish product (See groundfish product.)

Fish product weight means the weight of the fish product in pounds or to at least the nearest thousandth of a metric ton (0.001 mt). Fish product weight is based upon the number of production units and the weight of those units. Production units include pans, cartons, blocks, trays, cans, bags, and individual fresh or frozen fish. The weight of a production unit is the average weight of representative samples of the product, and, for fish other than fresh fish, may include additives or water but not packaging. Any allowance for water added cannot exceed 5 percent of the gross product weight (fish, additives, and water).

Fishermen means persons who catch, take, or harvest fish.

Fishing circle means the circumference of a trawl intersecting the center point on a fishing line, and that is perpendicular to the long axis of a trawl.

Fishing day means (for purposes of subpart E) a 24-hour period, from 0001 hours A.l.t. through 2400 hours A.l.t., in which fishing gear is retrieved and groundfish are retained. Days during which a vessel only delivers unsorted codends to a processor are not fishing days.

Fishing line means a length of chain or wire rope in the bottom front end of a trawl to which the webbing or lead ropes are attached.

Fishing month means (for purposes of subpart E) a time period calculated on the basis of weekly reporting periods as follows: Each fishing month begins on the first day of the first weekly reporting period that has at least 4 days in the associated calendar month and ends on the last day of the last weekly reporting period that has at least 4 days in that same calendar month. Dates of each fishing month will be announced in the Federal Register published under §679.21(f)(5).

Fishing trip means: (1) Retention requirements (MRA, IR/IU, and pollock roe stripping).

(i) With respect to retention requirements of MRA, IR/IU, and pollock roe stripping, an operator of a catcher/processor or mothership processor vessel is engaged in a fishing trip from the time the harvesting, receiving, or processing of groundfish is begun or resumed in an area until:

(A) The effective date of a notification prohibiting directed fishing in the same area under §679.20 or §679.21;

(B) The offload or transfer of all fish or fish product

from that vessel;

(C) The vessel enters or leaves an area where a different directed fishing prohibition applies;

(D) The vessel begins fishing with a different type of authorized fishing gear; or

(E) The end of a weekly reporting period, whichever comes first.

(ii) With respect to retention requirements of MRA, IR/IU, and pollock roe stripping, an operator of a catcher vessel is engaged in a fishing trip from the time the harvesting of groundfish is begun until the offload or transfer of all fish or fish product from that vessel.

(2) IFQ program. With respect to the IFQ program, the period beginning when a vessel operator commences harvesting IFQ species and ending when the vessel operator lands any species.

(3) Groundfish observer program. With respect to subpart E of this part, one of the following periods:

(i) For a vessel used to process groundfish or a catcher vessel used to deliver groundfish to a monthership, a weekly reporting period during which one or more fishing days occur.

(ii) For a catcher vessel used to deliver fish to other than a mothership, the time period during which one or more fishing days occur, that starts on the day when fishing gear is first deployed and ends on the day the vessel offloads groundfish, returns to an Alaskan port, or leaves the EEZ off Alaska and adjacent waters of the State of Alaska.

Fishing year means 0001 hours, A.l.t., on January 1, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., on December 31 (see §679.23).

Fixed gear sablefish CDQ reserve means 20 percent of the sablefish fixed gear TAC for each subarea in the BSAI for which a sablefish TAC is specified under §679.20(b)(1)(iii)(B). See also §679.31(b).

Food bank distributor means a tax-exempt organization with the primary purpose of distributing food resources to hunger relief agencies (see §679.26).

Food bank network means a tax-exempt organization with the primary purpose of coordinating receipt and delivery of food resources to its member food bank distributors or hunger relief agencies (see §679.26).

Footrope means a chain or wire rope attached to the bottom front end of a trawl and attached to the fishing line.

Forage fish (see Table 2c to this part and §679.20(i)).

Gear (see the definition for Authorized fishing gear of this section).

Gear deployment (or to set gear) means:

(1) Position of gear deployment (lat. and long.):

(i) For trawl gear. The position where the trawl gear reaches the fishing level and begins to fish.

(ii) For hook-and-line gear. The beginning position of a set of hook-and-line gear.

(iii) For jig or troll gear. The position where the jig or troll gear enters the water.

(iv) For pot gear. The position of the first pot in a string of pots.

(2) Time of gear deployment (A.l.t.):

(i) For trawl gear. The time when the trawl gear reaches the fishing level and begins to fish.

(ii) For hook-and-line gear. The time when the first hook-and-line gear of a set is deployed.

(iii) For jig or troll gear. The time when jig or troll gear enters the water.

(iv) For pot gear. The time when the first pot in a string of pots is deployed.

Gear retrieval (or to haul gear) means:

(1) Position of gear retrieval (lat. and long. to the nearest minute):

(i) For trawl gear. The position where retrieval of trawl gear cable commences.

(ii) For hook-and-line gear. The position where the last hook-and-line gear of a set leaves the water, regardless of where the majority of the set took place.

(iii) For jig or troll gear. The position where the jig or troll gear leaves the water.

(iv) For pot gear. The position where the last pot of a set is retrieved, regardless of where the majority of the set took place.

(2) Time of gear retrieval (A.l.t.):

(i) For trawl gear. The time when retrieval of trawl gear cable commences.

(ii) For hook-and-line gear. The time when the last hook-and-line gear of a set leaves the water.

(iii) For jig or troll gear. The time when the jig or troll gear leaves the water.

(iv) For pot gear. The time when the last pot of a set is retrieved.

Groundfish means (1) FMP species as listed in Table 2a to this part.

(2) Target species and the “other species” category, specified annually pursuant to §679.20(a)(2) (See also the definitions for: License limitation groundfish; CDQ species; and IR/IU species of this section).

Groundfish CDQ fishing means fishing by an eligible vessel that results in the catch of any groundfish CDQ species, but that does not meet the definition of halibut CDQ fishing.

Groundfish license means (for purposes of the LLP program) a license issued by NMFS that authorizes the license holder designated on the license to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish.

Groundfish product or fish product means any species product listed in Tables 1, 2a, 2c, and 2d to this part.

Gulf of Alaska (GOA) means that portion of the EEZ contained in Statistical Areas 610, 620, 630, 640, and 650 (see Figure 3 to this part).

Gulf of Alaska Coral Habitat Protection Areas means management areas established for the protection of coral habitat areas of particular concern in the Gulf of Alaska. See Table 26 to this part.

Gulf of Alaska Slope Habitat Conservation Areas means management areas established for the protection of essential fish habitat on the Gulf of Alaska slope. See Table 27 to this part.

Halibut means Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis).

Halibut CDQ fishing means the following:

(1) Catcher vessel. The following conditions are met at all times:

(i) Halibut CDQ is retained and the weight of halibut CDQ plus halibut IFQ onboard the vessel at any time represents the largest proportion of the retained catch in round weight equivalent onboard the vessel at that time, and

(ii) For catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, the round weight equivalent of non-CDQ groundfish does not exceed the maximum retainable amounts for these species or species groups as established in §679.20(e) and (f).

(2) Catcher/processor. Halibut CDQ is retained from a set and the weight of halibut CDQ plus halibut IFQ represents the largest proportion of the retained catch in round weight equivalent from that set.

Halibut CDQ reserve means the amount of the halibut catch limit for IPHC regulatory areas 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E that is reserved for the halibut CDQ program (see §679.31(b)).

Harvesting or to harvest means the catching and retaining of any fish.

Harvest limit area for platoon managed Atka mackerel directed fishing (applicable through December 31, 2002) for the purposes of §§679.4(b)(5)(vii), 679.20(a)(8)(ii) and (iii) and 679.22(a)(12)(iv)(A), means the waters of statistical areas 542 and 543 west of 178° W long. within 20 nm seaward of sites listed in Table 24 of this part and located west of 177°57.00' W. long.

Harvest limit area (HLA) for Atka mackerel directed fishing for the purposes of §§679.4(b)(5)(vi)(B), 679.20(a)(8)(ii) and (iii), and 679.22(a)(8)(iv)(A), means the waters of statistical areas 542 and 543 that are (1) west of 178° W long. and (2) within 20 nm seaward of sites listed in Table 6 of this part that are located west of 177°57.00' W long.

Harvest zone codes (see Table 8 to this part).

Haul (See gear retrieval.)

Headrope means a rope bordering the top front end of a trawl.

Herring Savings Area means any of three areas in the BSAI presented in Figure 4 (see also §679.21(e)(7)(v) for additional closure information).

Hunger relief agency means a tax-exempt organization with the primary purpose of feeding economically disadvantaged individuals free of charge (see §679.26).

IFQ actual ex-vessel value means the U.S. dollar amount of all compensation, monetary or non-monetary, including any IFQ retro-payments received by an IFQ permit holder for the purchase of IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish landing(s) on his or her permit(s) described in terms of IFQ equivalent pounds.

IFQ crew member means any individual who has at least 150 days experience working as part of the harvesting crew in any U.S. commercial fishery, or any individual who receives an initial allocation of QS. For purposes of this definition, “harvesting” means work that is directly related to the catching and retaining of fish. Work in support of harvesting, but not directly involved with harvesting, is not considered harvesting crew work. For example, searching for fish, work on a fishing vessel only as an engineer or cook, or work preparing a vessel for a fishing trip would not be considered work of a harvesting crew.

IFQ equivalent pound(s) means the weight amount, recorded in pounds, for an IFQ landing and calculated as round weight for sablefish and headed and gutted weight for halibut.

IFQ fee liability means that amount of money for IFQ cost recovery, in U.S. dollars, owed to NMFS by an IFQ permit holder as determined by multiplying the appropriate standard ex-vessel value or actual ex-vessel value of his or her IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish landing(s) by the appropriate IFQ fee percentage.

IFQ fee percentage means that positive number no greater than 3 percent (0.03) determined by the Regional Administrator and established for use to calculate the IFQ cost recovery fee liability for an IFQ permit holder.

IFQ halibut means any halibut that is harvested with setline or other hook and line gear while commercial fishing in any IFQ regulatory area defined in this section.

IFQ landing means the unloading or transferring of any IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or products thereof from the vessel that harvested such fish or the removal from the water of a vessel containing IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or products thereof.

IFQ permit holder means the person identified on an IFQ permit, at the time a landing is made (see §679.4(d)(1)).

IFQ program means the individual fishing quota program for the fixed gear fisheries for Pacific halibut and sablefish in waters in and off Alaska and governed by regulations under this part.

IFQ regulatory area means:

(1) With respect to IFQ halibut, areas 2C, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, or 4E as prescribed in the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of chapter III of this title (see also Figure 15 to this part).

(2) With respect to IFQ sablefish, any of the three regulatory areas in the GOA and any subarea of the BSAI, and all waters of the State of Alaska between the shore and the inshore boundary of such regulatory areas and subareas, except waters of Prince William Sound and areas in which sablefish fishing is managed under a State of Alaska limited entry program (see Figure 14 to this part).

IFQ retro-payment means the U.S. dollar value of a payment, monetary or non-monetary, made to an IFQ permit holder for the purchase of IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish landed at some previous time.

IFQ sablefish means any sablefish that is harvested with fixed gear, either in the EEZ off Alaska or in waters of the State of Alaska, by persons holding an IFQ permit, but does not include sablefish harvested in Prince William Sound or under a State of Alaska limited entry program.

IFQ standard ex-vessel value means the total U.S. dollar amount of IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish landings as calculated by multiplying the number of landed IFQ equivalent pounds by the appropriate IFQ standard price determined by the Regional Administrator.

IFQ standard price means a price, expressed in U.S. dollars per IFQ equivalent pound, for landed IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish determined annually by the Regional Administrator and documented in an IFQ standard price list published by NMFS.

Incidental catch or incidental species means fish caught and retained while targeting on some other species, but does not include discard of fish that were returned to the sea.

Indictment, for purposes of subpart E of this part, means indictment for a criminal offense. An information or other filing by competent authority charging a criminal offense must be given the same effect as an indictment.

Individual means a natural person who is not a corporation, partnership, association, or other such entity.

Individual fishing quota (IFQ) means the annual catch limit of sablefish or halibut that may be harvested by a person who is lawfully allocated a harvest privilege for a specific portion of the TAC of sablefish or halibut.

Inshore component in the GOA means the following three categories of the U.S. groundfish fishery that process groundfish harvested in the GOA:

(1) Shoreside processors.

(2) Vessels less than 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA that hold an inshore processing endorsement on their Federal fisheries permit, and that process no more than 126 mt per week in round-weight equivalents of an aggregate amount of pollock and GOA Pacific cod.

(3) Stationary floating processors that hold an inshore processing endorsement on their Federal processor permit, and that process pollock and/or Pacific cod harvested in a directed fishery for those species at a single geographic location in Alaska state waters during a fishing year.

IPHC means International Pacific Halibut Commission (see part 300 of chapter III of this title).

IR/IU means the improved retention/improved utilization program set out at §679.27.

IR/IU species means any groundfish species that is regulated by a retention or utilization requirement set out at §679.27.

King crab means red king crab (Paralithodes camtschatica), blue king crab (P. platypus), brown (or golden) king crab (Lithodes aequispina), and scarlet (or deep sea) king crab (Lithodes couesi).

Landing means offloading fish.

Legal landing means a landing in compliance with Federal and state commercial fishing regulations in effect at the time of landing.

Legal landing of halibut or sablefish (see §679.40(a)(3)(v)).

Legal proceedings, for purposes of subpart E of this part, means any civil judicial proceeding to which the Government is a party or any criminal proceeding. The term includes appeals from such proceedings.

Length overall (LOA) of a vessel means the centerline longitudinal distance, rounded to the nearest foot, measured between:

(1) The outside foremost part of the vessel visible above the waterline, including bulwarks, but excluding bowsprits and similar fittings or attachments, and

(2) The outside aftermost part of the vessel visible above the waterline, including bulwarks, but excluding rudders, outboard motor brackets, and similar fittings or attachments (see Figure 6 to this part).

License holder means the person who is named on a currently valid groundfish license, crab species license, or scallop license.

License limitation groundfish means target species and the “other species” category, specified annually pursuant to §679.20(a)(2), except that demersal shelf rockfish east of 140° W. longitude, sablefish managed under the IFQ program, and pollock allocated to the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery and harvested by vessels 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA or less, are not considered license limitation groundfish.

Limited Access System Administrative Fund (LASAF) means the administrative account used for depositing cost recovery fee payments into the U.S. Treasury as described in the Magnuson-Stevens Act under section 304(d)(2)(C)(i) and established under section 305(h)(5)(B).

Listed AFA catcher/processor means an AFA catcher/processor permitted to harvest BS pollock under §679.4(l)(2)(i).

Logbook means Daily Cumulative Production Logbook (DCPL) or Daily Fishing Logbook (DFL) required by §679.5.

Management area means any district, regulatory area, subpart, part, or the entire GOA or BSAI.

Manager, with respect to any shoreside processor, stationary floating processor or land-based buying station, means the individual responsible for the operation of the shoreside processor operation or land-based buying station.

Managing organization means the organization responsible for managing all or part of a CDP.

Maximum LOA (MLOA) means:

(1) With respect to the scallop license limitation program, the MLOA is equal to the length overall on February 8, 1999, of the longest vessel that was:

(i) Authorized by a Federal or State of Alaska Scallop Moratorium Permit to harvest scallops;

(ii) Used by the eligible applicant to make legal landings of scallops during the scallop LLP qualification period, as specified at §679.4(g)(2)(iii) of this part.

(2) With respect to the groundfish and crab species license limitation program, the LOA of the vessel on June 24, 1992, unless the vessel was less than 125 ft (38.1 m) on June 24, 1992, then 1.2 times the LOA of the vessel on June 24, 1992, or 125 ft (38.1 m), whichever is less. However, if the vessel was under reconstruction on June 24, 1992, then the basis for the MLOA will be the LOA of the vessel on the date that reconstruction was completed and not June 24, 1992. The following exceptions apply regardless of how the MLOA was determined.

(i) If the vessel's LOA on June 17, 1995, was less than 60 ft (18.3 m), or if the vessel was under reconstruction on June 17, 1995, and the vessel's LOA on the date that reconstruction was completed was less than 60 ft (18.3 m), then the vessel's MLOA cannot exceed 59 ft (18 m).

(ii) If the vessel's LOA on June 17, 1995, was greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) but less than 125 ft (38.1 m), or if the vessel was under reconstruction on June 17, 1995, and the vessel's LOA on the date that reconstruction was completed was greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) but less 125 ft (38.1 m), then the vessel's MLOA cannot exceed 124 ft (37.8 m).

(iii) If the vessel's LOA on June 17, 1995, was 125 ft (38.1 m) or greater, then the vessel's MLOA is the vessel's LOA on June 17, 1995, or if the vessel was under reconstruction on June 17, 1995, and the vessel's LOA on the date that reconstruction was completed was 125 ft (38.1 m) or greater, then the vessel's MLOA is the vessel's LOA on the date reconstruction was completed.

Mothership means:

(1) A vessel that receives and processes groundfish from other vessels; or

(2) With respect to subpart E of this part, a processor vessel that receives and processes groundfish from other vessels and is not used for, or equipped to be used for, catching groundfish.

Nearshore Bristol Bay Trawl Closure Area of the BSAI (See §679.22(a)(9) and Figure 12 to this part.)

Net-sounder device means a sensor used to determine the depth from the water surface at which a fishing net is operating.

Net weight (IFQ or CDQ halibut only). Net weight of IFQ or CDQ halibut means the weight of a halibut that is gutted, head off, and washed or ice and slime deducted.

Non-allocated or nonspecified species means those fish species, other than prohibited species, for which TAC has not been specified (e.g., grenadier, prowfish, lingcod).

NMFS investigator, for purposes of subpart E of this part, means a designee authorized by the Regional Administrator to conduct investigations under this section.

NMFS Person Identification Number means a unique number assigned by NMFS to any person who applied for, or who has been issued, a certificate, license, or permit under any fishery management program administered by the Alaska Region for purposes of the NMFS/Alaska Region Integrated Regional Data System.

Non-chinook salmon means coho, pink, chum or sockeye salmon.

North Pacific fishery means any commercial fishery in state or Federal waters off Alaska.

Observed or observed data refers to data collected by observers (see §679.21(f)(7) and subpart E of this part).

Observer means any

(1) Individual who is awarded NMFS observer certification to carry out observer responsibilities under this part, and who is employed by an observer provider for the purposes of providing observer services to vessels, shoreside processors or stationary floating processors under this part; or

(2) NMFS staff or other individual authorized by NMFS deployed, at the direction of the Regional Administrator, aboard vessels or at shoreside processors or stationary floating processors for purposes of providing observer services as required for vessels, shoreside processors or stationary floating processors under §679.50(c) or (d), or for other purposes of conservation and management of marine resources as specified by the Regional Administrator.

Observer Program Office means the administrative office of the Groundfish Observer Program located at Alaska Fisheries Science Center (see ADDRESSES, part 600).

Observer Provider means any person or commercial enterprise that is granted a permit by NMFS to provide observer services to vessels, shoreside processors, or stationary floating processors for observer coverage credit as required in subpart E of this part.

Official AFA record means the information prepared by the Regional Administrator about vessels and processors that were used to participate in the BSAI pollock fisheries during the qualifying periods specified in §679.4(l). Information in the official AFA record includes vessel ownership information, documented harvests made from vessels during AFA qualifying periods, vessel characteristics, and documented amounts of pollock processed by pollock processors during AFA qualifying periods. The official AFA record is presumed to be correct for the purpose of determining eligibility for AFA permits. An applicant for an AFA permit will have the burden of proving correct any information submitted in an application that is inconsistent with the official record.

Official License Limitation Program (LLP) record means the information prepared by the Regional Administrator about vessels that were used to participate in the groundfish or crab fisheries during qualified periods for the groundfish and crab LLP specified at §679.4(k) and in the scallop fisheries during the qualifying periods for the scallop LLP specified at §679.4(g). Information in the official LLP record includes vessel ownership information, documented harvests made from vessels during the qualification periods, and vessel characteristics. The official LLP record is presumed to be correct for the purpose of determining eligibility for licenses. An applicant for a license under the LLP will have the burden of proving the validity of information submitted in an application that is inconsistent with the official LLP record.

Offshore component in the GOA means all vessels not included in the definition of “inshore component in the GOA” that process groundfish harvested in the GOA.

Operate a vessel means for purposes of VMS that the fishing vessel is:

(1) Offloading or processing fish;

(2) In transit to, from, or between the fishing areas; or

(3) Fishing or conducting operations in support of fishing.

Optimum yield means:

(1) With respect to the salmon fishery, that amount of any species of salmon that will provide the greatest overall benefit to the Nation, with particular reference to food production and recreational opportunities, as specified in the Salmon FMP.

(2) With respect to the groundfish fisheries, see §679.20(a)(1).

Other flatfish (see Table 11 to this part pursuant to §679.20(c).)

Other gear means gear other than authorized fishing gear.

Other red rockfish (see Table 10 to this part pursuant to §679.20(c); see also “rockfish” at §679.2.)

Other rockfish (see Table 10 to this part pursuant to §679.20(c); see also “rockfish” at §679.2.)

Other species is a category that consists of groundfish species in each management area that are not specified as target species (see Tables 10 and 11 to this part pursuant to §679.20(e)).

Person means any individual (whether or not a citizen or national of the United States), any corporation, partnership, association, or other entity (whether or not organized, or existing under the laws of any state), and any Federal, state, local, or foreign government or any entity of any such aforementioned governments.

Personal use fishing means, for purposes of the salmon fishery, fishing other than commercial fishing.

Pollock roe means product consisting of pollock eggs, either loose or in sacs or skeins.

Preponderance of the evidence, for purposes of subpart E of this part, means proof by information that, compared with that opposing it, leads to the conclusion that the fact at issue is more probably true than not.

Primary product (see Table 1 to this part).

Processing, or to process, means the preparation of, or to prepare, fish or crab to render it suitable for human consumption, industrial uses, or long-term storage, including but not limited to cooking, canning, smoking, salting, drying, freezing, or rendering into meal or oil, but does not mean icing, bleeding, heading, or gutting.

Processor vessel means, unless otherwise restricted, any vessel that has been issued a Federal fisheries permit and that can be used for processing groundfish.

Product transfer report (PTR) (see §679.5(g)).

Program Administrator, RAM means the Program Administrator of Restricted Access Management Program, Alaska Region, NMFS.

Prohibited species means any of the species of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis), Pacific herring (Clupea harengus pallasi), king crab, and Tanner crab (see Table 2b to this part), caught by a vessel regulated under this part while fishing for groundfish in the BSAI or GOA, unless retention is authorized by other applicable laws, including the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of this title.

Prohibited species catch (PSC) means any of the species listed in §679.21(b).

PRR means standard product recovery rate (see Table 3 to this part).

PSD Permit means a permit issued by NMFS to an applicant who qualifies as an authorized distributor for purposes of the PSD.

PSD Program means the Prohibited Species Donation Program established under §679.26.

PSQ means prohibited species quota and is the amount of a PSQ reserve that is allocated to a CDQ group.

PSQ allocation means a percentage of a PSQ reserve specified under §679.21(e)(1)(i) and (e)(2)(ii) that is assigned to a CDQ group when NMFS approves a proposed CDP. See also §679.31(d).

PSQ reserve means the percentage of a prohibited species catch limit established under §679.21(e)(1) and (e)(2) that is allocated to the groundfish CDQ program under §679.21(e)(1)(i) and (e)(2)(ii).

PSQ species means any species or species group that has been allocated from a PSQ reserve to a CDQ group.

Qualified applicant means, for the purposes of the CDQ program:

(1) A local fishermen's organization that:

(i) Represents an eligible community or group of eligible communities;

(ii) Is incorporated under the laws of the State of Alaska or under Federal law; and

(iii) Has a board of directors composed of at least 75 percent resident fishermen of the community (or group of communities); or

(2) A local economic development organization that:

(i) Represents an eligible community or group of communities;

(ii) Is incorporated under the laws of the State of Alaska or under Federal law specifically for the purpose of designing and implementing a CDP; and

(iii) Has a board of directors composed of at least 75 percent resident fishermen of the community (or group of communities).

Qualified Person means:

(1) With respect to the IFQ program, see IFQ Management Measures at §679.40(a)(2).

(2) With respect to the groundfish and crab species license limitation program, a person who was eligible on June 17, 1995, to document a fishing vessel under Chapter 121, Title 46, U.S.C.

(3) With respect to the scallop LLP, a person who was eligible on February 8, 1999, to document a fishing vessel under Chapter 121, Title 46, U.S.C.

Quarter, or quarterly reporting period, means one of four successive 3-month periods, which begin at 0001 hours, A.l.t., on the first day of each quarter, and end at 2400 hours, A.l.t., on the last day of each quarter, as follows:

(1) 1st quarter: January 1 through March 31.

(2) 2nd quarter: April 1 through June 30.

(3) 3rd quarter: July 1 through September 30.

(4) 4th quarter: October 1 through December 31.

Quota share (QS) means a permit, the face amount of which is used as a basis for the annual calculation of a person's IFQ.

Reconstruction means a change in the LOA of the vessel from its original qualifying LOA.

Red King Crab Savings Area (RKCSA) of the BSAI (see §679.22(a)(3) and Figure 11 to this part).

Red King Crab Savings Subarea (RKCSS) of the BSAI (see §679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B) and Figure 11 to this part).

Regional Administrator, for purposes of this part, means the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, as defined at §600.10 of this chapter, or a designee.

Registered buyer means the person identified on a Registered Buyer permit (see §679.4(d)(3)).

Registered crab receiver (RCR) means a person issued an RCR permit, described under 50 CFR part 680, by the Regional Administrator.

Regulatory area means any of three areas of the EEZ in the GOA (see Figure 3 to this part).

Reporting area (see Figures 1 and 3 to this part) means:

(1) An area that includes a statistical area of the EEZ off Alaska and any adjacent waters of the State of Alaska;

(2) The reporting areas 300, 400, 550, and 690, which do not contain EEZ waters off Alaska or Alaska state waters; or

(3) Reporting areas 649 and 659, which contain only waters of the State of Alaska.

Representative (see §679.5(b)).

Reprocessed or rehandled product (see Table 1 to this part).

Resident fisherman means (for purposes of the CDQ Program) an individual with documented commercial or subsistence fishing activity who maintains a mailing address and permanent domicile in an eligible community and is eligible to receive an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend at that address.

Restricted AFA inshore processor means an AFA inshore processor permitted to harvest pollock under §679.4(l)(5)(i)(B).

Retain on board (see §§600.10 and 679.27 of this chapter.)

Rockfish means:

(1) For the GOA: Any species of the genera Sebastes or Sebastelobus except Sebastes melanops, (black rockfish), and Sebastes mystinus, (blue rockfish).

(2) For the BSAI: Any species of the genera Sebastes or Sebastelobus.

Round-weight equivalent means the weight of groundfish calculated by dividing the weight of the primary product made from that groundfish by the PRR for that primary product as listed in Table 3 to this part, or, if not listed, the weight of groundfish calculated by dividing the weight of a primary product by the standard PRR as determined using the best available evidence on a case-by-case basis.

Sablefish (black cod) means Anoplopoma fimbria. (See also IFQ sablefish; fixed gear sablefish at §679.21(b)(5); and sablefish as a prohibited species at §679.24(c)(2)(ii)).

Salmon means the following species:

(1) Chinook (or king) salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha);

(2) Coho (or silver) salmon (O. kisutch);

(3) Pink (or humpback) salmon (O. gorbuscha);

(4) Sockeye (or red) salmon (O. nerka); and

(5) Chum (or dog) salmon (O. keta).

Salmon Management Area means the waters of the EEZ off the coast of Alaska (see Figure 23 to part 679), including parts of the North Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Beaufort Sea. The Salmon Management Area is divided into a West Area and an East Area with the border between the two at the longitude of Cape Suckling (143°53'36" W):

(1) The West Area is the area of the EEZ off the coast of Alaska west of the longitude of Cape Suckling (143°53'36" W). It includes the EEZ in the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Beaufort Sea, as well as the EEZ in the North Pacific Ocean west of Cape Suckling.

(2) The East Area is the area of the EEZ off the coast of Alaska east of the longitude of Cape Suckling (143°53'36" W).

Scallop(s) means any species of the family Pectinidae, including, without limitation, weathervane scallops (Patinopectin caurinus).

Scallop license means a license issued by NMFS that authorizes the license holder to catch and retain scallops pursuant to the conditions specified on the license.

Scallop Registration Area H (Cook Inlet) means all Federal waters of the GOA west of the longitude of Cape Fairfield (148°50' W. long.) and north of the latitude of Cape Douglas (58°52' N. lat.).

Seabird means those bird species that habitually obtain their food from the sea below the low water mark.

Seabird avoidance gear (see §§679.24(e), 679.42(b)(2), and Table 19 to this part).

Set means a string of longline gear, a string of pots, or a group of pots with individual pots deployed and retrieved in the water in a similar location with similar soak time. In the case of pot gear, when the pots in a string are hauled more than once in the same position, a new set is created each time the string is retrieved and re-deployed. A set includes a test set, unsuccessful harvest, or when gear is not working and is pulled in, even if no fish are harvested.

Shallow water flatfish (see Table 10 to this part pursuant to §679.20(c).)

Shoreside processor means any person or vessel that receives, purchases, or arranges to purchase, unprocessed groundfish, except catcher/processors, motherships, buying stations, restaurants, or persons receiving groundfish for personal consumption or bait.

Shucking machine means any mechanical device that automatically removes the meat or the adductor muscle from the shell.

Southeast Outside District of the GOA means that part of the Eastern GOA Regulatory Area contained in Statistical Area 650 (see Figure 3 to this part).

Sitka Pinnacles Marine Reserve means an area totaling 2.5 square nm in the GOA, off Cape Edgecumbe, in Statistical Area 650. See Figure 18 to this part.

State means the State of Alaska.

Stationary floating processor means a vessel of the United States operating as a processor in Alaska State waters that remains anchored or otherwise remains stationary in a single geographic location while receiving or processing groundfish harvested in the GOA or BSAI.

Statistical area means the part of any reporting area defined in Figures 1 and 3 to this part, contained in the EEZ.

Stretched mesh size means the distance between opposite knots of a four-sided mesh when opposite knots are pulled tautly to remove slack.

Superexclusive registration area means any State of Alaska designated registration area within the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area where, if a vessel is registered to fish for crab, that vessel is prohibited from fishing for crab in any other registration area during that registration year.

Support vessel means any vessel that is used in support of other vessels regulated under this part, including, but not limited to, supplying a fishing vessel with water, fuel, provisions, fishing equipment, fish processing equipment or other supplies, or transporting processed fish. The term “support vessel” does not include processor vessels or tender vessels.

Suspending official, for purposes of subpart E of this part, means a designee authorized by the Regional Administrator to impose suspension.

Suspension, as used in §679.50, means action taken by a suspending official under §679.50(j) to suspend certification of observers or observer providers temporarily until a final decision is made with respect to decertification.

Tagged halibut or sablefish (see §679.40(g)).

Tanner crab means Chionoecetes species or hybrids of these species.

Target species are those species or species groups, except the “other species” category, for which a TAC is specified pursuant to §679.20(a)(2).

Tax-exempt organization means an organization that received a determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service recognizing tax exemption under 26 CFR part 1 (§§1.501 to 1.640).

Tender vessel means a vessel that is used to transport unprocessed fish received from another vessel to a shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or mothership (see also “buying station”).

Transfer means:

(1) Groundfish fisheries of the GOA and BSAI. Any loading, offloading, shipment or receipt of any IFQ sablefish or other groundfish product by a mothership, catcher/processor, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor, including quantities transferred inside or outside the EEZ, within any state's territorial waters, within the internal waters of any state, at any shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or at any offsite meal reduction plant.

(2) IFQ halibut and CDQ halibut fisheries. Any loading, offloading, or shipment of any IFQ halibut or CDQ halibut product including quantities transferred inside or outside the EEZ, within any state's territorial waters, within the internal waters of any state, at any shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or at any offsite meal reduction plant.

Trawl test areas (see Figure 7 to this part and §679.24(d)).

Unlisted AFA catcher/processor means an AFA catcher/processor permitted to harvest BS pollock under §679.4(l)(2)(ii).

Unrestricted AFA inshore processor means an AFA inshore processor permitted to harvest pollock under §679.4(l)(5)(i)(A).

Unsorted codend is a codend of groundfish that is not brought on board a catcher vessel and that is delivered to a mothership, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor without the potential for sorting. No other instance of catcher vessel harvest is considered an “unsorted codend.” All other catch that does not meet this definition is considered “presorted” whether or not sorting occurs.

U.S. citizen means:

(1) General usage. Any individual who is a citizen of the United States.

(2) IFQ program. (i) Any individual who is a citizen of the United States at the time of application for QS; or

(ii) Any corporation, partnership, association, or other entity that would have qualified to document a fishing vessel as a vessel of the United States during the QS qualifying years of 1988, 1989, and 1990.

U.S.-Russian Boundary means the seaward boundary of Russian waters as defined in Figure 1 to this part.

Vessel Activity Report (VAR) (see §679.5(k)).

Vessel length category means the length category of a vessel, based on the assigned MLOA, used to determine eligibility.

Vessel operations category (see §679.5(b)(3)).

Walrus Protection Areas (see §679.22(a)(4)).

Weekly production report (WPR) (see §679.5(i)).

Weekly reporting period means a time period that begins at 0001 hours, A.l.t., Sunday morning (except during the first week of each year, when it starts on January 1) and ends at 2400 hours, A.l.t., the following Saturday night (except during the last week of each year, when it ends on December 31).

West Yakutat District of the GOA means that part of the Eastern GOA Regulatory Area contained in Statistical Area 640 (see Figure 3 to this part).

Western Aleutian District means that part of the Aleutian Islands Subarea contained in Statistical Area 543 (see Figure 1 to this part).

Western GOA Regulatory Area means that portion of the GOA EEZ that is contained in Statistical Area 610 (see Figure 3 to this part).

Wing tip means the point where adjacent breast lines intersect or where a breast line intersects with the fishing line.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §679.2, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

§ 679.3   Relation to other laws.
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(a) Foreign fishing for groundfish. Regulations governing U.S. nationals fishing in the Russian fisheries are set forth in part 300 of chapter III of this title.

(b) Domestic fishing for groundfish. (1) The conservation and management of groundfish in waters of the territorial sea and internal waters of the State of Alaska are governed by the Alaska Administrative Code at 5 AAC Chapter 28 and by the Alaska Statutes at Title 16.

(2) Alaska Administrative Code (5 AAC 39.130) governs reporting and permitting requirements using ADF&G “Intent to Operate” and “Fish Tickets.”

(c) Halibut. Additional regulations governing the conservation and management of halibut are set forth in subpart E of part 300 of chapter III of this title.

(d) King and Tanner crabs. Additional regulations governing conservation and management of king crabs and Tanner crabs in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area are contained in 50 CFR part 680 and in Alaska Statutes at A.S. 16 and Alaska Administrative Code at 5 AAC Chapters 34, 35, and 39.

(e) Incidental catch of marine mammals. Regulations governing exemption permits and the recordkeeping and reporting of the incidental take of marine mammals are set forth in §216.24 and part 229 of this title.

(f) Domestic fishing for high seas salmon. (1) Additional regulations governing the conservation and management of salmon are set forth in §600.705 of this chapter.

(2) This part does not apply to fishing for salmon by vessels other than vessels of the United States conducted under subpart H, part 660 (West Coast Salmon Fisheries) under the North Pacific Fisheries Act of 1954, 16 U.S.C. 1021-1035, concerning fishing for salmon seaward of Washington, Oregon, and California.

(3) The Salmon Fishery east of Cape Suckling is administered in close coordination with ADF&G's administration of the State of Alaska's regulations governing the salmon troll fishery off Southeast Alaska. For State of Alaska regulations specifically governing the salmon troll fishery, see 5 Alaska Administrative Code 30 (Yakutat Area), and 5 Alaska Administrative Code 33 (Southeastern Alaska Area).

(4) Commercial fishing for salmon in the EEZ west of Cape Suckling is not allowed except in three net fisheries managed by the State of Alaska as described in Section 2.2.2 and Appendix C of the Salmon FMP. For State of Alaska regulations governing these fisheries, see 5 Alaska Administrative Code 09 (Alaska Peninsula), 5 Alaska Administrative Code 21 (Cook Inlet), and 5 Alaska Administrative Code 24 (Prince William Sound).

(5) For State of Alaska statutes and regulations governing commercial fishing, see Alaska Statutes, title 16—Fish and Game; title 5 of the Alaska Administrative Code, chapters 1-39.

(6) For State of Alaska statutes and regulations governing sport and personal use salmon fishing other than subsistence fishing, see Alaska Statutes, title 16—Fish and Game; 5 Alaska Administrative Codes 42.010 through 75.995.

(7) For State of Alaska statutes and regulations governing subsistence fishing, see Alaska Statutes, title 16—Fish and Game; 5 Alaska Administrative Codes 01, 02, 39, and 99.010.

(g) Scallops. Additional regulations governing conservation and management of scallops off Alaska are contained in Alaska Statutes A.S. 16 and Alaska Administrative Code at 5 AAC Chapter 38.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 35578, July 5, 1996; 62 FR 2045, Jan. 15, 1997; 62 FR 19688, Apr. 23, 1997; 63 FR 38502, July 17, 1998; 63 FR 47356, Sept. 4, 1998; 69 FR 877, Jan. 7, 2004; 70 FR 10232, Mar. 2, 2005]

§ 679.4   Permits.
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(a) Requirements. Only persons who are U.S. citizens are authorized to receive or hold permits under this section, with the exception that an IFQ card issued to an individual person designated by a QS or IFQ permit holder as a master employed to fish his/her IFQ need not be held by a U.S. citizen.

(1) What permits are available? Various types of permits are issued for programs codified at 50 CFR parts 300 and 679. These permits are listed in the following table. The date of effectiveness for each permit is given along with certain reference paragraphs for further information.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                     Permit is in If program permit or card type    effect from issue       For more               is:                 date through the   information, see .                                        end of:               . .------------------------------------------------------------------------(i) IFQ:  (A) Registered Buyer..........  Until next renewal  Paragraph                                   cycle.              (d)(3)(ii) of                                                       this section.  (B) Halibut & sablefish     Specified fishing   Paragraph   permits.                        year.               (d)(3)(i)(B) of                                                       this section.  (C) Halibut & sablefish     Specified fishing   Paragraph   cards.                          year.               (d)(3)(i)(C) of                                                       this section.(ii) CDQ Halibut:  (A) Halibut permit............  Specified fishing   Paragraph (e) of                                   year.               this section.  (B) Halibut card..............  Specified fishing   Paragraph (e) of                                   year.               this section.(iii) AFA:  (A) Catcher/processor.........  Indefinite........  Paragraph (l) of                                                       this section  (B) Catcher vessel............  Indefinite........  Paragraph (l) of                                                       this section  (C)Mothership.................  Indefinite........  Paragraph (l) of                                                       this section  (D) Inshore processor.........  Indefinite........  Paragraph (l) of                                                       this section  (E) Inshore cooperative.......  Calendar year.....  Paragraph (l) of                                                       this section  (F) Replacement vessel........  Indefinite........  Paragraph (l) of                                                       this section(iv) Groundfish:  (A) Federal fisheries.........  Until next renewal  Paragraph (b) of                                   cycle.              this section  (B) Federal processor.........  Until next renewal  Paragraph (f) of                                   cycle.              this section(v) Salmon permit                 Indefinite........  Paragraph (h) of                                                       this section(vi) High Seas Fishing            5 years...........  § 300.10 of Compliance Act (HSFCA)                                this title(vii) License Limitation Program (LLP):  (A) Groundfish license........  Specified fishing   Paragraph (k) of                                   year or interim     this section                                   (active until                                   further notice).  (B) Crab license..............  Specified fishing   Paragraph (k) of                                   year or interim     this section                                   (active until                                   further notice).(viii) Exempted fisheries         1 year or less....  § 679.6(ix) Research                     1 year or less....  § 600.745(a)                                                       of this chapter(x) Prohibited species donation program:  (A) Salmon....................  3 years...........  § 679.26  (B) Halibut...................  3 years...........  § 679.26(xi) Special Subsistence Permits:  (A) Community Harvest Permit..  1 year............  § 300.65 of                                                       this title  (B) Ceremonial or Educational   30 days...........  § 300.65 of   Permit.                                             this title------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) Permit and logbook required by participant and fishery. For the various types of permits issued, refer to §679.5 for recordkeeping and reporting requirements. For subsistence permits, refer to §300.65 of this title for recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(3) Permit application. (i) A person may obtain or renew an application for any of the permits under this section and must mail completed forms to the Program Administrator, RAM.

(ii) Upon receipt of an incomplete or improperly completed permit application, the Program Administrator, RAM, will notify the applicant of the deficiency in the permit application. If the applicant fails to correct the deficiency, the permit will not be issued. No permit will be issued to an applicant until a complete application is received.

(iii) A separate application must be completed for each vessel, processor, or buying station and a copy must be retained of each completed or revised application.

(iv) The information requested on the application must be typed or printed legibly.

(v) All permits are issued free of charge.

(4) Amended applications. An owner, operator, or manager who applied for and received a permit under this section must notify the Program Administrator, RAM, in writing, of any change in the information within 10 days of the date of that change.

(5) Alteration. No person may alter, erase, or mutilate any permit, card, or document issued under this section. Any such permit, card, or document that is intentionally altered, erased, or mutilated is invalid.

(6) Disclosure. NMFS will maintain a list of permitted processors that may be disclosed for public inspection.

(7) Sanctions and denials. Procedures governing sanctions and denials are found at subpart D of 15 CFR part 904. Such procedures are required for enforcement purposes, not administrative purposes.

(8) Harvesting privilege. Quota shares, permits, or licenses issued pursuant to this part are neither a right to the resource nor any interest that is subject to the “takings” provision of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Rather, such quota shares, permits, or licenses represent only a harvesting privilege that may be revoked or amended subject to the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law.

(b) Federal Fisheries permit—(1) Groundfish. No vessel of the United States may be used to fish for groundfish in the GOA or BSAI unless the owner first obtains a Federal fisheries permit for the vessel, issued under this part. A Federal fisheries permit is issued without charge.

(2) Non-groundfish. A vessel of the United States that fishes in the GOA or BSAI for any non-groundfish species, including but not limited to halibut, crab, salmon, scallops, and herring, and that is required to retain any bycatch of groundfish under this part must obtain a Federal fisheries permit under this part.

(3) Vessel operations categories.

(i) A Federal fisheries permit authorizes a vessel to conduct operations in the GOA or BSAI as a catcher vessel, catcher/processor, mothership, tender vessel, or support vessel.

(ii) A Federal fisheries permit is issued to a vessel to function as a support vessel or as any combination of the other four categories (catcher vessel, catcher/processor, mothership, tender vessel).

(iii) A vessel permitted as a catcher/processor, catcher vessel, mothership, or tender vessel also may conduct all operations authorized for a support vessel.

(iv) A vessel permitted as a support vessel may not conduct activities as a catcher vessel, catcher/processor, mothership, and/or tender vessel.

(4) Duration. (i) A Federal fisheries permit is issued on a 3-year cycle and is in effect from the date of issuance through the end of the current NMFS 3-year cycle, unless it is revoked, suspended, or modified under §600.735 or §600.740 of this chapter.

(ii) A Federal fisheries permit is surrendered when the original permit is submitted to and received by the Program Administrator, RAM Program, Juneau, AK.

(5) How do I obtain a Federal fisheries permit? To obtain a Federal fisheries permit, the owner must complete a Federal fisheries permit application and provide the following information for each vessel to be permitted:

(i) New or amended application? Indicate whether application is for a new or amended Federal fisheries permit and if revision, enter the current Federal fisheries permit number.

(ii) Owner information. Indicate the name(s), permanent business mailing address, business telephone number, business FAX number, and business e-mail address of the owner; and the name of any person or company (other than the owner) that manages the operations of the vessel.

(iii) Vessel information. Indicate the vessel name and homeport (city and state); U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) documentation number; ADF&G vessel registration number; ADF&G processor code; vessel's LOA (ft), registered length (ft), gross tonnage, net tonnage, and shaft horsepower; whether this is a vessel of the United States; and whether this vessel will be used as a stationary floating processor.

(iv) Area and gear information. Indicate requested/elected area(s) of operation. If a catcher/ processor and/or a catcher vessel, the gear types used for groundfish fishing. If a mothership or catcher/processor operating in the GOA, choose inshore or offshore component.

(v) Signature. The owner or agent of the owner of the vessel must sign and date the application. If the owner is a company, the agent of the owner must sign and date the application.

(vi) Atka Mackerel, Pollock, and Pacific Cod Directed Fisheries. (A) Indicate use of pot, hook-and-line, or trawl gear in the directed fisheries for pollock, Atka mackerel, or Pacific cod.

(B) Indicate directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the harvest limit area, as defined in §679.2.

(vii) (Applicable through December 31, 2002) If the vessel owner will be fishing in the harvest limit area in Statistical Areas 542 or 543 in the directed fishery for Atka mackerel.

(6) Issuance. (i) Except as provided in subpart D of 15 CFR part 904, upon receipt of a properly completed permit application, the Regional Administrator will issue a Federal fisheries permit required by this paragraph (b).

(ii) The Regional Administrator will send the Federal fisheries permit to the applicant with the appropriate logbooks, as provided under §679.5.

(7) Amended application. If the application for an amended permit required under this section designates a change or addition of a vessel operations category, the amended permit must be on board the vessel before the new type of operations begins.

(8) Transfer. A Federal fisheries permit issued under this paragraph (b) is not transferable or assignable and is valid only for the vessel for which it is issued.

(9) Inspection. (i) An original Federal fisheries permit issued under this paragraph (b) must be carried on board the vessel whenever the vessel is fishing. Photocopied or faxed copies are not considered originals.

(ii) A permit issued under this paragraph (b) must be presented for inspection upon the request of any authorized officer.

(c) [Reserved]

(d) IFQ permits, IFQ cards, and Registered Buyer permits. The permits and cards described in this section are required in addition to the permit and licensing requirements prescribed in the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of chapter III of this title and in the permit requirements of this section.

(1) IFQ permit. (i) An IFQ permit authorizes the person identified on the permit to harvest IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish from a specified IFQ regulatory area at any time during an open fishing season during the fishing year for which the IFQ permit is issued until the amount harvested is equal to the amount specified under the permit, or until the permit is revoked, suspended, or modified under 15 CFR part 904.

(ii) A legible copy of any IFQ permit that specifies the IFQ regulatory area and vessel length overall from which IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish may be harvested by the IFQ permit holder must be carried on board the vessel used by the permitted person to harvest IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish at all times that such fish are retained on board.

(2) IFQ card. (i) An IFQ card authorizes the individual identified on the card to land IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish for debit against the specified IFQ permit until the card expires, or is revoked, suspended, or modified under 15 CFR part 904, or cancelled on request of the IFQ permit holder.

(ii) An original IFQ card issued by the Regional Administrator must be on board the vessel that harvests IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish at all times that such fish are retained on board. Except as specified in §679.42(d), an individual that is issued an IFQ card must remain aboard the vessel used to harvest IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish with that card during the IFQ fishing trip and at the landing site during all IFQ landings.

(iii) Each IFQ card issued by the Regional Administrator will display an IFQ permit number and the name of the individual authorized by the IFQ permit holder to land IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish for debit against the permit holder's IFQ. In addition, IFQ cards issued to hired masters representing permit holders in accordance with §679.42(i) and (j) will also display the ADF&G vessel identification number of the authorized vessel.

(3) Registered Buyer permit. (i) A Registered Buyer permit authorizes the person identified on the permit to receive and make an IFQ landing by an IFQ permit or cardholder or to receive and make a CDQ halibut landing by a CDQ permit or cardholder at any time during the fishing year for which it is issued until the Registered Buyer permit expires, or is revoked, suspended, or modified under 15 CFR part 904.

(ii) A Registered Buyer permit is required of:

(A) Any person who receives IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut or IFQ sablefish from the person(s) who harvested the fish;

(B) Any person who harvests IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut or IFQ sablefish and transfers such fish in a dockside sale, outside of an IFQ regulatory area, or outside the State of Alaska.

(C) A vessel operator who submits a Departure Report (see §679.5(l)(4)).

(iii) A Registered Buyer permit is issued on a 3-year cycle by the Regional Administrator to persons that have a Registered Buyer application approved by the Regional Administrator.

(iv) A Registered Buyer permit is in effect from the first day of the year for which it is issued or from the date of issuance, whichever is later, through the end of the current NMFS 3-year cycle, unless it is revoked, suspended, or modified under §600.735 or §600.740 of this chapter.

(4) Issuance. The Regional Administrator will renew IFQ permits and cards annually or at other times as needed to accommodate transfers, revocations, appeals resolution, and other changes in QS or IFQ holdings, and designation of masters under §679.42.

(5) Transfer. The quota shares and IFQ issued under this section are not transferable, except as provided under §679.41. IFQ cards and Registered Buyer permits issued under this paragraph (d) are not transferable.

(6) Inspection—(i) IFQ permit and card. The IFQ cardholder must present a copy of the IFQ permit and the original IFQ card for inspection on request of any authorized officer or Registered Buyer receiving IFQ species.

(ii) Registered Buyer permit. A legible copy of the Registered Buyer permit must be present at the location of an IFQ landing or CDQ halibut landing and must be made available by an individual representing the Registered Buyer for inspection on request of any authorized officer.

(7) Validity. An IFQ permit issued under this part is valid only if the IFQ permit holder has paid all IFQ fees that are due as a result of final agency action as specified in §§679.45 and 679.5(l)(7)(ii).

(e) CDQ Halibut permits and CDQ cards—(1) Requirements. (i) The CDQ group, the operator of the vessel, the manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, and the Registered Buyer must comply with the requirements of this paragraph (e) and of paragraph §679.32(f) for the catch of CDQ halibut.

(ii) The CDQ group, vessel owner or operator, and Registered Buyer are subject to all of the IFQ prohibitions at §679.7(f).

(2) Halibut CDQ permit. The CDQ group must obtain a halibut CDQ permit issued by the Regional Administrator. The vessel operator must have a copy of the halibut CDQ permit on any fishing vessel operated by, or for, a CDQ group that will have halibut CDQ onboard and must make the permit available for inspection by an authorized officer. The halibut CDQ permit is non-transferable and is issued annually until revoked, suspended, or modified.

(3) Halibut CDQ card. An individual must have onboard the vessel a valid halibut CDQ card issued by the Regional Administrator before landing any CDQ halibut. Each halibut CDQ card will identify a CDQ permit number and the individual authorized by the CDQ group to land halibut for debit against the CDQ group's halibut CDQ.

(4) Alteration. No person may alter, erase, mutilate, or forge a halibut CDQ permit, landing card, Registered Buyer permit, or any valid and current permit or document issued under this part. Any such permit, card, or document that has been intentionally altered, erased, mutilated, or forged is invalid.

(5) Landings. A person may land CDQ halibut only if he or she has a valid halibut CDQ card. The person(s) holding the halibut CDQ card and the Registered Buyer must comply with the requirements of §679.5(g) and (l)(1) through (6).

(f) Federal processor permit—(1) Requirement. No shoreside processor of the United States or stationary floating processor may receive or process groundfish harvested in the GOA or BSAI, unless the owner first obtains a Federal processor permit issued under this part. A Federal processor permit is issued without charge.

(2) How do I obtain a Federal processor permit? To obtain a Federal processor permit, the owner must complete a Federal processor permit application and provide the following information for each shoreside processor facility or plant and stationary floating processor to be permitted:

(i) Permit application information. Indicate whether application is for a new or amended Federal processor permit and if a revision, the current Federal processor permit number.

(ii) Owner information. Indicate the name(s), permanent business mailing address, business telephone number, business FAX number, and business e-mail address of the owner; and the name of any person or company (other than the owner) who manages the operations of the shoreside processor or stationary floating processor.

(iii) Stationary floating processor information. Indicate the vessel name and homeport (city and state); USCG documentation number; ADF&G vessel registration number; ADF&G processor code; the vessel's LOA (ft), registered length (ft), gross tonnage, net tonnage and shaft horsepower; whether this is a vessel of the United States; and whether this vessel will be used as a stationary floating processor.

(iv) Shoreside processor information. Indicate the shoreside processor's name; name and physical location of facility or plant at which the shoreside processor is operating (street, city, state, zip code); whether the shoreside processor is replacing a previous processor at this facility; and if yes, name of previous processor; whether there are multiple processors at this facility; whether the owner named in paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section owns this facility; shoreside processor ADF&G processor code, business telephone number, business FAX number, and business e-mail address.

(v) Signature. The owner or agent of the owner of the shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must sign and date the application. If the owner is a company, the agent of the owner must sign and date the application.

(3) Issuance. (i) Upon receipt of a properly completed permit application, the Regional Administrator will issue a Federal processor permit required by this paragraph (f).

(ii) The Regional Administrator will send the Federal processor permit to the applicant with the shoreside processor logbook, as provided under §679.5.

(4) Duration. (i) A Federal processor permit is issued for a 3-year period and remains in full force and effect from the date of issuance through the end of the current NMFS 3-year renewal cycle, unless it is revoked, suspended, or modified under §600.735 or §600.740 of this chapter.

(ii) A Federal processor permit is surrendered when the original permit is submitted to and received by the Program Administrator, RAM Program, Juneau, AK.

(5) Transfer. A Federal processor permit issued under this paragraph (f) is not transferable or assignable and is valid only for the processor for which it is issued.

(6) Inspection. (i) An original Federal processor permit issued under this paragraph (f) must be on site at the shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor at all times. Photocopied or faxed copies are not considered originals.

(ii) A permit issued under this paragraph (f) must be presented for inspection upon the request of any authorized officer.

(g) Scallop LLP—(1) General requirements. In addition to the permit and licensing requirements prescribed in this part, each vessel within the EEZ off Alaska that is catching and retaining scallops, must have an original scallop LLP license on board at all times it is catching and retaining scallops. This scallop LLP license, issued by NMFS, authorizes the person named on the license to catch and retain scallops in compliance with regulations of the State of Alaska and only with a vessel that does not exceed the MLOA specified on the license and the gear designation specified on the license.

(2) Qualifications for a scallop LLP license. A scallop LLP license will be issued to an eligible applicant who:

(i) Is a qualified person;

(ii) Was named on a State of Alaska scallop moratorium permit or Federal scallop moratorium permit on February 8, 1999;

(iii) Used the moratorium permit held on February 8, 1999, to make legal landings of scallops in each of any 2 calendar years during the qualification period beginning January 1, 1996, through October 9, 1998; and

(iv) Submitted a complete application for a scallop license during the application period specified pursuant to paragraph (g)(4) of this section.

(3) Scallop license conditions and endorsements. A scallop license authorizes the license holder to catch and retain scallops only if the vessel length and gear used do not exceed the vessel length and gear endorsements specified on the license. These endorsements will be determined as follows.

(i) The MLOA specified on the scallop license is equal to the length overall on February 8, 1999, of the longest vessel that was authorized by a Federal or State of Alaska Scallop Moratorium Permit to harvest scallops and used by the eligible applicant to make legal landings of scallops during the scallop LLP qualification period, as specified at §679.4(g)(2)(iii) of this part.

(ii) The gear specified on a scallop license will be restricted to two dredges with a combined width of no more than 20 feet (6.1 m) in all areas if the eligible applicant was a moratorium permit holder with a Scallop Registration Area H (Cook Inlet) endorsement and did not make a legal landing of scallops caught outside Area H during the qualification period specified in paragraph (g)(2)(iii) of this section.

(4) Application for a scallop license—(i) General. The Regional Administrator will issue a scallop license to an applicant if a complete application is submitted by or on behalf of the applicant during the specified application period, and if that applicant meets all the criteria for eligibility in this part. An application that is postmarked or hand delivered after the ending date for the application period for the scallop LLP specified in paragraph §679.4(g)(4)(ii) will be denied. An application form will be sent to the last known address of the person identified as an eligible applicant by the official LLP record. An application form may be requested from the Regional Administrator.

(ii) Application Period. January 16, 2001, through February 12, 2001.

(iii) Contents of application. To be complete, an application for a scallop license must be signed and dated by the applicant, or the individual representing the applicant, and contain the following information, as applicable:

(A) Scallop Moratorium Permit number under which legal landings of scallops were made during the qualification period specified in paragraph (g)(2)(iii) of this section;

(B) Name, business address, telephone number, FAX number, and social security number or tax ID number of the applicant, and whether the applicant is a U.S. citizen or a U.S. business;

(C) Name of the managing company, if any;

(D) Evidence of legal landings in the qualifying years and registration areas;

(E) For the vessel(s) being used as the basis for eligibility for a license, the name, state registration number (e.g., ADF&G number), the USCG documentation number, and valid evidence of the LOA on February 8, 1999, of the longest vessel used by the applicant during the qualification period specified in paragraph (g)(2)(iii) of this section.

(iv) Successor-in-interest. If an applicant is applying as the successor-in-interest to an eligible applicant, an application, to be complete, also must contain valid evidence proving the applicant's status as a successor-in-interest to that eligible applicant and:

(A) Valid evidence of the death of that eligible applicant at the time of application, if the eligible applicant was an individual; or

(B) Valid evidence that the eligible applicant is no longer in existence at the time of application, if the eligible applicant is not an individual.

(v) Application evaluation. The Regional Administrator will evaluate an application submitted during the specified application period and compare all claims in the application with the information in the official LLP record. Claims in the application that are consistent with information in the official LLP record will be accepted by the Regional Administrator. Inconsistent claims in the application, unless verified by evidence, will not be accepted. An applicant who submits inconsistent claims, or an applicant who fails to submit the information specified in paragraphs (g)(4)(iii) and (g)(4)(iv) of this section, will be provided a 60-day evidentiary period pursuant to paragraph (g)(4)(vii) of this section to submit the specified information, submit evidence to verify his or her inconsistent claims, or submit a revised application with claims consistent with information in the official LLP record. An applicant who submits claims that are inconsistent with information in the official LLP record has the burden of proving that the submitted claims are correct.

(vi) Additional information or evidence. The Regional Administrator will evaluate additional information or evidence to support an applicant's inconsistent claims submitted within the 60-day evidentiary period pursuant to paragraph (g)(4)(vii) of this section. If the Regional Administrator determines that the additional information or evidence meets the applicant's burden of proving that the inconsistent claims in his or her application are correct, the official LLP record will be amended and the information will be used in determining whether the applicant is eligible for a license. However, if the Regional Administrator determines that the additional information or evidence does not meet the applicant's burden of proving that the inconsistent claims in his or her application is correct, the applicant will be notified by an initial administrative determination, pursuant to paragraph (g)(4)(viii) of this section, that the applicant did not meet the burden of proof to change the information in the official LLP record.

(vii) 60-day evidentiary period. The Regional Administrator will specify by letter a 60-day evidentiary period during which an applicant may provide additional information or evidence to support the claims made in his or her application, or to submit a revised application with claims consistent with information in the official LLP record, if the Regional Administrator determines that the applicant did not meet the burden of proving that the information on the application is correct through evidence provided with the application. Also, an applicant who fails to submit information as specified in paragraphs (g)(4)(iii) and (g)(4)(iv) of this section will have 60 days to provide that information. An applicant will be limited to one 60-day evidentiary period. Additional information or evidence, or a revised application, received after the 60-day evidentiary period specified in the letter has expired will not be considered for purposes of the initial administrative determination.

(viii) Initial administrative determinations (IAD). The Regional Administrator will prepare and send an IAD to the applicant following the expiration of the 60-day evidentiary period if the Regional Administrator determines that the information or evidence provided by the applicant fails to support the applicant's claims and is insufficient to rebut the presumption that the official LLP record is correct, or if the additional information, evidence, or revised application is not provided within the time period specified in the letter that notifies the applicant of his or her 60-day evidentiary period. The IAD will indicate the deficiencies in the application, including any deficiencies with the information, the evidence submitted in support of the information, or the revised application. The IAD will also indicate which claims cannot be approved based on the available information or evidence. An applicant who receives an IAD may appeal pursuant to §679.43. An applicant who avails himself or herself of the opportunity to appeal an IAD will not receive a transferable license until after the final resolution of that appeal in the applicant's favor.

(ix) Issuance of a non-transferable license. The Regional Administrator will issue a non-transferable license to the applicant at the same time notification is provided to the applicant of his or her 60-day evidentiary period if issuance is required by the license renewal provisions of 5 U.S.C. 558. A non-transferable license authorizes a person to catch and retain scallops as specified on the non-transferable license, and will have the specific endorsements and designations based on the claims in his or her application. A non-transferable license will expire upon final agency action.

(5) Transfer of a Scallop License—(i) General. The Regional Administrator will approve the transfer of a scallop license if a complete transfer application is submitted to Restricted Access Management, Alaska Region, NMFS, and if the transfer meets all the eligibility criteria as specified in paragraph (g)(5)(ii) of this section. An application form may be requested from the Regional Administrator.

(ii) Eligibility criteria for transfers. A scallop license can be transferred if:

(A) The designated transferee is eligible to document a fishing vessel under Chapter 121, Title 46, U.S.C.;

(B) The parties to the transfer do not have any fines, civil penalties, other payments due and outstanding, or outstanding permit sanctions resulting from Federal fishing violations;

(C) The transfer will not cause the designated transferee to exceed the license limit in §679.7(i); and

(D) The transfer does not violate any other provision specified in this part.

(iii) Contents of transfer application. To be complete, an application for a scallop license transfer must be signed by the license holder and the designated transferee, or the individuals representing them, and contain the following information, as applicable:

(A) Name, business address, telephone number, and FAX number of the license holder and of the designated transferee;

(B) License number and total price being paid for the license;

(C) Certification that the designated transferee is a U.S. citizen, or a U.S. corporation, partnership, or other association;

(D) A legible copy of a contract or sales agreement that specifies the license to be transferred, the license holder, the designated transferee, the monetary value or the terms of the license transfer; and

(E) Other information the Regional Administrator deems necessary for measuring program performance.

(iv) Incomplete applications. The Regional Administrator will return an incomplete transfer application to the applicant and identify any deficiencies if the Regional Administrator determines that the application does not meet all the criteria identified in paragraph (g)(5) of this section.

(v) Transfer by court order, operation of law, or as part of a security agreement. The Regional Administrator will transfer a scallop license based on a court order, operation of law, or a security agreement if the Regional Administrator determines that the transfer application is complete and the transfer will not violate any of the provisions of this section.

(h) Salmon permits—(1) Operators of commercial fishing vessels using power troll gear. The operator of a fishing vessel using power troll gear may engage in commercial fishing for salmon in the Salmon Management Area if the operator:

(i) Held a valid State of Alaska power troll permanent entry permit on May 15, 1979, or is a transferee under paragraph (h)(13) of this section from an operator who held such a permit on that date;

(ii) Held a valid State of Alaska power troll interim use permit on May 15, 1979; or

(iii) Holds a Salmon Fishery permit issued by the Regional Administrator under paragraph (h)(7) of this section.

(2) Crew members and other persons not the operator of a commercial fishing vessel using power troll gear. Crew members or other persons aboard but not the operator of a fishing vessel may assist in the vessel's commercial salmon fishing operations in the High Seas Management Area without a permit if a person described in paragraph (h)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section is also aboard the vessel and is engaged in the vessel's commercial fishing operations.

(3) Personal use fishing. Any person who holds a valid State of Alaska sport fishing license may engage in personal use fishing in the Salmon Management Area.

(4) Duration. Authorization under this paragraph (h) to engage in fishing for salmon in the Salmon Management Area constitutes a use privilege which may be revoked or modified without compensation.

(5) Eligibility criteria for permits issued by the Regional Administrator. (i) Any person is eligible to be issued a Salmon Fishery permit under paragraph (h)(7) of this section if that person, during any one of the calendar years 1975, 1976, or 1977:

(A) Operated a fishing vessel in the Salmon Management Area.

(B) Engaged in commercial fishing for salmon in the Salmon Management Area.

(C) Caught salmon in the Salmon Management Area using power troll gear.

(D) Landed such salmon.

(ii) The following persons are not eligible to be issued a Salmon Fishery permit under paragraph (h)(7) of this section:

(A) Persons described in paragraph (h)(1)(i) or (h)(1)(ii) of this section.

(B) Persons who once held but no longer hold a State of Alaska power troll permanent entry or interim-use permit.

(6) Application. Applications for a Salmon Fishery permit must be in writing, signed by the applicant, and submitted to the Regional Administrator, at least 30 days prior to the date the person wishes to commence fishing, and must include:

(i) The applicant's name, mailing address, and telephone number.

(ii) The vessel's name, USCG documentation number or State of Alaska registration number, home port, length overall, registered tonnage, and color of the fishing vessel.

(iii) The type of fishing gear used by the fishing vessel.

(iv) State of Alaska fish tickets or other equivalent documents showing the actual landing of salmon taken in the Salmon Management Area by the applicant with power troll gear during any one of the years 1975 to 1977.

(7) Issuance. (i) Except as provided in subpart D of 15 CFR part 904, upon receipt of a properly completed application, the Regional Administrator will determine whether the permit eligibility conditions have been met, and if so, will issue a Salmon Fishery permit.

(ii) If the permit is denied, the Regional Administrator will notify the applicant in accordance with paragraph (h)(16) of this section.

(iii) If an incomplete or improperly completed permit application is filed, the Regional Administrator will notify the applicant of the deficiency. If the applicant fails to correct the deficiency within 30 days following the date of receipt of notification, the application shall be considered abandoned.

(8) Amended application. Any person who applies for and receives a Salmon Fishery permit issued under paragraph (h)(7) of this section must notify the Regional Administrator within 30 days of a change in any of the information submitted under paragraph (h)(6) of this section.

(9) Replacement. Replacement permits may be issued for lost or unintentionally mutilated permits. An application for a replacement permit shall not be considered a new application.

(10) Display. Any permit or license described in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(3) of this section must be on board the vessel at all times while the vessel is in the Salmon Management Area.

(11) Inspection. Any permit or license described in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(3) of this section must be presented for inspection upon request by an authorized officer.

(12) Sanctions. Procedures governing permit sanctions and denials are found at subpart D of 15 CFR part 904.

(13) Transfer of authority to fish in the Salmon Management Area—(i) State of Alaska power troll permanent entry permits. The authority of any person to engage in commercial fishing for salmon using power troll gear in the Salmon Management Area shall expire upon the transfer of that person's State of Alaska power troll permanent entry permit to another and shall be transferred to the new holder of that permit.

(ii) Transfer of Authority by the Regional Administrator. (A) Any person to whom the proposed transfer of a State of Alaska power troll permanent entry permit is denied by the State of Alaska may apply, with the consent of the current holder of that permit, to the Regional Administrator for transfer to the applicant of the current holder's authority to engage in commercial fishing for salmon using power troll gear in the Salmon Management Area.

(B) The application for transfer shall be filed with the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the denial by the State of Alaska of the proposed transfer of the permit.

(C) The application for transfer shall include all documents and other evidence submitted to the State of Alaska in support of the proposed transfer of the permit and a copy of the State of Alaska's decision denying the transfer of the permit. The Regional Administrator may request additional information from the applicant or from the State of Alaska to assist in the consideration of the application.

(D) The Regional Administrator shall approve the transfer if it is determined that:

(1) The applicant had the ability to participate actively in the fishery at the time the application for transfer of the permit was filed with the State of Alaska.

(2) The applicant has access to power troll gear necessary for participation in the fishery.

(3) The State of Alaska has not instituted proceedings to revoke the permit on the ground that it was fraudulently obtained.

(4) The proposed transfer of the permit is not a lease.

(E) Upon approval of the transfer application by the Regional Administrator, the authority of the permit holder to engage in commercial fishing for salmon in the Salmon Management Area using power troll gear shall expire, and that authority shall be transferred to the applicant.

(14) Other Permits. (i) Except for emergency transfers under paragraph (h)(15) of this section, the authority of any person described in paragraph (h)(1)(ii), (h)(1)(iii), or (h)(3) of this section to fish for salmon in the Salmon Management Area, may not be transferred to any other person.

(ii) Except for emergency transfers under paragraph (h)(15) of this section, the authority to engage in commercial fishing for salmon which was transferred under paragraph (h)(13)(ii) of this section may not be transferred to any other person except the current holder of the State of Alaska power troll permanent entry permit from which that authority was originally derived.

(iii) The authority described in paragraph (h)(14)(ii) of this section may be transferred to the current holder of that permit upon receipt of written notification of the transfer by the Regional Administrator.

(15) Emergency transfers—authority to use power troll gear. (i) The authority of any person to engage in commercial fishing for salmon using power troll gear in the Salmon Management Area may be transferred to another person for a period not lasting beyond the end of the calendar year of the transfer when sickness, injury, or other unavoidable hardship prevents the holder of that authority from engaging in such fishing.

(ii) Such a transfer shall take effect automatically upon approval by the State of Alaska of an emergency transfer of a State of Alaska power troll entry permit, in accordance with the terms of the permit transfer.

(iii) Any person may apply to the Regional Administrator for emergency transfer of the current holder's authority to engage in commercial fishing for salmon using power troll gear in the Salmon Management Area for a period not lasting beyond the calendar year of the proposed transfer, if a person:

(A) Is denied emergency transfer of a State of Alaska power troll entry permit by the State of Alaska; or

(B) Requests emergency transfer of a Federal commercial power troll permit previously issued by the Regional Administrator, with the consent of the current holder of that permit.

(iv) The Regional Administrator shall approve the transfer if he determines that:

(A) Sickness, injury, or other unavoidable hardship prevents the current permit holder from engaging in such fishing.

(B) The applicant had the ability to participate actively in the fishery at the time the application for emergency transfer of the permit was filed with the State of Alaska or, in the case of a Federal permit, with the Regional Administrator.

(C) The applicant has access to power troll gear necessary for participation in the fishery.

(D) The State of Alaska has not instituted proceedings to revoke the permit on the grounds that it was fraudulently obtained.

(v) The application in the case of a State of Alaska permit shall be filed with the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the denial by the State of Alaska of emergency transfer of the permit.

(vi) The application shall include all documents and other evidence submitted to the State of Alaska in support of the proposed emergency transfer of the permit and a copy of the State of Alaska's decision denying the emergency transfer of the permit. The Regional Administrator may request additional information from the applicant or from the State of Alaska to assist in the consideration of the application.

(vii) Upon approval of the application by the Regional Administrator, the authority of the permit holder to engage in commercial fishing for salmon using power troll gear in the Salmon Management Area shall expire for the period of the emergency transfer, and that authority shall be transferred to the applicant for that period.

(16) Appeals and hearings. (i) A decision by the Regional Administrator to deny a permit under paragraph (h)(7) of this section or to deny transfer of authority to engage in commercial fishing for salmon in the Salmon Management Area under paragraphs (h)(13) and (h)(14) of this section will:

(A) Be in writing.

(B) State the facts and reasons therefor.

(C) Advise the applicant of the rights provided in this paragraph (h)(16).

(ii) Any such decision of the Regional Administrator shall be final 30 days after receipt by the applicant, unless an appeal is filed with the NOAA/NMFS Assistant Administrator within that time.

(iii) Failure to file a timely appeal shall constitute waiver of the appeal.

(iv) Appeals under this paragraph (h)(16) must:

(A) Be in writing.

(B) Set forth the reasons why the appellant believes the Regional Administrator's decision was in error.

(C) Include any supporting facts or documentation.

(v) At the time the appeal is filed with the Assistant Administrator, the appellant may request a hearing with respect to any disputed issue of material fact. Failure to request a hearing at this time will constitute a waiver of the right to request a hearing.

(vi) If a hearing is requested, the Assistant Administrator may order an informal fact-finding hearing if it is determined that a hearing is necessary to resolve material issues of fact and shall so notify the appellant.

(vii) If the Assistant Administrator orders a hearing, the order will appoint a hearing examiner to conduct the hearing.

(viii) Following the hearing, the hearing examiner shall promptly furnish the Assistant Administrator with a report and appropriate recommendations.

(ix) As soon as practicable after considering the matters raised in the appeal, and any report or recommendation of the hearing examiner in the event a hearing is held under this paragraph (h)(16), the Assistant Administrator shall decide the appeal.

(x) The Assistant Administrator shall promptly notify the appellant of the final decision. Such notice shall set forth the findings of the Assistant Administrator and set forth the basis of the decision. The decision of the Assistant Administrator shall be the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce.

(i) Exempted fisheries permits. (See §679.6.)

(j) Prohibited species donation program permits. (See §679.26(a)(3).)

(k) Licenses for license limitation groundfish or crab species—(1) General requirements. (i) In addition to the permit and licensing requirements of this part, and except as provided in paragraph (k)(2) of this section, each vessel within the GOA or the BSAI must have an LLP groundfish license on board at all times it is engaged in fishing activities defined in §679.2 as directed fishing for license limitation groundfish. This groundfish license, issued by NMFS to a qualified person, authorizes a license holder to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish only in accordance with the specific area and species endorsements, the vessel and gear designations, and the MLOA specified on the license.

(ii) Each vessel must have a crab species license, defined in §679.2, issued by NMFS on board at all times it is engaged in fishing activities for the crab fisheries identified in this paragraph. A crab species license may be used only to participate in the fisheries endorsed on the license and on a vessel that complies with the vessel designation and MLOA specified on the license. NMFS requires a crab species license endorsed for participation in the following crab fisheries:

(A) Aleutian Islands red king crab in waters of the EEZ with an eastern boundary the longitude of Scotch Cap Light (164°44' W. long.) to 53°30' N. lat., then west to 165° W. long., a western boundary of 174° W. long., and a northern boundary of a line from the latitude of Cape Sarichef (54°36' N. lat.) westward to 171° W. long., then north to 55°30' N. lat., and then west to 174° W. long.;

(B) Aleutian Islands Area C. opilio and C. bairdi in waters of the EEZ with an eastern boundary the longitude of Scotch Cap Light (164°44' W. long.) to 53°30' N. lat., then west to 165° W. long, a western boundary of the Maritime Boundary Agreement Line as that line is described in the text of and depicted in the annex to the Maritime Boundary Agreement between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics signed in Washington, June 1, 1990, and as the Maritime Boundary Agreement Line as depicted on NOAA Chart No. 513 (6th edition, February 23, 1991) and NOAA Chart No. 514 (6th edition, February 16, 1991), and a northern boundary of a line from the latitude of Cape Sarichef (54°36' N. lat.), with a southern boundary of 54°30' N. lat. to 171° W. long., and then south to 54 36' N. lat.;

(C) Norton Sound red king and Norton Sound blue king in waters of the EEZ with a western boundary of 168° W. long., a southern boundary of 62° N. lat., and a northern boundary of 65°36' N. lat.;

(D) Minor Species endorsement includes:

(1) Bering Sea golden king crab (Lithodes aequispinus) in waters of the EEZ east of the Maritime Boundary Agreement Line as that line is described in the text of and depicted in the annex to the Maritime Boundary Agreement between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics signed in Washington, June 1, 1990, and as the Maritime Boundary Agreement Line as depicted on NOAA Chart No. 513 (6th edition, February 23, 1991) and NOAA Chart No. 514 (6th edition, February 16, 1991), with a southern boundary of 54°36' N. lat. to 171° W. long., and then south to 54°30' N. lat.

(2) Scarlet or deep sea king crab (Lithodes couesi) in the waters of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area;

(3) Grooved Tanner crab (Chionoecetes tanneri) in the waters of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area; and

(4) Triangle Tanner crab (Chionoecetes angulatus) in the waters of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area.

(2) Exempt vessels. Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (k)(1) of this section,

(i) A catcher vessel or catcher/processor vessel that does not exceed 26 ft (7.9 m) LOA may conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish in the GOA without a groundfish license;

(ii) A catcher vessel or catcher/processor vessel that does not exceed 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA may conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish in the BSAI without a groundfish license and may conduct directed fishing for crab species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area without a crab species license;

(iii) A catcher vessel or catcher/processor vessel that does not exceed 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA may use a maximum of 5 jig machines, one line per jig machine, and a maximum of 15 hooks per line, to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish in the BSAI without a groundfish license; or

(iv) A catcher vessel or catcher/processor vessel that does not exceed 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA, and during the period after November 18, 1992, through October 9, 1998, was specifically constructed for and used exclusively in accordance with a CDP approved by NMFS, and is designed and equipped to meet specific needs that are described in the CDP, is exempted from the requirement to have a LLP groundfish license to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish in the GOA and in the BSAI area and a crab species license to fish for crab species in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area.

(3) Vessel and gear designations and vessel length categories–(i) General. A license may be used only on a vessel named on the license, a vessel that complies with the vessel designation and gear designation specified on the license, and a vessel that has an LOA less than or equal to the MLOA specified on the license.

(ii) Vessel designations—(A) Catcher/processor vessel. A license will be assigned a catcher/processor vessel designation if:

(1) For license limitation groundfish, license limitation groundfish were processed on the vessel that qualified for the groundfish license under paragraph (k)(4) of this section during the period January 1, 1994, through June 17, 1995, or in the most recent calendar year of participation during the area endorsement qualifying period specified in paragraph (k)(4)(ii) of this section; or

(2) For crab species, crab species were processed on the vessel that qualified for the crab species license under paragraph (k)(5) of this section during the period January 1, 1994, through December 31, 1994, or in the most recent calendar year of participation during the area endorsement qualifying period specified in paragraph (k)(5)(ii) of this section.

(3) For purposes of paragraphs (k)(3)(ii)(A)(1) and (k)(3)(ii)(A)(2) of this section, evidence of processing must be demonstrated by Weekly Production Reports or other valid documentation demonstrating that processing occurred on the vessel during the relevant period.

(B) Catcher vessel. A license will be assigned a catcher vessel designation if it does not meet the criteria in paragraph (k)(3)(ii)(A)(1) or (k)(3)(ii)(A)(2) of this section to be assigned a catcher/processor vessel designation.

(C) Changing a vessel designation. A person who holds a groundfish license or a crab species license with a catcher/processor vessel designation may, upon request to the Regional Administrator, have the license reissued with a catcher vessel designation. The vessel designation change to a catcher vessel will be permanent, and that license will be valid for only those activities specified in the definition of catcher vessel designation at §679.2.

(D) Limited processing by catcher vessels. Up to 1 mt of round weight equivalent of license limitation groundfish or crab species may be processed per day on a vessel less than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA that is authorized to fish with an LLP license with a catcher vessel designation.

(iii) Vessel length categories. A vessel's eligibility will be determined using the following three vessel length categories, which are based on the vessel's LOA on June 17, 1995, or, if the vessel was under reconstruction on June 17, 1995, the vessel's length on the date that reconstruction was completed.

(A) Vessel length category “A” if the LOA of the qualifying vessel on the relevant date was equal to or greater than 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA.

(B) Vessel length category “B” if the LOA of the qualifying vessel on the relevant date was equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) but less than 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA.

(C) Vessel length category “C” if the LOA of the qualifying vessel on the relevant date was less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA.

(iv) Gear designations for groundfish licenses–(A) General. A vessel may only use gear consistent with the gear designation on the LLP license authorizing the use of that vessel to fish for license limitation groundfish or crab species, except that a vessel fishing under authority of an LLP license endorsed only for trawl gear may fish for slope rockfish with non-trawl gear within the Gulf of Alaska Slope Habitat Conservation Areas, as described in Table 27 to this part.

(B) Trawl/non-trawl. A license will be assigned a trawl/non-trawl gear designation if trawl and non-trawl gear were used to harvest LLP species from the qualifying vessel during the period beginning January 1, 1988, through June 17, 1995.

(C) Trawl. A license will be assigned a trawl gear designation if only trawl gear was used to harvest LLP species from the qualifying vessel during the period beginning January 1, 1988, through June 17, 1995.

(D) Non-trawl. A license will be assigned a non-trawl gear designation if only non-trawl gear was used to harvest LLP species from the qualifying vessel during the period beginning January 1, 1988, through June 17, 1995.

(E) Changing a gear designation. (1) An applicant may request a change of gear designation based on gear used from the vessel during the period beginning June 18, 1995, through February 7, 1998. Such a change would be permanent and may only be used for a change from trawl to non-trawl or from non-trawl to trawl.

(2) An applicant may request a change of gear designation based on a significant financial investment in converting a vessel or purchasing fishing gear on or before February 7, 1998, and making a documented harvest with that gear on or before December 31, 1998. Such a change would be permanent and may only be used for a change from trawl to non-trawl or from non-trawl to trawl.

(F) Definitions of non-trawl gear and significant financial investment. (1) For purposes of paragraph (k)(3)(iv) of this section, non-trawl gear means any legal gear, other than trawl, used to harvest license limitation groundfish.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (k)(3)(iv)(E)(2) of this section, “significant financial investment” means having spent at least $100,000 toward vessel conversion and/or gear to change to trawl gear from non-trawl gear, or having acquired groundline, hooks, pots, jig machines, or hauling equipment to change to non-trawl gear from trawl gear.

(4) Qualifications for a groundfish license. A groundfish license will be issued to an eligible applicant that meets the criteria in paragraphs (k)(4)(i) and (k)(4)(ii) of this section. For purposes of the license limitation program, evidence of a documented harvest must be demonstrated by a state catch report, a Federal catch report, or other valid documentation that indicates the amount of license limitation groundfish harvested, the groundfish reporting area in which the license limitation groundfish was harvested, the vessel and gear type used to harvest the license limitation groundfish, and the date of harvesting, landing, or reporting. State catch reports are Alaska, California, Oregon, or Washington fish tickets. Federal catch reports are Weekly Production Reports required under §679.5.

(i) General qualification periods (GQP). This table provides the GQP documented harvest requirements for LLP groundfish licenses:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                          if the requirements found in the table at                                         § 679.4(k)(4)(ii) are met for the area     A groundfish license will be          endorsement and at least one documented        during the period...              assigned...                harvest of license limitation groundfish was                                                  caught and retained in...----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) One or more area endorsements in         the BSAI or waters shoreward of the BSAI  (1) Beginning January 1, the table at §                                                                    1988, through June 27, 679.4(k)(4)(ii)(A) or (B)                                                              1992; or                                                                                       (2) Beginning January 1,                                                                                        1988, through December                                                                                        31, 1994, provided that                                                                                        the harvest was of                                                                                        license limitation                                                                                        groundfish using pot or                                                                                        jig gear from a vessel                                                                                        that was less than 60 ft                                                                                        (18.3 m) LOA; or                                                                                       (3) Beginning January 1,                                                                                        1988, through June 17,                                                                                        1995, provided that,                                                                                        during the period                                                                                        beginning January 1,                                                                                        1988, through February                                                                                        9, 1992, a documented                                                                                        harvest of crab species                                                                                        was made from the                                                                                        vessel, and, during the                                                                                        period beginning                                                                                        February 10, 1992,                                                                                        through December 11,                                                                                        1994, a documented                                                                                        harvest of groundfish                                                                                        species, except                                                                                        sablefish landed using                                                                                        fixed gear, was made                                                                                        from the vessel in the                                                                                        GOA or the BSAI using                                                                                        trawl or longline gear.(B) One or more area endorsements in        the GOA or in waters shoreward of the GOA  (1) Beginning January 1, the table at §                                                                    1988, through June 27, 679.4(k)(4)(ii)(C) through (O)                                                         1992; or                                                                                       (2) Beginning January 1,                                                                                        1988, through December                                                                                        31, 1994, provided that                                                                                        the harvest was of                                                                                        license limitation                                                                                        groundfish using pot or                                                                                        jig gear from a vessel                                                                                        that was less than 60 ft                                                                                        (18.3 m) LOA; or                                                                                       (3) Beginning January 1,                                                                                        1988, through June 17,                                                                                        1995, provided that,                                                                                        during the period                                                                                        beginning January 1,                                                                                        1988, through February                                                                                        9, 1992, a documented                                                                                        harvest of crab species                                                                                        was made from the                                                                                        vessel, and, during the                                                                                        period beginning                                                                                        February 10, 1992,                                                                                        through December 11,                                                                                        1994, a documented                                                                                        harvest landing of                                                                                        groundfish species,                                                                                        except sablefish landed                                                                                        using fixed gear, was                                                                                        made from the vessel in                                                                                        the GOA or the BSAI                                                                                        using trawl or longline                                                                                        gear.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(ii) Endorsement qualification periods (EQP). This table provides the documented harvest requirements for LLP groundfish license area endorsements:

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                                                               from a vessel in    A groundfish license will be               if...           during the period...            in...             vessel length      and that meets the             assigned...                                                                                          category...      requirements for a...--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) An Aleutian Island area           at least one            beginning January 1,    the Aleutian Islands     ``A'', ``B'', or   catcher/ processor endorsement                           documented harvest of   1992, through June      Subarea or in waters                  ``C'' designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               shoreward of that                           catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           area.                                       designation.                                       was made.(B) A Bering Sea area endorsement     at least one            beginning January 1,    the Bering Sea Subarea   ``A'', ``B'', or   catcher/ processor                                       documented harvest of   1992, through June      or in waters                          ``C'' designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               shoreward of that                           catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           area.                                       designation.                                       was made.(C) A Western Gulf area endorsement   at least one            beginning January 1,    the Western GOA                     ``A''   catcher/ processor                                       documented harvest of   1992, through June      regulatory area or in                       designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               waters shoreward of                         catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           that area.                                  designation; or                                       was made in each of                                       any two calendar                                       years.(D) A Western Gulf area endorsement   at least one            beginning January 1,    the Western Area of                 ``B''   catcher vessel                                       documented harvest of   1992, through June      the Gulf of Alaska or                       designation; or                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                                       limitation groundfish                           of that area.                                       was made.(E) A Western Gulf area endorsement   at least one            beginning January 1,    the Western Area of                 ``B''   catcher/processor                                       documented harvest of   1992, through June      the Gulf of Alaska or                       vessel designation;                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                         or                                       limitation groundfish                           of that area.                                       was made in each of                                       any two calendar                                       years.(F) A Western Gulf area endorsement   at least four           beginning January 1,    the Western Area of                 ``B''   catcher/processor                                       documented harvest of   1995, through June      the Gulf of Alaska or                       vessel designation;                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                         or                                       limitation groundfish                           of that area.                                       were made.(G) A Western Gulf area endorsement   at least one            beginning January 1,    the Western Area of                    ``C''catcher/processor                                       documented harvest of   1992, through June      the Gulf of Alaska or                       designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                         catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           of that area.                               designation.                                       was made.(H) A Central Gulf area endorsement   at least one            beginning January 1,    the Central area of                 ``A''   catcher/processor                                       documented harvest of   1992, through June      the Gulf of Alaska or                       designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                         catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           of that area, or in                         designation; or                                       was made in each of                             the West Yakutat                                       any two calendar                                District or in waters                                       years.                                          shoreward of that                                                                                       district.(I) A Central Gulf area endorsement   at least one            beginning January 1,    the Central area of                 ``B''   catcher/processor                                       documented harvest of   1992, through June      the Gulf of Alaska or                       designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                         catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           of that area, or in                         designation; or                                       was made in each of                             the West Yakutat                                       any two calendar                                District or in waters                                       years.                                          shoreward of that                                                                                       district.(J) A Central Gulf area endorsement   at least four           beginning January 1,    the Central area of                 ``B''   catcher/processor                                       documented harvest of   1995, through June      the Gulf of Alaska or                       designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                         catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           of that area, or in                         designation; or                                       were made.                                      the West Yakutat                                                                                       District or in waters                                                                                       shoreward of that                                                                                       district.(K) A Central Gulf area endorsement   at least one            beginning January 1,    the Central area of                    ``C''catcher/processor                                       documented harvest of   1992, through June      the Gulf of Alaska or                       designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                         catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           of that area, or in                         designation.                                       was made.                                       the West Yakutat                                                                                       District or in waters                                                                                       shoreward of that                                                                                       district.(L) A Southeast Outside area          at least one            beginning January 1,    in the Southeast                    ``A''   catcher/processor endorsement                           documented harvest of   1992, through June      Outside District or                         designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                         catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           of that district.                           designation; or                                       was made in each of                                       any two calendar                                       years.(M) A Southeast Outside area          at least one            beginning January 1,    in the Southeast                    ``B''   catcher/processor endorsement                           documented harvest of   1992, through June      Outside District or                         designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                         catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           of that district.                           designation; or                                       was made in each of                                       any two calendar                                       years.(N) A Southeast Outside area          at least four           beginning January 1,    in the Southeast                    ``B''   catcher/processor endorsement                           documented harvest of   1995, through June      Outside District or                         designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                         catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           of that district.                           designation; or                                       were made.(O) A Southeast Outside area          at least one            beginning January 1,    in the Southeast                       ``C''catcher/processor endorsement                           documented harvest of   1992, through June      Outside District or                         designation or a                                       any amount of license   17, 1995.               in waters shoreward                         catcher vessel                                       limitation groundfish                           of that district.                           designation.                                       was made.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iii) An eligible applicant that is issued a groundfish license based on a vessel's qualifications in the table at paragraphs (k)(4)(i)(A)(2) or (k)(4)(i)(B)(2) of this section must choose only one area endorsement for that groundfish license even if documented harvests qualifies the eligible applicant for more than one area endorsement.

(iv) Notwithstanding the provisions in paragraph (k)(4)(i) of this section, NMFS will issue a groundfish license with the appropriate area endorsements to an eligible applicant whose vessel meets the requirements in the table at paragraph (k)(4)(i)(A) of this section, and the requirements in the table at any of the paragraphs (k)(4)(ii)(C) through (O) of this section, except:

(A) From whose vessel no documented harvests were made in the GOA or waters shoreward of the GOA during the period beginning January 1, 1988, through June 27, 1992, and

(B) From whose vessel no documented harvests were made in the BSAI or waters shoreward of the BSAI during the period beginning January 1, 1992, through June 17, 1995.

(v) Notwithstanding the provisions in paragraph (k)(4)(i) of this section, a groundfish license with the appropriate area endorsements will be issued to an eligible applicant whose vessel meets the requirements in the tables at paragraphs (k)(4)(i) and (k)(4)(ii) and (A) or (B) of this section, except:

(A) From whose vessel no documented harvests were made in the BSAI or waters shoreward of the BSAI during the period beginning January 1, 1988, through June 27, 1992, and

(B) From whose vessel no documented harvests were made in the GOA or waters shoreward of the GOA during the period beginning January 1, 1992, through June 17, 1995.

(5) Qualification for a crab species license. A crab species license will be issued to an eligible applicant who owned a vessel that meets the criteria in paragraphs (k)(5)(i), (k)(5)(ii), and (k)(5)(iii) of this section, except that vessels are exempt from the requirements in paragraph (k)(5)(i) of this section for area/species endorsements at paragraphs (A) and (G) in the table at paragraph (k)(5)(ii) of this section.

(i) General qualification period (GQP). To qualify for one or more of the area/species endorsements in the table at paragraph (k)(5)(ii) of this section, the requirements of paragraph (k)(5)(iii) of this section must be met and:

(A) At least one documented harvest of any amount of crab species must have been made from a vessel between January 1, 1988, and June 27, 1992; or

(B) At least one documented harvest of any amount of crab species must have been made from a vessel between January 1, 1988, and December 31, 1994, providing that, during the period January 1, 1988, through February 9, 1992, the vessel for which the documented harvest was made also made a legal landing of any groundfish species harvested in the GOA or BSAI with any authorized gear, except sablefish caught with fixed gear, and, during the period February 10, 1992, through December 11, 1994, made a legal landing of any king or Tanner crab species harvested in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area.

(ii) Area/species endorsements. This table provides the documented harvest requirements for LLP crab license area/species endorsements:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------    A crab species license will be             assigned...                        if...             during the period...            in...----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) A Pribilof red king and Pribilof   at least one documented  beginning January 1,     the area described in blue king area/species endorsement     harvest of red king      1993, through December   the definition for a                                        crab or blue king crab   31, 1994.                Pribilof red king and                                        was made by a vessel.                             Pribilof blue king                                                                                          area/species                                                                                          endorsement at §                                                                                          679.2.(B) A Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands  at least three           beginning January 1,     the area described in Area C. opilio and C. bairdi area/     documented harvests of   1992, through December   the definition for a species endorsement                    C. opilio and C.         31, 1994.                Bering Sea and                                        bairdi were made by a                             Aleutian Islands Area                                        vessel.                                           C. opilio and C.                                                                                          bairdi area/species                                                                                          endorsement at §                                                                                          679.2.(C) A St. Matthew blue king area/      at least one documented  beginning January 1,     the area described in species endorsement                    harvest of red king      1992, through December   the definition for a                                        crab or blue king crab   31, 1994.                St. Matthew blue king                                        was made by a vessel.                             area/species                                                                                          endorsement at §                                                                                          679.2.(D) An Aleutian Islands brown king     at least three           beginning January 1,     the area described in area/species endorsement               documented harvests of   1992, through December   the definition for an                                        brown king crab were     31, 1994.                Aleutian Islands brown                                        made by a vessel.                                 king area/species                                                                                          endorsement at §                                                                                          679.2.(E) An Aleutian Islands red king area/ at least one documented  beginning January 1,     the area described in species endorsement                    harvest of red king      1992, through December   the definition for an                                        crab or blue king crab   31, 1994.                Aleutian Islands red                                        was made by a vessel.                             king area/species                                                                                          endorsement at §                                                                                          679.2.(F) A Bristol Bay red king area/       at least one documented  beginning January 1,     the area described in species endorsement                    harvest of red king      1991, through December   the definition for a                                        crab or blue king crab   31, 1994.                Bristol Bay red king                                        was made by a vessel.                             area/species                                                                                          endorsement at §                                                                                          679.2.(G) A Norton Sound red king and blue   at least one documented  beginning January 1,     the area described in king area/species endorsement          harvest of red king      1993, through December   the definition for a                                        crab or blue king crab   31, 1994.                Norton Sound red king                                        was made by a vessel.                             and blue king area/                                                                                          species endorsement at                                                                                          § 679.2.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iii) Recent participation period (RPP). (A) The RPP is the period from January 1, 1996, through February 7, 1998. To qualify for a crab species license, defined at §679.2, a person must have made at least one documented harvest of any amount of LLP crab species from a vessel during the RPP and must have held a LLP qualifying fishing history at the time of that documented harvest. A LLP qualifying fishing history meets the documented harvest requirements at paragraphs (k)(5)(i) and (k)(5)(ii) of this section.

(B) Exceptions to the RPP. A person does not need to meet the documented harvest requirements in paragraph (k)(5)(iii)(A) of this section if he or she deployed a vessel that met the documented harvest requirements in paragraph (k)(5)(i) of this section, if applicable, paragraph (k)(5)(ii) of this section, and:

(1) Only qualifies area/species endorsement at paragraph (G) in the table at paragraph (k)(5)(ii).

(2) Those documented harvests were made from a vessel that meets the requirements for vessel length category “C”.

(3) The vessel used to meet the document harvest requirements in paragraphs (k) (5) (i) and (k) (5) (ii) of this section was lost or destroyed, and he or she made a documented harvest of crab species any time during the period beginning after the vessel was lost or destroyed but before January 1, 2000.

(iv) Exception to allow purchase of LLP qualifying fishing history after the documented harvest in the RPP. To qualify for a LLP crab species license, a person who made a documented harvest of LLP crab species during the period from January 1, 1998, through February 7, 1998, must have obtained, or entered into a contract to obtain, the LLP qualifying fishing history by 8:36 a.m. Pacific time on October 10, 1998,

(v) A qualified person who owned a vessel on June 17, 1995, that met the requirements in paragraphs (k)(5)(i) and (ii) of this section, but whose vessel was unable to meet requirements of paragraph (k)(5)(iii) of this section because of unavoidable circumstances (i.e., the vessel was lost damaged, or otherwise unable to participate in the license limitation crab fisheries) may receive a license if the qualified person is able to demonstrate that:

(A) The owner of the vessel at the time of the unavoidable circumstance held a specific intent to conduct fishing for license limitation crab species with that vessel during a specific time period in a specific area;

(B) The specific intent to conduct directed fishing for license limitation crab species was thwarted by a circumstance that was:

(1) Unavoidable;

(2) Unique to the owner of that vessel, or unique to that vessel; and

(3) Unforeseen and reasonably unforeseeable to the owner of the vessel;

(C) The circumstance that prevented the owner from conducting directed fishing for license limitation crab species actually occurred;

(D) Under the circumstances, the owner of the vessel took all reasonable steps to overcome the circumstances that prevented the owner from conducting directed fishing for license limitation crab species; and

(E) Any amount of license limitation crab species was harvested on the vessel after the vessel was prevented from participating but before January 1, 2000.

(vi) A groundfish license or crab species license may be used on a vessel that is named on the license, that complies with the vessel designation, and that does not exceed the MLOA on the license.

(6) Application for a groundfish license or a crab species license. (i) General. The Regional Administrator will issue a groundfish license or a crab species license to an applicant if a complete application is submitted by or on behalf of the applicant during the specified application period, and if that applicant meets all the criteria for eligibility in paragraph (k) of this section. An application that is postmarked or delivered after the ending date for the application period for the License Limitation Program specified in the Federal Register will be denied. An application form will be sent to the last known address of a person identified as an eligible applicant by the official LLP record. An application form may be requested from the Regional Administrator.

(ii) Application period. An application period of no less than 90 days will be specified by notification in the Federal Register and other information sources deemed appropriate by the Regional Administrator.

(iii) Contents of application. To be complete, an application for a groundfish license or a crab species license must be signed by the applicant, or the individual representing the applicant, and contain the following, as applicable:

(A) Name, business address, telephone number, and FAX number of the applicant;

(B) Name, state registration number (e.g., ADF&G number), and, if applicable, the USCG documentation number of the vessel being used as the basis for eligibility for a license; and name, state registration number (e.g., ADF&G number), and, if applicable, the USCG documentation number of the vessel to be deployed with the license if different than the vessel used as the basis of eligibility for a license;

(C) Name of the managing company, if any;

(D) Valid evidence of the documented harvests that are the basis of eligibility for a license, including harvest area, gear used, date of landing, and, if applying for a crab species license, species;

(E) Valid evidence of LOA on June 24, 1992, of the vessel used as the basis of eligibility for a license, except if that vessel was under reconstruction on that date, valid evidence of LOA on the date reconstruction was completed and valid evidence of when reconstruction began and ended;

(F) Valid evidence of LOA on June 17, 1995, of the vessel used as the basis of eligibility for a license, except if that vessel was under reconstruction on that date, valid evidence of LOA on the date reconstruction was completed, and valid evidence of when reconstruction began and ended;

(G) Valid evidence to support the applicant's claim for a vessel designation of catcher vessel or catcher/processor vessel;

(H) Valid evidence of ownership of the vessel being used as the basis for eligibility for a license (for USCG documented vessels, valid evidence must be the USCG Abstract of Title), or if eligibility is based on a fishing history that has been separated from a vessel, valid evidence of ownership of the fishing history being used as the basis of eligibility for a license; and

(I) Valid evidence of the LOA of the vessel to be deployed by the license if different than the vessel used as the basis for eligibility for a license.

(iv) Other information required for special circumstances.

(A) Successor-in-interest. If an applicant is applying as the successor-in-interest to an eligible applicant, an application, to be complete, also must contain valid evidence proving the applicant's status as a successor-in-interest to that eligible applicant and:

(1) Valid evidence of the death of that eligible applicant at the time of application, if the eligible applicant was or is an individual; or

(2) Valid evidence that the eligible applicant is no longer in existence at the time of application, if the eligible applicant is not an individual.

(B) Norton Sound crab species license endorsement. If an applicant is applying for a crab species license endorsement for Norton Sound and if the applicant is a person, an application, to be complete, must contain valid evidence that the applicant was a State of Alaska permit holder for the Norton Sound king crab summer fishery in 1993 or 1994. If the applicant is a corporation, an application, to be complete, must contain valid evidence that the corporation owned or had a lease for a vessel on June 17, 1995, that participated in the Norton Sound king crab summer fishery in 1993 or 1994.

(C) Extended general qualification period. If an applicant is applying for a license based on meeting the general qualification period requirements of paragraph (k)(4)(i)(A)(2) or (k)(4)(i)(B)(2) of this section, the application, to be complete, must indicate which single endorsement area the applicant has selected for license. A license cannot be endorsed for more than one area, notwithstanding the fact that the applicant may have the documented harvests to qualify for more than one endorsement area.

(D) Unavoidable circumstances. If a person is claiming that unavoidable circumstances prevented him or her from meeting certain eligibility requirements for a license under paragraph (k) of this section, he or she must provide the information required in the particular paragraph of this section authorizing such a claim, and include valid evidence of the date the vessel was lost, damaged, or otherwise unable to participate in the fishery, and the date a documented harvest was made after the vessel was unable to participate in the fishery by the unavoidable circumstance.

(v) Application evaluation. The Regional Administrator will evaluate an application submitted during the specified application period and compare all claims in the application with the information in the official LLP record. Claims in the application that are consistent with information in the official LLP record will be accepted by the Regional Administrator. Inconsistent claims in the application, unless verified by evidence, will not be accepted. Pursuant to paragraph (k)(6)(vii) of this section, an applicant who submits inconsistent claims, or an applicant who fails to submit the information specified in paragraphs (k)(6)(iii) and (k)(6)(iv) of this section, will be provided a 60-day evidentiary period pursuant to paragraph (k)(6)(vii) of this section to submit the specified information, submit evidence to verify his or her inconsistent claims, or submit a revised application with claims consistent with information in the official LLP record. An applicant who submits claims that are inconsistent with information in the official LLP record has the burden of proving that the submitted claims are correct.

(vi) Additional information or evidence. The Regional Administrator will evaluate additional information or evidence to support an applicant's inconsistent claims submitted within the 60-day evidentiary period pursuant to paragraph (k)(6)(vii) of this section. If the Regional Administrator determines that the additional information or evidence meets the applicant's burden of proving that the inconsistent claims in his or her application is correct, the official LLP record will be amended and the information will be used in determining whether the applicant is eligible for a license. However, if the Regional Administrator determines that the additional information or evidence does not meet the applicant's burden of proving that the inconsistent claims in his or her application is correct, the applicant will be notified by an initial administrative determination, pursuant to paragraph (k)(6)(viii) of this section, that the applicant did not meet the burden of proof to change the information in the official LLP record.

(vii) 60-day evidentiary period. The Regional Administrator will specify by letter a 60-day evidentiary period during which an applicant may provide additional information or evidence to support the claims made in his or her application, or to submit a revised application with claims consistent with information in the official LLP record, if the Regional Administrator determines that the applicant did not meet the burden of proving that the information on the application is correct through evidence provided with the application. Also, an applicant who fails to submit information as specified in paragraphs (k)(6)(iii) and (k)(6)(iv) of this section will have 60 days to provide that information. An applicant will be limited to one 60-day evidentiary period. Additional information or evidence, or a revised application, received after the 60-day evidentiary period specified in the letter has expired will not be considered for purposes of the initial administrative determination.

(viii) Initial administrative determinations (IAD). The Regional will prepare and send an IAD to the applicant following the expiration of the 60-day evidentiary period if the Regional Administrator determines that the information or evidence provided by the applicant fails to support the applicant's claims and is insufficient to rebut the presumption that the official LLP record is correct, or if the additional information, evidence, or revised application is not provided within the time period specified in the letter that notifies the applicant of his or her 60-day evidentiary period. The IAD will indicate the deficiencies in the application, including any deficiencies with the information, the evidence submitted in support of the information, or the revised application. The IAD will also indicate which claims cannot be approved based on the available information or evidence. An applicant who receives an IAD may appeal pursuant to §679.43. An applicant who avails himself or herself of the opportunity to appeal an IAD will not receive a transferable license until after the final resolution of that appeal, notwithstanding the eligibility of that applicant for some claims based on consistent information in the application.

(ix) Issuance of a non-transferable license. The Regional Administrator will issue a non-transferable license to the applicant on issuance of an IAD if required by the license renewal provisions of 5 U.S.C. 558. A non-transferable license authorizes a person to deploy a vessel to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish or crab species as specified on the non-transferable license, and will have the specific endorsements and designations based on the claims in his or her application. A non-transferable license will expire upon final agency action.

(7) Transfer of a groundfish license or a crab species license—(i) General. The Regional Administrator will transfer a groundfish license or a crab species license if a complete transfer application is submitted to Restricted Access Management, Alaska Region, NMFS, and if the transfer meets the eligibility criteria as specified in paragraph (k)(7)(ii) of this section. An application form may be requested from the Regional Administrator.

(ii) Eligibility criteria for transfers. A groundfish license or crab species license can be transferred if:

(A) The designated transferee is eligible to document a fishing vessel under Chapter 121, Title 46, U.S.C.;

(B) The parties to the transfer do not have any fines, civil penalties, other payments due and outstanding, or outstanding permit sanctions resulting from Federal fishing violations;

(C) The transfer will not cause the designated transferee to exceed the license caps in §679.7(i); and

(D) The transfer does not violate any other provision specified in this part.

(iii) Contents of application. To be complete, an application for a groundfish license transfer or a crab species license transfer must be signed by the license holder and the designated transferee, or the individuals representing them, and contain the following, as applicable:

(A) Name, business address, telephone number, and FAX number of the license holder and the designated transferee;

(B) Name, state registration number (e.g., ADF&G number), and, if applicable, the USCG documentation number of the vessel to be deployed with the license (i.e., the designated vessel) after the transfer is approved;

(C) Valid evidence that the designated transferee is a person eligible to document a fishing vessel under Chapter 121, Title 46, U.S.C.;

(D) A legible copy of a contract or sales agreement that specifies the license to be transferred, the license holder, the designated transferee, the monetary value or the terms of the license transfer, and the signature of the license holder and the designated transferee; and

(E) Information regarding whether a broker was used for the transaction, whether the license was collateralized, and other information the Regional Administrator deems necessary for measuring program performance.

(iv) Incomplete applications. The Regional Administrator will return an incomplete transfer application to the applicant and identify any deficiencies if the Regional Administrator determines that the application does not meet all the criteria identified in paragraph (k)(7) of this section.

(v) Transfer by court order, operation of law, or as part of a security agreement. The Regional Administrator will transfer a groundfish license or a crab species license based on a court order, operation of law, or a security agreement if the Regional Administrator determines that the transfer application is complete and the transfer will not violate any of the provisions of this section.

(vi) Voluntary transfer limitation. A groundfish license or a crab species license may be voluntarily transferred only once in any calendar year. A voluntary transfer is a transfer other than one pursuant to a court order, operation of law, or a security agreement. An application for transfer that would cause a person to exceed the transfer limit of this provision will not be approved.

(vii) Request to change the designated vessel. A request to change the vessel designated on an LLP groundfish or crab species license must be made on a transfer application. If this request is approved and made separately from a license transfer, it will count towards the annual limit on voluntary transfers specified in paragraph (k)(7)(vi) of this section.

(viii) Severability of licenses. (A) Area endorsements or area/species endorsements specified on a license are not severable from the license and must be transferred together.

(B) A groundfish license and a crab species license issued based on the legal landings of the same vessel and initially issued to the same qualified person are not severable and must be transferred together.

(ix) Other transfer restrictions. The transfer of a LLP license that was issued based on the documented harvests from a vessel that did not have an FFP during the period beginning January 1, 1988, through October 8, 1998, must be accompanied by the vessel from which the documented harvests were made or its replacement vessel, or if the LLP license and vessel were separated by transfer prior to February 7, 1998, then by the vessel that is currently being deployed by the license holder. The Regional Administrator will deny a transfer application that requests the transfer of a LLP license that was issued based on the documented harvests from a vessel that did not have an FFP during the period beginning January 1, 1988, through October 8, 1998, if the appropriate vessel is not being transferred as part of the same transaction. A license holder of an LLP license that was issued based on the documented harvests from a vessel that did not have an FFP during the period beginning January 1, 1988, through October 8, 1998, may replace the vessel from which the documented harvests were made with another vessel that meets the vessel designation and MLOA requirements specified on the LLP license if the original qualifying vessel is lost or destroyed.

(8) Other provisions. (i) Any person committing, or a fishing vessel used in the commission of, a violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act or any regulations issued pursuant thereto, is subject to the civil and criminal penalty provisions and the civil forfeiture provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, part 621 of this chapter, 15 CFR part 904 (Civil Procedure), and other applicable law. Penalties include, but are not limited to, permanent or temporary sanctions to licenses.

(ii) Notwithstanding the provisions of the license limitation program in this part, vessels fishing for species other than license limitation groundfish as defined in §679.2 that were authorized under Federal regulations to incidentally catch license limitation groundfish without a Federal fisheries permit described at §679.4(b) will continue to be authorized to catch the maximum retainable bycatch amounts of license limitation groundfish as provided in this part without a groundfish license.

(iii) An eligible applicant, who qualifies for a groundfish license or crab species license but whose vessel on which the eligible applicant's qualification was based was lost or destroyed, will be issued a license. This license:

(A) Will have the vessel designation of the lost or destroyed vessel.

(B) Cannot be used to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish or to conduct directed fishing for crab species on a vessel that has an LOA greater than the MLOA designated on the license.

(iv) A qualified person who owned a vessel on June 17, 1995, that made a documented harvest of license limitation groundfish, or crab species if applicable, between January 1, 1988, and February 9, 1992, but whose vessel was unable to meet all the criteria in paragraph (k)(4) of this section for a groundfish license or paragraph (k)(5) of this section for a crab species license because of an unavoidable circumstance (i.e., the vessel was lost, damaged, or otherwise unable to participate in the license limitation groundfish or crab fisheries) may receive a license if the qualified person is able to demonstrate that:

(A) The owner of the vessel at the time of the unavoidable circumstance held a specific intent to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish or crab species with that vessel during a specific time period in a specific area.

(B) The specific intent to conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish or crab species with that vessel was thwarted by a circumstance that was:

(1) Unavoidable.

(2) Unique to the owner of that vessel, or unique to that vessel.

(3) Unforeseen and reasonably unforeseeable to the owner of the vessel.

(C) The circumstance that prevented the owner from conducting directed fishing for license limitation groundfish or crab species actually occurred.

(D) Under the circumstances, the owner of the vessel took all reasonable steps to overcome the circumstance that prevented the owner from conducting directed fishing for license limitation groundfish or crab species.

(E) Any amount of license limitation groundfish or appropriate crab species was harvested on the vessel in the specific area that corresponds to the area endorsement or area/species endorsement for which the qualified person who owned a vessel on June 17, 1995, is applying and that the license limitation groundfish or crab species was harvested after the vessel was prevented from participating by the unavoidable circumstance but before June 17, 1995.

(v) A groundfish license or a crab species license may be used on a vessel that complies with the vessel designation on the license and that does not exceed the MLOA on the license.

(9) Pacific cod endorsements—(i) General. In addition to other requirements of this part, and unless specifically exempted in paragraph (k)(9)(iv) of this section, a license holder must have a Pacific cod endorsement on his or her groundfish license to conduct directed fishing for Pacific cod with hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI. A license holder can only use the specific non-trawl gear(s) indicated on his or her license to conduct directed fishing for Pacific cod in the BSAI.

(ii) Eligibility requirements for a Pacific cod endorsement. This table provides eligibility requirements for Pacific cod endorsements on an LLP groundfish license:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                      Then the license                                   And the license       holder must                            To receive a If a license holder's license    holder harvested    demonstrate that                           Pacific cod          has a . . .            Pacific cod in the       he or she           In . . .        endorsement that                                   BSAI with . . .   harvested at least                      authorizes  harvest                                                            . . .                                with . . .----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) Catcher vessel designation.  Hook-and-line gear  7.5 mt of Pacific   In any one of the  Hook-and-line gear.                                  or jig gear.        cod in the BSAI.    years 1995,                                                                          1996, 1997,                                                                          1998, or 1999.(B) Catcher vessel designation.  Pot gear or jig     100,000 lb of       In each of any     Pot gear.                                  gear.               Pacific cod in      two of the years                                                      the BSAI.           1995, 1996,                                                                          1997, 1998, or                                                                          1999.(C) Catcher/processor vessel     Hook-and-line gear  270 mt of Pacific   In any one of the  Hook-and-line gear. designation.                                         cod in the BSAI.    years 1996,                                                                          1997, 1998, or                                                                          1999.(D) Catcher/processor vessel     Pot gear..........  300,000 lb of       In each of any     Pot gear. designation.                                         Pacific cod in      two of the years                                                      the BSAI.           1995, 1996,                                                                          1997, or 1998.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iii) Explanations for Pacific cod endorsements. (A) All eligibility amounts in the table at paragraph (k)(9)(ii) of this section will be determined based on round weight equivalents.

(B) Discards will not count toward eligibility amounts in the table at paragraph (k)(9)(ii) of this section.

(C) Pacific cod harvested for personal bait use will not count toward eligibility amounts in the table at paragraph (k)(9)(ii) of this section.

(D) A legal landing of Pacific cod in the BSAI for commercial bait will count toward eligibility amounts in the table at paragraph (k)(9)(ii) of this section.

(E) Harvests within the BSAI will count toward eligibility amounts in the table at paragraph (k)(9)(ii) of this section; however, a license holder will only be able to harvest Pacific cod in the specific areas in the BSAI for which he or she has an area endorsement.

(F) Harvests within the BSAI Would count toward eligibility amounts in the table at paragraph (k)(9)(ii) of this section if:

(1) Those harvests were made from the vessel that was used as the basis of eligibility for the license holder's LLP groundfish license, or

(2) Those harvests were made from a vessel that was not the vessel used as the basis of eligibility for the license holder's LLP groundfish license, provided that, at the time the endorsement-qualifying Pacific cod harvests were made, the person who owned such Pacific cod endorsement-qualifying fishing history also owned the fishing history of a vessel that satisfied the requirements for the LLP groundfish license.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (k)(9)(iii)(F)(2) of this section, the LLP groundfish license qualifying history or the Pacific cod qualifying history of any one vessel may not be used to satisfy the requirements for issuance of more than one LLP groundfish license endorsed for the BSAI Pacific cod hook-and-line or pot gear fisheries.

(G) Except as provided in paragraph 679.4(k)(9)(iii)(D), only harvests of BSAI Pacific cod in the directed fishery will count toward eligibility amounts.

(iv) Exemptions to Pacific cod endorsements. (A) Any vessel exempted from the License Limitation Program at paragraph (k)(2) of this section.

(B) Any catcher vessel less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA.

(C) Any catch of Pacific cod for personal use bait.

(v) Combination of landings and hardship provision. Notwithstanding the eligibility requirements in paragraph (k)(9)(ii) of this section, a license holder may be eligible for a Pacific cod endorsement by meeting the following criteria.

(A) Combination of landings. A license holder may combine the landings of a sunken vessel and the landings of a vessel obtained to replace a sunken vessel to satisfy the eligibility amounts in the table at paragraph (k)(9)(ii) of this section only if he or she meets the requirements in paragraphs (k)(9)(v)(A)(1)–(4) of this section. No other combination of landings will satisfy the eligibility amounts in the table at paragraph (k)(9)(ii) of this section.

(1) The sunken vessel was used as the basis of eligibility for the license holder's groundfish license;

(2) The sunken vessel sank after January 1, 1995;

(3) The vessel obtained to replace the sunken vessel was obtained by December 31 of the year 2 years after the sunken vessel sank; and

(4) The length of the vessel obtained to replace the sunken vessel does not exceed the MLOA specified on the license holder's groundfish license.

(B) Hardship provision. A license holder may be eligible for a Pacific cod endorsement because of unavoidable circumstances if he or she meets the requirements in paragraphs (k)(9)(v)(B)(1)–(4) of this section. For purposes of this hardship provision, the term license holder includes the person whose landings were used to meet the eligibility requirements for the license holder's groundfish license, if not the same person.

(1) The license holder at the time of the unavoidable circumstance held a specific intent to conduct directed fishing for BSAI Pacific cod in a manner sufficient to meet the landing requirements in the table at paragraph (k)(9)(ii) of this section but that this intent was thwarted by a circumstance that was:

(i) Unavoidable;

(ii) Unique to the license holder, or unique to the vessel that was used as the basis of eligibility for the license holder's groundfish license; and

(iii) Unforeseen and reasonably unforeseeable to the license holder.

(2) The circumstance that prevented the license holder from conducting directed fishing for BSAI Pacific cod in a manner sufficient to meet the landing requirements in paragraph (k)(9)(ii) actually occurred;

(3) The license holder took all reasonable steps to overcome the circumstance that prevented the license holder from conducting directed fishing for BSAI Pacific cod in a manner sufficient to meet the landing requirements in paragraph (k)(9)(ii) of this section; and

(4) Any amount of Pacific cod was harvested in the BSAI aboard the vessel that was used as the basis of eligibility for the license holder's groundfish license after the vessel was prevented from participating by the unavoidable circumstance but before April 16, 2000.

(10) Restrictions on licenses earned on AFA catcher vessels and listed AFA catcher/processors. No person may use an LLP license that was derived in whole or in part from the qualifying fishing history of an AFA catcher vessel or a listed AFA catcher/processor to fish for groundfish or crab on a non-AFA catcher vessel or non-AFA catcher/processor. NMFS will identify all such licenses affected by this restriction and inform the holders of such licenses of this restriction through a restriction printed on the face of the license.

(l) AFA permits—(1) General—(i) Applicability. In addition to any other permit and licensing requirements set out in this part, any vessel used to engage in directed fishing for a non-CDQ allocation of pollock in the BS and any shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or mothership that receives pollock harvested in a non-CDQ directed pollock fishery in the BS must have a valid AFA permit onboard the vessel or at the facility location at all times while non-CDQ pollock is being harvested or processed. In addition, the owner of any vessel that is a member of a pollock cooperative in the BS must also have a valid AFA permit for every vessel that is a member of the cooperative, regardless of whether or not the vessel actually engages in directed fishing for pollock in the BS. Finally, an AFA permit does not exempt a vessel operator, vessel, or processor from any other applicable permit or licensing requirement required under this part or in other state or Federal regulations.

(ii) Duration—(A) Expiration of interim AFA permits. All interim AFA vessel and processor permits issued prior to January 1, 2002, will expire on December 31, 2002, unless extended or re-issued by NMFS.

(B) Duration of final AFA permits. Except as provided in paragraphs (l)(5)(v)(B)(3) and (l)(6)(iii) of this section, AFA vessel and processor permits issued under this paragraph (l) will have no expiration date, and are valid indefinitely unless suspended or revoked.

(iii) Application for permit. NMFS will issue AFA vessel and processor permits to the current owner(s) of a qualifying vessel or processor if the owner(s) submits to the Regional Administrator a completed AFA permit application that is subsequently approved.

(iv) Amended permits. AFA vessel and processor permits may not be used on or transferred to any vessel or processor that is not listed on the permit. However, AFA permits may be amended to reflect any change in the ownership of the vessel or processor. An application to amend an AFA permit must include the following:

(A) The original AFA permit to be amended, and

(B) A completed AFA permit application signed by the new vessel or processor owner.

(2) AFA catcher/processor permits—(i) Listed AFA catcher/processors. NMFS will issue to an owner of a catcher/processor a listed AFA catcher/processor permit if the catcher/processor is one of the following (as listed in AFA paragraphs 208(e)(1) through (20)):

(A) AMERICAN DYNASTY (USCG documentation number 951307);

(B) KATIE ANN (USCG documentation number 518441);

(C) AMERICAN TRIUMPH (USCG documentation number 646737);

(D) NORTHERN EAGLE (USCG documentation number 506694);

(E) NORTHERN HAWK (USCG documentation number 643771);

(F) NORTHERN JAEGER (USCG documentation number 521069);

(G) OCEAN ROVER (USCG documentation number 552100);

(H) ALASKA OCEAN (USCG documentation number 637856);

(I) ENDURANCE (USCG documentation number 592206);

(J) AMERICAN ENTERPRISE (USCG documentation number 594803);

(K) ISLAND ENTERPRISE (USCG documentation number 610290);

(L) KODIAK ENTERPRISE (USCG documentation number 579450);

(M) SEATTLE ENTERPRISE (USCG documentation number 904767);

(N) US ENTERPRISE (USCG documentation number 921112);

(O) ARCTIC STORM (USCG documentation number 903511);

(P) ARCTIC FJORD (USCG documentation number 940866);

(Q) NORTHERN GLACIER (USCG documentation number 663457);

(R) PACIFIC GLACIER (USCG documentation number 933627);

(S) HIGHLAND LIGHT (USCG documentation number 577044);

(T) STARBOUND (USCG documentation number 944658).

(ii) Unlisted AFA catcher/processors. NMFS will issue to an owner of a catcher/processor an unlisted AFA catcher/processor permit if the catcher/processor is not listed in §679.4(l)(2)(i) and is determined by the Regional Administrator to have harvested more than 2,000 mt of pollock in the 1997 BSAI directed pollock fishery.

(iii) Application for AFA catcher/processor permit. A completed application for an AFA catcher/processor permit must contain:

(A) Vessel information. The vessel name, ADF&G registration number, USCG documentation number, vessel telephone number (if any), gross tons, shaft horsepower, and registered length (in feet);

(B) Ownership information. The managing owner name(s), tax ID number(s), signature(s), business mailing address(es), business telephone number(s), business fax number(s), business e-mail address(es), and managing company (if any);

(3) AFA catcher vessel permits. NMFS will issue to an owner of a catcher vessel an AFA catcher vessel permit containing sector endorsements and sideboard restrictions upon receipt and approval of a completed application for an AFA catcher vessel permit.

(i) Qualifying criteria—(A) Catcher vessels delivering to catcher/processors. NMFS will endorse an AFA catcher vessel permit to authorize directed fishing for pollock for delivery to a catcher/processor if the catcher vessel:

(1) Is one of the following (as listed in paragraphs 208(b)(1) through (7) of the AFA):

AMERICAN CHALLENGER (USCG documentation number 633219);

FORUM STAR (USCG documentation number 925863);

MUIR MILACH (USCG documentation number 611524);

NEAHKAHNIE (USCG documentation number 599534);

OCEAN HARVESTER (USCG documentation number 549892);

SEA STORM (USCG documentation number 628959);

TRACY ANNE (USCG documentation number 904859); or

(2) Is not listed in §679.4(l)(3)(i)(A)(1) and is determined by the Regional Administrator to have delivered at least 250 mt and at least 75 percent of the pollock it harvested in the directed BSAI pollock fishery in 1997 to catcher/processors for processing by the offshore component.

(B) Catcher vessels delivering to AFA motherships. NMFS will endorse an AFA catcher vessel permit to authorize directed fishing for pollock for delivery to an AFA mothership if the catcher vessel:

(1) Is one of the following (as listed in paragraphs 208(c)(1) through (20) and in subsection 211(e) of the AFA):

(i) ALEUTIAN CHALLENGER (USCG documentation number 603820);

(ii) ALYESKA (USCG documentation number 560237);

(iii) AMBER DAWN (USCG documentation number 529425);

(iv) AMERICAN BEAUTY (USCG documentation number 613847);

(v) CALIFORNIA HORIZON (USCG documentation number 590758);

(vi) MAR-GUN (USCG documentation number 525608);

(vii) MARGARET LYN (USCG documentation number 615563);

(viii) MARK I (USCG documentation number 509552);

(ix) MISTY DAWN (USCG documentation number 926647);

(x) NORDIC FURY (USCG documentation number 542651);

(xi) OCEAN LEADER (USCG documentation number 561518);

(xii) OCEANIC (USCG documentation number 602279);

(xiii) PACIFIC ALLIANCE (USCG documentation number 612084);

(xiv) PACIFIC CHALLENGER (USCG documentation number 518937);

(xv) PACIFIC FURY (USCG documentation number 561934);

(xvi) PAPADO II (USCG documentation number 536161);

(xvii) TRAVELER (USCG documentation number 929356);

(xviii) VESTERAALEN (USCG documentation number 611642);

(xix) WESTERN DAWN (USCG documentation number 524423);

(xx) LISA MARIE (USCG documentation number 1038717); or

(2) Is not listed in §679.4(l)(3)(i)(B)(1) and is determined by the Regional Administrator to have delivered at least 250 mt of pollock for processing by motherships in the offshore component of the BSAI directed pollock fishery in any one of the years 1996 or 1997, or between January 1, 1998, and September 1, 1998, and is not eligible for an endorsement to deliver pollock to catcher/processors under §679.4(l)(3)(i)(A).

(C) Catcher vessels delivering to AFA inshore processors. NMFS will endorse an AFA catcher vessel permit to authorize directed fishing for pollock for delivery to an AFA inshore processor if the catcher vessel is:

(1) One of the following vessels authorized by statute to engage in directed fishing for inshore sector pollock:

HAZEL LORRAINE (USCG documentation number 592211),

LISA MARIE (USCG documentation number 1038717),

PROVIDIAN (USCG documentation number 1062183); or

(2) Is not listed in §679.4(l)(3)(i)(A), and:

(i) Is determined by the Regional Administrator to have delivered at least 250 mt of pollock harvested in the directed BSAI pollock fishery for processing by the inshore component in any one of the years 1996 or 1997, or between January 1, 1998, and September 1, 1998; or

(ii) Is less than 60 ft (18.1 meters) LOA and is determined by the Regional Administrator to have delivered at least 40 mt of pollock harvested in the directed BSAI pollock fishery for processing by the inshore component in any one of the years 1996 or 1997, or between January 1, 1998, and September 1, 1998.

(ii) Application for AFA catcher vessel permit. A completed application for an AFA catcher vessel permit must contain:

(A) Vessel information. The vessel name, ADF&G registration number, USCG documentation number, vessel telephone number (if any), gross tons, shaft horsepower, and registered length (in feet);

(B) Ownership information. The managing owner name(s), tax ID number(s), signature(s), business mailing address(es), business telephone number(s), business fax number(s), business e-mail address(es), and managing company (if any);

(C) Vessel AFA qualification information. The AFA catcher vessel permit sector endorsement(s) requested.

(D) [Reserved]

(E) Vessel exemptions from AFA catcher vessel groundfish sideboard directed fishing closures. An AFA catcher vessel permit may contain exemptions from certain groundfish sideboard directed fishing closures. If a vessel owner is requesting such an exemption, the application must provide supporting documentation that the catcher vessel qualifies for the exemption based on the following criteria. The Regional Administrator will review the vessel's catch history according to the following criteria:

(1) BSAI Pacific cod. For a catcher vessel to qualify for an exemption from AFA catcher vessel sideboards in the BSAI Pacific cod fishery, the catcher vessel must: Be less than 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA, have landed a combined total of less than 5,100 mt of BSAI pollock in the BSAI directed pollock fishery from 1995 through 1997, and have made 30 or more legal landings of Pacific cod in the BSAI directed fishery for Pacific cod from 1995 through 1997.

(2) GOA groundfish species. For a catcher vessel to qualify for an exemption from AFA catcher vessel sideboards in the GOA groundfish fisheries, the catcher vessel must: Be less than 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA, have landed a combined total of less than 5,100 mt of BSAI pollock in the BSAI directed pollock fishery from 1995 through 1997, and made 40 or more legal landings of GOA groundfish in a directed fishery for GOA groundfish from 1995 through 1997.

(4) AFA mothership permits. NMFS will issue to an owner of a mothership an AFA mothership permit if the mothership is one of the following (as listed in paragraphs 208(d)(1) through (3) of the AFA):

EXCELLENCE (USCG documentation number 967502);

GOLDEN ALASKA (USCG documentation number 651041); and

OCEAN PHOENIX (USCG documentation number 296779).

(i) [Reserved]

(ii) Application for AFA mothership permit. A completed application for an AFA mothership permit must contain:

(A) Type of permit requested. Type of processor and whether requesting an AFA cooperative endorsement.

(B) Vessel information. The mothership name, ADF&G processor code, USCG documentation number, Federal fisheries permit number, gross tons, shaft horsepower, and registered length (in feet).

(C) Ownership information. The managing owner name(s), tax ID number(s), signature(s), business mailing address(es), business telephone number(s), business fax number(s), business e-mail address(es), and managing company (if any);

(5) AFA inshore processor permits. NMFS will issue to an owner of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor an AFA inshore processor permit upon receipt and approval of a completed application.

(i) Qualifying criteria—(A) Unrestricted processors. NMFS will issue an unrestricted AFA inshore processor permit to a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor if the Regional Administrator determines that the processor facility processed annually more than 2,000 mt round-weight of pollock harvested in the inshore component of the directed BSAI pollock fishery during each of 1996 and 1997.

(B) Restricted processors. NMFS will issue a restricted AFA inshore processor permit to a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor if the Regional Administrator determines that the facility processed pollock harvested in the inshore component of the directed BSAI pollock fishery during 1996 or 1997, but did not process annually more than 2,000 mt round-weight of BSAI pollock during each of 1996 and 1997.

(ii) [Reserved]

(iii) Single geographic location requirement. An AFA inshore processor permit authorizes the processing of pollock harvested in the BS directed pollock fishery only in a single geographic location during a fishing year. For the purpose of this paragraph, “single geographic location” means:

(A) Shoreside processors. The physical location at which the land-based shoreside processor first processed pollock harvested from the BS subarea directed pollock fishery during a fishing year.

(B) Stationary floating processors. A location within Alaska state waters that is within 5 nm of the position in which the stationary floating processor first processed pollock harvested in the BS subarea directed pollock fishery during a fishing year.

(iv) Application for permit. A completed application for an AFA inshore processor permit must contain:

(A) Type of permit requested. Type of processor, whether requesting an AFA cooperative endorsement, and amount of BSAI pollock processed in 1996 and 1997;

(B) Stationary floating processor information. The vessel name, ADF&G processor code, USCG documentation number, Federal processor permit number, gross tons, shaft horsepower, registered length (in feet), and business telephone number, business FAX number, and business e-mail address used on board the vessel.

(C) Shoreside processor information. The processor name, Federal processor permit number, ADF&G processor code, business street address; business telephone and FAX numbers, and business e-mail address.

(D) Ownership information. The managing owner name(s), tax ID number(s), signature(s), business mailing address(es), business telephone number(s), business fax number(s), business e-mail address(es), and managing company (if any);

(v) Authorization of new AFA inshore processors. If the Council recommends and NMFS approves a combined BSAI pollock TAC that exceeds 1,274,900 mt for any fishing year, or in the event of the actual total loss or constructive loss of an existing AFA inshore processor, the Council may recommend that an additional inshore processor (or processors) be issued AFA inshore processing permits.

(A) Timing of Council action. At any time prior to or during a fishing year in which the combined BSAI pollock TAC exceeds 1,274,900 mt, or at any time after the actual total loss or constructive total loss of an existing AFA inshore processor, the Council may, after opportunity for public comment, recommend that an additional inshore processor (or processors) be issued AFA inshore processor permits.

(B) Required elements in Council recommendation. Any recommendation from the Council to add an additional inshore processor (or processors) must include the following information:

(1) Identification of inshore processor(s). The Council recommendation must identify by name the inshore processor(s) to which AFA inshore processor permits would be issued;

(2) Type of AFA inshore processor permit(s). The Council recommendation must specify whether the identified inshore processor(s) should be issued a restricted or unrestricted AFA inshore processor permit.

(3) Duration of permit. The Council recommendation must specify the recommended duration of the permit. Permit duration may be for any duration from a single fishing season to the duration of section 208 of the AFA. Alternatively, the Council may recommend that the permit be valid as long as the conditions that led to the permit remain in effect. For example, the Council could recommend that a permit issued under this paragraph remain valid as long as the combined annual BSAI pollock TAC remains above 1,274,900 mt. or a lost AFA inshore processor is not reconstructed.

(4) Council procedures. The Council may establish additional procedures for the review and approval of requests to authorize additional AFA inshore processors. However, such procedures must be consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the national standards, and other applicable law.

(5) Action by NMFS. Upon receipt of a recommendation from the Council to authorize additional AFA inshore processors, NMFS may issue an AFA inshore processor permit to the identified inshore processor(s) of the type and duration recommended by the Council, provided the Council has met the requirements identified in paragraphs (l)(5)(v)(B)(1) through (4) of this section, and the owner(s) of the identified inshore processor has submitted a completed application for an AFA inshore processor permit that is subsequently approved.

(6) Inshore cooperative fishing permits—(i) General. NMFS will issue to an inshore catcher vessel cooperative formed pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 521 for the purpose of cooperatively managing directed fishing for pollock for processing by an AFA inshore processor an AFA inshore cooperative fishing permit upon receipt and approval of a completed application.

(ii) Application for permit. A completed application for an inshore cooperative fishing permit must contain the following information:

(A) Cooperative contact information. Name of cooperative; name of cooperative representative; and business mailing address, business telephone number, business fax number, and business e-mail address of the cooperative;

(B) Designated cooperative processor. The name and physical location of an AFA inshore processor that is designated in the cooperative contract as the processor to whom the cooperative has agreed to deliver at least 90 percent of its BS pollock catch;

(C) Cooperative contract information. A copy of the cooperative contract and a written certification that:

(1) The contract was signed by the owners of at least 80 percent of the qualified catcher vessels;

(2) The cooperative contract requires that the cooperative deliver at least 90 percent of its BS pollock catch to its designated AFA processor; and

(3) Each catcher vessel in the cooperative is a qualified catcher vessel and is otherwise eligible to fish for groundfish in the BSAI, has an AFA catcher vessel permit with an inshore endorsement, and has no permit sanctions or other type of sanctions against it that would prevent it from fishing for groundfish in the BSAI;

(D) Qualified catcher vessels. For the purpose of this paragraph, a catcher vessel is a qualified catcher vessel if it meets the following permit and landing requirements:

(1) Permit requirements—(i) AFA permit. The vessel must have a valid AFA catcher vessel permit with an inshore endorsement;

(ii) LLP permit. The vessel must be named on a valid LLP permit authorizing the vessel to engage in trawling for pollock in the Bering Sea subarea. If the vessel is more than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA, the vessel must be named on a valid LLP permit endorsed for the AI to engage in trawling for pollock in the AI; and

(iii) Permit sanctions. The vessel has no permit sanctions that otherwise make it ineligible to engage in fishing for pollock in the BSAI.

(2) Landing requirements—(i) Active vessels. The vessel delivered more pollock harvested in the BS inshore directed pollock fishery to the AFA inshore processor designated under paragraph (l)(6)(ii)(B) of this section than to any other shoreside processor or stationary floating processor during the year prior to the year in which the cooperative fishing permit will be in effect; or

(ii) Inactive vessels. The vessel delivered more pollock harvested in the BS inshore directed pollock fishery to the AFA inshore processor designated under paragraph (l)(6)(ii)(B) of this section than to any other shoreside processor or stationary floating processor during the last year in which the vessel delivered BS pollock harvested in the BS directed pollock fishery to an AFA inshore processor.

(iii) Harvests under contract to a cooperative. Any landings made by a vessel operating under contract to an inshore cooperative in which it was not a member will not be used to determine eligibility under paragraph (l)(6)(ii)(D)(2).

(E) Business review letter. A copy of a letter from a party to the contract requesting a business review letter on the fishery cooperative from the Department of Justice and of any response to such request;

(F) Vessel information. For each cooperative catcher vessel member: Vessel name, ADF&G registration number, USCG documentation number, AFA permit number; and

(G) Certification of notary and applicant. Signature and printed name of cooperative representative, date of signature, and notary stamp or seal, signature and date commission expires of a notary public.

(iii) Duration of cooperative fishing permits. Inshore cooperative fishing permits are valid for 1 calendar year.

(iv) Addition or subtraction of vessels. The cooperative representative must submit a new application to add or subtract a catcher vessel to or from an inshore cooperative fishing permit to the Regional Administrator prior to the application deadline. Upon approval by the Regional Administrator, NMFS will issue an amended cooperative fishing permit.

(v) Application deadline. An inshore cooperative fishing permit application and any subsequent contract amendments that add or subtract vessels must be received by the Regional Administrator by December 1 prior to the year in which the inshore cooperative fishing permit will be in effect. Inshore cooperative fishing permit applications or amendments to inshore fishing cooperative permits received after December 1 will not be accepted by the Regional Administrator for the subsequent fishing year.

(7) Replacement vessels. (i) In the event of the actual total loss or constructive total loss of an AFA catcher vessel, AFA mothership, or AFA catcher/processor, the owner of such vessel may replace such vessel with a replacement vessel. The replacement vessel will be eligible in the same manner as the original vessel after submission and approval of an application for an AFA replacement vessel, provided that:

(A) Such loss was caused by an act of God, an act of war, a collision, an act or omission of a party other than the owner or agent of the vessel, or any other event not caused by the willful misconduct of the owner or agent;

(B) The replacement vessel was built in the United States and, if ever rebuilt, rebuilt in the United States;

(C) The USCG certificate of documentation with fishery endorsement for the replacement vessel is issued within 36 months of the end of the last year in which the eligible vessel harvested or processed pollock in the directed pollock fishery;

(D) If the eligible vessel is greater than 165 ft (50.3 meters (m)) in registered length, or more than 750 gross registered tons, or has engines capable of producing more than 3,000 shaft horsepower, the replacement vessel is of the same or lesser registered length, gross registered tons, and shaft horsepower;

(E) If the eligible vessel is less than 165 ft (50.3 m) in registered length, fewer than 750 gross registered tons, and has engines incapable of producing more than 3,000 shaft horsepower, the replacement vessel is less than each of such thresholds and does not exceed by more than 10 percent the registered length, gross registered tons, or shaft horsepower of the eligible vessel; and

(F) If the replacement vessel is already an AFA catcher vessel, the inshore cooperative catch history of both vessels may be merged in the replacement vessel for the purpose of determining inshore cooperative allocations except that a catcher vessel with an endorsement to deliver pollock to AFA catcher/processors may not be simultaneously endorsed to deliver pollock to AFA motherships or AFA inshore processors.

(G) Replacement of replacement vessels. In the event that a permitted replacement vessel is lost under the circumstances described in paragraph (l)(7)(i)(A) of this section, the replacement vessel may be replaced according to the provisions of this paragraph (l)(7). However, the maximum length, tonnage, and horsepower of any subsequent replacement vessels are determined by the length, tonnage, and horsepower of the originally qualifying AFA vessel and not by those of any subsequent replacement vessels.

(ii) Application for permit. A completed application for an AFA permit for a replacement vessel must contain:

(A) Identification of lost AFA eligible vessel.

(1) Name, ADF&G vessel registration number, USCG documentation number, AFA permit number, gross tons, shaft horsepower, and registered length from USCG documentation of the vessel;

(2) Name(s), tax ID number(s), business mailing address(es), telephone number(s), FAX number(s), and e-mail address(es) of owner(s);

(3) The last year in which the vessel harvested or processed pollock in a BSAI directed pollock fishery; and

(4) Description of how the vessel was lost or destroyed. Attach a USCG Form 2692 or insurance papers to verify the claim.

(B) Identification of replacement vessel.

(1) Name, ADF&G vessel registration number, USCG documentation number, gross tons, shaft horsepower, registered length, net tons from USCG documentation, length overall (in feet), and Federal Fisheries Permit number of the vessel;

(2) Name(s), tax ID number(s), business mailing address(es), business telephone number(s), business FAX number(s), and business e-mail address(es) of the owner(s);

(3) YES or NO indication of whether the vessel was built in the United States; and

(4) YES or NO indication of whether the vessel has ever been rebuilt, and if so whether it was rebuilt in the United States.

(C) Certification of applicant and notary. Signature(s) and printed name(s) of owner(s) and date of signature; signature, notary stamp or seal of notary public, and date notary commission expires.

(8) Application evaluations and appeals—(i) Initial evaluation. The Regional Administrator will evaluate an application for an AFA fishing or processing permit submitted in accordance with paragraph (1) of this section and compare all claims in the application with the information in the official AFA record. Claims in the application that are consistent with information in the official AFA record will be accepted by the Regional Administrator. Inconsistent claims in the application, unless supported by evidence, will not be accepted. An applicant who submits claims based on inconsistent information or fails to submit the information specified in the application for an AFA permit will be provided a single 60–day evidentiary period to submit the specified information, submit evidence to verify the applicant's inconsistent claims, or submit a revised application with claims consistent with information in the official AFA record. An applicant who submits claims that are inconsistent with information in the official AFA record has the burden of proving that the submitted claims are correct.

(ii) Additional information and evidence. The Regional Administrator will evaluate the additional information or evidence to support an applicant's claims submitted within the 60–day evidentiary period. If the Regional Administrator determines that the additional information or evidence meets the applicant's burden of proving that the inconsistent claims in his or her application are correct, the official AFA record will be amended and the information will be used in determining whether the applicant is eligible for an AFA permit. However, if the Regional Administrator determines that the additional information or evidence does not meet the applicant's burden of proving that the inconsistent claims in his or her application is correct, the applicant will be notified by an initial administrative determination that the applicant did not meet the burden of proof to change information in the official AFA record.

(iii) Sixty-day evidentiary period. The Regional Administrator will specify by letter a 60–day evidentiary period during which an applicant may provide additional information or evidence to support the claims made in his or her application, or to submit a revised application with claims consistent with information in the official AFA record, if the Regional Administrator determines that the applicant did not meet the burden of proving that the information on the application is correct through evidence provided with the application. Also, an applicant who fails to submit required information will have 60 days to provide that information. An applicant will be limited to one 60–day evidentiary period. Additional information or evidence, or a revised application received after the 60–day evidentiary period specified in the letter has expired will not be considered for the purposes of the initial administrative determination.

(iv) Initial administrative determinations (IAD). The Regional Administrator will prepare and send an IAD to the applicant following the expiration of the 60–day evidentiary period if the Regional Administrator determines that the information or evidence provided by the applicant fails to support the applicant's claims and is insufficient to rebut the presumption that the official AFA record is correct or if the additional information, evidence, or revised application is not provided within the time period specified in the letter that notifies the applicant of his or her 60–day evidentiary period. The IAD will indicate the deficiencies in the application, including any deficiencies with the information, the evidence submitted in support of the information, or the revised application. The IAD will also indicate which claims cannot be approved based on the available information or evidence. An applicant who receives an IAD may appeal under the appeals procedures set out at §679.43. An applicant who avails himself or herself of the opportunity to appeal an IAD will receive an interim AFA permit that authorizes a person to participate in an AFA pollock fishery and will have the specific endorsements and designations based on the claims in his or her application. An interim AFA permit based on claims contrary to the Official Record will expire upon final agency action.

(v) Effect of cooperative allocation appeals. An AFA inshore cooperative may appeal the pollock quota share issued to the cooperative under §679.62; however, final agency action on the appeal must occur prior to December 1 for the results of the appeal to take effect during the subsequent fishing year.

(m) Participation in the AI directed pollock fishery—(1) Applicability. Harvesting pollock in the AI directed pollock fishery and processing pollock taken in the AI directed pollock fishery is authorized only for those harvesters and processors that are selected by the Aleut Corporation and approved by the Regional Administrator to harvest pollock in the AI directed pollock fishery or to process pollock taken in the AI directed pollock fishery.

(2) Annual selection of participants by the Aleut Corporation. Each year and at least 14 days before harvesting pollock in the AI directed pollock fishery or processing pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery, a participant must be selected by the Aleut Corporation and the following information for each participant must be submitted by the designated contact to the Regional Administrator:

(i) Vessel or processor name;

(ii) Federal fisheries permits number issued under paragraph (b) of this section or Federal processor permit issued under paragraph (f) of this section; and

(iii) The fishing year which participation approval is requested.

(3) Participant approval. (i) Participants must have:

(A) A valid Federal fisheries permit or Federal processing permit, pursuant to paragraphs (b) and (f) of this section, respectively;

(B) A valid fishery endorsement on the vessel's U.S. Coast Guard documentation for the vessel's participation in the U. S. fishery; and

(C) A valid AFA permit under: paragraph (l)(2) of this section for all catcher/processors, paragraph (l)(3) of this section for all catcher vessels greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, or paragraph (l)(4) of this section for all motherships.

(ii) Each participant selected by the Aleut Corporation that meets the conditions under paragraph (m)(3)(i) of this section will be approved by the Regional Administrator for participation in the AI directed pollock fishery.

(iii) The Regional Administrator will provide to the designated contact for the Aleut Corporation the identity of each approved participant and the date upon which participation in the AI directed pollock fishery may commence. The Aleut Corporation shall forward to the approved participants a copy of NMFS's approval letter before harvesting or processing occurs.

(iv) A copy of NMFS' approval letter for participating in the AI directed pollock fishery during the fishing year must be on site at the shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, or on board the vessel at all times and must be presented for inspection upon the request of any authorized officer.

(4) Participant disapproval. (i) The Regional Administrator shall disapprove any participant that does not meet the conditions under paragraph (m)(3)(i) of this section. The Regional Administrator will notify in writing the Aleut Corporation and the selected participant of the disapproval. The selected participant will have 30 days in which to submit proof of meeting the requirements to participate in the AI directed pollock fishery.

(ii) The Regional Administrator will prepare and send an initial administrative determinations (IAD) to the selected participant following the expiration of the 30-day evidentiary period if the Regional Administrator determines that the information or evidence provided by the selected participant fails to support the participant's claims and is insufficient to rebut the presumption that the disapproval for participation in the AI directed pollock fishery is correct or if the additional information or evidence is not provided within the time period specified in the letter that notifies the applicant of his or her 30-day evidentiary period. The IAD will indicate the deficiencies in the information required, including the evidence submitted in support of the information. The IAD also will indicate which claims cannot be approved based on the available information or evidence. A participant who receives an IAD may appeal under the appeals procedures set out at §679.43. A participant who avails himself or herself of the opportunity to appeal an IAD will receive an interim approval from NMFS authorizing participation in the AI directed pollock fishery. An interim approval based on claims contrary to the final determination will expire upon final agency determination.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §679.4, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

§ 679.5   Recordkeeping and reporting (R&R).
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Link to an amendment published at 71 FR 17381, Apr. 6, 2006.

(a) General requirements—(1) Applicability—(i) Who must comply with R&R requirements? Participants in the groundfish fisheries, the IFQ fisheries, and the CDQ fisheries must comply with the appropriate R&R requirements of paragraphs (1)(i)(A) through (C) of this section. Sablefish are managed under both the IFQ Program and the Groundfish Program. As such, sablefish must be recorded and reported as groundfish and also as IFQ sablefish.

(A) Groundfish. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section, the owner, operator, or manager of the following participants must comply with the appropriate groundfish R&R requirements provided at paragraphs (a) through (k), (m), (o), and (p) of this section; §679.28(b), (f), and (g):

(1) Any catcher vessel, mothership, catcher/processor, or tender vessel, 5 net tons or larger, that is required to have a Federal fisheries permit under §679.4.

(2) Any shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, mothership, or buying station that receives groundfish from vessels issued a Federal fisheries permit under §679.4.

(3) Any buying station that receives or delivers groundfish in association with a mothership issued a Federal fisheries permit under §679.4(b) or with a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor issued a Federal processor permit under §679.4(f).

(4) Any shoreside processor or stationary floating processor that is required to have a Federal processor permit under §679.4.

(5) For purposes of this section, “operator or manager” means “the operator of a catcher/processor or mothership, the manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, or the operator or manager of a buying station.”

(B) IFQ halibut and sablefish. The IFQ permit holder, IFQ cardholder, or Registered Buyer must comply with the R&R requirements provided at paragraphs (g), (k), and (l) of this section.

(C) CDQ halibut. The CDQ permit holder, CDQ cardholder, or Registered Buyer must comply with the R&R requirements provided at paragraphs (g), (k), (l)(1) through (6), (n)(1), and (n)(2) of this section.

(ii) What fish need to be recorded and reported? (A) Groundfish, prohibited species, and forage fish received. A shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, mothership, or buying station subject to R&R requirements must record and report all groundfish (see Table 2a to this part), prohibited species (see Table 2b to this part), and forage fish (see Table 2c to this part) received, including fish received from vessels not required to have a federal fisheries permit; and fish received under contract for handling or processing for another processor.

(B) Groundfish, prohibited species, and forage fish reported by catcher vessels and buying stations. A shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or mothership subject to R&R requirements must record and report discard or disposition information for all groundfish (see Table 2a to this part), prohibited species (see Table 2b to this part), and forage fish (see Table 2c to this part) reported to it by catcher vessels or buying stations.

(C) Groundfish, prohibited species, and forage fish transferred. A shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or mothership subject to R&R requirements must record and report all groundfish (see Table 2a to this part), prohibited species (see Table 2b to this part), and forage fish (see Table 2c to this part) transferred out of the facility or off the vessel.

(iii) Who is exempt from recordkeeping and reporting requirements? (A) Catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA. A catcher vessel less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA is not required to comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements contained in paragraphs (a) through (k) of this section.

(B) Catcher vessels that take groundfish in crab pot gear for use as crab bait on that vessel. (1) Owners or operators of catcher vessels who, during open crab season, take groundfish in crab pot gear for use as crab bait on board their vessels, and the bait is neither transferred nor sold, are exempt from Federal recordkeeping and reporting requirements contained in paragraphs (a) through (j) of this section. This exemption does not apply to fishermen who:

(i) Catch groundfish for bait during an open crab season and sell that groundfish or transfer it to another vessel, or

(ii) Participate in a directed fishery for groundfish using any gear type during periods that are outside an open crab season for use as crab bait on board their vessel.

(2) No groundfish species listed by NMFS as “prohibited” in a management or regulatory area may be taken in that area for use as bait.

(iv) Who needs to use the combined groundfish/IFQ logbook? (A) Any catcher vessel 60 ft (18.3 m) or greater LOA or catcher/processor, that participates in an IFQ sablefish fishery, IFQ halibut fishery, or CDQ halibut fishery and that retains any groundfish from the GOA or BSAI, must use a combined groundfish/IFQ logbook (catcher vessel or catcher/processor longline and pot gear logbook) to record all IFQ halibut and sablefish, CDQ halibut, and groundfish.

(B) Any catcher vessel 60 ft (18.3 m) or greater LOA or catcher/processor that is using longline or pot gear in the groundfish fisheries of the GOA or BSAI must use a combined groundfish/IFQ logbook (catcher vessel or catcher/processor longline and pot gear logbook) to record all groundfish.

(C) Any catcher vessel that is using pot gear in the CR crab fisheries must use a combined groundfish/IFQ logbook to record all CR crab.

(2) Responsibility—(i) The operator of a catcher vessel, catcher/processor, mothership, or buying station receiving from a catcher vessel and delivering to a mothership (hereafter referred to as the operator) and the manager of a shoreside processor or buying station receiving from a catcher vessel and delivering to a shoreside processor (hereafter referred to as the manager) are each responsible for complying with the applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements of this section.

(ii) The owner of a vessel, shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or buying station is responsible for compliance and must ensure that the operator, manager, or representative (see paragraph (b) of this section) complies with the requirements given in paragraph (a)(3)(i).

(iii) The owner or manager must sign the SPELR printed pages or the owner, operator, or manager must sign the DFL or DCPL as verification of acceptance of the responsibility required in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.

(3) Groundfish logbooks and forms. (i) The Regional Administrator will prescribe and provide groundfish logbooks and forms required under this section for a catcher vessel 60 ft (18.3 m) or greater LOA, a catcher/processor, a mothership, a shoreside processor, a stationary floating processor, and a buying station (see Table 9 to this part).

(ii) The operator or manager must use the current edition of the logbooks and forms or obtain approval from the Regional Administrator to use current electronic versions of the logbooks and forms. Upon notification by the Regional Administrator, logbooks or forms may be used from the previous year.

(4) Shoreside processor electronic logbook report (SPELR). The manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor receiving groundfish from AFA catcher vessels or receiving pollock harvested in a directed pollock fishery is required to use SPELR or NMFS-approved software described at paragraph (e) of this section to report every delivery from all catcher vessels and is required to maintain the SPELR and printed reports as described at paragraph (f) of this section. The owner or manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor that is not required to use SPELR under paragraph (e) of this section may use, upon approval by the Regional Administrator, SPELR or NMFS-approved software in lieu of the shoreside processor DCPL and shoreside processor WPR.

(5) Participant identification information. The operator or manager must record on all required records, reports, and logbooks, as appropriate:

(i) Name and signature. Name and signature of operator or manager.

(ii) Catcher vessel. If a catcher vessel, the name as displayed in official documentation, Federal fisheries permit number and ADF&G vessel registration number.

(iii) Shoreside processor or stationary floating processor. If a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, the processor name as displayed in official documentation, ADF&G processor code, and Federal processor permit number. If a shoreside processor, the geographic location of plant.

(iv) Mothership or catcher/processor. If a mothership or catcher/processor, the name as displayed in official documentation, ADF&G processor code and Federal fisheries permit number.

(v) Buying station. If a buying station, the name as displayed in official documentation; ADF&G vessel registration number (if a vessel) or vehicle registration number (if a vehicle); name, ADF&G processor code, and Federal fisheries permit number of the associated mothership, or name, geographic location of plant, ADF&G processor code, and Federal processor permit number of the associated shoreside processor or stationary floating processor to which groundfish deliveries were made.

(6) Maintenance of records. The operator or manager must:

(i) Maintain in English all records, reports, and logbooks in a legible, timely, and accurate manner; if handwritten, in indelible ink; if computer-generated, in a printed paper copy; and based on A.l.t.

(ii) Account for each day of the fishing year, January 1 through December 31, in the DFL or DCPL. Unless the appropriate box is checked to indicate an inactive period, records are assumed to be for an active period. Record the first day of the fishing year, January 1, on the first page of the DFL or DCPL. Record time periods consecutively in the logbook.

(A) If a vessel owner or operator is granted reinstatement of a Federal fisheries permit after having surrendered it within the same fishing year, recordkeeping and reporting requirements as defined in this section must be continuous throughout that year, without interruption of records.

(B) If a shoreside processor owner or manager is granted reinstatement of a Federal processor permit after having surrendered it within the same fishing year, recordkeeping and reporting requirements as defined in this section must be continuous throughout that year, without interruption of records.

(C) If inactive due to surrender of a Federal fisheries or processor permit, the operator or manager must mark the inactive box, write “surrender of permit,” and follow complete instructions for recording an inactive period.

(iii) Record in the appropriate report, form, and logbook, when applicable, the date of activity and type of participant as presented in the following table:

(A) Date of activity, as month-day-year.

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------               Date of                          If a\1\               Means the date when            In the----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Delivery                           (i) CV..................  Delivery of harvest was       DFL                                                                  completed.                                       (ii) SS, SFP, MS........  Delivery of harvest was       DCPL                                                                  completed.                                       (iii) BS................  Delivery of harvest was       BSR                                                                  completed.(2) Landing                            SS, SFP.................  Sorting and weighing of a     DCPL                                                                  delivery by species was                                                                  completed.(3) Production                         SS, SFP.................  Production was completed....  DCPL(4) Discard or disposition             (i) CV using longline or  Discard or disposition        DFL                                        pot gear.                 occurred.                                       (ii) SS, SFP, MS........  Discard or disposition        DCPL                                                                  occurred at the facility;                                                                  or Received blue DFL from a                                                                  catcher vessel (not the                                                                  actual date of discard or                                                                  disposition indicated on                                                                  the blue DFL); or Received                                                                  BSR from a buying station                                                                  (not the actual date of                                                                  discard or disposition                                                                  indicated on the BSR)..----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ CV = Catcher vessel; SS = Shoreside processor; SFP = stationary floating processor; MS = mothership; Catcher/  processor = C/P; BS = Buying station

(B) Week-ending date. The last day of the weekly reporting period: 2400 hours, A.l.t., Saturday night (except during the last week of each year, when it ends on December 31).

(C) Time, in military format, A.l.t.

(D) Page numbering. (1) Number the pages in each logbook and BSR consecutively, beginning with page 1 and continuing for the remainder of the fishing year.

(2) If a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, number the DCPL pages within Part I and Part II separately, beginning with page 1. If in an inactive period, the manager needs only to record in Part I.

(E) Logbook numbering—(1) Two logbooks of same gear type. If more than one logbook of the same gear type is used in a fishing year, the page numbers must follow the consecutive order of the previous logbook.

(2) Two logbooks of different gear types. If two logbooks of different gear types are used in a fishing year, the page numbers in each logbook must start with page 1.

(3) Two logbooks for pair trawl. If two catcher vessels are dragging a trawl between them (pair trawl), two logbooks must be maintained, a separate DFL by each vessel to record the amount of the catch retained and fish discarded by that vessel, each separately paginated.

(F) Original/revised report. Except for a DFL or DCPL, if a report is the first one submitted to the Regional Administrator for a given date, gear type, and reporting area, indicate ORIGINAL REPORT. If a report is a correction to a previously submitted report for a given date, gear type, and reporting area, indicate REVISED REPORT.

(G) Position coordinates, position in lat. and long.

(7) How do you record active/inactive periods and fishing activity? (i) The operator or manager daily must record in the appropriate logbook or SPELR the status of fishing activity as active or inactive according to the following table:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                       And fishing activity is  An active period is . .  An inactive period is .       If participant is . . .                  . . .                      .                       . .----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) CV \1\...........................  Harvest or discard of    When gear remains on     When no gear remains on                                        groundfish.              the grounds in a         the grounds in a                                                                 reporting area (except   reporting area.                                                                 300, 400, 550, or                                                                 690), regardless of                                                                 the vessel location.(B) SS, SFP..........................  Receipt, purchase or     When checked in or       When not checked in or                                        arrange to purchase,     processing.              processing.                                        or processing of                                        groundfish.(C) MS...............................  Receipt, discard, or     When checked in or       When not checked in or                                        processing of            processing.              not processing.                                        groundfish.(D) CP...............................  Harvest, discard, or     When checked in or       When not checked in or                                        processing of            processing.              not processing.                                        groundfish.(E) BS...............................  Receipt, discard, or     When conducting fishing  When not conducting                                        delivery of groundfish.  activity for an          fishing activity for                                                                 associated processor.    an associated                                                                                          processor.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ CV = Catcher vessel; SS = Shoreside processor; SFP = stationary floating processor; MS = mothership; Catcher/  processor = CP; BS = Buying station.

(ii) The operator or manager daily must record in the appropriate logbook or SPELR if no activity occurred according to the following table:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The operator or manager must            enter:                  In the ...             If ...------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) No receipt                  (1) DCPL.........  No deliveries                                                    received for a day                                (2) DCPL, WPR....  No deliveries                                                    received during a                                                    weekly reporting                                                    period(B) No landings                 (1) DCPL, DPR....  No landings occurred                                                    for a day                                (2) DCPL, WPR....  No landings occurred                                                    during a weekly                                                    reporting period(C) No production               (1) DCPL, DPR....  No production                                                    occurred for a day                                (2) DCPL, WPR....  No production                                                    occurred for a                                                    weekly reporting                                                    period(D) No discard or Disposition   (1) DCPL, DFL,     No discards or                                 BSR or DPR.        dispositions                                                    occurred for a day                                (2) DCPL, WPR....  No discards or                                                    dispositions                                                    occurred for a                                                    weekly reporting                                                    period------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iii) The operator or manager daily must record whether active or inactive in the appropriate logbook or SPELR according to the following table:

(A) Active. If active, complete a separate logsheet for each day (except a shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, catcher vessel longline or pot gear, or catcher/processor longline or pot gear).

(B) Inactive. If inactive, complete on one logsheet:

(1) Check “inactive.”

(2) Record the date of the first day when inactive under “Start date”

(3) Indicate brief explanation that you are inactive.

(4) Record the date of the last day when inactive under “End date.”

(C) Inactive two or more quarters. If the inactive time period extends across two or more successive quarters, the operator or manager must complete two logsheets: the first logsheet to indicate the first and last day of the first inactive quarter and the second logsheet to indicate the first and last day of the second inactive quarter.

(D) Participant information if inactive. On each logsheet used to record an inactive period, the operator or manager must record the participant information as described at paragraph (a)(8) of this section.

(iv) Weight of fish. When recording weight in a logbook or form, the operator or manager must follow the guidelines in the tables in paragraphs (a)(7)(iv)(C) and (D) and (a)(7)(iv)(F)through (I) of this section and must:

(A) Indicate whether records of weight are in pounds or metric tons.

(1) If using a DFL, DCPL, BSR, or shoreside processor check-in report or check-out report, record weight in pounds or in metric tons to the nearest 0.001 mt, but be consistent throughout the year.

(2) If using a WPR or DPR, record weight in metric tons to the nearest 0.001.

(B) Record the weight of groundfish landings, groundfish product, and groundfish or prohibited species Pacific herring discard or disposition weight by species codes as defined in Table 2 to this part and product codes and product designations as defined in Table 1 to this part. Except for product information provided by shoreside processors or stationary floating processors [which is the sum of product weight separately by BSAI or GOA management area], the operator or manager must summarize groundfish weights separately by reporting area, management program information, gear type, and if trawl gear used, whether harvest was caught in the CVOA or the COBLZ.

(C) Daily catch weight. The operator or manager must enter daily catch weight per the following table:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                Enter ...                            In a ...                            If a ...----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Estimated total round catch weight of  DCPL........................  SS, SFP groundfish, listed by CV or BS(2) Estimated total round catch weight of  Trawl DFL...................  CV groundfish by haul(3) Estimated total round catch weight of  Trawl DCPL..................  C/P groundfish by haul, excluding pollock and Pacific cod(4) Estimated total round catch weight of  DCPL........................  MS groundfish listed by CV or BS, excluding pollock and Pacific cod(5) Estimated total round catch weight of  Longline or pot DFL.........  CV groundfish by set, excluding CDQ/IFQ Pacific halibut and IFQ sablefish(6) Estimated total round catch weight of  Longline or pot DCPL........  C/P groundfish by set, excluding CDQ/IFQ Pacific halibut, IFQ sablefish, pollock and Pacific cod(7) If a CV reported discards on a blue    (i) DCPL....................  MS, SS, SFP DFL but did not deliver groundfish, enter ``0'' in this column.                                           (ii) BSR....................  BS----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(D) Daily landings weight. The operator or manager must enter daily landings weight per the following table:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                 Enter...                            In a ...                            If a ...----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Obtain actual weights for each         DCPL, DPR...................  SS, SFP groundfish species received and retained by: Sorting according to species codes and direct weighing of that species, or weighing the entire delivery and then sorting and weighing some or all of the groundfish species individually to determine their weight.(2) Record daily combined scale weights    DCPL, DPR...................  SS, SFP of landings by species and product codes.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(E) Daily product weight. The operator or manager of a SS, SFP, MS, or C/P must enter total daily fish product weight or actual scale weight of fish product by species and product codes in the DCPL and DPR.

(F) Daily discard or disposition weight and number. The operator or manager must enter daily discard or disposition weight and number per the following table:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                Enter ...                            In a ...                            If a ...----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) The daily estimated total weight of    DCPL, DFL, BSR, ADF&G     CV, BS, SS, SFP, MS, C/P discards or disposition for Pacific        fish ticket. herring and each groundfish species or species group(2) The daily estimated numbers of whole   DCPL, DFL, BSR, ADF&G     CV, BS, SS, SFP, MS, C/P fish discards or disposition of            fish ticket. prohibited species Pacific salmon, steelhead trout, Pacific halibut, king crabs, and Tanner crabs.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(G) Balance brought forward. The operator or manager must enter the balance brought forward per the following table:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                Enter ...                            In a ...                            If a ...----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) The total product balance brought      DCPL........................  MS, C/P forward from the previous day(2) The total estimated discards or        DFL, DCPL...................  CV, MS, C/P disposition balance brought forward from the previous day----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(H) Zero balance. The operator or manager must enter zero balance per the following table:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------        Record weights as zero ...                   In a ...                            If a ...----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) After the offload or transfer of all   DFL.........................  CV fish or fish product onboard and prior to the beginning of each fishing trip.(2) After the offload or transfer of all   DCPL........................  MS, C/P fish or fish product onboard, if such offload occurs prior to the end of a weekly reporting period. Nothing shall be carried forward.(3) At the beginning of each weekly        DCPL........................  MS, C/P reporting period. Nothing shall be carried forward from the previous weekly reporting period.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(I) Cumulative totals. The operator or manager must enter cumulative totals per the following table:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                Enter ...                            In a ...                            If a ...----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Weekly cumulative totals, calculated   DCPL, WPR...................  MS, C/P by adding the daily totals and balance carried forward(2) Weekly cumulative totals, calculated   DCPL, WPR...................  SS, SFP by adding the daily totals(3) Cumulative total discards or           DFL.........................  CV disposition since last delivery, calculated by adding the daily totals and balance carried forward from the day before.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(v) Numbers of fish. The operator or manager must record the estimated numbers of whole fish discards or disposition of prohibited species Pacific salmon, steelhead trout, Pacific halibut, king crabs, and Tanner crabs.

(vi) Species codes. To record species information for federally managed groundfish, the operator or manager must use Table 2 to this part to determine species codes.

(vii) Product codes and product designations. To record product information for federally managed groundfish, the operator or manager must use Table 1 to this part to determine product codes and product designations.

(viii) Target codes. To record target species information for federally managed groundfish, the operator or manager must use Table 2 to this part to determine species codes. Target species may be recorded as primary and secondary.

(ix) Gear type information. If a catcher vessel or catcher/processor using longline or pot gear, the operator must enter:

(A) The gear type used used to harvest the fish and appropriate “gear ID”.

(B) If gear information is the same on subsequent pages, check the appropriate box instead of re-entering the information.

(C) A description of the gear per the following table:

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------               If gear type is ...                                                            Then enter ...--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Pot                                           Number of pots set(2) Hook-and-line                                 (i) Check the appropriate box to indicate whether gear is fixed hook (conventional or tub), autoline,                                                   or snap (optional, but may be required by IPHC regulations).                                                  (ii) Length of skate to the nearest foot (optional, but may be required by IPHC regulations).                                                  (iii) Size of hooks, hook spacing in feet, and number of hooks per skate (optional, but may be                                                   required by IPHC regulations).                                                  (iv) Number of skates set                                                  (v) Number of skates lost (if applicable) (optional, but may be required by IPHC regulations).(3) Longline                                      Bird avoidance gear code (see Table 19 to this part)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(x) Separate logsheet, WPR, check-in/check-out report. The operator or manager must use a separate page (logsheet, WPR, check-in/check-out report) to record information as described in paragraphs (x)(A) through (E) of this section:

(A) For each day of an active period, except shoreside processor or stationary floating processors may use one logsheet for each day of an active period or use one logsheet for up to 7 days.

(B) If harvest from more than one reporting area.

(C) If harvest from COBLZ or RKCSA within a reporting area (see paragraph (a)(7)(xii)). Use two separate logsheets, the first to record the information from the reporting area that includes COBLZ or RKCSA, and the second to record the information from the reporting area that does not include COBLZ or RKCSA.

(D) If harvest with more than one gear type.

(E) If harvest under a separate management program. If harvest for more than one CDQ group, use a separate logsheet for each CDQ group number.

(xi) Reporting area. The operator or manager must record the reporting area code (see Figures 1 and 3 to this part) where gear retrieval (see §679.2) was completed, regardless of where the majority of the set took place. Record in the DFL, BSR, DCPL, SPELR, WPR, DPR, and mothership or catcher/processor check-in/check-out report.

(xii) Areas within a reporting area. If harvest was caught using trawl gear, the operator or manager must indicate whether fishing occurred in the COBLZ or RKCSA:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                           Area             Reference------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) COBLZ........................  BSAI C. opilio        Figure 13 to                                    Bairdi Bycatch        this part                                    Limitation Zone.(B) RKCSA........................  Red King Crab         Figure 11 to                                    Savings Area.         this part------------------------------------------------------------------------

(xiii) Observer information. Record the number of observers aboard or on site, the name of the observer(s), and the observer cruise number(s) in the DFL and DCPL. If a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, record also the dates present for each observer.

(xiv) Number of crew or crew size. Record the number of crew, excluding certified observer(s), on a mothership or catcher/processor WPR and in the BSR; on the last day of the weekly reporting period in a mothership or catcher/processor DCPL; and in the DFL on the last day of a trip for a catcher vessel.

(xv) Management program. Indicate whether harvest occurred under one of the listed management programs in a DFL, BSR, DCPL, SPELR, WPR, DPR, or check-in/check-out report. If harvest is not under one of these management programs, leave blank.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------    If harvest made under ...      Indicate yes and             program                 record the...         Reference------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) CDQ.........................  CDQ group number..  Subpart C to part                                                       679(B) Exempted Fishery              Exempted fishery    § 679.6                                   permit number.(C) Research....................  Research program    § 600.745(a)                                   permit number.      of this chapter(D) IFQ.........................  IFQ permit          Subpart D to part                                   number(s).          679(E) AFA.........................  AFA Cooperative     § 679.5(e)                                   account number                                   ONLY for landings                                   from the directed                                   pollock fishery                                   that are counting                                   against the coop                                   quota. (Other                                   species delivered                                   at the same time                                   can go on the                                   same report.).(F) AIP.........................  n/a...............  Subpart F to part                                                       679------------------------------------------------------------------------

(8) Landings information—(i) Requirement. The manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must record landings information for all retained species from groundfish deliveries.

(A) If recording in DCPL, or DPR, enter date of landing and daily weight and weekly cumulative weight by species code and product code.

(B) If recording in WPR, enter weekly cumulative weight by species code and product code.

(ii) Landings as product. If a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor receives groundfish, records them as landings in Part IB of the DCPL, and transfers these fish to another processor without further processing, the manager must also record the species code, product code, and weight of these fish in Part II of the DCPL prior to transfer.

(9) Product information—(i) Requirement. The operator of a catcher/processor or mothership or the manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must record groundfish product information for all retained species from groundfish deliveries.

(A) If recording in DCPL or DPR, enter date of production (shoreside processor or stationary floating processor only); daily weight, balance forward (except shoreside processor or stationary floating processor), and weekly cumulative weight by species code, product code, and product designation.

(B) If recording in WPR, enter weekly cumulative weight by species code, product code, and product designation.

(ii) Custom processing. The operator of a catcher/processor or mothership or the manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must record products that result from custom processing by you for another processor. If you receive unprocessed or processed groundfish to be handled or processed for another processor or business entity, enter these groundfish in a DCPL and a WPR consistently throughout a fishing year using one of the following two methods:

(A) Combined records. Record landings (if applicable), discards or dispositions, and products of contract-processed groundfish routinely in the DCPL, SPELR, WPR, and DPR without separate identification; or

(B) Separate records. Record landings (if applicable), discards or dispositions, and products of custom-processed groundfish in a separate DCPL, WPR, and DPR identified by the name, Federal processor permit number or Federal fisheries permit number, and ADF&G processor code of the associated business entity.

(10) Discard or disposition information—(i) Shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, mothership—(A) DCPL or DPR. (1) Except as described in paragraph (a)(10)(v) of this section, the manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, and the operator of a mothership must record in a DCPL and DPR, discard or disposition information that occurred on and was reported by a catcher vessel, that occurred on and was reported by a buying station, and that occurred prior to, during, and after production of groundfish.

(2) Discard or disposition information must include: Date of discard or disposition (only shoreside processor or stationary floating processor); daily weight of groundfish; daily weight of Pacific herring PSC; daily number of PSC animals; balance forward (except shoreside processor or stationary floating processor); and weekly cumulative weight of groundfish and herring PSC; weekly cumulative number of PSC animals; species codes and product codes.

(B) WPR. The manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, and the operator of a mothership must record in a WPR, discard or disposition information to include: week-ending date; weekly cumulative weight of groundfish and herring PSC; and weekly cumulative number of PSC animals by species code and product code.

(ii) Catcher/processor—(A) DCPL or DPR. (1) The operator of a catcher/processor must record in a DCPL and DPR, discard or disposition information that occurred prior to, during, and after production of groundfish.

(2) Discard or disposition information must include: Daily weight of groundfish; daily weight of herring PSC; daily number of PSC animals, balance forward, and weekly cumulative weight of groundfish and herring PSC; and weekly cumulative number of PSC animals by species code and product code.

(B) WPR. The operator of a catcher/processor must record in a WPR, discard or disposition information to include: Week-ending date; weekly cumulative weight of groundfish and herring PSC; and weekly cumulative number of PSC animals by species code and product code.

(iii) Buying station. The operator or manager of a buying station must record in a BSR discard or disposition information that occurred on and was reported by a catcher vessel and that occurred on and prior to delivery to an associated processor. Discard or disposition information must include: daily weight of groundfish, daily weight of herring PSC, and daily number of PSC animals by species code and product code.

(iv) Catcher vessel. Except as described in paragraph (a)(10)(v) of this section, the operator of a catcher vessel must record in a DFL discard or disposition information that occurred on and prior to delivery to a buying station, mothership, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor. Discard or disposition information must include daily weight of groundfish, daily weight of herring PSC, and daily number of PSC animals by species code and product code.

(v) Exemption: Catcher vessel unsorted codends. If a catcher vessel is using trawl gear and deliveries to a mothership, shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or buying station are of unsorted codends, the catcher vessel is exempt from recording discards in the DFL and from submittal of the blue DFL for that delivery.

(vi) Discard quantities over maximum retainable amount. When fishing in an IFQ fishery and the fishery for Pacific cod or rockfish is closed to directed fishing but not in PSC status in that reporting area as described in §679.20, the operator must retain and record up to and including the maximum retainable amount for Pacific cod or rockfish as defined in Table 10 or 11 to this part; quantities over this amount must be discarded and recorded as discard in the logbook.

(vii) Discard or disposition logbook recording time limits. The operator or manager must record discards and disposition information in the logbook within the time limits given in the following table:

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------         If participant type is a\1\ ...                                                  Record information ...--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) MS,SS,SFP...................................  By noon each day to record the previous day's discard/disposition that:                                                  (1) Occurs on site after receipt of groundfish from a CV or BS;                                                  (2) Occurs during processing of groundfish received from a CV or BS.                                                  (3) Was reported on a blue DFL received from a CV delivering groundfish;                                                  (4) Was reported on a BSR received from a BS delivering groundfish, if different from blue DFL(B) CV, C/P.....................................  By noon each day to record the previous day's discard/disposition.(C) BS..........................................  By noon each day to record the previous day's discard/disposition that:                                                  (1) Was reported on a blue DFL received from a CV delivering groundfish.                                                  (2) Occurs on BS after receipt of harvest from a CV.                                                  (3) Occurs prior to delivery of harvest to a MS, SS, or SFP.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------\1\ CV = Catcher vessel; SS = Shoreside processor; SFP = Stationary floating processor; MS = mothership; Catcher/processor = C/P; BS = Buying station

(11) Delivery information—(i) Mothership, shoreside processor or stationary floating processor. The operator of a mothership or manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must record delivery information in a DCPL or SPELR when unprocessed groundfish deliveries are received from a buying station or a catcher vessel. Discards and dispositions also must be recorded when no groundfish are delivered but the blue DFL is submitted by a catcher vessel containing records of groundfish discards or disposition (e.g., an IFQ fish delivery with groundfish incidental catch).

(ii) Buying station. (A) The operator or manager of a buying station must record delivery information in a BSR when unprocessed groundfish deliveries are received from a catcher vessel. Discards and dispositions also must be recorded when no groundfish are delivered but the blue DFL is submitted by a catcher vessel containing records of groundfish discards or disposition (e.g., an IFQ fish delivery with groundfish incidental catch).

(B) In addition, a catcher vessel operator by prior arrangement with a processor may function as a buying station for his own catch by: Shipping his groundfish catch with a copy of the BSR directly to that processor via truck or airline in the event that the processor is not located where the harvest is offloaded; or by driving a truck that contains his catch and a copy of the BSR to the processor. When the shipment arrives at the processor, the information from the BSR must be incorporated by the manager of the shoreside processor or stationary floating processor into the DCPL.

(iii) Required delivery information, Mothership, shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or buying station—(A) Date of delivery. Enter date of delivery.

(B) CV or BS. If a mothership, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor, the manager or operator must:

(1) Enter CV or BS to indicate delivery from catcher vessel or buying station, respectively.

(2) If delivery is from a buying station, keep the BSR for each delivery on file throughout the fishing year and for 3 years after the end of the fishing year.

(C) Receive discard report. Indicate whether the blue DFL was received from the catcher vessel at the time of catch delivery. If delivery from a buying station, leave this column blank. If the blue DFL is not received from the catcher vessel, enter NO and the response code (example: NO-L) to describe the reason for non-submittal as follows:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------  If blue DFL not submitted by catcher vessel, record number followed by ...    To indicate the catcher vessel------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) P..................................  Does not have a Federal                                          fisheries permit(2) P..................................  Is under 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA and                                          does not have a Federal                                          fisheries permit(3) L..................................  Is under 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA and                                          has a Federal fisheries permit(4) U..................................  Delivered an unsorted codend(5) O..................................  Other. Describe.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(D) Name and ADF&G vessel registration number (if applicable) of the catcher vessel or buying station delivering the groundfish;

(E) Time (A.l.t.) when receipt of groundfish delivery was completed;

(F) Mothership begin position. If a mothership, the mothership's begin position coordinates when receiving the groundfish delivery;

(G) ADF&G fish ticket numbers. (1) If a mothership, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor and receiving unprocessed groundfish from a catcher vessel, record in the DCPL and WPR the ADF&G fish ticket number issued to each catcher vessel; if receiving unprocessed groundfish from an associated buying station, record in the DCPL and WPR the ADF&Gfish ticket numbers issued by the buying station to the catcher vessel.

(2) If a buying station and receiving unprocessed groundfish from a catcher vessel, record in the BSR the ADF&G fish ticket numbers issued to each catcher vessel.

(H) Fish ticket numbers, state other than Alaska. If a shoreside processor located in a state other than Alaska and receiving unprocessed groundfish from a catcher vessel, record in the DCPL and WPR the fish ticket numbers issued for that non-Alaska state along with the two-character abbreviation for that state.

(I) Catch receipt numbers, state other than Alaska. If a shoreside processor located in a state other than Alaska where no fish ticket system is available and receiving unprocessed groundfish from a catcher vessel, record in the DCPL the catch receipt number issued to the catcher vessel.

(iv) Catcher vessel using trawl gear. If a catcher vessel using trawl gear, indicate whether sorting of codend onboard or bleeding from a codend occurred prior to delivery to a mothership, shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or buying station. If delivery is an unsorted codend, see paragraph (a)(10)(v) of this section. Delivery information required: The delivery date; the ADF&G fish ticket number(s) received for delivery; and recipient's name and ADF&G processor code.

(v) Catcher vessel using longline or pot gear. If IFQ delivery, information required: the delivery date; the ADF&G fish ticket number(s) received at delivery; name of IFQ Registered Buyer receiving harvest; name of unloading port (see paragraph (l)(5)(vii) of this section and Table 14 to this part) or landing location. If non-IFQ delivery, information required: the delivery date; the ADF&G fish ticket number(s) received at delivery; name of recipient receiving harvest; name of unloading port (see Table 14 to this part) or landing location.

(12) Alteration of records. (i) The operator, manager, or any other person may not alter or change any entry or record in a logbook, except that an inaccurate or incorrect entry or record may be corrected by lining out the original and inserting the correction, provided that the original entry or record remains legible. All corrections must be made in ink.

(ii) No person except an authorized officer may remove any original page of any logbook.

(13) Inspection and retention of records—(i) Inspection. The operator of a catcher vessel, catcher/processor or mothership, the manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, or the operator or manager of a buying station must make all logbooks, reports, forms, and mothership-issued fish tickets required under this section available for inspection upon the request of an authorized officer for the time periods indicated in paragraph (a)(13)(ii) of this section.

(ii) Retention of records. The operator or manager must retain logbooks and forms as follows:

(A) On site. On site at the shoreside facility or onboard the vessel until the end of the fishing year during which the records were made and for as long thereafter as fish or fish products recorded in the logbooks and forms are retained.

(B) For 3 years. Make them available upon request of an authorized officer for 3 years after the end of the fishing year during which the records were made.

(14) Submittal and distribution of logbooks and forms—(i) Submittal of forms. The operator or manager must submit to NMFS the check-in report, check-out report, VAR, WPR, DPR, and PTR (see Table 9 to this part), as applicable, by:

(A) Faxing the NMFS printed form to the FAX number on the form; or

(B) Telexing a data file to the telex number on the form.

(C) Transmitting a data file with required information and forms to NMFS by e-mail, modem, or satellite (specifically INMARSAT standards A, B, or C).

(D) With the approval of the Regional Administrator, using the voluntary electronic reporting format for the check-in report, check-out report, WPR, and SPELR.

(ii) Logbook copy sets. (A) The copy sets of each logbook are described in the following table:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------             Type of logbook                         Copy sets------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Catcher vessel longline and pot gear  White, blue, green, yellow, DFL                                       goldenrod(2) Catcher vessel trawl gear DFL         White, blue, yellow, goldenrod(3) Catcher/processor longline and pot    White, green, yellow, gear DCPL                                 goldenrod(4) Catcher/processor trawl gear DCPL     White, yellow, goldenrod(5) Mothership DCPL                       White, yellow, goldenrod(6) Shoreside processor DCPL              White, yellow, goldenrod------------------------------------------------------------------------

(B) [Reserved]

(iii) Logsheet distribution. The logsheet distribution is described in the following table:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                        Then, the operator or manager        If logsheet is ...                         must...------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) White                           Retain, permanently bound in the                                     logbook.(B) Yellow                          Submit quarterly to:                                    NOAA Office of Enforcement,                                    Alaska Region                                    Logbook Program,                                    P.O. Box 21767                                    Juneau, AK 99802-1767                                    on the following schedule:                                    1st quarter by May 1 of that fishing                                     year                                    2nd quarter by August 1 of that                                     fishing year                                    3rd quarter by November 1 of that                                     fishing year                                    4th quarter by February 1 of the                                     following fishing year(C) Blue                            (1) Catcher vessel. Except when                                     delivering an unsorted codend (see                                     paragraph (a)(10)(vi) of this                                     section), submit to the buying                                     station, mothership, shoreside                                     processor or stationary floating                                     processor that receives the                                     harvest.                                    (2) Buying station. Submit upon                                     delivery of catch to an associated                                     mothership, shoreside processor, or                                     stationary floating processor any                                     blue DFL received from catcher                                     vessels delivering groundfish to                                     the buying station.(D) Green                           Longline and pot gear DFL and DCPL.                                     To support a separate IFQ data                                     collection by the IPHC under the                                     joint NMFS/IPHC logbook program;                                     check with the IPHC for submittal                                     and retention requirements.(E) Goldenrod                       Submit to the observer onboard or                                     onsite after the logsheet is signed                                     by the operator or manager.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iv) Logbook time limits. The following table displays the responsibilities of the operator or manager to submit the identified logsheet within a specified time limit:

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(15) Transfer comparison. The operator, manager, Registered Buyer, or Registered Crab Receiver must refer to Table 13 to this part for paperwork submittal, issuance, and possession requirements for each type of transfer activity of non-IFQ groundfish, IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, CDQ halibut, and crab rationalization (CR) crab.

(b) Representative. (1) The operator of a catcher vessel, mothership, catcher/processor, or buying station delivering to a mothership or manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor or buying station delivering to a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor may identify one contact person to complete the logbook and forms and to respond to inquiries from NMFS. Designation of a representative under this paragraph does not relieve the owner, operator, or manager of responsibility for compliance under paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(2) Except for a DFL, BSR, PTR, or DCPL, the operator or manager must provide the following representative identification information: The representative's name; daytime business telephone number (including area code); and FAX or telex number. In addition, if completing a DPR, a VAR, or a mothership or catcher/processor check-in/check-out report, the representative's COMSAT number.

(c) Catcher vessel DFL and catcher/processor DCPL—(1) Longline and pot gear catcher vessel DFL and catcher/processor DCPL. (i) In addition to information required at paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section:

(A) Groundfish fisheries. (1) The operator of a catcher vessel using longline or pot gear to harvest groundfish and that retains any groundfish from the GOA, or BSAI, must maintain a longline and pot gear DFL.

(2) The operator of a catcher/processor using longline or pot gear to harvest groundfish and that retains any groundfish from the GOA, or BSAI, must maintain a longline and pot gear DCPL.

(B) IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, and IFQ sablefish fisheries. (1) The operator of a catcher vessel using longline or pot gear to harvest IFQ sablefish, IFQ halibut, or CDQ halibut from the GOA, or BSAI, must maintain a longline and pot gear DFL.

(2) The operator of a catcher/processor using longline or pot gear to harvest IFQ sablefish, IFQ halibut, or CDQ halibut from the GOA, or BSAI, must maintain a longline and pot gear DCPL.

(C) CR fisheries. (1) The operator of a catcher vessel using pot gear to harvest CR crab from the BSAI, must maintain a longline and pot gear DFL.

(2) The operator of a catcher/processor using pot gear to harvest CR crab from the BSAI, must maintain a longline and pot gear DCPL.

(ii) Required information. The operator of a catcher vessel or catcher/processor identified in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section must record in the DFL or DCPL, the following information:

(A) Federal reporting area. Federal reporting area code (see Figures 1 and 3 to this part) where gear retrieval (see §679.2) was completed, regardless of where the majority of the set took place. Use a separate logsheet for each reporting area.

(B) Crew size. If a catcher vessel, the number of crew, excluding observer(s), on the last day of a trip. If a catcher/processor, the number of crew, excluding observer(s), on the last day of the weekly reporting period.

(C) Gear type. Use a separate logsheet for each gear type.

(1) Circle gear type used to harvest the fish. If gear is other than those listed, circle “Other” and describe. If using hook-and-line gear, enter the alphabetical letter that coincides with gear description.

(2) If gear information is the same on subsequent pages, mark the box instead of re-entering the gear type information.

(3) Pot gear. If you checked pot gear, enter the number of pots set and the number of pots lost (if applicable).

(4) Hook-and-line gear. If you checked hook-and-line gear:

(i) Indicate whether gear is fixed hook (conventional or tub), autoline, or snap (optional, but may be required by IPHC regulations).

(ii) Skates. Indicate length of skate to the nearest foot (optional, but may be required by IPHC regulations), number of skates set, and number of skates lost (optional, but may be required by IPHC regulations).

(iii) Hooks. Indicate size of hooks, hook spacing in feet, number of hooks per skate (optional, but may be required by IPHC regulations).

(iv) Seabird avoidance gear code. Record seabird avoidance gear code(s) (see §679.24(e) and Table 19 to this part).

(D) Permit numbers. Enter the permit number(s) for the applicable fishery in which you participated.

(1) IFQ permit number of the operator and of each IFQ permit holder aboard the vessel.

(2) CDQ group number (if applicable).

(3) Halibut CDQ permit number (if applicable).

(4) Federal crab vessel permit number (if applicable).

(E) Observer information. Record the number of observers aboard, the name of the observer(s), and the observer cruise number(s).

(F) Management program. Use a separate logsheet for each management program. Indicate whether harvest occurred under one of the following management programs. If harvest is not under one of these management programs, leave blank:

(1) Exempted Fishery. Record exempted fishery permit number (see §679.6).

(2) Research Fishery. Record research program permit number (see §600.745(a) of this chapter).

(3) Aleutian Islands Pollock (AIP) (see paragraph (a)(7)(xv)(F) of this section).

(G) Catch by set. (See §679.2 for definition of “set”). The operator must record the following information for each set, if applicable:

(1) If no catch occurred for a day, write “no catch;'

(2) Set number, sequentially by year;

(3) Gear deployment date (month-day), time (in military format, A.l.t.), and begin position coordinates (in lat and long to the nearest minute);

(4) Gear retrieval date (month-day), time (in military format, A.l.t.), and end position coordinates (in lat and long to the nearest minute);

(5) Begin and end buoy or bag numbers (optional, but may be required by IPHC regulations);

(6) Begin and end gear depths, recorded to the nearest fathom (optional, but may be required by IPHC regulations);

(7) Target species code. Enter the species code of the species you intend to catch;

(8) Estimated haul weight. Enter the total estimated haul weight of all retained species. Indicate whether to the nearest pound or to the nearest 0.001 mt (2.20 lb);

(9) IR/IU Species (see §679.27). If a catcher/processor, enter species code of IR/IU species and estimated total round weight for each IR/IU species; indicate whether to the nearest pound or the nearest 0.001 mt (2.20 lb);

(10) Estimated total round weight of IFQ halibut and CDQ halibut to the nearest pound;

(11) Number and estimated total round weight of IFQ sablefish to the nearest pound;

(12) Circle to indicate whether IFQ sablefish product is Western cut (WC), Eastern cut (EC), or round weight (RD); and

(13) Number and scale weight of raw CR crab to the nearest pound.

(H) Data entry time limits. (1) The operator must record in the DFL or DCPL within 2 hours after completion of gear retrieval: Set number; time and date gear set; time and date gear hauled; begin and end position; CDQ group number, halibut CDQ permit number, halibut IFQ permit number, sablefish IFQ permit number, crab IFQ permit number, and/or Federal crab vessel permit number (if applicable), number of pots set, and estimated total haul for each set.

(2) If a catcher vessel, the operator must record all other required information in the DFL within 2 hours after the vessel's catch is off-loaded, notwithstanding other time limits.

(3) If a catcher/processor, the operator must record all other required information in the DCPL by noon of the day following completion of production.

(4) If a catcher/processor, the operator must record product information in the DCPL by noon each day to record the previous day's production information.

(2) Trawl gear DFL and DCPL. In addition to information required at paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, the operator of a catcher vessel or a catcher/processor using trawl gear to harvest groundfish must record in the DFL or DCPL:

(i) Whether nonpelagic trawl or pelagic trawl;

(ii) Haul number, sequentially by year;

(iii) Time and begin position coordinates of gear deployment;

(iv) Date, time, and end position coordinates of gear retrieval;

(v) Average sea depth and average gear depth, recorded to the nearest meter or fathom and whether depth recorded in meters or fathoms;

(vi) Target species code;

(vii) If a catcher/processor, enter separately the round catch weight of pollock, Pacific cod, and the estimated total round catch weight of all retained species, except Pacific cod and pollock, and indicate whether weight is recorded to the nearest pound or metric ton;

(viii) If a catcher vessel, enter the estimated total round catch weight of all retained species.

(d) Buying station report (BSR)—(1) In addition to information required at paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, the operator or manager of a buying station must:

(i) Enter on each BSR the name, ADF&G processor code, and Federal fisheries or processor permit number of its associated processor, date delivery completed, and time delivery completed;

(ii) Record each delivery of unprocessed groundfish or donated prohibited species to an associated processor on a separate BSR.

(iii) Ensure that a BSR, along with any blue DFLs received from a catcher vessel, accompanies each groundfish delivery from the landing site to the associated processor.

(iv) Retain a copy of each BSR.

(v) In addition to recording the total estimated delivery weight or actual scale weight of a catcher vessel delivery, the operator or manager of a buying station may enter specific species codes and weights (in lb or mt) to the BSR.

(2) The operator or manager must record all information required and sign the BSR within 2 hours of completion of delivery from catcher vessel.

(e) Shoreside processor electronic logbook report (SPELR). (1) The owner or manager must use SPELR or NMFS-approved software for the duration of the fishing year to report every delivery, including but not limited to groundfish from AFA catcher vessels and pollock from a directed pollock fishery participant, from all catcher vessels and maintain the SPELR and printed reports as described at paragraph (f) of this section, if a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor:

(i) Receives groundfish from AFA catcher vessels; or

(ii) Receives pollock harvested in a directed pollock fishery.

(2) The owner or manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor that is not required to use SPELR under paragraph (e)(1) of this section may use, upon approval by the Regional Administrator, SPELR or NMFS-approved software in lieu of the shoreside processor DCPL and shoreside processor WPR. Processors using the SPELR must maintain the SPELR and printed reports as described in this paragraph (e) and at paragraph (f) of this section.

(3) Exemptions. The owner or manager who uses the SPELR per paragraphs (e)(1) and (2) of this section is exempt from the following requirements:

(i) Maintain shoreside processor DCPL.

(ii) Submit quarterly DCPL logsheets to NOAA Fisheries, Office for Law Enforcement (OLE), Juneau, as described at paragraph (a)(14)(iii) of this section.

(iii) Maintain and submit WPRs to the Regional Administrator as described at paragraph (i) of this section.

(iv) If receiving deliveries of fish under a CDQ program, submit CDQ delivery reports to the Regional Administrator as described at paragraph (n)(1) of this section.

(4) Time limit and submittal. (i) The SPELR must be submitted daily to NMFS as an electronic file. A dated return-receipt will be generated and sent by NMFS to the processor confirming receipt and acceptance of the report. The owner or manager must retain the return receipt as proof of report submittal. If an owner or manager does not receive a return receipt from NMFS, the owner or manager must contact NMFS within 24 hours for further instruction on submittal of SPELRs.

(ii) Daily information described at paragraph (e)(6) of this section must be entered into the SPELR each day on the day they occur.

(iii) Except as indicated in paragraph (e)(4)(iv) of this section, information for each delivery described at paragraph (e)(7) of this section must be submitted to the Regional Administrator by noon of the following day for each delivery of groundfish.

(iv) If a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor using the SPELR or equivalent software is not taking deliveries over a weekend from one of the AFA-permitted catcher vessels listed on NMFS Alaska Region web page at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/ram the SPELR daily report may be transmitted on Monday.

(5) Information entered once (at software installation) or whenever it changes. The owner or manager must enter the following information into the SPELR when software is installed or whenever any of the information changes:

(i) Shoreside processor or stationary floating processor name, ADF&G processor code, Federal processor permit number, and processor e-mail address;

(ii) State port code as described in Table 14 to this part;

(iii) Name, telephone and FAX numbers of representative.

(6) Information entered daily. The owner or manager must daily enter the following information into the SPELR:

(i) Whether no deliveries or no production;

(ii) Number of observers on site;

(iii) Whether harvested in BSAI or GOA;

(iv) Product by species code, product code, and product designation;

(v) Product weight (in lb or mt).

(7) Information entered for each delivery. The owner or manager must enter for each delivery the following information into the SPELR:

(i) Date fishing began; delivery date; vessel name and ADF&G vessel registration number; ADF&G fish ticket number of delivery; management program name and identifying number (if any); gear type of harvester; landed species of each delivery by species code, product code, and weight (in pounds or mt); ADF&G statistical area(s) where fishing occurred and estimated percentage of total delivered weight corresponding to each area; and whether delivery is from a buying station.

(ii) If delivery received from a buying station, indicate name and type of buying station (vessel, vehicle, or other); date harvest received by buying station; if a vessel, ADF&G vessel registration number; if a vehicle, license plate number; if other than a vessel or vehicle, description.

(iii) Whether a blue DFL was received from catcher vessel; if not received, reason given; discard or disposition species; if groundfish or PSC herring, enter species code, product code, and weight (in pounds or mt); if PSC halibut, salmon, or crab, enter species code, product code, and count (in numbers of animals).

(iv) If a CDQ delivery, enter species code, product code, weight (in pounds or mt) and count of PSQ halibut.

(f) SPELR printed reports—(1) Requirement—(i) Daily printouts. The manager daily must print onsite at the shoreside processor or stationary floating processor two reports: a shoreside logbook daily production report and a delivery worksheet using pre-determined formats generated by the SPELR or NMFS-approved software.

(ii) Signature. The owner or manager of the shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must sign and enter date of signature onto each SPELR printed report. The signature of the owner or manager on SPELR printed reports is verification of acceptance of the responsibility required in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section.

(iii) Delivery worksheet. The Delivery Worksheet results from a SPELR or NMFS-approved pre-determined format of the data; it summarizes daily landings and discards.

(iv) Shoreside logbook daily production report. The Shoreside Logbook Daily Production Report results from a SPELR or NMFS-approved pre-determined format of the data; it summarizes daily production.

(2) Retention. The manager must retain the paper copies of the reports described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section as follows:

(i) Onsite. Onsite at the shoreside processor or stationary floating processor until the end of the fishing year during which the reports were made and for as long thereafter as fish or fish products recorded in the reports are retained.

(ii) For 3 years. For 3 years after the end of the fishing year during which the reports were made.

(3) Inspection. The owner or manager must make available the reports described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section upon request of observers, NMFS personnel, and authorized officers.

(g) Product transfer report (PTR)—(1) General requirements. Except as provided in paragraph (g)(1)(i) through (vi) of this section:

(i) Groundfish. The operator of a mothership or catcher/processor or the manager of a shoreside processor or SFP must complete and submit a separate PTR for each shipment of groundfish and donated prohibited species caught in groundfish fisheries. A PTR is not required to accompany a shipment.

(ii) IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, and CDQ halibut. A Registered Buyer must submit a separate PTR for each shipment of halibut or sablefish for which the Registered Buyer submitted an IFQ landing report or was required to submit an IFQ landing report. A PTR is not required to accompany a shipment.

(iii) CR crab. A Registered Crab Receiver (RCR) must submit a separate PTR for each shipment of crab for which the RCR submitted a CR crab landing report or was required to submit a CR crab landing report. A PTR is not required to accompany a shipment.

(2) Exceptions—(i) Bait sales (non-IFQ groundfish only). During one calendar day, the operator or manager may aggregate and record on one PTR the individual sales or shipments of non-IFQ groundfish to vessels for bait purposes during the day recording the amount of such bait product shipped from a vessel or facility that day.

(ii) Retail sales—(A) IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, CDQ halibut, and non-IFQ groundfish. During one calendar day, the operator, manager, or Registered Buyer may aggregate and record on one PTR the amount of transferred retail product of IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, CDQ halibut, and non-IFQ groundfish if each sale weighs less than 10 lb or 4.5 kg.

(B) CR crab. During one calendar day, the RCR may aggregate and record on one PTR the amount of transferred retail product of CR crab if each sale weighs less than 100 lb or 45 kg.

(iii) Wholesale sales (non-IFQ groundfish only). The operator or manager may aggregate and record on one PTR, wholesale sales of non-IFQ groundfish by species when recording the amount of such wholesale species leaving a vessel or facility in one calendar day, if invoices detailing destinations for all of the product are available for inspection by an authorized officer.

(iv) Dockside sales. (A) A person holding a valid IFQ permit, IFQ card, and Registered Buyer permit may conduct a dockside sale of IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish with a person who has not been issued a Registered Buyer permit after all IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish have been landed and reported in accordance with paragraph (l) of this section.

(B) A person holding a valid halibut CDQ permit, halibut CDQ card, and Registered Buyer permit may conduct a dockside sale of CDQ halibut with a person who has not been issued a Registered Buyer permit after all CDQ halibut have been landed and reported in accordance with paragraph (l) of this section.

(C) A Registered Buyer conducting dockside sales must issue a receipt to each individual receiving IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ sablefish in lieu of a PTR. This receipt must include:

(1) Date of sale;

(2) Registered Buyer permit number;

(3) Weight by product of the IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut or IFQ sablefish transferred.

(D) A Registered Buyer must maintain a copy of each dockside sales receipt as described in paragraph (l) of this section.

(v) Transfer directly from the landing site to a processing facility (CDQ halibut, IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or CR crab only). A PTR is not required for transportation of unprocessed IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, CDQ halibut, or CR crab directly from the landing site to a facility for processing, provided the following conditions are met:

(A) A copy of the IFQ landing report receipt (Internet receipt) documenting the IFQ landing accompanies the offloaded IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or CDQ halibut while in transit.

(B) A copy of the CR crab landing report receipt (Internet receipt) documenting the IFQ landing accompanies the offloaded CR crab while in transit.

(C) A copy of the IFQ landing report or CR crab landing report receipt is available for inspection by an authorized officer.

(D) The Registered Buyer submitting the IFQ landing report or RCR submitting the CR crab landing report completes a PTR for each shipment from the processing facility pursuant to paragraph (g)(1) of this section.

(3) Time limits and submittal. The operator of a mothership or catcher/processor, the manager of a shoreside processor or SFP, the Registered Buyer, or RCR must:

(i) Record all product transfer information on a PTR within 2 hours of the completion of the shipment.

(ii) Submit a PTR by facsimile or electronic file to OLE, Juneau, AK (907–586–7313), by 1200 hours, A.l.t., on the Tuesday following the end of the applicable weekly reporting period in which the shipment occurred.

(iii) If any information on the original PTR changes prior to the first destination of the shipment, submit a revised PTR by facsimile or electronic file to OLE, Juneau, AK (907–586–7313), by 1200 hours, A.l.t., on the Tuesday following the end of the applicable weekly reporting period in which the change occurred.

(4) Required information. The operator of a mothership or catcher/processor, the manager of a shoreside processor or SFP, the Registered Buyer, or RCR must include the following information on a PTR:

(i) Original or revised PTR. Whether a submittal is an original or revised PTR.

(ii) Shipper information. Name, telephone number, and facsimile number of the representative. According to the following table:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                             Enter under ``Shipper'' . .         If you are shipping . . .                        .------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) Non-IFQ groundfish....................  Your processor's name,                                             Federal fisheries or                                             Federal processor permit                                             number.(B) IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut or IFQ         Your Registered Buyer name sablefish.                                  and permit number.(C) CR crab...............................  Your RCR name and permit                                             number.(D) Non-IFQ groundfish, IFQ halibut, CDQ    (1) Your processor's name halibut or IFQ sablefish, and CR crab on    and Federal fisheries the same PTR.                               permit number or Federal                                             processor permit number,                                             (2) Your Registered Buyer's                                             name and permit number, and                                             (3) Your RCR name and                                             permit number.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iii) Transfer information. Using descriptions from the following table, enter receiver information, date and time of product transfer, location of product transfer (e.g., port, position coordinates, or city), mode of transportation, and intended route:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                                 Then enter . . .                                 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you are the  shipper and . .                                                                    Mode of                .                      Receiver       Date & time of      Location of     transportation and                                                       product transfer    product transfer     intended route----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) Receiver is on land and       Receiver name and   Date and time when  Port or city of     Name of the transfer involves one van,        Federal             shipment leaves     product transfer.   shipping company; truck, or vehicle.                fisheries,          the plant.                              destination city                                   Federal                                                     and state or                                   processor, or                                               foreign country.                                   Federal crab                                   vessel permit                                   number (if any).(B) Receiver is on land and       Receiver name and   Date and time when  Port or city of     Name of the transfer involves multiple        Federal             loading of vans     product transfer.   shipping company; vans, trucks or vehicles.         fisheries,          or trucks, is                           destination city                                   Federal             completed each                          and state or                                   processor, or       day.                                    foreign country.                                   Federal crab                                   vessel permit                                   number (if any).(C) Receiver is on land and       Receiver name and   Date and time when  Port or city of     Name of the transfer involves one airline     Federal             shipment leaves     product transfer.   airline company; flight.                           fisheries,          the plant.                              destination                                   Federal                                                     airport city and                                   processor, or                                               state.                                   Federal crab                                   vessel permit                                   number (if any).(D) Receiver is on land and       Receiver name and   Date and time of    Port or city of     Name of the transfer involves multiple        Federal             shipment when the   product transfer.   airline airline flights.                  fisheries,          last airline                            company(s);                                   Federal             flight of the day                       destination                                   processor, or       leaves.                                 airport(s) city                                   Federal crab                                                and state.                                   vessel permit                                   number (if any).(E) Receiver is a vessel and      Vessel name and     Start and finish    Transfer position   The first transfer occurs at sea.           call sign.          dates and times     coordinates in      destination of                                                       of transfer.        latitude and        the vessel.                                                                           longitude, in                                                                           degrees and                                                                           minutes.(F) Receiver is a vessel and      Vessel name and     Start and finish    Port or position    The first transfer takes place in port.     call sign.          dates and times     of product          destination of                                                       of transfer.        transfer.           the vessel.(G) Receiver is an agent (buyer,  Agent name and      Transfer start and  Port, city, or      Name (if distributor, shipping agent)      location (city,     finish dates and    position of         available) of the and transfer is in a              state).             times.              product transfer.   vessel containerized van(s).                                                                         transporting the                                                                                               van; destination                                                                                               port.(H) You are aggregating           ``RETAIL SALES''..  Date of transfer..  Port or city of     N/A. individual retail sales for                                               product transfer. human consumption. (see paragraph (g)(2) of this section).(I) You are aggregating           ``BAIT SALES''....  Date of transfer..  Port or city of     N/A. individual bait sales during a                                            product transfer. day onto one PTR (non-IFQ groundfish only).(J) Non-IFQ Groundfish only. You  ``WHOLESALE         Time of the first   Port or city of     N/A. are aggregating wholesale non-    SALES''.            sale of the day;    product transfer. IFQ groundfish product sales by                       time of the last species during a single day                           sale of the day. onto one PTR and maintaining invoices detailing destinations for all of the product for inspection by an authorized officer.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iv) Products shipped. The operator, manager, Registered Buyer, or RCR must record the following information for each product shipped:

(A) Species code and product code. (1) For non-IFQ groundfish, IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, and CDQ halibut, the species code and product code (Tables 1 and 2 to this part).

(2) For CR crab, the species code and product code (Tables 1 and 2 to 50 CFR part 680).

(B) Species weight. Use only if recording 2 or more species with 2 or more product types contained within the same production unit. Enter the actual scale weight of each product of each species to the nearest kilogram or pound (indicate which). If not applicable, enter “n/a” in the species weight column. If using more than one line to record species in one carton, use a brace “}” to tie the carton information together.

(C) Number of units. Total number of production units (blocks, trays, pans, individual fish, boxes, or cartons; if iced, enter number of totes or containers).

(D) Unit weight. Unit weight (average weight of single production unit as listed in “No. of Units” less packing materials) for each species and product code in kilograms or pounds (indicate which).

(E) Total weight. Total weight for each species and product code of shipment less packing materials in kilograms or pounds (indicate which).

(F) Total or partial offload. (1) If a mothership or catcher/processor, the operator must indicate whether fish or fish products are left onboard the vessel (partial offload) after the shipment is complete.

(2) If a partial offload, for the products remaining on board after the transfer, the operator must enter: Species code, product code, and total product weight to the nearest kilogram or pound (indicate which) for each product.

(h) Check-in/check-out report—(1) Time limits and submittal. The operator of a catcher/processor or mothership or the manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must submit a check-in report prior to becoming active (see paragraph 679.5(a)(7)(i) of this section) and a check-out report for every check-in report submitted. Check-in and check-out reports must be submitted within the appropriate time limits to the Regional Administrator by FAX or Telex; or transmit a data file by e-mail, modem, or satellite (specifically INMARSAT standards A, B, or C); or transmit by voluntary electronic check-in and check-out reports.

(i) Check-in report (BEGIN message). Except as indicated in paragraph (h)(1)(iii) of this section, the operator or manager must submit a check-in report according to the following table:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Submit a separate BEGIN message                       Within this time             for ...               If you are a ...          limit------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) Each reporting area of        (1) C/P using       Before gear groundfish harvest, except 300,   trawl gear.         deployment 400, 550, or 690                                  (2) C/P using       Before gear                                   longline or pot     deployment. May                                   gear.               be checked in to                                                       more than one                                                       area                                                       simultaneously.                                  (3) MS, SS, SFP...  Before receiving                                                       groundfish. May                                                       be checked in to                                                       more than one                                                       area                                                       simultaneously.                                  (4) MS............  Must check-in to                                                       reporting area(s)                                                       where groundfish                                                       were harvested.(B) COBLZ or RKCSA                (1) C/P using       Prior to fishing.                                   trawl gear.         Submit one check-                                                       in for the COBLZ                                                       or RKCSA and                                                       another check-in                                                       for the area                                                       outside the COBLZ                                                       or RKCSA.                                  (2) MS, SS, SFP...  Before receiving                                                       groundfish                                                       harvested with                                                       trawl gear,                                                       submit one check-                                                       in for the COBLZ                                                       or RKCSA and                                                       another check-in                                                       for the area                                                       outside the COBLZ                                                       or RKCSA.(C) Gear Type                     (1) C/P...........  If in the same                                                       reporting area                                                       but using more                                                       than one gear                                                       type, prior to                                                       fishing submit a                                                       separate check-in                                                       for each gear                                                       type.                                  (2) MS, SS, SFP...  If harvested in                                                       the same                                                       reporting area                                                       but using more                                                       than one gear                                                       type, prior to                                                       receiving                                                       groundfish submit                                                       a separate check-                                                       in for each gear                                                       type.(D) CDQ                           (1) C/P...........  If in the same                                                       reporting area                                                       but using more                                                       than one gear                                                       type, prior to                                                       fishing submit a                                                       separate check-in                                                       for each gear                                                       type.                                  (2) MS, SS, SFP...  Prior to receiving                                                       groundfish CDQ.                                                       If receiving                                                       groundfish under                                                       more than one CDQ                                                       number, use a                                                       separate check-in                                                       for each number.(E) Exempted or Research Fishery  (1) C/P...........  If in an exempted                                                       or research                                                       fishery, prior to                                                       fishing submit a                                                       separate check-in                                                       for each type.                                  (2) MS, SS, SFP...  If receiving                                                       groundfish from                                                       an exempted or                                                       research fishery,                                                       prior to                                                       receiving submit                                                       a separate check-                                                       in for each type.(F) Processor Type                C/P, MS...........  If a catcher/                                                       processor and                                                       functioning                                                       simultaneously as                                                       a mothership in                                                       the same                                                       reporting area,                                                       before                                                       functioning as                                                       either processor                                                       type.(G) Change of fishing year        C/P, MS, SS, SFP..  If continually                                                       active through                                                       the end of one                                                       fishing year and                                                       at the beginning                                                       of a second                                                       fishing year,                                                       submit a check-in                                                       for each                                                       reporting area to                                                       start the year on                                                       January 1.(H) AIP                           (1)C/P............  Prior to AI                                                       pollock fishing.                                  (2) MS, SS, SFP...  Before receiving                                                       AI pollock.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(ii) Check-out report (CEASE message). Except as indicated in paragraph (h)(1)(iii) of this section, the operator or manager must submit a check-out report according to the following table:

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Submit a separate CEASE message for ...        If you are a ...                 Within this time limit----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) COBLZ or RKCSA                        (1) C/P using trawl gear...  Upon completion of gear retrieval for                                                                        groundfish, submit a separate check-out                                                                        for the COBLZ or RKCSA and another check-                                                                        out for the area outside the COBLZ or                                                                        RKCSA.                                          (2) MS, SS, SFP............  If receiving groundfish harvested with                                                                        trawl gear, upon completion of receipt                                                                        of groundfish, submit a separate check-                                                                        out for the COBLZ or RKCSA and another                                                                        check-out for the area outside the COBLZ                                                                        or RKCSA.(B) Processor type                        C/P, MS....................  Upon completion of simultaneous activity                                                                        as both catcher/ processor and                                                                        mothership, a separate check-out, one                                                                        for catcher/processor and one for                                                                        mothership.(C) Gear Type                             (1) C/P....................  Upon completion of gear retrieval for                                                                        groundfish, submit a separate check-out                                                                        for each gear type for which a check-in                                                                        was submitted.                                          (2) MS, SS, SFP............  Upon completion of receipt of groundfish,                                                                        submit a separate check-out for each                                                                        gear type for which a check-in was                                                                        submitted.(D) CDQ                                   (1) C/P....................  Within 24 hours after groundfish CDQ                                                                        fishing for each CDQ group has ceased.                                          (2) MS, SS, SFP............  Within 24 hours after receipt of                                                                        groundfish CDQ has ceased for each CDQ                                                                        group.(E) Exempted or Research Fishery          (1) C/P....................  If groundfish are caught during an                                                                        exempted or research fishery, submit a                                                                        separate check-out for each type for                                                                        which a check-in was submitted.                                          (2) MS, SS, SFP............  Upon completion of receipt of groundfish                                                                        under an exempted or research fishery,                                                                        submit a separate check-out for each                                                                        type for which a check-in was submitted.(F) Reporting Area                        (1) C/P using longline or    Upon completion of gear retrieval and                                           pot gear.                    within 24 hours after departing each                                                                        reporting area.                                          (2) C/P using trawl gear...  Within 24 hours after departing a                                                                        reporting area but prior to checking-in                                                                        another reporting area.                                          (3) SS, SFP................  Within 48 hours after the end of the                                                                        applicable weekly reporting period that                                                                        a shoreside processor or stationary                                                                        floating processor ceases to receive or                                                                        process groundfish from that reporting                                                                        area for the fishing year.                                          (4) MS, SS, SFP............  If receipt of groundfish from a reporting                                                                        area is expected to stop for a period of                                                                        time (month(s)) during the fishing year                                                                        and then start up again, may submit a                                                                        check-out report for that reporting                                                                        area.                                          (5) MS.....................  Within 24 hours after receipt of fish is                                                                        complete from that reporting area.(G) Change of fishing year                C/P, MS, SS, SFP...........  If a check-out report was not previously                                                                        submitted during a fishing year for a                                                                        reporting area, submit on December 31, a                                                                        check-out report for each reporting                                                                        area.(H) Interruption of production            SS, SFP....................  If receipt of groundfish from a reporting                                                                        area is expected to stop for a period of                                                                        time (month(s)) during the fishing year                                                                        and then start up again, the manager may                                                                        choose to submit a check-out report for                                                                        that reporting area.(I) AIP                                   (1) C/P....................  Within 24 hours after completion of gear                                                                        retrieval for AI pollock.                                          (2) SS, SFP................  Within 48 hours after the end of the                                                                        applicable weekly reporting period that                                                                        a shoreside processor or SFP ceases to                                                                        receive or process AI pollock for the                                                                        fishing year.                                          (3) MS.....................  Within 24 hours after receipt of AIP                                                                        pollock has ceased.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iii) Exception, two adjacent reporting areas. If on the same day a catcher/processor intends to fish in two adjacent reporting areas (an action which would require submittal of check-out reports and check-in reports multiple times a day when crossing back and forth across a reporting area boundary), and the two reporting areas have on that day and time an identical fishing status for every species, the operator must:

(A) Submit to NMFS a check-in report to the first area prior to entering the first reporting area, and

(B) Submit to NMFS a check-in report to the second area prior to entering the second reporting area.

(C) Remain within 10 nautical miles (18.5 km) of the boundary described in paragraph (h)(1)(iii) of this section.

(D) If the catcher/processor proceeds in the second reporting area beyond 10 nautical miles (18.5 km) of the boundary between the two areas, the operator must submit a check-out report from the first reporting area. The operator must submit a check-out report from the second area upon exiting that reporting area (see paragraph (h)(1)(ii)of this section).

(2) Transit through reporting areas. The operator of a catcher/processor or mothership is not required to submit a check-in or check-out report if the vessel is transiting through a reporting area and is not fishing or receiving fish.

(3) Required information. The operator of a mothership or catcher/processor or the manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must record the following information.

(i) For each check-in and check-out report. (A) Whether an original or revised report;

(B) Participant identification information (see paragraph (a)(5) of this section);

(C) Representative information (see paragraph (b)(2) of this section);

(D) Management program name and identifying number (if any);

(E) If a mothership or catcher/processor, processor type and gear type.

(ii) For each check-in report, mothership. (A) Date and time when receipt of groundfish will begin;

(B) Position coordinates where groundfish receipt begins;

(C) Reporting area code where gear deployment begins;

(D) Primary and secondary target species expected to be received the following week. A change in intended target species within the same reporting area does not require a new BEGIN message.

(iii) For each check-in report, catcher/processor. (A) Date and time when gear deployment will begin;

(B) Position coordinates where gear is deployed;

(C) Reporting area code of groundfish harvest;

(D) Primary and secondary target species expected to be harvested the following week. A change in intended target species within the same reporting area does not require a new BEGIN message.

(iv) For each check-in report, shoreside processor or stationary floating processor: (A) Indicate check-in report;

(B) Date facility will begin to receive groundfish;

(C) Whether checking in for the first time this fishing year or checking in to restart receipt and processing of groundfish after filing a check-out report;

(D) The product weight of all fish or fish products (including non-groundfish) remaining at the facility (other than public cold storage) by species code and product code;

(E) Whether pounds or 0.001 mt.

(v) For each check-out report, mothership: Date, time, reporting area code, and position coordinates where the last receipt of groundfish was completed.

(vi) For each check-out report, catcher/processor: date, time, reporting area code, and position coordinates where the vessel departed the reporting area.

(vii) For each check-out report, shoreside processor or stationary floating processor: (A) Indicate check-out report;

(B) Date facility ceased to receive or process groundfish;

(C) The product weight of all fish or fish products (including non-groundfish) remaining at the facility (other than public cold storage) by species code and product code;

(D) Whether pounds or 0.001 mt.

(i) Weekly Production Report (WPR)—(1) Who needs to submit a weekly production report? (i) Except as indicated in paragraph (i)(1)(iii) of this section, the operator or manager must submit a WPR for any week the mothership, catcher/processor, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor is checked-in pursuant to paragraph (h)(2) of this section.

(ii) If a vessel is operating simultaneously during a weekly reporting period as both a catcher/processor and a mothership, the operator must submit two separate WPRs for that week, one for catcher/processor fishing activity and one for mothership fishing activity.

(iii) Exemption. If using SPELR or software approved by the Regional Administrator as described in §679.5(e), a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor is exempt from the requirements to submit a WPR.

(2) Time limit and submittal. The operator or manager must submit a separate WPR by FAX or electronic file to the Regional Administrator by 1200 hours, A.l.t. on Tuesday following the end of the applicable weekly reporting period.

(3) Submit separate WPR. The operator or manager must submit a separate WPR if:

(i) Processor type. For each processor type if a catcher/processor is functioning simultaneously as a Mothership in the same reporting area.

(ii) Gear type. For each gear type of harvester if groundfish are caught in the same reporting area using more than one gear type.

(iii) COBLZ or RKCSA. If groundfish are caught with trawl gear, submit one report for fish harvested in the COBLZ or RKCSA and another report for fish harvested outside the COBLZ or RKCSA.

(iv) Management Program. If groundfish are caught under a specific management program, submit a separate report for each program.

(v) Reporting area. For each reporting area, except 300, 400, 550, or 690.

(vi) Change of fishing year. If continually active through the end of one fishing year and at the beginning of a second fishing year, the operator or manager must submit a WPR for each reporting area:

(A) To complete the year at midnight, December 31, if still conducting fishing activity regardless of where this date falls within the weekly reporting period.

(B) To start the year on January 1, if still conducting fishing activity regardless of where this date falls within the weekly reporting period.

(4) Required information. The operator or manager must record:

(i) Whether original or revised WPR;

(ii) Week-ending date;

(iii) Participant identification information (see paragraph (a)(5) of this section);

(iv) Representative information (see paragraph (b)(2) of this section);

(v) Date (month-day-year) WPR completed;

(vi) Management program name and identifying number (if any);

(vii) Gear type of harvester;

(viii) If a mothership or catcher/processor, processor type and crew size;

(ix) Reporting area of harvest;

(x) If a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, landings scale weights of groundfish by species and product codes and product designations; scale weights or fish product weights of groundfish by species and product codes and product designations;

(xi) Discard or disposition weights or numbers by species and product codes;

(xii) ADF&G fish ticket numbers issued to catcher vessels at delivery (except catcher/processors).

(j) Daily Production Report (DPR)—(1) Notification. If the Regional Administrator determines that DPRs are necessary to avoid exceeding a groundfish TAC or prohibited species bycatch allowance, NMFS may require submittal of DPRs from motherships, catcher/processors, shoreside processors and stationary floating processors for reporting one or more specified species, in addition to a WPR. NMFS will publish notification in the Federal Register specifying the fisheries that require DPRs and the dates that submittal of DPRs are required.

(2) Applicability. (i) If a catcher/processor or mothership is checked in to the specified reporting area and is harvesting, receiving, processing, or discarding the specified species or is receiving reports from a catcher vessel of discard at sea of the specified species, the operator must submit a DPR, when required.

(ii) If a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor is receiving, processing, or discarding the specified species or is receiving reports from a catcher vessel of discard at sea of the specified species, the manager must submit a DPR when required.

(iii) The operator of a catcher/processor or mothership or the manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must use a separate DPR for each gear type, processor type, and CDQ number.

(3) Time limit and submittal. The operator or manager must submit a DPR by FAX to the Regional Administrator by 1200 hours, A.l.t., the day following each day of landings, discard, or production.

(4) Information required. In addition to requirements described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, the operator of a catcher/processor or mothership, or the manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must record the processor type.

(k) U.S. Vessel Activity Report (VAR)—(1) Fish or fish product onboard. Except as noted in paragraph (k)(4) of this section, the operator of a catcher vessel greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, a catcher/processor, or a mothership required to hold a Federal fisheries permit issued under this part and carrying fish or fish product onboard must complete and submit a VAR by facsimile or electronic file to OLE, Juneau, AK (907–586–7313) before the vessel crosses the seaward boundary of the EEZ off Alaska or crosses the U.S.-Canadian international boundary between Alaska and British Columbia.

(2) Combination of non-IFQ groundfish with IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, IFQ sablefish or CR crab. If a vessel is carrying non-IFQ groundfish and IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, IFQ sablefish or CR crab, the operator must submit a VAR in addition to an IFQ Departure Report required by paragraph (l)(4) of this section.

(3) Revised VAR. If fish or fish products are landed at a port other than the one specified on the VAR, the operator must submit a revised VAR showing the actual port of landing before any fish are offloaded.

(4) Exemption: IFQ Departure Report. A VAR is not required if a vessel is carrying only IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or CR crab onboard and the operator has submitted an IFQ Departure Report required by paragraph (l)(4) of this section.

(5) Information required. (i) Whether original or revised VAR.

(ii) Name and Federal fisheries permit number of vessel or RCR permit number.

(iii) Type of vessel (whether catcher vessel, catcher/processor, or mothership).

(iv) Name, daytime telephone number (including area code), and facsimile number and COMSAT number (if available) of representative.

(v) Return report. “Return,” for purposes of this paragraph, means returning to Alaska. If the vessel is crossing the seaward boundary of the EEZ off Alaska or crossing the U.S.-Canadian international boundary between Alaska and British Columbia into U.S. waters, indicate a “return” report and enter:

(A) Intended Alaska port of landing (see Table 14a to this part);

(B) Estimated date and time (hour and minute, Greenwich mean time) the vessel will cross the boundary; and

(C) The estimated position coordinates in latitude and longitude where the vessel will cross.

(vi) Depart report. “Depart” means leaving Alaska. If the vessel is crossing the seaward boundary of the EEZ off Alaska and moving out of the EEZ or crossing the U.S.-Canadian international boundary between Alaska and British Columbia and moving into Canadian waters, indicate a “depart” report and enter:

(A) The intended U.S. port of landing or country other than the United States (see Table 14b to this part);

(B) Estimated date and time (hour and minute, Greenwich mean time) the vessel will cross the boundary; and

(C) The estimated position coordinates in latitude and longitude where the vessel will cross.

(vii) The Russian Zone. Indicate whether the vessel is returning from fishing in the Russian Zone or is departing to fish in the Russian Zone.

(viii) Fish or fish products. For all fish or fish products (including non-groundfish) on board the vessel, enter:

(A) Harvest zone code;

(B) Species codes;

(C) Product codes; and

(D) Total fish product weight in lbs or to the nearest 0.001 mt (2.20 lb).

(l) IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or CR crab R&R. In addition to the R&R requirements in this section, in 50 CFR part 680 with respect to CR crab, and as prescribed in the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of this title, the following reports and authorizations are required, when applicable: IFQ Prior Notice of Landing, Product Transfer Report (see §679.5(g)), IFQ landing report, IFQ Transshipment Authorization, and IFQ Departure Report.

(1) IFQ Prior Notice of Landing (PNOL)—(i) Time limits and submittal. (A) Except as provided in paragraph (l)(1)(iv) of this section, the operator of any vessel making an IFQ landing must notify OLE, Juneau, AK, no fewer than 3 hours before landing IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ sablefish, unless permission to commence an IFQ landing within 3 hours of notification is granted by a clearing officer.

(B) A PNOL must be made to the toll-free telephone number 800–304–4846 or to 907–586–7163 between the hours of 0600 hours, A.l.t., and 2400 hours, A.l.t.

(ii) Revision to PNOL. The operator of any vessel wishing to make an IFQ landing before the date and time (A.l.t.) reported in the PNOL or later than 2 hours after the date and time (A.l.t.) reported in the PNOL must submit a new PNOL as described in paragraphs (l)(1)(i) and (iii) of this section.

(iii) Information required. A PNOL must include the following:

(A) Vessel name and ADF&G vessel registration number;

(B) Port of landing and port code from Tables 14a and 14b to this part;

(C) Exact location of landing within the port (i.e., dock name, harbor name, facility name, or geographical coordinates);

(D) The date and time (A.l.t.) that the landing will take place;

(E) Species and estimated weight (in pounds) of the IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut or IFQ sablefish that will be landed;

(F) IFQ regulatory area(s) in which the IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ sablefish were harvested; and

(G) IFQ permit number(s) that will be used to land the IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ sablefish.

(iv) Exemption. An IFQ landing of halibut of 500 lb or less of IFQ weight determined pursuant to §679.42(c)(2) and concurrent with a legal landing of salmon or a legal landing of lingcod harvested using dinglebar gear is exempt from the PNOL required by this section.

(2) IFQ Landing report—(i) Requirements—(A) All IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut and IFQ sablefish catch debited. Except as provided in paragraph 679.40(g) of this section, all IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, and IFQ sablefish catch must be weighed and debited from the IFQ permit holder's account or CDQ halibut permit holder's account under which the catch was harvested.

(B) Single offload site for halibut. The vessel operator who lands IFQ halibut or CDQ halibut must continuously and completely offload at a single offload site all halibut on board the vessel.

(C) Single offload site for sablefish. The vessel operator who lands IFQ sablefish must continuously and completely offload at a single offload site all sablefish on board the vessel.

(D) Remain at landing site. Once the landing has commenced, the IFQ cardholder or CDQ cardholder and the harvesting vessel may not leave the landing site until the IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish or CDQ halibut account is properly debited (as defined in paragraph (l)(2)(iv)(D) of this section).

(E) No movement of IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ sablefish. The offloaded IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ sablefish may not be moved from the landing site until the IFQ Landing Report is received by OLE, Juneau, AK, and the IFQ cardholder's or CDQ cardholder's account is properly debited (as defined in paragraph (l)(2)(iv)(D) of this section).

(ii) Time limits. (A) A landing of IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ sablefish may commence only between 0600 hours, A.l.t., and 1800 hours, A.l.t., unless permission to land at a different time (waiver) is granted in advance by a clearing officer.

(B) A Registered Buyer must submit a completed IFQ Landing Report within 6 hours after all IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ sablefish are landed and prior to shipment or transfer of said fish from the landing site.

(iii) Information required. The Registered Buyer must enter accurate information contained in a complete IFQ Landing Report as follows:

(A) Date and time (A.l.t.) of the IFQ landing;

(B) Location of the IFQ landing (port code or if at sea, lat. and long.);

(C) Name and permit number of the IFQ cardholder or CDQ cardholder;

(D) Name and permit number of Registered Buyer receiving the IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or CDQ halibut;

(E) The harvesting vessel's name and ADF&G vessel registration number;

(F) Gear code used to harvest IFQ species;

(G) Alaska State fish ticket number(s) for the landing;

(H) ADF&G statistical area of harvest reported by the IFQ cardholder;

(I) If ADF&G statistical area is bisected by a line dividing two IFQ regulatory areas, the IFQ regulatory area of harvest reported by the IFQ cardholder;

(J) For each ADF&G statistical area of harvest:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (l)(2)(iii)(J)(2) of this section, the species codes, product codes, and initial accurate scale weight(s) (in pounds or to the nearest thousandth of a metric ton) made at the time of offloading for IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or CDQ halibut sold and retained.

(2) If the vessel operator is the Registered Buyer reporting the IFQ landing, the accurate weight of IFQ sablefish processed product obtained before the offload may be substituted for the initial accurate scale weight at time of offload.

(K) Initial accurate scale weight(s) with or without ice and slime, as appropriate, of fish as offloaded from the vessel. Fish which have been washed prior to weighing or which have been offloaded from refrigerated salt water are not eligible for a 2-percent deduction for ice and slime and must be reported as fish weights without ice and slime.

(L) If IFQ halibut is incidental catch concurrent with legal landing of salmon or concurrent with legal landing of lingcod harvested using dinglebar gear.

(M) After the Registered Buyer enters the landing data in the Internet submission form(s) and receipts are printed, the Registered Buyer, or his/her representative, and the IFQ cardholder or CDQ cardholder must sign the receipts to acknowledge the accuracy of the IFQ landing report.

(iv) Submittals. Except as indicated in paragraph (1)(2)(iv)(C) of this section, IFQ landing reports must be submitted electronically to OLE, Juneau, AK by using the Internet as follows:

(A) [Reserved]

(B) Internet. Landing Reports submitted using Internet submission methods as provided and/or specified by NMFS, Alaska Region.

(1) The Registered Buyer must obtain at his or her own expense, hardware, software and Internet connectivity to support Internet submissions and report as required.

(2) The IFQ cardholder or CDQ cardholder must initiate a Landing Report by logging into the IFQ landing report system using his or her own password and must provide identification information requested by the system.

(3) The Registered Buyer must enter additional log-in information, including his or her password, and provide landing information requested by the system.

(C) Manual landing report. Waivers from the Internet reporting requirement can only be granted in writing on a case-by-case basis by a local clearing officer. If a waiver is granted, manual landing instructions must be obtained from OLE, Juneau, AK, (800–304–4846, Select Option 1). Registered Buyers must complete and submit manual landing reports by facsimile to OLE, Juneau, AK, (907–586–7313). When a waiver is issued, the following additional information is required: Whether the manual landing report is an original or revised; and name, telephone number, and facsimile number of individual submitting the manual landing report.

(D) Properly debited landing. A properly concluded printed Internet submission receipt or a manual landing report receipt which is sent by facsimile from OLE to the Registered Buyer, and which is then signed by both the Registered Buyer and cardholder constitutes confirmation that OLE received the landing report and that the cardholder's account is properly debited. A copy of each receipt must be maintained by the Registered Buyer as described in §679.5(l).

(3) Transshipment authorization. (i) No person may transship processed IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or CR crab between vessels without authorization by a local clearing officer. Authorization from a local clearing officer must be obtained for each instance of transshipment at least 24 hours before the transshipment is intended to commence.

(ii) Information required. To obtain a Transshipment Authorization, the vessel operator must provide the following information to the clearing officer:

(A) Date and time (A.l.t.) of transshipment;

(B) Location of transshipment;

(C) Name and ADF&G vessel registration number of vessel offloading transshipment;

(D) Name of vessel receiving the transshipment;

(E) Product destination;

(F) Species and product type codes;

(G) Total product weight;

(H) Time (A.l.t.) and date of the request;

(I) Name, telephone number, FAX number (if any) for the person making the request.

(4) IFQ departure report—(i) General requirements—(A) Time limit and submittal. A vessel operator who intends to make a landing of IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or CR crab at any location other than in an IFQ regulatory area for halibut and sablefish or in a crab fishery for CR crab (see Table 1 to part 680) in the State of Alaska must submit an IFQ Departure Report, by telephone, to OLE, Juneau, AK, (800–304–4846 or 907–586–7163) between the hours of 0600 hours, A.l.t., and 2400 hours, A.l.t.

(B) Completion of fishing. A vessel operator must submit an IFQ Departure Report after completion of all fishing and prior to departing the waters of the EEZ adjacent to the jurisdictional waters of the State of Alaska, the territorial sea of the State of Alaska, or the internal waters of the State of Alaska when IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or CR crab are on board.

(C) Permit—(1) Registered Crab Receiver permit. A vessel operator submitting an IFQ Departure Report for CR crab must have a Registered Crab Receiver permit.

(2) Registered Buyer permit. A vessel operator submitting an IFQ Departure Report for IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ sablefish must have a Registered Buyer permit.

(D) First landing of any species. A vessel operator submitting an IFQ Departure Report must submit IFQ landing reports for all IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, and IFQ sablefish on board at the same time and place as the first landing of any IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ sablefish.

(E) Permits on board. (1) A vessel operator submitting an IFQ Departure Report to document IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish must have one or more IFQ cardholders on board with a combined IFQ balance equal to or greater than all IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish on board the vessel.

(2) A vessel operator submitting an IFQ Departure Report to document CDQ halibut must ensure that one or more CDQ cardholders are on board with enough remaining CDQ halibut balance to harvest amounts of CDQ halibut equal to or greater than all CDQ halibut on board.

(3) A vessel operator submitting an IFQ Departure Report to document CR crab must have one or more permit holders on board with a combined CR balance equal to or greater than all CR crab on board the vessel.

(ii) Required information. When submitting an IFQ Departure Report, the vessel operator must provide the following information:

(A) Intended date, time (A.l.t.), and location of landing;

(B) Vessel name and ADF&G vessel registration number;

(C) Vessel operator's name and Registered Buyer permit or Registered Crab Receiver permit number;

(D) Halibut IFQ, halibut CDQ, sablefish IFQ, and CR crab permit numbers of IFQ and CDQ cardholders on board;

(E) Area of harvest. (1) If IFQ or CDQ halibut, then halibut regulatory areas (see Figure 15 to this part).

(2) If IFQ sablefish, then sablefish regulatory areas (see Figure 14 to this part).

(3) If CR crab, then the crab rationalization fishery code (see Table 1 to part 680).

(F) Estimated total weight as appropriate of IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or CR crab on board (lb/kg/mt).

(iii) Revision to Departure Report. A vessel operator who intends to make an IFQ landing at a location different from the location named on the IFQ Departure report must submit a revised report naming the new location at least 12 hours in advance of the offload. Revisions must be submitted by telephone, to OLE, Juneau, AK, (800–304–4846 or 907–586–7163) between the hours of 0600 hours, A.l.t., and 2400 hours, A.l.t.

(5) Landing verification, inspection and record retention—(i) Verification and inspection. Each IFQ landing and all fish retained on board the vessel making an IFQ landing are subject to verification and inspection by authorized officers.

(ii) Record retention. The IFQ cardholder or CDQ cardholder must retain a legible copy of all Landing Report receipts, and the Registered Buyer must retain a copy of all reports and receipts required by this section. All retained records must be available for inspection by an authorized officer:

(A) Until the end of the fishing year during which the records were made and for as long thereafter as fish or fish products recorded are retained onboard the vessel or at the facility; and

(B) Upon request of an authorized officer for 3 years after the end of the fishing year during which the records were made.

(6) Sampling—(i) Each IFQ landing and all fish retained onboard a vessel making an IFQ landing are subject to sampling by NMFS-authorized observers.

(ii) Each IFQ halibut landing or CDQ halibut landing is subject to sampling for biological information by persons authorized by the IPHC.

(7) IFQ cost recovery program—(i) IFQ buyer report. (A) Applicability. An IFQ registered buyer that also operates as a shoreside processor and receives and purchases IFQ landings of sablefish or halibut must submit annually to NMFS a complete IFQ Buyer Report as described in this paragraph (l) and as provided by NMFS for each reporting period, as described at §679.5(1)(7)(i)(E), in which the registered buyer receives IFQ fish.

(B) Due date. A complete IFQ Buyer Report must be postmarked or received by the Regional Administrator not later than October 15 following the reporting period in which the IFQ registered buyer receives the IFQ fish.

(C) Information required. A complete IFQ Buyer Report must include the following information:

(1) IFQ registered buyer identification, including:

(i) Name,

(ii) Registered buyer number,

(iii) Social Security number or tax identification number,

(iv) NMFS person identification number (if applicable),

(v) Business address,

(vi) Telephone number,

(vii) Facsimile telephone number,

(viii) Primary registered buyer activity,

(ix) Other registered buyer activity, and

(x) Landing port location;

(2) Pounds purchased and values paid. (i) The monthly total weights, represented in IFQ equivalent pounds by IFQ species, that were landed at the landing port location and purchased by the IFQ registered buyer;

(ii) The monthly total gross ex-vessel value, in U.S. dollars, of IFQ pounds, by IFQ species, that were landed at the landing port location and purchased by the IFQ registered buyer;

(3) Value paid for price adjustments. (i) The monthly total U.S. dollar amount of any IFQ retro-payments (correlated by IFQ species, landing month(s), and month of payment) made in the current year to IFQ permit holders for landings made during the previous calendar year;

(ii) Certification, including the signature or electronic PIN of the individual authorized by the IFQ registered buyer to submit the IFQ Buyer Report, and date of signature or date of electronic submittal.

(D) Submission address. The registered buyer must complete an IFQ Buyer Report and submit by mail or FAX to:

Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, Attn: RAM Program,P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802–1668, FAX: (907) 586–7354 or electronically to NMFS via forms available from RAM or on the RAM area of the Alaska Region Home Page at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/ram .

(E) Reporting period. The reporting period of the IFQ Buyer Report shall extend from October 1 through September 30 of the following year, inclusive.

(ii) IFQ permit holder Fee Submission Form—(A) Applicability. An IFQ permit holder who holds an IFQ permit against which a landing was made must submit to NMFS a complete IFQ permit holder Fee Submission Form provided by NMFS.

(B) Due date and submittal. A complete IFQ permit holder Fee Submission Form must be postmarked or received by the Regional Administrator not later than January 31 following the calendar year in which any IFQ landing was made.

(C) Contents of an IFQ Fee Submission Form. For each of the sections described here, a permit holder must provide the specified information.

(1) Identification of the IFQ permit holder. An IFQ permit holder with an IFQ landing must accurately record on the identification section of the IFQ Fee Submission Form the following information:

(i) The printed name of the IFQ permit holder;

(ii) The NMFS person identification number;

(iii) The Social Security number or tax ID number of the IFQ permit holder;

(iv) The business mailing address of the IFQ permit holder; and

(v) The telephone and facsimile number (if available) of the IFQ permit holder.

(2) IFQ landing summary and estimated fee liability. NMFS will provide to an IFQ permit holder an IFQ Landing Summary and Estimated Fee Liability page as required by §679.45(a)(2). The IFQ permit holder must either accept the accuracy of the NMFS estimated fee liability associated with his or her IFQ landings for each IFQ permit, or calculate a revised IFQ fee liability in accordance with paragraph (l)(7)(ii)(C)(2)(i) of this section. The IFQ permit holder may calculate a revised fee liability for all or part of his or her IFQ landings.

(i) Revised fee liability calculation. To calculate a revised fee liability, an IFQ permit holder must multiply the IFQ percentage in effect by either the IFQ actual ex-vessel value or the IFQ standard ex-vessel of the IFQ landing. If parts of the landing have different values, the permit holder must apply the appropriate values to the different parts of the landings.

(ii) Documentation. If NMFS requests in writing that a permit holder submit documentation establishing the factual basis for a revised IFQ fee liability, the permit holder must submit adequate documentation by the 30th day after the date of such request. Examples of such documentation regarding initial sales transactions of IFQ landings include valid fish tickets, sales receipts, or check stubs that clearly identify the IFQ landing amount, species, date, time, and ex-vessel value or price.

(3) Fee calculation section—(i) Information required. An IFQ permit holder with an IFQ landing must record the following information on the Fee Calculation page: The name of the IFQ permit holder; the NMFS person identification number; the fee liability amount due for each IFQ permit he or she may hold; the IFQ permit number corresponding to such fee liability amount(s) due; the total price adjustment payment value for all IFQ halibut and/or sablefish (e.g., IFQ retro-payments) received during the reporting period for the IFQ Fee Submission Form as described in §679.5(l)(7)(ii)(D); and the fee liability amount due for such price adjustments.

(ii) Calculation of total annual fee amount. An IFQ permit holder with an IFQ landing must perform the following calculations and record the results on the Fee Calculation page: add all fee liability amount(s) due for each IFQ permit and record the sum as the sub-total fee liability for all permits; multiply price adjustment payment(s) received for each IFQ species by the fee percentage in effect at the time the payment(s) was received by the IFQ permit holder; add the resulting fee liability amounts due for all price adjustment payments for each IFQ species, then enter the sum as the sub-total fee for price adjustments; add the sub-total fee liability for all permits and the sub-total fee for price adjustments, then enter the resulting sum as the total annual fee amount on the Fee Calculation page and on the Fee Payment page.

(4) Fee payment and certification section—(i) Information required. An IFQ permit holder with an IFQ landing must provide his or her NMFS person identification number, signature, and date of signature on the Fee Payment section of the form or provide the electronic equivalent and record the following: his or her printed name; the total annual fee amount as calculated and recorded on the Fee Calculation page; the total of any pre-payments submitted to NMFS that apply to the total annual fee amount; the remaining balance fee; and the enclosed payment amount.

(ii) Calculation of balance fee payment. An IFQ permit holder with an IFQ landing must perform the following calculation on the Fee Payment section of the Fee Submission Form: Subtract from the total annual fee amount the total of all pre-payments made (if any) to NMFS and any credits held by NMFS that are applicable to that year's total IFQ cost recovery fees, and record the result as the balance of the fee amount due.

(D) Reporting Period. The reporting period of the IFQ Fee Submission Form shall extend from January 1 to December 31 of the year prior to the January 31 due date described in §679.5(l)(7)(ii)(B).

(8) CQE annual report for an eligible community. By January 31, the CQE shall submit a complete annual report on halibut and sablefish IFQ activity for the prior fishing year for each community represented by the CQE to the Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802, and to the governing body of each community represented by the CQE as identified in Table 21 to this part.

(i) A complete annual report contains the following information:

(A) Name, ADF&G vessel registration number, USCG documentation number, length overall, and home port of each vessel from which the IFQ leased from QS held by a CQE was fished;

(B) Name and business addresses of individuals employed as crew members when fishing the IFQ derived from the QS held by the CQE;

(C) Detailed description of the criteria used by the CQE to distribute IFQ leases among eligible community residents;

(D) Description of efforts made to ensure that IFQ lessees employ crew members who are eligible community residents of the eligible community aboard vessels on which IFQ derived from QS held by a CQE is being fished;

(E) Description of the process used to solicit lease applications from eligible community residents of the eligible community on whose behalf the CQE is holding QS;

(F) Names and business addresses and amount of IFQ requested by each individual applying to receive IFQ from the CQE;

(G) Any changes in the bylaws of the CQE, board of directors, or other key management personnel; and

(H) Copies of minutes and other relevant decision making documents from CQE board meetings.

(ii) Additional information may be submitted as part of the annual report based on data available through NMFS. This includes:

(A) Identification of the eligible community, or communities, represented by the CQE;

(B) Total amount of halibut QS and sablefish QS held by the CQE at the start of the calendar year and at the end of the calendar year;

(C) Total amount of halibut and sablefish IFQ leased from the CQE;

(D) Names, business addresses, and amount of halibut and sablefish IFQ received by each individual to whom the CQE leased IFQ; and

(E) Number of vessels that fished for IFQ derived from QS held by a CQE.

(m) Consolidated weekly ADF&G fish tickets from motherships—(1) Requirement. (i) The operator of a mothership must ensure that any groundfish catch received by a mothership from a catcher vessel that is issued a Federal fisheries permit under §679.4 is recorded for each weekly reporting period on a minimum of one ADF&G groundfish fish ticket. The operator of a mothership may create a fish ticket for each delivery of catch. (An ADF&G fish ticket is further described at Alaska Administrative Code, 5 AAC Chapter 39.130.) A copy of the Alaska Administrative Code can be obtained from the Alaska Regional Office, see §600.502 of this chapter, Table 1.

(ii) The operator of a mothership must ensure that the information listed in paragraph (m)(2)(iii) of this section is written legibly or imprinted from the catcher vessel operator's State of Alaska, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC) permit card on the consolidated weekly ADF&G fish ticket.

(2) Information required from the catcher vessel. (i) The operator of a catcher vessel delivering groundfish to a mothership must complete the parts of the fish ticket listed in paragraph (m)(2)(iii) of this section, sign the fish ticket, and provide it to the operator of the mothership receiving groundfish harvest for submittal to ADF&G.

(ii) If there is a change in the operator of the same catcher vessel during the same weekly reporting period, complete a fish ticket for each operator.

(iii) Information required: (A) Name and ADF&G vessel registration number of the catcher vessel;

(B) Name, signature and CFEC permit number of CFEC permit holder aboard the catcher vessel;

(C) The six-digit ADF&G groundfish statistical area denoting the actual area of catch;

(D) Write in gear type used by the catcher vessel, whether hook and line, pot, nonpelagic trawl, pelagic trawl, jig, troll, or other.

(3) Information required from the mothership. The operator of a mothership must ensure that the following information is written legibly or imprinted from the mothership's CFEC processor plate card on the consolidated weekly ADF&G fish ticket:

(i) Mothership name and ADF&G processor code;

(ii) Enter “FLD” for port of landing or vessel transshipped to;

(iii) Signature of the mothership operator;

(iv) The week-ending date of the weekly reporting period during which the mothership received the groundfish from the catcher vessel;

(v) Species code for each species from Tables 2a though 2d to this part, except species code 120;

(vi) The product code from Table 1 to this part (in most cases, this will be product code 01, whole fish);

(vii) ADF&G 6–digit statistical area in which groundfish were harvested. If there are more than eight statistical areas for a fish ticket in a weekly reporting period, complete a second fish ticket. These statistical areas are defined in a set of charts obtained at no charge from Alaska Commercial Fisheries Management &Development Division, Department of Fish and Game and are also available on the ADF&G website at http://www.cf.adfg.state.ak.us/geninfo/statmaps;

(viii) The landed weight of each species to the nearest pound. If working in metric tons, convert to pounds using 2204.6 lb = 1 mt before recording on fish ticket.

(4) Time limit and submittal. (i) The operator of a mothership must complete a minimum of one ADF&G groundfish fish ticket for each catcher vessel by 1200 hours, A.l.t., on Tuesday following the end of the applicable weekly reporting period.

(ii) The operator of a mothership must ensure copy distribution within the indicated time limit or retention of the multiple copies of each consolidated weekly ADF&G groundfish fish ticket (G series) as follows:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------   If fish ticket color is ...     Distribute to ...      Time limit------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) White                         Retained by         N/A                                   Mothership, see                                   paragraph                                   (a)(13)(ii)(D)(6)                                   of this section.(B) Yellow                        Alaska Commercial   Within 45 days                                   Fisheries           after landings                                   Management &    are received                                   Development                                   Division,                                   Department of                                   Fish & Game,                                   211 Mission Road,                                   Kodiak, AK, 99615-                                   6399.(C) Pink                          Catcher vessel      1200 hours,                                   delivering          A.l.t., on                                   groundfish to the   Tuesday following                                   mothership.         the end of the                                                       applicable weekly                                                       reporting period.(D) Golden-rod                    Extra copy........  N/A------------------------------------------------------------------------

(n) Groundfish CDQ fisheries—(1) CDQ delivery report—(i) Who must submit a CDQ delivery report? The manager of each shoreside processor and stationary floating processor taking deliveries of groundfish CDQ or PSQ species from catcher vessels must submit for each delivery a CDQ delivery report, unless using the SPELR described at paragraph (e) of this section to submit the required CDQ information.

(ii) Time limit and submittal. The manager as defined at paragraph (n)(1)(i) of this section must submit to the Regional Administrator a CDQ delivery report within 24 hours of completion of each delivery of groundfish CDQ or PSQ species to the processor.

(iii) Information required. The manager as defined at paragraph (n)(1)(i) of this section must record whether the report is original or a revision and the following information on each CDQ delivery report:

(A) CDQ group information. CDQ group number as defined at §679.2 and CDQ group name or acronym.

(B) Processor information. (1) Name and federal processor permit number of the processor as defined at paragraph (n)(1)(i) of this section taking delivery of the CDQ catch.

(2) Date delivery report submitted.

(C) Vessel and catch information. (1) Enter the name, Federal Fisheries Permit number if applicable, and ADF&G vessel registration number of the vessel delivering CDQ catch. Write “unnamed” if the vessel has no name;

(2) Enter the delivery date, date fishing began, harvest gear type, and Federal reporting area of CDQ harvest. If caught with trawl gear, check appropriate box(es) to indicate if catch was made in the CVOA or the COBLZ.

(D) Groundfish CDQ Species in this delivery. Enter weight by species codes and product codes as defined in Tables 1 and 2 to this part, respectively, of groundfish CDQ species that were delivered. Report the weight of each CDQ species in metric tons to at least the nearest 0.001 mt.

(E) Halibut CDQ, halibut IFQ and sablefish IFQ in this delivery. For nontrawl vessels only, enter the product code and product weight for any halibut CDQ, halibut IFQ, and sablefish IFQ in this catch. Submit this same information to the Regional Administrator on an IFQ landing report (see paragraph (l)(2) of this section).

(F) PSQ information. For halibut, enter the species code and the weight to the nearest 0.001 mt. For salmon or crab, enter the species code and the number of animals.

(1) Enter PSQ species delivered and discarded from processor by species code and weight or numbers.

(2) Enter at-sea discards of PSQ for vessels without observers by species code and weight or numbers.

(2) CDQ catch report—(i) Who must submit a CDQ catch report? The CDQ representative must submit a CDQ catch report for all groundfish catch made by vessels groundfish CDQ fishing as defined at §679.2 or for any groundfish harvested by vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA while halibut CDQ fishing and delivered to a shoreside processor, to a stationary floating processor, or to a mothership.

(ii) Time limit and submittal. Submit to the Regional Administrator a CDQ catch report:

(A) Within 7 days of the date CDQ catch was delivered by a catcher vessel to a shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or mothership.

(B) Within 7 days of the date gear used to catch CDQ was retrieved by a catcher/processor.

(iii) Information required, all CDQ catch reports. Record whether an original or revised report and the following information on each CDQ catch report:

(A) Vessel type. Indicate one appropriate vessel/gear/delivery type.

(B) Vessel catch information—(1) Enter the name, Federal fisheries permit number if applicable, and ADF&G vessel registration number of the vessel delivering CDQ catch. Write “unnamed” if the vessel has no name.

(2) Reporting area. Enter reporting area in which CDQ catch occurred. If a set occurs in more than one area, record the area code where gear retrieval was completed.

(3) Gear type. Circle gear type used to harvest CDQ catch. If caught with trawl gear, check appropriate box(es) to indicate if catch was made in the CVOA or the COBLZ.

(4) Indicate the intended target species.

(C) CDQ group information. Enter CDQ number as defined at §679.2, CDQ group name or acronym, and date report submitted to NMFS.

(iv) Catch and delivery Information: catcher vessels retaining all groundfish CDQ and delivering to shoreside processors or stationary floating processors (Option 1 under §679.32(d)(2)(ii)). Record the following information on each applicable CDQ catch report:

(A) Delivery information. Name and Federal processor permit number of the shoreside processor or the stationary floating processor taking delivery of the CDQ catch; date catch delivered to processor; and date fishing began on this trip.

(B) Catch information, groundfish CDQ species. Report the weight in metric tons to at least the nearest 0.001 mt for each groundfish CDQ species retrieved by a catcher/processor or delivered to a processor as defined in paragraph (n)(1)(i) of this section by product code and species code as defined in Tables 1 and 2 to this part, respectively.

(C) Catch information, halibut CDQ, halibut IFQ and sablefish IFQ. For non-trawl vessels only, enter the product code as defined in Table 1 to this part and product weight in metric tons to at least the nearest 0.001 mt for any halibut CDQ, halibut IFQ, and sablefish IFQ in the CDQ delivery. Submit this same information to the Regional Administrator on an IFQ landing report (see §679.5(l)(2)).

(D) Mortality information, salmon and crab PSQ. For salmon or crab, enter the species code, as defined in Table 2b to this part, and the number of animals.

(E) Mortality information, halibut PSQ. For halibut PSQ catch, enter the round weight to the nearest 0.001 mt, mortality rate, and overall halibut mortality in metric tons to the nearest 0.001 mt. Use the target fishery designations and halibut bycatch mortality rates in the annual final specifications published in the Federal Register under §679.20(c).

(v) Catch and delivery information: catcher/processors, catcher vessels delivering unsorted codends to motherships, or catcher vessels (with observers) using nontrawl gear and discarding groundfish CDQ at sea (Option 2 under §679.32(d)(2)(ii)). Record the following information on each applicable CDQ catch report.

(A) Delivery information. (1) If a catcher vessel (with observers) using nontrawl gear, discarding groundfish CDQ at sea, and delivering to a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, enter name and Federal processor permit number of the shoreside processor or the stationary floating processor, date catch delivered, and date fishing began on this trip.

(2) If a catcher vessel delivering unsorted codends to a mothership, enter the mothership name and Federal fisheries permit number, observer's haul number for this catch, and date codend is completely onboard the mothership as determined by the Level 2 observer.

(3) If a catcher/processor, the observer's haul number for this catch, and the date on which the gear was retrieved as determined by the Level 2 observer.

(B) Catch information, groundfish CDQ species. (See paragraph (n)(2)(iv)(B) of this section).

(C) Catch information, halibut IFQ/CDQ and sablefish IFQ (See paragraph (n)(2)(iv)(C) of this section).

(D) Mortality information, salmon and crab prohibited species. (See paragraph (n)(2)(iv)(D) of this section).

(E) Mortality information, halibut PSQ. (See §679.5(n)(2)(iv)(E) of this section).

(3) CDQ or PSQ transfer request—(i) Who must submit a CDQ or PSQ transfer request? A CDQ group requesting transfer of CDQ or PSQ to or from another CDQ group must submit a completed CDQ or PSQ transfer request to NMFS.

(ii) Information required—(A) Transferring CDQ group information. For the group transferring CDQ, enter: the CDQ group name or initials; the CDQ group number as defined at §679.2; and, the CDQ representative's telephone number, fax number, printed name, and signature.

(B) Receiving CDQ group information. For the group receiving CDQ, enter: the CDQ group name or initials; the CDQ group number as defined at §679.2; and, the CDQ representative's telephone number, fax number, printed name, and signature.

(C) CDQ amount transferred—(1) Species or Species Category. For each species for which a transfer is being requested, enter the species name or species category.

(2) Area. Enter the management area associated with a species category, if applicable.

(3) Amount transferred. Specify the amount being transferred. For groundfish, specify transfer amounts to the nearest 0.001 mt. For halibut CDQ, specify the amount in pounds (net weight).

(D) PSQ amount transferred—(1) Species or Species Category. For each species for which a transfer is being requested, enter the species name or species category.

(2) Crab zone. For crab only, designate the appropriate zone for each PSQ being transferred, if applicable.

(3) Amount transferred. Specify the amount being transferred. For crab and salmon, specify transfer amounts in numbers of animals. For halibut, specify the amount to the nearest 0.001 mt.

(4) Request for approval of an eligible vessel—(i) Who must submit a request for approval of an eligible vessel? A CDQ group must submit a completed request for approval of an eligible vessel to NMFS for each vessel that will be groundfish CDQ fishing and for each vessel equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA that will be halibut CDQ fishing. See §679.32(c) for more information about this requirement.

(ii) Information required—(A) Vessel information. Enter the vessel name, Federal fisheries permit number, if applicable, ADF&G vessel registration number, and LOA. Indicate all the gear types that will be used to catch CDQ.

(B) Vessel contact information. Enter the name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if available) of a contact person representing the vessel.

(C) Method to determine CDQ and PSQ catch. Select the method that will be used to determine CDQ and PSQ catch, either NMFS standard sources of data or an alternative method. If the selection is “NMFS standard sources of data,” select either “all trawl vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using non-trawl gear” or “catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using non-trawl gear.” If the selection is “catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using non-trawl gear,” select either Option 1 or Option 2, described at §679.32(e)(2)(iv). If an alternative method (fishing plan) is proposed, it must be attached to the request for approval of an eligible vessel.

(D) Notice of submission and review. Enter the name, telephone number, and fax number of the CDQ representative; the date submitted to NMFS; and signature of the CDQ representative.

(o) Catcher vessel cooperative pollock catch report—(1) Applicability. The designated representative of each AFA inshore processor catcher vessel cooperative must submit to the Regional Administrator a catcher vessel cooperative pollock catch report detailing each delivery of pollock harvested under the allocation made to that cooperative. The owners of the member catcher vessels in the cooperative are jointly responsible for compliance and must ensure that the designated representative complies with the applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements of this section.

(2) Time limits and submittal. (i) The cooperative pollock catch report must be submitted by one of the following methods:

(A) An electronic data file in a format approved by NMFS; or

(B) By FAX.

(ii) The cooperative pollock catch report must be received by the Regional Administrator by 1200 hours, A.l.t. 1 week after the date of completion of delivery.

(3) Information required. The cooperative pollock catch report must contain the following information:

(i) Cooperative account number;

(ii) Catcher vessel ADF&G number;

(iii) Inshore processor Federal processor permit number;

(iv) Delivery date;

(v) Amount of pollock (in lb) delivered plus weight of at-sea pollock discards;

(vi) ADF&G fish ticket number.

(p) Commercial Operator's Annual Report (COAR)—(1) Requirement. The owner of a mothership or catcher/processor must annually complete and submit to ADF&G the appropriate Forms A through M and COAR certification page for each year in which the mothership or catcher/processor was issued a Federal Fisheries permit. The owner of a mothership must include all fish received and processed during the year, including fish received from an associated buying station. The ADF&G COAR is further described under Alaska Administrative Code (5 AAC 39.130) (see §679.3 (b)(2)).

(2) Time limit and submittal of COAR. The owner of a mothership or catcher/processor must submit to ADF&G the appropriate Forms A through M and COAR certification page by April 1 of the year following the year for which the report is required to the following address:

Alaska Department of Fish & Game, Division of Commercial Fisheries, Attn: COAR, P.O. Box 25526, Juneau, AK 99802–5526

(3) Information required, certification page. The owner of a mothership or catcher/processor must:

(i) Enter the company name and address, including street, city, state, and zip code; also seasonal mailing address, if applicable.

(ii) Enter the vessel name and ADF&G processor code.

(iii) Check YES or NO to indicate whether fishing activity was conducted during the appropriate year.

(iv) If response to paragraph (p)(3)(iii) of this section is YES, complete the applicable forms of the COAR (see table 18 to this part) and complete and sign the certification page.

(v) If response to paragraph (p)(3)(iii) of this section is NO, complete and sign only the certification page.

(vi) Sign and enter printed or typed name, e-mail address, title, telephone number, and FAX number of owner.

(vii) Enter printed or typed name, e-mail address, and telephone number of alternate contact.

(4) Buying information (exvessel), Forms A (1-3), C (1-2), E, G, I (1-2), and K.—(i) Requirement. The owner of a mothership (if the first purchaser of raw fish) must complete and submit the appropriate COAR buying forms (A (1–3), C (1–2), E, G, I (1–2), and K) for each species purchased from fishermen during the applicable year.

(ii) Buying information required. The owner of the mothership must record the following information on the appropriate COAR buying forms:

(A) Species name and code (see table 2 to this part).

(B) Area purchased (see table 16 to this part).

(C) Gear code (see table 15 to this part).

(D) Delivery code (form G only) (see table 1 to this part).

(E) Total weight (to the nearest lb) purchased from fishermen.

(F) Total amount paid to fishermen, including all post- season adjustments and/or bonuses and any credit received by fishermen for gas expenses, ice, delivery premiums, and other miscellaneous expenses.

(G) Price per pound. If additional adjustments may be made after this report has been filed, the owner must check the “$ not final” box, and submit Form M when these adjustments are paid. Do not include fish purchased from another processor.

(5) Production forms, Forms B (1–6), D, F, H, J (1–2), and K). For purposes of this paragraph, the total wholesale value is the amount that the processor receives for the finished product (free on board pricing mothership or catcher/processor). For products finished but not yet sold (still held in inventory), calculate the estimated value using the average price received to date for that product.

(i) Requirement—(A) Mothership. The owner of a mothership must record and submit the appropriate COAR production forms (B(1–6), D, F, H, J(1–2), and K) for all production that occurred for each species during the applicable year:

(1) That were purchased from fishermen on the grounds and/or dockside, including both processed and unprocessed seafood.

(2) That were then either processed on the mothership or exported out of the State of Alaska.

(B) Catcher/processor. The owner of a catcher/processor must record and submit the appropriate COAR production forms (B(1–6), D, F, H, J (1–2), and K) for each species harvested during the applicable year that were then either processed on the vessel or exported out of the State of Alaska.

(ii) Information required, non-canned production—(A) Enter area of processing (see table 16 to this part). List production of Canadian-harvested fish separately.

(B) Processed product. Processed product must be described by entering three codes:

(1) Process prefix code (see table 17 to this part)

(2) Process suffix code (see table 17 to this part)

(3) Product code (see table 1 to this part)

(C) Total net weight. Enter total weight (in pounds) of the finished product.

(D) Total value($). Enter the total wholesale value of the finished product.

(E) Enter price per pound of the finished product.

(iii) Information required, canned production. Complete an entry for each can size produced:

(A) Enter area of processing (see table 16 to this part).

(B) Process 51 or 52. Enter conventional canned code (51) or smoked, conventional canned code (52).

(C) Total value($). Enter the total wholesale value of the finished product.

(D) Enter can size in ounces, to the hundredth of an ounce.

(E) Enter number of cans per case.

(F) Enter number of cases.

(6) Custom production forms, Form L (1–2)—(i) Requirement. The owner of a mothership or catcher/processor must record and submit COAR production form L (1–2) for each species in which custom production was done by the mothership or catcher/processor for another processor and for each species in which custom production was done for the mothership or catcher/processor by another processor.

(ii) Custom-production by mothership or catcher/processor for another processor. If the mothership or catcher/processor custom-processed fish or shellfish for another processor during the applicable year, the owner of the mothership or catcher/processor must list the processor name and ADF&G processor code (if known) to describe that processor, but must not include any of that production in production form L (1–2).

(iii) Custom-production by another processor for mothership or catcher/processor. If a processor custom-processed fish or shellfish for the mothership or catcher/processor during the applicable year, the owner of the mothership or catcher/processor must use a separate page to list each processor and must include the following information.

(A) Custom fresh/frozen miscellaneous production. The owner of a mothership or catcher/processor must list the following information to describe production intended for wholesale/retail market and that are not frozen for canning later:

(1) Species name and code (see table 2 to this part).

(2) Area of processing (see table 16 to this part).

(3) Processed product. Processed product must be entered using three codes:

(i) Process prefix code (see table 17 to this part).

(ii) Process suffix code (see table 17 to this part).

(iii) Product code (see table 1 to this part).

(4) Total net weight. Enter total weight in pounds of the finished product.

(5) Total wholesale value($). Enter the total wholesale value of the finished product.

(B) Custom canned production. The owner of a mothership or catcher/processor must list the following information to describe each can size produced in custom canned production:

(1) Species name and code (see table 2 to this part).

(2) Area of processing (see table 16 to this part).

(3) Process 51 or 52. Enter conventional canned code (51) or smoked, conventional canned code (52).

(4) Total wholesale value ($). Enter the total wholesale value of the finished product.

(5) Can size in ounces, to the hundredth of an ounce.

(6) Number of cans per case.

(7) Number of cases.

(7) Fish buying retro payments/post-season adjustments, Form M—(i) Requirement. The owner of a mothership must record and submit COAR production Form M to describe additional adjustments and/or bonuses awarded to a fisherman, including credit received by fishermen for gas expenses, ice, delivery premiums, and other miscellaneous expenses.

(ii) Information required—(A) Enter species name and code (see table 2 to this part).

(B) Enter area purchased (see table 16 to this part)

(C) Enter gear code (see table 16 to this part).

(D) Enter total pounds purchased from fisherman.

(E) Enter total amount paid to fishermen (base + adjustment).

(q) AI directed pollock fishery catch reports—(1) Applicability. The Aleut Corporation shall provide NMFS the identity of its designated contact for the Aleut Corporation. The Aleut Corporation shall submit to the Regional Administrator a pollock catch report containing information required by paragraph (q)(3) of this section.

(2) Time limits and submittal. (i) The Aleut Corporation must submit its AI directed pollock fishery catch reports by one of the following methods:

(A) An electronic data file in a format approved by NMFS; or

(B) By fax.

(ii) The AI directed pollock fishery catch reports must be received by the Regional Administrator by 1200 hours, A.l.t. on Tuesday following the end of the applicable weekly reporting period, as defined at §679.2.

(3) Information required. The AI directed pollock fishery catch report must contain the following information:

(i) Catcher vessel ADF&G number;

(ii) Federal fisheries or Federal processor permit number;

(iii) Delivery date;

(iv) Pollock harvested:

(A) For shoreside and stationary floating processors and motherships, the amount of pollock (in lb for shoreside and stationary floating processors and in mt for motherships) delivered, including the weight of at-sea pollock discards; and

(B) For catcher/processors, the amount of pollock (in mt) harvested and processed, including the weight of at-sea pollock discards; and

(v) ADF&G fish ticket number.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §679.5, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

§ 679.6   Exempted fisheries.
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(a) General. For limited experimental purposes, the Regional Administrator may authorize, after consulting with the Council, fishing for groundfish in a manner that would otherwise be prohibited. No exempted fishing may be conducted unless authorized by an exempted fishing permit issued by the Regional Administrator to the participating vessel owner in accordance with the criteria and procedures specified in this section. Exempted fishing permits will be issued without charge and will expire at the end of a calendar year unless otherwise provided for under paragraph (e) of this section.

(b) Application. An applicant for an exempted fishing permit shall submit to the Regional Administrator, at least 60 days before the desired effective date of the exempted fishing permit, a written application including, but not limited to, the following information:

(1) The date of the application.

(2) The applicant's name, mailing address, and telephone number.

(3) A statement of the purpose and goal of the experiment for which an exempted fishing permit is needed, including a general description of the arrangements for disposition of all species harvested under the exempted fishing permit.

(4) Technical details about the experiment, including:

(i) Amounts of each species to be harvested that are necessary to conduct the experiment, and arrangement for disposition of all species taken.

(ii) Area and timing of the experiment.

(iii) Vessel and gear to be used.

(iv) Experimental design (e.g., sampling procedures, the data and samples to be collected, and analysis of the data and samples).

(v) Provision for public release of all obtained information, and submission of interim and final reports.

(5) The willingness of the applicant to carry observers, if required by the Regional Administrator, and a description of accommodations and work space for the observer(s).

(6) Details for all coordinating parties engaged in the experiment and signatures of all representatives of all principal parties.

(7) Information about each vessel to be covered by the exempted fishing permit, including:

(i) Vessel name.

(ii) Name, address, and telephone number of owner and master.

(iii) USCG documentation, state license, or registration number.

(iv) Home port.

(v) Length of vessel.

(vi) Net tonnage.

(vii) Gross tonnage.

(8) The signature of the applicant.

(9) The Regional Administrator may request from an applicant additional information necessary to make the determinations required under this section. Any application that does not include all necessary information will be considered incomplete. An incomplete application will not be considered to be complete until the necessary information is provided in writing. An applicant for an exempted fishing permit need not be the owner or operator of the vessel(s) for which the exempted fishing permit is requested.

(c) Review procedures. (1) The Regional Administrator, in consultation with the Alaska Fishery Science Center, will review each application and will make a preliminary determination whether the application contains all the information necessary to determine if the proposal constitutes a valid fishing experiment appropriate for further consideration. If the Regional Administrator finds any application does not warrant further consideration, the applicant will be notified in writing of the reasons for the decision.

(2) If the Regional Administrator determines any application is complete and warrants further consideration, he or she will initiate consultation with the Council by forwarding the application to the Council. The Council's Executive Director shall notify the applicant of a meeting at which the Council will consider the application and invite the applicant to appear in support of the application, if the applicant desires. If the Regional Administrator initiates consultation with the Council, NMFS will publish notification of receipt of the application in the Federal Register with a brief description of the proposal.

(d) Notifying the applicant. (1) The decision of the Regional Administrator, after consulting with the Council, to grant or deny an exempted fishing permit is the final action of the agency. The Regional Administrator shall notify the applicant in writing of the decision to grant or deny the exempted fishing permit and, if denied, the reasons for the denial, including:

(i) The applicant has failed to disclose material information required, or has made false statements as to any material fact, in connection with the application.

(ii) According to the best scientific information available, the harvest to be conducted under the permit would detrimentally affect living marine resources, including marine mammals and birds, and their habitat in a significant way.

(iii) Activities to be conducted under the exempted fishing permit would be inconsistent with the intent of this section or the management objectives of the FMP.

(iv) The applicant has failed to demonstrate a valid justification for the permit.

(v) The activity proposed under the exempted fishing permit could create a significant enforcement problem.

(vi) The applicant failed to make available to the public information that had been obtained under a previously issued exempted fishing permit.

(vii) The proposed activity had economic allocation as its sole purpose.

(2) In the event a permit is denied on the basis of incomplete information or design flaws, the applicant will be provided an opportunity to resubmit the application, unless a permit is denied because exempted fishing would detrimentally affect marine resources, be inconsistent with the management objectives of the FMP, create significant enforcement problems, or have economic allocation as its sole purpose.

(e) Terms and conditions. The Regional Administrator may attach terms and conditions to the exempted fishing permit that are consistent with the purpose of the experiment, including, but not limited to:

(1) The maximum amount of each species that can be harvested and landed during the term of the exempted fishing permit, including trip limitations, where appropriate.

(2) The number, sizes, names, and identification numbers of the vessels authorized to conduct fishing activities under the exempted fishing permit.

(3) The time(s) and place(s) where exempted fishing may be conducted.

(4) The type, size, and amount of gear that may be used by each vessel operated under the exempted fishing permit.

(5) The condition that observers be carried aboard vessels operated under an exempted fishing permit.

(6) Reasonable data reporting requirements.

(7) Such other conditions as may be necessary to assure compliance with the purposes of the exempted fishing permit and consistency with the FMP objectives.

(8) Provisions for public release of data obtained under the exempted fishing permit.

(f) Effectiveness. Unless otherwise specified in the exempted fishing permit or superseding notification or regulation, an exempted fishing permit is effective for no longer than 1 calendar year, but may be revoked, suspended, or modified during the calendar year. Exempted fishing permits may be renewed following the application procedures in paragraph (b) of this section.

(g) Recordkeeping and reporting requirements. In addition to the recordkeeping and reporting requirements in this section, the operator or manager must comply with requirements at §679.5(a) through (k).

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 61981, Nov. 15, 1999; 67 FR 4148, Jan. 28, 2002; 67 FR 22017, May 2, 2002]

§ 679.7   Prohibitions.
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Link to an amendment published at 71 FR 17381, Apr. 6, 2006.

In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §600.725 of this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(a) Groundfish of the GOA and BSAI—(1) Federal Fisheries Permit. (i) Fish for groundfish in the BSAI or GOA with a vessel of the United States that does not have on board a valid Federal Fisheries Permit issued under §679.4.

(ii) Conduct directed fishing for Atka mackerel, Pacific cod, or pollock with pot, hook-and-line, or trawl gear from a vessel of the United States that does not have on board a valid Federal Fisheries Permit issued under §679.4 and endorsed for Atka mackerel, Pacific cod, or pollock under §679.4(b)(5)(vi).

(2) Conduct any fishing contrary to notification of inseason action, closure, or adjustment issued under §679.20, §679.21, §679.22, §679.25.

(3) Groundfish Observer Program. (i) Fish or process groundfish except in compliance with the terms of the Groundfish Observer Program as provided by subpart E of this part.

(ii) Except where observer services are provided by NMFS staff or other individuals authorized by NMFS under §679.50(e), provide observer services to the North Pacific Groundfish fisheries without an observer provider permit issued under §679.50(i)(1).

(4) Pollock roe. Retain pollock roe on board a vessel in violation of §679.20(g).

(5) Prohibited species bycatch rate standard. Exceed a bycatch rate standard specified for a vessel under §679.21(f).

(6) Gear. Deploy any trawl, longline, single pot-and-line, or jig gear in an area when directed fishing for, or retention of, all groundfish by operators of vessels using that gear type is prohibited in that area, except that this paragraph (a)(6) shall not prohibit:

(i) Deployment of hook-and-line gear by operators of vessels fishing for halibut during seasons prescribed in the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of chapter III of this title.

(ii) Deployment of pot gear by operators of vessels fishing for crab during seasons governed by the State of Alaska.

(iii) Deployment of jig gear by operators of vessels fishing for salmon during seasons governed by the State of Alaska.

(7) Inshore/offshore—(i) Operate a vessel in the “inshore component in the GOA” as defined in §679.2 without a valid inshore processing endorsement on the vessel's Federal fisheries or Federal processor permit.

(ii) Operate a vessel as a “stationary floating processor” in the “inshore component in the GOA” as defined in §679.2, and as a catcher/processor in the BSAI during the same fishing year.

(iii) Operate a vessel as a “stationary floating processor” in the “inshore component in the GOA” as defined in §679.2, and as an AFA mothership in the BSAI during the same fishing year.

(iv) Operate any vessel in the GOA in more than one of the three categories included in the definition of “inshore component in the GOA,” in §§679.2, during any fishing year.

(v) Operate any vessel in the GOA under both the “inshore component in the GOA” and the “offshore component in the GOA” definitions in §§679.2 during the same fishing year.

(vi) Use a stationary floating processor with an GOA inshore processing endorsement to process pollock or GOA Pacific cod harvested in a directed fishery for those species in more than one single geographic location during a fishing year.

(8) Fishing in Donut Hole. Except as authorized by permit issued pursuant to the section of the Donut Hole Convention implementing legislation authorizing NMFS to issue Donut Hole fishing permits (Public Law 104–43, section 104(d)), it is unlawful for any person to:

(i) Fish in the Donut Hole from a vessel for which a Federal fisheries permit has been issued pursuant to §679.4 during the year for which the permit was issued.

(ii) Possess within the EEZ fish harvested from the Donut Hole on board a vessel for which a Federal fisheries permit has been issued pursuant to §679.4 during the year for which the permit was issued.

(9) Authorized fishing gear. Retain groundfish taken with other than authorized fishing gear as defined in §679.2, except that groundfish incidentally taken by pot gear by a vessel while participating in an open crab season governed by the State of Alaska may be retained for use as unprocessed bait on board that vessel.

(10) Recordkeeping and reporting. (i) Fail to comply with or fail to ensure compliance with requirements in §§679.4 or 679.5.

(ii) Alter, erase, or mutilate any permit, card or document issued under §§679.4 or 679.5.

(iii) Fail to submit or submit inaccurate information on, any report, application, or statement required under this part.

(iv) Intentionally submit false information on any report, application, or statement required under this part.

(11) Buying station—(i) Tender vessel. Use a catcher vessel or catcher/processor as a tender vessel before offloading all groundfish or groundfish product harvested or processed by that vessel.

(ii) Associated processor. Function as a vessel or land-based buying station without an associated processor.

(12) Prohibited species donation program. Retain or possess prohibited species, defined at §679.21(b)(1), except as permitted to do so under the PSD program as provided by §679.26 of this part, or as authorized by other applicable law.

(13) Halibut. With respect to halibut caught with hook-and-line gear deployed from a vessel fishing for groundfish, except for vessels fishing for halibut as prescribed in the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of chapter III of this title:

(i) Fail to release the halibut outboard a vessel's rails.

(ii) Release the halibut by any method other than—(A) Cutting the gangion.

(B) Positioning the gaff on the hook and twisting the hook from the halibut.

(C) Straightening the hook by using the gaff to catch the bend of the hook and bracing the gaff against the vessel or any gear attached to the vessel.

(iii) Puncture the halibut with a gaff or other device.

(iv) Allow the halibut to contact the vessel, if such contact causes, or is capable of causing, the halibut to be stripped from the hook.

(14) Trawl gear performance standard—(i) BSAI. Use a vessel to participate in a directed fishery for pollock using trawl gear and have on board the vessel, at any particular time, 20 or more crabs of any species that have a carapace width of more than 1.5 inches (38 mm) at the widest dimension.

(ii) GOA. Use a vessel to participate in a directed fishery for pollock using trawl gear when directed fishing for pollock with nonpelagic trawl gear is closed and have on board the vessel, at any particular time, 20 or more crabs of any species that have a carapace width of more than 1.5 inches (38 mm) at the widest dimension.

(15) Federal processor permit. Receive, purchase or arrange for purchase, discard, or process groundfish harvested in the GOA or BSAI by a shoreside processor or SFP that does not have on site a valid Federal processor permit issued pursuant to §679.4(f).

(16) Retention of groundfish bycatch species. Exceed the maximum retainable groundfish amount established under §679.20(e).

(17) Tender vessel. (i) Use a catcher vessel or catcher/processor as a tender vessel before offloading all groundfish or groundfish product harvested or processed by that vessel.

(ii) Use a catcher vessel or catcher/processor to harvest groundfish while operating as a tender vessel.

(18) Pollock, Pacific Cod, and Atka Mackerel Directed Fishing and VMS. Operate a vessel in any Federal reporting area when a vessel is authorized under §679.4(b)(5)(vi) to participate in the Atka mackerel, Pacific cod, or pollock directed fisheries and the vessel's authorized species and gear type is open to directed fishing, unless the vessel carries an operable NMFS-approved Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) and complies with the requirements in §679.28(f).

(19) Atka Mackerel HLA Groundfish Prohibition. For vessels registered for an Atka mackerel HLA directed fishery under §679.20(a)(8)(iii), conduct directed fishing for groundfish, other than Atka mackerel, during the time period that the first Atka mackerel HLA directed fishery to which the vessel is assigned under §679.20(a)(8)(iii)(B) is open.

(20) Anchoring in a habitat protection area. Anchor any federally permitted vessel in any habitat protection area described in Tables 22, 23, and 26 of this part.

(21) VMS on vessels in the Aleutian Islands subarea. Operate a federally permitted vessel in the Aleutian Islands subarea without an operable VMS and without complying with the requirements at §679.28.

(22) VMS for mobile bottom contact gear vessels in the GOA. Operate a federally permitted vessel in the GOA with mobile bottom contact gear on board without an operable VMS and without complying with the requirements at §679.28.

(b) Prohibitions specific to the GOA—(1) Southeast outside trawl closure. Use trawl gear in the GOA east of 140° W long.

(2) Catcher vessel trip limit for pollock. Retain on board a catcher vessel at any time during a trip, more than 300,000 lb (136 mt) of unprocessed pollock.

(3) Tender vessel restrictions for pollock. (i) Operate as a tender vessel east of 157°00' W long. for pollock harvested in the GOA.

(ii) Operate as a tender vessel west of 157°00' W long. while retaining on board at any time more than 600,000 lb (272 mt) of unprocessed pollock.

(c) Prohibitions specific to BSAI—(1) Incidental salmon. Discard any salmon taken incidental to a directed fishery for BSAI groundfish by vessels using trawl gear until notified by an observer that the number of salmon has been determined and the collection of any scientific data or biological samples has been completed as provided in §679.21(c)(1).

(2) Prohibited species. Conduct any fishing contrary to a notification issued under §679.21.

(d) CDQ. (1) Participate in a Western Alaska CDQ program in violation of this part.

(2) Fail to submit, submit inaccurate information on, or intentionally submit false information on any report, application, or statement required under this part.

(3) Participate as a community in more than one CDP, unless the second CDP is for vessels fishing halibut CDQ only.

(4) Harvest groundfish CDQ on behalf of a CDQ group with a vessel that is not listed as an eligible vessel for that CDQ group.

(5) For a CDQ group, exceed a CDQ, halibut PSQ, or crab PSQ.

(6) For the operator of an eligible vessel, use trawl gear to harvest groundfish CDQ in Zone 1 after the CDQ group's red king crab PSQ or C. bairdi Tanner crab PSQ in Zone 1 is attained.

(7) For the operator of an eligible vessel, use trawl gear to harvest groundfish CDQ in Zone 2 after the CDQ group's PSQ for C. bairdi Tanner crab in Zone 2 is attained.

(8) For the operator of an eligible vessel, use trawl gear to harvest groundfish CDQ in the C. opilio Bycatch Limitation Zone after the CDQ group's PSQ for C. opilio Tanner crab is attained.

(9) For the operator of an eligible vessel, use trawl gear to harvest pollock CDQ in the Chinook Salmon Savings Area between January 1 and April 15, and between September 1 and December 31, after the CDQ group's chinook salmon PSQ is attained.

(10) For the operator of an eligible vessel, use trawl gear to harvest groundfish CDQ in the Chum Salmon Savings Area between September 1 and October 14 after the CDQ group's non-chinook salmon PSQ is attained.

(11) For the operator of a catcher vessel using trawl gear or any vessel less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA that is groundfish CDQ fishing as defined at §679.2, discard any groundfish CDQ species or salmon PSQ before it is delivered to a processor unless discard of the groundfish CDQ is required under other provisions or, in waters within the State of Alaska, discard is required by laws of the State of Alaska.

(12) For the operator of a vessel using trawl gear, release CDQ catch from the codend before it is brought on board the vessel and weighed on a scale approved by NMFS under §679.28(b) or delivered to a processor. This includes, but is not limited to, “codend dumping” and “codend bleeding.”

(13) For the operator of a catcher vessel, catch, retain on board, or deliver groundfish CDQ species together with license limitation groundfish.

(14) For the operator of a catcher/processor, catch groundfish CDQ species together with license limitation groundfish in the same haul, set, or pot.

(15) For the operator of a catcher/processor or a catcher vessel required to carry a level 2 observer, combine catch from two or more CDQ groups in the same haul or set.

(16) Use any groundfish accruing against a CDQ reserve as a basis species for calculating retainable amounts of non-CDQ species under §679.20.

(17) For the operator of a catcher/processor using trawl gear or a mothership, harvest or take deliveries of CDQ or PSQ species without a valid scale inspection report signed by an authorized scale inspector under §679.28(b)(2) on board the vessel.

(18) For the operator of a vessel required to have an observer sampling station described at §679.28(d), harvest or take deliveries of CDQ or PSQ species without a valid observer sampling station inspection report issued by NMFS under §679.28(d)(8) on board the vessel.

(19) For the operator of a catcher/processor using trawl gear or a mothership, sort, process, or discard CDQ or PSQ species before the total catch is weighed on a scale that meets the requirements of §679.28(b), including the daily test requirements described at §679.28(b)(3).

(20) For the manager of a shoreside processor, stationary floating processor or the manager or operator of a buying station that is required elsewhere in this part to weigh catch on a scale approved by the State of Alaska under §679.28(c), fail to weigh catch on a scale that meets the requirements of §679.28(c).

(21) For a CDQ representative, use methods other than those approved by NMFS to determine the catch of CDQ and PSQ reported to NMFS on the CDQ catch report.

(22) For a CDQ group, report catch of sablefish CDQ for accrual against the fixed gear sablefish CDQ reserve if that sablefish CDQ was caught with fishing gear other than fixed gear.

(23) For any person on a vessel using fixed gear that is fishing for a CDQ group with an allocation of fixed gear sablefish CDQ, discard sablefish harvested with fixed gear unless retention of sablefish is not authorized under 50 CFR 679.23(e)(4)(ii) or, in waters within the State of Alaska, discard is required by laws of the State of Alaska.

(24) Fail to comply with the requirements of a CDP.

(e) [Reserved]

(f) IFQ fisheries. (1) Fail to submit, or submit inaccurate information on, any report, application, or statement required under this part.

(2) Intentionally submit false information on any report, application, or statement required under this part.

(3)(i) Halibut. Retain halibut caught with fixed gear without a valid IFQ or CDQ permit and without an IFQ or CDQ card in the name of an individual aboard.

(ii) Sablefish. Retain sablefish caught with fixed gear without a valid IFQ permit and without an IFQ card in the name of an individual aboard, unless fishing on behalf of a CDQ group and authorized under §679.32(c).

(4) Except as provided in §679.40(d), retain IFQ or CDQ halibut or IFQ or CDQ sablefish on a vessel in excess of the total amount of unharvested IFQ or CDQ, applicable to the vessel category and IFQ or CDQ regulatory area(s) in which the vessel is deploying fixed gear, and that is currently held by all IFQ or CDQ card holders aboard the vessel, unless the vessel has an observer aboard under subpart E of this part and maintains the applicable daily fishing log prescribed in the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of this title and §679.5.

(5) Possess, buy, sell, or transport IFQ or CDQ halibut or IFQ sablefish harvested or landed in violation of any provision of this part.

(6) Landing—(i) IFQ or CDQ card. Make an IFQ landing without an IFQ or CDQ card, as appropriate, in the name of the individual making the landing.

(ii) Hired master, IFQ. Make an IFQ landing without an IFQ card listing the name of the hired master and the name of the vessel making the landing.

(iii) Hired master, CDQ halibut. Make a CDQ halibut landing without a CDQ card listing the name of the hired master.

(7) Possess on a vessel or land IFQ sablefish concurrently with non-IFQ sablefish, except that CDQ sablefish may be possessed on a vessel and landed concurrently with IFQ sablefish.

(8) Discard:

(i) In the GOA:

(A) Rockfish that are taken when IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish are on board unless rockfish are required to be discarded under subpart B of this part.

(B) Pacific cod that are taken when IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish are on board unless Pacific cod are required to be discarded under subpart B of this part, or Pacific cod are not authorized to be retained under subpart A of this part.

(ii) In the BSAI:

(A) Rockfish that are taken when IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish are on board unless rockfish are required to be discarded under subpart B of this part.

(B) Pacific cod that are taken when IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish are on board according to the following table:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------      If the vessel operator . . .                  Then . . .------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) has an LLP groundfish license with   Pacific cod must not be a Pacific cod endorsement that meets     discarded unless Pacific cod the requirements of §               are required to be discarded 679.4(k)(9).                             under subpart B of this part,                                          or Pacific cod are not                                          authorized to be retained                                          under subpart A of this part.(2) does not have an LLP groundfish      Pacific cod must not be license with a Pacific cod endorsement   discarded up to the retainable that meets the requirements of §    amount specified in Table 11 679.4(k)(9).                             of this part unless Pacific                                          cod are required to be                                          discarded under subpart B of                                          this part, or Pacific cod are                                          not authorized to be retained                                          under subpart A of this part.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iii) In the waters within the State of Alaska:

(A) Rockfish that are taken when IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish are on board unless rockfish are required to be discarded by the laws of the State of Alaska.

(B) Pacific cod that are taken when IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish are on board unless Pacific cod are required to be discarded by the laws of the State of Alaska.

(9) Harvest on any vessel more IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish than are authorized under §679.42.

(10) Make an IFQ halibut, IFQ sablefish, or CDQ halibut landing other than directly to (or by) a registered buyer.

(11) Discard halibut or sablefish caught with fixed gear from any catcher vessel when any IFQ card holder aboard holds unused halibut or sablefish IFQ for that vessel category and the IFQ regulatory area in which the vessel is operating, unless:

(i) Discard of halibut is required as prescribed in the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of chapter III of this title;

(ii) Discard of sablefish is required under §679.20 or, in waters within the State of Alaska, discard of sablefish is required under laws of the State of Alaska; or

(iii) Discard of halibut or sablefish is required under other provisions.

(12) Commence an IFQ landing without a Prior Notice of Landing (PNOL), before the date and time stated on the PNOL, or more than 2 hours after the date and time stated on the PNOL, except as provided in §679.5(l)(1).

(13) Possess processed and unprocessed IFQ species on board a vessel during the same trip except when fishing exclusively with IFQ derived from vessel category A QS;

(14) Violate any other provision under this part.

(15) Process fish on board a vessel on which a person aboard has unused IFQ derived from QS issued to vessel categories B, C, or D, except as provided in §679.42(k) of this part;

(16) Hire a master to fish for IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish that is derived from QS held by a CQE.

(17) Process IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish onboard a vessel on which a person is using IFQ derived from QS held by a CQE.

(g) Groundfish Observer Program. (1) Forcibly assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, sexually harass, bribe, or interfere with an observer.

(2) Interfere with or bias the sampling procedure employed by an observer, including physical, mechanical, or other sorting or discarding of catch before sampling.

(3) Tamper with, destroy, or discard an observer's collected samples, equipment, records, photographic film, papers, or personal effects without the express consent of the observer.

(4) Prohibit or bar by command, impediment, threat, coercion, or by refusal of reasonable assistance, an observer from collecting samples, conducting product recovery rate determinations, making observations, or otherwise performing the observer's duties.

(5) Harass an observer by conduct that has sexual connotations, has the purpose or effect of interfering with the observer's work performance, or otherwise creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. In determining whether conduct constitutes harassment, the totality of the circumstances, including the nature of the conduct and the context in which it occurred, will be considered. The determination of the legality of a particular action will be made from the facts on a case-by-case basis.

(6) Fish for or process fish without observer coverage required under subpart E of this part.

(7) Require, pressure, coerce, or threaten an observer to perform duties normally performed by crew members, including, but not limited to, cooking, washing dishes, standing watch, vessel maintenance, assisting with the setting or retrieval of gear, or any duties associated with the processing of fish, from sorting the catch to the storage of the finished product.

(h) Salmon fisheries. (1) Fish for, take, or retain any salmon in violation of this part.

(2) Engage in fishing for salmon in the Salmon Management Area defined at §679.2 and Figure 23 to this part, except to the extent authorized by §679.4(h) or applicable State of Alaska regulations.

(i) License Limitation Program—(1) Number of licenses. (i) Hold more than 10 groundfish licenses in the name of that person at any time, except as provided in paragraph (i)(1)(iii) of this section;

(ii) Hold more than five crab species licenses in the name of that person at any time, except as provided in paragraph (i)(1)(iii) of this section; or

(iii) Hold more licenses than allowed in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) and (i)(1)(ii) of this section unless those licenses were issued to that person in the initial distribution of licenses. Any person who receives in the initial distribution more licenses than allowed in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) and (i)(1)(ii) of this section shall have no transfer applications for receipt of additional licenses approved until the number of licenses in the name of that person is less than the numbers specified in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) and (i)(1)(ii) of this section; furthermore, when a person becomes eligible to receive licenses by transfer through the provisions of this paragraph, that person is subject to the provisions in paragraphs (i)(1)(i) and (i)(1)(ii) of this section;

(iv) Hold more than two scallop licenses in the name of that person at any time.

(2) Conduct directed fishing for license limitation groundfish without an original valid groundfish license, except as provided in §679.4(k)(2);

(3) Conduct directed fishing for crab species without an original valid crab license, except as provided in §679.4(k)(2);

(4) Process license limitation groundfish on board a vessel without an original valid groundfish license with a Catcher/processor designation;

(5) Process crab species on board a vessel without an original valid crab species license with a Catcher/processor designation;

(6) Use a vessel to fish for LLP groundfish or crab species, or allow a vessel to be used to fish for LLP groundfish or crab species, that has an LOA that exceeds the MLOA specified on the license that authorizes fishing for LLP groundfish or crab species.

(7) Lease a groundfish, crab species, or scallop license; or

(8) Catch and retain scallops:

(i) Without an original valid scallop license on board;

(ii) Using a vessel with a MLOA greater than that specified on the scallop license; or

(iii) Using dredge gear contrary to a gear limitation specified on the scallop license.

(9) Use a vessel to fish for LLP groundfish or crab species, or allow a vessel to be used to fish for LLP groundfish or crab species, other than the vessel named on the license that authorizes fishing for LLP groundfish or crab species.

(j) Prohibitions specific to the GOA (applicable through December 31, 2002)—(1) Southeast Outside trawl closure. Use any gear other than non-trawl gear in the GOA east of 140° W long.

(2) Catcher vessel trip limit for pollock. Retain on board a catcher vessel at any time during a trip, more than 300,000 lb (136 mt) of unprocessed pollock.

(3) Tender vessel restrictions for pollock. (i) Operate as a tender vessel east of 157°00' W long. for pollock harvested in the GOA.

(ii) Operate as a tender vessel west of 157°00' W long. while retaining on board at any time more than 600,000 lb (272 mt) of unprocessed pollock.

(k) Prohibitions specific to the AFA. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Catcher/processors—(i) Permit requirement. Use a catcher/processor to engage in directed fishing for non-CDQ BSAI pollock without a valid AFA catcher/processor permit on board the vessel.

(ii) Fishing in the GOA. Use a listed AFA catcher/processor to harvest any species of fish in the GOA.

(iii) Processing BSAI crab. Use a listed AFA catcher/processor to process any crab species harvested in the BSAI.

(iv) Processing GOA groundfish. Use a listed AFA catcher/processor to process any pollock harvested in a directed pollock fishery in the GOA and any groundfish harvested in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA.

(v) Directed fishing after a sideboard closure. Use a listed AFA catcher/processor to engage in directed fishing for a groundfish species or species group in the BSAI after the Regional Administrator has issued an AFA catcher/processor sideboard directed fishing closure for that groundfish species or species group under §679.20(d)(1)(iv) or §679.21(e)(3)(v).

(vi) Catch weighing—(A) Listed AFA catcher/processors. Process any groundfish that was not weighed on a NMFS-approved scale that complies with the requirements of §679.28(b). Catch may not be sorted before it is weighed and each haul must be sampled by an observer for species composition.

(B) Unlisted AFA catcher/processors. Process groundfish harvested in the BSAI pollock fishery that was not weighed on a NMFS-approved scale that complies with the requirements of §679.28(b). Catch may not be sorted before it is weighed and each haul must be sampled by an observer for species composition.

(vii) Observer sampling station—(A) Listed AFA catcher/processors. Process any groundfish without an observer sampling station as described at §679.28(d). A valid observer sampling station inspection report must be on board at all times when an observer sampling station is required.

(B) Unlisted AFA catcher/processors. Process groundfish harvested in the BSAI pollock fishery without an observer sampling station as described at §679.28(d). A valid observer sampling station inspection report must be on board at all times when an observer sampling station is required.

(2) Motherships—(i) Permit requirement. Use a mothership to process pollock harvested in a non-CDQ directed fishery for pollock in the BSAI without a valid AFA permit on board the mothership.

(ii) [Reserved]

(iii) Catch weighing. Process any groundfish that was not weighed on a NMFS-approved scale that complies with the requirements of §679.28(b). Catch may not be sorted before it is weighed and each delivery must be sampled by an observer for species composition.

(iv) Observer sampling station. Process any groundfish without an observer sampling station as described at §679.28(d). A valid observer sampling station inspection report must be on board at all times when an observer sampling station is required.

(3) AFA inshore processors—(i) Permit requirement. Use a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor to process pollock harvested in a non-CDQ directed fishery for pollock in the BS without a valid AFA inshore processor permit at the facility or on board vessel.

(ii) Cooperative processing endorsement. Use a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor required to have an AFA inshore processor permit to process groundfish harvested by a fishery cooperative formed under §679.62 unless the AFA inshore processor permit contains a valid cooperative pollock processing endorsement.

(iii) [Reserved]

(iv) Single geographic location requirement. Use an AFA inshore processor to process pollock harvested in the BS directed pollock fishery at a location other than the single geographic location defined as follows:

(A) Shoreside processors. The physical location at which the land-based shoreside processor first processed BS pollock harvested in the BS directed pollock fishery during a fishing year.

(B) Stationary floating processors. A location within Alaska State waters that is within 5 nm of the position in which the stationary floating processor first processed BS pollock harvested in the BS directed pollock fishery during a fishing year.

(v) Catch weighing. Process any groundfish that was not weighed on a scale approved by the State of Alaska and meeting the requirements specified in §679.28(c).

(vi) Catch monitoring and control plan (CMCP). Take deliveries or process groundfish delivered by a vessel engaged in directed fishing for BSAI pollock without following an approved CMCP as described at §679.28(g). A copy of the CMCP must be maintained on the premises and made available to authorized officers or NMFS-authorized personnel upon request.

(4) Catcher vessels—(i) Permit requirement. Use a catcher vessel to engage in directed fishing for non-CDQ BS pollock for delivery to any AFA processing sector (catcher/processor, mothership, or inshore) unless the vessel has a valid AFA catcher vessel permit on board that includes an endorsement for the sector of the BS pollock fishery in which the vessel is participating.

(ii) [Reserved]

(iii) Groundfish sideboard closures. Use an AFA catcher vessel to engage in directed fishing for a groundfish species or species group in the BSAI or GOA after the Regional Administrator has issued an AFA catcher vessel sideboard directed fishing closure for that groundfish species or species group under §679.20(d)(1)(iv), §679.21(d)(8) or §679.21(e)(3)(iv), if the vessel's AFA permit does not contain a sideboard exemption for that groundfish species or species group.

(5) AFA inshore fishery cooperatives—(i) Overages by vessel. Use an AFA catcher vessel listed on an AFA inshore cooperative fishing permit, or under contract to a fishery cooperative under §679.62(c), to harvest non-CDQ BS pollock in excess of the fishery cooperative's annual allocation of pollock specified under §679.62.

(ii) Overages by fishery cooperative. An inshore pollock fishery cooperative is prohibited from exceeding its annual allocation of BS pollock TAC.

(6) Excessive harvesting shares. It is unlawful for an AFA entity to harvest, through a fishery cooperative or otherwise, an amount of BS pollock that exceeds the 17.5 percent excessive share limit specified under §679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6). The owners and operators of the individual vessels comprising the AFA entity that harvests BS pollock will be held jointly and severally liable for exceeding the excessive harvesting share limit.

(7) Excessive processing shares. It is unlawful for an AFA entity to process an amount of BS pollock that exceeds the 30–percent excessive share limit specified under §679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7). The owners and operators of the individual processors comprising the AFA entity that processes BS pollock will be held jointly and severally liable for exceeding the excessive processing share limit.

(l) Prohibitions specific to the AI directed pollock fishery—(1) Catcher/processors. (i) Use a catcher/processor vessel to harvest pollock in the AI directed pollock fishery or process pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery without a copy of NMFS' approval letter on board pursuant to §679.4(m).

(ii) Process any pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery without complying with catch weighing and observer sampling station requirements set forth at paragraphs (k)(1)(vi) and (k)(1)(vii) of this section, respectively.

(iii) Use a catcher/processor to harvest pollock in the AI directed pollock fishery or process pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery without a valid AFA catcher/processor permit on board the vessel.

(2) Motherships. (i) Use a mothership to process pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery without a copy of NMFS' approval letter on board pursuant to §679.4(m).

(ii) Process any pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery without complying with catch weighing and observer sampling station requirements set forth at paragraphs (k)(2)(iii) and (k)(2)(iv) of this section, respectively.

(iii) Use a mothership to process pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery without a valid AFA mothership permit on board the vessel.

(3) Shoreside and stationary floating processors. (i) Use a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor to process pollock harvested in the in AI directed pollock fishery without a copy of NMFS' approval letter on location pursuant to §679.4(m).

(ii) Process any pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery without complying with catch weighing requirements set forth at paragraph (k)(3)(v) of this section.

(iii) Take deliveries of pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery or process pollock harvested in the AI pollock fishery without following an approved CMCP as described in §679.28(g). A copy of the CMCP must be maintained on the premises and made available to authorized officers or NMFS-authorized personnel upon request.

(4) Catcher vessels. (i) Use a catcher vessel to harvest pollock in the AI directed pollock fishery without a copy of NMFS' approval letter on board pursuant to §679.4(m).

(ii) Have on board at any one time pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery and pollock harvested from either the Bering Sea subarea or the Gulf of Alaska.

(iii) Use a catcher vessel to deliver pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery:

(A) To a shoreside or stationary floating processor that does not have an approved CMCP pursuant to §679.28(g) and is not approved by NMFS to process pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery, or

(B) To a catcher/processor or mothership that is not approved by NMFS to process pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery.

(iv) Use a catcher vessel greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA to harvest pollock in the AI directed pollock fishery unless the vessel has a valid AFA catcher vessel permit on board.

(5) AI directed pollock fishery overages. (i) Use a catcher vessel selected by the Aleut Corporation and approved by NMFS to participate in the AI directed pollock fishery under §679.4(m) to harvest pollock in the AI directed pollock fishery in excess of the Aleut Corporation's annual or seasonal allocations of pollock or in excess of the vessel allocation specified under §679.20(a)(5)(iii).

(ii) The Aleut Corporation is prohibited from exceeding its annual and seasonal allocations of AI pollock TAC or from exceeding the allocation to vessels, as specified in §679.20(a)(5)(iii).

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §679.7, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

§ 679.8   Facilitation of enforcement.
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See §600.730 of this chapter.

§ 679.9   Penalties.
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See §600.735 of this chapter.

Subpart B—Management Measures
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§ 679.20   General limitations.
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This section applies to vessels engaged in directed fishing for groundfish in the GOA and BSAI.

(a) Harvest limits—(1) OY. The OY for BSAI and GOA target species and the “other species” category is a range that can be harvested consistently with this part, plus the amounts of “nonspecified species” taken incidentally to the harvest of target species and the “other species” category. The species categories are defined in Table 1 of the specifications as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.

(i) BSAI. The OY for groundfish in the BSAI regulated by this section and by part 600 of this chapter is 1.4 to 2.0 million mt.

(ii) GOA. The OY for groundfish in the GOA regulated by this section and by part 600 of this chapter is 116,000 to 800,000 mt.

(2) TAC. NMFS, after consultation with the Council, will specify and apportion the annual TAC and reserves for each calendar year among the GOA and BSAI target species and the “other species” categories. TACs in the target species category may be split or combined for purposes of establishing new TACs with apportionments thereof under paragraph (c) of this section. The sum of the TACs so specified must be within the OY range specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(3) Annual TAC determination. The annual determinations of TAC for each target species and the “other species” category, and the reapportionment of reserves may be adjusted, based upon a review of the following:

(i) Biological condition of groundfish stocks. Resource assessment documents prepared annually for the Council that provide information on historical catch trend; updated estimates of the MSY of the groundfish complex and its component species groups; assessments of the stock condition of each target species and the “other species” category; assessments of the multispecies and ecosystem impacts of harvesting the groundfish complex at current levels, given the assessed condition of stocks, including consideration of rebuilding depressed stocks; and alternative harvesting strategies and related effects on the component species group.

(ii) Socioeconomic considerations. Socioeconomic considerations that are consistent with the goals of the fishery management plans for the groundfish fisheries of the BSAI and the GOA, including the need to promote efficiency in the utilization of fishery resources, including minimizing costs; the need to manage for the optimum marketable size of a species; the impact of groundfish harvests on prohibited species and the domestic target fisheries that utilize these species; the desire to enhance depleted stocks; the seasonal access to the groundfish fishery by domestic fishing vessels; the commercial importance of a fishery to local communities; the importance of a fishery to subsistence users; and the need to promote utilization of certain species.

(4) Sablefish TAC—(i) Eastern GOA regulatory area. Vessels in the Eastern GOA regulatory area of the GOA using trawl gear will be allocated 5 percent of the sablefish TAC for bycatch in other trawl fisheries.

(ii) Central and western GOA regulatory areas—(A) Hook-and-line gear. Vessels in the Central and western GOA regulatory areas using hook-and-line gear will be allocated 80 percent of the sablefish TAC in each of the Central and Western GOA regulatory areas.

(B) Trawl gear. Vessels using trawl gear will be allocated 20 percent of the sablefish TAC in these areas.

(iii) Bering Sea subarea—(A) Hook-and-line or pot gear. Vessels in the Bering Sea subarea using hook-and-line or pot gear will be allocated 50 percent of each TAC for sablefish.

(B) Trawl gear. Vessels in the Bering Sea subarea using trawl gear will be allocated 50 percent of each TAC for sablefish.

(iv) Aleutian Islands subarea—(A) Hook-and-line or pot gear. Vessels in the Aleutian Islands subarea using hook-and-line or pot gear will be allocated 75 percent of each TAC for sablefish.

(B) Trawl gear. Vessels in the Aleutian Islands subarea using trawl gear will be allocated 25 percent of each TAC for sablefish.

(5) Pollock TAC—(i) Bering Sea Subarea—(A) AFA allocations. The pollock TAC apportioned to the Bering Sea Subarea, after subtraction of the 10 percent CDQ reserve under §679.31(a), will be allocated as follows:

(1) Incidental catch allowance. The Regional Administrator will establish an incidental catch allowance to account for projected incidental catch of pollock by vessels engaged in directed fishing for groundfish other than pollock and by vessels harvesting non-pollock CDQ. If during a fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that the incidental catch allowance has been set too high or too low, he/she may issue inseason notification in the Federal Register that reallocates incidental catch allowance to the directed fishing allowance, or vice versa, according to the proportions established under paragraph (a)(5)(i)(A) of this section.

(2) Directed fishing allowance. The remaining pollock TAC apportioned to the Bering Sea subarea is established as a directed fishing allowance.

(3) Inshore sector allocation. Fifty percent of the directed fishing allowance will be allocated to AFA catcher vessels harvesting pollock for processing by AFA inshore processors. The inshore allocation will be further divided into separate allocations for cooperative and open access fishing.

(i) Inshore cooperatives. The inshore cooperative allocation will be equal to the aggregate annual allocations of all AFA inshore catcher vessel cooperatives that receive pollock allocations under §679.62(e).

(ii) Inshore open access. The inshore open access allocation will equal that portion of the inshore sector allocation that is not allocated to inshore cooperatives.

(4) Catcher/processor sector allocation. Forty percent of the directed fishing allowance will be allocated to AFA catcher/processors and AFA catcher vessels delivering to catcher processors.

(i) Catcher/processor and catcher vessel cooperatives. If by December 1 of the year prior to the year when fishing under the cooperative agreement will begin, NMFS receives filing of cooperative contracts and/or an inter-cooperative agreement entered into by listed AFA catcher/processors and all AFA catcher vessels with catcher/processor sector endorsements, and the Regional Administrator determines that such contracts provide for the distribution of harvest between catcher/processors and catcher vessels in a manner agreed to by all members of the catcher/processor sector cooperative(s), then NMFS will not subdivide the catcher/processor sector allocation between catcher vessels and catcher/processors.

(ii) Catcher vessel allocation. If such contract is not filed with NMFS by December 1 of the preceding year, then NMFS will allocate 91.5 percent of the catcher/processor sector allocation to AFA catcher/processors engaged in directed fishing for pollock and 8.5 percent of the catcher/processor sector allocation to AFA catcher vessels delivering to catcher/processors.

(iii) Unlisted AFA catcher processors. Unlisted AFA catcher/processors will be limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of catcher/processor sector allocation.

(5) Mothership sector allocation. Ten percent of the directed fishing allowance will be allocated to AFA catcher vessels harvesting pollock for processing by AFA motherships.

(6) Excessive harvesting share. NMFS will establish an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the directed fishing allowances established under paragraphs (a)(5)(i) and (a)(5)(ii) of this section. The excessive harvesting share limit will be published in the annual harvest specifications and is subject to revision on an inseason basis if NMFS reallocates unharvested amounts of the incidental catch allowance to the directed fishing allowance, or vice versa.

(7) Excessive processing share. NMFS will establish an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the directed fishing allowances established under paragraphs (a)(5)(i) and (a)(5)(ii) of this section. The excessive processing share limit will be published in the annual harvest specifications and is subject to revision on an inseason basis if NMFS reallocates unharvested amounts of the incidental catch allowance to the directed fishing allowance, or vice versa.

(B) BSAI seasonal allowances for AFA and CDQ—(1) Inshore, catcher/processor, mothership, and CDQ components. The portions of the BS subarea pollock directed fishing allowances allocated to each component under sections 206(a) and 206(b) of the AFA and the CDQ allowance in the BSAI will be divided into two seasonal allowances corresponding to the two fishing seasons set out at §679.23(e)(2), as follows: A season, 40 percent; and B season, 60 percent.

(2) Inseason adjustments. Within any fishing year, the Regional Administrator may add or subtract any under harvest or over harvest of a seasonal allowance for a component to the subsequent seasonal allowance for the component through notification published in the Federal Register.

(C) Steller sea lion conservation area (SCA) harvest limit. For each component under Sections 206(a) and 206(b) of the AFA and for the open access fishery, no more than 28 percent of the annual pollock directed fishery allowance may be taken from the SCA before April 1. The SCA is defined at §679.22(a)(7)(vii).

(D)–(E) [Reserved]

(F) Steller sea lion conservation area harvest limit (applicable through December 31, 2002).

(1) For each component under Sections 206(a) and 206(b) of the American Fisheries Act and for the open access fishery, no more than 28 percent of the annual pollock directed fishery allowance may be taken from the Steller sea lion conservation area (SCA) before April 1. The SCA is defined at §679.22(a)(11)(vii).

(2) After April 1, the unharvested amount available in the SCA before April 1 is available for directed fishing either within or outside the SCA during the remainder of the A season.

(ii) Bogoslof District. If the Bogoslof District is open to directed fishing for pollock by regulation, then the pollock TAC for this district will be allocated according to the same procedure established for the Bering Sea subarea at paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section. If the Bogoslof District is closed to directed fishing for pollock by regulation, then the entire TAC for this district will be allocated as an incidental catch allowance.

(iii) AI. (A) If a directed fishery for pollock in the AI is not specified under paragraph (c) of this section, then the entire TAC for this subarea will be allocated as an incidental catch allowance.

(B) If the AI is open to directed fishing for pollock under paragraph (c) of this section, then the pollock TAC for this subarea will be specified, allocated, seasonally apportioned, and reallocated as follows:

(1) AI annual TAC limitations. When the AI pollock ABC is less than 19,000 mt, the annual TAC will be no greater than the ABC. When the AI pollock ABC equals or exceeds 19,000 mt, the annual TAC will be equal to 19,000 mt.

(2) Allocations—(i) CDQ Directed fishing allowance. 10 percent of the annual TAC will be allocated to the CDQ pollock reserve established under §679.31(a)(2).

(ii) Incidental catch allowance. The Regional Administrator will determine the amount of the pollock incidental catch necessary to support an incidental catch allowance in the AI during the fishing year for each season. This amount of pollock will be deducted from the annual TAC. If during a fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that the incidental catch allowance is excessive or inadequate, the Regional Administrator may reallocate the excess of the incidental catch allowance to the directed pollock fishery, or may reallocate pollock from the directed pollock fishery to the incidental catch allowance as necessary to support incidental catch of pollock in AI groundfish fisheries, by publication in the Federal Register.

(iii) Directed Pollock Fishery. The amount of the TAC remaining after subtraction of the CDQ directed fishing allowance and the incidental catch allowance will be allocated to the Aleut Corporation as a directed pollock fishery allocation.

(3) Seasonal apportionment. The seasonal harvest of pollock in the AI directed pollock fishery shall be:

(i) A season. No greater than the lesser of the annual initial TAC plus any A season CDQ pollock directed fishery allowance or 40 percent of the AI pollock ABC. The total A season apportionment, including the AI directed pollock fishery allocation, the CDQ pollock directed fishery seasonal allowance, and the incidental catch amount, shall not exceed 40 percent of the ABC.

(ii) B season. The B season apportionment of the AI directed pollock fishery shall equal the annual initial TAC minus the A season directed pollock fishery apportionment under paragraph (a)(5)(iii)(B)(3)(i) of this section and minus the incidental catch amount under paragraph (a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(ii) of this section.

(iii) Inseason adjustments for the directed pollock fishery. During any fishing year, the Regional Administrator may add any under harvest of the A season directed pollock fishery apportionment to the B season directed pollock fishery apportionment by inseason notification published in the Federal Register if the Regional Administrator determines that the harvest capacity in the B season is sufficient to harvest the adjusted B season apportionment.

(iv) Inseason adjustments for the incidental catch allowance. During any fishing year, the Regional Administrator may add any under harvest of the A season incidental catch allowance apportionment to the B season incidental catch allowance apportionment by publication in the Federal Register if the Regional Administrator determines that the additional B season incidental catch allowance is necessary to support other groundfish fisheries.

(4) Reallocation of the annual AI directed pollock fishery and AI CDQ allocations. As soon as practicable, if the Regional Administrator determines that vessels participating in either the AI directed pollock fishery or the AI CDQ directed pollock fishery likely will not harvest the entire AI directed pollock fishery or CDQ pollock directed fishing allowance, the Regional Administrator may reallocate some or all of the projected unused directed pollock fishery allocation to the Bering Sea subarea directed pollock fishery or AI CDQ pollock directed fishing allowance to the Bering Sea subarea CDQ pollock directed fishing allowance by inseason notification published in the Federal Register.

(5) Allocations to small vessels. The annual allocation for vessels 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA or less participating in the AI directed pollock fishery will be:

(i) No more than 25 percent of the AI directed pollock fishery allocation through 2008;

(ii) No more than 50 percent of the AI directed pollock fishery allocation from 2009 through 2012; and

(iii) 50 percent of the AI directed pollock fishery allocation in 2013 and beyond.

(iv) GOA—(A) Apportionment by area. The TAC for pollock in the combined GOA Western and Central Regulatory Areas will be apportioned among statistical areas 610, 620, and 630 in proportion to the distribution of the pollock biomass as determined by the most recent NMFS surveys.

(B) GOA Western and Central Regulatory Areas seasonal apportionments. Each apportionment established under paragraph (a)(5)(iv)(A) of this section will be divided into four seasonal apportionments corresponding to the four fishing seasons specified in §679.23(d)(2) as follows: A Season, 25 percent; B Season, 25 percent; C Season, 25 percent; and D Season, 25 percent. Within any fishing year, underharvest or overharvest of a seasonal apportionment may be added to or subtracted from remaining seasonal apportionments in a manner to be determined by the Regional Administrator, provided that any revised seasonal apportionment does not exceed 20 percent of the seasonal TAC apportionment for the statistical area. The reapportionment of underharvest will be applied to the subsequent season within the same statistical area up to the 20 percent limit specified in this paragraph. Any underharvest remaining beyond the 20 percent limit may be further apportioned to the subsequent season in the other statistical areas, in proportion to estimated biomass and in an amount no more than 20 percent of the seasonal TAC apportionment for the statistical area.

(C) GOA seasonal apportionments (applicable through December 31, 2002). Each apportionment established under paragraph (a)(5)(ii)(A) of this section will be divided into four seasonal apportionments corresponding to the four fishing seasons set out at §679.23(d)(3) of this part as follows: A Season, 25 percent; B Season, 25 percent; C Season, 25 percent; D Season, 25 percent. Within any fishing year, under harvest or over harvest of a seasonal apportionment may be added to or subtracted from remaining seasonal apportionments in a manner to be determined by the Regional Administrator, provided that any revised seasonal apportionment does not exceed 30 percent of the annual TAC apportionment for the combined GOA Western and Central Regulatory Areas.

(6) GOA inshore/offshore allocations—(i) GOA pollock. The apportionment of pollock in all GOA regulatory areas for each seasonal allowance described in paragraph (a)(5)(iv) of this section will be allocated entirely to vessels harvesting pollock for processing by the inshore component in the GOA after subtraction of an amount that is projected by the Regional Administrator to be caught by, or delivered to, the offshore component in the GOA incidental to directed fishing for other groundfish species.

(ii) GOA Pacific cod. The apportionment of Pacific cod in all GOA regulatory areas will be allocated 90 percent to vessels harvesting Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component in the GOA and 10 percent to vessels harvesting Pacific cod for processing by the offshore component in the GOA.

(7) Pacific cod TAC, BSAI—(i) TAC by gear. (A) The BSAI TAC of Pacific cod, after subtraction of reserves, will be allocated 2 percent to vessels using jig gear, 51 percent to vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear, and 47 percent to vessels using trawl gear.

(B) The portion of Pacific cod TAC allocated to trawl gear under paragraph (a)(7)(i)(A) of this section will be further allocated 50 percent to catcher vessels and 50 percent to catcher/processors as defined for the purposes of recordkeeping and reporting at §679.2.

(C) Allocations among vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear. (1) The Regional Administrator annually will estimate the amount of Pacific cod taken as incidental catch in directed fisheries for groundfish other than Pacific cod by vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear and deduct that amount from the portion of Pacific cod TAC annually allocated to hook-and-line or pot gear under paragraph (a)(7)(i)(A) of this section. The remainder will be further allocated as directed fishing allowances as follows:

(i) 80.0 percent to catcher/processor vessels using hook-and-line gear;

(ii) 0.3 percent to catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear;

(iii) 3.3 percent to catcher/processor vessels using pot gear;

(iv) 15.0 percent to catcher vessels using pot gear; and

(v) 1.4 percent to catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA that use either hook-and-line or pot gear.

(2) Harvest of Pacific cod by catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear:

(i) Will accrue against the 15 percent specified in paragraph (a)(7)(i)(C)(1)(iv) of this section when the directed fishery for Pacific cod by catcher vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear is open.

(ii) Will accrue against the 1.4 percent specified in paragraph (a)(7)(i)(C)(1)(v) of this section when the directed fishery for Pacific cod by catcher vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear is closed.

(D) The Regional Administrator may establish separate directed fishing allowances and prohibitions authorized under paragraph (d) of this section for vessels harvesting Pacific cod using trawl gear, jig gear, hook-and-line gear, or pot gear.

(ii) Unused gear allocations

(A) Reallocation within the trawl sector. If, during a fishing season, the Regional Administrator determines that either component of catcher vessels using trawl gear or catcher/processors using trawl gear will not be able to harvest the entire amount of Pacific cod in the BSAI allocated to those vessels under paragraph (a)(7)(i), (a)(7)(ii)(C), or (a)(7)(iii)(A) of this section, he/she may reallocate the projected unused amount of Pacific cod to vessels using trawl gear in the other component through notification in the Federal Register before any reallocation to vessels using other gear type(s).

(B) Reallocation among vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear. If, during a fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that catcher vessels using hook-and-line gear or vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear will not be able to harvest the directed fishing allowance of Pacific cod allocated to those vessels under paragraphs (a)(7)(i)(C)(1)(ii), (a)(7)(i)(C)(1)(iv), or (a)(7)(ii)(C)(1) of this section, NMFS may reallocate the projected unused amount of Pacific cod as a directed fishing allowance to catcher/processor vessels using hook-and-line gear through notification in the Federal Register.

(C) Reallocation among vessels using trawl or non-trawl gear. If, during a fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that vessels using trawl gear, hook-and-line gear, pot gear or jig gear will not be able to harvest the entire amount of Pacific cod in the BSAI allocated to those vessels under paragraphs (a)(7)(i)(A), (a)(7)(i)(B) or (a)(7)(i)(C) of this section, NMFS will reallocate the projected unused amount of Pacific cod to vessels harvesting Pacific cod using the other gear type(s) through notification in the Federal Register, subject to the provisions below:

(1) Reallocation of TAC specified for jig gear. The Regional Administrator will reallocate any projected unused portion of a seasonal allowance of Pacific cod for vessels using jig gear under paragraphs (a)(7)(i)(A) and (a)(7)(iii)(A) of this section to catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear.

(2) Reallocation of TAC specified for trawl gear. The Regional Administrator will reallocate any projected unharvested amounts of Pacific cod TAC allocated to trawl gear under paragraph (a)(7)(i) of this section: 95 percent to catcher/processor vessels using hook-and-line gear, 0.9 percent to catcher/processor vessels using pot gear, and 4.1 percent to catcher vessels using pot gear.

(D) Unused seasonal allowance for trawl. Any unused portion of a seasonal allowance of Pacific cod for vessels using trawl gear under paragraph (a)(7)(ii) or (a)(7)(iii)(A) of this section may be reapportioned by the Regional Administrator to the subsequent seasonal allocations for vessels using trawl gear.

(E) Unused seasonal allowance for trawl (applicable through December 31, 2002). Any unused portion of a seasonal allowance of Pacific cod for vessels using trawl gear under paragraphs (a)(7)(ii)(D) and (a)(7)(iii)(D) of this section may be reapportioned by the Regional Administrator, through notification in the Federal Register, to the subsequent seasonal allocations for vessels using trawl gear.

(iii) Seasonal allowances—(A) Seasonal apportionment and gear allocations. The BSAI Pacific cod gear allocations and apportionments by seasons, as specified in §679.23 (e)(5), are as follows:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------              Gear Type                        A season                 B season                 C season----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) trawl............................  60 percent.............  20 percent.............  20 percent    (i) trawl CV.....................  70 percent.............  10 percent.............  20 percent    (ii) trawl CP....................  50 percent.............  30 percent.............  20 percent(2) hook-and-line processors, hook-    60 percent.............  40 percent............. and-line >=60 ft (18.3 m)LOA, and non-CDQ pot vessels >=60 ft (18.3 m) LOA.(3) jig vessels......................  40 percent.............  20 percent.............  40 percent(4) all other nontrawl vessels.......  no seasonal              no seasonal              no seasonal                                        apportionment.           apportionment.           apportionment----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(B) Unused seasonal allowances. Any unused portion of a seasonal allowance of Pacific cod allocated to vessels using hook-and-line or pot gear under paragraph (a)(7)(i)(C) of this section will be reallocated to the remaining seasons during the current fishing year in a manner determined by NMFS, after consultation with the Council.

(C) Seasonal apportionment and gear allocations (applicable through December 31, 2002). The Pacific cod BSAI gear allocations and apportionments by seasons, as specified in §679.23 (e)(6), are as follows:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                          A season   B season   C season               Gear type                 (percent)  (percent)  (percent)------------------------------------------------------------------------Trawl..................................         60         20         20Trawl CV...............................         70         10         20Trawl CP...............................         50         30         20Hook-and-line >=60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, non-        60         40 CDQ pot vessels >=60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, and jig vessels.......................All other nontrawl vessels.............         No                                          seasonal                                         apportion                                            ment.------------------------------------------------------------------------CV = catcher vessels.CP = catcher/processor vessels.

(8) BSAI Atka mackerel—(i) Jig gear. Vessels using jig gear will be allocated up to 2 percent of the TAC of Atka mackerel specified for the Eastern Aleutian Islands District and Bering Sea subarea, after subtraction of reserves, based on the following criteria:

(A) The amount of Atka mackerel harvested by vessels using jig gear during recent fishing years;

(B) The anticipated harvest of Atka mackerel by vessels using jig gear during the upcoming fishing year; and

(C) The extent to which the jig-gear allocation will support the development of a jig-gear fishery for Atka mackerel while minimizing the amount of Atka mackerel TAC annually allocated to vessels using jig gear that remains unharvested at the end of the fishing year.

(ii) Other gears. The remainder of the Atka mackerel TAC, after subtraction of the jig gear allocation and reserves, will be allocated to vessels using other authorized gear types.

(A) Seasonal allowances. The Atka mackerel TAC specified for each subarea or district of the BSAI will be divided equally, after subtraction of the jig gear allocation and reserves, into two seasonal allowances corresponding to the A and B seasons defined at §679.23(e)(3).

(B) Overages and underages. Within any fishing year, unharvested amounts of the A season allowance will be added to the B season allowance and harvests in excess of the A season allowance will be deducted from the B season allowance.

(C) Harvest limit area (HLA) limits. Atka mackerel harvest is limited in the HLA, as defined in §679.2, as follows:

(1) The Regional Administrator will establish an HLA harvest limit of no more than 60 percent of the seasonal TAC as specified in paragraph (a)(8)(ii)(A) of this section.

(2) CDQ fishing. A CDQ group is prohibited from exceeding the CDQ portion of the percentage of annual Atka mackerel in areas 542 and/or 543 specified in paragraph (a)(8)(ii)(C)(1) of this section for the HLA.

(iii) Atka mackerel HLA directed fishing—(A) Registration. All vessels using trawl gear to conduct directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the HLA, as defined in §679.2, are required to register with NMFS. To register, the vessel owner or operator must provide information required by §679.4(b)(5)(vi) for an endorsement to the vessel's Federal Fisheries Permit issued under §679.4.

(1) To participate in the A season HLA fishery, registration information must be received by NMFS, Restricted Access Management Program, by 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., of the first working day following January 1.

(2) To participate in the B season HLA fishery,

(i) The vessel must be registered for the A season HLA fishery and must maintain registration for the HLA fishery through the first working day following July 31, or

(ii) The vessel must be registered for the HLA fishery with NMFS, Restricted Access Management Program, by 4:30 p.m., A.l.t., of the first working day following July 31.

(B) HLA assignment. For each season, NMFS will manage the HLA directed fishery for the vessels registered to fish in areas 542 or 543 under paragraph (a)(8)(iii)(A) of this section as follows:

(1) Lottery. The Regional Administrator or his/her designee will randomly assign each vessel to one of two directed fisheries for each statistical area in which the vessel is registered under paragraph (a)(8)(iii)(A) of this section. Each HLA directed fishery within a statistical area will be assigned an equal number of vessels unless there is an odd number of vessels under paragraph (a)(8)(iii)(A) of this section. In the case of an odd number of vessels, the Regional Administrator or his/her designee will assign one additional vessel to one HLA directed fishery. Vessels registering under paragraph (a)(8)(iii)(A) of this section to fish in both area 542 and area 543 will be randomly assigned to an HLA directed fishery in area 542 and will be placed in the area 543 HLA directed fishery occurring at an alternate time during the season.

(2) Notification. The Regional Administrator will provide the results of the lottery under (a)(8)(iii)(B)(1) of this section by notification published in the Federal Register and other means of practicable notification.

(C) HLA directed fisheries. 48 hours after a prohibited directed fishing for Atka mackerel in area 541, the Regional Administrator will allow directed fishing within the HLA in areas 542 and 543. The Regional Administrator will provide notification by publication in the Federal Register of the opening and closure dates of the HLA directed fisheries, as determined by paragraph (a)(8)(iii)(E) of this section. Closures specified in Table 6 to this part and in §679.22(a)(8) will remain in effect.

(D) HLA harvest limit. The Regional Administrator will establish the harvest limit for each HLA directed fishery for each area based on the seasonal apportionment at paragraph (a)(8)(ii)(C) of this section and in proportion to the number of vessels in an HLA directed fishery compared to the total number of vessels fishing in the HLA of an area during a season.

(E) HLA directed fishery closure. The Regional Administrator will establish the closure date of the Atka mackerel HLA directed fishery for each statistical area based on the estimated fishing capacity of vessels registered to fish in the area and assigned to the HLA directed fishery under paragraph (a)(8)(iii)(B) of this section. Each HLA directed fishery will last no longer than 14 days.

(F) Groundfish directed fishery prohibition. Vessels registering under paragraph (a)(8)(iii)(A) of this section are prohibited from participating in any groundfish directed fishery, other than Atka mackerel, during the opening of the first HLA directed fishery assigned to the vessel in a season, as specified in §679.7(a)(19).

(9) BSAI shortraker rockfish and rougheye rockfish. After subtraction of reserves, the TAC of shortraker rockfish and rougheye rockfish specified for the Aleutian Islands subarea will be allocated 30 percent to vessels using non-trawl gear and 70 percent to vessels using trawl gear.

(10) All other groundfish TAC. The initial TAC for each target species and the “other species” category will be 85 percent of the TAC as provided under paragraph (b) of this section.

(11) GOA Pacific cod TAC—(i) Seasonal apportionment. The TAC established for Pacific cod in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas of the GOA will be divided 60 percent to the A season and 40 percent to the B season, as specified in §679.23(d)(3).

(ii) The Regional Administrator may apply any underage or overage of Pacific cod harvest from one season to the subsequent season. In adding or subtracting any underages or overages to the subsequent season, the Regional Administrator shall consider bycatch needed to optimize catch by gear groups and sectors.

(iii) Pacific cod catch between the A and B seasons. Pacific cod harvested between the closure of the A season and opening of the B season shall be deducted from the B season TAC apportionment.

(b) Reserves—(1) BSAI—(i) General. Fifteen percent of the BSAI TAC for each target species and the “other species” category, except pollock and the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation for sablefish, is automatically placed in a reserve, and the remaining 85 percent of the TAC is apportioned for each target species and the “other species” category, except pollock and the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation for sablefish.

(ii) Nonspecified reserve. The reserve is not designated by species or species group, and any amount of the reserve may be apportioned to a target species, except the hook-and-line gear and pot gear allocation for sablefish, or the “other species” category, provided that such apportionments are consistent with paragraph (a)(3) of this section and do not result in overfishing of a target species or the “other species” category.

(iii) CDQ reserve—(A) Groundfish CDQ Reserve. Except as limited by §679.31(a), one half of the nonspecified reserve established by paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section for all species except squid is apportioned to the groundfish CDQ reserve.

(B) Fixed gear sablefish CDQ reserves. Twenty percent of the fixed gear allocation of sablefish established by paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of this section for each subarea or district of the BSAI is apportioned to a CDQ reserve for each subarea or district.

(C) Apportionment of groundfish CDQ reserve by TAC category. (1) Except for the fixed gear sablefish CDQ reserves, the groundfish CDQ reserve is apportioned among TAC categories in amounts equal to 7.5 percent of each TAC category for which a reserve is established.

(2) If the final harvest specifications required by paragraph (c) of this section change the groundfish species comprising a species category or change a TAC by combining management areas or splitting a TAC into two or more TACs by management area, then any CDQ allocations based on those TACs change proportionally.

(iv) Pacific cod. Any amounts of the BSAI nonspecific reserve that are apportioned to Pacific cod as provided by paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section must be apportioned among vessels using jig, hook-and-line or pot, and trawl gear in the same proportion specified in paragraph (a)(7)(i) of this section, unless the Regional Administrator determines under paragraph (a)(7)(ii) of this section that vessels using a certain gear type will not be able to harvest the additional amount of Pacific cod. In this case, the nonspecific reserve will be apportioned to vessels using the other gear type(s).

(2) GOA. Initial reserves are established for pollock, Pacific cod, flatfish, and “other species,” which are equal to 20 percent of the TACs for these species or species groups.

(i) Pollock inshore-offshore reapportionment. Any amounts of the GOA reserve that are reapportioned to pollock as provided by paragraph (b) of this section must be apportioned for processing by the inshore component in the GOA and the offshore component in the GOA in the same proportions specified in paragraph (a)(6)(i) of this section.

(ii) Pacific Cod inshore-offshore reapportionment. Any amounts of the GOA reserve that are reapportioned to Pacific cod as provided by paragraph (b) of this section must be apportioned for processing by the inshore component in the GOA and the offshore component in the GOA in the same proportion specified in paragraph (a)(6)(ii) of this section.

(3) Apportionment of reserves. (i) Notification. (A) As soon as practicable after April 1, June 1, and August 1, and on such other dates as NMFS determines appropriate, NMFS will, by notification in the Federal Register, apportion all or part of the BSAI or GOA reserve in accordance with this paragraph (b).

(B) No apportionment, retention, or PSC limit adjustment may take effect until notification has been published in the Federal Register with a statement of the findings upon which the apportionment, retention, or adjustment is based.

(ii) Apportionment—(A) General. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(B) of this section, NMFS will apportion the amount of BSAI or GOA reserve that will be harvested by U.S. vessels during the remainder of the year.

(B) Exception. Part or all of the BSAI or GOA reserve may be withheld if an apportionment would adversely affect the conservation of groundfish resources or prohibited species.

(iii) Public comment—(A) Prior comment. NMFS will provide all interested persons an opportunity to comment on the proposed apportionments, retentions, or PSC limit adjustments under this paragraph (b) before such apportionments, retentions, or adjustments are made, unless NMFS finds that there is good cause for not providing a prior comment opportunity, and publishes the reasons therefor in the notification of apportionment, retention, or adjustment.

(B) Submittal dates. Comments provided for in this paragraph (b)(3)(iii) must be received by NMFS not later than 5 days before April 1, June 1, and August 1, or other dates that may be specified.

(C) Subsequent comment. If NMFS determines for good cause that notification of apportionment, retention or PSC limit adjustment must be issued without providing interested persons a prior opportunity for public comment, comments on the apportionment, retention or adjustment will be received for a period of 15 days after its effective date.

(D) Response to comments. NMFS will consider all timely comments in deciding whether to make a proposed apportionment, retention, or PSC limit adjustment or to modify an apportionment, retention, or adjustment that previously has been made, and shall publish responses to those comments in the Federal Register as soon as practicable.

(E) Data available. The Regional Administrator will make available to the public during business hours the aggregate data upon which any preliminary TAC or PSC limit figure is based or the data upon which any apportionment or retention of surplus or reserve, or PSC limit adjustment was or is proposed to be based. These data will be available for a sufficient period to facilitate informed comment by interested persons.

(c) Annual specifications—(1) Proposed specifications—(i) Notification. As soon as practicable after consultation with the Council, NMFS will publish proposed specifications for the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI and the GOA.

(ii) Public comment. NMFS will accept public comment on the proposed specifications established by this section and by §679.21 for a period specified in the notice of proposed specifications published in the Federal Register.

(iii) GOA. The proposed specifications will specify for up to two fishing years the annual TAC for each target species and the “other species” category and apportionments thereof, halibut prohibited species catch amounts, and seasonal allowances of pollock and Pacific cod.

(iv) BSAI. The proposed specifications will specify for up to two fishing years the annual TAC for each target species and the “other species” category and apportionments thereof, PSQ reserves and prohibited species catch allowances, seasonal allowances of pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel TAC (including pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel CDQ), and CDQ reserve amounts.

(2) Interim specifications. (Applicable until April 1, 2005.) Interim harvest specifications will be in effect on January 1 and will remain in effect until superseded by the filing of the final specifications by the Office of the Federal Register. Interim specifications will be established as follows:

(i) GOA. One-fourth of each proposed TAC and apportionment thereof (not including the reserves or the first seasonal allowances of pollock or Pacific cod), one-fourth of the proposed halibut prohibited species catch amounts, and the proposed first seasonal allowances of pollock and Pacific cod.

(ii) BSAI. Except for pollock, Pacific cod, Atka mackerel, and the hook-and-line and pot gear allocation of sablefish, one quarter of each proposed initial TAC and apportionment thereof, one quarter of each CDQ reserve established by paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section, and one quarter of the proposed PSQ reserve and prohibited species catch allowances established by §679.21.

(A) The interim specifications for pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel will be equal to the first seasonal allowances for pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel that are published in the proposed specifications under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(B) The interim specifications for CDQ pollock, CDQ Atka mackerel, and CDQ Pacific cod will be equal to the first seasonal allowances that are published in the proposed specifications under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(3) Final specifications—(i) Procedure and notification. NMFS will consider comments received on the proposed specifications and, after consultation with the Council, will publish a notice of final specifications in the Federal Register unless NMFS determines that the final specifications would not be a logical outgrowth of the notice of proposed specifications. In that event, NMFS will either:

(A) Publish a revised notice of proposed specifications in the Federal Register for public comment, and after considering comments received on the revised proposed specifications, publish a notice of final specifications in the Federal Register; or

(B) Publish a notice of final specifications in the Federal Register without an additional opportunity for public comment based on a finding that good cause pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act justifies waiver of the requirement for a revised notice of proposed specifications and opportunity for public comment thereon.

(ii) GOA. The final specifications will specify for up to two fishing years the annual TAC for each target species and the “other species” category and apportionments thereof, halibut prohibited species catch amounts, and seasonal allowances of pollock and Pacific cod.

(iii) BSAI. The final specifications will specify for up to two fishing years the annual TAC for each target species and the “other species” category and apportionments thereof, PSQ reserves and prohibited species catch allowances, seasonal allowances of pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel TAC (including pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel CDQ), and CDQ reserve amounts.

(4) AFA and inshore/offshore allocations—(i) BSAI pollock. The annual harvest specifications will specify the allocation of pollock for processing by each AFA industry component in the BSAI, and any seasonal allowances thereof, as authorized under paragraph (a)(5) of this section.

(ii) GOA pollock and Pacific cod. The annual harvest specifications will specify the allocation of GOA pollock and GOA Pacific cod for processing by the inshore component in the GOA and the offshore component in the GOA, and any seasonal allowances thereof, as authorized under paragraphs (a)(5) and (a)(6) of this section.

(5) BSAI Pacific cod gear allocations. (Effective April 1, 2005) The proposed and final specifications will specify the allocation of BSAI Pacific cod among gear types as authorized under paragraph (a)(7) of this section.

(6) BSAI Atka mackerel allocations. (Effective April 1, 2005) The proposed and final specifications will specify the allocation of BSAI Atka mackerel among gear types and HLA fisheries as authorized under paragraph (a)(8) of this section.

(d) Fishery closures—(1) Directed fishing allowance—(i) General. If the Regional Administrator determines that any allocation or apportionment of a target species or “other species” category specified under paragraph (c) of this section has been or will be reached, the Regional Administrator may establish a directed fishing allowance for that species or species group.

(ii) Specified fishery amounts—(A) Inseason adjustments. The category allocations or apportionments established under paragraph (c) of this section may be revised by inseason adjustments, as defined at §679.25, for a given species or species group or pollock allowance, as identified by regulatory area, subarea, or district, and, if applicable, as further identified by gear type.

(B) Incidental catch. In establishing a directed fishing allowance, the Regional Administrator shall consider the amount of the allocation or apportionment established under paragraph (c) of this section that will be taken as incidental catch in directed fishing for other species in the same subarea, regulatory area, or district.

(iii) Directed fishing closure—(A) Notification. If the Regional Administrator establishes a directed fishing allowance for a fishery allocation or apportionment under this paragraph (d), and that allowance has been or will be reached before the end of the fishing season or year, NMFS will publish notification in the Federal Register prohibiting directed fishing in the specified subarea, regulatory area, or district.

(B) Retention of incidental species. Except as described in §679.20(e)(3)(iii), if directed fishing for a target species, species group, or the “other species” category is prohibited, a vessel may not retain that incidental species in an amount that exceeds the maximum retainable amount, as calculated under paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section, at any time during a fishing trip.

(iv) AFA sideboard limitations—(A) If the Regional Administrator determines that any sideboard harvest limit for a group of AFA vessels established under §679.64 has been or will be reached, the Regional Administrator may establish a sideboard directed fishing allowance for the species or species group applicable only to the identified group of AFA vessels.

(B) In establishing a directed fishing allowance under paragraph (d)(1)(iv)(A) of this section, the Regional Administrator will consider the amount of the sideboard limit established for a group of AFA vessels under §679.64 that will be taken as incidental catch by those vessels in directed fishing for other species.

(C) If the Regional Administrator determines that a sideboard amount is insufficient to support a directed fishery for that species then the Regional Administrator may set the sideboard directed fishing allowance at zero for that species or species group.

(2) Groundfish as prohibited species closure. When the Regional Administrator determines that the TAC of any target species or the “other species” category specified under paragraph (c) of this section, or the share of any TAC assigned to any type of gear, has been or will be achieved prior to the end of a year, NMFS will publish notification in the Federal Register requiring that target species or the “other species” be treated in the same manner as a prohibited species, as described under §679.21(b), for the remainder of the year.

(3) Overfishing closure—(i) Notification. If, in making a determination under paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the Regional Administrator also determines that fishing for other target species or species groups in the area, district or part thereof where the notification applies, may lead to the overfishing of the species or species group for which the allocation or apportionment has been or will be reached, NMFS will publish notification in the Federal Register specifying limitations or prohibitions designed to prevent overfishing of that species or species group.

(ii) Limitations and prohibitions. These limitations and prohibitions may prohibit directed fishing for other species or species groups in the area, district, or part thereof where the notification applies, or may limit time, area, or gear types that may be used in directed fishing for the other species or species groups.

(iii) Factors to be considered. When making the determinations specified under paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3) of this section, the Regional Administrator may consider allowing fishing to continue or resume with certain gear types or in certain areas and times based on findings of:

(A) The risk of biological harm to a groundfish species or species group for which the TAC or PSC limit is or will be reached.

(B) The risk of socioeconomic harm to authorized users of the groundfish for which the TAC or PSC limit will be or has been reached.

(C) The impact that the continued closure might have on the socioeconomic well-being of other domestic fisheries.

(4) Harvest control for pollock, Atka mackerel, and Pacific cod. If a biological assessment of stock condition for pollock, Pacific cod, or Atka mackerel within an area projects that the spawning biomass in that area will be equal to or below 20 percent of the projected unfished spawning biomass during a fishing year, the Regional Administrator will prohibit the directed fishery for the relevant species within the area. The Regional Administrator will prohibit the directed fishery under this paragraph by notification published in the Federal Register. The directed fishery will remain closed until a subsequent biological assessment projects that the spawning biomass for the species in the area will exceed 20 percent of the projected unfished spawning biomass during a fishing year.

(e) Maximum retainable amounts—(1) Proportion of basis species. The maximum retainable amount for an incidental catch species is calculated as a proportion of the basis species retained on board the vessel using the retainable percentages in Table 10 to this part for the GOA species categories and in Table 11 to this part for the BSAI species categories.

(2) Calculation. (i) To calculate the maximum retainable amount for a specific incidental catch species, an individual retainable amount must be calculated with respect to each basis species that is retained on board that vessel.

(ii) To obtain these individual retainable amounts, multiply the appropriate retainable percentage for the incidental catch species/basis species combination, set forth in Table 10 to this part for the GOA species categories and Table 11 to this part for the BSAI species categories, by the amount of that basis species, in round-weight equivalents.

(iii) The maximum retainable amount for that specific incidental catch species is the sum of the individual retainable amount.

(3) Application. (i) For catcher vessels, the maximum retainable amount for vessels fishing during a fishing trip in areas closed to directed fishing is the lowest maximum retainable amount applicable in any area, and this maximum retainable amount must be applied at any time and to all areas for the duration of the fishing trip.

(ii) For catcher/processors fishing in an area closed to directed fishing for a species or species group, the maximum retainable amount for that species or species group applies at any time for the duration of the fishing trip.

(iii) For all vessels not listed in subpart F of this section, the maximum retainable amount for pollock harvested in the BSAI is calculated at the end of each offload and is based on the basis species harvested since the previous offload. For purposes of this paragraph, offload means the removal of any fish or fish product from the vessel that harvested the fish or fish product to any other vessel or to shore.

(f) Directed fishing calculations and determinations—(1) Round-weight equivalents. Any determination concerning directed fishing, the amount or percentage of any species, species group, or any fish or fish products must be calculated in round-weight equivalents.

(2) Retainable amounts. Except as provided in Table 10 to this part, arrowtooth flounder, or any groundfish species for which directed fishing is closed may not be used to calculate retainable amounts of other groundfish species. CDQ species may only be used to calculate retainable amounts of other CDQ species.

(g) Allowable retention of pollock roe—(1) Percentage of pollock roe. (i) Pollock roe retained on board a vessel at any time during a fishing trip must not exceed the following percentages of the total round-weight equivalent of pollock, as calculated from the primary pollock product on board the vessel during the same fishing trip:

(A) 7 percent in the Gulf of Alaska, and

(B) 9 percent in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

(ii) Determinations of allowable retention of pollock roe will be based on amounts of pollock harvested, received, or processed during a single fishing trip.

(iii) Pollock or pollock products from previous fishing trips that are retained on board a vessel may not be used to determine the allowable retention of pollock roe for that vessel.

(2) Primary product. (i) For purposes of this paragraph (g), only one primary pollock product per fish, other than roe, may be used to calculate the round-weight equivalent.

(ii) A primary pollock product that contains roe (such as headed and gutted pollock with roe) may not be used to calculate the round-weight equivalent of pollock.

(iii) The primary pollock product must be distinguished from ancillary pollock products in the DCPL required under §679.5(a)(9).

(3) Pollock product recovery rates (PRRs). Use the product types and standard PRRs for pollock found in Table 3 to this part to calculate round-weight equivalents for pollock for purposes of this paragraph (g).

(4) Calculation of retainable pollock roe—(i) Round-weight equivalent. (A) To calculate the amount of pollock roe that can be retained on board during a fishing trip, first calculate the round-weight equivalent by dividing the total amount of primary product on board by the appropriate PRR.

(B) To determine the maximum amount of pollock roe that can be retained on board a vessel during the same fishing trip, multiply the round-weight equivalent by 0.07 in the Gulf of Alaska or 0.09 in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

(C) Pollock roe retained on board from previous fishing trips will not be counted.

(ii) Two or more products from different fish. (A) If two or more products, other than roe, are made from different fish, round-weight equivalents are calculated separately for each product.

(B) To determine the maximum amount of pollock roe that can be retained on board a vessel during a fishing trip, add the round-weight equivalents together; then, multiply the sum by 0.07 in the Gulf of Alaska or 0.09 in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

(iii) Two or more products from same fish. If two or more products, other than roe, are made from the same fish, the maximum amount of pollock roe that can be retained during a fishing trip is determined from the primary product.

(5) Primary pollock product—(i) Process prior to transfer. Any primary pollock product used to calculate retainable amounts of pollock roe must be frozen, canned, or reduced to meal by the vessel retaining the pollock roe prior to any transfer of the product to another vessel.

(ii) No discard of processed product. Any pollock product that has been processed may not be discarded at sea unless such discarding is necessary to meet other requirements of this part.

(h) Standard product types and standard PRRs—(1) Calculating round-weight equivalents from standard PRRs. Round-weight equivalents for groundfish products are calculated using the product codes and standard PRRs specified in Table 3 to this part.

(2) Adjustments. The Regional Administrator may adjust standard PRRs and product types specified in Table 3 to this part if he or she determines that existing standard PRRs are inaccurate or if new product types are developed.

(i) Adjustments to any standard PRR listed in Table 3 to this part that are within and including 15 percent of that standard PRR may be made without providing notification and opportunity for prior public comment.

(ii) Adjustments of any standard PRR during a calendar year, when aggregated with all other adjustments made during that year, will not exceed 15 percent of the standard PRR listed in Table 3 to this part at the beginning of that calendar year.

(iii) No new product type will be announced until NMFS publishes the proposed adjustment and/or new product type in the Federal Register and provides the public with at least 30 days opportunity for public comment.

(iv) Any adjustment of a PRR that acts to further restrict the fishery will not be effective until 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

(v) If NMFS makes any adjustment or announcement without providing a prior notification and opportunity for prior public comment, the Regional Administrator will receive public comments on the adjustment or announcement for a period of 15 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.

(i) Forage fish—(1) Definition.See Table 2c to this part.

(2) Applicability. The provisions of §679.20(i) apply to all vessels fishing for groundfish in the BSAI or GOA, and to all vessels processing groundfish harvested in the BSAI or GOA.

(3) Closure to directed fishing. Directed fishing for forage fish is prohibited at all times in the BSAI and GOA.

(4) Limits on sale, barter, trade, and processing. The sale, barter, trade, or processing of forage fish is prohibited, except as provided in paragraph (i)(5) of this section.

(5) Allowable fishmeal production. Retained catch of forage fish not exceeding the maximum retainable bycatch amount may be processed into fishmeal for sale, barter, or trade.

(j) Full retention of Demersal Shelf Rockfish (DSR) in the Southeast Outside District of the GOA (SEO)—(1) Retention and landing requirements. The operator of a catcher vessel that is required to have a Federal fisheries permit, or that harvests IFQ halibut with hook and line or jig gear, must retain and land all DSR that is caught while fishing for groundfish or IFQ halibut in the SEO.

(2) Disposal of DSR when closed to directed fishing. When DSR is closed to directed fishing in the SEO, the operator of a catcher vessel that is required to have a Federal fisheries permit under §679.4 (b), or the manager of a shoreside processor that is required to have a Federal processor permit under §679.4(f), must dispose of DSR retained and landed in accordance with paragraph (j)(1) of this section as follows:

(i) A person may sell, barter, or trade a round weight equivalent amount of DSR that is less than or equal to 10 percent of the aggregate round weight equivalent of IFQ halibut and groundfish species, other than sablefish, that are landed during the same fishing trip.

(ii) A person may sell, barter, or trade a round weight equivalent amount of DSR that is less than or equal to 1 percent of the aggregate round weight equivalent of IFQ sablefish that are landed during the same fishing trip.

(iii) Amounts of DSR retained by catcher vessels under paragraph (j)(1) of this section that are in excess of the limits specified in paragraphs (j)(2)(i) and (ii) may be put to any use, including but not limited to personal consumption or donation, but must not enter commerce through sale, barter, or trade.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §679.20, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

§ 679.21   Prohibited species bycatch management.
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(a) Applicability. (1) This section applies to all vessels required to have a Federal fisheries permit under §679.4.

(2) Except as otherwise provided, this section also applies to all motherships and shoreside processors that receive groundfish from vessels required to have a Federal fisheries permit under §679.4.

(b) General. (1) See §679.2 and Table 2b to this part for definition of prohibited species.

(2) Prohibited species catch restrictions. The operator of each vessel engaged in directed fishing for groundfish in the GOA or BSAI must:

(i) Minimize its catch of prohibited species.

(ii) After allowing for sampling by an observer, if an observer is aboard, sort its catch immediately after retrieval of the gear and, except as provided below, return all prohibited species or parts thereof to the sea immediately, with a minimum of injury, regardless of its condition. The following exceptions are made:

(A) Salmon prohibited species catch in the BSAI groundfish fisheries under paragraph (c) of this section and §679.26; and

(B) Salmon PSQ caught by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the CDQ fisheries under subpart C of this part.

(3) Rebuttable presumption. Except as provided under paragraph (c) of this section, §679.26, or for salmon PSQ retained by catcher vessels using trawl gear in the CDQ fisheries, there will be a rebuttable presumption that any prohibited species retained on board a fishing vessel regulated under this part was caught and retained in violation of this section.

(4) Prohibited species taken seaward of the EEZ off Alaska. No vessel fishing for groundfish in the GOA or BSAI may have on board any species listed in this paragraph (b) that was taken in waters seaward of these management areas, regardless of whether retention of such species was authorized by other applicable laws.

(5) Sablefish as a prohibited species. (See §679.24(c)(2)(ii).)

(c) Salmon taken in BSAI trawl fishery—(1) Salmon discard. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the operator of a vessel and the manager of a shoreside processor must not discard any salmon or transfer or process any salmon under the PSD Program at §679.26, if the salmon were taken incidental to a directed fishery for BSAI groundfish by vessels using trawl gear until the number of salmon has been determined by an observer and the collection of any scientific data or biological samples from the salmon has been completed.

(2) Salmon retention and storage. (i) Operators of vessels carrying observers aboard and whose fishing operations allow for sorting of BSAI groundfish catch for salmon must retain all salmon bycatch from each haul in a separate bin or other location that allows an observer free and unobstructed physical access to the salmon to count each fish and collect any scientific data or biological samples. Salmon from different hauls must be retained separately in a manner that identifies the haul from which the salmon were taken.

(ii) Operators of vessels not carrying observers aboard or whose fishing operations do not allow for sorting of BSAI groundfish catch for salmon must ice, freeze, or store in a refrigerated saltwater tank all salmon taken as bycatch in trawl operations for delivery to the processor receiving the vessel's BSAI groundfish catch.

(iii) Processors receiving BSAI groundfish harvested in a directed fishery for groundfish using trawl gear must retain all salmon delivered by each trawl vessel during a weekly reporting period in separate bins marked with the vessel's name and ADF&G fish ticket number(s) for each delivery until an observer has counted each salmon and collected any scientific data or biological samples from the salmon delivered to the processor by that vessel. Processors without an observer present must store whole salmon in an iced or frozen state until an observer is available to count each fish. Salmon must be stored at a location that allows an observer free and unobstructed physical access to each salmon.

(3) Exemption. Motherships and shoreside processors that are not required to obtain observer coverage during a month under §679.50(c) and (d) are not required to retain salmon.

(4) Assignment of crew to assist observer. Operators of vessels and managers of shoreside processors that are required to retain salmon under paragraph (c)(1) of this section must designate and identify to the observer aboard the vessel or at the shoreside processor a crew person or employee to be responsible for sorting, retention, and storage of salmon. Upon request of the observer, the designated crew person or employee also is responsible for counting salmon and taking biological samples from retained salmon under the direction of the observer.

(5) Release of salmon. Salmon must be returned to Federal waters as soon as is practicable, with a minimum of injury, regardless of condition, following notification by an observer that the number of salmon has been determined and the collection of any scientific data or biological samples has been completed.

(d) GOA halibut PSC limits. This section is applicable for vessels engaged in directed fishing for groundfish in the GOA.

(1) Notification—(i) Proposed and final limits and apportionments. NMFS will publish in the Federal Register proposed and final halibut PSC limits, and apportionments thereof, in the notification required under §679.20.

(ii) Modification of limits. NMFS, by notification in the Federal Register, may change the halibut PSC limits during the year for which they were specified, based on new information of the types set forth in this paragraph (d)(1).

(2) Public comment. NMFS will accept public comment on the proposed halibut PSC limits, and apportionments thereof, for a period specified in the notice of proposed halibut PSC limits published in the Federal Register. NMFS will consider comments received on proposed halibut PSC limits and, after consultation with the Council, will publish notification in the Federal Register specifying the final halibut PSC limits and apportionments thereof.

(3) Trawl gear proposed halibut limit—(i) Notification. After consultation with the Council, NMFS will publish notification in the Federal Register specifying the proposed halibut PSC limit for vessels using trawl gear.

(ii) Bycatch allowance. The halibut PSC limit specified for vessels using trawl gear may be further apportioned as bycatch allowances to the fishery categories listed in paragraph (d)(3)(iii) of this section, based on each category's proportional share of the anticipated halibut bycatch mortality during a fishing year and the need to optimize the amount of total groundfish harvest under the halibut PSC limit. The sum of all bycatch allowances will equal the halibut PSC limit established under this paragraph (d).

(iii) Trawl fishery categories. For purposes of apportioning the trawl halibut PSC limit among fisheries, the following fishery categories are specified and defined in terms of round-weight equivalents of these GOA groundfish species for which a TAC has been specified under §679.20:

(A) Shallow-water species fishery. Fishing with trawl gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained aggregate catch of pollock, Pacific cod, shallow-water flatfish, flathead sole, Atka mackerel, and “other species” that is greater than the retained aggregate amount of other GOA groundfish species or species group.

(B) Deep-water species fishery. Fishing with trawl gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained catch of groundfish and is not a shallow-water species fishery as defined under paragraph (d)(3)(iii)(A) of this section.

(4) Hook-and-line and pot gear fisheries—(i) Notification. After consultation with the Council, NMFS will publish notification in the Federal Register specifying the proposed and final halibut PSC limits for vessels using hook-and-line gear. The notification also may specify a halibut PSC limit for the pot gear fisheries.

(ii) Halibut bycatch allowance. The halibut PSC limit specified for vessels using hook-and-line gear may be further apportioned, as bycatch allowances, to the fishery categories listed in paragraph (d)(4)(iii) of this section, based on each category's proportional share of the anticipated halibut bycatch mortality during a fishing year and the need to optimize the amount of total groundfish harvest under the halibut PSC limit. The sum of all bycatch allowances will equal the halibut PSC limit established under this paragraph (d).

(iii) Hook-and-line fishery categories. For purposes of apportioning the hook-and-line halibut PSC limit among fisheries, the following fishery categories are specified and defined in terms of round-weight equivalents of those GOA groundfish species for which a TAC has been specified under §679.20.

(A) Demersal shelf rockfish in the Southeast Outside District. Fishing with hook-and-line gear in the Southeast Outside District of the Eastern GOA regulatory area (SEEO) during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained catch of demersal shelf rockfish that is greater than the retained amount of any other fishery category defined under this paragraph (d)(4)(iii).

(B) Sablefish fishery. Fishing with hook-and-line gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained catch of sablefish that is greater than the retained amount of any other fishery category defined under this paragraph (d)(4)(iii).

(C) Other hook-and-line fishery. Fishing with hook-and-line gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained catch of groundfish and is not a demersal shelf rockfish fishery or a sablefish fishery defined under paragraphs (d)(4)(iii)(A) and (B) of this section.

(5) Seasonal apportionments—(i) General. NMFS, after consultation with the Council, may apportion each halibut PSC limit or bycatch allowance specified under this paragraph (d) on a seasonal basis.

(ii) Factors to be considered. NMFS will base any seasonal apportionment of a halibut PSC limit or bycatch allowance on the following types of information:

(A) Seasonal distribution of halibut.

(B) Seasonal distribution of target groundfish species relative to halibut distribution.

(C) Expected halibut bycatch needs, on a seasonal basis, relative to changes in halibut biomass and expected catches of target groundfish species.

(D) Expected variations in bycatch rates throughout the fishing year.

(E) Expected changes in directed groundfish fishing seasons.

(F) Expected start of fishing effort.

(G) Economic effects of establishing seasonal halibut allocations on segments of the target groundfish industry.

(iii) Unused seasonal apportionments. Unused seasonal apportionments of halibut PSC limits specified for trawl, hook-and-line, or pot gear will be added to the respective seasonal apportionment for the next season during a current fishing year.

(iv) Seasonal apportionment exceeded. If a seasonal apportionment of a halibut PSC limit specified for trawl, hook-and-line, or pot gear is exceeded, the amount by which the seasonal apportionment is exceeded will be deducted from the respective apportionment for the next season during a current fishing year.

(6) Apportionment among regulatory areas and districts. Each halibut PSC limit specified under this paragraph (d) also may be apportioned among the GOA regulatory areas and districts.

(7) Halibut PSC closures—(i) Trawl gear fisheries. If, during the fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that U.S. fishing vessels participating in either of the trawl fishery categories listed in paragraph (d)(3)(iii) (A) or (B) of this section will catch the halibut bycatch allowance, or apportionments thereof, specified for that fishery category under paragraph (d)(1) of this section, NMFS will publish notification in the Federal Register closing the entire GOA or the applicable regulatory area or district to directed fishing with trawl gear for each species and/or species group that comprises that fishing category; provided, however, that when the halibut bycatch allowance, or seasonal apportionment thereof, specified for the shallow-water species fishery is reached, fishing for pollock by vessels using pelagic trawl gear may continue, consistent with other provisions of this part.

(ii) Hook-and-line fisheries. If, during the fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that U.S. fishing vessels participating in any of the three hook-and-line gear fishery categories listed under paragraph (d)(4)(iii) of this section will catch the halibut bycatch allowance, or apportionments thereof, specified for that fishery category under paragraph (d)(1) of this section, NMFS will publish notification in the Federal Register closing the entire GOA or the applicable regulatory area or district to directed fishing with hook-and-line gear for each species and/or species group that comprises that fishing category.

(iii) Pot gear fisheries. If, during the fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that the catch of halibut by operators of vessels using pot gear to participate in a directed fishery for groundfish will reach the halibut PSC limit, or seasonal apportionment thereof, NMFS will publish notification in the Federal Register prohibiting directed fishing for groundfish by vessels using pot gear for the remainder of the season to which the halibut PSC limit or seasonal apportionment applies.

(iv) Nonpelagic trawl gear fisheries—(A) Continued fishing under specified conditions. When the vessels to which a halibut PSC limit applies have caught an amount of halibut equal to that PSC, the Regional Administrator may, by notification in the Federal Register, allow some or all of those vessels to continue to fish for groundfish using nonpelagic trawl gear under specified conditions, subject to the other provisions of this part.

(B) Factors to be considered. In authorizing and conditioning such continued fishing with bottom-trawl gear, the Regional Administrator will take into account the following considerations, and issue relevant findings:

(1) The risk of biological harm to halibut stocks and of socio-economic harm to authorized halibut users posed by continued bottom trawling by these vessels.

(2) The extent to which these vessels have avoided incidental halibut catches up to that point in the year.

(3) The confidence of the Regional Administrator in the accuracy of the estimates of incidental halibut catches by these vessels up to that point in the year.

(4) Whether observer coverage of these vessels is sufficient to assure adherence to the prescribed conditions and to alert the Regional Administrator to increases in their incidental halibut catches.

(5) The enforcement record of owners and operators of these vessels, and the confidence of the Regional Administrator that adherence to the prescribed conditions can be assured in light of available enforcement resources.

(8) AFA halibut bycatch limitations. Halibut bycatch limits for AFA catcher vessels will be established according to the procedure and formula set out in §679.64(b) and managed through directed fishing closures for AFA catcher vessels in the groundfish fisheries to which the halibut bycatch limit applies.

(e) BSAI PSC limits—(1) Trawl gear—(i) PSQ reserve. 7.5 percent of each PSC limit set forth in paragraphs (e)(1)(ii) through (v), and (e)(1)(vii) through (e)(1)(ix) of this section is allocated to the groundfish CDQ program as PSQ reserve. The PSQ reserve is not apportioned by gear or fishery.

(ii) Red king crab in Zone 1. The PSC limit of red king crab caught by trawl vessels while engaged in directed fishing for groundfish in Zone 1 during any fishing year will be specified for up to two fishing years by NMFS, after consultation with the Council, based on abundance and spawning biomass of red king crab using the criteria set out under paragraphs (e)(1)(iii)(A) through (C) of this section. The following table refers to the PSC limits for red king crab that you must follow in Zone 1:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ When the number of mature female red king    The zone 1 PSC limit will                crab is ...                             be ...------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) At or below the threshold of 8.4         32,000 red king crab. million mature crab or the effective spawning biomass is less than or equal to 14.5 million lb (6,577 mt)(B) Above the threshold of 8.4 million       97,000 red king crab. mature crab and the effective spawning biomass is greater than 14.5 but less than 55 million lb (24,948 mt)(C) Above the threshold of 8.4 million       197,000 red king crab. mature crab and the effective spawning biomass is equal to or greater than 55 million lb------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iii) Tanner crab (C. bairdi). The PSC limit of C. bairdi crabs caught by trawl vessels while engaged in directed fishing for groundfish in Zones 1 and 2 during any fishing year will be specified for up to two fishing years by NMFS under paragraph (e)(6) of this section, based on total abundance of C. bairdi crabs as indicated by the NMFS annual bottom trawl survey, using the criteria set out under paragraphs (e)(1)(iii)(A) and (B) of this section.

(A) The following table refers to the PSC limits for C. bairdi that you must follow in Zone 1:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------   When the total abundance of C. bairdi               crabs is ...                   The PSC limit will be ...------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) 150 million animals or less             0.5 percent of the total                                             abundance minus 20,000                                             animals(2) Over 150 million to 270 million         730,000 animals animals(3) Over 270 million to 400 million         830,000 animals animals(4) Over 400 million animals                980,000 animals------------------------------------------------------------------------

(B) This table refers to the PSC limits for C. bairdi that you must follow in Zone 2.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------   When the total abundance of C. bairdi               crabs is ...                   The PSC limit will be ...------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) 175 million animals or less             1.2 percent of the total                                             abundance minus 30,000                                             animals(2) Over 175 million to 290 million         2,070,000 animals animals(3) Over 290 million to 400 million         2,520,000 animals animals(4) Over 400 million animals                2,970,000 animals------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iv) C. opilio. The PSC limit of C. opilio caught by trawl vessels while engaged in directed fishing for groundfish in the COBLZ will be specified annually by NMFS under paragraph (e)(6) of this section, based on total abundance of C. opilio as indicated by the NMFS annual bottom trawl survey using the following criteria:

(A) PSC Limit. The PSC limit will be 0.1133 percent of the total abundance, minus 150,000 C. opilio crabs, unless;

(B) Minimum PSC Limit. If 0.1133 percent multiplied by the total abundance is less than 4.5 million, then the minimum PSC limit will be 4.350 million animals; or

(C) Maximum PSC Limit. If 0.1133 percent multiplied by the total abundance is greater than 13 million, then the maximum PSC limit will be 12.850 million animals.

(v) Halibut. The PSC limit of halibut caught while conducting any trawl fishery for groundfish in the BSAI during any fishing year is an amount of halibut equivalent to 3,675 mt of halibut mortality.

(vi) Pacific herring. The PSC limit of Pacific herring caught while conducting any domestic trawl fishery for groundfish in the BSAI is 1 percent of the annual eastern Bering Sea herring biomass. The PSC limit will be apportioned into annual herring PSC allowances, by target fishery, and will be published along with the annual herring PSC limit in the Federal Register with the proposed and final groundfish specifications defined in §679.20.

(vii) Chinook salmon. The trawl closures identified in paragraph (e)(7)(viii) of this section will take effect when the Regional Administrator determines that the PSC limit of 29,000 Chinook salmon caught while harvesting pollock in the BS between January 1 and December 31 is attained.

(viii) Non-chinook salmon. The PSC limit of non-chinook salmon caught by vessels using trawl gear during August 15 through October 14 in the CVOA is 42,000 fish.

(ix) AI Chinook salmon. The trawl closures identified in paragraph (e)(7)(viii) of this section will take effect when the Regional Administrator determines that the AI PSC limit of 700 Chinook salmon caught while harvesting pollock in the AI between January 1 and December 31 is attained.

(2) Nontrawl gear, halibut. (i) The PSC limit of halibut caught while conducting any nontrawl fishery for groundfish in the BSAI during any fishing year is the amount of halibut equivalent to 900 mt of halibut mortality.

(ii) The amount of 7.5 percent of the non-trawl gear halibut PSC limit set forth in paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section is allocated to the groundfish CDQ program as PSQ reserve. The PSQ reserve is not apportioned by gear or fishery.

(3) PSC apportionment to trawl fisheries—(i) General. NMFS, after consultation with the Council and after subtraction of PSQ reserve, will apportion each PSC limit set forth in paragraphs (e)(1) (ii) through (viii) of this section into bycatch allowances for fishery categories defined in paragraph (e)(3)(iv) of this section, based on each category's proportional share of the anticipated incidental catch during a fishing year of prohibited species for which a PSC limit is specified and the need to optimize the amount of total groundfish harvested under established PSC limits.

(ii) Red king crab, C. bairdi Tanner crab, and halibut—(A) General. For vessels engaged in directed fishing for groundfish in the GOA or BSAI, the PSC limits for red king crab, C. bairdi, C. opilio, and halibut will be apportioned to the trawl fishery categories defined in paragraphs (e)(3)(iv) (B) through (F) of this section.

(B) Red King Crab Savings Subarea (RKCSS). (1) The RKCSS is the portion of the RKCSA between 56°00' and 56°10' N. lat. Notwithstanding other provisions of this part, vessels using non-pelagic trawl gear in the RKCSS may engage in directed fishing for groundfish in a given year, if the ADF&G had established a guideline harvest level the previous year for the red king crab fishery in the Bristol Bay area.

(2) When the RKCSS is open to vessels fishing for groundfish with nonpelagic trawl gear under (e)(3)(ii)(B)(1) of this section, NMFS, after consultation with the Council, will specify an amount of the red king crab bycatch limit annually established under paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section for the RKCSS. The amount of the red king crab bycatch limit specified for the RKCSS will not exceed an amount equivalent to 35 percent of the trawl bycatch allowance specified for the rock sole/flathead sole/“other flatfish” fishery category under this paragraph (e)(3) and will be based on the need to optimize the groundfish harvest relative to red king crab bycatch.

(C) Incidental catch in midwater pollock fishery. Any amount of red king crab, C. bairdi, C. opilio, or halibut that is incidentally taken in the midwater pollock fishery as defined in paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(A) of this section will be counted against the bycatch allowances specified for the pollock/Atka mackerel/“other species” category defined in paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(F) of this section.

(iii) Pacific herring. The PSC limit for Pacific herring will be apportioned to the BSAI trawl fishery categories defined in paragraphs (e)(3)(iv) (A) through (F) of this section.

(iv) Trawl fishery categories. For purposes of apportioning trawl PSC limits among fisheries, the following fishery categories are specified and defined in terms of round-weight equivalents of those groundfish species or species groups for which a TAC has been specified under §679.20.

(A) Midwater pollock fishery. Fishing with trawl gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a catch of pollock that is 95 percent or more of the total amount of groundfish caught during the week.

(B) Flatfish fishery. Fishing with trawl gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained aggregate amount of rock sole, “other flatfish,” and yellowfin sole that is greater than the retained amount of any other fishery category defined under this paragraph (e)(3)(iv).

(1) Yellowfin sole fishery. Fishing with trawl gear during any weekly reporting period that is defined as a flatfish fishery under this paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(B) and results in a retained amount of yellowfin sole that is 70 percent or more of the retained aggregate amount of rock sole, “other flatfish,” and yellowfin sole.

(2) Rock sole/flathead sole/“other flatfish” fishery. Fishing with trawl gear during any weekly reporting period that is defined as a flatfish fishery under this paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(B) and is not a yellowfin sole fishery as defined under paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(B)(1) of this section.

(C) Greenland turbot/arrowtooth flounder/sablefish fishery. Fishing with trawl gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained aggregate amount of Greenland turbot, arrowtooth flounder, and sablefish that is greater than the retained amount of any other fishery category defined under this paragraph (e)(3)(iv).

(D) Rockfish fishery. Fishing with trawl gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained aggregate amount of rockfish species that is greater than the retained amount of any other fishery category defined under this paragraph (e)(3)(iv).

(E) Pacific cod fishery. Fishing with trawl gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained aggregate amount of Pacific cod that is greater than the retained amount of any other groundfish fishery category defined under this paragraph (e)(3)(iv).

(F) Pollock/Atka mackerel/“other species.” Fishing with trawl gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained aggregate amount of pollock other than pollock harvested in the midwater pollock fishery defined under paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(A) of this section, Atka mackerel, and “other species” that is greater than the retained amount of any other fishery category defined under this paragraph (e)(3)(iv).

(v) AFA prohibited species catch limitations. Halibut and crab PSC limits for AFA catcher/processors and AFA catcher vessels will be established according to the procedures and formulas set out in §679.64(a) and (b) and managed through directed fishing closures for AFA catcher/processors and AFA catcher vessels in the groundfish fisheries for which the PSC limit applies.

(4) Halibut apportionment to nontrawl fishery categories—(i) General. NMFS, after consultation with the Council and after subtraction of PSQ reserve, may apportion the halibut PSC limit for nontrawl gear set forth under paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section into bycatch allowances for nontrawl fishery categories defined under paragraph (e)(4)(ii) of this section based on each category's proportional share of the anticipated bycatch mortality of halibut during a fishing year and the need to optimize the amount of total groundfish harvested under the nontrawl halibut PSC limit. The sum of all bycatch allowances of any prohibited species will equal its PSC limit.

(ii) Nontrawl fishery categories. For purposes of apportioning the nontrawl halibut PSC limit among fisheries, the following fishery categories are specified and defined in terms of round-weight equivalents of those BSAI groundfish species for which a TAC has been specified under §679.20.

(A) Pacific cod hook-and-line fishery. Fishing with hook-and-line gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained catch of Pacific cod that is greater than the retained amount of any other groundfish species.

(B) Sablefish hook-and-line fishery. Fishing with hook-and-line gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained catch of sablefish that is greater than the retained amount of any other groundfish species.

(C) Groundfish jig gear fishery. Fishing with jig gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained catch of groundfish.

(D) Groundfish pot gear fishery. Fishing with pot gear under restrictions set forth in §679.24(b) during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained catch of groundfish.

(E) Other nontrawl fisheries. Fishing for groundfish with nontrawl gear during any weekly reporting period that results in a retained catch of groundfish and does not qualify as a Pacific cod hook-and-line fishery, a sablefish hook-and-line fishery, a jig gear fishery, or a groundfish pot gear fishery as defined under paragraph (e)(4)(ii) of this section.

(5) Seasonal apportionments of bycatch allowances—(i) General. NMFS, after consultation with the Council, may apportion fishery bycatch allowances on a seasonal basis.

(ii) Factors to be considered. NMFS will base any seasonal apportionment of a bycatch allowance on the following types of information:

(A) Seasonal distribution of prohibited species;

(B) Seasonal distribution of target groundfish species relative to prohibited species distribution;

(C) Expected prohibited species bycatch needs on a seasonal basis relevant to change in prohibited species biomass and expected catches of target groundfish species;

(D) Expected variations in bycatch rates throughout the fishing year;

(E) Expected changes in directed groundfish fishing seasons;

(F) Expected start of fishing effort; or

(G) Economic effects of establishing seasonal prohibited species apportionments on segments of the target groundfish industry.

(iii) Seasonal trawl fishery bycatch allowances—(A) Unused seasonal apportionments. Unused seasonal apportionments of trawl fishery bycatch allowances made under this paragraph (e)(5) will be added to its respective fishery bycatch allowance for the next season during a current fishing year.

(B) Seasonal apportionment exceeded. If a seasonal apportionment of a trawl fishery bycatch allowance made under paragraph (d)(5) of this section is exceeded, the amount by which the seasonal apportionment is exceeded will be deducted from its respective apportionment for the next season during a current fishing year.

(iv) Seasonal nontrawl fishery bycatch allowances—(A) Unused seasonal apportionments. Any unused portion of a seasonal nontrawl fishery bycatch allowance made under this paragraph (e)(5) will be reapportioned to the fishery's remaining seasonal bycatch allowances during a current fishing year in a manner determined by NMFS, after consultation with the Council, based on the types of information listed under paragraph (e)(5)(ii) of this section.

(B) Seasonal apportionment exceeded. If a seasonal apportionment of a nontrawl fishery bycatch allowance made under this paragraph (e)(5) is exceeded, the amount by which the seasonal apportionment is exceeded will be deducted from the fishery's remaining seasonal bycatch allowances during a current fishing year in a manner determined by NMFS, after consultation with the Council, based on the types of information listed under paragraph (e)(5)(ii) of this section.

(6) Notification—(i) General. NMFS will publish in the Federal Register, for up to two fishing years, the annual red king crab PSC limit, and, if applicable, the amount of this PSC limit specified for the RKCSS, the annual C. bairdi PSC limit, the annual C. opilio PSC limit, the proposed and final PSQ reserve amounts, the proposed and final bycatch allowances, the seasonal apportionments thereof, and the manner in which seasonal apportionments of nontrawl fishery bycatch allowances will be managed, as required by paragraph (e) of this section.

(ii) Public comment. Public comment will be accepted by NMFS on the proposed annual red king crab PSC limit and, if applicable, the amount of this PSC limit specified for the RKCSS, the annual C. bairdi PSC limit, the annual C. opilio PSC limit, the proposed and final bycatch allowances, seasonal apportionments thereof, and the manner in which seasonal apportionments of nontrawl fishery bycatch allowances will be managed, for a period specified in the notice of proposed specifications published in the Federal Register.

(7) Trawl PSC closures—(i) Exception. When a bycatch allowance, or seasonal apportionment thereof, specified for the pollock/Atka mackerel/“other species” fishery category is reached, only directed fishing for pollock is closed to trawl vessels using nonpelagic trawl gear.

(ii) Red king crab or C. bairdi Tanner crab, Zone 1, closure—(A) General. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(7)(i) of this section, if, during the fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that U.S. fishing vessels participating in any of the fishery categories listed in paragraphs (e)(3)(iv) (B) through (F) of this section will catch the Zone 1 bycatch allowance, or seasonal apportionment thereof, of red king crab or C. bairdi Tanner crab specified for that fishery category under paragraph (e)(3) of this section, NMFS will publish in the Federal Register the closure of Zone 1, including the RKCSS, to directed fishing for each species and/or species group in that fishery category for the remainder of the year or for the remainder of the season.

(B) RKCSS. If, during the fishing year the Regional Administrator determines that the amount of the red king crab PSC limit that is specified for the RKCSS under §679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B) of this section will be caught, NMFS will publish in the Federal Register the closure of the RKCSS to directed fishing for groundfish with nonpelagic trawl gear for the remainder of the year.

(iii) C. bairdi Tanner crab, Zone 2, closure. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(7)(i) of this section, if, during the fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that U.S. fishing vessels participating in any of the fishery categories listed in paragraphs (e)(3)(iv) (B) through (F) of this section will catch the Zone 2 bycatch allowance, or seasonal apportionment thereof, of C. bairdi Tanner crab specified for that fishery category under paragraph (e)(3) of this section, NMFS will publish in the Federal Register the closure of Zone 2 to directed fishing for each species and/or species group in that fishery category for the remainder of the year or for the remainder of the season.

(iv) COBLZ. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(7)(i) of this section, if, during the fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that U.S. fishing vessels participating in any of the trawl fishery categories listed in paragraphs (e)(3)(iv)(B) through (F) of this section will catch the COBLZ bycatch allowance, or seasonal apportionment thereof, of C. opilio specified for that fishery category under paragraph (e)(3) of this section, NMFS will publish in the Federal Register the closure of the COBLZ, as defined in Figure 13 to this part, to directed fishing for each species and/or species group in that fishery category for the remainder of the year or for the remainder of the season.

(v) Halibut closure. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(7)(i) of this section, if, during the fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that U.S. fishing vessels participating in any of the trawl fishery categories listed in paragraphs (e)(3)(iv)(B) through (F) of this section in the BSAI will catch the halibut bycatch allowance, or seasonal apportionment thereof, specified for that fishery category under paragraph (e)(3) of this section, NMFS will publish in the Federal Register the closure of the entire BSAI to directed fishing for each species and/or species group in that fishery category for the remainder of the year or for the remainder of the season.

(vi) Pacific herring—(A) Closure. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(7)(vi)(B) of this section, if, during the fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that U.S. fishing vessels participating in any of the fishery categories listed in paragraphs (e)(3)(iv)(A) through (F) of this section in the BSAI will catch the herring bycatch allowance, or seasonal apportionment thereof, specified for that fishery category under paragraph (e)(3) of this section, NMFS will publish in the Federal Register the closure of the Herring Savings Area as defined in Figure 4 to this part to directed fishing for each species and/or species group in that fishery category.

(B) Exceptions—(1) Midwater pollock. When the midwater pollock fishery category reaches its specified bycatch allowance, or seasonal apportionment thereof, the Herring Savings Areas are closed to directed fishing for pollock with trawl gear.

(2) Pollock/Atka mackerel/ “other species”. When the pollock/Atka mackerel/“other species” fishery category reaches its specified bycatch allowance, or seasonal apportionment thereof, the Herring Savings Areas are closed to directed fishing for pollock by trawl vessels using nonpelagic trawl gear.

(vii) Chum salmon. If the Regional Administrator determines that 42,000 non-chinook salmon have been caught by vessels using trawl gear during August 15 through October 14 in the CVOA, defined under §679.22(a)(5) and in Figure 2 to this part, NMFS will prohibit fishing with trawl gear for the remainder of the period September 1 through October 14 in the Chum Salmon Savings Area as defined in Figure 9, to this part.

(viii) Chinook salmon. If, during the fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that catch of Chinook salmon by vessels using trawl gear while directed fishing for pollock in the BSAI will reach the annual limits, as identified in paragraphs (e)(1)(vii) and (e)(1)(ix) of this section, NMFS, by notification in the Federal Register will close the Chinook Salmon Savings Areas, as defined in Figure 8 to this part, to directed fishing for pollock with trawl gear as follows:

(A) For the BS Chinook salmon PSC limit under paragraph (e)(1)(vii) of this section, area 1 and area 2 in Figure 8 to this part will be closed on the following dates:

(1) From the effective date of the closure until April 15, and from September 1 through December 31, if the Regional Administrator determines that the annual limit of BS Chinook salmon will be attained before April 15.

(2) From September 1 through December 31, if the Regional Administrator determines that the annual limit of BS Chinook salmon will be attained after April 15.

(B) For the AI Chinook salmon limit under paragraph (e)(1)(ix) of this section, area 1 in Figure 8 to this part will be closed on the following dates:

(1) From the effective date of the closure until April 15, and from September 1 through December 31, if the Regional Administrator determines that the annual limit of AI Chinook salmon will be attained before April 15.

(2) From September 1 through December 31, if the Regional Administrator determines that the annual limit of AI Chinook salmon will be attained after April 15.

(8) Nontrawl halibut closures. If, during the fishing year, the Regional Administrator determines that U.S. fishing vessels participating in any of the nontrawl fishery categories listed under paragraph (e)(4) of this section will catch the halibut bycatch allowance, or seasonal apportionment thereof, specified for that fishery category under paragraph (e)(4)(ii) of this section, NMFS will publish in the Federal Register the closure of the entire BSAI to directed fishing with the relevant gear type for each species and/or species group in that fishery category.

(f) Program to reduce prohibited species bycatch rates—(1) Requirements—(i) General. A vessel's bycatch rate, as calculated at the end of a fishing month under paragraph (f)(8)(ii) of this section, while participating in the fisheries identified in paragraph (f)(2) of this section, shall not exceed bycatch rate standards referenced in paragraph (f)(3) of this section.

(ii) Applicability. A vessel is subject to this paragraph (f) if the groundfish catch of the vessel is observed on board the vessel, or on board a mothership that receives unsorted codends from the vessel, at any time during a weekly reporting period, and the vessel is assigned to one of the fisheries defined under paragraph (f)(2) of this section.

(2) Assigned fisheries. During any weekly reporting period, a vessel's observed catch composition of groundfish species for which a TAC has been specified in the GOA or BSAI will determine the fishery to which the vessel is assigned, as follows:

(i) GOA midwater pollock fishery means fishing with trawl gear in the GOA that results in an observed catch of groundfish from the GOA during any weekly reporting period that is composed of 95 percent or more of pollock when the directed fishery for pollock by vessels using trawl gear other than pelagic trawl gear is closed.

(ii) GOA other trawl fishery means fishing with trawl gear in the GOA that results in an observed catch of groundfish from the GOA during any weekly reporting period that does not qualify as a midwater pollock fishery under paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section.

(iii) BSAI midwater pollock fishery means fishing with trawl gear in the BSAI that results in an observed catch of groundfish from the BSAI during any weekly reporting period that is composed of 95 percent or more of pollock when the directed fishery for pollock by vessels using trawl gear other than pelagic trawl gear is closed.

(iv) BSAI yellowfin sole fishery means fishing with trawl gear in the BSAI that results in a retained aggregate amount of rock sole, “other flatfish,” and yellowfin sole caught in the BSAI during any weekly reporting period that is greater than the retained amount of any other fishery under this paragraph (f)(2) and results in a retained amount of BSAI yellowfin sole that is 70 percent or more of the retained aggregate amount of BSAI rock sole, “other flatfish,” and yellowfin sole.

(v) BSAI bottom pollock fishery means fishing with trawl gear in the BSAI that results in a retained amount of pollock caught in the BSAI during any weekly reporting period other than pollock harvested in the midwater pollock fishery in the BSAI defined in paragraph (f)(2)(iii) of this section, that is greater than the retained amount of any other fishery defined under this paragraph (f)(2).

(vi) BSAI other trawl fishery means fishing with trawl gear in the BSAI that results in a retained amount of groundfish caught in the BSAI during any weekly reporting period that does not qualify as a midwater pollock, yellowfin sole, or bottom pollock fishery.

(3) Notification of bycatch rate standards—(i) Prior notice. Prior to January 1 and July 1 of each year, the Regional Administrator will publish notification in the Federal Register specifying bycatch rate standards for the fisheries identified in this paragraph (f) that will be in effect for specified seasons within the 6-month periods of January 1 through June 30 and July 1 through December 31, respectively.

(ii) Adjustments. The Regional Administrator may adjust bycatch rate standards as frequently as he or she considers appropriate.

(4) Factors upon which bycatch rate standards are based. Bycatch rate standards for a fishery and adjustments to such standards will be based on the following information and considerations:

(i) Previous years' average observed bycatch rates for that fishery.

(ii) Immediately preceding season's average observed bycatch rates for that fishery.

(iii) The bycatch allowances and associated fishery closures specified under paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section.

(iv) Anticipated groundfish harvests for that fishery.

(v) Anticipated seasonal distribution of fishing effort for groundfish.

(vi) Other information and criteria deemed relevant by the Regional Administrator.

(5) Public comment—(i) Prior comment. Bycatch rate standards or adjustments to such standards specified under this section will not take effect until NMFS has published the proposed bycatch rate standards or adjustments to such standards in the Federal Register for public comment for a period of 30 days, unless NMFS finds for good cause that such notification and public comment are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.

(ii) Comment after notification. If NMFS decides, for good cause, that bycatch rate standards or adjustments to such standards are to be made effective without affording a prior opportunity for public comment, public comments on the necessity for, and extent of, bycatch rate standards or adjustments to such standards will be received by the Regional Administrator for a period of 15 days after the effective date of notification.

(iii) Public inspection of data. During any such 15-day period, the Regional Administrator will make available for public inspection, during business hours, the aggregate data upon which bycatch rate standards or adjustments to such standards were based.

(iv) Written comments. If written comments are received during any such 15-day period that oppose or protest bycatch rate standards or adjustments to such standards issued under this section, NMFS will reconsider the necessity for the bycatch standards or adjustment to such standards and, as soon as practicable after that reconsideration, will either—

(A) Publish in the Federal Register notification of continued effectiveness of bycatch rate standards or adjustment to such standards, responding to comments received; or

(B) Modify or rescind bycatch rate standards or adjustment to such standards.

(6) Notification of adjustment to bycatch rate standards. Notification of adjustments to bycatch rate standards issued by NMFS under paragraph (f)(3) of this section will include the following information:

(i) A description of the adjustment to one or more bycatch rate standards specified for a fishery.

(ii) The reasons for the adjustment and the determinations required under paragraph (f)(4) of this section.

(iii) The effective date and any termination date of such adjustment. If no termination date is specified, the adjustment will remain in effect until revised by subsequent notification in the Federal Register.

(7) Vessel bycatch rates—(i) Observed data. For purposes of this section, observed data collected for each haul sampled during a day will include: Date; Federal reporting area where trawl gear for the haul was retrieved; total round weight of groundfish, in metric tons in the portion of the haul sampled by groundfish species or species group for which a TAC has been specified under §679.20; and total round weight of halibut, in kilograms, in the portion of the haul sampled. Observer data from the BSAI trawl fisheries also will include the total number of red king crab in the portion of the haul sampled.

(ii) Observer sampling procedures. (A) NMFS will randomly predetermine the hauls to be sampled by an observer during the time the observer is on a vessel.

(B) An observer will take samples at random from throughout the haul, and take samples prior to sorting of the haul by the crew for processing or discarding of the catch.

(C) An observer will sample a minimum of 100 kg of fish from each haul sampled.

(D) While an observer is at sea, the observer will report to NMFS, on at least a weekly basis, the data for sampled hauls.

(E) Upon request, the observer will allow the vessel operator to see all observed data set forth under paragraph (f)(7)(i) of this section that the observer submits to NMFS.

(8) Determination of individual vessel bycatch rates. For each vessel, the Regional Administrator will aggregate from sampled hauls the observed data collected during a weekly reporting period on the total round weight, in metric tons, of each groundfish species or species group for which a TAC has been specified under §679.20 to determine to which of the fisheries described in paragraph (f)(8)(i) of this section the vessel should be assigned for that week.

(i) Vessel assignment to fisheries—(A) BSAI catcher/processors. Catcher/proc- essors will be assigned to fisheries at the end of each weekly reporting period based on the round-weight equivalent of the retained groundfish catch composition reported on a vessel's WPR that is submitted to the Regional Administrator under §679.5.

(B) BSAI catcher vessel delivery in Federal waters. Catcher vessels that deliver to motherships in Federal waters during a weekly reporting period will be assigned to fisheries based on the round-weight equivalent of the retained groundfish catch composition reported on the WPR submitted to the Regional Administrator for that week by the mothership under §679.5.

(C) BSAI catcher vessel delivery in Alaska State waters. Catcher vessels delivering groundfish to shoreside processors or to motherships in Alaska State waters during a weekly reporting period will be assigned to fisheries based on the round-weight equivalent of the groundfish retained by the processor and reported on an ADF&G fish ticket as required under Alaska State regulations at A.S. 16.05.690.

(ii) Calculation of monthly bycatch rates—(A) Assigned fishery. At the end of each fishing month during which an observer sampled at least 50 percent of a vessel's total number of trawl hauls retrieved while an observer was aboard (as recorded in the vessel's DFL), the Regional Administrator will calculate the vessel's bycatch rate based on observed data for each fishery to which the vessel was assigned for any weekly reporting period during that fishing month.

(B) Verified observer data. Only observed data that have been checked, verified, and analyzed by NMFS will be used to calculate vessel bycatch rates for purposes of this section.

(C) Calculation. The bycatch rate of a vessel for a fishery defined under paragraph (f)(2) of this section during a fishing month is a ratio of halibut to groundfish that is calculated by using the total round weight of halibut (in kilograms), or total number of red king crab, in samples during all weekly reporting periods in which the vessel was assigned to that fishery and the total round weight of the groundfish (in metric tons) for which a TAC has been specified under §679.20 in samples taken during all such periods.

(9) Compliance with bycatch rate standards. A vessel has exceeded a bycatch rate standard for a fishery if the vessel's bycatch rate for a fishing month, as calculated under paragraph (f)(8)(ii) of this section exceeds the bycatch rate standard established for that fishery under paragraph (f)(2) of this section.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §679.21, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

§ 679.22   Closures.
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(a) BSAI—(1) Zone 1 (512) closure to trawl gear. No fishing with trawl gear is allowed at any time in reporting Area 512 of Zone 1 in the Bering Sea subarea.

(2) Zone 1 (516) closure to trawl gear. No fishing with trawl gear is allowed at any time in reporting Area 516 of Zone 1 in the Bering Sea Subarea during the period March 15 through June 15.

(3) Red King Crab Savings Area (RKCSA). Directed fishing for groundfish by vessels using trawl gear other than pelagic trawl gear is prohibited at all times, except as provided at §679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B), in that part of the Bering Sea subarea defined as RKCSA in Figure 11 to this part.

(4) Walrus protection areas. From April 1 through September 30 of any fishing year, vessels with a Federal fisheries permit under §679.4 are prohibited in that part of the Bering Sea subarea between 3 and 12 nm seaward of the baseline used to measure the territorial sea around islands named Round Island and The Twins, as shown on National Ocean Survey Chart 16315, and around Cape Pierce (58°33' N. lat., 161°43' W. long.).

(5) Catcher Vessel Operational Area (CVOA)—(i) Definition. The CVOA is defined as that part of the BSAI that is south of 56°00' N lat. and between 163°00' W long. and 167°30' W long., and north of the Aleutian Islands (Figure 2 to part 679).

(ii) Catcher/processor restrictions. A catcher/processor vessel authorized to fish for BSAI pollock under §679.4 is prohibited from conducting directed fishing for pollock in the CVOA during the B pollock season defined at §679.23(e)(2)(ii), unless it is directed fishing for Pollock CDQ.

(6) Pribilof Island Area Habitat Conservation Zone. Trawling is prohibited at all times in the area defined in Figure 10 to this part as the Pribilof Island Area Habitat Conservation Zone.

(7) Steller sea lion protection areas, Bering Sea subarea—(i) Bogoslof area—(A) Boundaries. The Bogoslof area consists of all waters of area 518 as described in Figure 1 of this part south of a straight line connecting 55°00' N lat./170°00' W long., and 55°00' N lat./168°11'4.75' W long.;

(B) Fishing prohibition. All waters within the Bogoslof area are closed to directed fishing for pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b), except as provided in paragraph (a)(7)(i)(C) of this section.

(C) Bogoslof Pacific cod exemption area. (1) All catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using jig or hook-and-line gear for directed fishing for Pacific cod are exempt from the Pacific cod fishing prohibition as described in paragraph (a)(7)(i)(B) of this section in the portion of the Bogoslof area south of a line connecting a point 3 nm north of Bishop Point (54°01'25" N lat./166°57'00" W long.) to Cape Tanak (53°33'50" N lat./168°00'00" W long.), not including waters of the Bishop Point Pacific cod fishing closures as described in Table 5 of this part.

(2) If the Regional Administrator determines that 113 mt of Pacific cod have been caught by catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using jig or hook-and-line gear in the exemption area described in paragraph (a)(7)(i)(C)(1) of this section, the Regional Administrator will prohibit directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using jig or hook-and-line gear in the exemption area by notification published in the Federal Register.

(ii) Bering Sea Pollock Restriction Area. (A) Boundaries. The Bering Sea Pollock Restriction Area consists of all waters of the Bering Sea subarea south of a line connecting the points 163°0'00" W long./55°46'30" N lat., 165°08'00" W long./54°42'9" N lat., 165°40'00" W long./54°26'30" N lat., 166°12'00" W long./54°18'40" N lat., and 167°0'00" W long./54°8'50" N lat.

(B) Fishing prohibition. All waters within the Bering Sea Pollock Restriction Area are closed during the A season, as defined at §679.23(e)(2), to directed fishing for pollock by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b).

(iii) Groundfish closures. Directed fishing for groundfish by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) is prohibited within 3 nm of selected sites. These sites are listed in Table 12 of this part and are identified by “Bering Sea” in column 2.

(iv) Pollock closures. Directed fishing for pollock by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) is prohibited within pollock no-fishing zones around selected sites. These sites are listed in Table 4 of this part and are identified by “Bering Sea” in column 2.

(v) Pacific cod closures. Directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) and using trawl, hook-and-line, or pot gear is prohibited within the Pacific cod no-fishing zones around selected sites. These sites and gear types are listed in Table 5 of this part and are identified by “BS” in column 2.

(vi) Atka mackerel closures. Directed fishing for Atka mackerel by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) and using trawl gear is prohibited within Atka mackerel no-fishing zones around selected sites. These sites are listed in Table 6 to this part and are identified by “Bering Sea” in column 2.

(vii) Steller sea lion conservation area (SCA)—(A) General. Directed fishing for pollock by vessels catching pollock for processing by the inshore component, catcher/processors in the offshore component, motherships in the offshore component, or directed fishing for CDQ pollock, is prohibited within the SCA until April 1 when the Regional Administrator announces, by notification in the Federal Register, that the criteria set out in paragraph (a)(7)(vii)(C) of this section have been met by that industry component.

(B) Boundaries. The SCA consists of the area of the Bering Sea subarea between 170°00' W long. and 163°00' W long., south of straight lines connecting the following points in the order listed:

55°00' N lat. 170°00' W long.;

55°00' N lat. 168°00' W long.;

55°30' N lat. 168°00' W long.;

55°30' N lat. 166°00' W long.;

56°00' N lat. 166°00' W long.; and,

56°00' N lat. 163°00' W long.

(C) Criteria for closure—(1) General. The directed fishing closures identified in paragraph (a)(7)(vii)(A) of this section will take effect when the Regional Administrator determines that the harvest limit for pollock within the SCA, as specified in §679.20(a)(5)(i)(C) is reached before April 1. The Regional Administrator shall prohibit directed fishing for pollock in the SCA by notification published in the Federal Register.

(2) Inshore catcher vessels greater than 99 ft (30.2 m) LOA. The Regional Administrator will prohibit directed fishing for pollock by vessels greater than 99 ft (30.2 m) LOA, catching pollock for processing by the inshore component before reaching the inshore SCA harvest limit before April 1 to accommodate fishing by vessels less than or equal to 99 ft (30.2 m) inside the SCA until April 1. The Regional Administrator will estimate how much of the inshore seasonal allowance is likely to be harvested by catcher vessels less than or equal to 99 ft (30.2 m) LOA and reserve a sufficient amount of the inshore SCA allowance to accommodate fishing by such vessels after the closure of the SCA to inshore vessels greater than 99 ft (30.2 m) LOA. The Regional Administrator will prohibit directed fishing for all inshore catcher vessels within the SCA when the harvest limit specified in §679.20(a)(5)(i)(C) has been met before April 1.

(8) Steller sea lion protection areas, Aleutian Islands subarea—(i) Seguam Foraging area. (A) The Seguam foraging area is all waters within the area between 52° N lat. and 53° N lat. and between 173°30' W long. and 172°30' W long.

(B) Directed fishing for pollock, Pacific cod, and Atka mackerel by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) is prohibited in the Seguam Foraging area as described in paragraph (a)(8)(i)(A) of this section.

(ii) Pollock Closure. Directed fishing for pollock by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) is prohibited within the pollock no-fishing zones around selected sites. These sites are listed in Table 4 of this part and are identified by “Aleutian I.” in column 2.

(iii) Groundfish closures. Directed fishing for groundfish by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) is prohibited within 3 nm of selected sites. These sites are listed in Table 12 of this part and are identified by “Aleutian Islands” in column 2.

(iv) Pacific cod closures—(A) HLA Closure. Directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) and using trawl gear is prohibited in the HLA in area 542 or area 543, as defined in §679.2 when the Atka mackerel HLA directed fishery in area 542 or area 543 is open.

(B) Gear specific closures. Directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) and using trawl, hook-and-line, or pot gear is prohibited within the Pacific cod no-fishing zones around selected sites. These sites and gear types are listed in Table 5 of this part and are identified by “AI” in column 2.

(v) Atka mackerel closures. Directed fishing for Atka mackerel by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) and using trawl gear is prohibited within Atka mackerel no-fishing zones around selected sites. These sites are listed in Table 6 of this part and are identified by “Aleutian Islands” in column 2.

(9) Nearshore Bristol Bay Trawl Closure. Directed fishing for groundfish by vessels using trawl gear in Bristol Bay, as described in the current edition of NOAA chart 16006, is closed at all times in the area east of 162°00' W. long., except that the Nearshore Bristol Bay Trawl Area defined in Figure 12 to this part is open to trawling from 1200 hours A.l.t., April 1 to 1200 hours A.l.t., June 15 of each year.

(10) Chum Salmon Savings Area. Trawling is prohibited from August 1 through August 31 in the Chum Salmon Savings Area defined at Figure 9 to this part (see also §679.21(e)(7)(vii)).

(11) [Reserved]

(12) Alaska Seamount Habitat Protection Areas. No federally permitted vessel may fish with bottom contact gear in the Alaska Seamount Habitat Protection Areas, as described in Table 22 to this part.

(13) Aleutian Islands Coral Habitat Protection Areas. No federally permitted vessel may fish with bottom contact gear in the Aleutian Islands Coral Habitat Protection Areas, as described in Table 23 to this part.

(14) Aleutian Islands Habitat Conservation Area. Except within those areas identified as opened to nonpelagic trawl gear fishing in Table 24 to this part, no federally permitted vessel may fish with nonpelagic trawl gear in the Aleutian Islands Habitat Conservation Area, as described in Table 24 to this part.

(15) Bowers Ridge Habitat Conservation Zone. No federally permitted vessel may fish with mobile bottom contact gear in the Bowers Ridge Habitat Conservation Zone, as described in Table 25 to this part.

(b) GOA—(1) Kodiak Island, trawls other than pelagic trawls —(i) Type I closures. No person may trawl in waters of the EEZ within the vicinity of Kodiak Island, as shown in Figure 5 to this part as Type I areas, from a vessel having any trawl other than a pelagic trawl either attached or on board.

(ii) Type II closures. From February 15 to June 15, no person may trawl in waters of the EEZ within the vicinity of Kodiak Island, as shown in Figure 5 to this part as Type II areas, from a vessel having any trawl other than a pelagic trawl either attached or on board.

(iii) Type III closures. Type III areas are open to any trawl other than a pelagic trawl gear year round.

(2) Steller sea lion protection areas—(i) Groundfish closures. Directed fishing for groundfish by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) is prohibited within 3 nm of selected sites. These sites are listed in Table 12 of this part and are identified by “Gulf of Alaska” in column 2.

(ii) Pollock closures. Directed fishing for pollock by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) is prohibited within pollock no-fishing zones around selected sites. These sites are listed in Table 4 of this part and are identified by “Gulf of Alaska” in column 2.

(iii) Pacific cod closures. Directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) and using trawl, hook-and-line, or pot gear in the federally managed Pacific cod or State of Alaska parallel groundfish fisheries, as defined in Alaska Administrative Code (5 AAC 28.087(c), January 3, 2002), is prohibited within Pacific cod no-fishing zones around selected sites. These sites and gear types are listed in Table 5 of this part and are identified by “GOA” in column 2.

(iv) Atka mackerel closure. Directed fishing for Atka mackerel by vessels named on a Federal Fisheries Permit under §679.4(b) within the Gulf of Alaska subarea is prohibited at all times.

(3) [Reserved]

(4) Southeast Outside District, gear other than nontrawl. Use of any gear other than nontrawl gear is prohibited at all times in Southeast Outside District defined at Figure 3 to this part.

(5) Sitka Pinnacles Marine Reserve. (i) No vessel required to have a Federal fisheries permit under §679.4(b) may fish for groundfish or anchor in the Sitka Pinnacles Marine Reserve, as described in Figure 18 to this part.

(ii) No vessel required to have on board an IFQ halibut permit under §679.4(d) may fish for halibut or anchor in the Sitka Pinnacles Marine Reserve, as described in Figure 18 to this part.

(6) Chiniak Gully Research Area (applicable through December 31, 2010).

(i) Description of Chiniak Gully Research Area. The Chiniak Gully Research Area, as shown in Figure 22 to this part, is defined as the waters bounded by straight lines connecting the coordinates in the order listed:

57°48.60 N lat., 152°22.20 W long.;

57°48.60 N lat., 151°51.00 W long.;

57°13.20 N lat., 150°38.40 W long.;

56°58.80 N lat., 151°16.20 W long.;

57°37.20 N lat., 152°09.60 W long.; and hence counterclockwise along the shoreline of Kodiak Island to 57°48.60 N lat., 152°22.20 W long.

(ii) Closure. (A) No vessel named on a Federal fisheries permit issued pursuant to §679.4(b) shall deploy trawl gear for purposes of either fishing, or of testing gear under §679.24(d)(2), within the Chiniak Gully Research Area at any time from August 1 through September 20.

(B) If the Regional Administrator makes a determination that the relevant research activities have been completed for a particular year or will not be conducted that year, the Regional Administrator shall publish notification in the Federal Register rescinding the Chiniak Gully Research Area trawl closure, described in paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section, for that year.

(7) Cook Inlet. No person may use a non-pelagic trawl in waters of the EEZ of Cook Inlet north of a line from Cape Douglas (58°51.10' N. lat.) to Point Adam (59°15.27' N. lat.).

(8) Alaska Seamount Habitat Protection Areas. No federally permitted vessel may fish with bottom contact gear in the Alaska Seamount Habitat Protection Areas, as described in Table 22 to this part.

(9) Gulf of Alaska Coral Habitat Protection Areas. No federally permitted vessel may fish with bottom contact gear in the Gulf of Alaska Coral Habitat Protection Areas, as described in Table 26 to this part.

(10) Gulf of Alaska Slope Habitat Conservation Areas. No federally permitted vessel may fish with nonpelagic trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska Slope Habitat Conservation Areas, as described in Table 27 to this part.

(c) Directed fishing closures. See §679.20(d) and §679.20(i).

(d) Groundfish as prohibited species closures. See §679.20(d).

(e) Overfishing closures. See §679.20(d).

(f) Prohibited species closures. See §679.21.

(g) [Reserved]

(h) CDQ fisheries closures. See §679.7(d)(6) through (10) for time and area closures that apply to the CDQ fisheries once salmon and crab PSQ amounts have been reached.

(i) Forage fish closures. See §679.20(i)(3).

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §679.22, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

Effective Date Note:  At 71 FR 31107, June 1, 2006, §679.22 was amended by revising paragraph (b)(6), effective July 3, 2006, through Dec. 31, 2010.

§ 679.23   Seasons.
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(a) Groundfish, general. Fishing for groundfish in the GOA and BSAI is authorized from 0001 hours, A.l.t., January 1, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, subject to the other provisions of this part, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.

(b) Time of groundfish openings and closures. The time of all openings and closures of fishing seasons, other than the beginning and end of the calendar fishing year, is 1200 hours, A.l.t.

(c) GOA and BSAI trawl groundfish. Notwithstanding other provisions of this part, fishing for groundfish with trawl gear in the GOA and BSAI is prohibited from 0001 hours, A.l.t., January 1, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., January 20.

(d) GOA groundfish seasons—(1) Directed fishing for trawl rockfish. Directed fishing for rockfish with trawl gear is authorized from 1200 hours, A.l.t., on the first day of the third quarterly reporting period of a fishing year through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, subject to other provisions of this part.

(2) Directed fishing for pollock. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for pollock in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas is authorized only during the following four seasons:

(i) A season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., January 20 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., March 10;

(ii) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., March 10 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., May 31;

(iii) C season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., August 25 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., October 1; and

(iv) D season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., October 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., November 1.

(3) Directed fishing for Pacific cod (i) Hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for Pacific cod with hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(A) A season. From 0001 hours, A.l.t., January 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10; and

(B) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., September 1 through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31.

(ii) Trawl gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for Pacific cod with trawl gear in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(A) A season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., January 20 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10; and

(B) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., September 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., November 1.

(4) Directed fishing for Pacific cod (applicable through December 31, 2002)—(i) Hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for Pacific cod with hook-and-line, pot, or jig gear in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(A) A season. From 0001 hours, A.l.t., January 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10; and

(B) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., September 1 through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31.

(ii) Trawl gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for Pacific cod with trawl gear in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(A) A season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., January 20 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10; and

(B) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., September 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., November 1.

(5) Directed fishing for Pacific cod. Directed fishing for Pacific cod in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas is prohibited.

(e) BSAI groundfish seasons—(1) Directed fishing for arrowtooth flounder and Greenland turbot. Directed fishing for arrowtooth flounder and Greenland turbot in the BSAI is authorized from 1200 hours, A.l.t., May 1, through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31, subject to the other provisions of this part.

(2) Directed fishing for pollock in the Bering Sea subarea by inshore, offshore catcher/processor, and mothership components, in the AI directed pollock fishery, and pollock CDQ fisheries. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for pollock by vessels catching pollock for processing by the inshore component, catcher/processors in the offshore component, and motherships in the offshore component in the Bering Sea subarea, directed fishing for pollock in the AI directed pollock fishery, or directed fishing for CDQ pollock in the BSAI is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(i) A season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., January 20 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10; and

(ii) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., November 1.

(3) Directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, non-CDQ directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear in the Aleutian Islands subarea is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(i) A season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., January 20 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., April 15; and

(ii) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., September 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., November 1.

(4) CDQ fishing seasons. (i) Halibut CDQ. Fishing for CDQ halibut with fixed gear under an approved CDQ allocation may begin on the effective date of the allocation, except that CDQ fishing may occur only during the fishing periods specified in the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of chapter III of this title.

(ii) Sablefish CDQ. Fishing for CDQ sablefish with fixed gear under an approved CDQ allocation may begin on the effective date of the allocation, except that it may occur only during the IFQ fishing season specified in paragraph (g)(1) of this section.

(iii) Groundfish CDQ. Fishing for groundfish CDQ species, other than CDQ pollock; hook-and-line, jig, or trawl CDQ Pacific cod; and fixed gear CDQ sablefish under subpart C of this part, is authorized from 0001 hours, A.l.t., January 1 through the end of each fishing year, except as provided under paragraph (c) of this section.

(iv) Groundfish CDQ (applicable through December 31, 2002). Fishing for groundfish CDQ species, other than pollock CDQ; hook-and-line, jig, or trawl Pacific cod CDQ; and fixed gear sablefish CDQ under subpart C of this part, is authorized from 0001 hours, A.l.t., January 1 through the end of each fishing year, except as provided under paragraph (c) of this section.

(v) Pollock CDQ and Pacific cod CDQ harvested with hook-and-line, jig or trawl gear (applicable through December 31, 2002). (A) Fishing for pollock CDQ is authorized under paragraph (e)(5) of this section.

(B) Fishing for Pacific cod CDQ with hook-and-line, jig or trawl gear is authorized under paragraph (e)(6) of this section.

(5) Directed fishing for Pacific cod—(i) Hook-and-line gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for CDQ and non-CDQ Pacific cod with vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line gear is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(A) A season. From 0001 hours, A.l.t., January 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10; and

(B) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10 through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31.

(ii) Trawl gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for CDQ and non-CDQ Pacific cod with trawl gear in the BSAI is authorized only during the following three seasons:

(A) A season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., January 20 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., April 1;

(B) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., April 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10; and

(C) C season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., November 1.

(iii) Pot gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, non-CDQ directed fishing for Pacific cod with vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(A) A season. From 0001 hours, A.l.t., January 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10; and

(B) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., September 1 through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31.

(iv) Jig gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for CDQ and non-CDQ Pacific cod with jig gear is authorized only during the following three seasons:

(A) A season. From 0001 hours, A.l.t., January 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., April 30;

(B) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., April 30 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., August 31;

(C) C season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., August 31 through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31.

(6) Directed fishing for Pacific cod (applicable through December 31, 2002). (i) Fixed gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for Pacific cod with fixed gear in the BSAI is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(ii) Hook-and-line and jig gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for CDQ and non-CDQ Pacific cod with vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line and with vessels using jig gear in the BSAI is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(A) A season. From 0001 hours, A.l.t., January 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10; and

(B) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10 through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31.

(iii) Trawl gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, directed fishing for CDQ and non-CDQ Pacific cod with trawl gear in the BSAI is authorized only during the following three seasons:

(A) A season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., January 20 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., April 1;

(B) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., April 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10; and

(C) C season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., November 1.

(iv) Pot gear. Subject to other provisions of this part, non-CDQ directed fishing for Pacific cod with vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(A) A season. From 0001 hours, A.l.t., January 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10; and

(B) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., September 1 through 2400 hours, A.l.t., December 31.

(7) Directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear (applicable through December 31, 2002). Subject to other provisions of this part, non-CDQ directed fishing for Atka mackerel with trawl gear in the Aleutian Islands subarea is authorized only during the following two seasons:

(i) A season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., January 20 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., April 15; and

(ii) B season. From 1200 hours, A.l.t., September 1 through 1200 hours, A.l.t., November 1.

(f) IFQ halibut. The fishing period(s) for IFQ halibut are established by the IPHC and are specified in the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of chapter III of this title. Catches of halibut by fixed gear at times other than during the specified fishing periods must be treated as prohibited species as prescribed at §679.21(b).

(g) IFQ sablefish. (1) Directed fishing for sablefish using fixed gear in any IFQ regulatory area may be conducted in any fishing year during the period specified by the Regional Administrator and announced by publication in the Federal Register. The Regional Administrator will take into account the opening date of the halibut season when determining the opening date for sablefish for the purposes of reducing bycatch and regulatory discards between the two fisheries.

(2) Catches of sablefish by fixed gear during other periods may be retained up to the amounts provided for by the directed fishing standards specified at §679.20 when made by an individual aboard the vessel who has a valid IFQ card and unused IFQ in the account on which the card was issued.

(3) Catches of sablefish in excess of the maximum retainable bycatch amounts and catches made without IFQ must be treated in the same manner as prohibited species as defined at §679.21(b).

(h) Stand down requirements for trawl catcher vessels transiting between the BSAI and GOA.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                     You are    If you own or operate a      prohibited from  catcher vessel and fish for      subsequently          Until* * * groundfish with trawl gear in   deploying trawl           the* * *              gear in the* * *------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) BSAI while pollock or       Western and        1200 hours A.l.t. on Pacific cod is open to          Central GOA        the third day after directed fishing in the BSAI.   regulatory areas.  the date of landing                                                    or transfer of all                                                    groundfish on board                                                    the vessel harvested                                                    in the BSAI, unless                                                    you are engaged in                                                    directed fishing for                                                    Pacific cod in the                                                    GOA for processing                                                    by the offshore                                                    component.(2) Western GOA regulatory      BSAI.............  1200 hours A.l.t. on area while pollock or inshore                      the third day after Pacific cod is open to                             the date of landing directed fishing in the                            or transfer of all Western GOA regulatory area.                       groundfish on board                                                    the vessel harvested                                                    in the Western                                                    Regulatory Area of                                                    the GOA, unless you                                                    are participating in                                                    a CDQ fishery.(3) Central GOA regulatory      BSAI.............  1200 hours A.l.t. on area while pollock or inshore                      the second day after Pacific cod is open to                             the date of landing directed fishing in the                            or transfer of all Central GOA regulatory area.                       groundfish on board                                                    the vessel harvested                                                    in the Central GOA                                                    regulatory area ,                                                    unless you are                                                    participating in a                                                    CDQ fishery.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(i) Catcher vessel exclusive fishing seasons for pollock. Catcher vessels are prohibited from participating in directed fishing for pollock under the following conditions. Vessels less than 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA are exempt from this restriction when fishing east of 157°00' W long. GOA and BSAI seasons are specified at §679.23(d)(2) and §679.23(e)(2).

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[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996]

Editorial Note:  For Federal Register citations affecting §679.23, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and on GPO Access.

§ 679.24   Gear limitations.
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Regulations pertaining to vessel and gear markings are set forth in this section and as prescribed in the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of chapter III of this title.

(a) Marking of hook-and-line, longline pot, and pot-and-line gear. (1) All hook-and-line, longline pot, and pot-and-line marker buoys carried on board or used by any vessel regulated under this part shall be marked with the following:

(i) The vessel's name; and

(ii) The vessel's Federal fisheries permit number; or

(iii) The vessel's ADF&G vessel registration number.

(2) Markings shall be in characters at least 4 inches (10.16 cm) in height and 0.5 inch (1.27 cm) in width in a contrasting color visible above the water line and shall be maintained so the markings are clearly visible.

(b) Gear restrictions—(1) Pots—Longline pot gear. Any person using longline pot gear must treat any catch of groundfish as a prohibited species, except:

(i) In the Aleutian Islands subarea.

(ii) While directed fishing for sablefish in the Bering Sea subarea, except as provided in paragraph (c)(4)(ii) of this section.

(2) [Reserved]

(3) Trawl footrope. No person trawling in any GOA area limited to pelagic trawling under §679.22 may allow the footrope of that trawl to be in contact with the seabed for more than 10 percent of the period of any tow.

(4) BSAI pollock nonpelagic trawl prohibition. No person may use nonpelagic trawl gear to engage in directed fishing for pollock in the BSAI.

(c) Gear restrictions for sablefish—(1) Gear allocations. Gear allocations of sablefish TAC are set out under §679.20.

(2) Eastern GOA regulatory area—(i) General. (A) No person may use any gear other than hook-and-line and trawl gear when fishing for sablefish in the Eastern GOA regulatory Area.

(B) No person may use any gear other than hook-and-line gear to engage in directed fishing for sablefish.

(ii) Sablefish as prohibited species—(A) Trawl gear. When operators of vessels using trawl gear have harvested 5 percent of the TAC for sablefish in the Eastern GOA regulatory area during any year, further trawl catches of sablefish must be treated as prohibited species as provided by §679.21(b).

(B) Other gear. Operators of vessels using gear types other than those specified in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section in the Eastern GOA regulatory area must treat any catch of sablefish as a prohibited species as provided by §679.21(b).

(3) Central and Western GOA regulatory areas; sablefish as prohibited species. Operators of vessels using gear types other than hook-and-line and trawl gear in the Central and western GOA regulatory areas must treat any catch of sablefish in these areas as a prohibited species as provided by §679.21(b).

(4) BSAI. (i) Operators of vessels using gear types other than hook-and-line, longline pot, pot-and-line, or trawl gear in the BSAI must treat sablefish as a prohibited species as provided by §679.21(b).

(ii) Longline pot gear is prohibited in directed fishing for sablefish from 0001 hrs, A.l.t., on June 1 until 1200 hrs, A.l.t., on June 30.

(d) Trawl gear test areas—(1) General. For purposes of allowing pelagic and nonpelagic trawl fishermen to test trawl fishing gear, NMFS may establish, after consulting with the Council, locations for the testing of trawl fishing gear in areas that would otherwise be closed to trawling.

(2) Trawl gear testing. For the purposes of this section, “trawl gear testing” means deploying trawl gear in areas designated in this paragraph (d) and in Figure 7 to this part under the following conditions.

(i) The codend shall be unzipped while trawl gear testing.

(ii) Groundfish shall not be possessed on board when trawl gear testing.

(iii) Observers aboard vessels during the time spent trawl gear testing shall not fulfill observer requirements at subpart E of this part.

(3) Criteria. The establishment of test areas must comply with the following criteria:

(i) Depth and bottom type must be suitable for testing the particular gear type.

(ii) The areas must be outside State waters.

(iii) The areas must be in locations not normally closed to fishing with that gear type.

(iv) The areas must be in locations that are not usually fished heavily by that gear type.

(v) The areas must not be within a designated Steller sea lion protection area at any time of the year.

(4) Test areas. Trawl gear testing is allowed in the following areas (Figure 7 to this part) bounded by straight lines connecting the coordinates in the order listed, at all times:

(i) Kodiak Test Area.

57°37' N. lat., 152°02' W. long.

57°37' N. lat., 151°25' W. long.

57°23' N. lat., 151°25' W. long.

57°23' N. lat., 152°02' W. long.

57°37' N. lat., 152°02' W. long.

(ii) Sand Point Test Area.

54°50' N. lat., 161°00' W. long.

54°50' N. lat., 160°30' W. long.

54°35' N. lat., 160°30' W. long.

54°35' N. lat., 161°00' W. long.

54°50' N. lat., 161°00' W. long.

(iii) Bering Sea Test Area.

55°00' N. lat., 167°00' W. long.

55°00' N. lat., 166°00' W. long.

54°40' N. lat., 166°00' W. long.

54°40' N. lat., 167°00' W. long.

55°00' N. lat., 167°00' W. long.

(e) Seabird avoidance program for vessels fishing with hook-and-line gear—(1) Applicability. The operator of a vessel that is longer than 26 ft (7.9 m) LOA fishing with hook-and-line gear must comply with the seabird avoidance requirements as specified in paragraphs (e)(2) through (e)(4) of this section while fishing for:

(i) IFQ halibut or CDQ halibut,

(ii) IFQ sablefish, and

(iii) Groundfish in the EEZ off Alaska.

(2) Seabird Avoidance Requirements. The operator of a vessel described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section must:

(i) Gear onboard. Have onboard the vessel the seabird avoidance gear as specified in paragraph (e)(4) of this section;

(ii) Gear inspection. Upon request by an authorized officer or observer, make the seabird avoidance gear available for inspection;

(iii) Gear use. Use seabird avoidance gear as specified in paragraph (e)(4) of this section that meets performance and material standards as specified in paragraph (e)(5) of this section, while hook-and-line gear is being deployed.

(iv) Sink baited hooks. Use hooks that when baited, sink as soon as they are put in the water.

(v) Offal discharge. (A) If offal is discharged while gear is being set or hauled, discharge offal in a manner that distracts seabirds from baited hooks, to the extent practicable. The discharge site on board a vessel must be either aft of the hauling station or on the opposite side of the vessel from the hauling station.

(B) Remove hooks from any offal that is discharged.

(C) Eliminate directed discharge through chutes or pipes of residual bait or offal from the stern of the vessel while setting gear. This does not include baits falling off the hook or offal discharges from other locations that parallel the gear and subsequently drift into the wake zone well aft of the vessel.

(D) For vessels not deploying gear from the stern, eliminate directed discharge of residual bait or offal over sinking hook-and-line gear while gear is being deployed.

(vi) Safe release of seabirds. Make every reasonable effort to ensure birds brought on board alive are released alive and that, wherever possible, hooks are removed without jeopardizing the life of the birds.

(3) Seabird Avoidance Plan. A Seabird Avoidance Plan must:

(i) Be written, current, and onboard the vessel.

(ii) Contain the following information:

(A) Vessel name.

(B) Master's name.

(C) Type of bird avoidance measures utilized.

(D) Positions and responsibilities of crew for deploying, adjusting, and monitoring performance of deployed gear.

(E) Instructions and/or diagrams outlining the sequence of actions required to deploy and retrieve the gear to meet specified performance standards.

(F) Procedures for strategic discharge of offal, if any.

(G) The NMFS “Seabird Avoidance Plan” form, completed and signed by vessel operator. Vessel operator's signature shall indicate the operator has read the plan, reviewed it with the vessel crew, made it available to the crew, and has instructed the vessel crew to read it.

(iii) Be made available for inspection upon request by an authorized officer or observer.

(4) Seabird avoidance gear requirements. (See also Table 20 to this part.) The operator of a vessel identified in paragraph (e)(1) of this section must comply with the following requirements:

(i) While fishing with hook-and-line gear, including snap gear, in NMFS Reporting Area 649 (Prince William Sound), 659 (Eastern GOA Regulatory Area, Southeast Inside District), or state waters of Cook Inlet:

(A) A minimum of 1 buoy bag line as specified in paragraph (e)(5)(i) of this section must be used by vessels greater than 26 ft (7.9 m) LOA and less than or equal to 55 ft (16.8 m) LOA without masts, poles, or rigging.

(B) A minimum of 1 buoy bag line as specified in paragraph (e)(5)(i) of this section must be used by vessels greater than 26 ft (7.9 m) LOA and less than or equal to 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA with masts, poles, or rigging.

(C) A minimum of a single streamer line as specified in paragraph (e)(5)(ii)(B) of this section must be used by vessels greater than 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA and less than or equal to 55 ft (16.8 m) LOA with masts, poles, or rigging.

(D) A minimum of a single streamer line of a standard as specified in paragraph (e)(5)(ii) of this section must be used by vessels greater than 55 ft (16.8 m) LOA.

(ii) While fishing with hook-and-line gear other than snap gear in Federal waters (EEZ) not including NMFS Area 659, or in state waters not specified in paragraph (e)(4)(i):

(A) A minimum of 1 buoy bag line as specified in paragraph (e)(5)(i) of this section and one other device as specified in paragraph (e)(6) of this section must be used by vessels greater than 26 ft (7.9 m) LOA and less than or equal to 55 ft (16.8 m) LOA without masts, poles, or rigging.

(B) A minimum of a single streamer line as specified in paragraph (e)(5)(ii)(B) of this section and one other device as specified in paragraph (e)(6) of this section must be used by vessels greater than 26 ft (7.9 m) LOA and less than or equal to 55 ft (16.8 m) LOA with masts, poles, or rigging.

(C) A minimum of paired streamer lines of a standard as specified in paragraph (e)(5)(iii) of this section must be used by vessels greater than 55 ft (16.8 m) LOA.

(iii) While fishing with snap gear in the EEZ (not including Area 659) or state waters not specified in paragraph (e)(4)(i):

(A) A minimum of 1 buoy bag line as specified in paragraph (e)(5)(i) of this section and one other device as specified in paragraph (e)(6) of this section must be used by vessels greater than 26 ft (7.9 m) LOA and less than or equal to 55 ft (16.8 m) LOA without masts, poles, or rigging.

(B) A minimum of a single streamer line as specified in paragraph (e)(5)(iv)(B) of this section and one other device as specified in paragraph (e)(6) of this section must be used by vessels greater than 26 ft (7.9 m) LOA and less than or equal to 55 ft (16.8 m) LOA with masts, poles, or rigging.

(C) A minimum of a single streamer line of a standard as specified in paragraph (e)(5)(iv) of this section and one other device as specified in paragraph (e)(6) of this section must be used by vessels greater 55 ft (16.8 m) LOA with masts, poles, or rigging.

(iv) While fishing with hook-and-line gear other than snap gear for IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ sablefish, in waters shoreward of the EEZ, requirements as specified in paragraphs (e)(4)(ii) and (e)(8) must be used.

(5) Seabird avoidance gear performance and material standards:

(i) Buoy bag line weather exception. In winds exceeding 45 knots (storm or Beaufort 9 conditions), the use of a buoy bag line is discretionary.

(ii) Single streamer standard. (A) A single streamer line must:

(1) Be a minimum of 300 feet (91.4 m) in length;

(2) Have streamers spaced every 16.4 ft (5 m);

(3) Be deployed before the first hook is set in such a way that streamers are in the air for a minimum of 131.2 ft (40 m) aft of the stern and within 6.6 ft (2 m) horizontally of the point where the main groundline enters the water.

(4) Have individual streamers that hang attached to the mainline to 9.8 in (0.25 m) above the waterline in the absence of wind.

(5) Have streamers constructed of material that is brightly colored, UV-protected plastic tubing or 3/8 inch polyester line or material of an equivalent density.

(B) Weather exception: In winds exceeding 45 knots (storm or Beaufort 9 conditions), the use of a single streamer line is discretionary.

(iii) Paired streamer standard: (A) At least one streamer line must be deployed before the first hook is set and two streamer lines must be fully deployed within 90 seconds.

(B) Weather exceptions: In conditions of wind speeds exceeding 30 knots (near gale or Beaufort 7 conditions), but less than or equal to 45 knots, a single streamer must be deployed from the windward side of the vessel. In winds exceeding 45 knots (storm or Beaufort 9 conditions), the use of streamer lines is discretionary.

(C) Streamer lines must:

(1) Be deployed in such a way that streamers are in the air for a minimum of 131.2 ft (40 m) aft of the stern for vessels under 100 ft (30.5 m) and 196.9 ft (60 m) aft of the stern for vessels 100 ft (30.5 m) or over;

(2) Be a minimum of 300 feet (91.4 m) in length;

(3) Have streamers spaced every 16.4 ft (5 m);

(4) For vessels deploying hook-and-line gear from the stern, the streamer lines must be deployed from the stern, one on each side of the main groundline.

(5) For vessels deploying gear from the side, the streamer lines must be deployed from the stern, one over the main groundline and the other on one side of the main groundline.

(6) Have individual streamers that hang attached to the mainline to 9.8 in (0.25 m) above the waterline in the absence of wind.

(7) Have streamers constructed of material that is brightly colored, UV-protected plastic tubing or 3/8 inch polyester line or material of an equivalent density.

(iv) Snap gear streamer standard: (A) For vessels using snap gear, a single streamer line must:

(1) Be deployed before the first hook is set in such a way that streamers are in the air for 65.6 ft (20 m) aft of the stern and within 6.6 ft (2 m) horizontally of the point where the main groundline enters the water.

(2) Have a minimum length of 147.6 ft (45 m).

(B) Weather exception: In winds exceeding 45 knots (storm or Beaufort 9 conditions), the use of a single streamer line is discretionary.

(6) Other seabird avoidance devices and methods. As required at paragraphs (e)(4)(ii)(A) and (B) and (e)(4)(iii) of this section, include the following:

(i) Add weights to groundline.

(ii) Use a buoy bag line or single streamer line, of standards as appropriate and as specified in paragraph (e)(5) of this section.

(iii) To distract birds away from the setting of baited hooks, discharge fish, fish parts (i.e. offal) or spent bait.

(7) Other methods. The following measures or methods must be accompanied by the applicable seabird avoidance gear requirements as specified in paragraph (e)(4) of this section:

(i) Night-setting,

(ii) Line shooter, or

(iii) Lining tube.

(8) Seabird avoidance exemption.

Nothwithstanding any other paragraph in this part, operators of vessels 32 ft (9.8 m) LOA or less using hook-and-line gear in IPHC Area 4E in waters shoreward of the EEZ are exempt from seabird avoidance regulations.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 35579, July 5, 1996; 61 FR 49077, Sept. 18, 1996; 62 FR 23183, Apr. 29, 1997; 63 FR 11167, Mar. 6, 1998; 64 FR 61970, 61982, Nov. 15, 1999; 65 FR 31107, May 16, 2000; 67 FR 4133, 4148, Jan. 28, 2002; 69 FR 1948, Jan. 13, 2004; 71 FR 36703, June 28, 2006]

§ 679.25   Inseason adjustments.
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(a) General—(1) Types of adjustments. Inseason adjustments issued by NMFS under this section include:

(i) Closure, extension, or opening of a season in all or part of a management area.

(ii) Modification of the allowable gear to be used in all or part of a management area.

(iii) Adjustment of TAC and PSC limits.

(iv) Interim closures of statistical areas, or portions thereof, to directed fishing for specified groundfish species.

(2) Determinations. (i) Any inseason adjustment taken under paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this section must be based on a determination that such adjustments are necessary to prevent:

(A) Overfishing of any species or stock of fish or shellfish;

(B) Harvest of a TAC for any groundfish species or the taking of a PSC limit for any prohibited species that, on the basis of the best available scientific information, is found by NMFS to be incorrectly specified; or

(C) Underharvest of a TAC or gear share of a TAC for any groundfish species when catch information indicates that the TAC or gear share has not been reached.

(ii) Any inseason closure of a statistical area, or portion thereof, under paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section, must be based upon a determination that such closures are necessary to prevent:

(A) A continuation of relatively high bycatch rates of prohibited species specified under §679.21(b) in a statistical area, or portion thereof;

(B) Take of an excessive share of PSC limits or bycatch allowances established under §679.21(d) and (e) by vessels fishing in a statistical area, or portion thereof;

(C) Closure of one or more directed fisheries for groundfish due to excessive prohibited species bycatch rates occurring in a specified fishery operating within all or part of a statistical area; or

(D) Premature attainment of established PSC limits or bycatch allowances and associated loss of opportunity to harvest the groundfish OY.

(iii) The selection of the appropriate inseason management adjustments under paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section must be from the following authorized management measures and must be based upon a determination by the Regional Administrator that the management adjustment selected is the least restrictive necessary to achieve the purpose of the adjustment:

(A) Any gear modification that would protect the species in need of conservation, but that would still allow other fisheries to continue;

(B) An inseason adjustment that would allow other fisheries to continue in noncritical areas and time periods;

(C) Closure of a management area and season to all groundfish fishing; or

(D) Reopening of a management area or season to achieve the TAC or gear share of a TAC for any of the target species or the “other species” category.

(iv) The adjustment of a TAC or PSC limit for any species under paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section must be based upon a determination by the Regional Administrator that the adjustment is based upon the best available scientific information concerning the biological stock status of the species in question and that the currently specified TAC or PSC limit is incorrect. Any adjustment to a TAC or PSC limit must be reasonably related to the change in biological stock status.

(v) The inseason closure of a statistical area, or a portion thereof, under paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section shall not extend beyond a 60-day period unless information considered under paragraph (b) of this section warrants an extended closure period. Any closure of a statistical area, or portion thereof, to reduce prohibited species bycatch rates requires a determination by the Regional Administrator that the closure is based on the best available scientific information concerning the seasonal distribution and abundance of prohibited species and bycatch rates of prohibited species associated with various groundfish fisheries.

(b) Data. All information relevant to one or more of the following factors may be considered in making the determinations required under paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section:

(1) The effect of overall fishing effort within a statistical area;

(2) Catch per unit of effort and rate of harvest;

(3) Relative distribution and abundance of stocks of groundfish species and prohibited species within all or part of a statistical area;

(4) Condition of a stock in all or part of a statistical area;

(5) Inseason prohibited species bycatch rates observed in groundfish fisheries in all or part of a statistical area;

(6) Historical prohibited species bycatch rates observed in groundfish fisheries in all or part of a statistical area;

(7) Economic impacts on fishing businesses affected; or

(8) Any other factor relevant to the conservation and management of groundfish species or any incidentally caught species that are designated as prohibited species or for which a PSC limit has been specified.

(c) Procedure. (1) No inseason adjustment issued under this section will take effect until—

(i) NMFS has filed the proposed adjustment for public inspection with the Office of the Federal Register; and

(ii) NMFS has published the proposed adjustment in the Federal Register for public comment for a period of 30 days before it is made final, unless NMFS finds for good cause that such notification and public procedure is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.

(2) If NMFS decides, for good cause, that an adjustment is to be made without affording a prior opportunity for public comment, public comments on the necessity for, and extent of, the adjustment will be received by the Regional Administrator for a period of 15 days after the effective date of notification.

(3) During any such 15-day period, the Regional Administrator will make available for public inspection, during business hours, the aggregate data upon which an adjustment was based.

(4) If written comments are received during any such 15-day period that oppose or protest an inseason adjustment issued under this section, NMFS will reconsider the necessity for the adjustment and, as soon as practicable after that reconsideration, will either—

(i) Publish in the Federal Register notification of continued effectiveness of the adjustment, responding to comments received; or

(ii) Modify or rescind the adjustment.

(5) Notifications of inseason adjustments issued by NMFS under paragraph (a) of this section will include the following information:

(i) A description of the management adjustment.

(ii) Reasons for the adjustment and the determinations required under paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.

(iii) The effective date and any termination date of such adjustment. If no termination date is specified, the adjustment will terminate on the last day of the fishing year.

§ 679.26   Prohibited Species Donation Program.
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(a) Authorized species. The PSD program applies only to the following species:

(1) Salmon.

(2) Halibut delivered by catcher vessels using trawl gear to shoreside processors.

(b) Authorized distributors—(1) Application. An applicant seeking to become an authorized distributor must provide the Regional Administrator with the following information:

(i) Proof of the applicant's tax-exempt status.

(ii) A description of the arrangements for processing, shipping, storing, and transporting donated fish and an estimate of the associated costs.

(iii) A statement describing the applicant's expertise in providing for the distribution of food product from remote Alaskan locations to hunger relief agencies, food bank networks, or food bank distributors, including arrangements for transportation, distribution costs, and product quality control.

(iv) Documentation of support from cold storage and transportation facilities.

(v) A proposed operating budget that is adequate to ensure that fish donated under this program will be distributed to hunger relief agencies, food bank networks, or food bank distributors and that the fish will be maintained in a manner fit for human consumption.

(vi) Proof of the applicant's ability to obtain and maintain adequate funding for the distribution of fish under the PSD program.

(vii) A copy of the applicant's articles of incorporation and bylaws showing that the purpose of the applicant includes providing food resources to hunger relief agencies, food bank networks, or food bank distributors.

(viii) Proof of the applicant's ability to take full responsibility for the documentation and disposition of fish received under the PSD program, including sufficient liability insurance to cover public interests relating to the quality of fish distributed for human consumption.

(ix) Quality control criteria to be followed by vessels, processors, hunger relief agencies, food bank networks, and food bank distributors.

(x) The number of vessels and processors that the applicant is capable of administering effectively.

(xi) A list of all vessels and processors, food bank networks and food bank distributors participating in the PSD program. The list of vessels and processors must include:

(A) The vessel's or processor's Federal fisheries permit number or Federal processor permit number.

(B) The name of the vessel owner or responsible operator or the name of the owner or plant manager of the processor.

(C) The vessel's or processor's telephone number and fax number.

(D) The signature of the vessel owner or responsible operator or the owner or plant manager of the processor.

(xii) A signed statement from the applicant and from all persons who are listed under paragraph (b)(1)(xi) of this section and who would conduct activities pursuant to the PSD permit waiving any and all claims against the United States and its agents and employees for any liability for personal injury, death, sickness, damage to property directly or indirectly due to activities conducted under the PSD program.

(xiii) A list of locations where fish must be delivered by participating vessels and processors.

(xiv) A separate application must be submitted for each species listed under paragraph (a) of this section that the applicant seeks to distribute.

(2) Selection. The Regional Administrator may select one or more tax-exempt organizations to be authorized distributors under the PSD program based on the information submitted by applicants under paragraph (b)(1) of this section. The number of authorized distributors selected by the Regional Administrator will be based on the following criteria:

(i) The number and qualifications of applicants for PSD permits.

(ii) The number of harvesters and the quantity of fish that applicants can effectively administer.

(iii) The anticipated level of bycatch of prohibited species listed under paragraph (a) of this section.

(iv) The potential number of vessels and processors participating in the groundfish trawl fisheries.

(3) PSD Permit. (i) After review of qualified applicants, the Regional Administrator will announce the selection of authorized distributor(s) in the Federal Register and will issue PSD permit(s).

(ii) The Regional Administrator may impose additional terms and conditions on a PSD permit consistent with the objectives of the PSD program.

(iii) A PSD permit may be suspended, modified, or revoked, under 15 CFR part 904 for noncompliance with terms and conditions specified in the permit or for a violation of this section or other regulations in this part.

(iv) Effective period. A PSD permit issued for salmon or halibut remains in effect for a 3-year period after the selection notice is published in the Federal Register unless suspended or revoked. A PSD permit issued to an authorized distributor may be renewed following the application procedures in this section.

(v) If the authorized distributor modifies any information on the PSD permit application submitted under paragraph (b)(1)(xi) or (b)(1)(xiii) of this section, the authorized distributor must submit a modified list of participants or a modified list of delivery locations to the Regional Administrator.

(c) Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. (1) A vessel or processor retaining prohibited species under the PSD program must comply with all applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements. A vessel or processor participating in the PSD program must comply with applicable regulations at §§679.7(c)(1) and 679.21(c) that allow for the collection of data and biological sampling by a NMFS-certified observer prior to processing any fish under the PSD program.

(2) Prohibited species retained under the PSD program must be packaged, and all packages must be labeled with the date of processing, the name of the processing facility, the contents and the weight of the fish contained in the package, and the words, “NMFS PROHIBITED SPECIES DONATION PROGRAM - NOT FOR SALE - PERISHABLE PRODUCT - KEEP FROZEN”.

(3) A processor retaining or receiving fish under the PSD program and an authorized distributor must keep on file and make available for inspection by an authorized officer all documentation, including receipt and cargo manifests setting forth the origin, weight, and destination of all prohibited species bycatch. Such documentation must be retained until 3 years after the effective period of the PSD permit.

(d) Processing, handling, and distribution. (1) Processing and reprocessing of all fish retained under the PSD Program must be carried out under the direction of the authorized distributor. A processor retaining or receiving fish under the PSD Program, at a minimum, must head, gut, and freeze the fish in a manner that makes it fit for human consumption.

(2) Fish that are determined to be unfit for human consumption prior to delivery to an authorized distributor must be discarded under §679.21(b). Fish that are determined to be unfit for human consumption after delivery to the authorized distributor must be destroyed in accordance with applicable sanitation laws and regulations.

(3) Authorized distributors and persons conducting activities supervised by authorized distributors may retain prohibited species only for the purpose of processing and delivering the prohibited species to hunger relief agencies, food networks or food distributors as provided by this section. Such persons may not consume or retain prohibited species for personal use and may not sell, trade or barter, or attempt to sell, trade or barter any prohibited species that is retained under the PSD program, except that processors may convert offal from salmon or halibut that has been retained pursuant to the PSD program into fish meal, fish oil, or bone meal, and sell or trade these products.

(4) No prohibited species that has been sorted from a vessel's catch or landing may be retained by a vessel or processor, or delivered to a delivery location under this section, unless the vessel or processor and delivery location is included on the list provided to the Regional Administrator under paragraph (b)(1)(xi), (b)(1)(xiii) or (b)(3)(v) of this section.

[61 FR 38359, July 24, 1996, as amended at 63 FR 32145, 32146, June 12, 1998; 65 FR 78121, Dec. 14, 2000; 66 FR 53122, Oct. 19, 2001; 67 FR 4148, Jan. 28, 2002; 69 FR 52612, Aug. 27, 2004]

Effective Date Note:  At 67 FR 4158, Jan. 28, 2002, §679.26 was amended in paragraph (c)(3) by removing the words “until 1 year after” and inserting in its place “until 3 years after”. The amendment contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

§ 679.27   Improved Retention/Improved Utilization Program.
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Link to an amendment published at 71 FR 17381, Apr. 6, 2006.

(a) Applicability. The owner or operator of a vessel that is required to obtain a Federal fisheries or processor permit under §679.4 must comply with the IR/IU program set out in this section while fishing for groundfish in the GOA or BSAI, fishing for groundfish in waters of the State of Alaska that are shoreward of the GOA or BSAI, or when processing groundfish harvested in the GOA or BSAI.

(b) IR/IU species. The following species are defined as “IR/IU species” for the purposes of this section:

(1) Pollock.

(2) Pacific cod.

(3) Shallow-water flatfish species complex in the GOA as defined in the annual harvest specifications for the GOA (beginning January 1, 2003).

(c) Minimum retention requirements—(1) Definition of retain on board. Notwithstanding the definition at 50 CFR 600.10, for the purpose of this section, to retain on board means to be in possession of on board a vessel.

(2) The following table displays minimum retention requirements by vessel category and directed fishing status:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                      you must retain on   If you own or operate a ...          and ...       board until lawful                                                         transfer ...------------------------------------------------------------------------(i) Catcher vessel..............  (A) Directed        all fish of that                                   fishing for an IR/  species brought                                   IU species is       on board the                                   open.               vessel.                                  (B) Directed        all fish of that                                   fishing for an IR/  species brought                                   IU species is       on board the                                   prohibited.         vessel up to the                                                       MRA for that                                                       species.                                  (C) Retention of    no fish of that                                   an IR/ IU species   species.                                   is prohibited.(ii) Catcher/processor..........  (A) Directed        a primary product                                   fishing for an IR/  from all fish of                                   IU species is       that species                                   open.               brought on board                                                       the vessel.                                  (B) Directed        a primary product                                   fishing for an IR/  from all fish of                                   IU species is       that species                                   prohibited.         brought on board                                                       the vessel up to                                                       the point that                                                       the round-weight                                                       equivalent of                                                       primary products                                                       on board equals                                                       the MRA for that                                                       species.                                  (C) Retention of    no fish or product                                   an IR/IU species    of that species.                                   is prohibited.(iii) Mothership................  (A) Directed        a primary product                                   fishing for an IR/  from all fish of                                   IU species is       that species                                   open.               brought on board                                                       the vessel                                  (B) Directed        a primary product                                   fishing for an IR/  from all fish of                                   IU species is       that species                                   prohibited.         brought on board                                                       the vessel up to                                                       the point that                                                       the round-weight                                                       equivalent of                                                       primary products                                                       on board equals                                                       the MRA for that                                                       species.                                  (C) Retention of    no fish or product                                   an IR/IU species    of that species.                                   is prohibited.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(d) Bleeding codends and shaking longline gear. Any action intended to discard or release an IR/IU species prior to being brought on board the vessel is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to bleeding codends and shaking or otherwise removing fish from longline gear.

(e) At-sea discard of product. Any product from an IR/IU species may not be discarded at sea, unless such discarding is necessary to meet other requirements of this part.

(f) Discard of fish or product transferred from other vessels. The retention requirements of this section apply to all IR/IU species brought on board a vessel, whether harvested by that vessel or transferred from another vessel. At-sea discard of IR/IU species or products that were transferred from another vessel is prohibited.

(g) IR/IU species as bait. IR/IU species may be used as bait provided that the deployed bait is physically secured to authorized fishing gear. Dumping of unsecured IR/IU species as bait (chumming) is prohibited.

(h) Previously caught fish. The retention and utilization requirements of this section do not apply to incidental catch of dead or decomposing fish or fish parts that were previously caught and discarded at sea.

(i) Minimum utilization requirements. If you own or operate a catcher/processor or mothership, the minimum utilization requirement for an IR/IU species harvested in the BSAI is determined by the directed fishing status for that species according to the following table:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                              then your total weight of                                                retained or lawfully                                                transferred products                   If...                     produced from your catch or                                                receipt of that IR/IU                                              species during a fishing                                                    trip must...------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) directed fishing for an IR/IU species   equal or exceed 15 percent is open,                                    of the round-weight catch                                             or round-weight delivery of                                             that species during the                                             fishing trip.(2) directed fishing for an IR/IU species   equal or exceed 15 percent is prohibited,                              of the round-weight catch                                             or round-weight delivery of                                             that species during the                                             fishing trip or 15 percent                                             of the MRA for that                                             species, whichever is                                             lower.(3) retention of an IR/IU species is        equal zero. prohibited,------------------------------------------------------------------------

[62 FR 63890, Dec. 3, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 65381, Dec. 12, 1997; 68 FR 52144, Sept. 2, 2003; 69 FR 32903, June 14, 2004]

§ 679.28   Equipment and operational requirements.
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(a) Applicability. This section contains the requirements for scales, observer sampling stations, bins for volumetric estimates, and vessel monitoring system hardware. This section does not require any vessel or processor to provide this equipment. Such requirements appear elsewhere in this part.

(b) Scales used to weigh catch at sea. In order to be approved by NMFS a scale used to weigh catch at sea must meet the type evaluation requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section and the initial inspection and annual reinspection requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Once a scale is installed on a vessel and approved by NMFS for use to weigh catch at sea, it must be reinspected annually and must be tested daily and meet the maximum permissible error (MPE) requirements described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(1) List of scales eligible for approval. The model of scale must be included on the Regional Administrator's list of scales eligible to be approved for weighing catch at sea before an inspector will schedule or conduct a scale inspection under paragraph (b)(2) of this section. A scale will be included on the list when the Regional Administrator receives the information specified in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (iv) of this section. This information identifies and describes the scale, sets forth contact information regarding the manufacturer, and sets forth the results of required type evaluations and testing. Type evaluation and testing must be conducted by a laboratory accredited by the government of the country in which the tests are conducted.

(i) Information about the scale. (A) Name of scale manufacturer.

(B) Name of manufacturer's representative.

(C) Mailing address of scale manufacturer and manufacturer's representative.

(D) Telephone and fax number of manufacturer's representative.

(E) Model and serial number of the scale tested.

(F) A written description of the scale and diagrams explaining how the scale operates and how it compensates for motion.

(G) A list of the model numbers of all scales for which type evaluation results are applicable, identifying the differences between the model evaluated in the laboratory and other models listed. The scales may differ only in the elements of the scale that perform motion compensation, the size or capacity of the scale, and the software used by the scale.

(H) A list of types of scale adjustments that will be recorded on the audit trail, including the name of the adjustment as it will appear on the audit trail, and a written description of the adjustment.

(ii) Information about the laboratory. (A) Name of laboratory.

(B) Mailing address of laboratory.

(C) Telephone and fax number of laboratory's representative.

(D) Name and address of government agency accrediting the laboratory.

(E) Name and signature of person responsible for evaluation of the scale and the date of signature.

(iii) Checklist. A completed checklist indicating that all applicable technical and performance standards in appendix A to this part and the laboratory tests in the annex to appendix A to this part have been met.

(iv) Verification of test results. Verification that a scale meets the laboratory evaluation and testing requirements in appendix A of this part and each of the influence quantity and disturbance tests as specified in the annex to appendix A to this part:

(A) Test results and data on forms supplied by NMFS;

(B) National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) Certificates of Conformance, test results and data for a component of a scale or for the entire device. NTEP Certificates of Conformance, test results, and data may be submitted only in lieu of the specific influence factor tests conducted to obtain the NTEP Certificates of Conformance. Additional information must be submitted to verify compliance with the laboratory tests that are not performed under the NTEP; and/or

(C) International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) Certificates of Conformance, test results and data.

(v) Exceptions. A scale manufacturer or their representative may request that NMFS approve a custom built automatic hopper scale under the following conditions:

(A) The scale electronics are the same as those used in other scales on the Regional Administrator's list of scales eligible for approval;

(B) Load cells have received Certificates of Conformance from NTEP or OIML;

(C) The scale compensates for motion in the same manner as other scales made by that manufacturer which have been listed on the Regional Administrator's list of scales eligible for approval;

(D) The scale, when installed, meets all of the requirements set forth in paragraph 3 of appendix A to this part, except those requirements set forth in paragraph 3.2.1.1.

(2) Inspection of at-sea scales—(i) What is an inspection? An inspection is a visual assessment and test of a scale after it is installed on the vessel and while the vessel is tied up at a dock and not under power at sea to determine if the scale meets all of the applicable performance and technical requirements in paragraph (b)(2) of this section and in appendix A to this part. A scale will be approved by the inspector if it meets all of the applicable performance and technical requirements in paragraph (b)(2) of this section and appendix A to this part.

(ii) How often must a scale be inspected? Each scale must be inspected and approved before the vessel may participate in any fishery requiring the weighing of catch at sea with an approved scale. Each scale must be reinspected within 12 months of the date of the most recent inspection.

(iii) Who may perform scale inspections? Scales must be inspected by either a NMFS staff scale inspector or a scale inspector employed by a weights and measures agency designated by NMFS to perform scale inspections on its behalf. A list of authorized scale inspectors is available from the Regional Administrator upon request. Scale inspections are paid for by NMFS.

(A) Inspectors from an agency designated by NMFS. Inspectors employed by a weights and measures agency designated by NMFS to perform scale inspections on behalf of NMFS. Scale inspections by such inspectors are paid for by NMFS.

(B) Inspectors from other agencies. Inspectors employed by a U.S., state, or local weights and measures agency other than the weights and measures agency designated by NMFS and meeting the following requirements:

(1) The inspector successfully completes training conducted by a scale inspector from the weights and measures agency designated by NMFS to perform scale inspections on behalf of NMFS. The training consists of observing a scale inspection conducted by a scale inspector designated by NMFS and conducting an inspection under the supervision of a scale inspector designated by NMFS. The inspector must obtain this training for each type of scale inspected.

(2) The inspector notifies NMFS in writing that he/she meets the requirements of this paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(B) prior to conducting any inspections.

(3) Inspectors from agencies other than the weights and measures agency designated by NMFS to perform scale inspections on behalf of NMFS must notify the Regional Administrator of the date, time, and location of the scale inspection at least 3 working days before the inspection is conducted so that NMFS staff may have the opportunity to observe the inspection.

(iv) How does a vessel owner arrange for a scale inspection? The time and place of the inspection may be arranged by contacting the authorized scale inspectors. Vessel owners must request a scale inspection at least 10 working days in advance of the requested inspection by contacting an authorized scale inspector at the address indicated on the list of authorized inspectors.

(v) Where will scale inspections be conducted? Scale inspections by inspectors paid by NMFS will be conducted on vessels tied up at docks in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and in the Puget Sound area of Washington State.

(vi) Responsibilities of the vessel owner during a scale inspection. After the vessel owner has installed a model of scale that is on the Regional Administrator's list of scales eligible to be approved for weighing catch at sea, the vessel owner must:

(A) Make the vessel and scale available for inspection by a scale inspector authorized by the Regional Administrator.

(B) Provide a copy of the scale manual supplied by the scale manufacturer to the inspector at the beginning of the inspection.

(C) Transport test weights, test material, and equipment required to perform the test to and from the inspector's vehicle and the location on the vessel where the scale is installed.

(D) Apply test weights to the scale or convey test materials across the scale, if requested by the scale inspector.

(E) Assist the scale inspector in performing the scale inspection and testing.

(vii) Scale inspection report. (A) A scale is approved for use when the scale inspector completes and signs a scale inspection report verifying that the scale meets all of the requirements specified in this paragraph (b)(2) and appendix A to this part.

(B) The scale inspector must provide the original inspection report to the vessel owner and a copy to NMFS.

(C) The vessel owner must either:

(1) Maintain a copy of the report on board when use of the scale is required and make the report available to the observer, NMFS personnel, or an authorized officer, upon request, or;

(2) Display a valid NMFS-sticker on each approved scale.

(D) When in use, an approved scale must also meet the requirements described in paragraphs (b)(3) through (b)(6) of this section.

(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 to weigh total catch one time during each 24-hour period when use of the scale is required. The vessel owner must ensure that these tests are performed in an accurate and timely manner.

(i) Belt scales and automatic hopper scales. (A) The MPE in the daily at-sea scale tests is plus or minus 3 percent of the known weight of the test material.

(B) Test procedure. A material test must be conducted by weighing at least 400 kg of fish or an alternative material supplied by the scale manufacturer on the scale under test. The known weight of the test material must be determined by weighing it on a platform scale approved for use under paragraph (b)(7) of this section.

(ii) Platform and hanging scales. (A) The MPE for platform and hanging scales is plus or minus 0.5 percent of the known weight of the test material.

(B) Test weights. Each test weight must have its weight stamped on or otherwise permanently affixed to it. The weight of each test weight must be annually certified by a National Institute of Standards and Technology approved metrology laboratory or approved for continued use by the NMFS authorized inspector at the time of the annual scale inspection. The amount of test weights that must be provided by the vessel owner is specified in paragraphs (b)(3)(ii)(B)(1) and (b)(3)(ii)(B)(2) of this section.

(1) Platform scales used as observer sampling scales or to determine the known weight of test materials. Any combination of test weights that will allow the scale to be tested at 10 kg, 25 kg, and 50 kg.

(2) Scales used to weigh total catch. Test weights equal to the largest amount of fish that will be weighed on the scale in one weighment.

(iii) Requirements for all scale tests. (A) Notify the observer at least 15 minutes before the time that the test will be conducted, and conduct the test while the observer is present.

(B) Conduct the scale test by placing the test material or test weights on or across the scale and recording the following information on the at-sea scale test report form:

(1) Vessel name;

(2) Month, day, and year of test;

(3) Time test started to the nearest minute;

(4) Known weight of test material or test weights;

(5) Weight of test material or test weights recorded by scale;

(6) Percent error as determined by subtracting the known weight of the test material or test weights from the weight recorded on the scale, dividing that amount by the known weight of the test material or test weights, and multiplying by 100; and

(7) Sea conditions at the time of the scale test.

(C) Maintain the test report form on board the vessel until the end of the fishing year during which the tests were conducted, and make the report forms available to observers, NMFS personnel, or an authorized officer. In addition, the scale test report forms must be retained by the vessel owner for 3 years after the end of the fishing year during which the tests were performed. All scale test report forms must be signed by the vessel operator.

(4) Scale maintenance. The vessel owner must ensure that the vessel operator maintains the scale in proper operating condition throughout its use; that adjustments made to the scale are made so as to bring the performance errors as close as practicable to a zero value; and that no adjustment is made that will cause the scale to weigh fish inaccurately.

(5) Printed reports from the scale (not applicable to observer sampling scales). The vessel owner must ensure that the printed reports are provided as required by this paragraph. Printed reports from the scale must be maintained on board the vessel until the end of the year during which the reports were made and be made available to observers, NMFS personnel, or an authorized officer. In addition, printed reports must be retained by the vessel owner for 3 years after the end of the year during which the printouts were made.

(i) Reports of catch weight and cumulative weight. Reports must be printed at least once every 24 hours when use of the scale is required. Reports must also be printed before any information stored in the scale computer memory is replaced. Scale weights must not be adjusted by the scale operator to account for the perceived weight of water, mud, debris, or other materials. Scale printouts must show:

(A) The vessel name and Federal fisheries or processor permit number;

(B) The haul or set number as recorded in the processor's DCPL (see §679.5);

(C) The total weight of the haul or set;

(D) The total cumulative weight of all fish or other material weighed on the scale.

(ii) Printed report from the audit trail. The printed report must include the information specified in sections 2.3.1.8, 3.3.1.7, and 4.3.1.8 of appendix A to this part. The printed report must be provided to the authorized scale inspector at each scale inspection and must also be printed at any time upon request of the observer, the scale inspector, NMFS staff, or an authorized officer.

(6) Scale installation requirements. The scale display must be readable from where the observer collects unsorted catch.

(7) Platform scales used as observer sampling scales or to determine the known weight of test materials. Platform scales used only as observer sampling scales or to determine the known weight of fish for a material test of another scale are required to meet all of the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section and appendix A to this part except sections 4.3.1 and 4.3.1.5 of appendix A to this part (printer) or section 4.3.1.8 (audit trail) of appendix A to this part.

(c) Scales approved by the State of Alaska. Scale requirements in this paragraph are in addition to those requirements set forth by the State of Alaska, and nothing in this paragraph may be construed to reduce or supersede the authority of the State to regulate, test, or approve scales within the State of Alaska or its territorial sea. Scales used to weigh groundfish catch that are also required to be approved by the State of Alaska under Alaska Statute 45.75 must meet the following requirements:

(1) Verification of approval. The scale must display a valid State of Alaska sticker indicating that the scale was inspected and approved within the previous 12 months.

(2) Visibility. The owner and manager of the processor must ensure that the scale and scale display are visible simultaneously to the observer. Observers, NMFS personnel, or an authorized officer must be allowed to observe the weighing of fish on the scale and be allowed to read the scale display at all times.

(3) Printed scale weights. (i) The owner and manager of the processor must ensure that printouts of the scale weight of each haul, set, or delivery are made available to observers, NMFS personnel, or an authorized officer at the time printouts are generated and thereafter upon request for the duration of the fishing year. The owner and manager must retain scale printouts as records as specified in §679.5(a)(13).

(ii) A scale identified in a CMCP (see paragraph (g) of this section) must produce a printed record for each delivery, or portion of a delivery, weighed on that scale. If approved by NMFS as part of the CMCP, scales not designed for automatic bulk weighing may be exempted from part or all of the printed record requirements. The printed record must include:

(A) The processor name;

(B) The weight of each load in the weighing cycle;

(C) The total weight of fish in each delivery, or portion of the delivery that was weighed on that scale;

(D) The total cumulative weight of all fish or other material weighed on the scale since the last annual inspection;

(E) The date and time the information is printed;

(F) The name and ADF&G number of the vessel making the delivery. This information may be written on the scale printout in pen by the scale operator at the time of delivery.

(4) Inseason scale testing. Scales identified in an approved CMCP (see paragraph (g) of this section) must be tested by plant personnel in accordance with the CMCP when testing is requested by NMFS-staff or NMFS-authorized personnel. Plant personnel must be given no less than 20 minutes notice that a scale is to be tested and no testing may be requested if a scale test has been requested and the scale has been found to be accurate within the last 24 hours.

(i) How does a scale pass an inseason test? To pass an inseason test, NMFS staff or NMFS-authorized personnel will verify that the scale display and printed information are clear and easily read under all conditions of normal operation, weight values are visible on the display until the value is printed, and the scale does not exceed the maximum permissible errors specified below:

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                Maximum Error in Scale        Test Load in Scale Divisions                   Divisions------------------------------------------------------------------------(A) 0-500...................................  1(B) 501-2,000...............................  2(C) 2,001-4,000.............................  3(D) >4,000...............................  5------------------------------------------------------------------------

(ii) How much weight is required to do an inseason scale test? Scales must be tested with the amount and type of weight specified for each scale type in the following tables:

(A) Automatic hopper 0 to 150 kg (0 to 300 lb) capacity.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------          Certified Test Weights                 Other test material------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Minimum weighment or 10 kg (20 lb),     Minimum whichever is greater(2) Maximum                                 Maximum------------------------------------------------------------------------

(B) Automatic hopper > 150 kg (300 lb) capacity.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------          Certified Test Weights                 Other test material------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) Minimum weighment or 10 kg (20 lb),     Minimum whichever is greater(2) 25 percent of maximum or 150 kg (300    Maximum lb), whichever is greater.------------------------------------------------------------------------

(C) Platform or flatbed 0 to 150 kg (0 to 300 lb) capacity.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------          Certified Test Weights                 Other test material------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) 10 kg (20 lb)                           Not Acceptable(2) Midpoint                                Not Acceptable(3) Maximum                                 Not Acceptable------------------------------------------------------------------------

(D) Platform or flatbead > 150 kg (300 lb) capacity.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------          Certified Test Weights                 Other test material------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) 10 kg (20 lb)                           Not Acceptable(2) 12.5 percent of maximum or 75 kg (150   50 percent of maximum or 75 lb), whichever is greater                   kg (150 lb), whichever is                                             greater(3) 25 percent of maximum or 150 kg (300    75 percent of maximum or 150 lb), whichever is greater                   kg (300 lb), whichever is                                             greater------------------------------------------------------------------------

(E) Observer sampling scale > 50 kg capacity.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------          Certified Test Weights                 Other test material------------------------------------------------------------------------(1) 10 kg                                   Not Acceptable(2) 25 kg                                   Not Acceptable(3) 50 kg                                   Not Acceptable------------------------------------------------------------------------

(iii) Certified test weights. Each test weight used for inseason scale testing must have its weight stamped on or otherwise permanently affixed to it. The weight of each test weight must be certified by a National Institute of Standards and Technology approved metrology laboratory every 2 years. An observer platform scale must be provided with sufficient test weights to test the scale at 10 kg, 25 kg, and 50 kg. All other scales identified in an approved CMCP must be provided with sufficient test weights to test the scale as described in this paragraph (c)(4) of this section. Test weights for observer platform scales must be denominated in kilograms. Test weights for other scales may be denominated in pounds.

(iv) Other test material. When permitted in paragraph (c)(4)(ii) of this section, a scale may be tested with test material other than certified test weights. This material must be weighed on an accurate observer platform scale at the time of each use.

(v) Observer sampling scales. Platform scales used as observer sampling scales must:

(A) Have a capacity of no less than 50 kg;

(B) Have a division size of no less than 5 g;

(C) Indicate weight in kilograms and decimal subdivisions; and

(D) Be accurate within plus or minus 0.5 percent when tested at 10 kg, 25 kg, and 50 kg by NMFS staff or a NMFS-certified observer.

(d) Observer sampling station—(1) Accessibility. All of 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 total 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.

(2) Location—(i) Motherships and catcher/processors or catcher vessels using trawl gear. The observer sampling station must be located within 4 m of the location from which the observer collects unsorted catch. Clear, unobstructed passage must be provided between the observer sampling station and the location where the observer collects unsorted catch. When standing where unsorted catch is sampled, the observer must be able to see that no fish have been removed between the bin and the scale used to weigh total catch.

(ii) Vessels using nontrawl gear. The observer sampling station must be located within 5 m of the collection area, described at §679.28(d)(7)(ii)(B), unless any location within this distance is unsafe for the observer. Clear, unobstructed passage must be provided between the observer sampling station and the collection area. Access must be provided to the tally station, described at §679.28(d)(7)(ii)(A). NMFS may approve an alternative location if the vessel owner submits a written proposal describing the alternative location and the reasons why a location within 5 m of where fish are brought on board the vessel is unsafe, and the proposed observer sampling station meets all other applicable requirements of this section.

(iii) What is clear, unobstructed passage? Where clear and unobstructed passage is required, passageways must be at least 65 cm wide at their narrowest point, be free of tripping hazards, and be at least 1.8 m high. Doorways or companionways must be free of obstacles.

(3) Minimum work space. The observer must have a working area for sampling of at least 4.5 square meters. This working area includes the observer's sampling table. The observer must be able to stand upright and have a work area at least 0.9 m deep in the area in front of the table and scale.

(4) Table. The observer sampling station must include a table at least 0.6 m deep, 1.2 m wide and 0.9 m high and no more than 1.1 m high. The entire surface area of the table must be available for use by the observer. Any area used for the observer sampling scale is in addition to the minimum space requirements for the table. The observer's sampling table must be secured to the floor or wall.

(5) Observer sampling scale. The observer sampling station must include a NMFS-approved platform scale with a capacity of at least 50 kg located within 1 m of the observer's sampling table. The scale must be mounted so that the weighing surface is no more than 0.7 m above the floor. The scale must be approved by NMFS under paragraph (b) of this section and must meet the maximum permissible error requirement specified in paragraph (b)(3)(ii)(A) of this section when tested by the observer.

(6) Other requirements. The sampling station must include flooring that prevents slipping and drains well (grating or other material where appropriate), adequate lighting, and a hose that supplies fresh or sea water to the observer.

(7) Requirements for sampling catch—(i) Motherships and catcher/processors using trawl gear. The conveyor belt conveying unsorted catch must have a removable board to allow fish to be diverted from the belt directly into the observer's sampling baskets. The diverter board must be located downstream of the scale used to weigh total catch so that the observer can use this scale to weigh large samples. At least 1 m of accessible belt space, located downstream of the scale used to weigh total catch, must be available for the observer's use when sampling a haul.

(ii) Catcher/processors using non-trawl gear. In addition to the sampling station, vessels using non-trawl gear must provide: (A) Tally station. A place where the observer can see the gear as it leaves the water and can count and identify fish. It must be within 5 m of where fish are brought aboard the vessel and in a location where the observer is not in danger of falling overboard or being injured during gear retrieval. Where exposed to wind or seas, it must be equipped with a railing at least 1.0 m high, grating or other non-slip material, and adequate lighting.

(B) Collection area. A collection area is a place where the observer, or vessel crew under the observer's guidance, collects fish as they come off the line or are removed from pots. It must be located where the observer can see the gear when it leaves the water. Where exposed to wind or seas, it must be equipped with a railing at least 1.0 m high and grating or other non-slip material.

(8) Inspection of the observer sampling station. Each observer sampling station must be inspected and approved by NMFS prior to its use for the first time and then one time each year within 12 months of the date of the most recent inspection with the following exceptions: If the observer sampling station is moved or if the space or equipment available to the observer is reduced or removed when use of the observer sampling station is required, the observer sampling station inspection report issued under this section is no longer valid, and the observer sampling station must be reinspected and approved by NMFS. Inspection of the observer sampling station is in addition to inspection of the at-sea scales by an authorized scale inspector required at paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(i) How does a vessel owner arrange for an ovserver sampling station inspection? The time and place of the inspection may be arranged by submitting to NMFS a written request for an inspection. Inspections will be scheduled no later than 10 working days after NMFS receives a complete application for an inspection, including the following information:

(A) Name and signature of the person submitting the application, and the date of the application.

(B) Street address, business address, telephone number, and fax number of the person submitting the application.

(C) Whether the vessel or processor has received an observer sampling scale inspection before and, if so, the date of the most recent inspection report.

(D) Vessel name.

(E) Federal fishery permit number.

(F) Location of vessel where sampling station inspection is requested to occur, including street address and city.

(G) For catcher/processors using trawl gear and motherships, a diagram drawn to scale showing the location(s) where all catch will be weighed, the location where observers will sample unsorted catch, and the location of the observer sampling station as described at paragraph (d) of this section.

(H) For all other vessels, a diagram drawn to scale showing the location(s) where catch comes on board the vessel, the location where observers will sample unsorted catch, the location of the observer sampling station, including the observer sampling scale, and the name of the manufacturer and model of the observer sampling scale.

(I) For all vessels, a copy of the most recent scale inspection report issued under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(ii) Where will observer sampling station inspections be conducted? Inspections will be conducted on vessels tied up at docks in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and in the Puget Sound area of Washington State.

(iii) Observer sampling station inspection report. An observer sampling station inspection report, valid for 12 months from the date it is signed by NMFS, will be issued to the vessel owner if the observer sampling station meets the requirements in this paragraph (d). The vessel owner must maintain a current observer sampling station inspection report on board the vessel at all times when the vessel is required to provide an observer sampling station approved for use under this paragraph (d). The observer sampling station inspection report must be made available to the observer, NMFS personnel, or to an authorized officer upon request.

(e) Certified bins for volumetric estimates of catch weight—(1) Certification. The information required in this paragraph (e) must be prepared, dated, and signed by a licensed engineer with no financial interest in fishing, fish processing, or fish tendering vessels. Complete bin certification documents must be submitted to the Regional Administrator prior to harvesting or receiving groundfish from a fishery in which certified bins are required and must be on board the vessel and available to the observer at all times.

(2) Specifications—(i) Measurement and marking. The volume of each bin must be determined by accurate measurement of the internal dimensions of the bin. The internal walls of the bin must be permanently marked and numbered in 10-cm increments indicating the level of fish in the bin in cm. All marked increments and numerals must be readable from the outside of the bin through a viewing port or hatch at all times. Marked increments are not required on the wall in which the viewing port is located, unless such increments are necessary to determine the level of fish in the bin from another viewing port. Bins must be lighted in a manner that allows marked increments to be read from the outside of the bin by an observer or authorized officer. For bin certification documents dated after July 6, 1998, the numerals at the 10-cm increment marks must be at least 4 cm high.

(ii) Viewing ports. Each bin must have a viewing port or ports from which the internal bin markings and numerals on all walls of the bin can be seen from the outside of the bin, except that bin markings and numerals are not required on the wall in which the viewing port is placed, if that wall cannot be seen from any other viewing port in the bin.

(3) Information required. For bin certification documents submitted after July 6, 1998, the person certifying the bins must provide:

(i) The vessel name;

(ii) The date the engineer measured the bins and witnessed the location of the marked increments and numerals;

(iii) A diagram, to scale, of each bin showing the location of the marked increments on each internal wall of the bin, the location, and dimensions of each viewing port or hatch, and any additional information needed to estimate the volume of fish in the bin;

(iv) Tables indicating the volume of each certified bin in cubic meters for each 10-cm increment marked on the sides of the bins;

(v) Instructions for determining the volume of fish in each bin from the marked increments and table; and

(vi) The person's name and signature and the date on which the completed bin certification documents were signed.

(4) Recertification. The bin's volume and the marked and numbered increments must be recertified if the bin is modified in a way that changes its size or shape or if marking strips or marked increments are moved or added.

(5) Operational requirements—(i) Placement of catch in certified bins. All catch must be placed in a bin certified under this paragraph (e) to estimate total catch weight prior to sorting. Refrigerated seawater tanks may be used for volumetric estimates only if the tanks comply with all other requirements of this paragraph (e). No adjustments of volume will be made for the presence of water in the bin or tank.

(ii) Prior notification. Vessel operators must notify observers prior to any removal of fish from or addition of fish to each bin used for volumetric measurements of catch so that an observer may make bin volume estimates prior to fish being removed from or added to the bin. Once a volumetric estimate has been made, additional fish may not be added to the bin until at least half the original volume has been removed. Fish may not be removed from or added to a bin used for volumetric estimates of catch weight until an observer indicates that bin volume estimates have been completed and any samples of catch required by the observer have been taken.

(iii) Fish from separate hauls or deliveries from separate harvesting vessels may not be mixed in any bin used for volumetric measurements of catch.

(iv) The bins must not be filled in a manner that obstructs the viewing ports or prevents the observer from seeing the level of fish throughout the bin.

(f) Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Requirements—(1) What is a VMS? A VMS consists of a NMFS-approved VMS transmitter that automatically determines the vessels position and transmits it to a NMFS-approved communications service provider. The communications service provider receives the transmission and relays it to NMFS.

(2) How are VMS transmitters and communications service providers approved by NMFS? (i) NMFS publishes type approval specifications for VMS components in the Federal Register.

(ii) Transmitter manufacturers or communication service providers may submit products or services to NMFS for evaluation based on the published specifications.

(iii) NMFS will publish a list of NMFS-approved transmitters and communication service providers in the Federal Register. As necessary, NMFS will publish amendments to the list of approved components in the Federal Register.

(3) What are the vessel owner's responsibilities? If you are a vessel owner that must participate in a VMS, you or your crew must:

(i) Obtain a NMFS-approved VMS transmitter and have it installed onboard your vessel in accordance with the instructions provided by NMFS. You may get a copy of the VMS installation and operation instructions from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(ii) Activate the VMS transmitter and receive confirmation from NMFS that the VMS transmissions are being received before engaging in operations when a VMS is required.

(iii) Continue the VMS transmissions until no longer engaged in operations requiring VMS.

(iv) Stop fishing immediately if:

(A) Informed by NMFS staff or an authorized officer that NMFS is not receiving position reports from the VMS transmitter, or

(B) The vessel operator determines that the VMS is not transmitting properly.

(v) Make the VMS transmitter available for inspection by NMFS personnel, observers or an authorized officer.

(vi) Ensure that the VMS transmitter is not tampered with, disabled, destroyed or operated improperly.

(vii) Pay all charges levied by the communication service provider.

(4) What must the vessel owner do before activating a VMS transmitter for the first time? If you are a vessel owner who must use a VMS and you are activating a VMS transmitter for the first time, you must:

(i) Contact the OLE by Facsimile (907–586–7703) and provide: the VMS transmitter ID, the vessel name, the Federal Fisheries Permit number or Federal crab vessel permit number.

(ii) Call NMFS enforcement at 907–586–7225, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 0800 hours, A.l.t., and 1630 hours, A.l.t., at least 72 hours before leaving port and receive confirmation that the transmissions are being received.

(5) What must the vessel owner do when the vessel replaces a VMS transmitter? If you are a vessel owner who must use a VMS and you wish to replace a transmitter, you must either:

(i) Have followed the reporting and confirmation procedure for the replacement transmitter, as described above in paragraph (f)(4) of this section, or

(ii) Contact the NMFS Enforcement Division by phone or FAX and provide: the replacement VMS transmitter ID, the vessel name and the vessel's Federal Fisheries Permit Number and receive confirmation that the transmissions are being received before beginning operations.

(6) When must the VMS transmitter be transmitting? Your vessel's transmitter must be transmitting if:

(i) You operate a vessel in any reporting area (see definitions at §679.2) off Alaska while in any fishery requiring VMS, for which the vessel has a species and gear endorsement on its Federal fisheries permit under §679.4(b)(5)(vi), is open;

(ii) You operate a federally permitted vessel in the Aleutian Islands subarea; or

(iii) You operate a federally permitted vessel in the GOA and have mobile bottom contact gear on board.

(g) Catch monitoring and control plan requirements (CMCP) (Effective June 1, 2003)—(1) What is a CMCP? A CMCP is a plan submitted by the owner and manager of a processing plant, and approved by NMFS, detailing how the processing plant will meet the catch monitoring and control standards detailed in paragraph (g)(7) of this section.

(2) Who is required to prepare and submit a CMCP for approval? The owner and manager of an AFA inshore processor or the owner and manager of a shoreside or stationary floating processor processing pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery are required to prepare and submit a CMCP which must be approved by NMFS prior to the receipt of pollock harvested in the BSAI directed pollock fisheries.

(3) How is a CMCP approved by NMFS? NMFS will approve a CMCP if it meets all the requirements specified in paragraph (g)(7) of this section. The processor must be inspected by NMFS prior to approval of the CMCP to ensure that the processor conforms to the elements addressed in the CMCP. NMFS will complete its review of the CMCP within 14 working days of receiving a complete CMCP and conducting a CMCP inspection. If NMFS disapproves a CMCP, the plant owner or manager may resubmit a revised CMCP or file an administrative appeal as set forth under the administrative appeals procedures described at §679.43.

(4) How is a CMCP inspection arranged? The time and place of a CMCP inspection may be arranged by submitting a written request for an inspection to NMFS, Alaska Region. NMFS will schedule an inspection within 10 working days after NMFS receives a complete application for an inspection. The inspection request must include:

(i) Name and signature of the person submitting the application and the date of the application;

(ii) Address, telephone number, fax number, and email address (if available) of the person submitting the application;

(iii) A proposed CMCP detailing how the processor will meet each of the performance standards in paragraph (g)(7) of this section.

(5) For how long is a CMCP approved? NMFS will approve a CMCP for 1 year if it meets the performance standards specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section. An owner or manager must notify NMFS in writing if changes are made in plant operations or layout that do not conform to the CMCP.

(6) How do I make changes to my CMCP? An owner and manager may change an approved CMCP by submitting a CMCP addendum to NMFS. NMFS will approve the modified CMCP if it continues to meet the performance standards specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section. Depending on the nature and magnitude of the change requested, NMFS may require a CMCP inspection as described in paragraph (g)(3) of this section. A CMCP addendum must contain:

(i) Name and signature of the person submitting the addendum;

(ii) Address, telephone number, fax number and email address (if available) of the person submitting the addendum;

(iii) A complete description of the proposed CMCP change.

(7) Catch monitoring and control standards—(i) Catch sorting and weighing requirements. All groundfish delivered to the plant must be sorted and weighed by species. The CMCP must detail the amount and location of space for sorting catch, the number of staff assigned to catch sorting and the maximum rate that catch will flow through the sorting area.

(ii) Scales used for weighing groundfish. The CMCP must identify by serial number each scale used to weigh groundfish and describe the rational for its use.

(iii) Scale testing procedures. Scales identified in the CMCP must be accurate within the limits specified in paragraph (c)(4)(i) of this section. For each scale identified in the CMCP a testing plan must be developed that:

(A) Describes the procedure the plant will use to test the scale;

(B) Lists the test weights and equipment required to test the scale;

(C) Lists where the test weights and equipment will be stored; and

(D) Lists the plant personnel responsible for conducting the scale testing.

(iv) Printed record. The owner and manager must ensure that the scale produces a complete and accurate printed record of the weight of each species in a delivery. All of the groundfish in a delivery must be weighed on a scale capable of producing a complete printed record as described in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. However, NMFS may exempt scales not designed for automatic bulk weighing from some or all of the printed record requirements if the CMCP identifies any scale that cannot produce a complete printed record, states how the processor will use the scale, and states how the plant intends to produce a complete record of the total weight of each delivery.

(v) Delivery point. Each CMCP must identify a single delivery point. The delivery point is the first location where fish removed from a delivering catcher vessel can be sorted or diverted to more than one location. If the catch is pumped from the hold of a catcher vessel or a codend, the delivery point normally will be the location where the pump first discharges the catch. If catch is removed from a vessel by brailing, the delivery point normally will be the bin or belt where the brailer discharges the catch.

(vi) Observation area. Each CMCP must designate an observation area. The observation area is a location designated on the CMCP where an individual may monitor the flow of fish during a delivery. The owner and manager must ensure that the observation area meets the following standards:

(A) Access to the observation area. The observation area must be freely accessible to NMFS staff or NMFS-authorized personnel at any time a valid CMCP is required.

(B) Monitoring the flow of fish. From the observation area, an individual must have an unobstructed view or otherwise be able to monitor the entire flow of fish between the delivery point and a location where all sorting has taken place and each species has been weighed.

(vii) Observer work station. Each CMCP must identify and include an observer work station for the exclusive use of NMFS-certified observers. Unless otherwise approved by NMFS, the work station must meet the following criteria:

(A) Location of observer work station. The observer work station must be located in an area protected from the weather where the observer has access to unsorted catch.

(B) Platform scale. The observer work station must include a platform scale as described in paragraph (c)(4) of this section;

(C) Proximity to observer work station. The observer area must be located near the observer work station. The plant liaison must be able to walk between the work station and the observation area in less than 20 seconds without encountering safety hazards.

(D) Workspace. The observer work station must include: A working area of at least 4.5 square meters, a table as specified in paragraph (d)(4) of this section, and meet the other requirements as specified in paragraph (d)(6) of this section.

(E) Lockable cabinet. The observer work station must include a secure and lockable cabinet or locker of at least 0.5 cubic meters.

(viii) Communication with observer. The CMCP must describe what communication equipment such as radios, pagers or cellular phones, is used to facilitate communications within the plant. The plant owner must ensure that the plant manager provides the NMFS-certified observer with the same communications equipment used by plant staff.

(ix) Plant liaison. The CMCP must designate a plant liaison. The plant liaison is responsible for:

(A) Orienting new observers to the plant;

(B) Assisting in the resolution of observer concerns; and

(C) Informing NMFS if changes must be made to the CMCP.

(x) Scale drawing of plant. The CMCP must be accompanied by a scale drawing of the plant showing:

(A) The delivery point;

(B) The observation area;

(C) The observer work station;

(D) The location of each scale used to weigh catch; and

(E) Each location where catch is sorted.

[63 FR 5843, Feb. 4, 1998, as amended at 63 FR 30401, June 4, 1998; 65 FR 61982, Nov. 15, 1999; 65 FR 33782, May 25, 2000; 65 FR 61267, Oct. 17, 2000; 67 FR 79731, Dec. 30, 2002; 68 FR 215, Jan. 2, 2003; 70 FR 9867, Mar. 1, 2005; 70 FR 10238, Mar. 2, 2005; 71 FR 20349, Apr. 20, 2006; 71 FR 36703, June 28, 2006]

Subpart C—Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program
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§ 679.30   General CDQ regulations.
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(a) Application procedure. The CDQ program is a voluntary program. Allocations of CDQ and PSQ are made to CDQ groups and not to vessels or processors fishing under contract with any CDQ group. Any vessel or processor harvesting or processing CDQ or PSQ on behalf of a CDQ group must comply with all other requirements of this part. Allocations of CDQ and PSQ are harvest privileges that expire upon the expiration of the CDP. When a CDP expires, further CDQ allocations are not implied or guaranteed, and a qualified applicant must re-apply for further allocations on a competitive basis with other qualified applicants. The CDQ allocations provide the means for CDQ groups to complete their CDQ projects. A qualified applicant may apply for CDQ and PSQ allocations by submitting a proposed CDP to the State during the CDQ application period that is announced by the State. A proposed CDP must include the following information:

(1) Community development information. Community development information includes:

(i) Project description. A detailed description of all proposed CDQ projects, including the short-and long-term benefits to the qualified applicant from the proposed CDQ projects. CDQ projects should not be designed with the expectation of CDQ allocations beyond those requested in the proposed CDP.

(ii) Project schedule. A schedule for the completion of each CDQ project with measurable milestones for determining the progress of each CDQ project.

(iii) Employment. The number of individuals to be employed through the CDP projects, and a description of the nature of the work and the career advancement potential for each type of work.

(iv) Community eligibility. A list of the participating communities. Each participating community must be listed in Table 7 to this part or meet the criteria for an eligible community under §679.2.

(v) Community support. A demonstration of each participating community's support for the qualified applicant and the managing organization through an official letter approved by the governing body of each such community.

(2) Managing organization information. A proposed CDP must include the following information about the managing organization:

(i) Structure and personnel. A description of the management structure and key personnel of the managing organization, such as resumes and references, including the name, address, fax number, and telephone number of the qualified applicant's CDQ representative.

(ii) Management qualifications. A description of how the managing organization is qualified to carry out the CDP projects in the proposed CDP, and a demonstration that the managing organization has the management, technical expertise, and ability to manage CDQ allocations and prevent exceeding a CDQ or PSQ.

(iii) Legal relationship. Documentation of the legal relationship between the qualified applicant and the managing organization (if the managing organization is different from the qualified applicant) clearly describing the responsibilities and obligations of each party as demonstrated through a contract or other legally binding agreement.

(iv) Board of directors. The name, address, and telephone number of each member of the board of directors of the qualified applicant. If a qualified applicant represents more than one community, the board of directors of the qualified applicant must include at least one member from each of the communities represented.

(3) Business information. A proposed CDP must include the following business information:

(i) Business relationships. A description of all business relationships between the qualified applicant and all individuals who have a financial interest in a CDQ project or subsidiary venture, including, but not limited to, any arrangements for management and audit control and any joint venture arrangements, loans, or other partnership arrangements, including the distribution of proceeds among the parties.

(ii) Profit sharing. A description of all profit sharing arrangements.

(iii) Funding. A description of all funding and financing plans.

(iv) General budget for implementing the CDP. A general account of estimated income and expenditures for each CDQ project for the total number of calendar years that the CDP is in effect.

(v) Financial statement for the qualified applicant. The most recent audited income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, management letter, and agreed upon procedures report.

(vi) Organizational chart. A visual representation of the qualified applicant's entire organizational structure, including all divisions, subsidiaries, joint ventures, and partnerships. This chart must include the type of legal entity for all divisions, subsidiaries, joint ventures, and partnerships; state of registration of the legal entity; and percentage owned by the qualified applicant.

(4) Request for CDQ and PSQ allocations. A list of the percentage of each CDQ reserve and PSQ reserve, as described at §679.31 that is being requested. The request for allocations of CDQ and PSQ must identify percentage allocations requested for CDQ fisheries identified by the primary target species of the fishery as defined by the qualified applicant and the gear types of the vessels that will be used to harvest the catch.

(5) Harvesting plans. A narrative description of how the CDQ group intends to harvest and process its CDQ allocations, including a description of the target fisheries, the types of vessels and processors that will be used, the locations and methods of processing, and the CDQ group's proposed partners.

(6) CDQ planning—(i) Transition plan. A proposed CDP must include an overall plan and schedule for transition from reliance on CDQ allocations to self-sufficiency in fisheries. The plan for transition to self-sufficiency must be based on the qualified applicant's long-term revenue stream without CDQs.

(ii) Post-allocation plan. [Reserved]

(b) Public hearings on CDQ application. When the CDQ application period has ended, the State must hold a public hearing to obtain comments on the proposed CDPs from all interested persons. The hearing must cover the substance and content of proposed CDPs so that the general public, particularly the affected parties, have a reasonable opportunity to understand the impact of the proposed CDPs. The State must provide reasonable public notification of hearing date and location. At the time of public notification of the hearing, the State must make available for public review all State materials pertinent to the hearing.

(c) Council consultation. Before the State sends its recommendations for approval of proposed CDPs to NMFS, the State must consult with the Council and make available, upon request, the proposed CDPs that are not part of the State's recommendations.

(d) Review and approval of proposed CDPs. The State must transmit the proposed CDPs and its recommendations for approval of each of the proposed CDPs to NMFS, along with the findings and the rationale for the recommendations, by October 15 of the year prior to the first year of the proposed CDP, except in 1998, when CDPs for the 1998 through 2000 multispecies groundfish CDQs must be submitted by July 6, 1998. The State shall determine in its recommendations for approval of the proposed CDPs that each proposed CDP meets all applicable requirements of this part. Upon receipt by NMFS of the proposed CDPs and the State's recommendations for approval, NMFS will review the proposed CDPs and approve those that it determines meet all applicable requirements. NMFS shall approve or disapprove the State's recommendations within 45 days of their receipt. In the event of approval of the CDP, NMFS will notify the State in writing that the proposed CDP is approved by NMFS and is consistent with all requirements for CDPs. If NMFS finds that a proposed CDP does not comply with the requirements of this part, NMFS must so advise the State in writing, including the reasons thereof. The State may submit a revised proposed CDP along with revised recommendations for approval to NMFS.

(e) Transfers—(1) Transfer of annual CDQ and PSQ. CDQ groups may request that NMFS transfer CDQ or PSQ from one group to another group by each group submitting a completed transfer request as described in §679.5(n)(3). NMFS will approve the transfer request if the CDQ group transferring quota to another CDQ group has sufficient quota available for transfer. If NMFS approves the request, NMFS will make the requested transfer(s) by decreasing the account balance of the CDQ group from which the CDQ or PSQ species is transferred and by increasing the account balance of the CDQ group receiving the transferred CDQ or PSQ species. NMFS will not approve transfers to cover overages of CDQ or PSQ. The CDQ or PSQ will be transferred as of the date NMFS approves the transfer request and is effective only for the remainder of the calendar year in which the transfer occurs.

(2) Transfer of CDQ and PSQ allocation. CDQ groups may request that some or all of one group's CDQ or PSQ allocation, as defined at §679.2, be transferred by NMFS to another group by each group filing an amendment to its respective CDP through the CDP substantial amendment process set forth at paragraph (g)(4) of this section. The CDQ or PSQ allocation will be transferred as of January 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year NMFS approves the amendments of both groups and is effective for the duration of the CDPs. Transfers of CDQ and PSQ allocations must be in whole integer percentages.

(f) CDQ group responsibilities. A CDQ group's responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Direct and supervise all activities of the managing organization;

(2) Maintain the capability to communicate with all vessels harvesting its CDQ and PSQ at all times;

(3) Monitor the catch of each CDQ or PSQ;

(4) Submit the CDQ catch report described at §679.5(n)(2);

(5) Ensure that no CDQ, halibut PSQ, or crab PSQ is exceeded;

(6) Comply with all requirements of this part.

(g) Monitoring of CDPs—(1) Annual progress report. (i) The State must submit to NMFS, by October 31 of each year, an annual progress report for the previous calendar year for each CDP.

(ii) Annual progress reports must be organized on a project-by-project basis and include information for each CDQ project in the CDP describing how each scheduled milestone in the CDP has been met, and an estimation by the State of whether each of the CDQ projects in the CDP is likely to be successful.

(iii) The annual report must include a description by the State of any problems or issues in the CDP that the State encountered during the annual report year.

(2) Annual budget report. (i) Each CDQ group must submit to NMFS an annual budget report by December 15 preceding the year for which the annual budget applies.

(ii) An annual budget report is a detailed estimate of the income from the CDQ project and of the expenditures for each subsidiary, division, joint venture, partnership, investment activity, or CDQ project as described in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section for a calendar year. A CDQ group must identify the administrative costs for each CDQ project. The CDQ group's total administrative costs will be considered a separate CDQ project.

(iii) An annual budget report is approved upon receipt by NMFS, unless disapproved by NMFS in writing by December 31. If disapproved, the annual budget report will be returned to the CDQ group for revision and resubmittal to NMFS.

(3) Annual budget reconciliation report. A CDQ group must reconcile its annual budget by May 30 of the year following the year for which the annual budget applied. Reconciliation is an accounting of the annual budget's estimated income and expenditures with the actual income and expenditures, including the variance in dollars and variance in percentage for each CDQ project that is described in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section.

(4) Substantial amendments. A CDP is a working business plan and must be kept up to date.

(i) Substantial amendments to a CDP require a written request by the CDQ group to the State and NMFS for approval of the amendment. The State must forward the amendment to NMFS with a recommendation as to whether it should be approved.

(ii) NMFS will notify the State in writing of the approval or disapproval of the amendment within 30 days of receipt of both the amendment and the State's recommendation. Once a substantial amendment is approved by NMFS, the amendment will be effective for the duration of the CDP.

(iii) If NMFS determines that the CDP, if changed, would no longer meet the requirements of this subpart, NMFS will notify the State in writing of the reasons why the amendment cannot be approved.

(iv) For the purposes of this section, substantial amendments are defined as changes in a CDP, including, but not limited to:

(A) Any change in the list of communities comprising the CDQ group or replacement of the managing organization.

(B) A change in the CDP applicant's harvesting or processing partner.

(C) Funding a CDP project in excess of $100,000 that is not part of an approved general budget.

(D) More than a 20-percent increase in the annual budget of an approved CDP project.

(E) More than a 20-percent increase in actual expenditures over the approved annual budget for administrative operations.

(F) A change in the contractual agreement(s) between the CDQ group and its harvesting or processing partner or a change in a CDP project, if such change is deemed by the State or NMFS to be a material change.

(G) Any transfer of a CDQ allocation or a PSQ allocation.

(v) The request for approval of a substantial amendment to a CDP shall include the following information:

(A) The background and justification for the amendment that explains why the proposed amendment is necessary and appropriate.

(B) An explanation of why the proposed change to the CDP is a substantial amendment.

(C) A description of the proposed amendment, explaining all changes to the CDP that result from the proposed amendment.

(D) A comparison of the original CDP text, with the text of the proposed changes to the CDP, and the revised pages of the CDP for replacement in the CDP binder. The revised pages must have the revision date noted, with the page number on all affected pages. The table of contents may also need to be revised to reflect any changes in pagination.

(E) Identification of any NMFS findings that would need to be modified if the amendment is approved, along with the proposed modified text.

(F) A description of how the proposed amendment meets the requirements of this subpart. Only those CDQ regulations that are affected by the proposed amendment need to be discussed.

(5) Technical amendments. Any change to a CDP that is not considered a substantial amendment under paragraph (g)(4)(iv) of this section is a technical amendment.

(i) The CDQ group must notify the State in writing of any technical amendment. Such notification must include a copy of the pages of the CDP that would be revised by the amendment, with the text highlighted to show the proposed deletions and additions, and a copy of the CDP pages as they would be revised by the proposed amendment for insertion into the CDP binder. All revised CDP pages must include the revision date, amendment identification number, and CDP page number. The table of contents may also need to be revised to reflect any changes in pagination.

(ii) The State must forward the technical amendment to NMFS with its recommendations for approval or disapproval of the amendment. A technical amendment is approved by NMFS and is effective when, after review, NMFS notifies the State in writing of the technical amendment's receipt and approval.

(h) Suspension or termination of a CDP. An annual progress report, required under paragraph (g)(1) of this section, will be used by the State to review each CDP to determine whether the CDP, CDQ, and PSQ allocations thereunder should be continued, decreased, partially suspended, suspended, or terminated under the following circumstances:

(1) If the State determines that the CDP will successfully meet its goals and objectives, the CDP may continue without any Secretarial action.

(2) If the State recommends to NMFS that an allocation be decreased, the State's recommendation for decrease will be deemed approved if NMFS does not notify the State in writing within 30 days of receipt of the State's recommendation.

(3) If the State determines that a CDP has not successfully met its goals and objectives or appears unlikely to become successful, the State may submit a recommendation to NMFS that the CDP be partially suspended, suspended, or terminated. The State must set out, in writing, the reasons for recommending suspension or termination of the CDP.

(4) After review of the State's recommendation and reasons thereof, NMFS will notify the Governor, in writing, of approval or disapproval of the recommendation within 30 days of its receipt. In the case of suspension or termination, NMFS will publish notification in the Federal Register, with reasons thereof.

[63 FR 30403, June 4, 1998, as amended at 64 FR 3882, Jan. 26, 1999; 64 FR 20214, Apr. 26, 1999; 65 FR 45318, July 21, 2000; 67 FR 4148, Jan. 28, 2002; 70 FR 15013, Mar. 24, 2005]

§ 679.31   CDQ reserves.
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Portions of the CDQ and PSQ reserves for each subarea or district may be allocated for the exclusive use of CDQ groups in accordance with CDPs approved by the Governor in consultation with the Council and approved by NMFS. NMFS will allocate no more than 33 percent of each CDQ reserve to any one group with an approved CDP.

(a) Pollock CDQ reserve—(1) Bering Sea. In the annual harvest specifications required by §679.20(c), 10 percent of the Bering Sea subarea pollock TAC will be allocated to a CDQ reserve.

(2) Aleutian Islands Subarea and Bogoslof District. In the annual harvest specifications required by §679.20(c), 10 percent of the Aleutian Islands subarea and Bogoslof District pollock TAC will be allocated to a CDQ reserve unless the Aleutian Islands subarea and/or Bogoslof District is closed to directed fishing for pollock by regulation. If the Aleutian Islands subarea and/or Bogoslof District is closed to directed fishing for pollock by regulation, then no pollock CDQ reserve will be established for those areas and incidental harvest of pollock by CDQ groups will accrue against the incidental catch allowance for pollock established under §679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(1).

(b) Halibut CDQ reserve. (1) NMFS will annually withhold from IFQ allocation the proportions of the halibut catch limit that are specified in paragraph (b) of this section for use as a CDQ reserve.

(2) Portions of the CDQ for each specified IPHC regulatory area may be allocated for the exclusive use of an eligible Western Alaska community or group of communities in accordance with a CDP approved by the Governor in consultation with the Council and approved by NMFS.

(3) The proportions of the halibut catch limit annually withheld for the halibut CDQ program, exclusive of issued QS, and the eligible communities for which they shall be made available are as follows for each IPHC regulatory area (see Figure 15 to this part):

(i) Area 4B. In IPHC regulatory area 4B, 20 percent of the annual halibut quota shall be made available to eligible communities physically located in, or proximate to, this regulatory area.

(ii) Area 4C. In IPHC regulatory area 4C, 50 percent of the halibut quota shall be made available to eligible communities physically located in IPHC regulatory area 4C.

(iii) Area 4D. In IPHC regulatory area 4D, 30 percent of the annual halibut quota shall be made available to eligible communities located in, or proximate to, IPHC regulatory areas 4D and 4E.

(iv) Area 4E. In IPHC regulatory area 4E, 100 percent of the halibut quota shall be made available to eligible communities located in, or proximate to, IPHC regulatory area 4E. A fishing trip limit of 10,000 lb (4.54 mt) applies to halibut CDQ harvested in IPHC regulatory area 4E through September 1.

(4) For the purposes of this section, “proximate to” an IPHC regulatory area means within 10 nm from the point where the boundary of the IPHC regulatory area intersects land.

(c) Groundfish CDQ reserves. (See §679.20(b)(1)(iii))

(d) Crab CDQ reserves. Crab CDQ reserves for crab species governed by the Crab Rationalization Program are specified at §680.40 (a)(1). For Norton Sound red king crab, 7.5 percent of the guideline harvest level specified by the State of Alaska is allocated to the crab CDQ reserve.

(e) PSQ reserve. (See §679.21(e)(1)(i) and (e)(2)(ii)).

(f) Management of the Groundfish CDQ Reserves—(1) Groundfish CDQ reserves allocated among CDQ groups. (i) Except as limited by paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the groundfish CDQ reserves are apportioned among CDQ groups using percentage allocations approved by NMFS under §679.30(d).

(ii) If the groundfish harvest specifications required by §679.20(c) change the species comprising a TAC category or change a TAC category by combining or splitting management areas, then the CDQ percentage allocations approved by NMFS for the original TAC category will apply to any new categories.

(iii) A CDQ group is prohibited by §679.7(d)(5) from exceeding an annual groundfish CDQ amount allocated to it.

(iv) NMFS may specify limitations or prohibitions to prevent overfishing of any BSAI groundfish species, including measures specific to groundfish CDQ species allocated among CDQ groups (see §679.20(d)(3)).

(2) Groundfish CDQ reserves not allocated among CDQ groups. (i) The “other species” CDQ reserve, or individual species that comprise the “other species” CDQ reserve, will not be allocated among CDQ groups.

(ii) Groundfish CDQ reserves not allocated among CDQ groups will be managed at the CDQ reserve level under general limitations at §679.20(d).

(g) Non-specific CDQ reserve (applicable through December 31, 2002). Annually, NMFS will apportion 50 percent of the arrowtooth flounder CDQ and 15 percent of the “other species” CDQ for each CDQ group to a non-specific CDQ reserve. A CDQ group's non-specific CDQ reserve must be for the exclusive use of that CDQ group. A release from the non-specific reserve to the CDQ group's arrowtooth flounder or “other species” CDQ is a technical amendment to a community development plan as described in §679.30(g)(5). The technical amendment must be approved before harvests relying on CDQ transferred from the non-specific CDQ reserve may be conducted.

[63 FR 8361, Feb. 19, 1998, as amended at 63 FR 30407, June 4, 1998; 64 FR 3882, Jan. 26, 1999; 64 FR 20214, Apr. 26, 1999; 64 FR 61982, Nov. 15, 1999; 66 FR 13678, Mar. 7, 2001; 67 FR 13293, Mar. 22, 2002; 67 FR 79733, Dec. 30, 2002; 68 FR 9905, Mar. 3, 2003; 68 FR 69977, Dec. 16, 2003; 70 FR 10238, Mar. 2, 2005]

§ 679.32   Groundfish and halibut CDQ catch monitoring.
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(a) Applicability. This section contains requirements for CDQ groups, operators of vessels, and managers of processors that harvest and/or process groundfish CDQ, including vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA that are halibut CDQ fishing.

(b) PSQ catch. Time and area closures required once a CDQ group has reached its salmon PSQ or crab PSQ are listed in §679.7(d)(7) through (10). The catch of salmon or crab by vessels using other than trawl gear does not accrue to the PSQ for these species. The discard of halibut by vessels using pot or jig gear will not accrue to the halibut PSQ if this bycatch has been exempted from the halibut PSC limit under §679.21(e)(5) in the annual specifications published in the Federal Register.

(c) Vessels eligible for groundfish and halibut CDQ fisheries. The following information must be provided by the CDQ group for all vessels that are groundfish CDQ fishing and all vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA that are halibut CDQ fishing.

(1) Request for approval of an eligible vessel. Prior to a vessel participating in the CDQ fishery, a CDQ group must submit to NMFS a completed request for approval of an eligible vessel as described at §679.5(n)(4). NMFS will approve all vessels for which a completed request is submitted. Once approved, a vessel will remain eligible until December 31 of the last year in the current CDQ allocation cycle under §679.30(d), or until the CDQ group removes the vessel from eligibility under paragraph (c)(2) of this section. A list of eligible vessels for each CDQ group will be publicly available from the Alaska Regional Office or on the NMFS website at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov. The CDQ group must provide a copy of the NMFS-approved eligible vessel request to the operator of the approved vessel. The vessel operator must maintain a copy of the eligible vessel request approved by NMFS onboard the vessel at all times while harvesting, transporting, or offloading CDQ.

(2) Removing a vessel from eligibility. A CDQ group may remove a vessel from eligibility to harvest CDQ on its behalf by advising NMFS by letter of the removal. Removal of a vessel from eligibility to harvest CDQ will be effective on the date that NMFS approves the request and notifies the CDQ group of NMFS's approval. Upon receipt of notification of NMFS's approval, the CDQ group must notify the operator of the vessel of the vessel's removal from eligibility to harvest CDQ on behalf of the CDQ group.

(d) Requirements for vessels and processors. In addition to complying with the minimum observer coverage requirements at §679.50(c)(4), operators of vessels groundfish CDQ fishing and managers of shoreside processors or stationary floating processors taking deliveries from vessels groundfish CDQ fishing must comply with the following requirements:

(1) Catcher vessels without an observer. (i) Operators of catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA must retain all groundfish CDQ species, halibut CDQ, and salmon PSQ until they are delivered to a processor that meets the requirements of paragraph (d)(3) or (d)(4) of this section, unless retention of groundfish CDQ species is not authorized under §679.4, discard of the groundfish CDQ species is required under subpart B of this part, or, in waters within the State of Alaska, discard is required by the State of Alaska.

(ii) Catcher vessels delivering unsorted codends. Operators of catcher vessels delivering unsorted codends to motherships must retain all CDQ and PSQ species and deliver them to a mothership that meets the requirements of paragraph (d)(4) of this section.

(2) Catcher vessels with observers. Operators of catcher vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.29 m) LOA must comply with the following requirements:

(i) If using trawl gear, the vessel operator must:

(A) Retain all CDQ species and salmon PSQ until they are delivered to a processor that meets the requirements of paragraph (d)(3) or (d)(4) of this section unless retention of groundfish CDQ species is not authorized under §679.4 of this part, discard of the groundfish CDQ species is required under subpart B of this part, or, in waters within the State of Alaska, discard is required by laws of the State of Alaska;

(B) Retain all halibut and crab PSQ in a bin or other location until it is counted and sampled by a level 2 observer; and

(C) Provide space on the deck of the vessel for the level 2 observer to sort and store catch samples and a place from which to hang the observer sampling scale.

(ii) If using nontrawl gear, the vessel operator must either:

(A) Option 1: Retain all CDQ species. Retain all CDQ species until they are delivered to a processor that meets the requirements of paragraph (d)(3) or (d)(4) of this section unless retention of groundfish CDQ species is not authorized under §679.4 of this part, discard of the groundfish CDQ or PSQ species is required under subpart B of this part, or, in waters within the State of Alaska, discard is required by laws of the State of Alaska. Have all of the halibut PSQ counted by the level 2 observer and sampled for length or average weight; or

(B) Option 2: Discard some CDQ species at sea. May discard some CDQ species at sea if the following requirements are met:

(1) Observer sampling station. The vessel owner provides an observer sampling station that complies with §679.28(d) so that the level 2 observer can accurately determine the average weight of discarded CDQ species. A valid observer sampling station inspection report described at §679.28(d)(8) must be on board the vessel at all times when a sampling station is required; and

(2) Species composition. Each CDQ set on vessels using hook-and-line gear is sampled for species composition by a level 2 observer.

(3) Shoreside processors and stationary floating processors. The manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must comply with all of the following requirements:

(i) Prior notice to observer of offloading schedule. Notify the level 2 observer of the offloading schedule of each CDQ delivery at least 1 hour prior to offloading to provide the level 2 observer an opportunity to monitor the sorting and weighing of the entire delivery.

(ii) CDQ and PSQ by weight. Sort and weigh on a scale approved by the State of Alaska under §679.28(c) all groundfish and halibut CDQ or PSQ by species or species group.

(iii) PSQ by number. Sort and count all salmon and crab PSQ.

(iv) CDQ and PSQ sorting and weighing. Sorting and weighing of CDQ and PSQ must be monitored by a level 2 observer.

(v) CDQ delivery report. Submit a CDQ delivery report described at §679.5(n)(1) for each delivery of groundfish CDQ.

(vi) AFA inshore processors. Take deliveries from a vessel engaged in directed fishing for pollock CDQ without following an approved CMCP as described at §679.28(g).

(4) Catcher/processors and motherships. The operator of a catcher/processor or a mothership taking deliveries of unsorted codends from catcher vessels must comply with the following requirements:

(i) Prior notice to observer of CDQ catch. Notify the level 2 observer(s) before CDQ catch is brought onboard the vessel and notify the level 2 observer(s) of the CDQ group and CDQ number associated with the CDQ catch.

(ii) Observer sampling station. Provide an observer sampling station as described at §679.28(d). A valid observer sampling station inspection report described at §679.28(d)(8) must be on board the vessel at all times when a sampling station is required.

(iii) Obtain the data entry software provided by the Regional Administrator (“ATLAS software”) for use by the observer and ensure that observer data can be transmitted from the vessel to NMFS at any time while the vessel is receiving, catching or processing CDQ species.

(iv) Catcher/processors using trawl gear and motherships. The operator of a catcher/processor using trawl gear or of a mothership taking deliveries of unsorted codends from catcher vessels must weigh all catch on a scale that complies with the requirements of §679.28(b). A valid scale inspection report described at §679.28(b)(2) must be on board the vessel at all times when a scale is required. Catch from each CDQ haul must be weighed separately. Catch must not be sorted before it is weighed, unless a provision for doing so is approved by NMFS for the vessel. Each CDQ haul must be sampled by a level 2 observer for species composition and the vessel operator must allow level 2 observers to use any scale approved by NMFS to weigh partial CDQ haul samples.

(v) Catcher/processors using nontrawl gear. Each CDQ set on a vessel using hook-and-line gear must be sampled by a level 2 observer for species composition and average weight.

(e) Recordkeeping and reporting—(1) Catch record. The manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must submit to NMFS the CDQ delivery report required in §679.5(n)(1). The CDQ representative must submit to NMFS the CDQ catch report required in §679.5(n)(2). Additionally, all other applicable requirements in §679.5 for groundfish fishing must be met.

(2) Verification of CDQ and PSQ catch reports. CDQ groups may specify the sources of data listed below as the sources they will use to determine CDQ and PSQ catch on the CDQ catch report by specifying “NMFS standard sources of data” on their request for approval of an eligible vessel. In the case of a catcher vessel using nontrawl gear, the CDQ group must specify on their request for approval of an eligible vessel whether the vessel will be retaining all groundfish CDQ (Option 1) or discarding some groundfish CDQ species at sea (Option 2). CDQ species may be discarded at sea by these vessels only if the requirements of paragraph (d)(2)(ii)(B) of this section are met. NMFS will use the following sources to verify the CDQ catch reports, unless an alternative catch estimation procedure is approved by NMFS under paragraph (e)(3) of this section.

(i) Catcher vessels less than 60 ft (18.29 m) LOA. The weight or numbers of all CDQ and PSQ species will be the same as the information on the CDQ delivery report if all CDQ species and salmon PSQ are retained on board the vessel until delivered to a processor, and sorted and weighed in compliance with paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(ii) Catcher vessels delivering unsorted codends. The weight and numbers of CDQ and PSQ species will be determined by applying the species composition sampling data collected for each CDQ haul by the level 2 observer on the mothership to the total weight of each CDQ haul as determined by weighing all catch from each CDQ haul on a scale approved under §679.28(b).

(iii) Observed catcher vessels using trawl gear. The weight of halibut and numbers of crab PSQ discarded at sea will be determined by using the level 2 observer's sample data. The weight or numbers of all groundfish CDQ and salmon PSQ will be the same as the information submitted on the CDQ delivery report if all CDQ species and salmon PSQ are retained on board the vessel until delivered to a processor, and sorted and weighed in compliance with paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(iv) Observed catcher vessels using nontrawl gear—(A) Option 1. The weight of halibut PSQ discarded at sea will be determined by using the level 2 observer's sample data. The weight of all groundfish CDQ will be the same as the information submitted on the CDQ delivery report if all CDQ species are retained on board the vessel until delivered to a processor, and sorted and weighed in compliance with paragraph (d)(3) of this section (Option 1); or

(B) Option 2. The weight of halibut PSQ and all groundfish CDQ species will be determined by applying the level 2 observer's species composition sampling data to the estimate of total catch weight if any CDQ species are discarded at sea.

(v) Catcher/processors using trawl gear. The weight and numbers of CDQ and PSQ species will be determined by applying the level 2 observer's species composition sampling data for each CDQ haul to the total weight of the CDQ haul as determined by weighing all catch from each CDQ haul on a scale certified under §679.28(b).

(vi) Catcher/processors using nontrawl gear. The weight of halibut PSQ and all groundfish CDQ species will be determined by applying the level 2 observer's species composition sampling data to the estimate of total catch weight, if any CDQ species are discarded at sea.

(3) Alternative methods for verification of CDQ and PSQ catch. The method to be used to determine CDQ and PSQ catch for each vessel must be listed by a CDQ group on the request for approval of an eligible vessel. A CDQ group may propose the use of an alternative method, such as using only one observer where normally two would be required, sorting and weighing of all catch by species on processor vessels, or using larger sample sizes than could be collected by one observer, by submitting an alternative fishing plan attached to its request for approval of an eligible vessel. NMFS will review the alternative fishing plan and approve it or notify the qualified applicant in writing if the proposed alternative does not meet the requirements listed under paragraphs (e)(3)(i) through (iv) of this section. The CDQ group must provide a copy of the approved alternative fishing plan to the operator of the approved vessel. A copy of the alternative fishing plan approved by NMFS must be maintained onboard the vessel at all times while it is operating under the alternative fishing plan. Alternative fishing plans are valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which they are approved. Alternatives to the requirement for a certified scale or an observer sampling station will not be approved. NMFS will review the alternative fishing plan to determine if it meets all of the following requirements:

(i) The alternative proposed must provide equivalent or better estimates than use of the NMFS standard data source would provide and the estimates must be independently verifiable;

(ii) Each haul or set on an observed vessel must be able to be sampled by an observer for species composition;

(iii) Any proposal to sort catch before it is weighed must ensure that the sorting and weighing process will be monitored by an observer; and

(iv) The time required for the level 2 observer to complete sampling, data recording, and data communication duties must not exceed 12 hours in each 24-hour period and the level 2 observer must not be required to sample more than 9 hours in each 24-hour period.

(f) Halibut CDQ—(1) Applicability. The CDQ group, the operator of the vessel, the manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor, and the Registered Buyer must comply with the catch monitoring requirements of this paragraph (f) and with the R&R requirements of §679.4(e) for the catch of CDQ halibut or while CDQ halibut fishing.

(2) Accounting for catch of groundfish CDQ while halibut CDQ fishing. The manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor must report on a CDQ delivery report described at §679.5(n)(1), all groundfish CDQ delivered by vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA while halibut CDQ fishing and all sablefish CDQ delivered by vessels of any size while halibut CDQ fishing. The CDQ group must report on a CDQ catch report described at §679.5(n)(2), all groundfish CDQ caught by vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA while halibut CDQ fishing and all sablefish CDQ retained by vessels of any size while halibut CDQ fishing. This groundfish CDQ will accrue to the CDQ group's groundfish CDQ allocations. The manager of a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor and the CDQ group are not required to report on the CDQ delivery report, groundfish, except sablefish CDQ, that is caught by vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA while halibut CDQ fishing, and this catch (except sablefish CDQ) will not accrue against the CDQ group's groundfish CDQ allocations.

(3) Groundfish CDQ retention requirements. Operators of vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA are not required to retain and deliver groundfish CDQ species while halibut CDQ fishing, unless required to do so elsewhere in this part. Operators of vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA are required to comply with all groundfish CDQ and PSQ catch accounting requirements in paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section including the retention of all groundfish CDQ, if Option 1 under §679.32(d)(2)(ii) is selected. CDQ species must be discarded when required by other provisions in subpart B of this part or, in waters within the State of Alaska, when discard is required by laws of the State of Alaska.

(4) Observer coverage requirements. The owner or operator of a vessel equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA halibut CDQ fishing as defined at §679.2 or shoreside processors taking deliveries from vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA that are halibut CDQ fishing must comply with observer coverage requirements at §679.50(c)(4) and (d)(4).

(5) Seabird avoidance requirements. The CDQ group, and vessel owner or operator must comply with all of the seabird avoidance requirements at §679.42(b)(2).

[63 FR 30407, June 4, 1998, as amended at 64 FR 3882, Jan. 26, 1999; 64 FR 20214, Apr. 26, 1999; 64 FR 61982, Nov. 15, 1999; 65 FR 33783, May 25, 2000; 66 FR 13678, Mar. 7, 2001; 67 FR 4133, 4148, Jan. 28, 2002; 67 FR 18140, Apr. 15, 2002; 67 FR 79733, Dec. 30, 2002; 68 FR 215, Jan. 2, 2003; 68 FR 44487, July 29, 2003; 68 FR 69977, Dec. 16, 2003; 69 FR 1949, Jan. 13, 2004; 70 FR 15014, 15015, Mar. 24, 2005]

Effective Date Note 1:  At 63 FR 30407, June 4, 1998, §679.32 was revised. Paragraph (c)(4)(i) contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

Subpart D—Individual Fishing Quota Management Measures
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§ 679.40   Sablefish and halibut QS.
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The Regional Administrator shall annually divide the TAC of halibut and sablefish that is apportioned to the fixed gear fishery pursuant to the annual management measures published in the Federal Register pursuant to §300.62 of chapter III of this title and §679.20, minus the CDQ reserve, among qualified halibut and sablefish quota share holders, respectively.

(a) Initial allocation of QS—(1) General. The Regional Administrator shall initially assign to qualified persons, on or after October 18, 1994, halibut and sablefish fixed gear fishery QS that are specific to IFQ regulatory areas and vessel categories. QS will be assigned as a block in the appropriate IFQ regulatory area and vessel category, if that QS would have resulted in an allocation of less than 20,000 lb (9 mt) of IFQ for halibut or sablefish based on the 1994 TAC for fixed gear in those fisheries for specific IFQ regulatory areas and the QS pools of those fisheries for specific IFQ regulatory areas as of October 17, 1994.

(2) Qualified person. (i) As used in this section, a “qualified person” means a “person,” as defined in §679.2:

(A) That owned a vessel that made legal landings of halibut or sablefish, harvested with fixed gear, from any IFQ regulatory area in any QS qualifying year; or

(B) That leased a vessel that made legal landings of halibut or sablefish, harvested with fixed gear, from any IFQ regulatory area in any QS qualifying year. A person who owns a vessel cannot be a qualified person based on the legal fixed gear landings of halibut or sablefish made by a person who leased the vessel for the duration of the lease.

(C) Who is a citizen of the United States at the time of application for QS.

(D) Who is a corporation, partnership, association, or other entity that would have qualified to document a fishing vessel as a vessel of the United States during the QS qualifying years of 1988, 1989, and 1990.

(ii) Qualified persons, or their successors-in-interest, must exist at the time of their application for QS.

(iii) A former partner of a dissolved partnership or a former shareholder of a dissolved corporation who would otherwise qualify as a person may apply for QS in proportion to his or her interest in the dissolved partnership or corporation.

(iv) Sablefish harvested within Prince William Sound, or under a State of Alaska limited entry program, will not be considered in determining whether a person is a qualified person.

(3) Qualification for QS—(i) Year. A QS qualifying year is 1988, 1989, or 1990.

(ii) Vessel ownership. Evidence of vessel ownership shall be limited to the following documents, in order of priority:

(A) For vessels required to be documented under the laws of the United States, the USCG abstract of title issued in respect of that vessel.

(B) A certificate of registration that is determinative as to vessel ownership.

(C) A bill of sale.

(iii) Vessel lease. Conclusive evidence of a vessel lease will include a written vessel lease agreement or a notarized statement from the vessel owner and lease holder attesting to the existence of a vessel lease agreement at any time during the QS qualifying years. Conclusive evidence of a vessel lease must identify the leased vessel and indicate the name of the lease holder and the period of time during which the lease was in effect. Other evidence, which may not be conclusive, but may tend to support a vessel lease, may also be submitted.

(iv) Ownership interest. Evidence of ownership interest in a dissolved partnership or corporation shall be limited to corporate documents (e.g., articles of incorporation) or notarized statements signed by each former partner, shareholder or director, and specifying their proportions of interest.

(v) Legal landing of halibut or sablefish—(A) Definition. As used in this section, a “legal landing of halibut or sablefish” means halibut or sablefish harvested with fixed gear and landed in compliance with state and Federal regulations in effect at the time of the landing.

(B) Documentation. Evidence of legal landings shall be limited to documentation of state or Federal catch reports that indicate the amount of halibut or sablefish harvested, the IPHC regulatory area or groundfish reporting area in which it was caught, the vessel and gear type used to catch it, and the date of harvesting, landing, or reporting. State catch reports are Alaska, Washington, Oregon, or California fish tickets. Federal catch reports are WPRs required under §679.5. Sablefish harvested within Prince William Sound or under a State of Alaska limited entry program will not be considered in determining qualification to receive QS, nor in calculating initial QS.

(4) Calculation of initial QS—(i) Halibut QS. The Regional Administrator shall calculate the halibut QS for any qualified person in each IFQ regulatory area based on that person's highest total legal landings of halibut in each IPHC regulatory area for any 5 years of the 7-year halibut QS base period 1984 through 1990. The sum of all halibut QS for an IFQ regulatory area will be the halibut QS pool for that area.

(ii) Sablefish QS. The Regional Administrator shall calculate the sablefish QS for any qualified person in each IFQ regulatory area based on that person's highest total legal landings of sablefish in each groundfish reporting area for any 5 years of the 6-year sablefish QS base period 1985 through 1990. The sum of all sablefish QS for an IFQ regulatory area will be the sablefish QS pool for that area.

(iii) CDQ program. Each initial QS calculation will be modified to accommodate the CDQ program prescribed at subpart C of this part.

(5) Assignment of QS to vessel categories—(i) LOA. Each qualified person's QS will be assigned to a vessel category based on the LOA of vessel(s) from which that person made fixed gear legal landings of groundfish or halibut in the most recent year of participation and the product type landed. As used in this paragraph (a)(5), “the most recent year of participation” means the most recent of 4 calendar years in which any groundfish or halibut were harvested using fixed gear, as follows: 1988, 1989, or 1990; or calendar year 1991 prior to September 26, 1991.

(ii) Vessel categories. QS and its associated IFQ assigned to vessel categories include:

(A) Category A QS and associated IFQ, which authorizes an IFQ cardholder to harvest and process IFQ species on a vessel of any length;

(B) Category B QS and associated IFQ, which authorizes an IFQ cardholder to harvest IFQ species on a vessel of any length, except as provided in §679.42(a);

(C) Category C QS and associated IFQ, which authorizes an IFQ cardholder to harvest IFQ species on a vessel less than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA:

(D) Category D QS and associated IFQ, which authorizes an IFQ cardholder to harvest IFQ halibut on a vessel less than or equal to 35 ft (10.7 m) LOA;

(iii) QS assignment. A qualified person's QS will be assigned:

(A) To vessel category A if, at any time during his/her most recent year of participation, that person's vessel processed any groundfish or halibut caught with fixed gear.

(B) To vessel category B if, at any time during his/her most recent year of participation, that person's vessel was greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA and did not process any groundfish or halibut caught with fixed gear.

(C) To each applicable vessel category in proportion to the landings of halibut or sablefish made by that person if, at any time during their most recent year of participation, that person used more than one vessel in different categories.

(iv) Sablefish QS. A qualified person's sablefish QS will be assigned:

(A) To vessel category C if, at any time during his/her most recent year of participation, that person's vessel was less than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA and did not process any groundfish or halibut caught with fixed gear.

(B) To the vessel category in which halibut and groundfish were landed, or vessel categories in proportion to the total fixed gear landings of halibut and groundfish, if, at any time during the most recent year of participation, that person's vessel(s) makes no landing(s) of sablefish.

(v) Halibut QS. A qualified person's halibut QS will be assigned:

(A) To vessel category C if, at any time during his/her most recent year of participation, that person's vessel was less than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m), but greater than 35 ft (10.7 m), LOA and did not process any groundfish or halibut caught with fixed gear.

(B) To vessel category D if, at any time during his/her most recent year of participation, that person's vessel was less than or equal to 35 ft (10.7 m) LOA and did not process any groundfish or halibut caught with fixed gear.

(C) To the vessel category in which groundfish were landed, or vessel categories in proportion to the total fixed gear landings of groundfish, if, at any time during the most recent year of participation, that person's vessel(s) makes no landing(s) of halibut.

(vi) Both species QS. A qualified person's QS for both species will be assigned to the vessel category in which groundfish were landed in the most recent year of participation if, at any time during that year, that person landed halibut in one vessel category and sablefish in a different vessel category.

(6) Application for initial QS—(i) Application form. The Application period for QS ended on July 15, 1994. As of that date, the Request for QS Application form replaced the QS Application form as the means by which the Administrator, RAM, reviews and makes initial administrative determinations on requests for initial allocations of QS. A Request for QS Application must contain the following: information identifying the individual, representative of a deceased fisherman's estate, corporation or partnership, or dissolved corporation or partnership making the request; contact numbers; vessel identification, length overall, and purchase date; and information on any vessel leasing arrangement pertinent to the claim of eligibility.

(ii) Application period. An application period of no less than 180 days will be specified by notification in the Federal Register and other information sources that the Regional Administrator deems appropriate.

(iii) Complete application. Complete applications received by the Regional Administrator will be acknowledged. An incomplete application will be returned to the applicant with specific kinds of information identified that are necessary to make it complete.

(7) Insufficient documentation. Halibut and sablefish catch history, vessel ownership or lease data, and other information supplied by an applicant will be compared with data compiled by the Regional Administrator. If additional data presented in an application are not consistent with the data compiled by the Regional Administrator, the applicant will be notified of insufficient documentation. The applicant will have 90 days to submit corroborating documents (as specified in paragraph (a) of this section) in support of his/her application or to resubmit a revised application. All applicants will be limited to one opportunity to provide corroborating documentation or a revised application in response to notification of insufficient documentation.

(8) Verified data. Uncontested data in applications will be approved by the Regional Administrator. Based on these data, the Regional Administrator will calculate each applicant's initial halibut and sablefish QS, as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, for each IFQ regulatory area, respectively, and will add each applicant's halibut and sablefish QS for an IFQ regulatory area to the respective QS pool for that area.

(9) Unverified data. Catch history, vessel ownership, or lease data that cannot be verified by the Regional Administrator, following the procedure described in paragraph (a)(7) of this section, will not qualify for QS. An initial determination denying QS on the grounds that claimed catch history, vessel ownership or lease data were not verified may be appealed following the procedure described in §679.43. Quota share reflecting catch history, vessel ownership, or lease data that are contested between two or more applicants, at least one of which is likely to qualify for QS when the dispute is resolved, will be assigned to a reserve that will be considered part of the QS pool for the appropriate IFQ regulatory area. Any QS and IFQ that results from agency action resolving the dispute will be assigned to the prevailing applicant(s) pursuant to paragraphs (a)(4), (a)(5), (b), and (c) of this section. If the assigned IFQ for the 1995 fishing season becomes moot by passage of time needed to resolve the dispute, the assignment of QS and IFQ for subsequent fishing seasons will be unaffected.

(b) Annual allocation of IFQ. The Regional Administrator shall assign halibut or sablefish IFQs to each person holding unrestricted QS for halibut or sablefish, respectively, up to the limits prescribed in §679.42 (e) and (f). Each assigned IFQ will be specific to an IFQ regulatory area and vessel category, and will represent the maximum amount of halibut or sablefish that may be harvested from the specified IFQ regulatory area and by the person to whom it is assigned during the specified fishing year, unless the IFQ assignment is changed by the Regional Administrator within the fishing year because of an approved transfer or because all or part of the IFQ is sanctioned for violating rules of this part.

(c) Calculation of annual IFQ allocation—(1) General. The annual allocation of IFQ to any person (person p) in any IFQ regulatory area (area a) will be equal to the product of the TAC of halibut or sablefish by fixed gear for that area (after adjustment for purposes of the Western Alaska CDQ Program) and that person's QS divided by the QS pool for that area. Overages will be subtracted from a person's IFQ pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section. Expressed algebraically, the annual IFQ allocation formula is as follows:

IFQpa = [(fixed gear TACa − CDQ reservea) × (QSpa/QS poola)] − overage of IFQpa.

(2) QS amounts. For purposes of calculating IFQs for any fishing year, the amount of a person's QS and the amount of the QS pool for any IFQ regulatory area will be the amounts on record with the Alaska Region, NMFS, as of 1200 hours, A.l.t., on January 31 of that year.

(3) IFQ permit. The Regional Administrator shall issue to each QS holder, pursuant to §679.4, an IFQ permit accompanied by a statement specifying the maximum amount of halibut and sablefish that may be harvested with fixed gear in a specified IFQ regulatory area and vessel category as of January 31 of that year. Such IFQ permits will be mailed to each QS holder at the address on record for that person after the beginning of each fishing year but prior to the start of the annual IFQ fishing season.

(d) Ten-percent adjustment policy. A person's annual IFQ account will be adjusted in the year following a determination that the person harvested or landed IFQ species in an amount is greater than the amount available in the person's annual IFQ account and if the amount greater than the amount available does not exceed 10 percent of the amount available in the person's annual IFQ account at the time of landing. The adjustment would be a deduction of the amount of IFQ species harvested or landed that was determined to exceed the amount available in the person's annual IFQ account and will apply to any person to whom the affected IFQ is allocated in the year following the determination.

(e) Underages. Underages of up to 10 percent of a person's total annual IFQ account for a current fishing year will be added to that person's annual IFQ account in the year following determination of the underage. This underage adjustment to the annual IFQ allocation will be specific to IFQ species, IFQ regulatory area, and vessel category for which an IFQ is calculated, and will apply to any person to whom the affected IFQ is allocated in the year following determination of an underage.

(f) Harvesting privilege. Quota shares allocated or permits issued pursuant to this part do not represent either an absolute right to the resource or any interest that is subject to the “takings” provision of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Rather, such quota shares or permits represent only a harvesting privilege that may be revoked or amended subject to the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law.

(g) External research tags for halibut and sablefish. (1) Nothing contained in this part 679 shall prohibit any person at any time from retaining and landing a Pacific halibut or sablefish that bears at the time of capture an external research tag from any state, Federal, or international agency, provided that the halibut or sablefish is one of the following:

(i) A Pacific halibut landed pursuant to §300.62 of this title and to this part 679; or

(ii) A sablefish landed in accordance with the Tagged Groundfish Research Program, and in compliance with all sablefish requirements of this part 679.

(2) Halibut and sablefish bearing an external research tag from any state, Federal, or international agency, landed pursuant to paragraph (g)(1)(i) or (g)(1)(ii) of this section, and in accordance with §679.5(l), shall be excluded from IFQ or CDQ deduction as follows:

(i) The fish shall not be calculated as part of a person's IFQ harvest of halibut or sablefish and shall not be debited against a person's halibut IFQ or a person's sablefish IFQ; or

(ii) The fish shall not be calculated as part of the CDQ harvest of halibut or sablefish and shall not be debited against a CDQ group's halibut CDQ or a CDQ group's sablefish CDQ.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 35579, July 5, 1996; 61 FR 41525, Aug. 9, 1996; 61 FR 43314, Aug. 22, 1996; 62 FR 59299, Nov. 3, 1997; 66 FR 27910, May 21, 2001; 67 FR 4133, Jan. 28, 2002; 71 FR 36492, June 27, 2006]

§ 679.41   Transfer of quota shares and IFQ.
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(a) General. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, transfer of QS or IFQ means any transaction requiring QS, or the use thereof in the form of IFQ, to pass from one person to another, permanently or for a fixed period of time.

(2) Transactions requiring IFQ cards to be issued in the name of a vessel master employed by an individual or a corporation are not transfers of QS or IFQ.

(b) Transfer procedure—(1) Application for transfer. An Application for Transfer of QS/IFQ (Application for Transfer) must be approved by the Regional Administrator before a person may use IFQ to harvest IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish, whether the IFQ was the result of a direct transfer or the result of a QS transfer. An Application for Transfer will not be approved until the Regional Administrator has reviewed and approved the transfer agreement signed by the parties to the transaction. The Regional Administrator shall provide an Application for Transfer form to any person on request. Persons who submit an Application for Transfer to the Regional Administrator for approval will receive notification of the Regional Administrator's decision to approve or disapprove the Application for Transfer, and, if applicable, the reason(s) for disapproval, by mail posted on the date of that decision, unless another communication mode is requested on the Application for Transfer.

(2) QS or IFQ accounts. QS or IFQ accounts affected by an Application for Transfer approved by the Regional Administrator will change on the date of approval. Any necessary IFQ permits will be sent with the notification of the Regional Administrator's decision.

(c) Application for Transfer approval criteria. Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, an Application for Transfer will not be approved until the Regional Administrator has determined that:

(1) The person applying for transfer received the QS or IFQ to be transferred:

(i) By initial assignment by the Regional Administrator as provided in §679.40(a); or

(ii) By approved transfer.

(2) The person applying to receive the QS or IFQ meets the requirements of eligibility in paragraph (d) of this section.

(3) The person applying for transfer and the person applying to receive the QS or IFQ have their notarized signatures on the Application for Transfer.

(4) There are no fines, civil penalties, or other payments due and owing, or outstanding permit sanctions, resulting from Federal fishery violations involving either person.

(5) The person applying to receive the QS or IFQ currently exists.

(6) The transfer would not cause the person applying to receive the QS or IFQ to exceed the use limits in §679.42 (e) or (f).

(7) The transfer would not violate the provisions of paragraph (g) of this section.

(8)(i) The person applying to make or receive the IFQ or QS transfer has paid all IFQ fees that have become due as a result of an initial administrative determination.

(ii) The person applying to make or receive the IFQ or QS transfer who has not paid all IFQ fees that are due (as provided under §679.45(a)) has timely appealed the administrative determination that IFQ fees have not been paid in full and has submitted to NMFS an amount sufficient to satisfy any disputed liability pending a final agency action.

(9) Other pertinent information requested on the Application for Transfer has been supplied to the satisfaction of the Regional Administrator.

(10) If the person applying to transfer or receive QS or IFQ is a CQE, the following determinations are required for each eligible community represented by that CQE:

(i) An individual applying to receive IFQ from QS held by a CQE is an eligible community resident of the eligible community in whose name the CQE is holding QS;

(ii) The CQE applying to receive or transfer QS, has submitted a complete annual report(s) required by §679.5 (l)(8);

(iii) The CQE applying to transfer QS has provided information on the reasons for the transfer as described in paragraph (g)(7) of this section;

(iv) The CQE applying to receive QS is eligible to hold QS on behalf of the eligible community in the halibut or sablefish regulatory area designated for that eligible community in Table 21 to this part; and

(v) The CQE applying to receive QS has received notification of approval of eligibility to receive QS/IFQ for that community as described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section.

(d) Eligibility to receive QS or IFQ by transfer—(1) Application for Eligibility. All persons applying to receive QS or IFQ must submit an Application for Eligibility to Receive QS/IFQ (Application for Eligibility) containing accurate information to the Regional Administrator, except that an Application for Eligibility to Receive QS/IFQ (Application for Eligibility) is not required for a CQE if a complete application to become a CQE, as described in paragraph (l)(3) of this section, has been approved by the Regional Administrator on behalf of an eligible community. The Regional Administrator will not approve a transfer of IFQ or QS to a person until the Application for Eligibility for that person is approved by the Regional Administrator. The Regional Administrator shall provide an Application for Eligibility form to any person on request.

(2) Type of eligibility. A person must indicate on the Application for Eligibility whether the eligibility sought is as:

(i) An individual; or

(ii) A corporation, partnership, or other entity.

(3) Application filing order. A person may submit the Application for Eligibility with the Application for Transfer or file the Application for Eligibility prior to submitting the Application for Transfer. If a person, as described in paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section, files the Application for Eligibility prior to submitting the Application for Transfer, and that person's status subsequently changes, as described in §679.42(j), that person must resubmit an Application for Eligibility before submitting, or with, the Application for Transfer.

(4) Notification of approval. Applicants will be notified by mail of the Regional Administrator's approval of an application for eligibility.

(5) Notification of disapproval. The Regional Administrator will notify the applicant if an Application for Eligibility is disapproved. This notification of disapproval will include:

(i) The disapproved Application for Eligibility.

(ii) An explanation of why the Application for Eligibility was not approved.

(6) Reasons for disapproval. Reasons for disapproval of an Application for Eligibility may include, but are not limited to:

(i) Fewer than 150 days of experience working as an IFQ crewmember.

(ii) Lack of compliance with the U.S. citizenship or corporate ownership requirements specified by the definition of “person” at §679.2.

(iii) An incomplete Application for Eligibility.

(iv) Fines, civil penalties, or other payments due and owing, or outstanding permit sanctions, resulting from Federal fishery violations.

(e) Transfers of QS blocks—(1) General. A QS block must be transferred as an undivided whole, unless the size of the QS block exceeds the use limits specified at §679.42. If the QS block to be transferred exceeds the use limits specified at §679.42, the Regional Administrator will divide the block into two blocks, one block containing the maximum amount of QS allowable under the QS use limits and the other block containing the residual QS.

(2) Sablefish. QS blocks for the same IFQ regulatory area and vessel category that represent less than 5,000 lb (2.3 mt) of sablefish IFQ, based on the 1996 TAC share for fixed gear sablefish in a specific IFQ regulatory area and the QS pool for that IFQ regulatory area on January 31, 1996, may be consolidated into larger QS blocks provided that the consolidated blocks do not represent greater than 5,000 lbs (2.3 mt) of sablefish IFQ based on the preceding criteria. A consolidated block cannot be divided and is considered a single block for purposes of use and transferability. The maximum number of QS units that may be consolidated into a single QS block in each IFQ regulatory area is as follows:

(i) Southeast Outside district: 33,270 QS.

(ii) West Yakutat district: 43,390 QS.

(iii) Central GOA regulatory area: 46,055 QS.

(iv) Western GOA regulatory area: 48,410 QS.

(v) Aleutian Islands subarea: 99,210 QS.

(vi) Bering Sea subarea: 91,275 QS.

(3) Halibut. QS blocks for the same IFQ regulatory area and vessel category that represent less than 3,000 lbs (1.4 mt) of halibut IFQ, based on the 1996 catch limit for halibut in a specific IFQ regulatory area and the QS pool for that IFQ regulatory area on January 31, 1996, may be consolidated into larger QS blocks provided that the consolidated blocks do not represent greater than 3,000 lbs (1.4 mt) of halibut IFQ based on the preceding criteria. A consolidated block cannot be divided and is considered a single block for purposes of use and transferability. The maximum number of QS units that may be consolidated into a single block in each IFQ regulatory area is as follows:

(i) Area 2C: 19,992 QS.

(ii) Area 3A: 27,912 QS.

(iii) Area 3B: 44,193 QS.

(iv) Subarea 4A: 22,947 QS.

(v) Subarea 4B: 15,087 QS.

(vi) Subarea 4C: 30,930 QS.

(vii) Subarea 4D: 26,082 QS.

(viii) Subarea 4E: 0 QS.

(4) A CQE may not purchase or use sablefish QS blocks less than or equal to the number of QS units specified in (e)(2)(i) through (e)(2)(iv) of this section.

(5) A CQE may not purchase or use halibut QS blocks less than or equal to the number of QS units specified in (e)(3)(i) and (e)(3)(ii) of this section.

(f) Transfer of QS or IFQ with restrictions. If QS or IFQ must be transferred as a result of a court order, operation of law, or as part of a security agreement, but the person receiving the QS or IFQ by transfer does not meet all of the eligibility requirements of this section, the Regional Administrator will approve the Application for Transfer with restrictions. The Regional Administrator will not assign IFQ resulting from the restricted QS to any person. IFQ with restrictions may not be used for harvesting halibut or sablefish with fixed gear. The QS or IFQ will remain restricted until:

(1) The person who received the QS or IFQ with restrictions meets the eligibility requirements of this section and the Regional Administrator approves an Application for Eligibility for that person; or

(2) The Regional Administrator approves the Application for Transfer from the person who received the QS or IFQ with restrictions to a person who meets the requirements of this section.

(g) Transfer restrictions. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (f), paragraph (g)(2), or paragraph (l) of this section, only persons who are IFQ crew members, or who were initially issued QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D, and meet the eligibility requirements in this section, may receive by transfer QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D, or the IFQ resulting from it.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (g)(3) of this section, only persons who are IFQ crew members, and meet the other requirements in this section, may receive by transfer QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D, or the IFQ resulting from it, in IFQ regulatory area 2C for halibut or in the IFQ regulatory area east of 140° W. long. for sablefish.

(3) Individuals who were initially issued QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D may transfer that QS to a corporation that is solely owned by the same individual. Such transfers of QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D in IFQ regulatory area 2C for halibut or in the IFQ regulatory area east of 140° W. long. for sablefish will be governed by the use provisions of §679.42(i); the use provisions pertaining to corporations at §679.42(j) shall not apply.

(4) The Regional Administrator will not approve an Application for Transfer of QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D subject to a lease or any other condition of repossession or resale by the person transferring QS, except as provided in paragraph (h) of this section, or by court order, operation of law, or as part of a security agreement. The Regional Administrator may request a copy of the sales contract or other terms and conditions of transfer between two persons as supplementary information to the transfer application.

(5) A CQE may not hold QS in halibut IFQ regulatory areas 2C or 3A that is assigned to vessel category D.

(6) IFQ derived from QS held by a CQE on behalf of an eligible community may be used only by an eligible community resident of that eligible community.

(7) A CQE may transfer QS:

(i) To generate revenues to provide funds to meet administrative costs for managing the community QS holdings;

(ii) To generate revenue to improve the ability of residents within the community to participate in the halibut and sablefish IFQ fisheries;

(iii) To generate revenue to purchase QS to yield IFQ for use by community residents;

(iv) To dissolve the CQE; or

(v) As a result of a court order, operation of law, or as part of a security agreement.

(8) If the Regional Administrator determines that a CQE transferred QS for purposes other than those specified in paragraph (g)(7) of this section, then:

(i) The CQE must divest itself of any remaining QS holdings and will not be eligible to receive QS by transfer for a period of three years after the effective date of final agency action on the Regional Administrator's determination; and

(ii) The Regional Administrator will not approve a CQE to represent the eligible community in whose name the CQE transferred quota for a period of three years after the effective date of final agency action on the Regional Administrator's determination.

(h) Transfer of IFQ. (1) Pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, an Application for Transfer must be approved by the Regional Administrator before a person may use any IFQ that results from a direct transfer to harvest halibut or sablefish. After approving the Application for Transfer, the Regional Administrator will change any IFQ accounts affected by the approved transfer and issue all necessary IFQ permits.

(2) IFQ resulting from category B, C, or D QS may not be transferred separately from its originating QS, except as provided in paragraph (k) of this section.

(i) Transfer across catcher vessel categories—(1) CDQ compensation. Persons issued CDQ compensation QS in a catcher vessel category, pursuant to §679.41(j), and in an IFQ regulatory area in which they do not hold QS other than CDQ compensation QS, may use that CDQ compensation QS on any catcher vessel. This exemption from catcher vessel categories ends upon the first transfer of the CDQ compensation QS. CDQ compensation QS being transferred will be permanently assigned to a specific catcher vessel category as designated by the person receiving the transfer.

(2) CDQ compensation QS definition. For purposes of this paragraph (i), CDQ compensation QS is QS issued as compensation for halibut and sablefish harvest privileges foregone due to the CDQ Program, as provided in paragraph (j) of this section.

(j) Compensation for CDQ allocations. (1) The Regional Administrator will compensate persons that receive a reduced halibut QS in IPHC regulatory areas 4B, 4C, 4D, or 4E because of the halibut CDQ program by adding halibut QS from IPHC regulatory areas 2C, 3A, 3B, and 4A. This compensation of halibut QS from areas 2C, 3A, 3B, and 4A will be allocated in proportion to the amount of halibut QS foregone due to the CDQ allocation authorized by this section.

(2) The Regional Administrator will compensate persons that receive a reduced sablefish QS in any BSAI IFQ regulatory area because of the sablefish CDQ program by taking sablefish QS from the IFQ regulatory areas of the GOA and allocating it in proportion to the loss suffered by persons in the BSAI area. Such additional compensation of sablefish QS will be allocated in proportion to the amount of sablefish QS foregone due to the CDQ allocation authorized by this section.

(3) Persons initially issued QS for IFQ regulatory areas in which a portion of the TAC is allocated to the CDQ Program will be compensated for halibut and sablefish harvest privileges foregone due to the CDQ Program. If a person does not hold QS in an IFQ regulatory area on the date the compensation is issued, that person's compensation will be issued as unblocked. If a person does hold QS in an IFQ regulatory area on the date compensation is issued, that person's compensation will be added to their existing QS in that IFQ regulatory area. The resulting QS amount will be blocked or unblocked according to the criteria found at §679.40(a). Compensation will be calculated for each non-CDQ area using the following formula:

QN = (QC × QSPN × RATE)/(SUMCDQ − [RATE × SUMTAC]) ([1 − RATE] × TACAVE)(QSPC × [CDQ PCT − RATE])

Where:

QN = quota share in non-CDQ area

QC = quota share in CDQ area

QSPN = quota share pool in non-CDQ area (as existing on January 31, 1995)

RATE = SUMCDQ/average of the TAC (1988–1994) for all CDQ and non-CDQ areas

TACAVE = average of the TAC (1988–1994) for CDQ area

QSPC = quota share pool in CDQ area (as existing on January 31, 1995)

CDQPCT = CDQ percentage for CDQ area

SUMCDQ = sum [TACAVE×CDQPCT]

SUMTAC = sum [TACAVE]

(k) Survivorship transfer privileges—(1) On the death of an individual who holds QS or IFQ, the surviving spouse or, in the absence of a surviving spouse, a beneficiary designated pursuant to paragraph (k)(2) of this section, receives all QS and IFQ held by the decedent by right of survivorship, unless a contrary intent was expressed by the decedent in a will. The Regional Administrator will approve an Application for Transfer to the surviving spouse or designated beneficiary when sufficient evidence has been provided to verify the death of the individual.

(2) QS holders may provide the Regional Administrator with the name of a designated beneficiary from the QS holder's immediate family to receive survivorship transfer privileges in the event of the QS holder's death and in the absence of a surviving spouse.

(3) The Regional Administrator will approve, for 3 calendar years following the date of death of an individual, an Application for Transfer of IFQ from the surviving spouse or, in the absence of a surviving spouse, from a beneficiary from the QS holder's immediate family designated pursuant to paragraph (k)(2) of this section to a person eligible to receive IFQ under the provisions of this section, notwithstanding the limitations on transfers of IFQ in paragraph (h)(2) of this section.

(l) Transfer of QS to CQEs. (1) Each eligible community must designate a CQE to transfer and hold QS on behalf of that community.

(2) Each eligible community may designate only one CQE to hold QS on behalf of that community at any one time.

(3) Prior to initially receiving QS by transfer on behalf of a specific eligible community, a non-profit entity that intends to represent that eligible community as a CQE must have approval from the Regional Administrator. To receive that approval, the non-profit entity seeking to become a CQE must submit a complete application to become a CQE to the Regional Administrator, NMFS, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802. The Regional Administrator will provide a copy of the complete application to the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development, Commissioner, P.O. Box 110809, Juneau, AK 99811–0809. NMFS will consider comments received from the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development when reviewing applications for a non-profit entity to become a CQE. The Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development must submit comments on an application to the Regional Administrator, NMFS, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802, within 30 days of receipt of the application in order for those comments to be considered by the Regional Administrator during the approval process. If an application is disapproved, than that determination may be appealed under the provisions established at 50 CFR 679.43. A complete application to become a CQE consists of:

(i) The articles of incorporation under the laws of the State of Alaska for that non-profit entity, except that a non-profit entity that is representing the Metlakatla Indian Village may provide articles of incorporation under Federal Law;

(ii) A statement indicating the eligible community, or communities, represented by that non-profit entity for purposes of holding QS;

(iii) Management organization information, including:

(A) The bylaws of the non-profit entity;

(B) A list of key personnel of the managing organization including, but not limited to, the board of directors, officers, representatives, and any managers;

(C) A description of how the non-profit entity is qualified to manage QS on behalf of the eligible community, or communities, it is designated to represent, and a demonstration that the non-profit entity has the management, technical expertise, and ability to manage QS and IFQ; and

(D) The name of the non-profit organization, taxpayer ID number, NMFS person number, permanent business mailing addresses, name of contact persons and additional contact information of the managing personnel for the non-profit entity, resumes of management personnel, name of community or communities represented by the CQE, name of contact for the governing body of each community represented, date, name and notarized signature of applicant, Notary Public signature and date when commission expires.

(iv) A statement describing the procedures that will be used to determine the distribution of IFQ to residents of the community represented by that CQE, including:

(A) Procedures used to solicit requests from residents to lease IFQ; and

(B) Criteria used to determine the distribution of IFQ leases among qualified community residents and the relative weighting of those criteria.

(v) A statement of support from the governing body of the eligible community as that governing body is identified in Table 21 to this part. That statement of support is:

(A) A resolution from the City Council or other official governing body for those eligible communities incorporated as first or second class cities in the State of Alaska;

(B) A resolution from the tribal government authority recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for those eligible communities that are not incorporated as first or second class cities in the State of Alaska; but are represented by a tribal government authority recognized by the Secretary of the Interior; or

(C) A resolution from a non-profit community association, homeowner association, community council, or other non-profit entity for those eligible communities that are not incorporated as first or second class cities in the State of Alaska, and is not represented by a tribal government authority recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The non-profit entity that provides a statement of support must:

(1) Have articles of incorporation as a non-profit community association, homeowner association, community council, or other non-profit entity; and

(2) Have an established relationship with the State of Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development for purposes of representing that community for governmental functions.

(D) If an eligible community is not incorporated as a first or second class city in the State of Alaska, is not represented by a tribal government authority recognized by the Secretary of the Interior, and does not have a non-profit community association, homeowner association, community council, or other non-profit entity within that community with an established relationship with the Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development for purposes of representing that community for purposes of governmental functions, then the Regional Administrator, NMFS, will not consider any statement from a non-profit entity representing that community until that community:

(1) Is incorporated as a first or second class city in the State of Alaska;

(2) Establishes a tribal government authority recognized by the Secretary of the Interior; or

(3) Establishes a non-profit community association, homeowner association, community council, or other non-profit entity within that community that meets the requirements established in paragraph (E) of this section.

(E) If a community described under paragraph (l)(3)(v)(D) of this section establishes a non-profit community association, homeowner association, community council, or other non-profit entity within that community, then the Regional Administrator, NMFS, will consider any recommendations from this entity to support a particular applicant after reviewing:

(1) Petitions from residents affirming that the non-profit community association, homeowner association, community council, or other non-profit entity within that community represents the residents within that community; and

(2) Comments from the State of Alaska Department of Community and Economic Development on the articles of incorporation for that non-profit entity and the ability of that non-profit entity to adequately represent the interests of that community for purposes of governmental functions.

(3) If the Regional Administrator determines that this statement of support is not adequate, than that determination may be appealed under the provisions established at 50 CFR 679.43.

(4) The governing body of an eligible community as that governing body is identified in Table 21 to this part, must provide authorization for any transfer of QS by the CQE that holds QS on behalf of that eligible community prior to that transfer of QS being approved by NMFS. This authorization must be submitted as part of the Application for Transfer. That authorization consists of a signature on the Application for Transfer by a representative of the governing body that has been designated by that governing body to provide such authorization to approve the transfer of QS.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 33385, June 27, 1996; 61 FR 41526, Aug. 9, 1996; 61 FR 67964, Dec. 26, 1996; 63 FR 47368, Sept. 4, 1998; 65 FR 14942, Mar. 20, 2000; 66 FR 27910, May 21, 2001; 67 FR 4133, 4148, Jan. 28, 2002; 69 FR 23691, Apr. 30, 2004]

§ 679.42   Limitations on use of QS and IFQ.
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(a) IFQ regulatory area and vessel category. (1) The QS or IFQ specified for one IFQ regulatory area must not be used in a different IFQ regulatory area, except:

(i) Notwithstanding §679.4(d)(1), §679.7(f)(4) and (f)(11), §679.40(b)(1), (c)(3), and (e), from July 22, 2005 to November 15, 2005, all or part of the QS and IFQ specified for regulatory area 4C may be harvested in either Area 4C or Area 4D.

(ii) For the year 2006 and subsequent annual IFQ fishing seasons, all or part of the QS and IFQ specified for regulatory area 4C may be harvested in either Area 4C or Area 4D.

(2) The QS or IFQ assigned to one vessel category must not be used to harvest IFQ species on a vessel of a different vessel category, except:

(i) As provided in paragraph (k) of this section (processing fish other than IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish);

(ii) As provided in §679.41(i)(1) of this part (CDQ compensation QS exemption);

(iii) IFQ derived from QS held by a CQE may be used to harvest IFQ species from a vessel of any length.

(3) Notwithstanding §679.40(a)(5)(ii) of this part, IFQ assigned to vessel Category B must not be used on any vessel less than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA to harvest IFQ halibut in IFQ regulatory area 2C or IFQ sablefish in the regulatory area east of 140° W. long. unless such IFQ derives from blocked QS units that result in IFQ of less than 5,000 lb (2.3 mt), based on the 1996 TAC for fixed gear specified for the IFQ halibut fishery and the IFQ sablefish fishery in each of these two regulatory areas.

(b) Gear—(1) IFQ Fisheries. Halibut IFQ must be used only to harvest halibut with fishing gear authorized in §679.2. Sablefish fixed gear IFQ must not be used to harvest sablefish with trawl gear in any IFQ regulatory area, or with pot gear in any IFQ regulatory area of the GOA.

(2) Seabird avoidance gear and methods. The operator of a vessel using gear authorized at §679.2 while fishing for IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or hook-and-line gear while fishing for IFQ sablefish must comply with requirements for seabird avoidance gear and methods set forth at §679.24(e).

(c) Requirements and deductions. (1) Any individual who harvests halibut or sablefish with fixed gear must:

(i) Have a valid IFQ card.

(ii) Be aboard the vessel at all times during the fishing trip and present during the landing.

(iii) Sign any required fish ticket.

(iv) Sign the IFQ Landing Report required by §679.5(l)(2)(iii)(M) or §679.5(l)(2)(iv)(D).

(2) NMFS shall use the following sources of information to debit a CDQ or IFQ account.

(i) Except as provided in §679.5(l)(2)(iii)(J), if offload of unprocessed IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut or IFQ sablefish from a vessel, the scale weight of the halibut or sablefish product actually measured at the time of offload, as required by §679.5(l)(2)(iii) to be included in the IFQ Landing Report.

(ii) If offload of processed IFQ & CDQ halibut or IFQ sablefish from a vessel, the scale weight of the halibut or sablefish processed product actually measured at or before the time of offload. If the product scale weights are taken before the time of offload, then the species and actual product weight of each box or container must be visibly marked on the outside of each container to facilitate enforcement inspection.

(3) All IFQ catch onboard a vessel must be debited from the IFQ permit holder's account under which the catch was harvested.

(d) Emergency waiver. The requirement of paragraph (c) of this section for an individual IFQ card holder to be aboard the vessel during fishing operations and to sign the IFQ landing report may be waived in the event of extreme personal emergency involving the IFQ user during a fishing trip. The waiving of these requirements shall apply only to IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish retained on the fishing trip during which such emergency occurred.

(e) Sablefish QS Use. (1) No person, individually or collectively, may use more than 3,229,721 units of sablefish QS, except if the amount of a person's initial allocation of sablefish QS is greater than 3,229,721 units, in which case that person may not use more than the amount of the initial allocation.

(2) In the IFQ regulatory area east of 140° W. long., no person, individually or collectively, may use more than 688,485 units of sablefish QS for this area, except if the amount of a person's initial allocation of sablefish QS is greater than 688,485 units, in which case that person may not use more than the amount of the initial allocation.

(3) No CQE may hold sablefish QS in the IFQ regulatory areas of the Bering Sea subarea and the Aleutian Islands subareas.

(4) No CQE may hold more than 3,229,721 units of sablefish QS on behalf of any single eligible community.

(5) In the IFQ regulatory area east of 140° W. long., no CQE may hold more than 688,485 units of sablefish QS for this area on behalf of any single eligible community.

(6) In the aggregate, all CQEs are limited to holding a maximum of 3 percent of the total QS in those IFQ regulatory areas specified in §679.41(e)(2)(I) through (e)(2)(iv) of this part for sablefish in the first calendar year implementing the regulation in this section. In each subsequent calendar year, this aggregate limit on all CQEs shall increase by an additional 3 percent in each IFQ regulatory area specified in §679.41(e)(2)(i) through (e)(2)(iv) of this part up to a maximum limit of 21 percent of the total QS in each regulatory area specified in §§679.41(e)(2)(i) through (e)(2)(iv) of this part for sablefish.

(7) No individual that receives IFQ derived from sablefish QS held by a CQE may hold, individually or collectively, more than 50,000 lb (22.7 mt) of IFQ sablefish derived from any sablefish QS source.

(8) A CQE receiving category B, or C sablefish QS through transfer may lease the IFQ resulting from that QS only to an eligible community resident of the eligible community on whose behalf the QS is held.

(f) Halibut QS use. (1) Unless the amount in excess of the following limits was received in the initial allocation of halibut QS, no person, individually or collectively, may use more than:

(i) IFQ regulatory area 2C. 599,799 units of halibut QS.

(ii) IFQ regulatory area 2C, 3A, and 3B. 1,502,823 units of halibut QS.

(iii) IFQ regulatory area 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E. 495,044 units of halibut QS.

(2) No CQE may receive an amount of halibut QS on behalf of any single eligible community which is more than:

(i) IFQ regulatory area 2C. 599,799 units of halibut QS.

(ii) IFQ regulatory area 2C, 3A, and 3B. 1,502,823 units of halibut QS.

(3) No CQE may hold halibut QS in the IFQ regulatory areas 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E.

(4) A CQE representing an eligible community may receive by transfer or use QS only in the IFQ regulatory areas designated for that species and for that eligible community as described in Table 21 to this part.

(5) In the aggregate, all CQEs are limited to holding a maximum of 3 percent of the total QS in those IFQ regulatory areas specified in §§679.41(e)(3)(i) through (e)(3)(iii) for halibut in the first calendar year implementing the regulation in this section. In each subsequent calendar year, this aggregate limit on all community quota entities shall increase by an additional 3 percent in each IFQ regulatory area specified in §§679.41(e)(3)(i) through (e)(3)(iii). This limit shall increase up to a maximum limit of 21 percent of the total QS in each regulatory area specified in §§679.41(e)(3)(i) through (e)(3)(iii) for halibut.

(6) No individual that receives IFQ derived from halibut QS held by a CQE may hold, individually or collectively, more than 50,000 lb (22.7 mt) of IFQ halibut derived from any halibut QS source.

(7) A CQE receiving category B or C halibut QS through transfer may lease the IFQ resulting from that QS only to an eligible community resident of the eligible community represented by the CQE.

(g) Limitations on QS blocks—(1) Number of blocks per species. Except as provided in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) and (g)(1)(ii) of this section, no person, individually or collectively, may hold more than two blocks of each species in any IFQ regulatory area.

(i) A person, individually or collectively, who holds unblocked QS for a species in an IFQ regulatory area, may hold only one QS block for that species in that regulatory area; and

(ii) A CQE may hold no more than ten blocks of halibut QS in any IFQ regulatory area and no more than five blocks of sablefish QS in any IFQ regulatory area on behalf of any eligible community.

(2) Holding or to hold blocks of QS. For purposes of this section, “holding” or “to hold” blocks of QS means being registered by NMFS as the person who received QS by initial assignment or approved transfer.

(h) Vessel limitations—(1) Halibut. No vessel may be used, during any fishing year, to harvest more than one-half percent of the combined total catch limits of halibut for IFQ regulatory areas 2C, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E, except that:

(i) In IFQ regulatory area 2C, no vessel may be used to harvest more than 1 percent of the halibut catch limit for this area.

(ii) No vessel may be used, during any fishing year, to harvest more than 50,000 lb (22.7 mt) of IFQ halibut from any halibut QS source if that vessel is used to harvest IFQ halibut derived from halibut QS held by a CQE.

(2) Sablefish. No vessel may be used, during any fishing year, to harvest more than one percent of the combined fixed gear TAC of sablefish for the GOA and BSAI IFQ regulatory areas, except that:

(i) In the IFQ regulatory area east of 140 degrees W. long., no vessel may be used to harvest more than 1 percent of the fixed gear TAC of sablefish for this area.

(ii) No vessel may be used, during any fishing year, to harvest more than 50,000 lb (22.7 mt) of IFQ sablefish from any sablefish QS source if that vessel is used to harvest IFQ sablefish derived from sablefish QS held by a CQE.

(3) A person who receives an approved IFQ allocation of halibut or sablefish in excess of these limitations may nevertheless catch and retain all of that IFQ with a single vessel, except that this provision does not apply if that IFQ allocation includes IFQ derived from QS held by a CQE. However, two or more persons may not catch and retain their IFQ in excess of these limitations.

(i) Use of IFQ resulting from QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D by individuals. In addition to the requirements of paragraph (c) of this section, IFQ cards issued for IFQ resulting from QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D must be used only by the individual who holds the QS from which the associated IFQ is derived, except as provided in paragraph (i)(1) of this section.

(1) An individual who received an initial allocation of QS assigned to categories B, C, or D does not have to be aboard the vessel on which his or her IFQ is being fished or to sign IFQ landing reports if that individual owns at least a 20–percent interest in the vessel and is represented on the vessel by a master employed by that individual. NMFS will determine ownership interest for purposes of this paragraph only on the basis of written documentation. This minimum 20–percent ownership requirement does not apply to any individual who received an initial allocation of QS assigned to categories B, C, or D and who, prior to April 17, 1997, employed a master to fish any of the IFQ issued to that individual, provided the individual continues to own the vessel from which the IFQ is being fished at no lesser percentage of ownership interest than that held on April 17, 1997, and provided that this individual has not acquired additional QS through transfer after September 23, 1997.

(2) The exemption provided in paragraph (i)(1) of this section does not apply to individuals who receive an initial allocation of QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D for halibut in IFQ regulatory area 2C or for sablefish QS in the IFQ regulatory area east of 140° W. long., and this exemption is not transferrable.

(3) The exemption provided in paragraph (i)(1) of this section may be exercised by an individual on a vessel owned by a corporation, partnership, or other entity in which the individual is a shareholder, partner, or member, provided that the individual maintains a minimum 20 percent interest in the vessel owned by the corporation, partnership, or other entity. For purposes of this paragraph, interest in a vessel is determined as the percentage ownership of a corporation, partnership, or other entity by that individual multiplied by the percentage of ownership of the vessel by the corporation, partnership, or other entity.

(4) IFQ derived from QS held by a CQE must be used only by the individual whose IFQ permit account contains the resulting IFQ.

(j) Use of IFQ resulting from QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D by corporations and partnerships. Except as provided in paragraph (j)(5) of this section, a corporation or partnership that received an initial allocation of QS assigned to categories B, C, or D may fish the IFQ resulting from that QS and any additional QS acquired within the limitations of this section provided that the corporation or partnership owns at least a 20– percent interest in the vessel on which its IFQ is fished, and that it is represented on the vessel by a master employed by the corporation or partnership that received the initial allocation of QS. NMFS will determine ownership interest for purposes of this paragraph only on the basis of written documentation. This provision is not transferrable and does not apply to QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D for halibut in IFQ regulatory area 2C or for sablefish in the IFQ regulatory area east of 140° W. long. that is transferred to a corporation or partnership. Such transfers of additional QS within these areas must be to an individual pursuant to §679.41(c) of this part and be used pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (i) of this section.

(1) A corporation or partnership, except for a publicly-held corporation, that receives an initial allocation of QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D loses the exemption provided under paragraph (j) of this section on the effective date of a change in the corporation or partnership from that which existed at the time of initial allocation.

(2) For purposes of this paragraph (j), “a change” means:

(i) for corporations and partnerships, the addition of any new shareholder(s) or partner(s), except that a court appointed trustee to act on behalf of a shareholder or partner who becomes incapacitated is not a change in the corporation or partnership; or

(ii) for estates, the final or summary distribution of the estate.

(3) The Regional Administrator must be notified of a change in the corporation, partnership, or other entity as defined in this paragraph (j) within 15 days of the effective date of the change. The effective date of change, for purposes of this paragraph (j), is the date on which the new shareholder(s) or partner(s) may realize any corporate liabilities or benefits of the corporation or partnership or, for estates, the date of the determination of a legal heir to the estate, or the date of the order for distribution of the estate.

(4) QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D and IFQ resulting from that QS held in the name of a corporation, partnership, or other entity that changes, as defined in this paragraph, must be transferred to an individual, as prescribed in §679.41 of this part, before it may be used at any time after the effective date of the change.

(5) A corporation or a partnership that received an initial allocation of QS assigned to categories B, C, or D and that, prior to April 17, 1997, employed a master to fish any of the IFQ issued to that corporation or partnership may continue to employ a master to fish its IFQ on a vessel owned by the corporation or partnership provided that the corporation or partnership continues to own the vessel at no lesser percentage of ownership interest than that held on April 17, 1997, and provided that corporation or partnership did not acquire additional QS through transfer after September 23, 1997.

(6) A corporation, partnership, or other entity, except for a publicly held corporation, that receives an initial allocation of QS assigned to categories B, C, or D must provide annual updates to the Regional Administrator identifying all current shareholders or partners and affirming the entity's continuing existence as a corporation or partnership.

(7) The exemption provided in paragraph (j) of this section may be exercised by a corporation, partnership, or other entity on a vessel owned by a person who is a shareholder in the corporation, partnership, or other entity, provided that the corporation, partnership, or other entity maintains a minimum of 20 percent interest in the vessel. For purposes of this paragraph, interest in a vessel is determined as the percentage of ownership in the corporation, partnership, or other entity by that person who is a shareholder in the corporation, partnership, or other entity, multiplied by the percentage of ownership in the vessel by that person who is a shareholder in the corporation, partnership, or other entity.

(k) Processing of fish other than IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish. Fish other than IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish may be processed on a vessel on which persons:

(1) Are authorized to harvest IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish based on allocations of IFQ resulting from QS assigned to vessel category A; or

(2) Are authorized to harvest IFQ sablefish based on allocations of IFQ resulting from QS assigned to vessel categories B or C unless any person aboard the vessel is authorized to harvest IFQ halibut based on allocations of IFQ resulting from QS assigned to vessel categories B, C, or D.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 33385, June 27, 1996; 61 FR 43314, Aug. 22, 1996; 62 FR 7948, Feb. 21, 1997; 62 FR 19690, Apr. 23, 1997; 62 FR 60669, Nov. 12, 1997; 62 FR 66311, Dec. 18, 1997; 63 FR 11167, Mar. 6, 1998; 63 FR 47368, Sept. 4, 1998; 63 FR 54611, Oct. 13, 1998; 64 FR 24962, May 10, 1999; 64 FR 61982, Nov. 15, 1999; 66 FR 27911, May 21, 2001; 67 FR 4133, Jan. 28, 2002; 67 FR 20918, Apr. 29, 2002; 67 FR 22011, May 2, 2002; 68 FR 44487, July 29, 2003; 69 FR 1949, Jan. 13, 2004; 69 FR 23693, Apr. 30, 2004; 70 FR 43331, July 27, 2005]

Effective Date Note:  At 66 FR 27911, May 21, 2001, §679.42 was amended by adding paragraph (j)(6). The paragraph contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval is given by the Office of Management and Budget.

§ 679.43   Determinations and appeals.
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(a) General. This section describes the procedure for appealing initial administrative determinations made in this title under parts 679, 680, and under subpart E of part 300. This section does not apply to initial administrative determinations made under §679.30(d).

(b) Who may appeal. Any person whose interest is directly and adversely affected by an initial administrative determination may file a written appeal. For purposes of this section, such persons will be referred to as “applicant” or “appellant.”

(c) Submission of appeals. Appeals must be in writing and must be mailed to the: National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Administrative Appeals (OAA), P. O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802–1668, or delivered to National Marine Fisheries Service, Attention: Appeals (OAA), 709 W. 9th Street, Room 453, Juneau, AK 99801.

(d) Timing of appeals. (1) If an applicant appeals an initial administrative determination, the appeal must be filed not later than 60 days after the date the determination is issued.

(2) The time period within which an appeal may be filed begins to run on the date the initial administrative determination is issued. If the last day of the time period is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the time period will extend to the close of business on the next business day.

(e) Address of record. General—NMFS will establish as the address of record the address used by the applicant in initial correspondence to NMFS concerning the application. Notifications of all actions affecting the applicant after establishing an address of record will be mailed to that address, unless the applicant provides NMFS, in writing, with any changes to that address. NMFS bears no responsibility if a notification is sent to the address of record and is not received because the applicant's actual address has changed without notification to NMFS.

(f) Statement of reasons for appeals. Applicants must timely submit a full written statement in support of the appeal, including a concise statement of the reasons the initial administrative determination has a direct and adverse effect on the applicant and should be reversed or modified. If the applicant requests a hearing on any issue presented in the appeal, such request for hearing must be accompanied by a concise written statement raising genuine and substantial issues of adjudicative fact for resolution and a list of available and specifically identified reliable evidence upon which the factual issues can be resolved. The appellate officer will limit his/her review to the issues stated in the appeal; all issues not set out in the appeal will be waived.

(g) Hearings. The appellate officer will review the applicant's appeal and request for hearing, and has discretion to proceed as follows:

(1) Deny the appeal;

(2) Issue a decision on the merits of the appeal, if the record contains sufficient information on which to reach final judgment; or

(3) Order that a hearing be conducted. The appellate officer may so order only if the appeal demonstrates the following:

(i) There is a genuine and substantial issue of adjudicative fact for resolution at a hearing. A hearing will not be ordered on issues of policy or law.

(ii) The factual issue can be resolved by available and specifically identified reliable evidence. A hearing will not be ordered on the basis of mere allegations or denials or general descriptions of positions and contentions.

(iii) The evidence described in the request for hearing, if established at hearing, would be adequate to justify resolution of the factual issue in the way sought by the applicant. A hearing will not be ordered if the evidence described is insufficient to justify the factual determination sought, even if accurate.

(iv) Resolution of the factual issue in the way sought by the applicant is adequate to justify the action requested. A hearing will not be ordered on factual issues that are not determinative with respect to the action requested.

(h) Types of hearings. If the appellate officer determines that a hearing should be held to resolve one or more genuine and substantial issues of adjudicative fact, he/she may order:

(1) A written hearing, as provided in paragraph (m) of this section; or

(2) An oral hearing, as provided in paragraph (n) of this section.

(i) Authority of the appellate officer. The appellate officer is vested with general authority to conduct all hearings in an orderly manner, including the authority to:

(1) Administer oaths.

(2) Call and question witnesses.

(3) Issue a written decision based on the record.

(j) Evidence. All evidence that is relevant, material, reliable, and probative may be included in the record. Formal rules of evidence do not apply to hearings conducted under this section.

(k) Appellate officers' decisions. The appellate officer will close the record and issue a decision after determining there is sufficient information to render a decision on the record of the proceedings and that all procedural requirements have been met. The decision must be based solely on the record of the proceedings. Except as provided in paragraph (o) of this section, an appellate officer's decision takes effect 30 days after it is issued and, upon taking effect, is the final agency action for purposes of judicial review.

(l) Disqualification of an appellate officer. (1) The appellate officer will withdraw from an appeal at any time he/she deems himself/herself disqualified.

(2) The appellate officer may withdraw from an appeal on an appellant's motion if:

(i) The motion is entered prior to the appellate officer's issuance of a decision; and

(ii) The appellant demonstrates that the appellate officer has a personal bias or any other basis for disqualification.

(3) If the appellate officer denies a motion to withdraw, he/she will so rule on the record.

(m) Written hearing. (1) An appellate officer may order a written hearing under paragraph (h)(1) of this section if he/she:

(i) Orders a hearing as provided in paragraph (g)(3) of this section; and

(ii) Determines that the issues to be resolved at hearing can be resolved by allowing the appellant to present written materials to support his/her position.

(2) After ordering a written hearing, the appellate officer will:

(i) Provide the appellant with notification that a written hearing has been ordered.

(ii) Provide the appellant with a statement of issues to be determined at hearing.

(iii) Provide the appellant with 30 days to file a written response. The appellant may also provide documentary evidence to support his/her position. The period to file a written response may be extended at the sole discretion of the appellate officer, if the appellant shows good cause for the extension.

(3) The appellate officer may, after reviewing the appellant's written response and documentary evidence:

(i) Order that an oral hearing be held, as provided in paragraph (h)(2) of this section, to resolve issues that cannot be resolved through the written hearing process;

(ii) Request supplementary evidence from the appellant before closing the record; or

(iii) Close the record.

(4) The appellate officer will close the record and issue a decision after determining that the information on the record is sufficient to render a decision.

(n) Oral hearing. (1) The appellate officer may order an oral hearing under paragraphs (h)(2) and (m)(3)(i) of this section if he/she:

(i) Orders a hearing as provided in paragraph (g)(3) of this section; and

(ii) Determines that the issues to be resolved at hearing can best be resolved through the oral hearing process.

(2) After ordering an oral hearing, the appellate officer will:

(i) Provide the appellant with notification that an oral hearing has been ordered.

(ii) Provide the appellant with a statement of issues to be determined at hearing.

(iii) Provide the appellant with notification, at least 30 days in advance, of the place, date, and time of the oral hearing. Oral hearings will be held in Juneau, AK, at the prescribed date and time, unless the appellate officer determines, based upon good cause shown, that a different place, date, or time will better serve the interests of justice. A continuance of the oral hearing may be ordered at the sole discretion of the appellate officer if the appellant shows good cause for the continuance.

(3) The appellate officer may, either at his/her own discretion or on the motion of the appellant, order a pre-hearing conference, either in person or telephonically, to consider:

(i) The simplification of issues.

(ii) The possibility of obtaining stipulations, admissions of facts, and agreements to the introduction of documents.

(iii) The possibility of settlement or other means to facilitate resolution of the case.

(iv) Such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the proceedings.

(4) The appellate officer must provide the appellant with notification of a pre-hearing conference, if one is ordered, at least 30 days in advance of the conference. All action taken at the pre-hearing conference will be made part of the record.

(5) At the beginning of the oral hearing, the appellate officer may first seek to obtain stipulations as to material facts and the issues involved and may state any other issues on which he/she may wish to have evidence presented. Issues to be resolved at the hearing will be limited to those identified by the appellate officer as provided in paragraph (g)(3) of this section. The appellant will then be given an opportunity to present his/her case.

(6) During the oral hearing, the appellant has the right to present reliable and material oral or documentary evidence and to conduct such cross-examination as may be required in the interests of justice.

(7) After the conclusion of the oral hearing, the appellant may be given time by the appellate officer to submit any supplementary information that may assist in the resolution of the case.

(8) The appellate officer will close the record and issue a decision after determining that the information on the record is sufficient to render a decision.

(o) Review by the Regional Administrator. An appellate officer's decision is subject to review by the Regional Administrator, as provided in this paragraph (o).

(1) The Regional Administrator may affirm, reverse, modify, or remand the appellate officer's decision before the 30-day effective date of the decision provided in paragraph (k) of this section.

(2) The Regional Administrator may take any of these actions on or after the 30-day effective date by issuing a stay of the decision before the 30-day effective date. An action taken under paragraph (o)(1) of this section takes effect immediately.

(3) The Regional Administrator must provide a written explanation why an appellate officer's decision has been reversed, modified, or remanded.

(4) The Regional Administrator must promptly notify the appellant(s) of any action taken under this paragraph (o).

(5) The Regional Administrator's decision to affirm, reverse, or modify an appellate officer's decision is a final agency action for purposes of judicial review.

(p) Issuance of a non-transferable license. A non-transferable license will be issued to a person upon acceptance of his or her appeal of an initial administrative determination denying an application for a license for license limitation groundfish, crab species under §679.4(k) or scallops under §679.4(g). This non-transferable license authorizes a person to conduct directed fishing for groundfish, crab species, or catch and retain scallops and will have specific endorsements and designations based on the person's claims in his or her application for a license. This non-transferable license expires upon the resolution of the appeal.

[61 FR 31230, June 19, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 17753, Apr. 11, 1997; 63 FR 52657, Oct. 1, 1998; 63 FR 64879, Nov. 24, 1998; 65 FR 78118, Dec. 14, 2000; 66 FR 27911, May 21, 2001; 67 FR 4148, Jan. 28, 2002; 67 FR 64317, Oct. 18, 2002; 67 FR 72611, Dec. 6, 2002; 68 FR 44487, July 29, 2003; 70 FR 10238, Mar. 2, 2005; 70 FR 16754, Apr. 1, 2005]

§ 679.44   Penalties.
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Any person committing, or a fishing vessel used in the commission of, a violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act or Halibut Act, or any regulation issued under the Magnuson-Stevens Act or Halibut Act, is subject to the civil and criminal penalty provisions and civil forfeiture provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act or Halibut Act, to part 600 of this chapter, to 15 CFR part 904 (Civil Procedures), and to other applicable law. Penalties include but are not limited to permanent or temporary sanctions to QS and associated IFQ.

§ 679.45   IFQ cost recovery program.
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Link to an amendment published at 71 FR 44232, Aug. 8, 2006.

(a) Cost recovery fees—(1) Responsibility. The person documented on the IFQ permit as the permit holder at the time of an IFQ landing must comply with the requirements of this section. Subsequent transfer of QS or IFQ does not affect the permit holder's liability for noncompliance with this section.

(2) IFQ Fee Liability Determination. After each IFQ fishing year, the Regional Administrator will issue each IFQ permit holder a summary of his or her IFQ pounds landed during that IFQ fishing year for each permit as part of the IFQ Landing and Estimated Fee Liability page described at §679.5(l)(7)(ii)(C)(2). The summary will include an estimated IFQ fee liability based on the standard ex-vessel values of the landings. The summary and estimated fee liability will include details of IFQ equivalent pounds landed by permit, port or port-group, species, date, and IFQ standard prices. The permit holder must either accept NMFS's estimate of IFQ liability or revise NMFS's estimate of IFQ fee liability using the Fee Submission Form described at §679.5(l)(7)(ii). If the permit holder revises NMFS's estimate of his or her fee liability, NMFS may request in writing that the permit holder submit documentation establishing the factual basis for the revised calculation. If the permit holder fails to provide adequate documentation by the 30th day after the date of such request, NMFS will determine the IFQ permit holder's fee liability based on standard ex-vessel values.

(3) Fee Collection. An IFQ permit holder with an IFQ landing is responsible for self-collecting his or her own fee during the calendar year in which the IFQ fish is harvested.

(4) Payment—(i) Payment due date. An IFQ permit holder must submit his or her IFQ fee liability payment(s) to NMFS at the address provided in this section at paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of this section not later than January 31 of the year following the calendar year in which the IFQ landings were made.

(ii) Payment recipient. Make payment payable to NMFS.

(iii) Payment address. Mail payment and related documents to:

Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS,

Attn: RAM Program,

P.O. Box 21668,

Juneau, AK 99802 1668,

FAX: (907) 586–7354.

or submit electronically to NMFS via forms available from RAM or on the RAM area of the Alaska Region Home Page at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/ram.

(iv) Payment method. Payment must be made in U.S. dollars by personal check drawn on a U.S. bank account, money order, bank certified check, or credit card.

(b) IFQ ex-vessel value determination and use—(1) General. An IFQ permit holder must use either the IFQ standard ex-vessel value or the IFQ actual ex-vessel value when determining the IFQ fee liability based on ex-vessel value. An IFQ permit holder must base all fee liability calculations on the ex-vessel value that correlates to landed IFQ fish that is recorded in IFQ equivalent pounds.

(2) IFQ actual ex-vessel value. An IFQ permit holder that uses actual ex-vessel value, as defined in §679.2, to determine IFQ fee liability must document actual ex-vessel value for each IFQ permit.

(c) IFQ standard ex-vessel value determination and use—(1) Use of standard price. An IFQ permit holder that uses standard ex-vessel value to determine the IFQ fee liability as part of a revised IFQ fee liability submission must use the corresponding standard price(s) as published in the Federal Register.

(2) Duty to publish list—(i) General. Each year the Regional Administrator will publish IFQ standard prices in the Federal Register during the last quarter of each calendar year. The standard prices will be described in U.S. dollars per IFQ equivalent pound, for IFQ halibut and sablefish landings made during the current calendar year.

(ii) Effective duration. The IFQ standard prices will remain in effect until revised by the Regional Administrator by notification in the Federal Register based upon new information of the type set forth in this section. IFQ standard prices published in the Federal Register by NMFS shall apply to all landings made in the same calendar year as the IFQ standard price publication and shall replace any IFQ standard prices previously provided by NMFS that may have been in effect for that same calendar year.

(iii) Determination. NMFS will calculate the IFQ standard prices to reflect, as closely as possible by month and port or port-group, the variations in the actual ex-vessel values of IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings based on information provided in the IFQ Buyer Reports as described in §679.5(l)(7)(i). The Regional Administrator will base IFQ standard prices on the following types of information:

(A) Landed pounds by IFQ species, port-group, and month;

(B) Total ex-vessel value by IFQ species, port-group, and month; and

(C) Price adjustments, including IFQ retro-payments.

(d) IFQ fee percentage—(1) Default percentage. The IFQ fee percentage is 3 percent (0.03) unless adjusted by the Regional Administrator by publication in the Federal Register in accordance with §679.45(d)(3).

(2) Calculating fee percentage value. Each year the Regional Administrator will calculate the fee percentage.

(i) Factors. In making the calculations the Regional Administrator will consider the following factors:

(A) The catch to which the IFQ fee will apply;

(B) The projected ex-vessel value of that catch;

(C) The costs directly related to the management and enforcement of the IFQ program;

(D) The funds available for the IFQ program in the Limited Access System Administrative Fund (LASAF); and

(E) Nonpayment of fee liabilities.

(ii) Methodology. In making the calculation, the Regional Administrator will use the methodology described here.

[100 × (DPC − AB) / V] / (1 − NPR)

where:

DPC is the direct program costs for the IFQ fishery for the previous fiscal year,

AB is the projected end of the year LASAF account balance for the IFQ program,

V is the projected ex-vessel value of the catch subject to the IFQ fee for the current year, and

NPR is the fraction of the fee assessments that is expected to result in nonpayment.

(3) Adjustments. (i) General. During or before the last quarter of each year, the Regional Administrator will consider adjusting the IFQ fee percentage. Consideration will be based on the calculations described in §679.45(d)(2). The Regional Administrator may reduce the IFQ fee percentage at any time based on new information of the type set forth in §679.45(d)(2).

(ii) In-season effective period. An in-season reduction in the IFQ fee percentage supersedes the IFQ fee percentage previously in effect for the calendar year and remains in effect through the end of the calendar year in which it was determined unless otherwise adjusted by the Regional Administrator.

(4) Publication. The Regional Administrator will publish notification in the Federal Register any adjustment of the IFQ fee percentage.

(5) Applicable percentage. The IFQ permit holder must use the IFQ fee percentage in effect at the time an IFQ landing is made to calculate his or her fee liability for such landed IFQ pounds unless the percentage is subsequently adjusted as described in §679.45(d)(3). The IFQ permit holder must use the IFQ percentage in effect at the time an IFQ retro-payment is received by the IFQ permit holder to calculate his or her IFQ fee liability for the IFQ retro-payment.

(e) Non-payment of fee. If an IFQ permit holder does not submit a complete Fee Submission Form and corresponding payment by the due date described in §679.45(a)(2) and (3), the Regional Administrator may:

(1) At any time thereafter send an IAD to the IFQ permit holder stating that the IFQ permit holder's estimated fee liability, as calculated by the Regional Administrator and sent to the IFQ permit holder pursuant to §679.45(a)(2) is the amount of IFQ fee due from the IFQ permit holder.

(2) Disapprove any transfer of IFQ or QS to or from the IFQ permit holder in accordance with §679.41(c)(8)(i). Upon final agency action determining that an IFQ permit holder has not paid his or her IFQ fee liability, any IFQ fishing permit held by the IFQ permit holder is not valid until all IFQ fee liabilities are paid. If payment is not received by the 30th day after the final agency action, the matter will be referred to the appropriate authorities for purposes of collection.

(f) Underpayment of IFQ fee. (1) When an IFQ permit holder has incurred a fee liability and made a timely payment to NMFS of an amount less than the NMFS estimated IFQ fee liability, the Regional Administrator will review the Fee Submission Form and related documentation submitted by the IFQ permit holder. If the Regional Administrator determines that the IFQ permit holder has not paid a sufficient amount, the Regional Administrator may disapprove any transfer of IFQ or QS to or from the IFQ permit holder in accordance with §679.41(c)(4). The Regional Administrator will notify the IFQ permit holder by letter that an insufficient amount has been paid and that the IFQ permit holder has 30 days from the date of the letter to either pay the amount determined to be due or provide additional documentation to prove that the amount paid was the correct amount. The Regional Administrator will evaluate any additional documentation submitted by an IFQ permit holder in support of his or her payment. If the Regional Administrator determines that the additional documentation does not meet the IFQ permit holder's burden of proving his or her payment is correct, the Regional Administrator will send the permit holder an IAD indicating that the permit holder did not meet the burden of proof to change the IFQ fee liability as calculated by the Regional Administrator based upon the IFQ standard ex-vessel value.

(2) After expiration of the 30-day period, the Regional Administrator will issue an IAD and notify the IFQ permit holder. The IAD will set out the facts and indicate the deficiencies in the documentation submitted by the permit holder. An IFQ permit holder who receives an IAD may appeal pursuant to §679.43. In an appeal of an IAD made under this section, the IAD permit holder has the burden of proving his or her claim.

(3) If the permit holder fails to file an appeal of the IAD pursuant to §679.43, the IAD will become the final agency action. If the IAD is appealed and the final agency action is a determination that additional sums are due from the IFQ permit holder, the IFQ permit holder must pay any IFQ fee amount determined to be due not later than 30 days from the issuance of the final agency action. Once a fee liability determination becomes final, any IFQ fishing permit held by the IFQ permit holder will be deemed not valid until all IFQ fee liabilities have been paid. If payment is not received by the 30th day after the final agency action, the matter will be referred to the appropriate authorities for purposes of collection.

(g) Over payment. Upon issuance of final agency action, any amount submitted to NMFS in excess of the IFQ fee liability determined to be due by the final agency action will be returned to the IFQ permit holder unless the permit holder requests the agency to credit the excess amount against the IFQ permit holder's future IFQ fee liability.

(h) Appeals and requests for reconsideration. An IFQ permit holder who receives an IAD may either appeal the IAD pursuant to §679.43 or request reconsideration. Within 60 days from the date of issuance of the IAD, the Regional Administrator may undertake a reconsideration of the IAD on his or her own initiative. If a request for reconsideration is submitted or the Regional Administrator initiates a reconsideration, the 60-day period for appeal under §679.43 will begin anew upon issuance of the Regional Administrator's reconsidered IAD. The Regional Administrator may undertake only one reconsideration of the IAD, if any. If an IFQ permit holder fails to file an appeal of the IAD pursuant to §679.43, the IAD will become the final agency action. In any appeal or reconsideration of an IAD made under this section, an IFQ permit holder has the burden of proving his or her claim.

(i) Annual report. NMFS will publish annually a report describing the status of the IFQ Cost Recovery Program.

[65 FR 14924, Mar. 20, 2000, as amended at 67 FR 4133, Jan. 28, 2002]

Subpart E—Groundfish Observer Program
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Source:  61 FR 56431, Nov. 1, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

§ 679.50   Groundfish Observer Program applicable through December 31, 2007.
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Link to an amendment published at 71 FR 17382, Apr. 6, 2006.

(a) General. Operators of vessels possessing a Federal fisheries permit under §679.4(b)(1) and processors that possess a Federal processor permit under §679.4(f)(1), must comply with this section. The owner of a fishing vessel subject to this part or a processor subject to this part must ensure that the operator or manager complies with this section and is jointly and severally liable for such compliance. Observer coverage for the CDQ fisheries obtained in compliance with paragraphs (c)(4) and (d)(5) of this section may not be used to comply with observer coverage requirements for non-CDQ groundfish fisheries specified in this section.

(b) Purpose. The purpose of the Groundfish Observer Program is to allow observers to collect Alaska fisheries data deemed by the Regional Administrator to be necessary and appropriate for management, compliance monitoring, and research of groundfish fisheries and for the conservation of marine resources or their environment.

(c) Observer requirements for vessels. (1) Observer coverage is required as follows:

(i) A mothership of any length that processes 1,000 mt or more in round-weight equivalent of groundfish during a calendar month is required to have an observer aboard the vessel each day it receives or processes groundfish during that month.

(ii) A mothership of any length that processes from 500 mt to 1,000 mt in round-weight equivalent of groundfish during a calendar month is required to have an observer aboard the vessel at least 30 percent of the days it receives or processes groundfish during that month.

(iii) Each mothership that receives pollock harvested by catcher vessels in the catcher vessel operational area during the second pollock season that starts on September 1 under §679.23(e)(2) is required to have a second observer aboard, in addition to the observer required under paragraphs (c)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section, for each day of the second pollock season until the chum salmon savings area is closed under §679.21(e)(7)(vi), or October 15, whichever occurs first.

(iv) A catcher/processor or catcher vessel 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA or longer must carry an observer during 100 percent of its fishing days except for a vessel fishing for groundfish with pot gear as provided in paragraph (c)(1)(vii) of this section.

(v) A catcher/processor or catcher vessel equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, but less than 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA, that participates for more than 3 fishing days in a directed fishery for groundfish in a calendar quarter must carry an observer during at least 30 percent of its fishing days in that calendar quarter and at all times during at least one fishing trip in that calendar quarter for each of the groundfish fishery categories defined under paragraph (c)(2) of this section in which the vessel participates.

(vi) A catcher/processor or catcher vessel fishing with hook-and-line gear that is required to carry an observer under paragraph (c)(1)(v) of this section must carry an observer during at least one entire fishing trip using hook-and-line gear in the Eastern GOA regulatory area during each calendar quarter in which the vessel participates in a directed fishery for groundfish in the Eastern Regulatory Area using hook-and-line gear.

(vii) Vessels using pot gear. (A) A catcher/processor or catcher vessel equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA fishing with pot gear that participates for more than 3 fishing days in a directed fishery for groundfish in a calendar quarter must carry an observer:

(1) For at least 30 percent of the total number of pot retrievals for that calendar quarter, and

(2) For at least one entire fishing trip using pot gear in a calendar quarter, for each of the groundfish fishery categories defined under paragraph (c)(2) of this section in which the vessel participates.

(B) Groundfish are required to be retained each day that pot gear is retrieved in order for gear retrieved that day to count toward observer coverage requirements for all catcher vessels and catcher/processors using pot gear and required to carry observers.

(viii) Red King Crab Savings Area. (A) Any catcher/processor or catcher vessel used to fish for groundfish in the Red King Crab Savings area must carry an observer during 100 percent of its fishing days in which the vessel uses pelagic trawl gear, pot, jig, or longline gear.

(B) Any catcher/processor or catcher vessel used to fish for groundfish in the Red King Crab Savings Subarea and subject to this subarea being open to vessels fishing for groundfish with non-pelagic trawl gear under §679.21(e)(3)(ii)(B), must carry an observer during 100 percent of its fishing days in which the vessel uses non-pelagic trawl gear.

(ix) Nearshore Bristol Bay Trawl Closure. Any catcher/processor or catcher vessel used to fish for groundfish in the Nearshore Bristol Bay Trawl Closure area must carry an observer during 100 percent of its fishing days in which the vessel uses trawl gear.

(x) A vessel directed fishing with trawl gear for Atka mackerel in the Aleutian Islands subarea must carry two NMFS-certified observers at all times while directed fishing for Atka mackerel in the HLA directed fishery, as specified in §679.20(a)(8).

(2) Groundfish fishery categories requiring separate coverage. Directed fishing for groundfish, during any fishing trip, that results:

(i) Pollock fishery. In a retained catch of pollock that is greater than the retained catch of any other groundfish species or species group that is specified as a separate groundfish fishery under this paragraph (c)(2) and in a retained catch of pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery.

(ii) Pacific cod fishery. In a retained catch of Pacific cod that is greater than the retained catch of any other groundfish species or species group that is specified as a separate groundfish fishery under this paragraph (c)(2).

(iii) Sablefish fishery. In a retained catch of sablefish that is greater than the retained catch of any other groundfish species or species group that is specified as a separate groundfish fishery under this paragraph (c)(2).

(iv) Rockfish fishery. In a retained aggregate catch of rockfish that is greater than the retained catch of any other groundfish species or species group that is specified as a separate groundfish fishery under this paragraph (c)(2).

(v) Flatfish fishery. In a retained aggregate catch of all flatfish species, except Pacific halibut, that is greater than the retained catch of any other groundfish species or species group that is specified as a separate groundfish fishery under this paragraph (c)(2).

(vi) Other species fishery. In a retained catch of groundfish that does not qualify as a pollock, Pacific cod, sablefish, rockfish, or flatfish fishery as defined under paragraphs (c)(2) (i) through (v) of this section.

(3) Assignment of vessels to fisheries. At the end of any fishing trip, a vessel's retained catch of groundfish species or species groups for which a TAC has been specified under §679.20, in round-weight equivalent, will determine to which fishery category listed under paragraph (c)(2) of this section the vessel is assigned.

(i) Catcher/processors. A catcher/processor will be assigned to a fishery category based on the retained groundfish catch composition reported on the vessel's weekly production report submitted to the Regional Administrator under §679.5(i).

(ii) Catcher vessel delivery in Federal waters. A catcher vessel that delivers to a mothership in Federal waters will be assigned to a fishery category based on the retained groundfish catch composition reported on the weekly production report submitted to the Regional Administrator for that week by the mothership under §679.5(i).

(iii) Catcher vessel delivery in Alaska State waters. A catcher vessel that delivers groundfish to a shoreside processor or stationary floating processor will be assigned to a fishery category based on the retained groundfish catch composition reported on one or more ADF&G fish tickets as required under Alaska Statutes at A.S. 16.05.690.

(4) Groundfish and halibut CDQ fisheries. The owner or operator of a vessel groundfish CDQ fishing or halibut CDQ fishing as defined at §679.2 must comply with the following minimum observer coverage requirements each day that the vessel is used to transport (catcher vessels only), harvest, process, deliver or take delivery of CDQ or PSQ species. The time required for the level 2 observer to complete sampling, data recording, and data communication duties shall not exceed 12 hours in each 24–hour period, and, the level 2 observer is required to sample no more than 9 hours in each 24–hour period.

(i) Motherships or catcher/processors using trawl gear—(A) Multi-species CDQ fishery. A mothership or catcher/processor using trawl gear to participate in the multi-species CDQ fishery must have at least two level 2 observers as described at paragraphs (j)(1)(v)(D) and (E) of this section aboard the vessel, at least one of whom must be certified as a lead level 2 observer.

(B) Pollock CDQ fishery. A mothership or catcher/processor using trawl gear to participate in a directed fishery for pollock CDQ must have at least two NMFS-certified observers aboard the vessel, at least one of whom must be certified as a lead level 2 observer.

(ii) Catcher/processors using hook-and-line gear. A catcher/processor using hook-and-line gear must have at least two level 2 observers as described at paragraphs (j)(1)(v)(D) and (E) of this section aboard the vessels, unless NMFS approves an alternative fishing plan under §679.32(e)(3) authorizing the vessel to carry only one lead level 2 observer. At least one of the level 2 observers must be certified as a lead level 2 observer. NMFS may approve an alternative fishing plan authorizing the vessel to carry only one lead level 2 observer if the CDQ group supplies vessel logbook or observer data that demonstrates that one level 2 observer can sample each CDQ set for species composition in one 12–hour shift per fishing day. NMFS will not approve an alternative fishing plan that would require the observer to divide a 12–hour shift into shifts of less than 6 hours.

(iii) Catcher/processors using pot gear. A catcher/processor using pot gear must have at least one lead level 2 observer as described at paragraph (j)(1)(v)(E) of this section aboard the vessel.

(iv) Catcher vessel using trawl gear. A catcher vessel equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using trawl gear, except a catcher vessel that delivers only unsorted codends to a processor or another vessel, must have at least one level 2 observer as described at paragraph (j)(1)(v)(D) of this section aboard the vessel.

(v) Catcher vessel using nontrawl gear. A catcher vessel equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using nontrawl gear must meet the following observer coverage requirements:

(A) Option 1. If the vessel operator selected Option 1 (as described at §679.32(d)(2)(ii)(A)) for CDQ catch accounting, then at least one level 2 observer as described at paragraph (j)(1)(v)(D) of this section must be aboard the vessel.

(B) Option 2. If the vessel operator selected Option 2 (as described at §679.32(d)(2)(ii)(B)) for CDQ catch accounting, then at least one lead level 2 observer as described at paragraph (j)(1)(v)(E) of this section must be aboard the vessel.

(5) AFA and AI directed pollock fishery catcher/processors and motherships.—(i) Coverage requirement—(A) Listed AFA catcher/processors and AFA motherships. The owner or operator of a listed AFA catcher/processor or AFA mothership must provide at least two NMFS-certified observers, at least one of which must be certified as a lead level 2 observer, for each day that the vessel is used to harvest, process, or take deliveries of groundfish. More than two observers are required if the observer workload restriction at paragraph (c)(5)(iii) of this section would otherwise preclude sampling as required under §679.63(a)(1).

(B) Unlisted AFA catcher/processors. The owner or operator of an unlisted AFA catcher/processor must provide at least two NMFS-certified observers for each day that the vessel is used to engage in directed fishing for pollock in the BSAI, or takes deliveries of pollock harvested in the BSAI. At least one observer must be certified as a lead level 2 observer. When an unlisted AFA catcher/processor is not engaged in directed fishing for BSAI pollock and is not receiving deliveries of pollock harvested in the BSAI, the observer coverage requirements at paragraph (c)(1)(iv) of this section apply.

(C) AI directed pollock fishery catcher/processors and motherships. A catcher/processor participating in the AI directed pollock fishery or a mothership processing pollock harvested in the AI directed pollock fishery must have on board at least two NMFS-certified observers, at least one of which must be certified as a lead level 2 observer, for each day that the vessel is used to harvest, process, or take deliveries of groundfish. More than two observers are required if the observer workload restriction at paragraph (c)(5)(ii) of this section would otherwise preclude sampling as required under §679.63(a)(1).

(ii) Observer work load. The time required for the observer to complete sampling, data recording, and data communication duties may not exceed 12 consecutive hours in each 24–hour period, and, the observer may not sample more than 9 hours in each 24–hour period.

(d) Observer requirements for shoreside processors and stationary floating processors. Observer coverage is required as follows. A shoreside processor or stationary floating processor that:

(1) Processes 1,000 mt or more in round-weight equivalent of groundfish during a calendar month is required to have an observer present at the facility each day it receives or processes groundfish during that month.

(2) Processes 500 mt to 1,000 mt in round-weight equivalent of groundfish during a calendar month is required to have an observer present at the facility at least 30 percent of the days it receives or processes groundfish during that month.

(3) Is subject to observer requirements specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section that receives pollock or Pacific cod, may reduce observer coverage in the event that a directed fishery for such species closes, subject to the following conditions:

(i) The shoreside or stationary floating processor must maintain observer coverage for 30 percent of all days that groundfish are received or processed, beginning on the fourth calendar day following the day that the directed fishery for pollock or Pacific cod was closed and ending on the last day of the month, except as allowed in this paragraph (d)(3)(iv) of this section.

(ii) Observer coverage for the month following the month with reduced observer coverage will be based on monthly landings projections and thresholds as specified in paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section, but may also be reduced for that subsequent month as specified in this paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(iii) Total groundfish landings received by a shoreside or stationary floating processor under reduced observer coverage as authorized under this paragraph (d)(3) may not exceed 250 mt per calendar week.

(iv) If greater than 250 mt in round weight equivalent of groundfish are projected to be received in a given calender week by a shoreside or stationary floating processor during a month with reduced observer coverage, as authorized under this paragraph (d)(3), the shoreside or stationary floating processor must return to observer coverage requirements as specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section until all fish received during that week is processed. The shoreside or stationary floating processor may then return to reduced observer coverage as authorized under this paragraph (d)(3) for the remainder of the calendar month.

(4) Offloads pollock at more than one location on the same dock and has distinct and separate equipment at each location to process those pollock and that receives pollock harvested by catcher vessels in the catcher vessel operational area.

(5) Groundfish and halibut CDQ fisheries—(i) CDQ deliveries requiring observer coverage. Subject to paragraph (d)(5)(ii) of this section, each shoreside processor or stationary floating processor taking deliveries of groundfish or halibut CDQ must have at least one level 2 observer as described at paragraph (j)(1)(v)(D) of this section present at all times while CDQ is being received or processed.

(ii) CDQ deliveries not requiring level 2 observer coverage. A shoreside processor is not required to provide a level 2 observer for CDQ deliveries from the following vessels:

(A) Vessels less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA that are halibut CDQ fishing;

(B) Vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using nontrawl gear that have selected Option 1 (as described at §679.32(d)(2)(ii)(A)) for CDQ catch accounting, so long as the level 2 observer on the catcher vessel monitors the entire delivery without exceeding the working hour limitations described in paragraph (d)(5)(iii) of this section; and

(C) Vessels equal to or greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA using nontrawl gear that have selected Option 2 (as described at §679.32(d)(2)(ii)(B)) for CDQ catch accounting.

(iii) Observer working hours. The time required for the level 2 observer to complete sampling, data recording, and data communication duties may not exceed 12 hours in each 24-hour period, and the level 2 observer is required to sample no more than 9 hours in each 24-hour period.

(6) AFA inshore processors—(i) Coverage level. An AFA inshore processor is required to provide a NMFS certified observer for each 12 consecutive hour period of each calendar day during which the processor takes delivery of, or processes, groundfish harvested by a vessel engaged in a directed pollock fishery in the BSAI. An AFA inshore processor that takes delivery of or processes pollock harvested in the BSAI directed pollock fishery for more than 12 consecutive hours in a calendar day is required to provide two NMFS-certified observers for each such day.

(ii) Multiple processors. An observer deployed to an AFA inshore processor may not be assigned to cover more than one processor during a calendar day in which the processor receives or processes pollock harvested in the BSAI directed pollock fishery.

(iii) Observers transferring between vessels and processors. An observer transferring from an AFA catcher vessel to an AFA inshore processor may not be assigned to cover the AFA inshore processor until at least 12 hours after offload and sampling of the catcher vessel's delivery is completed.

(e) NMFS staff observers. (1) Any vessel, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor required to comply with observer coverage requirements under paragraphs (c) or (d) of this section or under §679.7(f)(4) or a catcher vessel less than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA that is participating in the AI directed pollock fishery must use, upon written notification by the Regional Administrator, NMFS' staff or an individual authorized by NMFS to satisfy observer coverage requirements as specified in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section or for other conservation and management purpose.

(2) Prior to deployment of NMFS staff or individuals authorized by NMFS, the agency will provide written notification to the owner or operator of a vessel, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor whether observer coverage credit will be granted for that deployment.

(3) Vessel, shoreside processor, and stationary floating processor owners and operators, as well as observers and observer providers, may contact NMFS in writing to request assistance in improving observer data quality and resolving observer sampling issues. Requests may be submitted to: NMFS Observer Program Office, P.O. Box 15700, Seattle, Washington 98115–0070 or transmitted by facsimile to 206–526–4066.

(f) Inseason adjustments in observer coverage requirements. (1) The Regional Administrator may adjust the observer coverage requirements set out under paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section at any time to improve the accuracy, reliability, and availability of observer data, so long as the changes are based on one or more of the following:

(i) A finding that fishing methods, times, or areas, or catch or bycatch composition for a specific fishery or fleet component have changed significantly, or are likely to change significantly.

(ii) A finding that such modifications are necessary to improve data availability or quality in order to meet specific fishery management objectives.

(2) Procedure. Observer coverage requirements may be adjusted in accordance with §679.25(c). NMFS must publish changes in observer coverage requirements in the Federal Register, with the reasons for the changes and any special instructions to vessels, shoreside processors or stationary floating processors required to carry observers, at least 10 calendar days prior to their effective date.

(g) Responsibilities—(1) Vessel responsibilities. An operator of a vessel required to carry one or more observers must:

(i) Accommodations and food. Provide, at no cost to observers or the United States, accommodations and food on the vessel for the observer or observers that are equivalent to those provided for officers, engineers, foremen, deck-bosses or other management level personnel of the vessel.

(ii) Safe conditions. (A) Maintain safe conditions on the vessel for the protection of observers including adherence to all U.S. Coast Guard and other applicable rules, regulations, or statutes pertaining to safe operation of the vessel.

(B) Have on board:

(1) A valid Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Decal issued within the past 2 years that certifies compliance with regulations found in 33 CFR Chapter I and 46 CFR Chapter I;

(2) A certificate of compliance issued pursuant to 46 CFR 28.710; or

(3) A valid certificate of inspection pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 3311.

(iii) Transmission of data. Facilitate transmission of observer data by:

(A) Observer use of equipment. Allowing NMFS-certified observers to use the vessel's communications equipment and personnel, on request, for the confidential entry, transmission, and receipt of work-related messages, at no cost to the NMFS-certified observers or the nation.

(B) Communication equipment requirements. In the case of an operator of a catcher/processor or mothership that is required to carry one or more observers, or a catcher vessel required to carry an observer as specified in paragraph (c)(1)(iv) of this section:

(1) Hardware and software. Making available for use by the observer a personal computer in working condition that contains: a full Pentium 120Mhz or greater capacity processing chip, at least 256 megabytes of RAM, at least 75 megabytes of free hard disk storage, a Windows 98 (or more recent) compatible operating system, an operating mouse, a 3.5–inch (8.9 cm) floppy disk drive, and a readable CD ROM disk drive. The associated computer monitor must have a viewable screen size of at least 14.1 inches (35.8cm) and minimum display settings of 600 x 800 pixels. The computer equipment specified in paragraph (g)(1)(iii)(B) of this section must be connected to a communication device that provides a point-to-point modem connection to the NMFS host computer and supports one or more of the following protocols: ITU V.22, ITU V.22bis, ITU V.32, ITU V.32bis, or ITU V.34. Personal computers utilizing a modem must have at least a 28.8 kbs Hayes-compatible modem.

(2) NMFS-Supplied software. Ensuring that the catcher/processor, mothership, or catcher vessel specified in paragraph (g)(1)(iii)(B) of this section obtains and has installed the data entry software provided by the Regional Administrator for use by the observer.

(C) Functional and operational equipment. Ensuring that the communications equipment required at paragraph (g)(1)(iii)(B) of this section, and that is used by observers to enter and transmit data, is fully functional and operational, where “functional” means that data transmissions to NMFS can be initiated effectively aboard the vessel by such communications equipment.

(iv) Vessel position. Allow observers access to, and the use of, the vessel's navigation equipment and personnel, on request, to determine the vessel's position.

(v) Access. Allow observers free and unobstructed access to the vessel'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.

(vi) Prior notification. Notify observers at least 15 minutes before fish are brought on board, or fish and fish products are transferred from the vessel, to allow sampling the catch or observing the transfer, unless the observers specifically request not to be notified.

(vii) Records. Allow observers to inspect and copy the vessel's DFL, DCPL, product transfer forms, any other logbook or document required by regulations, printouts or tallies of scale weights, scale calibration records, bin sensor readouts, and production records.

(viii) Assistance. Provide all other reasonable assistance to enable observers to carry out their duties, including, but not limited to:

(A) Measuring decks, codends, and holding bins.

(B) Providing the observers with a safe work area adjacent to the sample collection site.

(C) Collecting bycatch when requested by the observers.

(D) Collecting and carrying baskets of fish when requested by observers.

(E) Allowing observers to determine the sex of fish when this procedure will not decrease the value of a significant portion of the catch.

(F) Collecting all seabirds that are incidentally taken on the observer-sampled portions of hauls using hook-and-line gear or as requested by an observer during non-sampled portions of hauls.

(ix) Transfer at sea. (A) Ensure that transfers of observers at sea via small boat or raft are carried out during daylight hours, under safe conditions, and with the agreement of observers involved.

(B) Notify observers at least 3 hours before observers are transferred, such that the observers can collect personal belongings, equipment, and scientific samples.

(C) Provide a safe pilot ladder and conduct the transfer to ensure the safety of observers during transfers.

(D) Provide an experienced crew member to assist observers in the small boat or raft in which any transfer is made.

(2) Shoreside processor and stationary floating processor responsibilities. A manager of a shoreside processor or a stationary floating processor that is required to maintain observer coverage as specified under paragraph (d) of this section must:

(i) Safe conditions. Maintain safe conditions at the shoreside processing facility for the protection of observers by adhering to all applicable rules, regulations, or statutes pertaining to safe operation and maintenance of the processing facility.

(ii) Operations information. Notify the observers, as requested, of the planned facility operations and expected receipt of groundfish prior to receipt of those fish.

(iii) Transmission of data. Facilitate transmission of observer data by:

(A) Observer use of equipment. Allowing observers to use the shoreside processor's or stationary floating processor's communication equipment and personnel, on request, for the entry, transmission, and receipt of work-related messages, at no cost to the observers or the United States.

(B) Communication equipment requirements—(1) Hardware and software. Making available for use by the observer a personal computer in working condition that contains: a full Pentium 120Mhz or greater capacity processing chip, at least 256 megabytes of RAM, at least 75 megabytes of free hard disk storage, a Windows 98 (or more recent) compatible operating system, an operating mouse, a 3.5–inch (8.9 cm) floppy disk drive, and a readable CD ROM disk drive. The associated computer monitor must have a viewable screen size of at least 14.1 inches (35.8cm) and minimum display settings of 600 x 800 pixels. The computer equipment specified in paragraph (g)(2)(iii)(B) of this section must be connected to a communication device that provides a point-to-point modem connection to the NMFS host computer and supports one or more of the following protocols: ITU V.22, ITU V.22bis, ITU V.32, ITU V.32bis, or ITU V.34. Personal computers utilizing a modem must have at least a 28.8 kbs Hayes-compatible modem.

(2) NMFS-supplied software. Ensuring that the shoreside processor or stationary floating processor obtains and installs the data entry software provided by the Regional Administrator for use by the observer.

(C) Functional and operational equipment. Ensuring that the communications equipment required at paragraph (g)(2)(iii)(B) of this section and that is used by observers to enter and transmit data, is fully functional and operational, where functional means that data transmissions to NMFS can be initiated effectively by that equipment.

(iv) Access. Allow observers free and unobstructed access to the shoreside processor's or stationary floating processor's holding bins, processing areas, freezer spaces, weight scales, warehouses, and any other space that may be used to hold, process, weigh, or store fish or fish products at any time.

(v) Document access. Allow observers to inspect and copy the shoreside processor's or stationary floating processor's DCPL, product transfer forms, any other logbook or document required by regulations; printouts or tallies of scale weights; scale calibration records; bin sensor readouts; and production records.

(vi) Assistance. Provide all other reasonable assistance to enable the observer to carry out his or her duties, including, but not limited to:

(A) Assisting the observer in moving and weighing totes of fish.

(B) Cooperating with product recovery tests.

(C) Providing a secure place to store baskets of sampling gear.

(3) The owner of a vessel, shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or buying station is responsible for compliance and must ensure that the operator or manager of a vessel, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor required to maintain observer coverage under paragraphs (c) or (d) of this section complies with the requirements given in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this section.

(h) Procurement of observer services. Owners of vessels, shoreside processors, or stationary floating processors required to use observers under paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section must arrange for observer services from a permitted observer provider, except that:

(1) Owners of vessels, shoreside processors, or stationary floating processors are required to procure observer services directly from NMFS when the agency has determined and notified them under paragraph (e) of this section that their vessel, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor will use NMFS staff or an individual authorized by NMFS in lieu of an observer provided through a permitted observer provider to satisfy requirements under paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section or for other conservation and management purposes.

(2) Owners of vessels, shoreside processors, or stationary floating processors are required to procure observer services directly from NMFS and a permitted observer provider when NMFS has determined and notified them under paragraph (e) of this section, that their vessel, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor will use NMFS staff or individuals authorized by NMFS, in addition to an observer provided through an observer provider to satisfy requirements under paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section or for other conservation and management purposes.

(i) Observer provider permitting and responsibilities—(1) Observer provider permits—(i) General. (A) Persons seeking to provide observer services under this section must obtain an observer provider permit from NMFS.

(B) New observer providers. An applicant seeking an observer provider permit must submit a completed application by fax or mail to the Observer Program Office at the address listed in paragraph (e)(3) of this section.

(C) Existing observer providers as of 2002. NMFS-certified providers who deployed observers under the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program in 2002 are exempt from the requirement to apply for a permit and will be issued an observer provider permit, except that a change in ownership of an existing observer provider after January 1, 2003, requires a new permit application under paragraph (i)(1)(vi) of this section if the change involves a new person. Such observer providers must submit to the Observer Program Office within 30 days of receiving the observer provider permit issued under this paragraph any changes or corrections regarding information required under paragraphs (i)(1)(ii)(A) and (i)(1)(ii)(B) of this section.

(ii) Contents of application. An application for an observer provider permit shall consist of a narrative that contains the following:

(A) Identification of the management, organizational structure, and ownership structure of the applicant's business, including identification by name and general function of all controlling management interests in the company, including but not limited to owners, board members, officers, authorized agents, and staff. If the applicant is a corporation, the articles of incorporation must be provided. If the applicant is a partnership, the partnership agreement must be provided.

(B) Contact information—(1) Owner(s) information. The permanent mailing address, phone and fax numbers where the owner(s) can be contacted for official correspondence.

(2) Business information. Current physical location, business mailing address, business telephone and fax numbers, and business e-mail address for each office.

(3) Authorized agent. For observer providers with ownership based outside the United States, identify an authorized agent and provide contact information for that agent including mailing address and phone and fax numbers where the agent can be contacted for official correspondence. An authorized agent 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 or employee of an observer provider. Any diplomatic official accepting such an appointment as designated agent waives diplomatic or other immunity in connection with the process.

(C) A statement signed under penalty of perjury from each owner, or owners, board members, and officers if a corporation, that they are free from a conflict of interest as described under paragraph (i)(3) of this section.

(D) A statement signed under penalty of perjury from each owner, or owners, board members, and officers if a corporation, describing any criminal convictions, Federal contracts they have had and the performance rating they received on the contract, and previous decertification action while working as an observer or observer provider.

(E) A description of any prior experience the applicant may have in placing individuals in remote field and/or marine work environments. This includes, but is not limited to, recruiting, hiring, deployment, and personnel administration.

(F) A description of the applicant's ability to carry out the responsibilities and duties of an observer provider as set out under paragraph (i)(2) of this section, and the arrangements to be used.

(iii) Application evaluation. (A) The Regional Administrator will establish an observer provider permit application review board to review and evaluate an application submitted under paragraph (i)(1) of this section. The board will be comprised of NMFS staff. Issuance of a permit will be based on the completeness of the applicant's application, as well as the following evaluation criteria for each owner, or owners, board members, and officers if a corporation:

(1) Absence of conflict of interest as defined under paragraph (i)(3) of this section;

(2) Absence of criminal convictions related to:

(i) Embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements or receiving stolen property, or

(ii) The commission of any other crimes of dishonesty, as defined by Alaska State law or Federal law that would seriously and directly affect the fitness of an applicant in providing observer services under this section;

(3) Satisfactory performance ratings on any Federal contracts held by the applicant; and

(4) Absence of any history of decertification as either an observer or observer provider;

(B) The evaluation by the review board will provide a basis for the board's initial agency determination (IAD) on whether the application is complete and all evaluation criteria are met.

(iv) Evidentiary period. The observer provider permitting review board will specify, by letter via certified return-receipt mail, a 60–day evidentiary period during which a candidate may provide additional information or evidence to support the application, if the application is found to be deficient.

(v) Agency determination on an application—(A) Approval of an application. Upon determination by the review board that the application is complete and all evaluation criteria are met, an IAD is made to approve the application and the observer provider permit application review board will issue an observer provider permit to the applicant.

(B) Denial of an application. An application will be denied if the observer provider permit application review board determines that the information provided in the application was not complete or all the evaluation criteria were not met. The observer provider permit application review board will prepare and send a written IAD to the applicant upon evaluation of a completed application. The IAD will identify any deficiencies in the application or any information submitted in support of the application. An applicant who receives an IAD that denies his or her application may appeal under §679.43. An applicant who appeals the IAD will not be issued an interim observer provider permit and will not receive a permit unless the final resolution of that appeal is in favor of the applicant.

(vi) Transferability. An observer provider permit is not transferable. An observer provider that experiences a change in ownership that involves a new person must submit a new permit application and cannot continue to operate until a new permit is issued under this paragraph.

(vii) Expiration of Permit. (A) The observer provider permit will expire after a period of 12 continuous months during which no observers are deployed by the provider under this section to the North Pacific groundfish industry.

(B) The Regional Administrator will provide a written determination to an observer provider if NMFS deployment records indicate that the permit has expired. An observer provider who receives a written IAD of permit expiration may appeal under §679.43. A permit holder who appeals the IAD will be issued an extension of the expiration date of the permit until after the final resolution of that appeal.

(viii) Sanctions. Procedures governing sanctions of permits are found at subpart D of 15 CFR part 904.

(2) Responsibilities of observer providers. Observer providers must:

(i) Provide qualified candidates to serve as observers. (A) To be qualified, a candidate must have:

(1) A Bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the natural sciences;

(2) Successfully completed a minimum of 30 semester hours or equivalent in applicable biological sciences with extensive use of dichotomous keys in at least one course;

(3) Successfully completed at least one undergraduate course each in math and statistics with a minimum of 5 semester hours total for both; and

(4) Computer skills that enable the candidate to work competently with standard database software and computer hardware.

(B) Prior to hiring an observer candidate, the observer provider must:

(1) Provide to the candidate copies of NMFS-provided pamphlets and other literature describing observer duties; and

(2) Provide to the candidate a copy of the Observer Program's drug and alcohol policy. Observer job pamphlets and the drug and alcohol policy are available from the Observer Program Office at the address listed in paragraph (e)(3) of this section or at the Observer Program's web site at http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/refm/observers/default.htm.

(C) For each observer employed by an observer provider, either a written contract or a written contract addendum must exist that is signed by the observer and observer provider prior to the observer's deployment and that contains the following provisions for continued employment:

(1) That the observer comply with the Observer Program's drug and alcohol policy;

(2) That all the observer's in-season catch messages between the observer and NMFS are delivered to the Observer Program Office at least every 7 days, unless otherwise specified by the Observer Program;

(3) That the observer completes in-person mid-deployment data reviews, unless:

(i) The observer is specifically exempted by the Observer Program, or

(ii) The observer does not at any time during their deployment travel through a location where Observer Program staff are available for an in-person data review and the observer completes a phone or fax mid-deployment data review as described in the observer manual; and

(4) The observer inform the observer provider prior to the time of embarkation if he or she is experiencing any new mental illness or physical ailments or injury since submission of the physician's statement as required in paragraph (i)(2)(x)(C) of this section that would prevent him or her from performing their assigned duties;

(ii) Ensure that observers complete duties in a timely manner. An observer provider must ensure that observers employed by that observer provider do the following in a complete and timely manner:

(A) Once an observer is scheduled for a final deployment debriefing under paragraph (i)(2)(x)(E) of this section, submit to NMFS all data, reports required by the Observer Manual, and biological samples from the observer's deployment by the completion of the electronic vessel and/or processor survey(s);

(B) Complete NMFS electronic vessel and/or processor surveys before performing other jobs or duties which are not part of NMFS groundfish observer requirements;

(C) Report for his or her scheduled debriefing and complete all debriefing responsibilities; and

(D) Return all sampling and safety gear to the Observer Program Office.

(iii) Observer vessel and processor assignment. An observer provider must assign to vessels or shoreside or floating processors only observers:

(A) With valid North Pacific groundfish observer certifications and endorsements to provide observer services;

(B) Who have not informed the provider prior to the time of embarkation that he or she is experiencing a mental illness or a physical ailment or injury developed since submission of the physician's statement, as required in paragraph (i)(2)(x)(C) of this section that would prevent him or her from performing his or her assigned duties; and

(C) Who have successfully completed all NMFS required training and briefing before deployment.

(iv) Response to industry requests for observers. An observer provider must provide an observer for deployment as requested by vessels and processors to fulfill vessel and processor requirements for observer coverage under sections (c) and (d) of this section. An alternate observer must be supplied in each case where injury or illness prevents the observer from performing his or her duties or where the observer resigns prior to completion of his or her duties.

(v) Observer salaries and benefits. An observer provider must provide to its observer employees salaries and any other benefits and personnel services in accordance with the terms of each observer's contract.

(vi) Observer deployment logistics. (A) An observer provider must provide to each of its observers under contract:

(1) All necessary transportation, including arrangements and logistics, of observers to the initial location of deployment, to all subsequent vessel and shoreside or stationary floating processor assignments during that deployment, and to the debriefing location when a deployment ends for any reason; and

(2) Lodging, per diem, and any other services necessary to observers assigned to fishing vessels or shoreside or stationary floating processing facilities.

(B) Except as provided in paragraphs (i)(2)(vi)(C) and (i)(2)(vi)(D) of this section, each observer deployed to a shoreside processing facility or stationary floating processor, and each observer between vessel, stationary floating processor or shoreside assignments while still under contract with a permitted observer provider, shall be provided with accommodations at a licensed hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, stationary floating processor, or other shoreside accommodations for the duration of each shoreside assignment or period between vessel or shoreside assignments. Such accommodations must include an assigned bed for each observer and no other person may be assigned that bed for the duration of that observer's stay. Additionally, no more than four beds may be in any room housing observers at accommodations meeting the requirements of this section.

(C) An observer under contract may be housed on a vessel to which he or she is assigned:

(1) Prior to their vessel's initial departure from port;

(2) For a period not to exceed twenty-four hours following the completion of an offload when the observer has duties and is scheduled to disembark; or

(3) For a period not to exceed twenty-four hours following the vessel's arrival in port when the observer is scheduled to disembark.

(D) During all periods an observer is housed on a vessel, the observer provider must ensure that the vessel operator or at least one crew member is aboard.

(E) Each observer deployed to shoreside processing facilities shall be provided with individually assigned communication equipment in working order, such as a cell phone or pager for notification of upcoming deliveries or other necessary communication. Each observer assigned to a shoreside processing facility located more than 1 mile from the observer's local accommodations shall be provided with motorized transportation that will ensure the observer's arrival at the processing facility in a timely manner such that the observer can complete his or her assigned duties.

(vii) Observer deployment limitations. Unless alternative arrangements are approved by the Observer Program Office, an observer provider must not:

(A) Deploy an observer on the same vessel or at the same shoreside or stationary floating processor for more than 90 days in a 12–month period;

(B) Deploy an observer for more than 90 days in a single deployment;

(C) Include in a single deployment of an observer assignments to more than four vessels, including groundfish and all other vessels, and/or shoreside processors; or

(D) Move an observer from a vessel or stationary floating or shoreside processor before that observer has completed his or her sampling or data transmission duties.

(viii) Vessel safety decal verification. An observer provider must verify that a vessel has a valid USCG safety decal as required under paragraph (g)(1)(ii)(B) of this section before an observer may get underway aboard the vessel. One of the following acceptable means of verification must be used to verify the decal validity:

(A) An employee of the observer provider, including the observer, visually inspects the decal aboard the vessel and confirms that the decal is valid according to the decal date of issuance; or

(B) The observer provider receives a hard copy of the USCG documentation of the decal issuance from the vessel owner or operator.

(ix) Communications with observers. An observer provider must have an employee responsible for observer activities on call 24 hours a day to handle emergencies involving observers or problems concerning observer logistics, whenever observers are at sea, stationed at shoreside or stationary floating processors, in transit, or in port awaiting vessel or processor reassignment.

(x) Communications with the Observer Program Office. An observer provider must provide all of the following information to the Observer Program Office by electronic transmission (e-mail), fax, or other method specified by NMFS.

(A) Observer training and briefing. Observer training and briefing registration materials. This information must be submitted to the Observer Program Office at least 5 business days prior to the beginning of a scheduled observer certification training or briefing session. Registration materials consist of the following:

(1) Observer training registration, including:

(i) Date of requested training;

(ii) A list of observer candidates. The list must include each candidate's full name (i.e., first, middle and last names), date of birth, and sex;

(iii) A copy of each candidate's academic transcripts and resume; and

(iv) A statement signed by the candidate under penalty of perjury which discloses the candidate's criminal convictions.

(2) Observer briefing registration, including:

(i) Date and type of requested briefing session and briefing location; and

(ii) List of observers to attend the briefing session. Each observer's full name (first, middle, and last names) must be included.

(B) Projected observer assignments. Prior to the observer or observer candidate's completion of the training or briefing session, the observer provider must submit to the Observer Program Office a statement of projected observer assignments that include the observer's name; vessel, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor assignment, gear type, and vessel/processor code; port of embarkation; target species; and area of fishing.

(C) Physical examination. A signed and dated statement from a licensed physician that he or she has physically examined an observer or observer candidate. The statement must confirm that, based on that physical examination, the observer or observer candidate does not have any health problems or conditions that would jeopardize that individual's safety or the safety of others while deployed, or prevent the observer or observer candidate from performing his or her duties satisfactorily. The statement must declare that, prior to the examination, the physician was made aware of the duties of the observer and the dangerous, remote, and rigorous nature of the work by reading the NMFS-prepared pamphlet, provided to the candidate by the observer provider as specified in paragraph (i)(2)(i)(B)(1) of this section. The physician's statement must be submitted to the Observer Program Office prior to certification of an observer. The physical exam must have occurred during the 12 months prior to the observer's or observer candidate's deployment. The physician's statement will expire 12 months after the physical exam occurred. A new physical exam must be performed, and accompanying statement submitted, prior to any deployment occurring after the expiration of the statement.

(D) Observer deployment/logistics reports. A deployment/logistics report must be submitted by Wednesday, 4:30 pm, Pacific local time, of each week with regard to each observer deployed by the observer provider during that week. The deployment/logistics report must include the observer's name, cruise number, current vessel, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor assignment and vessel/processor code, embarkation date, and estimated or actual disembarkation dates. If the observer is currently not assigned to a vessel, shoreside processor, or stationary floating processor, the observer's location must be included in the report.

(E) Observer debriefing registration. The observer provider must contact the Observer Program within 5 business days after the completion of an observer's deployment to schedule a date, time and location for debriefing. Observer debriefing registration information must be provided at the time of debriefing scheduling and must include the observer's name, cruise number, vessel, or shoreside or stationary floating processor assignment name(s) and code(s), and requested debriefing date.

(F) Certificates of Insurance. Copies of “certificates of insurance”, that name the NMFS Observer Program leader as the “certificate holder”, shall be submitted to the Observer Program Office by February 1 of each year. The certificates of insurance shall verify the following coverage provisions and state that the insurance company will notify the certificate holder if insurance coverage is changed or canceled.

(1) Maritime Liability to cover “seamen's” claims under the Merchant Marine Act (Jones Act) and General Maritime Law ($1 million minimum).

(2) Coverage under the U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act ($1 million minimum).

(3) States Worker's Compensation as required.

(4) Commercial General Liability.

(G) Observer provider contracts. Observer providers must submit to the Observer Program Office a completed and unaltered copy of each type of signed and valid contract (including all attachments, appendices, addendums, and exhibits incorporated into the contract) between the observer provider and those entities requiring observer services under paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section. Observer providers must also submit to the Observer Program Office upon request, a completed and unaltered copy of the current or most recent signed and valid contract (including all attachments, appendices, addendums, and exhibits incorporated into the contract and any agreements or policies with regard to observer compensation or salary levels) between the observer provider and the particular entity identified by the Observer Program or with specific observers. Said copies must be submitted to the Observer Program Office via fax or mail within 5 business days of the request for the contract at the address or fax number listed in paragraph (e)(3) of this section. Signed and valid contracts include the contracts an observer provider has with:

(1) Vessels required to have observer coverage as specified at paragraph (c) of this section;

(2) Shoreside or stationary floating processors required to have observer coverage as specified at paragraph (d) of this section; and

(3) Observers.

(H) Change in observer provider management and contact information. Except for changes in ownership addressed under paragraph (i)(1)(vi) of this section, an observer provider must submit notification of any other change to the information submitted on the provider's permit application under paragraphs (i)(1)(ii)(A) through (D) of this section. Within 30 days of the effective date of such change, this information must be submitted by fax or mail to the Observer Program Office at the address listed in paragraph (e)(3) of this section. Any information submitted under (i)(1)(ii)(C) or (i)(1)(ii)(D) of this section will be subject to NMFS review and determinations under (i)(1)(iii) through (viii) of this section.

(I) Other reports. Reports of the following must be submitted in writing to the Observer Program Office by the observer provider via fax or email address designated by the Observer Program Office within 24 hours after the observer provider becomes aware of the information:

(1) Any information regarding possible observer harassment;

(2) Any information regarding any action prohibited under §679.7(g) or §600.725(o), (t) and (u);

(3) Any concerns about vessel safety or marine casualty under 46 CFR 4.05–1 (a)(1) through (7), or processor safety;

(4) Any observer illness or injury that prevents the observer from completing any of his or her duties described in the observer manual; and

(5) Any information, allegations or reports regarding observer conflict of interest or breach of the standards of behavior described at (j)(2)(i) or (j)(2)(ii) of this section.

(xi) Replacement of lost or damaged gear. An observer provider must replace all lost or damaged gear and equipment issued by NMFS to an observer under contract to that provider. All replacements must be in accordance with requirements and procedures identified in writing by the Observer Program Office.

(xii) Maintain confidentiality of information. An observer provider must ensure that all records on individual observer performance received from NMFS under the routine use provision of the Privacy Act remain confidential and are not further released to anyone outside the employ of the observer provider company to whom the observer was contracted except with written permission of the observer.

(3) Limitations on conflict of interest. Observer providers:

(i) Must not have a direct financial interest, other than the provision of observer services, in a North Pacific fishery managed under an FMP for the waters off the coast of Alaska, including, but not limited to,

(A) Any ownership, mortgage holder, or other secured interest in a vessel, shoreside or stationary floating processors facility involved in the catching, taking, harvesting or processing of fish,

(B) Any business involved with selling supplies or services to any vessel, shoreside or stationary floating processors participating in a fishery managed pursuant to an FMP in the waters off the coast of Alaska, or

(C) Any business involved with purchasing raw or processed products from any vessel, shoreside or stationary floating processors participating in a fishery managed pursuant to an FMP in the waters off the coast of Alaska.

(ii) Must assign observers without regard to any preference by representatives of vessels, shoreside processors, or stationary floating processors other than when an observer will be deployed.

(iii) Must not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gratuity, gift, favor, entertainment, loan, or anything of monetary value from anyone who conducts fishing or fish processing activities that are regulated by NMFS, or who has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the official duties of observer providers.

(j) Observer certification and responsibilities—(1) Observer Certification—(i) Applicability. Observer certification authorizes an individual to fulfill duties as specified in writing by the NMFS Observer Program Office while under the employ of a NMFS-permitted observer provider and according to certification endorsements as designated under paragraph (j)(1)(v) of this section.

(ii) Observer certification official. The Regional Administrator will designate a NMFS observer certification official who will make decisions for the Observer Program Office on whether to issue or deny observer certification.

(iii) Certification requirements. (A) Existing Observers. Observers who completed sampling activities between June 30, 2001, and December 31, 2002, and have not had their certification revoked during or after that time period, will be considered to have met certification requirements under this section. These observers will be issued a new certification prior to their first deployment after December 31, 2002, unless NMFS determines that the observer has not been deployed, or has not performed sampling duties, or has not been debriefed successfully in the preceding 18 months.

(B) New Observers. NMFS will certify individuals who:

(1) Are employed by a permitted observer provider company at the time of the issuance of the certification;

(2) Have provided, through their observer provider:

(i) Information identified by NMFS at paragraphs (i)(2)(x)(A)(1)(iii) and (iv) of this section and in writing from the Observer Program; and

(ii) Information identified by NMFS at paragraph (i)(2)(x)(C) of this section regarding the observer candidate's health and physical fitness for the job;

(3) Meet all education and health standards as specified in paragraphs (i)(2)(i)(A) and (i)(2)(x)(C) of this section, respectively;

(4) Have successfully completed a NMFS-approved training as prescribed by the Obs