Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Framework Adjustment 41, 41189-41195 [05-14091]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 136 / Monday, July 18, 2005 / Proposed Rules were prepared by the local governments in St. Paul and St. George, with assistance from NMFS officials. Executive Order 13084–Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments E.O. 13084 requires that if NMFS issues a regulation that significantly or uniquely affects the communities of Indian tribal governments and imposes substantial direct compliance costs on those communities, NMFS must consult with those governments, or the Federal government must provide the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by the tribal governments. This action does not impose substantial direct compliance costs on the communities of Indian tribal governments. Accordingly, the requirements of section 3(b) of E.O. 13084 do not apply to this action. Nonetheless, NMFS took several steps to work with affected tribal governments to prepare and implement the proposed action. These steps included discussions on subsistence needs and mechanisms to ensure that the harvest is conducted in a non-wasteful manner. NMFS signed cooperative agreements with St. Paul in 2000 and with St. George in 2001 pursuant to section 119 of the MMPA. Dated: July 12, 2005. Rebecca Lent, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 05–14094 Filed 7–15–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 050630174–5174–01; ID 062005B] RIN 0648–AT08 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Framework Adjustment 41 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS proposes regulations to implement Framework Adjustment 41 VerDate jul<14>2003 15:10 Jul 15, 2005 Jkt 205001 (FW 41) to the NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). FW 41 management measures were developed by the New England Fishery Management Council (Council) to expand participation in the existing Closed Area (CA) I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program (SAP) to all Northeast (NE) multispecies limited access Days-at Sea (DAS) vessels fishing with hook gear. The proposed action would also modify some of the management measures currently applicable to the Georges Bank (GB) Cod Hook Sector (Sector) vessels when declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP by including modification of the season, haddock total allowable catch (TAC), and restricting vessels to fishing only inside the SAP area on trips declared into the SAP. In addition, NMFS proposes to clarify regulations pertaining to fishing in the Eastern U.S./ Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program Area. Specifically, during the time the SAP is open, eligible vessels could choose to fish in the SAP, and fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area west of CA II. This action is intended to mitigate the economic and social impacts resulting from Amendment 13 to the FMP and to meet the conservation and management requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). DATES: Comments must be received by August 17, 2005. ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods: • E-mail: FW41@NOAA.gov. Include in the subject line the following: Comments on the Proposed Rule for Groundfish Framework 41. • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:/ www.regulations.gov. • Mail: Paper, disk, or CD-ROM comments should be sent to Patricia A. Kurkul, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope ‘‘Comments on the Proposed Rule for Groundfish Framework 41.’’ • Fax: (978) 281–9135. Copies of FW 41, its Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), and the Environmental Assessment (EA) are available from Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, The Tannery B Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. A summary of the IRFA is provided in the Classification section of this proposed rule. PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 41189 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Hooker, Fishery Policy Analyst, phone: (978) 281–9220, fax: (978) 281– 9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background In order to increase the fishing effort on, and yield from healthy stocks, Amendment 13 to the FMP created a structure that allows for development of programs to target healthy fish stocks using Category B DAS. Amendment 13 included four specific SAPs, only two of which were approved and implemented on May 1, 2004. The regulations implementing FW 40–A (69 FR 67780, November 19, 2004) also created opportunities to use Category B DAS, including the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. However, due to insufficient controls on GB cod mortality, which could have led to undermining fishing mortality objectives necessary to end overfishing and rebuild the GB cod stock, the measures for non-Sector vessels proposed in FW 40–A were found to be inconsistent with National Standard 1 and section 303(a)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and were thus disapproved. Specifically, the portion of the program pertaining to non-Sector vessels proposed to: Allow participants to fish in the SAP area using either an A or B DAS; count cod catch against the SAP’s incidental cod TAC only when fishing on a B DAS; allow participants to fish both inside and outside the SAP area on the same trip under different gear restrictions; and allow non-DAS groundfish vessels to participate in the SAP. In contrast, regulations pertaining to the Sector vessels were relatively straightforward in that all cod caught by Sector vessels count toward the Sector’s allocation of GB cod, and the same gear restrictions apply both inside and outside of the SAP area on a single trip. The purpose of this action is to revise the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP rules to allow participation by non-Sector vessels. This special access program would help mitigate the economic and social impacts caused by the fishing effort reductions that resulted from implementation of Amendment 13. FW 41 would provide access to the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP for all limited access NE multispecies DAS permit holders, including both Sector and non-Sector vessels. Working together, Sector and non-Sector vessel owners who plan to participate in the program have suggested measures to minimize the potential for a derby (race to catch limited quota) fishery. The Council, in FW 41, has specified that E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM 18JYP1 41190 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 136 / Monday, July 18, 2005 / Proposed Rules future discussions of measures to minimize the potential of a derby in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP would not necessarily be based on these measures, nor would these proposed measures necessarily constitute a historical basis for future allocation decisions. Proposed Measures CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Non-Sector Vessels FW 41 proposes to modify the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP by allowing access to this SAP when fishing under a B DAS (either Regular B or Reserve B) for vessels with a NE multispecies limited access DAS permit, provided the vessel fishes with demersal longline or tub trawl gear. In order to minimize the potential of a derby fishery, participation in the SAP for non-Sector vessels would be restricted to a participation period of November 16 December 31 for the 2005 fishing year, unless otherwise notified by NMFS. The participation period would alternate each year between Sector and nonSector participants such that in fishing year 2006 non-Sector vessels would fish during a participation period of October 1 - November 15. The currently approved haddock TAC of 1,000 mt for the SAP would be divided evenly into two quota periods such that the haddock TAC for each quota period would be 500 mt. The SAP would close to all participants when the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) projects that the haddock TAC (landings and discards) has been caught. The Regional Administrator may also adjust the start of the second participation period if the 500–mt haddock quota for the first participation period is harvested prior to November 15. Additionally, the Regional Administrator may adjust the 500–mt quota for the second participation period to account for under- or over-harvest of the 500–mt haddock quota (landings and discards) that occurred in the first participation period. Vessels fishing on a trip in which they have declared into the Regular B DAS Pilot Program would be prohibited from fishing in this SAP on the same trip. In order to ensure that any catch of GB cod taken while using a Category B DAS would not threaten mortality objectives of Amendment 13, non-Sector vessels in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP would be allocated a portion of the GB cod incidental catch TAC. Under this proposed rule, the GB cod incidental catch TACs would be 50 percent, 34 percent, and 16 percent for VerDate jul<14>2003 15:10 Jul 15, 2005 Jkt 205001 the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, the Eastern U.S./Canada SAP, and the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, respectively. Additionally, for the 2005 fishing year the Regional Administrator may estimate any uncaught GB cod incidental catch TAC from the first quarter of the Regular B DAS Pilot Program and add that amount to the second quarter GB cod incidental catch TAC for the Regular B DAS Pilot Program. This action is necessary as the effective date for FW 41, if approved, would occur after the start of the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP, and the first period for the Regular B DAS Pilot Program (i.e., May 1, 2005). This would leave the second period of the Regular B DAS Pilot Program to be reduced by 15.5 mt and allocated to the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. This figure, 15.5 mt, is equivalent to 16 percent of the GB cod incidental catch TAC at the beginning of the 2005 fishing year (97 mt). This inseason adjustment would only be made for the GB cod incidental catch TAC in the 2005 fishing year. In order to enable the NMFS Observer Program to administer the deployment of observers in the SAP, a vessel intending to participate in this SAP would be required to notify NMFS by September 1 of its intention to fish in the program that year. This provision was approved for Sector vessels under FW 40–A and would be extended to non-Sector vessels in FW 41. This information is intended to provide the NMFS Observer Program with an estimate of the total number of vessels that intend to participate in the SAP and to plan observer coverage accordingly. If a vessel does not notify the NMFS Observer Program of its intent to participate in the SAP by the required date, it would not be allowed to participate in the SAP during that fishing year. Vessels would be required to notify the NMFS Observer Program by telephone at least 72 hours prior to leaving on a trip to the SAP, and would be required to provide the following information: Vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number of contact; and date, time and port of departure. The Regional Administrator would retain the authority to close the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area for the duration of the season if the level of observer coverage is insufficient to project whether continuation of the SAP would undermine the achievement of the objectives of the FMP or the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. Non-Sector vessels participating in the SAP would be required to use Category B (either Regular B or Reserve B) DAS. Similar to the Sector vessels, all PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 non-Sector vessels participating in this SAP would be required to be equipped with an approved Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). Vessels would be required to declare into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP via VMS and specify whether Regular B DAS or Reserve B DAS would be used, prior to leaving port on a trip into the SAP. All nonSector vessels would be required to report their catches (landings and discards) of haddock and cod daily via VMS. Non-Sector vessels that have declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP would be prohibited from fishing both inside and outside the SAP area on the same trip and would be exempt from the current limitation on the number of hooks fished inside the SAP area. Non-Sector vessels would be subject to a cod possession and landing limit of 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) per trip. Vessels would not be permitted to discard legal-sized cod prior to reaching the catch limit, and would be required to end their trip if the cod trip limit is achieved or exceeded. There is no flipping provision proposed for this SAP (i.e., vessels may not switch from using Category B to Category A DAS on a trip). For species other than cod, nonSector vessels would be required to comply with the possession and trip limit restrictions currently specified in the regulations. When the Regional Administrator projects that either the cod incidental catch TAC, or the haddock TAC (landings and discards) has been caught for the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, the SAP would close for the remainder of the fishing period. Sector Vessels There are two proposed changes to the current provisions for Sector vessels participating in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. Under this action, Sector vessels that have declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP would be prohibited from fishing both inside and outside the SAP area on the same trip, and Sector vessels would be restricted to a participation period of October 1 November 15 in the 2005 fishing year. For subsequent fishing years, starting in fishing year 2006, the participation period would alternate each year between Sector and non-Sector participants so that in fishing year 2006, for example, Sector vessels would fish during a participation period of November 16 - December 31. The purpose of the prohibition on fishing inside and outside of the SAP on the same fishing trip is to ensure proper accounting of where fish are caught and ensure the ability of the regulations to be enforced. The provision also would maintain equity between Sector and E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM 18JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 136 / Monday, July 18, 2005 / Proposed Rules non-Sector vessels participating in the SAP. Restricting access to the SAP to a specific period of time within the season is meant to minimize the potential of a derby fishery between Sector and non-Sector vessels. The current haddock TAC of 1,000 mt for the SAP would be divided evenly into two quota periods such that the haddock TAC for each quota period would be 500 mt. This action also proposes to remove the requirement that Sector vessels shall be required to pay for observer coverage if the Regional Administrator determines that funding for observers is inadequate to provide sufficient coverage. This requirement would be removed because it was determined that no additional regulations were necessary to ensure adequate observer coverage for Sector vessels. As stated previously, the Regional Administrator may adjust the start of the second quota period if the 500–mt haddock quota for the first quota period is harvested prior to November 15. Additionally, the Regional Administrator may adjust the 500–mt quota for the second quota period to account for under- or overharvest of the 500–mt haddock quota (landings and discards) that occurred in the first quota period. Other provisions for Sector vessels fishing in the SAP would remain unchanged. Finally, current regulations pertaining to access to the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program and the Eastern U.S./Canada Management Area would be clarified. Regulations at § 648.85(a)(1) and (b)(8) allow fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Management Area, and allow fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area, respectively, and specify rules that pertain to each area. According to these regulations, during the time the SAP is open, eligible vessels may choose to fish in the SAP, and to fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area west of CA II. In contrast to these regulations, the regulations at § 648.14(a)(143) and (a)(148) could be broadly interpreted to prohibit fishing in any part of the SAP unless fishing under the SAP rules. The prohibitions were inadvertently written in a broad way that is inconsistent with § 648.85(a)(1) and (b)(8) and the intent of NE Multispecies Framework Adjustment 40–A. These regulations would be clarified through this proposed action. Classification At this time, NMFS has not determined that the framework adjustment (FW 41) that this proposed rule would implement is consistent with the national standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other VerDate jul<14>2003 15:10 Jul 15, 2005 Jkt 205001 applicable laws. NMFS, in making that determination, will take into account the data, views, and comments received during the comment period. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 603, an IRFA has been prepared, which describes the economic impacts that this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A description of the reasons why this action is being considered, as well as the objectives of and legal basis for this proposed rule is found in the preamble to this document. There are no Federal rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed rule. The proposed action would modify the existing specification of GB cod incidental catch TACs to the various programs that have such TACs, modify the management measures for the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP to allow participation of non-Sector vessels, and implement measures to minimize potential derby fishing behavior. Current regulations under the FMP allow the development of such measures, provided they are consistent with the FMP objectives. The proposed alternative to modify the GB cod incidental TACs and provide non-Sector vessel access to the SAP was compared to the No Action alternative. The proposed alternative to minimize derby fishing behavior was compared with both the No Action alternative and an alternative that would limit vessels to starting only two trips into the SAP per week. The No Action alternative would result in the continuation of the management measures implemented by FW 40–A. Only Sector vessels would be eligible to fish in the SAP, no incidental GB cod TAC would be allocated to the SAP, and there would be no measures to minimize derby fishing behavior. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to which this Proposed Rule would Apply The proposed action would implement changes with the potential to affect any vessel holding a NE multispecies limited access permit (with an allocation of DAS; approximately 1,000 vessels). It is very likely, however, that the proposed measures would impact substantially less than the total number of such permit holders, because the SAP requires participants to use only hook gear, there are relatively few vessels that fish with hook gear, and it is not likely that many vessel owners would switch from using another type of fishing gear to hook gear. Based on this, the EA estimates that there would PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 41191 be about 60 vessels in total (Sector and non-Sector) that would participate in this SAP. The Small Business Administration (SBA) size standard for small commercial fishing entities is $ 3.5 million in gross receipts and would apply to NE multispecies limited access permit holders. Data analyzed for Amendment 13 indicated that the maximum gross receipts for any single commercial fishing vessel in the NE multispecies fishery for the period 1998 to 2001 was $ 1.3 million. For this reason, each vessel in this analysis is treated as a single entity for purposes of size determination and impact assessment. All commercial fishing entities would fall under the SBA size standard for small commercial fishing entities, and there would be no disproportionate impacts between small and large entities. For the purposes of Executive Order 12866, the proposed action would not be considered significant, because the annual effect on the economy would not meet the threshold criteria of $100 million and it would not have an adverse material affect on any sector of the economy, productivity, jobs, the environment, public health, or safety, or state, local, or tribal governments or communities. Economic Impacts of this Proposed Action The proposed action would reduce the allocation of GB cod to the Regular B DAS Pilot Program in order to establish a GB cod incidental catch TAC for the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. This reallocation of incidental TAC could result in increased economic benefits if the SAP results in a higher yield at lower cost than the Regular B DAS Pilot Program. However, unless the same vessels are the beneficiaries of the reallocation, allowing participation by non-Sector vessels in this SAP would result in a transfer of benefits from one group of vessels to another. The magnitude of the impacts will depend upon the amount of GB cod incidental TAC that is harvested under the Regular B DAS Pilot Program and the timing of the implementation of the SAP measures. There are minimal data to determine the specific impacts of the reallocation on the Regular B DAS Pilot Program or the fishery as a whole. During the first quarter of the 2005 fishing year the Regular B DAS Pilot Program caught a substantial portion of the GB cod incidental catch TAC. This suggests that such a reallocation may limit the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, however, the level of incidental catch during the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP season may be different. E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM 18JYP1 41192 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 136 / Monday, July 18, 2005 / Proposed Rules The proposed action would implement measures that would allow non-Sector vessels to use hook gear to target haddock in the SAP. In the short term, this opportunity may be important to the profitability of participating vessels and would provide mitigation of the short-term adverse effects of the DAS reductions implemented by Amendment 13. The beneficiaries of the proposed action would be limited to individuals that already use longline gear and individuals that could profitably convert to the use of bottom longline gear. Based upon an estimate of the number of vessels that would join the Sector in 2005, and empirical information, the EA estimates that 40 Sector vessels and 20 non-Sector vessels would participate in the SAP. Estimated total revenue for Sector and non-Sector participants is $ 1.3 million and $ 0.6 million, respectively. Estimated surplus per vessel for Sector and non-Sector participants is $ 19,300 and $ 16,600, respectively. These returns are based upon the assumptions of 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of haddock kept per trip, an incidental cod catch TAC of 14 mt, a total of 441 total trips into the SAP, and the implementation of measures to mitigate derby fishing behavior. The benefits that would accrue to Sector and non-Sector vessels depend in part on whether measures to prevent a derby are implemented. Dividing the SAP into two time periods and limiting fishing in each period to either Sector or non-Sector vessels reduces benefits to Sector vessels, but provides benefits to non-Sector vessels at the same level. Without measures to minimize the potential of derby fishing, the estimated surplus per participating Sector vessel would be $29,300 because the Sector vessels would not be limited to a maximum haddock catch of 500 mt. Sector participants would be foregoing potential economic gains in order to minimize derby fishing behavior and competition for the haddock TAC. The economic analysis also noted that there are potential costs of derby fishing, such as price depression, loss of gear through gear conflicts, and the costs of unsafe fishing practices. In contrast, the non-Sector vessels may be limited by the GB cod incidental catch TAC, with or without measures to address derby fishing. In other words, the constraining factor on the catch of non-Sector vessels may be the GB cod incidental catch TAC, and not the haddock TAC. If non-Sector participants are able to reduce incidental catches of cod and take all of the haddock available to them, the estimated net return per vessel would double. VerDate jul<14>2003 15:10 Jul 15, 2005 Jkt 205001 Dividing the season into two periods has other implications due to the seasonal variations in the availability and price of haddock. Based upon experimental data, catch rates of haddock may be highest in the beginning of the SAP season and subsequently decline, while average haddock prices may increase over the SAP season. The increase in average price may mitigate the effect of a reduced catch rate in the latter part of the SAP season. It is likely that most or all participating vessels will experience positive economic results. The potential economic benefits of the proposed measures would represent only a small increase in the total value of the Northeast region groundfish sales, but because the landings would be concentrated on Cape Cod, MA (due to the location of Sector members), the SAP could significantly increase landings in Cape Cod over fishing year 2003 levels. It is unknown where the economic benefits that result from the participation of non-Sector vessels will accrue. Economic Impacts of Alternatives to the Proposed Action Under the No Action alternative, the regulations for the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP would be unchanged, and the only vessels that could participate in the SAP would be members of the Sector. The economic benefits for Sector vessels would be greater under the No Action alternative, but no benefits would accrue to vessels that are not members of the Sector. The net amount of benefits under the No Action alternative would be similar to the amount of economic benefits under the proposed action because, in both cases, the total haddock TAC for the SAP would be the same. Economic benefits of the proposed alternative would be distributed more widely than for the No Action alternative. Under the No Action alternative, the allocation of GB cod to the Regular B DAS Pilot Program would not be reduced because there would be no GB cod incidental catch TAC established for the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. The transfer of benefits from one group of vessels to another would not occur. With respect to the measures to reduce derby behavior, the No Action alternative would result in greater economic benefits to the Sector vessels, but such benefits may be reduced by the potential costs that result from a derbystyle fishery (i.e., price depression, increased costs as a result of gear conflicts, and potential safety costs). The non-selected alternative would PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 have limited all participating vessels to taking no more than two trips into the SAP in a calendar week. This limitation potentially would have created an economic advantage for those vessels that are able to take longer, multi-day trips, and therefore would have tended to favor large vessels. Public Reporting Burden This proposed rule contains collection of information requirements subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that have been approved by OMB under OMB control numbers 0648–0501 and 0648–0502. The current expiration date for the reporting requirements under this collection is June 30, 2008. Public comment on this collection of information was solicited in the proposed rule to Framework Adjustment 40–A to the NE Multispecies FMP (69 FR 55388, September 14, 2004) and in the renewal of the collection of information for OMB control number 0648–0501 (69 FR 61344, October 18, 2004) and OMB control number 0648–0502 (69 FR 61346, October 18, 2004). The public’s reporting burden for the collection-ofinformation requirements includes the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection-of-information requirements. The approved reporting requirements for this proposed rule and the estimated average time for a response are as follows: 1. VMS purchase and installation, OMB #0648–0501 (1 hr/response); 2. VMS proof of installation, OMB #0648–0501 (5 min/response); 3. Automated VMS polling of vessel position once per hour when fishing in the Regular B DAS pilot program, OMB #0648–0501 (5 sec/response); 4. Automated VMS polling of vessel position once per hour when fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, OMB #0648–0501 (5 sec/response); 5. SAP area and DAS use declaration via VMS prior to each trip into a SAP, OMB #0648–0501 (5 min/response); 6. Revised estimate of the area and DAS use declaration via VMS prior to each trip into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, OMB #0648–0501 (5 min/response); 7. Revised estimate of the notice requirements for observer deployment prior to every trip into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, OMB #0648–0202 (2 min/response); E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM 18JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 136 / Monday, July 18, 2005 / Proposed Rules 8. Daily electronic catch and discard reports of stocks of concern when fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, OMB #0648–0502, (0.25 hr/ response). Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648 Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Dated: July 13, 2005. William T. Hogarth, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons stated in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 648.10, paragraphs (b)(3)(i)(C) and (b)(3)(i)(D) are revised to read as follows: § 648.10 DAS notification requirements. * * * * * (b) * * * (3) * * * (i) * * * (C) Fish under the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified at § 648.85(b)(6); or (D) Fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in § 648.85(b)(7). * * * * * 3. In § 648.14, paragraphs (a)(143), (a)(148), (c)(67), (c)(68), (c)(70), and (c)(73) through (c)(77) are revised to read as follows: § 648.14 Prohibitions. (a) * * * (143) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in § 648.85(b)(8), unless declared into the program in accordance with § 648.85(b)(8)(v)(D). * * * * * (148) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./ Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in § 648.85(b)(8), in the area specified in § 648.85(b)(8)(ii), during the season specified in § 648.85(b)(8)(iv), VerDate jul<14>2003 15:10 Jul 15, 2005 Jkt 205001 fail to comply with the restrictions specified in § 648.85(b)(8)(v). * * * * * (c) * * * (67) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in § 648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the requirements and conditions specified in § 648.85(b)(7)(iv), and (b)(7)(v) or (b)(7)(vi), whichever is applicable. (68) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area specified in § 648.85(b)(7)(ii), fail to comply with the requirements and conditions specified in § 648.85(b)(7)(iv), and (b)(7)(v) or (b)(7) (vi), whichever is applicable. * * * * * (70) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in § 648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the DAS use restrictions specified in § 648.85(b)(7)(iv)(A), and (b)(7)(v)(A) or (b)(7)(vi)(A), whichever is applicable. * * * * * (73) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in § 648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the VMS declaration requirement specified in § 648.85(b)(7)(iv)(D). (74) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in § 648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the gear restrictions specified in § 648.85(b)(7)(iv)(E), and (b)(7)(v)(B) or (b)(7)(vi)(B), whichever is applicable. (75) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in § 648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the landing limits specified in § 648.85(b)(7)(iv)(H), and (b)(7)(v)(C) or (b)(7)(vi)(C), whichever is applicable. (76) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in § 648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the reporting requirement specified in § 648.85(b)(7)(v)(D) or (b)(7)(vi)(D), whichever is applicable. (77) Fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area specified in § 648.85(b)(7)(ii), if that area is closed as specified in § 648.85(b)(7)(iv)(I) or (b)(7)(vi)(F). * * * * * 4. In § 648.85, the introductory paragraph (a) and paragraphs (b)(5)(ii), (b)(7)(i), (b)(7)(iii), (b)(7)(iv), (b)(7)(v), (b)(8)(v)(A)(2), (b)(8)(v)(A)(3), (b)(8)(v)(B), (b)(8)(v)(C), (b)(8)(v)(E), (b)(8)(v)(H), and (b)(8)(v)(L) are revised, and paragraph (b)(7)(vi) is added to read as follows: § 648.85 Special management programs. (a) U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding. No NE multispecies fishing vessel, or person on such vessel, may enter, fish in, or be in the U.S./ Canada Resource Sharing PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 41193 Understanding Management Areas (U.S./Canada Management Areas), as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, unless the vessel is fishing in accordance with the restrictions and conditions of this section. These restrictions do not preclude fishing under an approved Special Access Program specified under paragraph (b) of this section. * * * * * (b) * * * (5) * * * (ii) GB cod. The incidental TAC for GB cod specified in this paragraph (b)(5), shall be subdivided as follows: 50 percent to the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(6) of this section; 16 percent to the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, described in paragraph (b)(7) of this section; and 34 percent to the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(8) of this section. * * * * * (7) * * * (i) Eligibility. Vessels issued a valid limited access NE multispecies DAS permit are eligible to participate in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, and may fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area, as described in paragraph (b)(7)(ii) of this section, for the season specified in paragraph (b)(7)(iii) of this section, provided such vessels comply with the requirements of this section, and provided the SAP is not closed according to the provisions specified under paragraphs (b)(7)(iv)(I) or (b)(7)(vi)(F) of this section. Copies of a chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator upon request. * * * * * (iii) Season. The overall season for the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP is October 1 through December 31, which is divided into two participation periods, one for Sector and one for nonSector vessels. For the 2005 fishing year, the only participation period in which eligible Sector vessels may fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP is from October 1 through November 15. For the 2005 fishing year, the only participation period in which eligible non-Sector vessels may fish in the SAP is from November 16 through December 31. For the 2006 fishing year and beyond, these participation periods shall alternate between Sector and non-Sector vessels such that, in fishing year 2006, the participation period for non-Sector vessels is October 1 through November 15 and the participation period for Sector vessels is November 16 through December 31. The Regional Administrator may adjust the start date E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM 18JYP1 41194 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 136 / Monday, July 18, 2005 / Proposed Rules of the second participation period prior to November 16 if the haddock TAC for the first participation period specified in paragraph (b)(7)(iv)(G) of this section is harvested prior to November 15. (iv) General program restrictions. General program restrictions specified in this paragraph (b)(7)(iv) apply to all eligible vessels as specified in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section. Further program restrictions specific to Sector and nonSector vessels are specified in paragraphs (b)(7)(iii), (v), and (vi) of this section. (A) DAS use restrictions. A vessel fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may not initiate a DAS flip. A vessel is prohibited from fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP while making a trip under the Regular B DAS Pilot Program described under paragraph (b)(6) of this section. (B) VMS requirement. An eligible NE multispecies DAS vessel fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in this paragraph (b)(7) must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§ 648.9 and 648.10. (C) Observer notifications. To be eligible to participate in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, a vessel must notify the NMFS Observer Program by September 1 of its intent to participate in that year. This notification need not include specific information about the date of the trip. For the purposes of selecting vessels for observer deployment, a vessel must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; and date, time, and port of departure at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of any trip that it declares into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, as required in paragraph (b)(7)(iv)(D) of this section, and in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator. (D) VMS declaration. Prior to departure from port, a vessel intending to participate in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP must declare into the SAP via VMS, and indicate the type of DAS that it intends to fish. A vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may catch fish only on a declared trip in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Area described under paragraph (b)(7)(ii) of this section. (E) Gear restrictions. A vessel declared into and fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may fish with and possess on board demersal longline gear or tub trawl gear only, unless further restricted as specified under paragraph (b)(7)(v)(A) of this section. VerDate jul<14>2003 15:10 Jul 15, 2005 Jkt 205001 (F) Haddock TAC. The maximum total amount of haddock that may be caught (landings and discards) in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area in any fishing year is 1,000 mt. The maximum amount of haddock that may be caught is divided between the two participation periods as follows: 500 mt for the October 1 - November 15 participation period, and 500 mt for the November 16 - December 31 participation period, as specified in paragraph (b)(7)(iii) of this section. The Regional Administrator may adjust the 500–mt quota for the second participation period to account for under- or over-harvest of the 500–mt haddock quota (landings and discards) that occurred in the first participation period, not to exceed the overall haddock TAC specified in this paragraph (b)(7)(iv)(F). (G) Trip restrictions. A vessel is prohibited from deploying fishing gear or catching fish outside of the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area on the same fishing trip on which it is declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. (H) Landing limits. For all eligible vessels declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP described in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section, landing limits for NE multispecies other than cod, which are specified at paragraphs (b)(7)(v)(C) and (b)(7)(vi)(C) of this section, are as specified at § 648.86. (I) Mandatory closure of CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area. When the Regional Administrator projects that the haddock TAC specified in paragraph (b)(7)(iv)(G) of this section has been caught, NMFS shall close, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area to all eligible vessels as specified in paragraph (b)(7)(ii) of this section. (v) Sector vessel program restrictions. In addition to the general program restrictions specified at paragraph (b)(7)(iv) of this section, the restrictions specified in this paragraph (b)(7)(v) apply only to Sector vessels declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. (A) DAS use restrictions. Sector vessels fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may use Category A, Regular B, or Reserve B DAS, in accordance with § 648.82(d). (B) Gear restrictions. A vessel enrolled in the Sector is subject to the gear requirements of the Sector Operations Plan as approved under § 648.87(d). (C) Landing limits. A Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP described in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section is subject to the cod landing limit in effect under the PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Sector’s Operations Plan as approved under § 648.87(d). (D) Reporting requirements. The owner or operator of a Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP must submit reports to the Sector Manager, with instructions to be provided by the Sector Manager, for each day fished in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area. The Sector Manager will provide daily reports to NMFS, including at least the following information: Total weight (lb/kg) of cod and haddock kept, and total weight (lb/ kg) of cod and haddock discarded. (E) GB cod incidental catch TAC. There is no GB cod incidental catch TAC specified for Sector vessels declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. All cod caught by Sector vessels fishing in the SAP count toward the Sector’s annual GB cod TAC, specified in § 648.87(d)(1)(iii). (vi) Non-Sector vessel program restrictions. In addition to the general program restrictions specified at paragraph (b)(7(iv) of this section, the restrictions specified in this paragraph (b)(7)(vi) apply only to non-Sector vessels declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. (A) DAS use restrictions. Non-Sector vessels fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may use Regular B or Reserve B DAS, in accordance with § 648.82(d)(2)(i)(A) and (d)(2)(ii)(A). A non-Sector vessel is prohibited from using A DAS when declared into the SAP. (B) Gear restrictions. A non-Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP is exempt from the maximum number of hooks restriction specified in § 648.80(a)(4)(v). (C) Landing limits. A non-Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP described in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section may not land, fish for, or possess on board more than 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) of cod per trip. A non-Sector vessel is not permitted to discard legal-sized cod prior to reaching the landing limit, and is required to end its trip if the cod trip limit is achieved or exceeded. (D) Reporting requirements. The owner or operator of a non-Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP must submit reports via VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area. The reports must be submitted in 24–hr intervals for each day, beginning at 0000 hr and ending at 2400 hr. The reports must be submitted by 0900 hr of the following day. The reports must include at least the following information: Total E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM 18JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 136 / Monday, July 18, 2005 / Proposed Rules weight (lb/kg) of cod and haddock kept, and total weight (lb/kg) of cod and haddock discarded. (E) GB cod incidental catch TAC. The maximum amount of GB cod (landings and discards) that may be cumulatively caught by non-Sector vessels from the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area in a fishing year is the amount specified under paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section. (F) Mandatory closure of CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area due to catch of GB cod incidental catch TAC. When the Regional Administrator projects that the GB cod incidental catch TAC specified in paragraph (b)(7)(vi)(F) of this section has been caught, NMFS shall close, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area to all non-Sector fishing vessels. * * * * * (8) * * * (v) * * * (A) * * * (2) A vessel that is declared into the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(8)(ii) of this section, may catch fish, on the same trip, in the Eastern U.S./ Canada Haddock SAP Area and in the CA II Yellowtail Flounder Access Area, described in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, under either a Category A DAS or a Category B DAS. (3) A vessel may choose, on the same trip, to catch fish in either/both the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program and the CA II Yellowtail Flounder Access Area, and in that VerDate jul<14>2003 15:10 Jul 15, 2005 Jkt 205001 portion of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area described in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section that lies outside of these two SAPs, provided the vessel fishes under a Category A DAS and abides by the VMS restrictions of paragraph (b)(8)(v)(D) of this section. * * * * * (B) VMS requirement. A NE multispecies DAS vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program specified under paragraph (b)(8)(ii) of this section, must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in §§ 648.9 and 648.10. (C) Observer notifications. For the purpose of selecting vessels for observer deployment, a vessel must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number for contact; areas to be fished; and date, time, and port of departure at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of any trip that it declares into the Eastern U.S./ Canada Haddock SAP Program specified in paragraph (b)(8)(ii) of this section, as required under paragraph (b)(8)(v)(D) of this section, and in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional Administrator. * * * * * (E) Gear restrictions. A NE multispecies vessel fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program must use one of the haddock separator trawl nets authorized for the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(A) of this section. PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 41195 No other type of fishing gear may be on the vessel when participating on a trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program, with the exception of a flounder net as described in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section, provided the flounder net is stowed in accordance with § 648.23(b). * * * * * (H) Incidental cod TAC. The maximum amount of GB cod (landings and discards) that may be caught when fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program in a fishing year, by vessels fishing under a Category B DAS, as authorized in paragraph (b)(8)(v)(A) of this section, is the amount specified in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(B) of this section. * * * * * (L) General closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area. The Regional Administrator, based upon information required under § 648.7, 648.9, 648.10, or 648.85, and any other relevant information may, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, close the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program for the duration of the season, if it is determined that continuation of the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program would undermine the achievement of the objectives of the FMP or the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program. * * * * * [FR Doc. 05–14091 Filed 7–15–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM 18JYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 136 (Monday, July 18, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 41189-41195]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-14091]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 050630174-5174-01; ID 062005B]
RIN 0648-AT08


Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast 
Multispecies Fishery; Framework Adjustment 41

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS proposes regulations to implement Framework Adjustment 41 
(FW 41) to the NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). FW 41 
management measures were developed by the New England Fishery 
Management Council (Council) to expand participation in the existing 
Closed Area (CA) I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program (SAP) to 
all Northeast (NE) multispecies limited access Days-at Sea (DAS) 
vessels fishing with hook gear. The proposed action would also modify 
some of the management measures currently applicable to the Georges 
Bank (GB) Cod Hook Sector (Sector) vessels when declared into the CA I 
Hook Gear Haddock SAP by including modification of the season, haddock 
total allowable catch (TAC), and restricting vessels to fishing only 
inside the SAP area on trips declared into the SAP. In addition, NMFS 
proposes to clarify regulations pertaining to fishing in the Eastern 
U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program Area. Specifically, during the 
time the SAP is open, eligible vessels could choose to fish in the SAP, 
and fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area west of CA II. This action is 
intended to mitigate the economic and social impacts resulting from 
Amendment 13 to the FMP and to meet the conservation and management 
requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

DATES: Comments must be received by August 17, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
     E-mail: FW41@NOAA.gov. Include in the subject line the 
following: Comments on the Proposed Rule for Groundfish Framework 41.
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:/www.regulations.gov.
     Mail: Paper, disk, or CD-ROM comments should be sent to 
Patricia A. Kurkul, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries 
Service, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of 
the envelope ``Comments on the Proposed Rule for Groundfish Framework 
41.''
     Fax: (978) 281-9135.
    Copies of FW 41, its Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), the Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), and the Environmental 
Assessment (EA) are available from Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, 
New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, The Tannery B 
Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. A summary of the IRFA is provided in the 
Classification section of this proposed rule.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Hooker, Fishery Policy Analyst, 
phone: (978) 281-9220, fax: (978) 281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    In order to increase the fishing effort on, and yield from healthy 
stocks, Amendment 13 to the FMP created a structure that allows for 
development of programs to target healthy fish stocks using Category B 
DAS. Amendment 13 included four specific SAPs, only two of which were 
approved and implemented on May 1, 2004. The regulations implementing 
FW 40-A (69 FR 67780, November 19, 2004) also created opportunities to 
use Category B DAS, including the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. However, 
due to insufficient controls on GB cod mortality, which could have led 
to undermining fishing mortality objectives necessary to end 
overfishing and rebuild the GB cod stock, the measures for non-Sector 
vessels proposed in FW 40-A were found to be inconsistent with National 
Standard 1 and section 303(a)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and 
were thus disapproved. Specifically, the portion of the program 
pertaining to non-Sector vessels proposed to: Allow participants to 
fish in the SAP area using either an A or B DAS; count cod catch 
against the SAP's incidental cod TAC only when fishing on a B DAS; 
allow participants to fish both inside and outside the SAP area on the 
same trip under different gear restrictions; and allow non-DAS 
groundfish vessels to participate in the SAP. In contrast, regulations 
pertaining to the Sector vessels were relatively straightforward in 
that all cod caught by Sector vessels count toward the Sector's 
allocation of GB cod, and the same gear restrictions apply both inside 
and outside of the SAP area on a single trip. The purpose of this 
action is to revise the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP rules to allow 
participation by non-Sector vessels. This special access program would 
help mitigate the economic and social impacts caused by the fishing 
effort reductions that resulted from implementation of Amendment 13.
    FW 41 would provide access to the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP for 
all limited access NE multispecies DAS permit holders, including both 
Sector and non-Sector vessels. Working together, Sector and non-Sector 
vessel owners who plan to participate in the program have suggested 
measures to minimize the potential for a derby (race to catch limited 
quota) fishery. The Council, in FW 41, has specified that

[[Page 41190]]

future discussions of measures to minimize the potential of a derby in 
the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP would not necessarily be based on these 
measures, nor would these proposed measures necessarily constitute a 
historical basis for future allocation decisions.

Proposed Measures

CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP

    Non-Sector Vessels
    FW 41 proposes to modify the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP by allowing 
access to this SAP when fishing under a B DAS (either Regular B or 
Reserve B) for vessels with a NE multispecies limited access DAS 
permit, provided the vessel fishes with demersal longline or tub trawl 
gear. In order to minimize the potential of a derby fishery, 
participation in the SAP for non-Sector vessels would be restricted to 
a participation period of November 16 - December 31 for the 2005 
fishing year, unless otherwise notified by NMFS. The participation 
period would alternate each year between Sector and non-Sector 
participants such that in fishing year 2006 non-Sector vessels would 
fish during a participation period of October 1 - November 15. The 
currently approved haddock TAC of 1,000 mt for the SAP would be divided 
evenly into two quota periods such that the haddock TAC for each quota 
period would be 500 mt. The SAP would close to all participants when 
the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) 
projects that the haddock TAC (landings and discards) has been caught. 
The Regional Administrator may also adjust the start of the second 
participation period if the 500-mt haddock quota for the first 
participation period is harvested prior to November 15. Additionally, 
the Regional Administrator may adjust the 500-mt quota for the second 
participation period to account for under- or over-harvest of the 500-
mt haddock quota (landings and discards) that occurred in the first 
participation period. Vessels fishing on a trip in which they have 
declared into the Regular B DAS Pilot Program would be prohibited from 
fishing in this SAP on the same trip.
    In order to ensure that any catch of GB cod taken while using a 
Category B DAS would not threaten mortality objectives of Amendment 13, 
non-Sector vessels in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP would be allocated 
a portion of the GB cod incidental catch TAC. Under this proposed rule, 
the GB cod incidental catch TACs would be 50 percent, 34 percent, and 
16 percent for the Regular B DAS Pilot Program, the Eastern U.S./Canada 
SAP, and the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, respectively. Additionally, 
for the 2005 fishing year the Regional Administrator may estimate any 
uncaught GB cod incidental catch TAC from the first quarter of the 
Regular B DAS Pilot Program and add that amount to the second quarter 
GB cod incidental catch TAC for the Regular B DAS Pilot Program. This 
action is necessary as the effective date for FW 41, if approved, would 
occur after the start of the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP, and the 
first period for the Regular B DAS Pilot Program (i.e., May 1, 2005). 
This would leave the second period of the Regular B DAS Pilot Program 
to be reduced by 15.5 mt and allocated to the CA I Hook Gear Haddock 
SAP. This figure, 15.5 mt, is equivalent to 16 percent of the GB cod 
incidental catch TAC at the beginning of the 2005 fishing year (97 mt). 
This in-season adjustment would only be made for the GB cod incidental 
catch TAC in the 2005 fishing year.
    In order to enable the NMFS Observer Program to administer the 
deployment of observers in the SAP, a vessel intending to participate 
in this SAP would be required to notify NMFS by September 1 of its 
intention to fish in the program that year. This provision was approved 
for Sector vessels under FW 40-A and would be extended to non-Sector 
vessels in FW 41. This information is intended to provide the NMFS 
Observer Program with an estimate of the total number of vessels that 
intend to participate in the SAP and to plan observer coverage 
accordingly. If a vessel does not notify the NMFS Observer Program of 
its intent to participate in the SAP by the required date, it would not 
be allowed to participate in the SAP during that fishing year. Vessels 
would be required to notify the NMFS Observer Program by telephone at 
least 72 hours prior to leaving on a trip to the SAP, and would be 
required to provide the following information: Vessel name; contact 
name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number of 
contact; and date, time and port of departure. The Regional 
Administrator would retain the authority to close the CA I Hook Gear 
Haddock Access Area for the duration of the season if the level of 
observer coverage is insufficient to project whether continuation of 
the SAP would undermine the achievement of the objectives of the FMP or 
the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP.
    Non-Sector vessels participating in the SAP would be required to 
use Category B (either Regular B or Reserve B) DAS. Similar to the 
Sector vessels, all non-Sector vessels participating in this SAP would 
be required to be equipped with an approved Vessel Monitoring System 
(VMS). Vessels would be required to declare into the CA I Hook Gear 
Haddock SAP via VMS and specify whether Regular B DAS or Reserve B DAS 
would be used, prior to leaving port on a trip into the SAP. All non-
Sector vessels would be required to report their catches (landings and 
discards) of haddock and cod daily via VMS. Non-Sector vessels that 
have declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP would be prohibited 
from fishing both inside and outside the SAP area on the same trip and 
would be exempt from the current limitation on the number of hooks 
fished inside the SAP area. Non-Sector vessels would be subject to a 
cod possession and landing limit of 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) per trip. 
Vessels would not be permitted to discard legal-sized cod prior to 
reaching the catch limit, and would be required to end their trip if 
the cod trip limit is achieved or exceeded. There is no flipping 
provision proposed for this SAP (i.e., vessels may not switch from 
using Category B to Category A DAS on a trip). For species other than 
cod, non-Sector vessels would be required to comply with the possession 
and trip limit restrictions currently specified in the regulations. 
When the Regional Administrator projects that either the cod incidental 
catch TAC, or the haddock TAC (landings and discards) has been caught 
for the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, the SAP would close for the 
remainder of the fishing period.

Sector Vessels

    There are two proposed changes to the current provisions for Sector 
vessels participating in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. Under this 
action, Sector vessels that have declared into the CA I Hook Gear 
Haddock SAP would be prohibited from fishing both inside and outside 
the SAP area on the same trip, and Sector vessels would be restricted 
to a participation period of October 1 - November 15 in the 2005 
fishing year. For subsequent fishing years, starting in fishing year 
2006, the participation period would alternate each year between Sector 
and non-Sector participants so that in fishing year 2006, for example, 
Sector vessels would fish during a participation period of November 16 
- December 31. The purpose of the prohibition on fishing inside and 
outside of the SAP on the same fishing trip is to ensure proper 
accounting of where fish are caught and ensure the ability of the 
regulations to be enforced. The provision also would maintain equity 
between Sector and

[[Page 41191]]

non-Sector vessels participating in the SAP. Restricting access to the 
SAP to a specific period of time within the season is meant to minimize 
the potential of a derby fishery between Sector and non-Sector vessels. 
The current haddock TAC of 1,000 mt for the SAP would be divided evenly 
into two quota periods such that the haddock TAC for each quota period 
would be 500 mt. This action also proposes to remove the requirement 
that Sector vessels shall be required to pay for observer coverage if 
the Regional Administrator determines that funding for observers is 
inadequate to provide sufficient coverage. This requirement would be 
removed because it was determined that no additional regulations were 
necessary to ensure adequate observer coverage for Sector vessels. As 
stated previously, the Regional Administrator may adjust the start of 
the second quota period if the 500-mt haddock quota for the first quota 
period is harvested prior to November 15. Additionally, the Regional 
Administrator may adjust the 500-mt quota for the second quota period 
to account for under- or over-harvest of the 500-mt haddock quota 
(landings and discards) that occurred in the first quota period. Other 
provisions for Sector vessels fishing in the SAP would remain 
unchanged.
    Finally, current regulations pertaining to access to the Eastern 
U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program and the Eastern U.S./Canada 
Management Area would be clarified. Regulations at Sec.  648.85(a)(1) 
and (b)(8) allow fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Management Area, 
and allow fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area, 
respectively, and specify rules that pertain to each area. According to 
these regulations, during the time the SAP is open, eligible vessels 
may choose to fish in the SAP, and to fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada 
Area west of CA II. In contrast to these regulations, the regulations 
at Sec.  648.14(a)(143) and (a)(148) could be broadly interpreted to 
prohibit fishing in any part of the SAP unless fishing under the SAP 
rules. The prohibitions were inadvertently written in a broad way that 
is inconsistent with Sec.  648.85(a)(1) and (b)(8) and the intent of NE 
Multispecies Framework Adjustment 40-A. These regulations would be 
clarified through this proposed action.

Classification

    At this time, NMFS has not determined that the framework adjustment 
(FW 41) that this proposed rule would implement is consistent with the 
national standards of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable 
laws. NMFS, in making that determination, will take into account the 
data, views, and comments received during the comment period.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
the purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 603, an IRFA has been prepared, which 
describes the economic impacts that this proposed rule, if adopted, 
would have on small entities. A description of the reasons why this 
action is being considered, as well as the objectives of and legal 
basis for this proposed rule is found in the preamble to this document. 
There are no Federal rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict 
with the proposed rule. The proposed action would modify the existing 
specification of GB cod incidental catch TACs to the various programs 
that have such TACs, modify the management measures for the CA I Hook 
Gear Haddock SAP to allow participation of non-Sector vessels, and 
implement measures to minimize potential derby fishing behavior. 
Current regulations under the FMP allow the development of such 
measures, provided they are consistent with the FMP objectives.
    The proposed alternative to modify the GB cod incidental TACs and 
provide non-Sector vessel access to the SAP was compared to the No 
Action alternative. The proposed alternative to minimize derby fishing 
behavior was compared with both the No Action alternative and an 
alternative that would limit vessels to starting only two trips into 
the SAP per week.
    The No Action alternative would result in the continuation of the 
management measures implemented by FW 40-A. Only Sector vessels would 
be eligible to fish in the SAP, no incidental GB cod TAC would be 
allocated to the SAP, and there would be no measures to minimize derby 
fishing behavior.

Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to which this 
Proposed Rule would Apply

    The proposed action would implement changes with the potential to 
affect any vessel holding a NE multispecies limited access permit (with 
an allocation of DAS; approximately 1,000 vessels). It is very likely, 
however, that the proposed measures would impact substantially less 
than the total number of such permit holders, because the SAP requires 
participants to use only hook gear, there are relatively few vessels 
that fish with hook gear, and it is not likely that many vessel owners 
would switch from using another type of fishing gear to hook gear. 
Based on this, the EA estimates that there would be about 60 vessels in 
total (Sector and non-Sector) that would participate in this SAP.
    The Small Business Administration (SBA) size standard for small 
commercial fishing entities is $ 3.5 million in gross receipts and 
would apply to NE multispecies limited access permit holders. Data 
analyzed for Amendment 13 indicated that the maximum gross receipts for 
any single commercial fishing vessel in the NE multispecies fishery for 
the period 1998 to 2001 was $ 1.3 million. For this reason, each vessel 
in this analysis is treated as a single entity for purposes of size 
determination and impact assessment. All commercial fishing entities 
would fall under the SBA size standard for small commercial fishing 
entities, and there would be no disproportionate impacts between small 
and large entities. For the purposes of Executive Order 12866, the 
proposed action would not be considered significant, because the annual 
effect on the economy would not meet the threshold criteria of $100 
million and it would not have an adverse material affect on any sector 
of the economy, productivity, jobs, the environment, public health, or 
safety, or state, local, or tribal governments or communities.

Economic Impacts of this Proposed Action

    The proposed action would reduce the allocation of GB cod to the 
Regular B DAS Pilot Program in order to establish a GB cod incidental 
catch TAC for the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP. This reallocation of 
incidental TAC could result in increased economic benefits if the SAP 
results in a higher yield at lower cost than the Regular B DAS Pilot 
Program. However, unless the same vessels are the beneficiaries of the 
reallocation, allowing participation by non-Sector vessels in this SAP 
would result in a transfer of benefits from one group of vessels to 
another. The magnitude of the impacts will depend upon the amount of GB 
cod incidental TAC that is harvested under the Regular B DAS Pilot 
Program and the timing of the implementation of the SAP measures. There 
are minimal data to determine the specific impacts of the reallocation 
on the Regular B DAS Pilot Program or the fishery as a whole. During 
the first quarter of the 2005 fishing year the Regular B DAS Pilot 
Program caught a substantial portion of the GB cod incidental catch 
TAC. This suggests that such a reallocation may limit the Regular B DAS 
Pilot Program, however, the level of incidental catch during the CA I 
Hook Gear Haddock SAP season may be different.

[[Page 41192]]

    The proposed action would implement measures that would allow non-
Sector vessels to use hook gear to target haddock in the SAP. In the 
short term, this opportunity may be important to the profitability of 
participating vessels and would provide mitigation of the short-term 
adverse effects of the DAS reductions implemented by Amendment 13. The 
beneficiaries of the proposed action would be limited to individuals 
that already use longline gear and individuals that could profitably 
convert to the use of bottom longline gear. Based upon an estimate of 
the number of vessels that would join the Sector in 2005, and empirical 
information, the EA estimates that 40 Sector vessels and 20 non-Sector 
vessels would participate in the SAP.
    Estimated total revenue for Sector and non-Sector participants is $ 
1.3 million and $ 0.6 million, respectively. Estimated surplus per 
vessel for Sector and non-Sector participants is $ 19,300 and $ 16,600, 
respectively. These returns are based upon the assumptions of 5,000 lb 
(2,268 kg) of haddock kept per trip, an incidental cod catch TAC of 14 
mt, a total of 441 total trips into the SAP, and the implementation of 
measures to mitigate derby fishing behavior.
    The benefits that would accrue to Sector and non-Sector vessels 
depend in part on whether measures to prevent a derby are implemented. 
Dividing the SAP into two time periods and limiting fishing in each 
period to either Sector or non-Sector vessels reduces benefits to 
Sector vessels, but provides benefits to non-Sector vessels at the same 
level. Without measures to minimize the potential of derby fishing, the 
estimated surplus per participating Sector vessel would be $29,300 
because the Sector vessels would not be limited to a maximum haddock 
catch of 500 mt. Sector participants would be foregoing potential 
economic gains in order to minimize derby fishing behavior and 
competition for the haddock TAC. The economic analysis also noted that 
there are potential costs of derby fishing, such as price depression, 
loss of gear through gear conflicts, and the costs of unsafe fishing 
practices.
    In contrast, the non-Sector vessels may be limited by the GB cod 
incidental catch TAC, with or without measures to address derby 
fishing. In other words, the constraining factor on the catch of non-
Sector vessels may be the GB cod incidental catch TAC, and not the 
haddock TAC. If non-Sector participants are able to reduce incidental 
catches of cod and take all of the haddock available to them, the 
estimated net return per vessel would double.
    Dividing the season into two periods has other implications due to 
the seasonal variations in the availability and price of haddock. Based 
upon experimental data, catch rates of haddock may be highest in the 
beginning of the SAP season and subsequently decline, while average 
haddock prices may increase over the SAP season. The increase in 
average price may mitigate the effect of a reduced catch rate in the 
latter part of the SAP season.
    It is likely that most or all participating vessels will experience 
positive economic results. The potential economic benefits of the 
proposed measures would represent only a small increase in the total 
value of the Northeast region groundfish sales, but because the 
landings would be concentrated on Cape Cod, MA (due to the location of 
Sector members), the SAP could significantly increase landings in Cape 
Cod over fishing year 2003 levels. It is unknown where the economic 
benefits that result from the participation of non-Sector vessels will 
accrue.

Economic Impacts of Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    Under the No Action alternative, the regulations for the CA I Hook 
Gear Haddock SAP would be unchanged, and the only vessels that could 
participate in the SAP would be members of the Sector. The economic 
benefits for Sector vessels would be greater under the No Action 
alternative, but no benefits would accrue to vessels that are not 
members of the Sector. The net amount of benefits under the No Action 
alternative would be similar to the amount of economic benefits under 
the proposed action because, in both cases, the total haddock TAC for 
the SAP would be the same. Economic benefits of the proposed 
alternative would be distributed more widely than for the No Action 
alternative.
    Under the No Action alternative, the allocation of GB cod to the 
Regular B DAS Pilot Program would not be reduced because there would be 
no GB cod incidental catch TAC established for the CA I Hook Gear 
Haddock SAP. The transfer of benefits from one group of vessels to 
another would not occur.
    With respect to the measures to reduce derby behavior, the No 
Action alternative would result in greater economic benefits to the 
Sector vessels, but such benefits may be reduced by the potential costs 
that result from a derby-style fishery (i.e., price depression, 
increased costs as a result of gear conflicts, and potential safety 
costs). The non-selected alternative would have limited all 
participating vessels to taking no more than two trips into the SAP in 
a calendar week. This limitation potentially would have created an 
economic advantage for those vessels that are able to take longer, 
multi-day trips, and therefore would have tended to favor large 
vessels.

Public Reporting Burden

    This proposed rule contains collection of information requirements 
subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that have been approved 
by OMB under OMB control numbers 0648-0501 and 0648-0502. The current 
expiration date for the reporting requirements under this collection is 
June 30, 2008. Public comment on this collection of information was 
solicited in the proposed rule to Framework Adjustment 40-A to the NE 
Multispecies FMP (69 FR 55388, September 14, 2004) and in the renewal 
of the collection of information for OMB control number 0648-0501 (69 
FR 61344, October 18, 2004) and OMB control number 0648-0502 (69 FR 
61346, October 18, 2004). The public's reporting burden for the 
collection-of-information requirements includes the time for reviewing 
instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection-of-information requirements.
    The approved reporting requirements for this proposed rule and the 
estimated average time for a response are as follows:
    1. VMS purchase and installation, OMB 0648-0501 (1 hr/
response);
    2. VMS proof of installation, OMB 0648-0501 (5 min/
response);
    3. Automated VMS polling of vessel position once per hour when 
fishing in the Regular B DAS pilot program, OMB 0648-0501 (5 
sec/response);
    4. Automated VMS polling of vessel position once per hour when 
fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, OMB 0648-0501 (5 
sec/response);
    5. SAP area and DAS use declaration via VMS prior to each trip into 
a SAP, OMB 0648-0501 (5 min/response);
    6. Revised estimate of the area and DAS use declaration via VMS 
prior to each trip into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, OMB 
0648-0501 (5 min/response);
    7. Revised estimate of the notice requirements for observer 
deployment prior to every trip into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, OMB 
0648-0202 (2 min/response);

[[Page 41193]]

    8. Daily electronic catch and discard reports of stocks of concern 
when fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, OMB 0648-0502, 
(0.25 hr/response).
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to a penalty for 
failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB control number.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: July 13, 2005.
William T. Hogarth,
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is proposed 
to be amended as follows:

PART 648--FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

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

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
    2. In Sec.  648.10, paragraphs (b)(3)(i)(C) and (b)(3)(i)(D) are 
revised to read as follows:


Sec.  648.10  DAS notification requirements.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (C) Fish under the Regular B DAS Pilot Program specified at Sec.  
648.85(b)(6); or
    (D) Fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in Sec.  
648.85(b)(7).
* * * * *
    3. In Sec.  648.14, paragraphs (a)(143), (a)(148), (c)(67), 
(c)(68), (c)(70), and (c)(73) through (c)(77) are revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  648.14  Prohibitions.

    (a) * * *
    (143) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, fish in the Eastern 
U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in Sec.  648.85(b)(8), 
unless declared into the program in accordance with Sec.  
648.85(b)(8)(v)(D).
* * * * *
    (148) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./
Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program specified in Sec.  648.85(b)(8), in 
the area specified in Sec.  648.85(b)(8)(ii), during the season 
specified in Sec.  648.85(b)(8)(iv), fail to comply with the 
restrictions specified in Sec.  648.85(b)(8)(v).
* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (67) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in 
Sec.  648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the requirements and conditions 
specified in Sec.  648.85(b)(7)(iv), and (b)(7)(v) or (b)(7)(vi), 
whichever is applicable.
    (68) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area specified 
in Sec.  648.85(b)(7)(ii), fail to comply with the requirements and 
conditions specified in Sec.  648.85(b)(7)(iv), and (b)(7)(v) or (b)(7) 
(vi), whichever is applicable.
* * * * *
    (70) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in 
Sec.  648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the DAS use restrictions 
specified in Sec.  648.85(b)(7)(iv)(A), and (b)(7)(v)(A) or 
(b)(7)(vi)(A), whichever is applicable.
* * * * *
    (73) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in 
Sec.  648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the VMS declaration requirement 
specified in Sec.  648.85(b)(7)(iv)(D).
    (74) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in 
Sec.  648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the gear restrictions specified 
in Sec.  648.85(b)(7)(iv)(E), and (b)(7)(v)(B) or (b)(7)(vi)(B), 
whichever is applicable.
    (75) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in 
Sec.  648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the landing limits specified in 
Sec.  648.85(b)(7)(iv)(H), and (b)(7)(v)(C) or (b)(7)(vi)(C), whichever 
is applicable.
    (76) If fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in 
Sec.  648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the reporting requirement 
specified in Sec.  648.85(b)(7)(v)(D) or (b)(7)(vi)(D), whichever is 
applicable.
    (77) Fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area specified in 
Sec.  648.85(b)(7)(ii), if that area is closed as specified in Sec.  
648.85(b)(7)(iv)(I) or (b)(7)(vi)(F).
* * * * *
    4. In Sec.  648.85, the introductory paragraph (a) and paragraphs 
(b)(5)(ii), (b)(7)(i), (b)(7)(iii), (b)(7)(iv), (b)(7)(v), 
(b)(8)(v)(A)(2), (b)(8)(v)(A)(3), (b)(8)(v)(B), (b)(8)(v)(C), 
(b)(8)(v)(E), (b)(8)(v)(H), and (b)(8)(v)(L) are revised, and paragraph 
(b)(7)(vi) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  648.85  Special management programs.

    (a) U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding. No NE multispecies 
fishing vessel, or person on such vessel, may enter, fish in, or be in 
the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding Management Areas (U.S./
Canada Management Areas), as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section, unless the vessel is fishing in accordance with the 
restrictions and conditions of this section. These restrictions do not 
preclude fishing under an approved Special Access Program specified 
under paragraph (b) of this section.
* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (5) * * *
    (ii) GB cod. The incidental TAC for GB cod specified in this 
paragraph (b)(5), shall be subdivided as follows: 50 percent to the 
Regular B DAS Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(6) of this 
section; 16 percent to the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, described in 
paragraph (b)(7) of this section; and 34 percent to the Eastern U.S./
Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(8) of this 
section.
* * * * *
    (7) * * *
    (i) Eligibility. Vessels issued a valid limited access NE 
multispecies DAS permit are eligible to participate in the CA I Hook 
Gear Haddock SAP, and may fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access 
Area, as described in paragraph (b)(7)(ii) of this section, for the 
season specified in paragraph (b)(7)(iii) of this section, provided 
such vessels comply with the requirements of this section, and provided 
the SAP is not closed according to the provisions specified under 
paragraphs (b)(7)(iv)(I) or (b)(7)(vi)(F) of this section. Copies of a 
chart depicting this area are available from the Regional Administrator 
upon request.
* * * * *
    (iii) Season. The overall season for the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP 
is October 1 through December 31, which is divided into two 
participation periods, one for Sector and one for non-Sector vessels. 
For the 2005 fishing year, the only participation period in which 
eligible Sector vessels may fish in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP is 
from October 1 through November 15. For the 2005 fishing year, the only 
participation period in which eligible non-Sector vessels may fish in 
the SAP is from November 16 through December 31. For the 2006 fishing 
year and beyond, these participation periods shall alternate between 
Sector and non-Sector vessels such that, in fishing year 2006, the 
participation period for non-Sector vessels is October 1 through 
November 15 and the participation period for Sector vessels is November 
16 through December 31. The Regional Administrator may adjust the start 
date

[[Page 41194]]

of the second participation period prior to November 16 if the haddock 
TAC for the first participation period specified in paragraph 
(b)(7)(iv)(G) of this section is harvested prior to November 15.
    (iv) General program restrictions. General program restrictions 
specified in this paragraph (b)(7)(iv) apply to all eligible vessels as 
specified in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section. Further program 
restrictions specific to Sector and non-Sector vessels are specified in 
paragraphs (b)(7)(iii), (v), and (vi) of this section.
    (A) DAS use restrictions. A vessel fishing in the CA I Hook Gear 
Haddock SAP may not initiate a DAS flip. A vessel is prohibited from 
fishing in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP while making a trip under the 
Regular B DAS Pilot Program described under paragraph (b)(6) of this 
section.
    (B) VMS requirement. An eligible NE multispecies DAS vessel fishing 
in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in this paragraph (b)(7) 
must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the 
minimum performance criteria specified in Sec. Sec.  648.9 and 648.10.
    (C) Observer notifications. To be eligible to participate in the CA 
I Hook Gear Haddock SAP, a vessel must notify the NMFS Observer Program 
by September 1 of its intent to participate in that year. This 
notification need not include specific information about the date of 
the trip. For the purposes of selecting vessels for observer 
deployment, a vessel must provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name; 
contact name for coordination of observer deployment; telephone number 
for contact; and date, time, and port of departure at least 72 hours 
prior to the beginning of any trip that it declares into the CA I Hook 
Gear Haddock SAP, as required in paragraph (b)(7)(iv)(D) of this 
section, and in accordance with instructions provided by the Regional 
Administrator.
    (D) VMS declaration. Prior to departure from port, a vessel 
intending to participate in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP must declare 
into the SAP via VMS, and indicate the type of DAS that it intends to 
fish. A vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may catch 
fish only on a declared trip in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Special 
Access Area described under paragraph (b)(7)(ii) of this section.
    (E) Gear restrictions. A vessel declared into and fishing in the CA 
I Hook Gear Haddock SAP may fish with and possess on board demersal 
longline gear or tub trawl gear only, unless further restricted as 
specified under paragraph (b)(7)(v)(A) of this section.
    (F) Haddock TAC. The maximum total amount of haddock that may be 
caught (landings and discards) in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area 
in any fishing year is 1,000 mt. The maximum amount of haddock that may 
be caught is divided between the two participation periods as follows: 
500 mt for the October 1 - November 15 participation period, and 500 mt 
for the November 16 - December 31 participation period, as specified in 
paragraph (b)(7)(iii) of this section. The Regional Administrator may 
adjust the 500-mt quota for the second participation period to account 
for under- or over-harvest of the 500-mt haddock quota (landings and 
discards) that occurred in the first participation period, not to 
exceed the overall haddock TAC specified in this paragraph 
(b)(7)(iv)(F).
    (G) Trip restrictions. A vessel is prohibited from deploying 
fishing gear or catching fish outside of the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP 
Area on the same fishing trip on which it is declared into the CA I 
Hook Gear Haddock SAP.
    (H) Landing limits. For all eligible vessels declared into the CA I 
Hook Gear Haddock SAP described in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section, 
landing limits for NE multispecies other than cod, which are specified 
at paragraphs (b)(7)(v)(C) and (b)(7)(vi)(C) of this section, are as 
specified at Sec.  648.86.
    (I) Mandatory closure of CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area. When 
the Regional Administrator projects that the haddock TAC specified in 
paragraph (b)(7)(iv)(G) of this section has been caught, NMFS shall 
close, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure 
Act, the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area to all eligible vessels as 
specified in paragraph (b)(7)(ii) of this section.
    (v) Sector vessel program restrictions. In addition to the general 
program restrictions specified at paragraph (b)(7)(iv) of this section, 
the restrictions specified in this paragraph (b)(7)(v) apply only to 
Sector vessels declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP.
    (A) DAS use restrictions. Sector vessels fishing in the CA I Hook 
Gear Haddock SAP may use Category A, Regular B, or Reserve B DAS, in 
accordance with Sec.  648.82(d).
    (B) Gear restrictions. A vessel enrolled in the Sector is subject 
to the gear requirements of the Sector Operations Plan as approved 
under Sec.  648.87(d).
    (C) Landing limits. A Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook 
Gear Haddock SAP described in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section is 
subject to the cod landing limit in effect under the Sector's 
Operations Plan as approved under Sec.  648.87(d).
    (D) Reporting requirements. The owner or operator of a Sector 
vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP must submit reports 
to the Sector Manager, with instructions to be provided by the Sector 
Manager, for each day fished in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP Area. 
The Sector Manager will provide daily reports to NMFS, including at 
least the following information: Total weight (lb/kg) of cod and 
haddock kept, and total weight (lb/kg) of cod and haddock discarded.
    (E) GB cod incidental catch TAC. There is no GB cod incidental 
catch TAC specified for Sector vessels declared into the CA I Hook Gear 
Haddock SAP. All cod caught by Sector vessels fishing in the SAP count 
toward the Sector's annual GB cod TAC, specified in Sec.  
648.87(d)(1)(iii).
    (vi) Non-Sector vessel program restrictions. In addition to the 
general program restrictions specified at paragraph (b)(7(iv) of this 
section, the restrictions specified in this paragraph (b)(7)(vi) apply 
only to non-Sector vessels declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock 
SAP.
    (A) DAS use restrictions. Non-Sector vessels fishing in the CA I 
Hook Gear Haddock SAP may use Regular B or Reserve B DAS, in accordance 
with Sec.  648.82(d)(2)(i)(A) and (d)(2)(ii)(A). A non-Sector vessel is 
prohibited from using A DAS when declared into the SAP.
    (B) Gear restrictions. A non-Sector vessel declared into the CA I 
Hook Gear Haddock SAP is exempt from the maximum number of hooks 
restriction specified in Sec.  648.80(a)(4)(v).
    (C) Landing limits. A non-Sector vessel declared into the CA I Hook 
Gear Haddock SAP described in paragraph (b)(7)(i) of this section may 
not land, fish for, or possess on board more than 1,000 lb (453.6 kg) 
of cod per trip. A non-Sector vessel is not permitted to discard legal-
sized cod prior to reaching the landing limit, and is required to end 
its trip if the cod trip limit is achieved or exceeded.
    (D) Reporting requirements. The owner or operator of a non-Sector 
vessel declared into the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP must submit reports 
via VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional 
Administrator, for each day fished in the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP 
Area. The reports must be submitted in 24-hr intervals for each day, 
beginning at 0000 hr and ending at 2400 hr. The reports must be 
submitted by 0900 hr of the following day. The reports must include at 
least the following information: Total

[[Page 41195]]

weight (lb/kg) of cod and haddock kept, and total weight (lb/kg) of cod 
and haddock discarded.
    (E) GB cod incidental catch TAC. The maximum amount of GB cod 
(landings and discards) that may be cumulatively caught by non-Sector 
vessels from the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area in a fishing year 
is the amount specified under paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section.
    (F) Mandatory closure of CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area due to 
catch of GB cod incidental catch TAC. When the Regional Administrator 
projects that the GB cod incidental catch TAC specified in paragraph 
(b)(7)(vi)(F) of this section has been caught, NMFS shall close, 
through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, 
the CA I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area to all non-Sector fishing 
vessels.
* * * * *
    (8) * * *
    (v) * * *
    (A) * * *
    (2) A vessel that is declared into the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock 
SAP Pilot Program, described in paragraph (b)(8)(ii) of this section, 
may catch fish, on the same trip, in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock 
SAP Area and in the CA II Yellowtail Flounder Access Area, described in 
paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, under either a Category A DAS or 
a Category B DAS.
    (3) A vessel may choose, on the same trip, to catch fish in either/
both the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program and the CA II 
Yellowtail Flounder Access Area, and in that portion of the Eastern 
U.S./Canada Area described in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section that 
lies outside of these two SAPs, provided the vessel fishes under a 
Category A DAS and abides by the VMS restrictions of paragraph 
(b)(8)(v)(D) of this section.
* * * * *
    (B) VMS requirement. A NE multispecies DAS vessel fishing in the 
Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program specified under paragraph 
(b)(8)(ii) of this section, must have installed on board an operational 
VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in 
Sec. Sec.  648.9 and 648.10.
    (C) Observer notifications. For the purpose of selecting vessels 
for observer deployment, a vessel must provide notice to NMFS of the 
vessel name; contact name for coordination of observer deployment; 
telephone number for contact; areas to be fished; and date, time, and 
port of departure at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of any trip 
that it declares into the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program 
specified in paragraph (b)(8)(ii) of this section, as required under 
paragraph (b)(8)(v)(D) of this section, and in accordance with 
instructions provided by the Regional Administrator.
* * * * *
    (E) Gear restrictions. A NE multispecies vessel fishing in the 
Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program must use one of the 
haddock separator trawl nets authorized for the Eastern U.S./Canada 
Area, as specified in paragraph (a)(3)(iii)(A) of this section. No 
other type of fishing gear may be on the vessel when participating on a 
trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program, with the exception 
of a flounder net as described in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this 
section, provided the flounder net is stowed in accordance with Sec.  
648.23(b).
* * * * *
    (H) Incidental cod TAC. The maximum amount of GB cod (landings and 
discards) that may be caught when fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada 
Haddock SAP Program in a fishing year, by vessels fishing under a 
Category B DAS, as authorized in paragraph (b)(8)(v)(A) of this 
section, is the amount specified in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(B) of this 
section.
* * * * *
    (L) General closure of the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area. 
The Regional Administrator, based upon information required under Sec.  
648.7, 648.9, 648.10, or 648.85, and any other relevant information 
may, through rulemaking consistent with the Administrative Procedure 
Act, close the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program for the 
duration of the season, if it is determined that continuation of the 
Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Pilot Program would undermine the 
achievement of the objectives of the FMP or the Eastern U.S./Canada 
Haddock SAP Pilot Program.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 05-14091 Filed 7-15-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S