Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Framework Adjustment 17, 61233-61235 [05-21179]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 203 / Friday, October 21, 2005 / Rules and Regulations EPA has established a docket for this action under docket identification (ID) number OPP–2004– 0038. All documents in the docket are listed in the EDOCKET index at http:// www.epa.gov/edocket/. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in EDOCKET or in hard copy at the Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB), Rm. 119, Crystal Mall #2, 1801 S. Bell St., Arlington, VA, Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket telephone number is (703) 305–5805. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph Hogue, Field and External Affairs Division (7506C), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460– 0001; telephone number: 703–308–9072; e-mail address: hogue.joe@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: I. General Information A. Does this Action Apply to Me? This action is directed to the public in general. It simply announces the submission of a draft proposed rule to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and does not otherwise affect any specific entities. This action may, however, be of particular interest to Federal, State, or Territorial government agencies that petition EPA for FIFRA section 18 emergency use authorization for a pesticide, not otherwise registered for the use, to address an emergency pest situation. Since other entities may also be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be interested in this action. If you have any questions regarding this action, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. B. How Can I Access Electronic Copies of this Document and Other Related Information? In addition to using EDOCKET (http:// www.epa.gov/edocket/), you may access this Federal Register document electronically through the EPA Internet under the ‘‘Federal Register’’ listings at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/. A frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 is available on E-CFR Beta Site Two at http:// www.gpoaccess.gov/ecfr/. VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:34 Oct 20, 2005 Jkt 208001 61233 II. What Action is EPA Taking? DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Section 25(a)(2) of FIFRA requires the Administrator to provide the Secretary of Agriculture with a copy of any final regulation at least 30 days before signing it for publication in the Federal Register. The draft final rule is not available to the public until after it has been signed by EPA. If the Secretary comments in writing regarding the draft final rule within 15 days after receiving it, the Administrator shall include the comments of the Secretary, if requested by the Secretary, and the Administrator’s response to those comments in the final rule when published in the Federal Register. If the Secretary does not comment in writing within 15 days after receiving the draft final rule, the Administrator may sign the final rule for publication in the Federal Register anytime after the 15– day period. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration III. Do Any Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Apply to this Notification? No. This document is not a rule, it is merely a notification of submission to the Secretary of Agriculture. As such, none of the regulatory assessment requirements apply to this document. IV. Will this Notification be Subject to the Congressional Review Act? No. This action is not a rule for purposes of the Congressional Review Act (CRA), 5 U.S.C. 804(3), and will not be submitted to Congress and the Comptroller General. EPA will submit the final rule to Congress and the Comptroller General as required by the CRA. List of Subjects in Part 166 Environmental protection, Pesticides, Emergency exemptions. Dated: October 13, 2005. James Jones, Director, Office of Pesticide Programs. [FR Doc. 05–21092 Filed 10–20–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–S PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 15 CFR Part 902 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 050520137–5268–03; I.D. 050905F] RIN 0648–AT10 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery; Framework Adjustment 17 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; delay of effective date. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This final rule clarifies certain requirements and delays the effective date for the implementation of some of the measures specified in Framework 17 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan (Framework 17), which was developed and submitted by the New England Fishery Management Council (Council) and approved by NMFS. The measures require that vessels issued a general category scallop permit, and that land or intend to land over 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked or 5 bu (176.2 L) of unshucked scallops, install and operate vessel monitoring systems (VMS) in order to provide more complete monitoring of the general category scallop fleet. Delay of the October 21, 2005, effective date is necessary to allow sufficient time for vessel owners to purchase, install, and activate VMS required under Framework 17. The new effective date is December 1, 2005. DATES: The amendments in this rule are effective December 1, 2005. The effective date of the amendments to 50 CFR 648.4(a)(2)(ii), 648.9(c)(1) and (c)(2), 648.10(b)(1)(iv), and 648.14(i)(11) and (12), 648.52(c), and 15 CFR 902.1 published August 22, 2005, at 70 FR 48860, is delayed until December 1, 2005. Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-ofinformation requirements contained in this rule should be submitted to Patricia A. Kurkul, Regional Administrator (RA), NMFS, Northeast Regional Office, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930, and to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by e-mail at DavidlRostker@omb.eop.gov or by fax to (202) 395–7285. ADDRESSES: Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\21OCR1.SGM 21OCR1 61234 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 203 / Friday, October 21, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Copies of Framework 17, its Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), and the Environmental Assessment (EA) are available on request from Paul J. Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. These documents are also available online at http:// www.nefmc.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Christopher, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281–9288, fax (978) 281– 9135. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Framework 17 was adopted by the Council on February 1, 2005, and submitted to NMFS on March 11, 2005, with a supplement submitted on April 4, 2005. A proposed rule for Framework 17 was published in the Federal Register on June 2, 2005 (70 FR 32282), with a comment period ending on June 17, 2005. The final rule for Framework 17 was published in the Federal Register on August 22, 2005 (70 FR 48860). Details about the measures established through Framework 17 are discussed in detail in those documents and are not repeated here. Framework 17 requires all general category vessels that land, or intend to land, more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked or 5 bu (176.2 L) of unshucked scallops, to install and operate a VMS onboard the vessel. The use of VMS is expected to assist NMFS monitor general category vessel activity and facilitate the enforcement of the possession limit regulations. Because of the cost of installing and operating VMS, the requirement may also help NMFS distinguish the active fleet of general category vessels that target scallops from the inactive fleet of permitted vessels. Since VMS will provide better data for fishery management, the data is of particular importance to help identify areas that are more frequently targeted by small vessels fishing outside of the typical scallop fishing areas (e.g., inshore areas of the Gulf of Maine). The transmission of location information through VMS could also assist U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue operations by automatically tracking vessel position. In order to administer and effectively enforce the new VMS requirement for general category vessels, Framework 17 established a new general category scallop permit designation under NMFS’s Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:34 Oct 20, 2005 Jkt 208001 (Magnuson-Stevens Act), section 305(d) authority. Framework 17 requires vessel owners requesting general category scallop permits to determine whether they will fish under the non-VMS general category vessel permit, which authorizes the possession of up to 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked or 5 bu (176.2 L) of unshucked scallops, or under the VMS general category vessel permit, which authorizes the possession of up to 400 lb (181.44 kg) of shucked or 50 bu (17.62 hL) of unshucked scallops. Vessel owners who have not submitted a completed application for a VMS general category vessel permit by December 1, 2005, will be issued a nonVMS general category vessel permit at that time. Vessel owners may change from one general scallop permit category to another within 45 days of the issuance of the new general category vessel permit. The response by general category scallop vessels for purchase and installation of VMS units has been higher than expected by the Council and NMFS. Marine electronics dealers that install VMS units are reportedly having difficulty meeting the higher than expected purchase and installation demand. In order to provide a reasonable period of time for vessel owners to come into compliance with the new requirements, and to avoid a disruption in fishing activity by general category scallop vessels, this action delays the effective date of the provisions related to the new VMS requirements until December 1, 2005. The prior effective date of October 21, 2005, did not allow sufficient time to come into compliance. Without an extension of the effective date, vessels intending to fish for more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked scallops or 5 bu (176.2 L) of unshucked scallops would be prohibited from doing so until they are able to install and activate a VMS, or be subject to an enforcement action through no fault of their own. This rule also clarifies that, in order to be issued the VMS general category vessel permit, a vessel owner is required to either submit a copy of the vendor’s installation receipt or provide verification of vendor activation from a NMFS-approved VMS vendor. Classification The RA determined that Framework Adjustment 17 is necessary for the conservation and management of the Atlantic sea scallop fishery and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 The AA had determined that good cause exists to waive prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to 5 U.S.C 553(b)(B) because it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Given the imminence of the effective date, seeking prior public comment on this temporary stay would have been impracticable, as well as contrary to the public interest in the orderly promulgation and implementation of regulations. Since electronics dealers cannot meet the higher than expected demand for VMS units, vessels would not be able to comply with the VMS requirements by the October 21, 2005, effective date. Through no fault of their own, vessels that would have otherwise complied with the October 21, 2005, effective date, but could not acquire VMS units, would be prohibited from fishing for more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked scallops or 5 bu (176.2 L) of unshucked scallops or would be subject to enforcement action. In addition, the revised regulatory text in this rule clarifies that vessel owners can install VMS units themselves as long as activation of the VMS through the vendor is verified. In conversations with owners who have sought installation from a vendor, but have not yet been able to get their VMS units installed, NMFS has learned that some owners are able to install the units themselves. Accordingly, the revised regulatory text in this rule clarifies that vessel owners can install VMS units themselves as long as approved vendors subsequently provide proof of activation. This will speed up the process of allowing all vessels seeking VMS units to have them installed in the most timely fashion, and may move vessel owners who cannot self-install up in the queue, thereby ensuring that all affected vessels are in compliance in the shortest timeframe possible. Any delay of this clarification will undermine its purpose of bringing the most vessels into compliance in the shortest time possible. Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are inapplicable. This final rule modifies the effective date for new collection-of-information requirements approved by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). These new requirements apply to general category scallop vessels only (the requirements already exist for and/ or do not apply to other scallop vessels). Public reporting burdens for these collections of information are estimated to average as follows: E:\FR\FM\21OCR1.SGM 21OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 203 / Friday, October 21, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 1. Purchase and installation of VMS units, OMB control number 0648–0529 (1 hr per response); 2. Verification of VMS units, OMB control number 0648–0529 (5 min per response); 3. Notification and application for appropriate general category permit designation, OMB control number 0648–0529 (30 min per response); 4. VMS power-down notification, OMB control number 0648–0529 (2 min per response); and 5. VMS re-power and trip notification, OMB control number 0648–0529 (2 min per response). These estimates include the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection information. Public comment is sought regarding: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments on these or any other aspects of the collection of information to NMFS and to OMB (see ADDRESSES). Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to 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, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Dated: October 18, 2005. James W. Balsiger, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is amended as follows: I PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 648.4, paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(B) through (E) are revised to read as follows: I VerDate Aug<31>2005 14:34 Oct 20, 2005 Jkt 208001 § 648.4 Vessel permits. (a) * * * (2) * * * (ii) * * * (B) VMS general scallop permit. To possess or land more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked meats or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops, but no more than 400 lb (181.44 kg) of shucked meats, or 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops, a vessel must apply for and be issued a VMS general scallop permit. Issuance of a VMS general scallop permit requires the vessel owner to submit a copy of the vendor’s installation receipt or provide verification of vendor activation from a NMFS-approved VMS vendor as described in § 648.9. (C) Vessels without general scallop permits. No scallop permit is required for a vessel that possesses or lands up to 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked meats or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops per trip, provided such scallops are not, or are not intended to be, sold, traded or bartered. (D) General scallop permit category designation. The owner of a vessel issued a general scallop permit for the 2005 fishing year is required to complete and submit an application to the Regional Administrator for the permit specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(B) of this section. There is a 30day processing period for vessel permit applications, thus, to ensure that permits are issued by the effective date of these requirements, such applications should be submitted by November 1, 2005. Vessels shall be issued the appropriate permit category by December 1, 2005, based on the application submitted by the vessel owner. Initial general scallop permit category designations are effective December 1, 2005. A vessel owner who fails to submit either a copy of the vendor’s installation receipt from a NMFS-approved VMS vendor as described in 648.9 or provide proof of vendor activation of the VMS unit by December 1, 2005, shall automatically be issued the non-VMS general scallop permit. If no application is received by December 1, 2005, for vessels previously issued a general scallop permit for the 2005 fishing year, such vessels shall be reissued non-VMS general scallop permits. Vessel owners may request a change in permit category for their general category vessel no later than January 15, 2006. Requests to change categories must include a complete application as described above. (E) General scallop permit restrictions. A vessel may be issued a general scallop permit in only one category during a fishing year. The owners of a vessel issued a general PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 61235 scallop permit must elect a permit category upon the vessel’s permit application and shall have one opportunity to request a change in its permit category by submitting an application to the Regional Administrator within 45 days of the effective date of the vessel’s permit. After that date, the vessel must remain in that permit category for the duration of the fishing year. * * * * * [FR Doc. 05–21179 Filed 10–19–05; 11:56 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 050819225–5257; I.D.080505A] RIN 0648–AS59 Fisheries off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; Coastal Pelagic Species Fisheries; Annual Specifications National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS issues a final rule to implement the annual harvest guideline for Pacific mackerel in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the Pacific coast. The Coastal Pelagic Species (CPS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and its implementing regulations require NMFS to set an annual harvest guideline for Pacific mackerel based on the formula in the FMP. This action adopts allowable harvest levels for Pacific mackerel off the U.S. Pacific coast. Effective November 21, 2005. The report Assessment of the Pacific Mackerel (Scomber japonicus) Stock for U.S. Management in the 2005–2006 Season may be obtained from Rodney R. McInnis, Regional Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. A regulatory impact review/ regulatory analysis may be obtained at this same address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tonya L. Wick, Southwest Region, NMFS, (562) 980–4036. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The CPS FMP, which was implemented by a final DATES: ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\21OCR1.SGM 21OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 203 (Friday, October 21, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 61233-61235]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-21179]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

15 CFR Part 902

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No. 050520137-5268-03; I.D. 050905F]
RIN 0648-AT10


Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Sea Scallop 
Fishery; Framework Adjustment 17

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

ACTION: Final rule; delay of effective date.

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

SUMMARY: This final rule clarifies certain requirements and delays the 
effective date for the implementation of some of the measures specified 
in Framework 17 to the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan 
(Framework 17), which was developed and submitted by the New England 
Fishery Management Council (Council) and approved by NMFS. The measures 
require that vessels issued a general category scallop permit, and that 
land or intend to land over 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked or 5 bu (176.2 
L) of unshucked scallops, install and operate vessel monitoring systems 
(VMS) in order to provide more complete monitoring of the general 
category scallop fleet. Delay of the October 21, 2005, effective date 
is necessary to allow sufficient time for vessel owners to purchase, 
install, and activate VMS required under Framework 17. The new 
effective date is December 1, 2005.

DATES: The amendments in this rule are effective December 1, 2005. The 
effective date of the amendments to 50 CFR 648.4(a)(2)(ii), 648.9(c)(1) 
and (c)(2), 648.10(b)(1)(iv), and 648.14(i)(11) and (12), 648.52(c), 
and 15 CFR 902.1 published August 22, 2005, at 70 FR 48860, is delayed 
until December 1, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or 
other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained 
in this rule should be submitted to Patricia A. Kurkul, Regional 
Administrator (RA), NMFS, Northeast Regional Office, One Blackburn 
Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930, and to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) by e-mail at David--Rostker@omb.eop.gov or by fax to (202) 395-
7285.

[[Page 61234]]

    Copies of Framework 17, its Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), 
including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), and the 
Environmental Assessment (EA) are available on request from Paul J. 
Howard, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 
Water Street, Newburyport, MA 01950. These documents are also available 
online at http://www.nefmc.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Christopher, Fishery Policy 
Analyst, (978) 281-9288, fax (978) 281-9135.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Framework 17 was adopted by the Council on February 1, 2005, and 
submitted to NMFS on March 11, 2005, with a supplement submitted on 
April 4, 2005. A proposed rule for Framework 17 was published in the 
Federal Register on June 2, 2005 (70 FR 32282), with a comment period 
ending on June 17, 2005. The final rule for Framework 17 was published 
in the Federal Register on August 22, 2005 (70 FR 48860). Details about 
the measures established through Framework 17 are discussed in detail 
in those documents and are not repeated here.
    Framework 17 requires all general category vessels that land, or 
intend to land, more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked or 5 bu (176.2 L) 
of unshucked scallops, to install and operate a VMS onboard the vessel. 
The use of VMS is expected to assist NMFS monitor general category 
vessel activity and facilitate the enforcement of the possession limit 
regulations. Because of the cost of installing and operating VMS, the 
requirement may also help NMFS distinguish the active fleet of general 
category vessels that target scallops from the inactive fleet of 
permitted vessels. Since VMS will provide better data for fishery 
management, the data is of particular importance to help identify areas 
that are more frequently targeted by small vessels fishing outside of 
the typical scallop fishing areas (e.g., inshore areas of the Gulf of 
Maine). The transmission of location information through VMS could also 
assist U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue operations by automatically 
tracking vessel position.
    In order to administer and effectively enforce the new VMS 
requirement for general category vessels, Framework 17 established a 
new general category scallop permit designation under NMFS's Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 
section 305(d) authority. Framework 17 requires vessel owners 
requesting general category scallop permits to determine whether they 
will fish under the non-VMS general category vessel permit, which 
authorizes the possession of up to 40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked or 5 bu 
(176.2 L) of unshucked scallops, or under the VMS general category 
vessel permit, which authorizes the possession of up to 400 lb (181.44 
kg) of shucked or 50 bu (17.62 hL) of unshucked scallops. Vessel owners 
who have not submitted a completed application for a VMS general 
category vessel permit by December 1, 2005, will be issued a non-VMS 
general category vessel permit at that time. Vessel owners may change 
from one general scallop permit category to another within 45 days of 
the issuance of the new general category vessel permit.
    The response by general category scallop vessels for purchase and 
installation of VMS units has been higher than expected by the Council 
and NMFS. Marine electronics dealers that install VMS units are 
reportedly having difficulty meeting the higher than expected purchase 
and installation demand. In order to provide a reasonable period of 
time for vessel owners to come into compliance with the new 
requirements, and to avoid a disruption in fishing activity by general 
category scallop vessels, this action delays the effective date of the 
provisions related to the new VMS requirements until December 1, 2005. 
The prior effective date of October 21, 2005, did not allow sufficient 
time to come into compliance. Without an extension of the effective 
date, vessels intending to fish for more than 40 lb (18.14 kg) of 
shucked scallops or 5 bu (176.2 L) of unshucked scallops would be 
prohibited from doing so until they are able to install and activate a 
VMS, or be subject to an enforcement action through no fault of their 
own. This rule also clarifies that, in order to be issued the VMS 
general category vessel permit, a vessel owner is required to either 
submit a copy of the vendor's installation receipt or provide 
verification of vendor activation from a NMFS-approved VMS vendor.

Classification

    The RA determined that Framework Adjustment 17 is necessary for the 
conservation and management of the Atlantic sea scallop fishery and is 
consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law.
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The AA had determined that good cause exists to waive prior notice 
and opportunity for public comment pursuant to 5 U.S.C 553(b)(B) 
because it would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. 
Given the imminence of the effective date, seeking prior public comment 
on this temporary stay would have been impracticable, as well as 
contrary to the public interest in the orderly promulgation and 
implementation of regulations. Since electronics dealers cannot meet 
the higher than expected demand for VMS units, vessels would not be 
able to comply with the VMS requirements by the October 21, 2005, 
effective date. Through no fault of their own, vessels that would have 
otherwise complied with the October 21, 2005, effective date, but could 
not acquire VMS units, would be prohibited from fishing for more than 
40 lb (18.14 kg) of shucked scallops or 5 bu (176.2 L) of unshucked 
scallops or would be subject to enforcement action. In addition, the 
revised regulatory text in this rule clarifies that vessel owners can 
install VMS units themselves as long as activation of the VMS through 
the vendor is verified. In conversations with owners who have sought 
installation from a vendor, but have not yet been able to get their VMS 
units installed, NMFS has learned that some owners are able to install 
the units themselves. Accordingly, the revised regulatory text in this 
rule clarifies that vessel owners can install VMS units themselves as 
long as approved vendors subsequently provide proof of activation. This 
will speed up the process of allowing all vessels seeking VMS units to 
have them installed in the most timely fashion, and may move vessel 
owners who cannot self-install up in the queue, thereby ensuring that 
all affected vessels are in compliance in the shortest timeframe 
possible. Any delay of this clarification will undermine its purpose of 
bringing the most vessels into compliance in the shortest time 
possible.
    Because prior notice and opportunity for public comment are not 
required for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the 
analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 
et seq., are inapplicable.
    This final rule modifies the effective date for new collection-of-
information requirements approved by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act (PRA). These new requirements apply to general category scallop 
vessels only (the requirements already exist for and/or do not apply to 
other scallop vessels). Public reporting burdens for these collections 
of information are estimated to average as follows:

[[Page 61235]]

    1. Purchase and installation of VMS units, OMB control number 0648-
0529 (1 hr per response);
    2. Verification of VMS units, OMB control number 0648-0529 (5 min 
per response);
    3. Notification and application for appropriate general category 
permit designation, OMB control number 0648-0529 (30 min per response);
    4. VMS power-down notification, OMB control number 0648-0529 (2 min 
per response); and
    5. VMS re-power and trip notification, OMB control number 0648-0529 
(2 min per response).
    These estimates include the time for reviewing instructions, 
searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data 
needed, and completing and reviewing the collection information.
    Public comment is sought regarding: Whether this collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the agency, including whether the information shall have practical 
utility; the accuracy of the burden estimate; ways to enhance the 
quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and 
ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including 
through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of 
information technology. Send comments on these or any other aspects of 
the collection of information to NMFS and to OMB (see ADDRESSES).
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to 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, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: October 18, 2005.
James W. Balsiger,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is amended as 
follows:

PART 648--FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

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

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

0
2. In Sec.  648.4, paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(B) through (E) are revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  648.4  Vessel permits.

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) * * *
    (B) VMS general scallop permit. To possess or land more than 40 lb 
(18.14 kg) of shucked meats or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops, but 
no more than 400 lb (181.44 kg) of shucked meats, or 50 bu (17.62 hL) 
of in-shell scallops, a vessel must apply for and be issued a VMS 
general scallop permit. Issuance of a VMS general scallop permit 
requires the vessel owner to submit a copy of the vendor's installation 
receipt or provide verification of vendor activation from a NMFS-
approved VMS vendor as described in Sec.  648.9.
    (C) Vessels without general scallop permits. No scallop permit is 
required for a vessel that possesses or lands up to 40 lb (18.14 kg) of 
shucked meats or 5 bu (176.2 L) of in-shell scallops per trip, provided 
such scallops are not, or are not intended to be, sold, traded or 
bartered.
    (D) General scallop permit category designation. The owner of a 
vessel issued a general scallop permit for the 2005 fishing year is 
required to complete and submit an application to the Regional 
Administrator for the permit specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(B) of 
this section. There is a 30-day processing period for vessel permit 
applications, thus, to ensure that permits are issued by the effective 
date of these requirements, such applications should be submitted by 
November 1, 2005. Vessels shall be issued the appropriate permit 
category by December 1, 2005, based on the application submitted by the 
vessel owner. Initial general scallop permit category designations are 
effective December 1, 2005. A vessel owner who fails to submit either a 
copy of the vendor's installation receipt from a NMFS-approved VMS 
vendor as described in 648.9 or provide proof of vendor activation of 
the VMS unit by December 1, 2005, shall automatically be issued the 
non-VMS general scallop permit. If no application is received by 
December 1, 2005, for vessels previously issued a general scallop 
permit for the 2005 fishing year, such vessels shall be reissued non-
VMS general scallop permits. Vessel owners may request a change in 
permit category for their general category vessel no later than January 
15, 2006. Requests to change categories must include a complete 
application as described above.
    (E) General scallop permit restrictions. A vessel may be issued a 
general scallop permit in only one category during a fishing year. The 
owners of a vessel issued a general scallop permit must elect a permit 
category upon the vessel's permit application and shall have one 
opportunity to request a change in its permit category by submitting an 
application to the Regional Administrator within 45 days of the 
effective date of the vessel's permit. After that date, the vessel must 
remain in that permit category for the duration of the fishing year.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 05-21179 Filed 10-19-05; 11:56 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S