Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Limited Access Program for Gulf Charter Vessels and Headboats, 12661-12665 [06-2389]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 48 / Monday, March 13, 2006 / Proposed Rules excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566–1744, and the telephone number for the OEI Docket is (202) 566– 1752). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tiffany Schermerhorn, Policy, Training and Oversight Division, Office of Acquisition Management, Mail Code 3802R, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; e-mail address: schermerhorn.tiffany@epa.gov, telephone (202) 564–9902. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information The proposed EPAAR additions are necessary so that contracting officers may provide simplified acquisition procedures financing that is appropriate or customary in the commercial marketplace when purchasing commercial items at or below the simplified acquisition threshold. It does not impose any new requirements regarding submission of invoices or vouchers since Agency contractors currently submit invoices or vouchers for payment of orders. The EPAAR changes are consistent with the Federal Acquisition Regulation. as defined by the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) regulations at 13 CFR 121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a city, county, town, school district or special district with a population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field. After considering the economic impacts of today’s proposed rule on small entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This proposed rule will not impose any new requirements on small entities. List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 1532 and 1552 Government procurement. Dated: February 15, 2006. Judy S. Davis, Director, Office of Acquisition Management. II. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews For the reasons set forth in the Preamble, Chapter 15 of Title 48 Code of Federal Regulations, parts 1532 and 1552 are proposed to be amended as follows: 1. The authority citation for 48 CFR parts 1532 and 1552 continues to read as follows: A. Executive Order 12866 Authority: Sec. 205(c), 63 Stat. 390 as amended, 40 U.S.C. 486(c). B. Paperwork Reduction Act This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. This rule does not impose any new information collection or other requirements on Agency contractors. wwhite on PROD1PC61 with PROPOSALS C. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. For purposes of assessing the impacts of today’s rule on small entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A small business 16:18 Mar 10, 2006 officer shall submit a recommendation for approval of financing terms, along with the supporting rationale for the action, to one level above the contracting officer. Simplified acquisition contracting officers (SACO) shall forward recommendations through their OAM Advisors to one level above the contracting officer. (d) Supporting rationale. Regardless of dollar value, the contracting officer shall document the file with supporting rationale demonstrating that the purchase meets the conditions of FAR 32.202–1(b)(1), (3) and (4). (e) Administration. Regardless of dollar value, the contracting officer is responsible for ensuring that supplies or services have been delivered. The contracting officer shall document the file with evidence of receipt of supplies or services throughout the order period as appropriate to the acquisition. (f) Clause. The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 1552.232–74, Payments—Simplified Acquisition Procedures Financing, in solicitations and orders that will provide simplified acquisition procedures financing. PART 1552—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES Jkt 208001 PART 1532—CONTRACT FINANCING 3. Add section 1552.232–74 to read as follows. 2. Add section 1532.003 to read as follows. 1552.232–74 Payments—Simplified Acquisition Procedures Financing. 1532.003 Simplified acquisition procedures financing. It has been determined that this rule is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under the terms of Executive Order 12866 and is therefore not subject to OMB review. VerDate Aug<31>2005 12661 As prescribed in 1532.003, insert the following clause in solicitations and orders that will provide simplified acquisition procedures financing. (a) Scope. This subpart provides for authorization of advance and interim payments on commercial item orders not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold. Advance payments are payments that are made prior to performance. Interim payments are payments that are made during the order period according to a payment schedule. (b) Procedures for micropurchases. Contracting officers may authorize advance and interim payments on orders for commercial items only at or below the micro-purchase threshold. (c) Procedures for purchases exceeding micropurchase threshold. Contracting officers must secure approval at one level above the contracting officer, on a case-by-case basis, for advance and interim payments on orders for commercial items exceeding the micropurchase threshold and not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold. The contracting PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 PAYMENTS—SIMPLIFIED ACQUISITION PROCEDURES FINANCING (XXX 2006) Simplified acquisition procedures financing in the form of llllll [contracting officer insert advance (prior to performance) and/or interim (according to payment schedule] payment(s) will be provided under this commercial item order in accordance with the payment schedule below. If both advance and interim payments are to be made, the payment schedule shown below will specify the type of payment provided for each line item. The Government shall pay the contractor as follows upon the submission of invoices or vouchers approved by the project officer: llllllll[insert payment schedule]. [FR Doc. E6–3518 Filed 3–10–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P E:\FR\FM\13MRP1.SGM 13MRP1 12662 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 48 / Monday, March 13, 2006 / Proposed Rules Copies of Amendments 17 and 25, which include a Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), and a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), may be obtained from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone: 813– 348–1630; fax: 813–348–1711; e-mail: gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org. Copies of the amendments may also be downloaded from the Council’s website at www.gulfcouncil.org. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 060216043–6043–01; I.D. 021306C] RIN 0648–AS70 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Limited Access Program for Gulf Charter Vessels and Headboats FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. wwhite on PROD1PC61 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS issues this proposed rule to implement Amendment 17 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (Amendment 17) and Amendment 25 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Amendment 25) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This proposed rule would establish a limited access system for charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) permits for the reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico and would continue to cap participation at current levels. In addition, NMFS proposes a number of minor revisions to remove outdated regulatory text and to clarify regulatory text. The intended effect of this proposed rule is to provide for biological, social, and economic stability in these for-hire fisheries. DATES: Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., eastern time, on April 27, 2006. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule by any of the following methods: • E-mail: 0648– AS70.Proposed@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line the following document identifier: 0648–AS70. • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Jason Rueter, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. • Fax: 727–824–5308; Attention: Jason Rueter. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:18 Mar 10, 2006 Jkt 208001 Jason Rueter, telephone: 727–570–5305; fax: 727–570–5583; e-mail: Jason.Rueter@noaa.gov. The fishery for reef fish is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Reef Fish FMP) prepared by the Council. The fisheries for coastal migratory pelagic resources are managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP) prepared jointly by the Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. These FMPs were approved by NMFS and implemented under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Council, in cooperation with the Gulf charter vessel/headboat industry, developed Amendment 14 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP and Amendment 20 to the Reef Fish FMP to address issues of increased fishing mortality and fishing effort in the forhire sector of the recreational fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. These amendments required charter vessels and headboats operating in the fisheries for Gulf reef fish or Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish to obtain a moratorium permit and also established a 3-year moratorium on issuance of additional permits for these for-hire fisheries. NMFS approved Amendments 14 and 20 and promulgated the charter vessel/headboat moratorium regulations (67 FR 43558, June 28, 2002) to implement the amendments. The moratorium, scheduled to expire on June 16, 2006, was intended to temporarily stabilize fishing effort in the for-hire sector of these fisheries while the Council evaluated a more comprehensive, longterm approach. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Limited Access System This proposed rule would establish a limited access system in the for-hire reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic fisheries in the EEZ of the Gulf of Mexico that would continue to cap participation at the current level. This action is necessary to ensure the for-hire fishery does not revert to open access with resulting inappropriate increases in fishing mortality upon expiration of the moratorium. As was the case under the moratorium, no additional permits would be issued for these fisheries under the limited access system. Under the proposed limited access system, an owner of a vessel with a valid or renewable charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish or Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish on the date Amendments 17 and 25 are approved (assuming approval) would be issued the applicable permits under the limited access system. There would be no changes to the current procedures for application, qualification, issuance, renewal, or transferability of these permits. This limited access system would be of indefinite duration and would remain in place unless the Council subsequently amends the Coastal Migratory Pelagics and Reef Fish FMPs to revise, replace, or eliminate it. The Council would review the effectiveness of this limited access system every 10 years. Changes Proposed by NMFS In § 622.3, NMFS proposes to revise outdated regulatory citations regarding national marine sanctuaries. In § 622.4(r), NMFS is proposing to remove outdated text related to the original permit moratorium that is no longer relevant. In § 622.4(r)(1), NMFS proposes a revision to clarify that the basis for determining authorized passenger capacity in relation to permit transfers is the authorized passenger capacity specified on the face of the permit being transferred, which is the authorized passenger capacity of the vessel for which the original permit was issued under the moratorium. In § 622.4(r)(2), NMFS is proposing to revise the language regarding permit renewal requirements to be more consistent with the Council’s original intent as expressed in Reef Fish Amendment 20 and Coastal Migratory Pelagics Amendment 14. The revised language clarifies that a selected participant must provide information as requested in approved data surveys including, but not limited to, those listed in § 622.4(r)(2). The phrase ‘‘but not limited to’’ was inadvertently E:\FR\FM\13MRP1.SGM 13MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 48 / Monday, March 13, 2006 / Proposed Rules wwhite on PROD1PC61 with PROPOSALS omitted from the rule implementing the Corrected Amendment. In § 622.42, NMFS proposes to remove paragraph (a)(3), which was inadvertently and inappropriately retained in a prior revision of § 622.42. Paragraph (a)(3) contains outdated text. Classification At this time, NMFS has not determined whether Amendments 17 and 25, which this rule would implement, are consistent with 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 periods on these amendments and on this proposed rule. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. NMFS prepared an IRFA, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained at the beginning of this section in the preamble and in the SUMMARY section of the preamble. A copy of the full analysis is available from the Council office (see ADDRESSES). A summary of the analysis follows. The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for the proposed rule. The proposed rule would establish a limited access system for Gulf for-hire reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic fish permits. In effect, this rule will extend indefinitely the current moratorium on these permits that is set to expire on June 16, 2006. The main objective of the proposed rule is to control increases in for-hire fishing vessels or passenger capacity while the Council determines the appropriate long-term management strategy for the for-hire fishery. Such strategy would be related to stabilizing or reducing for-hire fishing mortality for reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic fish stocks that have rebuilding plans or are overfished or undergoing overfishing. Permitting of for-hire vessels has been required since 1987 for coastal migratory pelagic fish and 1996 for reef fish. When the current moratorium was established in 2003, NMFS issued forhire moratorium permits to 1,857 vessels, but it is estimated that at the same time 510 to 899 vessels were excluded. Some of the excluded vessels left the fishery before the moratorium took effect. Some of the vessels that were still in operation but inadvertently VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:18 Mar 10, 2006 Jkt 208001 excluded from the moratorium were allowed to re-enter the fishery through an emergency reopening of the application period. Both included and excluded vessels may be considered to comprise the universe of vessels affected by the proposed rule. For-hire vessels with initial moratorium permits operate as charter vessels only, headboats only, or charter vessel/headboat combination. Some forhire vessels also operate as commercial fishing vessels at certain times of the year. However, most (66.7 percent) operate as charter vessels only, and a great majority of these vessels (87.7 percent) operate in both the coastal migratory pelagic and reef fish fisheries. About 69 percent of these vessels are individually owned and operated, 27 percent have corporate ownership, and the rest are in some other form of ownership. Florida is the homeport state of most vessels, followed in order by Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and other states. In the absence of relevant information, vessels excluded from the moratorium are deemed to have the same characteristics as those that obtained moratorium permits. For-hire vessel costs and revenues are not routinely collected. For the purpose of these amendments, data from two previous 1999 studies were pooled to characterize the financial performance of for-hire vessels. Charter vessels charge their fees on a group basis while headboats do it on a per-person (head) basis. On average, a charter vessel generates $76,960 in annual revenues and $36,758 in annual operating profits. An average headboat, on the other hand, generates $404,172 in annual revenues and $338,209 in annual operating profits. Excluding fixed and other nonoperating expenses, both types of forhire operations generate positive profits. On average, both charter vessels and headboats operate at about 50 percent of their passenger capacity per trip. The financial performance of charter vessels and headboats varies according to the size of operation (passenger capacity) and geographic areas. For headboats, revenues range from $298,812 ($263,062 profits) for 13 to 30 maximum passenger capacity to $570,376 ($460,760 profits) for 61 or greater maximum passenger capacity. For charterboats, revenues range from $70,491 ($34,949 profits) for the 6 and under maximum passenger capacity to $129,813 ($86,502 profits) for the 7–12 maximum passenger capacity vessels. Florida charter vessels generate annual revenues of $68,233 ($30,249 profits), while their counterparts in other areas earn $106,118 in annual revenues ($43,494 profits). Florida headboats PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 12663 generate annual revenues of $318,512 ($249,103 profits), while their counterparts in the other areas earn revenues of $630,046 ($542,425 profits). In general, larger for-hire vessels generate larger profits, and for-hire vessels in Florida earn lower profits than those in other areas. A fishing business is considered a small entity if it is independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of operation, and if it has annual receipts not in excess of $6 million in the case of for-hire entities. Given the data on revenues and profits, the for-hire vessels affected by the proposed rule are determined to be small business entities. All the for-hire vessel operations affected by measures in these amendments are considered small entities, so the issue of disproportionality does not arise in the present case. In general, headboat operations are larger than charter vessel operations in terms of revenues and costs as well as vessel and crew sizes and passenger capacity. There are also variations in the size of operations within the charter vessel and headboat classes. There are two types of effects on profitability depending on whether a vessel is included or excluded from operating in the EEZ for-hire fisheries. Those included are expected to either maintain or increase their returns from for-hire operations should angler demand increase and the number of permits remain capped. Those excluded would continue to forgo any potential profits from for-hire operations related to reef fish or coastal migratory pelagic fish in the EEZ, although they may still earn profits from their state water forhire operations or commercial fishing operations. For those that previously depended mainly on fishing trips in the EEZ, their profits would continue to be substantially reduced absent purchase of a limited access permit. These entities, as well as new entrants into the fishery, would have to expend an additional fixed cost in the form of purchase cost of the charter permit. This cost would have to be explicitly considered by new entrants as an integral part of their decision to invest in the for-hire fishery. Because the proposed rule would essentially extend the current moratorium on the issuance of new forhire permits, it would not impose any additional record keeping or reporting requirements. Also, all the compliance requirements currently in place would remain the same. In the same vein, the proposed rule would not affect current permitting, certifications, and other E:\FR\FM\13MRP1.SGM 13MRP1 wwhite on PROD1PC61 with PROPOSALS 12664 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 48 / Monday, March 13, 2006 / Proposed Rules requirements by other Federal agencies, and thus it would not in any way conflict with or be duplicative of any relevant Federal rules. The other alternatives considered in these amendments are the no action alternative, which would allow the moratorium to expire in 2006; extension of the moratorium by 5 years; and extension of the moratorium by 10 years. The alternatives that would extend the moratorium by 5 years or 10 years have similar effects as the proposed rule, although the magnitudes involved are lower because the moratorium would still be time limited. However, those alternatives would require additional administrative action and costs to subsequently extend the moratorium to meet the Council’s objective of capping effort, and those alternatives would not provide the regulatory stability needed by the forhire industry to make longer-term business decisions. For these reasons, those alternatives were not adopted. The no action alternative would benefit vessel operations re-entering the for-hire fishery as well as new entrants because they would not have the additional cost of purchasing permits. But their entrance into the for-hire fishery would impinge on the profitability of existing vessel operations as well as potentially increase the harvest and discards of certain species that are overfished or undergoing overfishing. A reversion to open access in the for-hire fishery would also complicate the management measures the Council might adopt for the fishery to address overfishing issues. Moreover, the no action alternative can only exacerbate the excess capacity problem in the for-hire fishery, especially given that for-hire vessels are currently operating at about half their capacity. Certain measures have already been adopted to mitigate the adverse economic impacts of the moratorium. These include: (1) relatively liberal qualifying eligibility criteria for the moratorium permits, such as the inclusion of most historical participants, historical captains, and those who already committed money for the construction of vessels; (2) liberal provision for renewing for-hire permits; (3) transferability of for-hire permits, except historical captain permits; and, (4) an emergency action re-opening the moratorium permit application process to participants inadvertently excluded from the moratorium, which resulted in issuance of an additional 62 moratorium permits but did not alter the conclusions of this analysis. Additionally, re-entrants and new entrants can participate in the for-hire VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:18 Mar 10, 2006 Jkt 208001 fishery by purchasing permits from current permit holders. These features are preserved under the proposed rule. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Fisheries, Fishing, Puerto Rico, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Virgin Islands. Dated: March 7, 2006. 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 622 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 622.3, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows: § 622.3 Relation to other laws and regulations. * * * * * (b) Except for regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock, this part is intended to apply within the EEZ portions of applicable National Marine Sanctuaries and National Parks, unless the regulations governing such Sanctuaries or Parks prohibit their application. Regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock do not apply within the EEZ portions of the following Marine Sanctuaries and National Parks: (1) Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922 subpart P). (2) Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922 subpart I). (3) Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922 subpart F). (4) Everglades National Park (36 CFR 7.45). (5) Biscayne National Park (16 U.S.C. 410gg). (6) Fort Jefferson National Monument (36 CFR 7.27). * * * * * 3. In § 622.4, paragraphs (a)(1)(ii) and (r) are revised to read as follows: § 622.4 Permits and fees. (a) * * * (1) * * * (ii) See paragraph (r) of this section regarding a limited access system for charter vessel/headboat permits for Gulf reef fish and Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish. * * * * * PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (r) Limited access system for charter vessel/headboat permits for Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish and Gulf reef fish. No applications for additional charter vessel/headboat permits for Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish will be accepted. Existing permits may be renewed, are subject to the restrictions on transfer in paragraph (r)(1) of this section, and are subject to the renewal requirements in paragraph (r)(2) of this section. (1) Transfer of permits—(i) Permits without a historical captain endorsement. A charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish that does not have a historical captain endorsement is fully transferable, with or without sale of the permitted vessel, except that no transfer is allowed to a vessel with a greater authorized passenger capacity than that of the vessel to which the moratorium permit was originally issued, as specified on the face of the permit being transferred. An application to transfer a permit to an inspected vessel must include a copy of that vessel’s current USCG Certificate of Inspection (COI). A vessel without a valid COI will be considered an uninspected vessel with an authorized passenger capacity restricted to six or fewer passengers. (ii) Permits with a historical captain endorsement. A charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish that has a historical captain endorsement may only be transferred to a vessel operated by the historical captain, cannot be transferred to a vessel with a greater authorized passenger capacity than that of the vessel to which the moratorium permit was originally issued, as specified on the face of the permit being transferred, and is not otherwise transferable. (iii) Procedure for permit transfer. To request that the RA transfer a charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish, the owner of the vessel who is transferring the permit and the owner of the vessel that is to receive the transferred permit must complete the transfer information on the reverse side of the permit and return the permit and a completed application for transfer to the RA. See paragraph (g)(1) of this section for additional transfer-related requirements applicable to all permits issued under this section. (2) Renewal. (i) Renewal of a charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish is contingent upon the permitted vessel and/or captain, as appropriate, being included in an active survey frame for, and, if selected to report, providing the information required in one of the E:\FR\FM\13MRP1.SGM 13MRP1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 48 / Monday, March 13, 2006 / Proposed Rules approved fishing data surveys. Surveys include, but are not limited to— (A) NMFS’ Marine Recreational Fishing Vessel Directory Telephone Survey (conducted by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission); (B) NMFS’ Southeast Headboat Survey (as required by § 622.5(b)(1); (C) Texas Parks and Wildlife Marine Recreational Fishing Survey; or (D) A data collection system that replaces one or more of the surveys in paragraph (r)(2)(i)(A),(B), or (C) of this section. (ii) A charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish that is not renewed or that is revoked will not be reissued. A permit is considered to be not renewed when an application for renewal, as required, is not received by the RA within 1 year of the expiration date of the permit. (3) Requirement to display a vessel decal. Upon renewal or transfer of a charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish, the RA will issue the owner of the permitted vessel a vessel decal for the applicable permitted fishery or fisheries. The vessel decal must be displayed on the port side of the deckhouse or hull and must be maintained so that it is clearly visible. § 622.42 [Amended] 4. In § 622.42, paragraph (a)(3) is removed. [FR Doc. 06–2389 Filed 3–10–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 060301058–6058–01; I.D. 022306A] RIN 0648–AU13 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; Total Allowable Catches for the Northeast Multispecies Fishery for Fishing Year 2006 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. wwhite on PROD1PC61 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS proposes three types of 2006 fishing year (FY) Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:18 Mar 10, 2006 Jkt 208001 (FMP). Hard TACs for Eastern Georges Bank (GB) cod, Eastern GB haddock, and GB yellowtail flounder in the U.S./ Canada Management Area; target TACs for all NE regulated multispecies; and hard Incidental Catch TACs for groundfish stocks of concern. This action also provides notice that the hard TACs for Eastern GB cod, Eastern GB haddock, and GB yellowtail flounder may be adjusted during FY 2006, if NMFS determines that the harvest of these stocks in FY 2005 exceeded the TACs specified for FY 2005. The intent of this action is to provide for the conservation and management of groundfish management under the FMP. DATES: Comments must be received by April 12, 2006. ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments by any of the following methods: • E-mail: USCATAC@NOAA.gov. Include in the subject line the following: Comments on the proposed TACs for the U.S./Canada Management Area. • 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 TACs for the U.S./Canada Management Area.’’ • Fax: (978) 281–9135. Copies of the Transboundary Management Guidance Committee’s 2005 Guidance Document and copies of the Environmental Assessment of the 2006 TACs (including the Regulatory Impact Review and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA)) may be obtained from NMFS at the mailing address specified above; telephone (978) 281–9315. NMFS prepared a summary of the IRFA, which is contained in the Classification section of this proposed rule. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Warren, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281–9347, fax (978) 281–9135, email Thomas.Warren@NOAA.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NE Multispecies FMP specifies a procedure for setting three types of TACs: (1) Annual hard (i.e., the fishery or area closes when a TAC is reached) TACs for Eastern GB cod, Eastern GB haddock, and GB yellowtail flounder; (2) target TACs for all regulated groundfish stocks; and (3) hard Incidental Catch TACs for groundfish stocks of concern. Hard TACs The regulations governing the annual development of hard TACs for the U.S./ PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 12665 Canada Management Area species (§ 648.85(a)(2)) were implemented by Amendment 13 to the FMP (69 FR 22906; April 27, 2004) in order to be consistent with the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding (Understanding), which is an informal understanding between the U.S. and Canada that outlines a process for the management of the shared GB groundfish resources. The Understanding specifies an allocation of TAC for these three stocks for each country, based on a formula that considers historical catch percentages and current resource distribution. Annual TACs are determined through a process involving the New England Fishery Management Council (Council), the Transboundary Management Guidance Committee (TMGC), and the U.S./Canada Transboundary Resources Steering Committee (§ 648.85(a)(2)(i)). On September 7 and 8, 2005, the TMGC developed the guidance document for 2006 (Guidance Document 2005/01), and on September 9, 2005, the Steering Committee concurred with the TMGC recommendations. On September 15, 2005, the Council accepted the recommendations of the TMGC for the 2006 TACs for GB cod, GB haddock, and GB yellowtail flounder. The recommended 2006 TACs were based upon the most recent stock assessments (Transboundary Resource Assessment Committee (TRAC) Status Reports for 2005), and the fishing mortality strategy shared by both the U.S. and Canada. The strategy is to maintain a low to neutral risk of exceeding the fishing mortality limit reference (Fref = 0.18, 0.26, and 0.25 for cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder, respectively). That is, when stock conditions are poor, fishing mortality rates (F) should be further reduced to promote rebuilding. For GB cod, the TMGC concluded that the most appropriate combined U.S./ Canada TAC for FY 2006 is 1,700 mt. This corresponds to an F less than the Fref of 0.18 in 2006 and represents a very low risk, less than 25–percent probability, of exceeding the Fref. At this level of harvest there is also a greater than 75–percent probability that stock biomass will increase by at least 10 percent from 2006 to 2007. The annual allocation shares for FY 2006 between the U.S. and Canada are based on a combination of historical catches (30 percent weighting) and resource distribution based on trawl surveys (70 percent weighting). Combining these factors entitles the U.S. to 22 percent and Canada to 78 percent, resulting in a national quota of 374 mt for the U.S. and 1,326 mt for Canada. E:\FR\FM\13MRP1.SGM 13MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 48 (Monday, March 13, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 12661-12665]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-2389]



[[Page 12662]]

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 060216043-6043-01; I.D. 021306C]
RIN 0648-AS70


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South 
Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Limited Access 
Program for Gulf Charter Vessels and Headboats

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS issues this proposed rule to implement Amendment 17 to 
the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources 
of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (Amendment 17) and Amendment 
25 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the 
Gulf of Mexico (Amendment 25) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery 
Management Council (Council). This proposed rule would establish a 
limited access system for charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) permits 
for the reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic fisheries in the 
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico and would continue 
to cap participation at current levels. In addition, NMFS proposes a 
number of minor revisions to remove outdated regulatory text and to 
clarify regulatory text. The intended effect of this proposed rule is 
to provide for biological, social, and economic stability in these for-
hire fisheries.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., eastern time, on 
April 27, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule by any of the 
following methods:
     E-mail: 0648-AS70.Proposed@noaa.gov. Include in the 
subject line the following document identifier: 0648-AS70.
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Jason Rueter, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 
13\th\ Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
     Fax: 727-824-5308; Attention: Jason Rueter.
    Copies of Amendments 17 and 25, which include a Regulatory Impact 
Review (RIR), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), and a 
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), may be obtained 
from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 N. Lois 
Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone: 813-348-1630; fax: 813-
348-1711; e-mail: gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org. Copies of the amendments 
may also be downloaded from the Council's website at 
www.gulfcouncil.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Rueter, telephone: 727-570-5305; 
fax: 727-570-5583; e-mail: Jason.Rueter@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The fishery for reef fish is managed under 
the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of 
Mexico (Reef Fish FMP) prepared by the Council. The fisheries for 
coastal migratory pelagic resources are managed under the Fishery 
Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf 
of Mexico and South Atlantic (Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP) prepared 
jointly by the Council and the South Atlantic Fishery Management 
Council. These FMPs were approved by NMFS and implemented under the 
authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.

Background

    The Council, in cooperation with the Gulf charter vessel/headboat 
industry, developed Amendment 14 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP 
and Amendment 20 to the Reef Fish FMP to address issues of increased 
fishing mortality and fishing effort in the for-hire sector of the 
recreational fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. These amendments required 
charter vessels and headboats operating in the fisheries for Gulf reef 
fish or Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish to obtain a moratorium 
permit and also established a 3-year moratorium on issuance of 
additional permits for these for-hire fisheries. NMFS approved 
Amendments 14 and 20 and promulgated the charter vessel/headboat 
moratorium regulations (67 FR 43558, June 28, 2002) to implement the 
amendments. The moratorium, scheduled to expire on June 16, 2006, was 
intended to temporarily stabilize fishing effort in the for-hire sector 
of these fisheries while the Council evaluated a more comprehensive, 
long-term approach.

Limited Access System

    This proposed rule would establish a limited access system in the 
for-hire reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic fisheries in the EEZ 
of the Gulf of Mexico that would continue to cap participation at the 
current level. This action is necessary to ensure the for-hire fishery 
does not revert to open access with resulting inappropriate increases 
in fishing mortality upon expiration of the moratorium. As was the case 
under the moratorium, no additional permits would be issued for these 
fisheries under the limited access system. Under the proposed limited 
access system, an owner of a vessel with a valid or renewable charter 
vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish or Gulf coastal migratory 
pelagic fish on the date Amendments 17 and 25 are approved (assuming 
approval) would be issued the applicable permits under the limited 
access system. There would be no changes to the current procedures for 
application, qualification, issuance, renewal, or transferability of 
these permits. This limited access system would be of indefinite 
duration and would remain in place unless the Council subsequently 
amends the Coastal Migratory Pelagics and Reef Fish FMPs to revise, 
replace, or eliminate it. The Council would review the effectiveness of 
this limited access system every 10 years.

Changes Proposed by NMFS

    In Sec.  622.3, NMFS proposes to revise outdated regulatory 
citations regarding national marine sanctuaries.
    In Sec.  622.4(r), NMFS is proposing to remove outdated text 
related to the original permit moratorium that is no longer relevant. 
In Sec.  622.4(r)(1), NMFS proposes a revision to clarify that the 
basis for determining authorized passenger capacity in relation to 
permit transfers is the authorized passenger capacity specified on the 
face of the permit being transferred, which is the authorized passenger 
capacity of the vessel for which the original permit was issued under 
the moratorium. In Sec.  622.4(r)(2), NMFS is proposing to revise the 
language regarding permit renewal requirements to be more consistent 
with the Council's original intent as expressed in Reef Fish Amendment 
20 and Coastal Migratory Pelagics Amendment 14. The revised language 
clarifies that a selected participant must provide information as 
requested in approved data surveys including, but not limited to, those 
listed in Sec.  622.4(r)(2). The phrase ``but not limited to'' was 
inadvertently

[[Page 12663]]

omitted from the rule implementing the Corrected Amendment.
    In Sec.  622.42, NMFS proposes to remove paragraph (a)(3), which 
was inadvertently and inappropriately retained in a prior revision of 
Sec.  622.42. Paragraph (a)(3) contains outdated text.

Classification

    At this time, NMFS has not determined whether Amendments 17 and 25, 
which this rule would implement, are consistent with 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 periods on these amendments and on this 
proposed rule.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    NMFS prepared an IRFA, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed 
rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. A description of the 
action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action 
are contained at the beginning of this section in the preamble and in 
the SUMMARY section of the preamble. A copy of the full analysis is 
available from the Council office (see ADDRESSES). A summary of the 
analysis follows.
    The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for the 
proposed rule. The proposed rule would establish a limited access 
system for Gulf for-hire reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic fish 
permits. In effect, this rule will extend indefinitely the current 
moratorium on these permits that is set to expire on June 16, 2006.
    The main objective of the proposed rule is to control increases in 
for-hire fishing vessels or passenger capacity while the Council 
determines the appropriate long-term management strategy for the for-
hire fishery. Such strategy would be related to stabilizing or reducing 
for-hire fishing mortality for reef fish and coastal migratory pelagic 
fish stocks that have rebuilding plans or are overfished or undergoing 
overfishing.
    Permitting of for-hire vessels has been required since 1987 for 
coastal migratory pelagic fish and 1996 for reef fish. When the current 
moratorium was established in 2003, NMFS issued for-hire moratorium 
permits to 1,857 vessels, but it is estimated that at the same time 510 
to 899 vessels were excluded. Some of the excluded vessels left the 
fishery before the moratorium took effect. Some of the vessels that 
were still in operation but inadvertently excluded from the moratorium 
were allowed to re-enter the fishery through an emergency reopening of 
the application period. Both included and excluded vessels may be 
considered to comprise the universe of vessels affected by the proposed 
rule.
    For-hire vessels with initial moratorium permits operate as charter 
vessels only, headboats only, or charter vessel/headboat combination. 
Some for-hire vessels also operate as commercial fishing vessels at 
certain times of the year. However, most (66.7 percent) operate as 
charter vessels only, and a great majority of these vessels (87.7 
percent) operate in both the coastal migratory pelagic and reef fish 
fisheries. About 69 percent of these vessels are individually owned and 
operated, 27 percent have corporate ownership, and the rest are in some 
other form of ownership. Florida is the homeport state of most vessels, 
followed in order by Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and other 
states. In the absence of relevant information, vessels excluded from 
the moratorium are deemed to have the same characteristics as those 
that obtained moratorium permits.
    For-hire vessel costs and revenues are not routinely collected. For 
the purpose of these amendments, data from two previous 1999 studies 
were pooled to characterize the financial performance of for-hire 
vessels. Charter vessels charge their fees on a group basis while 
headboats do it on a per-person (head) basis. On average, a charter 
vessel generates $76,960 in annual revenues and $36,758 in annual 
operating profits. An average headboat, on the other hand, generates 
$404,172 in annual revenues and $338,209 in annual operating profits. 
Excluding fixed and other non-operating expenses, both types of for-
hire operations generate positive profits. On average, both charter 
vessels and headboats operate at about 50 percent of their passenger 
capacity per trip.
    The financial performance of charter vessels and headboats varies 
according to the size of operation (passenger capacity) and geographic 
areas. For headboats, revenues range from $298,812 ($263,062 profits) 
for 13 to 30 maximum passenger capacity to $570,376 ($460,760 profits) 
for 61 or greater maximum passenger capacity. For charterboats, 
revenues range from $70,491 ($34,949 profits) for the 6 and under 
maximum passenger capacity to $129,813 ($86,502 profits) for the 7-12 
maximum passenger capacity vessels. Florida charter vessels generate 
annual revenues of $68,233 ($30,249 profits), while their counterparts 
in other areas earn $106,118 in annual revenues ($43,494 profits). 
Florida headboats generate annual revenues of $318,512 ($249,103 
profits), while their counterparts in the other areas earn revenues of 
$630,046 ($542,425 profits). In general, larger for-hire vessels 
generate larger profits, and for-hire vessels in Florida earn lower 
profits than those in other areas.
    A fishing business is considered a small entity if it is 
independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field of 
operation, and if it has annual receipts not in excess of $6 million in 
the case of for-hire entities. Given the data on revenues and profits, 
the for-hire vessels affected by the proposed rule are determined to be 
small business entities.
    All the for-hire vessel operations affected by measures in these 
amendments are considered small entities, so the issue of 
disproportionality does not arise in the present case. In general, 
headboat operations are larger than charter vessel operations in terms 
of revenues and costs as well as vessel and crew sizes and passenger 
capacity. There are also variations in the size of operations within 
the charter vessel and headboat classes.
    There are two types of effects on profitability depending on 
whether a vessel is included or excluded from operating in the EEZ for-
hire fisheries. Those included are expected to either maintain or 
increase their returns from for-hire operations should angler demand 
increase and the number of permits remain capped. Those excluded would 
continue to forgo any potential profits from for-hire operations 
related to reef fish or coastal migratory pelagic fish in the EEZ, 
although they may still earn profits from their state water for-hire 
operations or commercial fishing operations. For those that previously 
depended mainly on fishing trips in the EEZ, their profits would 
continue to be substantially reduced absent purchase of a limited 
access permit. These entities, as well as new entrants into the 
fishery, would have to expend an additional fixed cost in the form of 
purchase cost of the charter permit. This cost would have to be 
explicitly considered by new entrants as an integral part of their 
decision to invest in the for-hire fishery.
    Because the proposed rule would essentially extend the current 
moratorium on the issuance of new for-hire permits, it would not impose 
any additional record keeping or reporting requirements. Also, all the 
compliance requirements currently in place would remain the same. In 
the same vein, the proposed rule would not affect current permitting, 
certifications, and other

[[Page 12664]]

requirements by other Federal agencies, and thus it would not in any 
way conflict with or be duplicative of any relevant Federal rules.
    The other alternatives considered in these amendments are the no 
action alternative, which would allow the moratorium to expire in 2006; 
extension of the moratorium by 5 years; and extension of the moratorium 
by 10 years. The alternatives that would extend the moratorium by 5 
years or 10 years have similar effects as the proposed rule, although 
the magnitudes involved are lower because the moratorium would still be 
time limited. However, those alternatives would require additional 
administrative action and costs to subsequently extend the moratorium 
to meet the Council's objective of capping effort, and those 
alternatives would not provide the regulatory stability needed by the 
for-hire industry to make longer-term business decisions. For these 
reasons, those alternatives were not adopted. The no action alternative 
would benefit vessel operations re-entering the for-hire fishery as 
well as new entrants because they would not have the additional cost of 
purchasing permits. But their entrance into the for-hire fishery would 
impinge on the profitability of existing vessel operations as well as 
potentially increase the harvest and discards of certain species that 
are overfished or undergoing overfishing. A reversion to open access in 
the for-hire fishery would also complicate the management measures the 
Council might adopt for the fishery to address overfishing issues. 
Moreover, the no action alternative can only exacerbate the excess 
capacity problem in the for-hire fishery, especially given that for-
hire vessels are currently operating at about half their capacity.
    Certain measures have already been adopted to mitigate the adverse 
economic impacts of the moratorium. These include: (1) relatively 
liberal qualifying eligibility criteria for the moratorium permits, 
such as the inclusion of most historical participants, historical 
captains, and those who already committed money for the construction of 
vessels; (2) liberal provision for renewing for-hire permits; (3) 
transferability of for-hire permits, except historical captain permits; 
and, (4) an emergency action re-opening the moratorium permit 
application process to participants inadvertently excluded from the 
moratorium, which resulted in issuance of an additional 62 moratorium 
permits but did not alter the conclusions of this analysis. 
Additionally, re-entrants and new entrants can participate in the for-
hire fishery by purchasing permits from current permit holders. These 
features are preserved under the proposed rule.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Fisheries, Fishing, Puerto Rico, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Virgin Islands.

    Dated: March 7, 2006.
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 622 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 622--FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC

    1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
    2. In Sec.  622.3, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  622.3  Relation to other laws and regulations.

* * * * *
    (b) Except for regulations on allowable octocoral, Gulf and South 
Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock, this part is intended to 
apply within the EEZ portions of applicable National Marine Sanctuaries 
and National Parks, unless the regulations governing such Sanctuaries 
or Parks prohibit their application. Regulations on allowable 
octocoral, Gulf and South Atlantic prohibited coral, and live rock do 
not apply within the EEZ portions of the following Marine Sanctuaries 
and National Parks:
    (1) Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922 subpart 
P).
    (2) Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922 subpart 
I).
    (3) Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (15 CFR part 922 subpart F).
    (4) Everglades National Park (36 CFR 7.45).
    (5) Biscayne National Park (16 U.S.C. 410gg).
    (6) Fort Jefferson National Monument (36 CFR 7.27).
* * * * *
    3. In Sec.  622.4, paragraphs (a)(1)(ii) and (r) are revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  622.4  Permits and fees.

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) See paragraph (r) of this section regarding a limited access 
system for charter vessel/headboat permits for Gulf reef fish and Gulf 
coastal migratory pelagic fish.
* * * * *
    (r) Limited access system for charter vessel/headboat permits for 
Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish and Gulf reef fish. No applications 
for additional charter vessel/headboat permits for Gulf coastal 
migratory pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish will be accepted. Existing 
permits may be renewed, are subject to the restrictions on transfer in 
paragraph (r)(1) of this section, and are subject to the renewal 
requirements in paragraph (r)(2) of this section.
    (1) Transfer of permits--(i) Permits without a historical captain 
endorsement. A charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal 
migratory pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish that does not have a 
historical captain endorsement is fully transferable, with or without 
sale of the permitted vessel, except that no transfer is allowed to a 
vessel with a greater authorized passenger capacity than that of the 
vessel to which the moratorium permit was originally issued, as 
specified on the face of the permit being transferred. An application 
to transfer a permit to an inspected vessel must include a copy of that 
vessel's current USCG Certificate of Inspection (COI). A vessel without 
a valid COI will be considered an uninspected vessel with an authorized 
passenger capacity restricted to six or fewer passengers.
    (ii) Permits with a historical captain endorsement. A charter 
vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish or Gulf 
reef fish that has a historical captain endorsement may only be 
transferred to a vessel operated by the historical captain, cannot be 
transferred to a vessel with a greater authorized passenger capacity 
than that of the vessel to which the moratorium permit was originally 
issued, as specified on the face of the permit being transferred, and 
is not otherwise transferable.
    (iii) Procedure for permit transfer. To request that the RA 
transfer a charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal migratory 
pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish, the owner of the vessel who is 
transferring the permit and the owner of the vessel that is to receive 
the transferred permit must complete the transfer information on the 
reverse side of the permit and return the permit and a completed 
application for transfer to the RA. See paragraph (g)(1) of this 
section for additional transfer-related requirements applicable to all 
permits issued under this section.
    (2) Renewal. (i) Renewal of a charter vessel/headboat permit for 
Gulf coastal migratory pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish is contingent 
upon the permitted vessel and/or captain, as appropriate, being 
included in an active survey frame for, and, if selected to report, 
providing the information required in one of the

[[Page 12665]]

approved fishing data surveys. Surveys include, but are not limited 
to--
    (A) NMFS' Marine Recreational Fishing Vessel Directory Telephone 
Survey (conducted by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission);
    (B) NMFS' Southeast Headboat Survey (as required by Sec.  
622.5(b)(1);
    (C) Texas Parks and Wildlife Marine Recreational Fishing Survey; or
    (D) A data collection system that replaces one or more of the 
surveys in paragraph (r)(2)(i)(A),(B), or (C) of this section.
    (ii) A charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal migratory 
pelagic fish or Gulf reef fish that is not renewed or that is revoked 
will not be reissued. A permit is considered to be not renewed when an 
application for renewal, as required, is not received by the RA within 
1 year of the expiration date of the permit.
    (3) Requirement to display a vessel decal. Upon renewal or transfer 
of a charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf coastal migratory pelagic 
fish or Gulf reef fish, the RA will issue the owner of the permitted 
vessel a vessel decal for the applicable permitted fishery or 
fisheries. The vessel decal must be displayed on the port side of the 
deckhouse or hull and must be maintained so that it is clearly visible.


Sec.  622.42  [Amended]

    4. In Sec.  622.42, paragraph (a)(3) is removed.
[FR Doc. 06-2389 Filed 3-10-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S