Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Pelagic Fisheries; Squid Jig Fisheries, 50751-50755 [E8-20004]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 168 / Thursday, August 28, 2008 / Proposed Rules business size standard for this census category; that size standard is 500 or fewer employees. According to Census Bureau data for 2002, there were 1,362 firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of these, 1,351 had employment of 499 or fewer employees, and six firms had employment of between 500 and 999. Consequently, we estimate that the majority of these firms small entities that may be affected by our action. pwalker on PROD1PC71 with PROPOSALS D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities 66. Any potential proposals from this NPRM will not impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements that would be subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. Therefore, we have not attempted here to provide an estimate in terms of burden hours. Rather, we are asking commenters to provide the Commission with reliable information and comments on any costs and burdens on small entities. E. Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered 67. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include (among others) the following four alternatives: (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities. 68. As noted above, the NPRM invites comment on regulations that the Commission must implement 90 days after the 911 NET Act’s enactment, including regulations that: (A) Ensure that IP-enabled voice service providers have the ability to exercise their rights under subsection (b); (B) Take into account any technical, network security, or information privacy requirements that are specific to IPenabled voice services; and (C) Provide, with respect to any capabilities that are not required to be made available to a commercial mobile service provider but that the Commission determines * * * are necessary for an IP-enabled voice service provider to comply with its VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:24 Aug 27, 2008 Jkt 214001 obligations [to provide 911 service and enhanced 911 service], that such capabilities shall be available at the same rates, terms, and conditions as would apply if such capabilities were made available to a commercial mobile service provider. 69. Specifically, we invite comment regarding how the Commission could ease any potential burden on small entities. The Commission seeks comment on significant alternatives and recommends that small entities file comments in response to the NPRM. We anticipate that the record will be developed concerning alternative ways in which the Commission could lessen the burden on classes of carrier or entities. F. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules 70. None. Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis 71. This document does not contain proposed information collection(s) subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104–13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified ‘‘information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees,’’ pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107–198. See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4). Ordering Clauses 72. Accordingly, it is ordered that pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1, 4(i)–(j), 201, 202, 222, 251, 252, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i)–(j), 201, 202, 222, 251, 252, 303(r), and section 6 of the Wireless 911 Act, as amended, this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is adopted. 73. It is further ordered that the Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. [FR Doc. E8–20135 Filed 8–27–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50751 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 0612242967–7394–01] RIN 0648–AS71 Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Pelagic Fisheries; Squid Jig Fisheries National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: This proposed rule would include three species of pelagic squid under Federal management, and establish permitting and reporting requirements for squid jig fishing vessels over 50 ft (15.4 m) in length. These vessels would also be required to carry Federal observers if requested by NMFS. This proposed rule is intended to improve monitoring and management of U.S. domestic pelagic squid fisheries in the western Pacific. DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received by October 14, 2008. ADDRESSES: Comments on the amendment, identified by 0648–AS71, may be sent to either of the following addresses: • Electronic Submission: Federal eRulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov; or • Mail: William L. Robinson, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1601 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814– 4700. Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (if you wish to remain anonymous, enter ‘‘NA’’ in the required name and organization fields). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Copies of the Fishery Management Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region (Pelagics FMP), and proposed Amendment 15 including an environmental assessment (EA), are E:\FR\FM\28AUP1.SGM 28AUP1 pwalker on PROD1PC71 with PROPOSALS 50752 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 168 / Thursday, August 28, 2008 / Proposed Rules available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808–522–8220, fax 808– 522–8226, or www.wpcouncil.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Harman, NMFS PIR, 808–944–2271. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This Federal Register document is also accessible at the Office of the Federal Register website: www.gpoaccess.gov/fr. The pelagic fisheries of the U.S. western Pacific are managed under the Pelagics FMP, which was developed by the Council, and approved and implemented by NMFS. The Council has submitted Pelagics FMP Amendment 15 to NMFS for review under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). This proposed rule would implement the management provisions recommended in Amendment 15, if approved by the Secretary of Commerce. Although no squid resource concerns have arisen to date, effective monitoring programs and mechanisms to implement management measures are both needed. To address these needs, the Council recommends in Amendment 15 improving data on U.S. squid fisheries through new permitting, monitoring and reporting requirements, as follows: • Add three pelagic squid species to the pelagic management unit (neon flying squid, Ommastrephes bartramii, diamondback squid, Thysanoteuthis rhombus, and purple flying squid, Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis); and • Require operators of U.S. vessels greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length overall that fish for pelagic squid in waters of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the western Pacific to: i. obtain Federal permits; ii. carry Federal observers if requested by NMFS; and iii. report any western Pacific pelagic squid catch and effort either in Federal squid logbooks or via existing local reporting systems. These measures, if implemented, would provide additional data and a mechanism for the Council and NMFS to effectively monitor and manage the U.S. domestic pelagic squid fisheries. Pelagic squid are widely dispersed and short-lived, with relatively high reproduction rates. Thus, populations recover quickly following declines and are difficult to over-harvest with relatively inefficient fishing methods such as jigging. For example, stock abundance of neon flying squid in the central North Pacific was low in 1993, probably due to high fishing mortality from the high seas drift gillnet fishery. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:24 Aug 27, 2008 Jkt 214001 That fishery was banned in 1992, and the stocks quickly recovered and abundance was high during 1994–96. Stock abundance was again depressed in 1997 (the most prominent El Nino year in the last century), but was high in 1998. There is no evidence of overharvesting of pelagic squid stocks on the high seas or in EEZ waters around U.S. islands in the western Pacific. Pelagic squid are targeted by food and bait fisheries throughout the Pacific. They are a major component of the pelagic ecosystem, with large species preying on a variety of fish and invertebrate species, and smaller species providing important forage components for species such as swordfish and pilot whales. This ‘‘keystone’’ role of squid in the trophic web suggests that squid may be an important indicator of ecosystem dynamics. An international, large-scale, multi-species squid jigging fishery exists on the Pacific high seas, including foreign and a few U.S. fishing vessels. The Japanese jigging fleet was once dominant in the North Pacific, but is now rivaled by a growing Chinese fleet. The fishery is seasonal with most vessels switching to the Southern Hemisphere during the southern summer (October-February). Three U.S. squid jig vessels fished for squid in the North Pacific for a month or less in the summer of 2003, catching red flying squid on the high seas and offloading in Japan. Following a disappointing season, they moved to New Zealand waters for the 2003 summer/autumn squid season. To date, these domestic jigging vessels have fished on the high seas or in the waters of other nations, but there is a possibility of moving their fishing activities to U.S. EEZ waters around Hawaii in association with a shift in oceanic conditions. In addition to this large-vessel fishery, a few smaller vessels target purple flying squid with jigs near the Hawaiian Islands. This smaller fishery provides squid for the seafood market, and bait for the tuna handline fishery. Although U.S. fisheries in the northern waters of the western Pacific catch a tiny fraction of the total international squid production, data provided by monitoring of these fisheries are, as yet, the only indicator available of squid stock status. The first issue to be addressed in the proposed rule is the need for improved information about U.S. squid jig fisheries. To effectively monitor and manage these fisheries, there is a need to ensure that U.S. catches of squid in the western Pacific are recorded accurately. For fishing on the high seas, the HSFCA requires catch reporting, but to date there has been no specific PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 HSFCA logbook for squid jig fishing. Commercial landings of squid offloaded in Hawaii (regardless of where caught) are required to be reported on Hawaii state catch reports. Recreational catches landed in Hawaii are not subject to any reporting requirements (although recreational squid harvests are believed to be small and are not a concern to resource managers). With the exception of the Pacific remote island areas (PRIA), creel surveys are conducted in the other areas of the U.S. western Pacific to collect data on both commercial and recreational fishing activities. The information collected from these disparate programs have not been compiled for efficient analyses by resource scientists and managers. U.S. squid jig vessels that fish only on the high seas in the western Pacific would be required to report their catch and effort using the Federal squid logbooks, pursuant to the reporting and recordkeeping provision of the High Seas Fishing Compliance Act (HSFCA). The reporting requirements of the HSFCA (50 CFR 300.17(b)(3)) provide the necessary regulatory authority for NMFS to require squid jig fishermen to use Federal logbooks that would be implemented under this proposed rule to meet the reporting requirements under both the HSFCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act. In addition to data needs, a second issue regarding the domestic squid jigging fishery is that there is no management mechanism to implement fishery regulatory controls, should concerns arise regarding squid stocks or other aspects of the fishery. Squid resources are healthy, the domestic fishery is relatively small, and there have been no observed or reported interactions with protected species or significant levels of bycatch. Thus, specific management measures (such as time or area closures, or effort or landing limits) are not being considered at this time. However, the establishment of mechanisms to implement management measures would allow for regulatory controls to be put in place if data collected indicate a future need for additional management measures. To be considered, comments must be received by close of business on October 14, 2008, not postmarked or otherwise transmitted by that date. In addition to soliciting public comments on this proposed rule, NMFS is soliciting comments on proposed Amendment 15 through October 10, 2008 as stated in the Notice of Availability published on August 11, 2008 (73 FR 46580). Public comments on this proposed rule, if received by October 10, 2008, will also be E:\FR\FM\28AUP1.SGM 28AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 168 / Thursday, August 28, 2008 / Proposed Rules pwalker on PROD1PC71 with PROPOSALS considered in the approval/disapproval decision for Amendment 15. Comments received after that date will not be considered in the approval/disapproval decision for Amendment 15, but will be considered for this proposed rule. Classification Pursuant to section 304 (b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the Pelagics FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further consideration after public comment. Amendment 15 includes an EA that describes the existing squid fishery management and environment, and describes the potential environmental impacts of implementing the provisions of the preferred alternative. The EA tiers off a 2005 Final Environmental Impact Statement (2005 EIS) (70 FR 24038, May 6, 2005), and incorporates by reference the previous environmental impact analysis of the five alternatives considered in Amendment 15, specifically Alternative 1, the no-action alternative, Alternative 2, voluntary monitoring, Alternative 3, mandatory monitoring and management under the Pelagics FMP, Alternative 4, mandatory monitoring and management through a new squid FMP, and Alternative 5, mandatory monitoring and management through international agreements. All of the previous alternatives considered in the April 2005 EIS were coordinated with interested and affected parties. New information about future fishery management policies became available after the 2005 EIS was completed, and an additional alternative (Alternative 3a) was added and analyzed in the EA. Alternative 3a is similar to Alternative 3 in the 2005 EIS, but the revised alternative now contains provisions for mandatory Federal permits and logbooks reporting for vessels greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length that fish for squid in the U.S. EEZ waters of the western Pacific, and a requirement to carry Federal observers when requested by NMFS. The purpose and need for the proposed action is to establish appropriate monitoring and management mechanisms for the domestic harvest of western Pacific pelagic squid. Based on the information in the EA and the 2005 EIS, as compared to the no-action alternative, preferred Alternative 3a would have no adverse impacts to essential fish habitat or habitat areas of particular concern. None of the action alternatives would be expected to change the impacts of U.S. vessels on squid resources in the short VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:24 Aug 27, 2008 Jkt 214001 term, but impacts on the resource base could increase with higher future effort, so increasing fishery managers’ understanding of the status of the stocks and fishing mortality would be an important outcome of this action. By including pelagic squid as management unit species under the preferred alternative, the foundation would be established for implementing control measures, should they become necessary. None of the action alternatives is anticipated to have any significant adverse impacts on seabird, sea turtle, or marine mammal populations because the fishery has a relatively low level of participation, and there have been no observed or reported interactions with protected resources in either the nearshore Hawaii squid fishery or the U.S. high seas squid jig fishery. The preferred alternative would provide for the sustained participation of fishing communities by helping to ensure the long-term availability of Pacific pelagic squid. The complete analysis of the alternatives is contained in the 2005 EIS and in Amendment 15, and is not repeated here. Copies of these two environmental analytical documents are available from the Council (see ADDRESSES). This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The analysis follows: The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared Amendment 15 to the Pelagics FMP. Amendment 15 recommends including three species of commercially-harvested pelagic squid (neon flying squid, purple flying squid, and diamondback squid) as pelagic management unit species. Amendment 15 would establish Federal permitting, data reporting, and observer requirements for squid jigging vessels over 50 ft (15.4 m) in length that fish in the U.S. EEZ of the western Pacific, or land these squid in ports of the region. A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained in the preamble to this proposed rule. This rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with other Federal rules. There are no disproportionate economic impacts from this rule based on homeport, gear type, or relative vessel size. Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. § 605(b), NMFS has determined that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities based on the pre-existing status of pelagic squid fisheries within the U.S. EEZ of the central and western Pacific. All vessels PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50753 having the potential to participate in this fishery are considered to be small entities under the current Small Business Administration definition of small fishharvesting businesses (gross receipts not in excess of $ 4.0 million, independently owned and operated, and not dominant in their field). This proposed rule would improve mandatory monitoring and establish mechanisms for management by including these squids in the management unit. This rule would require U.S. vessels greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length overall that fish for pelagic squid in U.S. Pacific EEZ to obtain Federal permits, to carry observers if requested by NMFS, and to report their catch and effort using either NMFS western Pacific squid jigging logbooks or existing local reporting systems. High seas squid harvests would be reported in the squid jigging logbooks. The fishery data would be centralized into a database easily available to resource scientists and managers. An international, large-scale squid jigging fishery (multi-species) exists on the Pacific high seas. This includes both foreign and, until recently, a few domestic (U.S. flagged) fishing vessels. Three U.S. flagged squid jiggers fished for squid in the North Pacific in the summer of 2003, catching neon flying squid before traveling to the Southern Hemisphere. (The fishery is seasonal with most vessels switching to the Southern Hemisphere during the southern summer, October-February.) The operation consisted of a mother ship, 47 m long with 38 jigging machines, and holding up to 453,600 kg of squid, with a crew of 18. The other three boats ranged from 32–34 m in length. Each had 21–38 jigging machines, holding 204,100 to 386,000 kg of squid, with crews of 12. Blast freezers were installed on board all four boats. While squid catches as high as 8,000 kg per vessel per night have been reported by some operations, the recent domestic operation in the North Pacific caught a combined total of 20,253 kg of red flying squid for three vessels fishing over 22 days in 2003. In addition, a small nearshore squid jigging fishery operating out of Kauai and a tuna handline fishery operating primarily from the Big Island of Hawaii have been known to target purple flying squid for food and/or bait. Although significant in the 1970s and 1980s, current participation in this fishery is now estimated to consist of only a few vessels. Nonetheless, due to shifts in both economic and oceanic conditions, there exists the potential for domestic squid jigging effort to shift from the high seas to the U.S. EEZ around Hawaii. Economic impacts of the preferred alternative would have a slightly adverse economic impact in the requirement to pay a vessel permit fee of approximately $30. Using average prices for squid sold in Hawaii during the summer of 2003 ($1.81/lb), a permit fee of $30 represents only 0.15% of the average boat revenue for the known boats jigging for squid in the North Pacific during 2003. The largest potential impact to affected participants is the observer requirement for vessels greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length overall contained in the preliminarily E:\FR\FM\28AUP1.SGM 28AUP1 50754 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 168 / Thursday, August 28, 2008 / Proposed Rules pwalker on PROD1PC71 with PROPOSALS preferred alternative. Assuming that the costs of deploying (paying and feeding) observers would be paid by NMFS (as has been the case in the western Pacific region to date), vessel operators will still incur some indirect costs. Limited bunk or deck space may require vessel operators to reduce the number of crew in order to accommodate observers, resulting in a decrease in the operating efficiency of the remaining crew. There may be additional costs if vessel operators choose to carry additional liability insurance (beyond that provided by NMFS for its observers). These costs would vary between individual vessels depending on the insurance carriers’ minimum allowed coverage period, and the coverage approach that is taken. The number of entities that will be required to carry observers is unknown as the appropriate level of observer coverage has not been determined, however, given that no vessels of this size have fished for pelagic squid in Pacific U.S. EEZ waters without landing them in the U.S.A. to date, this burden may be minimal. It is possible that a squid fishery observer program could operate on an intermittent basis if the low levels of bycatch and protected species interactions believed to occur are confirmed. The remaining aspects of the preferred alternative consist of the requirement for vessels greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length overall to obtain Federal permit and to either complete new Federal logbooks or to participate in local reporting systems. Because there are no fishery-management controls associated with this measure that affect the operations of the fishery other than potentially carrying observers, significant impacts to the profitability of a substantial number of small entities are not anticipated and there will be no disproportionate impact between gear types, vessels or port of landing. As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). These requirements have been submitted to OMB for approval. The preferred alternative would require the owners of all U.S. vessels greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length that conduct commercial squid jig fishing for squid in U.S. EEZ waters around the islands of the western Pacific to obtain Federal fishing permits, and the vessel operators would be required to complete and submit Federal catch reports, or report via local reporting systems where such systems exist. Permit eligibility would not be restricted in any way, and the permit would be renewable on an annual basis. NMFS anticipates that initial permit applications would require 0.5 hours per applicant, with renewals requiring an additional 0.5 hours annually. It is estimated that NMFS may receive and process up to 30 permit applications VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:24 Aug 27, 2008 Jkt 214001 each year. Thus, the total collection-ofinformation burden to fishermen for permit applications is estimated at 15 hours per year. The cost for individual Federal permits has not been determined, but would represent only the administrative cost and is anticipated to be approximately $30 per permit. NMFS anticipates the time requirement to complete Federal catch reports to be approximately 10 minutes per vessel per fishing day. Assuming that the 30 vessels fish during up to 100 days per year, the total collection-ofinformation burden estimate for fishing data reporting is estimated at 500 hours per year. These estimates include the time for reviewing instructions, searching and compiling existing data sources, and completing and reviewing the collection information. Public comment is sought regarding: whether this proposed 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 estimates; 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 William L. Robinson (see ADDRESSES), and by email to DavidlRostker@omb.eop.gov or by fax to 202–395–7285. 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 665 Administrative practice and procedure, American Samoa, Fisheries, Fishing, Guam, Hawaii, Hawaiian Natives, Northern Mariana Islands, Pacific remote island areas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Dated: August 22, 2008. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator For Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 665 is proposed to be amended as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC 1. The authority citation for part 665 continues to read as follows: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 665.12, amend the definition for ‘‘Pacific Pelagic Management Unit Species,’’ by adding three squid species to the end of the table, and add a definition for ‘‘Squid jig fishing’’ in alphabetical order to read as follows: § 665.12 Definitions. * * * * * Pacific Pelagic Management Unit Species * * * Common name * * * Squid: Diamondback squid Neon flying squid Purple flying squid Scientific name * * Thysanoteuthis rhombus Ommastrephes bartramii Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis * * * * * Squid jig fishing means fishing for squid that are Pelagic management unit species using a hook or hooks attached to a line that is raised and lowered in the water column by manual or mechanical means. * * * * * 3. In § 665.13, revise paragraphs (f)(2)(i) through (f)(2)(v), and add a new paragraph (f)(2)(vi) to read as follows: § 665.13 Permits and fees. * * * * * (f) Fees. * * * (2) * * * (i) Hawaii longline limited access permit. (ii) Mau Zone limited access permit. (iii) Coral reef ecosystem special permit (iv) American Samoa longline limited access permit. (v) Main Hawaiian Islands noncommercial bottomfish permit. (vi) Western Pacific squid jig permit. * * * * * 4. In § 665.14, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows: § 665.14 Reporting and recordkeeping. (a) Fishing record forms. (1) Applicability. (i) The operator of any fishing vessel subject to the requirements of §§ 665.21, 665.41, 665.61(a)(2), 665.61(a)(3), 665.61(a)(4), 665.81, or 665.602 must maintain on board the vessel an accurate and complete record of catch, effort, and E:\FR\FM\28AUP1.SGM 28AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 168 / Thursday, August 28, 2008 / Proposed Rules other data on paper report forms provided by the Regional Administrator, or electronically as specified and approved by the Regional Administrator, except as allowed in paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of this section. (ii) All information specified by the Regional Administrator must be recorded on paper or electronically within 24 hours after the completion of each fishing day. The logbook information, reported on paper or electronically, for each day of the fishing trip must be signed and dated or otherwise authenticated by the vessel operator in the manner determined by the Regional Administrator, and be submitted or transmitted via an approved method as specified by the Regional Administrator, and as required by this paragraph (a). (iii) In lieu of the requirements in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, the operator of a fishing vessel registered for use under a Western Pacific squid jig permit pursuant to the requirements of § 665.21(g) may participate in a state reporting system. If participating in a state reporting system, all required information must be recorded and submitted in the exact manner required by applicable state law or regulation. * * * * * 5. In § 665.21, redesignate paragraphs (g) through (n) as paragraphs (h) through (o), and add a new paragraph (g) to read as follows: § 665.21 Permits. * * * * (g) A vessel of the United States must be registered for use under a Western pwalker on PROD1PC71 with PROPOSALS * VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:24 Aug 27, 2008 Jkt 214001 Pacific squid jig fishing permit, if that vessel is more than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length overall and is used to squid jig fish in EEZ waters around American Samoa, the CNMI, Guam, the Hawaiian Archipelago, or the PRIA. * * * * * 6. In § 665.22 add new paragraph (zz) to read as follows: § 665.22 Prohibitions. * * * * * (zz) Use a vessel that is greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length overall to squid jig fish in EEZ waters around American Samoa, the CNMI, Guam, the Hawaiian Archipelago, or the PRIA, without a Western Pacific squid jig fishing permit registered for use with that vessel, in violation of § 665.21(g). 7. In § 665.23, revise paragraph (a), redesignate paragraphs (b) and (c) as paragraphs (d) and (e), and add new paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows: § 665.23 Notifications. (a) The permit holder, or designated agent, for any vessel registered for use under a Hawaii longline limited access permit, or for any vessel greater than 40 ft (12.2 m) in length overall that is registered for use under an American Samoa longline limited access permit, shall provide a notice to the Regional Administrator at least 72 hours (not including weekends and Federal holidays) before the vessel leaves port on a fishing trip, any part of which occurs in the EEZ around the Hawaiian Archipelago or American Samoa. The vessel operator will be presumed to be an agent designated by the permit PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50755 holder unless the Regional Administrator is otherwise notified by the permit holder. The permit holder or designated agent for a vessel registered for use under Hawaii longline limited access permits must also provide notification of the trip type (either deepsetting or shallow-setting). (b) The permit holder, or designated agent, for any vessel registered for use under a Western Pacific squid jig fishing permit that is greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length overall, shall provide a notice to the Regional Administrator at least 72 hours (not including weekends and Federal holidays) before the vessel leaves port on a fishing trip, any part of which occurs in Western Pacific waters. The vessel operator will be presumed to be an agent designated by the permit holder unless the Regional Administrator is otherwise notified by the permit holder. (c) For purposes of this section, the notice must be provided to the office or telephone number designated by the Regional Administrator. The notice must provide the official number of the vessel, the name of the vessel, the intended departure date, time, and location, the name of the operator of the vessel, and the name and telephone number of the permit holder or designated agent to be available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (local time) on weekdays for NMFS to contact to arrange observer placement. * * * * * [FR Doc. E8–20004 Filed 8–27–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\28AUP1.SGM 28AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 168 (Thursday, August 28, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 50751-50755]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-20004]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 665

[Docket No. 0612242967-7394-01]
RIN 0648-AS71


Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Pelagic Fisheries; Squid Jig 
Fisheries

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This proposed rule would include three species of pelagic 
squid under Federal management, and establish permitting and reporting 
requirements for squid jig fishing vessels over 50 ft (15.4 m) in 
length. These vessels would also be required to carry Federal observers 
if requested by NMFS. This proposed rule is intended to improve 
monitoring and management of U.S. domestic pelagic squid fisheries in 
the western Pacific.

DATES: Comments on this proposed rule must be received by October 14, 
2008.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the amendment, identified by 0648-AS71, may be 
sent to either of the following addresses:
     Electronic Submission: Federal e-Rulemaking Portal 
www.regulations.gov; or
     Mail: William L. Robinson, Regional Administrator, NMFS, 
Pacific Islands Region (PIR), 1601 Kapiolani Blvd, Suite 1110, 
Honolulu, HI 96814-4700.
    Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record 
and will generally be posted to www.regulations.gov without change. All 
personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted 
voluntarily by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit 
confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected 
information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (if you wish to remain 
anonymous, enter ``NA'' in the required name and organization fields). 
Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word 
or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
    Copies of the Fishery Management Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the 
Western Pacific Region (Pelagics FMP), and proposed Amendment 15 
including an environmental assessment (EA), are

[[Page 50752]]

available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council 
(Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808-
522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, or www.wpcouncil.org.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bob Harman, NMFS PIR, 808-944-2271.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This Federal Register document is also 
accessible at the Office of the Federal Register website: 
www.gpoaccess.gov/fr.
    The pelagic fisheries of the U.S. western Pacific are managed under 
the Pelagics FMP, which was developed by the Council, and approved and 
implemented by NMFS. The Council has submitted Pelagics FMP Amendment 
15 to NMFS for review under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). This proposed rule would 
implement the management provisions recommended in Amendment 15, if 
approved by the Secretary of Commerce. Although no squid resource 
concerns have arisen to date, effective monitoring programs and 
mechanisms to implement management measures are both needed. To address 
these needs, the Council recommends in Amendment 15 improving data on 
U.S. squid fisheries through new permitting, monitoring and reporting 
requirements, as follows:
     Add three pelagic squid species to the pelagic management 
unit (neon flying squid, Ommastrephes bartramii, diamondback squid, 
Thysanoteuthis rhombus, and purple flying squid, Sthenoteuthis 
oualaniensis); and
     Require operators of U.S. vessels greater than 50 ft (15.4 
m) in length overall that fish for pelagic squid in waters of the U.S. 
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the western Pacific to:
    i. obtain Federal permits;
    ii. carry Federal observers if requested by NMFS; and
    iii. report any western Pacific pelagic squid catch and effort 
either in Federal squid logbooks or via existing local reporting 
systems.
    These measures, if implemented, would provide additional data and a 
mechanism for the Council and NMFS to effectively monitor and manage 
the U.S. domestic pelagic squid fisheries.
    Pelagic squid are widely dispersed and short-lived, with relatively 
high reproduction rates. Thus, populations recover quickly following 
declines and are difficult to over-harvest with relatively inefficient 
fishing methods such as jigging. For example, stock abundance of neon 
flying squid in the central North Pacific was low in 1993, probably due 
to high fishing mortality from the high seas drift gillnet fishery. 
That fishery was banned in 1992, and the stocks quickly recovered and 
abundance was high during 1994-96. Stock abundance was again depressed 
in 1997 (the most prominent El Nino year in the last century), but was 
high in 1998. There is no evidence of over-harvesting of pelagic squid 
stocks on the high seas or in EEZ waters around U.S. islands in the 
western Pacific.
    Pelagic squid are targeted by food and bait fisheries throughout 
the Pacific. They are a major component of the pelagic ecosystem, with 
large species preying on a variety of fish and invertebrate species, 
and smaller species providing important forage components for species 
such as swordfish and pilot whales. This ``keystone'' role of squid in 
the trophic web suggests that squid may be an important indicator of 
ecosystem dynamics. An international, large-scale, multi-species squid 
jigging fishery exists on the Pacific high seas, including foreign and 
a few U.S. fishing vessels. The Japanese jigging fleet was once 
dominant in the North Pacific, but is now rivaled by a growing Chinese 
fleet. The fishery is seasonal with most vessels switching to the 
Southern Hemisphere during the southern summer (October-February). 
Three U.S. squid jig vessels fished for squid in the North Pacific for 
a month or less in the summer of 2003, catching red flying squid on the 
high seas and offloading in Japan. Following a disappointing season, 
they moved to New Zealand waters for the 2003 summer/autumn squid 
season. To date, these domestic jigging vessels have fished on the high 
seas or in the waters of other nations, but there is a possibility of 
moving their fishing activities to U.S. EEZ waters around Hawaii in 
association with a shift in oceanic conditions. In addition to this 
large-vessel fishery, a few smaller vessels target purple flying squid 
with jigs near the Hawaiian Islands. This smaller fishery provides 
squid for the seafood market, and bait for the tuna handline fishery.
    Although U.S. fisheries in the northern waters of the western 
Pacific catch a tiny fraction of the total international squid 
production, data provided by monitoring of these fisheries are, as yet, 
the only indicator available of squid stock status. The first issue to 
be addressed in the proposed rule is the need for improved information 
about U.S. squid jig fisheries. To effectively monitor and manage these 
fisheries, there is a need to ensure that U.S. catches of squid in the 
western Pacific are recorded accurately. For fishing on the high seas, 
the HSFCA requires catch reporting, but to date there has been no 
specific HSFCA logbook for squid jig fishing. Commercial landings of 
squid offloaded in Hawaii (regardless of where caught) are required to 
be reported on Hawaii state catch reports. Recreational catches landed 
in Hawaii are not subject to any reporting requirements (although 
recreational squid harvests are believed to be small and are not a 
concern to resource managers). With the exception of the Pacific remote 
island areas (PRIA), creel surveys are conducted in the other areas of 
the U.S. western Pacific to collect data on both commercial and 
recreational fishing activities. The information collected from these 
disparate programs have not been compiled for efficient analyses by 
resource scientists and managers.
    U.S. squid jig vessels that fish only on the high seas in the 
western Pacific would be required to report their catch and effort 
using the Federal squid logbooks, pursuant to the reporting and 
recordkeeping provision of the High Seas Fishing Compliance Act 
(HSFCA). The reporting requirements of the HSFCA (50 CFR 300.17(b)(3)) 
provide the necessary regulatory authority for NMFS to require squid 
jig fishermen to use Federal logbooks that would be implemented under 
this proposed rule to meet the reporting requirements under both the 
HSFCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    In addition to data needs, a second issue regarding the domestic 
squid jigging fishery is that there is no management mechanism to 
implement fishery regulatory controls, should concerns arise regarding 
squid stocks or other aspects of the fishery. Squid resources are 
healthy, the domestic fishery is relatively small, and there have been 
no observed or reported interactions with protected species or 
significant levels of bycatch. Thus, specific management measures (such 
as time or area closures, or effort or landing limits) are not being 
considered at this time. However, the establishment of mechanisms to 
implement management measures would allow for regulatory controls to be 
put in place if data collected indicate a future need for additional 
management measures.
    To be considered, comments must be received by close of business on 
October 14, 2008, not postmarked or otherwise transmitted by that date.
    In addition to soliciting public comments on this proposed rule, 
NMFS is soliciting comments on proposed Amendment 15 through October 
10, 2008 as stated in the Notice of Availability published on August 
11, 2008 (73 FR 46580). Public comments on this proposed rule, if 
received by October 10, 2008, will also be

[[Page 50753]]

considered in the approval/disapproval decision for Amendment 15. 
Comments received after that date will not be considered in the 
approval/disapproval decision for Amendment 15, but will be considered 
for this proposed rule.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304 (b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is 
consistent with the Pelagics FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, and other applicable laws, subject to further 
consideration after public comment.
    Amendment 15 includes an EA that describes the existing squid 
fishery management and environment, and describes the potential 
environmental impacts of implementing the provisions of the preferred 
alternative. The EA tiers off a 2005 Final Environmental Impact 
Statement (2005 EIS) (70 FR 24038, May 6, 2005), and incorporates by 
reference the previous environmental impact analysis of the five 
alternatives considered in Amendment 15, specifically Alternative 1, 
the no-action alternative, Alternative 2, voluntary monitoring, 
Alternative 3, mandatory monitoring and management under the Pelagics 
FMP, Alternative 4, mandatory monitoring and management through a new 
squid FMP, and Alternative 5, mandatory monitoring and management 
through international agreements. All of the previous alternatives 
considered in the April 2005 EIS were coordinated with interested and 
affected parties. New information about future fishery management 
policies became available after the 2005 EIS was completed, and an 
additional alternative (Alternative 3a) was added and analyzed in the 
EA. Alternative 3a is similar to Alternative 3 in the 2005 EIS, but the 
revised alternative now contains provisions for mandatory Federal 
permits and logbooks reporting for vessels greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) 
in length that fish for squid in the U.S. EEZ waters of the western 
Pacific, and a requirement to carry Federal observers when requested by 
NMFS.
    The purpose and need for the proposed action is to establish 
appropriate monitoring and management mechanisms for the domestic 
harvest of western Pacific pelagic squid. Based on the information in 
the EA and the 2005 EIS, as compared to the no-action alternative, 
preferred Alternative 3a would have no adverse impacts to essential 
fish habitat or habitat areas of particular concern. None of the action 
alternatives would be expected to change the impacts of U.S. vessels on 
squid resources in the short term, but impacts on the resource base 
could increase with higher future effort, so increasing fishery 
managers' understanding of the status of the stocks and fishing 
mortality would be an important outcome of this action. By including 
pelagic squid as management unit species under the preferred 
alternative, the foundation would be established for implementing 
control measures, should they become necessary. None of the action 
alternatives is anticipated to have any significant adverse impacts on 
seabird, sea turtle, or marine mammal populations because the fishery 
has a relatively low level of participation, and there have been no 
observed or reported interactions with protected resources in either 
the nearshore Hawaii squid fishery or the U.S. high seas squid jig 
fishery. The preferred alternative would provide for the sustained 
participation of fishing communities by helping to ensure the long-term 
availability of Pacific pelagic squid. The complete analysis of the 
alternatives is contained in the 2005 EIS and in Amendment 15, and is 
not repeated here. Copies of these two environmental analytical 
documents are available from the Council (see ADDRESSES).
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The analysis follows:
    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) 
prepared Amendment 15 to the Pelagics FMP. Amendment 15 recommends 
including three species of commercially-harvested pelagic squid 
(neon flying squid, purple flying squid, and diamondback squid) as 
pelagic management unit species. Amendment 15 would establish 
Federal permitting, data reporting, and observer requirements for 
squid jigging vessels over 50 ft (15.4 m) in length that fish in the 
U.S. EEZ of the western Pacific, or land these squid in ports of the 
region. A description of the action, why it is being considered, and 
the legal basis for this action are contained in the preamble to 
this proposed rule. This rule does not duplicate, overlap, or 
conflict with other Federal rules. There are no disproportionate 
economic impacts from this rule based on homeport, gear type, or 
relative vessel size. Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. Sec.  605(b), NMFS has determined that 
this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities based on the pre-existing 
status of pelagic squid fisheries within the U.S. EEZ of the central 
and western Pacific. All vessels having the potential to participate 
in this fishery are considered to be small entities under the 
current Small Business Administration definition of small fish-
harvesting businesses (gross receipts not in excess of $ 4.0 
million, independently owned and operated, and not dominant in their 
field).
    This proposed rule would improve mandatory monitoring and 
establish mechanisms for management by including these squids in the 
management unit. This rule would require U.S. vessels greater than 
50 ft (15.4 m) in length overall that fish for pelagic squid in U.S. 
Pacific EEZ to obtain Federal permits, to carry observers if 
requested by NMFS, and to report their catch and effort using either 
NMFS western Pacific squid jigging logbooks or existing local 
reporting systems. High seas squid harvests would be reported in the 
squid jigging logbooks. The fishery data would be centralized into a 
database easily available to resource scientists and managers.
    An international, large-scale squid jigging fishery (multi-
species) exists on the Pacific high seas. This includes both foreign 
and, until recently, a few domestic (U.S. flagged) fishing vessels. 
Three U.S. flagged squid jiggers fished for squid in the North 
Pacific in the summer of 2003, catching neon flying squid before 
traveling to the Southern Hemisphere. (The fishery is seasonal with 
most vessels switching to the Southern Hemisphere during the 
southern summer, October-February.) The operation consisted of a 
mother ship, 47 m long with 38 jigging machines, and holding up to 
453,600 kg of squid, with a crew of 18. The other three boats ranged 
from 32-34 m in length. Each had 21-38 jigging machines, holding 
204,100 to 386,000 kg of squid, with crews of 12. Blast freezers 
were installed on board all four boats. While squid catches as high 
as 8,000 kg per vessel per night have been reported by some 
operations, the recent domestic operation in the North Pacific 
caught a combined total of 20,253 kg of red flying squid for three 
vessels fishing over 22 days in 2003.
    In addition, a small nearshore squid jigging fishery operating 
out of Kauai and a tuna handline fishery operating primarily from 
the Big Island of Hawaii have been known to target purple flying 
squid for food and/or bait. Although significant in the 1970s and 
1980s, current participation in this fishery is now estimated to 
consist of only a few vessels. Nonetheless, due to shifts in both 
economic and oceanic conditions, there exists the potential for 
domestic squid jigging effort to shift from the high seas to the 
U.S. EEZ around Hawaii.
    Economic impacts of the preferred alternative would have a 
slightly adverse economic impact in the requirement to pay a vessel 
permit fee of approximately $30. Using average prices for squid sold 
in Hawaii during the summer of 2003 ($1.81/lb), a permit fee of $30 
represents only 0.15% of the average boat revenue for the known 
boats jigging for squid in the North Pacific during 2003. The 
largest potential impact to affected participants is the observer 
requirement for vessels greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length 
overall contained in the preliminarily

[[Page 50754]]

preferred alternative. Assuming that the costs of deploying (paying 
and feeding) observers would be paid by NMFS (as has been the case 
in the western Pacific region to date), vessel operators will still 
incur some indirect costs. Limited bunk or deck space may require 
vessel operators to reduce the number of crew in order to 
accommodate observers, resulting in a decrease in the operating 
efficiency of the remaining crew. There may be additional costs if 
vessel operators choose to carry additional liability insurance 
(beyond that provided by NMFS for its observers). These costs would 
vary between individual vessels depending on the insurance carriers' 
minimum allowed coverage period, and the coverage approach that is 
taken. The number of entities that will be required to carry 
observers is unknown as the appropriate level of observer coverage 
has not been determined, however, given that no vessels of this size 
have fished for pelagic squid in Pacific U.S. EEZ waters without 
landing them in the U.S.A. to date, this burden may be minimal. It 
is possible that a squid fishery observer program could operate on 
an intermittent basis if the low levels of bycatch and protected 
species interactions believed to occur are confirmed. The remaining 
aspects of the preferred alternative consist of the requirement for 
vessels greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length overall to obtain 
Federal permit and to either complete new Federal logbooks or to 
participate in local reporting systems.
    Because there are no fishery-management controls associated with 
this measure that affect the operations of the fishery other than 
potentially carrying observers, significant impacts to the 
profitability of a substantial number of small entities are not 
anticipated and there will be no disproportionate impact between 
gear types, vessels or port of landing. As a result, an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been 
prepared.
    This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements 
subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). These requirements have 
been submitted to OMB for approval. The preferred alternative would 
require the owners of all U.S. vessels greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in 
length that conduct commercial squid jig fishing for squid in U.S. EEZ 
waters around the islands of the western Pacific to obtain Federal 
fishing permits, and the vessel operators would be required to complete 
and submit Federal catch reports, or report via local reporting systems 
where such systems exist. Permit eligibility would not be restricted in 
any way, and the permit would be renewable on an annual basis.
    NMFS anticipates that initial permit applications would require 0.5 
hours per applicant, with renewals requiring an additional 0.5 hours 
annually. It is estimated that NMFS may receive and process up to 30 
permit applications each year. Thus, the total collection-of-
information burden to fishermen for permit applications is estimated at 
15 hours per year. The cost for individual Federal permits has not been 
determined, but would represent only the administrative cost and is 
anticipated to be approximately $30 per permit.
    NMFS anticipates the time requirement to complete Federal catch 
reports to be approximately 10 minutes per vessel per fishing day. 
Assuming that the 30 vessels fish during up to 100 days per year, the 
total collection-of-information burden estimate for fishing data 
reporting is estimated at 500 hours per year.
    These estimates include the time for reviewing instructions, 
searching and compiling existing data sources, and completing and 
reviewing the collection information. Public comment is sought 
regarding: whether this proposed 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 estimates; 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 William L. Robinson (see ADDRESSES), and by email to David_
Rostker@omb.eop.gov or by fax to 202-395-7285.
    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 665

    Administrative practice and procedure, American Samoa, Fisheries, 
Fishing, Guam, Hawaii, Hawaiian Natives, Northern Mariana Islands, 
Pacific remote island areas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: August 22, 2008.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator For Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 665 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 665--FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC

    1. The authority citation for part 665 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
    2. In Sec.  665.12, amend the definition for ``Pacific Pelagic 
Management Unit Species,'' by adding three squid species to the end of 
the table, and add a definition for ``Squid jig fishing'' in 
alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  665.12  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Pacific Pelagic Management Unit Species * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Common name                        Scientific name
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                * * * * *
 
                       Squid:                        ...................
                 Diamondback squid                       Thysanoteuthis
                                                                rhombus
                 Neon flying squid                         Ommastrephes
                                                              bartramii
                Purple flying squid                       Sthenoteuthis
                                                           oualaniensis
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    Squid jig fishing means fishing for squid that are Pelagic 
management unit species using a hook or hooks attached to a line that 
is raised and lowered in the water column by manual or mechanical 
means.
* * * * *
    3. In Sec.  665.13, revise paragraphs (f)(2)(i) through (f)(2)(v), 
and add a new paragraph (f)(2)(vi) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.13  Permits and fees.

* * * * *
    (f) Fees. * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) Hawaii longline limited access permit.
    (ii) Mau Zone limited access permit.
    (iii) Coral reef ecosystem special permit
    (iv) American Samoa longline limited access permit.
    (v) Main Hawaiian Islands non-commercial bottomfish permit.
    (vi) Western Pacific squid jig permit.
* * * * *
    4. In Sec.  665.14, revise paragraph (a)(1) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.14  Reporting and recordkeeping.

    (a) Fishing record forms. (1) Applicability. (i) The operator of 
any fishing vessel subject to the requirements of Sec. Sec.  665.21, 
665.41, 665.61(a)(2), 665.61(a)(3), 665.61(a)(4), 665.81, or 665.602 
must maintain on board the vessel an accurate and complete record of 
catch, effort, and

[[Page 50755]]

other data on paper report forms provided by the Regional 
Administrator, or electronically as specified and approved by the 
Regional Administrator, except as allowed in paragraph (a)(1)(iii) of 
this section.
    (ii) All information specified by the Regional Administrator must 
be recorded on paper or electronically within 24 hours after the 
completion of each fishing day. The logbook information, reported on 
paper or electronically, for each day of the fishing trip must be 
signed and dated or otherwise authenticated by the vessel operator in 
the manner determined by the Regional Administrator, and be submitted 
or transmitted via an approved method as specified by the Regional 
Administrator, and as required by this paragraph (a).
    (iii) In lieu of the requirements in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this 
section, the operator of a fishing vessel registered for use under a 
Western Pacific squid jig permit pursuant to the requirements of Sec.  
665.21(g) may participate in a state reporting system. If participating 
in a state reporting system, all required information must be recorded 
and submitted in the exact manner required by applicable state law or 
regulation.
* * * * *
    5. In Sec.  665.21, redesignate paragraphs (g) through (n) as 
paragraphs (h) through (o), and add a new paragraph (g) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  665.21  Permits.

* * * * *
    (g) A vessel of the United States must be registered for use under 
a Western Pacific squid jig fishing permit, if that vessel is more than 
50 ft (15.4 m) in length overall and is used to squid jig fish in EEZ 
waters around American Samoa, the CNMI, Guam, the Hawaiian Archipelago, 
or the PRIA.
* * * * *
    6. In Sec.  665.22 add new paragraph (zz) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.22  Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (zz) Use a vessel that is greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length 
overall to squid jig fish in EEZ waters around American Samoa, the 
CNMI, Guam, the Hawaiian Archipelago, or the PRIA, without a Western 
Pacific squid jig fishing permit registered for use with that vessel, 
in violation of Sec.  665.21(g).
    7. In Sec.  665.23, revise paragraph (a), redesignate paragraphs 
(b) and (c) as paragraphs (d) and (e), and add new paragraphs (b) and 
(c) to read as follows:


Sec.  665.23  Notifications.

    (a) The permit holder, or designated agent, for any vessel 
registered for use under a Hawaii longline limited access permit, or 
for any vessel greater than 40 ft (12.2 m) in length overall that is 
registered for use under an American Samoa longline limited access 
permit, shall provide a notice to the Regional Administrator at least 
72 hours (not including weekends and Federal holidays) before the 
vessel leaves port on a fishing trip, any part of which occurs in the 
EEZ around the Hawaiian Archipelago or American Samoa. The vessel 
operator will be presumed to be an agent designated by the permit 
holder unless the Regional Administrator is otherwise notified by the 
permit holder. The permit holder or designated agent for a vessel 
registered for use under Hawaii longline limited access permits must 
also provide notification of the trip type (either deep-setting or 
shallow-setting).
    (b) The permit holder, or designated agent, for any vessel 
registered for use under a Western Pacific squid jig fishing permit 
that is greater than 50 ft (15.4 m) in length overall, shall provide a 
notice to the Regional Administrator at least 72 hours (not including 
weekends and Federal holidays) before the vessel leaves port on a 
fishing trip, any part of which occurs in Western Pacific waters. The 
vessel operator will be presumed to be an agent designated by the 
permit holder unless the Regional Administrator is otherwise notified 
by the permit holder.
    (c) For purposes of this section, the notice must be provided to 
the office or telephone number designated by the Regional 
Administrator. The notice must provide the official number of the 
vessel, the name of the vessel, the intended departure date, time, and 
location, the name of the operator of the vessel, and the name and 
telephone number of the permit holder or designated agent to be 
available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (local time) on weekdays for NMFS 
to contact to arrange observer placement.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. E8-20004 Filed 8-27-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S