National Standard 10 Guidelines, 22342-22344 [2011-9718]

Download as PDF 22342 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 77 / Thursday, April 21, 2011 / Proposed Rules mechanism would help to ensure that Tribal priorities are met in providing USF support for the extension of mobile voice service. To the extent other options may be preferable, commenters are requested to discuss alternatives in detail and explain how these options would work in the context of the proposed competitive bidding mechanism. Commenters are also invited to provide information about what factors are most important in targeting limited support for mobile wireless service within Tribal lands. jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS 2. Possible Requirement for Engagement With Tribal Governments Prior to Auction 6. Several commenters suggest that parties participating in a Mobility Fund auction seeking support to serve Tribal lands be required to demonstrate that Tribal governments have been formally and effectively engaged in the planning process and that the service to be provided will advance the goals established by the Tribal government. The Commission seeks comment on those proposals. What issues should receive priority in a flow of information and exchange of ideas with Tribal governments? What subjects of discussion will increase the potential for sustainability and adoption of the contemplated service? Among other things, the Commission believes the topics of engagement with Tribal governments could include: (1) Needs assessment, deployment planning and inclusion of Tribal anchor institutions and communities; (2) feasibility and sustainability planning; (3) marketing supported services in a culturally sensitive manner; (4) rights-of-way processes, land use permitting, facilities siting and cultural preservation review processes; and, (5) compliance with Tribal business and licensing requirements. At what point in time should any such engagement requirement apply (e.g., at the shortform or long-form application stage)? Commenters are invited to address the appropriate scope and timing of a potential consultation requirement. 3. Possible Preference for TriballyOwned and -Controlled Providers 7. At least one comment to the Mobility Fund NPRM suggested a preference for Tribally-owned and -controlled providers. Specifically, the Commission seeks comment on a proposal that would provide a form of bidding credit to qualified Triballyowned and -controlled providers. If a provider qualified for this bidding credit, its per-unit bid amount would be reduced by a designated percentage for VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:05 Apr 20, 2011 Jkt 223001 purposes of comparing it to other bids made—although if the bid were to win, support would be calculated at the full, undiscounted bid amount. That is, the ‘‘reduced’’ bid would fall lower in the ranking of bids from lowest to highest, making it more likely that a Triballyowned and -controlled entity would be among the winning bidders eligible to receive funding, but the bidding credit would not reduce the amount of funding that the entity would receive if it were to be awarded support. The Commission seeks comment on this approach. The Commission also invites comment on whether a Tribal preference is appropriate in the context of awarding universal service funds. To the extent the Commission wishes to adopt such a bidding credit for Tribally-owned and -controlled providers, what percentage would be appropriate? Are there other methods the Commission should consider to provide a preference to Tribally-owned and -controlled providers? The Commission notes that the establishment of an absolute Tribal priority, as proposed in the mobile spectrum context and adopted in the context of the Tribal Priority for radio broadcast licensing, may not be appropriate here. This is because in the reverse auction mechanism proposed for the Mobility Fund, an award would not be made for each area, but instead support would be granted only for those areas where the per-unit bids are lowest. 8. The Commission also seeks comment on whether it should employ both a priority unit mechanism and a bidding preference for Tribal entities at the same time. And, if not, which of these mechanisms may work more effectively in a Mobility Fund auction to target support consistent with Tribal needs? 4. Timing of a Tribal Mobility Fund Auction 9. In the Mobility Fund NPRM, the Commission noted that addressing Mobility Fund support for Tribal lands on a separate track could be beneficial in providing adequate time to consult with Tribal governments and seek their input. While commenters generally supported creation of a separate Tribal Mobility Fund, they cautioned that addressing Tribal issues on a ‘‘separate track’’ should not put them on a ‘‘slow track.’’ The Commission agrees that Tribal issues are a priority and should be resolved expeditiously in order to speed the provision of services on Tribal lands. The Commission observes, however, that there are pending proposals regarding utilization of spectrum over Tribal lands that could benefit from the support that may be PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 available through a Tribal Mobility Fund auction. In particular, the Improving Communications Services for Native Nations by Promoting Greater Utilization of Spectrum Over Tribal Lands, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 76 FR 18476, April 4, 2011, proposes a variety of options for Tribal entities to access spectrum over Tribal lands. The Commission seeks comment on the extent to which these open issues should influence the timing of a possible Tribal Mobility Fund auction. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the Mobility Fund NPRM included an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 603, exploring the potential impact on small entities of the Commission’s proposal. The Commission invites parties to file comments on the IRFA in light of this additional notice. Procedural Matters Ex Parte Presentations. This matter shall be treated as a ‘‘permit-butdisclose’’ proceeding in accordance with the ex parte rules. Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentations must contain summaries of the substance of the presentations and not merely a listing of the subjects discussed. More than a one- or twosentence description of the views and arguments presented generally is required. Other requirements pertaining to oral and written presentations are set forth in section 1.1206(b) of the Commission’s rules. Federal Communications Commission. Margaret W. Wiener, Chief, Auctions and Spectrum Access Division. [FR Doc. 2011–9860 Filed 4–20–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 600 [Docket No. 110218147–1199–01] RIN 0648–BA74 National Standard 10 Guidelines National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\21APP1.SGM 21APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 77 / Thursday, April 21, 2011 / Proposed Rules Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments; notice of a public meeting. ACTION: NMFS issues this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to provide background information and request public comment on potential adjustments to the National Standard 10 Guidelines. DATES: Written comments regarding the issues in this ANPR must be received by 5 p.m., local time, on July 20, 2011. A public meeting to obtain additional comments on the items discussed in this ANPR will be held at the NOAA Science Center in Silver Spring, MD, on May 19, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. NMFS may hold additional meetings during the comment period and will announce those meetings in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: A public meeting will be held on May 19, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the NOAA Science Center, 1301 East-West Highway; Silver Spring, MD 20910. You may submit comments, identified by ‘‘0648–BA74’’, by any one of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. • Fax: 301–713–1193, Attn: Debra Lambert. • Mail: Debra Lambert; National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA; 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13403; Silver Spring, MD 20910. Instructions: All comments received are part of the public record and will generally be posted to http:// www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publically accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Debra Lambert, National Marine Fisheries Service, 301–713–2341. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: Background Section 301(a) of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) contains 10 national standards (NS) with which all Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) and their amendments and implementing VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:05 Apr 20, 2011 Jkt 223001 regulations must be consistent. Section 301(b) of the MSA requires that ‘‘the Secretary establish advisory guidelines (which shall not have the force and effect of law), based on the national standards to assist in the development of fishery management plans.’’ Conforming to the NS guidelines (50 CFR part 600, subpart D) when preparing an FMP, FMP amendment, and regulations is essential to properly addressing the intentions of Congress when it established and revised the MSA. The Sustainable Fisheries Act, signed into law in 1996, added National Standard 10 (NS10) to the MSA (15 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). National Standard 10 states: ‘‘Conservation and management measures shall, to the extent practicable, promote the safety of human life at sea.’’ NMFS published final guidelines for NS10 in 1998 (63 FR 24212; May 1, 1998). More recently, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006, added section 303(a)(9)(C) to the MSA, which states that fishery impact statements shall address the impact of conservation and management measures and include possible mitigation measures for ‘‘the safety of human life at sea, including whether and to what extent such measures may affect the safety of participants to the fishery.’’ Need for Revision Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations because fishing operations are often conducted under poor weather conditions, high winds, cold temperatures, and on moving platforms that can be slippery or icy; some gear types can be dangerous to operate; a number of structural or mechanical problems can arise on vessels; and the work can be physically straining and lead to fatigue. Recreational fishing, including the forhire charter and party-boat segments, can also be a dangerous activity with participants facing many of the same risks as commercial participants. The National Standard 10 Guidelines are the primary source of guidance for the consideration of safety issues in fishery management regulations. The current Guidelines are relatively short and have four main sections with the following elements: (1) A general statement that fishing is a dangerous occupation and recommendation that Regional Fishery Management Councils (Councils) reduce safety risks when developing management measures; an explanation of the qualifying phrase ‘‘to the extent practicable’’ in NS10; and an explanation that the phrase ‘‘safety of PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 22343 human life at sea’’ refers to both the safety of a fishing vessel and the safety of persons aboard the vessel; (2) a list of safety issues to consider when evaluating management measures; (3) a recommendation that during the preparation of any FMP, FMP amendment, or regulation that might affect safety of human life at sea, the Council should consult with the U.S. Coast Guard and fishing industry as to the nature and extent of any adverse impact; and (4) a list of mitigation measures that could be considered when management measures are developed. Recent events suggest a need to revise the guidelines for NS10. The current Guidelines are thirteen years old and fisheries management and fishing vessel safety science in general has evolved during that time. NOAA has new fishery management requirements and policies in place, and the implementation of these measures will lead to changes in the way fisheries are managed. Major changes in fisheries management that change the way fishing operations are conducted, including catch share programs, could impact the safety of fishermen at sea, and those impacts should be assessed during the management process. As mentioned above, section 303(a)(9)(C) to the MSA states that fishery impact statements shall include possible mitigation measures for ‘‘the safety of human life at sea, including whether and to what extent such measures may affect the safety of participants to the fishery.’’ This is a relatively new requirement (added by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006) and NMFS could provide guidance on addressing this requirement in the revised National Standard 10 Guidelines. There are also external factors that point to the need to focus on safety at sea. The Coast Guard Authorization Act (CGAA) of 2010 was signed by President Obama on October 15, 2010. Section 604 of the CGAA builds on requirements set forth in the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988, including the following: It authorizes the U.S. Coast Guard to examine at dockside, at least once every 2 years, fishing vessels that operate beyond 3 miles to ensure that they meet safety standards; it authorizes and requires a training program for the operators of fishing vessels that operate beyond 3 miles; and it establishes design and construction standards for all new vessels. Furthermore, the CGAA requires that Alternative Compliance and Safety Agreement programs be E:\FR\FM\21APP1.SGM 21APP1 22344 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 77 / Thursday, April 21, 2011 / Proposed Rules developed for certain groups of existing fishing vessels. These new requirements highlight an emphasis on improving fishing vessel safety. NMFS will ensure that revisions to the NS10 Guidelines will complement the new mandates of the CGAA. The current NS10 Guidelines do not contain any guidance on analytical methods to evaluate safety. Recent work by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the U.S. Coast Guard has shown that the fishery management process can more explicitly address safety at sea by analyzing fatalities and calculating fatality rates for the fishery and understanding the overall trend in fatality rates. This information can be used in risk assessments to identify major hazards within a fishery. NMFS could include guidance on the analytical approaches for addressing safety considerations in the revised NS10 Guidelines. For the above reasons, NMFS believes it is appropriate and timely to revise NS10 Guidelines and is accepting public comments on potential revisions to the Guidelines. Through the revision of the NS10 Guidelines, NMFS intends to enhance consideration of safety issues in fisheries management. jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS Public Comments To help determine the scope of issues to be addressed and to identify significant issues related to this action, NMFS is soliciting written comments on this ANPR and will hold a public meeting at the NOAA Science Center in Silver Spring, MD, on May 19, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. NMFS may hold additional public meetings during the comment period and will announce those meetings in the Federal Register. The public is encouraged to submit comments related to the specific ideas mentioned in this ANPR. NMFS is also seeking additional ideas and solutions to improve safety at sea and the NS10 Guidelines. All written comments received by the due date will be considered in drafting proposed revisions to the NS10 Guidelines. Issues Under Consideration In considering potential revisions to the NS10 Guidelines, NMFS has identified the following list of issues related to safety of human life at sea. NMFS seeks public comment on the scope of this ANPR generally and the potential for guidance on the following fisheries safety issues. 1. Assembling Fatality, Injury, and Vessel Loss Information: Establishing guidance on how to assemble and analyze data on fatalities and injuries VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:05 Apr 20, 2011 Jkt 223001 for each Federal fishery using information from NMFS’s National Observer Program, U.S. Coast Guard investigations, U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Information and Safety and Law Enforcement database system, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health data. 2. Developing Fatality, Injury, and Vessel Loss Rates: Establishing guidance on how to estimate workforce for each Federal fishery in order to calculate fatality and injury rates. By combining fatality and non-fatal injury information with workforce estimates, injury, fatality, and vessel loss rates can be calculated to identify trends over time. 3. Evaluating Risks: Establishing general guidance on how to conduct fishery specific risk assessments, which can help identify major safety hazards within a fishery. The frequency for conducting such assessments will also be explored. 4. Safety Considerations and Mitigation Measures: Risk assessments may identify that fishery conservation and management measures are needed and appropriate to improve safety at sea. The current NS10 Guidelines contain three safety considerations (operating environment, gear and vessel loading requirements, and limited season and area fisheries) and eight mitigation measures to consider when developing management measures (see 50 CFR 600.355 paragraphs (c) and (d)). NMFS seeks comments on these sections and, if appropriate, additional safety considerations and mitigation measures that could be added to the Guidelines. For example, NMFS could consider how fishery management measures can better complement and reinforce U.S. Coast Guard safety regulations. In addition, where regulations currently restrict vessel upgrades or replacement, mitigation measures could include allowing for vessel replacement in a fleet so that older vessels can be replaced with newer and safer vessels. Other potential mitigation measures could include eliminating or reducing penalties for cutting fishing trips short due to weather or other conditions and extending fishing seasons to allow for quotas to be reached. 5. Recreational Fisheries: NMFS welcomes information about safety issues in both the private recreational and the recreational for-hire components of recreational fisheries and suggestions on how to address them. 6. Establishing a Safety Committee: The current NS10 Guidelines (50 CFR 600.355 paragraph (d)) recommend that Councils consult with the U.S. Coast Guard and the fishing industry during the development of management PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 measures that might affect the safety of human life at sea. NMFS welcomes comments on this guidance and if improvements to the consultation process are necessary. For example, NMFS could recommend that Councils and the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), as appropriate, establish a Safety Committee or Safety Advisory Panel that regularly reports on ongoing activities to reduce injuries, fatalities, and vessel losses within their jurisdiction. U.S. Coast Guard personnel, NMFS National Observer Program personnel, and state enforcement officers would be encouraged to participate on such committees and/or panels. 7. Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Reports: Establishing guidance for the type of safety information to include in Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports. The National Standard 2 Guidelines state that safety information should be summarized in SAFE reports. SAFE reports provide Councils and the Secretary with important scientific information needed for management purposes and different types of safety information could be added to these reports to better inform the Councils and the Secretary. 8. Fishery Impact Statements: Establishing guidance for addressing safety issues in fishery impact statements, as required by the MSA. Fishery impact statements are supposed to address the impact of conservation and management measures and include possible mitigation measures for ‘‘the safety of human life at sea, including whether and to what extent such measures may affect the safety of participants to the fishery’’ (MSA section 303(a)(9)(C)). Special Accommodations The public meeting to be held at the NOAA Science Center on May 19, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. will be accessible to people with physical disabilities. Request for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Debra Lambert (301–713– 2341), by May 5, 2011. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: April 15, 2011. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2011–9718 Filed 4–20–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\21APP1.SGM 21APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 77 (Thursday, April 21, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 22342-22344]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-9718]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 600

[Docket No. 110218147-1199-01]
RIN 0648-BA74


National Standard 10 Guidelines

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

[[Page 22343]]


ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comments; 
notice of a public meeting.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS issues this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) 
to provide background information and request public comment on 
potential adjustments to the National Standard 10 Guidelines.

DATES: Written comments regarding the issues in this ANPR must be 
received by 5 p.m., local time, on July 20, 2011. A public meeting to 
obtain additional comments on the items discussed in this ANPR will be 
held at the NOAA Science Center in Silver Spring, MD, on May 19, 2011 
from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. NMFS may hold additional meetings during the 
comment period and will announce those meetings in the Federal 
Register.

ADDRESSES: A public meeting will be held on May 19, 2011 from 1 p.m. to 
3 p.m. at the NOAA Science Center, 1301 East-West Highway; Silver 
Spring, MD 20910.
    You may submit comments, identified by ``0648-BA74'', by any one of 
the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Fax: 301-713-1193, Attn: Debra Lambert.
     Mail: Debra Lambert; National Marine Fisheries Service, 
NOAA; 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13403; Silver Spring, MD 20910.
    Instructions: All comments received are part of the public record 
and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without 
change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, 
address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publically 
accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept 
anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to 
remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in 
Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Debra Lambert, National Marine 
Fisheries Service, 301-713-2341.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Section 301(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act (MSA) contains 10 national standards (NS) with which all 
Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) and their amendments and implementing 
regulations must be consistent. Section 301(b) of the MSA requires that 
``the Secretary establish advisory guidelines (which shall not have the 
force and effect of law), based on the national standards to assist in 
the development of fishery management plans.'' Conforming to the NS 
guidelines (50 CFR part 600, subpart D) when preparing an FMP, FMP 
amendment, and regulations is essential to properly addressing the 
intentions of Congress when it established and revised the MSA.
    The Sustainable Fisheries Act, signed into law in 1996, added 
National Standard 10 (NS10) to the MSA (15 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). 
National Standard 10 states: ``Conservation and management measures 
shall, to the extent practicable, promote the safety of human life at 
sea.'' NMFS published final guidelines for NS10 in 1998 (63 FR 24212; 
May 1, 1998). More recently, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006, added section 303(a)(9)(C) 
to the MSA, which states that fishery impact statements shall address 
the impact of conservation and management measures and include possible 
mitigation measures for ``the safety of human life at sea, including 
whether and to what extent such measures may affect the safety of 
participants to the fishery.''

Need for Revision

    Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations because 
fishing operations are often conducted under poor weather conditions, 
high winds, cold temperatures, and on moving platforms that can be 
slippery or icy; some gear types can be dangerous to operate; a number 
of structural or mechanical problems can arise on vessels; and the work 
can be physically straining and lead to fatigue. Recreational fishing, 
including the for-hire charter and party-boat segments, can also be a 
dangerous activity with participants facing many of the same risks as 
commercial participants.
    The National Standard 10 Guidelines are the primary source of 
guidance for the consideration of safety issues in fishery management 
regulations. The current Guidelines are relatively short and have four 
main sections with the following elements: (1) A general statement that 
fishing is a dangerous occupation and recommendation that Regional 
Fishery Management Councils (Councils) reduce safety risks when 
developing management measures; an explanation of the qualifying phrase 
``to the extent practicable'' in NS10; and an explanation that the 
phrase ``safety of human life at sea'' refers to both the safety of a 
fishing vessel and the safety of persons aboard the vessel; (2) a list 
of safety issues to consider when evaluating management measures; (3) a 
recommendation that during the preparation of any FMP, FMP amendment, 
or regulation that might affect safety of human life at sea, the 
Council should consult with the U.S. Coast Guard and fishing industry 
as to the nature and extent of any adverse impact; and (4) a list of 
mitigation measures that could be considered when management measures 
are developed.
    Recent events suggest a need to revise the guidelines for NS10. The 
current Guidelines are thirteen years old and fisheries management and 
fishing vessel safety science in general has evolved during that time. 
NOAA has new fishery management requirements and policies in place, and 
the implementation of these measures will lead to changes in the way 
fisheries are managed. Major changes in fisheries management that 
change the way fishing operations are conducted, including catch share 
programs, could impact the safety of fishermen at sea, and those 
impacts should be assessed during the management process.
    As mentioned above, section 303(a)(9)(C) to the MSA states that 
fishery impact statements shall include possible mitigation measures 
for ``the safety of human life at sea, including whether and to what 
extent such measures may affect the safety of participants to the 
fishery.'' This is a relatively new requirement (added by the Magnuson-
Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 
2006) and NMFS could provide guidance on addressing this requirement in 
the revised National Standard 10 Guidelines.
    There are also external factors that point to the need to focus on 
safety at sea. The Coast Guard Authorization Act (CGAA) of 2010 was 
signed by President Obama on October 15, 2010. Section 604 of the CGAA 
builds on requirements set forth in the Commercial Fishing Industry 
Vessel Safety Act of 1988, including the following: It authorizes the 
U.S. Coast Guard to examine at dockside, at least once every 2 years, 
fishing vessels that operate beyond 3 miles to ensure that they meet 
safety standards; it authorizes and requires a training program for the 
operators of fishing vessels that operate beyond 3 miles; and it 
establishes design and construction standards for all new vessels. 
Furthermore, the CGAA requires that Alternative Compliance and Safety 
Agreement programs be

[[Page 22344]]

developed for certain groups of existing fishing vessels. These new 
requirements highlight an emphasis on improving fishing vessel safety. 
NMFS will ensure that revisions to the NS10 Guidelines will complement 
the new mandates of the CGAA.
    The current NS10 Guidelines do not contain any guidance on 
analytical methods to evaluate safety. Recent work by the National 
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the U.S. Coast Guard 
has shown that the fishery management process can more explicitly 
address safety at sea by analyzing fatalities and calculating fatality 
rates for the fishery and understanding the overall trend in fatality 
rates. This information can be used in risk assessments to identify 
major hazards within a fishery. NMFS could include guidance on the 
analytical approaches for addressing safety considerations in the 
revised NS10 Guidelines.
    For the above reasons, NMFS believes it is appropriate and timely 
to revise NS10 Guidelines and is accepting public comments on potential 
revisions to the Guidelines. Through the revision of the NS10 
Guidelines, NMFS intends to enhance consideration of safety issues in 
fisheries management.

Public Comments

    To help determine the scope of issues to be addressed and to 
identify significant issues related to this action, NMFS is soliciting 
written comments on this ANPR and will hold a public meeting at the 
NOAA Science Center in Silver Spring, MD, on May 19, 2011 from 1 p.m. 
to 3 p.m. NMFS may hold additional public meetings during the comment 
period and will announce those meetings in the Federal Register. The 
public is encouraged to submit comments related to the specific ideas 
mentioned in this ANPR. NMFS is also seeking additional ideas and 
solutions to improve safety at sea and the NS10 Guidelines. All written 
comments received by the due date will be considered in drafting 
proposed revisions to the NS10 Guidelines.

Issues Under Consideration

    In considering potential revisions to the NS10 Guidelines, NMFS has 
identified the following list of issues related to safety of human life 
at sea. NMFS seeks public comment on the scope of this ANPR generally 
and the potential for guidance on the following fisheries safety 
issues.
    1. Assembling Fatality, Injury, and Vessel Loss Information: 
Establishing guidance on how to assemble and analyze data on fatalities 
and injuries for each Federal fishery using information from NMFS's 
National Observer Program, U.S. Coast Guard investigations, U.S. Coast 
Guard's Marine Information and Safety and Law Enforcement database 
system, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health data.
    2. Developing Fatality, Injury, and Vessel Loss Rates: Establishing 
guidance on how to estimate workforce for each Federal fishery in order 
to calculate fatality and injury rates. By combining fatality and non-
fatal injury information with workforce estimates, injury, fatality, 
and vessel loss rates can be calculated to identify trends over time.
    3. Evaluating Risks: Establishing general guidance on how to 
conduct fishery specific risk assessments, which can help identify 
major safety hazards within a fishery. The frequency for conducting 
such assessments will also be explored.
    4. Safety Considerations and Mitigation Measures: Risk assessments 
may identify that fishery conservation and management measures are 
needed and appropriate to improve safety at sea. The current NS10 
Guidelines contain three safety considerations (operating environment, 
gear and vessel loading requirements, and limited season and area 
fisheries) and eight mitigation measures to consider when developing 
management measures (see 50 CFR 600.355 paragraphs (c) and (d)). NMFS 
seeks comments on these sections and, if appropriate, additional safety 
considerations and mitigation measures that could be added to the 
Guidelines. For example, NMFS could consider how fishery management 
measures can better complement and reinforce U.S. Coast Guard safety 
regulations. In addition, where regulations currently restrict vessel 
upgrades or replacement, mitigation measures could include allowing for 
vessel replacement in a fleet so that older vessels can be replaced 
with newer and safer vessels. Other potential mitigation measures could 
include eliminating or reducing penalties for cutting fishing trips 
short due to weather or other conditions and extending fishing seasons 
to allow for quotas to be reached.
    5. Recreational Fisheries: NMFS welcomes information about safety 
issues in both the private recreational and the recreational for-hire 
components of recreational fisheries and suggestions on how to address 
them.
    6. Establishing a Safety Committee: The current NS10 Guidelines (50 
CFR 600.355 paragraph (d)) recommend that Councils consult with the 
U.S. Coast Guard and the fishing industry during the development of 
management measures that might affect the safety of human life at sea. 
NMFS welcomes comments on this guidance and if improvements to the 
consultation process are necessary. For example, NMFS could recommend 
that Councils and the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), as 
appropriate, establish a Safety Committee or Safety Advisory Panel that 
regularly reports on ongoing activities to reduce injuries, fatalities, 
and vessel losses within their jurisdiction. U.S. Coast Guard 
personnel, NMFS National Observer Program personnel, and state 
enforcement officers would be encouraged to participate on such 
committees and/or panels.
    7. Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation Reports: Establishing 
guidance for the type of safety information to include in Stock 
Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) reports. The National Standard 
2 Guidelines state that safety information should be summarized in SAFE 
reports. SAFE reports provide Councils and the Secretary with important 
scientific information needed for management purposes and different 
types of safety information could be added to these reports to better 
inform the Councils and the Secretary.
    8. Fishery Impact Statements: Establishing guidance for addressing 
safety issues in fishery impact statements, as required by the MSA. 
Fishery impact statements are supposed to address the impact of 
conservation and management measures and include possible mitigation 
measures for ``the safety of human life at sea, including whether and 
to what extent such measures may affect the safety of participants to 
the fishery'' (MSA section 303(a)(9)(C)).

Special Accommodations

    The public meeting to be held at the NOAA Science Center on May 19, 
2011 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. will be accessible to people with physical 
disabilities. Request for sign language interpretation or other 
auxiliary aids should be directed to Debra Lambert (301-713-2341), by 
May 5, 2011.

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

    Dated: April 15, 2011.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-9718 Filed 4-20-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P