Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 26 and Amendment 29 Supplement, 50979-50990 [2011-21000]

Download as PDF Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules water bodies (APHIS 2010, p. 1). A review of aerial photos within our files shows that the nearest known Leona’s little blue butterfly locations are separated from rangeland by both forests and residential communities. Aerial application is of greatest concern for pesticide drift (Ghassemi et al. 1982, p. 510). APHIS has strict requirements when conducting aerial applications, including a requirement that they must not spray when winds exceed 10 miles per hour (mph) and that application will not occur when it is raining, or foggy, when foliage is wet, when there is air turbulence, when a temperature inversion exists in the project area, or when the temperature exceeds 80 Fahrenheit degrees (26.7 °C) (Mauer 2010, p. 3). In addition, all boundaries and buffers will be clearly marked, all airplanes will be equipped with global positioning systems to guide the pilots, and free flying is not allowed (Mauer 2010, p. 3). APHIS will also conduct monitoring to ensure that they are in compliance with the protective measures, including dye cards to monitor the extent and concentration of pesticide drift (Mauer 2010, p. 3 and APHIS 2010 Environmental Monitoring Plan, p. 3). In order to minimize the risk to nontarget terrestrial invertebrate species, APHIS uses only diflubenzuron spray or carbaryl bait whenever possible (APHIS 2009, p. 33). These chemicals are only toxic to invertebrates when they are in their immature stages (APHIS 2009, p. 12). In addition, diflubenzuron is normally only applied prior to the third week of June, as its efficacy decreases by the first week of July as a result of grasshopper development (APHIS 2009, p. 12). The Leona’s little blue butterfly emerges from its chrysalis as an adult in midJune through mid-July, and its immature stages occur 2 to 6 weeks after the adults emerge (mid-July to August) (Ross 2008, pp. 1, 4, 8). In addition, a monitoring study of carbaryl bait application indicated that the maximum particle drift was 150 feet (46 meters) in crosswinds of 13 mph (APHIS 2010, p. 7). Therefore, the immature stage of Leona’s little blue butterfly is not at risk from APHIS’ current diflubenzuron application program, because of the timing of its development and APHIS’ pesticide application methods. While information suggests that APHIS’ pesticide application methods may not harm the Leona’s little blue butterfly, we recognize that APHIS’ lowimpact method is a voluntary program (APHIS 2009, p. 1). A review of the petition and our files does not indicate to what extent private landowners near VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 the known Leona’s little blue butterfly locations and habitat are utilizing APHIS’ methods. As a result, the impacts of private-rangeland pesticide application to the Leona’s little blue butterfly are unknown. Therefore, there is not substantial information to indicate that the petitioned action may be warranted due to direct mortality by the application of pesticides by the KMNWR, APHIS, and private landowners in Klamath County, Oregon. However, we will further evaluate information about this activity’s potential impact to the species in our status review. In summary, we find that the information provided in the petition, as well as other information in our files, presents substantial scientific and commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted due to other natural and manmade factors relating to limited range and small population size and vulnerability to stochastic events. We will further evaluate information relating to events and activities addressed under this factor in our status review of the species. Finding On the basis of our determination under section 4(b)(3)(A) of the Act, we find that the petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing the Leona’s little blue butterfly throughout its entire range may be warranted. This finding is based on information provided under Factors A (present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of the species’ habitat or range) and E (other natural or manmade factors affecting the species’ continued existence). Specifically, we find that the following may pose threats to the Leona’s little blue butterfly throughout all or a significant portion of its range, such that the petitioned action may be warranted: The encroachment of lodgepole pine trees into the Leona’s little blue butterfly habitat and the loss of habitat and individuals from catastrophic fire and stochastic events. We determine that the information provided under Factors B (overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific or educational purposes), C (disease or predation), and D (the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms) is not substantial. However, we will further evaluate all information related to these factors in our status review of the species. Because we have found that the petition presents substantial information indicating that listing the Leona’s little blue butterfly may be PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50979 warranted, we are initiating a status review to determine whether listing the Leona’s little blue butterfly under the Act is warranted. The ‘‘substantial information’’ standard for a 90-day finding differs from the Act’s ‘‘best scientific and commercial data’’ standard that applies to a status review to determine whether a petitioned action is warranted. A 90day finding does not constitute a status review under the Act. In a 12-month finding, we will determine whether a petitioned action is warranted after we have completed a thorough status review of the species, which is conducted following a substantial 90day finding. Because the Act’s standards for 90-day and 12-month findings are different, as described above, a substantial 90-day finding does not mean that the 12-month finding will result in a warranted finding. References Cited A complete list of references cited is available on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov and upon request from the Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Author The primary authors of this notice are the staff members of the Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office. Authority The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Dated: August 4, 2011. David Cottingham, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [FR Doc. 2011–20864 Filed 8–16–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–55–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 110606316–1463–01] RIN 0648–BB15 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 26 and Amendment 29 Supplement National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1 50980 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules Proposed rule; request for comments. ACTION: NMFS proposes to supplement the regulations implementing Amendments 26 and 29 to the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). Amendment 26 established an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for the red snapper commercial sector of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Amendment 29 established a multispecies IFQ program for the grouper and tilefish component of the commercial sector of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf EEZ. If implemented, this rule would implement transferability measures for the red snapper IFQ program contained in Amendment 26 that are required to be effective as of January 1, 2012. This rule would also require all Gulf IFQ applicants and participants to certify their status as U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens to meet current Gulf IFQ program and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requirements. Additionally, this rule would make revisions to the codified text to remove outdated language specific to the Gulf IFQ programs. The intent of this rule is to specify the process for the general public to participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program and ensure efficient functioning of both IFQ programs in the Gulf of Mexico. DATES: Written comments on this proposed rule must be received no later than 5 p.m., eastern time, on September 16, 2011. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule identified by ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2011–0178’’ by any of the following methods: • Electronic submissions: Submit electronic comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: Catherine Bruger, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Instructions: All comments received are a 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 publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 To submit comments through the Federal e-rulemaking portal: http:// www.regulations.gov, click on ‘‘submit a comment,’’ then enter ‘‘NOAA–NMFS– 2011–0178’’ in the keyword search and click on ‘‘search.’’ To view posted comments during the comment period, enter ‘‘NOAA–NMFS–2011–0178’’ in the keyword search and click on ‘‘search.’’ NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required field if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Comments received through means not specified in this rule will not be considered. Electronic copies of Amendments 26 and 29, which include a final environmental impact statement (FEIS), a regulatory impact review (RIR), and a regulatory flexibility act analysis may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http:// sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/ GulfReefFishIFQ.htm. Comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted in writing to Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; and OMB, by email at OIRASubmission@omb.eop.gov, or by fax to 202–395–7285. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Bruger, telephone 727–824– 5305, e-mail Catherine.Bruger@noaa.gov. The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of Mexico is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On November 22, 2006, NMFS published a final rule (71 FR 67447) to implement Amendment 26 to the Reef Fish FMP (Amendment 26), which established the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program. The program became effective on January 1, 2007. In addition to the initial implementation of the Gulf red snapper IFQ program, Amendment 26 implemented a provision to allow general public participation within the red snapper IFQ program 5 years after program implementation. The general public participation provision becomes effective on January 1, 2012. The intent of this provision was to give commercial PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 reef fish fishermen the opportunity to better understand their individual fishing quota’s economic value prior to January 1, 2012, and after January 1, 2012, to allow the general public the opportunity to enter the red snapper IFQ program and receive transferred shares and allocation from current IFQ participants, thus expanding the transferability of red snapper shares and allocation. As described in Amendment 26, on January 1, 2012, all U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens will be eligible to acquire red snapper IFQ shares and allocation in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program through transfer. Prior to January 1, 2012, only participants with a valid commercial Gulf reef fish permit can establish IFQ online accounts and hold red snapper quota shares and allocation. Therefore, beginning on January 1, 2012, any U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, after completing and submitting an information collection regarding citizenship status, will be eligible to acquire red snapper IFQ shares and allocation through transfer. However, the possession of a valid commercial Gulf reef fish permit and applicable red snapper IFQ allocation remains a requirement to possess, land, or sell Gulf IFQ red snapper. This rule would specify the process for the general public to participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program beginning on January 1, 2012. In 2009, NMFS published a final rule implementing Amendment 29 to the Reef Fish FMP (74 FR 44732, August 31, 2009), which established the Gulf of Mexico IFQ program for groupers and tilefishes. The reauthorized MagnusonStevens Act of 2006, requires any participant in an IFQ program to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien. Currently, information regarding an IFQ participant’s status as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien is not collected on Federal Gulf reef fish permit applications or through the Gulf IFQ system. If enacted, this rule would require that all Gulf IFQ program participants certify their citizenship status to participate in a Gulf IFQ program. Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule This rule would establish an information collection to meet the January 1, 2012 requirements of the Gulf red snapper IFQ program outlined in Amendment 26, and meet the requirements of the reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Act for the groupertilefish IFQ program. This rule also describes the procedures that are E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules necessary for all qualified entities to apply for and maintain an IFQ online account. Additionally, this rule would make revisions to the codified text to remove outdated language for the red snapper and grouper-tilefish IFQ programs. Specifically, this rule would remove regulatory language that was applicable to the initial implementation of the red snapper and grouper-tilefish IFQ programs and is no longer needed to be included in the regulations. Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS Collection of Information for Gulf IFQ Applicants and Participants If implemented, this rule would require Gulf IFQ program applicants to establish an IFQ online account to participate in the program. In order to establish an IFQ online account and in accordance with the regulations implemented for Amendments 26 and 29 to the Reef Fish FMP, information about the participants must be collected prior to establishing an IFQ online account for the applicant. This collection-of-information is necessary to identify participants for the effective monitoring, enforcement, and management of the Gulf IFQ programs established through Amendments 26 and 29 to the Reef Fish FMP. Specifically, this rule would establish the requirement that any new applicant and all current participants in a Gulf IFQ program must submit an application for an IFQ online account, certifying their status as either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, to obtain and maintain an IFQ online account. The information requested will include contact information (name, address, and phone number), date of birth, certification of citizenship status, tax identification number, and corporate shareholder information where appropriate. Account holders would be required to update and confirm their account information every 2 years to keep their online IFQ account valid. Revision and Reorganization of Gulf IFQ Language This rule would remove language in both the red snapper and the groupertilefish IFQ programs that was applicable to the initial implementation of these programs and is no longer relevant. In addition to the removal of obsolete language, §§ 622.16 (red snapper IFQ program) and 622.20 (grouper-tilefish IFQ program) have been renumbered and reorganized to provide for a more clear and concise arrangement of the codified text. Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with Amendments 26 and 29, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination is as follows: The purpose of this rule is to establish an administrative requirement for the collection of information necessary to effectively monitor and manage the Gulf of Mexico IFQ programs, pertinent to the January 1, 2012 requirements. The objective of this rule is to maximize the net benefits to society of the red snapper and grouper-tilefish commercial components of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. The MagnusonStevens Act provides the statutory basis for this action. With the exception of one group of entities, it is not feasible to identify, quantify, or describe all of the small entities to which this rule would apply. This rule, if implemented, would apply to all entities that currently have an IFQ online account for participation in a Gulf of Mexico IFQ program and any entity that is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien that wishes to acquire red snapper IFQ shares or allocation through transfer beginning January 1, 2012. The group of entities that wish to acquire red snapper IFQ shares or allocation through transfer beginning January 1, 2012 consists of an unidentifiable and unquantifiable number of entities, both small and large. Small and large entities, as well as individual citizens, may be motivated to acquire IFQ shares or allocation for short- or long-term economic gain, speculation, or environmental protection. As a result, prospective entities may be businesses, nonprofit organizations, or even government jurisdictions, particularly if it is assumed that the restriction limiting IFQ harvest to vessels with valid Federal commercial reef fish permits will be eliminated at some point in the future. As such, prospective entities could include marinas, chambers of commerce, recreational angler clubs and organizations, bait and tackle shops, and hotels and motels, in addition to environmental groups, student clubs, PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50981 and other groups. Narrowing this list to one or a few groups of entities reasonably expected to apply for an IFQ online account is not possible with available information. Most of these entities are assumed to be, for the purpose of this analysis, small entities. The group of entities consisting of those who currently have an IFQ online account can be identified, quantified, and described. Because all commercial reef fish permit holders can currently establish an IFQ online account, all entities that possess a valid or renewable commercial reef fish permit are assumed to comprise the universe of entities with an IFQ online account. On May 12, 2011, 927 entities possessed a valid or renewable commercial reef fish permit. Average annual total revenues for vessels with a commercial reef fish permit are estimated to be less than $100,000 (2008 dollars). The Small Business Administration has established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the U.S., including fish harvesters. A business involved in fish harvesting is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $4.0 million (NAICS code 114111, finfish fishing) for all its affiliated operations worldwide. Based on the average annual gross revenue estimate provided above, all commercial reef fish vessels expected to be directly affected by this proposed rule are determined for the purpose of this analysis to be small business entities. This rule would require all entities that currently possess an online IFQ account, and all entities who wish to establish an online IFQ account to acquire red snapper IFQ shares or allocation beginning January 1, 2012, to submit an application containing contact information (name, address, and phone number), date of birth, certification of citizenship status, tax identification number, and corporate shareholder information, where appropriate. Account holders would be required to update and confirm their account information every 2 years to keep their online IFQ account valid. No special professional skills would be required to prepare and submit the application or periodic update. Other than the request for information, this rule would impose no new requirements, obligations, restrictions or limits on any of the affected entities. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1 Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS 50982 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules This rule would not be expected to significantly reduce the profits of any small entities. This rule would establish an insignificant administrative requirement for current and future participants in the red snapper and grouper-tilefish IFQ programs. The economic burden of this administrative requirement would consist of the minor time and postage costs of completing and submitting a short application, estimated to take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Participants would be required to update and confirm their IFQ online account information every 2 years. No application or processing fee would be required for the initial application or periodic update and confirmation. Because the individual economic burden would be expected to be minor, no substantive costs or reduction in profits for any small entities is expected to be incurred. Because this rule, if implemented, is not expected to have a direct adverse economic impact on any small entities, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection-of-information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), unless that collection-of-information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. This proposed rule contains a collection-of-information requirement subject to the PRA applicable to participants in the Gulf IFQ programs, namely, a requirement to complete and submit an IFQ Online Application to certify a participant’s U.S. citizenship status and to update and confirm their application every 2 years. This requirement has been submitted to OMB for approval. The public reporting burden for this collection-ofinformation is estimated to average 10 minutes per applicant/participant every 2 years. This estimate of the public reporting burden includes the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection-of-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 will have practical utility; the accuracy of the burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection- VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 of-information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of the collection-of-information requirement, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to NMFS and to OMB (see ADDRESSES). List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Fisheries, Fishing, Puerto Rico, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Virgin Islands. Dated: August 12, 2011. 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 622 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. Revise § 622.16 to read as follows: § 622.16 Gulf red snapper individual fishing quota (IFQ) program. (a) General. This section establishes an IFQ program for the commercial red snapper component of the Gulf reef fish fishery. Shares determine the amount of Gulf red snapper IFQ allocation, in pounds gutted weight, a shareholder is initially authorized to possess, land, or sell in a given calendar year. As of January 1, 2012, IFQ shares and allocation can only be transferred to U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens. See § 622.16(b)(9) regarding eligibility to participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program as of January 1, 2012. Shares and annual IFQ allocation are transferable. See § 622.4(a)(2)(ix) regarding a requirement for a vessel landing red snapper subject to this IFQ program to have a Gulf red snapper IFQ vessel account. See § 622.4(a)(4)(ii) regarding a requirement for a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement. Details regarding eligibility, applicable landings history, account setup and transaction requirements, constraints on transferability, and other provisions of this IFQ system are provided in the following paragraphs of this section. (1) Scope. The provisions of this section regarding the harvest and possession of Gulf IFQ red snapper apply to Gulf red snapper in or from the Gulf EEZ and, for a person aboard a vessel with a Gulf red snapper IFQ PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 vessel account as required by § 622.4(a)(2)(ix) or for a person with a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement as required by § 622.4(a)(4)(ii), these provisions apply to Gulf red snapper regardless of where harvested or possessed. (2) Duration. The IFQ program established by this section will remain in effect until it is modified or terminated; however, the program will be evaluated by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council every 5 years. (3) Electronic system requirements. (i) The administrative functions associated with this IFQ program, e.g., registration and account setup, landing transactions, and transfers, are designed to be accomplished online; therefore, a participant must have access to a computer and Internet access and must set up an appropriate IFQ online account to participate. The computer must have browser software installed, e.g., Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox; as well as the software Adobe Flash Player version 9.0 or greater, which may be downloaded from the Internet for free. Assistance with online functions is available from IFQ Customer Service by calling 1–866–425– 7627 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time. (ii) The RA mailed initial shareholders and dealers with Gulf reef fish dealer permits information and instructions pertinent to setting up an IFQ online account. Other eligible persons who desire to become IFQ participants by purchasing IFQ shares or allocation or by obtaining a Gulf red snapper IFQ dealer endorsement must first contact IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425–7627 to obtain information necessary to set up the required IFQ online account. As of January 1, 2012, all U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens are eligible to establish an IFQ online account. As of January 1, 2012, all current IFQ participants must complete and submit the application for an IFQ Online Account to certify their citizenship status and ensure their account information (e.g., mailing address, corporate shareholdings, etc.) is up to date. See § 622.16(b)(9) regarding requirements for the application for an IFQ Online Account. Each IFQ participant must monitor his/her online account and all associated messages and comply with all IFQ online reporting requirements. (iii) During catastrophic conditions only, the IFQ program provides for use of paper-based components for basic required functions as a backup. The RA will determine when catastrophic conditions exist, the duration of the E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1 Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules catastrophic conditions, and which participants or geographic areas are deemed affected by the catastrophic conditions. The RA will provide timely notice to affected participants via publication of notification in the Federal Register, NOAA weather radio, fishery bulletins, and other appropriate means and will authorize the affected participants’ use of paper-based components for the duration of the catastrophic conditions. NMFS will provide each IFQ dealer the necessary paper forms, sequentially coded, and instructions for submission of the forms to the RA. The paper forms will also be available from the RA. The program functions available to participants or geographic areas deemed affected by catastrophic conditions will be limited under the paper-based system. There will be no mechanism for transfers of IFQ shares or allocation under the paper-based system in effect during catastrophic conditions. Assistance in complying with the requirements of the paper-based system will be available via IFQ Customer Service 1–866–425–7627 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time. (4) IFQ allocation. IFQ allocation is the amount of Gulf red snapper, in pounds gutted weight, an IFQ shareholder or allocation holder is authorized to possess, land, or sell during a given fishing year. IFQ allocation is derived at the beginning of each year by multiplying a shareholder’s IFQ share times the annual commercial quota for Gulf red snapper. If the quota is increased after the beginning of the fishing year, then IFQ allocation is derived by multiplying a shareholder’s IFQ share at the time of the quota increase by the amount the annual commercial quota for red snapper is increased. (5) Initial shareholder IFQ account setup information. As soon as possible after an IFQ Online Account is established, the RA will provide IFQ account holders information pertinent to the IFQ program. This information will include: (i) General instructions regarding procedures related to the IFQ online system; and (ii) A user identification number—the personal identification number (PIN) was provided in a subsequent letter. (6) Dealer notification and IFQ account setup information. As soon as possible after November 22, 2006, the RA mailed each dealer with a valid Gulf reef fish dealer permit information pertinent to the IFQ program. Any such dealer is eligible to receive a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement, which can be downloaded from the IFQ Web site at VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov once an IFQ account has been established. The information package included general information about the IFQ program and instructions for accessing the IFQ Web site and establishing an IFQ dealer account. (b) IFQ operations and requirements—(1) IFQ Landing and transaction requirements. (i) Gulf red snapper subject to this IFQ program can only be possessed or landed by a vessel with a Gulf red snapper IFQ vessel account with allocation at least equal to the pounds of red snapper on board, except as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section. Such red snapper can only be received by a dealer with a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement. (ii) A person on board a vessel with an IFQ vessel account landing the shareholder’s only remaining allocation, can legally exceed, by up to 10 percent, the shareholder’s allocation remaining on that last fishing trip of the fishing year, i.e., a one-time per fishing year overage. Any such overage will be deducted from the shareholder’s applicable allocation for the subsequent fishing year. From the time of the overage until January 1 of the subsequent fishing year, the IFQ shareholder must retain sufficient shares to account for the allocation that will be deducted the subsequent fishing year. Share transfers that would violate this requirement will be prohibited. (iii) The dealer is responsible for completing a landing transaction report for each landing and sale of Gulf red snapper via the IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov at the time of the transaction in accordance with the reporting form(s) and instructions provided on the Web site. This report includes, but is not limited to, date, time, and location of transaction; weight and actual ex-vessel price of red snapper landed and sold; and information necessary to identify the fisherman, vessel, and dealer involved in the transaction. The fisherman must validate the dealer transaction report by entering his unique PIN number when the transaction report is submitted. After the dealer submits the report and the information has been verified, the Web site will send a transaction approval code to the dealer and the allocation holder. (iv) If there is a discrepancy regarding the landing transaction report after approval, the dealer or vessel account holder (or his or her authorized agent) must initiate a landing transaction correction form to correct the landing transaction. This form is available via the IFQ Web site at https:// PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50983 ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. The dealer must then print out the form, both parties must sign it, and the form must be mailed to NMFS. The form must be received by NMFS no later than 15 days after the date of the initial landing transaction. (2) IFQ cost recovery fees. As required by section 304(d)(2)(A)(i) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the RA will collect a fee to recover the actual costs directly related to the management and enforcement of the Gulf red snapper IFQ program. The fee cannot exceed 3 percent of the ex-vessel value of Gulf red snapper landed under the IFQ program as described in the MagnusonStevens Act. Such fees will be deposited in the Limited Access System Administration Fund (LASAF). Initially, the fee will be 3 percent of the actual ex-vessel price of Gulf red snapper landed per trip under the IFQ program, as documented in each landings transaction report. The RA will review the cost recovery fee annually to determine if adjustment is warranted. Factors considered in the review include the catch subject to the IFQ cost recovery, projected ex-vessel value of the catch, costs directly related to the management and enforcement of the IFQ program, the projected IFQ balance in the LASAF, and expected nonpayment of fee liabilities. If the RA determines that a fee adjustment is warranted, the RA will publish a notification of the fee adjustment in the Federal Register. (i) Payment responsibility. The IFQ allocation holder specified in the documented red snapper IFQ landing transaction report is responsible for payment of the applicable cost recovery fees. (ii) Collection and submission responsibility. A dealer who receives Gulf red snapper subject to the IFQ program is responsible for collecting the applicable cost recovery fee for each IFQ landing from the IFQ allocation holder specified in the IFQ landing transaction report. Such dealer is responsible for submitting all applicable cost recovery fees to NMFS on a quarterly basis. The fees are due and must be submitted, using pay.gov via the IFQ system at the end of each calendar-year quarter, but no later than 30 days after the end of each calendar-year quarter. Fees not received by the deadline are delinquent. (iii) Fee payment procedure. For each IFQ dealer, the IFQ system will post, on individual message boards, an end-ofquarter statement of cost recovery fees that are due. The dealer is responsible for submitting the cost recovery fee payments using pay.gov via the IFQ system. Authorized payments methods E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1 Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS 50984 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules are credit card, debit card, or automated clearing house (ACH). Payment by check will be authorized only if the RA has determined that the geographical area or an individual(s) is affected by catastrophic conditions. (iv) Fee reconciliation process— delinquent fees. The following procedures apply to an IFQ dealer whose cost recovery fees are delinquent. (A) On or about the 31st day after the end of each calendar-year quarter, the RA will send the dealer an electronic message via the IFQ Web site and official notice via mail indicating the applicable fees are delinquent, and the dealer’s IFQ account has been suspended pending payment of the applicable fees. (B) On or about the 91st day after the end of each calendar-year quarter, the RA will refer any delinquent IFQ dealer cost recovery fees to the appropriate authorities for collection of payment. (3) Measures to enhance IFQ program enforceability—(i) Advance notice of landing. For the purpose of this paragraph, landing means to arrive at a dock, berth, beach, seawall, or ramp. The owner or operator of a vessel landing IFQ red snapper is responsible for ensuring that NMFS is contacted at least 3 hours, but no more than 12 hours, in advance of landing to report the time and location of landing, estimated red snapper landings in pounds gutted weight, vessel identification number (Coast Guard registration number or state registration number), and the name and address of the IFQ dealer where the red snapper are to be received. The vessel landing red snapper must have sufficient IFQ allocation in the IFQ vessel account, at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of red snapper on board (except for any overage up to the 10 percent allowed on the last fishing trip) from the time of the advance notice of landing through landing. Authorized methods for contacting NMFS and submitting the report include calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425–7627, completing and submitting to NMFS the notification form provided through the VMS unit, or providing the required information to NMFS through the web-based form available on the IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. As new technology becomes available, NMFS will add other authorized methods for complying with the advance notification requirement, via appropriate rulemaking. Failure to comply with this advance notice of landing requirement is unlawful and will preclude authorization to complete the landing transaction report required in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section and, thus, will VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 preclude issuance of the required transaction approval code. (ii) Time restriction on offloading. For the purpose of this paragraph, offloading means to remove IFQ red snapper from a vessel. IFQ red snapper may be offloaded only between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., local time. (iii) Restrictions on transfer of IFQ red snapper. At-sea or dockside transfer of IFQ red snapper from one vessel to another vessel is prohibited. (iv) Requirement for transaction approval code. If IFQ red snapper are offloaded to a vehicle for transportation to a dealer or are on a vessel that is trailered for transport to a dealer, on-site capability to accurately weigh the fish and to connect electronically to the online IFQ system to complete the transaction and obtain the transaction approval code is required. After a landing transaction has been completed, a transaction approval code verifying a legal transaction of the amount of IFQ red snapper in possession and a copy of the dealer endorsement must accompany any IFQ red snapper from the landing location through possession by a dealer. This requirement also applies to IFQ red snapper possessed on a vessel that is trailered for transport to a dealer. (v) Approved landing locations. Landing locations must be approved by NMFS Office for Law Enforcement prior to landing or offloading at these sites. Proposed landing locations may be submitted online via the IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, or by calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866– 425–7627, at any time; however, new landing locations will be approved only at the end of each calendar-year quarter. To have a landing location approved by the end of the calendar-year quarter, it must be submitted at least 45 days before the end of the calendar-year quarter. NMFS will evaluate the proposed sites based on, but not limited to, the following criteria: (A) Landing locations must have a street address. If there is no street address on record for a particular landing location, global positioning system (GPS) coordinates for an identifiable geographic location must be provided. (B) Landing locations must be publicly accessible by land and water, and must satisfy the following criteria: (1) Vehicles must have access to the site via public roads; (2) Vessels must have access to the site via navigable waters; (3) No other condition may impede free and immediate access to the site by an authorized law enforcement officer. Examples of such conditions include, PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 but are not limited to: A locked gate, fence, wall, or other barrier preventing 24-hour access to the site; a gated community entry point; a guard animal; a posted sign restricting access to the site; or any other physical deterrent. (4) Transfer of IFQ shares and allocation. Until January 1, 2012, IFQ shares and allocations can be transferred only to a person who holds a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish; thereafter, IFQ shares and allocations can be transferred only to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien. However, a valid commercial permit for Gulf reef fish, a Gulf red snapper IFQ vessel account, and Gulf red snapper IFQ allocation are required to possess (at and after the time of the advance notice of landing), land or sell Gulf red snapper subject to this IFQ program. (i) Share transfers. Share transfers are permanent, i.e., they remain in effect until subsequently transferred. Transfer of shares will result in the corresponding allocation being automatically transferred to the person receiving the transferred share beginning with the fishing year following the year the transfer occurred. However, within the fishing year the share transfer occurs, transfer of shares and associated allocation are independent—unless the associated allocation is transferred separately, it remains with the transferor for the duration of that fishing year. A share transfer transaction that remains in pending status, i.e., has not been completed and verified with a transaction approval code, after 30 days from the date the shareholder initiated the transfer will be cancelled, and the pending shares will be re-credited to the shareholder who initiated the transfer. (ii) Share transfer procedures. Share transfers must be accomplished online via the IFQ Web site. An IFQ shareholder must initiate a share transfer request by logging onto the IFQ Web site at https:// ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. Following the instructions provided on the Web site, the shareholder must enter pertinent information regarding the transfer request including, but not limited to, amount of shares to be transferred, which must be a minimum of 0.0001 percent; name of the eligible transferee; and the value of the transferred shares. An IFQ shareholder who is subject to a sanction under 15 CFR part 904 is prohibited from initiating a share transfer. An IFQ shareholder who is subject to a pending sanction under 15 CFR part 904 must disclose in writing to the prospective transferee the existence of any pending sanction at the time of the transfer. For the first 5 years E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1 Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules this IFQ program is in effect, an eligible transferee is a person who has a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish; is in compliance with all reporting requirements for the Gulf reef fish fishery and the red snapper IFQ program; is not subject to sanctions under 15 CFR part 904; and who would not be in violation of the share cap as specified in paragraph (b)(6) of this section. Thereafter, share transferee eligibility will only include U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens who are otherwise in compliance with the provisions of this section. The online system will verify the transfer information entered. If the information is not accepted, the online system will send the shareholder an electronic message explaining the reason(s) why the transfer request cannot be completed. If the information is accepted, the online system will send the transferee an electronic message of the pending transfer. The transferee must approve the share transfer by electronic signature. If the transferee approves the share transfer, the online system will send a transaction approval code to both the transferor and transferee confirming the transaction. All share transfers must be completed and the transaction approval code received prior to December 31 at 6 p.m. eastern time each year. (iii) Allocation transfers. An allocation transfer is valid only for the remainder of the fishing year in which it occurs; it does not carry over to the subsequent fishing year. Any allocation that is unused at the end of the fishing year is void. Allocation may be transferred to a vessel account from any IFQ account. Allocation held in a vessel account, however, may only be transferred back to the IFQ account through which the vessel account was established. (iv) Allocation transfer procedures. Allocation transfers must be accomplished online via the IFQ Web site. An IFQ account holder must initiate an allocation transfer by logging onto the IFQ Web site at https:// ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, entering the required information, including but not limited to, name of an eligible transferee and amount of IFQ allocation to be transferred and price, and submitting the transfer electronically. An IFQ allocation holder who is subject to a sanction under 15 CFR part 904 is prohibited from initiating an allocation transfer. An IFQ allocation holder who is subject to a pending sanction under 15 CFR part 904 must disclose in writing to the prospective transferee the existence of any pending sanction at the time of the transfer. If the transfer is VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 approved, the online system will provide a transaction approval code to the transferor and transferee confirming the transaction. (5) Restricted transactions during the 20-hour online maintenance window. All electronic IFQ transactions must be completed by December 31 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time each year. Electronic IFQ functions will resume again on January 1 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time the following fishing year. The remaining 6 hours prior to the end of the fishing year, and the 14 hours at the beginning of the next fishing year, are necessary to provide NMFS time to reconcile IFQ accounts, adjust allocations for the upcoming year if the commercial quotas for Gulf red snapper have changed, and update shares and allocations for the upcoming fishing year. No electronic IFQ transactions will be available during these 20 hours. An advance notice of landing may still be submitted during the 20-hour maintenance window by using the vessel’s VMS unit or calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425– 7627. (6) IFQ share cap. No person, including a corporation or other entity, may individually or collectively hold IFQ shares in excess of 6.0203 percent of the total shares. For the purposes of considering the share cap, a corporation’s total IFQ share is determined by adding the applicable IFQ shares held by the corporation and any other IFQ shares held by a corporation(s) owned by the original corporation prorated based on the level of ownership. An individual’s total IFQ share is determined by adding the applicable IFQ shares held by the individual and the applicable IFQ shares equivalent to the corporate share the individual holds in a corporation. Initially, a corporation must provide the RA the identity of the shareholders of the corporation and their percent of shares in the corporation, and provide updated information to the RA within 30 days of when changes occur. This information must also be provided to the RA any time a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish is renewed or transferred and at the time of renewal of the application for an IFQ Online Account. (7) Redistribution of shares resulting from permanent revocation. If a shareholder’s IFQ shares have been permanently revoked, the RA will redistribute the IFQ shares held by that shareholder proportionately among remaining shareholders (subject to cap restrictions) based upon the amount of shares each held just prior to the redistribution. During December of each year, the RA will determine the amount PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50985 of revoked shares, if any, to be redistributed, and the shares will be distributed at the beginning of the subsequent fishing year. (8) Annual recalculation and notification of IFQ shares and allocation. On or about January 1 each year, IFQ shareholders will be notified, via the IFQ Web site at https:// ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, of their IFQ share and allocation for the upcoming fishing year. These updated share values will reflect the results of applicable share transfers and any redistribution of shares (subject to cap restrictions) resulting from permanent revocation of applicable shares. Updated allocation values will reflect any change in IFQ share, any change in the annual commercial quota for Gulf red snapper, and any debits required as a result of prior fishing year overages as specified in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section. IFQ participants can monitor the status of their shares and allocation throughout the year via the IFQ Web site. (9) Eligibility to participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program as of January 1, 2012. The provisions of paragraph (b)(9) of this section apply to all eligible participants for the Gulf red snapper IFQ program beginning January 1, 2012. In addition to eligible participants who already participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program, as of January 1, 2012, all U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens who are in compliance with the provisions of this section are eligible and may participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program as shareholders and allocation holders. The requirements to meet the definition of a U.S. citizen are described in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, and permanent resident aliens are those individuals who have been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the U.S. in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. In order to harvest and possess Gulf IFQ red snapper, the requirements for a Gulf red snapper IFQ vessel account, as specified in § 622.4(a)(2)(ix), or a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement, as specified in § 622.4(a)(4)(ii) apply. (i) Gulf red snapper IFQ program participation for current red snapper IFQ account holders. A current participant in the red snapper IFQ program must complete and submit the application for an IFQ Online Account that is available on the Web site http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, to certify status as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien. The IFQ account holder must also complete and submit any other information on this form that may E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1 Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS 50986 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules be necessary for the administration of the IFQ online account. A person with an established IFQ online account must update and confirm the account information every 2 years. IFQ online accounts are updated through the submission of the application for an IFQ Online Account. Accounts must be updated prior to the account validity date (expiration date of the account) that is displayed on each account holder’s IFQ online account page. The RA will provide each participant who has established an online account, with an application approximately 2 months prior to the account validity date. A participant who is not provided an application at least 45 days prior to the account validity date must contact IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425–7627 and request an application. Failure to submit a completed application prior to the account validity date will lead to the suspension of the participant’s IFQ online account until a completed application is submitted. After January 1, 2012, participants who certify that they are either not U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens will be ineligible to receive shares or allocation through transfer. (ii) Gulf red snapper IFQ program participation for entities that do not currently possess an IFQ online account. The following procedures apply to U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens who are not otherwise described in either paragraphs (a) or (b)(9)(i) of this section. (A) To establish an IFQ online account, a person must first complete the application for an IFQ Online Account that is available on the Web site http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. An applicant for an IFQ online account under this paragraph must provide the following; (1) Name; address; telephone number; date of birth; tax identification number; certification of status as either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien; and if a corporation, a list of all officers, directors, shareholders, and registered agents of the business; and other identifying information as specified on the application. (2) Any other information that may be necessary for the establishment or administration of the IFQ online account. (B) Completed applications and all required supporting documentation must be submitted to the RA. There is no fee to access the Web site or establish an IFQ online account. An applicant that submits an incomplete application will be contacted by the RA to correct any deficiencies. If an applicant fails to correct the deficiency within 30 days of VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 being notified of the deficient application, the application will be considered abandoned. (C) After an applicant submits a completed application for an IFQ online account, the RA will mail the applicant general instructions regarding procedures related to the IFQ online system, including how to set up an online account and a user identification number—the personal identification number (PIN) will be provided in a subsequent letter. (D) A participant who has established an IFQ online account must notify the RA within 30 days after there is any change in the information submitted through the application for an IFQ Online Account. The IFQ online account is void if any change in the application information is not reported within 30 days. (E) A person who has established an IFQ online account must update and confirm the account information every 2 years. IFQ online accounts are updated through the submission of the application for an IFQ Online Account. Accounts must be updated prior to the account validity date (expiration date of the account) that is displayed on each account holder’s IFQ online account page. The RA will mail each participant who has established an online account an application approximately 2 months prior to the Account Validity Date. A participant who does not receive an application at least 45 days prior to the Account Validity Date must contact IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425–7627 and request an application. Failure to submit a completed application prior to the account validity date will lead to the suspension of the IFQ online account until a completed application is submitted. (F) For information regarding transfer of IFQ shares and allocation, the IFQ share cap, and the annual recalculation and notification of IFQ shares and allocation, see paragraphs (b)(4), (b)(6), and (b)(8) of this section, respectively. (G) Participation in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program beyond transferring IFQ shares and allocation is explained in paragraphs (a) through (b)(8) of this section. 3. Revise § 622.20 to read as follows: § 622.20 Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf groupers and tilefishes. (a) General. This section establishes an IFQ program for the commercial components of the Gulf reef fish fishery for groupers (including DWG, red grouper, gag, and other SWG) and tilefishes (including goldface tilefish, blackline tilefish, anchor tilefish, blueline tilefish, and tilefish). For the PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 purposes of this IFQ program, DWG includes yellowedge grouper, misty grouper, warsaw grouper, snowy grouper, and speckled hind, and scamp, but only as specified in paragraph (b)(2)(vi) of this section. For the purposes of this IFQ program, other SWG includes black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, rock hind, red hind, and yellowmouth grouper, and warsaw grouper and speckled hind, but only as specified in paragraph (b)(2)(v) of this section. Under the IFQ program, the RA initially will assign eligible participants IFQ shares, in five share categories. These IFQ shares are equivalent to a percentage of the annual commercial quotas for DWG, red grouper, gag, and tilefishes, and the annual commercial catch allowance (meaning the SWG quota minus gag and red grouper) for other SWG species, based on their applicable historical landings. Shares determine the amount of IFQ allocation for Gulf groupers and tilefishes, in pounds gutted weight, a shareholder is initially authorized to possess, land, or sell in a given calendar year. Shares and annual IFQ allocation are transferable. See § 622.4(a)(2)(ix) regarding a requirement for a vessel landing groupers or tilefishes subject to this IFQ program to have an IFQ vessel account for Gulf groupers and tilefishes. See § 622.4(a)(4)(ii) regarding a requirement for a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement. Details regarding eligibility, applicable landings history, account setup and transaction requirements, constraints on transferability, and other provisions of this IFQ system are provided in the following paragraphs of this section. (1) Scope. The provisions of this section apply to Gulf groupers and tilefishes in or from the Gulf EEZ and, for a person aboard a vessel with an IFQ vessel account for Gulf groupers and tilefishes as required by § 622.4(a)(2)(ix) or for a person with a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement as required by § 622.4(a)(4)(ii), these provisions apply to Gulf groupers and tilefishes regardless of where harvested or possessed. (2) Duration. The IFQ program established by this section will remain in effect until it is modified or terminated; however, the program will be evaluated by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council every 5 years. (3) Electronic system requirements. (i) The administrative functions associated with this IFQ program, e.g., registration and account setup, landing transactions, and transfers, are designed to be accomplished online; therefore, a participant must have access to a computer and Internet access and must E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1 Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules set up an appropriate IFQ online account to participate. The computer must have browser software installed, e.g. Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox; as well as the software Adobe Flash Player version 9.0 or greater, which may be downloaded from the Internet for free. Assistance with online functions is available from IFQ Customer Service by calling 1–866–425–7627 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time. (ii) The RA will mail initial shareholders and dealers with Gulf reef fish dealer permits information and instructions pertinent to setting up an IFQ online account. Other eligible persons who desire to become IFQ participants by purchasing IFQ shares or allocation or by obtaining a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement must first contact IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425– 7627 to obtain information necessary to set up the required IFQ online account. All current IFQ participants must complete and submit the application for an IFQ Online Account to certify their citizenship status and ensure their account information (e.g., mailing address, corporate shareholdings, etc.) is up to date. See § 622.20(b)(9) regarding requirements for the application for an IFQ Online Account. Each IFQ participant must monitor his/her online account and all associated messages and comply with all IFQ online reporting requirements. (iii) During catastrophic conditions only, the IFQ program provides for use of paper-based components for basic required functions as a backup. The RA will determine when catastrophic conditions exist, the duration of the catastrophic conditions, and which participants or geographic areas are deemed affected by the catastrophic conditions. The RA will provide timely notice to affected participants via publication of notification in the Federal Register, NOAA weather radio, fishery bulletins, and other appropriate means and will authorize the affected participants’ use of paper-based components for the duration of the catastrophic conditions. NMFS will provide each IFQ dealer the necessary paper forms, sequentially coded, and instructions for submission of the forms to the RA. The paper forms will also be available from the RA. The program functions available to participants or geographic areas deemed affected by catastrophic conditions will be limited under the paper-based system. There will be no mechanism for transfers of IFQ shares or allocation under the paper-based system in effect during catastrophic conditions. Assistance in complying with the requirements of the VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 paper-based system will be available via IFQ Customer Service 1–866–425–7627 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time. (4) IFQ allocation. IFQ allocation is the amount of Gulf groupers and tilefishes, in pounds gutted weight, an IFQ shareholder or allocation holder is authorized to possess, land, or sell during a given fishing year. IFQ allocation for the five respective share categories is derived at the beginning of each year by multiplying a shareholder’s IFQ share times the annual commercial quota for gag, red grouper, DWG, and tilefishes; and times the annual commercial catch allowance for other SWG. If a quota is increased after the beginning of the fishing year, then IFQ allocation is derived by multiplying a shareholder’s IFQ share at the time of the quota increase by the amount the annual commercial quota is increased. (5) Red grouper and gag multi-use allocation—(i) Red grouper multi-use allocation. At the beginning of each fishing year, 4 percent of each shareholder’s initial red grouper allocation will be converted to red grouper multi-use allocation. Red grouper multi-use allocation may be used to possess, land, or sell either red grouper or gag under certain conditions. Red grouper multi-use allocation may be used to possess, land, or sell red grouper only after an IFQ account holder’s (shareholder or allocation holder’s) red grouper allocation has been landed and sold, or transferred; and to possess, land, or sell gag, only after both gag and gag multi-use allocation have been landed and sold, or transferred. (ii) Gag multi-use allocation. At the beginning of each fishing year, 8 percent of each shareholder’s initial gag allocation will be converted to gag multi-use allocation. Gag multi-use allocation may be used to possess, land, or sell either gag or red grouper under certain conditions. Gag multi-use allocation may be used to possess, land, or sell gag only after an IFQ account holder’s gag allocation has been landed and sold, or transferred; and possess, land or sell red grouper, only after both red grouper and red grouper multi-use allocation have been landed and sold, or transferred. Multi-use allocation transfer procedures and restrictions are specified in paragraph (b)(4)(iv) of this section. (6) Warsaw grouper and speckled hind classification. Warsaw grouper and speckled hind are considered DWG species and under certain circumstances SWG species. For the purposes of the IFQ program for Gulf groupers and tilefishes, once all of an IFQ account holder’s DWG allocation has been landed and sold, or transferred, or if an PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50987 IFQ account holder has no DWG allocation, then other SWG allocation may be used to land and sell warsaw grouper and speckled hind. (7) Scamp classification. Scamp is considered a SWG species and under certain circumstances a DWG. For the purposes of the IFQ program for Gulf groupers and tilefishes, once all of an IFQ account holder’s other SWG allocation has been landed and sold, or transferred, or if an IFQ account holder has no SWG allocation, then DWG allocation may be used to land and sell scamp. (8) Initial shareholder and IFQ account setup information. On or about October 1, 2009, the RA mailed each Gulf reef fish commercial vessel permittee with grouper and tilefish landings history during the qualifying years, information pertinent to the IFQ program. This information included: (i) Gulf grouper and tilefish landings associated with the Gulf reef fish commercial vessel permit during each year of the applicable landings history; (ii) The highest average annual grouper and tilefish landings, in each of the five share categories, based on the permittee’s best 5 out of 6 years of applicable landings history; (iii) The permittee’s initial IFQ share, in each of the five share categories, based on the highest average annual landings associated with the permittee’s best 5 out of 6 years of applicable landings history; (iv) The initial IFQ allocation, in each of the five share categories, as well as their total IFQ allocation; (v) Instructions for appeals; (vi) General instructions regarding procedures related to the IFQ online system, including how to set up an online account; and (vii) A user identification number; and a personal identification number (PIN) that was provided in a subsequent letter. (9) Dealer notification and IFQ account setup information. On or about October 1, 2009, the RA mailed each dealer with a valid Gulf reef fish dealer permit information pertinent to the IFQ program. Any such dealer is eligible to receive a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement, which can be downloaded from the IFQ Web site at https:// ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov once an IFQ account has been established. The information package included general information about the IFQ program and instructions for accessing the IFQ Web site and establishing an IFQ dealer account. (b) IFQ operations and requirements—(1) IFQ Landing and transaction requirements. (i) Gulf E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1 Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS 50988 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules groupers and tilefishes subject to this IFQ program can only be possessed or landed by a vessel with a IFQ vessel account for Gulf groupers and tilefishes. Such groupers and tilefishes can only be received by a dealer with a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement. The vessel landing groupers or tilefishes must have sufficient IFQ allocation in the IFQ vessel account, at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of grouper or tilefish species to be landed, from the time of advance notice of landing through landing, except as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section. (ii) A person on board a vessel with an IFQ vessel account landing the shareholder’s only remaining allocation from among any of the grouper or tilefish share categories, can legally exceed, by up to 10 percent, the shareholder’s allocation remaining on that last fishing trip of the fishing year, i.e., a one-time per fishing year overage. Any such overage will be deducted from the shareholder’s applicable allocation for the subsequent fishing year. From the time of the overage until January 1 of the subsequent fishing year, the IFQ shareholder must retain sufficient shares to account for the allocation that will be deducted the subsequent fishing year. Share transfers that would violate this requirement will be prohibited. (iii) The dealer is responsible for completing a landing transaction report for each landing and sale of Gulf groupers and tilefishes via the IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov at the time of the transaction in accordance with reporting form and instructions provided on the Web site. This report includes, but is not limited to, date, time, and location of transaction; weight and actual ex-vessel price of groupers and tilefishes landed and sold; and information necessary to identify the fisherman, vessel, and dealer involved in the transaction. The fisherman must validate the dealer transaction report by entering the unique PIN number for the vessel account when the transaction report is submitted. After the dealer submits the report and the information has been verified by NMFS, the online system will send a transaction approval code to the dealer and the allocation holder. (iv) If there is a discrepancy regarding the landing transaction report after approval, the dealer or vessel account holder (or his or her authorized agent) must initiate a landing transaction correction form to correct the landing transaction. This form is available via the IFQ Web site at https:// ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. The dealer must then print out the form, both parties must sign it, and the form must be VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 mailed to NMFS. The form must be received by NMFS no later than 15 days after the date of the initial landing transaction. (2) IFQ cost recovery fees. As required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the RA will collect a fee to recover the actual costs directly related to the management and enforcement of the IFQ program for Gulf groupers and tilefishes. The fee cannot exceed 3 percent of the ex-vessel value of Gulf groupers and tilefishes landed under the IFQ program as described in the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Such fees will be deposited in the Limited Access System Administration Fund (LASAF). Initially, the fee will be 3 percent of the actual ex-vessel price of Gulf groupers and tilefishes landed per trip under the IFQ program, as documented in each landings transaction report. The RA will review the cost recovery fee annually to determine if adjustment is warranted. Factors considered in the review include the catch subject to the IFQ cost recovery, projected ex-vessel value of the catch, costs directly related to the management and enforcement of the IFQ program, the projected IFQ balance in the LASAF, and expected nonpayment of fee liabilities. If the RA determines that a fee adjustment is warranted, the RA will publish a notification of the fee adjustment in the Federal Register. (i) Payment responsibility. The IFQ account holder specified in the documented IFQ landing transaction report for Gulf groupers and tilefishes is responsible for payment of the applicable cost recovery fees. (ii) Collection and submission responsibility. A dealer who receives Gulf groupers or tilefishes subject to the IFQ program is responsible for collecting the applicable cost recovery fee for each IFQ landing from the IFQ account holder specified in the IFQ landing transaction report. Such dealer is responsible for submitting all applicable cost recovery fees to NMFS on a quarterly basis. The fees are due and must be submitted, using pay.gov via the IFQ system, at the end of each calendar-year quarter, but no later than 30 days after the end of each calendaryear quarter. Fees not received by the deadline are delinquent. (iii) Fee payment procedure. For each IFQ dealer, the IFQ system will post, in individual IFQ dealer accounts, an endof-quarter statement of cost recovery fees that are due. The dealer is responsible for submitting the cost recovery fee payments using pay.gov via the IFQ system. Authorized payment methods are credit card, debit card, or automated clearing house (ACH). PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Payment by check will be authorized only if the RA has determined that the geographical area or an individual(s) is affected by catastrophic conditions. (iv) Fee reconciliation process— delinquent fees. The following procedures apply to an IFQ dealer whose cost recovery fees are delinquent. (A) On or about the 31st day after the end of each calendar-year quarter, the RA will send the dealer an electronic message via the IFQ Web site and official notice via mail indicating the applicable fees are delinquent, and the dealer’s IFQ account has been suspended pending payment of the applicable fees. (B) On or about the 91st day after the end of each calendar-year quarter, the RA will refer any delinquent IFQ dealer cost recovery fees to the appropriate authorities for collection of payment. (3) Measures to enhance IFQ program enforceability—(i) Advance notice of landing. For the purpose of this paragraph, landing means to arrive at a dock, berth, beach, seawall, or ramp. The owner or operator of a vessel landing IFQ groupers or tilefishes is responsible for ensuring that NMFS is contacted at least 3 hours, but no more than 12 hours, in advance of landing to report the time and location of landing, estimated grouper and tilefish landings in pounds gutted weight for each share category (gag, red grouper, DWG, other SWG, tilefishes), vessel identification number (Coast Guard registration number or state registration number), and the name and address of the IFQ dealer where the groupers or tilefishes are to be received. The vessel landing groupers or tilefishes must have sufficient IFQ allocation in the IFQ vessel account, and in the appropriate share category or categories, at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of all groupers and tilefishes on board (except for any overage up to the 10 percent allowed on the last fishing trip) from the time of the advance notice of landing through landing. Authorized methods for contacting NMFS and submitting the report include calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425– 7627, completing and submitting to NMFS the notification form provided through the VMS unit, or providing the required information to NMFS through the Web-based form available on the IFQ Web site at https:// ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. As new technology becomes available, NMFS will add other authorized methods for complying with the advance notification requirement, via appropriate rulemaking. Failure to comply with this advance notice of landing requirement is unlawful and will preclude E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1 Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules authorization to complete the landing transaction report required in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section and, thus, will preclude issuance of the required transaction approval code. (ii) Time restriction on offloading. For the purpose of this paragraph, offloading means to remove IFQ groupers and tilefishes from a vessel. IFQ groupers or tilefishes may be offloaded only between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., local time. (iii) Restrictions on transfer of IFQ groupers and tilefishes. At-sea or dockside transfer of IFQ groupers or tilefishes from one vessel to another vessel is prohibited. (iv) Requirement for transaction approval code. If IFQ groupers or tilefishes are offloaded to a vehicle for transport to a dealer, on-site capability to accurately weigh the fish and to connect electronically to the online IFQ system to complete the transaction and obtain the transaction approval code is required. After a landing transaction has been completed, a transaction approval code verifying a legal transaction of the amount of IFQ groupers and tilefishes in possession and a copy of the dealer endorsement must accompany any IFQ groupers or tilefishes from the landing location through possession by a dealer. This requirement also applies to IFQ groupers and tilefishes possessed on a vessel that is trailered for transport to a dealer. (v) Approved landing locations. Landing locations must be approved by NMFS Office for Law Enforcement prior to landing or offloading at these sites. Proposed landing locations may be submitted online via the IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, or by calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866– 425–7627, at any time; however, new landing locations will be approved only at the end of each calendar-year quarter. To have your landing location approved by the end of the calendar-year quarter, it must be submitted at least 45 days before the end of the calendar-year quarter. NMFS will evaluate the proposed sites based on, but not limited to, the following criteria: (A) Landing locations must have a street address. If there is no street address on record for a particular landing location, global positioning system (GPS) coordinates for an identifiable geographic location must be provided. (B) Landing locations must be publicly accessible by land and water, and must satisfy the following criteria: (1) Vehicles must have access to the site via public roads; (2) Vessels must have access to the site via navigable water; VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 (3) No other condition may impede free and immediate access to the site by an authorized law enforcement officer. Examples of such conditions include, but are not limited to: A locked gate, fence, wall, or other barrier preventing 24-hour access to the site; a gated community entry point; a guard; animal; a posted sign restricting access to the site; or any other physical deterrent. (4) Transfer of IFQ shares and allocation. Until January 1, 2015, IFQ shares and allocations can be transferred only to a person who holds a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish; thereafter, IFQ shares and allocations can be transferred only to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien. However, a valid commercial permit for Gulf reef fish, an IFQ vessel account for Gulf groupers and tilefishes, and IFQ allocation for Gulf groupers or tilefishes are required to possess (at and after the time of the advance notice of landing), land or sell Gulf groupers or tilefishes subject to this IFQ program. (i) Share transfers. Share transfers are permanent, i.e., they remain in effect until subsequently transferred. Transfer of shares will result in the corresponding allocation being automatically transferred to the person receiving the transferred share beginning with the fishing year following the year the transfer occurred. However, within the fishing year the share transfer occurs, transfer of shares and associated allocation are independent—unless the associated allocation is transferred separately, it remains with the transferor for the duration of that fishing year. A share transfer transaction that remains in pending status, i.e., has not been completed and verified with a transaction approval code, after 30 days from the date the shareholder initiated the transfer will be cancelled, and the pending shares will be re-credited to the shareholder who initiated the transfer. (ii) Share transfer procedures. Share transfers must be accomplished online via the IFQ Web site. An IFQ shareholder must initiate a share transfer request by logging onto the IFQ Web site at https:// ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. An IFQ shareholder who is subject to a sanction under 15 CFR part 904 is prohibited from initiating a share transfer. An IFQ shareholder who is subject to a pending sanction under 15 CFR part 904 must disclose in writing to the prospective transferee the existence of any pending sanction at the time of the transfer. Following the instructions provided on the Web site, the shareholder must enter pertinent information regarding the transfer request including, but not PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50989 limited to: amount of shares to be transferred, which must be a minimum of 0.000001 percent; name of the eligible transferee; and the value of the transferred shares. For the first 5 years this IFQ program is in effect, an eligible transferee is a person who has a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish; is in compliance with all reporting requirements for the Gulf reef fish fishery and the IFQ program for Gulf groupers and tilefishes; is not subject to sanctions under 15 CFR part 904; and who would not be in violation of the share or allocation caps as specified in paragraph (b)(6) of this section. Thereafter, share transferee eligibility will only include U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens who are otherwise in compliance with the provisions of this section. The online system will verify the information entered. If the information is not accepted, the online system will send the shareholder an electronic message explaining the reason(s). If the information is accepted, the online system will send the transferee an electronic message of the pending transfer. The transferee must approve the share transfer by electronic signature. If the transferee approves the share transfer, the online system will send a transfer approval code to both the shareholder and transferee confirming the transaction. All share transfers must be completed and the transaction approval code received prior to December 31 at 6 p.m. eastern time each year. (iii) Allocation transfers. An allocation transfer is valid only for the remainder of the fishing year in which it occurs; it does not carry over to the subsequent fishing year. Any allocation that is unused at the end of the fishing year is void. Allocation may be transferred to a vessel account from any IFQ account. Allocation held in a vessel account, however, may only be transferred back to the IFQ account through which the vessel account was established. (iv) Allocation transfer procedures and restrictions—(A) Allocation transfer procedures. Allocation transfers must be accomplished online via the IFQ Web site. An IFQ account holder must initiate an allocation transfer by logging onto the IFQ Web site at https:// ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, entering the required information, including but not limited to, the name of an eligible transferee and amount of IFQ allocation to be transferred and price, and submitting the transfer electronically. An IFQ allocation holder who is subject to a sanction under 15 CFR part 904 is prohibited from initiating an allocation E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1 Emcdonald on DSK2BSOYB1PROD with PROPOSALS 50990 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 159 / Wednesday, August 17, 2011 / Proposed Rules transfer. An IFQ allocation holder who is subject to a pending sanction under 15 CFR part 904 must disclose in writing to the prospective transferee the existence of any pending sanction at the time of the transfer. If the transfer is approved, the Web site will provide a transfer approval code to the transferor and transferee confirming the transaction. (B) Multi-use allocation transfer restrictions—(1) Red grouper multi-use allocation. Red grouper multi-use allocation may only be transferred after all an IFQ account holder’s red grouper allocation has been landed and sold, or transferred. (2) Gag multi-use allocation. Gag multi-use allocation may only be transferred after all an IFQ account holder’s gag allocation has been landed and sold, or transferred. (5) Restricted transactions during the 20-hour online maintenance window. All electronic IFQ transactions must be completed by December 31 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time each year. Electronic IFQ functions will resume again on January 1 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time the following fishing year. The remaining 6 hours prior to the end of the fishing year, and the 14 hours at the beginning of the next fishing year, are necessary to provide NMFS time to reconcile IFQ accounts, adjust allocations for the upcoming year if the commercial quotas or catch allowances for Gulf groupers and tilefishes have changed, and update shares and allocations for the upcoming fishing year. No electronic IFQ transactions will be available during these 20 hours. An advance notice of landing may still be submitted during the 20-hour maintenance window by using the vessel’s VMS unit or calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425– 7627. (6) IFQ share and allocation caps. A corporation’s total IFQ share (or allocation) is determined by adding the applicable IFQ shares (or allocation) held by the corporation and any other IFQ shares (or allocation) held by a corporation(s) owned by the original corporation prorated based on the level of ownership. An individual’s total IFQ share is determined by adding the applicable IFQ shares held by the individual and the applicable IFQ shares equivalent to the corporate share the individual holds in a corporation. An individual’s total IFQ allocation is determined by adding the individual’s total allocation to the allocation derived from the IFQ shares equivalent to the VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:31 Aug 16, 2011 Jkt 223001 corporate share the individual holds in a corporation. (i) IFQ share cap for each share category. No person, including a corporation or other entity, may individually or collectively hold IFQ shares in any share category (gag, red grouper, DWG, other SWG, or tilefishes) in excess of the maximum share initially issued for the applicable share category to any person at the beginning of the IFQ program, as of the date appeals are resolved and shares are adjusted accordingly. A corporation must provide to the RA the identity of the shareholders of the corporation and their percent of shares in the corporation for initial issuance of IFQ shares and allocation, and provide updated information to the RA within 30 days of when changes occur. This information must also be provided to the RA any time a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish is renewed or transferred and at the time of renewal of the application for an IFQ Online Account. (ii) Total allocation cap. No person, including a corporation or other entity, may individually or collectively hold, cumulatively during any fishing year, IFQ allocation in excess of the total allocation cap. The total allocation cap is the sum of the maximum allocations associated with the share caps for each individual share category and is calculated annually based on the applicable quotas or catch allowance associated with each share category. (7) Redistribution of shares resulting from permanent revocation. If a shareholder’s IFQ shares have been permanently revoked, the RA will redistribute the IFQ shares proportionately among remaining shareholders (subject to cap restrictions) based upon the amount of shares each held just prior to the redistribution. During December of each year, the RA will determine the amount of revoked shares, if any, to be redistributed, and the shares will be distributed at the beginning of the subsequent fishing year. (8) Annual recalculation and notification of IFQ shares and allocation. On or about January 1 each year, IFQ shareholders will be notified, via the IFQ Web site at https:// ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, of their IFQ shares and allocations, for each of the five share categories, for the upcoming fishing year. These updated share values will reflect the results of applicable share transfers and any redistribution of shares (subject to cap restrictions) PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 resulting from permanent revocation of IFQ shares. Allocation, for each share category, is calculated by multiplying IFQ share for that category times the annual commercial quota or commercial catch allowance for that share category. Updated allocation values will reflect any change in IFQ share for each share category, any change in the annual commercial quota or commercial catch allowance for the applicable categories; and any debits required as a result of prior fishing year overages as specified in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section. IFQ participants can monitor the status of their shares and allocation throughout the year via the IFQ Web site. (9) Gulf grouper and tilefish IFQ program participation for current grouper and tilefish IFQ account holders. A current participant in the Gulf grouper and tilefish IFQ program must complete and submit the application for an IFQ Online Account that is available on the Web site http:// sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, to certify status as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien. The account holder must also complete and submit any other information on this form that may be necessary for the administration of the IFQ online account. A person with an established IFQ online account must update and confirm the account information every 2 years. IFQ online accounts are updated through the submission of the application for an IFQ Online Account. Accounts must be updated prior to the account validity date (expiration date of the account) that is displayed on each account holder’s IFQ online account page. The RA will provide each participant who has established an online account an application approximately 2 months prior to the account validity date. A participant who is not provided an application at least 45 days prior to the account validity date must contact IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425–7627 and request an application. Failure to submit a completed application prior to the participant’s account validity date will lead to the suspension of the participant’s access to his IFQ online account until a completed application is submitted. Participants who certify that they are either not a U.S. citizens or permanent resident alien will be ineligible to receive shares or allocation through transfer. [FR Doc. 2011–21000 Filed 8–16–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\17AUP1.SGM 17AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 159 (Wednesday, August 17, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 50979-50990]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-21000]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 110606316-1463-01]
RIN 0648-BB15


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 26 and Amendment 29 
Supplement

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

[[Page 50980]]


ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to supplement the regulations implementing 
Amendments 26 and 29 to the Fishery Management Plan for Reef Fish 
Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the 
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). Amendment 26 
established an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for the red 
snapper commercial sector of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of 
Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Amendment 29 established a 
multi-species IFQ program for the grouper and tilefish component of the 
commercial sector of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf EEZ. If 
implemented, this rule would implement transferability measures for the 
red snapper IFQ program contained in Amendment 26 that are required to 
be effective as of January 1, 2012. This rule would also require all 
Gulf IFQ applicants and participants to certify their status as U.S. 
citizens or permanent resident aliens to meet current Gulf IFQ program 
and Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act) requirements. Additionally, this rule would make revisions 
to the codified text to remove outdated language specific to the Gulf 
IFQ programs. The intent of this rule is to specify the process for the 
general public to participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program and 
ensure efficient functioning of both IFQ programs in the Gulf of 
Mexico.

DATES: Written comments on this proposed rule must be received no later 
than 5 p.m., eastern time, on September 16, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on the proposed rule identified by 
``NOAA-NMFS-2011-0178'' by any of the following methods:
     Electronic submissions: Submit electronic comments via the 
Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Catherine Bruger, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 
263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
    Instructions: All comments received are a 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 publicly 
accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information.
    To submit comments through the Federal e-rulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov, click on ``submit a comment,'' then enter ``NOAA-
NMFS-2011-0178'' in the keyword search and click on ``search.'' To view 
posted comments during the comment period, enter ``NOAA-NMFS-2011-
0178'' in the keyword search and click on ``search.'' NMFS will accept 
anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required field if you wish to 
remain anonymous). You may submit attachments to electronic comments in 
Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
    Comments received through means not specified in this rule will not 
be considered.
    Electronic copies of Amendments 26 and 29, which include a final 
environmental impact statement (FEIS), a regulatory impact review 
(RIR), and a regulatory flexibility act analysis may be obtained from 
the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/GulfReefFishIFQ.htm.
    Comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of 
the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed 
rule may be submitted in writing to Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional 
Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; and OMB, 
by e-mail at OIRASubmission@omb.eop.gov, or by fax to 202-395-7285.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Bruger, telephone 727-824-
5305, e-mail Catherine.Bruger@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The reef fish fishery of the Gulf of Mexico 
is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and is 
implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority 
of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Background

    On November 22, 2006, NMFS published a final rule (71 FR 67447) to 
implement Amendment 26 to the Reef Fish FMP (Amendment 26), which 
established the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Individual Fishing Quota 
(IFQ) program. The program became effective on January 1, 2007. In 
addition to the initial implementation of the Gulf red snapper IFQ 
program, Amendment 26 implemented a provision to allow general public 
participation within the red snapper IFQ program 5 years after program 
implementation. The general public participation provision becomes 
effective on January 1, 2012. The intent of this provision was to give 
commercial reef fish fishermen the opportunity to better understand 
their individual fishing quota's economic value prior to January 1, 
2012, and after January 1, 2012, to allow the general public the 
opportunity to enter the red snapper IFQ program and receive 
transferred shares and allocation from current IFQ participants, thus 
expanding the transferability of red snapper shares and allocation.
    As described in Amendment 26, on January 1, 2012, all U.S. citizens 
and permanent resident aliens will be eligible to acquire red snapper 
IFQ shares and allocation in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program through 
transfer. Prior to January 1, 2012, only participants with a valid 
commercial Gulf reef fish permit can establish IFQ online accounts and 
hold red snapper quota shares and allocation. Therefore, beginning on 
January 1, 2012, any U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, after 
completing and submitting an information collection regarding 
citizenship status, will be eligible to acquire red snapper IFQ shares 
and allocation through transfer. However, the possession of a valid 
commercial Gulf reef fish permit and applicable red snapper IFQ 
allocation remains a requirement to possess, land, or sell Gulf IFQ red 
snapper. This rule would specify the process for the general public to 
participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program beginning on January 1, 
2012.
    In 2009, NMFS published a final rule implementing Amendment 29 to 
the Reef Fish FMP (74 FR 44732, August 31, 2009), which established the 
Gulf of Mexico IFQ program for groupers and tilefishes. The 
reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Act of 2006, requires any participant in 
an IFQ program to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien. 
Currently, information regarding an IFQ participant's status as a U.S. 
citizen or permanent resident alien is not collected on Federal Gulf 
reef fish permit applications or through the Gulf IFQ system. If 
enacted, this rule would require that all Gulf IFQ program participants 
certify their citizenship status to participate in a Gulf IFQ program.

Management Measures Contained in This Proposed Rule

    This rule would establish an information collection to meet the 
January 1, 2012 requirements of the Gulf red snapper IFQ program 
outlined in Amendment 26, and meet the requirements of the reauthorized 
Magnuson-Stevens Act for the grouper-tilefish IFQ program. This rule 
also describes the procedures that are

[[Page 50981]]

necessary for all qualified entities to apply for and maintain an IFQ 
online account. Additionally, this rule would make revisions to the 
codified text to remove outdated language for the red snapper and 
grouper-tilefish IFQ programs. Specifically, this rule would remove 
regulatory language that was applicable to the initial implementation 
of the red snapper and grouper-tilefish IFQ programs and is no longer 
needed to be included in the regulations.

Collection of Information for Gulf IFQ Applicants and Participants

    If implemented, this rule would require Gulf IFQ program applicants 
to establish an IFQ online account to participate in the program. In 
order to establish an IFQ online account and in accordance with the 
regulations implemented for Amendments 26 and 29 to the Reef Fish FMP, 
information about the participants must be collected prior to 
establishing an IFQ online account for the applicant. This collection-
of-information is necessary to identify participants for the effective 
monitoring, enforcement, and management of the Gulf IFQ programs 
established through Amendments 26 and 29 to the Reef Fish FMP. 
Specifically, this rule would establish the requirement that any new 
applicant and all current participants in a Gulf IFQ program must 
submit an application for an IFQ online account, certifying their 
status as either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, to obtain 
and maintain an IFQ online account. The information requested will 
include contact information (name, address, and phone number), date of 
birth, certification of citizenship status, tax identification number, 
and corporate shareholder information where appropriate. Account 
holders would be required to update and confirm their account 
information every 2 years to keep their online IFQ account valid.

Revision and Reorganization of Gulf IFQ Language

    This rule would remove language in both the red snapper and the 
grouper-tilefish IFQ programs that was applicable to the initial 
implementation of these programs and is no longer relevant. In addition 
to the removal of obsolete language, Sec. Sec.  622.16 (red snapper IFQ 
program) and 622.20 (grouper-tilefish IFQ program) have been renumbered 
and reorganized to provide for a more clear and concise arrangement of 
the codified text.

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 Amendments 26 and 29, other provisions of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration 
after public comment.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that this rule, if adopted, would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual 
basis for this determination is as follows:
    The purpose of this rule is to establish an administrative 
requirement for the collection of information necessary to effectively 
monitor and manage the Gulf of Mexico IFQ programs, pertinent to the 
January 1, 2012 requirements. The objective of this rule is to maximize 
the net benefits to society of the red snapper and grouper-tilefish 
commercial components of the reef fish fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. 
The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this action.
    With the exception of one group of entities, it is not feasible to 
identify, quantify, or describe all of the small entities to which this 
rule would apply. This rule, if implemented, would apply to all 
entities that currently have an IFQ online account for participation in 
a Gulf of Mexico IFQ program and any entity that is a U.S. citizen or 
permanent resident alien that wishes to acquire red snapper IFQ shares 
or allocation through transfer beginning January 1, 2012. The group of 
entities that wish to acquire red snapper IFQ shares or allocation 
through transfer beginning January 1, 2012 consists of an 
unidentifiable and unquantifiable number of entities, both small and 
large. Small and large entities, as well as individual citizens, may be 
motivated to acquire IFQ shares or allocation for short- or long-term 
economic gain, speculation, or environmental protection. As a result, 
prospective entities may be businesses, nonprofit organizations, or 
even government jurisdictions, particularly if it is assumed that the 
restriction limiting IFQ harvest to vessels with valid Federal 
commercial reef fish permits will be eliminated at some point in the 
future. As such, prospective entities could include marinas, chambers 
of commerce, recreational angler clubs and organizations, bait and 
tackle shops, and hotels and motels, in addition to environmental 
groups, student clubs, and other groups. Narrowing this list to one or 
a few groups of entities reasonably expected to apply for an IFQ online 
account is not possible with available information. Most of these 
entities are assumed to be, for the purpose of this analysis, small 
entities.
    The group of entities consisting of those who currently have an IFQ 
online account can be identified, quantified, and described. Because 
all commercial reef fish permit holders can currently establish an IFQ 
online account, all entities that possess a valid or renewable 
commercial reef fish permit are assumed to comprise the universe of 
entities with an IFQ online account. On May 12, 2011, 927 entities 
possessed a valid or renewable commercial reef fish permit. Average 
annual total revenues for vessels with a commercial reef fish permit 
are estimated to be less than $100,000 (2008 dollars).
    The Small Business Administration has established size criteria for 
all major industry sectors in the U.S., including fish harvesters. A 
business involved in fish harvesting is classified as a small business 
if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field 
of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual 
receipts not in excess of $4.0 million (NAICS code 114111, finfish 
fishing) for all its affiliated operations worldwide. Based on the 
average annual gross revenue estimate provided above, all commercial 
reef fish vessels expected to be directly affected by this proposed 
rule are determined for the purpose of this analysis to be small 
business entities.
    This rule would require all entities that currently possess an 
online IFQ account, and all entities who wish to establish an online 
IFQ account to acquire red snapper IFQ shares or allocation beginning 
January 1, 2012, to submit an application containing contact 
information (name, address, and phone number), date of birth, 
certification of citizenship status, tax identification number, and 
corporate shareholder information, where appropriate. Account holders 
would be required to update and confirm their account information every 
2 years to keep their online IFQ account valid. No special professional 
skills would be required to prepare and submit the application or 
periodic update. Other than the request for information, this rule 
would impose no new requirements, obligations, restrictions or limits 
on any of the affected entities.
    No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been 
identified.

[[Page 50982]]

    This rule would not be expected to significantly reduce the profits 
of any small entities. This rule would establish an insignificant 
administrative requirement for current and future participants in the 
red snapper and grouper-tilefish IFQ programs. The economic burden of 
this administrative requirement would consist of the minor time and 
postage costs of completing and submitting a short application, 
estimated to take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Participants 
would be required to update and confirm their IFQ online account 
information every 2 years. No application or processing fee would be 
required for the initial application or periodic update and 
confirmation. Because the individual economic burden would be expected 
to be minor, no substantive costs or reduction in profits for any small 
entities is expected to be incurred.
    Because this rule, if implemented, is not expected to have a direct 
adverse economic impact on any small entities, an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required 
to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure 
to comply with, a collection-of-information subject to the requirements 
of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), unless that collection-of-
information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) control number.
    This proposed rule contains a collection-of-information requirement 
subject to the PRA applicable to participants in the Gulf IFQ programs, 
namely, a requirement to complete and submit an IFQ Online Application 
to certify a participant's U.S. citizenship status and to update and 
confirm their application every 2 years.
    This requirement has been submitted to OMB for approval. The public 
reporting burden for this collection-of-information is estimated to 
average 10 minutes per applicant/participant every 2 years. This 
estimate of the public reporting burden includes the time for reviewing 
instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing 
and reviewing the collection-of-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 will have practical utility; the accuracy of 
the burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity 
of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of 
the collection-of-information, including through the use of automated 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send 
comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of the 
collection-of-information requirement, including suggestions for 
reducing the burden, to NMFS and to OMB (see ADDRESSES).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

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

    Dated: August 12, 2011.
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 622 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

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

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

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

    2. Revise Sec.  622.16 to read as follows:


Sec.  622.16  Gulf red snapper individual fishing quota (IFQ) program.

    (a) General. This section establishes an IFQ program for the 
commercial red snapper component of the Gulf reef fish fishery. Shares 
determine the amount of Gulf red snapper IFQ allocation, in pounds 
gutted weight, a shareholder is initially authorized to possess, land, 
or sell in a given calendar year. As of January 1, 2012, IFQ shares and 
allocation can only be transferred to U.S. citizens and permanent 
resident aliens. See Sec.  622.16(b)(9) regarding eligibility to 
participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program as of January 1, 2012. 
Shares and annual IFQ allocation are transferable. See Sec.  
622.4(a)(2)(ix) regarding a requirement for a vessel landing red 
snapper subject to this IFQ program to have a Gulf red snapper IFQ 
vessel account. See Sec.  622.4(a)(4)(ii) regarding a requirement for a 
Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement. Details regarding eligibility, applicable 
landings history, account setup and transaction requirements, 
constraints on transferability, and other provisions of this IFQ system 
are provided in the following paragraphs of this section.
    (1) Scope. The provisions of this section regarding the harvest and 
possession of Gulf IFQ red snapper apply to Gulf red snapper in or from 
the Gulf EEZ and, for a person aboard a vessel with a Gulf red snapper 
IFQ vessel account as required by Sec.  622.4(a)(2)(ix) or for a person 
with a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement as required by Sec.  
622.4(a)(4)(ii), these provisions apply to Gulf red snapper regardless 
of where harvested or possessed.
    (2) Duration. The IFQ program established by this section will 
remain in effect until it is modified or terminated; however, the 
program will be evaluated by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management 
Council every 5 years.
    (3) Electronic system requirements. (i) The administrative 
functions associated with this IFQ program, e.g., registration and 
account setup, landing transactions, and transfers, are designed to be 
accomplished online; therefore, a participant must have access to a 
computer and Internet access and must set up an appropriate IFQ online 
account to participate. The computer must have browser software 
installed, e.g., Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox; as well as the 
software Adobe Flash Player version 9.0 or greater, which may be 
downloaded from the Internet for free. Assistance with online functions 
is available from IFQ Customer Service by calling 1-866-425-7627 Monday 
through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time.
    (ii) The RA mailed initial shareholders and dealers with Gulf reef 
fish dealer permits information and instructions pertinent to setting 
up an IFQ online account. Other eligible persons who desire to become 
IFQ participants by purchasing IFQ shares or allocation or by obtaining 
a Gulf red snapper IFQ dealer endorsement must first contact IFQ 
Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627 to obtain information necessary to 
set up the required IFQ online account. As of January 1, 2012, all U.S. 
citizens and permanent resident aliens are eligible to establish an IFQ 
online account. As of January 1, 2012, all current IFQ participants 
must complete and submit the application for an IFQ Online Account to 
certify their citizenship status and ensure their account information 
(e.g., mailing address, corporate shareholdings, etc.) is up to date. 
See Sec.  622.16(b)(9) regarding requirements for the application for 
an IFQ Online Account. Each IFQ participant must monitor his/her online 
account and all associated messages and comply with all IFQ online 
reporting requirements.
    (iii) During catastrophic conditions only, the IFQ program provides 
for use of paper-based components for basic required functions as a 
backup. The RA will determine when catastrophic conditions exist, the 
duration of the

[[Page 50983]]

catastrophic conditions, and which participants or geographic areas are 
deemed affected by the catastrophic conditions. The RA will provide 
timely notice to affected participants via publication of notification 
in the Federal Register, NOAA weather radio, fishery bulletins, and 
other appropriate means and will authorize the affected participants' 
use of paper-based components for the duration of the catastrophic 
conditions. NMFS will provide each IFQ dealer the necessary paper 
forms, sequentially coded, and instructions for submission of the forms 
to the RA. The paper forms will also be available from the RA. The 
program functions available to participants or geographic areas deemed 
affected by catastrophic conditions will be limited under the paper-
based system. There will be no mechanism for transfers of IFQ shares or 
allocation under the paper-based system in effect during catastrophic 
conditions. Assistance in complying with the requirements of the paper-
based system will be available via IFQ Customer Service 1-866-425-7627 
Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time.
    (4) IFQ allocation. IFQ allocation is the amount of Gulf red 
snapper, in pounds gutted weight, an IFQ shareholder or allocation 
holder is authorized to possess, land, or sell during a given fishing 
year. IFQ allocation is derived at the beginning of each year by 
multiplying a shareholder's IFQ share times the annual commercial quota 
for Gulf red snapper. If the quota is increased after the beginning of 
the fishing year, then IFQ allocation is derived by multiplying a 
shareholder's IFQ share at the time of the quota increase by the amount 
the annual commercial quota for red snapper is increased.
    (5) Initial shareholder IFQ account setup information. As soon as 
possible after an IFQ Online Account is established, the RA will 
provide IFQ account holders information pertinent to the IFQ program. 
This information will include:
    (i) General instructions regarding procedures related to the IFQ 
online system; and
    (ii) A user identification number--the personal identification 
number (PIN) was provided in a subsequent letter.
    (6) Dealer notification and IFQ account setup information. As soon 
as possible after November 22, 2006, the RA mailed each dealer with a 
valid Gulf reef fish dealer permit information pertinent to the IFQ 
program. Any such dealer is eligible to receive a Gulf IFQ dealer 
endorsement, which can be downloaded from the IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov once an IFQ account has been established. The 
information package included general information about the IFQ program 
and instructions for accessing the IFQ Web site and establishing an IFQ 
dealer account.
    (b) IFQ operations and requirements--(1) IFQ Landing and 
transaction requirements. (i) Gulf red snapper subject to this IFQ 
program can only be possessed or landed by a vessel with a Gulf red 
snapper IFQ vessel account with allocation at least equal to the pounds 
of red snapper on board, except as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of 
this section. Such red snapper can only be received by a dealer with a 
Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement.
    (ii) A person on board a vessel with an IFQ vessel account landing 
the shareholder's only remaining allocation, can legally exceed, by up 
to 10 percent, the shareholder's allocation remaining on that last 
fishing trip of the fishing year, i.e., a one-time per fishing year 
overage. Any such overage will be deducted from the shareholder's 
applicable allocation for the subsequent fishing year. From the time of 
the overage until January 1 of the subsequent fishing year, the IFQ 
shareholder must retain sufficient shares to account for the allocation 
that will be deducted the subsequent fishing year. Share transfers that 
would violate this requirement will be prohibited.
    (iii) The dealer is responsible for completing a landing 
transaction report for each landing and sale of Gulf red snapper via 
the IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov at the time of the 
transaction in accordance with the reporting form(s) and instructions 
provided on the Web site. This report includes, but is not limited to, 
date, time, and location of transaction; weight and actual ex-vessel 
price of red snapper landed and sold; and information necessary to 
identify the fisherman, vessel, and dealer involved in the transaction. 
The fisherman must validate the dealer transaction report by entering 
his unique PIN number when the transaction report is submitted. After 
the dealer submits the report and the information has been verified, 
the Web site will send a transaction approval code to the dealer and 
the allocation holder.
    (iv) If there is a discrepancy regarding the landing transaction 
report after approval, the dealer or vessel account holder (or his or 
her authorized agent) must initiate a landing transaction correction 
form to correct the landing transaction. This form is available via the 
IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. The dealer must then 
print out the form, both parties must sign it, and the form must be 
mailed to NMFS. The form must be received by NMFS no later than 15 days 
after the date of the initial landing transaction.
    (2) IFQ cost recovery fees. As required by section 304(d)(2)(A)(i) 
of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the RA will collect a fee to recover the 
actual costs directly related to the management and enforcement of the 
Gulf red snapper IFQ program. The fee cannot exceed 3 percent of the 
ex-vessel value of Gulf red snapper landed under the IFQ program as 
described in the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Such fees will be deposited in 
the Limited Access System Administration Fund (LASAF). Initially, the 
fee will be 3 percent of the actual ex-vessel price of Gulf red snapper 
landed per trip under the IFQ program, as documented in each landings 
transaction report. The RA will review the cost recovery fee annually 
to determine if adjustment is warranted. Factors considered in the 
review include the catch subject to the IFQ cost recovery, projected 
ex-vessel value of the catch, costs directly related to the management 
and enforcement of the IFQ program, the projected IFQ balance in the 
LASAF, and expected non-payment of fee liabilities. If the RA 
determines that a fee adjustment is warranted, the RA will publish a 
notification of the fee adjustment in the Federal Register.
    (i) Payment responsibility. The IFQ allocation holder specified in 
the documented red snapper IFQ landing transaction report is 
responsible for payment of the applicable cost recovery fees.
    (ii) Collection and submission responsibility. A dealer who 
receives Gulf red snapper subject to the IFQ program is responsible for 
collecting the applicable cost recovery fee for each IFQ landing from 
the IFQ allocation holder specified in the IFQ landing transaction 
report. Such dealer is responsible for submitting all applicable cost 
recovery fees to NMFS on a quarterly basis. The fees are due and must 
be submitted, using pay.gov via the IFQ system at the end of each 
calendar-year quarter, but no later than 30 days after the end of each 
calendar-year quarter. Fees not received by the deadline are 
delinquent.
    (iii) Fee payment procedure. For each IFQ dealer, the IFQ system 
will post, on individual message boards, an end-of-quarter statement of 
cost recovery fees that are due. The dealer is responsible for 
submitting the cost recovery fee payments using pay.gov via the IFQ 
system. Authorized payments methods

[[Page 50984]]

are credit card, debit card, or automated clearing house (ACH). Payment 
by check will be authorized only if the RA has determined that the 
geographical area or an individual(s) is affected by catastrophic 
conditions.
    (iv) Fee reconciliation process--delinquent fees. The following 
procedures apply to an IFQ dealer whose cost recovery fees are 
delinquent.
    (A) On or about the 31st day after the end of each calendar-year 
quarter, the RA will send the dealer an electronic message via the IFQ 
Web site and official notice via mail indicating the applicable fees 
are delinquent, and the dealer's IFQ account has been suspended pending 
payment of the applicable fees.
    (B) On or about the 91st day after the end of each calendar-year 
quarter, the RA will refer any delinquent IFQ dealer cost recovery fees 
to the appropriate authorities for collection of payment.
    (3) Measures to enhance IFQ program enforceability--(i) Advance 
notice of landing. For the purpose of this paragraph, landing means to 
arrive at a dock, berth, beach, seawall, or ramp. The owner or operator 
of a vessel landing IFQ red snapper is responsible for ensuring that 
NMFS is contacted at least 3 hours, but no more than 12 hours, in 
advance of landing to report the time and location of landing, 
estimated red snapper landings in pounds gutted weight, vessel 
identification number (Coast Guard registration number or state 
registration number), and the name and address of the IFQ dealer where 
the red snapper are to be received. The vessel landing red snapper must 
have sufficient IFQ allocation in the IFQ vessel account, at least 
equal to the pounds in gutted weight of red snapper on board (except 
for any overage up to the 10 percent allowed on the last fishing trip) 
from the time of the advance notice of landing through landing. 
Authorized methods for contacting NMFS and submitting the report 
include calling IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, completing and 
submitting to NMFS the notification form provided through the VMS unit, 
or providing the required information to NMFS through the web-based 
form available on the IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. 
As new technology becomes available, NMFS will add other authorized 
methods for complying with the advance notification requirement, via 
appropriate rulemaking. Failure to comply with this advance notice of 
landing requirement is unlawful and will preclude authorization to 
complete the landing transaction report required in paragraph 
(b)(1)(iii) of this section and, thus, will preclude issuance of the 
required transaction approval code.
    (ii) Time restriction on offloading. For the purpose of this 
paragraph, offloading means to remove IFQ red snapper from a vessel. 
IFQ red snapper may be offloaded only between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., local 
time.
    (iii) Restrictions on transfer of IFQ red snapper. At-sea or 
dockside transfer of IFQ red snapper from one vessel to another vessel 
is prohibited.
    (iv) Requirement for transaction approval code. If IFQ red snapper 
are offloaded to a vehicle for transportation to a dealer or are on a 
vessel that is trailered for transport to a dealer, on-site capability 
to accurately weigh the fish and to connect electronically to the 
online IFQ system to complete the transaction and obtain the 
transaction approval code is required. After a landing transaction has 
been completed, a transaction approval code verifying a legal 
transaction of the amount of IFQ red snapper in possession and a copy 
of the dealer endorsement must accompany any IFQ red snapper from the 
landing location through possession by a dealer. This requirement also 
applies to IFQ red snapper possessed on a vessel that is trailered for 
transport to a dealer.
    (v) Approved landing locations. Landing locations must be approved 
by NMFS Office for Law Enforcement prior to landing or offloading at 
these sites. Proposed landing locations may be submitted online via the 
IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, or by calling IFQ 
Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, at any time; however, new landing 
locations will be approved only at the end of each calendar-year 
quarter. To have a landing location approved by the end of the 
calendar-year quarter, it must be submitted at least 45 days before the 
end of the calendar-year quarter. NMFS will evaluate the proposed sites 
based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:
    (A) Landing locations must have a street address. If there is no 
street address on record for a particular landing location, global 
positioning system (GPS) coordinates for an identifiable geographic 
location must be provided.
    (B) Landing locations must be publicly accessible by land and 
water, and must satisfy the following criteria:
    (1) Vehicles must have access to the site via public roads;
    (2) Vessels must have access to the site via navigable waters;
    (3) No other condition may impede free and immediate access to the 
site by an authorized law enforcement officer. Examples of such 
conditions include, but are not limited to: A locked gate, fence, wall, 
or other barrier preventing 24-hour access to the site; a gated 
community entry point; a guard animal; a posted sign restricting access 
to the site; or any other physical deterrent.
    (4) Transfer of IFQ shares and allocation. Until January 1, 2012, 
IFQ shares and allocations can be transferred only to a person who 
holds a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish; thereafter, 
IFQ shares and allocations can be transferred only to a U.S. citizen or 
permanent resident alien. However, a valid commercial permit for Gulf 
reef fish, a Gulf red snapper IFQ vessel account, and Gulf red snapper 
IFQ allocation are required to possess (at and after the time of the 
advance notice of landing), land or sell Gulf red snapper subject to 
this IFQ program.
    (i) Share transfers. Share transfers are permanent, i.e., they 
remain in effect until subsequently transferred. Transfer of shares 
will result in the corresponding allocation being automatically 
transferred to the person receiving the transferred share beginning 
with the fishing year following the year the transfer occurred. 
However, within the fishing year the share transfer occurs, transfer of 
shares and associated allocation are independent--unless the associated 
allocation is transferred separately, it remains with the transferor 
for the duration of that fishing year. A share transfer transaction 
that remains in pending status, i.e., has not been completed and 
verified with a transaction approval code, after 30 days from the date 
the shareholder initiated the transfer will be cancelled, and the 
pending shares will be re-credited to the shareholder who initiated the 
transfer.
    (ii) Share transfer procedures. Share transfers must be 
accomplished online via the IFQ Web site. An IFQ shareholder must 
initiate a share transfer request by logging onto the IFQ Web site at 
https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. Following the instructions provided on 
the Web site, the shareholder must enter pertinent information 
regarding the transfer request including, but not limited to, amount of 
shares to be transferred, which must be a minimum of 0.0001 percent; 
name of the eligible transferee; and the value of the transferred 
shares. An IFQ shareholder who is subject to a sanction under 15 CFR 
part 904 is prohibited from initiating a share transfer. An IFQ 
shareholder who is subject to a pending sanction under 15 CFR part 904 
must disclose in writing to the prospective transferee the existence of 
any pending sanction at the time of the transfer. For the first 5 years

[[Page 50985]]

this IFQ program is in effect, an eligible transferee is a person who 
has a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish; is in 
compliance with all reporting requirements for the Gulf reef fish 
fishery and the red snapper IFQ program; is not subject to sanctions 
under 15 CFR part 904; and who would not be in violation of the share 
cap as specified in paragraph (b)(6) of this section. Thereafter, share 
transferee eligibility will only include U.S. citizens and permanent 
resident aliens who are otherwise in compliance with the provisions of 
this section. The online system will verify the transfer information 
entered. If the information is not accepted, the online system will 
send the shareholder an electronic message explaining the reason(s) why 
the transfer request cannot be completed. If the information is 
accepted, the online system will send the transferee an electronic 
message of the pending transfer. The transferee must approve the share 
transfer by electronic signature. If the transferee approves the share 
transfer, the online system will send a transaction approval code to 
both the transferor and transferee confirming the transaction. All 
share transfers must be completed and the transaction approval code 
received prior to December 31 at 6 p.m. eastern time each year.
    (iii) Allocation transfers. An allocation transfer is valid only 
for the remainder of the fishing year in which it occurs; it does not 
carry over to the subsequent fishing year. Any allocation that is 
unused at the end of the fishing year is void. Allocation may be 
transferred to a vessel account from any IFQ account. Allocation held 
in a vessel account, however, may only be transferred back to the IFQ 
account through which the vessel account was established.
    (iv) Allocation transfer procedures. Allocation transfers must be 
accomplished online via the IFQ Web site. An IFQ account holder must 
initiate an allocation transfer by logging onto the IFQ Web site at 
https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, entering the required information, 
including but not limited to, name of an eligible transferee and amount 
of IFQ allocation to be transferred and price, and submitting the 
transfer electronically. An IFQ allocation holder who is subject to a 
sanction under 15 CFR part 904 is prohibited from initiating an 
allocation transfer. An IFQ allocation holder who is subject to a 
pending sanction under 15 CFR part 904 must disclose in writing to the 
prospective transferee the existence of any pending sanction at the 
time of the transfer. If the transfer is approved, the online system 
will provide a transaction approval code to the transferor and 
transferee confirming the transaction.
    (5) Restricted transactions during the 20-hour online maintenance 
window. All electronic IFQ transactions must be completed by December 
31 at 6 p.m. Eastern Time each year. Electronic IFQ functions will 
resume again on January 1 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time the following fishing 
year. The remaining 6 hours prior to the end of the fishing year, and 
the 14 hours at the beginning of the next fishing year, are necessary 
to provide NMFS time to reconcile IFQ accounts, adjust allocations for 
the upcoming year if the commercial quotas for Gulf red snapper have 
changed, and update shares and allocations for the upcoming fishing 
year. No electronic IFQ transactions will be available during these 20 
hours. An advance notice of landing may still be submitted during the 
20-hour maintenance window by using the vessel's VMS unit or calling 
IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627.
    (6) IFQ share cap. No person, including a corporation or other 
entity, may individually or collectively hold IFQ shares in excess of 
6.0203 percent of the total shares. For the purposes of considering the 
share cap, a corporation's total IFQ share is determined by adding the 
applicable IFQ shares held by the corporation and any other IFQ shares 
held by a corporation(s) owned by the original corporation prorated 
based on the level of ownership. An individual's total IFQ share is 
determined by adding the applicable IFQ shares held by the individual 
and the applicable IFQ shares equivalent to the corporate share the 
individual holds in a corporation. Initially, a corporation must 
provide the RA the identity of the shareholders of the corporation and 
their percent of shares in the corporation, and provide updated 
information to the RA within 30 days of when changes occur. This 
information must also be provided to the RA any time a commercial 
vessel permit for Gulf reef fish is renewed or transferred and at the 
time of renewal of the application for an IFQ Online Account.
    (7) Redistribution of shares resulting from permanent revocation. 
If a shareholder's IFQ shares have been permanently revoked, the RA 
will redistribute the IFQ shares held by that shareholder 
proportionately among remaining shareholders (subject to cap 
restrictions) based upon the amount of shares each held just prior to 
the redistribution. During December of each year, the RA will determine 
the amount of revoked shares, if any, to be redistributed, and the 
shares will be distributed at the beginning of the subsequent fishing 
year.
    (8) Annual recalculation and notification of IFQ shares and 
allocation. On or about January 1 each year, IFQ shareholders will be 
notified, via the IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, of 
their IFQ share and allocation for the upcoming fishing year. These 
updated share values will reflect the results of applicable share 
transfers and any redistribution of shares (subject to cap 
restrictions) resulting from permanent revocation of applicable shares. 
Updated allocation values will reflect any change in IFQ share, any 
change in the annual commercial quota for Gulf red snapper, and any 
debits required as a result of prior fishing year overages as specified 
in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section. IFQ participants can monitor 
the status of their shares and allocation throughout the year via the 
IFQ Web site.
    (9) Eligibility to participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program 
as of January 1, 2012. The provisions of paragraph (b)(9) of this 
section apply to all eligible participants for the Gulf red snapper IFQ 
program beginning January 1, 2012. In addition to eligible participants 
who already participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program, as of 
January 1, 2012, all U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens who 
are in compliance with the provisions of this section are eligible and 
may participate in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program as shareholders and 
allocation holders. The requirements to meet the definition of a U.S. 
citizen are described in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, 
as amended, and permanent resident aliens are those individuals who 
have been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in 
the U.S. in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. In order to harvest 
and possess Gulf IFQ red snapper, the requirements for a Gulf red 
snapper IFQ vessel account, as specified in Sec.  622.4(a)(2)(ix), or a 
Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement, as specified in Sec.  622.4(a)(4)(ii) 
apply.
    (i) Gulf red snapper IFQ program participation for current red 
snapper IFQ account holders. A current participant in the red snapper 
IFQ program must complete and submit the application for an IFQ Online 
Account that is available on the Web site http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov, to 
certify status as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien. The IFQ 
account holder must also complete and submit any other information on 
this form that may

[[Page 50986]]

be necessary for the administration of the IFQ online account. A person 
with an established IFQ online account must update and confirm the 
account information every 2 years. IFQ online accounts are updated 
through the submission of the application for an IFQ Online Account. 
Accounts must be updated prior to the account validity date (expiration 
date of the account) that is displayed on each account holder's IFQ 
online account page. The RA will provide each participant who has 
established an online account, with an application approximately 2 
months prior to the account validity date. A participant who is not 
provided an application at least 45 days prior to the account validity 
date must contact IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627 and request an 
application. Failure to submit a completed application prior to the 
account validity date will lead to the suspension of the participant's 
IFQ online account until a completed application is submitted. After 
January 1, 2012, participants who certify that they are either not U.S. 
citizens or permanent resident aliens will be ineligible to receive 
shares or allocation through transfer.
    (ii) Gulf red snapper IFQ program participation for entities that 
do not currently possess an IFQ online account. The following 
procedures apply to U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens who are 
not otherwise described in either paragraphs (a) or (b)(9)(i) of this 
section.
    (A) To establish an IFQ online account, a person must first 
complete the application for an IFQ Online Account that is available on 
the Web site http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. An applicant for an IFQ online 
account under this paragraph must provide the following;
    (1) Name; address; telephone number; date of birth; tax 
identification number; certification of status as either a U.S. citizen 
or permanent resident alien; and if a corporation, a list of all 
officers, directors, shareholders, and registered agents of the 
business; and other identifying information as specified on the 
application.
    (2) Any other information that may be necessary for the 
establishment or administration of the IFQ online account.
    (B) Completed applications and all required supporting 
documentation must be submitted to the RA. There is no fee to access 
the Web site or establish an IFQ online account. An applicant that 
submits an incomplete application will be contacted by the RA to 
correct any deficiencies. If an applicant fails to correct the 
deficiency within 30 days of being notified of the deficient 
application, the application will be considered abandoned.
    (C) After an applicant submits a completed application for an IFQ 
online account, the RA will mail the applicant general instructions 
regarding procedures related to the IFQ online system, including how to 
set up an online account and a user identification number--the personal 
identification number (PIN) will be provided in a subsequent letter.
    (D) A participant who has established an IFQ online account must 
notify the RA within 30 days after there is any change in the 
information submitted through the application for an IFQ Online 
Account. The IFQ online account is void if any change in the 
application information is not reported within 30 days.
    (E) A person who has established an IFQ online account must update 
and confirm the account information every 2 years. IFQ online accounts 
are updated through the submission of the application for an IFQ Online 
Account. Accounts must be updated prior to the account validity date 
(expiration date of the account) that is displayed on each account 
holder's IFQ online account page. The RA will mail each participant who 
has established an online account an application approximately 2 months 
prior to the Account Validity Date. A participant who does not receive 
an application at least 45 days prior to the Account Validity Date must 
contact IFQ Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627 and request an 
application. Failure to submit a completed application prior to the 
account validity date will lead to the suspension of the IFQ online 
account until a completed application is submitted.
    (F) For information regarding transfer of IFQ shares and 
allocation, the IFQ share cap, and the annual recalculation and 
notification of IFQ shares and allocation, see paragraphs (b)(4), 
(b)(6), and (b)(8) of this section, respectively.
    (G) Participation in the Gulf red snapper IFQ program beyond 
transferring IFQ shares and allocation is explained in paragraphs (a) 
through (b)(8) of this section.
    3. Revise Sec.  622.20 to read as follows:


Sec.  622.20  Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf groupers 
and tilefishes.

    (a) General. This section establishes an IFQ program for the 
commercial components of the Gulf reef fish fishery for groupers 
(including DWG, red grouper, gag, and other SWG) and tilefishes 
(including goldface tilefish, blackline tilefish, anchor tilefish, 
blueline tilefish, and tilefish). For the purposes of this IFQ program, 
DWG includes yellowedge grouper, misty grouper, warsaw grouper, snowy 
grouper, and speckled hind, and scamp, but only as specified in 
paragraph (b)(2)(vi) of this section. For the purposes of this IFQ 
program, other SWG includes black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, 
rock hind, red hind, and yellowmouth grouper, and warsaw grouper and 
speckled hind, but only as specified in paragraph (b)(2)(v) of this 
section. Under the IFQ program, the RA initially will assign eligible 
participants IFQ shares, in five share categories. These IFQ shares are 
equivalent to a percentage of the annual commercial quotas for DWG, red 
grouper, gag, and tilefishes, and the annual commercial catch allowance 
(meaning the SWG quota minus gag and red grouper) for other SWG 
species, based on their applicable historical landings. Shares 
determine the amount of IFQ allocation for Gulf groupers and 
tilefishes, in pounds gutted weight, a shareholder is initially 
authorized to possess, land, or sell in a given calendar year. Shares 
and annual IFQ allocation are transferable. See Sec.  622.4(a)(2)(ix) 
regarding a requirement for a vessel landing groupers or tilefishes 
subject to this IFQ program to have an IFQ vessel account for Gulf 
groupers and tilefishes. See Sec.  622.4(a)(4)(ii) regarding a 
requirement for a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement. Details regarding 
eligibility, applicable landings history, account setup and transaction 
requirements, constraints on transferability, and other provisions of 
this IFQ system are provided in the following paragraphs of this 
section.
    (1) Scope. The provisions of this section apply to Gulf groupers 
and tilefishes in or from the Gulf EEZ and, for a person aboard a 
vessel with an IFQ vessel account for Gulf groupers and tilefishes as 
required by Sec.  622.4(a)(2)(ix) or for a person with a Gulf IFQ 
dealer endorsement as required by Sec.  622.4(a)(4)(ii), these 
provisions apply to Gulf groupers and tilefishes regardless of where 
harvested or possessed.
    (2) Duration. The IFQ program established by this section will 
remain in effect until it is modified or terminated; however, the 
program will be evaluated by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management 
Council every 5 years.
    (3) Electronic system requirements. (i) The administrative 
functions associated with this IFQ program, e.g., registration and 
account setup, landing transactions, and transfers, are designed to be 
accomplished online; therefore, a participant must have access to a 
computer and Internet access and must

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set up an appropriate IFQ online account to participate. The computer 
must have browser software installed, e.g. Internet Explorer or Mozilla 
Firefox; as well as the software Adobe Flash Player version 9.0 or 
greater, which may be downloaded from the Internet for free. Assistance 
with online functions is available from IFQ Customer Service by calling 
1-866-425-7627 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. 
eastern time.
    (ii) The RA will mail initial shareholders and dealers with Gulf 
reef fish dealer permits information and instructions pertinent to 
setting up an IFQ online account. Other eligible persons who desire to 
become IFQ participants by purchasing IFQ shares or allocation or by 
obtaining a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement must first contact IFQ Customer 
Service at 1-866-425-7627 to obtain information necessary to set up the 
required IFQ online account. All current IFQ participants must complete 
and submit the application for an IFQ Online Account to certify their 
citizenship status and ensure their account information (e.g., mailing 
address, corporate shareholdings, etc.) is up to date. See Sec.  
622.20(b)(9) regarding requirements for the application for an IFQ 
Online Account. Each IFQ participant must monitor his/her online 
account and all associated messages and comply with all IFQ online 
reporting requirements.
    (iii) During catastrophic conditions only, the IFQ program provides 
for use of paper-based components for basic required functions as a 
backup. The RA will determine when catastrophic conditions exist, the 
duration of the catastrophic conditions, and which participants or 
geographic areas are deemed affected by the catastrophic conditions. 
The RA will provide timely notice to affected participants via 
publication of notification in the Federal Register, NOAA weather 
radio, fishery bulletins, and other appropriate means and will 
authorize the affected participants' use of paper-based components for 
the duration of the catastrophic conditions. NMFS will provide each IFQ 
dealer the necessary paper forms, sequentially coded, and instructions 
for submission of the forms to the RA. The paper forms will also be 
available from the RA. The program functions available to participants 
or geographic areas deemed affected by catastrophic conditions will be 
limited under the paper-based system. There will be no mechanism for 
transfers of IFQ shares or allocation under the paper-based system in 
effect during catastrophic conditions. Assistance in complying with the 
requirements of the paper-based system will be available via IFQ 
Customer Service 1-866-425-7627 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. 
and 4:30 p.m. eastern time.
    (4) IFQ allocation. IFQ allocation is the amount of Gulf groupers 
and tilefishes, in pounds gutted weight, an IFQ shareholder or 
allocation holder is authorized to possess, land, or sell during a 
given fishing year. IFQ allocation for the five respective share 
categories is derived at the beginning of each year by multiplying a 
shareholder's IFQ share times the annual commercial quota for gag, red 
grouper, DWG, and tilefishes; and times the annual commercial catch 
allowance for other SWG. If a quota is increased after the beginning of 
the fishing year, then IFQ allocation is derived by multiplying a 
shareholder's IFQ share at the time of the quota increase by the amount 
the annual commercial quota is increased.
    (5) Red grouper and gag multi-use allocation--(i) Red grouper 
multi-use allocation. At the beginning of each fishing year, 4 percent 
of each shareholder's initial red grouper allocation will be converted 
to red grouper multi-use allocation. Red grouper multi-use allocation 
may be used to possess, land, or sell either red grouper or gag under 
certain conditions. Red grouper multi-use allocation may be used to 
possess, land, or sell red grouper only after an IFQ account holder's 
(shareholder or allocation holder's) red grouper allocation has been 
landed and sold, or transferred; and to possess, land, or sell gag, 
only after both gag and gag multi-use allocation have been landed and 
sold, or transferred.
    (ii) Gag multi-use allocation. At the beginning of each fishing 
year, 8 percent of each shareholder's initial gag allocation will be 
converted to gag multi-use allocation. Gag multi-use allocation may be 
used to possess, land, or sell either gag or red grouper under certain 
conditions. Gag multi-use allocation may be used to possess, land, or 
sell gag only after an IFQ account holder's gag allocation has been 
landed and sold, or transferred; and possess, land or sell red grouper, 
only after both red grouper and red grouper multi-use allocation have 
been landed and sold, or transferred. Multi-use allocation transfer 
procedures and restrictions are specified in paragraph (b)(4)(iv) of 
this section.
    (6) Warsaw grouper and speckled hind classification. Warsaw grouper 
and speckled hind are considered DWG species and under certain 
circumstances SWG species. For the purposes of the IFQ program for Gulf 
groupers and tilefishes, once all of an IFQ account holder's DWG 
allocation has been landed and sold, or transferred, or if an IFQ 
account holder has no DWG allocation, then other SWG allocation may be 
used to land and sell warsaw grouper and speckled hind.
    (7) Scamp classification. Scamp is considered a SWG species and 
under certain circumstances a DWG. For the purposes of the IFQ program 
for Gulf groupers and tilefishes, once all of an IFQ account holder's 
other SWG allocation has been landed and sold, or transferred, or if an 
IFQ account holder has no SWG allocation, then DWG allocation may be 
used to land and sell scamp.
    (8) Initial shareholder and IFQ account setup information. On or 
about October 1, 2009, the RA mailed each Gulf reef fish commercial 
vessel permittee with grouper and tilefish landings history during the 
qualifying years, information pertinent to the IFQ program. This 
information included:
    (i) Gulf grouper and tilefish landings associated with the Gulf 
reef fish commercial vessel permit during each year of the applicable 
landings history;
    (ii) The highest average annual grouper and tilefish landings, in 
each of the five share categories, based on the permittee's best 5 out 
of 6 years of applicable landings history;
    (iii) The permittee's initial IFQ share, in each of the five share 
categories, based on the highest average annual landings associated 
with the permittee's best 5 out of 6 years of applicable landings 
history;
    (iv) The initial IFQ allocation, in each of the five share 
categories, as well as their total IFQ allocation;
    (v) Instructions for appeals;
    (vi) General instructions regarding procedures related to the IFQ 
online system, including how to set up an online account; and
    (vii) A user identification number; and a personal identification 
number (PIN) that was provided in a subsequent letter.
    (9) Dealer notification and IFQ account setup information. On or 
about October 1, 2009, the RA mailed each dealer with a valid Gulf reef 
fish dealer permit information pertinent to the IFQ program. Any such 
dealer is eligible to receive a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement, which can 
be downloaded from the IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov 
once an IFQ account has been established. The information package 
included general information about the IFQ program and instructions for 
accessing the IFQ Web site and establishing an IFQ dealer account.
    (b) IFQ operations and requirements--(1) IFQ Landing and 
transaction requirements. (i) Gulf

[[Page 50988]]

groupers and tilefishes subject to this IFQ program can only be 
possessed or landed by a vessel with a IFQ vessel account for Gulf 
groupers and tilefishes. Such groupers and tilefishes can only be 
received by a dealer with a Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement. The vessel 
landing groupers or tilefishes must have sufficient IFQ allocation in 
the IFQ vessel account, at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight 
of grouper or tilefish species to be landed, from the time of advance 
notice of landing through landing, except as provided in paragraph 
(b)(1)(ii) of this section.
    (ii) A person on board a vessel with an IFQ vessel account landing 
the shareholder's only remaining allocation from among any of the 
grouper or tilefish share categories, can legally exceed, by up to 10 
percent, the shareholder's allocation remaining on that last fishing 
trip of the fishing year, i.e., a one-time per fishing year overage. 
Any such overage will be deducted from the shareholder's applicable 
allocation for the subsequent fishing year. From the time of the 
overage until January 1 of the subsequent fishing year, the IFQ 
shareholder must retain sufficient shares to account for the allocation 
that will be deducted the subsequent fishing year. Share transfers that 
would violate this requirement will be prohibited.
    (iii) The dealer is responsible for completing a landing 
transaction report for each landing and sale of Gulf groupers and 
tilefishes via the IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov at 
the time of the transaction in accordance with reporting form and 
instructions provided on the Web site. This report includes, but is not 
limited to, date, time, and location of transaction; weight and actual 
ex-vessel price of groupers and tilefishes landed and sold; and 
information necessary to identify the fisherman, vessel, and dealer 
involved in the transaction. The fisherman must validate the dealer 
transaction report by entering the unique PIN number for the vessel 
account when the transaction report is submitted. After the dealer 
submits the report and the information has been verified by NMFS, the 
online system will send a transaction approval code to the dealer and 
the allocation holder.
    (iv) If there is a discrepancy regarding the landing transaction 
report after approval, the dealer or vessel account holder (or his or 
her authorized agent) must initiate a landing transaction correction 
form to correct the landing transaction. This form is available via the 
IFQ Web site at https://ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov. The dealer must then 
print out the form, both parties must sign it, and the form must be 
mailed to NMFS. The form must be received by NMFS no later than 15 days 
after the date of the initial landing transaction.
    (2) IFQ cost recovery fees. As required by the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act, the RA will collect a fee to recover the actual costs directly 
related to the management and enforcement of the IFQ program for Gulf 
groupers and tilefishes. The fee cannot exceed 3 percent of the ex-
vessel value of