Marine Recreational Fisheries of the United States; National Saltwater Angler Registry and State Exemption Program, 5751-5754 [2012-2653]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 24 / Monday, February 6, 2012 / Proposed Rules IV. Special Accommodations All locations are ADA-accessible. Individuals attending a meeting who are hearing or visually impaired and have special requirements or require special assistance may contact Elizabeth Day at (202) 366–5159 or Elizabeth.Day@dot.gov. Issued in Washington, DC, on this 31st day of January 2012. Peter Rogoff, Federal Transit Administrator. [FR Doc. 2012–2565 Filed 2–3–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–57–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 600 [Docket No. 120118050–2049–01] RIN 0648–BB49 Marine Recreational Fisheries of the United States; National Saltwater Angler Registry and State Exemption Program National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes to amend the regulations that implement section 401(g) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The amendments would eliminate duplicative permitting and registration requirements for holders of Main Hawaiian Islands Non-commercial Bottomfish Permits; allow states that exempt minors under the age of 17 from the state license or registration requirements to be eligible for Exempted State designation; allow the U.S. Virgin Islands to be designated as an Exempted State under the qualifying regional survey option of the rule; and clarify and update various provisions of the rule. DATES: Comments must be received by April 6, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2007–0815, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov. To submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, first click the ‘‘submit a comment’’ icon, tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:45 Feb 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 then enter NOAA–NMFS–2007–0815 in the keyword search. Locate the document you wish to comment on from the resulting list and click on the ‘‘Submit a Comment’’ icon on the right of that line. • Mail: Submit written comments to Ned Cyr, Director, Office of Science and Technology, NMFS, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, Attn: Gordon Colvin. • Fax: (301) 713–1875; Attn: Gordon Colvin. Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on http://www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted to the NMFS Office of Science and Technology at the address above, and by email to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 395–7285. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gordon Colvin, phone: (301) 427–8118; fax: 301–713–1875; or email: gordon.colvin@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Electronic Access This proposed rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the Federal Register’s Web site at http:// www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html. Background information and documents are available at the NMFS Office of Science and Technology Web site at http://www.countmyfish.noaa.gov/ index.html. Background The proposed action is to amend regulations at 50 CFR 600.1400 that implement the National Saltwater PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 5751 Angler Registry and State Exemption Program (NSAR). The rule established the requirements and procedures for anglers, spear fishers and for-hire fishing vessels to register with NMFS unless exempt from the registration requirement. The NSAR regulations also established the requirements and procedures whereby states may be designated as Exempted States. The anglers and for-hire fishing vessels licensed or registered by Exempted States, and those anglers and vessels that are not required to be licensed or registered under the laws of such states, are not required to register with NMFS. Based on its experience with administering NSAR and input from states, NMFS has determined that minor revisions to the final rule are needed to clarify and update certain provisions in order to address the following objectives: (1) Eliminate duplicative permitting and registration requirements for holders of Main Hawaiian Islands Non-commercial Bottomfish Permits; (2) allow states that exempt minors under the age of 17 from the state license or registration requirements to be eligible for Exempted State designation; (3) allow the U.S. Virgin Islands to be designated as an Exempted State under the qualifying regional survey option of the rule; and (4) clarify and update various provisions of the rule. A summary of the proposed changes and supporting statements follows: Objective 1: Amend § 600.1405(b)(8) to provide that holders of Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) Noncommercial Bottomfish Permits do not need to register under NSAR. The NMFS permit database already includes holders of MHI non-commercial bottomfish permits. This permit data can be added to the registry database without requiring the bottomfish permit holders to also register under NSAR. This would eliminate duplicative registration and fee payment by the approximately 50 holders of MHI Noncommercial bottom fish permits. Objective 2: Amend § 600.1416(b)(1) to allow a state to be eligible for Exempted State designation even if its licensing program excludes anglers under age 17. During development of the original rule for NSAR, NMFS determined that it is not necessary to require that minors be included in the lists of persons that must be registered. This is because surveys that sample from angler registry lists will contact the households of registrants and can request information regarding the fishing activity of minors residing in the same households. All states have exceptions to state license or registration requirements for minors, E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM 06FEP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 5752 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 24 / Monday, February 6, 2012 / Proposed Rules and the final rule provides that these exceptions do not disqualify the states from being designated as Exempted States due to the exclusion of minors. At the time the final rule was adopted, NMFS thought that specifying that an Exempted State may have a state license/registry exception for minors under age 16 would cover all of the states’ exceptions. However, one state, Texas, excludes anglers under 17 years of age from its state licensing requirement. For the same reason that NMFS previously determined that state exceptions for minors under age 16 should not disqualify states from Exempted State designation, NMFS is proposing a state license exception for anglers under age 17 in the exceptions that are acceptable for Exempted State designation. In addition, the proposed rule would allow a state to be eligible for Exempted State designation even if it allows new anglers to fish for a day (a ‘‘free fishing day’’) without a license. Many states engage in fishing promotion programs that are intended to recruit new anglers and license buyers. Exclusion from the registry of the limited number of participants that fish only that one time and do not continue to fish or purchase a license is not likely to adversely affect the quality and usefulness of the registry database. Objective 3: Amend § 600.1417(b) to separate the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico into separate regions for purposes of submission of regional surveys of recreational fishing catch. Section 600.1417 states that, to be designated as an Exempted State, a state may submit to NMFS a proposal describing the state’s participation in a qualifying regional survey. The regulations currently provide that Puerto Rico and USVI are one region. The fisheries in USVI and Puerto Rico are different and utilize separate stocks. Due to the differences in the fisheries, and in differing cultural and logistical considerations in carrying out surveys, it may be appropriate to utilize survey designs in USVI that are different from the design in use at present in Puerto Rico. Separating Puerto Rico and USVI into two separate regions will facilitate development and implementation of regional surveys in the USVI and Puerto Rico that qualify for exempted state designation under § 600.1417. Objective 4: Clarify and update various sections of 50 CFR 600. The amendments proposed under this objective are as follows: • Section 600.1400: For ease of making changes to the Definitions section in the future, we proposed to delete the paragraph labels (a) through VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:45 Feb 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 (j), but retain all of the current definitions. The following definitions will be retained with no change: ‘‘Anadromous species’’; ‘‘Angler’’; ‘‘Authorized officer’’; ‘‘Continental shelf fishery resources’’; ‘‘Exempted state’’; ‘‘For-hire fishing vessel’’; ‘‘Indigenous people’’; ‘‘Spearfishing’’; ‘‘State’’; ‘‘Tidal waters’’. • Section 600.1400: Add a definition of ‘‘combination license’’. Exempted States submit to NMFS lists of persons who hold any type of state license or registration that permits fishing in tidal waters, including combination licenses that allow the holders to engage in more than one type of fishing or hunting activity, as specified in the individual combination license. Section 600.1416(d)(3) requires Exempted States to identify tidal waters anglers within lists of persons who hold combination licenses. States issue multiple types of hunting and fishing license combination packages that could be construed to fall within this section’s combination license umbrella provision. Many holders of combination licenses may never intend to fish in tidal waters, but purchase such a license that includes saltwater fishing in order to take advantage of combination license pricing discounts that include other activities they do intend to pursue. Lists of license holders that include many persons who do not intend to fish in tidal waters are not efficient for use in survey sampling. However, certain types of combination license holder lists can be effectively used for survey purposes if they are comprised predominantly of persons who fish in tidal waters. This definition identifies the kinds of combination license holder lists for which it is necessary to identify the tidal waters anglers in order to assure efficient survey use, as required in § 600.1416(d). For combination license packages that include primarily anglers who intend to fish in tidal waters, the entire list of license holders can be used for survey purposes. • Section 600.1400: Add a definition of ‘‘commercial fishing’’ that is consistent with the definition in § 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This will support the amendment to § 600.1405(b)(7) as described below. • Section 600.1405(b)(4): Correct the citation for the Pacific HMS permit, holders of which are not required to register their for-hire vessels with NMFS under NSAR. • Section 600.1405(b)(7): Clarify that the exception to the NSAR registration requirement for licensed commercial fishing vessels is only for commercial fishing and not for for-hire fishing. Some for-hire fishing vessels hold state- PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 issued licenses that authorize commercial fishing and/or that are titled as commercial fishing licenses or permits. The amendment would ensure that such vessels would not be treated as a commercial fishing vessel under this paragraph while conducting for-hire recreational fishing. For-hire fishing vessels engaged in for-hire fishing trips are excepted from the NSAR registration requirement by § 600.1405(b)(4), and (b)(6). • Section 600.1416(a): Clarify the existing requirement that lists of licensed anglers/registrants submitted by Exempted States need to be updated at least annually. • Section 600.1416(a): Clarify the requirement that lists of for-hire vessels submitted by Exempted States include vessel names and identifying numbers and vessel owners’/operators’ names, addresses and, to the extent available, telephone numbers and dates of birth. This will clarify that states must submit only name and vessel identification number for for-hire vessels. Address, telephone number and date of birth are required for vessel owners/operators, not for vessels. • Section 600.1416(c): Revise the omission of ‘‘registration’’ for consistency with the other references to ‘‘license or registration’’ throughout the rule. • Section 600.1416(c): Specify that a state may not be designated as an Exempted State if it has any exceptions to state license/registration requirements other than those listed in § 600.1416(b), unless the state can demonstrate that a given category of anglers is so small it has no significant probability of biasing estimates of fishing effort. The current regulations include a list of unacceptable exceptions, but NMFS cannot predict future exceptions that may be included in State license/registration programs. The proposed rule reinforces the purpose of the NSAR and will clarify that adopting any such exception will render the state ineligible for exempted state designation unless the state can demonstrate that it meets the test provided in § 600.1416(c). • Section 600.1416(d): Provide an extra year for states that need to enact legislation to remain qualified for Exempted State designation. States have indicated that state legislative cycles are such that there is often a long lead time between the identification of the need for legislation and its introduction and passage by a state legislature. This section allows for an extra year for the state resource agency to develop and enact of necessary legislation. E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM 06FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 24 / Monday, February 6, 2012 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS • Section 600.1416(d)(1): Clarify that states must update registration data for excluded anglers over the age of 59 annually. As with the information for licensed/registered anglers and holders of lifetime licenses, this information must be updated annually to be current and useful for survey sampling purposes. • Section 600.1416(d)(1): Allow states that do not require persons who were born before June 1, 1940, to be licensed or registered to qualify for Exempted State designations if the state can demonstrate that the number of anglers so excluded is so small that exclusion of this group from a sample will not bias survey results. Some states exclude anglers whose dates of birth are prior to a specified date that assure that the group of excluded anglers is greater than 71 years of age. The size of this age group of anglers is small and will become smaller each year, and a state may be able to demonstrate that exclusion of the group from a sample frame will not bias sample data derived from use of the sample frame. • Section 600.1417(b)(3): Include mail and Internet surveys in the surveys for which registries may be used as sample lists. Mail and Internet surveys are likely to be used in addition to or instead of telephone surveys in the future. Classification The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the 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 proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The small entities potentially affected by the proposed rule are fishing vessels that carry passengers for a fee to conduct recreational fishing. The proposed amendments to the rule will not affect the requirements for for-hire fishing vessels to register with NMFS under the NSAR. The proposed amendments will not directly result in any increase in the number of vessels that will be required to register or in the time and cost of registration for those vessels that are currently required to register. As a result, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:45 Feb 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 This rule modifies a collection-ofinformation subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and which has been approved by OMB under control number 0648–0578. Approval for the modification will be requested from OMB. Public reporting burden for angler registration is estimated to average three minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate, or any other aspect of this data collection, including suggestions for reducing this burden to NMFS (see ADDRESSES) and by email to ORIA_Submission@omb.epp.gov, or fax to (202) 395–7285. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 600 Fisheries, Fishing, Fishing vessels, Statistics. Dated: February 1, 2012. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 CFR part 600 to read as follows: PART 600—MAGNUSON-STEVENS ACT PROVISIONS 1. The authority citation for part 600 continues to read as follows: Authority: 5 U.S.C. 561 and 16 U.S.C. et seq. 2. Section 600.1400 is revised to read as follows: § 600.1400 Definitions. In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and in § 600.10 of this title, the terms used in this subpart have the following meanings. For purposes of this subpart, if applicable, the terms used in this subpart supersede those used in § 600.10. Anadromous species means the following: American shad: Alosa sapidissima Blueback herring: Alosa aestivalus Alewife: Alosa pseudoharengus PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 5753 Hickory shad: Alosa mediocris Alabama shad: Alosa alabamae Striped bass: Morone saxatilis Rainbow smelt: Osmerus mordax Atlantic salmon: Salmo salar Chinook, or king, salmon: Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Coho, or silver, salmon: Oncorhynchus kisutch Pink salmon: Oncorhynchus gorbuscha Sockeye salmon: Oncorhynchus nerka Chum salmon: Oncorhynchus keta Steelhead: Oncorhynchus mykiss Coastal cutthroat trout: Oncorhynchus clarki clarki Eulachon or candlefish: Thaleichthys pacificus Dolly varden: Salvelinus malma Sheefish or inconnu: Stenodus leucichthys Atlantic sturgeon: Acipenser oxyrhynchus oxyrhynchus Shortnose sturgeon: Acipenser brevirostrum Gulf sturgeon: Acipenser oxyrhynchus desotoi White sturgeon: Acipenser transmontanus Green sturgeon: Acipenser medirostris Angler means a person who is angling (see 50 CFR 600.10) in tidal waters. Authorized officer has the same meaning as in 50 CFR 600.10. Combination license means either: (1) A single state fishing license that permits fishing in fresh waters and tidal waters at one price; or (2) A single state license that permits a group of fishing and hunting activities, including fishing in tidal waters, at a price that is less than the sum of the cost of the individual licenses. Commercial fishing has the same meaning as in 16 U.S.C. 1802. Continental shelf fishery resources has the same meaning as in 16 U.S.C. 1802. Exempted state means a state that has been designated as an exempted state by NMFS pursuant to § 600.1415. For-hire fishing vessel means a vessel on which passengers are carried to engage in angling or spear fishing, from whom a consideration is contributed as a condition of such carriage, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent or any other person having an interest in the vessel. Indigenous people means persons who are documented members of a federally recognized tribe or Alaskan Native Corporation or persons who reside in the western Pacific who are descended from the aboriginal people indigenous to the region who conducted commercial or subsistence fishing using traditional fishing methods, including angling. E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM 06FEP1 5754 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 24 / Monday, February 6, 2012 / Proposed Rules Spearfishing means fishing for, attempting to fish for, catching or attempting to catch fish in tidal waters by any person with a spear or a powerhead (see 50 CFR 600.10). State has the same meaning as in 16 U.S.C. 1802. Tidal waters means waters that lie below mean high water and seaward of the first upstream obstruction or barrier to tidal action and that are subject to the ebb and flow of the astronomical tides under ordinary conditions. * * * * * 3. In § 600.1405, revise paragraphs (b)(4), (b)(7) and (b)(8) to read as follows: § 600.1405 Angler registration. (b) * * * (4) Holds a permit issued by NMFS for for-hire fishing under §§ 622.4(a)(1), 635.4(b), 648.4(a), or 660.707(a)(1); * * * * * (7) Holds a commercial fishing license or permit issued by NMFS or a state and is lawfully engaged in commercial fishing or in possession of fish taken under the terms and conditions of such license or permit; (8) Holds an HMS Angling permit under § 635.4(c) or a MHI Noncommercial Bottomfish permit under § 665.203(a)(2); * * * * * 4. In § 600.1416: a. Revise paragraphs (a), (b)(1), (c), introductory text (d) and (d)(1); and b. Add paragraph (b)(7) to read as follows: § 600.1416 Requirements for exempted state designation based on submission of state license holder data. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS (a) A state must annually update and submit to NMFS, in a format consistent with NMFS guidelines, the name, address and, to the extent available in VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:45 Feb 03, 2012 Jkt 226001 the state’s database, telephone number and date of birth, of all persons and forhire vessel operators, and the name and state registration number or U.S. Coast Guard documentation number of forhire vessels that are licensed to fish, or are registered as fishing, in the EEZ, in the tidal waters of the state, or for anadromous species. The Memorandum of Agreement developed in accordance with § 600.1415(b)(2) will specify the timetable for a state to compile and submit complete information telephone numbers and dates of birth for its license holders/registrants. The waters of the state for which such licenseholder data must be submitted will be specified in the Memorandum of Agreement. * * * * * (b) * * * (1) Under 17 years of age; * * * * * (7) Fishing on days designated as ‘‘free fishing days’’ by states. ‘‘Free fishing days’’ means fishing promotion programs by which states allow new anglers to fish for a specified day without a license. * * * * * (c) Unless the state can demonstrate that a given category of anglers is so small it has no significant probability of biasing estimates of fishing effort if these anglers are not included in a representative sample, a state may not be designated as an exempted state if its licensing or registration program excludes anglers in any category other than those listed in paragraph (b) of this section. (d) Required enhancements to exempted state license-holder data. An exempted state must submit the following angler identification data by Jan. 1, 2012, or within two years of the effective date of the Memorandum of PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 9990 Agreement, whichever is later, and thereafter in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement. States that provide NMFS with notice that they are required to enact legislation to comply with this requirement must submit the data within three years of the effective date of the Memorandum of Agreement: (1) Name, address and telephone number, updated annually, of excluded anglers over age 59, unless the state can demonstrate that the number of anglers excluded from the license or registration requirement based on having a date of birth before June 1, 1940 is so small it has no significant probability of biasing estimates of fishing effort if these anglers are not included in a representative sample; * * * * * 5. In § 600.1417, revise paragraphs (b)(1)(iii) through (viii), and (b)(3), to read as follows: § 600.1417 Requirements for exempted state designation based on submission of recreational survey data. (b) * * * (1) * * * (iii) Puerto Rico; (iv) U.S. Virgin Islands; (v) California, Oregon and Washington; (vi) Alaska; (vii) Hawaii; or (viii) American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. * * * * * (3) Utilize angler registry data to identify individuals to be surveyed by telephone, mail or Internet if such regional survey includes a telephone survey component; and * * * * * [FR Doc. 2012–2653 Filed 2–3–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\06FEP1.SGM 06FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 24 (Monday, February 6, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 5751-5754]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-2653]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 600

[Docket No. 120118050-2049-01]
RIN 0648-BB49


Marine Recreational Fisheries of the United States; National 
Saltwater Angler Registry and State Exemption Program

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to amend the regulations that implement section 
401(g) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
(MSA). The amendments would eliminate duplicative permitting and 
registration requirements for holders of Main Hawaiian Islands Non-
commercial Bottomfish Permits; allow states that exempt minors under 
the age of 17 from the state license or registration requirements to be 
eligible for Exempted State designation; allow the U.S. Virgin Islands 
to be designated as an Exempted State under the qualifying regional 
survey option of the rule; and clarify and update various provisions of 
the rule.

DATES: Comments must be received by April 6, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2007-0815, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov. To 
submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, first click the ``submit a 
comment'' icon, then enter NOAA-NMFS-2007-0815 in the keyword search. 
Locate the document you wish to comment on from the resulting list and 
click on the ``Submit a Comment'' icon on the right of that line.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Ned Cyr, Director, Office 
of Science and Technology, NMFS, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, 
MD 20910, Attn: Gordon Colvin.
     Fax: (301) 713-1875; Attn: Gordon Colvin.
    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above 
methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and 
considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public 
record and will generally be posted for public viewing on http://www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the 
sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will 
accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you 
wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be 
accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file 
formats only.
    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other 
aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this 
proposed rule may be submitted to the NMFS Office of Science and 
Technology at the address above, and by email to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 395-7285.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gordon Colvin, phone: (301) 427-8118; 
fax: 301-713-1875; or email: gordon.colvin@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    This proposed rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of 
the Federal Register's Web site at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html. 
Background information and documents are available at the NMFS Office 
of Science and Technology Web site at http://www.countmyfish.noaa.gov/index.html.

Background

    The proposed action is to amend regulations at 50 CFR 600.1400 that 
implement the National Saltwater Angler Registry and State Exemption 
Program (NSAR). The rule established the requirements and procedures 
for anglers, spear fishers and for-hire fishing vessels to register 
with NMFS unless exempt from the registration requirement. The NSAR 
regulations also established the requirements and procedures whereby 
states may be designated as Exempted States. The anglers and for-hire 
fishing vessels licensed or registered by Exempted States, and those 
anglers and vessels that are not required to be licensed or registered 
under the laws of such states, are not required to register with NMFS.
    Based on its experience with administering NSAR and input from 
states, NMFS has determined that minor revisions to the final rule are 
needed to clarify and update certain provisions in order to address the 
following objectives: (1) Eliminate duplicative permitting and 
registration requirements for holders of Main Hawaiian Islands Non-
commercial Bottomfish Permits; (2) allow states that exempt minors 
under the age of 17 from the state license or registration requirements 
to be eligible for Exempted State designation; (3) allow the U.S. 
Virgin Islands to be designated as an Exempted State under the 
qualifying regional survey option of the rule; and (4) clarify and 
update various provisions of the rule.
    A summary of the proposed changes and supporting statements 
follows:
    Objective 1: Amend Sec.  600.1405(b)(8) to provide that holders of 
Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) Non-commercial Bottomfish Permits do not 
need to register under NSAR. The NMFS permit database already includes 
holders of MHI non-commercial bottomfish permits. This permit data can 
be added to the registry database without requiring the bottomfish 
permit holders to also register under NSAR. This would eliminate 
duplicative registration and fee payment by the approximately 50 
holders of MHI Non-commercial bottom fish permits.
    Objective 2: Amend Sec.  600.1416(b)(1) to allow a state to be 
eligible for Exempted State designation even if its licensing program 
excludes anglers under age 17. During development of the original rule 
for NSAR, NMFS determined that it is not necessary to require that 
minors be included in the lists of persons that must be registered. 
This is because surveys that sample from angler registry lists will 
contact the households of registrants and can request information 
regarding the fishing activity of minors residing in the same 
households. All states have exceptions to state license or registration 
requirements for minors,

[[Page 5752]]

and the final rule provides that these exceptions do not disqualify the 
states from being designated as Exempted States due to the exclusion of 
minors. At the time the final rule was adopted, NMFS thought that 
specifying that an Exempted State may have a state license/registry 
exception for minors under age 16 would cover all of the states' 
exceptions. However, one state, Texas, excludes anglers under 17 years 
of age from its state licensing requirement. For the same reason that 
NMFS previously determined that state exceptions for minors under age 
16 should not disqualify states from Exempted State designation, NMFS 
is proposing a state license exception for anglers under age 17 in the 
exceptions that are acceptable for Exempted State designation.
    In addition, the proposed rule would allow a state to be eligible 
for Exempted State designation even if it allows new anglers to fish 
for a day (a ``free fishing day'') without a license. Many states 
engage in fishing promotion programs that are intended to recruit new 
anglers and license buyers. Exclusion from the registry of the limited 
number of participants that fish only that one time and do not continue 
to fish or purchase a license is not likely to adversely affect the 
quality and usefulness of the registry database.
    Objective 3: Amend Sec.  600.1417(b) to separate the U.S. Virgin 
Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico into separate regions for purposes of 
submission of regional surveys of recreational fishing catch. Section 
600.1417 states that, to be designated as an Exempted State, a state 
may submit to NMFS a proposal describing the state's participation in a 
qualifying regional survey. The regulations currently provide that 
Puerto Rico and USVI are one region. The fisheries in USVI and Puerto 
Rico are different and utilize separate stocks. Due to the differences 
in the fisheries, and in differing cultural and logistical 
considerations in carrying out surveys, it may be appropriate to 
utilize survey designs in USVI that are different from the design in 
use at present in Puerto Rico. Separating Puerto Rico and USVI into two 
separate regions will facilitate development and implementation of 
regional surveys in the USVI and Puerto Rico that qualify for exempted 
state designation under Sec.  600.1417.
    Objective 4: Clarify and update various sections of 50 CFR 600. The 
amendments proposed under this objective are as follows:
     Section 600.1400: For ease of making changes to the 
Definitions section in the future, we proposed to delete the paragraph 
labels (a) through (j), but retain all of the current definitions. The 
following definitions will be retained with no change: ``Anadromous 
species''; ``Angler''; ``Authorized officer''; ``Continental shelf 
fishery resources''; ``Exempted state''; ``For-hire fishing vessel''; 
``Indigenous people''; ``Spearfishing''; ``State''; ``Tidal waters''.
     Section 600.1400: Add a definition of ``combination 
license''. Exempted States submit to NMFS lists of persons who hold any 
type of state license or registration that permits fishing in tidal 
waters, including combination licenses that allow the holders to engage 
in more than one type of fishing or hunting activity, as specified in 
the individual combination license. Section 600.1416(d)(3) requires 
Exempted States to identify tidal waters anglers within lists of 
persons who hold combination licenses. States issue multiple types of 
hunting and fishing license combination packages that could be 
construed to fall within this section's combination license umbrella 
provision. Many holders of combination licenses may never intend to 
fish in tidal waters, but purchase such a license that includes 
saltwater fishing in order to take advantage of combination license 
pricing discounts that include other activities they do intend to 
pursue. Lists of license holders that include many persons who do not 
intend to fish in tidal waters are not efficient for use in survey 
sampling. However, certain types of combination license holder lists 
can be effectively used for survey purposes if they are comprised 
predominantly of persons who fish in tidal waters. This definition 
identifies the kinds of combination license holder lists for which it 
is necessary to identify the tidal waters anglers in order to assure 
efficient survey use, as required in Sec.  600.1416(d). For combination 
license packages that include primarily anglers who intend to fish in 
tidal waters, the entire list of license holders can be used for survey 
purposes.
     Section 600.1400: Add a definition of ``commercial 
fishing'' that is consistent with the definition in Sec.  3 of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act. This will support the amendment to Sec.  
600.1405(b)(7) as described below.
     Section 600.1405(b)(4): Correct the citation for the 
Pacific HMS permit, holders of which are not required to register their 
for-hire vessels with NMFS under NSAR.
     Section 600.1405(b)(7): Clarify that the exception to the 
NSAR registration requirement for licensed commercial fishing vessels 
is only for commercial fishing and not for for-hire fishing. Some for-
hire fishing vessels hold state-issued licenses that authorize 
commercial fishing and/or that are titled as commercial fishing 
licenses or permits. The amendment would ensure that such vessels would 
not be treated as a commercial fishing vessel under this paragraph 
while conducting for-hire recreational fishing. For-hire fishing 
vessels engaged in for-hire fishing trips are excepted from the NSAR 
registration requirement by Sec.  600.1405(b)(4), and (b)(6).
     Section 600.1416(a): Clarify the existing requirement that 
lists of licensed anglers/registrants submitted by Exempted States need 
to be updated at least annually.
     Section 600.1416(a): Clarify the requirement that lists of 
for-hire vessels submitted by Exempted States include vessel names and 
identifying numbers and vessel owners'/operators' names, addresses and, 
to the extent available, telephone numbers and dates of birth. This 
will clarify that states must submit only name and vessel 
identification number for for-hire vessels. Address, telephone number 
and date of birth are required for vessel owners/operators, not for 
vessels.
     Section 600.1416(c): Revise the omission of 
``registration'' for consistency with the other references to ``license 
or registration'' throughout the rule.
     Section 600.1416(c): Specify that a state may not be 
designated as an Exempted State if it has any exceptions to state 
license/registration requirements other than those listed in Sec.  
600.1416(b), unless the state can demonstrate that a given category of 
anglers is so small it has no significant probability of biasing 
estimates of fishing effort. The current regulations include a list of 
unacceptable exceptions, but NMFS cannot predict future exceptions that 
may be included in State license/registration programs. The proposed 
rule reinforces the purpose of the NSAR and will clarify that adopting 
any such exception will render the state ineligible for exempted state 
designation unless the state can demonstrate that it meets the test 
provided in Sec.  600.1416(c).
     Section 600.1416(d): Provide an extra year for states that 
need to enact legislation to remain qualified for Exempted State 
designation. States have indicated that state legislative cycles are 
such that there is often a long lead time between the identification of 
the need for legislation and its introduction and passage by a state 
legislature. This section allows for an extra year for the state 
resource agency to develop and enact of necessary legislation.

[[Page 5753]]

     Section 600.1416(d)(1): Clarify that states must update 
registration data for excluded anglers over the age of 59 annually. As 
with the information for licensed/registered anglers and holders of 
lifetime licenses, this information must be updated annually to be 
current and useful for survey sampling purposes.
     Section 600.1416(d)(1): Allow states that do not require 
persons who were born before June 1, 1940, to be licensed or registered 
to qualify for Exempted State designations if the state can demonstrate 
that the number of anglers so excluded is so small that exclusion of 
this group from a sample will not bias survey results. Some states 
exclude anglers whose dates of birth are prior to a specified date that 
assure that the group of excluded anglers is greater than 71 years of 
age. The size of this age group of anglers is small and will become 
smaller each year, and a state may be able to demonstrate that 
exclusion of the group from a sample frame will not bias sample data 
derived from use of the sample frame.
     Section 600.1417(b)(3): Include mail and Internet surveys 
in the surveys for which registries may be used as sample lists. Mail 
and Internet surveys are likely to be used in addition to or instead of 
telephone surveys in the future.
Classification
    The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed 
rule is consistent with the 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 proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The small entities potentially affected by the proposed rule are 
fishing vessels that carry passengers for a fee to conduct recreational 
fishing. The proposed amendments to the rule will not affect the 
requirements for for-hire fishing vessels to register with NMFS under 
the NSAR. The proposed amendments will not directly result in any 
increase in the number of vessels that will be required to register or 
in the time and cost of registration for those vessels that are 
currently required to register. As a result, an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis is not required and none has been prepared.
    This rule modifies a collection-of-information subject to the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and which has been approved by OMB under 
control number 0648-0578. Approval for the modification will be 
requested from OMB. Public reporting burden for angler registration is 
estimated to average three minutes per response, including the time for 
reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden 
estimate, or any other aspect of this data collection, including 
suggestions for reducing this burden to NMFS (see ADDRESSES) and by 
email to ORIA_Submission@omb.epp.gov, or fax to (202) 395-7285.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB control number.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 600

    Fisheries, Fishing, Fishing vessels, Statistics.

    Dated: February 1, 2012.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 
CFR part 600 to read as follows:

PART 600--MAGNUSON-STEVENS ACT PROVISIONS

    1. The authority citation for part 600 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 561 and 16 U.S.C. et seq.

    2. Section 600.1400 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  600.1400  Definitions.

    In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and in Sec.  
600.10 of this title, the terms used in this subpart have the following 
meanings. For purposes of this subpart, if applicable, the terms used 
in this subpart supersede those used in Sec.  600.10.
    Anadromous species means the following:

American shad: Alosa sapidissima
Blueback herring: Alosa aestivalus
Alewife: Alosa pseudoharengus
Hickory shad: Alosa mediocris
Alabama shad: Alosa alabamae
Striped bass: Morone saxatilis
Rainbow smelt: Osmerus mordax
Atlantic salmon: Salmo salar
Chinook, or king, salmon: Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
Coho, or silver, salmon: Oncorhynchus kisutch
Pink salmon: Oncorhynchus gorbuscha
Sockeye salmon: Oncorhynchus nerka
Chum salmon: Oncorhynchus keta
Steelhead: Oncorhynchus mykiss
Coastal cutthroat trout: Oncorhynchus clarki clarki
Eulachon or candlefish: Thaleichthys pacificus
Dolly varden: Salvelinus malma
Sheefish or inconnu: Stenodus leucichthys
Atlantic sturgeon: Acipenser oxyrhynchus oxyrhynchus
Shortnose sturgeon: Acipenser brevirostrum
Gulf sturgeon: Acipenser oxyrhynchus desotoi
White sturgeon: Acipenser transmontanus
Green sturgeon: Acipenser medirostris

    Angler means a person who is angling (see 50 CFR 600.10) in tidal 
waters.
    Authorized officer has the same meaning as in 50 CFR 600.10.
    Combination license means either:
    (1) A single state fishing license that permits fishing in fresh 
waters and tidal waters at one price; or
    (2) A single state license that permits a group of fishing and 
hunting activities, including fishing in tidal waters, at a price that 
is less than the sum of the cost of the individual licenses.
    Commercial fishing has the same meaning as in 16 U.S.C. 1802.
    Continental shelf fishery resources has the same meaning as in 16 
U.S.C. 1802.
    Exempted state means a state that has been designated as an 
exempted state by NMFS pursuant to Sec.  600.1415.
    For-hire fishing vessel means a vessel on which passengers are 
carried to engage in angling or spear fishing, from whom a 
consideration is contributed as a condition of such carriage, whether 
directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent 
or any other person having an interest in the vessel.
    Indigenous people means persons who are documented members of a 
federally recognized tribe or Alaskan Native Corporation or persons who 
reside in the western Pacific who are descended from the aboriginal 
people indigenous to the region who conducted commercial or subsistence 
fishing using traditional fishing methods, including angling.

[[Page 5754]]

    Spearfishing means fishing for, attempting to fish for, catching or 
attempting to catch fish in tidal waters by any person with a spear or 
a powerhead (see 50 CFR 600.10).
    State has the same meaning as in 16 U.S.C. 1802.
    Tidal waters means waters that lie below mean high water and 
seaward of the first upstream obstruction or barrier to tidal action 
and that are subject to the ebb and flow of the astronomical tides 
under ordinary conditions.
* * * * *
    3. In Sec.  600.1405, revise paragraphs (b)(4), (b)(7) and (b)(8) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  600.1405  Angler registration.

    (b) * * *
    (4) Holds a permit issued by NMFS for for-hire fishing under 
Sec. Sec.  622.4(a)(1), 635.4(b), 648.4(a), or 660.707(a)(1);
* * * * *
    (7) Holds a commercial fishing license or permit issued by NMFS or 
a state and is lawfully engaged in commercial fishing or in possession 
of fish taken under the terms and conditions of such license or permit;
    (8) Holds an HMS Angling permit under Sec.  635.4(c) or a MHI Non-
commercial Bottomfish permit under Sec.  665.203(a)(2);
* * * * *
    4. In Sec.  600.1416:
    a. Revise paragraphs (a), (b)(1), (c), introductory text (d) and 
(d)(1); and
    b. Add paragraph (b)(7) to read as follows:


Sec.  600.1416  Requirements for exempted state designation based on 
submission of state license holder data.

    (a) A state must annually update and submit to NMFS, in a format 
consistent with NMFS guidelines, the name, address and, to the extent 
available in the state's database, telephone number and date of birth, 
of all persons and for-hire vessel operators, and the name and state 
registration number or U.S. Coast Guard documentation number of for-
hire vessels that are licensed to fish, or are registered as fishing, 
in the EEZ, in the tidal waters of the state, or for anadromous 
species. The Memorandum of Agreement developed in accordance with Sec.  
600.1415(b)(2) will specify the timetable for a state to compile and 
submit complete information telephone numbers and dates of birth for 
its license holders/registrants. The waters of the state for which such 
license-holder data must be submitted will be specified in the 
Memorandum of Agreement.
* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) Under 17 years of age;
* * * * *
    (7) Fishing on days designated as ``free fishing days'' by states. 
``Free fishing days'' means fishing promotion programs by which states 
allow new anglers to fish for a specified day without a license.
* * * * *
    (c) Unless the state can demonstrate that a given category of 
anglers is so small it has no significant probability of biasing 
estimates of fishing effort if these anglers are not included in a 
representative sample, a state may not be designated as an exempted 
state if its licensing or registration program excludes anglers in any 
category other than those listed in paragraph (b) of this section.
    (d) Required enhancements to exempted state license-holder data. An 
exempted state must submit the following angler identification data by 
Jan. 1, 2012, or within two years of the effective date of the 
Memorandum of Agreement, whichever is later, and thereafter in 
accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement. States that provide NMFS 
with notice that they are required to enact legislation to comply with 
this requirement must submit the data within three years of the 
effective date of the Memorandum of Agreement:
    (1) Name, address and telephone number, updated annually, of 
excluded anglers over age 59, unless the state can demonstrate that the 
number of anglers excluded from the license or registration requirement 
based on having a date of birth before June 1, 1940 is so small it has 
no significant probability of biasing estimates of fishing effort if 
these anglers are not included in a representative sample;
* * * * *
    5. In Sec.  600.1417, revise paragraphs (b)(1)(iii) through (viii), 
and (b)(3), to read as follows:


Sec.  600.1417  Requirements for exempted state designation based on 
submission of recreational survey data.

    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (iii) Puerto Rico;
    (iv) U.S. Virgin Islands;
    (v) California, Oregon and Washington;
    (vi) Alaska;
    (vii) Hawaii; or
    (viii) American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands.
* * * * *
    (3) Utilize angler registry data to identify individuals to be 
surveyed by telephone, mail or Internet if such regional survey 
includes a telephone survey component; and
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2012-2653 Filed 2-3-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P