Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 34, 64237-64239 [2012-25821]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 203 / Friday, October 19, 2012 / Rules and Regulations EXAMPLE 15—TEACHERS ACCRUED BENEFIT—Continued [Pre-96 hire] .0175 service: 5 .02 service: 20.833333 Average salary: $62,150.00 Total: $35,995.21 Total/month: $3,000.00 Sept 11–30: $2,000.00 Oct 1–31: $3,000.00 Nov 1–30: $3,000.00 Dated: October 10, 2012. Nancy Ostrowski, Director, Office of D.C. Pensions. [FR Doc. 2012–25562 Filed 10–18–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [FRL–9743–4] Notice of Approval of Clean Air Act Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permit Issued to the City of Palmdale for the Palmdale Hybrid Power Project Environmental Protection Agency. ACTION: Final action. AGENCY: This document announces that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 has issued a final permit decision issuing a Clean Air Act Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit for the City of Palmdale (City) for the construction of the Palmdale Hybrid Power Project (PHPP). DATES: EPA Region 9 issued a final PSD permit decision for the PHPP on September 25, 2012. The permit also became effective on that date. Pursuant to section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7607(b)(1), judicial review of this final permit decision, to the extent it is available, may be sought by filing a petition for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit within 60 days of October 19, 2012. SUMMARY: Documents relevant to the above-referenced permit are available for public inspection during normal business hours at the following address: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105–3901. To arrange for viewing of these documents, call Lisa Beckham at (415) 972–3811. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Beckham, Permits Office (Air-3), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, (415) 972–3811, tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES ADDRESSES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:59 Oct 18, 2012 Jkt 229001 beckham.lisa@epa.gov. Anyone who wishes to review the EPA Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) decision described below or documents in the EAB’s electronic docket for its decision can obtain them at http:// www.epa.gov/eab/. A copy of the PSD permit is also available at http:// www.epa.gov/region9/air/permit/r9permits-issued.html. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: EPA Region 9 issued a final permit to the City authorizing the construction and operation of the PHPP, PSD Permit No. SE 09–01. The City’s permit was initially issued by EPA Region 9 on October 18, 2011. The EPA’s EAB received one petition for review of the PHPP permit from Mr. Rob Simpson. On September 17, 2012, the EAB denied review of Mr. Simpson’s petition. See In re City of Palmdale, PSD Appeal No. 11–07 (EAB, Sept. 17, 2012) (Order Denying Review). Following the EAB’s action, pursuant to 40 CFR 124.19(f)(1), EPA Region 9 issued a final permit decision on September 25, 2012. All conditions of the PHPP PSD permit, as initially issued by EPA Region 9 on October 18, 2011, are final and effective as of September 25, 2012. Dated: September 27, 2012. Elizabeth Adams, Acting Director, Air Division, Region IX. [FR Doc. 2012–25796 Filed 10–18–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 120416008–2525–02] RIN 0648–BB72 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 34 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: NMFS issues this final rule to implement management measures described in Amendment 34 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This rule removes the income SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 64237 qualification requirements for renewal of Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) commercial reef fish permits and increases the maximum crew size to four for dual-permitted vessels (i.e. vessels that possess both a charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish and a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish) that are fishing commercially. The intent of this rule is to remove permit requirements that NMFS views as no longer applicable to current commercial fishing practices and to improve safety-at-sea in the Gulf reef fish fishery. DATES: This rule is effective November 19, 2012. ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of Amendment 34, which includes an environmental assessment and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http:// sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/ GrouperSnapperandReefFish.htm. Comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this final rule may be submitted in writing to Anik Clemens, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; and to OMB, by email at OIRA Submission@omb.eop.gov, or by fax to 202–395–7285. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Meyer, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, telephone 727–824–5305; email: Cynthia.Meyer@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Council manage the Gulf reef fish fishery under the FMP. The Council prepared the FMP and NMFS implements the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magunson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622. On July 10, 2012, NMFS published a notice of availability for Amendment 34 and requested public comment (77 FR 40561). NMFS published a proposed rule for Amendment 34 on July 18, 2012, and requested public comment (77 FR 42251). The purpose and rationale for the actions contained in this final rule can be found in the proposed rule and are not repeated here. Management measures implemented through this final rule eliminate the income qualification requirements for renewal of commercial Gulf reef fish permits and increase the maximum crew size from three to four for dualpermitted vessels. Comments and Responses The following is a summary of the comments NMFS received on the E:\FR\FM\19OCR1.SGM 19OCR1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 64238 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 203 / Friday, October 19, 2012 / Rules and Regulations proposed rule and NMFS’ respective responses. During the comment period, NMFS received 11 comment letters, including nine from private citizens and two from fishing organizations. Of these comment letters, 10 were in support of the proposed rule and one opposed the proposed rule. Three of the comment letters were an identical form. Comment 1: The comments supporting the proposed rule insisted that the income requirement was no longer needed due to other existing regulations for the reef fish fishery. The comment letter opposing the proposed rule suggested that by removing the income requirement, there would be no incentive to report catch. Response: NMFS agrees that the income requirement is no longer needed in the reef fish fishery. Currently, to obtain or renew a commercial vessel permit for reef fish, more than 50 percent of the applicant’s earned income must have been derived from commercial fishing or from charter fishing during either of the 2 calendar years preceding the application. Due to recent regulatory changes in the commercial sector including establishment of individual fishing quotas (IFQs) for the most commercially sought after species, NMFS views existing income qualification requirements as no longer necessary. The regulations for the reef fish fishery require dealer reporting and the IFQ programs require trip declarations, 3hour notifications, and detailed reporting. These requirements and the potential enforcement measures are considered adequate incentives for fishermen to accurately report their catches in the absence of the income requirement. Further, the relative ease of fulfilling or circumventing income requirement provisions has rendered them largely meaningless. Currently, NMFS requires only that applicants submit affidavits attesting that they meet the minimum income requirements. These affidavits are not routinely validated by NMFS, because doing so is difficult and costly. In addition, business entities such as corporations and partnerships are the most common form of permitted entity, and their operations are easily structured so as satisfy the income requirement. Removing these requirements will streamline the permit renewal process and eliminate ineffective regulations. Comment 2: Regarding the increase in crew size for dual-permitted vessels, the comments supporting this change were based on improving safety-at-sea and allowing compliance with current Occupational Safety and Health VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:59 Oct 18, 2012 Jkt 229001 Administration (OSHA) regulations for commercial diving operations. The comment opposing the change suggests that increasing the crew size would result in overfishing by spear fishermen. Response: The rule increases the maximum crew size regulations from three to four people for dual-permitted vessels without a certificate of inspection when fishing commercially. Historically, limiting the crew size on a dual-permitted vessel when fishing commercially was intended to prevent a vessel from taking out a number of passengers under the pretense of making a charter trip, but subsequently selling the catch. In addition to the implementation of the IFQ programs for most of the commercially harvested species, all commercial reef fish vessels are required to be equipped with vessel monitoring systems. Vessel monitoring systems (VMSs) track the location of individual vessels in the fleet. Having a VMS on board makes it clear when a vessel is operating as a commercial vessel. Dual-permitted commercial spear fishermen requested an increase in crew size to allow two divers in the water, diving as a buddy pair, while two crew members remain aboard the vessel. This conforms to safe operating procedures for commercial diving (according to OSHA regulations) and directly promotes the safety of human life at sea. The change in crew size could slightly increase the vessel’s efficiency in overall fishing effort by allowing the crew to rest in between shifts. Spearfishing is a minor component of the Gulf reef fish fishery and any increase in efficiency would be a small percentage of overall harvest. If the dual-permitted vessels do increase the overall fishing effort, then the regulations for the commercial reef fish fishery requiring detailed monitoring and reporting including VMS, trip declaration, and landing notifications would provide the catch information. Additionally, other management measures such as quotas and associated closures are tailored to prevent overfishing of species in the reef fish fishery and there is no evidence that an increase in crew size would lead to overfishing. Classification NMFS determined that this final rule and Amendment 34 are necessary for the conservation and management of the Gulf reef fish fishery and are consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law. This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding the certification and NMFS has not received any new information that would affect its determination. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. This final rule contains collection-ofinformation requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and which have been approved by the Office of management and Budget (OMB) under control number 0648–0205. NMFS has determined the removal of the income qualification requirements for commercial Gulf reef fish permit holders will result in a net decrease in the time to complete the Federal Permit Application (for all applicants), however, the current burden estimate (20 minutes per applicant) to complete the application form would not decrease because the time to complete the Income Qualification Affidavit is minimal compared to the time to complete the entire application. These estimates of the public reporting burden include 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 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). Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Fisheries, Fishing, Puerto Rico, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Virgin Islands. E:\FR\FM\19OCR1.SGM 19OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 203 / Friday, October 19, 2012 / Rules and Regulations Dated: October 15, 2012. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, performing the functions and duties of the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. vessels that are underway for more than 12 hours. * * * * * PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC § 622.4 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 622.2, the definition for ‘‘charter vessel’’ is revised to read as follows: ■ Definitions and acronyms. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES * * * * * Charter vessel means a vessel less than 100 gross tons (90.8 mt) that is subject to the requirements of the USCG to carry six or fewer passengers for hire and that engages in charter fishing at any time during the calendar year. A charter vessel with a commercial permit, as required under § 622.4(a)(2), is considered to be operating as a charter vessel when it carries a passenger who pays a fee or when there are more than three persons aboard, including operator and crew, except for a charter vessel with a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish. A charter vessel that has a charter vessel permit for Gulf reef fish and a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish is considered to be operating as a charter vessel when it carries a passenger who pays a fee or when there are more than four persons aboard, including operator and crew. A charter vessel that has a charter vessel permit for Gulf reef fish, a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish, and a valid Certificate of Inspection (COI) issued by the USCG to carry passengers for hire will not be considered to be operating as a charter vessel provided— (1) It is not carrying a passenger who pays a fee; and (2) When underway for more than 12 hours, that vessel meets, but does not exceed the minimum manning requirements outlined in its COI for vessels underway over 12 hours; or when underway for not more than 12 hours, that vessel meets the minimum manning requirements outlined in its COI for vessels underway for not more than 12-hours (if any), and does not exceed the minimum manning requirements outlined in its COI for VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:59 Oct 18, 2012 Jkt 229001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ■ For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is amended as follows: § 622.2 3. In § 622.4, the introductory text for paragraph (a)(2)(v) is revised; paragraphs (m)(3), (m)(4), and (m)(5) are removed; paragraph (m)(6) is redesignated as paragraph (m)(3); and paragraph (m)(2) is revised to read as follows: 64239 Permits and fees. (a) * * * (2) * * * (v) Gulf reef fish. For a person aboard a vessel to be eligible for exemption from the bag limits, to fish under a quota, as specified in § 622.42(a)(1), or to sell Gulf reef fish in or from the Gulf EEZ, a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish must have been issued to the vessel and must be on board. If Federal regulations for Gulf reef fish in subparts A, B, or C of this part are more restrictive than state regulations, a person aboard a vessel for which a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued must comply with such Federal regulations regardless of where the fish are harvested. See paragraph (a)(2)(ix) of this section regarding an IFQ vessel account required to fish for, possess, or land Gulf red snapper or Gulf groupers and tilefishes and paragraph (a)(2)(xiv) of this section regarding an additional bottom longline endorsement required to fish for Gulf reef fish with bottom longline gear in a portion of the eastern Gulf. See paragraph (m) of this section regarding a limited access system for commercial vessel permits for Gulf reef fish. * * * * * (m) * * * (2) A permit holder may transfer the commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish to another vessel owned by the same entity. A permit holder may also transfer the commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish to the owner of another vessel or to a new vessel owner when he or she transfers ownership of the permitted vessel. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2012–25821 Filed 10–18–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 111220786–1781–01] RIN 0648–XC294 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Summer Flounder Fishery; Commercial Quota Harvested for the State of New York National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS announces that the 2012 summer flounder commercial quota allocated to the State of New York has been harvested. Vessels issued a commercial Federal fisheries permit for the summer flounder fishery may not land summer flounder in New York for the remainder of calendar year 2012, unless additional quota becomes available through a transfer from another state. Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery require publication of this notification to advise New York that the quota has been harvested and to advise vessel permit holders and dealer permit holders that no Federal commercial quota is available for landing summer flounder in New York. DATES: Effective at 0001 hr local time, October 20, 2012, through 2400 hr local time December 31, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carly Bari, (978) 281–9224, or Carly.Bari@noaa.gov. SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the summer flounder fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned on a percentage basis among the coastal states from North Carolina through Maine. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state is described in § 648.102. The initial total commercial quota for summer flounder for the 2012 fishing year is 13,136,001 lb (5,958,490 kg) (76 FR 82189, December 30, 2011). The percent allocated to vessels landing summer flounder in New York is 7.64699 percent, resulting in a commercial quota of 1,004,509 lb (455,645 kg). The 2012 allocation was reduced to 922,705 lb (418,539 kg) after deduction of research set-aside and E:\FR\FM\19OCR1.SGM 19OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 203 (Friday, October 19, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 64237-64239]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-25821]


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

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 120416008-2525-02]
RIN 0648-BB72


Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 
Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 34

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

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS issues this final rule to implement management measures 
described in Amendment 34 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef 
Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of 
Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This rule removes the 
income qualification requirements for renewal of Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) 
commercial reef fish permits and increases the maximum crew size to 
four for dual-permitted vessels (i.e. vessels that possess both a 
charter vessel/headboat permit for Gulf reef fish and a commercial 
vessel permit for Gulf reef fish) that are fishing commercially. The 
intent of this rule is to remove permit requirements that NMFS views as 
no longer applicable to current commercial fishing practices and to 
improve safety-at-sea in the Gulf reef fish fishery.

DATES: This rule is effective November 19, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of Amendment 34, which includes an 
environmental assessment and a regulatory impact review, may be 
obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/GrouperSnapperandReefFish.htm.
    Comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of 
the collection-of-information requirements contained in this final rule 
may be submitted in writing to Anik Clemens, Southeast Regional Office, 
NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; and to OMB, by 
email at OIRA Submission@omb.eop.gov, or by fax to 202-395-7285.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Meyer, Southeast Regional 
Office, NMFS, telephone 727-824-5305; email: Cynthia.Meyer@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS and the Council manage the Gulf reef 
fish fishery under the FMP. The Council prepared the FMP and NMFS 
implements the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (Magunson-Stevens Act) by regulations 
at 50 CFR part 622.
    On July 10, 2012, NMFS published a notice of availability for 
Amendment 34 and requested public comment (77 FR 40561). NMFS published 
a proposed rule for Amendment 34 on July 18, 2012, and requested public 
comment (77 FR 42251). The purpose and rationale for the actions 
contained in this final rule can be found in the proposed rule and are 
not repeated here.
    Management measures implemented through this final rule eliminate 
the income qualification requirements for renewal of commercial Gulf 
reef fish permits and increase the maximum crew size from three to four 
for dual-permitted vessels.

Comments and Responses

    The following is a summary of the comments NMFS received on the

[[Page 64238]]

proposed rule and NMFS' respective responses. During the comment 
period, NMFS received 11 comment letters, including nine from private 
citizens and two from fishing organizations. Of these comment letters, 
10 were in support of the proposed rule and one opposed the proposed 
rule. Three of the comment letters were an identical form.
    Comment 1: The comments supporting the proposed rule insisted that 
the income requirement was no longer needed due to other existing 
regulations for the reef fish fishery. The comment letter opposing the 
proposed rule suggested that by removing the income requirement, there 
would be no incentive to report catch.
    Response: NMFS agrees that the income requirement is no longer 
needed in the reef fish fishery. Currently, to obtain or renew a 
commercial vessel permit for reef fish, more than 50 percent of the 
applicant's earned income must have been derived from commercial 
fishing or from charter fishing during either of the 2 calendar years 
preceding the application. Due to recent regulatory changes in the 
commercial sector including establishment of individual fishing quotas 
(IFQs) for the most commercially sought after species, NMFS views 
existing income qualification requirements as no longer necessary. The 
regulations for the reef fish fishery require dealer reporting and the 
IFQ programs require trip declarations, 3-hour notifications, and 
detailed reporting. These requirements and the potential enforcement 
measures are considered adequate incentives for fishermen to accurately 
report their catches in the absence of the income requirement.
    Further, the relative ease of fulfilling or circumventing income 
requirement provisions has rendered them largely meaningless. 
Currently, NMFS requires only that applicants submit affidavits 
attesting that they meet the minimum income requirements. These 
affidavits are not routinely validated by NMFS, because doing so is 
difficult and costly. In addition, business entities such as 
corporations and partnerships are the most common form of permitted 
entity, and their operations are easily structured so as satisfy the 
income requirement. Removing these requirements will streamline the 
permit renewal process and eliminate ineffective regulations.
    Comment 2: Regarding the increase in crew size for dual-permitted 
vessels, the comments supporting this change were based on improving 
safety-at-sea and allowing compliance with current Occupational Safety 
and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations for commercial diving 
operations. The comment opposing the change suggests that increasing 
the crew size would result in overfishing by spear fishermen.
    Response: The rule increases the maximum crew size regulations from 
three to four people for dual-permitted vessels without a certificate 
of inspection when fishing commercially. Historically, limiting the 
crew size on a dual-permitted vessel when fishing commercially was 
intended to prevent a vessel from taking out a number of passengers 
under the pretense of making a charter trip, but subsequently selling 
the catch. In addition to the implementation of the IFQ programs for 
most of the commercially harvested species, all commercial reef fish 
vessels are required to be equipped with vessel monitoring systems. 
Vessel monitoring systems (VMSs) track the location of individual 
vessels in the fleet. Having a VMS on board makes it clear when a 
vessel is operating as a commercial vessel. Dual-permitted commercial 
spear fishermen requested an increase in crew size to allow two divers 
in the water, diving as a buddy pair, while two crew members remain 
aboard the vessel. This conforms to safe operating procedures for 
commercial diving (according to OSHA regulations) and directly promotes 
the safety of human life at sea. The change in crew size could slightly 
increase the vessel's efficiency in overall fishing effort by allowing 
the crew to rest in between shifts. Spearfishing is a minor component 
of the Gulf reef fish fishery and any increase in efficiency would be a 
small percentage of overall harvest. If the dual-permitted vessels do 
increase the overall fishing effort, then the regulations for the 
commercial reef fish fishery requiring detailed monitoring and 
reporting including VMS, trip declaration, and landing notifications 
would provide the catch information. Additionally, other management 
measures such as quotas and associated closures are tailored to prevent 
overfishing of species in the reef fish fishery and there is no 
evidence that an increase in crew size would lead to overfishing.

Classification

    NMFS determined that this final rule and Amendment 34 are necessary 
for the conservation and management of the Gulf reef fish fishery and 
are consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law.
    This final 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 during the proposed rule stage that this rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The factual basis for this determination was published in the 
proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received 
regarding the certification and NMFS has not received any new 
information that would affect its determination. As a result, a 
regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.
    This final rule contains collection-of-information requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and which have been 
approved by the Office of management and Budget (OMB) under control 
number 0648-0205. NMFS has determined the removal of the income 
qualification requirements for commercial Gulf reef fish permit holders 
will result in a net decrease in the time to complete the Federal 
Permit Application (for all applicants), however, the current burden 
estimate (20 minutes per applicant) to complete the application form 
would not decrease because the time to complete the Income 
Qualification Affidavit is minimal compared to the time to complete the 
entire application. These estimates of the public reporting burden 
include 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 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).
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to penalty for 
failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB control number.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

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


[[Page 64239]]


    Dated: October 15, 2012.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, performing the functions and 
duties of the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is amended 
as follows:

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

0
1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows:

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


0
2. In Sec.  622.2, the definition for ``charter vessel'' is revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  622.2  Definitions and acronyms.

* * * * *
    Charter vessel means a vessel less than 100 gross tons (90.8 mt) 
that is subject to the requirements of the USCG to carry six or fewer 
passengers for hire and that engages in charter fishing at any time 
during the calendar year. A charter vessel with a commercial permit, as 
required under Sec.  622.4(a)(2), is considered to be operating as a 
charter vessel when it carries a passenger who pays a fee or when there 
are more than three persons aboard, including operator and crew, except 
for a charter vessel with a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef 
fish. A charter vessel that has a charter vessel permit for Gulf reef 
fish and a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish is considered to 
be operating as a charter vessel when it carries a passenger who pays a 
fee or when there are more than four persons aboard, including operator 
and crew. A charter vessel that has a charter vessel permit for Gulf 
reef fish, a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish, and a valid 
Certificate of Inspection (COI) issued by the USCG to carry passengers 
for hire will not be considered to be operating as a charter vessel 
provided--
    (1) It is not carrying a passenger who pays a fee; and
    (2) When underway for more than 12 hours, that vessel meets, but 
does not exceed the minimum manning requirements outlined in its COI 
for vessels underway over 12 hours; or when underway for not more than 
12 hours, that vessel meets the minimum manning requirements outlined 
in its COI for vessels underway for not more than 12-hours (if any), 
and does not exceed the minimum manning requirements outlined in its 
COI for vessels that are underway for more than 12 hours.
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  622.4, the introductory text for paragraph (a)(2)(v) is 
revised; paragraphs (m)(3), (m)(4), and (m)(5) are removed; paragraph 
(m)(6) is redesignated as paragraph (m)(3); and paragraph (m)(2) is 
revised to read as follows:


Sec.  622.4  Permits and fees.

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (v) Gulf reef fish. For a person aboard a vessel to be eligible for 
exemption from the bag limits, to fish under a quota, as specified in 
Sec.  622.42(a)(1), or to sell Gulf reef fish in or from the Gulf EEZ, 
a commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish must have been issued to 
the vessel and must be on board. If Federal regulations for Gulf reef 
fish in subparts A, B, or C of this part are more restrictive than 
state regulations, a person aboard a vessel for which a commercial 
vessel permit for Gulf reef fish has been issued must comply with such 
Federal regulations regardless of where the fish are harvested. See 
paragraph (a)(2)(ix) of this section regarding an IFQ vessel account 
required to fish for, possess, or land Gulf red snapper or Gulf 
groupers and tilefishes and paragraph (a)(2)(xiv) of this section 
regarding an additional bottom longline endorsement required to fish 
for Gulf reef fish with bottom longline gear in a portion of the 
eastern Gulf. See paragraph (m) of this section regarding a limited 
access system for commercial vessel permits for Gulf reef fish.
* * * * *
    (m) * * *
    (2) A permit holder may transfer the commercial vessel permit for 
Gulf reef fish to another vessel owned by the same entity. A permit 
holder may also transfer the commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef 
fish to the owner of another vessel or to a new vessel owner when he or 
she transfers ownership of the permitted vessel.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2012-25821 Filed 10-18-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P