Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 26 and Amendment 29 Supplement, 57830-57837 [2014-22998]

Download as PDF 57830 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 187 / Friday, September 26, 2014 / Rules and Regulations consistent with the requirement in Executive Order 13,563 that agencies conduct retrospective analyses of existing regulations. Today’s action will not have any cost impacts for vehicle manufacturers. This action will not have any safety impacts. (2) For seat locations with a seating surface width, as described in paragraph (c), greater than or equal to 1400 mm (55.2 inches): N = No less than [seating surface width (in mm)/450] rounded down to the nearest whole number. * * * * * B. Privacy Act Issued in Washington, DC, on September 11, 2014 under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.5. David J. Friedman, Deputy Administrator. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all documents received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the document (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78) or you may visit http:// docketsinfo.dot.gov/. C. Other Rulemaking Analyses and Notices List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571 Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tires. In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA amends 49 CFR Part 571 as follows: PART 571—FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS 1. The authority citation for part 571 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, and 30166; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95. 2. Amend § 571.10 by revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows: asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES ■ * Designation of seating positions. * * (b) * * * * * 6 The issue of preemption was addressed in the preamble of the December 2009 final rule. See 74 FR 68187–89. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Sep 25, 2014 Jkt 232001 BILLING CODE 4910–59–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: [Docket No. 130606533–4646–02] Catherine Hayslip, telephone 727–824– 5305, email Catherine.Hayslip@ noaa.gov. RIN 0648–BD36 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 50 CFR Part 622 In the October 2008 final rule and in the December 2009 final rule providing a partial response to the petitions for reconsideration, the agency discussed relevant requirements related to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Order 13132 (Federalism),6 Civil Justice Reform, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, and Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children from Environmental Health and Safety Risks). As today’s final rule merely clarifies regulatory text to reflect the agency’s intent in the November 2013 final rule, it will not have any effect on the agency’s analyses in those areas. § 571.10 [FR Doc. 2014–23010 Filed 9–25–14; 8:45 am] include a final environmental impact statement (FEIS), a regulatory impact review (RIR), and a regulatory flexibility act analysis may be obtained from the Council’s Web site at http:// www.gulfcouncil.org/fishery_ management_plans/reef_fish_ management_archives.php. 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 the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by email at OIRA Submission@omb.eop.gov, or by fax to 202–395–7285. 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. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: NMFS issues this final rule 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. This final rule specifies procedures for closing an IFQ account and modifies requirements for IFQ landing transactions, landing notifications, and offloading. The purpose of this final rule is to enhance the monitoring, enforcement, and review of the IFQ programs as specified in Amendments 26 and 29 to the FMP. DATES: This rule is effective October 27, 2014. ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of Amendments 26 and 29, which each SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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. On March 19, 2014, NMFS published a proposed rule for these actions and requested public comment (79 FR 15287). The proposed rule outlined the rationale for the actions contained in this final rule and are not repeated here. This final rule specifies procedures for closing an IFQ account and modifies requirements for IFQ landing transactions, landing notifications, and offloading. The purpose of this rule is to enhance the monitoring, enforcement, and review of the IFQ programs as specified in Amendments 26 and 29 to the Reef Fish FMP. Comments and Responses NMFS received comments from 20 individuals or groups during the comment period. Several comments were outside the scope of the current rulemaking, including a request for a standard set of guidelines for all IFQ users, a dedicated after-hours support phone line, and the addition of a ‘‘use it or lose it’’ provision, i.e., if shares or allocations are not being used, they will be redistributed to the remaining shareholders. The Council is considering possible long-term changes to the programs in future amendments, which may include these provisions. Comments related to the actions contained in the proposed rule as well as NMFS’ responses are summarized below. E:\FR\FM\26SER1.SGM 26SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 187 / Friday, September 26, 2014 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES Landing Notifications Comment 1: Several commenters supported allowing IFQ allocation to be held in either the vessel account or the linked shareholder account at the time of the landing notification. Response: Requiring allocation to be held in either a shareholder or vessel account at the time of the landing notification will provide increased flexibility to fishers. Currently, sufficient allocation must be in the vessel account at the time of the landing notification. This modification would allow allocation to also be in the shareholder account in the event that sufficient allocation has not been transferred to the vessel account at the time of landing notification. This change will provide greater flexibility to program participants and result in less landing notifications having insufficient allocation without impacting enforceability. Before completing a landing transaction sufficient allocation would need to be transferred to the vessel account to allow the dealer to complete the landing transaction. Comment 2: Several commenters supported the provision to extend the landing notification reporting window from 12 to 24 hours. Response: The provision to extend the reporting window for landing notifications from 12 to 24 hours will provide vessel owners and operators greater flexibility, while providing sufficient notice to law enforcement. Fishers, especially those making daytrips, will have a greater window of time to provide landing notifications, increasing their flexibility under the program. Comment 3: In general, commenters opposed a 30-minute landing window in favor of a greater window of time after the landing time specified in the notification. Commenters indicated that 30 minutes would not be sufficient time to allow for changes in weather, vessel speed, tides, and mechanical issues. Though several commenters indicated greater than 1 hour would be preferable for the landing window, the majority of commenters indicated that a 1-hour landing window would be sufficient. Response: NMFS asked for comments on whether 30 minutes would be a sufficient amount of time for landing and, if not, whether an hour would be preferable. NMFS agrees with the majority of commenters that 1 hour is the preferable landing window, allowing for changes in arrival time while still aiding law enforcement by limiting the time an officer needs to wait at the dock. Therefore, NMFS has modified the final rule to allow a 1-hour VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Sep 25, 2014 Jkt 232001 landing window. NMFS understands that there may be circumstances that delay a vessel more than 1 hour after the arrival time indicated on the notification; however, NMFS has determined that a longer window would unreasonably interfere with enforcement activities because it could result in law enforcement officers waiting at the landing location for extended periods of time. If a vessel cannot land within 1 hour after the time reported on the landing notification, this rule requires that the vessel submit a new notification, but would allow the vessel to land without having to wait an additional three hours except under the limited circumstances specified in § 622.21(b)(5)(i)(C) and 622.22(b)(5)(i)(C) (the change is to landing location, the time of landing is earlier than previously specified, or more than one superseding notification is submitted on a trip). Comment 4: Several commenters favored the proposed procedures for making changes to landing notifications, but did not support the requirement that vessels wait an additional 3 hours before landing if more than one ‘‘amended’’ notification is submitted. These commenters stated that this extra delay would be onerous. Two commenters suggested that if too many amendments were being reported, the requirement should be reconsidered in future rulemaking. Response: NMFS disagrees that vessels should be allowed to make more than one change to a landing notification without having to wait an additional 3 hours to land. The final rule clarifies that a vessel that has submitted a landing notification to NMFS may make changes to the notification by submitting a superseding notification. When submitting an initial superseding notification, a vessel is not required to wait an additional 3 hours to land if the change is to the dealer or the amount of pounds onboard, or the landing time is changed to be later than previously specified. However, a vessel is required to wait a minimum of 3 hours to land if the initial superseding notification changes the intended landing location or the time of landing is earlier than originally specified. Additionally, if a vessel makes more than one superseding notification, that vessel must wait a minimum of 3 hours to land regardless of the change. Allowing vessels to make multiple superseding notifications without requiring that they wait an additional 3 hours to land could complicate law enforcement. If vessels continually change the information submitted in the landing notification, law enforcement PO 00000 Frm 00129 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 57831 may not have sufficient time to react to the changes. Thus, this rule provides greater flexibility than previously existed but balances that flexibility with the need to ensure effective law enforcement. Comment 5: One commenter suggested that if a vessel is making a change to a landing notification, the new landing notification must be made within 2 hours of the first notification. Response: NMFS disagrees. Requiring that a change to a landing notification be made within the 2 hours of the first notification is overly restrictive and could be a burden to fishers, especially those who submit a landing notification well in advance of the time of landing. Comment 6: One commenter stated that the landing notification should be on an electronically-editable form so changes can be submitted without submitting a new notification. Response: NMFS understands that it would be more efficient to have an editable form that could be updated. However, the IFQ database and VMS forms do not provide a mechanism for allowing changes directly to a notification that was already submitted. Thus, NMFS determined that a new notification must be submitted. Comment 7: Commenters were in favor of allowing vessels to land prior to the time indicated in a landing notification if an authorized law enforcement officer is present at the landing site and authorizes the owner or operator of the vessel to land early. However, some commenters requested the ability to land prior to the time on the notice if an officer has authorized the landing (by giving an authorization code, for example), but is not present. One commenter questioned which law enforcement officers would be authorized to allow a vessel to land early. Response: Currently, the owner or operator of a vessel landing IFQ species is responsible for ensuring that NMFS is contacted at least 3 hours prior to landing. To provide vessel owners and operators additional flexibility, NMFS proposed adding language to the regulations stating that a law enforcement officer who is present at the landing site may authorize a vessel to land prior to the time specified on the landing notification. In this final rule, NMFS is adding language to the codified text that specifies that the officer must also be available to meet the vessel. This is intended to clarify that although an officer may be at the landing site, that officer will not necessarily be able to grant a request to land early. NMFS is not changing the codified text to allow a vessel to land E:\FR\FM\26SER1.SGM 26SER1 57832 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 187 / Friday, September 26, 2014 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES early if authorized by a law enforcement officer who is not at the landing site. Doing so would not serve the purpose of the regulation, which is to enhance enforcement. In response to the comment asking for clarification about which law enforcement officers would be authorized to allow a vessel to land early, NMFS is changing the codified text to refer to an ‘‘authorized officer’’ instead of a ‘‘state or Federal law enforcement officer.’’ ‘‘Authorized officer’’ is defined in 50 CFR 600.10 as ‘‘(1) Any commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the USCG; (2) Any special agent or fishery enforcement officer of NMFS; (3) Any officer designated by the head of any Federal or state agency that has entered into an agreement with the Secretary and the Commandant of the USCG to enforce the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act or any other statute administered by NOAA; or (4) Any USCG personnel accompanying and acting under the direction of any person described in paragraph (1) of this definition.’’ Offloading Comment 8: Several commenters supported extending the offloading window after 6 p.m. if a law enforcement officer is present and authorizes the offload to continue. Additionally, several commenters supported extending the offloading window until 8 p.m., regardless of whether law enforcement is present. Response: NMFS proposed language that would allow a law enforcement officer to extend the offloading window to provide dealers and vessel owners/ operators additional flexibility when offloading fish. As with the provision allowing a vessel to land early if authorized, NMFS is adding language to the codified text in this final rule that specifies that an ‘‘authorized officer’’ must be available to remain at the offloading site if a vessel owner/ operator would like to continue offloading after 6 p.m. This is intended to clarify that although an officer may be at the offload site, that officer will not necessarily be able to grant a request to extend the offloading window. NMFS considered extending the offloading window until 8 p.m., but decided that the window should remain from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., because most dealers in the IFQ program close by 6 p.m. Comment 9: Comments were received supporting a 72-hour offloading timeframe, a 96-hour offloading timeframe, and requesting the removal of language that would require an offloading timeframe. Commenters in favor of a 72-hour offloading timeframe indicated that 72 hours would be a VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Sep 25, 2014 Jkt 232001 sufficient amount of time to complete offloading a vessel. Commenters in favor of a 96-hour timeframe for completing an offload indicated this would provide some flexibility during holiday weekends, market gluts, emergencies, and ice machine or cooler issues. For the same reasons, some commenters opposed an offloading window all together. Additionally, one commenter suggested that the offloading timeframe should be from the arrival time indicated on the most recent landing notification, as there is no offloading notification. Response: After further consideration NMFS has determined that it is not necessary to expressly require a timeframe for completing offload. NMFS proposed the offloading timeframe because NMFS is concerned that landing transactions are not being completed in a timely manner after a fishing trip ends, and that delay could impact the ability to track landings of IFQ species. NMFS has determined that the more direct way to address this issue is to specify a timeframe for completing the landing transaction. And because there is no offloading notification, NMFS agrees with the commenter that the timeframe should begin from the landing time indicated on the recent landing notification. Thus, this rule will require that the landing transaction be completed on the day of offload (unless the fish are being trailered for transport to a dealer, in which case the landing transaction report may be completed prior to the day of offload) and within 96 hours of the time indicated on the most recent landings notification. NMFS determined that allowing 96 hours to complete the landing transaction will give fishermen increased flexibility on when to offload, but will also ensure that landing transactions are completed in a timely manner after a fishing trip ends, which will help NMFS more accurately track landings of IFQ species. Landing Transactions Comment 10: Comments were received both in favor of and against prohibiting deduction of ice and water weight when a landing transaction is reported. Commenters in favor of prohibiting deduction of ice and water weight stated that doing so would standardize how landing transactions are processed for all fishers and dealers. Some commenters who opposed prohibiting the deduction of ice and water weight stated this prohibition would affect the initial share calculation, which determined how shares were distributed to shareholders. Many commenters who opposed PO 00000 Frm 00130 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 prohibiting the deduction of ice and water weight suggested that a standard percentage for an ice and water weight deduction be applied Gulf-wide. One commenter felt ice and water weight should be allowed to be deducted from the recorded weight, if accurately measured using a scale. Response: NMFS agrees that how weights are recorded in the IFQ online system should be standardized across dealers in the Gulf. However, NMFS disagrees that this can be accomplished by developing a standard deduction for ice and water weight that can be applied Gulf-wide. As explained in the proposed rule, NMFS considered specifying a standardized deduction percentage for ice and water weight. However, NMFS determined that this would be impracticable to estimate, and would need to be species specific due to varying industry practices for icing fish, differences in trip durations that may affect how much water and ice retention occurs, varying dealer practices for removing ice from fish prior to weighing, and varying fish sizes and body shapes. Thus, in order to standardize the method for reporting weights, NMFS proposed prohibiting the deduction of ice and water weight when reporting the weight of the fish. This proposal would not have changed the initial shares distributed to shareholders, because the initial allocation of shares was based on reported historical landings. However, as noted by one commenter, this general prohibition would not allow for the deduction of ice and water weight if that actual weight was determined using a scale. NMFS agrees that in those situations where the actual weight of the ice and water can be determined using a scale, that weight should not be included when reporting the weight of the fish. Therefore NMFS is modifying the language to prohibit the deduction of ice and water weight unless the actual weight of ice and water is determined using a scale. This change will address the problems associated with different dealers applying different arbitrary deductions for ice and water weight, but will still allow the deduction of the actual weight of ice and water when that weight can be determined. Comment 11: Several commenters supported the proposed change to require a dealer to complete a landing transaction for IFQ species on the day of offload. Two commenters indicated that they preferred 24 hours to enter the landing transaction after the offload. One commenter did not provide a timeframe, but indicated that they typically do not enter landing E:\FR\FM\26SER1.SGM 26SER1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 187 / Friday, September 26, 2014 / Rules and Regulations transactions for up to a week after fish have already been sold in order to accurately report ex-vessel prices. One commenter also mentioned that landing transactions are often entered the day before offloading, as they receive a confirmation number and have to transport the fish to be offloaded at a different site on a later date. Response: NMFS understands that there are circumstances when a landing transaction may not occur on the same day as the vessel landing; however, NMFS agrees with the commenters that support the requirement to enter the landing transaction on the same day as the offload. NMFS is not increasing the time to complete a landing transaction to 24 hours after the offloading, because this could allow fish to be transported or sold before they are recorded in the system, which would result in less accurate tracking of landings. As explained in the response to Comment 9, this rule will require the dealer to complete the landing transaction on the day of offload (with one exception noted below) and within 96 hours of the landing time indicated on the most recent landing notification. As one commenter noted, there are times when the landing transaction is completed at the landing location, and fish remain on a vessel that is trailered for transport to a dealer. In this instance, the offloading occurs after the day of the landing transaction because the transaction and an approval code are required before the fish can be transported. Thus, this rule will allow dealers to enter the landing transaction prior to the day of offload if fish are being trailered for transport as specified in § 622.21(b)(5)(iv) or 622.22(b)(5)(iv). Comment 12: Several commenters supported removing the language that a landing transaction cannot be completed without a pre-landing notification, as it would provide flexibility for fishers in the event VMS notifications were not received. Response: NMFS agrees that this language should be removed to provide flexibility during the occasions when system outages occur. Occasionally, system outages cause delayed submission of landing notifications, by no fault of the fisher submitting the notification. Removing this language will allow fishers the ability to complete the landing transaction, despite not having a confirmation number for a prelanding notification. Close an IFQ Account Comment 13: Commenters were generally in favor of allowing NMFS IFQ Customer Service staff to close an IFQ account if no landing transactions VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Sep 25, 2014 Jkt 232001 or IFQ transfers have been completed by the IFQ account holder in at least 1 year, and the account holds no shares or allocation, and for dealer accounts without unpaid cost recovery fees. However, one commenter stated that an account should not be closed unless there has been no activity for at least 2 years, to account for illness or vessel failure. Response: NMFS disagrees that there should be a minimum of 2 years of inactivity before IFQ Customer Service Staff could close an IFQ account. Closing accounts will reduce the number of records NMFS needs to maintain, and an account could be reopened at the request of the IFQ account holder at any time. Thus, there is no need to keep accounts open for 2 years to address prolonged illnesses or vessel failures. Changes From the Proposed Rule NMFS is revising several of the provisions from the proposed rule in this final rule based on public comment received during the proposed rule comment period and public input received during the April 2014 Council meeting. These revisions are explained below. Landing Notifications In the proposed rule, NMFS specifically requested public comment on the proposal to land within 30 minutes after the time given in the landing notification, or whether 1 hour would be preferable. During its August 2013 meeting, the Council discussed extending the landing window from 30 minutes to 1 hour based on public comments received. During the November 2013 Red Snapper IFQ ad hoc Advisory Panel meeting, the Advisory Panel discussed and recommended that the landing window be extended from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Based on this feedback, as well as on public comment received on the proposed rule and public input received at the April 2014 Council meeting, NMFS has determined that it is preferable to require vessels to land within 1 hour after the time given in the landing notification. This will give IFQ vessels additional flexibility to account for weather, vessel speeds, tides, and mechanical issues but still ensure law enforcement that vessels will land within a reasonable window of time. Therefore, this final rule implements the requirement to land within 1 hour from the time given on the landing notification. The proposed rule included codified text that would allow a vessel to land prior to the time indicated on its PO 00000 Frm 00131 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 57833 landing notification if a state or Federal law enforcement officer is present at the landing site and authorizes the owner or operator of the vessel to land early. In this final rule, NMFS is adding language to the codified text that specifies that the officer must also be available to meet the vessel. This is intended to clarify that although an officer may be at the landing site, that officer will not necessarily be able to grant a request to land early. In addition, NMFS is changing the codified text to refer to an ‘‘authorized officer’’ instead of a ‘‘state or Federal law enforcement officer.’’ Because ‘‘authorized officer’’ is defined 50 CFR 600.10 this change will clarify which officers may grant a request to land early. Offloading The proposed rule included codified text that would authorize offloads beginning before 6 p.m. to continue after 6 p.m. if a state or Federal law enforcement officer is present and authorizes the offload to continue. In this final rule, NMFS is adding language to the codified text that specifies that the officer must also be available to remain at the offloading site while offloading continues. This is intended to clarify that although an authorize officer may be at the offloading site, that officer may not necessarily grant a request to extend the offloading window. As noted above, NMFS is also changing the codified text to refer to an ‘‘authorized officer’’ instead of a ‘‘state or Federal law enforcement officer.’’ Landing Transactions This rule would prohibit the arbitrary deduction of ice and water weight from the weight of the fish when reporting an IFQ landing transaction. The proposed rule included a provision to ‘‘include ice and water weight’’ when calculating the weight of IFQ species during a landing transaction. However, in response to comments, this final rule slightly revises the language from the proposed regulations to address circumstances when the actual weight of ice and water can be determined. The new language provides that ‘‘when calculating the weight of IFQ species during a landing transaction, ice and water weight may not be deducted from the weight of the fish unless the actual weight of the ice and water are determined with a scale.’’ This will address the problems associated with different dealers applying different arbitrary deductions for ice and water weight, but still allow the deduction of the actual weight of ice and water when that weight can be determined. E:\FR\FM\26SER1.SGM 26SER1 57834 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 187 / Friday, September 26, 2014 / Rules and Regulations asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES The proposed rule included the requirement for a dealer to complete a landing transaction for IFQ species on the day of offload. This was proposed to improve the timeliness and accuracy of landing transactions. The proposed rule also included a 72-hour timeframe for offloading IFQ species after landing. However, as explained in the response to Comment 9, NMFS has determined that to address the timeliness and accuracy of landing transactions it is more appropriate to require a timeframe for completing the landing transaction, as opposed to a timeframe for completing an offload. NMFS also determined, based on public comment, that this timeframe should be 96 hours. Thus, this final rule requires completion of a landing transaction within 96 hours after landing and on the same day as the offload, except if the fish are being trailered for transport to a dealer as specified in § 622.21(b)(5)(iv) and § 622.22(b)(5)(iv) (in which case the landing transaction report may be completed prior to the day of offload). Classification The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined that this final rule is consistent with Amendments 26 and 29, the FMP, 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. Comments on the proposed rule are addressed in the comments and responses section of this final rule, and the changes to the final rule are discussed in the changes from the proposed rule section of this final rule. The changes are expected to increase the operational flexibility of the Gulf IFQ program participants and improve the monitoring and administration of the programs compared to the actions in the proposed rule. These changes, therefore, support a determination that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared. The Small Business Administration (SBA) revised its small business standards for several industries in a VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Sep 25, 2014 Jkt 232001 final rule effective July 14, 2014 (79 FR 33647, June 12, 2014). The rule increased the size standard for Finfish Fishing from $19.0 million to $20.5 million, Shellfish Fishing from $5.0 million to $5.5 million, and Other Marine Fishing from $7.0 million to $7.5 million. Because NMFS has determined that all entities directly affected by this action are small entities, the new SBA standards would not change the number of directly affected small entities. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the new size standards do not affect its decision to certify this action. This final rule contains a collectionof-information requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Action (PRA), which has been approved by OMB under control number 0648–0551. NMFS estimates the requirement for an IFQ shareholder or dealer to complete and submit a Close IFQ Account Request Form to close an IFQ account if the IFQ account holder no longer fishes commercially, no longer owns any IFQ shares or allocation, or no longer wishes to participate as a dealer is estimated to average 2 minutes per response. 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. 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 PRA, unless that collection-of-information displays a currently valid OMB control number. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622 Fisheries, Fishing, Enforcement, Grouper, Gulf, IFQ, Red Snapper, Tilefish. Dated: September 22, 2014. 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 amended as follows: PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. ■ ■ ■ 2. In § 622.21: a. Paragraph (a)(5) is revised; b. Paragraph (a)(6) is removed; PO 00000 Frm 00132 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 c. The 9th sentence in paragraph (b)(1) is revised and a sentence is added between the 9th and 10th sentences in paragraph (b)(1); ■ d. Paragraph (b)(3)(i) is revised; ■ e. Paragraph (b)(3)(iii) is revised; ■ f. Paragraphs (b)(5)(i), (ii) and (iv) are revised; ■ g. The first sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v) is revised and a sentence is added before the first sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v). The revisions and addition read as follows: ■ § 622.21 Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf red snapper. (a) * * * (5) Closing an IFQ account. IFQ account holders may close an IFQ account by completing and submitting a Close IFQ Account Request Form to NMFS. This form must be signed by an account holder named on the IFQ account. If the request to close an IFQ account is being made because the sole account holder is deceased, the person requesting the closure must sign the Close IFQ Account Request Form, indicating the relationship to the deceased, provide a death certificate, and provide any additional information NMFS determines is necessary to complete the request. IFQ shareholder accounts may not be closed until all shares and allocation have been transferred from the account to another IFQ account holder. Dealer accounts may not be closed until all cost recovery fees have been received by NMFS. NMFS’ IFQ Customer Service staff may close an IFQ account if all shares and allocation have been transferred from the account, all cost recovery fees have been received by NMFS, and no landing transactions or IFQ transfers have been completed by the IFQ account holder in at least 1 year. If an account is closed by NMFS’ IFQ Customer Service staff, it may be reopened at the request of the IFQ account holder by contacting IFQ Customer Service. (b) * * * (1) * * * A vessel account, or its linked IFQ shareholder account, must hold sufficient IFQ allocation, at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of the red snapper on board at the time of advance notice of landing. Allocation must be transferred to the vessel account, so that the vessel account holds sufficient IFQ allocation at the time of the landing transaction (except for any overage allowed as specified in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section). * * * * * * * * (3) * * * E:\FR\FM\26SER1.SGM 26SER1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 187 / Friday, September 26, 2014 / Rules and Regulations (i) At the time of advance notice of landing, the IFQ vessel account, or its linked IFQ shareholder account, must contain allocation at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of red snapper to be landed, except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. At the time of the landing transaction, the IFQ vessel account must contain allocation at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of red snapper to be landed, except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. Such red snapper must be sold and can be received only by a dealer who has a valid Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement and an active IFQ dealer account (i.e., not in delinquent status). All IFQ landings and their actual ex-vessel prices must be reported via the IFQ Web site at ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov. * * * * * (iii) The dealer must complete a landing transaction report for each landing of Gulf red snapper via the IFQ Web site at ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov on the day of offload, except if the fish are being trailered for transport to a dealer as specified in paragraph (b)(5)(iv) of this section (in which case the landing transaction report may be completed prior to the day of offload), and within 96 hours from the time of landing reported on the most recent landing notification, in accordance with the reporting form(s) and instructions provided on the Web site. This report includes date, time, and location of transaction; weight and actual ex-vessel price of red snapper landed and sold (when calculating the weight of IFQ red snapper during a landing transaction, ice and water weight may not be deducted from the weight of the fish unless the actual weight of the ice and water can be determined); 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 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. * * * * * (5) * * * (i) Advance notice of landing—(A) General requirement. 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 24 hours, in advance of landing to report VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Sep 25, 2014 Jkt 232001 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(s) where the red snapper are to be received. The vessel must land within 1 hour after the time given in the landing notification except as provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(C) of this section. The vessel landing red snapper must have sufficient IFQ allocation in the IFQ vessel account, or its linked IFQ shareholder account, at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of all red snapper on board (except for any overage up to the 10 percent allowed on the last fishing trip) at the time of the advance notice of landing. (B) Submitting an advanced landing notification. Authorized methods for contacting NMFS and submitting the report include calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425–7627, completing and submitting to NMFS a landing notification provided through the VMS unit, or providing the required information to NMFS through the webbased form available on the IFQ Web site at ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov. (C) Landing prior to the notification time. The owner or operator of a vessel that has completed a landing notification and submitted it to NMFS may land prior to the notification time, only if an authorized officer is present at the landing site, is available to meet the vessel, and has authorized the owner or operator of the vessel to land early. (D) Changes to a landing notification. The owner or operator of a vessel who has submitted a landing notification to NMFS may make changes to the notification by submitting a superseding notification. If the initial superseding notification makes changes to one or more of the following: the time of landing (if landing more than 1 hour after the time on the notification), the dealer(s), or the estimated weights of fish to be landed, the vessel does not need to wait an additional 3 hours to land. If the initial superseding notification makes changes to the landing location, the time of landing is earlier than previously specified, or more than one superseding notification is submitted on a trip, the vessel must wait an additional 3 hours to land, except as provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(C) of this section. (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, unless an PO 00000 Frm 00133 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 57835 authorized officer is present at the offloading at 6 p.m., is available to remain at the site while offloading continues, and authorizes the owner or operator of the vessel to continue offloading after 6 p.m., local time. * * * * * (iv) Requirement for transaction approval code. If IFQ red snapper are offloaded to a vehicle for transport or are on a vessel that is trailered for transport, 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. A dealer may only receive IFQ red snapper transported by a vehicle or a trailered vessel that has a corresponding transaction approval code. (v) Approved landing locations. IFQ red snapper must be landed at an approved landing location. Landing locations must be approved by NMFS Office for Law Enforcement prior to a vessel landing IFQ red snapper at these sites. * * * * * * * * ■ 3. In § 622.22; ■ a. Paragraph (a)(8) is added; ■ b. The 9th sentence in paragraph (b)(1) is revised and a sentence is added between the 9th and 10th sentences in paragraph (b)(1); ■ c. Paragraph (b)(3)(i) is revised; ■ d. Paragraph (b)(3)(iii) is revised; ■ e. Paragraphs (b)(5)(i), (ii) and (iv) are revised; and ■ f. The first sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v) is revised and a sentence is added before the first sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v). The additions and revisions read as follows: § 622.22 Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf groupers and tilefishes. (a) * * * (8) Closing an IFQ account. IFQ account holders may close an IFQ account by completing and submitting a Close IFQ Account Request Form to NMFS. This form must be signed by an account holder named on the IFQ account. If the request to close an IFQ account is being made because the sole account holder is deceased, the person E:\FR\FM\26SER1.SGM 26SER1 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES 57836 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 187 / Friday, September 26, 2014 / Rules and Regulations requesting the closure must sign the Close IFQ Account Request Form, indicating the relationship to the deceased, provide a death certificate, and provide any additional information NMFS determines is necessary to complete the request. IFQ shareholder accounts may not be closed until all shares and allocation have been transferred from the account to another IFQ account holder. Dealer accounts may not be closed until all cost recovery fees have been received by NMFS. NMFS’ IFQ Customer Service staff may close an IFQ account if all shares and allocation have been transferred from the account, all cost recovery fees have been received by NMFS, and no landing transactions or IFQ transfers have been completed by the IFQ account holder in at least 1 year. If an account is closed by NMFS’ IFQ Customer Service staff, it may be reopened at the request of the IFQ account holder by contacting IFQ Customer Service. (b) * * * (1) * * * A vessel account, or its linked IFQ shareholder account, must hold sufficient IFQ allocation in the appropriate share category, at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of the groupers and tilefishes on board at the time of advance notice of landing. Allocation must be transferred to the vessel account, so that the vessel account holds sufficient IFQ allocation at the time of the landing transaction (except for any overage allowed as specified in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) for groupers and tilefishes). * * * * * * * * (3) * * * (i) At the time of advance notice of landing, the IFQ vessel account, or its linked IFQ shareholder account, must contain allocation at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of grouper or tilefish species to be landed, except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. At the time of the landing transaction, the IFQ vessel account must contain allocation at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of grouper or tilefish species to be landed, except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. Such groupers and tilefishes must be sold and can be received only by a dealer who has a valid Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement and an active IFQ dealer account (i.e., not in delinquent status). All IFQ landings and their actual ex-vessel prices must be reported via the IFQ Web site at ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov. * * * * * (iii) The dealer must complete a landing transaction report for each landing of Gulf groupers or tilefishes via VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Sep 25, 2014 Jkt 232001 the IFQ Web site at ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov on the day of offload, except if the fish are being trailered for transport to a dealer as specified in paragraph (b)(5)(iv) of this section (in which case the landing transaction report may be completed prior to the day of offload), and within 96 hours from the time of landing reported on the most recent landing notification, in accordance with the reporting form(s) and instructions provided on the Web site. This report includes date, time, and location of transaction; weight and actual ex-vessel price of groupers and tilefishes landed and sold (when calculating the weight of IFQ groupers and tilefishes during a landing transaction, ice and water weight may not be deducted from the weight of the fish unless the actual weight of the ice and water can be determined); 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 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. * * * * * (5) * * * (i) Advance notice of landing—(A) General requirement. 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 24 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(s) where the groupers or tilefishes are to be received. The vessel must land within 1 hour after the time given in the landing notification except as provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(C) of this section. The vessel landing groupers or tilefishes must have sufficient IFQ allocation in the IFQ vessel account, or its linked IFQ shareholder 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 PO 00000 Frm 00134 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 trip) at the time of the advance notice of landing. (B) Submitting an advanced landing notification. Authorized methods for contacting NMFS and submitting the report include calling IFQ Customer Service at 1–866–425–7627, completing and submitting to NMFS a landing notification provided through the VMS unit, or providing the required information to NMFS through the webbased form available on the IFQ Web site at ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov. (C) Landing prior to the notification time. The owner or operator of a vessel that has completed a landing notification and submitted it to NMFS may land prior to the notification time, only if an authorized officer is present at the landing site, is available to meet the vessel, and has authorized the owner or operator of the vessel to land early. (D) Changes to a landing notification. The owner or operator of a vessel who has submitted a landing notification to NMFS may make changes to the notification by submitting a superseding notification. If the initial superseding notification makes changes to one or more of the following: the time of landing (if landing more than 1 hour after the time on the notification), the dealer(s), or the estimated weights of fish to be landed, the vessel does not need to wait an additional 3 hours to land. If the initial superseding notification makes changes to the landing location, the time of landing is earlier than previously specified, or more than one superseding notification is submitted on a trip, the vessel must wait an additional 3 hours to land, except as provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(C) of this section. (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, unless an authorized officer is present at the offloading at 6 p.m., is available to remain at the site while offloading continues, and authorizes the owner or operator of the vessel to continue offloading after 6 p.m. * * * * * (iv) Requirement for transaction approval code. If IFQ groupers or tilefishes are offloaded to a vehicle for transport or are on a vessel that is trailered for transport, 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 E:\FR\FM\26SER1.SGM 26SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 187 / Friday, September 26, 2014 / Rules and Regulations 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. A dealer may only receive IFQ groupers and tilefishes transported by a vehicle or a trailered vessel that has a corresponding transaction approval code. (v) Approved landing locations. IFQ groupers and tilefishes must be landed at an approved landing location. Landing locations must be approved by NMFS Office for Law Enforcement prior to a vessel landing IFQ groupers or tilefishes at these sites. * * * * * * * * PART 622—[AMENDED] 4. In part 622, revise ‘‘IFQ online account’’ to read ‘‘IFQ account’’ wherever it occurs. ■ 5. In part 622, revise ‘‘IFQ Online Account’’ to read ‘‘IFQ account’’ wherever it occurs. ■ 6. In part 622, revise ‘‘ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov’’ to read ‘‘ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov’’ wherever it occurs. ■ [FR Doc. 2014–22998 Filed 9–25–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carly Bari, Fishery Management Specialist, 978–281–9224. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Regulations governing the bluefish fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from Florida through Maine. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state are described in § 648.162. The final rule implementing Amendment 1 to the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2000 (65 FR 45844), provided a mechanism for bluefish quota to be transferred from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), can transfer or combine bluefish commercial quota under § 648.162(e). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the criteria in § 648.162(e)(1) in the evaluation of requests for quota transfers or combinations. Maine has agreed to transfer 45,000 lb (20,412 kg) of its 2014 commercial quota to Massachusetts. This transfer was prompted by the diligent efforts of state officials in Massachusetts not to exceed the commercial bluefish quota. The Regional Administrator has determined that the criteria set forth in § 648.162(e)(1) have been met. The revised bluefish quotas for calendar year 2014 are: Maine, 4,861 lb (2,205 kg); and Massachusetts, 545,970 lb (247,648 kg). 50 CFR Part 648 Classification [Docket No. 140214138–4482–02] This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. RIN 0648–XD511 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; quota transfer. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES AGENCY: Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2014–23057 Filed 9–24–14; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P NMFS announces that the State of Maine is transferring a portion of its 2014 commercial bluefish quota to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. By this action, NMFS adjusts the quotas and announces the revised commercial quota for each state involved. DATES: Effective September 24, 2014, through December 31, 2014. SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:52 Sep 25, 2014 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00135 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 57837 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 130925836–4174–02] RIN 0648–0648–XD519 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Temporary rule; closure. AGENCY: NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for pollock in Statistical Area 630 in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the C season allowance of the 2014 total allowable catch of pollock for Statistical Area 630 in the GOA. DATES: Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), September 23, 2014, through 1200 hrs, A.l.t., October 1, 2014. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Josh Keaton, 907–586–7228. NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679. The C season allowance of the 2014 total allowable catch (TAC) of pollock in Statistical Area 630 of the GOA is 13,720 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (79 FR 12890, March 6, 2014). In accordance with § 679.20(a)(5)(iv)(B), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), hereby decreases the C season pollock allowance by 1,788 mt to reflect the total overharvest of the B season allowance in Statistical Area 630. Therefore, the revised C season allowance of the pollock TAC in Statistical Area 630 is 11,933 mt (13,720 mt minus 1,788 mt). In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Regional Administrator has determined that the C season allowance of the 2014 TAC of pollock in Statistical SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\26SER1.SGM 26SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 187 (Friday, September 26, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57830-57837]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-22998]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 622

[Docket No. 130606533-4646-02]
RIN 0648-BD36


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.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: NMFS issues this final rule 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. This final rule specifies procedures for closing an IFQ account 
and modifies requirements for IFQ landing transactions, landing 
notifications, and offloading. The purpose of this final rule is to 
enhance the monitoring, enforcement, and review of the IFQ programs as 
specified in Amendments 26 and 29 to the FMP.

DATES: This rule is effective October 27, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of Amendments 26 and 29, which each 
include a final environmental impact statement (FEIS), a regulatory 
impact review (RIR), and a regulatory flexibility act analysis may be 
obtained from the Council's Web site at http://www.gulfcouncil.org/
fisherymanagementplans/
reeffishmanagementarchives.php.
    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 the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB), by email at OIRA 
Submission@omb.eop.gov, or by fax to 202-395-7285.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Hayslip, telephone 727-824-
5305, email Catherine.Hayslip@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.
    On March 19, 2014, NMFS published a proposed rule for these actions 
and requested public comment (79 FR 15287). The proposed rule outlined 
the rationale for the actions contained in this final rule and are not 
repeated here. This final rule specifies procedures for closing an IFQ 
account and modifies requirements for IFQ landing transactions, landing 
notifications, and offloading. The purpose of this rule is to enhance 
the monitoring, enforcement, and review of the IFQ programs as 
specified in Amendments 26 and 29 to the Reef Fish FMP.

Comments and Responses

    NMFS received comments from 20 individuals or groups during the 
comment period. Several comments were outside the scope of the current 
rulemaking, including a request for a standard set of guidelines for 
all IFQ users, a dedicated after-hours support phone line, and the 
addition of a ``use it or lose it'' provision, i.e., if shares or 
allocations are not being used, they will be redistributed to the 
remaining shareholders. The Council is considering possible long-term 
changes to the programs in future amendments, which may include these 
provisions. Comments related to the actions contained in the proposed 
rule as well as NMFS' responses are summarized below.

[[Page 57831]]

Landing Notifications

    Comment 1: Several commenters supported allowing IFQ allocation to 
be held in either the vessel account or the linked shareholder account 
at the time of the landing notification.
    Response: Requiring allocation to be held in either a shareholder 
or vessel account at the time of the landing notification will provide 
increased flexibility to fishers. Currently, sufficient allocation must 
be in the vessel account at the time of the landing notification. This 
modification would allow allocation to also be in the shareholder 
account in the event that sufficient allocation has not been 
transferred to the vessel account at the time of landing notification. 
This change will provide greater flexibility to program participants 
and result in less landing notifications having insufficient allocation 
without impacting enforceability. Before completing a landing 
transaction sufficient allocation would need to be transferred to the 
vessel account to allow the dealer to complete the landing transaction.
    Comment 2: Several commenters supported the provision to extend the 
landing notification reporting window from 12 to 24 hours.
    Response: The provision to extend the reporting window for landing 
notifications from 12 to 24 hours will provide vessel owners and 
operators greater flexibility, while providing sufficient notice to law 
enforcement. Fishers, especially those making day-trips, will have a 
greater window of time to provide landing notifications, increasing 
their flexibility under the program.
    Comment 3: In general, commenters opposed a 30-minute landing 
window in favor of a greater window of time after the landing time 
specified in the notification. Commenters indicated that 30 minutes 
would not be sufficient time to allow for changes in weather, vessel 
speed, tides, and mechanical issues. Though several commenters 
indicated greater than 1 hour would be preferable for the landing 
window, the majority of commenters indicated that a 1-hour landing 
window would be sufficient.
    Response: NMFS asked for comments on whether 30 minutes would be a 
sufficient amount of time for landing and, if not, whether an hour 
would be preferable. NMFS agrees with the majority of commenters that 1 
hour is the preferable landing window, allowing for changes in arrival 
time while still aiding law enforcement by limiting the time an officer 
needs to wait at the dock. Therefore, NMFS has modified the final rule 
to allow a 1-hour landing window. NMFS understands that there may be 
circumstances that delay a vessel more than 1 hour after the arrival 
time indicated on the notification; however, NMFS has determined that a 
longer window would unreasonably interfere with enforcement activities 
because it could result in law enforcement officers waiting at the 
landing location for extended periods of time. If a vessel cannot land 
within 1 hour after the time reported on the landing notification, this 
rule requires that the vessel submit a new notification, but would 
allow the vessel to land without having to wait an additional three 
hours except under the limited circumstances specified in Sec.  
622.21(b)(5)(i)(C) and 622.22(b)(5)(i)(C) (the change is to landing 
location, the time of landing is earlier than previously specified, or 
more than one superseding notification is submitted on a trip).
    Comment 4: Several commenters favored the proposed procedures for 
making changes to landing notifications, but did not support the 
requirement that vessels wait an additional 3 hours before landing if 
more than one ``amended'' notification is submitted. These commenters 
stated that this extra delay would be onerous. Two commenters suggested 
that if too many amendments were being reported, the requirement should 
be reconsidered in future rulemaking.
    Response: NMFS disagrees that vessels should be allowed to make 
more than one change to a landing notification without having to wait 
an additional 3 hours to land. The final rule clarifies that a vessel 
that has submitted a landing notification to NMFS may make changes to 
the notification by submitting a superseding notification. When 
submitting an initial superseding notification, a vessel is not 
required to wait an additional 3 hours to land if the change is to the 
dealer or the amount of pounds onboard, or the landing time is changed 
to be later than previously specified. However, a vessel is required to 
wait a minimum of 3 hours to land if the initial superseding 
notification changes the intended landing location or the time of 
landing is earlier than originally specified. Additionally, if a vessel 
makes more than one superseding notification, that vessel must wait a 
minimum of 3 hours to land regardless of the change. Allowing vessels 
to make multiple superseding notifications without requiring that they 
wait an additional 3 hours to land could complicate law enforcement. If 
vessels continually change the information submitted in the landing 
notification, law enforcement may not have sufficient time to react to 
the changes. Thus, this rule provides greater flexibility than 
previously existed but balances that flexibility with the need to 
ensure effective law enforcement.
    Comment 5: One commenter suggested that if a vessel is making a 
change to a landing notification, the new landing notification must be 
made within 2 hours of the first notification.
    Response: NMFS disagrees. Requiring that a change to a landing 
notification be made within the 2 hours of the first notification is 
overly restrictive and could be a burden to fishers, especially those 
who submit a landing notification well in advance of the time of 
landing.
    Comment 6: One commenter stated that the landing notification 
should be on an electronically-editable form so changes can be 
submitted without submitting a new notification.
    Response: NMFS understands that it would be more efficient to have 
an editable form that could be updated. However, the IFQ database and 
VMS forms do not provide a mechanism for allowing changes directly to a 
notification that was already submitted. Thus, NMFS determined that a 
new notification must be submitted.
    Comment 7: Commenters were in favor of allowing vessels to land 
prior to the time indicated in a landing notification if an authorized 
law enforcement officer is present at the landing site and authorizes 
the owner or operator of the vessel to land early. However, some 
commenters requested the ability to land prior to the time on the 
notice if an officer has authorized the landing (by giving an 
authorization code, for example), but is not present. One commenter 
questioned which law enforcement officers would be authorized to allow 
a vessel to land early.
    Response: Currently, the owner or operator of a vessel landing IFQ 
species is responsible for ensuring that NMFS is contacted at least 3 
hours prior to landing. To provide vessel owners and operators 
additional flexibility, NMFS proposed adding language to the 
regulations stating that a law enforcement officer who is present at 
the landing site may authorize a vessel to land prior to the time 
specified on the landing notification. In this final rule, NMFS is 
adding language to the codified text that specifies that the officer 
must also be available to meet the vessel. This is intended to clarify 
that although an officer may be at the landing site, that officer will 
not necessarily be able to grant a request to land early. NMFS is not 
changing the codified text to allow a vessel to land

[[Page 57832]]

early if authorized by a law enforcement officer who is not at the 
landing site. Doing so would not serve the purpose of the regulation, 
which is to enhance enforcement. In response to the comment asking for 
clarification about which law enforcement officers would be authorized 
to allow a vessel to land early, NMFS is changing the codified text to 
refer to an ``authorized officer'' instead of a ``state or Federal law 
enforcement officer.'' ``Authorized officer'' is defined in 50 CFR 
600.10 as ``(1) Any commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the 
USCG; (2) Any special agent or fishery enforcement officer of NMFS; (3) 
Any officer designated by the head of any Federal or state agency that 
has entered into an agreement with the Secretary and the Commandant of 
the USCG to enforce the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act or any 
other statute administered by NOAA; or (4) Any USCG personnel 
accompanying and acting under the direction of any person described in 
paragraph (1) of this definition.''

Offloading

    Comment 8: Several commenters supported extending the offloading 
window after 6 p.m. if a law enforcement officer is present and 
authorizes the offload to continue. Additionally, several commenters 
supported extending the offloading window until 8 p.m., regardless of 
whether law enforcement is present.
    Response: NMFS proposed language that would allow a law enforcement 
officer to extend the offloading window to provide dealers and vessel 
owners/operators additional flexibility when offloading fish. As with 
the provision allowing a vessel to land early if authorized, NMFS is 
adding language to the codified text in this final rule that specifies 
that an ``authorized officer'' must be available to remain at the 
offloading site if a vessel owner/operator would like to continue 
offloading after 6 p.m. This is intended to clarify that although an 
officer may be at the offload site, that officer will not necessarily 
be able to grant a request to extend the offloading window. NMFS 
considered extending the offloading window until 8 p.m., but decided 
that the window should remain from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., because most 
dealers in the IFQ program close by 6 p.m.
    Comment 9: Comments were received supporting a 72-hour offloading 
timeframe, a 96-hour offloading timeframe, and requesting the removal 
of language that would require an offloading timeframe. Commenters in 
favor of a 72-hour offloading timeframe indicated that 72 hours would 
be a sufficient amount of time to complete offloading a vessel. 
Commenters in favor of a 96-hour timeframe for completing an offload 
indicated this would provide some flexibility during holiday weekends, 
market gluts, emergencies, and ice machine or cooler issues. For the 
same reasons, some commenters opposed an offloading window all 
together. Additionally, one commenter suggested that the offloading 
timeframe should be from the arrival time indicated on the most recent 
landing notification, as there is no offloading notification.
    Response: After further consideration NMFS has determined that it 
is not necessary to expressly require a timeframe for completing 
offload. NMFS proposed the offloading timeframe because NMFS is 
concerned that landing transactions are not being completed in a timely 
manner after a fishing trip ends, and that delay could impact the 
ability to track landings of IFQ species. NMFS has determined that the 
more direct way to address this issue is to specify a timeframe for 
completing the landing transaction. And because there is no offloading 
notification, NMFS agrees with the commenter that the timeframe should 
begin from the landing time indicated on the recent landing 
notification. Thus, this rule will require that the landing transaction 
be completed on the day of offload (unless the fish are being trailered 
for transport to a dealer, in which case the landing transaction report 
may be completed prior to the day of offload) and within 96 hours of 
the time indicated on the most recent landings notification. NMFS 
determined that allowing 96 hours to complete the landing transaction 
will give fishermen increased flexibility on when to offload, but will 
also ensure that landing transactions are completed in a timely manner 
after a fishing trip ends, which will help NMFS more accurately track 
landings of IFQ species.

Landing Transactions

    Comment 10: Comments were received both in favor of and against 
prohibiting deduction of ice and water weight when a landing 
transaction is reported. Commenters in favor of prohibiting deduction 
of ice and water weight stated that doing so would standardize how 
landing transactions are processed for all fishers and dealers. Some 
commenters who opposed prohibiting the deduction of ice and water 
weight stated this prohibition would affect the initial share 
calculation, which determined how shares were distributed to 
shareholders. Many commenters who opposed prohibiting the deduction of 
ice and water weight suggested that a standard percentage for an ice 
and water weight deduction be applied Gulf-wide. One commenter felt ice 
and water weight should be allowed to be deducted from the recorded 
weight, if accurately measured using a scale.
    Response: NMFS agrees that how weights are recorded in the IFQ 
online system should be standardized across dealers in the Gulf. 
However, NMFS disagrees that this can be accomplished by developing a 
standard deduction for ice and water weight that can be applied Gulf-
wide. As explained in the proposed rule, NMFS considered specifying a 
standardized deduction percentage for ice and water weight. However, 
NMFS determined that this would be impracticable to estimate, and would 
need to be species specific due to varying industry practices for icing 
fish, differences in trip durations that may affect how much water and 
ice retention occurs, varying dealer practices for removing ice from 
fish prior to weighing, and varying fish sizes and body shapes. Thus, 
in order to standardize the method for reporting weights, NMFS proposed 
prohibiting the deduction of ice and water weight when reporting the 
weight of the fish. This proposal would not have changed the initial 
shares distributed to shareholders, because the initial allocation of 
shares was based on reported historical landings. However, as noted by 
one commenter, this general prohibition would not allow for the 
deduction of ice and water weight if that actual weight was determined 
using a scale. NMFS agrees that in those situations where the actual 
weight of the ice and water can be determined using a scale, that 
weight should not be included when reporting the weight of the fish. 
Therefore NMFS is modifying the language to prohibit the deduction of 
ice and water weight unless the actual weight of ice and water is 
determined using a scale. This change will address the problems 
associated with different dealers applying different arbitrary 
deductions for ice and water weight, but will still allow the deduction 
of the actual weight of ice and water when that weight can be 
determined.
    Comment 11: Several commenters supported the proposed change to 
require a dealer to complete a landing transaction for IFQ species on 
the day of offload. Two commenters indicated that they preferred 24 
hours to enter the landing transaction after the offload. One commenter 
did not provide a timeframe, but indicated that they typically do not 
enter landing

[[Page 57833]]

transactions for up to a week after fish have already been sold in 
order to accurately report ex-vessel prices. One commenter also 
mentioned that landing transactions are often entered the day before 
offloading, as they receive a confirmation number and have to transport 
the fish to be offloaded at a different site on a later date.
    Response: NMFS understands that there are circumstances when a 
landing transaction may not occur on the same day as the vessel 
landing; however, NMFS agrees with the commenters that support the 
requirement to enter the landing transaction on the same day as the 
offload. NMFS is not increasing the time to complete a landing 
transaction to 24 hours after the offloading, because this could allow 
fish to be transported or sold before they are recorded in the system, 
which would result in less accurate tracking of landings. As explained 
in the response to Comment 9, this rule will require the dealer to 
complete the landing transaction on the day of offload (with one 
exception noted below) and within 96 hours of the landing time 
indicated on the most recent landing notification. As one commenter 
noted, there are times when the landing transaction is completed at the 
landing location, and fish remain on a vessel that is trailered for 
transport to a dealer. In this instance, the offloading occurs after 
the day of the landing transaction because the transaction and an 
approval code are required before the fish can be transported. Thus, 
this rule will allow dealers to enter the landing transaction prior to 
the day of offload if fish are being trailered for transport as 
specified in Sec.  622.21(b)(5)(iv) or 622.22(b)(5)(iv).
    Comment 12: Several commenters supported removing the language that 
a landing transaction cannot be completed without a pre-landing 
notification, as it would provide flexibility for fishers in the event 
VMS notifications were not received.
    Response: NMFS agrees that this language should be removed to 
provide flexibility during the occasions when system outages occur. 
Occasionally, system outages cause delayed submission of landing 
notifications, by no fault of the fisher submitting the notification. 
Removing this language will allow fishers the ability to complete the 
landing transaction, despite not having a confirmation number for a 
pre-landing notification.

Close an IFQ Account

    Comment 13: Commenters were generally in favor of allowing NMFS IFQ 
Customer Service staff to close an IFQ account if no landing 
transactions or IFQ transfers have been completed by the IFQ account 
holder in at least 1 year, and the account holds no shares or 
allocation, and for dealer accounts without unpaid cost recovery fees. 
However, one commenter stated that an account should not be closed 
unless there has been no activity for at least 2 years, to account for 
illness or vessel failure.
    Response: NMFS disagrees that there should be a minimum of 2 years 
of inactivity before IFQ Customer Service Staff could close an IFQ 
account. Closing accounts will reduce the number of records NMFS needs 
to maintain, and an account could be reopened at the request of the IFQ 
account holder at any time. Thus, there is no need to keep accounts 
open for 2 years to address prolonged illnesses or vessel failures.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

    NMFS is revising several of the provisions from the proposed rule 
in this final rule based on public comment received during the proposed 
rule comment period and public input received during the April 2014 
Council meeting. These revisions are explained below.

Landing Notifications

    In the proposed rule, NMFS specifically requested public comment on 
the proposal to land within 30 minutes after the time given in the 
landing notification, or whether 1 hour would be preferable. During its 
August 2013 meeting, the Council discussed extending the landing window 
from 30 minutes to 1 hour based on public comments received. During the 
November 2013 Red Snapper IFQ ad hoc Advisory Panel meeting, the 
Advisory Panel discussed and recommended that the landing window be 
extended from 30 minutes to 1 hour. Based on this feedback, as well as 
on public comment received on the proposed rule and public input 
received at the April 2014 Council meeting, NMFS has determined that it 
is preferable to require vessels to land within 1 hour after the time 
given in the landing notification. This will give IFQ vessels 
additional flexibility to account for weather, vessel speeds, tides, 
and mechanical issues but still ensure law enforcement that vessels 
will land within a reasonable window of time. Therefore, this final 
rule implements the requirement to land within 1 hour from the time 
given on the landing notification.
    The proposed rule included codified text that would allow a vessel 
to land prior to the time indicated on its landing notification if a 
state or Federal law enforcement officer is present at the landing site 
and authorizes the owner or operator of the vessel to land early. In 
this final rule, NMFS is adding language to the codified text that 
specifies that the officer must also be available to meet the vessel. 
This is intended to clarify that although an officer may be at the 
landing site, that officer will not necessarily be able to grant a 
request to land early. In addition, NMFS is changing the codified text 
to refer to an ``authorized officer'' instead of a ``state or Federal 
law enforcement officer.'' Because ``authorized officer'' is defined 50 
CFR 600.10 this change will clarify which officers may grant a request 
to land early.

Offloading

    The proposed rule included codified text that would authorize 
offloads beginning before 6 p.m. to continue after 6 p.m. if a state or 
Federal law enforcement officer is present and authorizes the offload 
to continue. In this final rule, NMFS is adding language to the 
codified text that specifies that the officer must also be available to 
remain at the offloading site while offloading continues. This is 
intended to clarify that although an authorize officer may be at the 
offloading site, that officer may not necessarily grant a request to 
extend the offloading window. As noted above, NMFS is also changing the 
codified text to refer to an ``authorized officer'' instead of a 
``state or Federal law enforcement officer.''

Landing Transactions

    This rule would prohibit the arbitrary deduction of ice and water 
weight from the weight of the fish when reporting an IFQ landing 
transaction. The proposed rule included a provision to ``include ice 
and water weight'' when calculating the weight of IFQ species during a 
landing transaction. However, in response to comments, this final rule 
slightly revises the language from the proposed regulations to address 
circumstances when the actual weight of ice and water can be 
determined. The new language provides that ``when calculating the 
weight of IFQ species during a landing transaction, ice and water 
weight may not be deducted from the weight of the fish unless the 
actual weight of the ice and water are determined with a scale.'' This 
will address the problems associated with different dealers applying 
different arbitrary deductions for ice and water weight, but still 
allow the deduction of the actual weight of ice and water when that 
weight can be determined.

[[Page 57834]]

    The proposed rule included the requirement for a dealer to complete 
a landing transaction for IFQ species on the day of offload. This was 
proposed to improve the timeliness and accuracy of landing 
transactions. The proposed rule also included a 72-hour timeframe for 
offloading IFQ species after landing. However, as explained in the 
response to Comment 9, NMFS has determined that to address the 
timeliness and accuracy of landing transactions it is more appropriate 
to require a timeframe for completing the landing transaction, as 
opposed to a timeframe for completing an offload. NMFS also determined, 
based on public comment, that this timeframe should be 96 hours. Thus, 
this final rule requires completion of a landing transaction within 96 
hours after landing and on the same day as the offload, except if the 
fish are being trailered for transport to a dealer as specified in 
Sec.  622.21(b)(5)(iv) and Sec.  622.22(b)(5)(iv) (in which case the 
landing transaction report may be completed prior to the day of 
offload).

Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined 
that this final rule is consistent with Amendments 26 and 29, the FMP, 
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. Comments on the proposed rule 
are addressed in the comments and responses section of this final rule, 
and the changes to the final rule are discussed in the changes from the 
proposed rule section of this final rule. The changes are expected to 
increase the operational flexibility of the Gulf IFQ program 
participants and improve the monitoring and administration of the 
programs compared to the actions in the proposed rule. These changes, 
therefore, support a determination that this rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis was not required 
and none was prepared.
    The Small Business Administration (SBA) revised its small business 
standards for several industries in a final rule effective July 14, 
2014 (79 FR 33647, June 12, 2014). The rule increased the size standard 
for Finfish Fishing from $19.0 million to $20.5 million, Shellfish 
Fishing from $5.0 million to $5.5 million, and Other Marine Fishing 
from $7.0 million to $7.5 million. Because NMFS has determined that all 
entities directly affected by this action are small entities, the new 
SBA standards would not change the number of directly affected small 
entities. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the new size standards do 
not affect its decision to certify this action.
    This final rule contains a collection-of-information requirement 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Action (PRA), which has been 
approved by OMB under control number 0648-0551. NMFS estimates the 
requirement for an IFQ shareholder or dealer to complete and submit a 
Close IFQ Account Request Form to close an IFQ account if the IFQ 
account holder no longer fishes commercially, no longer owns any IFQ 
shares or allocation, or no longer wishes to participate as a dealer is 
estimated to average 2 minutes per response. 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.
    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 PRA, unless that collection-of-information displays a currently 
valid OMB control number.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Fisheries, Fishing, Enforcement, Grouper, Gulf, IFQ, Red Snapper, 
Tilefish.

    Dated: September 22, 2014.
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 amended 
as follows:

PART 622--FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, 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.  622.21:
0
a. Paragraph (a)(5) is revised;
0
b. Paragraph (a)(6) is removed;
0
c. The 9th sentence in paragraph (b)(1) is revised and a sentence is 
added between the 9th and 10th sentences in paragraph (b)(1);
0
d. Paragraph (b)(3)(i) is revised;
0
e. Paragraph (b)(3)(iii) is revised;
0
f. Paragraphs (b)(5)(i), (ii) and (iv) are revised;
0
g. The first sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v) is revised and a sentence 
is added before the first sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v).
    The revisions and addition read as follows:


Sec.  622.21  Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf red 
snapper.

    (a) * * *
    (5) Closing an IFQ account. IFQ account holders may close an IFQ 
account by completing and submitting a Close IFQ Account Request Form 
to NMFS. This form must be signed by an account holder named on the IFQ 
account. If the request to close an IFQ account is being made because 
the sole account holder is deceased, the person requesting the closure 
must sign the Close IFQ Account Request Form, indicating the 
relationship to the deceased, provide a death certificate, and provide 
any additional information NMFS determines is necessary to complete the 
request. IFQ shareholder accounts may not be closed until all shares 
and allocation have been transferred from the account to another IFQ 
account holder. Dealer accounts may not be closed until all cost 
recovery fees have been received by NMFS. NMFS' IFQ Customer Service 
staff may close an IFQ account if all shares and allocation have been 
transferred from the account, all cost recovery fees have been received 
by NMFS, and no landing transactions or IFQ transfers have been 
completed by the IFQ account holder in at least 1 year. If an account 
is closed by NMFS' IFQ Customer Service staff, it may be reopened at 
the request of the IFQ account holder by contacting IFQ Customer 
Service.
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * * A vessel account, or its linked IFQ shareholder account, 
must hold sufficient IFQ allocation, at least equal to the pounds in 
gutted weight of the red snapper on board at the time of advance notice 
of landing. Allocation must be transferred to the vessel account, so 
that the vessel account holds sufficient IFQ allocation at the time of 
the landing transaction (except for any overage allowed as specified in 
paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section). * * *
* * * * *
    (3) * * *

[[Page 57835]]

    (i) At the time of advance notice of landing, the IFQ vessel 
account, or its linked IFQ shareholder account, must contain allocation 
at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of red snapper to be 
landed, except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. At 
the time of the landing transaction, the IFQ vessel account must 
contain allocation at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of red 
snapper to be landed, except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of 
this section. Such red snapper must be sold and can be received only by 
a dealer who has a valid Gulf IFQ dealer endorsement and an active IFQ 
dealer account (i.e., not in delinquent status). All IFQ landings and 
their actual ex-vessel prices must be reported via the IFQ Web site at 
ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov.
* * * * *
    (iii) The dealer must complete a landing transaction report for 
each landing of Gulf red snapper via the IFQ Web site at 
ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov on the day of offload, except if the fish 
are being trailered for transport to a dealer as specified in paragraph 
(b)(5)(iv) of this section (in which case the landing transaction 
report may be completed prior to the day of offload), and within 96 
hours from the time of landing reported on the most recent landing 
notification, in accordance with the reporting form(s) and instructions 
provided on the Web site. This report includes date, time, and location 
of transaction; weight and actual ex-vessel price of red snapper landed 
and sold (when calculating the weight of IFQ red snapper during a 
landing transaction, ice and water weight may not be deducted from the 
weight of the fish unless the actual weight of the ice and water can be 
determined); 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 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.
* * * * *
    (5) * * *
    (i) Advance notice of landing--(A) General requirement. 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 24 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(s) where the red snapper are to be received. The vessel must 
land within 1 hour after the time given in the landing notification 
except as provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(C) of this section. The 
vessel landing red snapper must have sufficient IFQ allocation in the 
IFQ vessel account, or its linked IFQ shareholder account, at least 
equal to the pounds in gutted weight of all red snapper on board 
(except for any overage up to the 10 percent allowed on the last 
fishing trip) at the time of the advance notice of landing.
    (B) Submitting an advanced landing notification. Authorized methods 
for contacting NMFS and submitting the report include calling IFQ 
Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, completing and submitting to NMFS a 
landing notification provided through the VMS unit, or providing the 
required information to NMFS through the web-based form available on 
the IFQ Web site at ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov.
    (C) Landing prior to the notification time. The owner or operator 
of a vessel that has completed a landing notification and submitted it 
to NMFS may land prior to the notification time, only if an authorized 
officer is present at the landing site, is available to meet the 
vessel, and has authorized the owner or operator of the vessel to land 
early.
    (D) Changes to a landing notification. The owner or operator of a 
vessel who has submitted a landing notification to NMFS may make 
changes to the notification by submitting a superseding notification. 
If the initial superseding notification makes changes to one or more of 
the following: the time of landing (if landing more than 1 hour after 
the time on the notification), the dealer(s), or the estimated weights 
of fish to be landed, the vessel does not need to wait an additional 3 
hours to land. If the initial superseding notification makes changes to 
the landing location, the time of landing is earlier than previously 
specified, or more than one superseding notification is submitted on a 
trip, the vessel must wait an additional 3 hours to land, except as 
provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(C) of this section.
    (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, unless an authorized officer is present at the offloading at 6 
p.m., is available to remain at the site while offloading continues, 
and authorizes the owner or operator of the vessel to continue 
offloading after 6 p.m., local time.
* * * * *
    (iv) Requirement for transaction approval code. If IFQ red snapper 
are offloaded to a vehicle for transport or are on a vessel that is 
trailered for transport, 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. A dealer may only receive IFQ red 
snapper transported by a vehicle or a trailered vessel that has a 
corresponding transaction approval code.
    (v) Approved landing locations. IFQ red snapper must be landed at 
an approved landing location. Landing locations must be approved by 
NMFS Office for Law Enforcement prior to a vessel landing IFQ red 
snapper at these sites. * * *
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  622.22;
0
a. Paragraph (a)(8) is added;
0
b. The 9th sentence in paragraph (b)(1) is revised and a sentence is 
added between the 9th and 10th sentences in paragraph (b)(1);
0
c. Paragraph (b)(3)(i) is revised;
0
d. Paragraph (b)(3)(iii) is revised;
0
e. Paragraphs (b)(5)(i), (ii) and (iv) are revised; and
0
f. The first sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v) is revised and a sentence 
is added before the first sentence in paragraph (b)(5)(v).
    The additions and revisions read as follows:


Sec.  622.22  Individual fishing quota (IFQ) program for Gulf groupers 
and tilefishes.

    (a) * * *
    (8) Closing an IFQ account. IFQ account holders may close an IFQ 
account by completing and submitting a Close IFQ Account Request Form 
to NMFS. This form must be signed by an account holder named on the IFQ 
account. If the request to close an IFQ account is being made because 
the sole account holder is deceased, the person

[[Page 57836]]

requesting the closure must sign the Close IFQ Account Request Form, 
indicating the relationship to the deceased, provide a death 
certificate, and provide any additional information NMFS determines is 
necessary to complete the request. IFQ shareholder accounts may not be 
closed until all shares and allocation have been transferred from the 
account to another IFQ account holder. Dealer accounts may not be 
closed until all cost recovery fees have been received by NMFS. NMFS' 
IFQ Customer Service staff may close an IFQ account if all shares and 
allocation have been transferred from the account, all cost recovery 
fees have been received by NMFS, and no landing transactions or IFQ 
transfers have been completed by the IFQ account holder in at least 1 
year. If an account is closed by NMFS' IFQ Customer Service staff, it 
may be reopened at the request of the IFQ account holder by contacting 
IFQ Customer Service.
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * * A vessel account, or its linked IFQ shareholder account, 
must hold sufficient IFQ allocation in the appropriate share category, 
at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of the groupers and 
tilefishes on board at the time of advance notice of landing. 
Allocation must be transferred to the vessel account, so that the 
vessel account holds sufficient IFQ allocation at the time of the 
landing transaction (except for any overage allowed as specified in 
paragraph (b)(3)(ii) for groupers and tilefishes). * * *
* * * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) At the time of advance notice of landing, the IFQ vessel 
account, or its linked IFQ shareholder account, must contain allocation 
at least equal to the pounds in gutted weight of grouper or tilefish 
species to be landed, except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of 
this section. At the time of the landing transaction, the IFQ vessel 
account must contain allocation at least equal to the pounds in gutted 
weight of grouper or tilefish species to be landed, except as provided 
in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. Such groupers and tilefishes 
must be sold and can be received only by a dealer who has a valid Gulf 
IFQ dealer endorsement and an active IFQ dealer account (i.e., not in 
delinquent status). All IFQ landings and their actual ex-vessel prices 
must be reported via the IFQ Web site at ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov.
* * * * *
    (iii) The dealer must complete a landing transaction report for 
each landing of Gulf groupers or tilefishes via the IFQ Web site at 
ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov on the day of offload, except if the fish 
are being trailered for transport to a dealer as specified in paragraph 
(b)(5)(iv) of this section (in which case the landing transaction 
report may be completed prior to the day of offload), and within 96 
hours from the time of landing reported on the most recent landing 
notification, in accordance with the reporting form(s) and instructions 
provided on the Web site. This report includes date, time, and location 
of transaction; weight and actual ex-vessel price of groupers and 
tilefishes landed and sold (when calculating the weight of IFQ groupers 
and tilefishes during a landing transaction, ice and water weight may 
not be deducted from the weight of the fish unless the actual weight of 
the ice and water can be determined); 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 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.
* * * * *
    (5) * * *
    (i) Advance notice of landing--(A) General requirement. 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 24 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(s) where the groupers or 
tilefishes are to be received. The vessel must land within 1 hour after 
the time given in the landing notification except as provided in 
paragraph (b)(5)(i)(C) of this section. The vessel landing groupers or 
tilefishes must have sufficient IFQ allocation in the IFQ vessel 
account, or its linked IFQ shareholder 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) at the time of 
the advance notice of landing.
    (B) Submitting an advanced landing notification. Authorized methods 
for contacting NMFS and submitting the report include calling IFQ 
Customer Service at 1-866-425-7627, completing and submitting to NMFS a 
landing notification provided through the VMS unit, or providing the 
required information to NMFS through the web-based form available on 
the IFQ Web site at ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov.
    (C) Landing prior to the notification time. The owner or operator 
of a vessel that has completed a landing notification and submitted it 
to NMFS may land prior to the notification time, only if an authorized 
officer is present at the landing site, is available to meet the 
vessel, and has authorized the owner or operator of the vessel to land 
early.
    (D) Changes to a landing notification. The owner or operator of a 
vessel who has submitted a landing notification to NMFS may make 
changes to the notification by submitting a superseding notification. 
If the initial superseding notification makes changes to one or more of 
the following: the time of landing (if landing more than 1 hour after 
the time on the notification), the dealer(s), or the estimated weights 
of fish to be landed, the vessel does not need to wait an additional 3 
hours to land. If the initial superseding notification makes changes to 
the landing location, the time of landing is earlier than previously 
specified, or more than one superseding notification is submitted on a 
trip, the vessel must wait an additional 3 hours to land, except as 
provided in paragraph (b)(5)(i)(C) of this section.
    (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, unless an authorized officer is present at 
the offloading at 6 p.m., is available to remain at the site while 
offloading continues, and authorizes the owner or operator of the 
vessel to continue offloading after 6 p.m.
* * * * *
    (iv) Requirement for transaction approval code. If IFQ groupers or 
tilefishes are offloaded to a vehicle for transport or are on a vessel 
that is trailered for transport, 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

[[Page 57837]]

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. A dealer may only receive IFQ groupers and 
tilefishes transported by a vehicle or a trailered vessel that has a 
corresponding transaction approval code.
    (v) Approved landing locations. IFQ groupers and tilefishes must be 
landed at an approved landing location. Landing locations must be 
approved by NMFS Office for Law Enforcement prior to a vessel landing 
IFQ groupers or tilefishes at these sites. * * *
* * * * *

PART 622--[AMENDED]

0
4. In part 622, revise ``IFQ online account'' to read ``IFQ account'' 
wherever it occurs.
0
5. In part 622, revise ``IFQ Online Account'' to read ``IFQ account'' 
wherever it occurs.
0
6. In part 622, revise ``ifq.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov'' to read 
``ifq.sero.fisheries.noaa.gov'' wherever it occurs.
[FR Doc. 2014-22998 Filed 9-25-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P