Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; New Cost Recovery Fee Programs, 935-963 [2014-30841]

Download as PDF Vol. 80 Wednesday, No. 4 January 7, 2015 Part III Department of Commerce asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; New Cost Recovery Fee Programs; Proposed Rule VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4717 Sfmt 4717 E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 936 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 140304192–4999–01] RIN 0648–BE05 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; New Cost Recovery Fee Programs National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS issues a proposed rule to implement cost recovery fee programs for the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) Program for groundfish and halibut, and three limited access privilege programs: The American Fisheries Act (AFA), Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) authorizes and requires the collection of cost recovery fees for the CDQ Program and limited access privilege programs. Cost recovery fees recover the actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the programs. The Magnuson-Stevens Act mandates that cost recovery fees not exceed 3 percent of the annual ex-vessel value of fish harvested by a program subject to a cost recovery fee. This action is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP), and other applicable laws. DATES: Comments must be received no later than February 6, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2014–0031, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20140031, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802–1668. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/ A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only. Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted to NMFS at the above address and by email to OIRA_ Submission@omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 395–5806. Electronic copies of the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) prepared for this action are available from http://www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Palmigiano, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fisheries in the Federal exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) under the FMP. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council prepared the FMP under the authority of the MagnusonStevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Regulations governing U.S. fisheries and implementing this FMP appear at 50 CFR parts 600 and 679. The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and NMFS manage fishing for Pacific halibut through regulations established under the authority of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act). The IPHC promulgates regulations governing the halibut fishery under the Convention between the United States and Canada for the Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the Northern Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea (Convention). The IPHC’s regulations are subject to approval by the Secretary of State with the concurrence of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary). NMFS publishes the IPHC’s regulations as annual PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 management measures pursuant to 50 CFR 300.62. The Halibut Act, at sections 773c (a) and (b), provides the Secretary with general responsibility to carry out the Convention and the Halibut Act. Table of Contents I. Statutory Authority A. Limited Access Privilege Programs B. CDQ Program Provisions C. Maximum Amount and Collection of Cost Recovery Fees D. Applicability of Section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act E. Summary of Relevant Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions F. Existing Cost Recovery Fee Programs, Policies, and Guidance II. Background A. AFA Program B. Aleutian Islands Pollock Program C. Amendment 80 Program D. CDQ Program III. Cost Recovery—General A. Person and Permit Subject to Cost Recovery Fee Liability B. Fee Percentage C. Ex-Vessel Value D. Ex-Vessel Prices E. Information Used to Calculate Ex-Vessel Value 1. Volume and Value Reports 2. IFQ Buyer Report 3. Commercial Operator’s Annual Report (COAR) F. Reimbursable Costs G. Fee Liability Notice and Submission H. Payment Compliance I. Annual Reports IV. The Proposed Action A. Pollock Cost Recovery Fee Programs 1. AFA Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities 2. Aleutian Islands Pollock Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities 3. Cost, Values, and Fee Percentage 4. Calculation of Standard Price Information B. Amendment 80 Cost Recovery Fee Program 1. Amendment 80 Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities 2. Cost, Values, and Fee Percentage 3. Calculation of Standard Price Information C. CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program 1. CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities 2. Cost, Values, and Fee Percentage 3. Calculation of Standard Price Information V. Classification A. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis B. Description of Significant Alternatives Considered C. Additional Alternatives Considered D. Collection-of-Information Requirements I. Statutory Authority The primary statutory authority for this proposed action is section 304(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Section 304(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act specifies that the Secretary is authorized and shall collect a fee to recover the E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of any limited access privilege program and community development quota program that allocates a percentage of the total allowable catch of a fishery to such program. Section 304(d) also specifies that such fee shall not exceed three percent of the ex-vessel value of fish harvested under any such program. A. Limited Access Privilege Programs Relevant to section 304(d)(2)(A)(i), and the specific programs to which this proposed action would apply, section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act defines a ‘‘limited access privilege’’ as including ‘‘an individual fishing quota.’’ Section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act defines ‘‘individual fishing quota’’ as ‘‘a Federal permit under a limited access system to harvest a quantity of fish, expressed by a unit or units representing a percentage of the total allowable catch of a fishery that may be received or held for exclusive use by a person. Such term does not include community development quotas as described in section 305(i).’’ The Magnuson-Stevens Act and Federal regulations further define the terms ‘‘permit,’’ ‘‘limited access system,’’ ‘‘total allowable catch,’’ and ‘‘person.’’ Federal regulations at 50 CFR 679.2 define a ‘‘permit’’ as ‘‘documentation granting permission to fish.’’ Section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act defines ‘‘limited access system’’ as ‘‘a system that limits participation in a fishery to those satisfying certain eligibility criteria or requirements contained in a fishery management plan or associated regulation.’’ Federal regulations at § 679.20 define the process for establishing a ‘‘total allowable catch’’ (TAC) on an annual basis for each groundfish fishery managed under the FMP. Each year, NMFS publishes a final rule to implement an annual harvest specification establishing a TAC amount for each groundfish fishery managed under the FMP. For the most recent example of the annual harvest specifications, see the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014). Each year, the IPHC establishes an annual catch limit that represents the TAC in the commercial halibut fishery pursuant to its authority under the Convention. The annual catch limit is adopted by the IPHC each year, and the Secretary of State of the United States, with the concurrence of the Secretary, can accept annual management measures adopted by the IPHC. If accepted, NMFS publishes the annual management VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 measures adopted by the IPHC pursuant to 50 CFR 300.62. For the most recent example of the annual catch limit, see the 2014 annual management measures (79 FR 13906, March 12, 2014). Section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act defines ‘‘person’’ as ‘‘any individual (whether or not a citizen or national of the United States), any corporation, partnership, association, or other entity (whether or not organized or existing under the laws of any State), and any Federal, State, local, or foreign government or any entity of any such government.’’ These definitions mean that the Secretary is authorized and required to collect a cost recovery fee for fisheries in which the person receiving a permit to harvest a percentage of the TAC is an individual or some other type of nonindividual entity, including a corporation, partnership, or fishery cooperative. Further, these definitions mean that the Secretary is authorized and required to collect a cost recovery fee for limited access systems established under section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, as well as individual fishing quotas that are not established under section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The programs that would be subject to a cost recovery fee under this proposed action were not established under the provisions of section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, but would be subject to a cost recovery fee under the provisions applicable to individual fishing quota programs. Section 304(d)(2)(A) of the MagnusonStevens Act authorizes and requires the Secretary to collect a cost recovery fee for limited access privilege programs. By definition under section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, limited access privilege programs include individual fishing quota programs. By definition under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the AFA Program, Aleutian Islands Pollock Program, and Amendment 80 Program are individual fishing quota programs, because: (1) NMFS issues permits as part of a limited access system established under each of these programs; (2) these permits allow the harvest of a quantity of specific fisheries representing a portion of the TAC of the fisheries managed under each of these programs; and (3) these permits are received or held for exclusive use by specific persons as defined for each of these programs. Therefore, NMFS proposes to implement cost recovery fees for these programs as authorized and required in section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Sections III and IV of this preamble provide additional detail on the specific fisheries subject to PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 937 cost recovery fees, the portions of the TACs allocated as a limited access privilege, the permits issued, and the persons receiving the permits for each of these limited access privilege programs. NMFS also considered implementing a cost recovery fee program, under section 304(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, for the BSAI Pacific cod allocation to the hook-and-line catcher/processors that are part of the Freezer Longline Coalition Cooperative. However, the BSAI Pacific cod allocation to the hookand-line catcher/processors does not currently meet the definition of a limited access privilege program because the Freezer Longline Coalition Cooperative does not have an exclusive harvest privilege. This issue is addressed under the ‘‘Additional Alternatives Considered’’ heading in section V of this preamble. B. CDQ Program Provisions Section 304(d)(2)(ii) of the MagnusonStevens Act provides the Secretary with the authority and requirement to collect fees to recover costs from the CDQ Program for fisheries in which a percentage of the TAC of a fishery is allocated to the CDQ Program. Section 305(i) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act authorizes the CDQ Program and specifies the annual percentage of the TAC allocated to the CDQ Program in each directed fishery of the BSAI. Section 305(i) also specifies the method for further apportioning the TAC allocated to the CDQ Program to specific persons, i.e., CDQ groups. Section 305(i) also defines these CDQ groups. NMFS previously implemented cost recovery fees for the amount of BSAI crab fishery TACs allocated to the CDQ Program under regulations implementing the Crab Rationalization Program (70 FR 10174, March 2, 2005, see regulations at § 680.44) under the authority of section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS proposes to implement cost recovery fees for BSAI groundfish and halibut TACs allocated to the CDQ Program under the authority of section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. C. Maximum Amount and Collection of Cost Recovery Fees Sections 304(d)(2)(B) and (C) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act specify an upper limit on cost recovery fees, when the fees must be collected, and where the fees must be deposited. Section 304(d)(2)(B) provides that the fee shall not exceed three percent of the ex-vessel value of fish harvested under either a limited access privilege program or a CDQ program that allocates a percentage of the TAC of a fishery to such a program. NMFS does not have the E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 938 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS authority to collect cost recovery fees under section 304(d)(2)(i) when a person does not hold or receive exclusive use of a percentage of the TAC. Section 304(d)(2)(B) also states that the cost recovery fee must be collected at either the time of the landing, filing of a landing report, or sale of such fish during the fishing season, or in the last quarter of the calendar year in which the fish were harvested. NMFS proposes that all fees for all four programs included in this action would be due annually by December 31 of the calendar year in which the landings were made. This complies with the requirements of section 304(d)(2)(B). Section 304(d)(2)(C) requires that all fees be deposited in the Limited Access System Administration Fund, which was established under section 305(h)(5)(B). NMFS proposes to collect all fees electronically in U.S. dollars by automated clearing house, credit card, or electronic check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Those fees would be deposited in the Limited Access System Administration Fund. Sections III and IV of this preamble provide further details on how the fees will be assessed and collected for each of the limited access privilege programs and the CDQ Program. D. Applicability of Section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act NMFS has determined that cost recovery fee provisions in section 303A do not apply to the cost recovery fee program proposed in this rule, specifically the requirements in section 303A(e). The CDQ Program is not a limited access privilege program as defined in section 3 of the MagnusonStevens Act. Therefore, section 303A(e) does not apply to the CDQ Program. Section 303A(e) also does not apply to the AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs. NMFS based this determination on section 303A(i) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Section 303A(i) states: ‘‘[t]he requirements of this section [303A] shall not apply to any quota program, including any individual quota program, cooperative program, or sector allocation for which a Council has taken final action or which has been submitted by a Council to the Secretary, or approved by the Secretary, within 6 months after the date of enactment of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006.’’ The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 was enacted on January 12, 2007 (Public Law 109–479). Therefore, a quota program, including any individual quota program, cooperative program, or sector allocation is not subject to the requirements of section 303A(e) if a Council took final action on the program, a Council submitted the program, or the program was approved by the Secretary before July 10, 2007. All three of the limited access privilege programs included in this proposed rule were either recommended by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, or approved by the Secretary and implemented prior to July 10, 2007. The AFA Program was approved by the Secretary as an FMP amendment on February 27, 2002, and implemented in a final rule on December 30, 2002 (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002). The Aleutian Islands Pollock Program was approved by the Secretary as an FMP amendment on February 9, 2005 and implemented as a final rule on March 1, 2005 (70 FR 9856, March 1, 2005). The North Pacific Fishery Management Council took final action to recommend the Amendment 80 Program on June 9, 2006. Additional detail on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s final action to recommend the Amendment 80 Program is found in the final rule implementing the Amendment 80 Program (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). Therefore, the requirements of section 303A(e) of the MagnusonStevens Act do not apply to the AFA, the Aleutian Islands Pollock, or the Amendment 80 Program. Although the AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs were not established under the authority of section 303A of the MagnusonStevens Act, they do meet the definition of a ‘‘limited access privilege’’ under section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. A ‘‘limited access privilege’’ includes an ‘‘individual fishing quota.’’ The AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs meet the definition of an ‘‘individual fishing quota’’ under section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Specifically, under each of these programs, NMFS issues ‘‘a Federal permit under a limited access system to harvest a quantity of fish, expressed by a unit or units representing a percentage of the total allowable catch of a fishery that may be received or held for exclusive use by a person.’’ E. Summary of Relevant MagnusonStevens Act Provisions To summarize, the Magnuson-Stevens Act specifies the following with respect to the collection of cost recovery fees: • Fees must be collected for all limited access privilege programs; • Fees must be collected for the CDQ Program; • Fees must recover actual costs directly related to management, data collection, and enforcement of the programs; • Fees must not exceed three percent of the ex-vessel value of a fish harvested under a program subject to cost recovery; • Fees are in addition to any other fees charged under the MagnusonStevens Act; • Fees must be deposited in the Limited Access System Administrative Fund (LASAF) in the U.S. Treasury; and • Fees must be collected at either the time of a legal landing, filing of a landing report, or sale of such fish during a fishing season or in the last quarter of the calendar year in which the fish is harvested. For more detail on the Secretary and NMFS’ authority to implement cost recovery fees, please see section 1.1 of the RIR/IRFA. F. Existing Cost Recovery Fee Programs, Policies, and Guidance NMFS has previously established cost recovery fee programs to implement the requirements of section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The specific fisheries, the NMFS Region where those cost recovery fee programs were implemented, and the date the cost recovery fee programs were implemented, are provided in Table 1. For a more detailed discussion of these programs, see section 1.8.2 of the RIR/ IRFA. TABLE 1—LIMITED ACCESS PRIVILEGE PROGRAMS WITH A COST RECOVERY COMPONENT BY NMFS REGION NMFS Region Limited Access Privilege Program Greater Atlantic Region ............................................... Southeast Region ........................................................ VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Atlantic Sea Scallop Individual Fishing Quota (73 FR 20090, April 14, 2008). Golden Tilefish Individual Transferable Quota (74 FR 42580, August 24, 2009). Red Snapper Individual Fishing Quota (71 FR 67447, November 22, 2006). Grouper-Tilefish Individual Fishing Quota (74 FR 44732, August 31, 2009). Frm 00004 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules 939 TABLE 1—LIMITED ACCESS PRIVILEGE PROGRAMS WITH A COST RECOVERY COMPONENT BY NMFS REGION—Continued Limited Access Privilege Program West Coast Region ...................................................... North Pacific Region .................................................... asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS NMFS Region Groundfish Trawl Rationalization (75 FR 78344, December 15, 2010). Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program (65 FR 14919, March 20, 2000). Crab Rationalization Program (70 FR 10174, March 2, 2005). Rockfish Program (76 FR 81248, December 27, 2011). The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined cost recovery fee programs in 2005 (March 2005, GAO Report to Congressional Requestors GAO–05–24, available at http:// www.gao.gov/new.items/d05241.pdf). At the time, NMFS had only established one cost recovery fee program for the Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Program (Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program). NMFS had determined that the actual costs to recover for the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program were the incremental costs of the program, (i.e., those costs that would not have been incurred but for the program). The GAO report examined the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program and found that NMFS was recovering the costs of management and enforcement, as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act (see p. 4 of GAO–05–241). The GAO report noted that the Magnuson-Stevens Act does not define ‘‘actual costs’’ as directly related to the management and enforcement of an ‘‘individual fishing quota’’ program. The GAO report noted that actual costs could be interpreted as the full costs of managing an individual fishing quota program rather than those costs that are directly attributable to the implementation of an individual fishing quota program (e.g., incremental costs). However, after reviewing the methodology for calculating recoverable costs in the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program, the GAO report did not recommend that NMFS change its policy of collecting incremental costs (see p. 23 of GAO–05–241). One of the two key recommendations of the GAO report is that NOAA should establish cost recovery fee programs as required and authorized by section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act for all management programs to which they would apply. The other recommendation was to develop guidance as to which costs are to be recovered and, when actual information is unavailable, how to estimate the costs (see p. 22 of GAO–05–241). NOAA has established policy guidance to define the methods for determining costs and implementing cost recovery fee programs for limited access privilege programs (November 2007, NOAA Technical Memorandum VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 NMFS–F/SPO–86, available at http:// spo.nwr.noaa.gov/tm/tm86.pdf). NOAA clarified this policy guidance in the NOAA Catch Share Policy (November 2011, NOAA Catch Share Policy, available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ sfa/management/catch_shares/about/ documents/noaa_cs_policy.pdf. The NOAA Catch Share Policy states that: It is NOAA policy to compute and recover from participants only the incremental operating costs associated with limited access privilege programs. . . . The relevant costs to recover are the incremental costs, i.e., those costs that would not have been incurred but for the limited access privilege program, since cost recovery is not authorized for non-limited access privilege program fisheries. Conceptually, measuring these costs involves a ‘‘with and without’’ comparison of the cost of running the management program for the specified fishery under the status quo non-limited access privilege program regime, relative to the costs attributable to implementing the limited access privilege program. NOAA has determined that recovering incremental costs is appropriate because the Magnuson-Stevens Act specifies collection of a fee to recover the actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of limited access privilege program or the CDQ Program. Incremental costs refer only to the costs that are added because of the implementation of a limited access privilege program or the CDQ Program. For example, a fishery stock assessment would be required whether or not a limited access privilege program or CDQ Program existed. Under section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is not authorized to recover costs from non-limited access privilege program or non-CDQ Program fishery participants. Therefore, having participants in the limited access privilege programs or the CDQ Program pay fees to cover the costs of a stock assessment would not be consistent with current NOAA policy. However, if specific permits, monitoring and catch accounting provisions, or enforcement requirements are needed to manage, collect data, or enforce a limited access privilege program or CDQ Program, it would be appropriate to recover fees for those costs. See the ‘‘Reimbursable Costs’’ section of this preamble for PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 additional detail on the costs subject to cost recovery fee collection. This proposed action is intended to be consistent with the recommendations of the 2005 GAO report and established NOAA policy on cost recovery fee programs. II. Background The following sections provide a brief background on each of the programs for which NMFS proposes to implement a cost recovery fee program. For a more detailed description of each of these programs, please see section 1.5 of the RIR/IRFA. A. AFA Program On October 21, 1998, the President signed into law the AFA, which was Title II-Fisheries, Subtitles I and II, within the Omnibus Appropriations Bill FY 1999, Public Law 105–277. The AFA, as enacted in 1998, is available on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ sustainablefisheries/afa/afa1998.pdf. The purpose of the AFA was to clarify U.S. ownership standards for U.S. fishing vessels and to provide the Bering Sea pollock fleet the opportunity to eliminate the race to harvest Bering Sea pollock through the allocation of a percentage of the TAC of Bering Sea pollock that may be received or held for exclusive use by a person. The AFA established specific allocations of Bering Sea pollock; requirements for participation by catcher vessels, catcher/processors, motherships, and processors; excessive share limits; monitoring and enforcement provisions; and annual reporting requirements. NMFS allocates the Bering Sea pollock TAC to the AFA Program as a directed fishery allowance after subtracting the CDQ Program allocation of 10 percent of the TAC, and after subtracting a portion of the TAC as an incidental catch allowance to accommodate the incidental catch of pollock in non-pollock directed fisheries (e.g., the incidental catch of pollock in the directed fishery for Pacific cod). The remaining TAC is further allocated to three AFA sectors: 50 percent allocation to catcher vessels harvesting pollock for processing by shoreside processors (inshore sector); 40 E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 940 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules percent allocation to catcher vessels and catcher/processors harvesting pollock for processing by catcher/processors (catcher/processor sector); and a 10 percent allocation to catcher vessels harvesting pollock for processing by motherships (mothership sector). Under the AFA, a catcher vessel may only harvest pollock; a catcher/processor may harvest and process pollock; and a mothership may only receive and process pollock. Section 208 of the AFA determined which vessels and which processors were eligible to participate in the inshore sector, the catcher/processor sector, and the mothership sector. NMFS issued AFA permits to 112 catcher vessels, 21 catcher/processors, and three mothership vessels. Section 210 of the AFA allowed the formation of fishery cooperatives in each AFA sector. Under a fishery cooperative, the members of a cooperative agree to divide the pollock allocation that the cooperative members. The AFA, in section 210(b), specifically regulated the formation of inshore cooperatives for catcher vessels. A catcher vessel with an AFA inshore endorsement has a choice of participating in the open access sector, and delivering pollock to any AFA inshore processor, or contributing its catch history to a cooperative, and delivering at least 90 percent of its pollock catch to the processor associated with the cooperative (AFA section 210(b); 50 CFR 679.4(l)(6)). Participants in the AFA open access sector would not be subject to cost recovery under this proposed rule because these persons do not receive an exclusive harvest privilege. Currently, all AFA vessels harvest and deliver pollock through a cooperative, rather than in open access. Seven inshore cooperatives have formed. The amount of pollock allocated to an inshore cooperative is based on the amount of harvests of the members of the cooperative specified under section 206(b) of the AFA. For additional information on AFA inshore allocations, see NMFS Alaska Region Web site, http://alaskafisheries.noaa/ gov/sustainablefisheries/afa. A cooperative has formed in the catcher/processor sector to harvest the exclusive harvest allocation provided to this sector. Participants in the catcher/ processor sector have a joint agreement called the ‘‘Cooperative Agreement between Offshore Pollock Catchers’ Cooperative and Pollock Conservation Cooperative’’ (AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative) to facilitate efficient harvest management and accurate harvest accounting between the participants in the catcher/processor VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 sector. The AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative is defined under annual cooperative reports submitted to NMFS (Cooperative Reports, NMFS Alaska Region Web site, http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ sustainablefisheries/afa/afa_sf.htm). All but one participant who harvests pollock allocated to the catcher/ processor sector is a member of the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative. Section 208(e)(21) of the AFA expressly limits the amount of harvest by the one participant in the catcher/processor sector who is not a member of the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative to 0.5 percent of the TAC assigned to the catcher/processor sector, thereby providing an exclusive harvest privilege to all the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative members. The participant who is not a member of the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative would not be subject to a cost recovery fee for its harvest of pollock under this proposed rule. Section 1.5.3 of the RIR/IRFA provides additional detail on allocations to the AFA catcher/processor sector. The owners of all 19 catcher vessels eligible to deliver to a mothership in the Bering Sea pollock fishery have joined a single cooperative to coordinate harvests. This cooperative harvests the exclusive harvest allocation provided to the mothership sector as specified under section 206(b) of the AFA. For additional detail see the Cooperative Reports, NMFS Alaska Region Web site, http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ sustainablefisheries/afa/afa_sf.htm. Section 1.5.3 of the RIR/IRFA and the final rule implementing the AFA provide more detailed information (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002). The amounts of the Bering Sea pollock TAC currently allocated to each AFA cooperative and sector are specified in the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for the BSAI groundfish fisheries (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014). B. Aleutian Islands Pollock Program Originally, the AFA applied to the directed pollock fishery in the entire BSAI (section 205(4), section 205(6), section 205(10) of original AFA). The BSAI consists of the Bering Sea subarea and the Aleutian Islands subarea (see regulatory definitions in § 679.2). In 2004, Congress separated the management of pollock between the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands pursuant to the requirements of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 (Public Law 108–199). Under the requirements of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004, NMFS allocates an exclusive harvest allocation representing a portion of the Aleutian PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Islands subarea pollock TAC to the Aleut Corporation. NMFS implemented the requirements of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 with Amendment 82 to the FMP in 2005 (70 FR 9856, March 1, 2005). Regulations implementing Amendment 82 define the amount of pollock TAC that may be allocated in the Aleutian Islands subarea and how the Aleut Corporation may harvest its portion of this allocation. The Aleutian Islands pollock TAC is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a directed pollock fishery after subtracting the CDQ Program allocation of 10 percent of the TAC, and after subtracting an incidental catch allowance to accommodate the incidental catch of pollock in nonpollock directed fisheries. Prior to 2015, NMFS prohibited directed fishing for pollock inside Steller sea lion critical habitat in the Aleutian Islands as a measure to protect the endangered Steller sea lion (68 FR 204, January 2, 2003). Pollock in the Aleutian Islands occurs primarily inside Steller sea lion critical habitat. These closures of critical habitat in the Aleutian Islands to directed fishing precluded directed fishing in the Aleutian Islands. Therefore, prior to 2015, the allocation to the Aleut Corporation was not fully harvested and was reallocated each year to the Bering Sea pollock fishery. NMFS has implemented new regulations that allow directed fishing for pollock within critical habitat in the Aleutian Islands (79 FR 70286, November 25, 2014). This may provide additional harvest opportunities for the Aleut Corporation. Section 1.5.3 of the RIR/IRFA and the final rule implementing the Aleutian Islands Pollock Program provide more detailed information (70 FR 9856, March 1, 2005). The amount of the Aleutian Islands pollock TAC currently allocated to the Aleut Corporation and reallocation to the Bering Sea is specified in the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for the BSAI groundfish fisheries (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014). C. Amendment 80 Program Amendment 80 to the FMP identified participants using trawl catcher/ processors in the BSAI who are active in groundfish fisheries other than Bering Sea pollock (i.e., the head-and-gut fleet or Amendment 80 vessels) and established a framework, known as the Amendment 80 Program, to regulate fishing by this fleet (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). The Amendment 80 Program allocates a portion of the TACs of six species in the BSAI: Atka mackerel, Pacific cod, flathead sole, E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules rock sole, yellowfin sole, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch between the Amendment 80 Program and other trawl fishery participants. The Amendment 80 program created Amendment 80 quota share based on the historic catch of quota share species by Amendment 80 vessels, facilitated the development of cooperative arrangements (Amendment 80 cooperatives) among quota shareholders, and assigned an exclusive harvest privilege for a portion of the TAC of quota share species for participants in Amendment 80 cooperatives. The Amendment 80 Program also allocates crab and halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits to constrain bycatch of these species while Amendment 80 vessels harvest groundfish. The Amendment 80 Program added sideboard limits to protect other fisheries from the potential adverse effects arising from the exclusive harvest privileges provided under the Amendment 80 Program. NMFS identified 28 catcher/processor vessels that are eligible to participate in the Amendment 80 Program and NMFS has issued quota share based on the historic catch of these vessels. NMFS has issued Amendment 80 quota share to 27 eligible persons. One person who owns an eligible catcher/processor did not elect to apply for and receive Amendment 80 quota share and would not be subject to the provisions of this proposed rule because this person does not receive an exclusive harvest privilege for a portion of the Amendment 80 species TACs. Amendment 80 quota shareholders may annually elect to form a cooperative with other Amendment 80 quota shareholders to receive an exclusive harvest privilege for the portion of Amendment 80 species TACs resulting from the cooperative member’s aggregated quota share holdings. This ‘‘cooperative quota’’ (CQ) is the amount of Amendment 80 species TACs dedicated for exclusive use by that cooperative. Annually, each Amendment 80 quota shareholder elects to participate either in a cooperative or the limited access fishery. Participants in the limited access fishery do not receive an exclusive allocation for a portion of the TACs allocated to the Amendment 80 Program. Participants in the Amendment 80 limited access fishery would not be subject to cost recovery under this proposed rule because these persons do not receive an exclusive harvest privilege. Since 2011, all quota shareholders have participated in one of two cooperatives. (For additional detail see Cooperative Reports, NMFS Alaska VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 Region Web site, http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/ sustainablefisheries/amds/80/ default.htm). Section 1.5.1 of the RIR/IRFA and the final rule implementing the Amendment 80 Program provide more detailed information (72 FR 52668, September 14, 2007). The allocations of Amendment 80 species TACs to each of the Amendment 80 cooperatives are provided in the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for the BSAI groundfish fisheries (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014). D. CDQ Program The CDQ Program was implemented by NMFS in 1992 (57 FR 46133, October 7, 1992). Since the implementation of the CDQ Program, Congress has amended the Magnuson-Stevens Act to define specific allocations to the CDQ Program, as well as eligibility to participate in the CDQ Program. A total of 65 villages are authorized under section 305(i)(1)(D) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to participate in the CDQ Program. Six CDQ groups represent these villages. The CDQ groups include the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association (APICDA), the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation (BBEDC), the Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association (CBSFA), the Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF), the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC), and the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association (YDFDA). CDQ groups manage and administer CDQ allocations and use the revenue derived from the harvest of their CDQ allocations to fund economic development activities and provide employment opportunities on behalf of the villages they represent. See section 1.5.2 of the RIR/IRFA for additional information on the CDQ Program. Section 305(i)(B) of the MagnusonStevens Act specifies the proportion of the crab, groundfish, and halibut TACs in the BSAI allocated to the CDQ Program. Section 305(i)(C) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act specifies the proportion of the overall CDQ Program allocations assigned to each CDQ group. The proportion of the CDQ Program allocations of each species assigned to each of the six CDQ groups is described in a final rule defining the regulation of the CDQ Program (71 FR 51804, August 31, 2006). Each year, NMFS publishes the specific annual allocations of CDQ groundfish and halibut TACs to each CDQ group on the Alaska Region Web site at http:// PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 941 www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/cdq/ current_historical.htm. NMFS first allocates crab, halibut and groundfish TACs to the CDQ Program, and then apportions the remaining TAC among other non-CDQ fishery participants. Because CDQ crab allocations are already subject to a cost recovery fee program (70 FR 10174, March 2, 2005), they are not addressed further in this preamble. The groundfish species and species groups currently allocated to the CDQ Program, and that would be subject to this proposed cost recovery fee program, are specified in the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for the BSAI groundfish fisheries (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014). The process for allocating halibut TACs to the CDQ Program is described in a final rule implementing the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program (58 FR 59375, November 9, 1993). The allocation of halibut to the CDQ Program varies by halibut management area and ranges from 20 to 100 percent of the area TACs. The fishery resources allocated to the CDQ Program and the CDQ groups are under Federal jurisdiction, and NMFS remains primarily responsible for groundfish and halibut CDQ fisheries management. However, the State of Alaska (State) also retains some management responsibility for the CDQ Program. The State may incur costs in the management and enforcement of the CDQ Program that would be subject to a cost recovery fee. Section 304(d)(2)(C)(ii) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act provides that NMFS transfer up to 33 percent of any cost recovery fee collected for the CDQ Program ‘‘in order to reimburse such State for actual costs directly incurred in the management and enforcement of [the CDQ Program].’’ This proposed rule anticipates that the State may apply to NMFS for reimbursement of its management and enforcement costs. The potential costs subject to reimbursement are described in section 1.5.2 of the RIR/IRFA and the ‘‘CDQ Program’’ section of this preamble. Section 305(i)(1)(G) of the MagnusonStevens Act designates specific administrative oversight responsibilities for the CDQ Program to an Administrative Panel. Section 305(i)(1)(G) specifies that the Administrative Panel shall coordinate and facilitate activities of the CDQ groups and administer those aspects of the CDQ Program not otherwise addressed in section 305(i)(1), including economic development aspects of the CDQ Program. Currently, the Western Alaska Community Development Association (WACDA) serves as the E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 942 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Administrative Panel specified in the Magnuson-Stevens Act. III. Cost Recovery—General As described in the ‘‘Statutory Authority’’ section of this preamble, cost recovery is the process by which NMFS would recover the actual costs associated with the management, data collection, and enforcement (also referred to as program costs) of the CDQ, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs. These program costs would be recovered annually through a fee paid by persons who hold a permit granting an exclusive harvesting privilege for a portion of the TAC in a fishery subject to cost recovery. NMFS proposes to calculate the cost recovery fee for fish species that are allocated as exclusive harvest privileges under the CDQ groundfish and halibut, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs as a percentage of the ex-vessel value of allocated fish species harvested by the participants in each program. The cost recovery fee percentage would be determined annually by the Regional Administrator of the NMFS Alaska Region and published in a Federal Register notice each year. NMFS would calculate cost recovery fees only for fish that are landed and deducted from the TAC in the fisheries subject to cost recovery under the proposed action. NMFS would not calculate cost recovery fees for any portion of a permit holder’s exclusive harvest privilege that was not landed and deducted from the TAC. For the purposes of this rule, ‘‘permit holder’’ refers to the person who holds the exclusive harvest privilege in the specific fishery. These methods for assessing cost recovery fees on landed catch and the designation of the permit holder are consistent with the cost recovery fee programs already implemented and NOAA policy guidance. Section 304(d)(2)(B) of the MagnusonStevens Act specifies that a cost recovery fee ‘‘shall be collected at either the time of the landing, filing of a landing report, or sale of such fish during a fishing season or in the last quarter of the calendar year in which the fish is harvested.’’ NMFS proposes to collect the cost recovery fee for the CDQ groundfish and halibut, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs by December VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 31 of each year, which is in the last quarter of the calendar year in which the fish were harvested. NMFS would notify each permit holder of their calculated fee liability for the fishing year by December 1 each year in which the landings were made. Each permit holder would be responsible for submitting the fee to NMFS by December 31 of the year in which the landings were made. The fee liability payment would need to be submitted to NMFS electronically by the December 31 deadline. This approach is consistent with other cost recovery fee programs implemented by NMFS. Annual collection of cost recovery fees minimizes the administrative burden on fishery participants and NMFS by limiting fee assessment and collection to one time per year rather than requiring assessment and collection at the time of each landing or at multiple times throughout the year. The use of electronic payment of cost recovery fees would reduce the administrative costs of processing payments, and provides an efficient method for permit holders to submit fees. In addition, all of the permit holders subject to a cost recovery fee regularly report to NMFS using electronic means and it is a submission method readily available to them. The details of the proposed procedures for the collection of cost recovery fees for the CDQ, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs are discussed in detail below in the ‘‘Proposed Action’’ section of this preamble. To calculate the annual fee liability for each permit holder in the CDQ, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs, NMFS would (1) calculate the standard price for each fishery species allocated under a program; (2) calculate the ex-vessel value of each fishery species allocated under a program by multiplying the standard price by the total amount of landings in each fishery under a program; (3) calculate the total ex-vessel value of all fisheries landed under a program by adding together the exvessel values of each fishery species under a program; (4) calculate the total program cost by adding together the costs of managing each fish species under a program; (5) calculate a fee percentage (not to exceed three percent of the ex-vessel value of fish harvested under any such program) for a program PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 by dividing total program costs by the total ex-vessel value for all fishery species under a program; and (6) calculate the fee amount that will be assessed for each permit holder by multiplying the fee percentage by the permit holder’s total ex-vessel value of the fishery landings under a program. The final figure would be the annual fee owed by each permit holder. An effective cost recovery fee program requires using existing data or collecting additional data to calculate species exvessel values, using a standardized methodology to assess program costs, assigning the appropriate fee to each person holding a permit, and ensuring that fees are submitted in full and on time. The primary components of the cost recovery fee programs proposed in this action include defining the: (1) Person and permit subject to cost recovery fee liability; (2) fee percentage; (3) ex-vessel value; (4) ex-vessel prices; (5) information sources; (6) reimbursable costs; (7) fee liability notice and submission method; (8) payment compliance; and (9) annual reporting. Each of these components is discussed in the following sections of the preamble. A. Person and Permit Subject to Cost Recovery Fee Liability To implement a cost recovery fee program, NMFS must identify the person and permit that are subject to the fee liability. As described above in the ‘‘Statutory Authority’’ section, the Magnuson-Stevens Act definition of ‘‘person’’ includes any individual, corporation, partnership, association, or other non-individual entity. The permit is the documentation that grants a person an exclusive harvest privilege. In each of the cost recovery fee programs proposed in this action there is documentation that grants a person permission to fish for a certain percentage or specific amount of the TACs allocated to that program. The person receiving the exclusive harvesting privilege and the nature of the permit providing that privilege is different for each of the proposed cost recovery fee programs, as shown in Table 2. A more detailed description of the person and permit that would be subject to cost recovery for each program is provided in the ‘‘Proposed Action’’ section of this preamble. E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules 943 TABLE 2—SUMMARY OF PROPOSED COST RECOVERY FEE PROGRAMS, PERSON(S) RECEIVING THE EXCLUSIVE HARVEST PRIVILEGE, AND THE ‘‘PERMIT’’ AUTHORIZING THE HARVEST PRIVILEGE Proposed Cost Recovery Fee Program Person receiving an exclusive harvest privilege for a portion of a fishery TAC Annual permit authorizing exclusive harvest privilege for a portion of a fishery TAC CDQ Program ................................. CDQ group .................................... AFA Inshore Sector ......................... AFA Catcher/Processor Sector ....... AFA Inshore Cooperative .............. AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative ... AFA Mothership Sector ................... AFA Mothership Cooperative ........ Aleutian Islands Pollock .................. Aleut Corporation ........................... Amendment 80 ................................ Amendment 80 cooperative .......... Annual CDQ Group Quota Allocations matrix on Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. AFA inshore cooperative fishing permit. Table 3 of the BSAI final groundfish harvest specifications published in the Federal Register. Table 3 of the BSAI final groundfish harvest specifications published in the Federal Register. Table 3 of the BSAI final groundfish harvest specifications published in the Federal Register. Amendment 80 CQ permit. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS In addition to specifying the person subject to cost recovery, NMFS would require program participants to designate an individual who would be responsible for submitting the cost recovery fee to NMFS. A more detailed description of this proposed requirement is provided in section IV of this preamble. B. Fee Percentage Section 304(d)(2) of the MagnusonStevens Act specifies that a cost recovery fee may not exceed three percent of the ex-vessel value of the fish harvested under the fisheries subject to cost recovery. Sections 1.8.4, 1.8.5, and 1.8.6 of the RIR/IRFA estimate the cost recovery fee percentage for the CDQ, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs based on estimated ex-vessel revenue and program costs from 2010 through 2013. The estimated annual cost recovery fee percentages for the proposed cost recovery fee programs range from a minimum of 0.29 percent of the exvessel value of Bering Sea pollock allocated to AFA inshore cooperatives to a maximum of 1.62 percent of the exvessel value of fisheries allocated to Amendment 80 cooperatives. To reach the maximum fee percentage, program costs would have to increase significantly or fishery revenue would need to decline significantly. NMFS does not anticipate increases in management costs or declines in fishery revenue by amounts large enough to reach the three percent level in the foreseeable future in any of the proposed cost recovery fee programs. The cost recovery fee percentage for a cost recovery program would be equal to the program costs divided by the exvessel value of the fishery species covered by that program. The program costs would be the program costs for the most recent Federal fiscal year, and the ex-vessel value of the fishery species is the ex-vessel value of the landings VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 subject to the cost recovery fee liability for the current calendar year. Under the proposed regulations, the fee percentage is calculated using the program costs from the most recent Federal fiscal year. Specifically, a cost recovery fee program participant would be required to pay their fee by December 31 of a calendar year, based on the costs incurred for management, data collection, and enforcement of that program from October 1 of the previous calendar year through September 30 of the current calendar year. NMFS intends to use this accounting method to ensure that program costs associated with the management, data collection, and enforcement of a limited access privilege program and the CDQ Program can be reviewed, by NMFS, prior to the time that the cost recovery fee is due. It would also reduce administrative burden and costs to track program costs as they currently accrue and are debited from specific accounts, on a Federal fiscal year basis. NMFS would calculate and publish the fee percentage for the CDQ groundfish and halibut, AFA and Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs in the Federal Register by December 1 of the year in which landings subject to cost recovery were made. C. Ex-Vessel Value The ex-vessel value of fish harvested under a permit would equal the sum of all payments of monetary worth made for the sale of raw, unprocessed catch of the species subject to cost recovery. This would include any retroactive payments (e.g. bonuses, delayed partial payments, post-season payments) made for fish harvested under a permit for previously landed fishery species. Retroactive payments would be part of the ex-vessel value and as such have a fee liability. The fee liability for retroactive payments would be based on the fee percentage in effect at the time the fish was received by the processor. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 For example, if a retroactive payment is received after the initial payment was made at the time of landing, but during the same calendar year in which the landing was made, the cost recovery fee for those retroactive payments also would be due by December 31 of the year in which the landings were made. If retroactive payments are received by permit holders during the year following the calendar year when those fish were landed, then cost recovery fees associated with those post-season retroactive payments would be due by December 31 of the calendar year the retroactive payments were received and be subject to the cost recovery fee in effect for the calendar year in which the retroactive payment was made. This method for calculating ex-vessel value is similar to the method used in the cost recovery fee program for the Rockfish Program (76 FR 81248, December 27, 2011). Section 1.7.2 of the RIR/IRFA provides additional detail on the calculation of ex-vessel value and retroactive payments. D. Ex-Vessel Prices NMFS would use standard prices rather than actual prices to calculate the ex-vessel value of landings for each fishery species. A standard price would be determined using information on landings purchased (volume) and exvessel value paid (value). The processors of fish harvested under the CDQ groundfish and halibut, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs would provide this information. NMFS would annually summarize volume and value information for landings of all fishery species subject to cost recovery in order to estimate a standard price for each fishery species, except for rock sole. Rock sole is allocated to and harvested by vessels participating in the Amendment 80 and CDQ Programs. Rock sole volume and value reports would be reported once each year, but E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 944 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS fees would be assessed based on the volume and value of landings of rock sole that occur in the first quarter of the year (January 1 through March 31), and fees would be assessed based on the aggregated volume and value of landings in the last three quarters of the year (April 1 through December 31). The difference in reporting requirements for rock sole arises from the need to capture significant differences in price and value in the rock sole that are landed in the first quarter of the year compared to the price and value in the remaining part of the year. See Section 1.7.2.2.5 of the RIR/IRFA for additional detail on rock sole prices. Use of a standard price is not precluded under section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS uses a standard price in the cost recovery fee programs for the Crab Rationalization Program and the Rockfish Program. The use of an actual price would require that the permit holder or a designated representative document all landings and prices for fishery species subject to cost recovery. This additional documentation can impose additional costs on permit holders to document and retain information on all landings and prices. The cost recovery fee program for the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program allows permit holders to use either standard or actual prices. However, very few Halibut and Sablefish IFQ permit holders have used actual prices. Based on that experience, NMFS proposes to use a standard price in all cost recovery fee programs proposed under this action. NMFS would publish the standard prices by fishery species in the Federal Register by December 1 of year in which the landings subject to cost recovery were made. E. Information Used to Calculate ExVessel Value NMFS proposes three methods for collecting and aggregating volume and value data to calculate standard prices. The first method would implement data collection using two new volume and value reports to calculate standard prices for all fishery species other than halibut and pollock. The second method would use data already collected under the IFQ Buyer Report to calculate standard prices for halibut. The third method would use data already collected under the Commercial Operator’s Annual Report (COAR) to calculate standard prices for pollock. NMFS proposes to implement the two new volume and value reports for fishery species other than halibut and pollock because sufficient information is not otherwise available on a timely VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 basis from other sources to determine a standard price paid by processors for a fishery species subject to cost recovery. This approach minimizes the cost and burden of recordkeeping and reporting requirements on fishery participants. In developing the proposed rule, NMFS held public workshops in Anchorage, AK, and Seattle, WA, in 2013 to receive input from affected industry participants on appropriate methods for calculating the standard price for specific fishery species (78 FR 25426, May 1, 2013). Participants in these public workshops supported the methods proposed for calculating the standard price in this rule. The following sections of the preamble describe the methods NMFS would use to collect and aggregate volume and value data to calculate standard prices and ex-vessel values. 1. Volume and Value Reports Two types of new volume and value reports would be required under the proposed action—a Pacific Cod ExVessel Volume and Value Report and a First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. This proposed rule would require shoreside processors, designated on a Federal Processor Permit (FPP), and motherships, designated on a Federal Fisheries Permit (FFP), that process landings of either CDQ Pacific cod or BSAI Pacific cod harvested by a vessel using trawl gear to submit a Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report. The Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report would require shoreside processors and motherships to submit information including the total pounds of Pacific cod purchased, the total gross ex-vessel value paid by gear type (trawl and fixed gear), as well as identifying information for the processor (i.e. Federal processor permit number, mailing address, contact phone number, etc.). The total pounds of Pacific cod purchased and the total gross ex-vessel value paid by each gear type from January 1 through October 31 of each year would be reported as aggregated data. NMFS notes that shoreside processors and motherships already collect these data as part of their existing business operations, and to comply with other data collection requirements. Therefore, only the submission of this information to NMFS by November 10 would be a new requirement. The information submitted would be used by NMFS to calculate an annual standard price for Pacific cod for Amendment 80 cooperatives and CDQ groups. NMFS would calculate a separate standard price for Pacific cod PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 harvested by trawl gear and Pacific cod harvested by fixed gear. The fixed gear standard price would apply to all landings made by vessels subject to cost recovery and using hook-and-line, jig, or pot gear. A standard price would be determined for trawl and fixed gear separately because the ex-vessel value of Pacific cod can differ between trawl and fixed gear (see section 1.7.2.2 of the RIR/ IRFA for additional detail). The standard price for trawl gear would be used for Amendment 80 cooperatives and for trawl vessels harvesting Pacific cod allocated to CDQ groups. The standard price for fixed gear would be used for vessels harvesting Pacific cod for CDQ groups using hookand-line, jig, or pot gear. Because Amendment 80 cooperatives only harvest Pacific cod using trawl gear, NMFS does not anticipate using a standard price derived from fixed gear vessels for Amendment 80 cooperatives. The second type of new volume and value report that would be required is the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. A First Wholesale Volume and Value Report would be used to collect volume and value data for all fishery species of groundfish allocated to the Amendment 80 and CDQ Program except for fixed gear sablefish, halibut, Pacific cod, and pollock. Section 1.7 of the RIR/IRFA lists each fishery species that would be subject to the requirements of a First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. The instructions on the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report would also list these species on an annual basis. This proposed rule would require that Amendment 80 vessel owners submit a First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. NMFS would use data from Amendment 80 vessels to calculate standard prices for species covered by the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report because these species are harvested primarily, if not almost exclusively, by Amendment 80 vessels (see Section 1.7.2.1 of the RIR/IRFA for additional detail). The First Wholesale Volume and Value Report would require information on the fishery species and pounds harvested, the first wholesale value of the fishery species, as well as identifying information for the catcher/ processor (i.e., Federal Fisheries Permit number, mailing address, contact phone number, etc.). The pounds harvested and first wholesale value from January 1 through October 31 each year would be reported as aggregated data, with one exception for rock sole. Section 1.7.2.2.5 of the RIR/IRFA notes that rock sole wholesale values differ substantially between first quarter values and second to fourth quarter values. During the first E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules quarter of the year (January 1 through March 31) rock sole contain roe and this product is worth substantially more than rock sole product that does not contain roe landed later in the year. Therefore, NMFS would collect data from January 1 through March 31 to establish a standard price for rock sole landed during this period, and use data from April 1 through October 31 to establish a standard price for rock sole landed for the remainder of the calendar year. Amendment 80 vessel owners already collect these data to comply with other data collection requirements. Therefore, only the submission of this information to NMFS in the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report by November 10 of the year in which the landings were made would be a new requirement. The data from the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report would satisfy requirements in section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act that cost recovery fees be based on the ex-vessel value of fish. The First Wholesale Volume and Value Report would be used to obtain volume and value information for directed fisheries where fishery species are harvested and processed exclusively, or almost exclusively, by trawl catcher/processors. For these fishery species, there is no reliable ex-vessel price generated from the sale of fish from a harvester to a processor. Therefore, the ex-vessel price for those fishery species must be estimated. An ex-vessel price can be estimated by using information on the first wholesale price. The first wholesale price is the market price of the primary processed fishery product. Since the late 1990s, the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) has imputed an ex-vessel price for fish from the first wholesale price based on a fraction of the processed-product price. The imputed ex-vessel price, also referred to as the proxy price, is the value of processed products from catcher/processor vessels divided by the retained round-weight (unprocessed weight) of catch and multiplied by a factor of 0.4 to correct for the value added to the fish product by processing. Processed product values and round weights would be derived from the First Wholesale Volume and Value reports submitted by Amendment 80 vessels. A more detailed discussion of the methods for determining a proxy price can be found in section 1.7.2 of the RIR/IRFA prepared for this action. The reporting period for the Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report and the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report would be from January 1 to October 31. These reports would be VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 due on November 10. NMFS proposes this time period to allow enough time for submitter to prepare the reports and for NMFS to prepare the standardized prices to be published in the Federal Register by December 1 of the year in which the landings were made. These reports would need to be submitted electronically through the Alaska Region Web site at http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Electronic submittal would reduce costs, administrative burden, and ensure that the reports are submitted in a timely fashion. The standard price for the entire calendar year for species subject to cost recovery fees other than fixed-gear sablefish, halibut, and pollock would be based on volume and value data from January 1 through October 31. NMFS expects these data would provide an accurate ex-vessel price for fish harvested in November and December for several reasons. First, for many fisheries, effort in November and December subsides. Therefore, landings in those fisheries in November and December represent a small proportion of overall annual harvests. For example, landings of Atka mackerel, sablefish, Pacific cod, and Pacific ocean perch have generally concluded by October 31 and few landings are made in November and December relative to the rest of the year. Second, NMFS reviewed information from existing data sources, such as the COAR, and determined that ex-vessel values for fishery species proposed for cost recovery do not differ substantially in November and December relative to ex-vessel values prior to October. Therefore, even if data were collected from landings in November and December it would not be expected to have a substantive effect on the annual estimate of ex-vessel price for a fishery species (See Section 1.7.2.2 of the Analysis for additional detail). Although rock sole prices do fluctuate during a calendar year, NMFS would be collecting data during the first quarter of the year (from January 1 through March 31) and from the remainder of the year (April 1 through October 31) to reflect those intra-annual variations in prices. In the specific case of rock sole, prices after April 1 and through October 31 are relatively constant and similar to prices in November and December. Therefore, collecting data on rock sole prices after October would not provide additional detail needed to establish a standard price for rock sole for the last three quarters of the year (April through December 31). Finally, during public workshops, NMFS discussed limiting the volume and value reporting period PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 945 to the first ten months of the year (January 1 through October 31). Members of the industry that participated in the public workshops did not raise concerns about this approach. NMFS notes that it would continue to monitor ex-vessel prices received through the COAR, as well as through feedback from affected industry participants. If needed, NMFS can adjust the reporting period in the future through subsequent rulemaking to reflect any variations in prices that may be observed. 2. IFQ Buyer Report NMFS currently requires participants in the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program to submit a cost recovery fee based on either actual prices, or standard prices, for IFQ halibut and sablefish. Standard prices are determined based on information from an IFQ Buyer Report (see § 679.5(l)(7)(i)). An IFQ Buyer Report is required from each IFQ registered buyer that operates as a shoreside processor and that receives and purchases IFQ halibut or sablefish or CDQ halibut. The IFQ Buyer Report includes information regarding volume and value of IFQ halibut and sablefish and CDQ halibut landings by month, port, and IFQ registered buyer. The IFQ Buyer Report is based upon a reporting period from October 1 of the previous year to September 30 of the current year. The IFQ Buyer Report is due on October 15 each year. NMFS proposes using the standard prices calculated from the IFQ Buyer Report for the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program to establish standard prices and ex-vessel values for CDQ halibut and fixed gear sablefish by month. NMFS would use standard prices and ex-vessel values calculated from information already required to be submitted under current regulations to avoid duplication with other data collection programs, and eliminate the costs and burden associated with developing a new data collection method for establishing standard prices and ex-vessel value for the CDQ fisheries. NMFS would be able to determine a standard prices and exvessel values for the CDQ halibut and fixed-gear sablefish fisheries harvested from October 1 of the previous calendar year through September 30 of the current year and provide that information to CDQ groups by December 1 of the current calendar year as part of their annual fee liability statement. 3. Commercial Operator’s Annual Report (COAR) NMFS proposes to use the COAR to determine the standard price and ex- E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 946 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules vessel value for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands pollock fisheries. Federal regulations at § 679.5(p) require all processors of fishery resources harvested in Alaska to submit the COAR. The COAR collects data on the species landed, area where the fish were harvested, processor receiving delivery, gear used, pounds purchased, and total amount paid. The information collected in the COAR provides the data needed to establish a standard price and exvessel value for AFA and Aleutian Islands pollock based on deliveries made to AFA inshore processors. Because data from the COAR are not available until November following the calendar year in which they are collected, they are not suitable for use for establishing a standard price where values change substantially from year to year. Section 1.7.2.2.1 of the RIR/IRFA notes that aggregate prices of pollock do not change substantially from year to year, particularly when aggregated over an entire calendar year as proposed in this rule. Therefore, COAR data collected in the previous calendar year could effectively be used to establish a standard price for BSAI pollock fisheries during the current calendar year. Because the aggregate prices of pollock tend to remain stable from yearto-year, the quantity of harvest is the most significant factor in determining the ex-vessel value of pollock. Therefore, NMFS does not anticipate that using standard prices calculated from the COAR would substantively affect the amount of cost recovery fees an AFA cooperative or the Aleut Corporation would have to pay if the fee liability is not expected to exceed three percent of the standard ex-vessel value. As noted earlier, NMFS does not expect the fee for the AFA or Aleutian Island Pollock Programs to exceed three percent in the foreseeable future. Since the estimates of the cost recovery fees are less than the three-percent limit, the precision of the data used to establish the standard price and the standard exvessel value will have negligible impact on the fee liability that would be paid by each entity. Input from members of the affected industry during the public workshops indicated that they support using annual COAR data to estimate prices for the AFA and Aleutian Islands pollock fisheries, even though it would require that previous year’s prices are used to establish a standard ex-vessel value. The use of COAR data to establish a standard ex-vessel value for the BSAI pollock fisheries would provide a reasonable method to establish a standard price, would avoid duplication with existing data collection programs, and eliminate the costs and burden associated with developing a new data collection method. The standard price, as calculated using COAR data from AFA inshore processors, would be used to determine the standard price for all AFA and Aleutian Islands pollock landings. For more information on the COAR, please see http:// www.adfg.alaska.gov/ index.cfm?adfg=fishlicense.coar. F. Reimbursable Costs NMFS proposes to recover the incremental costs associated with the management, data collection, and enforcement of the CDQ groundfish and halibut, AFA, Aleutian Islands pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs. As described above in the ‘‘Statutory Authority’’ section of this preamble, this is consistent with NOAA policy for implementing cost recovery fee programs. Section 1.8.3 of the RIR/IRFA and Tables 1–34 and 1–35 in the RIR/ IRFA includes detailed information about the types of costs that NMFS incurs in the management of the CDQ groundfish and halibut, AFA, Aleutian Islands pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs. These types of incremental costs that NMFS incurs are summarized in Table 3 below. TABLE 3—SUMMARY OF THE TYPES OF INCREMENTAL COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH COST RECOVERY PROGRAMS Cost Example Equipment Inspections ................................................ Inspecting at-sea scales that are required and implemented as part of the a cost recovery program to accurately weight harvests (e.g., AFA catcher/processors, Amendment 80 vessels). Creating and maintaining software programs necessary to track the use of exclusive harvest privileges allocated under a program subject to cost recovery. Labor costs associated with developing and implementing regulations that modify a program subject to cost recovery. Investigating and enforcing violations associated with a cost recovery program (e.g., costs incurred investigating and enforcing provisions intended to limit the maximum permissible amount of quota share a person may hold and use). Attending and participating in meetings required to address issues related to a cost recovery meeting (e.g., travel associated with providing outreach on new regulatory provisions applicable to a program subject to cost recovery). Modifying catch accounting to specifically track the use of exclusive harvest privileges. Deploying staff to monitor and track catch for a program subject to a cost recovery program (e.g., the Catch Monitoring and Control Plan Specialist used to monitor catch in the Rockfish Program). Information collection and data management ............. Rulemaking .................................................................. Investigations ............................................................... Staff meeting travel and outreach ............................... asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Catch accounting ......................................................... Catch monitoring .......................................................... NMFS does not currently account for incremental costs for each of these programs, because there is not a cost recovery fee program in place for these programs. NMFS has provided estimates of costs for managing the AFA, Aleutian Islands pollock, Amendment 80, and CDQ groundfish and halibut Programs based on the best available information, but lacks information to provide more precise estimates. NMFS would provide VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 a detailed accounting of costs once this rule became effective, if approved. NMFS would capture the incremental costs of managing the fisheries through an established accounting system that allows NMFS to track labor, travel, and procurement. This process is described in Section 1.8.3 of the RIR/IRFA. This accounting system for management costs is consistent with the methods NMFS uses to account for costs in the PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program, Crab Rationalization Program, and Rockfish Program. Once the incremental costs for the most recent Federal fiscal year are identified, that amount is recovered from all permit holders in the program. NMFS would adjust the total management costs, annually, to account for any adjustments or payments received during the previous calendar E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules year. For example, if payments received by CDQ groups in 2017 were slightly greater than the actual management costs incurred for the CDQ Program for that fee collection period, then NMFS would adjust the total management costs, which would then slightly lower the fee percentage due by the CDQ groups in 2018. Some slight adjustment in the total management costs to account for rounding, overpayment, or corrections to actual costs after the fee liability is due is anticipated. NMFS would accommodate these factors on an annual basis by adjusting the fee percentages in the following year for the affected program. In all cases, the fee percentage could not be set at an amount higher than three percent of the ex-vessel value of a program fisheries even if the actual costs for the previous year exceeded three percent of the standard ex-vessel value for the landings subject to cost recovery. During public workshops held on this proposed action, participants in some fisheries that would be subject to a cost recovery fee requested that NMFS consider crediting, or reducing, the cost recovery fee for expenses that participants incur to cooperatively manage and monitor harvests. NMFS acknowledges that industry has taken an active role in establishing industrybased measures to coordinate and communicate information in fisheries for which participants receive an exclusive harvest privilege for a portion of the TAC, particularly in fisheries that utilize harvest cooperatives. However, regardless of these industry-based measures, NMFS has identified actual costs that it incurs that are directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of these programs. Expenses that industry incurs that directly reduce the NMFS’ costs for implementing and maintaining the program would reduce the cost recovery fee. That is, NMFS would not assess a fee for any costs it does not incur due to changes in fishing patterns with the implementation of a limited access privilege program. Section 1.8 of the RIR/IRFA provides additional detail on costs that are due to the implementation of the AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, Amendment 80, and CDQ Programs including the establishment of new permitting, regulatory provisions, monitoring requirements, data management, and other costs. G. Fee Liability Notice and Submission Each year by December 1, NMFS would send each permit holder or their designated representative a fee liability summary letter for the fees required for VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 that year. The fee liability summary letter would calculate each permit holders’ fee liability. The fee liability would be calculated by NMFS based on: (1) The standard price determined by using data from the applicable volume and value report, IFQ Buyer Report, or the COAR; (2) the total amount of landings by a permit holder from January 1 through November 30 of that year; (3) NMFS’s estimate of landings for a permit holder from December 1 through December 31 of that year; and (4) and NMFS’ actual costs from October 1 of the previous calendar year through September 30 of the current calendar year. The total cost recovery fee would need to be submitted electronically to NMFS no later than December 31 of the calendar year in which the landings were made. Because the fee liability notice would be sent on December 1, and the fee liability is assessed through the end of the year (December 31), NMFS would estimate landings for each permit holder that would be made between December 1 and December 31. NMFS would provide an estimate of landings between December 1 and December 31 because it is not possible to prepare and provide a fee liability notice to each permit holder for landings through December 31, and require payment from each permit holder before fishing begins on January 1 of the following year. NMFS notes that estimates of landings would only be required for some of the fisheries subject to a cost recovery fee. In the case of the AFA and Aleutian Islands Pollock Programs, directed fishing for pollock is prohibited after November 1 (see regulations at § 679.23(e)(2)(ii)), therefore there would be no need to estimate landings from December 1 through December 31. Some CDQ fisheries are closed prior to December 1, including Atka mackerel, fixed-gear sablefish, and halibut (see regulations at § 679.23(e)(4)(iii)). Therefore, there would be no additional landings in December for these fisheries, and an estimate of landings would not be required from December 1 through December 31. For other Amendment 80 and CDQ groundfish fisheries (e.g., Pacific ocean perch, Pacific cod, yellowfin sole, and other flatfish fisheries), historic data indicate that the amount of landings during December are small relative to landings during the previous 11 months, and NMFS is likely to be able to accurately estimate landings based on the amount of a permit holder’s remaining allocation during a year and projections of landings after December 1. Section 1.10 of the RIR/IRFA contains additional information on landings of PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 947 catch in December and methods NMFS would use to estimate landings for each program. Any actual landings from December 1 through December 31 that were less than the estimated landings during this period would be accounted for in reporting for the following year and would result in a credit to the permit holder and would be deducted from the permit holder’s fee liability for the following year. Any actual landings that were greater than the estimated landings would be accounted for in reporting for the following year and would result in a debit to the permit holder and would be added to the permit holder’s fee liability for the following year. Section 1.10 of the RIR/IRFA also describes how NMFS would adjust the fee liability for a permit holder from one year to the next to account for differences in actual and estimated landings from December 1 through December 31. A permit holder would incur a fee liability for all fish that is landed and debited against the permit authorizing the permit holder to land fish in a program subject to cost recovery. This proposed rule would require a permit holder to designate a representative who would be responsible for submitting this payment to NMFS on or before the due date of December 31 of the year in which the landings were made. NMFS notes that the permit holder must selfcollect the amount due for all landings on his or her permit(s). NMFS advises program participants subject to cost recovery to ensure that adequate funds are retained on an annual basis to ensure that the fee liability can be paid. For example, during the first year of implementation, it may be advisable for the permit holder to retain a fixed percentage of the value of ex-vessel prices paid to harvesters for CDQ groundfish and halibut, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 species throughout the year. This would ensure that the permit holder could pay the required fees for fishing during the calendar year when the fee is due on December 31 of that calendar year. The ‘‘Proposed Action’’ section of this preamble provides estimates of the range of fee percentages that may be required for each of the cost recovery fee programs, and could be used as a basis to establish a reasonable amount for each permit holder to retain. H. Payment Compliance This proposed rule would require a permit holder to designate a representative to submit the fee on the permit holder’s behalf. Any permit holder who has incurred a fee liability would be required to pay the fee E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 948 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules electronically to NMFS by December 31 of the year in which the landings were made. A permit holder would need to ensure full payment for their cost recovery fee liability by December 31 of the year in which the landings were made. This proposed rule would establish an exception to this general requirement for the full payment of a cost recovery fee liability for the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative. During public workshops prior to the development of this proposed rule, participants in the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative noted the challenges of adequately coordinating among all members of their cooperative given the relatively large numbers of participants in the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative. Industry participants suggested that withholding the entire Bering Sea pollock directed fishery allocation to the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative if a complete and timely payment is not received would not be an appropriate management response. NMFS proposes that if the designated representative for the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative has made a timely payment to NMFS of an amount less than the fee liability NMFS estimated, NMFS may choose to issue a quota allocation corresponding to the same percentage of the cost recovery fee received from the cooperative or group. For example, if only 90 percent of the fee liability were received on a timely basis, NMFS would only issue 90 percent of the Bering Sea pollock directed fishery TAC to the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative. NMFS does not propose to extend this provision to AFA inshore cooperatives, or the AFA mothership cooperative, because participants in other AFA cooperatives did not raise similar concerns about coordination. NMFS would not propose to extend this same provision to the Amendment 80 or CDQ Programs because these programs receive allocations from more than one species, and determining which allocation to withhold due to a partial payment is not possible. In addition, NMFS has not received a request from participants in the Amendment 80 or CDQ Programs to establish such a provision. NMFS specifically requests comment on the need and applicability of this proposed provision for the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative. If a permit holder or designated representative fails to submit full payment for their cost recovery fee liability by December 31 of the year in which the landings were made, under this proposed rule, NMFS could 1) at any time thereafter send an initial administrative determination (IAD) to VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 the permit holder or designated representative stating their fee liability; and 2) disapprove any application to transfer quota to or from the permit holder or group which receives an annual allocation. The IAD would state that the permit holder’s estimated fee liability due from the permit holder had not been paid. Any such formal determination may be appealed. NMFS has recently established a National Appeals Office (NAO) located at NMFS Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. In 2014, NMFS adopted rules of procedure for NAO appeals in 15 CFR part 906 (79 FR 7056, February 6, 2014). The appeal procedures in 15 CFR part 906 are mandatory for appeals in limited access privilege programs developed under section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. None of the programs subject to cost recovery in this proposed rule were developed under section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and appeals are not required to be heard under the procedural rules at 15 CFR part 906. NMFS may, however, use the NAO to review appeals in programs where NAO does not have mandatory jurisdiction. NMFS proposes that the NAO review any appeals submitted under the provisions of this proposed action. These appeals would use NAO procedural rules. Under NAO procedural rules, an applicant, a permit holder in this case, who appeals an IAD would not receive a permit designating an exclusive harvest privilege for a portion of the TAC in limited access privilege program or CDQ fisheries until the appeal was resolved in the applicant’s favor. Finally, upon final agency action, NMFS may continue to prohibit issuance of permits or quota allocation for any subsequent calendar years until NMFS receives full payment of any unpaid fees. If payment is not received within 30 days after final agency action, the agency may pursue collection of the unpaid fees. Upon issuance of final agency action, payment submitted to NMFS in excess of any cost recovery fee liability determined to be due by the final agency action will be returned to the permit holder unless he or she requests the agency to credit the excess amount against the permit holder’s future cost recovery fee liability. Payment processing fees may be deducted from any fees returned to the permit holder or designated representative. Administrative fees may be assessed if the account drawn on to pay cost recovery fee liability has insufficient funds, or if the account is delinquent. Additionally, interest would begin accruing the day after the due date up PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 until payment is received. The interest rate is set annually by the Department of Treasury. If payment has not been received 90 days after the due date, NMFS may also assess a one-time penalty fee of six percent of the amount owned. I. Annual Reports NMFS would annually publish a report for each of the proposed cost recovery fee programs about the performance of the program. The annual report would provide information regarding the amount of the fees received by NMFS, the disposition of the fees, and the program costs used in determining the fee for the previous year. The annual report is consistent with the reports NMFS provides for the three other cost recovery fee programs implemented in the Alaska Region. IV. The Proposed Action The proposed action would implement a cost recovery fee program for the AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, Amendment 80, and CDQ groundfish and halibut Programs. The following sections provide additional detail on the primary components of each of the proposed cost recovery fee programs, and a discussion of the estimated reimbursable costs and cost recovery fees for each program. A detailed description of each proposed cost recovery fee program can be found in section 1.10 of the RIR/IRFA. A. Pollock Cost Recovery Fee Programs 1. AFA Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities As described in the ‘‘American Fisheries Act Program’’ section of this preamble, the AFA allocates the Bering Sea pollock TAC to three sectors— catcher/processor, mothership, and inshore. Each of these sectors created one or more cooperatives to promote the rational and orderly harvest and processing of pollock (see Table 5 of this preamble). Because management costs can differ among these three sectors, NMFS proposes to assess management fees for the each of the AFA sectors separately. These are explained in greater detail in Table 7 of this preamble, and section 1.8.6 of the RIR/ IRFA. NMFS proposes adding regulations at § 679.61(e)(1)(vi) that require each AFA cooperative include a requirement that lists the obligations of members of a cooperative to ensure the full payment of all AFA fee liabilities that may be due. This proposed regulation does not proscribe the specific measures that an AFA cooperative may choose to E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules establish, but does require that those provisions are listed in the cooperative agreement. This requirement is intended to encourage and facilitate coordination among AFA cooperative members for the timely and complete payment of fees. NMFS implemented a similar requirement in the Rockfish Program to facilitate coordination in that cost recovery fee program, and the provisions proposed in this rule would be appropriate for the AFA cooperatives. NMFS is proposing a similar requirement for Amendment 80 cooperatives. The AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative would be subject to an AFA cost recovery fee. The AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative receives an exclusive harvest privilege of up to 99.5 percent of the TAC allocated to the catcher/ processor sector. As noted earlier in this preamble, the one statutorily defined catcher/processor participant who is not a member of the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative is not subject to an AFA cost recovery fee. The individual responsible for submitting the cost recovery fee for the catcher/processor sector would be the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative’s designated representative. The AFA Mothership Fleet Cooperative would be subject to an AFA cost recovery fee. The AFA Mothership Fleet Cooperative receives an exclusive harvest privilege for the AFA mothership sector. All participants in the AFA mothership sector are members of the AFA Mothership Fleet Cooperative. The individual responsible for submitting the cost recovery fee for the mothership sector is the Mothership Fleet Cooperative’s designated representative. AFA inshore sector cooperatives would be subject to an AFA cost 949 recovery fee. The AFA Inshore Catcher Vessel Cooperative Permit (see § 679.5(l)(6)) lists the AFA catcher vessels and processors that are members of an inshore cooperative and the percentage of the AFA inshore sector allocation that a cooperative receives. The individual responsible for submitting the cost recovery fee for each inshore cooperative would be the designated cooperative representative identified in a cooperative’s application for an AFA Inshore Catcher Vessel Cooperative Permit. Table 4 summarizes the information used to determine standard prices, any additional reporting requirement, calculation of the standard ex-vessel value, the person responsible for submitting the fee payment, and submittal requirements and deadlines for each AFA cooperative. TABLE 4—SUMMARY OF THE AFA COST RECOVERY FEE PROGRAM ELEMENTS What species are subject to a cost recovery fee? How is the standard price determined? Are there additional reporting requirements for AFA cooperatives to determine the standard price? How will NMFS determine the Standard Ex-vessel Value? Who is responsible for fee payment and (how many cooperatives are estimated to receive a fee liability notice)? When are the standard prices published in the Federal Register and when are fee liability notices sent? When are fee liability payments due and how are they submitted? 2. Aleutian Islands Pollock Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities The annual Aleutian Islands pollock TAC is allocated to the Aleut Corporation. The representative designated by the Aleut Corporation Bering sea pollock. NMFS would calculate a standard price based on data from the COAR from the previous calendar year. No. NMFS will add total reported landings of Bering Sea pollock from January 1 through November 30, estimate total landings from December 1 through December 31, if any, for each AFA cooperative and multiply that amount by the standard price determined by COAR data to calculate a Standard Ex-vessel value for each AFA cooperative. AFA Catcher/Processor Sector: AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative designated representative (1). AFA Mothership Sector: AFA Mothership Fleet Cooperative designated representative (1). AFA Inshore Sector: designated cooperative representative on each AFA Inshore Catcher Vessel Cooperative Permit application (7). The standard prices are published in the Federal Register by December 1 of each calendar year, and the fee liability notices will be sent to each designated representative by December 1 of each calendar year. Fee liability notices are due by December 31 of each year, and must be submitted online. Submittal forms are available online at: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. would be responsible for submitting the cost recovery fee. The CEO of the Aleut Corporation is the designated representative, unless the Aleut Corporation Board of Directors notifies the Regional Administrator in writing of an alternate designated representative. Table 5 summarizes the information used to determine standard prices, any additional reporting requirement, calculation of the standard ex-vessel value, the person responsible for submitting the fee payment, and submittal requirements and deadlines for each AFA cooperative. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS TABLE 5—SUMMARY OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS POLLOCK COST RECOVERY FEE PROGRAM ELEMENTS What species are subject to a cost recovery fee? How is the standard price determined? Are there additional reporting requirements for the Aleut Corporations to determine the standard price? How will NMFS determine the Standard Ex-vessel Value? VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Aleutian Islands pollock. NMFS would calculate a standard price based on data from the COAR from the previous calendar year. The standard price would be applied to all landings during a calendar year. No. NMFS will add total reported landings of Aleutian Islands pollock from January 1 through November 30, estimate total landings from December 1 through December 31, if any, and multiply that amount by the standard price determined by COAR data to calculate a Standard Ex-vessel value for each AFA cooperative. Frm 00015 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 950 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules TABLE 5—SUMMARY OF THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS POLLOCK COST RECOVERY FEE PROGRAM ELEMENTS—Continued Who is responsible for fee payment and (how many cooperatives are estimated to receive a fee liability notice)? When are the standard prices published in the Federal Register and when are fee liability notices sent? When are fee liability payments due and how are they submitted? 3. Costs, Values, and Fee Percentage Table 6 provides a summary of AFA and Aleutian Islands pollock gross exvessel revenue, recoverable costs, and what the resulting cost recovery fee percentage would have been for 2009 through 2013. Recoverable costs are based on management costs estimated to be incurred by several divisions within the Alaska Region of NMFS, NOAA Office of Law Enforcement (NMFS OLE), and the NMFS Observer Program (Observer Program). NMFS notes that recoverable costs were not identified in the RIR/IRFA for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), or the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. NMFS notes that a directed fishery for Aleutian Islands pollock has not occurred since the implementation Aleut Corporation (1). The standard prices are published in the Federal Register by December 1 of each calendar year, and the fee liability notices will be sent to each designated representative by December 1 of each calendar year. Fee liability notices are due by December 31 of each year, and must be submitted online. Submittal forms are available online at: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. of the Aleutian Islands Pollock Program in 2005, and NMFS has reallocated the available allocation of Aleutian Islands pollock to the Bering Sea fishery. Because the directed pollock fishery in the Bering Sea is managed under the AFA, the revenues and costs from the reallocated Aleutian Islands pollock are associated with the AFA. This means that during this time period, the recoverable costs would have been associated with the AFA Program. Those revenues and costs are described in Table 6 of this preamble. If directed pollock fishing occurs in the Aleutian Islands in future years, NMFS would assess the Aleut Corporation a cost recovery fee for the directed Aleutian Islands pollock fishery. If the same fee percentage were applied to all AFA sectors, the fee would have ranged from a high of 0.58 percent in 2010 to a low of 0.29 percent in 2012. Because the management costs associated with the AFA catcher/ processor, inshore, and mothership sectors are known to vary, Table 6 provides estimates of the cost recovery fee percentage when it is established for each sector—catcher/processor (C/P), mothership (MS), and inshore. Those data indicate that the catcher/processor sector would pay a greater cost recovery fee than the mothership or inshore sector. The catcher/processor sector would pay a greater cost recovery fee percentage because enforcement and observer program costs are greater for that sector, relative to the others. Additional detail on the costs associated with each of the AFA sectors is provided in section 1.8.6 of the RIR/ IRFA. TABLE 6—SUMMARY OF AFA AND ALEUTIAN ISLANDS POLLOCK PROGRAM ESTIMATED COSTS, EX-VESSEL VALUE, AND FEE PERCENTAGE BY YEAR AND BY SECTOR Cost incurred for each AFA sector Entity incurring costs C/P MS Inshore Total Costs (estimated for all years) NMFS Alaska Region ...................................................................................... NMFS OLE ...................................................................................................... Observer Program ........................................................................................... $97,832 246,460 239,096 $47,518 49,292 53,911 $179,452 197,168 96,454 $324,802 492,920 389,461 Total (Millions) ................................................................................................. 0.58 0.15 0.47 1.21 Year AFA Sector 2010 2011 2012 2013 Ex-vessel Value per year ($ Millions) C/P ................................................................................................................... MS .................................................................................................................... Inshore ............................................................................................................. $83 21 104 $141 35 176 $168 42 208 $155 39 194 Year AFA sector asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 2010 2011 2012 2013 Estimated Fee Percentage (Percent of Ex-vessel Value) C/P ................................................................................................................... MS .................................................................................................................... Inshore ............................................................................................................. In each year considered in Table 6, the fee percentage for each sector was VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 0.70% 0.72% 0.45% less than 0.75 percent of the ex-vessel value of the fishery. This means that PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 0.41 0.43 0.27 0.35 0.36 0.23 0.38 0.39 0.24 AFA program costs would need to increase by a minimum of 400 percent, E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules or program revenue would need to fall by the same percentage in order for the fee percentage to reach the maximum fee limit of three percent of ex-vessel value. Therefore, the fee percentage that would be implemented for this program is expected to be small. by December 1 of the year in which the landings were made. The fee must be submitted electronically to NMFS by December 31 of the calendar year in which the landings were made. 4. Calculation of Standard Price Information 1. Amendment 80 Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities NMFS issues the CQ permit to an Amendment 80 cooperative based on an annual CQ permit application submitted by each Amendment 80 cooperative. The Amendment 80 CQ permit application specifies the cooperative’s designated representative. The Amendment 80 cooperative’s designated representative would be responsible for submitting the cost recovery fee for the cooperative under this proposed action. Amendment 80 quota shareholders who do not choose to join an Amendment 80 cooperative may participate in the Amendment 80 limited access fishery. The Amendment 80 limited access fishery does not meet the definition of a limited access privilege program, and participants in that fishery would not be subject to a cost recovery fee. Since 2011, all 27 catcher/processors participating in the Amendment 80 Program are members of one of two cooperatives—the Alaska Seafood Cooperative or the Alaska Groundfish BSAI ex-vessel pollock prices will be derived from the COAR. The rationale for using the COAR has been described earlier in this preamble. Pollock standard prices would be the average ex-vessel price for the year. The average ex-vessel price, calculated using the inshore sectors’ COAR data, would be used to determine the annual standard price for all AFA, Aleutian Islands, and CDQ pollock landings. The assessment of fees for pollock harvested by CDQ Groups is described in the ‘‘CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program’’ section of this preamble. The inshore price would be used as a standard price for all BSAI pollock landings because it provides an ex-vessel price based on the sale of pollock, rather than imputing an exvessel price from wholesale value to estimate a standard price. Once the standard price has been calculated, NMFS would determine the fee percentages and announce the percentage in a Federal Register notice B. Amendment 80 Cost Recovery Fee Program 951 Cooperative. No Amendment 80 quota shareholders have elected to participate in the limited access fishery. NMFS proposes adding regulations at § 679.91(b)(4)(vii) that would require that Amendment 80 cooperative agreements list the obligations of Amendment 80 cooperative members to ensure full payment of cost recovery fees among their members. This proposed regulation does not proscribe the specific provisions that Amendment 80 cooperatives may choose to ensure full payment of cost recovery fees among their members, but it does require that those provisions are listed in the cooperative agreement. This requirement is intended to encourage and facilitate coordination among Amendment 80 cooperative members for the timely and complete payment of fees. As noted earlier in this preamble, NMFS implemented a similar requirement in the Rockfish Program, and is proposing similar provisions for the AFA and Amendment 80 cooperatives. Table 7 summarizes the information used to determine standard prices, any additional reporting requirement, calculation of the standard ex-vessel value, the person responsible for submitting the fee payment, and submittal requirements and deadlines for each Amendment 80 cooperative. TABLE 7—SUMMARY OF THE AMENDMENT 80 COST RECOVERY FEE PROGRAM ELEMENTS What species are subject to a cost recovery fee? How is the standard price determined? asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Are there additional reporting requirements to determine the standard price? How will NMFS determine the Standard Ex-vessel Value? Who is responsible for fee payment and (how many cooperatives are estimated to receive a fee liability notice)? When are the standard prices published in the Federal Register, and when are fee liability notices sent? When are fee liability payments due and how are they submitted? 2. Cost, Values, and Fee Percentage Table 8 provides an estimate of the management costs subject to the cost recovery program, gross ex-vessel revenue from fishery species allocated VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 Amendment 80 species: (BSAI Atka Mackerel, BSAI flathead sole, BSAI Pacific cod, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, BSAI rock sole, and BSAI yellowfin sole). NMFS would calculate a standard price for BSAI Pacific cod based on data from the Pacific Cod Volume and Value Report. The standard price would be applied to all landings during a calendar year. NMFS would calculate a standard price for all other species other than BSAI Pacific cod from the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. The standard price would be applied to all landings during a calendar year, except for BSAI rock sole. NMFS would calculate one standard price for landings made from January 1 through March 31, and a separate standard price for landings made from April 1 through December 31 of each year. Yes. Each Amendment 80 vessel owner that lands Amendment 80 species during a calendar year is required to submit a First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. NMFS will add total reported landings of Amendment 80 species from January 1 through November 30, estimate total landings from December 1 through December 31, if any, for each cooperative and multiply that amount by the standard price determined by the applicable volume and value report. The Amendment 80 Cooperative’s designated representative listed on the Cooperative Quota (CQ) application (2). The standard prices are published in the Federal Register by December 1 of each calendar year, and the fee liability notices will be sent to each designated representative by December 1 of each calendar year. Fee liability notices are due by December 31 of each year, and must be submitted online. Submittal forms are available online at: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. to the Amendment 80 Program, and estimates of the cost recovery fee percentages from 2010 through 2013. Total management costs subject to a cost recovery fee were estimated to be PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 approximately $1.36 million per year. Recoverable fees are estimated based on management costs incurred by several divisions within the Alaska Region of NMFS, NMFS OLE, AFSC, and the E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 952 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules Observer Program. Section 1.8.4 of the RIR/IRFA provides additional detail about the estimated management costs associated with the Amendment 80 Program. TABLE 8—SUMMARY OF AMENDMENT 80 PROGRAM ESTIMATED COSTS, GROSS EX-VESSEL REVENUE, AND FEE PERCENTAGE Entity incurring costs Cost incurred Costs (estimated for all years) NMFS Alaska Region .......................................................................................................................................................................... NMFS OLE .......................................................................................................................................................................................... Alaska Fisheries Science Center ........................................................................................................................................................ Observer Program ............................................................................................................................................................................... $486,364 492,920 49,627 333,548 Total ($ Millions) ........................................................................................................................................................................... 1.36 Year Entity 2010 2011 2012 2013 Ex-Vessel Value per year ($ Millions) Amendment 80 Cooperatives .......................................................................... $89 $112 $98 $84 Year Entity 2010 2011 2012 2013 Estimated Fee Percentage (Percent of Ex-Vessel Value) Amendment 80 Cooperatives .......................................................................... asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Based on the estimated gross ex-vessel revenue from the fishery species subject to a cost recovery fee under the Amendment 80 Program, vessels in the Amendment 80 Program generated between $84 million and $112 million of ex-vessel value per year during the period analyzed. Relative to the estimated recoverable costs, these exvessel values result in a cost recovery fee ranging from 1.22 percent to 1.62 percent, depending on the year, to generate $1.36 million to cover reimbursable management costs. In each year considered in Table 8, the cost recovery fee was estimated to be less than 1.7 percent of the estimated exvessel value landed by the Amendment 80 cooperatives. Based on these percentages, the cost of managing the Amendment 80 Program would need to double, or revenue would need to decrease by half before the maximum fee of three percent of ex-vessel value would be reached. Therefore, the fee percentage that would be implemented for this program is expected to be small. 3. Calculation of Standard Price Information To generate timely standard prices NMFS would collect first wholesale data on round (unprocessed) pounds and value from the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. Annual standard prices will be used for all Amendment 80 species except rock sole. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 1.54% As noted earlier in this preamble, two standard prices will be estimated for rock sole, one for the first quarter (from January 1 through March 31), and one for the remainder of the year (April 1 through December 31). Standard prices and the cost recovery fee percentage will be reported in a Federal Register notice by December 1 and the fee liability payment will be due on December 31st. This billing cycle enables NMFS to base the cost recovery fee liability on that year’s ex-vessel revenue to the extent possible (January 1 through October 31), while allowing NMFS to collect the cost recovery fees prior to issuing a CQ permit to Amendment 80 cooperatives for the upcoming fishing year that begins in January. C. CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program 1. CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities This proposed rule defines each CDQ group as the person subject to cost recovery fees for CDQ groundfish and halibut fisheries. The designated representative of a CDQ group is the individual responsible for remitting payment for their CDQ group (see Table 9 of this preamble). NMFS annually allocates a portion of groundfish and halibut TACs to the CDQ groups as described above in the ‘‘CDQ Program’’ section of this PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 1.22% 1.49% 1.62% preamble. NMFS annually publishes the allocations of groundfish and halibut TACs to each CDQ group on the Alaska Region Web site at http:// www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/cdq/ current_historical.htm. The information in this publication would represent the permit that provides an exclusive harvest privilege to the CDQ group to harvest its allocation of groundfish and halibut TACs. Each CDQ group would be responsible for submitting to NMFS the cost recovery fee associated with landings made from its allocation of groundfish and halibut TACs. This method is consistent with the method NMFS uses to collect fees for crab CDQ in the Crab Rationalization cost recovery fee program (see § 680.44). In developing this proposed action, NMFS considered defining the Administrative Panel authorized in section 305(i)(1)(G) as the person subject to cost recovery fees for CDQ groundfish and halibut fisheries. Under this option, NMFS would submit a single cost recovery fee liability notice for all CDQ Program cost recovery fees to WACDA, the entity currently serving as the Administrative Panel for the CDQ Program. NMFS did not select this approach because it would not be consistent with the current management structure of the CDQ groundfish and halibut fisheries. As described earlier in the ‘‘CDQ Program’’ section of this preamble and in section 1.5.2.1 of the E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules RIR/IRFA, existing CDQ groundfish and halibut catch monitoring and reporting requirements are structured to ensure that each CDQ group actively monitors the harvest of its allocations, and that each group takes action to constrain its fishing activities should its harvest approach or reach a particular allocation. Furthermore, CDQ group representatives did not support combining cost recovery fees for all CDQ groups into one fee liability notice for the CDQ Program. These representatives noted that combining responsibility for all CDQ Program cost recovery fee liabilities could disadvantage some CDQ groups if one or more groups do not submit their fee by the deadline and NMFS withheld groundfish or halibut allocations to the CDQ Program in the next year. Making each CDQ group responsible for its own fees eliminates the potential for a CDQ group to be held accountable and 953 potentially have its CDQ withheld if another CDQ group fails to submit a timely and complete fee payment. Table 9 summarizes the information used to determine standard prices, any additional reporting requirement, calculation of the standard ex-vessel value, the person responsible for submitting the fee payment, and submittal requirements and deadlines for each CDQ group. TABLE 9—SUMMARY OF THE CDQ COST RECOVERY FEE PROGRAM ELEMENT What species are subject to a cost recovery fee? How is the standard price determined? Are there additional reporting requirements from CDQ groups to determine the standard price? How will NMFS determine the Standard Ex-vessel Value? Who is responsible for fee payment and (how many cooperatives are estimated to receive a fee liability notice)? When are the standard prices published in the Federal Register and when are the fee liability notices sent? When are fee liability payments due and how are they submitted? 2. Cost, Values, and Fee Percentage NMFS, NMFS OLE, the Observer Program, and ADF&G all contribute to the management of the CDQ Program. Table 10 provides a summary of the management costs subject to the cost recovery fee program, gross ex-vessel Groundfish species allocated to the CDQ Program: (BSAI Atka Mackerel, BSAI flathead sole, Bering Sea Greenland turbot, BSAI Pacific cod, Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch, BSAI Pollock, BSAI rock sole, BSAI sablefish, and BSAI yellowfin sole), and BSAI halibut. NMFS would calculate a standard price for BSAI Pacific cod based on data from the Pacific Cod Volume and Value Report. The standard price would be applied to all landings during a calendar year. NMFS would calculate a standard price for all other species other than BSAI pollock, BSAI Pacific cod, BSAI sablefish, and BSAI Halibut from the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. The standard price would be applied to all landings during a calendar year, except for BSAI rock sole. NMFS would calculate one standard price for landings made from January 1 through March 31, and a separate standard price for landings made from April 1 through December 31 of each year. NMFS would calculate a standard price for BSAI pollock based on data from the COAR from the previous calendar year. The standard price would be applied to all landings during a calendar year. NMFS would calculate a standard price for BSAI sablefish and BSAI halibut from the IFQ Buyer Report. The standard price would be applied to all landings during a calendar year. No. NMFS will add total reported landings of the above mentioned species from January 1 through November 30, estimate total landings from December 1 through December 31, if any, for each cooperative and multiply that amount by the standard price determined by the Volume and Value reports. The CDQ group’s designated representative (6). The standard prices are published in the Federal Register by December 1 of each calendar year, and the fee liability notices will be sent to each designated representative by December 1 of each calendar year. Fee liability notices are due by December 31 of each year, and must be submitted online. Submittal forms are available online at: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. revenue from species allocated to the CDQ Program, and estimates of the cost recovery fee percentages from 2010 through 2013. Fees were estimated to be about $0.63 million per year, at current levels. These fees included the costs of developing reports on halibut landings, providing support for information systems (e.g., e-Landings catch and production reporting system), and stationing observers on vessels. Section 1.8.4 of the RIR/IRFA provides additional detail about the estimated management costs associated with the Amendment 80 Program. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS TABLE 10—SUMMARY OF CDQ GROUNDFISH AND HALIBUT ESTIMATED COSTS, GROSS EX-VESSEL REVENUE, AND FEE PERCENTAGE Entity incurring costs Cost incurred Costs (estimated for all years) NMFS Alaska Region .......................................................................................................................................................................... NMFS OLE .......................................................................................................................................................................................... ADF&G ................................................................................................................................................................................................. Observer Program ............................................................................................................................................................................... $234,796 246,460 65,612 84,799 Total ($ Millions) ........................................................................................................................................................................... 0.63 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 954 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules Year Entity 2010 2011 2012 2013 Ex-vessel Value per year ($ Millions) CDQ Groups .................................................................................................... $47 $74 $87 $76 Year Entity 2010 2011 2012 2013 Estimated Fee Percentage (Percent of Ex-vessel Value) CDQ Groups .................................................................................................... The CDQ Program fee percentage was estimated to range from 0.73 percent to 1.33 percent per year from 2010 through 2013. The estimated fee percentage for 2013 was less than 1.0 percent of the gross ex-vessel value of species directly allocated to the CDQ Program. In each year, considered in Table 10, the fee percentage was less than 1.4 percent. Based on these percentages, the cost of managing the CDQ Program would need to double, or revenue would need to decrease by half before the maximum fee of three percent of ex-vessel value would be reached. Therefore, the fee percentage that would be implemented for this program is expected to be small. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 3. Calculation of Standard Price Information NMFS would calculate cost recovery fees for CDQ halibut and fixed gear sablefish based on the standard prices calculated and reported by NMFS for the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program cost recovery fee. NMFS would use the IFQ Buyer Report to determine standard prices for CDQ halibut and sablefish. NMFS determined that IFQ standard prices would be appropriate for CDQ halibut and sablefish because buyers of CDQ halibut and sablefish are required by § 679.5(l)(7)(i) to submit the IFQ Buyer Report. Therefore, price data for CDQ halibut and sablefish are already reported. The standard prices for pollock allocations harvested by CDQ groups would be derived from the COAR data. The standard prices for Pacific cod allocations harvested by CDQ groups would be derived from the Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report. The standard prices for the remaining CDQ groundfish species, other than Pacific cod, pollock, halibut, and fixed gear sablefish, would be derived from the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. V. Classification Pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 1.33% this proposed rule is consistent with the FMP, other provisions of the MagnusonStevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. A. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis An IRFA was prepared, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. Copies of the RIR/IRFA prepared for this proposed rule are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The IRFA for this proposed action describes the action, why this action is being proposed, the objectives and legal basis for the proposed rule, the type and number of small entities to which the proposed rule would apply, and the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of the proposed rule. It also identifies any overlapping, duplicative, or conflicting Federal rules and describes any significant alternatives to the proposed rule that would accomplish the stated objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable statues and that would minimize any significant adverse economic impact of the proposed rule on small entities. The description of the proposed action, its purpose, and its legal basis are described in the preamble and are not repeated here. This proposed rule would directly regulate six CDQ groups that support and manage the activities of the CDQ communities. The groups include the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, the Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association, the Coastal Villages Region Fund, the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, and the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association. These groups represent 65 villages and maintain a non-profit status. Each of the CDQ PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 0.86% 0.73% 0.83% groups is organized as an independently owned and operated not-for-profit entity and none is dominant in its field; consequently, each is a ‘‘small entity’’ under the Small Business Administration’s definition for ‘‘small organization’’. Section 2.6 of the IRFA prepared for this proposed rule provides more information on these entities. In addition, this action would regulate Amendment 80 and AFA cooperatives, and the vessels that are harvesting exclusive harvest privileges under the Amendment 80 and AFA programs; The Aleut Corporation; and processors and motherships that receive CDQ Pacific cod deliveries and trawl-caught Pacific cod. The Small Business Administration defines a small commercial finfish fishing entity as one that has annual gross receipts, from all activities of all affiliates, of less than $20.5 million (79 FR 33647, July 14, 2014). None of these entities are considered to be small entities based on the SBA’s size standard. B. Description of Significant Alternatives Considered The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that those participating in limited access privilege programs and the CDQ Program pay up to three percent of the ex-vessel value of the fish they are allocated to cover specific costs that are incurred by the management agencies as a direct result of implementing the programs. Given the specific requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to implement a cost recovery fee, no other alternatives would accomplish the stated objective. NMFS considered and analyzed a range of specific options to determine standard prices for calculating standard ex-vessel value data, due dates for volume and value reports, and fee submission, as described in the IRFA. NMFS selected those options that would minimize reporting burden and costs on small entities consistent with the stated objective when possible. E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS For the options to determine standard prices for calculating standard ex-vessel value data, NMFS considered options to use COAR data to determine standard prices and standard ex-vessel values for all species subject to cost recovery, but did not select that option for species other than BSAI pollock because COAR data is not an accurate data source for species where the price changes on a year-by-year basis. NMFS did select options that minimized reporting requirements on small entities by using existing data sources (e.g., COAR for BSAI pollock, and the IFQ buyer report for BSAI sablefish and BSAI halibut). For the provision setting the deadline date for two new reports that would be required under this proposed rule: The Pacific Cod Ex-Vessel Volume and Value Report and the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report, NMFS considered December 1 for the due date for volume and value reports, as well as whether or not the volume and value reports should aggregate all prices for the year. NMFS selected November 1 for the submission of reports, because it provided the most current data available while still allowing fee liabilities to be calculated on a timely basis so they could be sent out by December 1. For the fee submission deadline, NMFS considered selecting an earlier (November 30) and later fee submission due date (January 15), but ultimately selected December 31 to ensure all fees for all landings are included for each year. These dates would also minimize the potential impact on small entities relative to other dates considered. hook-and-line catcher/processor sector, and the FLCC is not considered a limited access privilege program for purposes of this proposed action. NMFS will continue to review the status of the FLCC, and would implement a cost recovery fee program for the FLCC in the future, if applicable. C. Additional Provisions Considered NMFS also considered implementing a cost recovery fee for the Freezer Longline Coalition Cooperative (FLCC). NMFS considered this alternative because initial analysis indicated that the FLCC exclusively harvested the allocation assigned to the hook-and-line catcher/processor sector (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014). However, vessels that are not part of the FLCC harvest a portion of the allocation assigned to hook-and-line catcher/processor sector. A limited number of vessels harvest Pacific cod as hook-and-line catcher/ processors within State waters and are not required to use an FFP or License Limitation Program license. These State water harvests are deducted from the proportion of the BSAI Pacific cod TAC assigned to the hook-and-line catcher/ processor sector. The harvest by these vessels is deducted from the Federal TAC and is not subject to limitation by NMFS. Therefore, the FLCC does not have an exclusive harvest privilege for a proportion of the TAC assigned to VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 D. Collection-of-Information Requirements This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). NMFS has submitted these requirements to OMB for approval. The requirements are listed below by OMB collection number. OMB Control No. 0648–0318 With this action, the observer fee submittal (15 minutes) is removed from this collection and added to the new fee collection. OMB Control No. 0648–0398 With this action, this IFQ Cost Recovery collection is removed and superseded by the new cost recovery collection. OMB Control No. 0648–0401 Public reporting burden per response is estimated to average four hours for Cooperative Contract. 955 performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments on these or any other aspects of the collection of information to NMFS at the ADDRESSES above and email to OIRA_ Submission@omb.eop.gov, or fax to (202) 395–5806. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. All currently approved NOAA collections of information may be viewed at: http://www.cio.noaa.gov/ services_programs/prasubs.html. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 679 Alaska, Cost recovery, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. OMB Contract No. 0648–0545 Dated: December 29, 2014. Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. With this action, the Rockfish volume and value form (two hours) is removed from this collection. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 679 is proposed to be amended as follows: OMB Control No. 0648–0565 PART 679—FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA Public reporting burden per response is estimated to average two hours for Application for Amendment 80 Cooperative Quota. OMB Control No. 0648–0570 With this action, the Crab Rationalization Program Cost Recovery collection is removed and superseded by the new cost recovery collection. OMB Control No. 0648–New Public reporting burden per response is estimated to average one minute for cost recovery fee or observer fee submission; five minutes for value and volume report; four hours for appeals. Estimates for public reporting burden include the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Public comment is sought regarding: Whether these proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 679 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1801 et seq.; 3631 et seq.; Pub. L. 108–447; Pub. L. 111–281. 2. In § 679.2, add definitions for ‘‘AFA equivalent pounds’’; ‘‘AFA fee liability’’; ‘‘AFA fee percentage’’; ‘‘AFA standard ex-vessel value’’; ‘‘AFA standard price’’; ‘‘Aleutian Islands pollock equivalent pounds’’; ‘‘Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability’’; ‘‘Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage’’; ‘‘Aleutian Islands pollock standard exvessel value’’; ‘‘Aleutian Islands pollock standard price’’; ‘‘Amendment 80 equivalent pounds’’; ‘‘Amendment 80 fee liability’’; ‘‘Amendment 80 fee percentage’’; ‘‘Amendment 80 standard ex-vessel value’’; ‘‘Amendment 80 standard price’’; ‘‘CDQ equivalent pounds’’; ‘‘CDQ fee liability’’; ‘‘CDQ fee percentage’’; ‘‘CDQ standard ex-vessel ■ E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 956 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules value’’; and ‘‘CDQ standard price’’; in alphabetical order to read as follows: § 679.2 Definitions. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * * AFA equivalent pounds means the weight recorded in pounds, for landed AFA pollock and calculated as round weight. AFA fee liability means the amount of money for Bering Sea pollock cost recovery, in U.S. dollars, owed to NMFS by an AFA cooperative as determined by multiplying the appropriate AFA standard ex-vessel value of a cooperative’s landed Bering Sea pollock by the appropriate AFA fee percentage. AFA fee percentage means that positive number no greater than 3 percent (0.03) determined by the Regional Administrator and established for use in calculating the AFA fee liability for a cooperative. * * * * * AFA standard ex-vessel value means the total U.S. dollar amount of landed Bering Sea pollock as calculated by multiplying the number of landed pounds of Bering Sea pollock by the appropriate AFA standard price determined by the Regional Administrator. AFA standard price means the price for landed Bering Sea pollock as determined by the Regional Administrator and is expressed in U.S. dollars for an AFA pollock equivalent pound. * * * * * Aleutian Islands pollock equivalent pounds means the weight recorded in pounds, for landed Aleutian Islands pollock and calculated as round weight. Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability means the amount of money for Aleutian Islands directed pollock cost recovery, in U.S. dollars, owed to NMFS by the Aleut Corporation as determined by multiplying the appropriate standard ex-vessel value of its landed Aleutian Islands pollock by the appropriate Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage. Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage means that positive number no greater than 3 percent (0.03) determined by the Regional Administrator and established for use in calculating the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability for the Aleut Corporation. Aleutian Islands pollock standard exvessel value means the total U.S. dollar amount of landed Aleutian Islands pollock as calculated by multiplying the number of landed pounds of Aleutian Islands pollock by the appropriate Aleutian Islands pollock standard price determined by the Regional Administrator. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 Aleutian Islands pollock standard price means the price for landed Aleutian Islands pollock as determined by the Regional Administrator and is expressed in U.S. dollars for an Aleutian Islands pollock equivalent pound. * * * * * Amendment 80 equivalent pounds means the weight recorded in pounds, for landed Amendment 80 species CQ and calculated as round weight. Amendment 80 fee liability means the amount of money for Amendment 80 cost recovery, in U.S. dollars, owed to NMFS by an Amendment 80 CQ permit holder as determined by multiplying the appropriate standard ex-vessel value of landed Amendment 80 species CQ by the appropriate Amendment 80 fee percentage. Amendment 80 fee percentage means that positive number no greater than 3 percent (0.03) determined by the Regional Administrator and established for use in calculating the Amendment 80 fee liability for an Amendment 80 CQ permit holder. * * * * * Amendment 80 standard ex-vessel value means the total U.S. dollar amount of landed Amendment 80 species CQ as calculated by multiplying the number of landed Amendment 80 species CQ equivalent pounds by the appropriate Amendment 80 standard price determined by the Regional Administrator. Amendment 80 standard price means the price for landed Amendment 80 species as determined by the Regional Administrator and is expressed in U.S. dollars for an Amendment 80 equivalent pound. * * * * * CDQ equivalent pounds means the weight recorded in pounds, for landed CDQ groundfish and halibut, and calculated as round weight. CDQ fee liability means the amount of money for CDQ groundfish and halibut cost recovery, in U.S. dollars, owed to NMFS by a CDQ group as determined by multiplying the appropriate standard ex-vessel value of landed CDQ groundfish and halibut by the appropriate CDQ fee percentage. CDQ fee percentage means that positive number no greater than 3 percent (0.03) determined by the Regional Administrator and established for use in calculating the CDQ groundfish and halibut fee liability for a CDQ group. * * * * * CDQ standard ex-vessel value means the total U.S. dollar amount of landed CDQ groundfish and halibut as calculated by multiplying the number of PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 landed CDQ groundfish and halibut equivalent pounds by the appropriate CDQ standard price determined by the Regional Administrator. CDQ standard price means the price for landed CDQ groundfish and halibut as determined by the Regional Administrator and is expressed in U.S. dollars for a CDQ equivalent pound. * * * * * ■ 3. In § 679.5, add paragraph (u) to read as follows: § 679.5 (R&R). Recordkeeping and reporting * * * * * (u) BSAI Cost Recovery Volume and Value Reports—(1) Pacific Cod Exvessel Volume and Value Report—(i) Applicability. A shoreside processor designated on an FPP, or a mothership, designated on an FFP, that processes landings of either CDQ Pacific cod or BSAI Pacific cod harvested by a vessel using trawl gear must submit annually to NMFS a complete Pacific Cod Exvessel Volume and Value Report, as described in this paragraph (u)(1), for each reporting period for which the shorebased processor or mothership receives this Pacific cod. (ii) Reporting period. The reporting period of the Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report shall extend from January 1 to October 31 of the year in which the landings were made. (iii) Due date. A complete Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report must be received by NMFS no later than November 10 of the year in which the processor or mothership received the Pacific cod. (iv) Information required. (A) The submitter must log in using his or her password and NMFS person ID to submit a Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report. The User must review any auto-filled cells to ensure that they are accurate. A completed report must have all applicable fields accurately filled-in. (B) Certification. By using the NMFS person ID and password and submitting the report, the submitter certifies that all information is true, correct, and complete to the best of his or her knowledge and belief. (v) Submittal. The submitter must complete and submit online to NMFS the Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report available at https:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. (2) First Wholesale Volume and Value Report—(i) Applicability. An Amendment 80 vessel owner that harvests Amendment 80 species, other than Pacific cod, must submit annually to NMFS a complete First Wholesale Volume and Value Report, as described E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules in this paragraph (u)(2), for each reporting period for which the Amendment 80 vessel harvests Amendment 80 species, other than Pacific cod. (ii) Reporting period. (A) The reporting period of the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report for all species except rock sole shall extend from January 1 to October 31 of the year in which the landings were made. (B) The first reporting period of the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report for rock sole shall extend from January 1 to March 31, and the second reporting period shall extend from April 1 to October 31. (iii) Due date. A complete First Wholesale Volume and Value Report must be received by NMFS no later than November 10 of the year in which the Amendment 80 vessel received the Amendment 80 species, other than Pacific cod. (iv) Information required. (A) The Amendment 80 vessel owner must log in using his or her password and NMFS person ID to submit a First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. The vessel owner must review any auto-filled cells to ensure that they are accurate. A completed application must contain the information specified on the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report with all applicable fields accurately filled in. (B) Certification. By using the NMFS person ID and password and submitting the report, the Amendment 80 vessel owner certifies that all information is true, correct, and complete to the best of his or her knowledge and belief. (v) Submittal. The Amendment 80 vessel owner must complete and submit online to NMFS the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report available at https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. ■ 4. In § 679.7, add paragraphs (c)(6), (d)(8), (k)(9), (l)(6), (o)(4)(vii), and (o)(9) to read as follows: § 679.7 Prohibitions. asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS * * * * * (c) * * * (6) For a shoreside processor designated on an FPP, or a mothership designated on an FFP, that processes landings of either CDQ Pacific cod or BSAI Pacific cod harvested by a vessel using trawl gear to fail to submit a timely and complete Pacific Cod Exvessel Volume and Value Report as required under § 679.5(u)(1). (d) * * * (8) Fail to submit a timely and complete CDQ cost recovery fee submission form and fee as required under § 679.33. * * * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 (k) * * * (9) Fail to submit a timely and complete AFA cost recovery fee submission form and fee as required under § 679.66. (l) * * * (6) Fail to submit a timely and complete Aleutian Islands pollock cost recovery fee submission form and fee as required under § 679.67. * * * * * (o) * * * (4) * * * (vii) Fail to submit a timely and complete Amendment 80 cost recovery fee submission form and fee as required under § 679.95. * * * * * (9) First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. For an Amendment 80 vessel owner to fail to submit a timely and complete First Wholesale Volume and Value Report as required under § 679.5(u)(2). * * * * * ■ 5. Add § 679.33 to Subpart E to read as follows: § 679.33 Cost recovery. (a) Cost Recovery Fee Program for CDQ groundfish and halibut—(1) Who is Responsible? The person documented with NMFS as the CDQ group representative at the time of a CDQ landing. (i) Subsequent transfer, under § 679.31(c), of a CDQ allocation by a CDQ group does not affect the CDQ group representative’s liability for noncompliance with this section. (ii) Changes in amount of a CDQ allocation to a CDQ group do not affect the CDQ group representative’s liability for noncompliance with this section. (2) Fee collection. Each CDQ group that receives a CDQ allocation of groundfish and halibut is responsible for submitting the cost recovery payment for all CDQ landings debited against that CDQ group’s allocations. (3) Payment—(i) Payment due date. A CDQ group representative must submit all CDQ fee liability payment(s) to NMFS at the address provided in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section no later than December 31 of the calendar year in which the CDQ groundfish and halibut landings were made. (ii) Payment recipient. Make electronic payment payable to NMFS. (iii) Payment address. Submit payment and related documents as instructed on the fee submission form. Payments must be made electronically through the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Instructions for electronic payment will be made available on both the payment PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 957 Web site and a fee liability summary letter mailed to the CDQ group representative. (iv) Payment method. Payment must be made electronically in U.S. dollars by automated clearing house, credit card, or electronic check drawn on a U.S. bank account. (b) CDQ standard ex-vessel value determination and use—(1) General. A CDQ group representative must use the CDQ standard prices determined by NMFS under paragraph (b)(2) of this section. (2) CDQ standard prices—(i) General. Each year the Regional Administrator will publish CDQ standard prices for groundfish and halibut in the Federal Register by December 1 of the year in which the CDQ groundfish and halibut landings were made. The CDQ standard prices will be described in U.S. dollars per equivalent pound for CDQ groundfish and halibut landings made during the current calendar year. (ii) Effective duration. The CDQ standard prices published by NMFS shall apply to all CDQ groundfish and halibut landings made during the current calendar year. (iii) Determination. A CDQ group representative must use the CDQ standard prices when determining the CDQ group’s fee liability based on CDQ standard ex-vessel value. A CDQ group representative must base all fee liability calculations on the CDQ standard price that correlates to landed CDQ groundfish and halibut by gear type that is recorded in CDQ equivalent pounds. (A) CDQ halibut and CDQ fixed gear sablefish. NMFS will calculate the CDQ standard prices for CDQ halibut and CDQ fixed gear sablefish to reflect, as closely as possible by port or portgroup, the variations in the actual exvessel values of CDQ halibut and fixedgear sablefish based on information provided in the IFQ Registered Buyer Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report described at § 679.5(l)(7). The Regional Administrator will base CDQ standard prices on the following types of information: (1) Landed pounds of IFQ halibut and sablefish and CDQ halibut in the Bering Sea port-group; (2) Total ex-vessel value of IFQ halibut and sablefish and CDQ halibut in the Bering Sea port-group; and (3) Price adjustments, including retroactive payments. (B) CDQ Pacific cod. NMFS will use the standard prices calculated for Pacific cod based on information provided in the Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report described at § 679.5(u)(1) for CDQ Pacific cod. E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 958 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules (C) CDQ pollock. NMFS will use the standard prices calculated for AFA pollock described at § 679.66(b) for CDQ pollock. (D) Other CDQ groundfish including sablefish caught with trawl gear. (1) The Regional Administrator will base all CDQ standard prices for all other CDQ groundfish species on the First Wholesale Volume and Value reports specified in § 679.5(u)(2). (2) The Regional Administrator will establish CDQ standard prices for all other CDQ groundfish species on an annual basis; except the Regional Administrator will establish a CDQ standard price for rock sole for all landings from January 1 through March 31, and a second CDQ standard price for rock sole for all landings from April 1 through December 31. (3) The average first wholesale product prices reported will be multiplied by 0.4 to obtain a proxy for the ex-vessel prices of those CDQ groundfish species. (c) CDQ fee percentage—(1) Established percentage. The CDQ fee percentage for CDQ groundfish and halibut is the amount as determined by the factors and methodology described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. This amount will be announced by publication in the Federal Register in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. This amount must not exceed 3.0 percent pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1854(d)(2)(B). (2) Calculating fee percentage value. Each year NMFS shall calculate and publish the CDQ fee percentage according to the following factors and methodology: (i) Factors. NMFS will use the following factors to determine the fee percentage: (A) The catch to which the CDQ groundfish and halibut cost recovery fee will apply; (B) The ex-vessel value of that catch; and (C) The costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the CDQ Program for groundfish and halibut. (ii) Methodology. NMFS will use the following equations to determine the fee percentage: 100 × DPC/V, where: DPC = the direct program costs for the CDQ Program for groundfish and halibut for the most recent Federal fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) with any adjustments to the account from payments received in the previous year. V = total of the CDQ standard exvessel value of the catch subject to the CDQ fee liability for the current year. (3) Publication—(i) General. NMFS will calculate and announce the CDQ VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 fee percentage in a Federal Register notice by December 1 of the year in which the CDQ groundfish and halibut landings were made. NMFS shall calculate the CDQ fee percentage based on the calculations described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. (ii) Effective period. The calculated CDQ fee percentage is applied to CDQ groundfish and halibut landings made between January 1 and December 31 of the same year. (4) Applicable percentage. The CDQ group representative must use the CDQ fee percentage applicable at the time a CDQ groundfish and halibut landing is debited from a CDQ group’s allocation to calculate the CDQ fee liability for any retroactive payments for that CDQ species. (5) Fee liability determination for a CDQ group. (i) Each CDQ group will be subject to a CDQ fee liability for any CDQ groundfish and halibut debited from that CDQ group’s allocation during a calendar year. (ii) The CDQ fee liability assessed to a CDQ group will be based on the proportion of the standard ex-vessel value of CDQ groundfish and halibut debited from a CDQ group’s allocation relative to all CDQ groups during a calendar year as determined by NMFS. (iii) NMFS will provide a CDQ fee liability summary letter to each CDQ group representative by December 1 of each year. The summary will explain the CDQ fee liability determination including the current fee percentage, and details of CDQ pounds debited from the CDQ group allocations by permit, species, date, and prices. (d) Underpayment of fee liability—(1) No CDQ group will receive its allocations of CDQ groundfish or halibut until the CDQ group representative submits full payment of that CDQ group’s complete CDQ fee liability. (2) If a CDQ group representative fails to submit full payment for its CDQ fee liability by the date described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Regional Administrator may: (i) At any time thereafter send an IAD to the CDQ group representative stating that the CDQ group’s estimated fee liability, as indicated by his or her own submitted information, is the CDQ fee liability due from the CDQ group. (ii) Disapprove any application to transfer CDQ to or from the CDQ group in accordance with § 679.31(c). (3) If a CDQ group fails to submit full payment by December 31, no allocations of CDQ groundfish and halibut will be issued to that CDQ group for the following calendar year. (4) Upon final agency action determining that a CDQ group PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 representative has not paid the CDQ fee liability due for that CDQ group, the Regional Administrator may continue to prohibit issuance of allocations of CDQ groundfish and halibut for that CDQ group for any subsequent calendar years until NMFS receives the unpaid fees. If payment is not received by the 30th day after the final agency action, the agency may pursue collection of the unpaid fees. (e) Overpayment. Upon issuance of final agency action, payment submitted to NMFS in excess of the CDQ fee liability determined to be due by the final agency action will be returned to the CDQ group representative unless the CDQ group representative requests the agency to credit the excess amount against the CDQ group’s future CDQ fee liability. Payment processing fees may be deducted from any fees returned to the CDQ group representative. (f) Appeals. A CDQ group representative who receives an IAD for incomplete payment of a CDQ fee liability may appeal under the appeals procedures set out at 15 CFR part 906. (g) Administrative Fees. Administrative fees may be assessed if the account drawn on to pay the CDQ fee liability has insufficient funds to cover the transaction, or if the account becomes delinquent. Additionally, interest will begin to accrue on any portion of the fee that has not been paid due to insufficient funds. (h) Annual report. NMFS will publish annually a report describing the status of the CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program for groundfish and halibut. ■ 6. In § 679.61, ■ a. Revise paragraph (c)(1); and ■ b. Add paragraph (e)(1)(vi) to read as follows: § 679.61 Formation and operation of fishery cooperatives. * * * * * (c) * * * (1) What is a designated representative? Any cooperative formed under this section must appoint a designated representative to fulfill regulatory requirements on behalf of the cooperative including, but not limited to, filing of cooperative contracts, filing of annual reports, submitting all cost recovery fees, and in the case of inshore sector catcher vessel cooperatives, signing cooperative fishing permit applications and completing and submitting inshore catcher vessel pollock cooperative catch reports. The designated representative is the primary contact person for NMFS on issues relating to the operation of the cooperative. * * * * * E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules (e) * * * (1) * * * (vi) List the obligations of members of a cooperative, governed by § 679.61, to ensure the full payment of all AFA fee liabilities that may be due. * * * * * ■ 7. Add § 679.66 to Subpart F to read as follows: asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS § 679.66 AFA cost recovery. (a) Cost recovery fee program for AFA—(1) Who is responsible? (i) The person designated on the AFA inshore cooperative permit as the cooperative representative at the time of a Bering Sea pollock landing. (ii) The person designated as the representative of the listed AFA catcher/ processors and high seas catcher vessels that deliver to them at the time of a Bering Sea pollock landing. (iii) The person designated as the representative of the AFA mothership cooperative at the time of a Bering Sea pollock landing. (2) Responsibility. (i) Subsequent transfer of AFA permits held by cooperative members does not affect the cooperative representative’s liability for noncompliance with this section. (ii) Changes in the membership in a cooperative, such as members joining or departing during the relevant year, or changes in the holdings of AFA permits of those members do not affect the cooperative representative’s liability for noncompliance with this section. (3) Fee collection. All cooperative representatives (as identified under paragraph (a)(1) of this section) are responsible for submitting the cost recovery payment for all Bering Sea pollock landings made under the authority of their cooperative. (4) Payment—(i) Payment due date. The cooperative representative (as identified under paragraph (a)(1) of this section) must submit all AFA fee liability payment(s) to NMFS at the address provided in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section no later than December 31 of the calendar year in which the Bering Sea pollock landings were made. (ii) Payment recipient. Make electronic payment payable to NMFS. (iii) Payment address. Submit payment and related documents as instructed on the fee submission form. Payments must be made electronically through the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Instructions for electronic payment will be made available on both the payment Web site and a fee liability summary letter mailed to the AFA cooperative member. (iv) Payment method. Payment must be made electronically in U.S. dollars by VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 automated clearing house, credit card, or electronic check drawn on a U.S. bank account. (b) AFA standard ex-vessel value determination and use—(1) General. A cooperative representative must use the AFA standard price determined by NMFS under paragraph (b)(2) of this section. (2) AFA standard price—(i) General. Each year the Regional Administrator will publish the AFA standard price in the Federal Register by December 1 of the year in which the landings were made. The AFA standard price will be described in U.S. dollars per equivalent pound for Bering Sea pollock landings made by AFA cooperative members during the current calendar year. (ii) Effective duration. The AFA standard price published by NMFS shall apply to all Bering Sea pollock landings made by an AFA cooperative member during the current calendar year. (iii) Determination. NMFS will calculate the AFA standard price to reflect, as closely as possible, the standard price of Bering Sea pollock landings based on information provided in the COAR for the previous year, as described in § 679.5(p). The Regional Administrator will base the AFA standard price on the following types of information: (A) Landed pounds of Bering Sea pollock; (B) Total ex-vessel value of Bering Sea pollock; and (C) Price adjustments, including retroactive payments. (c) AFA fee percentages—(1) Established percentages. The AFA fee percentages are the amounts as determined by the factors and methodology described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. These amounts will be announced by publication in the Federal Register in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. These amounts must not exceed 3.0 percent pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1854(d)(2)(B). (2) Calculating fee percentage value. Each year NMFS shall calculate and publish AFA fee percentages for AFA inshore cooperatives, the cooperative representing the listed AFA catcher/ processors and high seas catcher vessels that deliver to them, and the AFA mothership cooperative according to the following factors and methodology: (i) Factors. NMFS will use the following factors to determine the fee percentages: (A) The catch to which the AFA pollock cost recovery fee will apply; (B) The ex-vessel value of that catch; and (C) The costs directly related to the management, data collection, and PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 959 enforcement of the directed AFA pollock fisheries. (ii) Methodology. NMFS will use the following equations to determine the AFA fee percentage: 100 × DPC/V, where: DPC = the direct program costs for the directed AFA pollock fisheries for the most recent fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) with any adjustments to the account from payments received in the previous year. V = total of the standard ex-vessel value of the catch subject to the AFA fee liability for the current year. (iii) Direct program costs will be calculated separately for: (A) AFA inshore cooperatives; (B) The cooperative representing the listed AFA catcher/processors and high seas catcher vessels that deliver to them; and (C) The AFA mothership cooperative. (3) Publication—(i) General. NMFS will calculate and announce the AFA fee percentages in a Federal Register notice by December 1 of the year in which the Bering Sea pollock landings were made. AFA fee percentages will be calculated separately for the AFA inshore cooperatives, the cooperative for listed AFA catcher/processors and high seas catcher vessels that deliver to them, and the AFA mothership cooperative. NMFS shall calculate the AFA fee percentages based on the calculations described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. (ii) Effective period. The calculated AFA fee percentages are applied to all Bering Sea directed pollock landings made between January 1 and December 31 of the current year. (4) Applicable percentage. An AFA cooperative representative must use the AFA fee percentage applicable to that cooperative at the time a Bering Sea directed pollock landing is debited from an AFA pollock fishery allocation to calculate the AFA fee liability for any retroactive payments for that landing. (5) Fee liability determination. (i) Each AFA cooperative will be subject to an AFA fee liability for any Bering Sea pollock debited from its AFA pollock fishery allocation during a calendar year. (ii) The AFA fee liability assessed to an AFA inshore cooperative will be based on the proportion of the AFA fee liability of Bering Sea pollock debited from that AFA Inshore cooperative’s AFA pollock fishery allocation relative to all AFA inshore cooperatives during a calendar year as determined by NMFS. (iii) The AFA fee liability assessed to the cooperative of listed AFA catcher/ processors and high seas catcher vessels that deliver to them will be based on the E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 960 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules standard ex-vessel value of Bering Sea pollock debited from this cooperative’s AFA pollock fishery allocation during a calendar year as determined by NMFS. (iv) The AFA fee liability assessed to the AFA mothership cooperative will be based on the proportion of the standard ex-vessel value of Bering Sea pollock debited from this cooperative’s AFA pollock fishery allocation during a calendar year as determined by NMFS. (v) NMFS will provide a fee liability summary letter to all AFA cooperative representatives by December 1 of each year. The summary will explain the AFA fee liability determination including the current fee percentage and details of Bering Sea pollock pounds debited from the AFA pollock fishery allocation by permit, species, date, and prices. (d) Underpayment of fee liability—(1) No AFA inshore cooperative will receive its AFA allocation until the cooperative’s representative submits full payment of the cooperative’s AFA fee liability. (2) The AFA mothership cooperative will not receive any Bering Sea pollock allocation until the cooperative representative submits full payment of that cooperative’s AFA fee liability. (3) AFA catcher/processor joint cooperative underpayment (i) The cooperative for listed AFA catcher/ processors and high seas catcher vessels that deliver to them will not receive any Bering Sea pollock allocation until the cooperative representative submits full payment of that cooperative’s AFA fee liability at the time of a Bering Sea pollock landing, except as provided in paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section. (ii) If the cooperative representing the listed AFA catcher/processors and high seas catcher vessels that deliver to them pays only a portion of its AFA fee liability, the Regional Administrator may release a portion of the cooperative’s Bering Sea pollock allocation equal to the portion of the fee liability paid. (4) If an AFA cooperative representative fails to submit full payment for the AFA fee liability by the date described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the Regional Administrator may at any time thereafter send an IAD to the AFA cooperative representative stating that the cooperative’s estimated fee liability, as indicated by his or her own submitted information, is the AFA fee liability due from the AFA cooperative representative. (5) If an AFA cooperative representative fails to submit full payment for AFA fee liability by the date described at paragraph (a)(4) of this section, no Bering sea pollock allocation VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 will be provided to that AFA cooperative for the following calendar year, except as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section. (6) Upon final agency action determining that an AFA cooperative representative has not paid that cooperative’s AFA fee liability, the Regional Administrator may continue to prohibit issuance of a directed Bering Sea pollock allocation for that cooperative for any subsequent calendar years until NMFS receives the unpaid fees. If payment is not received by the 30th day after the final agency action, the agency may pursue collection of the unpaid fees. (e) Overpayment. Upon issuance of final agency action, payment submitted to NMFS in excess of the AFA fee liability determined to be due by the final agency action will be returned to the AFA cooperative unless the cooperative representative requests the agency to credit the excess amount against the cooperative’s future AFA fee liability. Payment processing fees may be deducted from any fees returned to the cooperative. (f) Appeals. An AFA cooperative representative who receives an IAD for incomplete payment of an AFA fee liability may appeal under the appeals procedures set out at 15 CFR part 906. (g) Administrative Fees. Administrative fees may be assessed if the account drawn on to pay the CDQ fee liability has insufficient funds to cover the transaction, or if the account becomes delinquent. Additionally, interest will begin to accrue on any portion of the fee that has not been paid due to insufficient funds. (h) Annual report. NMFS will publish annually a report describing the status of the AFA Cost Recovery Fee Program. ■ 8. A new § 679.67 is added to Subpart F to read as follows: § 679.67 Aleutian Islands pollock cost recovery. (a) Cost recovery fee program for Aleutian Islands pollock—(1) Representative. The person identified as the representative, designated by the Aleut Corporation, at the time of an Aleutian Islands pollock landing is responsible for submitting all cost recovery fees. (2) Fee collection. The designated representative (as identified under paragraph (a)(1) of this section) is responsible for submitting the cost recovery payment for all Aleutian Islands pollock landings made under the authority of Aleut Corporation. (3) Payment. (i) Payment due date. The designated representative (as identified under paragraph (a)(1) of this PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 section) must submit all cost recovery fee liability payment(s) to NMFS at the address provided in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section no later than December 31 of the calendar year in which the Aleutian Islands pollock landings were made. (ii) Payment recipient. Make electronic payment payable to NMFS. (iii) Payment address. Submit payment and related documents as instructed on the fee submission form. Payments must be made electronically through the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Instructions for electronic payment will be made available on both the payment Web site and a fee liability summary letter mailed to the designated representative of the Aleut Corporation. (iv) Payment method. Payment must be made electronically in U.S. dollars by automated clearing house, credit card, or electronic check drawn on a U.S. bank account. (b) Aleutian Islands pollock standard ex-vessel value determination and use— (1) General. The designated representative of the Aleut Corporation must use the Aleutian Islands pollock standard price determined by NMFS under paragraph (b)(2) of this section. (2) Aleutian Islands pollock standard price—(i) General. Each year the Regional Administrator will publish the Aleutian Islands pollock standard price in the Federal Register by December 1 of the year in which the landings were made. The Aleutian Islands pollock standard price will be described in U.S. dollars per equivalent pound for Aleutian Islands pollock landings during the current calendar year. (ii) Effective duration. The Aleutian Islands pollock standard price published by NMFS shall apply to all Aleutian Islands pollock landings during the current calendar year. (iii) Determination. NMFS will calculate the Aleutian Islands pollock standard price to reflect, as closely as possible, the standard price of Aleutian Islands pollock landings based on information provided in the COAR for the previous year, as described in § 679.5(p). The Regional Administrator will base Aleutian Islands pollock standard price on the following types of information: (A) Landed pounds of Aleutian Islands pollock; (B) Total ex-vessel value of Aleutian Islands pollock; and (C) Price adjustments, including retroactive payments. (c) Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage—(1) Established percentage. The Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage is the amount as determined E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS by the factors and methodology described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. This amount will be announced by publication in the Federal Register in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. This amount must not exceed 3.0 percent pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1854(d)(2)(B). (2) Calculating fee percentage value. Each year NMFS shall calculate and publish the fee percentage according to the following factors and methodology: (i) Factors. NMFS will use the following factors to determine the fee percentage: (A) The catch to which the Aleutian Islands pollock cost recovery fee will apply; (B) The ex-vessel value of that catch; and (C) The costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery. (ii) Methodology. NMFS will use the following equations to determine the fee percentage: 100 × DPC/V, where: DPC = the direct program costs for the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery for the most recent fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) with any adjustments to the account from payments received in the previous year. V = total of the standard ex-vessel value of the catch subject to the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability for the current year. (3) Publication—(i) General. NMFS will calculate and announce the fee percentage in a Federal Register notice by December 1 of the year in which the Aleutian Islands pollock landings were made. NMFS shall calculate the Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage based on the calculations described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. (ii) Effective period. The calculated Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage is applied to all Aleutian Islands pollock landings made between January 1 and December 31 of the current year. (4) Applicable percentage. The designated representative must use the Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage applicable at the time an Aleutian Islands pollock landing is debited from the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation to calculate the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability for VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 any retroactive payments for that pollock. (5) Fee liability determination. (i) The Aleut Corporation will be subject to a fee liability for any Aleutian Islands pollock debited from the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation during a calendar year. (ii) NMFS will provide a fee liability summary letter to the Aleut Corporation by December 1 of each year. The summary will explain the fee liability determination including the current fee percentage, and details of Aleutian Islands pollock pounds debited from the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation by permit, species, date, and prices. (d) Underpayment of fee liability—(1) The Aleut Corporation will not receive its Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation until the Aleut Corporation’s designated representative submits full payment of the Aleut Corporation’s cost recovery fee liability. (2) If the Aleut Corporation’s designated representative fails to submit full payment for Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability by the date described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Regional Administrator may at any time thereafter send an IAD to the Aleut Corporation’s designated representative stating that the estimated fee liability, as indicated by his or her own submitted information, is the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability due from the Aleut Corporation. (3) If the Aleut Corporation’s designated representative fails to submit full payment by the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability payment deadline described at paragraph (a)(3) of this section, no Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation will be issued to the Aleut Corporation for that calendar year. (4) Upon final agency action determining that the Aleut Corporation has not paid its Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability, the Regional Administrator may continue to prohibit issuance of the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation for any subsequent calendar years until NMFS receives the unpaid fees. If payment is not received by the 30th day after the final agency action, the agency may pursue collection of the unpaid fees. PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 961 (e) Overpayment. Upon issuance of final agency action, payment submitted to NMFS in excess of the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability determined to be due by the final agency action will be returned to the Aleut Corporation unless its designated representative requests the agency to credit the excess amount against the cooperative’s future Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability. Payment processing fees may be deducted from any fees returned to the Aleut Corporation. (f) Appeals. A representative of the Aleut Corporation who receives an IAD for incomplete payment of an Aleutian Islands pollock fee may appeal under the appeals procedures set out at 15 CFR part 906. (g) Administrative Fees. Administrative fees may be assessed if the account drawn on to pay the CDQ fee liability has insufficient funds to cover the transaction, or if the account becomes delinquent. Additionally, interest will begin to accrue on any portion of the fee that has not been paid due to insufficient funds. (h) Annual report. NMFS will publish annually a report describing the status of the Aleutian Islands Pollock Cost Recovery Fee Program. ■ 9. In § 679.91, ■ a. Revise paragraphs (b)(4)(vii) and (h)(3)(xiv); and ■ b. Add paragraph (h)(3)(xx) to read as follows: § 679.91 Amendment 80 Program annual harvester privileges. * * * * * (b) * * * (4) * * * (vii) Copy of membership agreement or contract. Attach a copy of the membership agreement or contract that includes terms that list: (A) How the Amendment 80 cooperative intends to catch its CQ; and (B) The obligations of Amendment 80 QS holders who are members of an Amendment 80 cooperative to ensure the full payment of Amendment 80 fee liabilities that may be due. * * * * * (h) * * * (3) * * * E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 962 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules (xiv) Does an Amendment 80 cooperative need a membership agreement or contract? Yes, an Amendment 80 cooperative must have a membership agreement or contract. A copy of this agreement or contract must be submitted to NMFS with the application for CQ. The membership agreement or contract must specify: (A) How the Amendment 80 cooperative intends to catch its CQ; and (B) The obligations of Amendment 80 QS holders, who are members of an Amendment 80 cooperative, to ensure the full payment of Amendment 80 fee liabilities that may be due. . * * * (xx) Is there a requirement that an Amendment 80 cooperative pay Amendment 80 cost recovery fees? * * * * * 10. A new § 679.95 is added to subpart H to read as follows: ■ asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS § 679.95 Cost recovery. (a) Cost recovery fee program for Amendment 80—(1) Who is responsible? The person designated as the Amendment 80 cooperative representative at the time of an Amendment 80 CQ landing must comply with the requirements of this section, notwithstanding: (i) Subsequent transfer of Amendment 80 CQ or Amendment 80 QS held by Amendment 80 cooperative members; (ii) Non-renewal of an Amendment 80 CQ permit; or (iii) Changes in the membership in an Amendment 80 cooperative, such as members joining or departing during the relevant year, or changes in the amount of Amendment 80 QS holdings of those members. (2) Fee collection. Amendment 80 cooperative representatives are responsible for submitting the cost recovery payment for Amendment 80 CQ landings made under the authority of their Amendment 80 CQ permit. (3) Payment—(i) Payment due date. An Amendment 80 cooperative representative must submit all Amendment 80 fee liability payment(s) to NMFS at the address provided in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section no later than December 31 of the calendar year in which the Amendment 80 CQ landings were made. (ii) Payment recipient. Make electronic payment payable to NMFS. (iii) Payment address. Submit payment and related documents as instructed on the fee submission form. Payments must be made electronically through the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Instructions for electronic payment will be made available on both the payment Web site and a fee liability summary letter mailed to the Amendment 80 CQ permit holder. (iv) Payment method. Payment must be made electronically in U.S. dollars by automated clearing house, credit card, or electronic check drawn on a U.S. bank account. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 * * Yes, see § 679.95 for the provisions that apply. (b) Amendment 80 standard ex-vessel value determination and use—(1) General. An Amendment 80 cooperative representative must use the Amendment 80 standard prices determined by NMFS under paragraph (b)(2) of this section. (2) Amendment 80 standard prices— (i) General. Each year the Regional Administrator will publish Amendment 80 standard prices in the Federal Register by December 1 of the year in which the Amendment 80 species landings were made. The standard prices will be described in U.S. dollars per equivalent pound for Amendment 80 species landings made by Amendment 80 CQ permit holders during the current calendar year. (ii) Effective duration. The Amendment 80 standard prices published by NMFS shall apply to all Amendment 80 species landings made by an Amendment 80 CQ permit holder during that calendar year. (iii) Determination. An Amendment 80 cooperative representative must use the Amendment 80 standard prices when determining the Amendment 80 fee liability based on Amendment 80 standard ex-vessel value. An Amendment 80 cooperative representative must base all fee liability calculations on the Amendment 80 standard price that correlates to landed Amendment 80 species by gear type that is recorded in Amendment 80 equivalent pounds. (A) Pacific cod. NMFS will use the standard prices calculated for Pacific cod based on information provided in the Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report described at § 679.5(u)(1). (B) Amendment 80 species other than Pacific cod. (1) The Regional Administrator will base Amendment 80 standard prices for all Amendment 80 species other than Pacific cod on the First Wholesale Volume and Value reports specified in § 679.5(u)(2). (2) The Regional Administrator will establish Amendment 80 standard prices for all Amendment 80 species other than Pacific cod on an annual basis; except the Regional Administrator will establish an Amendment 80 standard price for rock sole for all PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4702 * * landings from January 1 through March 31, and a second Amendment 80 standard price for rock sole for all landings from April 1 through December 31. (3) The average first wholesale product prices reported on the First Wholesale Volume and Value reports, specified in § 679.5(u)(2), will be multiplied by 0.4 to obtain a proxy for the ex-vessel prices of Amendment 80 species other than Pacific cod. (c) Amendment 80 fee percentage—(1) Established percentage. The Amendment 80 fee percentage is the amount as determined by the factors and methodology described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. This amount will be announced by publication in the Federal Register in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. This amount must not exceed 3.0 percent pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1854(d)(2)(B). (2) Calculating fee percentage value. Each year NMFS shall calculate and publish the fee percentage according to the following factors and methodology: (i) Factors. NMFS will use the following factors to determine the fee percentage: (A) The catch to which the Amendment 80 cost recovery fee will apply; (B) The ex-vessel value of that catch; and (C) The costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the Amendment 80 Program. (ii) Methodology. NMFS will use the following equations to determine the fee percentage: 100 × DPC/V, where: DPC = direct program costs for the Amendment 80 Program for the most recent fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) with any adjustments to the account from payments received in the previous year. V = total of the standard ex-vessel value of the landings subject to the Amendment 80 fee liability for the current year. (3) Publication—(i) General. NMFS will calculate and announce the Amendment 80 fee percentage in a E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / Proposed Rules asabaliauskas on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register notice by December 1 of the year in which the Amendment 80 landings were made. NMFS shall calculate the Amendment 80 fee percentage based on the calculations described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. (ii) Effective period. The calculated Amendment 80 fee percentage is applied to Amendment 80 CQ landings made between January 1 and December 31 of the same year. (4) Applicable percentage. The Amendment 80 CQ permit holder must use the Amendment 80 fee percentage applicable at the time an Amendment 80 species landing is debited from an Amendment 80 CQ allocation to calculate the Amendment 80 fee liability for any retroactive payments for that Amendment 80 species. (5) Fee liability determination for an Amendment 80 CQ permit holder. (i) All Amendment 80 CQ permit holders will be subject to a fee liability for any Amendment 80 species CQ debited from an Amendment 80 CQ allocation between January 1 and December 31 of the current year. (ii) The Amendment 80 fee liability assessed to an Amendment 80 CQ permit holder will be based on the proportion of the standard ex-vessel value of Amendment 80 species debited from an Amendment 80 CQ permit holder relative to all Amendment 80 CQ permit holders during a calendar year as determined by NMFS. (iii) NMFS will provide a fee liability summary letter to all Amendment 80 CQ permit holders by December 1 of each year. The summary will explain the fee liability determination including the current fee percentage, and details of Amendment 80 species CQ pounds VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:17 Jan 06, 2015 Jkt 235001 debited from Amendment 80 CQ allocations by permit, species, date, and prices. (d) Underpayment of fee liability—(1) No Amendment 80 cooperative will receive its Amendment 80 CQ until the Amendment 80 CQ permit holder submits full payment of an applicant’s complete Amendment 80 fee liability. (2) If an Amendment 80 CQ permit holder fails to submit full payment for its Amendment 80 fee liability by the date described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Regional Administrator may: (i) At any time thereafter send an IAD to the Amendment 80 cooperative’s representative stating that the Amendment 80 CQ permit holder’s estimated fee liability, as indicated by his or her own submitted information, is the Amendment 80 fee liability due from the Amendment 80 CQ permit holder. (ii) Disapprove any application to transfer Amendment 80 CQ to or from the Amendment 80 CQ permit holder in accordance with § 679.91(g). (3) If an Amendment 80 cooperative representative fails to submit full payment by the Amendment 80 fee liability payment deadline described at paragraph (a)(3) of this section: (i) No Amendment 80 CQ permit will be issued to that Amendment 80 cooperative for the following calendar year; and (ii) No Amendment 80 CQ will be issued based on the Amendment 80 QS held by the members of that Amendment 80 cooperative to any other CQ permit for that calendar year. (4) Upon final agency action determining that an Amendment 80 CQ permit holder has not paid his or her PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 9990 963 Amendment 80 fee liability, the Regional Administrator may continue to prohibit issuance of an Amendment 80 CQ permit for any subsequent calendar years until NMFS receives the unpaid fees. If payment is not received by the 30th day after the final agency action, the agency may pursue collection of the unpaid fees. (e) Overpayment. Upon issuance of final agency action, payment submitted to NMFS in excess of the Amendment 80 fee liability determined to be due by the final agency action will be returned to the Amendment 80 cooperative unless the Amendment 80 cooperative’s representative requests the agency to credit the excess amount against the Amendment 80 CQ permit holder’s future Amendment 80 fee liability. Payment processing fees may be deducted from any fees returned to the Amendment 80 cooperative. (f) Appeals. An Amendment 80 cooperative representative who receives an IAD for incomplete payment of an Amendment 80 fee liability may appeal under the appeals procedures set out a 15 CFR part 906. (g) Administrative Fees. Administrative fees may be assessed if the account drawn on to pay the CDQ fee liability has insufficient funds to cover the transaction, or if the account becomes delinquent. Additionally, interest will begin to accrue on any portion of the fee that has not been paid due to insufficient funds. (h) Annual report. NMFS will publish annually a report describing the status of the Amendment 80 Cost Recovery Fee Program. [FR Doc. 2014–30841 Filed 1–6–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\07JAP3.SGM 07JAP3

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 4 (Wednesday, January 7, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 935-963]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-30841]



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Vol. 80

Wednesday,

No. 4

January 7, 2015

Part III





Department of Commerce





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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration





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50 CFR Part 679





 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and 
Aleutian Islands Management Area; New Cost Recovery Fee Programs; 
Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 80 , No. 4 / Wednesday, January 7, 2015 / 
Proposed Rules

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 140304192-4999-01]
RIN 0648-BE05


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea 
and Aleutian Islands Management Area; New Cost Recovery Fee Programs

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS issues a proposed rule to implement cost recovery fee 
programs for the Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQ) 
Program for groundfish and halibut, and three limited access privilege 
programs: The American Fisheries Act (AFA), Aleutian Islands Pollock, 
and Amendment 80 Programs. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) authorizes and requires the 
collection of cost recovery fees for the CDQ Program and limited access 
privilege programs. Cost recovery fees recover the actual costs 
directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of 
the programs. The Magnuson-Stevens Act mandates that cost recovery fees 
not exceed 3 percent of the annual ex-vessel value of fish harvested by 
a program subject to a cost recovery fee. This action is intended to 
promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian 
Islands Management Area (FMP), and other applicable laws.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than February 6, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2014-0031, by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to 
www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0031, click the 
``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields, and enter or 
attach your comments.
     Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant 
Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region 
NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, 
AK 99802-1668.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous 
comments (enter ``N/A'' in the required fields if you wish to remain 
anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in 
Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other 
aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this 
proposed rule may be submitted to NMFS at the above address and by 
email to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 395-5806.
    Electronic copies of the Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and the 
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) prepared for this action 
are available from http://www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS Alaska 
Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Palmigiano, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NMFS manages the groundfish fisheries in the 
Federal exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Bering Sea and Aleutian 
Islands Management Area (BSAI) under the FMP. The North Pacific Fishery 
Management Council prepared the FMP under the authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Regulations governing U.S. 
fisheries and implementing this FMP appear at 50 CFR parts 600 and 679.
    The International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) and NMFS manage 
fishing for Pacific halibut through regulations established under the 
authority of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut Act). 
The IPHC promulgates regulations governing the halibut fishery under 
the Convention between the United States and Canada for the 
Preservation of the Halibut Fishery of the Northern Pacific Ocean and 
Bering Sea (Convention). The IPHC's regulations are subject to approval 
by the Secretary of State with the concurrence of the Secretary of 
Commerce (Secretary). NMFS publishes the IPHC's regulations as annual 
management measures pursuant to 50 CFR 300.62. The Halibut Act, at 
sections 773c (a) and (b), provides the Secretary with general 
responsibility to carry out the Convention and the Halibut Act.

Table of Contents

I. Statutory Authority
    A. Limited Access Privilege Programs
    B. CDQ Program Provisions
    C. Maximum Amount and Collection of Cost Recovery Fees
    D. Applicability of Section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act
    E. Summary of Relevant Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions
    F. Existing Cost Recovery Fee Programs, Policies, and Guidance
II. Background
    A. AFA Program
    B. Aleutian Islands Pollock Program
    C. Amendment 80 Program
    D. CDQ Program
III. Cost Recovery--General
    A. Person and Permit Subject to Cost Recovery Fee Liability
    B. Fee Percentage
    C. Ex-Vessel Value
    D. Ex-Vessel Prices
    E. Information Used to Calculate Ex-Vessel Value
    1. Volume and Value Reports
    2. IFQ Buyer Report
    3. Commercial Operator's Annual Report (COAR)
    F. Reimbursable Costs
    G. Fee Liability Notice and Submission
    H. Payment Compliance
    I. Annual Reports
IV. The Proposed Action
    A. Pollock Cost Recovery Fee Programs
    1. AFA Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities
    2. Aleutian Islands Pollock Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable 
Entities
    3. Cost, Values, and Fee Percentage
    4. Calculation of Standard Price Information
    B. Amendment 80 Cost Recovery Fee Program
    1. Amendment 80 Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities
    2. Cost, Values, and Fee Percentage
    3. Calculation of Standard Price Information
    C. CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program
    1. CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities
    2. Cost, Values, and Fee Percentage
    3. Calculation of Standard Price Information
V. Classification
    A. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
    B. Description of Significant Alternatives Considered
    C. Additional Alternatives Considered
    D. Collection-of-Information Requirements

I. Statutory Authority

    The primary statutory authority for this proposed action is section 
304(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Section 304(d) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act specifies that the Secretary is authorized and shall 
collect a fee to recover the

[[Page 937]]

actual costs directly related to the management, data collection, and 
enforcement of any limited access privilege program and community 
development quota program that allocates a percentage of the total 
allowable catch of a fishery to such program. Section 304(d) also 
specifies that such fee shall not exceed three percent of the ex-vessel 
value of fish harvested under any such program.

A. Limited Access Privilege Programs

    Relevant to section 304(d)(2)(A)(i), and the specific programs to 
which this proposed action would apply, section 3 of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act defines a ``limited access privilege'' as including ``an 
individual fishing quota.'' Section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act 
defines ``individual fishing quota'' as ``a Federal permit under a 
limited access system to harvest a quantity of fish, expressed by a 
unit or units representing a percentage of the total allowable catch of 
a fishery that may be received or held for exclusive use by a person. 
Such term does not include community development quotas as described in 
section 305(i).'' The Magnuson-Stevens Act and Federal regulations 
further define the terms ``permit,'' ``limited access system,'' ``total 
allowable catch,'' and ``person.''
    Federal regulations at 50 CFR 679.2 define a ``permit'' as 
``documentation granting permission to fish.'' Section 3 of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act defines ``limited access system'' as ``a system 
that limits participation in a fishery to those satisfying certain 
eligibility criteria or requirements contained in a fishery management 
plan or associated regulation.''
    Federal regulations at Sec.  679.20 define the process for 
establishing a ``total allowable catch'' (TAC) on an annual basis for 
each groundfish fishery managed under the FMP. Each year, NMFS 
publishes a final rule to implement an annual harvest specification 
establishing a TAC amount for each groundfish fishery managed under the 
FMP. For the most recent example of the annual harvest specifications, 
see the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications (79 FR 12108, March 
4, 2014). Each year, the IPHC establishes an annual catch limit that 
represents the TAC in the commercial halibut fishery pursuant to its 
authority under the Convention. The annual catch limit is adopted by 
the IPHC each year, and the Secretary of State of the United States, 
with the concurrence of the Secretary, can accept annual management 
measures adopted by the IPHC. If accepted, NMFS publishes the annual 
management measures adopted by the IPHC pursuant to 50 CFR 300.62. For 
the most recent example of the annual catch limit, see the 2014 annual 
management measures (79 FR 13906, March 12, 2014).
    Section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act defines ``person'' as ``any 
individual (whether or not a citizen or national of the United States), 
any corporation, partnership, association, or other entity (whether or 
not organized or existing under the laws of any State), and any 
Federal, State, local, or foreign government or any entity of any such 
government.''
    These definitions mean that the Secretary is authorized and 
required to collect a cost recovery fee for fisheries in which the 
person receiving a permit to harvest a percentage of the TAC is an 
individual or some other type of non-individual entity, including a 
corporation, partnership, or fishery cooperative. Further, these 
definitions mean that the Secretary is authorized and required to 
collect a cost recovery fee for limited access systems established 
under section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, as well as individual 
fishing quotas that are not established under section 303A of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act. The programs that would be subject to a cost 
recovery fee under this proposed action were not established under the 
provisions of section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, but would be 
subject to a cost recovery fee under the provisions applicable to 
individual fishing quota programs.
    Section 304(d)(2)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act authorizes and 
requires the Secretary to collect a cost recovery fee for limited 
access privilege programs. By definition under section 3 of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, limited access privilege programs include 
individual fishing quota programs. By definition under the Magnuson-
Stevens Act, the AFA Program, Aleutian Islands Pollock Program, and 
Amendment 80 Program are individual fishing quota programs, because: 
(1) NMFS issues permits as part of a limited access system established 
under each of these programs; (2) these permits allow the harvest of a 
quantity of specific fisheries representing a portion of the TAC of the 
fisheries managed under each of these programs; and (3) these permits 
are received or held for exclusive use by specific persons as defined 
for each of these programs. Therefore, NMFS proposes to implement cost 
recovery fees for these programs as authorized and required in section 
304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Sections III and IV of this 
preamble provide additional detail on the specific fisheries subject to 
cost recovery fees, the portions of the TACs allocated as a limited 
access privilege, the permits issued, and the persons receiving the 
permits for each of these limited access privilege programs.
    NMFS also considered implementing a cost recovery fee program, 
under section 304(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, for the BSAI Pacific 
cod allocation to the hook-and-line catcher/processors that are part of 
the Freezer Longline Coalition Cooperative. However, the BSAI Pacific 
cod allocation to the hook-and-line catcher/processors does not 
currently meet the definition of a limited access privilege program 
because the Freezer Longline Coalition Cooperative does not have an 
exclusive harvest privilege. This issue is addressed under the 
``Additional Alternatives Considered'' heading in section V of this 
preamble.

B. CDQ Program Provisions

    Section 304(d)(2)(ii) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the 
Secretary with the authority and requirement to collect fees to recover 
costs from the CDQ Program for fisheries in which a percentage of the 
TAC of a fishery is allocated to the CDQ Program. Section 305(i) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act authorizes the CDQ Program and specifies the 
annual percentage of the TAC allocated to the CDQ Program in each 
directed fishery of the BSAI. Section 305(i) also specifies the method 
for further apportioning the TAC allocated to the CDQ Program to 
specific persons, i.e., CDQ groups. Section 305(i) also defines these 
CDQ groups. NMFS previously implemented cost recovery fees for the 
amount of BSAI crab fishery TACs allocated to the CDQ Program under 
regulations implementing the Crab Rationalization Program (70 FR 10174, 
March 2, 2005, see regulations at Sec.  680.44) under the authority of 
section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS proposes to 
implement cost recovery fees for BSAI groundfish and halibut TACs 
allocated to the CDQ Program under the authority of section 304(d)(2) 
of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

C. Maximum Amount and Collection of Cost Recovery Fees

    Sections 304(d)(2)(B) and (C) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act specify 
an upper limit on cost recovery fees, when the fees must be collected, 
and where the fees must be deposited. Section 304(d)(2)(B) provides 
that the fee shall not exceed three percent of the ex-vessel value of 
fish harvested under either a limited access privilege program or a CDQ 
program that allocates a percentage of the TAC of a fishery to such a 
program. NMFS does not have the

[[Page 938]]

authority to collect cost recovery fees under section 304(d)(2)(i) when 
a person does not hold or receive exclusive use of a percentage of the 
TAC.
    Section 304(d)(2)(B) also states that the cost recovery fee must be 
collected at either the time of the landing, filing of a landing 
report, or sale of such fish during the fishing season, or in the last 
quarter of the calendar year in which the fish were harvested. NMFS 
proposes that all fees for all four programs included in this action 
would be due annually by December 31 of the calendar year in which the 
landings were made. This complies with the requirements of section 
304(d)(2)(B). Section 304(d)(2)(C) requires that all fees be deposited 
in the Limited Access System Administration Fund, which was established 
under section 305(h)(5)(B). NMFS proposes to collect all fees 
electronically in U.S. dollars by automated clearing house, credit 
card, or electronic check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Those fees 
would be deposited in the Limited Access System Administration Fund. 
Sections III and IV of this preamble provide further details on how the 
fees will be assessed and collected for each of the limited access 
privilege programs and the CDQ Program.

D. Applicability of Section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act

    NMFS has determined that cost recovery fee provisions in section 
303A do not apply to the cost recovery fee program proposed in this 
rule, specifically the requirements in section 303A(e). The CDQ Program 
is not a limited access privilege program as defined in section 3 of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Therefore, section 303A(e) does not apply to 
the CDQ Program.
    Section 303A(e) also does not apply to the AFA, Aleutian Islands 
Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs. NMFS based this determination on 
section 303A(i) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Section 303A(i) states: 
``[t]he requirements of this section [303A] shall not apply to any 
quota program, including any individual quota program, cooperative 
program, or sector allocation for which a Council has taken final 
action or which has been submitted by a Council to the Secretary, or 
approved by the Secretary, within 6 months after the date of enactment 
of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Reauthorization Act of 2006.'' The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 was enacted on 
January 12, 2007 (Public Law 109-479). Therefore, a quota program, 
including any individual quota program, cooperative program, or sector 
allocation is not subject to the requirements of section 303A(e) if a 
Council took final action on the program, a Council submitted the 
program, or the program was approved by the Secretary before July 10, 
2007. All three of the limited access privilege programs included in 
this proposed rule were either recommended by the North Pacific Fishery 
Management Council, or approved by the Secretary and implemented prior 
to July 10, 2007.
    The AFA Program was approved by the Secretary as an FMP amendment 
on February 27, 2002, and implemented in a final rule on December 30, 
2002 (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002). The Aleutian Islands Pollock 
Program was approved by the Secretary as an FMP amendment on February 
9, 2005 and implemented as a final rule on March 1, 2005 (70 FR 9856, 
March 1, 2005). The North Pacific Fishery Management Council took final 
action to recommend the Amendment 80 Program on June 9, 2006. 
Additional detail on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council's 
final action to recommend the Amendment 80 Program is found in the 
final rule implementing the Amendment 80 Program (72 FR 52668, 
September 14, 2007). Therefore, the requirements of section 303A(e) of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act do not apply to the AFA, the Aleutian Islands 
Pollock, or the Amendment 80 Program.
    Although the AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 
Programs were not established under the authority of section 303A of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act, they do meet the definition of a ``limited 
access privilege'' under section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. A 
``limited access privilege'' includes an ``individual fishing quota.'' 
The AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs meet the 
definition of an ``individual fishing quota'' under section 3 of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act. Specifically, under each of these programs, NMFS 
issues ``a Federal permit under a limited access system to harvest a 
quantity of fish, expressed by a unit or units representing a 
percentage of the total allowable catch of a fishery that may be 
received or held for exclusive use by a person.''

E. Summary of Relevant Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions

    To summarize, the Magnuson-Stevens Act specifies the following with 
respect to the collection of cost recovery fees:
     Fees must be collected for all limited access privilege 
programs;
     Fees must be collected for the CDQ Program;
     Fees must recover actual costs directly related to 
management, data collection, and enforcement of the programs;
     Fees must not exceed three percent of the ex-vessel value 
of a fish harvested under a program subject to cost recovery;
     Fees are in addition to any other fees charged under the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act;
     Fees must be deposited in the Limited Access System 
Administrative Fund (LASAF) in the U.S. Treasury; and
     Fees must be collected at either the time of a legal 
landing, filing of a landing report, or sale of such fish during a 
fishing season or in the last quarter of the calendar year in which the 
fish is harvested.
    For more detail on the Secretary and NMFS' authority to implement 
cost recovery fees, please see section 1.1 of the RIR/IRFA.

F. Existing Cost Recovery Fee Programs, Policies, and Guidance

    NMFS has previously established cost recovery fee programs to 
implement the requirements of section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act. The specific fisheries, the NMFS Region where those cost recovery 
fee programs were implemented, and the date the cost recovery fee 
programs were implemented, are provided in Table 1. For a more detailed 
discussion of these programs, see section 1.8.2 of the RIR/IRFA.

     Table 1--Limited Access Privilege Programs With a Cost Recovery
                        Component by NMFS Region
------------------------------------------------------------------------
             NMFS Region                Limited Access Privilege Program
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Greater Atlantic Region..............  Atlantic Sea Scallop Individual
                                        Fishing Quota (73 FR 20090,
                                        April 14, 2008).
                                       Golden Tilefish Individual
                                        Transferable Quota (74 FR 42580,
                                        August 24, 2009).
Southeast Region.....................  Red Snapper Individual Fishing
                                        Quota (71 FR 67447, November 22,
                                        2006).
                                       Grouper-Tilefish Individual
                                        Fishing Quota (74 FR 44732,
                                        August 31, 2009).

[[Page 939]]

 
West Coast Region....................  Groundfish Trawl Rationalization
                                        (75 FR 78344, December 15,
                                        2010).
North Pacific Region.................  Halibut and Sablefish Individual
                                        Fishing Quota Program (65 FR
                                        14919, March 20, 2000).
                                       Crab Rationalization Program (70
                                        FR 10174, March 2, 2005).
                                       Rockfish Program (76 FR 81248,
                                        December 27, 2011).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined cost 
recovery fee programs in 2005 (March 2005, GAO Report to Congressional 
Requestors GAO-05-24, available at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05241.pdf). At the time, NMFS had only established one cost recovery 
fee program for the Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota 
Program (Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program). NMFS had determined that 
the actual costs to recover for the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program 
were the incremental costs of the program, (i.e., those costs that 
would not have been incurred but for the program).
    The GAO report examined the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program and 
found that NMFS was recovering the costs of management and enforcement, 
as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act (see p. 4 of GAO-05-241). The 
GAO report noted that the Magnuson-Stevens Act does not define ``actual 
costs'' as directly related to the management and enforcement of an 
``individual fishing quota'' program. The GAO report noted that actual 
costs could be interpreted as the full costs of managing an individual 
fishing quota program rather than those costs that are directly 
attributable to the implementation of an individual fishing quota 
program (e.g., incremental costs). However, after reviewing the 
methodology for calculating recoverable costs in the Halibut and 
Sablefish IFQ Program, the GAO report did not recommend that NMFS 
change its policy of collecting incremental costs (see p. 23 of GAO-05-
241).
    One of the two key recommendations of the GAO report is that NOAA 
should establish cost recovery fee programs as required and authorized 
by section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act for all management 
programs to which they would apply. The other recommendation was to 
develop guidance as to which costs are to be recovered and, when actual 
information is unavailable, how to estimate the costs (see p. 22 of 
GAO-05-241).
    NOAA has established policy guidance to define the methods for 
determining costs and implementing cost recovery fee programs for 
limited access privilege programs (November 2007, NOAA Technical 
Memorandum NMFS-F/SPO-86, available at http://spo.nwr.noaa.gov/tm/tm86.pdf). NOAA clarified this policy guidance in the NOAA Catch Share 
Policy (November 2011, NOAA Catch Share Policy, available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/management/catch_shares/about/documents/noaa_cs_policy.pdf. The NOAA Catch Share Policy states that:

    It is NOAA policy to compute and recover from participants only 
the incremental operating costs associated with limited access 
privilege programs. . . . The relevant costs to recover are the 
incremental costs, i.e., those costs that would not have been 
incurred but for the limited access privilege program, since cost 
recovery is not authorized for non-limited access privilege program 
fisheries. Conceptually, measuring these costs involves a ``with and 
without'' comparison of the cost of running the management program 
for the specified fishery under the status quo non-limited access 
privilege program regime, relative to the costs attributable to 
implementing the limited access privilege program.

    NOAA has determined that recovering incremental costs is 
appropriate because the Magnuson-Stevens Act specifies collection of a 
fee to recover the actual costs directly related to the management, 
data collection, and enforcement of limited access privilege program or 
the CDQ Program. Incremental costs refer only to the costs that are 
added because of the implementation of a limited access privilege 
program or the CDQ Program. For example, a fishery stock assessment 
would be required whether or not a limited access privilege program or 
CDQ Program existed. Under section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act, NMFS is not authorized to recover costs from non-limited access 
privilege program or non-CDQ Program fishery participants. Therefore, 
having participants in the limited access privilege programs or the CDQ 
Program pay fees to cover the costs of a stock assessment would not be 
consistent with current NOAA policy. However, if specific permits, 
monitoring and catch accounting provisions, or enforcement requirements 
are needed to manage, collect data, or enforce a limited access 
privilege program or CDQ Program, it would be appropriate to recover 
fees for those costs. See the ``Reimbursable Costs'' section of this 
preamble for additional detail on the costs subject to cost recovery 
fee collection. This proposed action is intended to be consistent with 
the recommendations of the 2005 GAO report and established NOAA policy 
on cost recovery fee programs.

II. Background

    The following sections provide a brief background on each of the 
programs for which NMFS proposes to implement a cost recovery fee 
program. For a more detailed description of each of these programs, 
please see section 1.5 of the RIR/IRFA.

A. AFA Program

    On October 21, 1998, the President signed into law the AFA, which 
was Title II-Fisheries, Subtitles I and II, within the Omnibus 
Appropriations Bill FY 1999, Public Law 105-277. The AFA, as enacted in 
1998, is available on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site: https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/afa/afa1998.pdf. The 
purpose of the AFA was to clarify U.S. ownership standards for U.S. 
fishing vessels and to provide the Bering Sea pollock fleet the 
opportunity to eliminate the race to harvest Bering Sea pollock through 
the allocation of a percentage of the TAC of Bering Sea pollock that 
may be received or held for exclusive use by a person. The AFA 
established specific allocations of Bering Sea pollock; requirements 
for participation by catcher vessels, catcher/processors, motherships, 
and processors; excessive share limits; monitoring and enforcement 
provisions; and annual reporting requirements.
    NMFS allocates the Bering Sea pollock TAC to the AFA Program as a 
directed fishery allowance after subtracting the CDQ Program allocation 
of 10 percent of the TAC, and after subtracting a portion of the TAC as 
an incidental catch allowance to accommodate the incidental catch of 
pollock in non-pollock directed fisheries (e.g., the incidental catch 
of pollock in the directed fishery for Pacific cod). The remaining TAC 
is further allocated to three AFA sectors: 50 percent allocation to 
catcher vessels harvesting pollock for processing by shoreside 
processors (inshore sector); 40

[[Page 940]]

percent allocation to catcher vessels and catcher/processors harvesting 
pollock for processing by catcher/processors (catcher/processor 
sector); and a 10 percent allocation to catcher vessels harvesting 
pollock for processing by motherships (mothership sector). Under the 
AFA, a catcher vessel may only harvest pollock; a catcher/processor may 
harvest and process pollock; and a mothership may only receive and 
process pollock.
    Section 208 of the AFA determined which vessels and which 
processors were eligible to participate in the inshore sector, the 
catcher/processor sector, and the mothership sector. NMFS issued AFA 
permits to 112 catcher vessels, 21 catcher/processors, and three 
mothership vessels. Section 210 of the AFA allowed the formation of 
fishery cooperatives in each AFA sector. Under a fishery cooperative, 
the members of a cooperative agree to divide the pollock allocation 
that the cooperative members. The AFA, in section 210(b), specifically 
regulated the formation of inshore cooperatives for catcher vessels. A 
catcher vessel with an AFA inshore endorsement has a choice of 
participating in the open access sector, and delivering pollock to any 
AFA inshore processor, or contributing its catch history to a 
cooperative, and delivering at least 90 percent of its pollock catch to 
the processor associated with the cooperative (AFA section 210(b); 50 
CFR 679.4(l)(6)). Participants in the AFA open access sector would not 
be subject to cost recovery under this proposed rule because these 
persons do not receive an exclusive harvest privilege. Currently, all 
AFA vessels harvest and deliver pollock through a cooperative, rather 
than in open access.
    Seven inshore cooperatives have formed. The amount of pollock 
allocated to an inshore cooperative is based on the amount of harvests 
of the members of the cooperative specified under section 206(b) of the 
AFA. For additional information on AFA inshore allocations, see NMFS 
Alaska Region Web site, http://alaskafisheries.noaa/gov/sustainablefisheries/afa.
    A cooperative has formed in the catcher/processor sector to harvest 
the exclusive harvest allocation provided to this sector. Participants 
in the catcher/processor sector have a joint agreement called the 
``Cooperative Agreement between Offshore Pollock Catchers' Cooperative 
and Pollock Conservation Cooperative'' (AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative) 
to facilitate efficient harvest management and accurate harvest 
accounting between the participants in the catcher/processor sector. 
The AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative is defined under annual cooperative 
reports submitted to NMFS (Cooperative Reports, NMFS Alaska Region Web 
site, http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/afa/afa_sf.htm). All but one participant who harvests pollock allocated to 
the catcher/processor sector is a member of the AFA Offshore Joint 
Cooperative. Section 208(e)(21) of the AFA expressly limits the amount 
of harvest by the one participant in the catcher/processor sector who 
is not a member of the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative to 0.5 percent of 
the TAC assigned to the catcher/processor sector, thereby providing an 
exclusive harvest privilege to all the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative 
members. The participant who is not a member of the AFA Offshore Joint 
Cooperative would not be subject to a cost recovery fee for its harvest 
of pollock under this proposed rule. Section 1.5.3 of the RIR/IRFA 
provides additional detail on allocations to the AFA catcher/processor 
sector.
    The owners of all 19 catcher vessels eligible to deliver to a 
mothership in the Bering Sea pollock fishery have joined a single 
cooperative to coordinate harvests. This cooperative harvests the 
exclusive harvest allocation provided to the mothership sector as 
specified under section 206(b) of the AFA. For additional detail see 
the Cooperative Reports, NMFS Alaska Region Web site, http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/afa/afa_sf.htm.
    Section 1.5.3 of the RIR/IRFA and the final rule implementing the 
AFA provide more detailed information (67 FR 79692, December 30, 2002). 
The amounts of the Bering Sea pollock TAC currently allocated to each 
AFA cooperative and sector are specified in the final 2014 and 2015 
harvest specifications for the BSAI groundfish fisheries (79 FR 12108, 
March 4, 2014).

B. Aleutian Islands Pollock Program

    Originally, the AFA applied to the directed pollock fishery in the 
entire BSAI (section 205(4), section 205(6), section 205(10) of 
original AFA). The BSAI consists of the Bering Sea subarea and the 
Aleutian Islands subarea (see regulatory definitions in Sec.  679.2). 
In 2004, Congress separated the management of pollock between the 
Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands pursuant to the requirements of the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-199). Under the 
requirements of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004, NMFS 
allocates an exclusive harvest allocation representing a portion of the 
Aleutian Islands subarea pollock TAC to the Aleut Corporation.
    NMFS implemented the requirements of the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act of 2004 with Amendment 82 to the FMP in 2005 (70 FR 
9856, March 1, 2005). Regulations implementing Amendment 82 define the 
amount of pollock TAC that may be allocated in the Aleutian Islands 
subarea and how the Aleut Corporation may harvest its portion of this 
allocation. The Aleutian Islands pollock TAC is allocated to the Aleut 
Corporation for a directed pollock fishery after subtracting the CDQ 
Program allocation of 10 percent of the TAC, and after subtracting an 
incidental catch allowance to accommodate the incidental catch of 
pollock in non-pollock directed fisheries.
    Prior to 2015, NMFS prohibited directed fishing for pollock inside 
Steller sea lion critical habitat in the Aleutian Islands as a measure 
to protect the endangered Steller sea lion (68 FR 204, January 2, 
2003). Pollock in the Aleutian Islands occurs primarily inside Steller 
sea lion critical habitat. These closures of critical habitat in the 
Aleutian Islands to directed fishing precluded directed fishing in the 
Aleutian Islands. Therefore, prior to 2015, the allocation to the Aleut 
Corporation was not fully harvested and was reallocated each year to 
the Bering Sea pollock fishery. NMFS has implemented new regulations 
that allow directed fishing for pollock within critical habitat in the 
Aleutian Islands (79 FR 70286, November 25, 2014). This may provide 
additional harvest opportunities for the Aleut Corporation.
    Section 1.5.3 of the RIR/IRFA and the final rule implementing the 
Aleutian Islands Pollock Program provide more detailed information (70 
FR 9856, March 1, 2005). The amount of the Aleutian Islands pollock TAC 
currently allocated to the Aleut Corporation and reallocation to the 
Bering Sea is specified in the final 2014 and 2015 harvest 
specifications for the BSAI groundfish fisheries (79 FR 12108, March 4, 
2014).

C. Amendment 80 Program

    Amendment 80 to the FMP identified participants using trawl 
catcher/processors in the BSAI who are active in groundfish fisheries 
other than Bering Sea pollock (i.e., the head-and-gut fleet or 
Amendment 80 vessels) and established a framework, known as the 
Amendment 80 Program, to regulate fishing by this fleet (72 FR 52668, 
September 14, 2007). The Amendment 80 Program allocates a portion of 
the TACs of six species in the BSAI: Atka mackerel, Pacific cod, 
flathead sole,

[[Page 941]]

rock sole, yellowfin sole, and Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch 
between the Amendment 80 Program and other trawl fishery participants.
    The Amendment 80 program created Amendment 80 quota share based on 
the historic catch of quota share species by Amendment 80 vessels, 
facilitated the development of cooperative arrangements (Amendment 80 
cooperatives) among quota shareholders, and assigned an exclusive 
harvest privilege for a portion of the TAC of quota share species for 
participants in Amendment 80 cooperatives. The Amendment 80 Program 
also allocates crab and halibut prohibited species catch (PSC) limits 
to constrain bycatch of these species while Amendment 80 vessels 
harvest groundfish. The Amendment 80 Program added sideboard limits to 
protect other fisheries from the potential adverse effects arising from 
the exclusive harvest privileges provided under the Amendment 80 
Program.
    NMFS identified 28 catcher/processor vessels that are eligible to 
participate in the Amendment 80 Program and NMFS has issued quota share 
based on the historic catch of these vessels. NMFS has issued Amendment 
80 quota share to 27 eligible persons. One person who owns an eligible 
catcher/processor did not elect to apply for and receive Amendment 80 
quota share and would not be subject to the provisions of this proposed 
rule because this person does not receive an exclusive harvest 
privilege for a portion of the Amendment 80 species TACs. Amendment 80 
quota shareholders may annually elect to form a cooperative with other 
Amendment 80 quota shareholders to receive an exclusive harvest 
privilege for the portion of Amendment 80 species TACs resulting from 
the cooperative member's aggregated quota share holdings. This 
``cooperative quota'' (CQ) is the amount of Amendment 80 species TACs 
dedicated for exclusive use by that cooperative.
    Annually, each Amendment 80 quota shareholder elects to participate 
either in a cooperative or the limited access fishery. Participants in 
the limited access fishery do not receive an exclusive allocation for a 
portion of the TACs allocated to the Amendment 80 Program. Participants 
in the Amendment 80 limited access fishery would not be subject to cost 
recovery under this proposed rule because these persons do not receive 
an exclusive harvest privilege. Since 2011, all quota shareholders have 
participated in one of two cooperatives. (For additional detail see 
Cooperative Reports, NMFS Alaska Region Web site, http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sustainablefisheries/amds/80/default.htm).
    Section 1.5.1 of the RIR/IRFA and the final rule implementing the 
Amendment 80 Program provide more detailed information (72 FR 52668, 
September 14, 2007). The allocations of Amendment 80 species TACs to 
each of the Amendment 80 cooperatives are provided in the final 2014 
and 2015 harvest specifications for the BSAI groundfish fisheries (79 
FR 12108, March 4, 2014).

D. CDQ Program

    The CDQ Program was implemented by NMFS in 1992 (57 FR 46133, 
October 7, 1992). Since the implementation of the CDQ Program, Congress 
has amended the Magnuson-Stevens Act to define specific allocations to 
the CDQ Program, as well as eligibility to participate in the CDQ 
Program.
    A total of 65 villages are authorized under section 305(i)(1)(D) of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act to participate in the CDQ Program. Six CDQ 
groups represent these villages. The CDQ groups include the Aleutian 
Pribilof Island Community Development Association (APICDA), the Bristol 
Bay Economic Development Corporation (BBEDC), the Central Bering Sea 
Fishermen's Association (CBSFA), the Coastal Villages Region Fund 
(CVRF), the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation (NSEDC), and 
the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association (YDFDA). CDQ groups 
manage and administer CDQ allocations and use the revenue derived from 
the harvest of their CDQ allocations to fund economic development 
activities and provide employment opportunities on behalf of the 
villages they represent. See section 1.5.2 of the RIR/IRFA for 
additional information on the CDQ Program.
    Section 305(i)(B) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act specifies the 
proportion of the crab, groundfish, and halibut TACs in the BSAI 
allocated to the CDQ Program. Section 305(i)(C) of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act specifies the proportion of the overall CDQ Program allocations 
assigned to each CDQ group. The proportion of the CDQ Program 
allocations of each species assigned to each of the six CDQ groups is 
described in a final rule defining the regulation of the CDQ Program 
(71 FR 51804, August 31, 2006). Each year, NMFS publishes the specific 
annual allocations of CDQ groundfish and halibut TACs to each CDQ group 
on the Alaska Region Web site at http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/cdq/current_historical.htm.
    NMFS first allocates crab, halibut and groundfish TACs to the CDQ 
Program, and then apportions the remaining TAC among other non-CDQ 
fishery participants. Because CDQ crab allocations are already subject 
to a cost recovery fee program (70 FR 10174, March 2, 2005), they are 
not addressed further in this preamble. The groundfish species and 
species groups currently allocated to the CDQ Program, and that would 
be subject to this proposed cost recovery fee program, are specified in 
the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for the BSAI groundfish 
fisheries (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014). The process for allocating 
halibut TACs to the CDQ Program is described in a final rule 
implementing the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program (58 FR 59375, 
November 9, 1993). The allocation of halibut to the CDQ Program varies 
by halibut management area and ranges from 20 to 100 percent of the 
area TACs.
    The fishery resources allocated to the CDQ Program and the CDQ 
groups are under Federal jurisdiction, and NMFS remains primarily 
responsible for groundfish and halibut CDQ fisheries management. 
However, the State of Alaska (State) also retains some management 
responsibility for the CDQ Program. The State may incur costs in the 
management and enforcement of the CDQ Program that would be subject to 
a cost recovery fee. Section 304(d)(2)(C)(ii) of the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act provides that NMFS transfer up to 33 percent of any cost recovery 
fee collected for the CDQ Program ``in order to reimburse such State 
for actual costs directly incurred in the management and enforcement of 
[the CDQ Program].'' This proposed rule anticipates that the State may 
apply to NMFS for reimbursement of its management and enforcement 
costs. The potential costs subject to reimbursement are described in 
section 1.5.2 of the RIR/IRFA and the ``CDQ Program'' section of this 
preamble.
    Section 305(i)(1)(G) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act designates 
specific administrative oversight responsibilities for the CDQ Program 
to an Administrative Panel. Section 305(i)(1)(G) specifies that the 
Administrative Panel shall coordinate and facilitate activities of the 
CDQ groups and administer those aspects of the CDQ Program not 
otherwise addressed in section 305(i)(1), including economic 
development aspects of the CDQ Program. Currently, the Western Alaska 
Community Development Association (WACDA) serves as the

[[Page 942]]

Administrative Panel specified in the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

III. Cost Recovery--General

    As described in the ``Statutory Authority'' section of this 
preamble, cost recovery is the process by which NMFS would recover the 
actual costs associated with the management, data collection, and 
enforcement (also referred to as program costs) of the CDQ, AFA, 
Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs. These program 
costs would be recovered annually through a fee paid by persons who 
hold a permit granting an exclusive harvesting privilege for a portion 
of the TAC in a fishery subject to cost recovery.
    NMFS proposes to calculate the cost recovery fee for fish species 
that are allocated as exclusive harvest privileges under the CDQ 
groundfish and halibut, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 
Programs as a percentage of the ex-vessel value of allocated fish 
species harvested by the participants in each program. The cost 
recovery fee percentage would be determined annually by the Regional 
Administrator of the NMFS Alaska Region and published in a Federal 
Register notice each year. NMFS would calculate cost recovery fees only 
for fish that are landed and deducted from the TAC in the fisheries 
subject to cost recovery under the proposed action. NMFS would not 
calculate cost recovery fees for any portion of a permit holder's 
exclusive harvest privilege that was not landed and deducted from the 
TAC. For the purposes of this rule, ``permit holder'' refers to the 
person who holds the exclusive harvest privilege in the specific 
fishery. These methods for assessing cost recovery fees on landed catch 
and the designation of the permit holder are consistent with the cost 
recovery fee programs already implemented and NOAA policy guidance.
    Section 304(d)(2)(B) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act specifies that a 
cost recovery fee ``shall be collected at either the time of the 
landing, filing of a landing report, or sale of such fish during a 
fishing season or in the last quarter of the calendar year in which the 
fish is harvested.'' NMFS proposes to collect the cost recovery fee for 
the CDQ groundfish and halibut, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and 
Amendment 80 Programs by December 31 of each year, which is in the last 
quarter of the calendar year in which the fish were harvested. NMFS 
would notify each permit holder of their calculated fee liability for 
the fishing year by December 1 each year in which the landings were 
made. Each permit holder would be responsible for submitting the fee to 
NMFS by December 31 of the year in which the landings were made. The 
fee liability payment would need to be submitted to NMFS electronically 
by the December 31 deadline.
    This approach is consistent with other cost recovery fee programs 
implemented by NMFS. Annual collection of cost recovery fees minimizes 
the administrative burden on fishery participants and NMFS by limiting 
fee assessment and collection to one time per year rather than 
requiring assessment and collection at the time of each landing or at 
multiple times throughout the year. The use of electronic payment of 
cost recovery fees would reduce the administrative costs of processing 
payments, and provides an efficient method for permit holders to submit 
fees. In addition, all of the permit holders subject to a cost recovery 
fee regularly report to NMFS using electronic means and it is a 
submission method readily available to them. The details of the 
proposed procedures for the collection of cost recovery fees for the 
CDQ, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs are 
discussed in detail below in the ``Proposed Action'' section of this 
preamble.
    To calculate the annual fee liability for each permit holder in the 
CDQ, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs, NMFS 
would (1) calculate the standard price for each fishery species 
allocated under a program; (2) calculate the ex-vessel value of each 
fishery species allocated under a program by multiplying the standard 
price by the total amount of landings in each fishery under a program; 
(3) calculate the total ex-vessel value of all fisheries landed under a 
program by adding together the ex-vessel values of each fishery species 
under a program; (4) calculate the total program cost by adding 
together the costs of managing each fish species under a program; (5) 
calculate a fee percentage (not to exceed three percent of the ex-
vessel value of fish harvested under any such program) for a program by 
dividing total program costs by the total ex-vessel value for all 
fishery species under a program; and (6) calculate the fee amount that 
will be assessed for each permit holder by multiplying the fee 
percentage by the permit holder's total ex-vessel value of the fishery 
landings under a program. The final figure would be the annual fee owed 
by each permit holder.
    An effective cost recovery fee program requires using existing data 
or collecting additional data to calculate species ex-vessel values, 
using a standardized methodology to assess program costs, assigning the 
appropriate fee to each person holding a permit, and ensuring that fees 
are submitted in full and on time. The primary components of the cost 
recovery fee programs proposed in this action include defining the: (1) 
Person and permit subject to cost recovery fee liability; (2) fee 
percentage; (3) ex-vessel value; (4) ex-vessel prices; (5) information 
sources; (6) reimbursable costs; (7) fee liability notice and 
submission method; (8) payment compliance; and (9) annual reporting. 
Each of these components is discussed in the following sections of the 
preamble.

A. Person and Permit Subject to Cost Recovery Fee Liability

    To implement a cost recovery fee program, NMFS must identify the 
person and permit that are subject to the fee liability. As described 
above in the ``Statutory Authority'' section, the Magnuson-Stevens Act 
definition of ``person'' includes any individual, corporation, 
partnership, association, or other non-individual entity. The permit is 
the documentation that grants a person an exclusive harvest privilege.
    In each of the cost recovery fee programs proposed in this action 
there is documentation that grants a person permission to fish for a 
certain percentage or specific amount of the TACs allocated to that 
program. The person receiving the exclusive harvesting privilege and 
the nature of the permit providing that privilege is different for each 
of the proposed cost recovery fee programs, as shown in Table 2. A more 
detailed description of the person and permit that would be subject to 
cost recovery for each program is provided in the ``Proposed Action'' 
section of this preamble.

[[Page 943]]



   Table 2--Summary of Proposed Cost Recovery Fee Programs, Person(s)
      Receiving the Exclusive Harvest Privilege, and the ``Permit''
                    Authorizing the Harvest Privilege
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 Person receiving      Annual permit
                                   an exclusive    authorizing exclusive
  Proposed Cost Recovery Fee    harvest privilege  harvest privilege for
            Program              for a portion of      a portion of a
                                  a fishery TAC         fishery TAC
------------------------------------------------------------------------
CDQ Program...................  CDQ group........  Annual CDQ Group
                                                    Quota Allocations
                                                    matrix on Alaska
                                                    Region Web site at
                                                    http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
AFA Inshore Sector............  AFA Inshore        AFA inshore
                                 Cooperative.       cooperative fishing
                                                    permit.
AFA Catcher/Processor Sector..  AFA Offshore       Table 3 of the BSAI
                                 Joint              final groundfish
                                 Cooperative.       harvest
                                                    specifications
                                                    published in the
                                                    Federal Register.
AFA Mothership Sector.........  AFA Mothership     Table 3 of the BSAI
                                 Cooperative.       final groundfish
                                                    harvest
                                                    specifications
                                                    published in the
                                                    Federal Register.
Aleutian Islands Pollock......  Aleut Corporation  Table 3 of the BSAI
                                                    final groundfish
                                                    harvest
                                                    specifications
                                                    published in the
                                                    Federal Register.
Amendment 80..................  Amendment 80       Amendment 80 CQ
                                 cooperative.       permit.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to specifying the person subject to cost recovery, NMFS 
would require program participants to designate an individual who would 
be responsible for submitting the cost recovery fee to NMFS. A more 
detailed description of this proposed requirement is provided in 
section IV of this preamble.

B. Fee Percentage

    Section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act specifies that a cost 
recovery fee may not exceed three percent of the ex-vessel value of the 
fish harvested under the fisheries subject to cost recovery. Sections 
1.8.4, 1.8.5, and 1.8.6 of the RIR/IRFA estimate the cost recovery fee 
percentage for the CDQ, AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 
Programs based on estimated ex-vessel revenue and program costs from 
2010 through 2013. The estimated annual cost recovery fee percentages 
for the proposed cost recovery fee programs range from a minimum of 
0.29 percent of the ex-vessel value of Bering Sea pollock allocated to 
AFA inshore cooperatives to a maximum of 1.62 percent of the ex-vessel 
value of fisheries allocated to Amendment 80 cooperatives. To reach the 
maximum fee percentage, program costs would have to increase 
significantly or fishery revenue would need to decline significantly. 
NMFS does not anticipate increases in management costs or declines in 
fishery revenue by amounts large enough to reach the three percent 
level in the foreseeable future in any of the proposed cost recovery 
fee programs.
    The cost recovery fee percentage for a cost recovery program would 
be equal to the program costs divided by the ex-vessel value of the 
fishery species covered by that program. The program costs would be the 
program costs for the most recent Federal fiscal year, and the ex-
vessel value of the fishery species is the ex-vessel value of the 
landings subject to the cost recovery fee liability for the current 
calendar year. Under the proposed regulations, the fee percentage is 
calculated using the program costs from the most recent Federal fiscal 
year. Specifically, a cost recovery fee program participant would be 
required to pay their fee by December 31 of a calendar year, based on 
the costs incurred for management, data collection, and enforcement of 
that program from October 1 of the previous calendar year through 
September 30 of the current calendar year.
    NMFS intends to use this accounting method to ensure that program 
costs associated with the management, data collection, and enforcement 
of a limited access privilege program and the CDQ Program can be 
reviewed, by NMFS, prior to the time that the cost recovery fee is due. 
It would also reduce administrative burden and costs to track program 
costs as they currently accrue and are debited from specific accounts, 
on a Federal fiscal year basis. NMFS would calculate and publish the 
fee percentage for the CDQ groundfish and halibut, AFA and Aleutian 
Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs in the Federal Register by 
December 1 of the year in which landings subject to cost recovery were 
made.

C. Ex-Vessel Value

    The ex-vessel value of fish harvested under a permit would equal 
the sum of all payments of monetary worth made for the sale of raw, 
unprocessed catch of the species subject to cost recovery. This would 
include any retroactive payments (e.g. bonuses, delayed partial 
payments, post-season payments) made for fish harvested under a permit 
for previously landed fishery species. Retroactive payments would be 
part of the ex-vessel value and as such have a fee liability. The fee 
liability for retroactive payments would be based on the fee percentage 
in effect at the time the fish was received by the processor.
    For example, if a retroactive payment is received after the initial 
payment was made at the time of landing, but during the same calendar 
year in which the landing was made, the cost recovery fee for those 
retroactive payments also would be due by December 31 of the year in 
which the landings were made. If retroactive payments are received by 
permit holders during the year following the calendar year when those 
fish were landed, then cost recovery fees associated with those post-
season retroactive payments would be due by December 31 of the calendar 
year the retroactive payments were received and be subject to the cost 
recovery fee in effect for the calendar year in which the retroactive 
payment was made. This method for calculating ex-vessel value is 
similar to the method used in the cost recovery fee program for the 
Rockfish Program (76 FR 81248, December 27, 2011). Section 1.7.2 of the 
RIR/IRFA provides additional detail on the calculation of ex-vessel 
value and retroactive payments.

D. Ex-Vessel Prices

    NMFS would use standard prices rather than actual prices to 
calculate the ex-vessel value of landings for each fishery species. A 
standard price would be determined using information on landings 
purchased (volume) and ex-vessel value paid (value). The processors of 
fish harvested under the CDQ groundfish and halibut, AFA, Aleutian 
Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs would provide this 
information. NMFS would annually summarize volume and value information 
for landings of all fishery species subject to cost recovery in order 
to estimate a standard price for each fishery species, except for rock 
sole.
    Rock sole is allocated to and harvested by vessels participating in 
the Amendment 80 and CDQ Programs. Rock sole volume and value reports 
would be reported once each year, but

[[Page 944]]

fees would be assessed based on the volume and value of landings of 
rock sole that occur in the first quarter of the year (January 1 
through March 31), and fees would be assessed based on the aggregated 
volume and value of landings in the last three quarters of the year 
(April 1 through December 31). The difference in reporting requirements 
for rock sole arises from the need to capture significant differences 
in price and value in the rock sole that are landed in the first 
quarter of the year compared to the price and value in the remaining 
part of the year. See Section 1.7.2.2.5 of the RIR/IRFA for additional 
detail on rock sole prices.
    Use of a standard price is not precluded under section 304(d)(2) of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS uses a standard price in the cost 
recovery fee programs for the Crab Rationalization Program and the 
Rockfish Program. The use of an actual price would require that the 
permit holder or a designated representative document all landings and 
prices for fishery species subject to cost recovery. This additional 
documentation can impose additional costs on permit holders to document 
and retain information on all landings and prices. The cost recovery 
fee program for the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program allows permit 
holders to use either standard or actual prices. However, very few 
Halibut and Sablefish IFQ permit holders have used actual prices. Based 
on that experience, NMFS proposes to use a standard price in all cost 
recovery fee programs proposed under this action. NMFS would publish 
the standard prices by fishery species in the Federal Register by 
December 1 of year in which the landings subject to cost recovery were 
made.

E. Information Used to Calculate Ex-Vessel Value

    NMFS proposes three methods for collecting and aggregating volume 
and value data to calculate standard prices. The first method would 
implement data collection using two new volume and value reports to 
calculate standard prices for all fishery species other than halibut 
and pollock. The second method would use data already collected under 
the IFQ Buyer Report to calculate standard prices for halibut. The 
third method would use data already collected under the Commercial 
Operator's Annual Report (COAR) to calculate standard prices for 
pollock. NMFS proposes to implement the two new volume and value 
reports for fishery species other than halibut and pollock because 
sufficient information is not otherwise available on a timely basis 
from other sources to determine a standard price paid by processors for 
a fishery species subject to cost recovery. This approach minimizes the 
cost and burden of recordkeeping and reporting requirements on fishery 
participants.
    In developing the proposed rule, NMFS held public workshops in 
Anchorage, AK, and Seattle, WA, in 2013 to receive input from affected 
industry participants on appropriate methods for calculating the 
standard price for specific fishery species (78 FR 25426, May 1, 2013). 
Participants in these public workshops supported the methods proposed 
for calculating the standard price in this rule. The following sections 
of the preamble describe the methods NMFS would use to collect and 
aggregate volume and value data to calculate standard prices and ex-
vessel values.
1. Volume and Value Reports
    Two types of new volume and value reports would be required under 
the proposed action--a Pacific Cod Ex-Vessel Volume and Value Report 
and a First Wholesale Volume and Value Report.
    This proposed rule would require shoreside processors, designated 
on a Federal Processor Permit (FPP), and motherships, designated on a 
Federal Fisheries Permit (FFP), that process landings of either CDQ 
Pacific cod or BSAI Pacific cod harvested by a vessel using trawl gear 
to submit a Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report. The Pacific 
Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report would require shoreside 
processors and motherships to submit information including the total 
pounds of Pacific cod purchased, the total gross ex-vessel value paid 
by gear type (trawl and fixed gear), as well as identifying information 
for the processor (i.e. Federal processor permit number, mailing 
address, contact phone number, etc.). The total pounds of Pacific cod 
purchased and the total gross ex-vessel value paid by each gear type 
from January 1 through October 31 of each year would be reported as 
aggregated data. NMFS notes that shoreside processors and motherships 
already collect these data as part of their existing business 
operations, and to comply with other data collection requirements. 
Therefore, only the submission of this information to NMFS by November 
10 would be a new requirement.
    The information submitted would be used by NMFS to calculate an 
annual standard price for Pacific cod for Amendment 80 cooperatives and 
CDQ groups. NMFS would calculate a separate standard price for Pacific 
cod harvested by trawl gear and Pacific cod harvested by fixed gear. 
The fixed gear standard price would apply to all landings made by 
vessels subject to cost recovery and using hook-and-line, jig, or pot 
gear. A standard price would be determined for trawl and fixed gear 
separately because the ex-vessel value of Pacific cod can differ 
between trawl and fixed gear (see section 1.7.2.2 of the RIR/IRFA for 
additional detail).
    The standard price for trawl gear would be used for Amendment 80 
cooperatives and for trawl vessels harvesting Pacific cod allocated to 
CDQ groups. The standard price for fixed gear would be used for vessels 
harvesting Pacific cod for CDQ groups using hook-and-line, jig, or pot 
gear. Because Amendment 80 cooperatives only harvest Pacific cod using 
trawl gear, NMFS does not anticipate using a standard price derived 
from fixed gear vessels for Amendment 80 cooperatives.
    The second type of new volume and value report that would be 
required is the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. A First 
Wholesale Volume and Value Report would be used to collect volume and 
value data for all fishery species of groundfish allocated to the 
Amendment 80 and CDQ Program except for fixed gear sablefish, halibut, 
Pacific cod, and pollock. Section 1.7 of the RIR/IRFA lists each 
fishery species that would be subject to the requirements of a First 
Wholesale Volume and Value Report. The instructions on the First 
Wholesale Volume and Value Report would also list these species on an 
annual basis.
    This proposed rule would require that Amendment 80 vessel owners 
submit a First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. NMFS would use data 
from Amendment 80 vessels to calculate standard prices for species 
covered by the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report because these 
species are harvested primarily, if not almost exclusively, by 
Amendment 80 vessels (see Section 1.7.2.1 of the RIR/IRFA for 
additional detail). The First Wholesale Volume and Value Report would 
require information on the fishery species and pounds harvested, the 
first wholesale value of the fishery species, as well as identifying 
information for the catcher/processor (i.e., Federal Fisheries Permit 
number, mailing address, contact phone number, etc.). The pounds 
harvested and first wholesale value from January 1 through October 31 
each year would be reported as aggregated data, with one exception for 
rock sole. Section 1.7.2.2.5 of the RIR/IRFA notes that rock sole 
wholesale values differ substantially between first quarter values and 
second to fourth quarter values. During the first

[[Page 945]]

quarter of the year (January 1 through March 31) rock sole contain roe 
and this product is worth substantially more than rock sole product 
that does not contain roe landed later in the year. Therefore, NMFS 
would collect data from January 1 through March 31 to establish a 
standard price for rock sole landed during this period, and use data 
from April 1 through October 31 to establish a standard price for rock 
sole landed for the remainder of the calendar year. Amendment 80 vessel 
owners already collect these data to comply with other data collection 
requirements. Therefore, only the submission of this information to 
NMFS in the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report by November 10 of 
the year in which the landings were made would be a new requirement.
    The data from the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report would 
satisfy requirements in section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act 
that cost recovery fees be based on the ex-vessel value of fish. The 
First Wholesale Volume and Value Report would be used to obtain volume 
and value information for directed fisheries where fishery species are 
harvested and processed exclusively, or almost exclusively, by trawl 
catcher/processors. For these fishery species, there is no reliable ex-
vessel price generated from the sale of fish from a harvester to a 
processor. Therefore, the ex-vessel price for those fishery species 
must be estimated. An ex-vessel price can be estimated by using 
information on the first wholesale price. The first wholesale price is 
the market price of the primary processed fishery product.
    Since the late 1990s, the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) 
has imputed an ex-vessel price for fish from the first wholesale price 
based on a fraction of the processed-product price. The imputed ex-
vessel price, also referred to as the proxy price, is the value of 
processed products from catcher/processor vessels divided by the 
retained round-weight (unprocessed weight) of catch and multiplied by a 
factor of 0.4 to correct for the value added to the fish product by 
processing. Processed product values and round weights would be derived 
from the First Wholesale Volume and Value reports submitted by 
Amendment 80 vessels. A more detailed discussion of the methods for 
determining a proxy price can be found in section 1.7.2 of the RIR/IRFA 
prepared for this action.
    The reporting period for the Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value 
Report and the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report would be from 
January 1 to October 31. These reports would be due on November 10. 
NMFS proposes this time period to allow enough time for submitter to 
prepare the reports and for NMFS to prepare the standardized prices to 
be published in the Federal Register by December 1 of the year in which 
the landings were made. These reports would need to be submitted 
electronically through the Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Electronic submittal would reduce costs, 
administrative burden, and ensure that the reports are submitted in a 
timely fashion.
    The standard price for the entire calendar year for species subject 
to cost recovery fees other than fixed-gear sablefish, halibut, and 
pollock would be based on volume and value data from January 1 through 
October 31. NMFS expects these data would provide an accurate ex-vessel 
price for fish harvested in November and December for several reasons. 
First, for many fisheries, effort in November and December subsides. 
Therefore, landings in those fisheries in November and December 
represent a small proportion of overall annual harvests. For example, 
landings of Atka mackerel, sablefish, Pacific cod, and Pacific ocean 
perch have generally concluded by October 31 and few landings are made 
in November and December relative to the rest of the year. Second, NMFS 
reviewed information from existing data sources, such as the COAR, and 
determined that ex-vessel values for fishery species proposed for cost 
recovery do not differ substantially in November and December relative 
to ex-vessel values prior to October. Therefore, even if data were 
collected from landings in November and December it would not be 
expected to have a substantive effect on the annual estimate of ex-
vessel price for a fishery species (See Section 1.7.2.2 of the Analysis 
for additional detail). Although rock sole prices do fluctuate during a 
calendar year, NMFS would be collecting data during the first quarter 
of the year (from January 1 through March 31) and from the remainder of 
the year (April 1 through October 31) to reflect those intra-annual 
variations in prices. In the specific case of rock sole, prices after 
April 1 and through October 31 are relatively constant and similar to 
prices in November and December. Therefore, collecting data on rock 
sole prices after October would not provide additional detail needed to 
establish a standard price for rock sole for the last three quarters of 
the year (April through December 31). Finally, during public workshops, 
NMFS discussed limiting the volume and value reporting period to the 
first ten months of the year (January 1 through October 31). Members of 
the industry that participated in the public workshops did not raise 
concerns about this approach. NMFS notes that it would continue to 
monitor ex-vessel prices received through the COAR, as well as through 
feedback from affected industry participants. If needed, NMFS can 
adjust the reporting period in the future through subsequent rulemaking 
to reflect any variations in prices that may be observed.
2. IFQ Buyer Report
    NMFS currently requires participants in the Halibut and Sablefish 
IFQ Program to submit a cost recovery fee based on either actual 
prices, or standard prices, for IFQ halibut and sablefish. Standard 
prices are determined based on information from an IFQ Buyer Report 
(see Sec.  679.5(l)(7)(i)). An IFQ Buyer Report is required from each 
IFQ registered buyer that operates as a shoreside processor and that 
receives and purchases IFQ halibut or sablefish or CDQ halibut. The IFQ 
Buyer Report includes information regarding volume and value of IFQ 
halibut and sablefish and CDQ halibut landings by month, port, and IFQ 
registered buyer.
    The IFQ Buyer Report is based upon a reporting period from October 
1 of the previous year to September 30 of the current year. The IFQ 
Buyer Report is due on October 15 each year. NMFS proposes using the 
standard prices calculated from the IFQ Buyer Report for the Halibut 
and Sablefish IFQ Program to establish standard prices and ex-vessel 
values for CDQ halibut and fixed gear sablefish by month. NMFS would 
use standard prices and ex-vessel values calculated from information 
already required to be submitted under current regulations to avoid 
duplication with other data collection programs, and eliminate the 
costs and burden associated with developing a new data collection 
method for establishing standard prices and ex-vessel value for the CDQ 
fisheries. NMFS would be able to determine a standard prices and ex-
vessel values for the CDQ halibut and fixed-gear sablefish fisheries 
harvested from October 1 of the previous calendar year through 
September 30 of the current year and provide that information to CDQ 
groups by December 1 of the current calendar year as part of their 
annual fee liability statement.
3. Commercial Operator's Annual Report (COAR)
    NMFS proposes to use the COAR to determine the standard price and 
ex-

[[Page 946]]

vessel value for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands pollock fisheries. 
Federal regulations at Sec.  679.5(p) require all processors of fishery 
resources harvested in Alaska to submit the COAR. The COAR collects 
data on the species landed, area where the fish were harvested, 
processor receiving delivery, gear used, pounds purchased, and total 
amount paid. The information collected in the COAR provides the data 
needed to establish a standard price and ex-vessel value for AFA and 
Aleutian Islands pollock based on deliveries made to AFA inshore 
processors.
    Because data from the COAR are not available until November 
following the calendar year in which they are collected, they are not 
suitable for use for establishing a standard price where values change 
substantially from year to year. Section 1.7.2.2.1 of the RIR/IRFA 
notes that aggregate prices of pollock do not change substantially from 
year to year, particularly when aggregated over an entire calendar year 
as proposed in this rule. Therefore, COAR data collected in the 
previous calendar year could effectively be used to establish a 
standard price for BSAI pollock fisheries during the current calendar 
year.
    Because the aggregate prices of pollock tend to remain stable from 
year-to-year, the quantity of harvest is the most significant factor in 
determining the ex-vessel value of pollock. Therefore, NMFS does not 
anticipate that using standard prices calculated from the COAR would 
substantively affect the amount of cost recovery fees an AFA 
cooperative or the Aleut Corporation would have to pay if the fee 
liability is not expected to exceed three percent of the standard ex-
vessel value. As noted earlier, NMFS does not expect the fee for the 
AFA or Aleutian Island Pollock Programs to exceed three percent in the 
foreseeable future. Since the estimates of the cost recovery fees are 
less than the three-percent limit, the precision of the data used to 
establish the standard price and the standard ex-vessel value will have 
negligible impact on the fee liability that would be paid by each 
entity.
    Input from members of the affected industry during the public 
workshops indicated that they support using annual COAR data to 
estimate prices for the AFA and Aleutian Islands pollock fisheries, 
even though it would require that previous year's prices are used to 
establish a standard ex-vessel value. The use of COAR data to establish 
a standard ex-vessel value for the BSAI pollock fisheries would provide 
a reasonable method to establish a standard price, would avoid 
duplication with existing data collection programs, and eliminate the 
costs and burden associated with developing a new data collection 
method. The standard price, as calculated using COAR data from AFA 
inshore processors, would be used to determine the standard price for 
all AFA and Aleutian Islands pollock landings. For more information on 
the COAR, please see http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishlicense.coar.

F. Reimbursable Costs

    NMFS proposes to recover the incremental costs associated with the 
management, data collection, and enforcement of the CDQ groundfish and 
halibut, AFA, Aleutian Islands pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs. As 
described above in the ``Statutory Authority'' section of this 
preamble, this is consistent with NOAA policy for implementing cost 
recovery fee programs. Section 1.8.3 of the RIR/IRFA and Tables 1-34 
and 1-35 in the RIR/IRFA includes detailed information about the types 
of costs that NMFS incurs in the management of the CDQ groundfish and 
halibut, AFA, Aleutian Islands pollock, and Amendment 80 Programs. 
These types of incremental costs that NMFS incurs are summarized in 
Table 3 below.

 Table 3--Summary of the Types of Incremental Costs Associated With Cost
                            Recovery Programs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Cost                               Example
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Equipment Inspections................  Inspecting at-sea scales that are
                                        required and implemented as part
                                        of the a cost recovery program
                                        to accurately weight harvests
                                        (e.g., AFA catcher/processors,
                                        Amendment 80 vessels).
Information collection and data        Creating and maintaining software
 management.                            programs necessary to track the
                                        use of exclusive harvest
                                        privileges allocated under a
                                        program subject to cost
                                        recovery.
Rulemaking...........................  Labor costs associated with
                                        developing and implementing
                                        regulations that modify a
                                        program subject to cost
                                        recovery.
Investigations.......................  Investigating and enforcing
                                        violations associated with a
                                        cost recovery program (e.g.,
                                        costs incurred investigating and
                                        enforcing provisions intended to
                                        limit the maximum permissible
                                        amount of quota share a person
                                        may hold and use).
Staff meeting travel and outreach....  Attending and participating in
                                        meetings required to address
                                        issues related to a cost
                                        recovery meeting (e.g., travel
                                        associated with providing
                                        outreach on new regulatory
                                        provisions applicable to a
                                        program subject to cost
                                        recovery).
Catch accounting.....................  Modifying catch accounting to
                                        specifically track the use of
                                        exclusive harvest privileges.
Catch monitoring.....................  Deploying staff to monitor and
                                        track catch for a program
                                        subject to a cost recovery
                                        program (e.g., the Catch
                                        Monitoring and Control Plan
                                        Specialist used to monitor catch
                                        in the Rockfish Program).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NMFS does not currently account for incremental costs for each of 
these programs, because there is not a cost recovery fee program in 
place for these programs. NMFS has provided estimates of costs for 
managing the AFA, Aleutian Islands pollock, Amendment 80, and CDQ 
groundfish and halibut Programs based on the best available 
information, but lacks information to provide more precise estimates. 
NMFS would provide a detailed accounting of costs once this rule became 
effective, if approved.
    NMFS would capture the incremental costs of managing the fisheries 
through an established accounting system that allows NMFS to track 
labor, travel, and procurement. This process is described in Section 
1.8.3 of the RIR/IRFA. This accounting system for management costs is 
consistent with the methods NMFS uses to account for costs in the 
Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program, Crab Rationalization Program, and 
Rockfish Program.
    Once the incremental costs for the most recent Federal fiscal year 
are identified, that amount is recovered from all permit holders in the 
program. NMFS would adjust the total management costs, annually, to 
account for any adjustments or payments received during the previous 
calendar

[[Page 947]]

year. For example, if payments received by CDQ groups in 2017 were 
slightly greater than the actual management costs incurred for the CDQ 
Program for that fee collection period, then NMFS would adjust the 
total management costs, which would then slightly lower the fee 
percentage due by the CDQ groups in 2018. Some slight adjustment in the 
total management costs to account for rounding, overpayment, or 
corrections to actual costs after the fee liability is due is 
anticipated. NMFS would accommodate these factors on an annual basis by 
adjusting the fee percentages in the following year for the affected 
program. In all cases, the fee percentage could not be set at an amount 
higher than three percent of the ex-vessel value of a program fisheries 
even if the actual costs for the previous year exceeded three percent 
of the standard ex-vessel value for the landings subject to cost 
recovery.
    During public workshops held on this proposed action, participants 
in some fisheries that would be subject to a cost recovery fee 
requested that NMFS consider crediting, or reducing, the cost recovery 
fee for expenses that participants incur to cooperatively manage and 
monitor harvests. NMFS acknowledges that industry has taken an active 
role in establishing industry-based measures to coordinate and 
communicate information in fisheries for which participants receive an 
exclusive harvest privilege for a portion of the TAC, particularly in 
fisheries that utilize harvest cooperatives. However, regardless of 
these industry-based measures, NMFS has identified actual costs that it 
incurs that are directly related to the management, data collection, 
and enforcement of these programs.
    Expenses that industry incurs that directly reduce the NMFS' costs 
for implementing and maintaining the program would reduce the cost 
recovery fee. That is, NMFS would not assess a fee for any costs it 
does not incur due to changes in fishing patterns with the 
implementation of a limited access privilege program. Section 1.8 of 
the RIR/IRFA provides additional detail on costs that are due to the 
implementation of the AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, Amendment 80, and 
CDQ Programs including the establishment of new permitting, regulatory 
provisions, monitoring requirements, data management, and other costs.

G. Fee Liability Notice and Submission

    Each year by December 1, NMFS would send each permit holder or 
their designated representative a fee liability summary letter for the 
fees required for that year. The fee liability summary letter would 
calculate each permit holders' fee liability. The fee liability would 
be calculated by NMFS based on: (1) The standard price determined by 
using data from the applicable volume and value report, IFQ Buyer 
Report, or the COAR; (2) the total amount of landings by a permit 
holder from January 1 through November 30 of that year; (3) NMFS's 
estimate of landings for a permit holder from December 1 through 
December 31 of that year; and (4) and NMFS' actual costs from October 1 
of the previous calendar year through September 30 of the current 
calendar year. The total cost recovery fee would need to be submitted 
electronically to NMFS no later than December 31 of the calendar year 
in which the landings were made.
    Because the fee liability notice would be sent on December 1, and 
the fee liability is assessed through the end of the year (December 
31), NMFS would estimate landings for each permit holder that would be 
made between December 1 and December 31. NMFS would provide an estimate 
of landings between December 1 and December 31 because it is not 
possible to prepare and provide a fee liability notice to each permit 
holder for landings through December 31, and require payment from each 
permit holder before fishing begins on January 1 of the following year.
    NMFS notes that estimates of landings would only be required for 
some of the fisheries subject to a cost recovery fee. In the case of 
the AFA and Aleutian Islands Pollock Programs, directed fishing for 
pollock is prohibited after November 1 (see regulations at Sec.  
679.23(e)(2)(ii)), therefore there would be no need to estimate 
landings from December 1 through December 31. Some CDQ fisheries are 
closed prior to December 1, including Atka mackerel, fixed-gear 
sablefish, and halibut (see regulations at Sec.  679.23(e)(4)(iii)). 
Therefore, there would be no additional landings in December for these 
fisheries, and an estimate of landings would not be required from 
December 1 through December 31.
    For other Amendment 80 and CDQ groundfish fisheries (e.g., Pacific 
ocean perch, Pacific cod, yellowfin sole, and other flatfish 
fisheries), historic data indicate that the amount of landings during 
December are small relative to landings during the previous 11 months, 
and NMFS is likely to be able to accurately estimate landings based on 
the amount of a permit holder's remaining allocation during a year and 
projections of landings after December 1. Section 1.10 of the RIR/IRFA 
contains additional information on landings of catch in December and 
methods NMFS would use to estimate landings for each program.
    Any actual landings from December 1 through December 31 that were 
less than the estimated landings during this period would be accounted 
for in reporting for the following year and would result in a credit to 
the permit holder and would be deducted from the permit holder's fee 
liability for the following year. Any actual landings that were greater 
than the estimated landings would be accounted for in reporting for the 
following year and would result in a debit to the permit holder and 
would be added to the permit holder's fee liability for the following 
year. Section 1.10 of the RIR/IRFA also describes how NMFS would adjust 
the fee liability for a permit holder from one year to the next to 
account for differences in actual and estimated landings from December 
1 through December 31.
    A permit holder would incur a fee liability for all fish that is 
landed and debited against the permit authorizing the permit holder to 
land fish in a program subject to cost recovery. This proposed rule 
would require a permit holder to designate a representative who would 
be responsible for submitting this payment to NMFS on or before the due 
date of December 31 of the year in which the landings were made. NMFS 
notes that the permit holder must self-collect the amount due for all 
landings on his or her permit(s). NMFS advises program participants 
subject to cost recovery to ensure that adequate funds are retained on 
an annual basis to ensure that the fee liability can be paid. For 
example, during the first year of implementation, it may be advisable 
for the permit holder to retain a fixed percentage of the value of ex-
vessel prices paid to harvesters for CDQ groundfish and halibut, AFA, 
Aleutian Islands Pollock, and Amendment 80 species throughout the year. 
This would ensure that the permit holder could pay the required fees 
for fishing during the calendar year when the fee is due on December 31 
of that calendar year. The ``Proposed Action'' section of this preamble 
provides estimates of the range of fee percentages that may be required 
for each of the cost recovery fee programs, and could be used as a 
basis to establish a reasonable amount for each permit holder to 
retain.

H. Payment Compliance

    This proposed rule would require a permit holder to designate a 
representative to submit the fee on the permit holder's behalf. Any 
permit holder who has incurred a fee liability would be required to pay 
the fee

[[Page 948]]

electronically to NMFS by December 31 of the year in which the landings 
were made. A permit holder would need to ensure full payment for their 
cost recovery fee liability by December 31 of the year in which the 
landings were made.
    This proposed rule would establish an exception to this general 
requirement for the full payment of a cost recovery fee liability for 
the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative. During public workshops prior to 
the development of this proposed rule, participants in the AFA Offshore 
Joint Cooperative noted the challenges of adequately coordinating among 
all members of their cooperative given the relatively large numbers of 
participants in the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative. Industry 
participants suggested that withholding the entire Bering Sea pollock 
directed fishery allocation to the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative if a 
complete and timely payment is not received would not be an appropriate 
management response. NMFS proposes that if the designated 
representative for the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative has made a timely 
payment to NMFS of an amount less than the fee liability NMFS 
estimated, NMFS may choose to issue a quota allocation corresponding to 
the same percentage of the cost recovery fee received from the 
cooperative or group. For example, if only 90 percent of the fee 
liability were received on a timely basis, NMFS would only issue 90 
percent of the Bering Sea pollock directed fishery TAC to the AFA 
Offshore Joint Cooperative.
    NMFS does not propose to extend this provision to AFA inshore 
cooperatives, or the AFA mothership cooperative, because participants 
in other AFA cooperatives did not raise similar concerns about 
coordination. NMFS would not propose to extend this same provision to 
the Amendment 80 or CDQ Programs because these programs receive 
allocations from more than one species, and determining which 
allocation to withhold due to a partial payment is not possible. In 
addition, NMFS has not received a request from participants in the 
Amendment 80 or CDQ Programs to establish such a provision. NMFS 
specifically requests comment on the need and applicability of this 
proposed provision for the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative.
    If a permit holder or designated representative fails to submit 
full payment for their cost recovery fee liability by December 31 of 
the year in which the landings were made, under this proposed rule, 
NMFS could 1) at any time thereafter send an initial administrative 
determination (IAD) to the permit holder or designated representative 
stating their fee liability; and 2) disapprove any application to 
transfer quota to or from the permit holder or group which receives an 
annual allocation. The IAD would state that the permit holder's 
estimated fee liability due from the permit holder had not been paid. 
Any such formal determination may be appealed.
    NMFS has recently established a National Appeals Office (NAO) 
located at NMFS Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. In 2014, NMFS 
adopted rules of procedure for NAO appeals in 15 CFR part 906 (79 FR 
7056, February 6, 2014). The appeal procedures in 15 CFR part 906 are 
mandatory for appeals in limited access privilege programs developed 
under section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. None of the programs 
subject to cost recovery in this proposed rule were developed under 
section 303A of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and appeals are not required 
to be heard under the procedural rules at 15 CFR part 906. NMFS may, 
however, use the NAO to review appeals in programs where NAO does not 
have mandatory jurisdiction. NMFS proposes that the NAO review any 
appeals submitted under the provisions of this proposed action. These 
appeals would use NAO procedural rules.
    Under NAO procedural rules, an applicant, a permit holder in this 
case, who appeals an IAD would not receive a permit designating an 
exclusive harvest privilege for a portion of the TAC in limited access 
privilege program or CDQ fisheries until the appeal was resolved in the 
applicant's favor. Finally, upon final agency action, NMFS may continue 
to prohibit issuance of permits or quota allocation for any subsequent 
calendar years until NMFS receives full payment of any unpaid fees. If 
payment is not received within 30 days after final agency action, the 
agency may pursue collection of the unpaid fees.
    Upon issuance of final agency action, payment submitted to NMFS in 
excess of any cost recovery fee liability determined to be due by the 
final agency action will be returned to the permit holder unless he or 
she requests the agency to credit the excess amount against the permit 
holder's future cost recovery fee liability. Payment processing fees 
may be deducted from any fees returned to the permit holder or 
designated representative.
    Administrative fees may be assessed if the account drawn on to pay 
cost recovery fee liability has insufficient funds, or if the account 
is delinquent. Additionally, interest would begin accruing the day 
after the due date up until payment is received. The interest rate is 
set annually by the Department of Treasury. If payment has not been 
received 90 days after the due date, NMFS may also assess a one-time 
penalty fee of six percent of the amount owned.

I. Annual Reports

    NMFS would annually publish a report for each of the proposed cost 
recovery fee programs about the performance of the program. The annual 
report would provide information regarding the amount of the fees 
received by NMFS, the disposition of the fees, and the program costs 
used in determining the fee for the previous year. The annual report is 
consistent with the reports NMFS provides for the three other cost 
recovery fee programs implemented in the Alaska Region.

IV. The Proposed Action

    The proposed action would implement a cost recovery fee program for 
the AFA, Aleutian Islands Pollock, Amendment 80, and CDQ groundfish and 
halibut Programs. The following sections provide additional detail on 
the primary components of each of the proposed cost recovery fee 
programs, and a discussion of the estimated reimbursable costs and cost 
recovery fees for each program. A detailed description of each proposed 
cost recovery fee program can be found in section 1.10 of the RIR/IRFA.

A. Pollock Cost Recovery Fee Programs

1. AFA Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities
    As described in the ``American Fisheries Act Program'' section of 
this preamble, the AFA allocates the Bering Sea pollock TAC to three 
sectors--catcher/processor, mothership, and inshore. Each of these 
sectors created one or more cooperatives to promote the rational and 
orderly harvest and processing of pollock (see Table 5 of this 
preamble). Because management costs can differ among these three 
sectors, NMFS proposes to assess management fees for the each of the 
AFA sectors separately. These are explained in greater detail in Table 
7 of this preamble, and section 1.8.6 of the RIR/IRFA.
    NMFS proposes adding regulations at Sec.  679.61(e)(1)(vi) that 
require each AFA cooperative include a requirement that lists the 
obligations of members of a cooperative to ensure the full payment of 
all AFA fee liabilities that may be due. This proposed regulation does 
not proscribe the specific measures that an AFA cooperative may choose 
to

[[Page 949]]

establish, but does require that those provisions are listed in the 
cooperative agreement. This requirement is intended to encourage and 
facilitate coordination among AFA cooperative members for the timely 
and complete payment of fees. NMFS implemented a similar requirement in 
the Rockfish Program to facilitate coordination in that cost recovery 
fee program, and the provisions proposed in this rule would be 
appropriate for the AFA cooperatives. NMFS is proposing a similar 
requirement for Amendment 80 cooperatives.
    The AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative would be subject to an AFA cost 
recovery fee. The AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative receives an exclusive 
harvest privilege of up to 99.5 percent of the TAC allocated to the 
catcher/processor sector. As noted earlier in this preamble, the one 
statutorily defined catcher/processor participant who is not a member 
of the AFA Offshore Joint Cooperative is not subject to an AFA cost 
recovery fee. The individual responsible for submitting the cost 
recovery fee for the catcher/processor sector would be the AFA Offshore 
Joint Cooperative's designated representative.
    The AFA Mothership Fleet Cooperative would be subject to an AFA 
cost recovery fee. The AFA Mothership Fleet Cooperative receives an 
exclusive harvest privilege for the AFA mothership sector. All 
participants in the AFA mothership sector are members of the AFA 
Mothership Fleet Cooperative. The individual responsible for submitting 
the cost recovery fee for the mothership sector is the Mothership Fleet 
Cooperative's designated representative.
    AFA inshore sector cooperatives would be subject to an AFA cost 
recovery fee. The AFA Inshore Catcher Vessel Cooperative Permit (see 
Sec.  679.5(l)(6)) lists the AFA catcher vessels and processors that 
are members of an inshore cooperative and the percentage of the AFA 
inshore sector allocation that a cooperative receives. The individual 
responsible for submitting the cost recovery fee for each inshore 
cooperative would be the designated cooperative representative 
identified in a cooperative's application for an AFA Inshore Catcher 
Vessel Cooperative Permit.
    Table 4 summarizes the information used to determine standard 
prices, any additional reporting requirement, calculation of the 
standard ex-vessel value, the person responsible for submitting the fee 
payment, and submittal requirements and deadlines for each AFA 
cooperative.

     Table 4--Summary of the AFA Cost Recovery Fee Program Elements
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
What species are subject to a cost     Bering sea pollock.
 recovery fee?
How is the standard price determined?  NMFS would calculate a standard
                                        price based on data from the
                                        COAR from the previous calendar
                                        year.
Are there additional reporting         No.
 requirements for AFA cooperatives to
 determine the standard price?
How will NMFS determine the Standard   NMFS will add total reported
 Ex-vessel Value?                       landings of Bering Sea pollock
                                        from January 1 through November
                                        30, estimate total landings from
                                        December 1 through December 31,
                                        if any, for each AFA cooperative
                                        and multiply that amount by the
                                        standard price determined by
                                        COAR data to calculate a
                                        Standard Ex-vessel value for
                                        each AFA cooperative.
Who is responsible for fee payment     AFA Catcher/Processor Sector: AFA
 and (how many cooperatives are         Offshore Joint Cooperative
 estimated to receive a fee liability   designated representative (1).
 notice)?                              AFA Mothership Sector: AFA
                                        Mothership Fleet Cooperative
                                        designated representative (1).
                                       AFA Inshore Sector: designated
                                        cooperative representative on
                                        each AFA Inshore Catcher Vessel
                                        Cooperative Permit application
                                        (7).
When are the standard prices           The standard prices are published
 published in the Federal Register      in the Federal Register by
 and when are fee liability notices     December 1 of each calendar
 sent?                                  year, and the fee liability
                                        notices will be sent to each
                                        designated representative by
                                        December 1 of each calendar
                                        year.
When are fee liability payments due    Fee liability notices are due by
 and how are they submitted?            December 31 of each year, and
                                        must be submitted online.
                                        Submittal forms are available
                                        online at: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Aleutian Islands Pollock Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable 
Entities
    The annual Aleutian Islands pollock TAC is allocated to the Aleut 
Corporation. The representative designated by the Aleut Corporation 
would be responsible for submitting the cost recovery fee. The CEO of 
the Aleut Corporation is the designated representative, unless the 
Aleut Corporation Board of Directors notifies the Regional 
Administrator in writing of an alternate designated representative. 
Table 5 summarizes the information used to determine standard prices, 
any additional reporting requirement, calculation of the standard ex-
vessel value, the person responsible for submitting the fee payment, 
and submittal requirements and deadlines for each AFA cooperative.

   Table 5--Summary of the Aleutian Islands Pollock Cost Recovery Fee
                            Program Elements
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
What species are subject to a cost     Aleutian Islands pollock.
 recovery fee?
How is the standard price determined?  NMFS would calculate a standard
                                        price based on data from the
                                        COAR from the previous calendar
                                        year. The standard price would
                                        be applied to all landings
                                        during a calendar year.
Are there additional reporting         No.
 requirements for the Aleut
 Corporations to determine the
 standard price?
How will NMFS determine the Standard   NMFS will add total reported
 Ex-vessel Value?                       landings of Aleutian Islands
                                        pollock from January 1 through
                                        November 30, estimate total
                                        landings from December 1 through
                                        December 31, if any, and
                                        multiply that amount by the
                                        standard price determined by
                                        COAR data to calculate a
                                        Standard Ex-vessel value for
                                        each AFA cooperative.

[[Page 950]]

 
Who is responsible for fee payment     Aleut Corporation (1).
 and (how many cooperatives are
 estimated to receive a fee liability
 notice)?
When are the standard prices           The standard prices are published
 published in the Federal Register      in the Federal Register by
 and when are fee liability notices     December 1 of each calendar
 sent?                                  year, and the fee liability
                                        notices will be sent to each
                                        designated representative by
                                        December 1 of each calendar
                                        year.
When are fee liability payments due    Fee liability notices are due by
 and how are they submitted?            December 31 of each year, and
                                        must be submitted online.
                                        Submittal forms are available
                                        online at: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Costs, Values, and Fee Percentage
    Table 6 provides a summary of AFA and Aleutian Islands pollock 
gross ex-vessel revenue, recoverable costs, and what the resulting cost 
recovery fee percentage would have been for 2009 through 2013. 
Recoverable costs are based on management costs estimated to be 
incurred by several divisions within the Alaska Region of NMFS, NOAA 
Office of Law Enforcement (NMFS OLE), and the NMFS Observer Program 
(Observer Program). NMFS notes that recoverable costs were not 
identified in the RIR/IRFA for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game 
(ADF&G), the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), or the North 
Pacific Fishery Management Council. NMFS notes that a directed fishery 
for Aleutian Islands pollock has not occurred since the implementation 
of the Aleutian Islands Pollock Program in 2005, and NMFS has 
reallocated the available allocation of Aleutian Islands pollock to the 
Bering Sea fishery. Because the directed pollock fishery in the Bering 
Sea is managed under the AFA, the revenues and costs from the 
reallocated Aleutian Islands pollock are associated with the AFA. This 
means that during this time period, the recoverable costs would have 
been associated with the AFA Program. Those revenues and costs are 
described in Table 6 of this preamble. If directed pollock fishing 
occurs in the Aleutian Islands in future years, NMFS would assess the 
Aleut Corporation a cost recovery fee for the directed Aleutian Islands 
pollock fishery.
    If the same fee percentage were applied to all AFA sectors, the fee 
would have ranged from a high of 0.58 percent in 2010 to a low of 0.29 
percent in 2012. Because the management costs associated with the AFA 
catcher/processor, inshore, and mothership sectors are known to vary, 
Table 6 provides estimates of the cost recovery fee percentage when it 
is established for each sector--catcher/processor (C/P), mothership 
(MS), and inshore. Those data indicate that the catcher/processor 
sector would pay a greater cost recovery fee than the mothership or 
inshore sector. The catcher/processor sector would pay a greater cost 
recovery fee percentage because enforcement and observer program costs 
are greater for that sector, relative to the others. Additional detail 
on the costs associated with each of the AFA sectors is provided in 
section 1.8.6 of the RIR/IRFA.

     Table 6--Summary of AFA and Aleutian Islands Pollock Program Estimated Costs, Ex-Vessel Value, and Fee
                                        Percentage by Year and by Sector
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Cost incurred for each AFA sector
             Entity incurring costs              ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        C/P             MS            Inshore          Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         Costs (estimated for all years)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NMFS Alaska Region..............................         $97,832         $47,518        $179,452        $324,802
NMFS OLE........................................         246,460          49,292         197,168         492,920
Observer Program................................         239,096          53,911          96,454         389,461
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
Total (Millions)................................            0.58            0.15            0.47            1.21
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 
                                                                               Year
                   AFA Sector                    ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2010            2011            2012            2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Ex-vessel Value per year ($ Millions)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C/P.............................................             $83            $141            $168            $155
MS..............................................              21              35              42              39
Inshore.........................................             104             176             208             194
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 
                                                                               Year
                   AFA sector                    ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2010            2011            2012            2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Estimated Fee Percentage (Percent of Ex-vessel Value)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C/P.............................................           0.70%            0.41            0.35            0.38
MS..............................................           0.72%            0.43            0.36            0.39
Inshore.........................................           0.45%            0.27            0.23            0.24
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In each year considered in Table 6, the fee percentage for each 
sector was less than 0.75 percent of the ex-vessel value of the 
fishery. This means that AFA program costs would need to increase by a 
minimum of 400 percent,

[[Page 951]]

or program revenue would need to fall by the same percentage in order 
for the fee percentage to reach the maximum fee limit of three percent 
of ex-vessel value. Therefore, the fee percentage that would be 
implemented for this program is expected to be small.
4. Calculation of Standard Price Information
    BSAI ex-vessel pollock prices will be derived from the COAR. The 
rationale for using the COAR has been described earlier in this 
preamble. Pollock standard prices would be the average ex-vessel price 
for the year. The average ex-vessel price, calculated using the inshore 
sectors' COAR data, would be used to determine the annual standard 
price for all AFA, Aleutian Islands, and CDQ pollock landings. The 
assessment of fees for pollock harvested by CDQ Groups is described in 
the ``CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program'' section of this preamble. The 
inshore price would be used as a standard price for all BSAI pollock 
landings because it provides an ex-vessel price based on the sale of 
pollock, rather than imputing an ex-vessel price from wholesale value 
to estimate a standard price.
    Once the standard price has been calculated, NMFS would determine 
the fee percentages and announce the percentage in a Federal Register 
notice by December 1 of the year in which the landings were made. The 
fee must be submitted electronically to NMFS by December 31 of the 
calendar year in which the landings were made.

B. Amendment 80 Cost Recovery Fee Program

1. Amendment 80 Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities
    NMFS issues the CQ permit to an Amendment 80 cooperative based on 
an annual CQ permit application submitted by each Amendment 80 
cooperative. The Amendment 80 CQ permit application specifies the 
cooperative's designated representative. The Amendment 80 cooperative's 
designated representative would be responsible for submitting the cost 
recovery fee for the cooperative under this proposed action. Amendment 
80 quota shareholders who do not choose to join an Amendment 80 
cooperative may participate in the Amendment 80 limited access fishery. 
The Amendment 80 limited access fishery does not meet the definition of 
a limited access privilege program, and participants in that fishery 
would not be subject to a cost recovery fee. Since 2011, all 27 
catcher/processors participating in the Amendment 80 Program are 
members of one of two cooperatives--the Alaska Seafood Cooperative or 
the Alaska Groundfish Cooperative. No Amendment 80 quota shareholders 
have elected to participate in the limited access fishery.
    NMFS proposes adding regulations at Sec.  679.91(b)(4)(vii) that 
would require that Amendment 80 cooperative agreements list the 
obligations of Amendment 80 cooperative members to ensure full payment 
of cost recovery fees among their members. This proposed regulation 
does not proscribe the specific provisions that Amendment 80 
cooperatives may choose to ensure full payment of cost recovery fees 
among their members, but it does require that those provisions are 
listed in the cooperative agreement. This requirement is intended to 
encourage and facilitate coordination among Amendment 80 cooperative 
members for the timely and complete payment of fees. As noted earlier 
in this preamble, NMFS implemented a similar requirement in the 
Rockfish Program, and is proposing similar provisions for the AFA and 
Amendment 80 cooperatives.
    Table 7 summarizes the information used to determine standard 
prices, any additional reporting requirement, calculation of the 
standard ex-vessel value, the person responsible for submitting the fee 
payment, and submittal requirements and deadlines for each Amendment 80 
cooperative.

 Table 7--Summary of the Amendment 80 Cost Recovery Fee Program Elements
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
What species are subject to a cost     Amendment 80 species: (BSAI Atka
 recovery fee?                          Mackerel, BSAI flathead sole,
                                        BSAI Pacific cod, Aleutian
                                        Islands Pacific ocean perch,
                                        BSAI rock sole, and BSAI
                                        yellowfin sole).
How is the standard price determined?  NMFS would calculate a standard
                                        price for BSAI Pacific cod based
                                        on data from the Pacific Cod
                                        Volume and Value Report. The
                                        standard price would be applied
                                        to all landings during a
                                        calendar year.
                                       NMFS would calculate a standard
                                        price for all other species
                                        other than BSAI Pacific cod from
                                        the First Wholesale Volume and
                                        Value Report. The standard price
                                        would be applied to all landings
                                        during a calendar year, except
                                        for BSAI rock sole. NMFS would
                                        calculate one standard price for
                                        landings made from January 1
                                        through March 31, and a separate
                                        standard price for landings made
                                        from April 1 through December 31
                                        of each year.
Are there additional reporting         Yes. Each Amendment 80 vessel
 requirements to determine the          owner that lands Amendment 80
 standard price?                        species during a calendar year
                                        is required to submit a First
                                        Wholesale Volume and Value
                                        Report.
How will NMFS determine the Standard   NMFS will add total reported
 Ex-vessel Value?                       landings of Amendment 80 species
                                        from January 1 through November
                                        30, estimate total landings from
                                        December 1 through December 31,
                                        if any, for each cooperative and
                                        multiply that amount by the
                                        standard price determined by the
                                        applicable volume and value
                                        report.
Who is responsible for fee payment     The Amendment 80 Cooperative's
 and (how many cooperatives are         designated representative listed
 estimated to receive a fee liability   on the Cooperative Quota (CQ)
 notice)?                               application (2).
When are the standard prices           The standard prices are published
 published in the Federal Register,     in the Federal Register by
 and when are fee liability notices     December 1 of each calendar
 sent?                                  year, and the fee liability
                                        notices will be sent to each
                                        designated representative by
                                        December 1 of each calendar
                                        year.
When are fee liability payments due    Fee liability notices are due by
 and how are they submitted?            December 31 of each year, and
                                        must be submitted online.
                                        Submittal forms are available
                                        online at: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Cost, Values, and Fee Percentage
    Table 8 provides an estimate of the management costs subject to the 
cost recovery program, gross ex-vessel revenue from fishery species 
allocated to the Amendment 80 Program, and estimates of the cost 
recovery fee percentages from 2010 through 2013. Total management costs 
subject to a cost recovery fee were estimated to be approximately $1.36 
million per year. Recoverable fees are estimated based on management 
costs incurred by several divisions within the Alaska Region of NMFS, 
NMFS OLE, AFSC, and the

[[Page 952]]

Observer Program. Section 1.8.4 of the RIR/IRFA provides additional 
detail about the estimated management costs associated with the 
Amendment 80 Program.

   Table 8--Summary of Amendment 80 Program Estimated Costs, Gross Ex-
                   Vessel Revenue, and Fee Percentage
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Entity incurring costs                    Cost incurred
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Costs (estimated for all years)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NMFS Alaska Region......................................        $486,364
NMFS OLE................................................         492,920
Alaska Fisheries Science Center.........................          49,627
Observer Program........................................         333,548
                                                         ---------------
    Total ($ Millions)..................................            1.36
------------------------------------------------------------------------


 
                                                                               Year
                     Entity                      ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2010            2011            2012            2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Ex-Vessel Value per year ($ Millions)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amendment 80 Cooperatives.......................             $89            $112             $98             $84
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 
                                                                               Year
                     Entity                      ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2010            2011            2012            2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Estimated Fee Percentage (Percent of Ex-Vessel Value)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Amendment 80 Cooperatives.......................           1.54%           1.22%           1.49%           1.62%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the estimated gross ex-vessel revenue from the fishery 
species subject to a cost recovery fee under the Amendment 80 Program, 
vessels in the Amendment 80 Program generated between $84 million and 
$112 million of ex-vessel value per year during the period analyzed. 
Relative to the estimated recoverable costs, these ex-vessel values 
result in a cost recovery fee ranging from 1.22 percent to 1.62 
percent, depending on the year, to generate $1.36 million to cover 
reimbursable management costs. In each year considered in Table 8, the 
cost recovery fee was estimated to be less than 1.7 percent of the 
estimated ex-vessel value landed by the Amendment 80 cooperatives. 
Based on these percentages, the cost of managing the Amendment 80 
Program would need to double, or revenue would need to decrease by half 
before the maximum fee of three percent of ex-vessel value would be 
reached. Therefore, the fee percentage that would be implemented for 
this program is expected to be small.
3. Calculation of Standard Price Information
    To generate timely standard prices NMFS would collect first 
wholesale data on round (unprocessed) pounds and value from the First 
Wholesale Volume and Value Report. Annual standard prices will be used 
for all Amendment 80 species except rock sole. As noted earlier in this 
preamble, two standard prices will be estimated for rock sole, one for 
the first quarter (from January 1 through March 31), and one for the 
remainder of the year (April 1 through December 31). Standard prices 
and the cost recovery fee percentage will be reported in a Federal 
Register notice by December 1 and the fee liability payment will be due 
on December 31st. This billing cycle enables NMFS to base the cost 
recovery fee liability on that year's ex-vessel revenue to the extent 
possible (January 1 through October 31), while allowing NMFS to collect 
the cost recovery fees prior to issuing a CQ permit to Amendment 80 
cooperatives for the upcoming fishing year that begins in January.

C. CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program

1. CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program Applicable Entities
    This proposed rule defines each CDQ group as the person subject to 
cost recovery fees for CDQ groundfish and halibut fisheries. The 
designated representative of a CDQ group is the individual responsible 
for remitting payment for their CDQ group (see Table 9 of this 
preamble).
    NMFS annually allocates a portion of groundfish and halibut TACs to 
the CDQ groups as described above in the ``CDQ Program'' section of 
this preamble. NMFS annually publishes the allocations of groundfish 
and halibut TACs to each CDQ group on the Alaska Region Web site at 
http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/cdq/current_historical.htm. The 
information in this publication would represent the permit that 
provides an exclusive harvest privilege to the CDQ group to harvest its 
allocation of groundfish and halibut TACs. Each CDQ group would be 
responsible for submitting to NMFS the cost recovery fee associated 
with landings made from its allocation of groundfish and halibut TACs. 
This method is consistent with the method NMFS uses to collect fees for 
crab CDQ in the Crab Rationalization cost recovery fee program (see 
Sec.  680.44).
    In developing this proposed action, NMFS considered defining the 
Administrative Panel authorized in section 305(i)(1)(G) as the person 
subject to cost recovery fees for CDQ groundfish and halibut fisheries. 
Under this option, NMFS would submit a single cost recovery fee 
liability notice for all CDQ Program cost recovery fees to WACDA, the 
entity currently serving as the Administrative Panel for the CDQ 
Program. NMFS did not select this approach because it would not be 
consistent with the current management structure of the CDQ groundfish 
and halibut fisheries. As described earlier in the ``CDQ Program'' 
section of this preamble and in section 1.5.2.1 of the

[[Page 953]]

RIR/IRFA, existing CDQ groundfish and halibut catch monitoring and 
reporting requirements are structured to ensure that each CDQ group 
actively monitors the harvest of its allocations, and that each group 
takes action to constrain its fishing activities should its harvest 
approach or reach a particular allocation. Furthermore, CDQ group 
representatives did not support combining cost recovery fees for all 
CDQ groups into one fee liability notice for the CDQ Program. These 
representatives noted that combining responsibility for all CDQ Program 
cost recovery fee liabilities could disadvantage some CDQ groups if one 
or more groups do not submit their fee by the deadline and NMFS 
withheld groundfish or halibut allocations to the CDQ Program in the 
next year. Making each CDQ group responsible for its own fees 
eliminates the potential for a CDQ group to be held accountable and 
potentially have its CDQ withheld if another CDQ group fails to submit 
a timely and complete fee payment.
    Table 9 summarizes the information used to determine standard 
prices, any additional reporting requirement, calculation of the 
standard ex-vessel value, the person responsible for submitting the fee 
payment, and submittal requirements and deadlines for each CDQ group.

      Table 9--Summary of the CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program Element
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
What species are subject to a cost     Groundfish species allocated to
 recovery fee?                          the CDQ Program:
                                       (BSAI Atka Mackerel, BSAI
                                        flathead sole, Bering Sea
                                        Greenland turbot, BSAI Pacific
                                        cod, Aleutian Islands Pacific
                                        ocean perch, BSAI Pollock, BSAI
                                        rock sole, BSAI sablefish, and
                                        BSAI yellowfin sole), and BSAI
                                        halibut.
How is the standard price determined?  NMFS would calculate a standard
                                        price for BSAI Pacific cod based
                                        on data from the Pacific Cod
                                        Volume and Value Report. The
                                        standard price would be applied
                                        to all landings during a
                                        calendar year.
                                       NMFS would calculate a standard
                                        price for all other species
                                        other than BSAI pollock, BSAI
                                        Pacific cod, BSAI sablefish, and
                                        BSAI Halibut from the First
                                        Wholesale Volume and Value
                                        Report. The standard price would
                                        be applied to all landings
                                        during a calendar year, except
                                        for BSAI rock sole. NMFS would
                                        calculate one standard price for
                                        landings made from January 1
                                        through March 31, and a separate
                                        standard price for landings made
                                        from April 1 through December 31
                                        of each year.
                                       NMFS would calculate a standard
                                        price for BSAI pollock based on
                                        data from the COAR from the
                                        previous calendar year. The
                                        standard price would be applied
                                        to all landings during a
                                        calendar year.
                                       NMFS would calculate a standard
                                        price for BSAI sablefish and
                                        BSAI halibut from the IFQ Buyer
                                        Report. The standard price would
                                        be applied to all landings
                                        during a calendar year.
Are there additional reporting         No.
 requirements from CDQ groups to
 determine the standard price?
How will NMFS determine the Standard   NMFS will add total reported
 Ex-vessel Value?                       landings of the above mentioned
                                        species from January 1 through
                                        November 30, estimate total
                                        landings from December 1 through
                                        December 31, if any, for each
                                        cooperative and multiply that
                                        amount by the standard price
                                        determined by the Volume and
                                        Value reports.
Who is responsible for fee payment     The CDQ group's designated
 and (how many cooperatives are         representative (6).
 estimated to receive a fee liability
 notice)?
When are the standard prices           The standard prices are published
 published in the Federal Register      in the Federal Register by
 and when are the fee liability         December 1 of each calendar
 notices sent?                          year, and the fee liability
                                        notices will be sent to each
                                        designated representative by
                                        December 1 of each calendar
                                        year.
When are fee liability payments due    Fee liability notices are due by
 and how are they submitted?            December 31 of each year, and
                                        must be submitted online.
                                        Submittal forms are available
                                        online at: http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Cost, Values, and Fee Percentage
    NMFS, NMFS OLE, the Observer Program, and ADF&G all contribute to 
the management of the CDQ Program. Table 10 provides a summary of the 
management costs subject to the cost recovery fee program, gross ex-
vessel revenue from species allocated to the CDQ Program, and estimates 
of the cost recovery fee percentages from 2010 through 2013. Fees were 
estimated to be about $0.63 million per year, at current levels. These 
fees included the costs of developing reports on halibut landings, 
providing support for information systems (e.g., e-Landings catch and 
production reporting system), and stationing observers on vessels. 
Section 1.8.4 of the RIR/IRFA provides additional detail about the 
estimated management costs associated with the Amendment 80 Program.

 Table 10--Summary of CDQ Groundfish and Halibut Estimated Costs, Gross
                  Ex-Vessel Revenue, and Fee Percentage
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Entity incurring costs                    Cost incurred
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Costs (estimated for all years)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NMFS Alaska Region......................................        $234,796
NMFS OLE................................................         246,460
ADF&G...................................................          65,612
Observer Program........................................          84,799
                                                         ---------------
    Total ($ Millions)..................................            0.63
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 954]]


 
                                                                               Year
                     Entity                      ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2010            2011            2012            2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Ex-vessel Value per year ($ Millions)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CDQ Groups......................................             $47             $74             $87             $76
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 
                                                                               Year
                     Entity                      ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2010            2011            2012            2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Estimated Fee Percentage (Percent of Ex-vessel Value)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CDQ Groups......................................           1.33%           0.86%           0.73%           0.83%
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The CDQ Program fee percentage was estimated to range from 0.73 
percent to 1.33 percent per year from 2010 through 2013. The estimated 
fee percentage for 2013 was less than 1.0 percent of the gross ex-
vessel value of species directly allocated to the CDQ Program. In each 
year, considered in Table 10, the fee percentage was less than 1.4 
percent. Based on these percentages, the cost of managing the CDQ 
Program would need to double, or revenue would need to decrease by half 
before the maximum fee of three percent of ex-vessel value would be 
reached. Therefore, the fee percentage that would be implemented for 
this program is expected to be small.
3. Calculation of Standard Price Information
    NMFS would calculate cost recovery fees for CDQ halibut and fixed 
gear sablefish based on the standard prices calculated and reported by 
NMFS for the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program cost recovery fee. NMFS 
would use the IFQ Buyer Report to determine standard prices for CDQ 
halibut and sablefish. NMFS determined that IFQ standard prices would 
be appropriate for CDQ halibut and sablefish because buyers of CDQ 
halibut and sablefish are required by Sec.  679.5(l)(7)(i) to submit 
the IFQ Buyer Report. Therefore, price data for CDQ halibut and 
sablefish are already reported. The standard prices for pollock 
allocations harvested by CDQ groups would be derived from the COAR 
data. The standard prices for Pacific cod allocations harvested by CDQ 
groups would be derived from the Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value 
Report. The standard prices for the remaining CDQ groundfish species, 
other than Pacific cod, pollock, halibut, and fixed gear sablefish, 
would be derived from the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report.

V. Classification

    Pursuant to section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS 
Assistant Administrator has determined this proposed rule is consistent 
with the FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other 
applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. 
This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.

A. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    An IRFA was prepared, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. The IRFA describes the economic impact this proposed 
rule, if adopted, would have on small entities. Copies of the RIR/IRFA 
prepared for this proposed rule are available from NMFS (see 
ADDRESSES).
    The IRFA for this proposed action describes the action, why this 
action is being proposed, the objectives and legal basis for the 
proposed rule, the type and number of small entities to which the 
proposed rule would apply, and the projected reporting, recordkeeping, 
and other compliance requirements of the proposed rule. It also 
identifies any overlapping, duplicative, or conflicting Federal rules 
and describes any significant alternatives to the proposed rule that 
would accomplish the stated objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and 
other applicable statues and that would minimize any significant 
adverse economic impact of the proposed rule on small entities. The 
description of the proposed action, its purpose, and its legal basis 
are described in the preamble and are not repeated here.
    This proposed rule would directly regulate six CDQ groups that 
support and manage the activities of the CDQ communities. The groups 
include the Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, 
the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, the Central Bering 
Sea Fishermen's Association, the Coastal Villages Region Fund, the 
Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, and the Yukon Delta 
Fisheries Development Association. These groups represent 65 villages 
and maintain a non-profit status. Each of the CDQ groups is organized 
as an independently owned and operated not-for-profit entity and none 
is dominant in its field; consequently, each is a ``small entity'' 
under the Small Business Administration's definition for ``small 
organization''. Section 2.6 of the IRFA prepared for this proposed rule 
provides more information on these entities.
    In addition, this action would regulate Amendment 80 and AFA 
cooperatives, and the vessels that are harvesting exclusive harvest 
privileges under the Amendment 80 and AFA programs; The Aleut 
Corporation; and processors and motherships that receive CDQ Pacific 
cod deliveries and trawl-caught Pacific cod. The Small Business 
Administration defines a small commercial finfish fishing entity as one 
that has annual gross receipts, from all activities of all affiliates, 
of less than $20.5 million (79 FR 33647, July 14, 2014). None of these 
entities are considered to be small entities based on the SBA's size 
standard.

B. Description of Significant Alternatives Considered

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that those participating in 
limited access privilege programs and the CDQ Program pay up to three 
percent of the ex-vessel value of the fish they are allocated to cover 
specific costs that are incurred by the management agencies as a direct 
result of implementing the programs. Given the specific requirements of 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act to implement a cost recovery fee, no other 
alternatives would accomplish the stated objective.
    NMFS considered and analyzed a range of specific options to 
determine standard prices for calculating standard ex-vessel value 
data, due dates for volume and value reports, and fee submission, as 
described in the IRFA. NMFS selected those options that would minimize 
reporting burden and costs on small entities consistent with the stated 
objective when possible.

[[Page 955]]

    For the options to determine standard prices for calculating 
standard ex-vessel value data, NMFS considered options to use COAR data 
to determine standard prices and standard ex-vessel values for all 
species subject to cost recovery, but did not select that option for 
species other than BSAI pollock because COAR data is not an accurate 
data source for species where the price changes on a year-by-year 
basis. NMFS did select options that minimized reporting requirements on 
small entities by using existing data sources (e.g., COAR for BSAI 
pollock, and the IFQ buyer report for BSAI sablefish and BSAI halibut).
    For the provision setting the deadline date for two new reports 
that would be required under this proposed rule: The Pacific Cod Ex-
Vessel Volume and Value Report and the First Wholesale Volume and Value 
Report, NMFS considered December 1 for the due date for volume and 
value reports, as well as whether or not the volume and value reports 
should aggregate all prices for the year. NMFS selected November 1 for 
the submission of reports, because it provided the most current data 
available while still allowing fee liabilities to be calculated on a 
timely basis so they could be sent out by December 1. For the fee 
submission deadline, NMFS considered selecting an earlier (November 30) 
and later fee submission due date (January 15), but ultimately selected 
December 31 to ensure all fees for all landings are included for each 
year. These dates would also minimize the potential impact on small 
entities relative to other dates considered.

C. Additional Provisions Considered

    NMFS also considered implementing a cost recovery fee for the 
Freezer Longline Coalition Cooperative (FLCC). NMFS considered this 
alternative because initial analysis indicated that the FLCC 
exclusively harvested the allocation assigned to the hook-and-line 
catcher/processor sector (79 FR 12108, March 4, 2014). However, vessels 
that are not part of the FLCC harvest a portion of the allocation 
assigned to hook-and-line catcher/processor sector. A limited number of 
vessels harvest Pacific cod as hook-and-line catcher/processors within 
State waters and are not required to use an FFP or License Limitation 
Program license. These State water harvests are deducted from the 
proportion of the BSAI Pacific cod TAC assigned to the hook-and-line 
catcher/processor sector. The harvest by these vessels is deducted from 
the Federal TAC and is not subject to limitation by NMFS. Therefore, 
the FLCC does not have an exclusive harvest privilege for a proportion 
of the TAC assigned to hook-and-line catcher/processor sector, and the 
FLCC is not considered a limited access privilege program for purposes 
of this proposed action. NMFS will continue to review the status of the 
FLCC, and would implement a cost recovery fee program for the FLCC in 
the future, if applicable.

D. Collection-of-Information Requirements

    This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements 
subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act 
(PRA). NMFS has submitted these requirements to OMB for approval. The 
requirements are listed below by OMB collection number.
OMB Control No. 0648-0318
    With this action, the observer fee submittal (15 minutes) is 
removed from this collection and added to the new fee collection.
OMB Control No. 0648-0398
    With this action, this IFQ Cost Recovery collection is removed and 
superseded by the new cost recovery collection.
OMB Control No. 0648-0401
    Public reporting burden per response is estimated to average four 
hours for Cooperative Contract.
OMB Contract No. 0648-0545
    With this action, the Rockfish volume and value form (two hours) is 
removed from this collection.
OMB Control No. 0648-0565
    Public reporting burden per response is estimated to average two 
hours for Application for Amendment 80 Cooperative Quota.
OMB Control No. 0648-0570
    With this action, the Crab Rationalization Program Cost Recovery 
collection is removed and superseded by the new cost recovery 
collection.
OMB Control No. 0648-New
    Public reporting burden per response is estimated to average one 
minute for cost recovery fee or observer fee submission; five minutes 
for value and volume report; four hours for appeals.
    Estimates for public reporting burden include the time for 
reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection of information.
    Public comment is sought regarding: Whether these proposed 
collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of 
the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall 
have practical utility; the accuracy of the burden estimate; ways to 
enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be 
collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of 
information, including through the use of automated collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology. Send comments on 
these or any other aspects of the collection of information to NMFS at 
the ADDRESSES above and email to OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov, or fax to 
(202) 395-5806.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB Control Number. All currently approved NOAA 
collections of information may be viewed at: http://www.cio.noaa.gov/services_programs/prasubs.html.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 679

    Alaska, Cost recovery, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    Dated: December 29, 2014.
Eileen Sobeck,
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 679 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 679--FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA

0
1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 679 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1801 et seq.; 3631 et seq.; 
Pub. L. 108-447; Pub. L. 111-281.

0
2. In Sec.  679.2, add definitions for ``AFA equivalent pounds''; ``AFA 
fee liability''; ``AFA fee percentage''; ``AFA standard ex-vessel 
value''; ``AFA standard price''; ``Aleutian Islands pollock equivalent 
pounds''; ``Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability''; ``Aleutian 
Islands pollock fee percentage''; ``Aleutian Islands pollock standard 
ex-vessel value''; ``Aleutian Islands pollock standard price''; 
``Amendment 80 equivalent pounds''; ``Amendment 80 fee liability''; 
``Amendment 80 fee percentage''; ``Amendment 80 standard ex-vessel 
value''; ``Amendment 80 standard price''; ``CDQ equivalent pounds''; 
``CDQ fee liability''; ``CDQ fee percentage''; ``CDQ standard ex-vessel

[[Page 956]]

value''; and ``CDQ standard price''; in alphabetical order to read as 
follows:


Sec.  679.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    AFA equivalent pounds means the weight recorded in pounds, for 
landed AFA pollock and calculated as round weight.
    AFA fee liability means the amount of money for Bering Sea pollock 
cost recovery, in U.S. dollars, owed to NMFS by an AFA cooperative as 
determined by multiplying the appropriate AFA standard ex-vessel value 
of a cooperative's landed Bering Sea pollock by the appropriate AFA fee 
percentage.
    AFA fee percentage means that positive number no greater than 3 
percent (0.03) determined by the Regional Administrator and established 
for use in calculating the AFA fee liability for a cooperative.
* * * * *
    AFA standard ex-vessel value means the total U.S. dollar amount of 
landed Bering Sea pollock as calculated by multiplying the number of 
landed pounds of Bering Sea pollock by the appropriate AFA standard 
price determined by the Regional Administrator.
    AFA standard price means the price for landed Bering Sea pollock as 
determined by the Regional Administrator and is expressed in U.S. 
dollars for an AFA pollock equivalent pound.
* * * * *
    Aleutian Islands pollock equivalent pounds means the weight 
recorded in pounds, for landed Aleutian Islands pollock and calculated 
as round weight.
    Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability means the amount of money 
for Aleutian Islands directed pollock cost recovery, in U.S. dollars, 
owed to NMFS by the Aleut Corporation as determined by multiplying the 
appropriate standard ex-vessel value of its landed Aleutian Islands 
pollock by the appropriate Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage.
    Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage means that positive number 
no greater than 3 percent (0.03) determined by the Regional 
Administrator and established for use in calculating the Aleutian 
Islands pollock fee liability for the Aleut Corporation.
    Aleutian Islands pollock standard ex-vessel value means the total 
U.S. dollar amount of landed Aleutian Islands pollock as calculated by 
multiplying the number of landed pounds of Aleutian Islands pollock by 
the appropriate Aleutian Islands pollock standard price determined by 
the Regional Administrator.
    Aleutian Islands pollock standard price means the price for landed 
Aleutian Islands pollock as determined by the Regional Administrator 
and is expressed in U.S. dollars for an Aleutian Islands pollock 
equivalent pound.
* * * * *
    Amendment 80 equivalent pounds means the weight recorded in pounds, 
for landed Amendment 80 species CQ and calculated as round weight.
    Amendment 80 fee liability means the amount of money for Amendment 
80 cost recovery, in U.S. dollars, owed to NMFS by an Amendment 80 CQ 
permit holder as determined by multiplying the appropriate standard ex-
vessel value of landed Amendment 80 species CQ by the appropriate 
Amendment 80 fee percentage.
    Amendment 80 fee percentage means that positive number no greater 
than 3 percent (0.03) determined by the Regional Administrator and 
established for use in calculating the Amendment 80 fee liability for 
an Amendment 80 CQ permit holder.
* * * * *
    Amendment 80 standard ex-vessel value means the total U.S. dollar 
amount of landed Amendment 80 species CQ as calculated by multiplying 
the number of landed Amendment 80 species CQ equivalent pounds by the 
appropriate Amendment 80 standard price determined by the Regional 
Administrator.
    Amendment 80 standard price means the price for landed Amendment 80 
species as determined by the Regional Administrator and is expressed in 
U.S. dollars for an Amendment 80 equivalent pound.
* * * * *
    CDQ equivalent pounds means the weight recorded in pounds, for 
landed CDQ groundfish and halibut, and calculated as round weight.
    CDQ fee liability means the amount of money for CDQ groundfish and 
halibut cost recovery, in U.S. dollars, owed to NMFS by a CDQ group as 
determined by multiplying the appropriate standard ex-vessel value of 
landed CDQ groundfish and halibut by the appropriate CDQ fee 
percentage.
    CDQ fee percentage means that positive number no greater than 3 
percent (0.03) determined by the Regional Administrator and established 
for use in calculating the CDQ groundfish and halibut fee liability for 
a CDQ group.
* * * * *
    CDQ standard ex-vessel value means the total U.S. dollar amount of 
landed CDQ groundfish and halibut as calculated by multiplying the 
number of landed CDQ groundfish and halibut equivalent pounds by the 
appropriate CDQ standard price determined by the Regional 
Administrator.
    CDQ standard price means the price for landed CDQ groundfish and 
halibut as determined by the Regional Administrator and is expressed in 
U.S. dollars for a CDQ equivalent pound.
* * * * *
0
3. In Sec.  679.5, add paragraph (u) to read as follows:


Sec.  679.5  Recordkeeping and reporting (R&R).

* * * * *
    (u) BSAI Cost Recovery Volume and Value Reports--(1) Pacific Cod 
Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report--(i) Applicability. A shoreside 
processor designated on an FPP, or a mothership, designated on an FFP, 
that processes landings of either CDQ Pacific cod or BSAI Pacific cod 
harvested by a vessel using trawl gear must submit annually to NMFS a 
complete Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report, as described in 
this paragraph (u)(1), for each reporting period for which the 
shorebased processor or mothership receives this Pacific cod.
    (ii) Reporting period. The reporting period of the Pacific Cod Ex-
vessel Volume and Value Report shall extend from January 1 to October 
31 of the year in which the landings were made.
    (iii) Due date. A complete Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value 
Report must be received by NMFS no later than November 10 of the year 
in which the processor or mothership received the Pacific cod.
    (iv) Information required. (A) The submitter must log in using his 
or her password and NMFS person ID to submit a Pacific Cod Ex-vessel 
Volume and Value Report. The User must review any auto-filled cells to 
ensure that they are accurate. A completed report must have all 
applicable fields accurately filled-in.
    (B) Certification. By using the NMFS person ID and password and 
submitting the report, the submitter certifies that all information is 
true, correct, and complete to the best of his or her knowledge and 
belief.
    (v) Submittal. The submitter must complete and submit online to 
NMFS the Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value Report available at 
https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
    (2) First Wholesale Volume and Value Report--(i) Applicability. An 
Amendment 80 vessel owner that harvests Amendment 80 species, other 
than Pacific cod, must submit annually to NMFS a complete First 
Wholesale Volume and Value Report, as described

[[Page 957]]

in this paragraph (u)(2), for each reporting period for which the 
Amendment 80 vessel harvests Amendment 80 species, other than Pacific 
cod.
    (ii) Reporting period. (A) The reporting period of the First 
Wholesale Volume and Value Report for all species except rock sole 
shall extend from January 1 to October 31 of the year in which the 
landings were made.
    (B) The first reporting period of the First Wholesale Volume and 
Value Report for rock sole shall extend from January 1 to March 31, and 
the second reporting period shall extend from April 1 to October 31.
    (iii) Due date. A complete First Wholesale Volume and Value Report 
must be received by NMFS no later than November 10 of the year in which 
the Amendment 80 vessel received the Amendment 80 species, other than 
Pacific cod.
    (iv) Information required. (A) The Amendment 80 vessel owner must 
log in using his or her password and NMFS person ID to submit a First 
Wholesale Volume and Value Report. The vessel owner must review any 
auto-filled cells to ensure that they are accurate. A completed 
application must contain the information specified on the First 
Wholesale Volume and Value Report with all applicable fields accurately 
filled in.
    (B) Certification. By using the NMFS person ID and password and 
submitting the report, the Amendment 80 vessel owner certifies that all 
information is true, correct, and complete to the best of his or her 
knowledge and belief.
    (v) Submittal. The Amendment 80 vessel owner must complete and 
submit online to NMFS the First Wholesale Volume and Value Report 
available at https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
0
4. In Sec.  679.7, add paragraphs (c)(6), (d)(8), (k)(9), (l)(6), 
(o)(4)(vii), and (o)(9) to read as follows:


Sec.  679.7  Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (6) For a shoreside processor designated on an FPP, or a mothership 
designated on an FFP, that processes landings of either CDQ Pacific cod 
or BSAI Pacific cod harvested by a vessel using trawl gear to fail to 
submit a timely and complete Pacific Cod Ex-vessel Volume and Value 
Report as required under Sec.  679.5(u)(1).
    (d) * * *
    (8) Fail to submit a timely and complete CDQ cost recovery fee 
submission form and fee as required under Sec.  679.33.
* * * * *
    (k) * * *
    (9) Fail to submit a timely and complete AFA cost recovery fee 
submission form and fee as required under Sec.  679.66.
    (l) * * *
    (6) Fail to submit a timely and complete Aleutian Islands pollock 
cost recovery fee submission form and fee as required under Sec.  
679.67.
* * * * *
    (o) * * *
    (4) * * *
    (vii) Fail to submit a timely and complete Amendment 80 cost 
recovery fee submission form and fee as required under Sec.  679.95.
* * * * *
    (9) First Wholesale Volume and Value Report. For an Amendment 80 
vessel owner to fail to submit a timely and complete First Wholesale 
Volume and Value Report as required under Sec.  679.5(u)(2).
* * * * *
0
5. Add Sec.  679.33 to Subpart E to read as follows:


Sec.  679.33  Cost recovery.

    (a) Cost Recovery Fee Program for CDQ groundfish and halibut--(1) 
Who is Responsible? The person documented with NMFS as the CDQ group 
representative at the time of a CDQ landing.
    (i) Subsequent transfer, under Sec.  679.31(c), of a CDQ allocation 
by a CDQ group does not affect the CDQ group representative's liability 
for noncompliance with this section.
    (ii) Changes in amount of a CDQ allocation to a CDQ group do not 
affect the CDQ group representative's liability for noncompliance with 
this section.
    (2) Fee collection. Each CDQ group that receives a CDQ allocation 
of groundfish and halibut is responsible for submitting the cost 
recovery payment for all CDQ landings debited against that CDQ group's 
allocations.
    (3) Payment--(i) Payment due date. A CDQ group representative must 
submit all CDQ fee liability payment(s) to NMFS at the address provided 
in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section no later than December 31 of 
the calendar year in which the CDQ groundfish and halibut landings were 
made.
    (ii) Payment recipient. Make electronic payment payable to NMFS.
    (iii) Payment address. Submit payment and related documents as 
instructed on the fee submission form. Payments must be made 
electronically through the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Instructions for electronic payment will be 
made available on both the payment Web site and a fee liability summary 
letter mailed to the CDQ group representative.
    (iv) Payment method. Payment must be made electronically in U.S. 
dollars by automated clearing house, credit card, or electronic check 
drawn on a U.S. bank account.
    (b) CDQ standard ex-vessel value determination and use--(1) 
General. A CDQ group representative must use the CDQ standard prices 
determined by NMFS under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
    (2) CDQ standard prices--(i) General. Each year the Regional 
Administrator will publish CDQ standard prices for groundfish and 
halibut in the Federal Register by December 1 of the year in which the 
CDQ groundfish and halibut landings were made. The CDQ standard prices 
will be described in U.S. dollars per equivalent pound for CDQ 
groundfish and halibut landings made during the current calendar year.
    (ii) Effective duration. The CDQ standard prices published by NMFS 
shall apply to all CDQ groundfish and halibut landings made during the 
current calendar year.
    (iii) Determination. A CDQ group representative must use the CDQ 
standard prices when determining the CDQ group's fee liability based on 
CDQ standard ex-vessel value. A CDQ group representative must base all 
fee liability calculations on the CDQ standard price that correlates to 
landed CDQ groundfish and halibut by gear type that is recorded in CDQ 
equivalent pounds.
    (A) CDQ halibut and CDQ fixed gear sablefish. NMFS will calculate 
the CDQ standard prices for CDQ halibut and CDQ fixed gear sablefish to 
reflect, as closely as possible by port or port-group, the variations 
in the actual ex-vessel values of CDQ halibut and fixed-gear sablefish 
based on information provided in the IFQ Registered Buyer Ex-vessel 
Volume and Value Report described at Sec.  679.5(l)(7). The Regional 
Administrator will base CDQ standard prices on the following types of 
information:
    (1) Landed pounds of IFQ halibut and sablefish and CDQ halibut in 
the Bering Sea port-group;
    (2) Total ex-vessel value of IFQ halibut and sablefish and CDQ 
halibut in the Bering Sea port-group; and
    (3) Price adjustments, including retroactive payments.
    (B) CDQ Pacific cod. NMFS will use the standard prices calculated 
for Pacific cod based on information provided in the Pacific Cod Ex-
vessel Volume and Value Report described at Sec.  679.5(u)(1) for CDQ 
Pacific cod.

[[Page 958]]

    (C) CDQ pollock. NMFS will use the standard prices calculated for 
AFA pollock described at Sec.  679.66(b) for CDQ pollock.
    (D) Other CDQ groundfish including sablefish caught with trawl 
gear. (1) The Regional Administrator will base all CDQ standard prices 
for all other CDQ groundfish species on the First Wholesale Volume and 
Value reports specified in Sec.  679.5(u)(2).
    (2) The Regional Administrator will establish CDQ standard prices 
for all other CDQ groundfish species on an annual basis; except the 
Regional Administrator will establish a CDQ standard price for rock 
sole for all landings from January 1 through March 31, and a second CDQ 
standard price for rock sole for all landings from April 1 through 
December 31.
    (3) The average first wholesale product prices reported will be 
multiplied by 0.4 to obtain a proxy for the ex-vessel prices of those 
CDQ groundfish species.
    (c) CDQ fee percentage--(1) Established percentage. The CDQ fee 
percentage for CDQ groundfish and halibut is the amount as determined 
by the factors and methodology described in paragraph (c)(2) of this 
section. This amount will be announced by publication in the Federal 
Register in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. This 
amount must not exceed 3.0 percent pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1854(d)(2)(B).
    (2) Calculating fee percentage value. Each year NMFS shall 
calculate and publish the CDQ fee percentage according to the following 
factors and methodology:
    (i) Factors. NMFS will use the following factors to determine the 
fee percentage:
    (A) The catch to which the CDQ groundfish and halibut cost recovery 
fee will apply;
    (B) The ex-vessel value of that catch; and
    (C) The costs directly related to the management, data collection, 
and enforcement of the CDQ Program for groundfish and halibut.
    (ii) Methodology. NMFS will use the following equations to 
determine the fee percentage: 100 x DPC/V, where:
    DPC = the direct program costs for the CDQ Program for groundfish 
and halibut for the most recent Federal fiscal year (October 1 through 
September 30) with any adjustments to the account from payments 
received in the previous year.
    V = total of the CDQ standard ex-vessel value of the catch subject 
to the CDQ fee liability for the current year.
    (3) Publication--(i) General. NMFS will calculate and announce the 
CDQ fee percentage in a Federal Register notice by December 1 of the 
year in which the CDQ groundfish and halibut landings were made. NMFS 
shall calculate the CDQ fee percentage based on the calculations 
described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
    (ii) Effective period. The calculated CDQ fee percentage is applied 
to CDQ groundfish and halibut landings made between January 1 and 
December 31 of the same year.
    (4) Applicable percentage. The CDQ group representative must use 
the CDQ fee percentage applicable at the time a CDQ groundfish and 
halibut landing is debited from a CDQ group's allocation to calculate 
the CDQ fee liability for any retroactive payments for that CDQ 
species.
    (5) Fee liability determination for a CDQ group. (i) Each CDQ group 
will be subject to a CDQ fee liability for any CDQ groundfish and 
halibut debited from that CDQ group's allocation during a calendar 
year.
    (ii) The CDQ fee liability assessed to a CDQ group will be based on 
the proportion of the standard ex-vessel value of CDQ groundfish and 
halibut debited from a CDQ group's allocation relative to all CDQ 
groups during a calendar year as determined by NMFS.
    (iii) NMFS will provide a CDQ fee liability summary letter to each 
CDQ group representative by December 1 of each year. The summary will 
explain the CDQ fee liability determination including the current fee 
percentage, and details of CDQ pounds debited from the CDQ group 
allocations by permit, species, date, and prices.
    (d) Underpayment of fee liability--(1) No CDQ group will receive 
its allocations of CDQ groundfish or halibut until the CDQ group 
representative submits full payment of that CDQ group's complete CDQ 
fee liability.
    (2) If a CDQ group representative fails to submit full payment for 
its CDQ fee liability by the date described in paragraph (a)(3) of this 
section, the Regional Administrator may:
    (i) At any time thereafter send an IAD to the CDQ group 
representative stating that the CDQ group's estimated fee liability, as 
indicated by his or her own submitted information, is the CDQ fee 
liability due from the CDQ group.
    (ii) Disapprove any application to transfer CDQ to or from the CDQ 
group in accordance with Sec.  679.31(c).
    (3) If a CDQ group fails to submit full payment by December 31, no 
allocations of CDQ groundfish and halibut will be issued to that CDQ 
group for the following calendar year.
    (4) Upon final agency action determining that a CDQ group 
representative has not paid the CDQ fee liability due for that CDQ 
group, the Regional Administrator may continue to prohibit issuance of 
allocations of CDQ groundfish and halibut for that CDQ group for any 
subsequent calendar years until NMFS receives the unpaid fees. If 
payment is not received by the 30th day after the final agency action, 
the agency may pursue collection of the unpaid fees.
    (e) Overpayment. Upon issuance of final agency action, payment 
submitted to NMFS in excess of the CDQ fee liability determined to be 
due by the final agency action will be returned to the CDQ group 
representative unless the CDQ group representative requests the agency 
to credit the excess amount against the CDQ group's future CDQ fee 
liability. Payment processing fees may be deducted from any fees 
returned to the CDQ group representative.
    (f) Appeals. A CDQ group representative who receives an IAD for 
incomplete payment of a CDQ fee liability may appeal under the appeals 
procedures set out at 15 CFR part 906.
    (g) Administrative Fees. Administrative fees may be assessed if the 
account drawn on to pay the CDQ fee liability has insufficient funds to 
cover the transaction, or if the account becomes delinquent. 
Additionally, interest will begin to accrue on any portion of the fee 
that has not been paid due to insufficient funds.
    (h) Annual report. NMFS will publish annually a report describing 
the status of the CDQ Cost Recovery Fee Program for groundfish and 
halibut.
0
6. In Sec.  679.61,
0
a. Revise paragraph (c)(1); and
0
b. Add paragraph (e)(1)(vi) to read as follows:


Sec.  679.61  Formation and operation of fishery cooperatives.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) What is a designated representative? Any cooperative formed 
under this section must appoint a designated representative to fulfill 
regulatory requirements on behalf of the cooperative including, but not 
limited to, filing of cooperative contracts, filing of annual reports, 
submitting all cost recovery fees, and in the case of inshore sector 
catcher vessel cooperatives, signing cooperative fishing permit 
applications and completing and submitting inshore catcher vessel 
pollock cooperative catch reports. The designated representative is the 
primary contact person for NMFS on issues relating to the operation of 
the cooperative.
* * * * *

[[Page 959]]

    (e) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (vi) List the obligations of members of a cooperative, governed by 
Sec.  679.61, to ensure the full payment of all AFA fee liabilities 
that may be due.
* * * * *
0
7. Add Sec.  679.66 to Subpart F to read as follows:


Sec.  679.66  AFA cost recovery.

    (a) Cost recovery fee program for AFA--(1) Who is responsible? (i) 
The person designated on the AFA inshore cooperative permit as the 
cooperative representative at the time of a Bering Sea pollock landing.
    (ii) The person designated as the representative of the listed AFA 
catcher/processors and high seas catcher vessels that deliver to them 
at the time of a Bering Sea pollock landing.
    (iii) The person designated as the representative of the AFA 
mothership cooperative at the time of a Bering Sea pollock landing.
    (2) Responsibility. (i) Subsequent transfer of AFA permits held by 
cooperative members does not affect the cooperative representative's 
liability for noncompliance with this section.
    (ii) Changes in the membership in a cooperative, such as members 
joining or departing during the relevant year, or changes in the 
holdings of AFA permits of those members do not affect the cooperative 
representative's liability for noncompliance with this section.
    (3) Fee collection. All cooperative representatives (as identified 
under paragraph (a)(1) of this section) are responsible for submitting 
the cost recovery payment for all Bering Sea pollock landings made 
under the authority of their cooperative.
    (4) Payment--(i) Payment due date. The cooperative representative 
(as identified under paragraph (a)(1) of this section) must submit all 
AFA fee liability payment(s) to NMFS at the address provided in 
paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section no later than December 31 of the 
calendar year in which the Bering Sea pollock landings were made.
    (ii) Payment recipient. Make electronic payment payable to NMFS.
    (iii) Payment address. Submit payment and related documents as 
instructed on the fee submission form. Payments must be made 
electronically through the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Instructions for electronic payment will be 
made available on both the payment Web site and a fee liability summary 
letter mailed to the AFA cooperative member.
    (iv) Payment method. Payment must be made electronically in U.S. 
dollars by automated clearing house, credit card, or electronic check 
drawn on a U.S. bank account.
    (b) AFA standard ex-vessel value determination and use--(1) 
General. A cooperative representative must use the AFA standard price 
determined by NMFS under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
    (2) AFA standard price--(i) General. Each year the Regional 
Administrator will publish the AFA standard price in the Federal 
Register by December 1 of the year in which the landings were made. The 
AFA standard price will be described in U.S. dollars per equivalent 
pound for Bering Sea pollock landings made by AFA cooperative members 
during the current calendar year.
    (ii) Effective duration. The AFA standard price published by NMFS 
shall apply to all Bering Sea pollock landings made by an AFA 
cooperative member during the current calendar year.
    (iii) Determination. NMFS will calculate the AFA standard price to 
reflect, as closely as possible, the standard price of Bering Sea 
pollock landings based on information provided in the COAR for the 
previous year, as described in Sec.  679.5(p). The Regional 
Administrator will base the AFA standard price on the following types 
of information:
    (A) Landed pounds of Bering Sea pollock;
    (B) Total ex-vessel value of Bering Sea pollock; and
    (C) Price adjustments, including retroactive payments.
    (c) AFA fee percentages--(1) Established percentages. The AFA fee 
percentages are the amounts as determined by the factors and 
methodology described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. These 
amounts will be announced by publication in the Federal Register in 
accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. These amounts must 
not exceed 3.0 percent pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1854(d)(2)(B).
    (2) Calculating fee percentage value. Each year NMFS shall 
calculate and publish AFA fee percentages for AFA inshore cooperatives, 
the cooperative representing the listed AFA catcher/processors and high 
seas catcher vessels that deliver to them, and the AFA mothership 
cooperative according to the following factors and methodology:
    (i) Factors. NMFS will use the following factors to determine the 
fee percentages:
    (A) The catch to which the AFA pollock cost recovery fee will 
apply;
    (B) The ex-vessel value of that catch; and
    (C) The costs directly related to the management, data collection, 
and enforcement of the directed AFA pollock fisheries.
    (ii) Methodology. NMFS will use the following equations to 
determine the AFA fee percentage: 100 x DPC/V, where:
    DPC = the direct program costs for the directed AFA pollock 
fisheries for the most recent fiscal year (October 1 through September 
30) with any adjustments to the account from payments received in the 
previous year.
    V = total of the standard ex-vessel value of the catch subject to 
the AFA fee liability for the current year.
    (iii) Direct program costs will be calculated separately for:
    (A) AFA inshore cooperatives;
    (B) The cooperative representing the listed AFA catcher/processors 
and high seas catcher vessels that deliver to them; and
    (C) The AFA mothership cooperative.
    (3) Publication--(i) General. NMFS will calculate and announce the 
AFA fee percentages in a Federal Register notice by December 1 of the 
year in which the Bering Sea pollock landings were made. AFA fee 
percentages will be calculated separately for the AFA inshore 
cooperatives, the cooperative for listed AFA catcher/processors and 
high seas catcher vessels that deliver to them, and the AFA mothership 
cooperative. NMFS shall calculate the AFA fee percentages based on the 
calculations described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
    (ii) Effective period. The calculated AFA fee percentages are 
applied to all Bering Sea directed pollock landings made between 
January 1 and December 31 of the current year.
    (4) Applicable percentage. An AFA cooperative representative must 
use the AFA fee percentage applicable to that cooperative at the time a 
Bering Sea directed pollock landing is debited from an AFA pollock 
fishery allocation to calculate the AFA fee liability for any 
retroactive payments for that landing.
    (5) Fee liability determination. (i) Each AFA cooperative will be 
subject to an AFA fee liability for any Bering Sea pollock debited from 
its AFA pollock fishery allocation during a calendar year.
    (ii) The AFA fee liability assessed to an AFA inshore cooperative 
will be based on the proportion of the AFA fee liability of Bering Sea 
pollock debited from that AFA Inshore cooperative's AFA pollock fishery 
allocation relative to all AFA inshore cooperatives during a calendar 
year as determined by NMFS.
    (iii) The AFA fee liability assessed to the cooperative of listed 
AFA catcher/processors and high seas catcher vessels that deliver to 
them will be based on the

[[Page 960]]

standard ex-vessel value of Bering Sea pollock debited from this 
cooperative's AFA pollock fishery allocation during a calendar year as 
determined by NMFS.
    (iv) The AFA fee liability assessed to the AFA mothership 
cooperative will be based on the proportion of the standard ex-vessel 
value of Bering Sea pollock debited from this cooperative's AFA pollock 
fishery allocation during a calendar year as determined by NMFS.
    (v) NMFS will provide a fee liability summary letter to all AFA 
cooperative representatives by December 1 of each year. The summary 
will explain the AFA fee liability determination including the current 
fee percentage and details of Bering Sea pollock pounds debited from 
the AFA pollock fishery allocation by permit, species, date, and 
prices.
    (d) Underpayment of fee liability--(1) No AFA inshore cooperative 
will receive its AFA allocation until the cooperative's representative 
submits full payment of the cooperative's AFA fee liability.
    (2) The AFA mothership cooperative will not receive any Bering Sea 
pollock allocation until the cooperative representative submits full 
payment of that cooperative's AFA fee liability.
    (3) AFA catcher/processor joint cooperative underpayment (i) The 
cooperative for listed AFA catcher/processors and high seas catcher 
vessels that deliver to them will not receive any Bering Sea pollock 
allocation until the cooperative representative submits full payment of 
that cooperative's AFA fee liability at the time of a Bering Sea 
pollock landing, except as provided in paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this 
section.
    (ii) If the cooperative representing the listed AFA catcher/
processors and high seas catcher vessels that deliver to them pays only 
a portion of its AFA fee liability, the Regional Administrator may 
release a portion of the cooperative's Bering Sea pollock allocation 
equal to the portion of the fee liability paid.
    (4) If an AFA cooperative representative fails to submit full 
payment for the AFA fee liability by the date described in paragraph 
(a)(4) of this section, the Regional Administrator may at any time 
thereafter send an IAD to the AFA cooperative representative stating 
that the cooperative's estimated fee liability, as indicated by his or 
her own submitted information, is the AFA fee liability due from the 
AFA cooperative representative.
    (5) If an AFA cooperative representative fails to submit full 
payment for AFA fee liability by the date described at paragraph (a)(4) 
of this section, no Bering sea pollock allocation will be provided to 
that AFA cooperative for the following calendar year, except as 
provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.
    (6) Upon final agency action determining that an AFA cooperative 
representative has not paid that cooperative's AFA fee liability, the 
Regional Administrator may continue to prohibit issuance of a directed 
Bering Sea pollock allocation for that cooperative for any subsequent 
calendar years until NMFS receives the unpaid fees. If payment is not 
received by the 30th day after the final agency action, the agency may 
pursue collection of the unpaid fees.
    (e) Overpayment. Upon issuance of final agency action, payment 
submitted to NMFS in excess of the AFA fee liability determined to be 
due by the final agency action will be returned to the AFA cooperative 
unless the cooperative representative requests the agency to credit the 
excess amount against the cooperative's future AFA fee liability. 
Payment processing fees may be deducted from any fees returned to the 
cooperative.
    (f) Appeals. An AFA cooperative representative who receives an IAD 
for incomplete payment of an AFA fee liability may appeal under the 
appeals procedures set out at 15 CFR part 906.
    (g) Administrative Fees. Administrative fees may be assessed if the 
account drawn on to pay the CDQ fee liability has insufficient funds to 
cover the transaction, or if the account becomes delinquent. 
Additionally, interest will begin to accrue on any portion of the fee 
that has not been paid due to insufficient funds.
    (h) Annual report. NMFS will publish annually a report describing 
the status of the AFA Cost Recovery Fee Program.
0
8. A new Sec.  679.67 is added to Subpart F to read as follows:


Sec.  679.67  Aleutian Islands pollock cost recovery.

    (a) Cost recovery fee program for Aleutian Islands pollock--(1) 
Representative. The person identified as the representative, designated 
by the Aleut Corporation, at the time of an Aleutian Islands pollock 
landing is responsible for submitting all cost recovery fees.
    (2) Fee collection. The designated representative (as identified 
under paragraph (a)(1) of this section) is responsible for submitting 
the cost recovery payment for all Aleutian Islands pollock landings 
made under the authority of Aleut Corporation.
    (3) Payment. (i) Payment due date. The designated representative 
(as identified under paragraph (a)(1) of this section) must submit all 
cost recovery fee liability payment(s) to NMFS at the address provided 
in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section no later than December 31 of 
the calendar year in which the Aleutian Islands pollock landings were 
made.
    (ii) Payment recipient. Make electronic payment payable to NMFS.
    (iii) Payment address. Submit payment and related documents as 
instructed on the fee submission form. Payments must be made 
electronically through the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Instructions for electronic payment will be 
made available on both the payment Web site and a fee liability summary 
letter mailed to the designated representative of the Aleut 
Corporation.
    (iv) Payment method. Payment must be made electronically in U.S. 
dollars by automated clearing house, credit card, or electronic check 
drawn on a U.S. bank account.
    (b) Aleutian Islands pollock standard ex-vessel value determination 
and use--(1) General. The designated representative of the Aleut 
Corporation must use the Aleutian Islands pollock standard price 
determined by NMFS under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.
    (2) Aleutian Islands pollock standard price--(i) General. Each year 
the Regional Administrator will publish the Aleutian Islands pollock 
standard price in the Federal Register by December 1 of the year in 
which the landings were made. The Aleutian Islands pollock standard 
price will be described in U.S. dollars per equivalent pound for 
Aleutian Islands pollock landings during the current calendar year.
    (ii) Effective duration. The Aleutian Islands pollock standard 
price published by NMFS shall apply to all Aleutian Islands pollock 
landings during the current calendar year.
    (iii) Determination. NMFS will calculate the Aleutian Islands 
pollock standard price to reflect, as closely as possible, the standard 
price of Aleutian Islands pollock landings based on information 
provided in the COAR for the previous year, as described in Sec.  
679.5(p). The Regional Administrator will base Aleutian Islands pollock 
standard price on the following types of information:
    (A) Landed pounds of Aleutian Islands pollock;
    (B) Total ex-vessel value of Aleutian Islands pollock; and
    (C) Price adjustments, including retroactive payments.
    (c) Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage--(1) Established 
percentage. The Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage is the amount 
as determined

[[Page 961]]

by the factors and methodology described in paragraph (c)(2) of this 
section. This amount will be announced by publication in the Federal 
Register in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. This 
amount must not exceed 3.0 percent pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1854(d)(2)(B).
    (2) Calculating fee percentage value. Each year NMFS shall 
calculate and publish the fee percentage according to the following 
factors and methodology:
    (i) Factors. NMFS will use the following factors to determine the 
fee percentage:
    (A) The catch to which the Aleutian Islands pollock cost recovery 
fee will apply;
    (B) The ex-vessel value of that catch; and
    (C) The costs directly related to the management, data collection, 
and enforcement of the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery.
    (ii) Methodology. NMFS will use the following equations to 
determine the fee percentage: 100 x DPC/V, where:
    DPC = the direct program costs for the Aleutian Islands directed 
pollock fishery for the most recent fiscal year (October 1 through 
September 30) with any adjustments to the account from payments 
received in the previous year.
    V = total of the standard ex-vessel value of the catch subject to 
the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability for the current year.
    (3) Publication--(i) General. NMFS will calculate and announce the 
fee percentage in a Federal Register notice by December 1 of the year 
in which the Aleutian Islands pollock landings were made. NMFS shall 
calculate the Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage based on the 
calculations described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
    (ii) Effective period. The calculated Aleutian Islands pollock fee 
percentage is applied to all Aleutian Islands pollock landings made 
between January 1 and December 31 of the current year.
    (4) Applicable percentage. The designated representative must use 
the Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage applicable at the time an 
Aleutian Islands pollock landing is debited from the Aleutian Islands 
directed pollock fishery allocation to calculate the Aleutian Islands 
pollock fee liability for any retroactive payments for that pollock.
    (5) Fee liability determination. (i) The Aleut Corporation will be 
subject to a fee liability for any Aleutian Islands pollock debited 
from the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation during a 
calendar year.
    (ii) NMFS will provide a fee liability summary letter to the Aleut 
Corporation by December 1 of each year. The summary will explain the 
fee liability determination including the current fee percentage, and 
details of Aleutian Islands pollock pounds debited from the Aleutian 
Islands directed pollock fishery allocation by permit, species, date, 
and prices.
    (d) Underpayment of fee liability--(1) The Aleut Corporation will 
not receive its Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation 
until the Aleut Corporation's designated representative submits full 
payment of the Aleut Corporation's cost recovery fee liability.
    (2) If the Aleut Corporation's designated representative fails to 
submit full payment for Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability by the 
date described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Regional 
Administrator may at any time thereafter send an IAD to the Aleut 
Corporation's designated representative stating that the estimated fee 
liability, as indicated by his or her own submitted information, is the 
Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability due from the Aleut Corporation.
    (3) If the Aleut Corporation's designated representative fails to 
submit full payment by the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability 
payment deadline described at paragraph (a)(3) of this section, no 
Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation will be issued to 
the Aleut Corporation for that calendar year.
    (4) Upon final agency action determining that the Aleut Corporation 
has not paid its Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability, the Regional 
Administrator may continue to prohibit issuance of the Aleutian Islands 
directed pollock fishery allocation for any subsequent calendar years 
until NMFS receives the unpaid fees. If payment is not received by the 
30th day after the final agency action, the agency may pursue 
collection of the unpaid fees.
    (e) Overpayment. Upon issuance of final agency action, payment 
submitted to NMFS in excess of the Aleutian Islands pollock fee 
liability determined to be due by the final agency action will be 
returned to the Aleut Corporation unless its designated representative 
requests the agency to credit the excess amount against the 
cooperative's future Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability. Payment 
processing fees may be deducted from any fees returned to the Aleut 
Corporation.
    (f) Appeals. A representative of the Aleut Corporation who receives 
an IAD for incomplete payment of an Aleutian Islands pollock fee may 
appeal under the appeals procedures set out at 15 CFR part 906.
    (g) Administrative Fees. Administrative fees may be assessed if the 
account drawn on to pay the CDQ fee liability has insufficient funds to 
cover the transaction, or if the account becomes delinquent. 
Additionally, interest will begin to accrue on any portion of the fee 
that has not been paid due to insufficient funds.
    (h) Annual report. NMFS will publish annually a report describing 
the status of the Aleutian Islands Pollock Cost Recovery Fee Program.
0
9. In Sec.  679.91,
0
a. Revise paragraphs (b)(4)(vii) and (h)(3)(xiv); and
0
b. Add paragraph (h)(3)(xx) to read as follows:


Sec.  679.91  Amendment 80 Program annual harvester privileges.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (4) * * *
    (vii) Copy of membership agreement or contract. Attach a copy of 
the membership agreement or contract that includes terms that list:
    (A) How the Amendment 80 cooperative intends to catch its CQ; and
    (B) The obligations of Amendment 80 QS holders who are members of 
an Amendment 80 cooperative to ensure the full payment of Amendment 80 
fee liabilities that may be due.
* * * * *
    (h) * * *
    (3) * * *

[[Page 962]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(xiv) Does an Amendment 80 cooperative   Yes, an Amendment 80
 need a membership agreement or           cooperative must have a
 contract?                                membership agreement or
                                          contract. A copy of this
                                          agreement or contract must be
                                          submitted to NMFS with the
                                          application for CQ. The
                                          membership agreement or
                                          contract must specify:
                                         (A) How the Amendment 80
                                          cooperative intends to catch
                                          its CQ; and
                                         (B) The obligations of
                                          Amendment 80 QS holders, who
                                          are members of an Amendment 80
                                          cooperative, to ensure the
                                          full payment of Amendment 80
                                          fee liabilities that may be
                                          due.
 
                              * * * * * * *
(xx) Is there a requirement that an      Yes, see Sec.   679.95 for the
 Amendment 80 cooperative pay Amendment   provisions that apply.
 80 cost recovery fees?
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
0
10. A new Sec.  679.95 is added to subpart H to read as follows:


Sec.  679.95  Cost recovery.

    (a) Cost recovery fee program for Amendment 80--(1) Who is 
responsible? The person designated as the Amendment 80 cooperative 
representative at the time of an Amendment 80 CQ landing must comply 
with the requirements of this section, notwithstanding:
    (i) Subsequent transfer of Amendment 80 CQ or Amendment 80 QS held 
by Amendment 80 cooperative members;
    (ii) Non-renewal of an Amendment 80 CQ permit; or
    (iii) Changes in the membership in an Amendment 80 cooperative, 
such as members joining or departing during the relevant year, or 
changes in the amount of Amendment 80 QS holdings of those members.
    (2) Fee collection. Amendment 80 cooperative representatives are 
responsible for submitting the cost recovery payment for Amendment 80 
CQ landings made under the authority of their Amendment 80 CQ permit.
    (3) Payment--(i) Payment due date. An Amendment 80 cooperative 
representative must submit all Amendment 80 fee liability payment(s) to 
NMFS at the address provided in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section 
no later than December 31 of the calendar year in which the Amendment 
80 CQ landings were made.
    (ii) Payment recipient. Make electronic payment payable to NMFS.
    (iii) Payment address. Submit payment and related documents as 
instructed on the fee submission form. Payments must be made 
electronically through the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Instructions for electronic payment will be 
made available on both the payment Web site and a fee liability summary 
letter mailed to the Amendment 80 CQ permit holder.
    (iv) Payment method. Payment must be made electronically in U.S. 
dollars by automated clearing house, credit card, or electronic check 
drawn on a U.S. bank account.
    (b) Amendment 80 standard ex-vessel value determination and use--
(1) General. An Amendment 80 cooperative representative must use the 
Amendment 80 standard prices determined by NMFS under paragraph (b)(2) 
of this section.
    (2) Amendment 80 standard prices--(i) General. Each year the 
Regional Administrator will publish Amendment 80 standard prices in the 
Federal Register by December 1 of the year in which the Amendment 80 
species landings were made. The standard prices will be described in 
U.S. dollars per equivalent pound for Amendment 80 species landings 
made by Amendment 80 CQ permit holders during the current calendar 
year.
    (ii) Effective duration. The Amendment 80 standard prices published 
by NMFS shall apply to all Amendment 80 species landings made by an 
Amendment 80 CQ permit holder during that calendar year.
    (iii) Determination. An Amendment 80 cooperative representative 
must use the Amendment 80 standard prices when determining the 
Amendment 80 fee liability based on Amendment 80 standard ex-vessel 
value. An Amendment 80 cooperative representative must base all fee 
liability calculations on the Amendment 80 standard price that 
correlates to landed Amendment 80 species by gear type that is recorded 
in Amendment 80 equivalent pounds.
    (A) Pacific cod. NMFS will use the standard prices calculated for 
Pacific cod based on information provided in the Pacific Cod Ex-vessel 
Volume and Value Report described at Sec.  679.5(u)(1).
    (B) Amendment 80 species other than Pacific cod. (1) The Regional 
Administrator will base Amendment 80 standard prices for all Amendment 
80 species other than Pacific cod on the First Wholesale Volume and 
Value reports specified in Sec.  679.5(u)(2).
    (2) The Regional Administrator will establish Amendment 80 standard 
prices for all Amendment 80 species other than Pacific cod on an annual 
basis; except the Regional Administrator will establish an Amendment 80 
standard price for rock sole for all landings from January 1 through 
March 31, and a second Amendment 80 standard price for rock sole for 
all landings from April 1 through December 31.
    (3) The average first wholesale product prices reported on the 
First Wholesale Volume and Value reports, specified in Sec.  
679.5(u)(2), will be multiplied by 0.4 to obtain a proxy for the ex-
vessel prices of Amendment 80 species other than Pacific cod.
    (c) Amendment 80 fee percentage--(1) Established percentage. The 
Amendment 80 fee percentage is the amount as determined by the factors 
and methodology described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. This 
amount will be announced by publication in the Federal Register in 
accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. This amount must not 
exceed 3.0 percent pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1854(d)(2)(B).
    (2) Calculating fee percentage value. Each year NMFS shall 
calculate and publish the fee percentage according to the following 
factors and methodology:
    (i) Factors. NMFS will use the following factors to determine the 
fee percentage:
    (A) The catch to which the Amendment 80 cost recovery fee will 
apply;
    (B) The ex-vessel value of that catch; and
    (C) The costs directly related to the management, data collection, 
and enforcement of the Amendment 80 Program.
    (ii) Methodology. NMFS will use the following equations to 
determine the fee percentage: 100 x DPC/V, where:
    DPC = direct program costs for the Amendment 80 Program for the 
most recent fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) with any 
adjustments to the account from payments received in the previous year.
    V = total of the standard ex-vessel value of the landings subject 
to the Amendment 80 fee liability for the current year.
    (3) Publication--(i) General. NMFS will calculate and announce the 
Amendment 80 fee percentage in a

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Federal Register notice by December 1 of the year in which the 
Amendment 80 landings were made. NMFS shall calculate the Amendment 80 
fee percentage based on the calculations described in paragraph (c)(2) 
of this section.
    (ii) Effective period. The calculated Amendment 80 fee percentage 
is applied to Amendment 80 CQ landings made between January 1 and 
December 31 of the same year.
    (4) Applicable percentage. The Amendment 80 CQ permit holder must 
use the Amendment 80 fee percentage applicable at the time an Amendment 
80 species landing is debited from an Amendment 80 CQ allocation to 
calculate the Amendment 80 fee liability for any retroactive payments 
for that Amendment 80 species.
    (5) Fee liability determination for an Amendment 80 CQ permit 
holder. (i) All Amendment 80 CQ permit holders will be subject to a fee 
liability for any Amendment 80 species CQ debited from an Amendment 80 
CQ allocation between January 1 and December 31 of the current year.
    (ii) The Amendment 80 fee liability assessed to an Amendment 80 CQ 
permit holder will be based on the proportion of the standard ex-vessel 
value of Amendment 80 species debited from an Amendment 80 CQ permit 
holder relative to all Amendment 80 CQ permit holders during a calendar 
year as determined by NMFS.
    (iii) NMFS will provide a fee liability summary letter to all 
Amendment 80 CQ permit holders by December 1 of each year. The summary 
will explain the fee liability determination including the current fee 
percentage, and details of Amendment 80 species CQ pounds debited from 
Amendment 80 CQ allocations by permit, species, date, and prices.
    (d) Underpayment of fee liability--(1) No Amendment 80 cooperative 
will receive its Amendment 80 CQ until the Amendment 80 CQ permit 
holder submits full payment of an applicant's complete Amendment 80 fee 
liability.
    (2) If an Amendment 80 CQ permit holder fails to submit full 
payment for its Amendment 80 fee liability by the date described in 
paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Regional Administrator may:
    (i) At any time thereafter send an IAD to the Amendment 80 
cooperative's representative stating that the Amendment 80 CQ permit 
holder's estimated fee liability, as indicated by his or her own 
submitted information, is the Amendment 80 fee liability due from the 
Amendment 80 CQ permit holder.
    (ii) Disapprove any application to transfer Amendment 80 CQ to or 
from the Amendment 80 CQ permit holder in accordance with Sec.  
679.91(g).
    (3) If an Amendment 80 cooperative representative fails to submit 
full payment by the Amendment 80 fee liability payment deadline 
described at paragraph (a)(3) of this section:
    (i) No Amendment 80 CQ permit will be issued to that Amendment 80 
cooperative for the following calendar year; and
    (ii) No Amendment 80 CQ will be issued based on the Amendment 80 QS 
held by the members of that Amendment 80 cooperative to any other CQ 
permit for that calendar year.
    (4) Upon final agency action determining that an Amendment 80 CQ 
permit holder has not paid his or her Amendment 80 fee liability, the 
Regional Administrator may continue to prohibit issuance of an 
Amendment 80 CQ permit for any subsequent calendar years until NMFS 
receives the unpaid fees. If payment is not received by the 30th day 
after the final agency action, the agency may pursue collection of the 
unpaid fees.
    (e) Overpayment. Upon issuance of final agency action, payment 
submitted to NMFS in excess of the Amendment 80 fee liability 
determined to be due by the final agency action will be returned to the 
Amendment 80 cooperative unless the Amendment 80 cooperative's 
representative requests the agency to credit the excess amount against 
the Amendment 80 CQ permit holder's future Amendment 80 fee liability. 
Payment processing fees may be deducted from any fees returned to the 
Amendment 80 cooperative.
    (f) Appeals. An Amendment 80 cooperative representative who 
receives an IAD for incomplete payment of an Amendment 80 fee liability 
may appeal under the appeals procedures set out a 15 CFR part 906.
    (g) Administrative Fees. Administrative fees may be assessed if the 
account drawn on to pay the CDQ fee liability has insufficient funds to 
cover the transaction, or if the account becomes delinquent. 
Additionally, interest will begin to accrue on any portion of the fee 
that has not been paid due to insufficient funds.
    (h) Annual report. NMFS will publish annually a report describing 
the status of the Amendment 80 Cost Recovery Fee Program.

[FR Doc. 2014-30841 Filed 1-6-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P