Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Omnibus Amendment To Simplify Vessel Baselines, 31343-31347 [2015-13349]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 105 / Tuesday, June 2, 2015 / Proposed Rules (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore was not subject to review under section 6(b) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804. (FAR Case 2015–019), in correspondence. IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act The change is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. The Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) is summarized as follows: Dated: May 28, 2015. William Clark, Director, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the FAR to define multiple-award contract. On October 2, 2013, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a final rule (78 FR 61114) to implement various sections of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111–240) by establishing new policies and procedures for multiple-award contracts and task and delivery orders. SBA’s final rule included a definition of multipleaward contract. This proposed rule defines multiple-award contract to implement that part of SBA’s final rule in the FAR. The objective of this proposed rule is to implement a statutory requirement. The authorizing legislation is Section 1311 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111–240). This rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. The proposed rule applies to all entities who do business with the Federal Government, but it is not expected to have a significant impact. This rule does not impose any new reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements. The rule does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal rules. The Regulatory Secretariat has submitted a copy of the IRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. A copy of the IRFA may be obtained from the Regulatory Secretariat. DoD, GSA, and NASA invite comments from small business concerns and other interested parties on the expected impact of this rule on small entities. DoD, GSA, and NASA will also consider comments from small entities concerning the existing regulations in subparts affected by the rule in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 610. Interested parties must submit such comments separately and should cite 5 U.S.C. 610 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 Jun 01, 2015 Jkt 235001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration V. Paperwork Reduction Act The rule does not contain any information collection requirements that require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35). List of Subject in 48 CFR Part 2 Government procurement. Therefore, DoD, GSA, and NASA propose amending 48 CFR part 2 as set forth below: PART 2—DEFINITIONS OF WORDS AND TERMS 1. The authority citation for 48 CFR part 2 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 40 U.S.C. 121(c); 10 U.S.C. chapter 137; and 51 U.S.C. 20113. 2. Amend section 2.101 in paragraph (b) by adding, in alphabetical order, the definition ‘‘Multiple-award contract’’, to read as follows: ■ 2.101 Definitions. * * * * * (b) * * * (2) * * * Multiple-award contract means a contract that is— (1) A Multiple Award Schedule contract issued by GSA (e.g., GSA Schedule Contract) or agencies granted Multiple Award Schedule contract authority by GSA (e.g., Department of Veterans Affairs) as described in FAR part 38; (2) A multiple-award task-order or delivery-order contract issued in accordance with FAR subpart 16.5, including Governmentwide acquisition contracts; or (3) Any other indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract entered into with two or more sources pursuant to the same solicitation. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2015–13424 Filed 6–1–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–EP–P PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31343 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No: 110907562–5455–02] RIN 0648–BB40 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Omnibus Amendment To Simplify Vessel Baselines National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes to approve an Omnibus Amendment to the Fishery Management Plans of the Northeastern United States to simplify vessel baselines. This Omnibus Amendment to Simplify Vessel Baselines, which was submitted by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils, would eliminate the one-time limit on vessel upgrades and remove gross and net tonnages from the vessel baseline specifications that are considered when determining a vessel’s baseline for replacement purposes. Implementing these measures would reduce the administrative burden to permit holders and NMFS and would have little effect on fleet capacity. This proposed rule would also remove the requirement for vessels to send in negative fishing reports (i.e., ‘‘did not fish’’ reports) during months or weeks when fishing did not occur. NMFS no longer needs these reports due to improved trip-level matching. Therefore, NMFS is proposing to remove this requirement to simplify the regulations and reduce reporting burdens for the industry. DATES: Written comments must be received on or before July 17, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2011–0213, by either of the following methods: ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. 1. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20110213, 2. Click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, 3. Enter or attach your comments. Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS 31344 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 105 / Tuesday, June 2, 2015 / Proposed Rules 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). Copies of the Omnibus Amendment to Simplify Vessel Baselines, and of the draft Environmental Assessment and preliminary Regulatory Impact Review (EA/RIR), are available from the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. The EA/RIR is also accessible via the Internet at: www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov. To review Federal Register documents referenced in this rule, you can visit: http:// www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ mediacenter/ongoing/omnibus_ amendment_to_simplify_vessel_ baselines.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978–281–9233. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each Regional Fishery Management Council to submit any Fishery Management Plan (FMP) amendment it prepares to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving an FMP amendment, immediately publish notification in the Federal Register that the amendment is available for public review and comment. The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) approved this Baseline Amendment, which would simplify vessel baseline requirements, at their November 18, 2014, and October 8, 2014, meetings, respectively. Following these approvals and on behalf of the Councils, NMFS prepared additional analyses for the amendment based on the preferred alternatives and, once those were completed, declared a transmittal date of May 12, 2015. Both Councils have reviewed the proposed Baseline Amendment regulations as drafted by NMFS, and deemed them necessary and appropriate, as specified in section 303(c) of the MSA. If VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 Jun 01, 2015 Jkt 235001 approved by NMFS, this amendment would simplify the specifications considered when determining a vessel’s baseline for replacement purposes. Background The MAFMC developed the first limited entry program in 1977 for the surfclam/quahog fishery, which included restrictions on replacement vessels. This program required that a replacement vessel be of ‘‘substantially similar capacity’’ in an effort to maintain but not increase the harvest capacity of the fleet at that time. Over the following two decades, the MAFMC and NEFMC implemented additional limited entry programs. By 1998, there were four different sets of vessel upgrade and replacement restrictions among the various FMPs. The upgrade restrictions became confusing for fishing industry members with more than one limited access permit, because different vessel upgrade regulations could apply to each permit. In addition, some vessels added limited access permits that originally qualified on another vessel that was a different size and/or horsepower. This results in a vessel having multiple baselines. Thus, in 1999, the MAFMC and NEFMC, in consultation with NMFS, developed the Amendment to Achieve Regulatory Consistency on Permit Related Provisions for Vessels Issued Limited Access Federal Fishery Permits (64 FR 8263, February 19, 1999) (Consistency Amendment) to streamline and make consistent baseline provisions and upgrade restrictions across FMPs. The Consistency Amendment standardized definitions and restrictions for vessel baselines, upgrades, and replacements across all limited access fisheries. It simplified regulations for vessel replacements, permit transfers, and vessel upgrades, making them consistent and less restrictive in order to facilitate business transactions. Although the Consistency Amendment did standardize the vessel baseline requirements for the fisheries of the northeast, some burdensome requirements remain. Under current restrictions, a vessel baseline is defined by vessel length overall, gross tonnage, net tonnage, and horsepower. We determine the baseline for a limited access permit based on the size (length, gross tonnage, and net tonnage) and horsepower of the first vessel issued a limited access permit for that fishery or, for fisheries that adopted baseline restrictions through the Consistency Amendment, the permitted vessel at the time the final rule became effective. Current baseline regulations require that a replacement vessel or an upgrade PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 made to an existing vessel with a limited access permit be within 10 percent of the size and 20 percent of the horsepower of the permit’s baseline vessel. To respect the NEFMC and the MAFMC’s intended baseline restrictions of individual fisheries, for vessels with multiple baselines, we use the most restrictive of the baselines to judge the approval of a replacement vessel or upgrade, unless the permit holder chooses to relinquish the more restrictive permit. In addition, current baseline regulations limit permit holders to a one-time upgrade of the vessel size and horsepower specifications. For example, we limit a vessel owner that has a 60-ft (18.3-m) baseline length to upgrading to a vessel of up to 66 ft (20.1 m). However, if he moves his permit to a 62-ft (18.9-m) vessel for any reason, it would constitute his one-time size upgrade and he would lose the ability to upgrade to a vessel of 66 ft (20.1 m). He would only be able to move his permit to a vessel of 62 ft (18.9 m) or less. Because he used his one-time size upgrade, he would not be able upgrade the vessel’s tonnages. He would still be able use his horsepower upgrade to upgrade his horsepower by 20 percent, but only once. The Baseline Amendment would: 1. Eliminate gross and net tonnage from the baseline specifications considered when determining a vessel’s baseline for replacement purposes. Both the Councils and NMFS consider tonnages the most variable of vessel baseline specifications and, therefore, they have little effect on limiting vessel capacity when compared to length and horsepower restrictions. There is more than one acceptable method of determining tonnages, and the tonnages of a vessel can vary significantly depending on whether an exact measurement or simplified calculation is used. In addition, vessel owners can circumvent net tonnage limits by modifying internal bulkheads. Eliminating tonnages would simplify the vessel baseline verification and replacement process. In addition, it could reduce the cost burden on the industry if they only need horsepower verification because this would eliminate the need for a marine survey prior to any permit transactions. 2. Remove the one-time limit on vessel upgrades. Eliminating the onetime upgrade limit would provide more flexibility for vessel owners in the selection of replacement vessels and upgrades to existing vessels. Some vessel owners have been constrained by the one-time limit because they or a previous owner did not maximize the E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 105 / Tuesday, June 2, 2015 / Proposed Rules tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS one-time upgrade with a previous vessel replacement, due to cost or availability or for other reasons, and have since been unable to further upgrade the vessel. Eliminating the one-time limit would also simplify the baseline verification and vessel replacement process for vessel owners and NMFS by eliminating the need to research and document whether a vessel owner used the one-time upgrade during the vessel’s entire limited access history. This rule proposes to remove the requirement for vessels to send in negative fishing reports (i.e., ‘‘did not fish’’ reports) during months or weeks when fishing did not occur. This was not part of the Baseline Amendment, but is the result of an internal review of the trip-level reporting requirements conducted by the joint Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office-Northeast Fisheries Science Center Fishery Dependent Data Committee (FDDC) during the past year. The division of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) responsible for the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), in the interest of reducing compliance costs for small businesses, noted a potential cost savings for fishermen if we remove the DNF report and asked that we investigate the possibility of removing it. As a result of that review, the FDDC has recommended that the negative fishing reports are no longer necessary because the ability to determine if a vessel has engaged in fishing activity and submitted required trip reports has increased in recent years due to improved trip-level data matching and the expansion of other monitoring systems (e.g., Vessel Monitoring Systems). Therefore, in order to simplify the regulations and reduce reporting burdens for the industry, we are proposing to eliminate the negative fishing reports requirement in this action under the Secretary’s authority at section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Vessel owners would still be required to report all fishing trip activity on a monthly or weekly basis, depending on the requirements associated with their vessel permits. Classification Pursuant to section 303(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the MAFMC and the NEFMC have deemed the proposed regulations, with the exception of those noted above as proposed under the Secretary’s authority at § 305(d), to be necessary and appropriate for the purpose of implementing the Baseline Amendment. Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 Jun 01, 2015 Jkt 235001 that this proposed rule is consistent with the Baseline Amendment, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment. A notice of availability of the Draft EA/RIR, which analyzed the impacts of all the measures under consideration in the Baseline Amendment, was published at 80 FR 28217, May 18, 2014. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The proposed action would apply to all federally permitted fishing vessels operating in the Northeast Region subject to one or more of the affected FMPs (Black Sea Bass, Summer Flounder, Scup, Atlantic Herring, Illex Squid, Longfin Squid, Atlantic Mackerel, Mahogany Quahog, Monkfish, Northeast Multispecies, Atlantic Sea Scallop, and Red Crab). The proposed rule, if finalized, would eliminate the one-time limit on vessel upgrades and remove gross and net tonnages from vessel baseline specifications considered when determining a vessel’s baseline for replacement purposes. It would also remove the requirement for vessels to send in negative fishing reports (i.e., ‘‘did not fish’’ reports) during months or weeks when fishing did not occur. Implementing these measures would reduce the administrative burden to permit holders, leading to increased profits for the regulated community. Removing tonnages from vessel baselines may also simplify or eliminate the need for a permit holder to hire a naval architect to determine and document tonnage if it was not previously established. NMFS estimates the resulting average cost savings of as much as $375 per survey. Removing tonnages and upgrades may negate the need for a permit holder to hire a third party to research the permit’s history and prepare the replacement application. Estimates of the costs for these third party services were not available, but NMFS estimates that permit holders spend an average of 3 hours, or $270 in labor costs, preparing vessel replacement applications. Removing the one-time upgrade limit would also simplify administration of vessel baselines by eliminating the need for permit holders and NMFS to PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31345 determine whether a permit already used its one-time upgrade or an upgrade to tonnage at some point in its history. This research can be a substantial time and cost burden for a permit holder, especially if the permit has changed hands several times. In addition, removing the requirement to send in negative fishing reports would relieve a substantial time and cost burden for permit holders. The relief of burden estimates for removing this requirement applies to all federally permitted vessels. In 2014, NMFS received approximately 78,000 did not fish reports. We estimated public reporting burden for submitting these reports to average 2 min per response with an associated cost of $0.45. Therefore, 78,000 did not fish reports would reduce total compliance costs by $35,100, and reduce reporting burden by 2,600 hours annually. Because there are cost savings resulting from this proposed rule, the impact on small entities would be a positive one. Therefore, this rule would not impose significant costs or burdens on any small entities. No small entities would be placed at a competitive disadvantage to large entities, and the regulations would not reduce the profit for any small entities. Because this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required and none has been prepared. The proposed action contains collection-of-information requirements subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The request to remove the collection burden for vessel gross and net tonnages, vessel upgrades, and did not fish report requirements will be submitted to OMB for approval under the NMFS Northeast Region Scallop Report Family of Forms (OMB Control No. 0648–0202 and 0648–0212). Vessels would no longer be required to send in negative fishing reports (i.e., ‘‘did not fish’’ reports) during months or weeks when fishing did not occur. Vessel owners would still be required to report all fishing trip activity on a monthly or weekly basis, depending on the requirements associated with their vessel permits. The collection of negative fishing reports is no longer needed to determine if a vessel has engaged in fishing activity and submitted required trip reports due to improved trip-level data matching and the expansion of other monitoring systems (e.g., Vessel Monitoring Systems). E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 31346 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 105 / Tuesday, June 2, 2015 / Proposed Rules The relief of burden estimates for removing this requirement applies to all federally permitted vessels. In 2014, NMFS received approximately 78,000 did not fish reports. We estimated public reporting burden for submitting these reports to average 2 min per response with an associated cost of $0.45. Therefore, 78,000 did not fish reports would reduce total compliance costs by $35,100, and reduce reporting burden by 2,600 hr annually. Public comment is sought regarding: Whether this proposed reduction in collection of information is appropriate for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the forgone information would still have practical utility; the accuracy of the reduction in 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 the Regional Administrator (See 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. This action contains no other compliance costs. It does not duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal law. List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648 Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Incorporation by reference. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS Dated: May 27, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is proposed to be amended as follows: PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: ■ VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:57 Jun 01, 2015 Jkt 235001 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. § 648.2 [Amended] 2. In § 648.2, remove the definition of ‘‘Substantially similar harvesting capacity.’’ ■ 3. In § 648.4, revise paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(E)(1), (a)(1)(i)(E)(2), (a)(1)(i)(F)(1), (a)(1)(i)(F)(2), (a)(1)(i)(H), (a)(3)(i)(H), (a)(13)(i)(E)(1), (a)(13)(i)(F), and (a)(13)(i)(H) to read as follows: ■ § 648.4 Vessel permits. (a) * * * (1) * * * (i) * * * (E) * * * (1) The replacement vessel’s horsepower may not exceed the horsepower of the vessel’s baseline specifications by more than 20 percent, as applicable. (2) The replacement vessel’s length overall may not exceed the length overall of the vessel’s baseline specifications by more than 10 percent, as applicable. (F) * * * (1) The upgraded vessel’s horsepower may not exceed the horsepower of the vessel’s baseline specifications by more than 20 percent, as applicable. (2) The upgraded vessel’s length overall may not exceed the vessel’s baseline length overall by more than 10 percent, as applicable. * * * * * (H) Vessel baseline specifications. The vessel baseline specifications in this section are the respective specifications (length, horsepower) of the vessel that was initially issued a limited access permit as of the date the initial vessel applied for such permit. * * * * * (3) * * * (i) * * * (H) Vessel baseline specifications. The vessel baseline specifications in this section are the respective specifications (length, horsepower) of the vessel as of March 22, 1999, unless the vessel is in the process of construction or rerigging or under agreement or written contract for construction or rerigging, as of the effective baseline specification date in which case the baseline specifications will be established no later than February 19, 2000. * * * * * (13) * * * (i) * * * (E) * * * (1) To be eligible for a limited access permit under this section, the replacement vessel’s length overall may not exceed the vessel’s baseline length overall by more than 10 percent. The replacement vessel must also meet any PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 other applicable criteria under paragraph (a)(13)(i)(F) of this section. * * * * * (F) Upgraded vessel. A vessel may be upgraded, whether through refitting or replacement, and be eligible to retain or renew a limited access permit, provided that the new length overall of the upgraded vessel does exceed the vessel’s baseline length overall by more than 10 percent, as applicable. * * * * * (H) Vessel baseline length. The vessel baseline length in this section is the overall length of the vessel indicated on the vessel’s initial limited access permit as of the date the initial vessel applies for such permit. * * * * * ■ 4. In § 648.7, revise paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (f)(2)(i) to read as follows: § 648.7 Recordkeeping and reporting requirements. * * * * * (b) * * * (1) * * * (i) The owner or operator of any vessel issued a valid permit or eligible to renew a limited access permit under this part must maintain on board the vessel, and submit, an accurate fishing log report for each fishing trip, regardless of species fished for or taken, on forms supplied by or approved by the Regional Administrator. If authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator, a vessel owner or operator may submit reports electronically, for example by using a VMS or other media. With the exception of those vessel owners or operators fishing under a surfclam or ocean quahog permit, at least the following information and any other information required by the Regional Administrator must be provided: Vessel name; USCG documentation number (or state registration number, if undocumented); permit number; date/time sailed; date/ time landed; trip type; number of crew; number of anglers (if a charter or party boat); gear fished; quantity and size of gear; mesh/ring size; chart area fished; average depth; latitude/longitude (or loran station and bearings); total hauls per area fished; average tow time duration; hail weight, in pounds (or count of individual fish, if a party or charter vessel), by species, of all species, or parts of species, such as monkfish livers, landed or discarded; and, in the case of skate discards, ‘‘small’’ (i.e., less than 23 inches (58.42 cm), total length) or ‘‘large’’ (i.e., 23 inches (58.42 cm) or greater, total length) skates; dealer permit number; dealer name; date sold, port and state landed; and vessel E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 105 / Tuesday, June 2, 2015 / Proposed Rules operator’s name, signature, and operator’s permit number (if applicable). * * * * * (f) * * * (2) * * * (i) For any vessel not issued a NE multispecies; Atlantic herring permit; or any Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid, Illex squid, or butterfish permit; fishing vessel log reports, required by paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, must be postmarked or received by NMFS within 15 days after the end of the reporting month. For any vessel issued a NE multispecies permit; Atlantic herring permit; or any Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid, Illex squid, or butterfish permit; fishing vessel log reports must be postmarked or received by midnight of the first Tuesday following the end of the reporting week. For the purposes of this paragraph (f)(2)(i), the date when fish are offloaded will establish the reporting week or month the VTR must be submitted to NMFS, as appropriate. * * * * * ■ 5. In § 648.14, revise paragraphs (b)(4) and (k)(2)(i) to read as follows: § 648.14 baseline length overall of the transferor vessel. For the purposes of this program, the baseline horsepower and length overall are those associated with the permit as of January 29, 2004. Upon approval of the transfer, the baseline of the transferee vessel would be the smaller baseline of the two vessels or the vessel owner could choose to adopt the larger baseline of the two vessels provided such an upgrade is consistent with provisions of this paragraph (l)(1)(ii). A vessel that has executed a one-time downgrade of a DAS Leasing Program baseline in accordance with paragraph (k)(4)(xi) is subject to the restrictions of paragraph (k)(4)(xi)(C) of this section. (iii) The transferor vessel must transfer all of its Federal limited access permits for which it is eligible to the transferee vessel in accordance with the vessel replacement restrictions under § 648.4, or permanently cancel such permits. When duplicate permits exist, i.e., those permits for which both the transferor and transferee vessel are eligible, one of the duplicate permits must be permanently cancelled. * * * * * [FR Doc. 2015–13349 Filed 6–1–15; 8:45 am] Prohibitions. * * * * * (b) * * * (4) Fish for, possess, or land species regulated under this part with or from a vessel that is issued a limited access or moratorium permit under § 648.4(a) and that has had the horsepower or length overall of such vessel or its replacement upgraded or increased in excess of the limitations specified in § 648.4(a)(1)(i)(E) and (F). * * * * * (k) * * * (2) * * * (i) Fish for, possess, or land NE multispecies with or from a vessel that has had the length overall of such vessel, or its replacement, increased or upgraded in excess of limitations specified in § 648.4(a)(1)(i)(E) and (F). * * * * * ■ 6. In § 648.82, revise paragraphs (l)(1)(ii) and (l)(1)(iii) to read as follows: tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS § 648. 82 Effort-control program for NE multispecies limited access vessels. 16:57 Jun 01, 2015 Jkt 235001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 150506428–5468–01] RIN 0648–BF07 Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act Provisions; Jonah Crab Fishery; Control Date for Jonah Crab Fishery National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR); request for comments. AGENCY: This notice announces a control date that may limit or restrict access into the Jonah crab fishery in Federal waters. This action is necessary to inform fishery participants that we are considering future action. We intend for this notice to promote awareness of possible future rulemaking, and discourage speculative entry into and/or investment in the Jonah crab fishery. DATES: June 2, 2015 is established as the ‘‘control date’’ for the Jonah crab SUMMARY: (l) * * * (1) * * * (ii) NE multispecies DAS may be transferred only to a vessel with a baseline main engine horsepower rating that is no more than 20 percent greater than the baseline engine horsepower of the transferor vessel. NE multispecies DAS may be transferred only to a vessel with a baseline length overall that is no more than 10 percent greater than the VerDate Sep<11>2014 BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31347 fishery, and may be used as a reference date for future management measures related to the Jonah crab fishery, consistent with applicable Federal laws and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s recommendations. Written comments must be received on or before July 2, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA– NMFS–2015–0065 by any of the following methods: D Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20150065, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. D Mail: Submit written comments to John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, ‘‘Comments on Jonah crab Control Date.’’ Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and considered. We may not consider comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. 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.) submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. We will accept anonymous comments (enter ‘‘N/A’’ in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Allison Murphy, Fishery Policy Analyst, 978–281–9122. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Jonah crab (Cancer borealis), also known locally as rock crab, is not currently managed under Federal regulations or a coastwide Interstate Fishery Management Plan. Some individual Atlantic states do have management measures or permit requirements for Jonah crab. In May 2014, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s American Lobster Management Board initiated the development of an Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Jonah Crab, throughout the species range within United States waters. The Board’s development of a formal management plan was based on its E:\FR\FM\02JNP1.SGM 02JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 105 (Tuesday, June 2, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 31343-31347]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-13349]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 648

[Docket No: 110907562-5455-02]
RIN 0648-BB40


Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 
Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Omnibus 
Amendment To Simplify Vessel Baselines

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS proposes to approve an Omnibus Amendment to the Fishery 
Management Plans of the Northeastern United States to simplify vessel 
baselines. This Omnibus Amendment to Simplify Vessel Baselines, which 
was submitted by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management 
Councils, would eliminate the one-time limit on vessel upgrades and 
remove gross and net tonnages from the vessel baseline specifications 
that are considered when determining a vessel's baseline for 
replacement purposes. Implementing these measures would reduce the 
administrative burden to permit holders and NMFS and would have little 
effect on fleet capacity.
    This proposed rule would also remove the requirement for vessels to 
send in negative fishing reports (i.e., ``did not fish'' reports) 
during months or weeks when fishing did not occur. NMFS no longer needs 
these reports due to improved trip-level matching. Therefore, NMFS is 
proposing to remove this requirement to simplify the regulations and 
reduce reporting burdens for the industry.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before July 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document, identified by 
NOAA-NMFS-2011-0213, by either of the following methods:
    ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION: Submit all electronic public comments via 
the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.
    1. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2011-0213,
    2. Click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, complete the required fields,
    3. Enter or attach your comments.
    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or

[[Page 31344]]

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).
    Copies of the Omnibus Amendment to Simplify Vessel Baselines, and 
of the draft Environmental Assessment and preliminary Regulatory Impact 
Review (EA/RIR), are available from the Greater Atlantic Regional 
Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. The 
EA/RIR is also accessible via the Internet at: 
www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.
    To review Federal Register documents referenced in this rule, you 
can visit: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/mediacenter/ongoing/omnibus_amendment_to_simplify_vessel_baselines.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Travis Ford, Fishery Policy Analyst, 
978-281-9233.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation 
and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each Regional 
Fishery Management Council to submit any Fishery Management Plan (FMP) 
amendment it prepares to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or 
partial approval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, 
upon receiving an FMP amendment, immediately publish notification in 
the Federal Register that the amendment is available for public review 
and comment. The New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) and the 
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) approved this Baseline 
Amendment, which would simplify vessel baseline requirements, at their 
November 18, 2014, and October 8, 2014, meetings, respectively. 
Following these approvals and on behalf of the Councils, NMFS prepared 
additional analyses for the amendment based on the preferred 
alternatives and, once those were completed, declared a transmittal 
date of May 12, 2015. Both Councils have reviewed the proposed Baseline 
Amendment regulations as drafted by NMFS, and deemed them necessary and 
appropriate, as specified in section 303(c) of the MSA. If approved by 
NMFS, this amendment would simplify the specifications considered when 
determining a vessel's baseline for replacement purposes.

Background

    The MAFMC developed the first limited entry program in 1977 for the 
surfclam/quahog fishery, which included restrictions on replacement 
vessels. This program required that a replacement vessel be of 
``substantially similar capacity'' in an effort to maintain but not 
increase the harvest capacity of the fleet at that time. Over the 
following two decades, the MAFMC and NEFMC implemented additional 
limited entry programs. By 1998, there were four different sets of 
vessel upgrade and replacement restrictions among the various FMPs. The 
upgrade restrictions became confusing for fishing industry members with 
more than one limited access permit, because different vessel upgrade 
regulations could apply to each permit. In addition, some vessels added 
limited access permits that originally qualified on another vessel that 
was a different size and/or horsepower. This results in a vessel having 
multiple baselines. Thus, in 1999, the MAFMC and NEFMC, in consultation 
with NMFS, developed the Amendment to Achieve Regulatory Consistency on 
Permit Related Provisions for Vessels Issued Limited Access Federal 
Fishery Permits (64 FR 8263, February 19, 1999) (Consistency Amendment) 
to streamline and make consistent baseline provisions and upgrade 
restrictions across FMPs.
    The Consistency Amendment standardized definitions and restrictions 
for vessel baselines, upgrades, and replacements across all limited 
access fisheries. It simplified regulations for vessel replacements, 
permit transfers, and vessel upgrades, making them consistent and less 
restrictive in order to facilitate business transactions. Although the 
Consistency Amendment did standardize the vessel baseline requirements 
for the fisheries of the northeast, some burdensome requirements 
remain. Under current restrictions, a vessel baseline is defined by 
vessel length overall, gross tonnage, net tonnage, and horsepower. We 
determine the baseline for a limited access permit based on the size 
(length, gross tonnage, and net tonnage) and horsepower of the first 
vessel issued a limited access permit for that fishery or, for 
fisheries that adopted baseline restrictions through the Consistency 
Amendment, the permitted vessel at the time the final rule became 
effective.
    Current baseline regulations require that a replacement vessel or 
an upgrade made to an existing vessel with a limited access permit be 
within 10 percent of the size and 20 percent of the horsepower of the 
permit's baseline vessel. To respect the NEFMC and the MAFMC's intended 
baseline restrictions of individual fisheries, for vessels with 
multiple baselines, we use the most restrictive of the baselines to 
judge the approval of a replacement vessel or upgrade, unless the 
permit holder chooses to relinquish the more restrictive permit. In 
addition, current baseline regulations limit permit holders to a one-
time upgrade of the vessel size and horsepower specifications. For 
example, we limit a vessel owner that has a 60-ft (18.3-m) baseline 
length to upgrading to a vessel of up to 66 ft (20.1 m). However, if he 
moves his permit to a 62-ft (18.9-m) vessel for any reason, it would 
constitute his one-time size upgrade and he would lose the ability to 
upgrade to a vessel of 66 ft (20.1 m). He would only be able to move 
his permit to a vessel of 62 ft (18.9 m) or less. Because he used his 
one-time size upgrade, he would not be able upgrade the vessel's 
tonnages. He would still be able use his horsepower upgrade to upgrade 
his horsepower by 20 percent, but only once.
    The Baseline Amendment would:
    1. Eliminate gross and net tonnage from the baseline specifications 
considered when determining a vessel's baseline for replacement 
purposes. Both the Councils and NMFS consider tonnages the most 
variable of vessel baseline specifications and, therefore, they have 
little effect on limiting vessel capacity when compared to length and 
horsepower restrictions. There is more than one acceptable method of 
determining tonnages, and the tonnages of a vessel can vary 
significantly depending on whether an exact measurement or simplified 
calculation is used. In addition, vessel owners can circumvent net 
tonnage limits by modifying internal bulkheads. Eliminating tonnages 
would simplify the vessel baseline verification and replacement 
process. In addition, it could reduce the cost burden on the industry 
if they only need horsepower verification because this would eliminate 
the need for a marine survey prior to any permit transactions.
    2. Remove the one-time limit on vessel upgrades. Eliminating the 
one-time upgrade limit would provide more flexibility for vessel owners 
in the selection of replacement vessels and upgrades to existing 
vessels. Some vessel owners have been constrained by the one-time limit 
because they or a previous owner did not maximize the

[[Page 31345]]

one-time upgrade with a previous vessel replacement, due to cost or 
availability or for other reasons, and have since been unable to 
further upgrade the vessel. Eliminating the one-time limit would also 
simplify the baseline verification and vessel replacement process for 
vessel owners and NMFS by eliminating the need to research and document 
whether a vessel owner used the one-time upgrade during the vessel's 
entire limited access history.
    This rule proposes to remove the requirement for vessels to send in 
negative fishing reports (i.e., ``did not fish'' reports) during months 
or weeks when fishing did not occur. This was not part of the Baseline 
Amendment, but is the result of an internal review of the trip-level 
reporting requirements conducted by the joint Greater Atlantic Regional 
Fisheries Office-Northeast Fisheries Science Center Fishery Dependent 
Data Committee (FDDC) during the past year. The division of the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) responsible for the Paperwork Reduction 
Act (PRA), in the interest of reducing compliance costs for small 
businesses, noted a potential cost savings for fishermen if we remove 
the DNF report and asked that we investigate the possibility of 
removing it. As a result of that review, the FDDC has recommended that 
the negative fishing reports are no longer necessary because the 
ability to determine if a vessel has engaged in fishing activity and 
submitted required trip reports has increased in recent years due to 
improved trip-level data matching and the expansion of other monitoring 
systems (e.g., Vessel Monitoring Systems). Therefore, in order to 
simplify the regulations and reduce reporting burdens for the industry, 
we are proposing to eliminate the negative fishing reports requirement 
in this action under the Secretary's authority at section 305(d) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act. Vessel owners would still be required to report 
all fishing trip activity on a monthly or weekly basis, depending on 
the requirements associated with their vessel permits.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 303(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the MAFMC 
and the NEFMC have deemed the proposed regulations, with the exception 
of those noted above as proposed under the Secretary's authority at 
Sec.  305(d), to be necessary and appropriate for the purpose of 
implementing the Baseline Amendment.
    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the 
NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is 
consistent with the Baseline Amendment, other provisions of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further 
consideration after public comment.
    A notice of availability of the Draft EA/RIR, which analyzed the 
impacts of all the measures under consideration in the Baseline 
Amendment, was published at 80 FR 28217, May 18, 2014.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce 
certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    The proposed action would apply to all federally permitted fishing 
vessels operating in the Northeast Region subject to one or more of the 
affected FMPs (Black Sea Bass, Summer Flounder, Scup, Atlantic Herring, 
Illex Squid, Longfin Squid, Atlantic Mackerel, Mahogany Quahog, 
Monkfish, Northeast Multispecies, Atlantic Sea Scallop, and Red Crab). 
The proposed rule, if finalized, would eliminate the one-time limit on 
vessel upgrades and remove gross and net tonnages from vessel baseline 
specifications considered when determining a vessel's baseline for 
replacement purposes. It would also remove the requirement for vessels 
to send in negative fishing reports (i.e., ``did not fish'' reports) 
during months or weeks when fishing did not occur. Implementing these 
measures would reduce the administrative burden to permit holders, 
leading to increased profits for the regulated community.
    Removing tonnages from vessel baselines may also simplify or 
eliminate the need for a permit holder to hire a naval architect to 
determine and document tonnage if it was not previously established. 
NMFS estimates the resulting average cost savings of as much as $375 
per survey. Removing tonnages and upgrades may negate the need for a 
permit holder to hire a third party to research the permit's history 
and prepare the replacement application. Estimates of the costs for 
these third party services were not available, but NMFS estimates that 
permit holders spend an average of 3 hours, or $270 in labor costs, 
preparing vessel replacement applications.
    Removing the one-time upgrade limit would also simplify 
administration of vessel baselines by eliminating the need for permit 
holders and NMFS to determine whether a permit already used its one-
time upgrade or an upgrade to tonnage at some point in its history. 
This research can be a substantial time and cost burden for a permit 
holder, especially if the permit has changed hands several times.
    In addition, removing the requirement to send in negative fishing 
reports would relieve a substantial time and cost burden for permit 
holders. The relief of burden estimates for removing this requirement 
applies to all federally permitted vessels. In 2014, NMFS received 
approximately 78,000 did not fish reports. We estimated public 
reporting burden for submitting these reports to average 2 min per 
response with an associated cost of $0.45. Therefore, 78,000 did not 
fish reports would reduce total compliance costs by $35,100, and reduce 
reporting burden by 2,600 hours annually.
    Because there are cost savings resulting from this proposed rule, 
the impact on small entities would be a positive one. Therefore, this 
rule would not impose significant costs or burdens on any small 
entities. No small entities would be placed at a competitive 
disadvantage to large entities, and the regulations would not reduce 
the profit for any small entities. Because this rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, 
an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required and none has 
been prepared.
    The proposed action contains collection-of-information requirements 
subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The request to remove 
the collection burden for vessel gross and net tonnages, vessel 
upgrades, and did not fish report requirements will be submitted to OMB 
for approval under the NMFS Northeast Region Scallop Report Family of 
Forms (OMB Control No. 0648-0202 and 0648-0212).
    Vessels would no longer be required to send in negative fishing 
reports (i.e., ``did not fish'' reports) during months or weeks when 
fishing did not occur. Vessel owners would still be required to report 
all fishing trip activity on a monthly or weekly basis, depending on 
the requirements associated with their vessel permits. The collection 
of negative fishing reports is no longer needed to determine if a 
vessel has engaged in fishing activity and submitted required trip 
reports due to improved trip-level data matching and the expansion of 
other monitoring systems (e.g., Vessel Monitoring Systems).

[[Page 31346]]

    The relief of burden estimates for removing this requirement 
applies to all federally permitted vessels. In 2014, NMFS received 
approximately 78,000 did not fish reports. We estimated public 
reporting burden for submitting these reports to average 2 min per 
response with an associated cost of $0.45.
    Therefore, 78,000 did not fish reports would reduce total 
compliance costs by $35,100, and reduce reporting burden by 2,600 hr 
annually.
    Public comment is sought regarding: Whether this proposed reduction 
in collection of information is appropriate for the proper performance 
of the functions of the agency, including whether the forgone 
information would still have practical utility; the accuracy of the 
reduction in 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 the Regional Administrator (See 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.
    This action contains no other compliance costs. It does not 
duplicate, overlap, or conflict with any other Federal law.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Incorporation by reference.

    Dated: May 27, 2015.
Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is 
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 648--FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows:

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


Sec.  648.2  [Amended]

0
2. In Sec.  648.2, remove the definition of ``Substantially similar 
harvesting capacity.''
0
3. In Sec.  648.4, revise paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(E)(1), (a)(1)(i)(E)(2), 
(a)(1)(i)(F)(1), (a)(1)(i)(F)(2), (a)(1)(i)(H), (a)(3)(i)(H), 
(a)(13)(i)(E)(1), (a)(13)(i)(F), and (a)(13)(i)(H) to read as follows:


Sec.  648.4  Vessel permits.

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (E) * * *
    (1) The replacement vessel's horsepower may not exceed the 
horsepower of the vessel's baseline specifications by more than 20 
percent, as applicable.
    (2) The replacement vessel's length overall may not exceed the 
length overall of the vessel's baseline specifications by more than 10 
percent, as applicable.
    (F) * * *
    (1) The upgraded vessel's horsepower may not exceed the horsepower 
of the vessel's baseline specifications by more than 20 percent, as 
applicable.
    (2) The upgraded vessel's length overall may not exceed the 
vessel's baseline length overall by more than 10 percent, as 
applicable.
* * * * *
    (H) Vessel baseline specifications. The vessel baseline 
specifications in this section are the respective specifications 
(length, horsepower) of the vessel that was initially issued a limited 
access permit as of the date the initial vessel applied for such 
permit.
* * * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (H) Vessel baseline specifications. The vessel baseline 
specifications in this section are the respective specifications 
(length, horsepower) of the vessel as of March 22, 1999, unless the 
vessel is in the process of construction or rerigging or under 
agreement or written contract for construction or rerigging, as of the 
effective baseline specification date in which case the baseline 
specifications will be established no later than February 19, 2000.
* * * * *
    (13) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (E) * * *
    (1) To be eligible for a limited access permit under this section, 
the replacement vessel's length overall may not exceed the vessel's 
baseline length overall by more than 10 percent. The replacement vessel 
must also meet any other applicable criteria under paragraph 
(a)(13)(i)(F) of this section.
* * * * *
    (F) Upgraded vessel. A vessel may be upgraded, whether through 
refitting or replacement, and be eligible to retain or renew a limited 
access permit, provided that the new length overall of the upgraded 
vessel does exceed the vessel's baseline length overall by more than 10 
percent, as applicable.
* * * * *
    (H) Vessel baseline length. The vessel baseline length in this 
section is the overall length of the vessel indicated on the vessel's 
initial limited access permit as of the date the initial vessel applies 
for such permit.
* * * * *
0
4. In Sec.  648.7, revise paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (f)(2)(i) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  648.7  Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) The owner or operator of any vessel issued a valid permit or 
eligible to renew a limited access permit under this part must maintain 
on board the vessel, and submit, an accurate fishing log report for 
each fishing trip, regardless of species fished for or taken, on forms 
supplied by or approved by the Regional Administrator. If authorized in 
writing by the Regional Administrator, a vessel owner or operator may 
submit reports electronically, for example by using a VMS or other 
media. With the exception of those vessel owners or operators fishing 
under a surfclam or ocean quahog permit, at least the following 
information and any other information required by the Regional 
Administrator must be provided: Vessel name; USCG documentation number 
(or state registration number, if undocumented); permit number; date/
time sailed; date/time landed; trip type; number of crew; number of 
anglers (if a charter or party boat); gear fished; quantity and size of 
gear; mesh/ring size; chart area fished; average depth; latitude/
longitude (or loran station and bearings); total hauls per area fished; 
average tow time duration; hail weight, in pounds (or count of 
individual fish, if a party or charter vessel), by species, of all 
species, or parts of species, such as monkfish livers, landed or 
discarded; and, in the case of skate discards, ``small'' (i.e., less 
than 23 inches (58.42 cm), total length) or ``large'' (i.e., 23 inches 
(58.42 cm) or greater, total length) skates; dealer permit number; 
dealer name; date sold, port and state landed; and vessel

[[Page 31347]]

operator's name, signature, and operator's permit number (if 
applicable).
* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) For any vessel not issued a NE multispecies; Atlantic herring 
permit; or any Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid, Illex squid, or 
butterfish permit; fishing vessel log reports, required by paragraph 
(b)(1)(i) of this section, must be postmarked or received by NMFS 
within 15 days after the end of the reporting month. For any vessel 
issued a NE multispecies permit; Atlantic herring permit; or any 
Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid, Illex squid, or butterfish permit; 
fishing vessel log reports must be postmarked or received by midnight 
of the first Tuesday following the end of the reporting week. For the 
purposes of this paragraph (f)(2)(i), the date when fish are offloaded 
will establish the reporting week or month the VTR must be submitted to 
NMFS, as appropriate.
* * * * *
0
5. In Sec.  648.14, revise paragraphs (b)(4) and (k)(2)(i) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  648.14  Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (4) Fish for, possess, or land species regulated under this part 
with or from a vessel that is issued a limited access or moratorium 
permit under Sec.  648.4(a) and that has had the horsepower or length 
overall of such vessel or its replacement upgraded or increased in 
excess of the limitations specified in Sec.  648.4(a)(1)(i)(E) and (F).
* * * * *
    (k) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) Fish for, possess, or land NE multispecies with or from a 
vessel that has had the length overall of such vessel, or its 
replacement, increased or upgraded in excess of limitations specified 
in Sec.  648.4(a)(1)(i)(E) and (F).
* * * * *
0
6. In Sec.  648.82, revise paragraphs (l)(1)(ii) and (l)(1)(iii) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  648.  82 Effort-control program for NE multispecies limited 
access vessels.

    (l) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) NE multispecies DAS may be transferred only to a vessel with a 
baseline main engine horsepower rating that is no more than 20 percent 
greater than the baseline engine horsepower of the transferor vessel. 
NE multispecies DAS may be transferred only to a vessel with a baseline 
length overall that is no more than 10 percent greater than the 
baseline length overall of the transferor vessel. For the purposes of 
this program, the baseline horsepower and length overall are those 
associated with the permit as of January 29, 2004. Upon approval of the 
transfer, the baseline of the transferee vessel would be the smaller 
baseline of the two vessels or the vessel owner could choose to adopt 
the larger baseline of the two vessels provided such an upgrade is 
consistent with provisions of this paragraph (l)(1)(ii). A vessel that 
has executed a one-time downgrade of a DAS Leasing Program baseline in 
accordance with paragraph (k)(4)(xi) is subject to the restrictions of 
paragraph (k)(4)(xi)(C) of this section.
    (iii) The transferor vessel must transfer all of its Federal 
limited access permits for which it is eligible to the transferee 
vessel in accordance with the vessel replacement restrictions under 
Sec.  648.4, or permanently cancel such permits. When duplicate permits 
exist, i.e., those permits for which both the transferor and transferee 
vessel are eligible, one of the duplicate permits must be permanently 
cancelled.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2015-13349 Filed 6-1-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P