Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Modifications to Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements, 50436-50444 [2016-18110]

Download as PDF sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS 50436 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 147 / Monday, August 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules Developing New Requirements for Public Notice of CSO Events in the Great Lakes Basin Section 425 requires EPA to work with the Great Lakes states to create public notice requirements for combined sewer overflow discharges to the Great Lakes. Section 425(b)(2) provides that the notice requirements are to address the method of the notice, the contents of the notice, and requirements for public availability of the notice. Section 425(b)(3)(A) provides that at a minimum, the contents of the notice are to include the dates and times of the applicable discharge; the volume of the discharge; and a description of any public access areas impacted by the discharge. Section 425(b)(3)(B) provides that the minimum content requirements are to be consistent for all affected States. Section 425(b)(4)(A) calls for followup notice requirements that provide a description of each applicable discharge; the cause of the discharge; and plans to prevent a reoccurrence of a combined sewer overflow discharge to the Great Lakes consistent with section 402 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1342) or an administrative order or consent decree under such Act. Section 425(b)(4)(B) provides for annual publication requirements that list each treatment works from which the Administrator or the affected State receive a follow-up notice. Section 425(b)(5) requires that the notice and publication requirements described in Section 425 shall be implemented by not later than December 18, 2017. However, the Administrator of the EPA may extend the implementation deadline for individual communities if the Administrator determines the community needs additional time to comply in order to avoid undue economic hardship. Finally, Section 425(b)(6) clarifies that ‘‘Nothing in this subsection prohibits an affected State from establishing a State notice requirement in the event of a discharge that is more stringent than the requirements described in this subsection.’’ EPA is working with the Great Lakes States to identify and evaluate options for implementing Section 425. EPA has also met with various stakeholder groups that represent municipalities, industry practitioners, and environmental organizations to hear each of their perspectives. EPA will continue to meet with interested stakeholder groups throughout the rulemaking process. In addition, the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Jul 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 public ‘‘listening session’’ on September 14, 2016 will provide stakeholders and other members of the public with an opportunity to share their views regarding potential new public notification requirements for CSOs in the Great Lakes Basin. III. Input on Public Notice Considerations EPA and the Great Lake States will consider several options for creating public notice requirements for CSOs in the Great Lakes Basin under Section 425. In general, EPA and the Great Lake States are requesting comment on public notice requirements that provide for: • Immediate notice of CSO discharge events to local public health officials and drinking water facilities. This notice is intended to alert public health officials and drinking water facilities to specific CSO discharges and support the development of appropriate responses to the discharges. • Immediate notice of CSO discharge events to the public via text alerts, Web site notice, or other appropriate means. This notice is intended to alert the public to CSO discharges which may allow them to take steps to reduce their potential exposure to pathogens associated with the discharges. • Immediate notice of CSO discharge events to the NPDES permitting authority. NPDES permits establish requirements to report CSO discharges to the NPDES authority. 40 CFR 122.41(l)(6) provides minimum requirements to report certain CSO discharges to the NPDES authority within 24 hours. • Annual CSO notice. The annual CSO notice is intended to provide the public with a description of the current performance of their system as well as progress being made to reduce CSOs. EPA solicits information from the public regarding any aspect of Section 425 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, including: (1) What means of receiving immediate notice of CSO discharge events is most helpful to the public? (2) What should ‘‘immediate’’ mean in this context? How soon after a CSO discharge event commences should the public and local public health agencies be given notice? (3) What type of information would be most appropriate for immediate notices? In addition to the statutorily required elements of (i) the dates and times of the applicable discharge; (ii) the volume of the discharge; and (iii) a description of any public access areas impacted by the discharge; what other pieces of information would be beneficial for the public, local public health agencies, PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 public drinking water providers, etc. to receive as part of the public notice? (4) What role should local public health agencies have in identifying immediate notification requirements? (5) How should annual notices be made available to the public? (6) What information should be included in annual notices and who should prepare the annual notices? (7) Do EPA’s requirements to notify NPDES permitting authorities under 40 CFR 122.41(l)(4), (6) and (7) have a role in the new public notice requirements? (8) What regulatory framework is most appropriate for immediate notification requirements? For annual notices? In addition to participation in the meeting, members of the public may share input through written comments to the public docket (see ADDRESSES). Dated: July 26, 2016. Andrew D. Sawyers, Director, Office of Wastewater Management. [FR Doc. 2016–18133 Filed 7–29–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 160225147–6147–01] RIN 0648–BF83 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; Modifications to Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS issues a proposed rule that would modify the recordkeeping and reporting requirements for the groundfish fisheries in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands management areas. This proposed rule is organized into four actions. Under the first action, NMFS would implement a requirement for tender vessel operators to use the applications software ‘‘tLandings’’ to prepare electronic landing reports. This action is necessary to improve timeliness and reliability of landing reports for catcher vessels delivering to tender vessels for use in catch accounting and inseason management. Under the second action, NMFS would SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\01AUP1.SGM 01AUP1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 147 / Monday, August 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules modify the definition of a buying station. This action is necessary to clarify the different requirements that apply to tender vessels and land-based buying stations. Under the third action, NMFS would remove the requirement for buying stations to complete the buying station report because this report is no longer necessary. Under the fourth action, NMFS would revise the definition of a mothership to remove unnecessary formatting without changing the substance of the definition. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP), and other applicable laws. DATES: Submit comments on or before August 31, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2016–0021, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-20160021, 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 personally identifiable information (e.g., name, address), 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). Electronic copies of the Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (RIR/IRFA) (collectively referred to as the ‘‘Analysis’’) and the Categorical Exclusion prepared for this proposed rule may be obtained from http:// VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Jul 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. 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 (see ADDRESSES) and by email to OIRA_ Submission@omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 395–5806. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keeley Kent, 907–586–7228. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for Action NMFS Alaska Region manages the U.S. groundfish fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska under the BSAI FMP and the GOA FMP. The FMPs were prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, under authority of the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and other applicable laws, and approved by the Secretary of Commerce. NMFS is authorized under both groundfish FMPs to implement recordkeeping and reporting requirements that are necessary to provide the information needed to conserve and manage the groundfish fisheries off Alaska. Regulations implementing the FMPs appear at 50 CFR part 679. General regulations that pertain to U.S. fisheries appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600. Recordkeeping and reporting regulations appear at § 679.5. Background This proposed rule is organized into four actions. Under the first action, NMFS would implement a requirement for tender vessel operators to use tLandings. Under the second action, NMFS would modify the definition of buying station so that tender vessels and land-based buying stations are differentiated under the regulations. Under the third action, NMFS would remove the requirement for buying stations to complete the buying station report. Under the fourth action, NMFS would modify the definition of a mothership to simplify the unnecessary paragraph formatting. The following sections of the preamble describe: (1) Background on the Interagency Electronic Reporting System, tendering, and tLandings; (2) the need for action; and (3) the proposed rule and its anticipated effects. Interagency Electronic Reporting System The Interagency Electronic Reporting System (IERS) is a collaborative program for reporting commercial fishery PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50437 landings administered by NMFS, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), and the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The IERS consists of three main components: eLandings—a webbased application for immediate harvest data upload from internet-capable vessels or processors; seaLandings—a desktop application for vessels at sea without internet capability which transmits reports by satellite phone; and tLandings—a software application for tender vessels that records landings data on a USB flash drive (‘‘thumb-drive’’) that includes all of the data fields required under IERS. Current regulations require that landing reports be submitted via eLandings, or seaLandings for halibut, sablefish, and crab fisheries (§ 679.5(e)(5)). NMFS requires all shoreside or floating processors that hold a Federal processing permit (FPP) to use eLandings or other NMFS-approved software to submit landing reports for all groundfish species. All motherships holding a Federal fisheries permit (FFP) are required to enter landing information in eLandings, unless an internet connection is not available. seaLandings may be used when an internet connection is not available. Catcher/processors with an FFP are required to use eLandings, or seaLandings (when no internet connection is available), to submit Daily Production Reports. NMFS has identified electronic reporting through eLandings as a way to improve data quality, automate processing of data, improve the process for correcting or updating information, allow for the availability of more timely data for fishery managers, and reduce duplicative reporting of similar information to multiple agencies. Tendering A tender vessel is defined under § 679.2 as a vessel that is used to transport unprocessed fish or shellfish received from another vessel to an associated processor. An associated processor is defined under § 679.2 as having a contractual relationship with a buying station to conduct groundfish buying station activities for that processor. The contractual relationship in the Federal regulations creates joint responsibility for recordkeeping and reporting. A tender vessel is also included under the definition of a buying station, which receives unprocessed groundfish from a vessel for delivery to a shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or mothership, but does not process fish (§ 679.2). Buying stations include both tender vessels and land-based entities. E:\FR\FM\01AUP1.SGM 01AUP1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS 50438 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 147 / Monday, August 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules The practice of tendering allows a fishing vessel to deliver its catch to another vessel and resume fishing without the delay associated with traveling to port and returning to the fishing area. One tender vessel can service multiple fishing vessels, depending on its capacity and the regulations that limit tendering. For more information on tendering, see Section 1.5 of the Analysis. Since tender vessels transport harvested fish to a processor and do not process the fish themselves, they are currently not required to participate in the IERS. Currently, tender vessels provide a written landing report for each delivery, commonly known as a ‘‘fish ticket’’ to the processor on delivery; the processor then prepares a cumulative landing report in eLandings. Although there is an optional field in the eLandings landing report for tender vessel identification number, processors are not required to identify tender vessel deliveries. If the tender vessel is not identified, NMFS cannot distinguish a tender vessel delivery to a processor from a vessel delivery to a processor. The State of Alaska (State) allows vessels to contract with other vessels to receive fish from some fisheries managed by the State and deliver that fish to processors located within the State’s jurisdiction. Unlike tenders, these vessels do not have a contract or association with a processor to transport unprocessed fish received from another vessel to a processor. Vessels engaging in this activity are called ‘‘transporters’’ under State regulations. The State created the statutory and regulatory authority for vessels to operate as transporters in 2003. Transporters must have a transporter permit from ADF&G, and, under a contractual arrangement with the vessel, are considered agents of the vessel. Because of the requirement in § 679.2 for a contractual relationship with a processor, a vessel acting as a transporter under the State definition would not be categorized as a tender vessel under the Federal regulations. Therefore, none of the requirements that apply to tenders would apply to vessels operating as a transporter under State regulations, and the provisions of this proposed rule that apply to tenders would not apply to transporters. See Sections 1.5.3 and 1.6.1 of the Analysis for further description and discussion of transporters. tLandings tLandings is a computer application used on computers onboard tender vessels. tLandings was developed for use on tender vessels without internet access. The tLandings application is VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Jul 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 loaded onto a thumb drive and configured with a list of the authorized users, the processor’s vessel list, and a species list, and includes the option for the processor to add a price list. The tender vessel operator would create the landing reports and store them on the thumb drive. Once the tender vessel trip is completed, the tender vessel operator would provide the thumb drive to the processor for upload into the eLandings repository database. The processor would then upload the eLandings landing report to a NMFS central server. This system requires one-time data entry on the tender vessel and the information is transferred to the processor, and then to the agency via eLandings. Digital harvest reports improve catch accounting and streamline the process. Though the use of tLandings is currently voluntary, a growing number of tender vessels and processors are using tLandings (see Section 1.4 of the Analysis). Under the current regulations, the processor is responsible for reporting the information provided by the tender vessel on the fish ticket. The processor provides a booklet of fish tickets to associated tender vessels with the processor identification number printed on them. The tender vessel operator completes the fish ticket for each delivery and returns the fish tickets to the processor at the time of offload. Should the tender vessel submit an incorrect fish ticket, the processor would be responsible for tracking down the tender vessel to correct the information. In November 2015, ADF&G adopted State regulations to require the use of tLandings for tender vessels who have submitted more than 2,000 salmon fish tickets or bought over 20 million pounds of salmon in 2012, 2013, or 2014, and for all groundfish delivered to tender vessels. ADF&G estimated that roughly 55 tender vessels would meet the threshold for the new regulation, but many already used tLandings for halibut and sablefish, salmon, and groundfish reporting. The State tLandings requirement became effective January 2016. Need for Action When a tender vessel receives catch from a vessel, the tender vessel operator completes a paper fish ticket. Once the transfer is complete, the vessel operator signs the paper fish ticket acknowledging the transfer of catch and agreeing to the information provided. When the tender vessel delivers the catch to the processor, the tender vessel operator provides the paper fish ticket to the processor. The processor then PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 verifies the information and manually enters the fish ticket data into eLandings to create a landing report. Landing reports are required to be submitted to NMFS by noon of the day following the delivery. The processor’s manual entry of fish ticket data, including review and correction of the data, sometimes makes it difficult for the processor to meet this submission deadline and can delay the availability of the tender vessel landing data to NMFS. The lack of electronic data from tenders reduces data reliability and timeliness. Additionally, with the lack of electronic data from tenders, NMFS is unable to differentiate deliveries to tender vessels from deliveries to processors unless the processor voluntarily enters the tender vessel identification number in the eLandings report. NMFS has, in the past, raised concerns about landings data reliability and timeliness in analyses presented to the Council and fishery participants. Data timeliness and reliability are paramount to effective inseason management. Almost real-time access to the data is particularly important for fast-paced fisheries that operate under small total allowable catch limits, constraining prohibited species catch (PSC) limits, or that have inconsistent and unpredictable levels of fishing effort. NMFS requires timely data for the successful management of these fisheries. In addition, NMFS uses timely data for any catch share program that involves transferable allocations of target species. NMFS inseason management and Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) rely on the data provided through eLandings to monitor compliance with requirements that quota holders not exceed their allocations. Management and enforcement of PSC-limited and catch share fisheries become more difficult when data access is delayed. For more information on the potential implications of the lack of electronic data entry on management, see Sections 1.3 and 2.4 of the Analysis. This proposed rule would require tenders to use tLandings. The mandatory use of tLandings would provide a streamlined data entry mechanism that ensures efficient, precise data transmission. This action is necessary to enable NMFS to identify tender vessel deliveries and to provide reliable, expeditious data for catch accounting and inseason management of fisheries with tender vessel deliveries. E:\FR\FM\01AUP1.SGM 01AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 147 / Monday, August 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS This Proposed Rule and the Anticipated Effects Action 1: Require Tender Vessel Operators To Use tLandings Under Action 1 of this proposed rule, tender vessel operators would be required to use tLandings to prepare electronic landing reports. Action 1 is necessary to improve data quality for deliveries made to tender vessels. Under this proposed rule, the eLandings user (defined as a representative of a processor under § 679.2, i.e. an employee) would be required to supply the tender vessel operator with a ‘‘configured’’ tLandings application for computer installation prior to the tender vessel operator taking delivery of fish or shellfish from a fishing vessel. A configured tLandings application would be preloaded with a list of the authorized users, the processor’s vessel list, a species list, and other useful data for the associated processor and tender vessel operator. The tender vessel operator would record the required information in tLandings for each delivery the tender vessel accepted. Once the tender vessel delivered the catch to the associated processor, the user (as defined at 679.2) would be required to complete the eLandings landing report by uploading the tLandings data through the Processor Tender Interface component of eLandings by 1200 hours, Alaska local time, of the day following the completion of the delivery. The processor would be subject to the time limits for data submission specified under § 679.5(e). Different time limits for data submission would apply depending on the type of processor, (i.e., there are differing submission time limit requirements for shoreside processors or stationary floating processors, motherships, individual fishing quota (IFQ) registered buyers, or registered crab receivers). The tender vessel operator would be responsible for completing the tLandings landing report and submitting it to the processor. This would create a joint responsibility for the tLandings landing report information for the tender vessel operator and the processor. Section 1.9.4 of the Analysis provides additional detail on the monitoring and enforcement of the tLandings requirements. Under this proposed rule, the general costs associated with requiring tender vessels to enter landing reports into tLandings are mainly attributable to equipment and training. NMFS assumes that tender vessels are likely to pay the costs for equipment and training (see Section 1.9.1.1 of the Analysis). To use VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Jul 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 tLandings, each tender vessel would need a laptop computer with a numeric key pad, a basic laser printer with ink cartridges and paper, a magstripe reader, and thumb drives that contain the tLandings application. NMFS estimates that using tLandings would increase the annual cost to tender vessels from $1,000 to $2,300. See Section 1.9.1.1 of the Analysis for more information on the estimated cost of equipment. Operating the tLandings application requires some training and practice for both the tender vessel operators and processor staff. NMFS assumes that the initial and ongoing training costs to use tLandings would likely be shared by NMFS and the processor using tender vessels. NMFS may bear an initial cost for training processors on the use of tLandings, after which it would be the processors’ responsibility to provide training for their tender vessel operators. NMFS estimates that it would require a full day of initial training for new tLandings users. Section 1.9.1.2 of the Analysis describes projected training costs in more detail. Under this proposed rule, the tLandings requirement would reduce data entry errors and the time required to manually enter fish tickets. Requiring tLandings would reduce the likelihood of a processor needing to recall a tender vessel if a fish ticket is illegible or incorrectly filled out. Additionally, requiring tLandings would eliminate the need for comprehensive manual data entry by processor staff, simplifying and expediting the data transmission to NMFS. Because processors are already subject to an eLandings reporting requirement, processors likely have staff proficient with the IERS software, so there would be little additional training required for the tLandings requirement. The ability for processors to upload the completed data from tLandings into IERS through eLandings means that landing data can be provided to NMFS more quickly and with greater reliability than the current paper-based reporting system. As Section 1.9 of the Analysis describes, the use of electronic data greatly reduces the likelihood of data entry errors and ensures data consistency and reliability, thereby reducing the costs and time required for NMFS or ADF&G staff to correct and verify data. Additionally, the data provided by the tLandings requirement would allow the Observer Program to more effectively identify deliveries to tenders for purposes of observer deployment to vessels within the partial coverage category. Section 1.4 of the Analysis describes that some tender vessels are voluntarily using tLandings to report federal PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50439 groundfish landings, and many are required to use tLandings to report landings made in State-managed fisheries. Therefore, the total additional costs and burden on tender vessel operations may be limited. Section 1.5.1 of the Analysis estimates that 30 tender vessels received Federal groundfish in the BSAI and GOA in 2015. Those tender vessels delivered to eight processors. Many tender vessels that operate in the Federal groundfish fisheries also operate in the State groundfish fisheries. Under State regulations these tender vessels are already subject to a State tLandings requirement and may already be equipped with tLandings from ADF&G. In 2015, 21 of the 30 tender vessels also took delivery of State groundfish. NMFS expects that there would be minimal additional cost for these tender vessels to also use tLandings for Federal groundfish. The eight processors that received Federal groundfish from tender vessels in 2015 also received State groundfish from tender vessels; therefore the effect of this proposed rule on processors is estimated to be minimal. Based on the most recent data from 2015, the tLandings requirement under this proposed rule would affect nine tender vessels. Under this proposed rule, NMFS would add a data field to the tLandings application to track the location of tenders when they take deliveries from vessels. The tender vessel operator would be required to report the vessel’s latitude and longitude at the time of each vessel delivery. This data is necessary to improve information on tender vessel activity in the GOA and vessel delivery patterns when delivering to a tender vessel as opposed to a processor. This data field is not expected to add a reporting burden on tender vessel operators. Action 2: Differentiate Tender Vessels From Buying Stations Under Action 2 of this proposed rule, NMFS would revise the definitions of tender vessel and buying station for improved clarity. Currently, under § 679.2, the definition of a buying station includes both tender vessels and land-based buying stations. Under § 679.2, tender vessel is separately defined as a vessel used to transport unprocessed fish or shellfish received from another vessel to an associated processor. While many recordkeeping and reporting requirements that apply to buying stations should include both tender vessels and land-based buying stations, not all of the reporting requirements that apply to buying stations should apply to both tender E:\FR\FM\01AUP1.SGM 01AUP1 50440 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 147 / Monday, August 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules vessels and land-based buying stations. Additionally, while a tender vessel may be associated with a shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or mothership, a land-based buying station is only associated with a shoreside processor. Under Action 2, this proposed rule would revise the definitions of buying station and tender vessel to ensure that the reporting requirements that are applicable to tender vessels and land-based buying stations are clear to the public. Action 2 would not revise or modify the specific provisions of reporting requirements, but provide clarity on who is responsible for each requirement. Action 3: Remove the Buying Station Report Requirement Under Action 3 of this proposed rule, NMFS would remove the requirement in § 679.5(d) for a buying station to submit a Buying Station Report. The most recent year of landing report data in 2015, show that all 54 active buying stations are associated with shoreside processors that use eLandings. NMFS receives the landing data it needs through eLandings, and so does not need to require that the data be submitted in a Buying Station Report. The Buying Station Report would be removed from the regulations. Removing the requirement to submit a Buying Station Report removes a duplicative reporting requirement and reduces the burden on the regulated public. Buying stations will continue to be required to submit landing reports using eLandings. To implement proposed Action 3, NMFS would modify references in the regulations to clarify whether certain recordkeeping and reporting requirements apply to tender vessels, buying stations, or both. Additionally, NMFS will remove the qualifier ‘landbased’ from references to buying stations where found in the regulations because buying station is defined in the regulations as a land-based entity. Finally, NMFS will revise the definition of ‘‘manager’’ to effectively include ‘‘stationary floating processor’’ managers. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Action 4: Revise Mothership Definition Under Action 4 of this proposed rule, the definition of mothership in § 679.2 would be revised to simplify the structure of the definition by moving the text of paragraph (1) into the main body of the definition and deleting reserved paragraph (2). This minor technical correction does not substantively change the definition of a mothership. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Jul 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 Classification Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) and section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the BSAI FMP, the GOA FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration of comments received during the public comment period. This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866. 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 IRFA are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). The IRFA describes this proposed rule, why this rule is being proposed, the objectives and legal basis for this proposed rule, the type and number of small entities to which this proposed rule would apply, and the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of this proposed rule. It also identifies any overlapping, duplicative, or conflicting Federal rules and describes any significant alternatives to this 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 this proposed rule on small entities. The description of this proposed rule, its purpose, and its legal basis are described in the preamble and are not repeated here. Number and Description of Small Entities Regulated by This Proposed Rule For Regulatory Flexibility Act purposes only, NMFS has established a small business size standard for businesses, including their affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 11411) is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $11 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide. The Small Business Act (SBA) has established size criteria for all other major industry sectors in the United States, including fish processing businesses. A seafood processor is a small business if it is independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field of operation, and employs 750 PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 or fewer persons on a full-time, parttime, temporary, or other basis, at all its affiliated operations worldwide. A wholesale business servicing the fishing industry is a small business if it employs 100 or fewer persons on a fulltime, part-time, temporary, or other basis, at all its affiliated operations worldwide. Action 1 of the proposed rule would affect tender vessels and processors that receive deliveries of groundfish from tender vessels. For the purposes of the IRFA, a tender vessel is categorized as a wholesale business servicing the fishing industry. Most tender vessels are independently owned and operated entities that are contracted with processors. The exceptions are tender vessels owned by processors. NMFS does not have data on the number of employees on tender vessels, and therefore will conservatively assume all tender vessels that are independently owned and operated are small entities. Of the 30 tender vessels affected by this action, five are owned by processors so do not qualify as a small entity. Therefore, there are 25 tender vessels that are small entities under the SBA definition. In 2015, there were 8 processors that received groundfish deliveries from tender vessels. None of these processors affected by this action qualify as small entities for the purposes of the SBA. Action 2 of the proposed rule would not add new requirements for tender vessels or buying stations; it would only clarify which requirements the entities are subject to. Therefore this action would be expected to have a small positive impact. This action would affect the 30 tender vessels and 54 buying stations that were active in 2015. Action 3 of the proposed rule would remove a requirement on participants that is not currently used; therefore, it would be expected to have no effect on participants. Action 4 of the proposed rule would revise the definition of mothership to make it more straightforward and would not modify the definition in a substantive way; therefore, it would be expected to have no effect on participants. Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements This proposed rule would require modifications to the current recordkeeping and reporting requirements in the Alaska Interagency Electronic Reporting System collection (OMB Control Number 0648–0515). The modifications would include requiring tender vessel operators to complete the data fields on the tLandings tender E:\FR\FM\01AUP1.SGM 01AUP1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 147 / Monday, August 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules workstation application for each delivery the tender vessel accepts from a vessel. Additionally, the tender vessel operator would be required to provide the completed tLandings application to the processor on delivery. The processor would then be required to upload the information provided by the tender vessel operator in the tLandings application into the eLandings landing report. This proposed rule would remove the Buying Station Report requirement. NMFS receives the landing data it needs through eLandings, and does not need the data submitted in the Buying Station Report. The Buying Station Report would be discontinued from any future use. Removing the requirement to submit a Buying Station Report removes a duplicative reporting requirement and reduces the burden on the regulated public. Buying stations will continue to be required to submit landing reports using eLandings. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With This Proposed Rule The Analysis did not reveal any Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this proposed rule. Description of Significant Alternatives to This Proposed Rule That Minimize Economic Impacts on Small Entities An IRFA also requires a description of any significant alternatives to this proposed rule that would accomplish the stated objectives, are consistent with applicable statutes, and that would minimize any significant economic impact of this proposed rule on small entities. Under each action, NMFS considered two alternatives—the no action alternative and the action alternative. NMFS did not identify any other alternatives that would meet the objectives of these actions at a lower cost and reduced economic impact on small entities. The no action alternative for Action 1 would maintain the existing process of tender vessel operators completing paper fish tickets for each delivery and giving the information to the processor to transcribe and upload into eLandings. Maintaining the manual writing and submission of tender delivery data would not meet the objective of providing timely and accurate landing data. To help reduce the burden of this proposed regulation on small entities for electronic recordkeeping and reporting, NMFS would minimize the cost by developing the tLandings tender workstation application and providing that at no cost to participants to provide services and products useful to the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:44 Jul 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 industry, and by providing user support and training. The action alternatives for Actions 2, 3, and 4 have been determined to have either a small positive effect or no effect on participants, and therefore are not discussed further. Collection-of-Information Requirements This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). NMFS has submitted these requirements to OMB for approval under Control Number 0648–0515. Public reporting burden is estimated to average per response: 15 minutes for IERS application processor registration; 35 minutes for eLandings landing report; 35 minutes for manual landing report; 15 minutes for catcher/processor or mothership eLandings production report; and 35 minutes for tLandings landing report. 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 statement; ways to enhance 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 (see ADDRESSES), and by 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 penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirement 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, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 CFR part 679 as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 50441 PART 679—FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA 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, revise the definitions for ‘‘Buying station’’, ‘‘Manager’’, ‘‘Mothership’’, ‘‘Tender vessel’’, and ‘‘User’’ to read as follows: ■ § 679.2 Definitions. * * * * * Buying station means a land-based entity that receives unprocessed groundfish from a vessel for delivery to a shoreside processor and that does not process those fish. * * * * * Manager, with respect to any shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or buying station, means the individual responsible for the operation of the processor or buying station. * * * * * Mothership means a vessel that receives and processes groundfish from other vessels. * * * * * Tender vessel means a vessel that is used to transport unprocessed fish or shellfish received from another vessel to an associated processor. * * * * * User means, for purposes of IERS and its components including eLandings and tLandings, an individual representative of a Registered Buyer; a Registered Crab Receiver; a mothership or catcher/processor that is required to have a Federal Fisheries Permit (FFP) under § 679.4; a shoreside processor or SFP and mothership that receives groundfish from vessels issued an FFP under § 679.4; any shoreside processor or SFP that is required to have a Federal processor permit under § 679.4; and his or her designee(s). * * * * * ■ 3. In § 679.5, ■ a. Revise paragraph (c)(6)(i), ■ b. Remove paragraphs (c)(6)(viii)(E) ■ c. Revise paragraphs (e)(3)(i), and (e)(5)(i)(A)(7); ■ d. Add paragraph (e)(14) ■ e. Remove and reserve paragraph (d). The addition and revisions to read as follows: § 679.5 (R&R). Recordkeeping and reporting * * * * * (c) * * * (6) * * * (i) Responsibility. Except as described in paragraph (f)(1)(v) of this section, the E:\FR\FM\01AUP1.SGM 01AUP1 50442 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 147 / Monday, August 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules operator of a mothership that is required to have an FFP under § 679.4(b), or the operator of a CQE floating processor that receives or processes any groundfish from the GOA or BSAI from vessels issued an FFP under § 679.4(b), is required to use a combination of mothership DCPL and eLandings to record and report daily processor identification information, delivery information, groundfish production data, and groundfish and prohibited species discard or disposition data. The operator must enter into the DCPL any information for groundfish received from catcher vessels, groundfish received from processors for reprocessing or rehandling, and groundfish received from a tender vessel. * * * * * (e) * * * (3) * * * (i) Operation type. Select the operation type from the dropdown list. * * * * * (5) * * * (i) * * * (A) * * * (7) If the delivery is received from a buying station, indicate the name of the buying station. If the delivery is received from a tender vessel, enter the ADF&G vessel registration number. * * * * * (14) Tender vessel landing report (‘‘tLandings’’). (i) tLandings is an applications software for preparing electronic landing reports for commercial fishery landings to tender vessels. (ii) The operator of a tender vessel taking delivery of fish or shellfish that is required to be reported to NMFS on a landing report under § 679.5(e)(5) must use tLandings to enter information about each landing of fish or shellfish and must provide that information to the User defined under § 679.2. (iii) The User must configure and provide the tender vessel operator with the most recent version of the tLandings tender workstation application prior to the tender vessel taking delivery of fish or shellfish. (iv) The tender vessel operator must log into the configured tLandings tender workstation application and provide the information required on the computer screen. Additional instructions for tLandings is on the Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. (v) Submittal time limit. (A) The tender vessel operator must provide the landing information in tLandings to the User at the commencement of the transfer or offload of fish or shellfish from the tender vessel to the processor. (B) The User must upload the data recorded in tLandings by the tender vessel to prepare the initial landing report for a catcher vessel delivering to a tender vessel that is required under § 679.5(e) within the submittal time limit specified under § 679.5(e). (vi) Compliance. By using tLandings, the User and the tender vessel operator providing information to the User accept the responsibility of and acknowledge compliance with § 679.7(a)(10). * * * * * ■ 4. In § 679.7, revise paragraph (a)(11) to read as follows: § 679.7 Prohibitions. * * * * * (a) * * * (11) Buying station or tender vessel— (i) Tender vessel. Use a catcher vessel or catcher/processor as a tender vessel before offloading all groundfish or groundfish product harvested or processed by that vessel. (ii) Associated processor. Function as a tender vessel or buying station without an associated processor. * * * * * ■ 5. Revise table 13 to part 679 to read as follows: TABLE 13 TO PART 679—TRANSFER FORM SUMMARY If participant type is * * * Catcher vessel greater than 60 ft LOA, mothership, or catcher/processor. Catcher vessel greater than 60 ft LOA, mothership, or catcher/processor. Catcher vessel greater than 60 ft LOA, mothership, or catcher/processor. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Mothership, catcher/ processor, shoreside processor, or SFP. Mothership, catcher/ processor, shoreside processor, or SFP. Buying station or tender vessel. Registered Buyer ......... A person holding a valid IFQ permit, IFQ hired master permit, or Registered Buyer permit. Registered Buyer ......... VerDate Sep<11>2014 And has * * * Fish product onboard And is involved in this activity VAR 1 Only non-IFQ groundfish. Vessel leaving or entering Alaska. X Only IFQ sablefish, IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or CR crab. Vessel leaving Alaska .. Combination of IFQ sablefish, IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or CR crab and non-IFQ groundfish. Non-IFQ groundfish ..... Dockside sales receipt 5 PTR 2 Trans-ship 3 Departure report 4 .................... .................... .................... X Vessel leaving Alaska .. X .................... .................... X Shipment of groundfish product. .................... X Donated PSC ............... Shipment of donated PSC. .................... X Groundfish ................... Receive or deliver groundfish in association with a shoreside processor, SFP, or mothership. Transfer of product ...... .................... X Transfer of product ...... .................... .................... .................... .................... XXX Transfer from landing site to Registered Buyer’s processing facility. .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... IFQ sablefish, IFQ halibut, or CDQ halibut. IFQ sablefish, IFQ halibut, or CDQ halibut. IFQ sablefish, IFQ halibut, or CDQ halibut. 19:11 Jul 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\01AUP1.SGM 01AUP1 Landing receipt 6 XX Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 147 / Monday, August 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules 50443 TABLE 13 TO PART 679—TRANSFER FORM SUMMARY—Continued If participant type is * * * And has * * * Fish product onboard And is involved in this activity VAR 1 PTR 2 Vessel operator ............ Processed IFQ sablefish, IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or CR crab. CR crab ........................ Transshipment between vessels. .................... .................... .................... .................... .................... Landing receipt 6 .................... .................... XX X Transfer from landing site to RCR’s processing facility. Dockside sales receipt 5 XXXX Transfer of product ...... Departure report 4 Trans-ship 3 Registered Crab Receiver. Registered Crab Receiver. CR crab ........................ .................... 1A vessel activity report (VAR) is described at § 679.5(k). product transfer report (PTR) is described at § 679.5(g). IFQ transshipment authorization is described at § 679.5(l)(3). 4 An IFQ departure report is described at § 679.5(l)(4). 5 An IFQ dockside sales receipt is described at § 679.5(g)(2)(iv). 6 A landing receipt is described at § 679.5(e)(8)(vii). X indicates under what circumstances each report is submitted. XX indicates that the document must accompany the transfer of IFQ species from landing site to processor. XXX indicates receipt must be issued to each receiver in a dockside sale. XXXX indicates authorization must be obtained 24 hours in advance. 2A 3 An * * * * § § 679.2, 679.5, 679.7, 679.51 * [Amended] 6. At each of the locations shown in the ‘‘Location’’ column, remove the phrase indicated in the ‘‘Remove’’ ■ column and replace it with the phrase indicated in the ‘‘Add’’ column for the number of times indicated in the ‘‘Frequency’’ column. Remove Add § 679.2 ‘‘Agent’’ (1) .................................. § 679.2 ‘‘Agent’’ (2) .................................. § 679.2 ‘‘Associated processor’’ .............. § 679.2 ‘‘Shoreside processor’’ ................ § 679.5(a)(2)(i) ......................................... § 679.5(a)(2)(ii) ........................................ § 679.5(a)(3)(ii) ........................................ buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying stations ........................................ or buying station ...................................... or buying station ...................................... catcher vessels and buying stations ....... § 679.5(a)(3)(iii) ........................................ sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Location catcher vessel or buying station ............. § 679.5(b) ................................................. § 679.5(c)(1)(vi)(B)(4) .............................. § 679.5(c)(3)(ii)(A)(3) ............................... § 679.5(c)(3)(viii) ...................................... § 679.5(c)(3)(x) ........................................ § 679.5(c)(4)(ii)(A)(3) ............................... § 679.5(c)(4)(viii) ...................................... § 679.5(c)(4)(x) ........................................ § 679.5(c)(6)(ii)(A) .................................... § 679.5(c)(6)(vi) introductory text ............. § 679.5(c)(6)(vi)(A) ................................... § 679.5(c)(6)(vi)(B) ................................... § 679.5(c)(6)(vi)(C) ................................... § 679.5(c)(6)(vi)(F) ................................... § 679.5(c)(6)(vi)(H) ................................... § 679.5(c)(6)(vii) ....................................... § 679.5(c)(6)(viii)(A) ................................. § 679.5(e)(3)(viii) ...................................... § 679.5(e)(5)(i) introductory text .............. § 679.5(e)(5)(i)(A)(6) ................................ § 679.5(e)(5)(i)(C)(1) ................................ § 679.5(e)(5)(iii) ........................................ § 679.5(e)(6)(i) introductory text .............. § 679.5(e)(6)(i)(B)(1) ................................ § 679.5(e)(6)(iii) ........................................ § 679.5(f)(1)(v) ......................................... § 679.5(f)(5)(ii) ......................................... § 679.5(p)(1) ............................................ § 679.7(d)(4)(i)(C) .................................... § 679.51(e)(3) .......................................... Table 1b to Part 679 ............................... or buying station ...................................... or buying station ...................................... or buying station ...................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... or buying station ...................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... buying station .......................................... or buying station ...................................... and buying stations ................................. buying station, tender vessel .................. buying station or tender vessel ............... buying station or tender vessel ............... buying stations, tender vessels ............... buying station, or tender vessel .............. buying station, or tender vessel .............. catcher vessels, buying stations, and tender vessels. catcher vessel, buying station, or tender vessel. buying station, or tender vessel .............. buying station, or tender vessel .............. buying station, or tender vessel .............. buying station, tender vessel .................. buying station, tender vessel .................. buying station, or tender vessel .............. buying station, tender vessel .................. buying station, tender vessel .................. tender vessel ........................................... tender vessel ........................................... tender vessel ........................................... tender vessel ........................................... tender vessel ........................................... tender vessel ........................................... tender vessel ........................................... tender vessel ........................................... tender vessel ........................................... buying station, tender vessel, ................. buying station or tender vessel ............... buying station or tender vessel ............... buying station or tender vessel ............... buying station or tender vessel ............... tender vessel ........................................... tender vessel ........................................... tender vessel ........................................... tender vessel ........................................... buyer station or tender vessel ................. tender vessel ........................................... buying station or tender vessel ............... buying station, or tender vessel .............. buying stations, and tender vessels ........ VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:11 Jul 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 E:\FR\FM\01AUP1.SGM 01AUP1 Frequency 1 1 3 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 50444 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 147 / Monday, August 1, 2016 / Proposed Rules [FR Doc. 2016–18110 Filed 7–29–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 151113999–6620–01] RIN 0648–BF54 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area; American Fisheries Act; Amendment 113 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Proposed rule; request for comments. AGENCY: NMFS proposes regulations to implement Amendment 113 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). This proposed rule would modify the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) Pacific cod fishery to set aside a portion of the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod total allowable catch for harvest by vessels directed fishing for Aleutian Islands Pacific cod and delivering their catch for processing to shoreside processors located on land west of 170 W. longitude in the Aleutian Islands (Aleutian Islands shoreplants). The harvest set-aside would apply only if specific notification and performance requirements are met, and only during the first few months of the fishing year. This harvest set-aside would provide the opportunity for vessels, Aleutian Islands shoreplants, and the communities where Aleutian Islands shoreplants are located to receive benefits from a portion of the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod fishery, while the notification and performance requirements would preserve an opportunity for the complete harvest of the BSAI Pacific cod resource should complications arise with participation in the harvest set-aside fishery. This sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of Amendment 113, the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and other applicable laws. DATES: Submit comments on or before August 31, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA–NMFS–2015–0155, by any one 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-20150155, click the ‘‘Comment Now!’’ icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. • Mail: Address 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. 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), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information voluntarily submitted by the commenter will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter N/ A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). Electronic copies of Amendment 113 to the FMP and the Environmental Assessment/Regulatory Impact Review/ Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (collectively, Analysis) prepared for this action may be obtained from http:// www.regulations.gov or from the Alaska Region Web site at http:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this proposed rule may be submitted by mail to NMFS at the above address; emailed to OIRA_ submission@omb.eop.gov; or faxed to 202–395–5806. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for Action NMFS manages the groundfish and Pacific cod fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the BSAI under the FMP. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared, and the Secretary of Commerce approved, the FMP pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and other applicable laws. Regulations implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR part 679. General regulations that pertain to U.S. fisheries appear at 50 CFR part 600. The Council submitted Amendment 113 for review by the Secretary of Commerce. A notice of availability of Amendment 113 was published in the Federal Register on July 19, 2016, with comments invited through September 19, 2016. All relevant written comments received by that time, whether specifically directed to Amendment 113 or to this proposed rule, will be considered in the decision to approve or disapprove Amendment 113. Background This proposed rule would modify the BSAI Pacific cod fishery to set aside a portion of the Aleutian Islands Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) for harvest by vessels directed fishing for Aleutian Islands Pacific cod and delivering their catch to Aleutian Islands shoreplants for processing. The harvest set-aside would apply only if specific notification and performance requirements are met, and only during the first few months of the fishing year. The following sections of this preamble provide a description of (1) the BSAI Pacific cod fishery; (2) the need for the proposed rule; and (3) the proposed rule. To aid the reader, the following glossary table (Table 1) lists the abbreviations, acronyms, and other technical terms most commonly used throughout this document. These terms are defined and discussed further in the following sections of this preamble. TABLE 1—GLOSSARY OF TERMS, ABBREVIATIONS, AND ACRONYMS FREQUENTLY USED IN THIS PROPOSED RULE ABC .............. AFA .............. AI .................. BS ................ BSAI ............. CDQ ............. Council ......... VerDate Sep<11>2014 acceptable biological catch. American Fisheries Act. Aleutian Islands subarea (see definition in § 679.2). Bering Sea subarea (see definition in § 679.2). Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (see definition in § 679.2). Western Alaska Community Development Quota. North Pacific Fishery Management Council. 18:44 Jul 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Julie Scheurer, 907–586–7228. E:\FR\FM\01AUP1.SGM 01AUP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 147 (Monday, August 1, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 50436-50444]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-18110]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 679

[Docket No. 160225147-6147-01]
RIN 0648-BF83


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; 
Modifications to Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

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 that would modify the 
recordkeeping and reporting requirements for the groundfish fisheries 
in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands management 
areas. This proposed rule is organized into four actions. Under the 
first action, NMFS would implement a requirement for tender vessel 
operators to use the applications software ``tLandings'' to prepare 
electronic landing reports. This action is necessary to improve 
timeliness and reliability of landing reports for catcher vessels 
delivering to tender vessels for use in catch accounting and inseason 
management. Under the second action, NMFS would

[[Page 50437]]

modify the definition of a buying station. This action is necessary to 
clarify the different requirements that apply to tender vessels and 
land-based buying stations. Under the third action, NMFS would remove 
the requirement for buying stations to complete the buying station 
report because this report is no longer necessary. Under the fourth 
action, NMFS would revise the definition of a mothership to remove 
unnecessary formatting without changing the substance of the 
definition. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and 
objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management 
Act, the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and 
Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP), the Fishery Management 
Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP), and other 
applicable laws.

DATES: Submit comments on or before August 31, 2016.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0021, 
by any of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0021, 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 personally identifiable 
information (e.g., name, address), 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).
    Electronic copies of the Regulatory Impact Review/Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (RIR/IRFA) (collectively referred to as 
the ``Analysis'') and the Categorical Exclusion prepared for this 
proposed rule may be obtained from http://www.regulations.gov or from 
the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
    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 (see ADDRESSES) and by email to 
OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov or fax to (202) 395-5806.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keeley Kent, 907-586-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Authority for Action

    NMFS Alaska Region manages the U.S. groundfish fisheries in the 
Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska under the BSAI FMP and the GOA FMP. 
The FMPs were prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 
under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 
Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and other 
applicable laws, and approved by the Secretary of Commerce. NMFS is 
authorized under both groundfish FMPs to implement recordkeeping and 
reporting requirements that are necessary to provide the information 
needed to conserve and manage the groundfish fisheries off Alaska. 
Regulations implementing the FMPs appear at 50 CFR part 679. General 
regulations that pertain to U.S. fisheries appear at subpart H of 50 
CFR part 600. Recordkeeping and reporting regulations appear at Sec.  
679.5.

Background

    This proposed rule is organized into four actions. Under the first 
action, NMFS would implement a requirement for tender vessel operators 
to use tLandings. Under the second action, NMFS would modify the 
definition of buying station so that tender vessels and land-based 
buying stations are differentiated under the regulations. Under the 
third action, NMFS would remove the requirement for buying stations to 
complete the buying station report. Under the fourth action, NMFS would 
modify the definition of a mothership to simplify the unnecessary 
paragraph formatting. The following sections of the preamble describe: 
(1) Background on the Interagency Electronic Reporting System, 
tendering, and tLandings; (2) the need for action; and (3) the proposed 
rule and its anticipated effects.

Interagency Electronic Reporting System

    The Interagency Electronic Reporting System (IERS) is a 
collaborative program for reporting commercial fishery landings 
administered by NMFS, Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G), and 
the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The IERS consists of 
three main components: eLandings--a web-based application for immediate 
harvest data upload from internet-capable vessels or processors; 
seaLandings--a desktop application for vessels at sea without internet 
capability which transmits reports by satellite phone; and tLandings--a 
software application for tender vessels that records landings data on a 
USB flash drive (``thumb-drive'') that includes all of the data fields 
required under IERS. Current regulations require that landing reports 
be submitted via eLandings, or seaLandings for halibut, sablefish, and 
crab fisheries (Sec.  679.5(e)(5)). NMFS requires all shoreside or 
floating processors that hold a Federal processing permit (FPP) to use 
eLandings or other NMFS-approved software to submit landing reports for 
all groundfish species. All motherships holding a Federal fisheries 
permit (FFP) are required to enter landing information in eLandings, 
unless an internet connection is not available. seaLandings may be used 
when an internet connection is not available. Catcher/processors with 
an FFP are required to use eLandings, or seaLandings (when no internet 
connection is available), to submit Daily Production Reports.
    NMFS has identified electronic reporting through eLandings as a way 
to improve data quality, automate processing of data, improve the 
process for correcting or updating information, allow for the 
availability of more timely data for fishery managers, and reduce 
duplicative reporting of similar information to multiple agencies.

Tendering

    A tender vessel is defined under Sec.  679.2 as a vessel that is 
used to transport unprocessed fish or shellfish received from another 
vessel to an associated processor. An associated processor is defined 
under Sec.  679.2 as having a contractual relationship with a buying 
station to conduct groundfish buying station activities for that 
processor. The contractual relationship in the Federal regulations 
creates joint responsibility for recordkeeping and reporting. A tender 
vessel is also included under the definition of a buying station, which 
receives unprocessed groundfish from a vessel for delivery to a 
shoreside processor, stationary floating processor, or mothership, but 
does not process fish (Sec.  679.2). Buying stations include both 
tender vessels and land-based entities.

[[Page 50438]]

The practice of tendering allows a fishing vessel to deliver its catch 
to another vessel and resume fishing without the delay associated with 
traveling to port and returning to the fishing area. One tender vessel 
can service multiple fishing vessels, depending on its capacity and the 
regulations that limit tendering. For more information on tendering, 
see Section 1.5 of the Analysis.
    Since tender vessels transport harvested fish to a processor and do 
not process the fish themselves, they are currently not required to 
participate in the IERS. Currently, tender vessels provide a written 
landing report for each delivery, commonly known as a ``fish ticket'' 
to the processor on delivery; the processor then prepares a cumulative 
landing report in eLandings. Although there is an optional field in the 
eLandings landing report for tender vessel identification number, 
processors are not required to identify tender vessel deliveries. If 
the tender vessel is not identified, NMFS cannot distinguish a tender 
vessel delivery to a processor from a vessel delivery to a processor.
    The State of Alaska (State) allows vessels to contract with other 
vessels to receive fish from some fisheries managed by the State and 
deliver that fish to processors located within the State's 
jurisdiction. Unlike tenders, these vessels do not have a contract or 
association with a processor to transport unprocessed fish received 
from another vessel to a processor. Vessels engaging in this activity 
are called ``transporters'' under State regulations. The State created 
the statutory and regulatory authority for vessels to operate as 
transporters in 2003. Transporters must have a transporter permit from 
ADF&G, and, under a contractual arrangement with the vessel, are 
considered agents of the vessel. Because of the requirement in Sec.  
679.2 for a contractual relationship with a processor, a vessel acting 
as a transporter under the State definition would not be categorized as 
a tender vessel under the Federal regulations. Therefore, none of the 
requirements that apply to tenders would apply to vessels operating as 
a transporter under State regulations, and the provisions of this 
proposed rule that apply to tenders would not apply to transporters. 
See Sections 1.5.3 and 1.6.1 of the Analysis for further description 
and discussion of transporters.

tLandings

    tLandings is a computer application used on computers onboard 
tender vessels. tLandings was developed for use on tender vessels 
without internet access. The tLandings application is loaded onto a 
thumb drive and configured with a list of the authorized users, the 
processor's vessel list, and a species list, and includes the option 
for the processor to add a price list. The tender vessel operator would 
create the landing reports and store them on the thumb drive. Once the 
tender vessel trip is completed, the tender vessel operator would 
provide the thumb drive to the processor for upload into the eLandings 
repository database. The processor would then upload the eLandings 
landing report to a NMFS central server. This system requires one-time 
data entry on the tender vessel and the information is transferred to 
the processor, and then to the agency via eLandings. Digital harvest 
reports improve catch accounting and streamline the process. Though the 
use of tLandings is currently voluntary, a growing number of tender 
vessels and processors are using tLandings (see Section 1.4 of the 
Analysis).
    Under the current regulations, the processor is responsible for 
reporting the information provided by the tender vessel on the fish 
ticket. The processor provides a booklet of fish tickets to associated 
tender vessels with the processor identification number printed on 
them. The tender vessel operator completes the fish ticket for each 
delivery and returns the fish tickets to the processor at the time of 
offload. Should the tender vessel submit an incorrect fish ticket, the 
processor would be responsible for tracking down the tender vessel to 
correct the information.
    In November 2015, ADF&G adopted State regulations to require the 
use of tLandings for tender vessels who have submitted more than 2,000 
salmon fish tickets or bought over 20 million pounds of salmon in 2012, 
2013, or 2014, and for all groundfish delivered to tender vessels. 
ADF&G estimated that roughly 55 tender vessels would meet the threshold 
for the new regulation, but many already used tLandings for halibut and 
sablefish, salmon, and groundfish reporting. The State tLandings 
requirement became effective January 2016.

Need for Action

    When a tender vessel receives catch from a vessel, the tender 
vessel operator completes a paper fish ticket. Once the transfer is 
complete, the vessel operator signs the paper fish ticket acknowledging 
the transfer of catch and agreeing to the information provided. When 
the tender vessel delivers the catch to the processor, the tender 
vessel operator provides the paper fish ticket to the processor. The 
processor then verifies the information and manually enters the fish 
ticket data into eLandings to create a landing report. Landing reports 
are required to be submitted to NMFS by noon of the day following the 
delivery. The processor's manual entry of fish ticket data, including 
review and correction of the data, sometimes makes it difficult for the 
processor to meet this submission deadline and can delay the 
availability of the tender vessel landing data to NMFS.
    The lack of electronic data from tenders reduces data reliability 
and timeliness. Additionally, with the lack of electronic data from 
tenders, NMFS is unable to differentiate deliveries to tender vessels 
from deliveries to processors unless the processor voluntarily enters 
the tender vessel identification number in the eLandings report. NMFS 
has, in the past, raised concerns about landings data reliability and 
timeliness in analyses presented to the Council and fishery 
participants.
    Data timeliness and reliability are paramount to effective inseason 
management. Almost real-time access to the data is particularly 
important for fast-paced fisheries that operate under small total 
allowable catch limits, constraining prohibited species catch (PSC) 
limits, or that have inconsistent and unpredictable levels of fishing 
effort. NMFS requires timely data for the successful management of 
these fisheries. In addition, NMFS uses timely data for any catch share 
program that involves transferable allocations of target species. NMFS 
inseason management and Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) rely on the 
data provided through eLandings to monitor compliance with requirements 
that quota holders not exceed their allocations. Management and 
enforcement of PSC-limited and catch share fisheries become more 
difficult when data access is delayed. For more information on the 
potential implications of the lack of electronic data entry on 
management, see Sections 1.3 and 2.4 of the Analysis.
    This proposed rule would require tenders to use tLandings. The 
mandatory use of tLandings would provide a streamlined data entry 
mechanism that ensures efficient, precise data transmission. This 
action is necessary to enable NMFS to identify tender vessel deliveries 
and to provide reliable, expeditious data for catch accounting and 
inseason management of fisheries with tender vessel deliveries.

[[Page 50439]]

This Proposed Rule and the Anticipated Effects

Action 1: Require Tender Vessel Operators To Use tLandings

    Under Action 1 of this proposed rule, tender vessel operators would 
be required to use tLandings to prepare electronic landing reports. 
Action 1 is necessary to improve data quality for deliveries made to 
tender vessels.
    Under this proposed rule, the eLandings user (defined as a 
representative of a processor under Sec.  679.2, i.e. an employee) 
would be required to supply the tender vessel operator with a 
``configured'' tLandings application for computer installation prior to 
the tender vessel operator taking delivery of fish or shellfish from a 
fishing vessel. A configured tLandings application would be preloaded 
with a list of the authorized users, the processor's vessel list, a 
species list, and other useful data for the associated processor and 
tender vessel operator. The tender vessel operator would record the 
required information in tLandings for each delivery the tender vessel 
accepted. Once the tender vessel delivered the catch to the associated 
processor, the user (as defined at 679.2) would be required to complete 
the eLandings landing report by uploading the tLandings data through 
the Processor Tender Interface component of eLandings by 1200 hours, 
Alaska local time, of the day following the completion of the delivery. 
The processor would be subject to the time limits for data submission 
specified under Sec.  679.5(e). Different time limits for data 
submission would apply depending on the type of processor, (i.e., there 
are differing submission time limit requirements for shoreside 
processors or stationary floating processors, motherships, individual 
fishing quota (IFQ) registered buyers, or registered crab receivers).
    The tender vessel operator would be responsible for completing the 
tLandings landing report and submitting it to the processor. This would 
create a joint responsibility for the tLandings landing report 
information for the tender vessel operator and the processor. Section 
1.9.4 of the Analysis provides additional detail on the monitoring and 
enforcement of the tLandings requirements.
    Under this proposed rule, the general costs associated with 
requiring tender vessels to enter landing reports into tLandings are 
mainly attributable to equipment and training. NMFS assumes that tender 
vessels are likely to pay the costs for equipment and training (see 
Section 1.9.1.1 of the Analysis). To use tLandings, each tender vessel 
would need a laptop computer with a numeric key pad, a basic laser 
printer with ink cartridges and paper, a magstripe reader, and thumb 
drives that contain the tLandings application. NMFS estimates that 
using tLandings would increase the annual cost to tender vessels from 
$1,000 to $2,300. See Section 1.9.1.1 of the Analysis for more 
information on the estimated cost of equipment.
    Operating the tLandings application requires some training and 
practice for both the tender vessel operators and processor staff. NMFS 
assumes that the initial and ongoing training costs to use tLandings 
would likely be shared by NMFS and the processor using tender vessels. 
NMFS may bear an initial cost for training processors on the use of 
tLandings, after which it would be the processors' responsibility to 
provide training for their tender vessel operators. NMFS estimates that 
it would require a full day of initial training for new tLandings 
users. Section 1.9.1.2 of the Analysis describes projected training 
costs in more detail.
    Under this proposed rule, the tLandings requirement would reduce 
data entry errors and the time required to manually enter fish tickets. 
Requiring tLandings would reduce the likelihood of a processor needing 
to recall a tender vessel if a fish ticket is illegible or incorrectly 
filled out. Additionally, requiring tLandings would eliminate the need 
for comprehensive manual data entry by processor staff, simplifying and 
expediting the data transmission to NMFS. Because processors are 
already subject to an eLandings reporting requirement, processors 
likely have staff proficient with the IERS software, so there would be 
little additional training required for the tLandings requirement.
    The ability for processors to upload the completed data from 
tLandings into IERS through eLandings means that landing data can be 
provided to NMFS more quickly and with greater reliability than the 
current paper-based reporting system. As Section 1.9 of the Analysis 
describes, the use of electronic data greatly reduces the likelihood of 
data entry errors and ensures data consistency and reliability, thereby 
reducing the costs and time required for NMFS or ADF&G staff to correct 
and verify data. Additionally, the data provided by the tLandings 
requirement would allow the Observer Program to more effectively 
identify deliveries to tenders for purposes of observer deployment to 
vessels within the partial coverage category.
    Section 1.4 of the Analysis describes that some tender vessels are 
voluntarily using tLandings to report federal groundfish landings, and 
many are required to use tLandings to report landings made in State-
managed fisheries. Therefore, the total additional costs and burden on 
tender vessel operations may be limited. Section 1.5.1 of the Analysis 
estimates that 30 tender vessels received Federal groundfish in the 
BSAI and GOA in 2015. Those tender vessels delivered to eight 
processors. Many tender vessels that operate in the Federal groundfish 
fisheries also operate in the State groundfish fisheries. Under State 
regulations these tender vessels are already subject to a State 
tLandings requirement and may already be equipped with tLandings from 
ADF&G. In 2015, 21 of the 30 tender vessels also took delivery of State 
groundfish. NMFS expects that there would be minimal additional cost 
for these tender vessels to also use tLandings for Federal groundfish. 
The eight processors that received Federal groundfish from tender 
vessels in 2015 also received State groundfish from tender vessels; 
therefore the effect of this proposed rule on processors is estimated 
to be minimal. Based on the most recent data from 2015, the tLandings 
requirement under this proposed rule would affect nine tender vessels.
    Under this proposed rule, NMFS would add a data field to the 
tLandings application to track the location of tenders when they take 
deliveries from vessels. The tender vessel operator would be required 
to report the vessel's latitude and longitude at the time of each 
vessel delivery. This data is necessary to improve information on 
tender vessel activity in the GOA and vessel delivery patterns when 
delivering to a tender vessel as opposed to a processor. This data 
field is not expected to add a reporting burden on tender vessel 
operators.

Action 2: Differentiate Tender Vessels From Buying Stations

    Under Action 2 of this proposed rule, NMFS would revise the 
definitions of tender vessel and buying station for improved clarity. 
Currently, under Sec.  679.2, the definition of a buying station 
includes both tender vessels and land-based buying stations. Under 
Sec.  679.2, tender vessel is separately defined as a vessel used to 
transport unprocessed fish or shellfish received from another vessel to 
an associated processor. While many recordkeeping and reporting 
requirements that apply to buying stations should include both tender 
vessels and land-based buying stations, not all of the reporting 
requirements that apply to buying stations should apply to both tender

[[Page 50440]]

vessels and land-based buying stations. Additionally, while a tender 
vessel may be associated with a shoreside processor, stationary 
floating processor, or mothership, a land-based buying station is only 
associated with a shoreside processor. Under Action 2, this proposed 
rule would revise the definitions of buying station and tender vessel 
to ensure that the reporting requirements that are applicable to tender 
vessels and land-based buying stations are clear to the public. Action 
2 would not revise or modify the specific provisions of reporting 
requirements, but provide clarity on who is responsible for each 
requirement.

Action 3: Remove the Buying Station Report Requirement

    Under Action 3 of this proposed rule, NMFS would remove the 
requirement in Sec.  679.5(d) for a buying station to submit a Buying 
Station Report. The most recent year of landing report data in 2015, 
show that all 54 active buying stations are associated with shoreside 
processors that use eLandings. NMFS receives the landing data it needs 
through eLandings, and so does not need to require that the data be 
submitted in a Buying Station Report. The Buying Station Report would 
be removed from the regulations. Removing the requirement to submit a 
Buying Station Report removes a duplicative reporting requirement and 
reduces the burden on the regulated public. Buying stations will 
continue to be required to submit landing reports using eLandings.
    To implement proposed Action 3, NMFS would modify references in the 
regulations to clarify whether certain recordkeeping and reporting 
requirements apply to tender vessels, buying stations, or both. 
Additionally, NMFS will remove the qualifier `land-based' from 
references to buying stations where found in the regulations because 
buying station is defined in the regulations as a land-based entity. 
Finally, NMFS will revise the definition of ``manager'' to effectively 
include ``stationary floating processor'' managers.

Action 4: Revise Mothership Definition

    Under Action 4 of this proposed rule, the definition of mothership 
in Sec.  679.2 would be revised to simplify the structure of the 
definition by moving the text of paragraph (1) into the main body of 
the definition and deleting reserved paragraph (2). This minor 
technical correction does not substantively change the definition of a 
mothership.

Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) and section 305(d) of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined 
that this proposed rule is consistent with the BSAI FMP, the GOA FMP, 
other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, 
subject to further consideration of comments received during the public 
comment period.
    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for 
the purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    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 IRFA are 
available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES).
    The IRFA describes this proposed rule, why this rule is being 
proposed, the objectives and legal basis for this proposed rule, the 
type and number of small entities to which this proposed rule would 
apply, and the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance 
requirements of this proposed rule. It also identifies any overlapping, 
duplicative, or conflicting Federal rules and describes any significant 
alternatives to this 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 this 
proposed rule on small entities. The description of this proposed rule, 
its purpose, and its legal basis are described in the preamble and are 
not repeated here.

Number and Description of Small Entities Regulated by This Proposed 
Rule

    For Regulatory Flexibility Act purposes only, NMFS has established 
a small business size standard for businesses, including their 
affiliates, whose primary industry is commercial fishing (see 50 CFR 
200.2). A business primarily engaged in commercial fishing (NAICS code 
11411) is classified as a small business if it is independently owned 
and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its 
affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $11 
million for all its affiliated operations worldwide.
    The Small Business Act (SBA) has established size criteria for all 
other major industry sectors in the United States, including fish 
processing businesses. A seafood processor is a small business if it is 
independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field of 
operation, and employs 750 or fewer persons on a full-time, part-time, 
temporary, or other basis, at all its affiliated operations worldwide. 
A wholesale business servicing the fishing industry is a small business 
if it employs 100 or fewer persons on a full-time, part-time, 
temporary, or other basis, at all its affiliated operations worldwide.
    Action 1 of the proposed rule would affect tender vessels and 
processors that receive deliveries of groundfish from tender vessels. 
For the purposes of the IRFA, a tender vessel is categorized as a 
wholesale business servicing the fishing industry. Most tender vessels 
are independently owned and operated entities that are contracted with 
processors. The exceptions are tender vessels owned by processors. NMFS 
does not have data on the number of employees on tender vessels, and 
therefore will conservatively assume all tender vessels that are 
independently owned and operated are small entities.
    Of the 30 tender vessels affected by this action, five are owned by 
processors so do not qualify as a small entity. Therefore, there are 25 
tender vessels that are small entities under the SBA definition. In 
2015, there were 8 processors that received groundfish deliveries from 
tender vessels. None of these processors affected by this action 
qualify as small entities for the purposes of the SBA.
    Action 2 of the proposed rule would not add new requirements for 
tender vessels or buying stations; it would only clarify which 
requirements the entities are subject to. Therefore this action would 
be expected to have a small positive impact. This action would affect 
the 30 tender vessels and 54 buying stations that were active in 2015.
    Action 3 of the proposed rule would remove a requirement on 
participants that is not currently used; therefore, it would be 
expected to have no effect on participants.
    Action 4 of the proposed rule would revise the definition of 
mothership to make it more straightforward and would not modify the 
definition in a substantive way; therefore, it would be expected to 
have no effect on participants.

Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

    This proposed rule would require modifications to the current 
recordkeeping and reporting requirements in the Alaska Interagency 
Electronic Reporting System collection (OMB Control Number 0648-0515). 
The modifications would include requiring tender vessel operators to 
complete the data fields on the tLandings tender

[[Page 50441]]

workstation application for each delivery the tender vessel accepts 
from a vessel. Additionally, the tender vessel operator would be 
required to provide the completed tLandings application to the 
processor on delivery. The processor would then be required to upload 
the information provided by the tender vessel operator in the tLandings 
application into the eLandings landing report.
    This proposed rule would remove the Buying Station Report 
requirement. NMFS receives the landing data it needs through eLandings, 
and does not need the data submitted in the Buying Station Report. The 
Buying Station Report would be discontinued from any future use. 
Removing the requirement to submit a Buying Station Report removes a 
duplicative reporting requirement and reduces the burden on the 
regulated public. Buying stations will continue to be required to 
submit landing reports using eLandings.

Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With This 
Proposed Rule

    The Analysis did not reveal any Federal rules that duplicate, 
overlap, or conflict with this proposed rule.

Description of Significant Alternatives to This Proposed Rule That 
Minimize Economic Impacts on Small Entities

    An IRFA also requires a description of any significant alternatives 
to this proposed rule that would accomplish the stated objectives, are 
consistent with applicable statutes, and that would minimize any 
significant economic impact of this proposed rule on small entities. 
Under each action, NMFS considered two alternatives--the no action 
alternative and the action alternative. NMFS did not identify any other 
alternatives that would meet the objectives of these actions at a lower 
cost and reduced economic impact on small entities. The no action 
alternative for Action 1 would maintain the existing process of tender 
vessel operators completing paper fish tickets for each delivery and 
giving the information to the processor to transcribe and upload into 
eLandings. Maintaining the manual writing and submission of tender 
delivery data would not meet the objective of providing timely and 
accurate landing data. To help reduce the burden of this proposed 
regulation on small entities for electronic recordkeeping and 
reporting, NMFS would minimize the cost by developing the tLandings 
tender workstation application and providing that at no cost to 
participants to provide services and products useful to the industry, 
and by providing user support and training. The action alternatives for 
Actions 2, 3, and 4 have been determined to have either a small 
positive effect or no effect on participants, and therefore are not 
discussed further.

Collection-of-Information Requirements

    This proposed rule contains collection-of-information requirements 
subject to review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). NMFS has submitted these 
requirements to OMB for approval under Control Number 0648-0515. Public 
reporting burden is estimated to average per response: 15 minutes for 
IERS application processor registration; 35 minutes for eLandings 
landing report; 35 minutes for manual landing report; 15 minutes for 
catcher/processor or mothership eLandings production report; and 35 
minutes for tLandings landing report.
    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 statement; ways to 
enhance 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 
(see ADDRESSES), and by 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 penalty for 
failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirement 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, Fisheries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Samuel D. Rauch III,
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS proposes to amend 50 
CFR part 679 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, revise the definitions for ``Buying station'', 
``Manager'', ``Mothership'', ``Tender vessel'', and ``User'' to read as 
follows:


Sec.  679.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Buying station means a land-based entity that receives unprocessed 
groundfish from a vessel for delivery to a shoreside processor and that 
does not process those fish.
* * * * *
    Manager, with respect to any shoreside processor, stationary 
floating processor, or buying station, means the individual responsible 
for the operation of the processor or buying station.
* * * * *
    Mothership means a vessel that receives and processes groundfish 
from other vessels.
* * * * *
    Tender vessel means a vessel that is used to transport unprocessed 
fish or shellfish received from another vessel to an associated 
processor.
* * * * *
    User means, for purposes of IERS and its components including 
eLandings and tLandings, an individual representative of a Registered 
Buyer; a Registered Crab Receiver; a mothership or catcher/processor 
that is required to have a Federal Fisheries Permit (FFP) under Sec.  
679.4; a shoreside processor or SFP and mothership that receives 
groundfish from vessels issued an FFP under Sec.  679.4; any shoreside 
processor or SFP that is required to have a Federal processor permit 
under Sec.  679.4; and his or her designee(s).
* * * * *
0
3. In Sec.  679.5,
0
a. Revise paragraph (c)(6)(i),
0
b. Remove paragraphs (c)(6)(viii)(E)
0
c. Revise paragraphs (e)(3)(i), and (e)(5)(i)(A)(7);
0
d. Add paragraph (e)(14)
0
e. Remove and reserve paragraph (d).
    The addition and revisions to read as follows:


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

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (6) * * *
    (i) Responsibility. Except as described in paragraph (f)(1)(v) of 
this section, the

[[Page 50442]]

operator of a mothership that is required to have an FFP under Sec.  
679.4(b), or the operator of a CQE floating processor that receives or 
processes any groundfish from the GOA or BSAI from vessels issued an 
FFP under Sec.  679.4(b), is required to use a combination of 
mothership DCPL and eLandings to record and report daily processor 
identification information, delivery information, groundfish production 
data, and groundfish and prohibited species discard or disposition 
data. The operator must enter into the DCPL any information for 
groundfish received from catcher vessels, groundfish received from 
processors for reprocessing or rehandling, and groundfish received from 
a tender vessel.
* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) Operation type. Select the operation type from the dropdown 
list.
* * * * *
    (5) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (A) * * *
    (7) If the delivery is received from a buying station, indicate the 
name of the buying station. If the delivery is received from a tender 
vessel, enter the ADF&G vessel registration number.
* * * * *
    (14) Tender vessel landing report (``tLandings''). (i) tLandings is 
an applications software for preparing electronic landing reports for 
commercial fishery landings to tender vessels.
    (ii) The operator of a tender vessel taking delivery of fish or 
shellfish that is required to be reported to NMFS on a landing report 
under Sec.  679.5(e)(5) must use tLandings to enter information about 
each landing of fish or shellfish and must provide that information to 
the User defined under Sec.  679.2.
    (iii) The User must configure and provide the tender vessel 
operator with the most recent version of the tLandings tender 
workstation application prior to the tender vessel taking delivery of 
fish or shellfish.
    (iv) The tender vessel operator must log into the configured 
tLandings tender workstation application and provide the information 
required on the computer screen. Additional instructions for tLandings 
is on the Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.
    (v) Submittal time limit. (A) The tender vessel operator must 
provide the landing information in tLandings to the User at the 
commencement of the transfer or offload of fish or shellfish from the 
tender vessel to the processor.
    (B) The User must upload the data recorded in tLandings by the 
tender vessel to prepare the initial landing report for a catcher 
vessel delivering to a tender vessel that is required under Sec.  
679.5(e) within the submittal time limit specified under Sec.  
679.5(e).
    (vi) Compliance. By using tLandings, the User and the tender vessel 
operator providing information to the User accept the responsibility of 
and acknowledge compliance with Sec.  679.7(a)(10).
* * * * *
0
4. In Sec.  679.7, revise paragraph (a)(11) to read as follows:


Sec.  679.7  Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (11) Buying station or tender vessel--(i) Tender vessel. Use a 
catcher vessel or catcher/processor as a tender vessel before 
offloading all groundfish or groundfish product harvested or processed 
by that vessel.
    (ii) Associated processor. Function as a tender vessel or buying 
station without an associated processor.
* * * * *
0
5. Revise table 13 to part 679 to read as follows:

                                                       Table 13 to Part 679--Transfer Form Summary
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  And has * * *                                                                                 Dockside
 If participant type is * * *      Fish product     And is involved      VAR \1\       PTR \2\     Trans-ship     Departure       sales        Landing
                                     onboard        in this activity                                   \3\       report \4\    receipt \5\   receipt \6\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Catcher vessel greater than 60  Only non-IFQ       Vessel leaving or            X
 ft LOA, mothership, or          groundfish.        entering Alaska.
 catcher/processor.
Catcher vessel greater than 60  Only IFQ           Vessel leaving     ............  ............  ............            X
 ft LOA, mothership, or          sablefish, IFQ     Alaska.
 catcher/processor.              halibut, CDQ
                                 halibut, or CR
                                 crab.
Catcher vessel greater than 60  Combination of     Vessel leaving               X   ............  ............            X
 ft LOA, mothership, or          IFQ sablefish,     Alaska.
 catcher/processor.              IFQ halibut, CDQ
                                 halibut, or CR
                                 crab and non-IFQ
                                 groundfish.
Mothership, catcher/processor,  Non-IFQ            Shipment of        ............            X
 shoreside processor, or SFP.    groundfish.        groundfish
                                                    product.
Mothership, catcher/processor,  Donated PSC......  Shipment of        ............            X
 shoreside processor, or SFP.                       donated PSC.
Buying station or tender        Groundfish.......  Receive or
 vessel.                                            deliver
                                                    groundfish in
                                                    association with
                                                    a shoreside
                                                    processor, SFP,
                                                    or mothership.
Registered Buyer..............  IFQ sablefish,     Transfer of        ............            X
                                 IFQ halibut, or    product.
                                 CDQ halibut.
A person holding a valid IFQ    IFQ sablefish,     Transfer of        ............  ............  ............  ............          XXX
 permit, IFQ hired master        IFQ halibut, or    product.
 permit, or Registered Buyer     CDQ halibut.
 permit.
Registered Buyer..............  IFQ sablefish,     Transfer from      ............  ............  ............  ............  ............           XX
                                 IFQ halibut, or    landing site to
                                 CDQ halibut.       Registered
                                                    Buyer's
                                                    processing
                                                    facility.

[[Page 50443]]

 
Vessel operator...............  Processed IFQ      Transshipment      ............  ............         XXXX
                                 sablefish, IFQ     between vessels.
                                 halibut, CDQ
                                 halibut, or CR
                                 crab.
Registered Crab Receiver......  CR crab..........  Transfer of        ............            X
                                                    product.
Registered Crab Receiver......  CR crab..........  Transfer from      ............  ............  ............  ............  ............           XX
                                                    landing site to
                                                    RCR's processing
                                                    facility.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ A vessel activity report (VAR) is described at Sec.   679.5(k).
\2\ A product transfer report (PTR) is described at Sec.   679.5(g).
\3\ An IFQ transshipment authorization is described at Sec.   679.5(l)(3).
\4\ An IFQ departure report is described at Sec.   679.5(l)(4).
\5\ An IFQ dockside sales receipt is described at Sec.   679.5(g)(2)(iv).
\6\ A landing receipt is described at Sec.   679.5(e)(8)(vii).
X indicates under what circumstances each report is submitted.
XX indicates that the document must accompany the transfer of IFQ species from landing site to processor.
XXX indicates receipt must be issued to each receiver in a dockside sale.
XXXX indicates authorization must be obtained 24 hours in advance.

* * * * *


Sec.  Sec.  679.2, 679.5, 679.7, 679.51  [Amended]

0
6. At each of the locations shown in the ``Location'' column, remove 
the phrase indicated in the ``Remove'' column and replace it with the 
phrase indicated in the ``Add'' column for the number of times 
indicated in the ``Frequency'' column.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Location                            Remove                        Add                Frequency
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sec.   679.2 ``Agent'' (1)..............  buying station............  buying station, tender                   1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.2 ``Agent'' (2)..............  buying station............  buying station or tender                 1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.2 ``Associated processor''...  buying station............  buying station or tender                 3
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.2 ``Shoreside processor''....  buying stations...........  buying stations, tender                  1
                                                                       vessels.
Sec.   679.5(a)(2)(i)...................  or buying station.........  buying station, or tender                2
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(a)(2)(ii)..................  or buying station.........  buying station, or tender                1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(a)(3)(ii)..................  catcher vessels and buying  catcher vessels, buying                  1
                                           stations.                   stations, and tender
                                                                       vessels.
Sec.   679.5(a)(3)(iii).................  catcher vessel or buying    catcher vessel, buying                   1
                                           station.                    station, or tender vessel.
Sec.   679.5(b).........................  or buying station.........  buying station, or tender                2
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(c)(1)(vi)(B)(4)............  or buying station.........  buying station, or tender                1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(c)(3)(ii)(A)(3)............  or buying station.........  buying station, or tender                1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(c)(3)(viii)................  buying station............  buying station, tender                   1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(c)(3)(x)...................  buying station............  buying station, tender                   1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(c)(4)(ii)(A)(3)............  or buying station.........  buying station, or tender                1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(c)(4)(viii)................  buying station............  buying station, tender                   1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(c)(4)(x)...................  buying station............  buying station, tender                   1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(c)(6)(ii)(A)...............  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(c)(6)(vi) introductory text  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(c)(6)(vi)(A)...............  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(c)(6)(vi)(B)...............  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(c)(6)(vi)(C)...............  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(c)(6)(vi)(F)...............  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(c)(6)(vi)(H)...............  buying station............  tender vessel.............               2
Sec.   679.5(c)(6)(vii).................  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(c)(6)(viii)(A).............  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(e)(3)(viii)................  buying station............  buying station, tender                   1
                                                                       vessel,.
Sec.   679.5(e)(5)(i) introductory text.  buying station............  buying station or tender                 1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(e)(5)(i)(A)(6).............  buying station............  buying station or tender                 1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(e)(5)(i)(C)(1).............  buying station............  buying station or tender                 1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(e)(5)(iii).................  buying station............  buying station or tender                 1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(e)(6)(i) introductory text.  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(e)(6)(i)(B)(1).............  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(e)(6)(iii).................  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(f)(1)(v)...................  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.5(f)(5)(ii)..................  buying station............  buyer station or tender                  1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.5(p)(1)......................  buying station............  tender vessel.............               1
Sec.   679.7(d)(4)(i)(C)................  buying station............  buying station or tender                 1
                                                                       vessel.
Sec.   679.51(e)(3).....................  or buying station.........  buying station, or tender                1
                                                                       vessel.
Table 1b to Part 679....................  and buying stations.......  buying stations, and                     1
                                                                       tender vessels.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 50444]]

[FR Doc. 2016-18110 Filed 7-29-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P