Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery Programs, 89900-89904 [2016-29879]

Download as PDF 89900 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 239 / Tuesday, December 13, 2016 / Notices proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record. Sheleen Dumas, PRA Departmental Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2016–29778 Filed 12–12–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–13–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE808 Record of Decision for the Kalamazoo River Natural Resources Damage Assessment: Final Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of availability of a Record of Decision. AGENCY: The NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the availability of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Kalamazoo River Natural Resources Damage Assessment: Final Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The NMFS Office of Habitat Conservation Director signed the ROD on November 29, 2016, which constitutes the agency’s final decision. ADDRESSES: Patricia A. Montanio, Director, Office of Habitat Conservation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julie Sims, NOAA Restoration Center, 4840 South State Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108–9719. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Kalamazoo River Trustees prepared the Final Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Restoration Resulting from the Kalamazoo River Natural Resource Damage Assessment (Final pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Dec 12, 2016 Jkt 241001 RP/PEIS). The RP/PEIS was prepared under the authority of Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 and was also developed to comply with the Federal agency decision-making requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and NOAA’s environmental review procedures (NOAA Administrative Order 216–6, as preserved by NAO 216–6A). The document was designed to solicit public opinion on a proposed restoration program for the Kalamazoo River natural resource damage assessment (NRDA). This ROD documents the Trustees’ decision to select Alternative C and conduct restoration within the Kalamazoo River watershed (described in the RP/PEIS in Section 3.2.3). This alternative would consist of a mixture of aquatic habitat restoration, riparian and wetland habitat restoration, dam removal for river and fish passage restoration, and habitat conservation actions in the Kalamazoo River watershed, including potential projects in tributaries. Through this alternative, the Trustees could conduct restoration actions in locations that have not been affected by PCBs, including projects in tributaries other than Portage Creek, and in remediated areas that were previously contaminated with PCBs. This alternative also includes the two specific projects to restore aquatic connectivity on the Kalamazoo River by removing dams in and near Otsego, Michigan. The Trustees selected this alternative since it allows the most flexibility to meet the Trustees’ restoration objectives, both in terms of geographic location and timing. The scale of restoration activity that will be implemented by the Trustees under the RP/PEIS will depend upon the resolution of natural resource damage claims with the parties responsible for poly-chlorinated biphenyl releases. Under CERCLA, settlements received by the Trustees, either through negotiated or adjudicated processes, must be used to restore, rehabilitate, replace, and/or acquire the equivalent of those natural resources that have been injured. The Final RP/PEIS will guide future Trustee decision-making regarding the expenditure of settlements and the implementation of restoration activities. The NOAA RC is not soliciting comments on the PEIS but will consider any comments submitted that would assist us in preparing future NEPA documents. An electronic copy of the PEIS is available at: https:// darrp.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/casedocuments/Final_Restoration_Plan_ PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and_Programmatic_Environmental_ Impact_Statement_for_Restoration_ Resulting_from_the_Kalamazoo_River_ Natural_Resource_Damage_ Assessment.pdf. Electronic correspondence regarding it can be submitted to rc.compliance@noaa.gov. Otherwise, please submit any written comments via U.S. mail to the responsible official named in the ADDRESSES section. Dated: December 7, 2016. Carrie Selberg, Deputy Director, Office of Habitat Conservation, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–29792 Filed 12–12–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF038 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery Programs National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of standard prices and fee percentage. AGENCY: NMFS publishes the individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard prices and fee percentage for cost recovery for the IFQ Program for the halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific (IFQ Program). The fee percentage for 2016 is 3.0 percent. This action is intended to provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2016 standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2017. DATES: Effective December 13, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carl Greene, Fee Coordinator, 907–586–7105. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Background NMFS Alaska Region administers the IFQ Program in the North Pacific. The IFQ Program is a limited access system authorized by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982. Fishing under the IFQ Program began in March 1995. Regulations implementing the IFQ Program are set forth at 50 CFR part 679. E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM 13DEN1 89901 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 239 / Tuesday, December 13, 2016 / Notices In 1996, the Magnuson-Stevens Act was amended to, among other purposes, require the Secretary of Commerce to ‘‘collect a fee to recover the actual costs directly related to the management and enforcement of any . . . individual quota program.’’ This requirement was further amended in 2006 to include collection of the actual costs of data collection, and to replace the reference to ‘‘individual quota program’’ with a more general reference to ‘‘limited access privilege program’’ at section 304(d)(2)(A). Section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act also specifies an upper limit on these fees, when the fees must be collected, and where the fees must be deposited. On March 20, 2000, NMFS published regulations in § 679.45 implementing cost recovery for the IFQ Program (65 FR 14919). Under the regulations, an IFQ permit holder must pay a cost recovery fee for every pound of IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish that is landed on his or her IFQ permit(s). The IFQ permit holder is responsible for selfcollecting the fee for all IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings on his or her permit(s). The IFQ permit holder is also responsible for submitting IFQ fee payment(s) to NMFS on or before the due date of January 31 of the year following the year in which the IFQ landings were made. The total dollar amount of the fee due is determined by multiplying the NMFS published fee percentage by the ex-vessel value of all IFQ landings made on the permit(s) during the IFQ fishing year. As required by § 679.45(d)(1) and (d)(3)(i), NMFS publishes this notice of the fee percentage for the halibut and sablefish IFQ fisheries in the Federal Register during or before the last quarter of each year. Standard Prices The fee is based on the sum of all payments made to fishermen for the sale of the fish during the year. This includes any retro-payments (e.g., bonuses, delayed partial payments, post-season payments) made to the IFQ permit holder for previously landed IFQ halibut or sablefish. For purposes of calculating IFQ cost recovery fees, NMFS distinguishes between two types of ex-vessel value: Actual and standard. Actual ex-vessel value is the amount of all compensation, monetary or non-monetary, that an IFQ permit holder received as payment for his or her IFQ fish sold. Standard exvessel value is the default value used to calculate the fee. IFQ permit holders have the option of using actual ex-vessel value if they can satisfactorily document it; otherwise, the standard ex-vessel value is used. Section 679.45(b)(3)(iii) requires the Regional Administrator to publish IFQ standard prices during the last quarter of each calendar year. These standard prices are used, along with estimates of IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings, to calculate standard ex-vessel values. The standard prices are described in U.S. dollars per IFQ equivalent pound for IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings made during the year. According to § 679.2, IFQ equivalent pound(s) means the weight amount, recorded in pounds, and calculated as round weight for sablefish and headed and gutted weight for halibut, for an IFQ landing. The weight of halibut in pounds landed as guided angler fish is converted to IFQ equivalent pound(s) as specified in § 300.65(c) of this title. NMFS calculates the standard prices to closely reflect the variations in the actual ex-vessel values of IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings by month and port or port-group. The standard prices for IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish are listed in the tables that follow the next section. Data from ports are combined as necessary to protect confidentiality. Fee Percentage NMFS calculates the fee percentage each year according to the factors and methods described at § 679.45(d)(2). NMFS determines the fee percentage that applies to landings made in the previous year by dividing the total costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the IFQ Program (management costs) during the previous year by the total standard exvessel value of IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings made during the previous year (fishery value). NMFS captures the actual management costs associated with certain management, data collection, and enforcement functions through an established accounting system that allows staff to track labor, travel, contracts, rent, and procurement. NMFS calculates the fishery value as described under the section, Standard Prices. Using the fee percentage formula described above, the estimated percentage of management costs to fishery value for the 2016 calendar year is 3.1 percent of the standard ex-vessel value; except the fee percentage amount must not exceed 3.0 percent pursuant section 304(d)(2)(B) of the MagnusonStevens Act. Therefore, the 2016 fee percentage is set at 3.0 percent. An IFQ permit holder is to use the fee percentage of 3.0 percent to calculate his or her fee for IFQ equivalent pound(s) landed during the 2016 halibut and sablefish IFQ fishing season. An IFQ permit holder is responsible for submitting the 2016 IFQ fee payment to NMFS on or before January 31, 2017. Payment must be made in accordance with the payment methods set forth in § 679.45(a)(4). NMFS no longer accepts credit card information by phone or inperson for fee payments. NMFS has determined that the practice of accepting credit card information by phone or in-person no longer meets agency standards for protection of personal financial information (81 FR 23645; April 22, 2016). The 2016 fee percentage of 3.0 percent is unchanged from the 2015 fee percentage of 3.0 percent (80 FR 78172; December 16, 2015). Between 2015 and 2016, there was a 5 percent increase in management costs. NMFS incurred higher costs in 2015 due to additional costs to maintain permit databases; however, other costs decreased, therefore the change in overall management costs was limited. The value of halibut and sablefish harvests under the IFQ Program also increased by 3 percent from 2015 to 2016. This increase in value of the fishery offset some of the increase in management costs, which limited the change in the fee percentage between 2015 and 2016. TABLE 1—REGISTERED BUYER STANDARD EX-VESSEL PRICES BY LANDING LOCATION FOR THE 2016 IFQ SEASON pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES [Registered Buyer Standard Ex–Vessel Prices by Landing Location for 2015 IFQ Season] 1 Halibut standard ex-vessel price Landing location Period ending Cordova .................................................................. March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:07 Dec 12, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM Sablefish Standard ex-vessel price - 13DEN1 - 89902 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 239 / Tuesday, December 13, 2016 / Notices TABLE 1—REGISTERED BUYER STANDARD EX-VESSEL PRICES BY LANDING LOCATION FOR THE 2016 IFQ SEASON— Continued [Registered Buyer Standard Ex–Vessel Prices by Landing Location for 2015 IFQ Season 1] Landing location Homer ..................................................................... Ketchikan ................................................................ Kodiak ..................................................................... Petersburg .............................................................. Seward .................................................................... pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES Sitka ........................................................................ Port Group Bering Sea 2 ......................................... VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:08 Dec 12, 2016 Halibut standard ex-vessel price Period ending Jkt 241001 PO 00000 June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM Sablefish Standard ex-vessel price 7.17 6.69 6.99 7.32 7.20 7.27 6.96 6.96 6.96 6.51 6.72 6.77 6.77 6.69 6.76 7.15 7.15 7.15 6.40 6.52 6.51 6.54 6.70 6.85 6.78 6.78 6.78 6.65 6.63 6.97 6.57 6.69 6.88 7.21 6.96 6.96 6.96 6.48 6.45 6.45 6.04 6.10 6.08 6.17 6.17 13DEN1 3.97 4.21 4.17 4.39 4.68 4.68 4.68 5.20 5.20 5.20 4.01 4.05 3.95 4.36 4.38 4.49 4.49 4.49 3.94 4.02 4.87 4.87 4.87 4.19 5.14 4.64 4.82 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 239 / Tuesday, December 13, 2016 / Notices 89903 TABLE 1—REGISTERED BUYER STANDARD EX-VESSEL PRICES BY LANDING LOCATION FOR THE 2016 IFQ SEASON— Continued [Registered Buyer Standard Ex–Vessel Prices by Landing Location for 2015 IFQ Season] 1 Landing location Halibut standard ex-vessel price Period ending Port Group Central Gulf 3 ........................................ Port Group Southeast 4 ........................................... All-Alaska 5 .............................................................. All 6 .......................................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... March 31 ................................................................ April 30 ................................................................... May 31 ................................................................... June 30 .................................................................. July 31 .................................................................... August 31 ............................................................... September 30 ......................................................... October 31 ............................................................. November 30 .......................................................... Sablefish Standard ex-vessel price 6.17 6.17 6.58 6.63 6.76 7.10 7.14 7.03 6.91 6.91 6.91 6.56 6.56 6.60 6.68 6.76 6.95 6.92 6.92 6.92 6.55 6.57 6.66 6.82 6.79 6.80 6.72 6.72 6.72 6.55 6.57 6.82 6.79 6.80 6.72 6.72 6.72 6.72 4.82 4.82 3.95 3.91 4.03 4.09 4.32 4.36 4.75 4.75 4.75 3.89 3.94 4.38 4.51 4.68 4.74 5.13 5.13 5.13 3.90 3.97 4.14 4.25 4.56 4.48 4.91 4.91 4.91 3.90 3.97 4.14 4.25 4.56 4.48 4.91 4.91 4.94 1 Note: In many instances prices have not been reported to comply with confidentiality guidelines that prevent price reports when there are fewer than three processors operating in a location during a month. 2 Landing locations Within Port Group—Bering Sea: Adak, Akutan, Akutan Bay, Atka, Bristol Bay, Chefornak, Dillingham, Captains Bay, Dutch Harbor, Egegik, Ikatan Bay, Hooper Bay, King Cove, King Salmon, Kipnuk, Mekoryuk, Naknek, Nome, Quinhagak, Savoonga, St. George, St. Lawrence, St. Paul, Togiak, Toksook Bay, Tununak, Beaver Inlet, Ugadaga Bay, Unalaska. 3 Landing Locations Within Port Group—Central Gulf of Alaska: Anchor Point, Anchorage, Alitak, Chignik, Cordova, Eagle River, False Pass, West Anchor Cove, Girdwood, Chinitna Bay, Halibut Cove, Homer, Kasilof, Kenai, Kenai River, Alitak, Kodiak, Port Bailey, Nikiski, Ninilchik, Old Harbor, Palmer, Sand Point, Seldovia, Resurrection Bay, Seward, Valdez, Whittier. 4 Landing Locations Within Port Group—Southeast Alaska: Angoon, Baranof Warm Springs, Craig, Edna Bay, Elfin Cove, Excursion Inlet, Gustavus, Haines, Hollis, Hoonah, Hyder, Auke Bay, Douglas, Tee Harbor, Juneau, Kake, Ketchikan, Klawock, Metlakatla, Pelican, Petersburg, Portage Bay, Port Alexander, Port Graham, Port Protection, Point Baker, Sitka, Skagway, Tenakee Springs, Thorne Bay, Wrangell, Yakutat. 5 Landing Locations Within Port Group—All: For Alaska: All landing locations included in 2, 3, and 4. For California: Eureka, Fort Bragg, Other California. For Oregon: Astoria, Aurora, Lincoln City, Newport, Warrenton, Other Oregon. For Washington: Anacortes, Bellevue, Bellingham, Nagai Island, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Ilwaco, La Conner, Port Angeles, Port Orchard, Port Townsend, Rainier, Fox Island, Mercer Island, Seattle, Standwood, Other Washington. For Canada: Port Hardy, Port Edward, Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Haines Junction, Other Canada. pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: December 8, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2016–29879 Filed 12–12–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:07 Dec 12, 2016 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM 13DEN1 89904 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 239 / Tuesday, December 13, 2016 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XF048 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North Pacific Observer Program Standard Ex-Vessel Prices National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification of standard exvessel prices. AGENCY: NMFS publishes standard exvessel prices for groundfish and halibut for the calculation of the observer fee under the North Pacific Observer Program (Observer Program). This notice is intended to provide information to vessel owners, processors, registered buyers, and other participants about the standard exvessel prices that will be used to calculate the observer fee for landings of groundfish and halibut made in 2017. NMFS will send invoices to processors and registered buyers subject to the fee by January 15, 2018. Fees are due to NMFS on or before February 15, 2018. DATES: Effective January 1, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general questions about the observer fee and standard ex-vessel prices, contact Sally Bibb at 907–586–7389. For questions about the fee billing process, contact Carl Greene at 907–586–7003. Additional information about the Observer Program is available on NMFS Alaska Region’s Web site at https:// alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/ observer-program. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: pmangrum on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES Background The Observer Program deploys NMFS-certified observers (observers) who collect information necessary for the conservation and management of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) groundfish and halibut fisheries. Fishery managers use information collected by observers to monitor quotas, manage groundfish and prohibited species catch, and document and reduce fishery interactions with protected resources. Scientists use observer-collected information for stock assessments and marine ecosystem research. The Observer Program is divided into two observer coverage categories—the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:07 Dec 12, 2016 Jkt 241001 partial observer coverage category and the full observer coverage category. All groundfish and halibut vessels and processors are included in one of these two categories. The partial observer coverage category includes vessels and processors that are not required to have an observer at all times; the full observer coverage category includes vessels and processors required to have all of their fishing and processing operations off Alaska observed. Vessels and processors in the full coverage category arrange and pay for observer services from a permitted observer provider. Observer coverage for the partial coverage category is funded through a system of fees based on the ex-vessel value of groundfish and halibut. Landings Subject to Observer Coverage Fee The objective of the observer fee assessment is to levy a fee on all landings accruing against a Federal total allowable catch (TAC) for groundfish or a commercial halibut quota made by vessels that are subject to Federal regulations and not included in the full coverage category. A fee is only assessed on landings of groundfish from vessels designated on a Federal Fisheries Permit or from vessels landing individual fishing quota (IFQ) or community development quota (CDQ) halibut or IFQ sablefish. Within the subset of vessels subject to the observer fee, only landings accruing against an IFQ allocation or a Federal TAC for groundfish are included in the fee assessment. A table with additional information about which landings are and are not subject to the observer fee is in NMFS regulations at § 679.55(c) and is on page 2 of an informational bulletin titled ‘‘Observer Fee Collection’’ on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/sites/ default/files/observerfees.pdf. Fee Determination A fee equal to 1.25 percent of the exvessel value is assessed on the landings of groundfish and halibut subject to the fee. Ex-vessel value is determined by multiplying the standard price for groundfish by the round weight equivalent for each species, gear, and port combination, and the standard price for halibut by the headed and gutted weight equivalent. NMFS will assess each landing report submitted via eLandings and each manual landing entered into the IFQ landing database and determine if the landing is subject to the observer fee and, if it is, which PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 groundfish in the landing are subject to the observer fee. All IFQ or CDQ halibut in a landing subject to the observer fee will be assessed as part of the fee. For any groundfish or halibut subject to the observer fee, NMFS will apply the appropriate standard ex-vessel prices for the species, gear type, and port, and calculate the observer fee associated with the landing. Processors and registered buyers access the landing-specific, observer fee information through NMFS Web Application(https://alaskafisheries. noaa.gov/webapps/efish/login) or eLandings (https://elandings.alaska .gov/). For IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, and IFQ sablefish, this information is available as soon as the IFQ report is submitted. For groundfish and sablefish that accrue against the fixed gear sablefish CDQ reserve, the observer fee information is generally available within 24 hours of receipt of the report. The time lag on the groundfish and sablefish CDQ fee information is necessary because NMFS must process the landings report through the catch accounting system computer programs to determine if all of the groundfish in the landings are subject to the observer fee. Information about which groundfish in a landing accrues against a Federal TAC is not immediately available from the processor’s data entry into eLandings. The intent of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council and NMFS is for vessel owners to split the fee 50/50 with the processor or registered buyer. While vessels and processors are responsible for their portion of the fee, the owner of a shoreside processor or a stationary floating processor and the registered buyer are responsible for collecting the fee, including the vessel’s portion of the fee, and remitting the full fee to NMFS. NMFS will send invoices to processors and registered buyers for their total fee, which is determined by the sum of the fees reported for each landing for that processor or registered buyer for the prior calendar year, by January 15, 2018. Processors and registered buyers must pay the fees to NMFS using NMFS Web Application by February 15, 2018. Processors and registered buyers have access to this system through a User ID and password issued by NMFS. Instructions for electronic payment will be provided on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov and on E:\FR\FM\13DEN1.SGM 13DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 239 (Tuesday, December 13, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 89900-89904]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-29879]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XF038


Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; North 
Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery 
Programs

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

ACTION: Notice of standard prices and fee percentage.

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SUMMARY: NMFS publishes the individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard 
prices and fee percentage for cost recovery for the IFQ Program for the 
halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific (IFQ Program). The 
fee percentage for 2016 is 3.0 percent. This action is intended to 
provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2016 
standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment 
for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2017.

DATES: Effective December 13, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carl Greene, Fee Coordinator, 907-586-
7105.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    NMFS Alaska Region administers the IFQ Program in the North 
Pacific. The IFQ Program is a limited access system authorized by the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
Stevens Act) and the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982. Fishing 
under the IFQ Program began in March 1995. Regulations implementing the 
IFQ Program are set forth at 50 CFR part 679.

[[Page 89901]]

    In 1996, the Magnuson-Stevens Act was amended to, among other 
purposes, require the Secretary of Commerce to ``collect a fee to 
recover the actual costs directly related to the management and 
enforcement of any . . . individual quota program.'' This requirement 
was further amended in 2006 to include collection of the actual costs 
of data collection, and to replace the reference to ``individual quota 
program'' with a more general reference to ``limited access privilege 
program'' at section 304(d)(2)(A). Section 304(d)(2) of the Magnuson-
Stevens Act also specifies an upper limit on these fees, when the fees 
must be collected, and where the fees must be deposited.
    On March 20, 2000, NMFS published regulations in Sec.  679.45 
implementing cost recovery for the IFQ Program (65 FR 14919). Under the 
regulations, an IFQ permit holder must pay a cost recovery fee for 
every pound of IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish that is landed on his or 
her IFQ permit(s). The IFQ permit holder is responsible for self-
collecting the fee for all IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings on 
his or her permit(s). The IFQ permit holder is also responsible for 
submitting IFQ fee payment(s) to NMFS on or before the due date of 
January 31 of the year following the year in which the IFQ landings 
were made. The total dollar amount of the fee due is determined by 
multiplying the NMFS published fee percentage by the ex-vessel value of 
all IFQ landings made on the permit(s) during the IFQ fishing year. As 
required by Sec.  679.45(d)(1) and (d)(3)(i), NMFS publishes this 
notice of the fee percentage for the halibut and sablefish IFQ 
fisheries in the Federal Register during or before the last quarter of 
each year.

Standard Prices

    The fee is based on the sum of all payments made to fishermen for 
the sale of the fish during the year. This includes any retro-payments 
(e.g., bonuses, delayed partial payments, post-season payments) made to 
the IFQ permit holder for previously landed IFQ halibut or sablefish.
    For purposes of calculating IFQ cost recovery fees, NMFS 
distinguishes between two types of ex-vessel value: Actual and 
standard. Actual ex-vessel value is the amount of all compensation, 
monetary or non-monetary, that an IFQ permit holder received as payment 
for his or her IFQ fish sold. Standard ex-vessel value is the default 
value used to calculate the fee. IFQ permit holders have the option of 
using actual ex-vessel value if they can satisfactorily document it; 
otherwise, the standard ex-vessel value is used.
    Section 679.45(b)(3)(iii) requires the Regional Administrator to 
publish IFQ standard prices during the last quarter of each calendar 
year. These standard prices are used, along with estimates of IFQ 
halibut and IFQ sablefish landings, to calculate standard ex-vessel 
values. The standard prices are described in U.S. dollars per IFQ 
equivalent pound for IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings made during 
the year. According to Sec.  679.2, IFQ equivalent pound(s) means the 
weight amount, recorded in pounds, and calculated as round weight for 
sablefish and headed and gutted weight for halibut, for an IFQ landing. 
The weight of halibut in pounds landed as guided angler fish is 
converted to IFQ equivalent pound(s) as specified in Sec.  300.65(c) of 
this title. NMFS calculates the standard prices to closely reflect the 
variations in the actual ex-vessel values of IFQ halibut and IFQ 
sablefish landings by month and port or port-group. The standard prices 
for IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish are listed in the tables that follow 
the next section. Data from ports are combined as necessary to protect 
confidentiality.

Fee Percentage

    NMFS calculates the fee percentage each year according to the 
factors and methods described at Sec.  679.45(d)(2). NMFS determines 
the fee percentage that applies to landings made in the previous year 
by dividing the total costs directly related to the management, data 
collection, and enforcement of the IFQ Program (management costs) 
during the previous year by the total standard ex-vessel value of IFQ 
halibut and IFQ sablefish landings made during the previous year 
(fishery value). NMFS captures the actual management costs associated 
with certain management, data collection, and enforcement functions 
through an established accounting system that allows staff to track 
labor, travel, contracts, rent, and procurement. NMFS calculates the 
fishery value as described under the section, Standard Prices.
    Using the fee percentage formula described above, the estimated 
percentage of management costs to fishery value for the 2016 calendar 
year is 3.1 percent of the standard ex-vessel value; except the fee 
percentage amount must not exceed 3.0 percent pursuant section 
304(d)(2)(B) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Therefore, the 2016 fee 
percentage is set at 3.0 percent. An IFQ permit holder is to use the 
fee percentage of 3.0 percent to calculate his or her fee for IFQ 
equivalent pound(s) landed during the 2016 halibut and sablefish IFQ 
fishing season. An IFQ permit holder is responsible for submitting the 
2016 IFQ fee payment to NMFS on or before January 31, 2017. Payment 
must be made in accordance with the payment methods set forth in Sec.  
679.45(a)(4). NMFS no longer accepts credit card information by phone 
or in-person for fee payments. NMFS has determined that the practice of 
accepting credit card information by phone or in-person no longer meets 
agency standards for protection of personal financial information (81 
FR 23645; April 22, 2016).
    The 2016 fee percentage of 3.0 percent is unchanged from the 2015 
fee percentage of 3.0 percent (80 FR 78172; December 16, 2015). Between 
2015 and 2016, there was a 5 percent increase in management costs. NMFS 
incurred higher costs in 2015 due to additional costs to maintain 
permit databases; however, other costs decreased, therefore the change 
in overall management costs was limited. The value of halibut and 
sablefish harvests under the IFQ Program also increased by 3 percent 
from 2015 to 2016. This increase in value of the fishery offset some of 
the increase in management costs, which limited the change in the fee 
percentage between 2015 and 2016.

         Table 1--Registered Buyer Standard Ex-Vessel Prices by Landing Location for the 2016 IFQ Season
            [Registered Buyer Standard Ex-Vessel Prices by Landing Location for 2015 IFQ Season] \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                   Sablefish
              Landing location                       Period ending           Halibut standard     Standard ex-
                                                                             ex-vessel price      vessel price
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cordova....................................  March 31.....................                  -                  -
                                             April 30.....................                  -                  -
                                             May 31.......................                  -                  -

[[Page 89902]]

 
                                             June 30......................                  -                  -
                                             July 31......................               7.17                  -
                                             August 31....................                  -                  -
                                             September 30.................                  -                  -
                                             October 31...................                  -                  -
                                             November 30..................                  -                  -
Homer......................................  March 31.....................                  -                  -
                                             April 30.....................               6.69               3.97
                                             May 31.......................               6.99               4.21
                                             June 30......................               7.32               4.17
                                             July 31......................               7.20                  -
                                             August 31....................               7.27               4.39
                                             September 30.................               6.96               4.68
                                             October 31...................               6.96               4.68
                                             November 30..................               6.96               4.68
Ketchikan..................................  March 31.....................               6.51                  -
                                             April 30.....................               6.72                  -
                                             May 31.......................               6.77                  -
                                             June 30......................               6.77                  -
                                             July 31......................               6.69                  -
                                             August 31....................               6.76                  -
                                             September 30.................               7.15               5.20
                                             October 31...................               7.15               5.20
                                             November 30..................               7.15               5.20
Kodiak.....................................  March 31.....................               6.40                  -
                                             April 30.....................               6.52               4.01
                                             May 31.......................               6.51               4.05
                                             June 30......................               6.54               3.95
                                             July 31......................               6.70               4.36
                                             August 31....................               6.85               4.38
                                             September 30.................               6.78               4.49
                                             October 31...................               6.78               4.49
                                             November 30..................               6.78               4.49
Petersburg.................................  March 31.....................                  -                  -
                                             April 30.....................                  -                  -
                                             May 31.......................               6.65                  -
                                             June 30......................               6.63                  -
                                             July 31......................                  -                  -
                                             August 31....................               6.97                  -
                                             September 30.................                  -                  -
                                             October 31...................                  -                  -
                                             November 30..................                  -                  -
Seward.....................................  March 31.....................               6.57               3.94
                                             April 30.....................               6.69                  -
                                             May 31.......................               6.88               4.02
                                             June 30......................               7.21                  -
                                             July 31......................                  -                  -
                                             August 31....................                  -                  -
                                             September 30.................               6.96               4.87
                                             October 31...................               6.96               4.87
                                             November 30..................               6.96               4.87
Sitka......................................  March 31.....................               6.48                  -
                                             April 30.....................                  -                  -
                                             May 31.......................               6.45                  -
                                             June 30......................               6.45                  -
                                             July 31......................                  -                  -
                                             August 31....................                  -                  -
                                             September 30.................                  -                  -
                                             October 31...................                  -                  -
                                             November 30..................                  -                  -
Port Group Bering Sea \2\..................  March 31.....................                  -                  -
                                             April 30.....................                  -                  -
                                             May 31.......................               6.04                  -
                                             June 30......................               6.10               4.19
                                             July 31......................               6.08               5.14
                                             August 31....................               6.17               4.64
                                             September 30.................               6.17               4.82

[[Page 89903]]

 
                                             October 31...................               6.17               4.82
                                             November 30..................               6.17               4.82
Port Group Central Gulf \3\................  March 31.....................               6.58               3.95
                                             April 30.....................               6.63               3.91
                                             May 31.......................               6.76               4.03
                                             June 30......................               7.10               4.09
                                             July 31......................               7.14               4.32
                                             August 31....................               7.03               4.36
                                             September 30.................               6.91               4.75
                                             October 31...................               6.91               4.75
                                             November 30..................               6.91               4.75
Port Group Southeast \4\...................  March 31.....................               6.56               3.89
                                             April 30.....................               6.56               3.94
                                             May 31.......................               6.60               4.38
                                             June 30......................               6.68               4.51
                                             July 31......................               6.76               4.68
                                             August 31....................               6.95               4.74
                                             September 30.................               6.92               5.13
                                             October 31...................               6.92               5.13
                                             November 30..................               6.92               5.13
All-Alaska \5\.............................  March 31.....................               6.55               3.90
                                             April 30.....................               6.57               3.97
                                             May 31.......................               6.66               4.14
                                             June 30......................               6.82               4.25
                                             July 31......................               6.79               4.56
                                             August 31....................               6.80               4.48
                                             September 30.................               6.72               4.91
                                             October 31...................               6.72               4.91
                                             November 30..................               6.72               4.91
All \6\....................................  March 31.....................               6.55               3.90
                                             April 30.....................               6.57               3.97
                                             May 31.......................               6.82               4.14
                                             June 30......................               6.79               4.25
                                             July 31......................               6.80               4.56
                                             August 31....................               6.72               4.48
                                             September 30.................               6.72               4.91
                                             October 31...................               6.72               4.91
                                             November 30..................               6.72               4.94
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Note: In many instances prices have not been reported to comply with confidentiality guidelines that prevent
  price reports when there are fewer than three processors operating in a location during a month.
\2\ Landing locations Within Port Group--Bering Sea: Adak, Akutan, Akutan Bay, Atka, Bristol Bay, Chefornak,
  Dillingham, Captains Bay, Dutch Harbor, Egegik, Ikatan Bay, Hooper Bay, King Cove, King Salmon, Kipnuk,
  Mekoryuk, Naknek, Nome, Quinhagak, Savoonga, St. George, St. Lawrence, St. Paul, Togiak, Toksook Bay, Tununak,
  Beaver Inlet, Ugadaga Bay, Unalaska.
\3\ Landing Locations Within Port Group--Central Gulf of Alaska: Anchor Point, Anchorage, Alitak, Chignik,
  Cordova, Eagle River, False Pass, West Anchor Cove, Girdwood, Chinitna Bay, Halibut Cove, Homer, Kasilof,
  Kenai, Kenai River, Alitak, Kodiak, Port Bailey, Nikiski, Ninilchik, Old Harbor, Palmer, Sand Point, Seldovia,
  Resurrection Bay, Seward, Valdez, Whittier.
\4\ Landing Locations Within Port Group--Southeast Alaska: Angoon, Baranof Warm Springs, Craig, Edna Bay, Elfin
  Cove, Excursion Inlet, Gustavus, Haines, Hollis, Hoonah, Hyder, Auke Bay, Douglas, Tee Harbor, Juneau, Kake,
  Ketchikan, Klawock, Metlakatla, Pelican, Petersburg, Portage Bay, Port Alexander, Port Graham, Port
  Protection, Point Baker, Sitka, Skagway, Tenakee Springs, Thorne Bay, Wrangell, Yakutat.
\5\ Landing Locations Within Port Group--All: For Alaska: All landing locations included in 2, 3, and 4. For
  California: Eureka, Fort Bragg, Other California. For Oregon: Astoria, Aurora, Lincoln City, Newport,
  Warrenton, Other Oregon. For Washington: Anacortes, Bellevue, Bellingham, Nagai Island, Edmonds, Everett,
  Granite Falls, Ilwaco, La Conner, Port Angeles, Port Orchard, Port Townsend, Rainier, Fox Island, Mercer
  Island, Seattle, Standwood, Other Washington. For Canada: Port Hardy, Port Edward, Prince Rupert, Vancouver,
  Haines Junction, Other Canada.


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

    Dated: December 8, 2016.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-29879 Filed 12-12-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P