International Affairs; U.S. Fishing Opportunities in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Regulatory Area, 60400-60404 [2018-25591]

Download as PDF 60400 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 227 / Monday, November 26, 2018 / Notices request from Mid Continent Steel & Wire, Inc. (the petitioner), in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.213(b), to conduct an administrative review of this antidumping duty order.3 No other party requested an administrative review. On September 10, 2018, Commerce published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation with respect to 12 companies: (1) Airlift Trans Oceanic PVT LTD.; (2) CS Song Thuy; (3) Jinhai Hardware Co., Ltd.; (4) Le Phuong Trading Import Export; (5) Long Nguyen Trading & Service Co., Ltd.; (6) Orient Express Container Co., Ltd.; (7) Region Industries Co., Ltd.; (8) Rich State Inc.; (9) Sam Hwan Vina Co., Ltd.; (10) Thai Bao Im-Ex Corporation Company; (11) Truong Vinh Ltd.; and (12) United Nail Products Co. Ltd.4 On November 5, 2018, the petitioner timely withdrew its request for an administrative review for all 12 companies.5 Rescission of Administrative Review Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), Commerce will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the parties that requested a review withdraw the request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The petitioner withdrew its request for review for all companies by the 90-day deadline, and no other party requested an administrative review of this order. Therefore, we are rescinding the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain steel nails from the Vietnam covering the period July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, in its entirety. Assessment Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. Antidumping duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). Commerce intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. 3 See Petitioner Letter re: Certain Steel Nails from Vietnam: Request for Administrative Reviews, dated July 31, 2018. 4 See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 83 FR 45596 (September 10, 2018). 5 See Petitioner Letter re: Certain Steel Nails from Vietnam: Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Reviews, dated November 5, 2018. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:28 Nov 23, 2018 Jkt 247001 Notification to Importers This notice serves as the only reminder to importers of their responsibility, under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2), to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties. Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders This notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation. This notice is published in accordance with section 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4). Dated: November 19, 2018. James Maeder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, performing the duties of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations. [FR Doc. 2018–25636 Filed 11–23–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XG560 International Affairs; U.S. Fishing Opportunities in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Regulatory Area National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notification of U.S. fishing opportunities. AGENCY: We are announcing 2019 fishing opportunities in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area. This action is necessary to make fishing privileges in the NAFO Regulatory Area available on an equitable basis to the greatest extent SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 possible. The intended effect of this notice is to alert U.S. fishing vessels of the NAFO fishing opportunities, to relay the available quotas available to U.S. participants, and to outline the process and requirements for vessels to apply to participate in the 2019 NAFO fishery. DATES: Effective January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. Expressions of interest regarding fishing opportunities in NAFO will be accepted through December 11, 2018. ADDRESSES: Expressions of interest regarding U.S. fishing opportunities in NAFO should be made in writing to Michael Pentony, U.S. Commissioner to NAFO, NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office at 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930 (phone: 978–281–9315, email: Michael.Pentony@noaa.gov). Information relating to chartering vessels of another NAFO Contracting Party, transferring NAFO fishing opportunities to or from another NAFO Contracting Party, or U.S. participation in NAFO is available from Patrick E. Moran in the NMFS Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection at 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (phone: 301– 427–8370, fax: 301–713–2313, email: Pat.Moran@noaa.gov). Additional information about NAFO fishing opportunities, NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures (CEM), and the High Seas Fishing Compliance Act (HSFCA) Permit required for NAFO participation is available from Shannah Jaburek, in the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office at 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930 (phone: 978–282–8456, fax: 978–281–9135, email: Shannah.Jaburek@noaa.gov) and online from NAFO at https:// www.nafo.int. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannah Jaburek, 978–282–8456. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: General NAFO Background The United States is a Contracting Party to the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization or NAFO. NAFO is an intergovernmental fisheries science and management body whose convention applies to most fishery resources in international waters of the Northwest Atlantic, except salmon, tunas/marlins, whales, and sedentary species such as shellfish. Currently, NAFO has 12 contracting parties from North America, Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. NAFO’s Commission is responsible for the management and conservation of the fishery resources in the Regulatory Area (waters outside the E:\FR\FM\26NON1.SGM 26NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 227 / Monday, November 26, 2018 / Notices Figure 1 shows the NAFO Regulatory Area. As a Contracting Party within NAFO, the United States may be allocated catch quotas or effort allocations for certain species in specific areas within the NAFO Regulatory Area and may participate in fisheries for other species for which we have not received a specific quota. For most stocks for which the United States does not receive a specific allocation, an open allocation, known as the ‘‘Others’’ allocation under the Convention, is shared access between all NAFO Contracting Parties. Additional information on NAFO can be found online at https://www.nafo.int/ About-us. The 2019 NAFO Conservation and Enforcement Measures (CEM) that specify the fishery regulations, Total Allowable Catches (TAC or ‘‘quotas’’) and other information about the fishery program will be available online at: https://www.nafo.int/Fisheries/ Conservation when completed. Information from the 2018 Annual Meeting of NAFO, at which changes to the TACs and other management measures is available on the NAFO website. This notice announces the fishing opportunities available to U.S. vessels in NAFO regulatory waters, including specific 2019 stocks for which the United States has an allocation under NAFO, and fishing opportunities under the ‘Other’ NAFO allocations. This notice also outlines the application process and other requirements for U.S. vessels that wish to participate in the 2019 NAFO fisheries. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:28 Nov 23, 2018 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 NAFO Fishing Opportunities Available to U.S. Fishing Vessels The principal species managed by NAFO are Atlantic cod, yellowtail and witch flounders, Acadian redfish, American plaice, Greenland halibut, white hake, capelin, shrimp, skates, and Illex squid. NAFO specifies conservation measures for fisheries on these species occurring in its Regulatory Area, including TACs for these managed species that are allocated among NAFO Contracting Parties. The United States received quota allocations at the 2018 NAFO Annual Meeting for two stocks to be fished during 2019. The species, location by NAFO subarea, and allocation (in metric tons (mt)) of these 2019 U.S. fishing opportunities are as follows: Redfish in Division 3M, 69 mt; and Illex Squid in Subareas 3 & 4, 453 E:\FR\FM\26NON1.SGM 26NON1 EN26NO18.000</GPH> Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ)). 60401 60402 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 227 / Monday, November 26, 2018 / Notices mt. In addition, the United States expects a transfer of at least 1,000 mt of NAFO Division 3LNO yellowtail flounder from Canada’s 2019 quota allocation consistent with the continuation of a 2008 bilateral arrangement between the two countries. The TACs that may be available to U.S. vessels for stocks where the United States has not been allocated quota (i.e., the ‘‘Others’’ allocation in Annex I.A of the CEM) are as follows: TABLE 1—2019 NAFO ‘‘OTHERS’’ ALLOCATIONS Species NAFO division Cod .............................................................................................. Redfish ........................................................................................ 3M .............................................................................................. 3LN ............................................................................................. 3M .............................................................................................. 3O .............................................................................................. 3LNO .......................................................................................... 3NO ............................................................................................ 3NO ............................................................................................ 3LNO .......................................................................................... Squid 3_4 (Sub-Areas 3+4) ....................................................... Yellowtail Flounder ...................................................................... Witch Flounder ............................................................................ White Hake ................................................................................. Skates ......................................................................................... Illex squid .................................................................................... Note that the United States shares these allocations with other NAFO Contracting Parties, and access is on a first come, first served basis. Directed fishing is prohibited by NAFO when the ‘‘Others’’ quota for a particular stock has been fully harvested. Additional directed quota for these and other stocks managed within the NAFO Regulatory Area could be made available to U.S. vessels through industry-initiated chartering arrangements or government-togovernment transfers of quota from other NAFO Contracting Parties. U.S. vessels participating in NAFO may also retain bycatch of NAFO managed species to the following maximum amounts as outlined in Article 6 of the CEM. The percentage, by weight, is calculated as a percent of each stock of the total catch of species listed in Annex I.A (i.e., the NAFO managed stocks previously listed) retained onboard from the applicable division at the time of inspection, based on logbook information: 1. Cod, Division 3M: 1,250 kg or 5 percent, whichever is more; 2. Witch Flounder, Division 3M: 1,250 kg or 5 percent, whichever is more; 3. Redfish, Division 3LN: 1,250 kg or 5 percent, whichever is more; 4. Cod, Division 3NO: 1,000 kg or 4 percent, whichever is more; 5. American plaice: While conducting a directed fishery for yellowtail flounder in Divisions 3LNO—15 percent of American plaice; otherwise, 1,250 kg or 5 percent, whichever is greater; and 6. For all other Annex I.A stocks where the U.S. has no specific quota the bycatch limit is, 2,500 kg or 10 percent unless a ban on fishing applies or the quota for the stock has been fully utilized. If the fishery for the stock is closed or a retention ban applies, the permitted bycatch limit is 1,250 kg or 5 percent. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:28 Nov 23, 2018 Jkt 247001 Opportunities to fish for species not listed above (i.e., species listed in Annex I.A of the NAFO CEM and nonallocated on non-regulated species), but occurring within the NAFO Regulatory Area, may also be available. U.S. fishermen interested in fishing for these other species should contact the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (see ADDRESSES) for additional information. Authorization to fish for such species will include permit-related conditions or restrictions, including but not limited to, minimum size requirements, bycatch-related measures, and catch limits. Any such conditions or restrictions will be designed to ensure the optimum utilization, longterm sustainability, and rational management and conservation of fishery resources in the NAFO Regulatory Area, consistent with the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries as well as the Amendment to the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, which has been adopted by all NAFO Contracting Parties. Applying for These Fishing Opportunities Expressions of interest to fish for any or all of the 2019 U.S. fishing opportunities in NAFO described above will be considered from all U.S. fishing interests (e.g., vessel owners, processors, agents, others). Applicants are urged to carefully review and thoroughly address the application requirements and selection criteria as detailed below. Expressions of interest should be directed in writing to Regional Administrator John Bullard (see ADDRESSES). PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Others quota 70 109 124 100 85 12 59 258 794 Information Required in an Application Letter Expressions of interest should include a detailed description of anticipated fishing operations in 2019. Descriptions should include, at a minimum: • Intended target species; • Proposed dates of fishing operations; • Vessel(s) to be used to harvest fish, including the name, registration, and home port of the intended harvesting vessel(s); • The number of fishing personnel and their nationality involved in vessel operations; • Intended landing port or ports; including for ports outside of the United States, whether or not the product will be shipped to the United States for processing; • Processing facilities to be used; • Target market for harvested fish; and, • Evidence demonstrating the ability of the applicant to successfully prosecute fishing operations in the NAFO Regulatory Area, in accordance with NAFO management measures. This may include descriptions of previously successful NAFO or domestic fisheries participation. Note that applicant U.S. vessels must possess or be eligible to receive a valid High Seas Fishing Compliance Act (HSFCA) permit. HSFCA permits are available from the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office. Information regarding other requirements for fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area is detailed below and is also available from the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (see ADDRESSES). U.S. applicants wishing to harvest U.S. allocations using a vessel from another NAFO Contracting Party, or hoping to enter a chartering E:\FR\FM\26NON1.SGM 26NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 227 / Monday, November 26, 2018 / Notices arrangement with a vessel from another NAFO Contracting Party, should see below for details on U.S. and NAFO requirements for such activities. If you have further questions regarding what information is required in an expression of interest, please contact Patrick Moran (see ADDRESSES). Criteria Used in Identifying Successful Applicants Applicants demonstrating the greatest benefits to the United States through their intended operations will be most successful. Such benefits may include: • The use of U.S vessels and crew to harvest fish in the NAFO Regulatory Area; • Detailed, positive impacts on U.S. employment as a result of the fishing, transport, or processing operations; • Use of U.S. processing facilities; • Transport, marketing, and sales of product within the United States; • Other ancillary, demonstrable benefits to U.S. businesses as a result of the fishing operation; and • Documentation of the physical characteristics and economics of the fishery for future use by the U.S. fishing industry. Other factors we may consider include but are not limited to: A documented history of successful fishing operations in NAFO or other similar fisheries; the history of compliance by the vessel with the NAFO CEM or other domestic and international regulatory requirements, including potential disqualification of an applicant with repeated compliance issues; and, for those applicants without NAFO or other international fishery history, a description of demonstrated harvest, processing, marketing, and regulatory compliance within domestic fisheries. To ensure equitable access by U.S. fishing interests, we may provide additional guidance or procedures, or we may issue regulations designed to allocate fishing interests to one or more U.S. applicants from among qualified applicants. After reviewing all requests for allocations submitted, we may also decide not to grant any allocations if it is determined that no requests adequately meet the criteria described in this notice. Notification of Selected Vessels in the 2019 NAFO Fisheries We will provide written responses to all applicants notifying them of their application status and, as needed for successful applicants, allocation awards will be made as quickly as possible so that we may notify NAFO and take other necessary actions to facilitate operations VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:28 Nov 23, 2018 Jkt 247001 in the regulatory area by U.S. fishing interests. Successful applicants will receive additional information from us on permit conditions and applicable regulations before starting 2019 fishing operations. Mid-Season Allocation Adjustments In the event that an approved U.S. entity does not, is not able to, or is not expected to fish an allocation, or part thereof, awarded to them, NMFS may reallocate to other approved U.S. entities. If requested, approved U.S. entities must provide updated fishing plans and/or schedules. A U.S. entity may not consolidate or transfer allocations without prior approval from NMFS. Chartering a Vessel To Fish Available U.S. Allocations Under the bilateral arrangement with Canada, the United States may enter into a chartering (or other) arrangement with a Canadian vessel to harvest the transferred yellowtail flounder. For other NAFO-regulated species listed in Annexes I.A and I.B, the United States may enter into a chartering arrangement with a vessel from any other NAFO Contracting Party. Additionally, any U.S. vessel or fishing operation may enter into a chartering arrangement with any other vessel or business from a NAFO Contracting Party. The United States and the other Contracting Party involved in a chartering arrangement must agree to the charter, and the NAFO Executive Secretary must be advised of the chartering arrangement before the commencement of any charter fishing operations. Any U.S. vessel or fishing operation interested in making use of the chartering provisions of NAFO must provide at least the following information: The name and registration number of the U.S. vessel; a copy of the charter agreement; a detailed fishing plan; a written letter of consent from the applicable NAFO Contracting Party; the date from which the vessel is authorized to commence fishing; and the duration of the charter (not to exceed six months). Expressions of interest using another NAFO Contracting Party vessel under charter should be accompanied by a detailed description of anticipated benefits to the United States, as described above. Additional detail on chartering arrangements can be found in Article 26 of the CEM (https:// www.nafo.int/Fisheries/Conservation). Any vessel from another Contracting Party wishing to enter into a chartering arrangement with the United States must be in full current compliance with the requirements outlined in the NAFO PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60403 Convention and CEM. These requirements include, but are not limited to, submission of the following reports to the NAFO Executive Secretary: • Notification that the vessel is authorized by its flag state to fish within the NAFO Regulatory Area during 2019; • Provisional monthly catch reports for all vessels of that NAFO Contracting Party operating in the NAFO Regulatory Area; • Daily catch reports for each day fished by the subject vessel within the Regulatory Area; • Observer reports within 30 days following the completion of a fishing trip; and • An annual statement of actions taken by its flag state to comply with the NAFO Convention. The United States may also consider the vessel’s previous compliance with NAFO bycatch, reporting, and other provisions, as outlined in the NAFO CEM, before authorizing the chartering arrangement. Transfer of U.S. Quota Allocations to Another NAFO Party Under NAFO rules in effect for 2019, the United States may transfer fishing opportunities by mutual agreement with another NAFO Contracting Party and with prior notification to the NAFO Executive Secretary. An applicant may request to arrange for any of the previously described U.S. opportunities to be transferred to another NAFO party, although such applications will likely be given lesser priority than those that involve more direct harvesting or processing by U.S. entities. Applications to arrange for a transfer of U.S. fishing opportunities should contain a letter of consent from the receiving NAFO Contracting Party, and should also be accompanied by a detailed description of anticipated benefits to the United States. As in the case of chartering operations, the United States may also consider a NAFO Contracting Party’s previous compliance with NAFO bycatch, reporting, and other provisions, as outlined in the NAFO CEM, before entering agreeing to a transfer. Receiving a Transfer of NAFO Quota Allocations From Another NAFO Party Under NAFO rules in effect for 2019, the United States may receive transfers of additional fishing opportunities from other NAFO Contracting Parties. We are required to provide a letter consenting to such a transfer and must provide notice to the NAFO Executive Secretary. In the event that an applicant is able to arrange for the transfer of additional fishing opportunities from another E:\FR\FM\26NON1.SGM 26NON1 60404 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 227 / Monday, November 26, 2018 / Notices NAFO Contracting Party to the United States, the U.S. may agree to facilitate such a transfer. However, there is no guarantee that if an applicant has facilitated the transfer of quota from another Contracting Party to the United States, such applicant will receive authorization to fish for such quota. If quota is transferred to the United States, we may need to solicit new applications for the use of such quota. All applicable NAFO requirements for transfers must be met. As in the case of chartering operations, the United States may also consider a NAFO Contracting Party’s previous compliance with NAFO bycatch, reporting, and other provisions, as outlined in the NAFO CEM, before agreeing to accept a transfer. Any fishing quota or other harvesting opportunities received via this type of transfer are subject to all U.S and NAFO rules as detailed below. For more details on NAFO requirements for chartering and transferring NAFO allocations, contact Patrick Moran (see ADDRESSES). Fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area U.S. applicant vessels must be in possession of, or obtain, a valid HSFCA permit, which is available from the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office. All permitted vessels must comply with any conditions of this permit and all applicable provisions of the Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries and the CEM. We reserve the right to impose additional permit conditions that ensure compliance with the NAFO Convention and the CEM, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and any other applicable law. The CEM provisions include, but are not limited to: • Maintaining a fishing logbook with NAFO-designated entries (Annex II.A and Article 28); • Adhering to NAFO hail system requirements (Annexes II.D and II.F; Article 28; Article 30 part B); • Carrying an approved onboard observer for each trip consistent with requirements of Article 30 part A; • Maintaining and using a functioning, autonomous vessel monitoring system authorized by issuance of the HSFCA permit as required by Articles 29 and 30; and • Complying with all relevant NAFO CEM requirements, including minimum fish sizes, gear, bycatch retention, and per-tow move on provisions for exceeding bycatch limits in any one haul/set. Further details regarding U.S. and NAFO requirements are available from VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:28 Nov 23, 2018 Jkt 247001 the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and can also be found in the NAFO CEM on the internet (https://www.nafo.int/Fisheries/ Conservation). Vessels issued valid HSFCA permits under 50 CFR part 300 are exempt from certain domestic fisheries regulations governing fisheries in the Northeast United States found in 50 CFR 648. Specifically, vessels are exempt from the Northeast multispecies and monkfish permit, mesh size, effortcontrol, and possession limit restrictions (§§ 648.4, 648.80, 648.82, 648.86, 648.87, 648.91, 648.92, and 648.94), while transiting the U.S. EEZ with multispecies and/or monkfish on board the vessel, or landing multispecies and/or monkfish in U.S. ports that were caught while fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area. These exemptions are conditional on the following requirements: The vessel operator has a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator on board the vessel; for the duration of the trip, the vessel fishes, except for transiting purposes, exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area and does not harvest fish in, or possess fish harvested in, or from, the U.S. EEZ; when transiting the U.S. EEZ, all gear is properly stowed and not available for immediate use as defined under § 648.2; and the vessel operator complies with the provisions, conditions, and restrictions specified on the HSFCA permit and all NAFO CEM while fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area. Dated: November 19, 2018. Christopher Rogers, Acting Director, Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2018–25591 Filed 11–23–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XG645 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meetings National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meetings. AGENCY: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold public meetings of the Council and its Committees. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The meetings will be held Monday, December 10, 2018 through Thursday, December 13, 2018. For agenda details, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held at the Westin Annapolis, 100 Westgate Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401 telephone: (410) 972–4300. Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N State St., Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674–2331. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D. Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526–5255. The Council’s website, www.mafmc.org also has details on the meeting location, proposed agenda, webinar listen-in access, and briefing materials. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The following items are on the agenda, though agenda items may be addressed out of order (changes will be noted on the Council’s website when possible.) DATES: Monday, December 10, 2018 Executive Committee—CLOSED MEETING Ricks E Savage Award Risk Policy Framework Final results of the Summer Flounder Economic Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) and discuss next steps. Law Enforcement Workshop Report Report on Law Enforcement/For-Hire Workshop (November 13–14, 2018) and review workshop summary and develop recommendations on further actions. Tuesday, December 11, 2018 Discussion of Potential 2019 Mid-Year Revisions for Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Discuss timeline for revising 2019 summer flounder specifications and discuss potential for mid-year revisions to the 2019 black sea bass and scup specifications, including timing of the 2019 operational assessment. Black Sea Bass 2019 Recreational Specifications Review recent fishery performance, Monitoring Committee and Advisory Panel recommendations and adopt recommendations for 2019 federal waters recreational management measures. Scup 2019 Recreational Specifications Review recent fishery performance, Monitoring Committee and Advisory E:\FR\FM\26NON1.SGM 26NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 227 (Monday, November 26, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60400-60404]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-25591]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XG560


International Affairs; U.S. Fishing Opportunities in the 
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Regulatory Area

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

ACTION: Notification of U.S. fishing opportunities.

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

SUMMARY: We are announcing 2019 fishing opportunities in the Northwest 
Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) Regulatory Area. This action is 
necessary to make fishing privileges in the NAFO Regulatory Area 
available on an equitable basis to the greatest extent possible. The 
intended effect of this notice is to alert U.S. fishing vessels of the 
NAFO fishing opportunities, to relay the available quotas available to 
U.S. participants, and to outline the process and requirements for 
vessels to apply to participate in the 2019 NAFO fishery.

DATES: Effective January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019. 
Expressions of interest regarding fishing opportunities in NAFO will be 
accepted through December 11, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Expressions of interest regarding U.S. fishing opportunities 
in NAFO should be made in writing to Michael Pentony, U.S. Commissioner 
to NAFO, NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office at 55 Great 
Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930 (phone: 978-281-9315, email: 
[email protected]).
    Information relating to chartering vessels of another NAFO 
Contracting Party, transferring NAFO fishing opportunities to or from 
another NAFO Contracting Party, or U.S. participation in NAFO is 
available from Patrick E. Moran in the NMFS Office of International 
Affairs and Seafood Inspection at 1315 East-West Highway, Silver 
Spring, MD 20910 (phone: 301-427-8370, fax: 301-713-2313, email: 
[email protected]).
    Additional information about NAFO fishing opportunities, NAFO 
Conservation and Enforcement Measures (CEM), and the High Seas Fishing 
Compliance Act (HSFCA) Permit required for NAFO participation is 
available from Shannah Jaburek, in the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional 
Fisheries Office at 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930 
(phone: 978-282-8456, fax: 978-281-9135, email: 
[email protected]) and online from NAFO at https://www.nafo.int.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shannah Jaburek, 978-282-8456.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

General NAFO Background

    The United States is a Contracting Party to the Northwest Atlantic 
Fisheries Organization or NAFO. NAFO is an intergovernmental fisheries 
science and management body whose convention applies to most fishery 
resources in international waters of the Northwest Atlantic, except 
salmon, tunas/marlins, whales, and sedentary species such as shellfish. 
Currently, NAFO has 12 contracting parties from North America, Europe, 
Asia, and the Caribbean. NAFO's Commission is responsible for the 
management and conservation of the fishery resources in the Regulatory 
Area (waters outside the

[[Page 60401]]

Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ)). Figure 1 shows the NAFO Regulatory 
Area.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN26NO18.000

    As a Contracting Party within NAFO, the United States may be 
allocated catch quotas or effort allocations for certain species in 
specific areas within the NAFO Regulatory Area and may participate in 
fisheries for other species for which we have not received a specific 
quota. For most stocks for which the United States does not receive a 
specific allocation, an open allocation, known as the ``Others'' 
allocation under the Convention, is shared access between all NAFO 
Contracting Parties.
    Additional information on NAFO can be found online at https://www.nafo.int/About-us. The 2019 NAFO Conservation and Enforcement 
Measures (CEM) that specify the fishery regulations, Total Allowable 
Catches (TAC or ``quotas'') and other information about the fishery 
program will be available online at: https://www.nafo.int/Fisheries/Conservation when completed. Information from the 2018 Annual Meeting 
of NAFO, at which changes to the TACs and other management measures is 
available on the NAFO website.
    This notice announces the fishing opportunities available to U.S. 
vessels in NAFO regulatory waters, including specific 2019 stocks for 
which the United States has an allocation under NAFO, and fishing 
opportunities under the `Other' NAFO allocations. This notice also 
outlines the application process and other requirements for U.S. 
vessels that wish to participate in the 2019 NAFO fisheries.

NAFO Fishing Opportunities Available to U.S. Fishing Vessels

    The principal species managed by NAFO are Atlantic cod, yellowtail 
and witch flounders, Acadian redfish, American plaice, Greenland 
halibut, white hake, capelin, shrimp, skates, and Illex squid. NAFO 
specifies conservation measures for fisheries on these species 
occurring in its Regulatory Area, including TACs for these managed 
species that are allocated among NAFO Contracting Parties. The United 
States received quota allocations at the 2018 NAFO Annual Meeting for 
two stocks to be fished during 2019. The species, location by NAFO 
subarea, and allocation (in metric tons (mt)) of these 2019 U.S. 
fishing opportunities are as follows: Redfish in Division 3M, 69 mt; 
and Illex Squid in Subareas 3 & 4, 453

[[Page 60402]]

mt. In addition, the United States expects a transfer of at least 1,000 
mt of NAFO Division 3LNO yellowtail flounder from Canada's 2019 quota 
allocation consistent with the continuation of a 2008 bilateral 
arrangement between the two countries.
    The TACs that may be available to U.S. vessels for stocks where the 
United States has not been allocated quota (i.e., the ``Others'' 
allocation in Annex I.A of the CEM) are as follows:

                Table 1--2019 NAFO ``Others'' Allocations
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Species                   NAFO division        Others quota
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cod............................  3M.....................              70
Redfish........................  3LN....................             109
                                 3M.....................             124
                                 3O.....................             100
Yellowtail Flounder............  3LNO...................              85
Witch Flounder.................  3NO....................              12
White Hake.....................  3NO....................              59
Skates.........................  3LNO...................             258
Illex squid....................  Squid 3_4 (Sub-Areas                794
                                  3+4).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note that the United States shares these allocations with other 
NAFO Contracting Parties, and access is on a first come, first served 
basis. Directed fishing is prohibited by NAFO when the ``Others'' quota 
for a particular stock has been fully harvested.
    Additional directed quota for these and other stocks managed within 
the NAFO Regulatory Area could be made available to U.S. vessels 
through industry-initiated chartering arrangements or government-to-
government transfers of quota from other NAFO Contracting Parties.
    U.S. vessels participating in NAFO may also retain bycatch of NAFO 
managed species to the following maximum amounts as outlined in Article 
6 of the CEM. The percentage, by weight, is calculated as a percent of 
each stock of the total catch of species listed in Annex I.A (i.e., the 
NAFO managed stocks previously listed) retained onboard from the 
applicable division at the time of inspection, based on logbook 
information:
    1. Cod, Division 3M: 1,250 kg or 5 percent, whichever is more;
    2. Witch Flounder, Division 3M: 1,250 kg or 5 percent, whichever is 
more;
    3. Redfish, Division 3LN: 1,250 kg or 5 percent, whichever is more;
    4. Cod, Division 3NO: 1,000 kg or 4 percent, whichever is more;
    5. American plaice: While conducting a directed fishery for 
yellowtail flounder in Divisions 3LNO--15 percent of American plaice; 
otherwise, 1,250 kg or 5 percent, whichever is greater; and
    6. For all other Annex I.A stocks where the U.S. has no specific 
quota the bycatch limit is, 2,500 kg or 10 percent unless a ban on 
fishing applies or the quota for the stock has been fully utilized. If 
the fishery for the stock is closed or a retention ban applies, the 
permitted bycatch limit is 1,250 kg or 5 percent.
    Opportunities to fish for species not listed above (i.e., species 
listed in Annex I.A of the NAFO CEM and non-allocated on non-regulated 
species), but occurring within the NAFO Regulatory Area, may also be 
available. U.S. fishermen interested in fishing for these other species 
should contact the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (see 
ADDRESSES) for additional information. Authorization to fish for such 
species will include permit-related conditions or restrictions, 
including but not limited to, minimum size requirements, bycatch-
related measures, and catch limits. Any such conditions or restrictions 
will be designed to ensure the optimum utilization, long-term 
sustainability, and rational management and conservation of fishery 
resources in the NAFO Regulatory Area, consistent with the Convention 
on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries 
as well as the Amendment to the Convention on Future Multilateral 
Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries, which has been adopted 
by all NAFO Contracting Parties.

Applying for These Fishing Opportunities

    Expressions of interest to fish for any or all of the 2019 U.S. 
fishing opportunities in NAFO described above will be considered from 
all U.S. fishing interests (e.g., vessel owners, processors, agents, 
others). Applicants are urged to carefully review and thoroughly 
address the application requirements and selection criteria as detailed 
below. Expressions of interest should be directed in writing to 
Regional Administrator John Bullard (see ADDRESSES).

Information Required in an Application Letter

    Expressions of interest should include a detailed description of 
anticipated fishing operations in 2019. Descriptions should include, at 
a minimum:
     Intended target species;
     Proposed dates of fishing operations;
     Vessel(s) to be used to harvest fish, including the name, 
registration, and home port of the intended harvesting vessel(s);
     The number of fishing personnel and their nationality 
involved in vessel operations;
     Intended landing port or ports; including for ports 
outside of the United States, whether or not the product will be 
shipped to the United States for processing;
     Processing facilities to be used;
     Target market for harvested fish; and,
     Evidence demonstrating the ability of the applicant to 
successfully prosecute fishing operations in the NAFO Regulatory Area, 
in accordance with NAFO management measures. This may include 
descriptions of previously successful NAFO or domestic fisheries 
participation.
    Note that applicant U.S. vessels must possess or be eligible to 
receive a valid High Seas Fishing Compliance Act (HSFCA) permit. HSFCA 
permits are available from the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries 
Office. Information regarding other requirements for fishing in the 
NAFO Regulatory Area is detailed below and is also available from the 
NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (see ADDRESSES).
    U.S. applicants wishing to harvest U.S. allocations using a vessel 
from another NAFO Contracting Party, or hoping to enter a chartering

[[Page 60403]]

arrangement with a vessel from another NAFO Contracting Party, should 
see below for details on U.S. and NAFO requirements for such 
activities. If you have further questions regarding what information is 
required in an expression of interest, please contact Patrick Moran 
(see ADDRESSES).

Criteria Used in Identifying Successful Applicants

    Applicants demonstrating the greatest benefits to the United States 
through their intended operations will be most successful. Such 
benefits may include:
     The use of U.S vessels and crew to harvest fish in the 
NAFO Regulatory Area;
     Detailed, positive impacts on U.S. employment as a result 
of the fishing, transport, or processing operations;
     Use of U.S. processing facilities;
     Transport, marketing, and sales of product within the 
United States;
     Other ancillary, demonstrable benefits to U.S. businesses 
as a result of the fishing operation; and
     Documentation of the physical characteristics and 
economics of the fishery for future use by the U.S. fishing industry.
    Other factors we may consider include but are not limited to: A 
documented history of successful fishing operations in NAFO or other 
similar fisheries; the history of compliance by the vessel with the 
NAFO CEM or other domestic and international regulatory requirements, 
including potential disqualification of an applicant with repeated 
compliance issues; and, for those applicants without NAFO or other 
international fishery history, a description of demonstrated harvest, 
processing, marketing, and regulatory compliance within domestic 
fisheries.
    To ensure equitable access by U.S. fishing interests, we may 
provide additional guidance or procedures, or we may issue regulations 
designed to allocate fishing interests to one or more U.S. applicants 
from among qualified applicants. After reviewing all requests for 
allocations submitted, we may also decide not to grant any allocations 
if it is determined that no requests adequately meet the criteria 
described in this notice.

Notification of Selected Vessels in the 2019 NAFO Fisheries

    We will provide written responses to all applicants notifying them 
of their application status and, as needed for successful applicants, 
allocation awards will be made as quickly as possible so that we may 
notify NAFO and take other necessary actions to facilitate operations 
in the regulatory area by U.S. fishing interests. Successful applicants 
will receive additional information from us on permit conditions and 
applicable regulations before starting 2019 fishing operations.

Mid-Season Allocation Adjustments

    In the event that an approved U.S. entity does not, is not able to, 
or is not expected to fish an allocation, or part thereof, awarded to 
them, NMFS may reallocate to other approved U.S. entities. If 
requested, approved U.S. entities must provide updated fishing plans 
and/or schedules. A U.S. entity may not consolidate or transfer 
allocations without prior approval from NMFS.

Chartering a Vessel To Fish Available U.S. Allocations

    Under the bilateral arrangement with Canada, the United States may 
enter into a chartering (or other) arrangement with a Canadian vessel 
to harvest the transferred yellowtail flounder. For other NAFO-
regulated species listed in Annexes I.A and I.B, the United States may 
enter into a chartering arrangement with a vessel from any other NAFO 
Contracting Party. Additionally, any U.S. vessel or fishing operation 
may enter into a chartering arrangement with any other vessel or 
business from a NAFO Contracting Party. The United States and the other 
Contracting Party involved in a chartering arrangement must agree to 
the charter, and the NAFO Executive Secretary must be advised of the 
chartering arrangement before the commencement of any charter fishing 
operations. Any U.S. vessel or fishing operation interested in making 
use of the chartering provisions of NAFO must provide at least the 
following information: The name and registration number of the U.S. 
vessel; a copy of the charter agreement; a detailed fishing plan; a 
written letter of consent from the applicable NAFO Contracting Party; 
the date from which the vessel is authorized to commence fishing; and 
the duration of the charter (not to exceed six months).
    Expressions of interest using another NAFO Contracting Party vessel 
under charter should be accompanied by a detailed description of 
anticipated benefits to the United States, as described above. 
Additional detail on chartering arrangements can be found in Article 26 
of the CEM (https://www.nafo.int/Fisheries/Conservation).
    Any vessel from another Contracting Party wishing to enter into a 
chartering arrangement with the United States must be in full current 
compliance with the requirements outlined in the NAFO Convention and 
CEM. These requirements include, but are not limited to, submission of 
the following reports to the NAFO Executive Secretary:
     Notification that the vessel is authorized by its flag 
state to fish within the NAFO Regulatory Area during 2019;
     Provisional monthly catch reports for all vessels of that 
NAFO Contracting Party operating in the NAFO Regulatory Area;
     Daily catch reports for each day fished by the subject 
vessel within the Regulatory Area;
     Observer reports within 30 days following the completion 
of a fishing trip; and
     An annual statement of actions taken by its flag state to 
comply with the NAFO Convention.
    The United States may also consider the vessel's previous 
compliance with NAFO bycatch, reporting, and other provisions, as 
outlined in the NAFO CEM, before authorizing the chartering 
arrangement.

Transfer of U.S. Quota Allocations to Another NAFO Party

    Under NAFO rules in effect for 2019, the United States may transfer 
fishing opportunities by mutual agreement with another NAFO Contracting 
Party and with prior notification to the NAFO Executive Secretary. An 
applicant may request to arrange for any of the previously described 
U.S. opportunities to be transferred to another NAFO party, although 
such applications will likely be given lesser priority than those that 
involve more direct harvesting or processing by U.S. entities. 
Applications to arrange for a transfer of U.S. fishing opportunities 
should contain a letter of consent from the receiving NAFO Contracting 
Party, and should also be accompanied by a detailed description of 
anticipated benefits to the United States. As in the case of chartering 
operations, the United States may also consider a NAFO Contracting 
Party's previous compliance with NAFO bycatch, reporting, and other 
provisions, as outlined in the NAFO CEM, before entering agreeing to a 
transfer.

Receiving a Transfer of NAFO Quota Allocations From Another NAFO Party

    Under NAFO rules in effect for 2019, the United States may receive 
transfers of additional fishing opportunities from other NAFO 
Contracting Parties. We are required to provide a letter consenting to 
such a transfer and must provide notice to the NAFO Executive 
Secretary. In the event that an applicant is able to arrange for the 
transfer of additional fishing opportunities from another

[[Page 60404]]

NAFO Contracting Party to the United States, the U.S. may agree to 
facilitate such a transfer. However, there is no guarantee that if an 
applicant has facilitated the transfer of quota from another 
Contracting Party to the United States, such applicant will receive 
authorization to fish for such quota. If quota is transferred to the 
United States, we may need to solicit new applications for the use of 
such quota. All applicable NAFO requirements for transfers must be met. 
As in the case of chartering operations, the United States may also 
consider a NAFO Contracting Party's previous compliance with NAFO 
bycatch, reporting, and other provisions, as outlined in the NAFO CEM, 
before agreeing to accept a transfer. Any fishing quota or other 
harvesting opportunities received via this type of transfer are subject 
to all U.S and NAFO rules as detailed below.
    For more details on NAFO requirements for chartering and 
transferring NAFO allocations, contact Patrick Moran (see ADDRESSES).

Fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area

    U.S. applicant vessels must be in possession of, or obtain, a valid 
HSFCA permit, which is available from the NMFS Greater Atlantic 
Regional Fisheries Office. All permitted vessels must comply with any 
conditions of this permit and all applicable provisions of the 
Convention on Future Multilateral Cooperation in the Northwest Atlantic 
Fisheries and the CEM. We reserve the right to impose additional permit 
conditions that ensure compliance with the NAFO Convention and the CEM, 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and any 
other applicable law.
    The CEM provisions include, but are not limited to:
     Maintaining a fishing logbook with NAFO-designated entries 
(Annex II.A and Article 28);
     Adhering to NAFO hail system requirements (Annexes II.D 
and II.F; Article 28; Article 30 part B);
     Carrying an approved onboard observer for each trip 
consistent with requirements of Article 30 part A;
     Maintaining and using a functioning, autonomous vessel 
monitoring system authorized by issuance of the HSFCA permit as 
required by Articles 29 and 30; and
     Complying with all relevant NAFO CEM requirements, 
including minimum fish sizes, gear, bycatch retention, and per-tow move 
on provisions for exceeding bycatch limits in any one haul/set.
    Further details regarding U.S. and NAFO requirements are available 
from the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and can also 
be found in the NAFO CEM on the internet (https://www.nafo.int/Fisheries/Conservation).
    Vessels issued valid HSFCA permits under 50 CFR part 300 are exempt 
from certain domestic fisheries regulations governing fisheries in the 
Northeast United States found in 50 CFR 648. Specifically, vessels are 
exempt from the Northeast multispecies and monkfish permit, mesh size, 
effort-control, and possession limit restrictions (Sec. Sec.  648.4, 
648.80, 648.82, 648.86, 648.87, 648.91, 648.92, and 648.94), while 
transiting the U.S. EEZ with multispecies and/or monkfish on board the 
vessel, or landing multispecies and/or monkfish in U.S. ports that were 
caught while fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area. These exemptions are 
conditional on the following requirements: The vessel operator has a 
letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator on board 
the vessel; for the duration of the trip, the vessel fishes, except for 
transiting purposes, exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area and does 
not harvest fish in, or possess fish harvested in, or from, the U.S. 
EEZ; when transiting the U.S. EEZ, all gear is properly stowed and not 
available for immediate use as defined under Sec.  648.2; and the 
vessel operator complies with the provisions, conditions, and 
restrictions specified on the HSFCA permit and all NAFO CEM while 
fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

    Dated: November 19, 2018.
Christopher Rogers,
Acting Director, Office of International Affairs and Seafood 
Inspection, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-25591 Filed 11-23-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P