Trade Monitoring Procedures for Fishery Products; International Trade in Seafood; Permit Requirements for Importers and Exporters
NMFS proposes regulations to revise procedures and requirements for filing import, export, and re-export documentation for certain fishery products to meet requirements for the SAFE Port Act of 2006, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), other applicable statutes, and obligations that arise from U.S. participation in regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs) and other arrangements to which the United States is a member or contracting party. Specifically, NMFS proposes to integrate the collection of trade documentation within the government-wide International Trade Data System (ITDS) and require electronic information collection through the automated portal maintained by the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Under this integration, NMFS would require annually renewable International Fisheries Trade Permits (IFTP) for the import, export, and re-export of certain regulated seafood commodities that are subject to trade monitoring programs of RFMOs and/or subject to trade documentation requirements under domestic law. These trade monitoring programs enable the United States to exclude products that do not meet the criteria for admissibility to U.S. markets, including products resulting from illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing activities. This proposed rule would consolidate existing international trade permits for regulated seafood products under the Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) and Highly Migratory Species International Trade Permit (HMS ITP) programs and expand the scope of the permit requirement to include regulated seafood products under the Tuna Tracking and Verification Program (TTVP). This proposed rule would also stipulate data and trade documentation for the above programs which must be provided electronically to CBP and address recordkeeping requirements for these programs in light of the proposed changes. Trade documentation excludes any programmatic documents that are not required at the time of entry/export (e.g., biweekly dealer reports).
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off of Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Small Catcher/Processors in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries
NMFS proposes regulations that would implement Amendment 112 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP) and revise regulations for observer coverage requirements for certain small catcher/processors in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). If approved, this proposed rule would modify the criteria for NMFS to place small catcher/ processors in the partial observer coverage category under the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program (Observer Program). Under this proposed rule, the owner of a non-trawl catcher/processor could choose to be in the partial observer coverage category, on an annual basis, if the vessel processed less than 79,000 lb (35.8 mt) of groundfish on an average weekly basis in a particular prior year, as specified in this proposed rule. This proposed rule would not alter observer coverage requirements for a catcher/processor using trawl gear or for a catcher/processor when participating in a catch share program; these catcher/processors would continue to be required to be in the full observer coverage category. This proposed rule would provide a relatively limited exception to the general requirement that all catcher/processors are in the full observer coverage category, and maintain the full observer coverage requirement for all trawl catcher/ processors and catcher/processors participating in a catch share program that requires full coverage. The net impact of this proposed rule on the information available for fisheries management is expected to be small due, in part, to the small amount of fishing activity that would be impacted. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals of the BSAI and GOA FMPs, and to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson- Stevens Act) and other applicable laws.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Groundfish Committee to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting
The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Herring Committee to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement; Scoping Process; Request for Comments; Extension of Comment Period
In the Notice of Intent (NOI) that published on Monday, November 23, 2015, the Council and NMFS announced the intention to prepare an environmental impact statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. This notice is to alert the interested public of an additional public hearing and to extend the written comment period from January 7, 2016, to January 20, 2016, to ensure adequate time for the public to comment on the NOI.
Establish a Single Small Business Size Standard for Commercial Fishing Businesses
NMFS issues this final rule to establish a small business size standard of $11 million in annual gross receipts for all businesses in the commercial fishing industry (NAICS 11411), for Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) compliance purposes only. For the purposes of this final rule, a ``commercial fishing business'' is a business primarily engaged in commercial fishing, the ``commercial fishing industry'' is composed of all such businesses, and the $11 million standard only applies to this industry. This standard does not apply to businesses primarily engaged in seafood processing (NAICS 311170), seafood wholesale activities (NAICS 424460), or any other activity within the seafood industry. The $11 million standard will be used in RFA analyses in place of the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) current standards of $20.5 million, $5.5 million, and $7.5 million for the finfish (NAICS 114111), shellfish (NAICS 114112), and other marine fishing (NAICS 114119) sectors of the U.S. commercial fishing industry, respectively. Establishing a single size standard of $11 million for the commercial fishing industry will simplify the RFA analyses done in support of NMFS' rules, better meet the RFA's intent by more accurately representing expected disproportionate effects of NMFS' rules between small and large commercial fishing businesses, create a standard that more accurately reflects the size distribution of all businesses in the commercial fishing industry, and allow NMFS to determine when changes to the standard are necessary and appropriate.