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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of April 17, 2014

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES


Subpart E—West Coast Groundfish—Limited Entry Fixed Gear Fisheries


Contents
§660.210   Purpose and scope.
§660.211   Fixed gear fishery—definitions.
§660.212   Fixed gear fishery—prohibitions.
§660.213   Fixed gear fishery—recordkeeping and reporting.
§660.216   Fixed gear fishery—observer requirements.
§660.219   Fixed gear identification and marking.
§660.220   Fixed gear fishery—crossover provisions.
§660.230   Fixed gear fishery—management measures.
§660.231   Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery.
§660.232   Limited entry daily trip limit (DTL) fishery for sablefish.
Table 2 (North) to Part 660, Subpart E—Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear North of 40°10 N. Lat.
Table 2 (South) to Part 660, Subpart E—Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear South of 40°10 N. Lat.

Source: 75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, unless otherwise noted.

§660.210   Purpose and scope.

This subpart covers the Pacific Coast Groundfish limited entry fixed gear fishery.

§660.211   Fixed gear fishery—definitions.

These definitions are specific to the limited entry fixed gear fisheries covered in this subpart. General groundfish definitions are found at §660.11, subpart C.

Daily Trip Limit (DTL) Fishery means a sablefish fishery that occurs both north and south of 36° N. lat. that is subject to trip limit restrictions including daily and/or weekly and/or bimonthly trip limits.

Limited entry fixed gear fishery means the fishery composed of vessels registered to limited entry permits with longline and pot/trap endorsements.

Sablefish primary fishery means, for the limited entry fixed gear sablefish fishery north of 36° N. lat, the fishery where vessels registered to at least one limited entry permit with both a gear endorsement for longline or trap (or pot) gear and a sablefish endorsement fish up to a specified tier limit and when they are not eligible to fish in the DTL fishery.

Sablefish primary season means, for the limited entry fixed gear sablefish fishery north of 36° N. lat, the period when vessels registered to at least one limited entry permit with both a gear endorsement for longline or trap (or pot) gear and a sablefish endorsement, are allowed to fish in the sablefish primary fishery described at §660.231 of this subpart.

Tier limit means a specified amount of sablefish that may be harvested by a vessel registered to a limited entry fixed gear permit(s) with a Tier 1, Tier 2, and/or Tier 3 designation; a gear endorsement for longline or trap (or pot) gear; and a sablefish endorsement.

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 53838, Aug. 30, 2011]

§660.212   Fixed gear fishery—prohibitions.

These prohibitions are specific to the limited entry fixed gear fisheries and to the limited entry trawl fishery Shorebased IFQ Program under gear switching. General groundfish prohibitions are found at §660.12, subpart C. In addition to the general groundfish prohibitions specified in §660.12, subpart C, it is unlawful for any person to:

(a) General. (1) Possess, deploy, haul, or carry onboard a fishing vessel subject to subparts C and E a set net, trap or pot, longline, or commercial vertical hook-and-line as defined at §660.11, subpart C, that is not in compliance with the gear restrictions in §660.230, subpart E, unless such gear is the gear of another vessel that has been retrieved at sea and made inoperable or stowed in a manner not capable of being fished. The disposal at sea of such gear is prohibited by Annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973 (Annex V of MARPOL 73/78).

(2) Take, retain, possess, or land more than a single cumulative limit of a particular species, per vessel, per applicable cumulative limit period, except for sablefish taken in the limited entry, fixed gear sablefish primary season from a vessel authorized to fish in that season, as described at §660.231 and except for IFQ species taken in the Shorebased IFQ Program from a vessel authorized under gear switching provisions as described at §660.140(k).

(b) Recordkeeping and reporting. Fail to retain on board a vessel from which sablefish caught in the sablefish primary season is landed, and provide to an authorized officer upon request, copies of any and all reports of sablefish landings against the sablefish-endorsed permit's tier limit, or receipts containing all data, and made in the exact manner required by the applicable state law throughout the sablefish primary season during which such landings occurred and for 15 days thereafter.

(c) Fishing in conservation areas—(1) Operate a vessel registered to a limited entry permit with a longline, trap (pot), or trawl endorsement and longline and/or trap gear onboard in an applicable GCA (as defined at §660.230(d)), except for purposes of continuous transiting, with all groundfish longline and/or trap gear stowed in accordance with §660.212(a) or except as authorized in the groundfish management measures at §660.230.

(2) Fish with bottom contact gear (as defined in §660.11, subpart C) within the EEZ in the following areas (defined in §§660.78 and 660.79, subpart C): Thompson Seamount, President Jackson Seamount, Cordell Bank (50-fm (91-m) isobath), Harris Point, Richardson Rock, Scorpion, Painted Cave, Anacapa Island, Carrington Point, Judith Rock, Skunk Point, Footprint, Gull Island, South Point, and Santa Barbara.

(3) Fish with bottom contact gear (as defined in §660.11, subpart C), or any other gear that is deployed deeper than 500-fm (914-m), within the Davidson Seamount area (defined in §660.75, subpart C).

(d) Sablefish fisheries. (1) Take, retain, possess or land sablefish under the tier limits provided for the limited entry, fixed gear sablefish primary season, described in §660.231(b)(3), from a vessel that is not registered to a limited entry permit with a sablefish endorsement:

(2) Take, retain, possess or land sablefish in the sablefish primary season, described at §660.231(b), subpart E, unless the owner of the limited entry permit registered for use with that vessel and authorizing the vessel to fish in the sablefish primary season is on board that vessel. Exceptions to this prohibition are provided at §660.231(b)(4)(i) and (ii).

(3) Process sablefish taken at-sea in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery defined at §660.231, from a vessel that does not have a sablefish at-sea processing exemption, described at §660.25(b)(6)(i).

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 75 FR 78427, Dec. 15, 2010; 76 FR 53838, Aug. 30, 2011; 76 FR 74746, Dec. 1, 2011]

§660.213   Fixed gear fishery—recordkeeping and reporting.

(a) General. General reporting requirements specified at §660.13 (a) through (c), subpart C, apply to limited entry fixed gear fishery vessels.

(b) Declaration reports for limited entry fixed gear fishery vessels. Declaration reporting requirements for limited entry fixed gear fishery vessels are specified at §660.13 (d), subpart C.

(c) VMS requirements for limited entry fixed gear fishery vessels. VMS requirements for limited entry fixed gear fishery vessels are specified at §660.14, subpart C.

(d) Retention of records. (1) Any person landing groundfish must retain on board the vessel from which groundfish are landed, and provide to an authorized officer upon request, copies of any and all reports of groundfish landings containing all data, and in the exact manner, required by the applicable state law throughout the cumulative limit period during which a landing occurred and for 15 days thereafter.

(2) For participants in the sablefish primary season, the cumulative limit period to which this requirement applies is April 1 through October 31 or, for an individual vessel owner, when the tier limit for the permit(s) registered to the vessel has been reached, whichever is earlier.

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 78 FR 68773, Nov. 15, 2013]

§660.216   Fixed gear fishery—observer requirements.

(a) Observer coverage requirements. (1) When NMFS notifies the vessel owner, operator, or the manager of a catcher vessel, specified at §660.16(c), of any requirement to carry an observer, the catcher vessel may not be used to fish for groundfish without carrying an observer.

(2) Any vessel 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA or longer that is engaged in at-sea processing must carry two NMFS-certified observers, and any vessel shorter than 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA that is engaged in at-sea processing must carry one NMFS-certified observer, each day that the vessel is used to take, retain, receive, land, process, or transport groundfish.

(b) Notice of departure basic rule. At least 24 hours (but not more than 36 hours) before departing on a fishing trip, a vessel that has been notified by NMFS that it is required to carry an observer, or that is operating in an active sampling unit, must notify NMFS (or its designated agent) of the vessel's intended time of departure. Notice will be given in a form to be specified by NMFS.

(1) Optional notice—weather delays. A vessel that anticipates a delayed departure due to weather or sea conditions may advise NMFS of the anticipated delay when providing the basic notice described in paragraph (b) of this section. If departure is delayed beyond 36 hours from the time the original notice is given, the vessel must provide an additional notice of departure not less than 4 hours prior to departure, in order to enable NMFS to place an observer.

(2) Optional notice—back-to-back fishing trips. A vessel that intends to make back-to-back fishing trips (i.e., trips with less than 24 hours between offloading from one trip and beginning another), may provide the basic notice described in paragraph (b) of this section for both trips, prior to making the first trip. A vessel that has given such notice is not required to give additional notice of the second trip.

(c) Cease fishing report. Within 24 hours of ceasing the taking and retaining of groundfish, vessel owners, operators, or managers must notify NMFS or its designated agent that fishing has ceased. This requirement applies to any vessel that is required to carry an observer, or that is operating in a segment of the fleet that NMFS has identified as an active sampling unit.

(d) Waiver. The Northwest Regional Administrator may provide written notification to the vessel owner stating that a determination has been made to temporarily waive coverage requirements because of circumstances that are deemed to be beyond the vessel's control.

(e) Vessel responsibilities—(1) Accommodations and food. An operator of a vessel required to carry one or more observer(s) must provide accommodations and food that are Equivalent to those provided to the crew.

(2) Safe conditions. Maintain safe conditions on the vessel for the protection of observer(s) including adherence to all USCG and other applicable rules, regulations, or statutes pertaining to safe operation of the vessel, and provisions at §§600.725 and 600.746 of this chapter.

(3) Observer communications. Facilitate observer communications by:

(i) Observer use of equipment. Allowing observer(s) to use the vessel's communication equipment and personnel, on request, for the entry, transmission, and receipt of work-related messages, at no cost to the observer(s) or the U.S. or designated agent.

(ii) Functional equipment. Ensuring that the vessel's communications equipment, used by observers to enter and transmit data, is fully functional and operational.

(4) Vessel position. Allow observer(s) access to, and the use of, the vessel's navigation equipment and personnel, on request, to determine the vessel's position.

(5) Access. Allow observer(s) free and unobstructed access to the vessel's bridge, trawl or working decks, holding bins, processing areas, freezer spaces, weight scales, cargo holds, and any other space that may be used to hold, process, weigh, or store fish or fish products at any time.

(6) Prior notification. Notify observer(s) at least 15 minutes before fish are brought on board, or fish and fish products are transferred from the vessel, to allow sampling the catch or observing the transfer, unless the observer specifically requests not to be notified.

(7) Records. Allow observer(s) to inspect and copy any state or Federal logbook maintained voluntarily or as required by regulation.

(8) Assistance. Provide all other reasonable assistance to enable observer(s) to carry out their duties, including, but not limited to:

(i) Measuring decks, codends, and holding bins.

(ii) Providing the observer(s) with a safe work area.

(iii) Collecting bycatch when requested by the observer(s).

(iv) Collecting and carrying baskets of fish when requested by the observer(s).

(v) Allowing the observer(s) to collect biological data and samples.

(vi) Providing adequate space for storage of biological samples.

(f) Sample station—(1) Observer sampling station. This paragraph contains the requirements for observer sampling stations. The vessel owner must provide an observer sampling station that complies with this section so that the observer can carry out required duties.

(i) Accessibility. The observer sampling station must be available to the observer at all times.

(ii) Location. The observer sampling station must be located within 4 m of the location from which the observer samples unsorted catch. Unobstructed passage must be provided between the observer sampling station and the location where the observer collects sample catch.

(2) [Reserved]

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 77 FR 55158, Sept. 7, 2012; 78 FR 68773, Nov. 15, 2013]

§660.219   Fixed gear identification and marking.

(a) Gear identification. (1) Limited entry fixed gear (longline, trap or pot) must be marked at the surface and at each terminal end, with a pole, flag, light, radar reflector, and a buoy.

(2) A buoy used to mark fixed gear must be marked with a number clearly identifying the owner or operator of the vessel. The number may be either:

(i) If required by applicable state law, the vessel's number, the commercial fishing license number, or buoy brand number; or

(ii) The vessel documentation number issued by the USCG, or, for an undocumented vessel, the vessel registration number issued by the state.

(b) [Reserved]

§660.220   Fixed gear fishery—crossover provisions.

The crossover provisions listed at §660.60(h)(7), apply to vessels fishing in the limited entry fixed gear fishery.

[76 FR 74746, Dec. 1, 2011]

§660.230   Fixed gear fishery—management measures.

(a) General. Most species taken in limited entry fixed gear (longline and pot/trap) fisheries will be managed with cumulative trip limits (see trip limits in Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) of this subpart), size limits (see §660.60(h)(5)), seasons (see trip limits in Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) of this subpart and sablefish primary season details in §660.231), gear restrictions (see paragraph (b) of this section), and closed areas (see paragraph (d) of this section and §§660.70 through 660.79). Cowcod retention is prohibited in all fisheries, and groundfish vessels operating south of Point Conception must adhere to CCA restrictions (see paragraph (d)(10) of this section and §660.70). Yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish retention is prohibited in the limited entry fixed gear fisheries. Regulations governing and tier limits for the limited entry, fixed gear sablefish primary season north of 36° N. lat. are found in §660.231. Vessels not participating in the sablefish primary season are subject to daily or weekly sablefish limits in addition to cumulative limits for each cumulative limit period. Only one sablefish landing per week may be made in excess of the daily trip limit and, if the vessel chooses to make a landing in excess of that daily trip limit, then that is the only sablefish landing permitted for that week. The trip limit for black rockfish caught with hook-and-line gear also applies, see §660.230(e). The trip limits in Table 2 (North) and Table 2 (South) of this subpart apply to vessels participating in the limited entry groundfish fixed gear fishery and may not be exceeded. Federal commercial groundfish regulations are not intended to supersede any more restrictive state commercial groundfish regulations relating to federally-managed groundfish.

(b) Gear restrictions—(1) Longline and pot or trap gear are authorized in the limited entry fixed gear fishery, providing the gear is in compliance with the restrictions set forth in this section, and gear marking requirements described in §660.219 of this subpart.

(2) Vessels participating in the limited entry fixed gear fishery may also fish with open access gear subject to the gear restrictions at §660.330(b), subpart F, but will be subject to the most restrictive trip limits for the gear used as specified at §660.60(h)(7), subpart C.

(3) Limited entry fixed gear (longline, trap or pot gear) must be attended at least once every 7 days.

(4) Traps or pots must have biodegradable escape panels constructed with 21 or smaller untreated cotton twine in such a manner that an opening at least 8 inches (20.3 cm) in diameter results when the twine deteriorates.

(c) Sorting Requirements. (1) In addition to the requirements at §660.12(a)(8) the States of Washington, Oregon, and California may also require that vessels record their landings as sorted on their state landing receipts.

(2) For limited entry fixed gear vessels, the following species must be sorted:

(i) Coastwide—widow rockfish, canary rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, shortbelly rockfish, black rockfish, blue rockfish, minor nearshore rockfish, minor shelf rockfish, minor slope rockfish, shortspine and longspine thornyhead, Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, starry flounder, English sole, other flatfish, lingcod, sablefish, Pacific cod, spiny dogfish, other fish, longnose skate, and Pacific whiting;

(ii) North of 40°10 N. lat.—POP, yellowtail rockfish, cabezon (Oregon and California);

(iii) South of 40°10 N. lat.—minor shallow nearshore rockfish, minor deeper nearshore rockfish, California scorpionfish, chilipepper, bocaccio, splitnose rockfish, Pacific sanddabs, cowcod, bronzespotted rockfish, blackgill rockfish and cabezon.

(d) Groundfish conservation areas applicable to limited entry fixed gear vessels. A GCA, a type of closed area, is a geographic area defined by coordinates expressed in degrees of latitude and longitude. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the GCA boundaries are specified at §§660.70 through 660.74, subpart C. A vessel that is authorized by this paragraph to fish within a GCA (e.g. fishing for “other flatfish” using no more than 12 hooks, “Number 2” or smaller), may not simultaneously have other gear on board the vessel that is unlawful to use for fishing within the GCA. The following GCAs apply to vessels participating in the limited entry fixed gear fishery.

(1) North coast recreational yelloweye rockfish conservation area. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the North Coast Recreational Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. The North Coast Recreational YRCA is designated as an area to be avoided (a voluntary closure) by commercial fixed gear fishers.

(2) North coast commercial yelloweye rockfish conservation area. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the North Coast Commercial Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the North Coast Commercial YRCA. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the North Coast Commercial YRCA. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the North Coast Commercial YRCA with or without groundfish on board.

(3) South coast recreational yelloweye rockfish conservation area. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the South Coast Recreational Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. The South Coast Recreational YRCA is designated as an area to be avoided (a voluntary closure) by commercial fixed gear fishers.

(4) Westport offshore recreational YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates that define the Westport Offshore Recreational YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. The Westport Offshore Recreational YRCA is designated as an area to be avoided (a voluntary closure) by commercial fixed gear fishers.

(5) Point St. George YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the Point St. George YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the Point St. George YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the Point St. George YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. The closure is not in effect at this time. This closure may be imposed through inseason adjustment. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the Point St. George YRCA, at any time, with or without groundfish on board.

(6) South Reef YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the South Reef YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the South Reef YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the South Reef YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. The closure is not in effect at this time. This closure may be imposed through inseason adjustment. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the South Reef YRCA, at any time, with or without groundfish on board.

(7) Reading Rock YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the Reading Rock YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the Reading Rock YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the Reading Rock YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. The closure is not in effect at this time. This closure may be imposed through inseason adjustment. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the Reading Rock YRCA, at any time, with or without groundfish on board.

(8) Point Delgada (North) YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the Point Delgada (North) YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the Point Delgada (North) YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the Point Delgada (North) YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. The closure is not in effect at this time. This closure may be imposed through inseason adjustment. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the Point Delgada (North) YRCA, at any time, with or without groundfish on board.

(9) Point Delgada (South) YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the Point Delgada (South) YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the Point Delgada (South) YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the Point Delgada (South) YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. The closure is not in effect at this time. This closure may be imposed through inseason adjustment. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the Point Delgada (South) YRCA, at any time, with or without groundfish on board.

(10) Cowcod Conservation Areas. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the Cowcod Conservation Areas (CCAs) boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish within the CCAs, except for species authorized in this paragraph caught according to gear requirements in this paragraph, when those waters are open to fishing. Commercial fishing vessels may transit through the Western CCA with their gear stowed and groundfish on board only in a corridor through the Western CCA bounded on the north by the latitude line at 33°00.50 N. lat., and bounded on the south by the latitude line at 32°59.50 N. lat. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the CCAs, except as follows:

(i) Fishing for “other flatfish” is permitted within the CCAs under the following conditions: When using no more than 12 hooks, “Number 2” or smaller, which measure no more than 11 mm (0.44 inches) point to shank, and up to two 1-lb (0.45 kg) weights per line; and provided a valid declaration report as required at §660.13(d), subpart C, has been filed with NMFS OLE.

(ii) Fishing for rockfish and lingcod is permitted shoreward of the 20 fm (37 m) depth contour within the CCAs when trip limits authorize such fishing, and provided a valid declaration report as required at §660.13(d), subpart C, has been filed with NMFS OLE.

(11) Nontrawl Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCA). The nontrawl RCAs are closed areas, defined by specific latitude and longitude coordinates (specified at §§660.70 through 660.74, subpart C) designed to approximate specific depth contours, where fishing for groundfish with nontrawl gear is prohibited. Boundaries for the nontrawl RCA throughout the year are provided in the header to Table 2 (North) and Table 2 (South) of this subpart and may be modified by NMFS inseason pursuant to §660.60(c), subpart C.

(i) It is unlawful to operate a vessel with limited entry nontrawl gear in the nontrawl RCA, except for the purpose of continuous transit, or when the use of limited entry nontrawl gear is authorized in this section. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry nontrawl gear within the nontrawl RCA, unless otherwise authorized in this section.

(ii) Limited entry nontrawl vessels may transit through the nontrawl RCA, with or without groundfish on board, provided all groundfish nontrawl gear is stowed either: Below deck; or if the gear cannot readily be moved, in a secured and covered manner, detached from all lines, so that it is rendered unusable for fishing.

(iii) The nontrawl RCA restrictions in this section apply to vessels registered to limited entry fixed gear permits fishing for species other than groundfish with nontrawl gear on trips where groundfish species are retained. Unless otherwise authorized in this section, a vessel may not retain any groundfish taken on a fishing trip for species other than groundfish that occurs within the nontrawl RCA. If a vessel fishes in a non-groundfish fishery in the nontrawl RCA, it may not participate in any fishing for groundfish on that trip that is prohibited within the nontrawl RCA. [For example, if a vessel fishes in the salmon troll fishery within the RCA, the vessel cannot on the same trip fish in the sablefish fishery outside of the RCA.]

(iv) It is lawful to fish within the nontrawl RCA with limited entry fixed gear only under the following conditions: when fishing for “other flatfish” off California (between 42° N. lat. south to the U.S./Mexico border) using no more than 12 hooks, “Number 2” or smaller, which measure no more than 11 mm (0.44 inches) point to shank, and up to two 1-lb (0.91 kg) weights per line when trip limits authorize such fishing, provided a valid declaration report as required at §660.13(d), subpart C, has been filed with NMFS OLE.

(12) Farallon Islands. Under California law, commercial fishing for all groundfish is prohibited between the shoreline and the 10 fm (18 m) depth contour around the Farallon Islands. An exception to this prohibition is that commercial fishing for “other flatfish” is permitted around the Farallon Islands using no more than 12 hooks, “Number 2” or smaller, which measure no more than 11 mm (0.44 inches) point to shank, and up to two 1-lb (0.45-kg) weights per line. (See Table 2 (South) of this subpart.) For a definition of the Farallon Islands, see §660.70, subpart C.

(13) Cordell Banks. Commercial fishing for groundfish is prohibited in waters of depths less than 100 fm (183 m) around Cordell Banks, as defined by specific latitude and longitude coordinates at §660.70, subpart C. An exception to this prohibition is that commercial fishing for “other flatfish” is permitted around Cordell Banks using no more than 12 hooks, “Number 2” or smaller, which measure no more than 11 mm (0.44 inches) point to shank, and up to two 1-lb (0.45-kg) weights per line.

(14) Essential Fish Habitat Conservation Areas (EFHCA). An EFHCA, a type of closed area, is a geographic area defined by coordinates expressed in degrees of latitude and longitude at §§660.75 through 660.79, where specified types of fishing are prohibited in accordance with §660.12. EFHCAs apply to vessels using “bottom contact gear,” which is defined at §660.11, to include limited entry fixed gear (longline and pot/trap,) among other gear types. Fishing with all bottom contact gear, including longline and pot/trap gear, is prohibited within the following EFHCAs, which are defined by specific latitude and longitude coordinates at §§660.75 through 660.79: Thompson Seamount, President Jackson Seamount, Cordell Bank (50 fm (91 m) isobath), Harris Point, Richardson Rock, Scorpion, Painted Cave, Anacapa Island, Carrington Point, Judith Rock, Skunk Point, Footprint, Gull Island, South Point, and Santa Barbara. Fishing with bottom contact gear is also prohibited within the Davidson Seamount EFH Area, which is defined by specific latitude and longitude coordinates at §660.75.

(e) Black rockfish fishery management. The trip limit for black rockfish (Sebastes melanops) for commercial fishing vessels using hook-and-line gear between the U.S.-Canada border and Cape Alava (48°09.50 N. lat.), and between Destruction Island (47°40 N. lat.) and Leadbetter Point (46°38.17 N. lat.), is 100 lbs (45 kg) or 30 percent, by weight of all fish on board, whichever is greater, per vessel per fishing trip. These per trip limits apply to limited entry and open access fisheries, in conjunction with the cumulative trip limits and other management measures in §660.230, subpart E, and §660.330, subpart F. The crossover provisions in §660.60(h)(7), subpart C, do not apply to the black rockfish per-trip limits.

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 27549, May 11, 2011; 76 FR 53838, Aug. 30, 2011; 78 FR 634, Jan. 3, 2013]

§660.231   Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery.

This section applies to the sablefish primary fishery for the limited entry fixed gear fishery north of 36° N. lat. Limited entry and open access fixed gear sablefish fishing outside of the sablefish primary season north of 36° N. lat. is governed by management measures imposed under §§660.230, 660.232, 660.330 and 660.332.

(a) Sablefish endorsement. A vessel may not fish in the sablefish primary season for the limited entry fixed gear fishery, unless at least one limited entry permit with both a gear endorsement for longline or trap (or pot) gear and a sablefish endorsement is registered for use with that vessel. Permits with sablefish endorsements are assigned to one of three tiers, as described at §660.25(b)(3)(iv), subpart C.

(b) Sablefish primary season for the limited entry fixed gear fishery—(1) Season dates. North of 36° N. lat., the sablefish primary season for the limited entry, fixed gear, sablefish-endorsed vessels begins at 12 noon local time on April 1 and closes at 12 noon local time on October 31, or closes for an individual vessel owner when the tier limit for the permit(s) registered to the vessel has been reached, whichever is earlier, unless otherwise announced by the Regional Administrator through the routine management measures process described at §660.60(c).

(2) Gear type. During the season primary and when fishing against primary season cumulative limits, each vessel authorized to fish in that season under paragraph (a) of this section may fish for sablefish with any of the gear types, except trawl gear, endorsed on at least one of the permits registered for use with that vessel.

(3) Cumulative limits. (i) A vessel participating in the primary season will be constrained by the sablefish cumulative limit associated with each of the permits registered for use with that vessel. During the primary season, each vessel authorized to fish in that season under paragraph (a) of this section may take, retain, possess, and land sablefish, up to the cumulative limits for each of the permits registered for use with that vessel (i.e., stacked permits). If multiple limited entry permits with sablefish endorsements are registered for use with a single vessel, that vessel may land up to the total of all cumulative limits announced in this paragraph for the tiers for those permits, except as limited by paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. Up to 3 permits may be registered for use with a single vessel during the primary season; thus, a single vessel may not take and retain, possess or land more than 3 primary season sablefish cumulative limits in any one year. A vessel registered for use with multiple limited entry permits is subject to per vessel limits for species other than sablefish, and to per vessel limits when participating in the daily trip limit fishery for sablefish under §660.232. In 2013, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 34,513lb (15,665 kg), Tier 2 at 15,688 lb (7,116 kg), and Tier 3 at 8,964 lb (4,066 kg). For 2014 and beyond, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 37,441 lb (16,983 kg), Tier 2 at 17,019 lb (7,720 kg), and Tier 3 at 9,725 lb (4,411 kg).

(ii) If a permit is registered to more than one vessel during the primary season in a single year, the second vessel may only take the portion of the cumulative limit for that permit that has not been harvested by the first vessel to which the permit was registered. The combined primary season sablefish landings for all vessels registered to that permit may not exceed the cumulative limit for the tier associated with that permit.

(iii) A cumulative trip limit is the maximum amount of sablefish that may be taken and retained, possessed, or landed per vessel in a specified period of time, with no limit on the number of landings or trips.

(iv) Incidental halibut retention north of Pt. Chehalis, WA (46°53.30 N. lat.). From April 1 through October 31, vessels authorized to participate in the sablefish primary fishery, licensed by the International Pacific Halibut Commission for commercial fishing in Area 2A (waters off Washington, Oregon, California), and fishing with longline gear north of Pt. Chehalis, WA (46°53.30 N. lat.) may possess and land up to the following cumulative limits: 75 lb (34 kg) dressed weight of halibut for every 1,000 pounds (454 kg) dressed weight of sablefish landed and up to 2 additional halibut in excess of the 75-pounds-per-1,000-pound ratio per landing. “Dressed” halibut in this area means halibut landed eviscerated with their heads on. Halibut taken and retained in the sablefish primary fishery north of Pt. Chehalis may only be landed north of Pt. Chehalis and may not be possessed or landed south of Pt. Chehalis.

(4) Owner-on-board requirement. Any person who owns or has ownership interest in a limited entry permit with a sablefish endorsement, as described at §660.25(b)(3), subpart C, must be on board the vessel registered for use with that permit at any time that the vessel has sablefish on board the vessel that count toward that permit's cumulative sablefish landing limit. This person must carry government issued photo identification while aboard the vessel. A permit owner is not obligated to be on board the vessel registered for use with the sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit during the sablefish primary season if:

(i) The person, partnership or corporation had ownership interest in a limited entry permit with a sablefish endorsement prior to November 1, 2000. A person who has ownership interest in a partnership or corporation that owned a sablefish-endorsed permit as of November 1, 2000, but who did not individually own a sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit as of November 1, 2000, is not exempt from the owner-on-board requirement when he/she leaves the partnership or corporation and purchases another permit individually. A person, partnership, or corporation that is exempt from the owner-on-board requirement may sell all of their permits, buy another sablefish-endorsed permit within up to a year from the date the last change in permit ownership was approved, and retain their exemption from the owner-on-board requirements. Additionally, a person, partnership, or corporation that qualified for the owner-on-board exemption, but later divested their interest in a permit or permits, may retain rights to an owner-on-board exemption as long as that person, partnership, or corporation purchases another permit by March 2, 2007. A person, partnership or corporation could only purchase a permit if it has not added or changed individuals since November 1, 2000, excluding individuals that have left the partnership or corporation, or that have died.

(ii) The person who owns or who has ownership interest in a sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit is prevented from being on board a fishing vessel because the person died, is ill, or is injured. The person requesting the exemption must send a letter to NMFS requesting an exemption from the owner-on-board requirements, with appropriate evidence as described at paragraph (b)(4)(ii)(A) or (B) of this section. All emergency exemptions for death, injury, or illness will be evaluated by NMFS and a decision will be made in writing to the permit owner within 60 calendar days of receipt of the original exemption request.

(A) Evidence of death of the permit owner shall be provided to NMFS in the form of a copy of a death certificate. In the interim before the estate is settled, if the deceased permit owner was subject to the owner-on-board requirements, the estate of the deceased permit owner may send a letter to NMFS with a copy of the death certificate, requesting an exemption from the owner-on-board requirements. An exemption due to death of the permit owner will be effective only until such time that the estate of the deceased permit owner has registered the deceased permit owner's permit to a beneficiary or up to three years after the date of death as proven by a death certificate, whichever is earlier. An exemption from the owner-on-board requirements will be conveyed in a letter from NMFS to the estate of the permit owner and is required to be on the vessel during fishing operations.

(B) Evidence of illness or injury that prevents the permit owner from participating in the fishery shall be provided to NMFS in the form of a letter from a certified medical practitioner. This letter must detail the relevant medical conditions of the permit owner and how those conditions prevent the permit owner from being onboard a fishing vessel during the primary season. An exemption due to injury or illness will be effective only for the fishing year of the request for exemption, and will not be granted for more than three consecutive or total years. NMFS will consider any exemption granted for less than 12 months in a year to count as one year against the 3-year cap. In order to extend an emergency medical exemption for a succeeding year, the permit owner must submit a new request and provide documentation from a certified medical practitioner detailing why the permit owner is still unable to be onboard a fishing vessel. An emergency exemption will be conveyed in a letter from NMFS to the permit owner and is required to be on the vessel during fishing operations.

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 11384, Mar. 2, 2011; 76 FR 27550, May 11, 2011; 76 FR 34912, June 15, 2011; 76 FR 53839, Aug. 30, 2011; 76 FR 74746, Dec. 1, 2011; 76 FR 77430, Dec. 13, 2011; 77 FR 24636, Apr. 25, 2012; 78 FR 634, Jan. 3, 2013; 78 FR 26279, May 6, 2013; 78 FR 68773, Nov. 15, 2013; 79 FR 19499, Apr. 9, 2014]

§660.232   Limited entry daily trip limit (DTL) fishery for sablefish.

(a) Limited entry DTL fisheries both north and south of 36° N. lat.—(1) Before the start of the sablefish primary season, all sablefish landings made by a vessel authorized by §660.231(a) to fish in the sablefish primary season will be subject to the restrictions and limits of the limited entry daily and/or weekly trip limit (DTL) fishery for sablefish specified in this section and which is governed by routine management measures imposed under §660.60(c).

(2) Following the start of the primary season, all landings made by a vessel authorized by §660.231(a) to fish in the primary season will count against the primary season cumulative limit(s) associated with the permit(s) registered for use with that vessel. A vessel that is eligible to fish in the sablefish primary season may fish in the DTL fishery for sablefish once that vessels' primary season sablefish limit(s) have been taken, or after the close of the primary season, whichever occurs earlier. A vessel's primary season cumulative limit(s) are considered to be taken when the total amount remaining is less than the daily trip limit for sablefish north of 36° N. lat., if one is specified, in Table 2 (North) and Table 2 (South) to this subpart. If no daily limit is specified, the primary season cumulative limit(s) are considered to be taken when the total amount remaining is less than 300 pounds. Any subsequent sablefish landings by that vessel will be subject to the restrictions and limits of the limited entry DTL fishery for sablefish for the remainder of the fishing year.

(3) No vessel may land sablefish against both its primary season cumulative sablefish limits and against the DTL fishery limits within the same 24 hour period of 0001 hours local time to 2400 hours local time.

(4) Vessels registered for use with a limited entry, fixed gear permit that does not have a sablefish endorsement may fish in the limited entry, DTL fishery for as long as that fishery is open during the fishing year, subject to routine management measures imposed under §660.60(c), Subpart C. DTL limits for the limited entry fishery north and south of 36° N. lat. are provided in Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) of this subpart.

(b) [Reserved]

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 27550, May 11, 2011; 76 FR 53839, Aug. 30, 2011; 78 FR 635, Jan. 3, 2013]

Table 2 (North) to Part 660, Subpart E—Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear North of 40°10 N. Lat.

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[78 FR 72589, Dec. 3, 2013]

Table 2 (South) to Part 660, Subpart E—Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear South of 40°10 N. Lat.

eCFR graphic er03de13.012.gif

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eCFR graphic er03de13.013.gif

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[78 FR 72589, Dec. 3, 2013]



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