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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of July 29, 2014

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC
Subpart F—Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries


§665.813   Western Pacific longline fishing restrictions.

(a) [Reserved]

(b) Limits on sea turtle interactions. (1) Maximum annual limits are established on the number of physical interactions that occur each calendar year between leatherback and North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles and vessels registered for use under Hawaii longline limited access permits while shallow-set fishing. The annual limit for leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) is 26, and the annual limit for North Pacific loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) is 34.

(2) Upon determination by the Regional Administrator that, based on data from NMFS observers, the fishery has reached either of the two sea turtle interaction limits during a given calendar year:

(i) As soon as practicable, the Regional Administrator will file for publication at the Office of the Federal Register a notification that the fishery reached a sea turtle interaction limit. The notification will include an advisement that the shallow-set longline fishery shall be closed, and that shallow-set longline fishing north of the Equator by vessels registered for use under Hawaii longline limited access permits will be prohibited beginning at a specified date until the end of the calendar year in which the sea turtle interaction limit was reached. Coincidental with the filing of the notification, the Regional Administrator will also provide actual notice that the shallow-set longline fishery shall be closed, and that shallow-set longline fishing north of the Equator by vessels registered for use under Hawaii longline limited access permits will be prohibited beginning at a specified date, to all holders of Hawaii longline limited access permits via telephone, satellite telephone, radio, electronic mail, facsimile transmission, or post.

(ii) Beginning on the fishery closure date indicated by the Regional Administrator in the notification provided to vessel operators and permit holders and published in the Federal Register under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, until the end of the calendar year in which the sea turtle interaction limit was reached, the Hawaii-based shallow-set longline fishery shall be closed.

(c) [Reserved]

(d) Vessels registered for use under a Hawaii longline limited access permit may not have on board at any time during a trip for which notification to NMFS under §665.803(a) indicated that deep-setting would be done any float lines less than 20 meters in length or light sticks. As used in this paragraph “float line” means a line used to suspend the main longline beneath a float and “light stick” means any type of light emitting device, including any fluorescent “glow bead,” chemical, or electrically powered light that is affixed underwater to the longline gear.

(e) [Reserved]

(f) Any owner or operator of a vessel registered for use under any longline permit issued under §665.801 must use only circle hooks sized 18/0 or larger, with an offset not to exceed 10 degrees, when shallow-setting north of the Equator (0° lat.). As used in this paragraph, an offset circle hook sized 18/0 or larger is one with an outer diameter at its widest point no smaller than 1.97 inches (50 mm) when measured with the eye of the hook on the vertical axis (y-axis) and perpendicular to the horizontal axis (x-axis). As used in this paragraph, the allowable offset is measured from the barbed end of the hook, and is relative to the parallel plane of the eyed-end, or shank, of the hook when laid on its side.

(g) Any owner or operator of a vessel registered for use under any longline permit issued under §665.801 must use only mackerel-type bait when shallow-setting north of the Equator (0° lat.). As used in this paragraph, mackerel-type bait means a whole fusiform fish with a predominantly blue, green or gray back and predominantly gray, silver or white lower sides and belly.

(h) Owners and operators of vessels registered for use under a Hawaii longline limited access permit may make sets only of the type (shallow-setting or deep-setting) indicated in the notification to NMFS pursuant to §665.803(a).

(i) Vessels registered for use under Hawaii longline limited access permits may not be used to engage in shallow-setting north of the Equator (0° lat.) any time during which the shallow-set component of the longline fishery is closed pursuant to paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section.

(j) Swordfish limits. When fishing north of the Equator (0° lat.), owners and operators of vessels registered for use under a Hawaii longline limited access permit, on a trip for which the permit holder notified NMFS under §665.803(a) that the vessel would deep-set, may possess or land no more than the following number of swordfish for such trip:

(1) If an observer is on board, there is no limit.

(2) If there is no observer on board, and if only circle hooks are used, the limit is 25.

(3) If there is no observer on board, and if any type of hook other than a circle hook is used, the limit is 10.

(k) When fishing south of the Equator (0° lat.) for western Pacific pelagic MUS, owners and operators of vessels longer than 40 ft (12.2 m) registered for use with any valid longline permit issued pursuant to §665.801 must use longline gear that is configured according to the requirements in paragraphs (k)(1) through (k)(5) of this section.

(1) Each float line must be at least 30 m long.

(2) At least 15 branch lines must be attached to the mainline between any two float lines attached to the mainline.

(3) Each branch line must be at least 10 meters long.

(4) No branch line may be attached to the mainline closer than 70 meters to any float line.

(5) No more than 10 swordfish may be possessed or landed during a single fishing trip.

[75 FR 2205, Jan. 14, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 13299, Mar. 11, 2011; 76 FR 52889, Aug. 24, 2011; 77 FR 43722, July 26, 2012; 77 FR 60649, Oct. 4, 2012]



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