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e-CFR data is current as of April 8, 2021

Title 50Chapter IIIPart 300Subpart R → §300.334


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS
Subpart R—High Seas Fisheries


§300.334   Fisheries authorized on the high seas.

(a) General. When applying for a permit under §300.333, the owner or operator of a high seas fishing vessel must identify in the application the authorized fisheries in which he or she intends to fish. More than one authorized fishery may be selected. The following fisheries are authorized on the high seas:

(1) 50 CFR part 300, subpart C—Eastern Pacific Tuna Fisheries.

(2) 50 CFR part 300, subpart D—South Pacific Tuna Fisheries.

(3) 50 CFR part 300, subpart G—Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

(4) 50 CFR part 635—Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fisheries.

(5) 50 CFR part 660, subpart K—U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species.

(6) 50 CFR part 665, subpart F—Western Pacific Pelagic Fisheries.

(7) South Pacific Albacore Troll Fishery.

(8) Northwest Atlantic Fishery.

(b) Requirements for authorized fisheries. For each of the authorized fisheries specified on the high seas fishing permit, the owner or operator of the high seas fishing vessel must:

(1) Abide by the regulations, set forth in other parts of this chapter and Chapter VI, governing those authorized fisheries while operating on the high seas;

(2) Obtain and renew any appropriate permits or authorizations; and

(3) Notify the Regional Administrator or Office Director who issued the permit immediately in the event that a species listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA is taken incidental to the fishing activities without authorization under a relevant incidental take statement.

(c) Change in authorized fisheries. If a high seas fishing permit holder elects to change the authorized fisheries specified on the permit, he or she shall notify the Regional Administrator or Office Director who issued the permit of the change(s) and shall obtain the underlying permits for the authorized fisheries prior to engaging in the fishery on the high seas. Per the process under §300.333(d), the Regional Administrator or Office Director will then issue a revised high seas fishing permit which will expire 5 years from the original effective date.

(d) Revision of authorized fisheries list. Through rulemaking, NMFS will add a fishery to, or delete a fishery from, the list in paragraph (a) of this section. NMFS may add or delete fisheries from the list after completing any analyses required under the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and other applicable laws. In taking such action, NMFS, in consultation with the relevant Regional Fishery Management Council(s) where appropriate, will consider, among other things, whether:

(1) The proposed fishing activities would detrimentally affect the well-being of the stock of any regulated species of fish, marine mammal, or species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act;

(2) The proposed fishing activities would be inconsistent with relevant fishery management plans and their implementing regulations or other applicable law;

(3) Insufficient mechanisms exist to effectively monitor the activities of vessels engaged in the proposed fishing activities; or

(4) The proposed fishing activities would contravene international conservation and management measures recognized by the United States.

(e) Request for revision of authorized fisheries list. A person may submit a written request to the Office Director to add a fishery to or delete a fishery from the list. A request to delete a fishery from the list of authorized fisheries must include the name of the fishery; information that addresses considerations under paragraph (d) of this section; and, if requested by NMFS, any additional information necessary for NMFS to conduct analyses required under applicable laws. A request to add a fishery to the list of authorized fisheries must include the following information:

(1) The species (target and incidental) expected to be harvested and the anticipated amounts of such harvest and bycatch;

(2) The approximate times and places when fishing is expected to take place, the number and type of vessels expected to participate, and the type, size, and amount of gear expected to be used;

(3) A description of the specific area that may be affected by the fishing activities;

(4) A description of any anticipated impacts on the environment, including impacts on fisheries, marine mammals, and species listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA or their critical habitat;

(5) Other information that addresses considerations under paragraph (d) of this section; and

(6) If requested by NMFS, any additional information necessary for NMFS to conduct analyses required under applicable laws.

(7) Once all required information is received to proceed with consideration of a request, NMFS will publish in the Federal Register a proposed rule, noting receipt of the request to add an authorized fishery, and inviting information and comments. Relevant information received during the comment period may be considered by NMFS and, where appropriate, the relevant Regional Fishery Management Council(s), in analyzing potential environmental impacts of the fisheries and developing any conditions or restrictions. Based on its analysis, considerations under paragraph (d) of this section, and other relevant considerations, NMFS will publish its decision on the request in the Federal Register.

(f) Deletion of a fishery from the authorized fisheries list. NMFS will delete (i.e., deauthorize) a fishery under paragraph (d) or (e) of this section through publication of a final rule. NMFS will also provide notice to affected permit holders by email and by Registered Mail at the addresses provided to NMFS in the high seas permit application. When a fishery is deleted from the list, any activities on the high seas related to that fishery are prohibited as of the effective date of the final rule. In addition, the high seas permit will be voided unless the permit holder notifies NMFS that he or she elects to change to another authorized high seas fishery or continue in any other authorized fisheries noted on the permit. Once the applicant so notifies NMFS and, if necessary, secures any underlying permits necessary for participation in another authorized high seas fishery, the Regional Administrator or Office Director will then issue a revised high seas fishing permit per the process under §300.333(d). The revised permit will expire 5 years from the original effective date.

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