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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 15, 2019

Title 50Chapter VIPart 648 → Subpart K


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES


Subpart K—Management Measures for the Atlantic Herring Fishery


Contents
§648.200   Specifications.
§648.201   AMs and harvest controls.
§648.202   Season and area restrictions.
§648.203   Gear restrictions.
§648.204   Possession restrictions.
§648.205   VMS requirements.
§648.206   Framework provisions.
§648.207   Herring Research Set-Aside (RSA).

Source: 72 FR 11277, Mar. 12, 2007, unless otherwise noted.

§648.200   Specifications.

(a) The Atlantic Herring Plan Development Team (PDT) shall meet at least every 3 years, but no later than July of the year before new specifications are implemented, with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (Commission) Atlantic Herring Plan Review Team (PRT) to develop and recommend the following specifications for a period of 3 years for consideration by the New England Fishery Management Council's Atlantic Herring Oversight Committee: Overfishing Limit (OFL), Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC), Annual Catch Limit (ACL), Optimum yield (OY), domestic annual harvest (DAH), domestic annual processing (DAP), U.S. at-sea processing (USAP), border transfer (BT), the sub-ACL for each management area, including seasonal periods as specified at §648.201(d) and modifications to sub-ACLs as specified at §648.201(f), the amount to be set aside for the RSA (from 0 to 3 percent of the sub-ACL from any management area), and river herring and shad catch caps, as specified in §648.201(a)(4). Recommended specifications shall be presented to the New England Fishery Management Council.

(1) The PDT shall meet with the Commission's PRT to review the status of the stock and the fishery and prepare a Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation (SAFE) report at least every 3 years. The Herring PDT will meet at least once during interim years to review the status of the stock relative to the overfishing definition if information is available to do so. When conducting a 3-year review and preparing a SAFE Report, the PDT/PRT will recommend to the Council/Commission any necessary adjustments to the specifications for the upcoming 3 years.

(2) If the Council determines, based on information provided by the PDT/PRT or other stock-related information, that the specifications should be adjusted during the 3-year time period, it can do so through the same process outlined in this section during one or both of the interim years.

(b) Guidelines. As the basis for its recommendations under paragraph (a) of this section, the PDT shall review available data pertaining to: Commercial and recreational catch data; current estimates of fishing mortality; discards; stock status; recent estimates of recruitment; virtual population analysis results and other estimates of stock size; sea sampling and trawl survey data or, if sea sampling data are unavailable, length frequency information from trawl surveys; impact of other fisheries on herring mortality; and any other relevant information. The specifications recommended pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section must be consistent with the following:

(1) OFL must be equal to catch resulting from applying the maximum fishing mortality threshold to a current or projected estimate of stock size. When the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring, this is usually the fishing rate supporting maximum sustainable yield (FMSY). Catch that exceeds this amount would result in overfishing.

(2) ABC must be equal to or less than the OFL. The Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) shall recommend ABC to the Council. Scientific uncertainty, including, but not limited to, uncertainty around stock size estimates, variability around estimates of recruitment, and consideration of ecosystem issues, shall be considered when setting ABC. If the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring, then ABC may be based on FMSY or its proxy, recent catch, or any other factor the SSC determines appropriate. If the stock is overfished, then ABC may be based on the rebuilding fishing mortality rate for the stock (FREB), or any other factor the SSC determines appropriate.

(3) ACL must be equal to or less than the ABC. Management uncertainty, which includes, but is not limited to, expected catch of herring in the New Brunswick weir fishery and the uncertainty around discard estimates of herring caught in Federal and state waters, shall be considered when setting the ACL. Catch in excess of the ACL shall trigger accountability measures (AMs), as described at §648.201(a).

(4) OY may not exceed OFL (i.e., MSY) and must take into account the need to prevent overfishing while allowing the fishery to achieve OY on a continuing basis. OY is prescribed on the basis of MSY, as reduced by social, economic, and ecological factors. OY may equal DAH.

(5) DAH is comprised of DAP and BT.

(6) River herring and shad catch caps may be allocated to the herring fishery by the following: Species, as defined in §648.2, either separately or combined; area as specified in paragraph (f)(7) of this section; vessel permit; gear type; or any combination of these.

(c) The Atlantic Herring Oversight Committee shall review the recommendations of the PDT and shall consult with the Commission's Herring Section. Based on these recommendations and any public comment received, the Herring Oversight Committee shall recommend to the Council appropriate specifications for a 3-year period. The Council shall review these recommendations and, after considering public comment, shall recommend appropriate 3-year specifications to NMFS. NMFS shall review the recommendations, consider any comments received from the Commission, and publish notification in the Federal Register proposing 3-year specifications. If the proposed specifications differ from those recommended by the Council, the reasons for any differences shall be clearly stated and the revised specifications must satisfy the criteria set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) NMFS shall make a final determination concerning the specifications for Atlantic herring. Notification of the final specifications and responses to public comments shall be published in the Federal Register. If the final specification amounts differ from those recommended by the Council, the reason(s) for the difference(s) must be clearly stated and the revised specifications must be consistent with the criteria set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. The previous year's specifications shall remain effective until they are revised through the specification process.

(e) In-season adjustments. The specifications and sub-ACLs established pursuant to this section may be adjusted by NMFS to achieve conservation and management objectives, after consulting with the Council, during the fishing year in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Any adjustments must be consistent with the Atlantic Herring FMP objectives and other FMP provisions.

(f) Management areas. The specifications process establishes sub-ACLs and other management measures for the three management areas, which may have different management measures. Management Area 1 is subdivided into inshore and offshore sub-areas. The management areas are defined as follows:

(1) Management Area 1 (Gulf of Maine): All U.S. waters of the Gulf of Maine (GOM) north of a line extending from a point at 41°39 N. lat, 70°00 W. long. to 42°53 14.32125 N. lat., 67° 44 33.01613 W. long., thence northerly along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary to the U.S.-Canadian border, to include state and Federal waters adjacent to the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Management Area 1 is divided into Area 1A (inshore) and Area 1B (offshore). The line dividing these areas is described by the following coordinates:

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
141°58 N70° 00 W
242°38 N70° 00 W
342°53 N69° 40 W
443°12 N69° 00 W
543°40 N68° 00 W
643°5816.0314 N67° 2126.157 W(1)

1Point 6 falls on the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

(2) Management Area 2 (South Coastal Area): All state and Federal waters inclusive of sounds and bays, bounded on the east by 70°00 W. long. and the outer limit of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone; bounded on the north and west by the southern coastline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and the coastlines of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina; and bounded on the south by a line following the lateral seaward boundary between North Carolina and South Carolina from the coast to the Submerged Lands Act line, approximately 33°4846.37 N. lat., 78°2946.46 W. long., and then heading due east along 33°4846.37 N. lat. to the outer limit of the US Exclusive Economic Zone.

(3) Management Area 3 (Georges Bank): All U.S. waters east of 70°00 W. long. and southeast of the line that runs from a point at 41°39 N. lat. and 70°00 W. long., northeasterly to U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary at 42°5314.32125 N. lat., 67°4433.01613 W. long.

(4) River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas—(i) January-February River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas. The January-February River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas include four sub-areas. Each sub-area includes the waters bounded by the coordinates below, connected in the order listed by straight lines unless otherwise noted.

(A) January-February River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 1.

PointLatitudeLongitude
JF1A43°00 N71°00 W
JF1B43°00 N70°30 W
JF1C42°30 N70°30 W
JF1D42°30 N71°00 W
JF1A43°00 N71°00 W

(B) January-February River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 2.

PointLatitudeLongitude
JF2A42°00 N70°00 W
JF2B42°00 N69°30 W
JF2C41°30 N69°30 W
JF2D41°30 N70°00 W
JF2A42°00 N70°00 W

(C) January-February River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 3.

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
JF3A41°30 N72°00 W
JF3B41°30 N71°00 W
JF3C40°30 N71°00 W
JF3D40°30 N72°30 W
JF3E(1)72°30 W(3)
JF3F(2)72°00 W(3)
JF3A41°30 N72°00 W

1The southernmost shoreline of Long Island, New York.

2The north-facing shoreline of Long Island, New York.

3Points JF3E and JF3F are connected following the coastline of the south fork of eastern Long Island, New York.

(D) January-February River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 4.

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
JF4A40°30 N74°00 W
JF4B40°30 N72°30 W
JF4C40°00 N72°30 W
JF4D40°00 N72°00 W
JF4E39°30 N72°00 W
JF4F39°30 N73°30 W
JF4G40°00 N73°30 W
JF4H40°00 N74°00 W(1)
JF4A40°30 N74°00 W(1)

1Points JF4H and JF4A are connected following 74 °W longitude and the easternmost shoreline of New Jersey, whichever is furthest east.

(ii) March-April River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas. The March-April River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas include five sub-areas. Each sub-area includes the waters bounded by the coordinates below, connected in the order listed by straight lines unless otherwise noted.

(A) March-April River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 1.

PointLatitudeLongitude
MA1A43°00 N71°00 W
MA1B43°00 N70°30 W
MA1C42°30 N70°30 W
MA1D42°30 N71°00 W
MA1A43°00 N71°00 W

(B) March-April River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 2.

PointLatitudeLongitude
MA2A42°00 N70°00 W
MA2B42°00 N69°30 W
MA2C41°30 N69°30 W
MA2D41°30 N70°00 W
MA2A42°00 N70°00 W

(C) March-April River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 3.

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
MA3A41°00 N(1)
MA3B41°00 N71°00 W
MA3C40°30 N71°00 W
MA3D40°30 N71°30 W
MA3E40°00 N71°30 W
MA3F40°00 N72°30 W
MA3G(2)72°30 W(3)
MA3A41°00 N(1)(3)

1The easternmost shoreline of Long Island, New York.

2The southernmost shoreline of Long Island, New York.

3Points MA3G and MA3A are connected following the southern shoreline of Long Island, New York.

(D) March-April River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 4.

PointLatitudeLongitude
MA4A40°00 N73°30 W
MA4B40°00 N72°30 W
MA4C39°00 N72°30 W
MA4D39°00 N73°30 W
MA4A40°00 N73°30 W

(E) March-April River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 5.

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
MA5A40°30 N74°00 W
MA5B40°30 N73°30 W
MA5C40°00 N73°30 W
MA5D40°00 N74°00 W(1)
MA5A40°30 N74°00 W(1)

1Points MA5D and MA5A are connected following 74 °W longitude and the easternmost shoreline of New Jersey, whichever is furthest east.

(iii) May-June River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas. The May-June River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas include two sub-areas. Each sub-area includes the waters bounded by the coordinates below, connected in the order listed by straight lines unless otherwise noted.

(A) May-June River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 1.

PointLatitudeLongitude
MJ1A44°00 N69°30 W
MJ1B44°00 N69°00 W
MJ1C43°30 N69°00 W
MJ1D43°30 N69°30 W
MJ1A44°00 N69°30 W

(B) May-June River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 2.

PointLatitudeLongitude
MJ2A42°00 N70°00 W
MJ2B42°00 N69°30 W
MJ2C41°30 N69°30 W
MJ2D41°30 N70°00 W
MJ2A42°00 N70°00 W

(iv) July-August River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas. The July-August River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas include two sub-areas. Each sub-area includes the waters bounded by the coordinates below, connected in the order listed by straight lines unless otherwise noted.

(A) July-August River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 1.

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
JA1A44°00 N70°00 W
JA1B44°00 N69°30 W
JA1C43°00 N69°30 W
JA1D43°00 N70°00 W(1)
JA1A44°00 N70°00 W(1)

1The boundary from Points JA1D to JA1A excludes the portions Maquoit Bay and Middle Bay (Brunswick, ME) east of 70°00 W.

(B) July-August River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 2.

PointLatitudeLongitude
JA2A44°00 N69°00 W
JA2B44°00 N68°30 W
JA2C43°30 N68°30 W
JA2D43°30 N69°00 W
JA2A44°00 N69°00 W

(v) September-October River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas. The September-October River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas include two sub-areas. Each sub-area includes the waters bounded by the coordinates below, connected in the order listed by straight lines unless otherwise noted.

(A) September-October River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 1.

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
SO1A44°30 N68°00 W
SO1B44°30 N(1)(2)
SO1C44°00 N(3)(2)
SO1D44°00 N68°00 W
SO1A44°30 N68°00 W

1The intersection of 44°30 N and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

2Point SO1B and Point SO1C are connected along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

3The intersection of 44°00 N and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

(B) September-October River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 2.

PointLatitudeLongitude
SO2A43°00 N71°00 W
SO2B43°00 N70°30 W
SO2C42°30 N70°30 W
SO2D42°30 N71°00 W
SO2A43°00 N71°00 W

(vi) November-December River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas. The November-December River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas include two sub-areas. Each sub-area includes the waters bounded by the coordinates below, connected in the order listed by straight lines unless otherwise noted.

(A) November-December River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 1.

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
ND1A43°00 N71°00 W
ND1B43°00 N70°00 W
ND1C42°00 N70°00 W
ND1D42°00 N69°30 W
ND1E41°30 N69°30 W
ND1F41°30 N70°00 W
ND1G(1)70°00 W(3)
ND1H42°00 N(2)(3)
ND1I42°00 N70°30 W
ND1J42°30 N70°30 W
ND1K42°30 N71°00 W
ND1A43°00 N71°00 W

1The south-facing shoreline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

2The west-facing shoreline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

3Point ND1G and ND1H are connected following the coastline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

(B) November-December River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Sub-Area 2.

PointLatitudeLongitude
ND2A41°30 N72°00 W
ND2B41°30 N70°00 W
ND2C40°30 N70°00 W
ND2D40°30 N70°30 W
ND2E41°00 N70°30 W
ND2F41°00 N72°00 W
ND2A41°30 N72°00 W

(5) Gulf of Maine Modified Haddock Stock Area. The Gulf of Maine Modified Haddock Stock Area is composed of the portions of Greater Atlantic Region Statistical Areas #464, #465, #511, #512, #513, #514, and #515 in U.S. waters, and is defined by the following points connected in the order listed by straight lines unless otherwise noted:

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
A(1)67°00 W
B(2)67°00 W(3)
C42°20 N(4)(3)
D42°20 N70°00 W
E(5)70°00 W(6)
A(1)67°00 W(6)

1The intersection of 67°00 W longitude and the southern coast of Maine.

2The intersection of 67°00 W longitude and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

3From POINT B to POINT C along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

4The intersection of 42°20 N latitude and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

5The intersection of 70°00 W longitude and the northeast-facing shoreline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

6From POINT E back to POINT A along the coastline of the United States.

(6) Georges Bank Modified Haddock Stock Area. The Georges Bank Modified Haddock Stock Area is composed of Greater Atlantic Region Statistical Areas #521, #522, #525, #526, #561, and #562, and is defined by the following points connected in the order listed by straight lines unless otherwise noted:

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
A42°20 N70°00 W
B42°20 N(1)(2)
C40°30 N(3)(2)
D40°30 N66°40 W
E39°50 N66°40 W
F39°50 N70°00 W(4)
A42°20 N70°00 W(4)

1The intersection of 42°20 N latitude and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

2From POINT B to POINT C following the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

3The intersection of 40°30 N latitude and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

4From POINT F back to POINT A along 70°00 W longitude and the coastlines of Nantucket Island and mainland Cape Cod, Massachusetts, whichever is further east.

(7) River herring and shad catch cap areas—(i) Gulf of Maine Catch Cap Area. The Gulf of Maine Catch Cap Area is composed of the portions of Greater Atlantic Region Statistical Areas #464, #465, #467, #511, #512, #513, #514, and #515 in U.S. waters. The Gulf of Maine Catch Cap Area is bounded on the west by the coastline of the United States, bounded on the east by the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, and bounded on the south by the following coordinates connected by straight lines in the order listed:

PointLatitudeLongitude
A(1)70°00 W
B42°20 N70°00 W
C42°20 N(2)

1The intersection of 70°00 W longitude and the northwest facing shoreline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts

2The intersection of 42°00 N latitude and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

(ii) Cape Cod Catch Cap Area. The Cape Cod Catch Cap Area is composed of Greater Atlantic Region Statistical Area #521, and is defined by the following points connected in the order listed by straight lines unless otherwise noted:

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
A(1)70°00 W
B42°20 N70°00 W
C42°20 N68°50 W
D41°00 N68°50 W
E41°00 N69°30 W
F41°10 N69°30 W
G41°10 N69°50 W
H41°20 N69°50 W
I41°20 N(2)(3)
J(4)70°00 W(3)
K(5)70°00 W(6)
A(1)70°00 W(6)

1The intersection of 70°00 W longitude and the northeast-facing shoreline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts

2The intersection of 41°20 N latitude and the northeast-facing shoreline of Nantucket Island.

3From Point I to Point J along the northeast-facing shoreline of Nantucket Island.

4The intersection of 70°00 W longitude and the northeast-facing shoreline of Nantucket Island.

5The intersection of 70°00 W longitude and the south-facing shoreline of mainland Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

6From Point K back to Point A along the east-facing shoreline of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

(iii) Georges Bank Catch Cap Area. The Georges Bank Catch Cap Area is composed of the portions of Greater Atlantic Region Statistical Areas #522, #525, #526, #541, #542, #543, #561, #562, and #640 in U.S. waters, and is defined by the following points, connected in the order listed by straight lines unless otherwise noted:

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
A(1)70°00 W
B(2)70°00 W(3)
C41°20 N(4)(3)
D41°20 N69°50 W
E41°10 N69°50 W
F41°10 N69°30 W
G41°00 N69°30 W
H41°00 N68°50 W
I42°20 N68°50 W
J42°20 N(5)(6)
A(1)70°00 W(6)

1The intersection of 70°00 W longitude and the outer limit of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.

2The intersection of 70°00 W longitude and the south-facing shoreline of Nantucket Island.

3From Point B to Point C along the south- and east-facing shorelines of Nantucket Island.

4The intersection of 41°20 N latitude and the northeast-facing shoreline of Nantucket Island.

5The intersection of 42°20 N latitude and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary.

6From Point J back to Point A along the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary and the outer limit of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.

(iv) Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Catch Cap Area. The coordinates of this area are the same as Management Area 2 (South Coastal Area), as specified in paragraph (f)(2) of this section.

(8) River herring and shad catch cap closure areas—(i) Gulf of Maine Catch Cap Closure Area. The coordinates of this area are the same as the Gulf of Maine Catch Cap Area, as specified in paragraph (f)(7)(i) of this section.

(ii) Cape Cod Catch Cap Closure Area. The coordinates of this area are the same as the Cape Cod Catch Cap Area, as specified in paragraph (f)(7)(ii) of this section.

(iii) Georges Bank Catch Cap Closure Area. The coordinates of this area are the same as the Georges Bank Catch Cap Area, as specified in paragraph (f)(7)(iii) of this section.

(iv) Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Catch Cap Closure Area. The Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Catch Cap Closure Area is composed of the portions of Greater Atlantic Region Statistical Areas #537, #538, #539, #611, #612, #613, #614, #615, #616, #621, #622, #623, #625, #626, #627, #631, #632, #635, and #636 in US waters, and is defined by the following coordinates, connected by straight lines in the order listed unless otherwise noted:

PointLatitudeLongitudeNote
A35°00 N(1)
B35°00 N74°00 W
C37°00 N74°00 W
D37°00 N73°00 W
E38°00 N73°00 W
F38°00 N72°00 W
G39°00 N72°00 W
H39°00 N71°40 W
I39°50 N71°40 W
J39°50 N70°00 W
K(2)70°00 W(3)
A35°00 N(1)(3)

1The intersection of 35°00 N latitude and the mainland shoreline of North Carolina.

2The intersection of 70°00 W longitude and the south-facing shoreline of mainland Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

3From Point K back to Point A along the mainland shoreline of the United States.

(g) All aspects of the following measures can be modified through the specifications process:

(1) AMs;

(2) Possession limits;

(3) River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas; and

(4) River herring and shad catch caps.

[72 FR 11277, Mar. 12, 2007, as amended at 73 FR 4757, Jan. 28, 2008; 76 FR 11379, Mar. 2, 2011; 76 FR 81850, Dec. 29, 2011; 79 FR 8815, Feb. 13, 2014; 79 FR 71968, Dec. 4, 2014; 80 FR 37197, June 30, 2015; 81 FR 19054, Apr. 4, 2016]

§648.201   AMs and harvest controls.

(a) AMs—(1) Herring sub-ACLs and ACL—(i) Management area closure. If NMFS projects that catch will reach 92 percent of the annual sub-ACL allocated to a management area before the end of the fishing year, or 92 percent of the Area 1A or Area 1B sub-ACL allocated to a seasonal period as set forth in paragraph (d) of this section, NMFS shall prohibit vessels, beginning the date the catch is projected to reach 92 percent of the sub-ACL, from fishing for, possessing, catching, transferring, or landing more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring per trip in the applicable area, and from landing herring more than once per calendar day, except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. NMFS shall implement these restrictions in accordance with the APA.

(ii) Herring fishery closure. If NMFS projects that catch will reach 95 percent of the ACL before the end of the fishing year, NMFS shall prohibit vessels, beginning the date the catch is projected to reach 95 percent of the ACL, from fishing for, possessing, catching, transferring, or landing more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring per trip in all herring management areas, and from landing herring more than once per calendar day, except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. NMFS shall implement these restrictions in accordance with the APA.

(2) When the Regional Administrator has determined that the GOM and/or GB incidental catch cap for haddock in sect;648.90(a)(4)(iii)(D) has been caught, no vessel issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit and fishing with midwater trawl gear in the applicable Accountability Measure (AM) Area, i.e., the Herring GOM Haddock AM Area or Herring GB Haddock AM Area, as defined in §648.86(a)(3)(ii)(A)(2) and (3) of this part, may fish for, possess, or land herring in excess of 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) per trip in or from the applicable AM Area, and from landing herring more than once per calendar day, unless all herring possessed and landed by a vessel were caught outside the applicable AM Area and the vessel's gear is not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2 while transiting the applicable AM Area. Upon this determination, the haddock possession limit is reduced to 0 lb (0 kg) in the applicable AM area for a vessel issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit and fishing with midwater trawl gear or for a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit fishing on a declared herring trip, regardless of area fished or gear used, in the applicable AM area, unless the vessel also possesses a Northeast multispecies permit and is operating on a declared (consistent with §648.10(g)) Northeast multispecies trip.

(3) ACL overage deduction. If NMFS determines that total catch exceeded any ACL or sub-ACL for a fishing year, then the amount of the overage shall be subtracted from that ACL or sub-ACL for the fishing year following total catch determination. NMFS shall make such determinations and implement any changes to ACLs or sub-ACLs, in accordance with the APA, through notification in the Federal Register, prior to the start of the fishing year, if possible, during which the reduction would occur.

(4) River herring and shad catch cap. (i) The catch from all trips that land more than 6,600 lb (3 mt) of herring shall apply to the river herring and shad catch cap in the herring fishery. Caps by gear and by area shall be established through the specifications process described in §648.201.

(ii) Beginning on the date that NMFS projects that river herring and shad catch will reach 95 percent of a catch cap for specified gear applicable to an area specified in §648.200(f)(7) for the remainder of the fishing year, NMFS shall prohibit vessels from fishing for, possessing, catching, transferring, or landing more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of Atlantic herring per trip using the applicable gear in the applicable catch cap closure area, specified in §648.200(f)(8), and from landing herring more than once per calendar day, except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section. NMFS shall implement these restrictions in accordance with the APA.

(b) A vessel may transit an area that is limited to the 2,000-lb (907.2-kg) limit specified in paragraph (a) of this section with >2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring on board, provided such herring were caught in an area or areas not subject to the 2,000-lb (907.2-kg) limit specified in paragraph (a) of this section, and that all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2, and provided the vessel is issued a vessel permit appropriate to the amount of herring on board and the area where the herring was harvested.

(c) A vessel may land in an area that is limited to the 2,000-lb (907.2-kg) limit specified in paragraph (a) of this section with >2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring on board, provided such herring were caught in an area or areas not subject to the 2,000-lb (907.2-kg) limit specified in paragraph (a) of this section, and that all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2, and provided the vessel is issued a vessel permit appropriate to the amount of herring on board and the area where the herring was harvested.

(d) Seasonal sub-ACL periods. The sub-ACL for each herring management area may be divided into seasonal periods by month. Seasonal sub-ACLs for herring management areas, including the specification of the seasonal periods, shall be set through the annual specification process described at §648.200. The seasonal allocation of sub-ACLs are as follows:

(1) Area 1A: Zero percent available for harvest during January-May; 100 percent available for harvest during June-December.

(2) Area 1B: Zero percent available for harvest during January-April; 100 percent available for harvest during May-December.

(3) Area 2: 100 percent available for harvest during January-December.

(4) Area 3: 100 percent available for harvest during January-December.

(e) A vessel may transit an area that has zero percent sub-ACL available for harvest specified in paragraph (d) of this section with herring on board, provided such herring were caught in an area or areas with sub-ACL available specified in paragraph (d) of this section, that all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2, and the vessel is issued a permit that authorizes the amount of herring on board for the area where the herring was harvested.

(f) Up to 500 mt of the Area 1A sub-ACL shall be allocated for the fixed gear fisheries in Area 1A (weirs and stop seines) that occur west of 67°16.8 W. long (Cutler, Maine). This set-aside shall be available for harvest by fixed gear within the specified area until November 1 of each fishing year. Any portion of this allocation that has not been utilized by November 1 shall be restored to the sub-ACL allocation for Area 1A.

(g) Carryover. Subject to the conditions described in this paragraph (g), unharvested catch in a herring management area in a fishing year (up to 10 percent of that area's sub-ACL) shall be carried over and added to the sub-ACL for that herring management area for the fishing year following the year when total catch is determined. For example, NMFS will determine total catch from Year 1 during Year 2, and will add carryover to the applicable sub-ACL(s) in Year 3. All such carryover shall be based on the herring management area's initial sub-ACL allocation for the fishing year, not the sub-ACL as increased by carryover or decreased by an overage deduction, as specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. All herring landed from a herring management area shall count against that area's sub-ACL, as increased by carryover. For example, if 500 mt of herring is added as carryover to a 5,000 mt sub-ACL, catch in that management area would be tracked against a total sub-ACL of 5,500 mt. NMFS shall add sub-ACL carryover only if the ACL, specified consistent with §648.200(b)(3), for the fishing year in which there is unharvested herring, is not exceeded. The ACL, consistent with §648.200(b)(3), shall not be increased by carryover specified in this paragraph (g).

(h) If NMFS determines that the New Brunswick weir fishery landed less than 4,000 mt through October 1, NMFS will allocate an additional 1,000 mt to the stockwide ACL and Area 1A sub-ACL. NMFS will notify the Council of this adjustment and publish the adjustment in the Federal Register.

[76 FR 11380, Mar. 2, 2011, as amended at 76 FR 56999, Sept. 15, 2011; 78 FR 26169, May 3, 2013; 78 FR 61837, Oct. 4, 2013; 79 FR 52580, Sept. 4, 2014; 79 FR 71971, Dec. 4, 2014; 81 FR 19054, Apr. 4, 2016; 81 FR 75739, Nov. 1, 2016]

§648.202   Season and area restrictions.

(a) Purse Seine/Fixed Gear Only Area. Vessels fishing for Atlantic herring may not use, deploy, or fish with midwater trawl gear in Area 1A from June 1 September 30 of each fishing year. A limited access herring vessel with midwater trawl gear on board may transit Area 1A from June 1-September 30, provided such midwater trawl gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2. Vessels may use any authorized gear type to harvest herring in Area 1A from October 1 - May 31.

(b) Fishing in Northeast Multispecies Closed Areas. (1) No vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit and fishing with midwater trawl gear, may fish for, possess or land fish in or from the Closed Areas, including Cashes Ledge Closure Area, Western GOM Closure Area, Closed Area I North (February 1-April 15), and Closed Area II, as defined in §648.81(a)(3), (4), and (5) and (c)(3) and (4), respectively, unless it has declared first its intent to fish in the Closed Areas as required by §648.11(m)(1), and is carrying onboard a NMFS-certified observer.

(2) No vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit and fishing with midwater trawl gear, when fishing any part of a midwater trawl tow in the Closed Areas, may slip or operationally discard catch, as defined at §648.2, except in the following circumstances:

(i) The vessel operator has determined, and the preponderance of available evidence indicates that, there is a compelling safety reason; or

(ii) A mechanical failure, including gear damage, precludes bringing some or all of the catch on board the vessel for inspection; or,

(iii) The vessel operator determines that pumping becomes impossible as a result of spiny dogfish clogging the pump intake. The vessel operator shall take reasonable measures, such as strapping and splitting the net, to remove all fish which can be pumped from the net prior to release.

(3) Vessels may make test tows without pumping catch on board if the net is re-set without releasing its contents provided that all catch from test tows is available to the observer to sample when the next tow is brought on board.

(4) If catch is slipped or operational discarded by a vessel, the vessel operator must:

(i) Stop fishing and immediately exit the Closed Areas. Once the vessel has exited the Closed Areas, it may continue to fish, but may not fish inside the Closed Areas for the remainder of that trip.

(ii) Complete and sign a Released Catch Affidavit detailing: The vessel name and permit number; the VTR serial number; where, when, and for what reason the catch was released; the estimated weight of each species brought on board or released on that tow. A completed affidavit must be submitted to NMFS within 48 hr of the end of the trip.

(iii) Report slippage events on the Atlantic herring daily VMS catch report and indicate the reason for slipping catch if the vessel was issued a limited access herring permit.

(iv) Comply with the measures to address slippage specified in §648.11(m)(4)(iv) and (v) if the vessel was issued an All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permit.

[72 FR 11277, Mar. 12, 2007, as amended at 79 FR 8816, Feb. 13, 2014; 79 FR 52580, Sept. 4, 2014; 81 FR 19054, Apr. 4, 2016; 83 FR 15275, Apr. 9, 2018]

§648.203   Gear restrictions.

(a) Midwater trawl gear may only be used by a vessel issued a valid herring permit in the GOM/GB Exemption Area as defined in §648.80(a)(17), provided it complies with the midwater trawl gear exemption requirements specified under the NE multispecies regulations at §648.80(d), including issuance of a Letter of Authorization.

(b) Purse seine gear may only be used by a vessel issued a valid herring permit in the GOM/GB Exemption Area as defined in §648.80(a)(17), provided it complies with the purse seine exemption requirements specified under the NE multispecies requirements at §648.80(e), including issuance of a Letter of Authorization.

[72 FR 11277, Mar. 12, 2007, as amended at 83 FR 15275, Apr. 9, 2018]

§648.204   Possession restrictions.

(a) A vessel must be issued and possess a valid limited access herring permit to fish for, possess, or land more than 6,600 lb (3 mt) of Atlantic herring from any herring management area in the EEZ, provided none of the harvest restrictions specified in §648.201 has been implemented.

(1) A vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit may fish for, possess, or land Atlantic herring with no possession restriction from any of the herring management areas defined in §648.200(f), provided none of the accountability measures or harvest restrictions specified in §648.201 have been implemented.

(2) A vessel issued only an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit may fish for, possess, or land Atlantic herring with no possession restriction only from Area 2 or Area 3, as defined in §648.200(f), provided none of the accountability measures or harvest restrictions specified in §648.201 have been implemented. Such a vessel may fish in Area 1 only if issued an open access herring permit or a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit, and only as authorized by the respective permit.

(3) A vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit may fish for, possess, or land up to, but no more than, 55,000 lb (25 mt) of Atlantic herring in any calendar day, and is limited to one landing of herring per calendar day, from any management area defined in §648.200(f), provided none of the accountability measures or harvest restrictions specified in §648.201 have been implemented.

(4) A vessel issued an All Areas Open Access Permit may fish for, possess, or land up to, but no more than, 6,600 lb (3 mt) of Atlantic herring from any herring management area per trip, and is limited to one landing of herring per calendar day, provided none of the accountability measures or harvest restrictions specified in §648.201 have been implemented.

(5) A vessel issued an Areas 2/3 Open Access Permit may fish for, possess, or land up to, but no more than, 20,000 lb (9 mt) of Atlantic herring from only Area 2 or Area 3, as defined in §648.200(f), per trip, and is limited to one landing of herring per calendar day, provided none of the accountability measures or harvest restrictions specified in §648.201 have been implemented.

(6) A vessel issued a herring permit may possess herring roe provided that the carcasses of the herring from which it came are not discarded at sea.

(b) Each vessel working cooperatively in the herring fishery, including vessels pair trawling, purse seining, and transferring herring at-sea, must be issued a valid herring permit to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic herring and are subject to the most restrictive herring possession limit associated with the permits issued to vessels working cooperatively.

[72 FR 11277, Mar. 12, 2007, as amended at 76 FR 11380, Mar. 2, 2011; 79 FR 8816, Feb. 13, 2014; 79 FR 71972, Dec. 4, 2014]

§648.205   VMS requirements.

The owner or operator of any limited access herring vessel or vessel issued an Areas 2/3 Open Access Permit, with the exception of fixed gear fishermen, must install and operate a VMS unit consistent with the requirements of §648.9. The VMS unit must be installed on board, and must be operable before the vessel may begin fishing. Atlantic herring carrier vessels are not required to have VMS. (See §648.10(m) for VMS notification requirements.)

[79 FR 8816, Feb. 13, 2014]

§648.206   Framework provisions.

(a) Framework adjustment process. In response to the triennial review, or at any other time, the Council may initiate action to add or adjust management measures if it finds that action is necessary to meet or be consistent with the goals and objectives of the Atlantic Herring FMP, or to address gear conflicts as defined under §600.10 of this chapter.

(1) Adjustment process. After a management action has been initiated, the Council shall develop and analyze appropriate management measures over the span of at least two Council meetings. The Council may delegate authority to the Herring Oversight Committee to conduct an initial review of the options being considered. The Oversight Committee shall review the options and relevant information, consider public comment, and make a recommendation to the Council.

(2) After the first framework meeting, the Council may refer the issue back to the Herring Oversight Committee for further consideration, make adjustments to the measures that were proposed, or approve of the measures and begin developing the necessary documents to support the framework adjustments. If the Council approves the proposed framework adjustments, the Council shall identify, at this meeting, a preferred alternative and/or identify the possible alternatives.

(3) A framework document shall be prepared that discusses and shows the impacts of the alternatives. It shall be available to the public prior to the second or final framework meeting.

(4) After developing management actions and receiving public testimony, the Council shall make a recommendation to NMFS. The Council's recommendation must include supporting rationale and, if changes to the management measures are recommended, an analysis of impacts and a recommendation to NMFS on whether to issue the management measures as a final rule. If the Council recommends that the management measures should be issued as a final rule, the Council must consider at least the following factors and provide support and analysis for each factor considered:

(i) Whether the availability of data on which the recommended management measures are based allows for adequate time to publish a proposed rule, and whether regulations have to be in place for an entire harvest/fishing season.

(ii) Whether there has been adequate notice and opportunity for participation by the public and members of the affected industry in the development of the Council's recommended management measures.

(iii) Whether there is an immediate need to protect the resource or to impose management measures to resolve gear conflicts.

(iv) Whether there will be a continuing evaluation of management measures adopted following their implementation as a final rule.

(5) If the Council's recommendation to NMFS includes adjustments or additions to management measures, after reviewing the Council's recommendation and supporting information NMFS may:

(i) Concur with the Council's recommended management measures and determine that the recommended management measures should be published as a final rule in the Federal Register based on the factors specified in paragraphs (c)(4)(i)-(iv) of this section.

(ii) Concur with the Council's recommendation and determine that the recommended management measures should be first published as a proposed rule in the Federal Register. After additional public comment, if NMFS concurs with the Council's recommendation, the measures shall be issued as a final rule in the Federal Register.

(iii) If NMFS does not concur, the Council shall be notified in writing of the reasons for the non-concurrence.

(b) Possible framework adjustment measures. Measures that may be changed or implemented through framework action include:

(1) Management area boundaries or additional management areas;

(2) Size, timing, or location of new or existing spawning area closures;

(3) Closed areas other than spawning closures;

(4) Restrictions in the amount of fishing time;

(5) A days-at-sea system;

(6) Adjustments to specifications;

(7) Adjustments to the Canadian catch deducted when determining specifications;

(8) Distribution of the ACL;

(9) Gear restrictions (such as mesh size, etc.) or requirements (such as bycatch-reduction devices, etc.);

(10) Vessel size or horsepower restrictions;

(11) Closed seasons;

(12) Minimum fish size;

(13) Trip limits;

(14) Seasonal, area, or industry sector quotas;

(15) Measures to describe and identify essential fish habitat (EFH), fishing gear management measures to protect EFH, and designation of habitat areas of particular concern within EFH;

(16) Measures to facilitate aquaculture, such as minimum fish sizes, gear restrictions, minimum mesh sizes, possession limits, tagging requirements, monitoring requirements, reporting requirements, permit restrictions, area closures, establishment of special management areas or zones, and any other measures included in the FMP;

(17) Changes to the overfishing definition;

(18) Vessel monitoring system requirements;

(19) Limits or restrictions on the harvest of herring for specific uses;

(20) Quota monitoring tools, such as vessel, operator, or dealer reporting requirements;

(21) Permit and vessel upgrading restrictions;

(22) Implementation of measures to reduce gear conflicts, such as mandatory monitoring of a radio channel by fishing vessels, gear location reporting by fixed gear fishermen, mandatory plotting of gear by mobile fishermen, standards of operation when conflict occurs, fixed gear marking or setting practices; gear restrictions for certain areas, vessel monitoring systems, restrictions on the maximum number of fishing vessels, and special permitting conditions;

(23) Limited entry or controlled access system;

(24) Specification of the amount of herring to be used for roe

(25) In-season adjustments to ACLs;

(26) Measures to address bycatch and bycatch monitoring;

(27) Requirements for a herring processor survey;

(28) ACL set-aside amounts, provisions, adjustments;

(29) Changes, as appropriate, to the SBRM, including the CV-based performance standard, the means by which discard data are collected/obtained, fishery stratification, the process for prioritizing observer sea-day allocations, reports, and/or industry-funded observers or observer set aside programs;

(30) AMs;

(31) Changes to vessel trip notification and declaration requirements;

(32) Adjustments to measures to address slippage, including sampling requirements;

(33) River Herring Monitoring/Avoidance Areas;

(34) Provisions for river herring catch avoidance program, including adjustments to the mechanism and process for tracking fleet activity, reporting catch events, compiling data, and notifying the fleet of changes to the area(s); the definition/duration of `test tows,' if test tows would be utilized to determine the extent of river herring catch in a particular area(s); the threshold for river herring catch that would trigger the need for vessels to be alerted and move out of the area(s); the distance that vessels would be required to move from the area(s); and the time that vessels would be required to remain out of the area(s).

(35) Changes to criteria/provisions for access to Northeast Multispecies Closed Areas;

(36) River herring and shad catch caps, including species-specific caps, and vessels, permits, trips, gears, and areas to which caps apply;

(37) River herring and shad Catch Cap Areas and Catch Cap Closure Areas; and

(38) Any other measure currently included in the FMP.

(c) Emergency action. Nothing in this section is meant to derogate from the authority of the Secretary to take emergency action under section 305(e) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

[72 FR 11277, Mar. 12, 2007, as amended at 73 FR 4757, Jan. 28, 2008; 76 FR 11380, Mar. 2, 2011; 76 FR 81850, Dec. 29, 2011; 79 FR 8817, Feb. 13, 2014; 79 FR 71972, Dec. 4, 2014; 80 FR 37197, June 30, 2015]

§648.207   Herring Research Set-Aside (RSA).

(a) NMFS shall publish a Request for Proposals (RFP) in the Federal Register, consistent with procedures and requirements established by NMFS, to solicit proposals from industry for the upcoming 3 fishing years, based on research priorities identified by the Council.

(b) Proposals submitted in response to the RFP must include the following information, as well as any other specific information required within the RFP: A project summary that includes the project goals and objectives, the relationship of the proposed research to herring research priorities and/or management needs, project design, participants other than the applicant, funding needs, breakdown of costs, and the vessel(s) for which authorization is requested to conduct research activities.

(c) NMFS shall convene a review panel, including technical experts, to review proposals submitted in response to the RFP. Each panel member shall recommend which research proposals should be authorized to utilize RSA, based on the selection criteria described in the RFP.

(d) NMFS shall consider each panel member's recommendation, provide final approval of the projects and the Regional Administrator may, when appropriate, exempt selected vessel(s) from regulations specified in each of the respective FMPs through written notification to the project proponent.

(e) The grant awards approved under the RFPs shall be for the upcoming 3 fishing years, unless the Council identifies new/different research priorities during the interim years and decides to publish a second RFP. Proposals to fund research that would start prior to, or that would end after the fishing year, are not eligible for consideration. The RSA must be utilized in the same fishing year in which it was distributed (i.e., RSA and compensation trips cannot be rolled over into future years). However, the money generated from the RSA may be rolled over into, or used to fund research in future years, consistent with the multi-year proposal.

(f) Whenever possible, research proposals shall be reviewed and approved prior to the publication of final quota specifications for the upcoming fishing years. In the event that the approved proposals do not make use of any or all of the set-asides, the unutilized portion of the set-aside shall be reallocated back to its respective management area(s) when the final specifications are published. If there is unutilized set-aside available, NMFS, at the request of the Council, could publish another RFP for either the second or third years of the 3-year specifications. In this case, NMFS shall release the unutilized portion of the RSA back to its respective management area(s) for the first year of the specifications and any other year that yields unutilized set-aside after an additional RFP is published. The Council also may decide not to publish another RFP, in which case NMFS may release the unutilized portion of the set-aside back to its respective management area(s) for all 3 fishing years covered by the specifications.

(g) If a proposal is approved, but a final award is not made by NMFS, or if NMFS determines that the allocated RSA cannot be utilized by a project, NMFS shall reallocate the unallocated or unused amount of the RSA to the respective sub-ACL, in accordance with the APA, provided that the RSA can be available for harvest before the end of the fishing year for which the RSA is specified.

(h) Any RSA reallocated under paragraphs (f) and (g) of this section may not be used solely as compensation for research.

(i) Researchers may apply for the use of more than one herring RAS allocation for individual research projects, and may request that the set-aside be collected separately from the research trip or as part of the research trip. The research compensation trips do not necessarily have to be conducted by the same vessel, but must be conducted in the management area from which the set-aside was derived.

(j) No more than 50 percent of the allocated set-aside may be taken before the research begins. If a research project is terminated for any reason prior to completion, any funds collected from the catch sold to pay for research expenses must be refunded to U.S. Treasury.

(k) NMFS shall provide authorization of the research activities to specific vessels by letter of acknowledgement, letter of authorization, or Exempted Fishing Permit issued by the Regional Administrator, which must be kept on board the vessel.

(l) Upon completion of herring research projects approved under this part, researchers must provide the Council and NMFS with a report of research findings, which must include: A detailed description of methods of data collection and analysis; a discussion of results and any relevant conclusions presented in a format that is understandable to a non-technical audience; and a detailed final accounting of all funds used to conduct the herring research.

[72 FR 11277, Mar. 12, 2007, as amended at 76 FR 11381, Mar. 2, 2011]

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