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e-CFR data is current as of March 2, 2021

Title 50Chapter VIPart 622 → Subpart J


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC


Subpart J—-Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic Region


Contents
§622.200   Permits.
§622.201   South Atlantic rock shrimp limited access.
§622.202   [Reserved]
§622.203   Recordkeeping and reporting.
§622.204   At-sea observer coverage.
§622.205   Vessel monitoring systems (VMSs).
§622.206   Area and seasonal closures.
§622.207   Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) requirements.
§622.208   Minimum mesh size applicable to rock shrimp off Georgia and Florida.
§622.209   Restrictions on sale/purchase.
§622.210   Adjustment of management measures.

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§622.200   Permits.

(a) Commercial vessel permits—(1) South Atlantic penaeid shrimp. For a person aboard a trawler to fish for penaeid shrimp in the South Atlantic EEZ or possess penaeid shrimp in or from the South Atlantic EEZ, a valid commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic penaeid shrimp must have been issued to the vessel and must be on board.

(2) South Atlantic rock shrimp. (i) For a person aboard a vessel to fish for rock shrimp in the South Atlantic EEZ off North Carolina or off South Carolina or possess rock shrimp in or from the South Atlantic EEZ off those states, a Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (Carolinas Zone) or a Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ) must be issued to the vessel and must be on board.

(ii) For a person aboard a vessel to fish for rock shrimp in the South Atlantic EEZ off Georgia or off Florida or possess rock shrimp in or from the South Atlantic EEZ off those states, a Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ) must be issued to the vessel and must be on board. A Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ) is a limited access permit. See §622.201 for limitations on the issuance, transfer, or renewal of a Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ).

(b) Operator permits. (1) An operator of a vessel that has or is required to have a Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (Carolinas Zone) or a Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ) issued under this section is required to have an operator permit.

(2) A person required to have an operator permit under paragraph (b)(1) of this section must carry on board such permit and one other form of personal identification that includes a picture (driver's license, passport, etc.).

(3) An owner of a vessel that is required to have a permitted operator under paragraph (b)(1) of this section must ensure that at least one person with a valid operator permit is aboard while the vessel is at sea or offloading.

(4) An owner of a vessel that is required to have a permitted operator under paragraph (b)(1) of this section and the operator of such vessel are responsible for ensuring that a person whose operator permit is suspended, revoked, or modified pursuant to subpart D of 15 CFR part 904 is not aboard that vessel.

(c) Dealer permits and conditions—(1) Permits. For a dealer to first receive South Atlantic rock shrimp harvested in or from the EEZ, a Gulf and South Atlantic dealer permit must be issued to the dealer.

(2) State license and facility requirements. To obtain a dealer permit, the applicant must have a valid state wholesaler's license in the state(s) where the dealer operates, if required by such state(s), and must have a physical facility at a fixed location in such state(s).

(d) Permit procedures. See §622.4 for information regarding general permit procedures including, but not limited to application, fees, duration, transfer, renewal, display, sanctions and denials, and replacement.

[78 FR 22952, Apr. 17, 2013, as amended at 79 FR 19495, Apr. 9, 2014]

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§622.201   South Atlantic rock shrimp limited access.

(a) Commercial Vessel Permits for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ). For a person aboard a vessel to fish for rock shrimp in the South Atlantic EEZ off Georgia or off Florida or possess rock shrimp in or from the South Atlantic EEZ off those states, a Commercial Permit for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ) must be issued to the vessel and must be on board. No applications for additional Commercial Vessel Permits for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ) will be accepted.

(b) Transfer of an existing permit. A Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ) is valid only for the vessel and owner named on the permit. To change either the vessel or the owner, a complete application for transfer must be submitted to the RA. An owner of a vessel with a permit may request that the RA transfer a valid permit to another vessel owned by the same entity, to the same vessel owned by another entity, or to another vessel with another owner. A transfer of a permit under this paragraph will include the transfer of the vessel's entire catch history of South Atlantic rock shrimp to a new owner; no partial transfers are allowed.

(c) Renewal. The RA will not reissue a Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ) if the permit is revoked or if the RA does not receive an application for renewal of the permit within 1 year after the expiration date of the permit.

(d) Limitation on permits. A vessel for which a permit for South Atlantic rock shrimp is required may be issued either a Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (Carolinas Zone) or a Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ), depending on its eligibility. However, no such vessel may be issued both permits for the same period of effectiveness.

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§622.202   [Reserved]

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§622.203   Recordkeeping and reporting.

(a) Commercial vessel owners and operators—(1) Reporting requirement. The owner or operator of a vessel that fishes for shrimp in the South Atlantic EEZ or in adjoining state waters, or that lands shrimp in an adjoining state, must provide information for any fishing trip, as requested by the SRD, including, but not limited to, vessel identification, gear, effort, amount of shrimp caught by species, shrimp condition (heads on/heads off), fishing areas and depths, and person to whom sold.

(2) Reporting deadline. Completed fishing records required by paragraphs (a)(1) of this section must be submitted to the SRD postmarked not later than 7 days after the end of each fishing trip. If no fishing occurred during a calendar month, a report so stating must be submitted on one of the forms postmarked not later than 7 days after the end of that month. Information to be reported is indicated on the form and its accompanying instructions.

(b) South Atlantic rock shrimp dealers. (1) A dealer who first receives South Atlantic rock shrimp must maintain records and submit information as specified in §622.5(c).

(2) On demand, a dealer who has been issued a Gulf and South Atlantic dealer permit, as required under §622.200(c)(1), must make available to an authorized officer all records of offloadings, purchases, or sales of rock shrimp.

[78 FR 22952, Apr. 17, 2013, as amended at 79 FR 19495, Apr. 9, 2014]

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§622.204   At-sea observer coverage.

(a) Required coverage. A vessel for which a Federal commercial permit for South Atlantic rock shrimp or South Atlantic penaeid shrimp has been issued must carry a NMFS-approved observer, if the vessel's trip is selected by the SRD for observer coverage.

(b) Notification to the SRD. When observer coverage is required, an owner or operator must advise the SRD in writing not less than 5 days in advance of each trip of the following:

(1) Departure information (port, dock, date, and time).

(2) Expected landing information (port, dock, and date).

(c) Observer accommodations and access. An owner or operator of a vessel on which a NMFS-approved observer is embarked must:

(1) Provide accommodations and food that are equivalent to those provided to the crew.

(2) Allow the observer access to and use of the vessel's communications equipment and personnel upon request for the transmission and receipt of messages related to the observer's duties.

(3) Allow the observer access to and use of the vessel's navigation equipment and personnel upon request to determine the vessel's position.

(4) Allow the observer free and unobstructed access to the vessel's bridge, working decks, holding bins, weight scales, holds, and any other space used to hold, process, weigh, or store fish.

(5) Allow the observer to inspect and copy the vessel's log, communications logs, and any records associated with the catch and distribution of fish for that trip.

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§622.205   Vessel monitoring systems (VMSs).

(a) VMS requirement for South Atlantic rock shrimp. An owner or operator of a vessel that has been issued a limited access endorsement for South Atlantic rock shrimp (until January 27, 2010) or a Commercial Vessel Permit for Rock Shrimp (South Atlantic EEZ) must ensure that such vessel has an operating VMS approved by NMFS for use in the South Atlantic rock shrimp fishery on board when on a trip in the South Atlantic. An operating VMS includes an operating mobile transmitting unit on the vessel and a functioning communication link between the unit and NMFS as provided by a NMFS-approved communication service provider.

(b) Installation and activation of a VMS. Only a VMS that has been approved by NMFS for the South Atlantic rock shrimp fishery may be used, and the VMS must be installed by a qualified marine electrician. When installing and activating the NMFS-approved VMS, or when reinstalling and reactivating such VMS, the vessel owner or operator must—

(1) Follow procedures indicated on a NMFS-approved installation and activation checklist for the applicable fishery, which is available from NMFS Office for Law Enforcement, Southeast Region, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; phone: 800-758-4833; and

(2) Submit to NMFS Office for Law Enforcement, Southeast Region, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, a statement certifying compliance with the checklist, as prescribed on the checklist.

(3) Submit to NMFS Office for Law Enforcement, Southeast Region, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, a vendor-completed installation certification checklist, which is available from NMFS Office for Law Enforcement, Southeast Region, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; phone: 800-758-4833.

(c) Interference with the VMS. No person may interfere with, tamper with, alter, damage, disable, or impede the operation of the VMS, or attempt any of the same.

(d) Interruption of operation of the VMS. When a vessel's VMS is not operating properly, the owner or operator must immediately contact NMFS Office for Law Enforcement, Southeast Region, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, phone: 800-758-4833, and follow instructions from that office. If notified by NMFS that a vessel's VMS is not operating properly, the owner and operator must follow instructions from that office. In either event, such instructions may include, but are not limited to, manually communicating to a location designated by NMFS the vessel's positions or returning to port until the VMS is operable.

(e) Access to position data. As a condition of authorized fishing for or possession of fish in a fishery subject to VMS requirements in this section, a vessel owner or operator subject to the requirements for a VMS in this section must allow NMFS, the USCG, and their authorized officers and designees access to the vessel's position data obtained from the VMS.

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§622.206   Area and seasonal closures.

(a) South Atlantic shrimp cold weather closure. (1) Pursuant to the procedures and criteria established in the FMP for the Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, when Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, or South Carolina closes all or a portion of its waters of the South Atlantic to the harvest of brown, pink, and white shrimp, the Assistant Administrator may concurrently close the South Atlantic EEZ adjacent to the closed state waters by filing a notification of closure with the Office of the Federal Register. Closure of the adjacent EEZ will be effective until the ending date of the closure in state waters, but may be ended earlier based on the state's request. In the latter case, the Assistant Administrator will terminate a closure of the EEZ by filing a notification to that effect with the Office of the Federal Register.

(2) During a closure, as specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section—

(i) No person may trawl for brown shrimp, pink shrimp, or white shrimp in the closed portion of the EEZ (closed area); and no person may possess on board a fishing vessel brown shrimp, pink shrimp, or white shrimp in or from a closed area, except as authorized in paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section.

(ii) No person aboard a vessel trawling in that part of a closed area that is within 25 nm of the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured may use or have on board a trawl net with a mesh size less than 4 inches (10.2 cm), as measured between the centers of opposite knots when pulled taut.

(iii) Brown shrimp, pink shrimp, or white shrimp may be possessed on board a fishing vessel in a closed area, provided the vessel is in transit and that the shrimp fishing gear with trawl nets having a mesh size less than 4 inches (10.2 cm), as measured between the centers of opposite knots when pulled taut, is appropriately stowed. For the purposes of this paragraph (a), transit means a non-stop progression through a closed area and appropriately stowed means trawl doors out of the water and in the rack/cradle on deck, the nets must be out of the water and in the rigging and tied down, and any try net must be on deck.

(b) [Reserved]

[78 FR 22952, Apr. 17, 2013, as amended at 85 FR 67310, Oct. 22, 2020]

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§622.207   Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD) requirements.

(a) BRD requirement for South Atlantic shrimp. On a shrimp trawler in the South Atlantic EEZ, each net that is rigged for fishing must have a BRD installed that is listed in paragraph (a)(3) of this section and is certified or provisionally certified for the area in which the shrimp trawler is located, unless exempted as specified in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (iii) of this section. A trawl net is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to a sled, door, or other device that spreads the net, or to a tow rope, cable, pole, or extension, either on board or attached to a shrimp trawler.

(1) Exemptions from BRD requirement--(i) Try net exemption. A shrimp trawler is exempt from the requirement to have a certified or provisionally certified BRD installed in a single try net with a headrope length of 16 ft (4.9 m) or less provided the single try net is either placed immediately in front of another net or is not connected to another net.

(ii) Roller trawl exemption. A shrimp trawler is exempt from the requirement to have a certified or provisionally certified BRD installed in up to two rigid-frame roller trawls that are 16 ft (4.9 m) or less in length used or possessed on board. A rigid-frame roller trawl is a trawl that has a mouth formed by a rigid frame and a grid of rigid vertical bars; has rollers on the lower horizontal part of the frame to allow the trawl to roll over the bottom and any obstruction while being towed; and has no doors, boards, or similar devices attached to keep the mouth of the trawl open.

(iii) BRD certification testing exemption. A shrimp trawler that is authorized by the RA to participate in the pre-certification testing phase or to test a BRD in the EEZ for possible certification, has such written authorization on board, and is conducting such test in accordance with the “Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual” is granted a limited exemption from the BRD requirement specified in this section. The exemption from the BRD requirement is limited to those trawls that are being used in the certification trials. All other trawls rigged for fishing must be equipped with certified or provisionally certified BRDs.

(2) Procedures for certification and decertification of BRDs. The process for the certification of BRDs consists of two phases—an optional pre-certification phase and a required certification phase. The RA may also provisionally certify a BRD.

(i) Pre-certification. The pre-certification phase allows a person to test and evaluate a new BRD design for up to 60 days without being subject to the observer requirements and rigorous testing requirements specified for certification testing in the “Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual.”

(A) A person who wants to conduct pre-certification phase testing must submit an application to the RA, as specified in the “Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual.” The “Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual”, which is available from the RA, upon request, contains the application forms.

(B) After reviewing the application, the RA will determine whether to issue a letter of authorization (LOA) to conduct pre-certification trials upon the vessel specified in the application. If the RA authorizes pre-certification, the RA's LOA must be on board the vessel during any trip involving the BRD testing.

(ii) Certification. A person who proposes a BRD for certification for use in the South Atlantic EEZ must submit an application to test such BRD, conduct the testing, and submit the results of the test in accordance with the “Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual.” The RA will issue a LOA to conduct certification trials upon the vessel specified in the application if the RA finds that: The operation plan submitted with the application meets the requirements of the “Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual”; the observer identified in the application is qualified; and the results of any pre-certification trials conducted have been reviewed and deemed to indicate a reasonable scientific basis for conducting certification testing. If authorization to conduct certification trials is denied, the RA will provide a letter of explanation to the applicant, together with relevant recommendations to address the deficiencies resulting in the denial. To be certified for use in the fishery, the BRD candidate must successfully demonstrate a 30-percent reduction in total weight of finfish bycatch. In addition, the BRD candidate must satisfy the following conditions: There is at least a 50-percent probability the true reduction rate of the BRD candidate meets the bycatch reduction criterion and there is no more than a 10-percent probability the true reduction rate of the BRD candidate is more than 5 percentage points less than the bycatch reduction criterion. If a BRD meets both conditions, consistent with the “Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual”, NMFS, through appropriate rulemaking procedures, will add the BRD to the list of certified BRDs in paragraph (a)(3) of this section; and provide the specifications for the newly certified BRD, including any special conditions deemed appropriate based on the certification testing results.

(iii) Provisional certification. Based on data provided consistent with the “Bycatch Reduction Device Testing Manual”, the RA may provisionally certify a BRD if there is at least a 50-percent probability the true reduction rate of the BRD is no more than 5 percentage points less than the bycatch reduction criterion, i.e. 25 percent reduction in total weight of finfish bycatch. Through appropriate rulemaking procedures, NMFS will add the BRD to the list of provisionally certified BRDs in paragraph (a)(3) of this section; and provide the specifications for the BRD, including any special conditions deemed appropriate based on the certification testing results. A provisional certification is effective for 2 years from the date of publication of the notification in the Federal Register announcing the provisional certification.

(iv) Decertification. The RA will decertify a BRD if NMFS determines the BRD does not meet the requirements for certification or provisional certification. Before determining whether to decertify a BRD, the RA will notify the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in writing, and the public will be provided an opportunity to comment on the advisability of any proposed decertification. The RA will consider any comments from the Council and public, and if the RA elects to decertify the BRD, the RA will proceed with decertification via appropriate rulemaking.

(3) Certified and provisionally certified BRDs—(i) Certified BRDS. The following BRDs are certified for use in the South Atlantic EEZ. Specifications of these certified BRDs are contained in Appendix D to this part.

(A) Fisheye--see Appendix D to part 622 for separate specifications in the Gulf and South Atlantic EEZ.

(B) Gulf fisheye.

(C) Jones-Davis.

(D) Modified Jones-Davis.

(E) Expanded mesh.

(F) Extended funnel.

(G) Cone Fish Deflector Composite Panel.

(H) Square Mesh Panel (SMP) Composite Panel.

(ii) [Reserved]

(b) [Reserved]

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§622.208   Minimum mesh size applicable to rock shrimp off Georgia and Florida.

(a) The minimum mesh size for the cod end of a rock shrimp trawl net in the South Atlantic EEZ off Georgia and Florida is 178 inches (4.8 cm), stretched mesh. This minimum mesh size is required in at least the last 40 meshes forward of the cod end drawstring (tie-off rings), and smaller-mesh bag liners are not allowed. A vessel that has a trawl net on board that does not meet these requirements may not possess a rock shrimp in or from the South Atlantic EEZ off Georgia and Florida.

(b) [Reserved]

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§622.209   Restrictions on sale/purchase.

(a) South Atlantic rock shrimp. (1) Rock shrimp harvested in the South Atlantic EEZ on board a vessel that does not have a valid commercial permit for rock shrimp, as required under §622.200(a)(2), may not be transferred, received, sold, or purchased.

(2) Rock shrimp harvested in or from the EEZ or adjoining state waters by a vessel that has a valid commercial vessel permit for South Atlantic rock shrimp may be sold or transferred only to a dealer who has a valid Gulf and South Atlantic dealer permit, as required under §622.200(c)(1).

(3) Rock shrimp harvested in or from the EEZ may be first received by a dealer who has a valid Gulf and South Atlantic dealer permit, as required under §622.200(c)(1), only from a vessel that has a valid commercial vessel permit for rock shrimp.

(b) [Reserved]

[78 FR 22952, Apr. 17, 2013, as amended at 79 FR 19496, Apr. 9, 2014]

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§622.210   Adjustment of management measures.

In accordance with the framework procedures of the FMP for the Shrimp Fishery of the South Atlantic Region, the RA may establish or modify the items specified in paragraph (a) of this section for South Atlantic shrimp.

(a) Biomass levels, age-structured analyses, BRD certification criteria, BRD specifications, BRD testing protocol, certified BRDs, nets required to use BRDs, times and locations when the use of BRDs is required, definitions of essential fish habitat, and essential fish habitat HAPCs or Coral HAPCs.

(b) [Reserved]

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