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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 8, 2019

Title 50Chapter IVSubchapter A → Part 403


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries


PART 403—TRANSFER OF MARINE MAMMAL MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY TO STATES


Contents
§403.01   Purpose and scope of regulations.
§403.02   Definitions.
§403.03   Review and approval of State request for management authority.
§403.04   Determinations and hearings under section 109(c) of the MMPA.
§403.05   State and Federal responsibilities after transfer of management authority.
§403.06   Monitoring and review of State management program.
§403.07   Revocation and return of State management authority.
§403.08   List of States to which management has been transferred.

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq., as amended by Pub. L. 97-58.

Source: 48 FR 22456, May 18, 1983, unless otherwise noted.

§403.01   Purpose and scope of regulations.

The regulations contained in this part implement section 109 of the Act which, upon a finding by the Secretary of compliance with certain requirements, provides for the transfer of marine mammal management authority to the states.

(a) The regulations of this part apply the procedures for the transfer of marine mammal management authority to a state, the form and minimum requirements of a state application for the transfer of management authority, the relationship between Federal and state wildlife agencies both prior and subsequent to the transfer of management authority, and the revocation and return of management authority to the Federal Government.

(b) Nothing in this part shall prevent:

(1) The taking of a marine mammal by or on behalf of a Federal, state or local government official, in accordance with §18.22 or §216.22 of this Title and section 109(h) of the Act, or (2) the adoption or enforcement of any state law or regulation relating to any marine mammal taken before December 21, 1972.

(c) The information collection requirements contained in §§403.03, 403.06, and 403.07 of this part do not require approval by the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., because there are fewer than 10 respondents annually.

§403.02   Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this part:

(a) The term species includes any population stock.

(b) Optimum Sustainable Population or OSP means a population size which falls within a range from the population level of a given species or stock which is the largest supportable within the ecosystem to the population level that results in maximum net productivity. Maximum net productivity is the greatest net annual increment in population numbers or biomass resulting from additions to the population due to reproduction and/or growth less losses due to natural mortality.

(c) State management program means existing and proposed state statutes, regulations, policies and other authorities which form the framework for the conservation of a species of marine mammals.

(d) State regulation means the whole or part of a state agency statement of general or particular applicability and future effect designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy or describing the organization, procedure, or practice requirements of a state agency and which is duly promulgated in accordance with established procedure.

(e) The Act means the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972, 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq., as amended by Pub. L. 97-58.

(f) The Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce, depending on the species involved. Under section 3(11) of the Act, the Secretary of Commerce has jurisdiction over members of the order Cetacea and members, other than walruses, of the order Pinnipedia; the Secretary of the Interior has jurdisdiction over all other mammals. These secretarial authorities have been delegated to the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service, respectively.

(g) The Service or Services means the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), as appropriate depending on the species involved. Any determination or finding required by this part to be made by the “Service” must be made by the Director of the FWS or by the Assistant Administrator of the NMFS, or their delegees, as appropriate.

§403.03   Review and approval of State request for management authority.

(a) Any state may request the transfer of management authority for a species of marine mammals by submitting a written request to the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service (“Director”) for species of marine mammals under the jurisdiction of the FWS, or to the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries of the National Marine Fisheries Service (“Assistant Administrator”) for species of marine mammals under the jurisdiction of the NMFS. The request must include:

(1) Copies of existing and proposed statutes, regulations, policies and other authorities of state law which comprise those aspects of the state management program outlined in paragraph (b) of this section, and, in the case of Alaska, paragraphs (d) (1) through (3) of this section;

(2) A narrative discussion of the statutes, regulations, policies and other authorities which comprise those aspects of the state management program outlined in paragraph (b) of this section, and, in the case of Alaska, paragraph (d) of this section, which explains the program in terms of the requirements of the Act and the regulations of this part; and

(3) Supplementary information as required by paragraph (c) of this section.

(b) A request for transfer of marine mammal management authority will not be approved unless it contains the following:

(1) The scientific and common names and estimated range of the species of marine mammals subject to the state management program.

(2) Provisions of state law concerning the take of marine mammals that—

(i) Require that the taking of marine mammals be humane as defined by section 3(4) of the Act;

(ii) Do not permit the taking of marine mammals until the following have occurred:

(A) The state, pursuant to the requirements of §403.04 of this part, has determined that the species is at its Optimum Sustainable Population (OSP) and determined the maximum number of animals that may be taken without reducing the species below its OSP, and, in the case of Alaska, when a species is below OSP, the maximum numbers that can be taken for subsistence uses while allowing the species to increase toward its OSP;

(B) The determination as to OSP and maximum take are final and implemented under state law; and

(C) A cooperative allocation agreement, if required under §403.05(a) of this part, is implemented;

(iii) Do not permit take in excess of the maximum number of animals that may be taken as determined pursuant to §403.04 of this part; provided that for Alaska, subsistence take may be allowed in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section, and if the species is below OSP, any level of take allowed for subsistence use shall permit the species to increase toward OSP;

(iv) Do not permit take that is for scientific research or public display purposes except such take by or on behalf of the state, or pursuant to a Federal permit issued under §18.31 or §216.31 of this title; and

(v) Regulate the incidental taking of the species in a manner consistent with section 101(a) (2), (4) and (5) of the Act.

(3) Provisions for annually acquiring and evaluating data and other new evidence relating to OSP of the species and the maximum allowable take, and if warranted on the basis of such evaluation, for requiring reevaluations of OSP and maximum allowable take determinations pursuant to §403.04.

(4) Procedures for the resolution of differences between the state and the appropriate Service that might arise during the development of a cooperative allocation agreement pursuant to §403.05(a) of this part.

(5) Procedures for the submission of an annual report meeting the requirements of §403.06(b) of this part to the appropriate Service regarding the administration of the state management program during the reporting period.

(6) A description of—

(i) The organization of state offices involved in the administration and enforcement of the state management program;

(ii) Any permit system relating to the marine mammals, the laws that apply to such permits, and the procedures to be used in granting or withholding such permits;

(iii) State laws relating to judicial review of administrative decisions as they relate to the state management program;

(iv) State laws relating to administrative rulemaking as they relate to the state management program;

(c) In addition to the aspects of the state management program required to be submitted by paragraph (b) of this section, the state shall submit information, in summary form, relating to:

(1) The anticipated staffing and funding of state offices involved in the administration and enforcement of the state management program;

(2) Anticipated research and enforcement activities relating to conservation of the species for which management authority is sought; and

(3) Such other materials and information as the Service may request or which the state may deem necessary or advisable to demonstrate the compatibility of the state management program with the policy and purposes of the Act and the rules and regulations issued under the Act.

(d) In addition to the requirements contained in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, a request for the transfer of marine mammal management authority by the State of Alaska must contain the following concerning subsistence use of the species—

(1) A statute and regulations concerning the take of marine mammals that ensure that

(i) The taking of marine mammals species for subsistence uses will be the priority consumptive uses of the species;

(ii) If restrictions on subsistence uses of the species are required, such restrictions shall be based upon the customary and direct dependence upon the species as the mainstay of livelihood, local residency, and the availability of alternative resources; and

(iii) The taking of marine mammal species for subsistence uses is accomplished in a non-wasteful manner;

(2) Statutes or regulations that ensure that the appropriate state agency will—

(i) Authorize nonsubsistence consumptive uses of a marine mammal species only if such uses will have no significant adverse impact on subsistence uses of the species;

(ii) Regulate nonsubsistence consumptive uses in a manner which, to the maximum extent practicable, provides economic opportunities, including, but not limited to, licensing of marine mammal hunting guides and the assignment of guiding areas, for residents of rural coastal villages of Alaska who engage in subsistence uses of the species; and

(iii) Make written findings supporting the authorizations and regulations described in this paragraph based solely on the administrative record before the agency;

(3) A narrative discussion of the statutes or regulations required under paragraph (d)(2) of this section, and any additional policies or procedures concerning the regulation of nonsubsistence consumptive uses of marine mammals. This discussion must explain how the State's program satisfies the requirements of section 109(f) of the Act, namely that the regulation of nonsubsistence consumptive uses of marine mammals provides, to the maximum extent praticable, economic opportunities for the residents of rural coastal villages of Alaska who engage in subsistence uses of the species.

(e) To assist states in preparing the state management program for submission, the Service will also, at the written request of any state, make a preliminary review of any aspects of the state management program. This review will be advisory in nature and shall not be binding upon the Services. Notwithstanding preliminary review by the Service, once any proposed aspect of the state management program has been prepared and submitted in final form, it shall be subject to final review and approval under paragraphs (f) through (h) of this section.

(f)(1) After receiving the state's request, for management authority, the Service shall make an initial determination on whether the state's management program meets the requirements of the Act and these regulations.

(2) Within 45 days after receiving the state's request, unless the state and the Service agree to another time period, the Service shall publish a general notice of its initial determination in the Federal Register together with, in the case of a positive determination, the text of a proposed rule to transfer management authority to the state. The general notice shall contain a summary of the major components of the state's management program and shall indicate where the full text of the management program may be inspected or copied. The public shall be allowed to submit written comments and to request an informal public hearing on the Service's initial determination and the state's management program within 60 days of publication of the general notice.

(g) If requested, the Service may conduct an informal public hearing after publishing 30 days' advance notice of the date, location, and time of such hearing in the Federal Register.

(h) After considering all comments and other relevant information, the Service shall publish in the Federal Register its final determination on whether the state has developed and will implement a management program that meets the requirement of the Act and these regulations. In the case of a positive final determination, the Service shall publish with the notice a final regulation transferring management authority for the species to the state after the following requirements are satisfied:

(1) The state's determinations pursuant to §403.04 of this part are final and implemented under state law;

(2) Any cooperative allocation agreement required under §403.05(a) of this part is implemented; and

(3) The state has enacted and submitted to the Service laws and policies that are substantially the same as those provided pursuant to §403.03(a) in proposed form in the state's management program.

§403.04   Determinations and hearings under section 109(c) of the MMPA.

(a) Introduction. In order to gain approval of its marine mammal management program the state must provide for a process, consistent with section 109(c) of the Act, to determine the optimum sustainable population of the species and the maximum number of animals that may be taken from populations it manages without reducing the species below OSP. The state process must be completed before the state may exercise any management authority over the subject marine mammals, and it must include the elements set forth below.

(b) Basis, purpose, and scope. The process set forth in this section is applicable to and required for only the determination of the OSP of the species and maximum number that may be taken without reducing it below its OSP and, in the case of Alaska if the species is below OSP, the maximum number of animals that may be taken, if any, for subsistence uses without preventing the species from increasing toward its OSP. The state need not allow the maximum take, as determined in accordance with this process, that is biologically permissible. The state may change regulations establishing bag limits, quotas, seasons, areas, manner of take, etc. within the maximum biologically permissible take pursuant to its other rulemaking criteria, authority, and procedures. Compliance with the process set forth in this section would not be required again unless the state proposes to modify its determinations of the status of the species with respect to its OSP or the maximum permissible take from that species.

(c) Initial determination by the State. The state agency with responsibility for managing the species in the event management authority is transferred to the state shall make initial determinations on the basis of the best scientific evidence available of:

(1) Whether or not it is at its OSP; (2) if so, the maximum number of that species that nay be taken without reducing it below its OSP; and (3) if not, in the case of Alaska, the maximum number of animals that may be taken, if any, for subsistence uses without preventing the species from increasing toward its OSP.

(d) Notice and review of initial determinations and request for hearing. The state agency shall provide notice of its initial determinations to the Service and the public and shall provide access to or copies of the documentation supporting its determinations to the Service and the public. The state agency shall indicate, in the notice of its initial determinations, the location(s) and hours during which such documentation may be inspected, and the costs, if any of copies of such documentation. The state agency shall also indicate in the notice that any interested person may request a hearing regarding the initial determinations, and the state shall provide a reasonable time, not less than 30 days, for making the request, taking into account the time required to advise the public of the initial determinations and to make the supporting documentation readily available to interested persons for their consideration. If a request for a hearing is not made within the prescribed time period, the initial determinations shall be treated as final.

(e) Notice of hearing. If a request for a hearing is made within the prescribed time period by any interested person, the state agency shall provide notice of the hearing to the Service and the public not less than 30 days in advance of the scheduled date(s) of the hearing(s). The notice shall include the date(s), location(s), and purpose of the hearing, a recitation of the initial determinations, the name(s) of the person(s) who will preside at the hearing, and the manner and date by which interested persons must notify the state agency or presiding officer(s) of their desire to participate in the hearing. The state shall also make available and distribute upon request a list of witnesses and description of the documentation and other evidence that will be relied upon by the state's witnesses in support of its initial determinations sufficiently in advance of the hearing date so as to allow interested persons to prepare questions and supporting or rebuttal testimony for the hearing.

(f) Conduct of the hearing. (1) The hearing shall be publicly conducted and reported verbatim by an official reporter.

(2) The state shall sponsor all written documentation in support of its determinations with witnesses who are able, by virtue of training and experience, to respond fully to cross-examination regarding the facts and conclusions contained therein provided that, except by agreement of the parties, the state agency may not call any witnesses or introduce any documentation into the record unless the advance notice requirements of paragraph (e) of this section are met with respect to such witnesses or documentation.

(3) Any interested person who has notificed the state agency of his desire to participate in the hearing pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section may participate in the hearing by presenting oral or written testimony or cross-examining the witnesses or other parties with respect to matters relevant to the state's initial determinations, provided that any such written documentation must be sponsored by a witness who is able, by virtue of training and experience, to respond fully to cross-examination regarding the facts and conclusions contained therein.

(4) The presiding officer(s) shall conduct the hearing in accordance with such other rules of evidence, criteria, and procedures as are necessary and appropriate for the expeditious and effective determination of the issues. The presiding officer(s) may provide for oral argument and/or written briefs at the end of the hearing.

(5) Final determinations on the issues specified in paragraph (c) of this section must be supported by the best available scientific information so as to insure that any taking will be consistent with the maintenance of OSP.

(g) Review of the hearing record and final determinations. (1) The state agency shall provide for either:

(i) Review and evaluation of the hearing record by the presiding officer(s) and transmittal by the presiding officer(s) of recommended final determinations to the decision-maker(s) in the state agency; or

(ii) Review and evaluation of the hearing record and final determinations by the state agency without benefit of any recommendations by the presiding officer(s). In any event, the final determinations by the state agency must be made solely on the basis of the record developed at the hearing. The state agency in making its final determinations, and/or presiding officer(s) in making his (their) recommended determinations, may not rely on oral or written evidence which was not presented at the hearing and made available to the parties for cross-examination and rebuttal testimony. Any such oral or written information transmitted to the presiding officer(s) or other members of the state agency responsible for the final determinations shall be treated as ex parte communications and may not be considered part of the record for decision.

(2) The state agency shall make final determinations of the issues set forth in paragraph (c) of this section and shall include in its statement of final determinations a statement of findings and conclusions and the reasons or basis therefor.

(3) The state agency shall advise the Service and the public of its final determinations and shall provide access to or copies of its decision document and Hearing Record.

(h) Judicial review. The state agency's final determinations after a hearing must be supported by substantial evidence in the record of the hearing. Opportunity for judicial review of the state agency's final determinations must be available under state law. The scope of judicial review shall be equivalent to that provided for in 5 U.S.C. 706(2) (A) through (E).

§403.05   State and Federal responsibilities after transfer of management authority.

(a) After determinations required by section 403.04 of this part have been made in respect to a species whose range extends beyond the territorial waters of the state, the state shall not exercise management authority until a cooperative allocation agreement with the Secretary has been signed and the Service has transferred management authority pursuant to §403.03(h). The cooperative allocation agreement shall provide procedures for allocating, on a timely basis, the maximum amount of take as determined by the state pursuant to §403.04 of this part. Such allocation shall give first priority to incidental take within the zone described in section 3(14)(B) of the Act as provided for under section 101(a) of the Act, except that in the case of Alaska, first priority shall be given to subsistence use.

(b) For those species to which paragraph (a) of this section applies, the state may request the Service to regulate the taking of the species within the zone described in section 3(14)(B) of the Act for subsistence uses and/or hunting in a manner consistent with the regulation by the state of such taking within the state. If such a request is made, the Service shall adopt and enforce within such zone, such of the state's regulatory provisions as the Service considers to be consistent with the administration within such zone of section 101(a) of the Act.

(c) If management authority for a species has been transferred to a state pursuant to this subpart, the Service shall provide to the state an opportunity to review all requests for permits to remove live animals from habitat within the state for scientific research or public display purposes. If the state finds that issuance of the permit would not be consistent with its management program for the species:

(1) The state shall so inform the Service, together with the reasons for such finding, within 30 days of its receipt of the application, and the Service shall not issue the permit; and

(2) The Service shall provide to the permit applicant and the state an opportunity to adjust the permit application or otherwise reconcile it with the state management program for the species.

(d) After management of a species has been transferred to the state, state and Federal authorities shall cooperate to the maximum extent practicable in conserving the species of marine mammals.

§403.06   Monitoring and review of State management program.

(a) The Service has responsibility to monitor and review implementation of all state management programs approved pursuant to this part.

(b) In order to facilitate such review, each state to which management authority has been transferred shall submit an annual report, not later than 120 days after the close of such state's first full fiscal or calendar year following the effective date of the Service's approval of the State management program, and at the same time each following year, or at such other time as may be agreed upon. The repot shall contain the following information current for each reporting period:

(1) Any changes in the state laws which comprise those aspects of the state management program submitted pursuant to §403.03(b), and, in the case of Alaska, §403.03(d), of this part;

(2) Pertinent new data on the marine mammal species or the marine ecosystems in question including a summary of the status, trend and general health of the species;

(3) A summary of available information relating to takings under the state management program;

(4) A summary of state actions to protect species' habitat;

(5) A summary of all state research activity on the species;

(6) Any significant changes in the information provided with the original request for transfer of management authority;

(7) A summary of enforcement activity;

(8) A summary of budget and staffing levels for the marine mammal activities in the categories of research, management and enforcement;

(9) Any other information which the Service may request, consistent with the Act as amended, or which the state deems necessary or advisable to facilitate review by the Service of state management of the species.

(c) Each state having an approved management program shall file a report, in a timely manner, not to exceed 45 days from the occurrence of any of the following:

(1) Any change in a relevant state law (amendments, repealers, or new legislation or regulations or judicial precedent) as submitted pursuant to paragraphs (b)(2) through (b)(5), and in the case of Alaska, paragraph (d), of §403.03 of this part that may impair the State's ability to implement the program;

(2) Any significant natural or manmade occurrence or any new scientific information that may warrant reconsideration of the determinations made pursuant to §403.04 of this part.

(d) All components of the state request for transfer of management authority, as well as annual reports submitted under paragraph (b) of this section and any reports submitted under paragraph (c) of this section, shall be available for inspection and copying at the Office of the Chief, Division of Wildlife Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20240, or, as appropriate, at the Office of Protected Species and Habitat Conservation, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20235, and at the appropriate Service's regional office.

§403.07   Revocation and return of State management authority.

(a) Revocation of management. The Service shall have responsibility to review management of a species transferred to a state under this part and to determine whether or not the implementation of the state management program continues to comply with the requirements of the Act, this part and the state's approved management program.

(1) Upon receipt of any substantial factual information suggesting that the state management program is not being implemented or is being implemented in a manner inconsistent with the Act, this part, or the state's approved management program, the Service shall, as soon as practicable but not later than 30 days after receipt, determine whether or not the state continues to comply with the requirements of the Act, this part and the state's approved management program.

(2) Whenever pursuant to a review as specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the Service determines that any substantial aspect of the state management program is not in compliance with the requirements of the Act, this part or the state's approved management program, it shall provide written notice to the state of its intent to revoke management authority, together with a statement, in detail, of those actions or failures to act upon which such intent to revoke is based. The Service shall publish notice of such intent to revoke in the Federal Register and invite public comment thereon, and shall conduct an informal public hearing on the matter if requested by the state or if the Service otherwise determines it to be necessary. The Service shall provide to the state an opportunity for consultation between the Service and the state concerning such actions or failures and necessary remedial actions to be taken by the state.

(3) If within 90 days after notice is provided under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the state has not taken such remedial measures as are necessary, in the judgment of the Service, to bring the state management program into compliance with the provision of the Act, this part and the state's approved management program, the Service shall revoke the transfer of management authority by written notice to the state and publication in the Federal Register.

(b) Voluntary return of management authority to the Service. (1) If a state desires to return management of a species of marine mammals to the Service, it shall provide the Service notice of intent to return management. The Service shall accept the return of management, and such return shall become effective, upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register to this effect no sooner than 30 days (except in an emergency as determined by the Service) nor longer than 60 days after the state has provided notice of its intent to return management or unless otherwise agreed upon.

(2) If implementation of any aspect of the state management program is enjoined by court order, the state shall advise the Service of such injunction and its effect on the state management program. If the state determines that the effect of the injunction is to preclude effective conservation and management of the species under the terms of the state management program, it shall so notify the Service and such notification shall be treated as a notice of intent to return management as provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. If the state determines that the injunction does not preclude effective conservation and management of marine mammals under the terms of the state management program, it shall so notify the Service together with the basis for the state's determination and such notice shall be treated as a report submitted pursuant to the terms of §403.06(c)(1) of this part. In either case, the state shall provide notice to the Service as soon as practicable but not more than 30 days after issuance of the injunction. Management authority returned to the Service pursuant to this paragraph may be re-transferred to the state, notwithstanding the requirements of §403.03, when, in the judgment of the Service, the cause for return of management authority to the Service has been alleviated in such a way as to allow effective conservation and management of the species consistent with the requirements of the Act and this part.

(c) When revocation of a management authority pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section becomes final, or when a state returns management pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, the Service shall resume such management authority and provide for the conservation of the species within the state in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

§403.08   List of States to which management has been transferred.

The following states have received management authority pursuant to this part for the species listed and, where appropriate, cooperative allocation agreements pursuant to §403.05(c) are in force: [Reserved]

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