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e-CFR data is current as of July 1, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 648Subpart K → §648.207

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
Subpart K—Management Measures for the Atlantic Herring Fishery

§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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