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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of April 2, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 648Subpart A → §648.4


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES
Subpart A—General Provisions


§648.4   Vessel permits.

(a) Fishery specific permit information—(1) NE multispecies vessels. Except for vessels that have been issued a valid High Seas Fishing Compliance permit, have declared their intent to fish, and fish exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area as provided in §648.17, any vessel of the United States, including a charter or party boat, must have been issued and have on board a valid multispecies permit to fish for, possess, or land multispecies finfish in or from the EEZ. Multispecies frames used as, or to be used as, bait on a vessel fishing exclusively with pot gear are deemed not to be multispecies finfish for purposes of this part provided that there is a receipt for the purchase of those frames on board the vessel.

(i) Limited access multispecies permits—(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a limited access NE multispecies permit, as specified in §648.82, a vessel must have been issued a limited access NE multispecies permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a limited access NE multispecies permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history; unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (a)(1)(i)(A). For the fishing year beginning May 1, 2004, a vessel may apply for a limited access Handgear A permit described in §648.82(b)(6), if it meets the criteria described under paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(A)(1) and (2) of this section.

(1) The vessel must have been previously issued a valid NE multispecies open access Handgear permit during at least 1 fishing year during the fishing years 1997 through 2002; and

(2) The vessel must have landed and reported to NMFS at least 500 lb (226.8 kg) of cod, haddock, or pollock, when fishing under the open access Handgear permit in at least 1 of the fishing years from 1997 through 2002, as indicated by NMFS dealer records (live weight), submitted to NMFS prior to January 29, 2004.

(3) Application/renewal restrictions. The vessel owner must submit a complete application for an initial limited access handgear permit before May 1, 2005. For fishing years beyond the 2004 fishing year, the provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section apply.

(B) Application/renewal restrictions. All limited access or moratorium permits established under this section must be issued on an annual basis by the last day of the permit year for which the permit is required, unless a confirmation of permit history (CPH) has been issued as specified in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section. If a vessel is issued more than one limited access or moratorium permit under this section, these permits will be regarded as a permit suite. Permit renewal or relinquishment must be made at the time the first permit application is submitted for a new permit year. Application for limited access or moratorium permits must be received no later than 30 days before the last day of the permit year of the earliest expiration date for any permit in the suite of such permits issued to the vessel. Failure to renew a limited access or moratorium permit in any permit year bars the renewal of the permit in subsequent years. Open access permits may not be issued to a vessel eligible to renew a limited access or moratorium permit until such time that the vessel's limited access or moratorium permit(s) are renewed or voluntarily relinquished pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section, or otherwise transferred from the vessel.

(C) Qualification restriction. Unless the Regional Administrator determines otherwise, no more than one vessel may qualify, at any one time, for a limited access permit or CPH based on that or another vessel's fishing and permit history. If more than one vessel owner claims eligibility for a limited access permit or CPH, based on one vessel's fishing and permit history, the Regional Administrator will determine who is entitled to qualify for the permit or CPH and any DAS allocation according to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. The fishing and permit history of a vessel is presumed to transfer with the vessel whenever it is bought, sold, or otherwise transferred, unless there is a written agreement, signed by the transferor/seller and transferee/buyer, or other credible written evidence, verifying that the transferor/seller is retaining the vessel's fishing and permit history for purposes of replacing the vessel.

(E) Replacement vessels. An owner of a vessel that has been issued any limited access or moratorium permit under this section is limited to one vessel replacement permit year, using the earliest permit year start date of the limited access or moratorium permits for which the vessel is eligible, unless the vessel has been rendered inoperable and non-repairable. With the exception of vessels that have obtained a limited access Handgear A permit described in §648.82(b)(6), to be eligible for a limited access or moratorium permit under this section, the replacement vessel must meet the following criteria and any other applicable criteria under paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section:

(1) The replacement vessel's horsepower may not exceed the horsepower of the vessel's baseline specifications by more than 20 percent, as applicable.

(2) The replacement vessel's length overall may not exceed the length overall of the vessel's baseline specifications by more than 10 percent, as applicable.

(F) Upgraded vessel. A vessel may be upgraded, whether through refitting or replacement, and be eligible to retain or renew a limited access permit, only if the upgrade complies with the following:

(1) The upgraded vessel's horsepower may not exceed the horsepower of the vessel's baseline specifications by more than 20 percent, as applicable.

(2) The upgraded vessel's length overall may not exceed the vessel's baseline length overall by more than 10 percent, as applicable.

(G) Consolidation restriction. Except as provided for in the NE Multispecies DAS Leasing Program, as specified in §648.82(k), and the NE Multispecies DAS Transfer Program as specified in §648.82(l), limited access permits and DAS allocations may not be combined or consolidated.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. The vessel baseline specifications in this section are the respective specifications (length, horsepower) of the vessel that was initially issued a limited access permit as of the date the initial vessel applied for such permit.

(I) Limited access permit restrictions. (1) A vessel may be issued a limited access NE multispecies permit in only one category during a fishing year. Vessels may not change limited access NE multispecies permit categories during the fishing year, except as provided in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(I)(2) of this section. A vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies Hook-gear permit or a limited access Handgear A permit may not change its limited access permit category at any time.

(2) The owner of a vessel issued a limited access multispecies permit may request a change in permit category, unless otherwise restricted by paragraph (a)(1)(i)(I)(1) of this section. The owner of a limited access multispecies vessel eligible to request a change in permit category must elect a category upon the vessel's permit application and will have one opportunity to request a change in permit category by submitting an application to the Regional Administrator within 45 days of the effective date of the vessel's permit. If such a request is not received within 45 days, the vessel owner may not request a change in permit category and the vessel permit category will remain unchanged for the duration of the fishing year. A vessel may not fish in more than one multispecies permit category during a fishing year.

(J) Confirmation of permit history. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this part, a person who does not currently own a fishing vessel, but who has owned a qualifying vessel that has sunk, been destroyed, or transferred to another person, must apply for and receive a CPH if the fishing and permit history of such vessel has been retained lawfully by the applicant. To be eligible to obtain a CPH, the applicant must show that the qualifying vessel meets the eligibility requirements, as applicable, in this part. Issuance of a valid CPH preserves the eligibility of the applicant to apply for a limited access permit for a replacement vessel based on the qualifying vessel's fishing and permit history at a subsequent time, subject to the replacement provisions specified in this section. If fishing privileges have been assigned or allocated previously under this part, based on the qualifying vessel's fishing and permit history, the CPH also preserves such fishing privileges. A CPH must be applied for in order for the applicant to preserve the fishing rights and limited access eligibility of the qualifying vessel. An application for a CPH must be received by the Regional Administrator no later than 30 days prior to the end of the first full fishing year in which a vessel permit cannot be issued. Failure to do so is considered abandonment of the permit as described in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section. A CPH issued under this part will remain valid until the fishing and permit history preserved by the CPH is used to qualify a replacement vessel for a limited access permit. Any decision regarding the issuance of a CPH for a qualifying vessel that has applied for or been issued previously a limited access permit is a final agency action subject to judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 704. Information requirements for the CPH application are the same as those for a limited access permit. Any request for information about the vessel on the CPH application form refers to the qualifying vessel that has been sunk, destroyed, or transferred. Vessel permit applicants who have been issued a CPH and who wish to obtain a vessel permit for a replacement vessel based upon the previous vessel history may do so pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of a limited access or moratorium permit. If a vessel's limited access or moratorium permit for a particular fishery is voluntarily relinquished to the Regional Administrator or abandoned through failure to renew or otherwise, no limited access or moratorium permit for that fishery may be reissued or renewed based on that vessel's limited access or moratorium permit history or to any other vessel relying on that vessel's limited access or moratorium permit history.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. A limited access permit issued pursuant to this section may not be issued to a vessel or its replacement or remain valid, if the vessel's permit or fishing history has been used to qualify another vessel for another Federal fishery.

(M) Appeal of denial of permit—(1) Eligibility. Any applicant eligible to apply for a limited access multispecies Handgear A permit who is denied such permit may appeal the denial to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the notice of denial. Any such appeal must be based on the grounds that the information used by the Regional Administrator was based on incorrect data, must be in writing, and must state the grounds for the appeal.

(2) Appeal review. The Regional Administrator will appoint a designee who will make the initial decision on the appeal. The appellant may request a review of the initial decision by the Regional Administrator by so requesting in writing within 30 days of the notice of the initial decision. If the appellant does not request a review of the initial decision within 30 days, the initial decision is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce. Such review will be conducted by a hearing officer appointed by the Regional Administrator. The hearing officer shall make findings and a recommendation to the Regional Administrator, which shall be advisory only. Upon receiving the findings and the recommendation, the Regional Administrator will issue a final decision on the appeal. The Regional Administrator's decision is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce.

(3) Status of vessels pending appeal. A vessel denied a limited access Handgear A multispecies permit may fish under the limited access multispecies Handgear A category, provided that the denial has been appealed, the appeal is pending, and the vessel has on board a letter from the Regional Administrator authorizing the vessel to fish under the limited access category. The Regional Administrator will issue such a letter for the pendency of any appeal. Any such decision is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce on allowable fishing activity, pending a final decision on the appeal. The letter of authorization must be carried on board the vessel. If the appeal is finally denied, the Regional Administrator shall send a notice of final denial to the vessel owner; the authorizing letter becomes invalid 5 days after receipt of the notice of denial.

(N) Accumulation limits—(1) 5-percent permit/CPH restriction. Any person with an ownership interest in the NE multispecies fishery is not eligible to be issued a limited access NE multispecies permit or CPH for a vessel if the issuance results in the person having an ownership interest in excess of 5 percent of all limited access NE multispecies permits and CPH that are issued as of the date the permit/CPH application is received by the NMFS.

(2) PSC limit. Any person with an ownership interest in the NE multispecies fishery is not eligible to be issued a limited access NE multispecies permit or CPH for a vessel that results in that person's average potential sector contribution (PSC) exceeding a share of 15.5 for all the allocated stocks in aggregate, except as provided in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(N)(4) of this section.

(3) Grandfather provision. Paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(N)(1) and (2) of this section do not apply to a limited access NE multispecies permit or CPH if held on April 7, 2011. Any additional limited access NE multispecies permit or CPH that a person acquires after April 7, 2011, are subject to the accumulation limits specified within this section.

(4) Any person can be issued one limited access NE multispecies permit or CPH that results in that person's total PSC exceeding the PSC limit as described in this section. That person must identify to NMFS on or before March 31 of each year, vessel permits or CPH that will be rendered unusable the upcoming fishing year so that the person's total PSC for the upcoming fishing year is an amount equal to or below the PSC limit. Beginning on May 1, the permits or CPH rendered unusable may not be fished, leased, or enrolled in a sector by that person for the remainder of the fishing year, but may be transferred by that person. The transfer of a permit or CPH rendered unusable shall be made through an arm's-length transaction (for example, to an independent and unrelated entity that does not share an ownership interest with that person).

(ii) Open access permits. A vessel of the United States that has not been issued and is not eligible to be issued a limited access multispecies permit is eligible for and may be issued an “open access multispecies”, “handgear”, or “charter/party” permit, and may fish for, possess on board, and land multispecies finfish subject to the restrictions in §648.88. A vessel that has been issued a valid limited access scallop permit, but that has not been issued a limited access multispecies permit, is eligible for and may be issued an open access scallop multispecies possession limit permit and may fish for, possess on board, and land multispecies finfish subject to the restrictions in §648.88. The owner of a vessel issued an open access permit may request a different open access permit category by submitting an application to the Regional Administrator at any time.

(2) Atlantic sea scallop vessels—Any vessel of the United States that fishes for, possesses, or lands Atlantic sea scallops, except vessels that fish exclusively in state waters for scallops, must have been issued and carry on board a valid scallop vessel permit pursuant to this section.

(i) Limited access scallop permits. Any vessel of the United States that possesses or lands more than 600 lb (272.2 kg) of shucked scallops, or 50 bu (17.6 hL) of in-shell scallops per trip South of 42°20 N. Lat., or 75 bu (26.4 hL) of in-shell scallops per trip North of 42°20 N. Lat, or possesses more than 100 bu (35.2 hL) of in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line, except vessels that fish exclusively in state waters for scallops, must have been issued and carry on board a valid limited access scallop permit.

(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a limited access scallop permit, a vessel must have been issued a limited access scallop permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a limited access scallop permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(B) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) Limited access permit restrictions. A vessel may be issued a limited access scallop permit in only one category during a fishing year. The owner of a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit must elect a permit category upon the vessels permit application and will have one opportunity to request a change in permit category by submitting an application to the Regional Administrator within 45 days of the effective date of the vessel's permit. After this date, the vessel must remain in that permit category for the duration of the fishing year. Any DAS that a vessel uses prior to a change in permit category will be counted against its allocation received under any subsequent permit category.

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(M) Percentage ownership restrictions. (1) For any vessel acquired after March 1, 1994, a vessel owner is not eligible to be issued a limited access scallop permit for the vessel, and/or a confirmation of permit history, if, as a result of the issuance of the permit and/or confirmation of permit history, the vessel owner, or any other person who is a shareholder or partner of the vessel owner, will have an ownership interest in a total number of limited access scallop vessels and limited access scallop confirmations of permit history in excess of 5 percent of the number of all limited access scallop vessels and confirmations of permit history at the time of permit application.

(2) Vessel owners who were initially issued a 1994 limited access scallop permit or confirmation of permit history, or who were issued or renewed a limited access scallop permit or confirmation of permit history for a vessel in 1995 and thereafter, in compliance with the ownership restrictions in paragraph (a)(2)(i)(M)(1) of this section, are eligible to renew such permits(s) and/or confirmation(s) of permit history, regardless of whether the renewal of the permits or confirmations of permit history will result in the 5-percent ownership restriction being exceeded.

(3) Having an ownership interest includes, but is not limited to, persons who are shareholders in a vessel owned by a corporation, who are partners (general or limited) to a vessel owner, or who, in any way, partly own a vessel.

(N) [Reserved]

(O) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(P) VMS requirement. A vessel issued a limited access scallop permit, as specified in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section, except a vessel issued an occasional scallop permit that is not fishing in a sea scallop access area, must have an operational VMS installed. Prior to issuance of a limited access scallop permit, NMFS must receive a signed VMS certification from the vessel owner and be notified by the VMS vendor that the unit has been installed and is operational.

(ii) LAGC scallop permits. Any vessel of the United States that has not been issued a limited access scallop permit pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section, and any vessel issued a limited access scallop permit that fishes for scallops outside of the scallop DAS program described in §648.53(b) or the Area Access program described in §648.60, that possesses, retains, or lands scallops in or from Federal waters, must be issued an LAGC scallop permit and must comply with the permit requirements described in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(A), (B), or (C) of this section. To be issued an LAGC scallop permit, a vessel owner must meet the qualification criteria specified in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(D) or (F) of this section and must comply with the application procedures specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(H) of this section.

(A) Individual fishing quota LAGC permit. To possess or land up to 600 lb (272.2 kg) of shucked meats, or land up to 75 bu (26.4 hL) of in-shell scallops per trip, or possess up to 100 bu (35.2 hL) of in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS demarcation line, a vessel must have been issued an individual fishing quota LAGC scallop permit (IFQ scallop permit). Issuance of an initial IFQ scallop permit is contingent upon the vessel owner submitting the required application and other information that demonstrates that the vessel meets the eligibility criteria specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(D) of this section.

(B) Northern Gulf of Maine LAGC permit. To possess or land up to 200 lb (90.7 kg) of shucked or 25 bu (8.81 hL) in-shell scallops per trip, or to possess up to 50 bu (17.6 hL) seaward of the VMS demarcation line in the NGOM Scallop Management Area, a vessel must have been issued a Northern Gulf of Maine LAGC scallop permit (NGOM scallop permit). A vessel issued a NGOM scallop permit may not fish for scallops outside of the NGOM Scallop Management Area as defined in §648.62, and may not possess or land more than 200 lb (90.7 kg) of shucked or 25 bu (8.81 hL) of in-shell scallops at any time, except the vessel may possess up to 50 bu (17.6 hL) of in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS demarcation line. Issuance of an initial NGOM scallop permit is contingent upon the vessel owner submitting the required application and other information that demonstrates that the vessel meets the eligibility criteria specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(F) of this section.

(C) Incidental catch LAGC permit. To possess or land up to 40 lb (18.1 kg) of shucked or 5 bu (1.76 hL) in-shell scallops per trip, or possess up to 10 bu (3.52 hL) in-shell scallops per trip seaward of the VMS demarcation line, but not more than these amounts per trip, a vessel must have been issued an incidental catch general category scallop permit (Incidental scallop permit). A vessel issued an incidental catch general scallop permit may not possess or land more than 40 lb (18.1 kg) of shucked or 5 bu (1.76 hL) of in-shell scallops at any time, except the vessel may possess up to 10 bu (3.52 hL) of in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS demarcation line. Issuance of an initial incidental catch category scallop permit is contingent upon the vessel owner submitting the required application and other information that demonstrates that the vessel meets the eligibility criteria specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(G) of this section.

(D) Eligibility for an IFQ scallop permit. A vessel is eligible for and may be issued an IFQ scallop permit if it meets both eligibility criteria specified in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(D)(1) and (2) of this section, or is replacing a vessel that meets both the eligibility criteria specified in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(D)(1) and (2) of this section. A vessel owner may appeal NMFS's determination that a vessel does not meet the requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(D)(1) and (2) of this section by complying with the appeal process, as specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(O) of this section.

(1) Permit criterion. A vessel must have been issued a general category scallop permit in at least one scallop fishing year, as defined in §648.2, between March 1, 2000, and November 1, 2004.

(2) Landings criterion. A vessel must have landed at least 1,000 lb (454 kg) of shucked scallops in any one year when the vessel also held a general category scallop permit as specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(D)(1) of this section. To qualify, scallop landings in the 2004 fishing year must have occurred on or before November 1, 2004. NMFS dealer data shall be used to make the initial determination of vessel eligibility. If a dealer reported more than 400 lb (181.4 kg) of scallops on a trip, only 400 lb (181.4 kg) will be credited toward the landings criteria. For dealer reports that indicate that the landings were bushels of in-shell scallops, a conversion of 8 lb (3.63 kg) of scallop meats per bushel will be used to calculate meat-weight, up to the maximum of 400 lb (181.4 kg) per trip. For dealer reports that indicate that the landings were reported in pounds of in-shell scallops, the weight shall be converted to meat-weight using the formula of one pound (0.45 kg) of scallop meats for 8.33 lb (3.78 kg) of in-shell scallops, up to the maximum of 400 lb (181.4 kg) per trip, for qualification purposes.

(E) Contribution factor for determining a vessel's IFQ. An eligible IFQ scallop vessel's best year of scallop landings during the qualification period of March 1, 2000, through November 1, 2004, as specified in §648.53(h)(2)(ii)(A), and the vessel's number of years active, as specified in §648.53(h)(2)(ii)(B), shall be used to calculate a vessel's contribution factor, as specified in §648.53(h)(2)(ii)(C). A vessel owner that has applied for an IFQ scallop permit will be notified of the vessel's contribution factor at the time of issuance of the IFQ scallop permit, consistent with confidentiality restrictions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act specified at 16 U.S.C. 1881a. A vessel owner may appeal NMFS's determination of the IFQ scallop vessel's contribution factor by complying with the appeal process as specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(O) of this section.

(F) Eligibility for NGOM or Incidental scallop permit. A vessel that is not eligible for, or for which the vessel's owner chooses not to apply for, an IFQ scallop permit, may be issued either a NGOM scallop permit or an Incidental scallop permit if the vessel was issued a general category scallop permit as of November 1, 2004, or if the vessel is replacing a vessel that was issued a general category scallop permit as of November 1, 2004. A vessel owner may appeal NMFS's determination that a vessel does not meet this criterion by complying with the appeal process as specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(O) of this section. A vessel that qualifies for an IFQ scallop permit automatically qualifies for an NGOM or Incidental scallop permit if the vessel's owner chooses to be issued an NGOM or Incidental scallop permit instead of the IFQ scallop permit.

(G) LAGC permit restrictions—(1) Change of permit category—(i) IFQ scallop permit. A vessel issued an IFQ scallop permit may not change its general category scallop permit category at any time without voluntarily relinquishing its IFQ scallop permit eligibility as specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(M) of this section. If the vessel owner has elected to relinquish the vessel's IFQ permit and instead be issued an NGOM or Incidental scallop permit, the IFQ permit shall be permanently relinquished.

(ii) NGOM and Incidental scallop permit. A vessel may be issued either an NGOM or Incidental scallop permit for each fishing year, and a vessel owner may not change his/her LAGC scallop permit category during the fishing year, except as specified in this paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(G)(1)(ii). The owners of a vessel issued a NGOM or Incidental scallop permit must elect a permit category in the vessel's permit application and shall have one opportunity each fishing year to request a change in its permit category by submitting an application to the Regional Administrator within 45 days of the effective date of the vessel's permit. After that date, the vessel must remain in that permit category for the duration of the fishing year.

(2) VMS requirement. A vessel issued a LAGC permit must have an operational VMS installed. Issuance of an Atlantic sea scallop permit requires the vessel owner to submit a copy of the vendor's installation receipt or provide verification of vendor activation from a NMFS-approved VMS vendor as described in §648.9.

(H) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section. Applications for a LAGC permit described in paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section must be postmarked no later than August 30, 2008. Applications for LAGC permits that are not postmarked on or before August 30, 2008, may be denied and returned to the sender with a letter explaining the denial. Such denials may not be appealed and shall be the final decision of the Department of Commerce. If NMFS determines that the vessel owner has failed to pay a cost recovery fee in accordance with the cost recovery requirements specified at §648.53(h)(4)(ii), the IFQ permit shall not be renewed.

(I) Qualification restriction. (1) See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section for restrictions applicable to limited access scallop permits.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section, scallop landings history generated by separate owners of a single vessel at different times during the qualification period for LAGC scallop permits may be used to qualify more than one vessel, provided that each owner applying for an LAGC scallop permit demonstrates that he/she created distinct fishing histories, that such histories have been retained, and if the vessel was sold, that each applicant's eligibility and fishing history is distinct.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section, a vessel owner applying for a LAGC permit who sold or transferred a vessel with non-scallop limited access permits, as specified in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section, and retained only the general category scallop history of such vessel as specified in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section, before July 1, 2008, may use the general category scallop history to qualify a different vessel for the initial IFQ scallop permit, regardless of whether the history from the sold or transferred vessel was used to qualify another vessel for another limited access permit.

(J) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(K) Replacement vessels. A vessel owner may apply to replace a qualified LAGC vessel with another vessel that he/she owns. There are no size or horsepower restrictions on replacing general LAGC vessels, unless the qualified vessel that will be replaced is subject to such restriction because of other limited access permits issued pursuant to §648.4. In order for a LAGC that also has other limited access permits issued pursuant to §648.4 to be replaced by a vessel that does not meet the replacement and upgrade restrictions specified for those other limited access permits, the other limited access permits must be permanently relinquished, as specified in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Confirmation of Permit History. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(M) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(N) Restriction on permit splitting. Except as provided in paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(I)(2) and (3) of this section, paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section applies.

(O) Appeal of denial of permit—(1) Eligibility. Any applicant eligible to apply for an LAGC scallop permit who is denied such permit may appeal the denial to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the notice of denial. Any such appeal may only be based on the grounds that the information used by the Regional Administrator was incorrect. The appeal must be in writing, must state the specific grounds for the appeal, and must include information to support the appeal.

(2) Contribution factor appeals. Any applicant eligible to apply for a IFQ scallop permit who disputes NMFS's determination of the vessel's contribution factor specified in paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(E) of this section may appeal NMFS's determination to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the notification of the vessel's best year and years active. Any such appeal may only be based on the grounds that the information used by the Regional Administrator was incorrect. The appeal must be in writing, must state the specific grounds for the appeal, and must include information to support the appeal. A vessel owner may appeal both the eligibility criteria and the contribution factor and must submit the appeal for both at the same time. An appeal of contribution factor determinations shall be reviewed concurrently with an eligibility appeal, if applicable.

(3) Appeal review. The Regional Administrator shall appoint a designee who shall make the initial decision on the appeal. The appellant may request a review of the initial decision by the Regional Administrator by so requesting in writing within 30 days of the notice of the initial decision. If the appellant does not request a review of the initial decision within 30 days, the initial decision is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce. Such review will be conducted by a hearing officer appointed by the Regional Administrator. The hearing officer shall make findings and a recommendation to the Regional Administrator, which shall be advisory only. Upon receiving the findings and the recommendation, the Regional Administrator shall issue a final decision on the appeal. The Regional Administrator's decision is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce.

(4) Status of vessels pending appeal. A vessel denied an LAGC scallop permit may fish while under appeal, provided that the denial has been appealed, the appeal is pending, and the vessel has on board a letter from the Regional Administrator temporarily authorizing the vessel to fish under the limited access general category permit. The Regional Administrator shall issue such a letter that shall be effective only during the pendency of any appeal. The temporary letter of authorization must be carried on board the vessel and all requirements of the permit category for which the appeal has been made shall apply. If the appeal is finally denied, the Regional Administrator shall send a notice of final denial to the vessel owner; the temporary authorizing letter becomes invalid 5 days after receipt of the notice of denial, but no later than 10 days from the date of the letter of denial, regardless of the date of the owner's receipt of the denial.

(3) Summer flounder vessels. Any vessel of the United States that fishes for or retains summer flounder in the EEZ must have been issued and carry on board a valid summer flounder permit, except for vessels other than party or charter vessels that observe the possession limit set forth in §648.106.

(i) Moratorium permits—(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a moratorium permit to fish for and retain summer flounder in excess of the possession limit in §648.106 in the EEZ, a vessel must have been issued a summer flounder moratorium permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a moratorium permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(B) Application/renewal restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. The vessel baseline specifications in this section are the respective specifications (length, horsepower) of the vessel as of March 22, 1999, unless the vessel is in the process of construction or rerigging or under agreement or written contract for construction or rerigging, as of the effective baseline specification date in which case the baseline specifications will be established no later than February 19, 2000.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(ii) Party and charter boat permits. Any party or charter boat is eligible for a permit to fish for summer flounder, other than a summer flounder moratorium permit, if it is carrying passengers for hire. Such vessel must observe the possession limits specified in §648.106.

(iii) Exemption permits. Owners of summer flounder vessels seeking an exemption from the minimum mesh requirement under the provisions of §648.108(b)(1) must request a letter of authorization (LOA) from the Regional Administrator. Vessels must be enrolled in the exemption program for a minimum of 7 days. The Regional Administrator may impose temporary additional procedural requirements by publishing a notification in the Federal Register. If a summer flounder charter or party requirement of this part differs from a summer flounder charter or party management measure required by a state, any vessel owners or operators fishing under the terms of a summer flounder charter/party vessel permit in the EEZ for summer flounder must comply with the more restrictive requirement while fishing in state waters, unless otherwise authorized under §648.107.

(4) Surfclam and ocean quahog vessels. Any vessel of the United States that fishes for surfclams or ocean quahogs, except vessels taking surfclams and ocean quahogs for personal use or fishing exclusively within state waters, must have been issued and carry on board a valid surfclam or ocean quahog permit, respectively.

(i) Maine mahogany quahog permit. (A) A vessel is eligible for a Maine mahogany quahog permit to fish for ocean quahogs in the Maine mahogany quahog zone if it meets the following eligibility criteria in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section, and an application for a Maine mahogany quahog permit is submitted by May 19, 1999. After May 19, 1999, to be eligible to apply for a Maine mahogany quahog permit, a vessel must have been issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(1) The vessel was issued a Federal Maine Mahogany Quahog Experimental Permit during one of the experimental fisheries authorized by the Regional Administrator between September 30, 1990, and September 30, 1997; and,

(2) The vessel landed at least one Maine bushel of ocean quahogs from the Maine mahogany quahog zone as documented by fishing or shellfish logs submitted to the Regional Administrator prior to January 1, 1998.

(B) Application/renewal restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. See paragraph (a)(3)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(M) Appeal of denial of a permit. (1) Any applicant denied a Maine mahogany quahog permit may appeal to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the notice of denial. Any such appeal shall be in writing. The only ground for appeal is that the Regional Administrator's designee erred in concluding that the vessel did not meet the criteria in paragraph (a)(4)(i)(A) of this section. The appeal must set forth the basis for the applicant's belief that the decision of the Regional Administrator's designee was made in error.

(2) The appeal may be presented, at the option of the applicant, at a hearing before an officer appointed by the Regional Administrator.

(3) The hearing officer shall make a recommendation to the Regional Administrator.

(4) The Regional Administrator will make a final decision based on the criteria in paragraph (a)(4)(i)(A) of this section and on the available record, including any relevant documentation submitted by the applicant and, if a hearing is held, the recommendation of the hearing officer. The decision on the appeal by the Regional Administrator is the final decision of the Department of Commerce.

(ii) VMS Requirement. (A) Surfclam and ocean quahog open access permits. In order to be eligible for issuance of an open access surfclam or ocean quahog permit, the vessel owner must have installed on the vessel an operational VMS unit that meets the criteria set forth in §648.9. The vessel owner/operator must activate the VMS unit and provide verification of vendor activation from a NMFS-approved VMS vendor as described in §648.9. Verification is done by completing, signing, and mailing or faxing a VMS certification form to the NMFS Northeast Region Office of Law Enforcement.

(B) Maine mahogany quahog limited access permit. In order to be eligible for issuance of a Maine mahogany quahog permit, the vessel owner must have installed on the vessel an operational VMS unit that meets the criteria set forth in §648.9. By January 1, 2009, unless otherwise exempted under paragraph (a)(4)(ii)(B)(1) of this section. The vessel owner/operator must activate the VMS unit and provide verification of vendor activation from a NMFS-approved VMS vendor as described in §648.9. Verification is done by completing, signing, and mailing or faxing a VMS certification form to the NMFS Northeast Region Office of Law Enforcement.

(1) Special VMS exemption for Maine mahogany quahog vessels. Vessel owners eligible to renew a limited access Maine mahogany quahog permit may do so without proof of installation of a VMS, provided the vessel does not fish for, catch, or possess; or attempt to fish for, catch, or posses; Maine mahogany quahogs. Proof of VMS installation must be provided to the NMFS Northeast Region Office of Law Enforcement prior to departure on any fishing trip on which ocean quahogs may be caught or landed. Once a vessel issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit has elected to participate in the Maine mahogany quahog fishery, the vessel must keep the VMS unit turned on and functioning as specified under §648.9. Once a limited access Maine mahogany quahog permitted vessel has participated in the Maine mahogany quahog fishery, this exemption no longer applies.

(2) [Reserved]

(5) Mackerel, squid, and butterfish vessels. Any vessel of the United States, including party and charter vessels, must have been issued and carry on board a valid vessel permit to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic mackerel, squid, or butterfish in or from the EEZ.

(i) Longfin squid moratorium permits—(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a moratorium permit to fish for and retain longfin squid in excess of the incidental catch allowance in paragraph (a)(5)(vi) of this section in the EEZ, a vessel must have been issued a longfin squid moratorium permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a moratorium permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history. Beginning in fishing year 2018, a vessel may be eligible for and could be issued a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 longfin squid moratorium permit if the vessel and associated fishing history meet the criteria described under paragraphs (a)(5)(i)(A)(1) through (3) of this section.

(1) Tier 1 longfin squid moratorium permit. Beginning in February 2019, the Regional Administer shall automatically issue a Tier 1 longfin squid moratorium permit to any vessel that is issued a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit or eligible to be issued such a permit held in confirmation of permit history (CPH) during calendar year 2018 that meets the eligibility criteria in this paragraph (a)(5)(i)(A)(1). To be eligible for a Tier 1 permit, a vessel must have been issued a valid longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit and landed more than 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) of longfin squid in at least one calendar year between January 1, 1997, and December 31, 2013. Fishing history, including for a permit held in confirmation of permit history, can be used by a vessel to qualify for and be issued a Tier 1 longfin squid moratorium permit, provided the Regional Administrator has determined that the fishing and permit history of such vessel has been lawfully retained by the applicant. Landings data used in this qualification must be verified by dealer reports submitted to NMFS. A vessel that was not automatically issued a Tier 1 longfin squid moratorium permit may apply for such a permit in accordance with paragraph (a)(5)(i)(B) of this section.

(2) Tier 2 longfin squid moratorium permit. Beginning in February 2019, the Regional Administer shall automatically issue a Tier 2 longfin squid moratorium permit to any vessel that is issued a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit or eligible to be issued such a permit held in CPH during fishing year 2018 that does not qualify for a Tier 1 longfin squid moratorium permit, as described in paragraph (a)(5)(i)(A)(1) of this section.

(3) Tier 3 longfin squid moratorium permit. To be issued a Tier 3 permit, a vessel must have been issued an open access squid/butterfish permit and landed more than 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of longfin squid in at least one calendar year between January 1, 1997, and December 31, 2013. Landings data used in this qualification must be verified by dealer reports submitted to NMFS.

(B) Application/renewal restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section. Unless automatically issued a Tier 1 or 2 longfin squid moratorium permit in accordance with paragraphs (a)(5)(i)(A)(1) or (2) of this section, a vessel owner may submit an initial application for a longfin squid moratorium permit described in paragraph (a)(5)(i)(A)(1) through (3) of this section. The initial application must be received by NMFS or postmarked no later than February 29, 2020. An initial application for a longfin squid moratorium permit that is not postmarked before February 29, 2020, will not be processed because of this regulatory restriction, and will be returned to the sender with a letter explaining the reason for its return.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section. Longfin squid landings history generated by separate owners of a single vessel at different times during the qualification period for a longfin squid moratorium permit may be used to qualify more than one vessel, provided that each owner applying for such a permit demonstrates that he/she created distinct fishing histories, that such histories have been retained, and if the vessel was sold, that each applicant's eligibility and fishing history is distinct.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. With the exception of a vessel issued a longfin squid Tier 3 moratorium permit, to be eligible for a longfin squid moratorium permit, a replacement vessel must meet the criteria specified in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. With the exception of a vessel issued a longfin squid Tier 3 moratorium permit, the upgrade provisions in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section apply to a vessel issued a longfin squid moratorium permit.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. With the exception of a vessel issued a longfin squid Tier 3 moratorium permit, the vessel baseline specification measures specified in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(H) of this section apply to a vessel issued a longfin squid moratorium permit.

(I) One-time longfin squid moratorium permit swap. An entity that owns multiple vessels issued longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permits as of May 26, 2017, has a one-time opportunity to swap one Tier 1 longfin squid moratorium permit issued to one of its vessels with a longfin squid Tier 2 moratorium permit issued to another of its vessels. No other fishery permits issued under this section may be transferred pursuant to this paragraph (a)(5)(i)(I). To be eligible for the one-time longfin squid moratorium permit swap, the following conditions must be met:

(1) An application to swap longfin squid moratorium permits must be received by the Regional Administrator within one year of the Regional Administrator's final decision on the issuance of the longfin squid Tier 1 or Tier 2 moratorium permits to be exchanged;

(2) At the time of the application, the owner of record for both vessels and permits involved in the permit swap must be identical to the owner of record of the same two vessels issued the associated longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permits as of May 26, 2017;

(3) The length overall of the vessel upon which a longfin squid moratorium permit would be placed may not exceed the length overall associated with that individual permit's vessel baseline specifications by more than 10 percent; and

(4) The horsepower of the vessel upon which a longfin squid moratorium permit would be placed may not exceed the horsepower associated with that individual permit's vessel baseline specifications by more than 20 percent.

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(M) Appeal of permit denial—(1) Eligibility. Any applicant eligible to apply for a longfin squid moratorium permit who is denied such permit by the Regional Administrator may appeal the denial to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the notice of denial.

(2) Appeal review. Review of the Regional Administrator's decisions on longfin squid moratorium permit issuance will be conducted by the NOAA Fisheries National Appeals Office pursuant to the procedures set forth in 15 CFR part 906, unless otherwise modified by the procedures described here. The National Appeals Office shall make findings and submit its decision to the Regional Administrator and the applicant. The Regional Administrator will review the National Appeals Office decision and make a final decision regarding any appeal in accordance with 15 CFR 906.17. The Regional Administrator's decision is the final decision of the Department of Commerce.

(i) Appeal request. An appeal of the denial of an initial permit application must be made in writing and submitted to and received by the Regional Administrator or postmarked no later than 30 days after the denial of an initial longfin squid moratorium permit application. Upon receipt, the Regional Administrator shall forward each appeal request to the National Appeals Office. Appeals must be based on the grounds that the information used by the Regional Administrator in denying the original permit application was incorrect. Items subject to appeal include, but are not limited to, the accuracy of the amount of landings, the correct assignment of landings to a vessel and/or permit holder, and the issuance of a permit to a particular entity. The appeal request must state the specific grounds for the appeal, and include information to support the appeal. An appellant may request a hearing by including a concise statement raising genuine and substantial issues of a material fact or law that cannot be resolved based on the documentary evidence alone. An appellant may also request a letter of authorization (LOA), as described in paragraph (a)(5)(i)(M)(3) of this section, to continue to fish during an appeal. If the appeal of the denial of the permit application is not made within 30 days, the denial of the permit application shall constitute the final decision of the Department of Commerce. The appeal will not be reviewed without submission of information in support of the appeal.

(ii) Reconsideration. Should the National Appeals Office deny an appeal request submitted according to paragraph (a)(5)(i)(M)(2)(i) of this section, the applicant may request a reconsideration of the appeal by the National Appeals Office. A reconsideration request must be made in writing and submitted to the National Appeals Office within 10 days of that office's decision on the appeal, as instructed by the National Appeals Office.

(3) Status of vessels pending appeal. A vessel denied a longfin squid moratorium permit may fish for longfin squid while the decision on the appeal is pending within NMFS, provided that the denial has been appealed, the appeal is pending, and the vessel has on board an LOA from the Regional Administrator authorizing the vessel to fish under the longfin squid moratorium permit category for which the applicant has submitted an appeal. A request for an LOA must be made when submitting an appeal of the denial of the permit application. The Regional Administrator will issue such a letter for the pending period of any appeal. The LOA must be carried on board the vessel. If the appeal is finally denied, the Regional Administrator shall send a notice of final denial to the vessel owner; the authorizing letter becomes invalid 5 days after the receipt of the notice of denial, but no later than 10 days from the date of the letter of denial.

(ii) Illex squid and butterfish moratorium permits—(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a moratorium permit to fish for and retain Illex squid or butterfish in excess of the incidental catch allowance in paragraph (a)(5)(iv) of this section in the EEZ, a vessel must have been issued an Illex squid or butterfish moratorium permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a moratorium permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history. Beginning in February 2019, a vessel that was previously issued a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit during fishing year 2018 shall be automatically issued a separate butterfish moratorium permit.

(B) Application/renewal restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. See paragraph (a)(3)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(iii) Limited access Atlantic mackerel permits. (A) Vessel size restriction. A vessel of the United States is eligible for and may be issued an Atlantic mackerel permit to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic mackerel in or from the EEZ, except for any vessel that is greater than or equal to 165 ft (50.3 m) in length overall (LOA), or greater than 750 gross registered tons (680.4 mt), or the vessel's total main propulsion machinery is greater than 3,000 horsepower. Vessels that exceed the size or horsepower restrictions may seek to obtain an at-sea processing permit specified in §648.6(a)(2)(i).

(B) Limited access mackerel permits. A vessel of the United States that fishes for, possesses, or lands more than 20,000 lb (7.46 mt) of mackerel per trip, except vessels that fish exclusively in state waters for mackerel, must have been issued and carry on board one of the limited access mackerel permits described in paragraphs (a)(5)(iii)(B)(1) through (3) of this section, including both vessels engaged in pair trawl operations.

(1) Tier 1 Limited Access Mackerel Permit. A vessel may fish for, possess, and land mackerel not subject to a trip limit, provided the vessel qualifies for and has been issued this permit, subject to all other regulations of this part.

(2) Tier 2 Limited Access Mackerel Permit. A vessel may fish for, possess, and land up to 135,000 lb (50 mt) of mackerel per trip, provided the vessel qualifies for and has been issued this permit, subject to all other regulations of this part.

(3) Tier 3 Limited Access Mackerel Permit. A vessel may fish for, possess, and land up to 100,000 lb (37.3 mt) of mackerel per trip, provided the vessel qualifies for and has been issued this permit, subject to all other regulations of this part.

(C) Eligibility criteria for mackerel permits. To be eligible to apply for a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 limited access mackerel permit to fish for and retain Atlantic mackerel in excess of the incidental catch allowance in paragraph (a)(5)(vi) of this section in the EEZ, a vessel must have been issued a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 limited access mackerel permit, as applicable, for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a limited access permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(D) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(E) Qualification restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(F) Change of ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(G) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specification. (1) In addition to the baseline specifications specified in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(H) of this section, the volumetric fish hold capacity of a vessel at the time it was initially issued a Tier 1 or Tier 2 limited access mackerel permit will be considered a baseline specification. The fish hold capacity measurement must be certified by one of the following qualified individuals or entities: an individual credentialed as a Certified Marine Surveyor with a fishing specialty by the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS); an individual credentialed as an Accredited Marine Surveyor with a fishing specialty by the Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS); employees or agents of a classification society approved by the Coast Guard pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 3316(c); the Maine State Sealer of Weights and Measures; a professionally-licensed and/or registered Marine Engineer; or a Naval Architect with a professional engineer license. The fish hold capacity measurement submitted to NMFS as required in this paragraph (a)(5)(iii)(H)(1) must include a signed certification by the individual or entity that completed the measurement, specifying how they meet the definition of a qualified individual or entity.

(2) If a mackerel CPH is initially issued, the vessel that provided the CPH eligibility establishes the size baseline against which future vessel size limitations shall be evaluated, unless the applicant has a vessel under contract prior to the submission of the mackerel limited access application. If the vessel that established the CPH is less than 20 ft (6.09 m) in length overall, then the baseline specifications associated with other limited access permits in the CPH suite will be used to establish the mackerel baseline specifications. If the vessel that established the CPH is less than 20 ft (6.09 m) in length overall, the limited access mackerel eligibility was established on another vessel, and there are no other limited access permits in the CPH suite, then the applicant must submit valid documentation of the baseline specifications of the vessel that established the eligibility. The hold capacity baseline for such vessels will be the hold capacity of the first replacement vessel after the permits are removed from CPH. Hold capacity for the replacement vessel must be measured pursuant to paragraph (a)(5)(iii)(H)(1) of this section.

(I) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section. In addition, for Tier 1 and Tier 2 limited access mackerel permits, the replacement vessel's volumetric fish hold capacity may not exceed by more than 10 percent the volumetric fish hold capacity of the vessel's baseline specifications. The modified fish hold, or the fish hold of the replacement vessel, must be resurveyed by a surveyor (accredited as in paragraph (a)(5)(iii)(H) of this section) unless the replacement vessel already had an appropriate certification.

(J) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(K) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(L) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(iv) Atlantic mackerel incidental catch permits. Any vessel of the United States may obtain a permit to fish for or retain up to 20,000 lb (9,072 kg) of Atlantic mackerel as an incidental catch in another directed fishery, provided that the vessel does not exceed the size restrictions specified in paragraph (a)(5)(iii)(A) of this section. The incidental catch allowance may be revised by the Regional Administrator based upon a recommendation by the Council following the procedure set forth in §648.21.

(v) Party and charter boat permits. The owner of any party or charter boat must obtain a permit to fish for, possess, or retain in or from the EEZ mackerel, squid, or butterfish while carrying passengers for hire.

(vi) Squid/butterfish incidental catch permit. Any vessel of the United States may obtain a permit to fish for or retain up to 250 lb (113 kg) of longfin squid, 600 lb (272 kg) of butterfish, or up to 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) of Illex squid, as an incidental catch in another directed fishery. The incidental catch allowance may be revised by the Regional Administrator based upon a recommendation by the Council following the procedure set forth in §648.22.

(6) Scup vessels. Beginning on January 1, 1997, and subject to the eligibility requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(6)(i) and (a)(6)(ii) of this section, the owner of a vessel of the United States, including a party or charter vessel, must obtain a permit issued under this part to fish for or retain scup for sale, barter or trade, in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat. Any vessel, other than a party or charter boat, that observes the possession limit restrictions established pursuant to, and the prohibition on sale specified in, §648.128 is exempt from the permit requirement.

(i) Moratorium permit—(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a moratorium permit to fish for and retain scup, a vessel must have been issued a scup moratorium permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a scup moratorium permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(B) Application/renewal restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. See paragraph (a)(3)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(ii) Party and charter boat permit. Any party or charter boat is eligible for a permit to fish for scup, other than a scup moratorium permit, if it is carrying passengers for hire. Such vessel must observe the possession limits established pursuant to, and the prohibitions on sale specified in, §648.125.

(7) Black sea bass vessels. Beginning June 1, 1997, any vessel of the United States that fishes for or retains black sea bass in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, must have been issued and carry on board a valid black sea bass moratorium permit, except for vessels other than party or charter vessels that observe the possession limit established pursuant to §648.145.

(i) Moratorium permits—(A) Eligibility. To be eligible to apply for a moratorium permit to fish for and retain black sea bass in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.145 in the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. Lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, a vessel must have been issued a black sea bass moratorium permit for the preceding year, be replacing a vessel that was issued a black sea bass moratorium permit for the preceding year, or be replacing a vessel that was issued a confirmation of permit history.

(B) Application/renewal restrictions. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section.

(C) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(D) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(E) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specifications. See paragraph (a)(3)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section.

(ii) Party and charter boat permit. The owner of any party or charter boat must obtain a permit to fish for or retain black sea bass in or from U.S. waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from 35°15.3 N. lat., the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, northward to the U.S.-Canada border, while carrying passengers for hire.

(8) Atlantic bluefish vessels. (i) Commercial. Any vessel of the United States including party and charter boats not carrying passengers for hire, that fishes for, possesses, or lands Atlantic bluefish in or from the EEZ in excess of the recreational possession limit specified at §648.164 must have been issued and carry on board a valid commercial bluefish vessel permit.

(ii) Party and charter vessels. All party or charter boats must have been issued and carry on board a valid party or charter boat permit to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic bluefish in or from the EEZ if carrying passengers for hire. Persons on board such vessels must observe the possession limits established pursuant to §648.164 and the prohibitions on sale specified in §648.14(q).

(9) Monkfish vessels. Any vessel of the United States, including a charter or party boat, must have been issued and have on board a valid monkfish permit to fish for, possess, or land any monkfish in or from the EEZ.

(i) Limited access monkfish permits. (A) Eligibility. A vessel may be issued a limited access monkfish permit if it meets any of the following limited access monkfish permits criteria:

(1) Category A permit (vessels without NE multispecies or scallop limited access DAS permits). The vessel landed at least 50,000 lb (22,680 kg) tail-weight or 166,000 lb (75,297.6 kg) whole weight of monkfish between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1995;

(2) Category B permit (vessels less than 51 gross registered tonnage (GRT) without NE multispecies or scallop limited access DAS permits that do not qualify for a Category A permit). The vessel landed at least 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) tail-weight or 24,900 lb (11,294.6 kg) whole weight of monkfish between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1995;

(3) Category C permit (vessels with NE multispecies or scallop limited access DAS permits). The vessel landed at least 50,000 lb (22,680 kg) tail-weight or 166,000 lb (75,297.6 kg) whole weight of monkfish between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1995; or

(4) Category D permit (all vessels with NE multispecies limited access DAS permits and vessels less than 51 GRT with scallop limited access DAS permits that do not qualify for a Category C permit). The vessel landed at least 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) tail-weight or 24,900 lb (11,294.6 kg) whole weight of monkfish between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1995.

(5) Category F permit (vessels electing to participate in the Offshore Fishery Program). To fish in the Offshore Fishery Program, as described under §648.95, vessels must apply for and be issued a Category F permit and fish under this permit category for the entire fishing year. The owner of a vessel, or authorized representative, may change the vessel's limited access monkfish permit category within 45 days of the effective date of the vessel's permit, provided the vessel has not fished under the monkfish DAS program during that fishing year. If such a request is not received within 45 days, the vessel owner may not request a change in permit category and the vessel's permit category will remain unchanged for the duration of the fishing year.

(6) Category G permit (vessels restricted to fishing south of 38°40 N. lat. As described in §648.92(b) that do not qualify for a monkfish limited access Category A, B, C, or D permit). The vessel landed at least 50,000 lb (22,680 kg) tail weight or 166,000 lb (75,296 kg) whole weight of monkfish in the area south of 38°00 N. lat. during the period March 15 through June 15 in the years 1995 to 1998.

(7) Category H permit (vessels restricted to fishing south of 38°40 N. lat. As described in §648.92(b) that do not qualify for a monkfish limited access Category A, B, C, D, or G permit). The vessel landed at least 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) tail weight or 24,900 lb (11,294 kg) whole weight of monkfish in the area south of 38°00 N. lat. during the period March 15 through June 15 in the years 1995 to 1998.

(B) Application/renewal restrictions. No one may apply for an initial limited access monkfish permit for a vessel after November 7, 2000, unless otherwise allowed in this paragraph (a)(9)(i)(B). Vessels applying for an initial limited access Category G or H permit, as described in paragraphs (a)(9)(i)(A)(6) and (7) of this section, must do so on or before April 30, 2006.

(C) Qualification restrictions. (1) See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(2) Vessels under agreement for construction or under reconstruction. A vessel may be issued a limited access monkfish permit if the vessel was under written agreement for construction or reconstruction between February 28, 1994, and February 27, 1995, and such vessel meets any of the qualification criteria regarding amount of landings as stated in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A) of this section between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1996.

(D) Change in ownership. (1) See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(2) A vessel may be issued a limited access monkfish permit if it was under written agreement for purchase as of February 27, 1995 and meets any of the qualification criteria regarding amount of landings as stated in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A) of this section between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1996.

(E) Replacement vessels. (1) See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(2) A vessel ≥51 GRT that lawfully replaced a vessel <51 GRT between February 27, 1995, and October 7, 1999, that meets the qualification criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A) of this section, but exceeds the 51 GRT vessel size qualification criteria as stated in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A)(2) or (4) of this section, may qualify for and fish under the permit category for which the replaced vessel qualified.

(3) A vessel that replaced a vessel that fished for and landed monkfish between February 28, 1991, and February 27, 1995, may use the replaced vessel's history in lieu of or in addition to such vessel's fishing history to meet the qualification criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A)(1), (2), (3), or (4) of this section, unless the owner of the replaced vessel retained the vessel's permit or fishing history, or such vessel no longer exists and was replaced by another vessel according to the provisions in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(4) A vessel that replaced a vessel that fished for and landed monkfish between March 15 through June 15 in the years 1995 through 1998, may use the replaced vessel's history in lieu of, or in addition to, such vessel's fishing history to meet the qualification criteria set forth in paragraphs (a)(9)(i)(A)(6) and (7) of this section, unless the owner of the replaced vessel retained the vessel's permit or fishing history, or such vessel no longer exists and was replaced by another vessel according to the provision of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(F) Upgraded vessel. (1) See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(2) A vessel ≥51 GRT that upgraded from a vessel size <51 GRT between February 27, 1995, and October 7, 1999, that meets any of the qualification criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A) of this section, but exceeds the 51 GRT vessel size qualification criteria as stated in paragraphs (a)(9)(i)(A)(2) and (4) of this section, may qualify for and fish under the permit category of the smaller vessel.

(G) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(H) Vessel baseline specification. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(H) of this section.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Confirmation of permit history. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. A limited access monkfish permit may not be issued to a vessel or to its replacement, or remain valid, if the vessel's permit or fishing history has been used to qualify another vessel for another Federal fishery.

(ii) Monkfish incidental catch vessels (Category E). A vessel of the United States that is subject to these regulations and that has not been issued a limited access monkfish permit under paragraph (a)(9)(i)(A) of this section is eligible for and may be issued a monkfish incidental catch (Category E) permit to fish for, possess, or land monkfish subject to the restrictions in §648.94(c).

(10) Atlantic herring vessels—(i) Except as provided herein, any vessel of the United States must have been issued and have on board a valid Atlantic herring permit to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ. This requirement does not apply to the following:

(A) A vessel that possesses herring solely for its use as bait, providing the vessel does not use or have on board purse seine, mid-water trawl, pelagic gillnet, sink gillnet, or bottom trawl gear on any trip in which herring is fished for, possessed, or landed, and does not transfer, sell, trade, or barter such herring;

(B) A skiff or other similar craft used exclusively to deploy the net in a purse seine operation during a fishing trip of a vessel that is duly permitted under this part; or

(C) At-sea processors that do not harvest fish, provided that at-sea processor vessels are issued the at-sea processor permit specified under §648.6(a)(2).

(ii) Atlantic herring carrier. An Atlantic herring carrier must have been issued and have on board a herring permit and a letter of authorization to receive and transport Atlantic herring caught by another permitted fishing vessel or it must have been issued and have on board a herring permit and have declared an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS consistent with the requirements at §648.10(m)(1). Once a vessel declares an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS, it is bound to the VMS operating requirements, specified at §648.10, for the remainder of the fishing year. On Atlantic herring carrier trips under either the letter of authorization or an Atlantic herring carrier VMS trip declaration, an Atlantic herring carrier is exempt from the VMS, IVR, and VTR vessel reporting requirements, as specified in §648.7 and subpart K of this part, except as otherwise required by this part. If not declaring an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS, an Atlantic herring carrier vessel must request and obtain a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator, and there is a minimum enrollment period of 7 calendar days for a letter of authorization. Atlantic herring carrier vessels operating under a letter of authorization or an Atlantic herring carrier VMS trip declaration may not conduct fishing activities, except for purposes of transport, or possess any fishing gear on board the vessel capable of catching or processing herring, and they must be used exclusively as an Atlantic herring carrier vessel, and they must carry observers if required by NMFS. While operating under a valid letter of authorization or Atlantic herring carrier VMS trip declaration, such vessels are exempt from any herring possession limits associated with the herring vessel permit categories. Atlantic herring carrier vessels operating under a letter of authorization or an Atlantic herring carrier VMS trip declaration may not possess, transfer, or land any species other than Atlantic herring, except that they may possess Northeast multispecies transferred by vessels issued either an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit, consistent with the applicable possession limits for such vessels specified at §648.86(a)(3) and (k).

(iii) Vessel size limitation. A vessel of the United States is eligible for and may be issued an Atlantic herring permit to fish for, possess, or land Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ, except for any vessel that is 165 ft (50.3 m) in length overall (LOA), or >750 GRT (680.4 mt), or the vessel's total main propulsion machinery is >3,000 horsepower. Vessels that exceed the size or horsepower restrictions are eligible to be issued an at-sea processing permit specified under §648.6(a)(2)(ii).

(iv) Limited access herring permits. (A) A vessel of the United States that fishes for, possesses, or lands more than 6,600 lb (3 mt) of herring, except vessels that fish exclusively in state waters for herring, must have been issued and carry on board one of the limited access herring permits described in paragraphs (a)(10)(iv)(A)(1)-(3) of this section, including both vessels engaged in pair trawl operations.

(1) All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit. A vessel may fish for, possess, and land unlimited amounts of herring from all herring areas, provided the vessel qualifies for and has been issued this permit, subject to all other regulations of this part.

(2) Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit. A vessel may fish for, possess, and land unlimited amounts of herring from herring Areas 2 and 3, provided the vessel qualifies for and has been issued this permit, subject to all other regulations of this part.

(3) Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit. (i) A vessel that does not qualify for either of the permits specified in paragraphs (a)(10)(iv)(A)(1) and (2) of this section may fish for, possess, and land up to 55,000 lb (25 mt) of herring from any herring area, provided the vessel qualifies for and has been issued this permit, subject to all other regulations of this part.

(ii) A vessel that does not qualify for an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(A)(1) of this section, but qualifies for the Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(A)(2) of this section, may fish for, possess, and land up to 55,000 lb (25 mt) of herring from Area 1, provided the vessel qualifies for and has been issued this permit, subject to all other regulations of this part.

(B) Eligibility for All Areas and Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permits, and Confirmation of Permit History (CPH). A vessel is eligible for and may be issued either an All Areas or Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit if it meets the permit history criteria in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(1) of this section and the relevant landing requirements in paragraphs (a)(10)(iv)(B)(2) and (3) of this section.

(1) Permit history criteria for All Areas and Areas 2 and 3 Permits. (i) The vessel must have been issued a Federal herring permit (Category 1 or 2) that was valid as of November 10, 2005; or

(ii) The vessel is replacing a vessel that was issued a Federal herring permit (Category 1 or 2) between November 10, 2003, and November 9, 2005. To qualify as a replacement vessel, the replacement vessel and the vessel being replaced must both be owned by the same vessel owner; or, if the vessel being replaced was sunk or destroyed, the vessel owner must have owned the vessel being replaced at the time it sunk or was destroyed; or, if the vessel being replaced was sold to another person, the vessel owner must provide a copy of a written agreement between the buyer of the vessel being replaced and the owner/seller of the vessel, documenting that the vessel owner/seller retained the herring permit and all herring landings history.

(2) Landings criteria for the All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit—(i) The vessel must have landed at least 500 mt of herring in any one calendar year between January 1, 1993, and December 31, 2003, as verified by dealer reports submitted to NMFS or documented through valid dealer receipts, if dealer reports were not required by NMFS. In those cases where a vessel has sold herring but there are no required dealer receipts, e.g., transfers of bait at sea and border transfers, the vessel owner can submit other documentation that documents such transactions and proves that the herring thus transferred should be added to their landings history. The owners of vessels that fished in pair trawl operations may provide landings information as specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(2)(iii) of this section. Landings made by a vessel that is being replaced may be used to qualify a replacement vessel consistent with the requirements specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(1)(ii) of this section and the permit splitting prohibitions in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(N) of this section.

(ii) Extension of eligibility period for landings criteria for vessels under construction, reconstruction, or purchase contract. An applicant who submits written evidence that a vessel was under construction, reconstruction, or was under written contract for purchase as of December 31, 2003, may extend the period for determining landings specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(2)(i) of this section through December 31, 2004.

(iii) Landings criteria for vessels using landings from pair trawl operations. To qualify for a limited access permit using landings from pair trawl operations, the owners of the vessels engaged in that operation must agree on how to divide such landings between the two vessels and apply for the permit jointly, as verified by dealer reports submitted to NMFS or valid dealer receipts, if dealer reports were not required by NMFS.

(3) Landings criteria for the Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit. (i) The vessel must have landed at least 250 mt of herring in any one calendar year between January 1, 1993, and December 31, 2003, as verified by dealer reports submitted to NMFS or documented through valid dealer receipts, if dealer reports were not required by NMFS. In those cases where a vessel has sold herring but there are no required dealer receipts, e.g., transfers of bait at sea and border transfers, the vessel owner can submit other documentation that documents such transactions and proves that the herring thus transferred should be added to their landings history. The owners of vessels that fished in pair trawl operations may provide landings information as specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(2)(iii) of this section. Landings made by a vessel that is being replaced may be used to qualify a replacement vessel consistent with the requirements specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(1)(ii) of this section and the permit splitting prohibitions in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(N) of this section.

(ii) Extension of eligibility period for landings criteria for vessels under construction, reconstruction or purchase contract. An applicant who submits written evidence that a vessel was under construction, reconstruction, or was under written contract for purchase as of December 31, 2003, may extend the period for determining landings specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(3)(i) of this section through December 31, 2004.

(iii) Landings criteria for vessels using landings from pair trawl operations. See paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(2)(iii) of this section.

(4) CPH. A person who does not currently own a fishing vessel, but owned a vessel that satisfies the permit eligibility requirements in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B) of this section that has sunk, been destroyed, or transferred to another person, but that has not been replaced, may apply for and receive a CPH that allows for a replacement vessel to obtain the relevant limited access herring permit if the fishing and permit history of such vessel has been retained lawfully by the applicant as specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(1)(ii) of this section and consistent with (a)(10)(iv)(N) of this section.

(C) Eligibility for Incidental Catch Limited Access Herring Permit, and CPH. A vessel is eligible for and may be issued an Incidental Limited Access Herring Permit if it meets the permit history criteria specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(C)(1) of this section and the landings criteria in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(C)(2) of this section.

(1) Permit history criteria. (i) The vessel must have been issued a Federal permit for Northeast multispecies, Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic herring, longfin or Illex squid, or butterfish that was valid as of November 10, 2005; or

(ii) The vessel is replacing a vessel that was issued a Federal permit for Northeast multispecies, Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic herring, longfin or Illex squid, or butterfish that was issued between November 10, 2003, and November 9, 2005. To qualify as a replacement vessel, the replacement vessel and the vessel being replaced must both be owned by the same vessel owner; or, if the vessel being replaced was sunk or destroyed, the vessel owner must have owned the vessel being replaced at the time it sunk or was destroyed; or, if the vessel being replaced was sold to another person, the vessel owner must provide a copy of a written agreement between the buyer of the vessel being replaced and the owner/seller of the vessel, documenting that the vessel owner/seller retained the herring permit and all herring landings history.

(2) Landings criteria for Incidental Catch Limited Access Herring Permit. (i) The vessel must have landed at least 15 mt of herring in any calendar year between January 1, 1988, and December 31, 2003, as verified by dealer reports submitted to NMFS or documented through valid dealer receipts, if dealer reports were not required by NMFS. In those cases where a vessel has sold herring but there are no required dealer receipts, e.g., transfers of bait at sea and border transfers, the vessel owner can submit other documentation that documents such transactions and proves that the herring thus transferred should be added to the vessel's landings history. The owners of vessels that fished in pair trawl operations may provide landings information as specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(2)(iii) of this section. Landings made by a vessel that is being replaced may be used to qualify a replacement vessel consistent with the requirements specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(1)(ii) of this section and the permit splitting prohibitions in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(N) of this section.

(ii) Extension of eligibility period for landings criteria for vessels under construction, reconstruction or purchase contract. An applicant who submits written evidence that a vessel was under construction, reconstruction, or was under written contract for purchase as of December 31, 2003, may extend the period for determining landings specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(C)(2)(i) of this section through December 31, 2004.

(3) CPH. A person who does not currently own a fishing vessel, but owned a vessel that satisfies the permit eligibility requirements in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(C) of this section that has sunk, been destroyed, or transferred to another person, but that has not been replaced, may apply for and receive a CPH that allows for a replacement vessel to obtain the relevant limited access herring permit if the fishing and permit history of such vessel has been retained lawfully by the applicant as specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(B)(1)(ii) of this section and consistent with (a)(10)(iv)(N) of this section.

(D) Application/renewal restrictions. (1) No one may apply for an initial limited access Atlantic herring permit or a CPH under paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(L) of this section after May 31, 2008, or after the abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permit history as specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(M) of this section.

(2) An applicant who submits written proof that an eligible vessel was sold, with the seller retaining the herring history through a written agreement signed by both parties to the sale or transfer, may not utilize such history if the vessel's history was used to qualify another vessel for another limited access permit.

(3) All limited access permits established under this section must be issued on an annual basis by April 30, the last day of the year for which the permit is issued, unless a CPH has been issued as specified in paragraph (a)(10)(iv)(L) of this section. Application for such permits must be received no later than March 31, which is 30 days before the last day of the permit year. Failure to renew a limited access permit in any fishing year bars the renewal of the permit in subsequent years.

(E) Qualification restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section.

(F) Change in ownership. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(G) Replacement vessels. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

(H) Upgraded vessel. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(F) of this section.

(I) Consolidation restriction. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section.

(J) Vessel baseline specifications. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(H) of this section. If a herring CPH is initially issued, the vessel that provided the CPH eligibility establishes the size baseline against which future vessel size limitations shall be evaluated.

(K) Limited access permit restrictions. [Reserved]

(L) Confirmation of Permit History. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(J) of this section.

(M) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section.

(N) Restriction on permit splitting. See paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section. Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L), vessel owners applying for a limited access herring permit who sold vessels with limited access permits and retained the herring history before applying for the initial limited access herring permit may not use the herring history to qualify a vessel for the initial limited access herring permit, if the issuance of such permit would violate the restrictions on permit splitting. Furthermore, notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L), for the purposes of the Atlantic herring fishery, herrings landings history generated by separate owners of a single vessel at different times may be used the qualify more than one vessel, provided that each owner applying for a limited access permit, demonstrates that he/she created distinct fishing histories, and that such histories have been retained.

(O) Appeal of denial of permit—(1) Eligibility. Any applicant eligible to apply for a limited access herring permit who is denied such permit may appeal the denial to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the notice of denial. Any such appeal may only be based on the grounds that the information used by the Regional Administrator was based on incorrect data. The appeal must be in writing, and must state the specific grounds for the appeal.

(2) Appeal review. The Regional Administrator shall appoint a designee who shall make the initial decision on the appeal. The appellant may request a review of the initial decision by the Regional Administrator by so requesting in writing within 30 days of the notice of the initial decision. If the appellant does not request a review of the initial decision within 30 days, the initial decision is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce. Such review will be conducted by a hearing officer appointed by the Regional Administrator. The hearing officer shall make findings and a recommendation to the Regional Administrator, which shall be advisory only. Upon receiving the findings and the recommendation, the Regional Administrator shall issue a final decision on the appeal. The Regional Administrator's decision is the final administrative action of the Department of Commerce.

(3) Status of vessels pending appeal. A vessel denied a limited access herring permit may fish under the limited access herring permit, provided that the denial has been appealed, the appeal is pending, and the vessel has on board a letter from the Regional Administrator authorizing the vessel to fish under the limited access category. The Regional Administrator shall issue such a letter for the pendency of any appeal. The letter of authorization must be carried on board the vessel. If the appeal is finally denied, the Regional Administrator shall send a notice of final denial to the vessel owner; the authorizing letter becomes invalid 5 days after receipt of the notice of denial, but no later than 10 days from the date of the letter of denial.

(v) Open access herring permit. A vessel that has not been issued a limited access Atlantic herring permit may obtain an open access incidental Atlantic herring permit to possess up to 6,600 lb (3 mt) of herring per trip, and is limited to one landing per calendar day.

(vi) Open access herring permits. A vessel that has not been issued a limited access Atlantic herring permit may obtain:

(A) An All Areas open access Atlantic herring permit to possess up to 6,600 lb (3 mt) of herring per trip from all herring management areas, limited to one landing per calendar day; and/or

(B) An Areas 2/3 open access Atlantic herring permit to possess up to 20,000 lb (9 mt) of herring per trip from Herring Management Areas 2 and 3, limited to one landing per calendar day, provided the vessel has also been issued a Limited Access Atlantic Mackerel permit, as defined at §648.4(a)(5)(iii).

(11) Spiny dogfish vessels. Any vessel of the United States that commercially fishes for, possesses, or lands spiny dogfish in or from the EEZ must have been issued and carry on board a valid commercial spiny dogfish vessel permit.

(12) Tilefish vessels—(i) Commercial vessel permits. Any vessel of the United States must have been issued, under this part, and carry on board, a valid commercial vessel permit to fish for, possess, or land golden tilefish or blueline tilefish for a commercial purpose, in or from the Tilefish Management Unit.

(A) A commercial vessel must fish under the authorization of a golden tilefish IFQ allocation permit, issued pursuant to §648.294, to possess, or land golden tilefish in excess of the trip limit as specified under §648.295(a).

(B) [Reserved]

(ii) Party and charter vessel permits. Any party or charter vessel must have been issued, under this part, a Federal charter/party vessel permit to fish for either golden tilefish or blueline tilefish in the Tilefish Management Unit, if it carries passengers for hire. Such vessel must observe the recreational possession limits as specified at §648.296 and the prohibition on sale.

(13) Red Crab vessels. Any vessel of the United States must have been issued and have on board a valid red crab vessel permit to fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter, any red crab or red crab part in or from the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit.

(i) Limited access red crab permit—(A) Eligibility. Any vessel of the United States that possesses or lands more than the incidental amount of red crab, as specified in §648.263(b), per red crab trip must have been issued and carry on board a valid limited access red crab permit.

(B) Application/renewal restrictions. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section apply.

(C) Qualification restrictions. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) of this section apply.

(D) Change in ownership. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(D) of this section apply.

(E) Replacement vessels. (1) To be eligible for a limited access permit under this section, the replacement vessel's length overall may not exceed the vessel's baseline length overall by more than 10 percent. The replacement vessel must also meet any other applicable criteria under paragraph (a)(13)(i)(F) of this section.

(2) A vessel that lawfully replaced a vessel that meets the qualification criteria set forth in paragraph (a)(13)(i)(A) of this section may qualify for and fish under the permit category for which the replaced vessel qualified.

(F) Upgraded vessel. A vessel may be upgraded, whether through refitting or replacement, and be eligible to retain or renew a limited access permit, provided that the new length overall of the upgraded vessel does exceed the vessel's baseline length overall by more than 10 percent, as applicable.

(G) Consolidation restriction. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(G) of this section apply.

(H) Vessel baseline length. The vessel baseline length in this section is the overall length of the vessel indicated on the vessel's initial limited access permit as of the date the initial vessel applies for such permit.

(I) Limited access permit restrictions. A vessel issued a limited access red crab permit may not be issued a red crab incidental catch permit during the same fishing year.

(J) Confirmation of permit history (CPH). Notwithstanding any other provisions of this part, a person who does not currently own a fishing vessel, but who has owned a qualifying vessel that has sunk, been destroyed, or transferred to another person and has not been replaced, must apply for and receive a CPH that confirms the fishing and permit history of such vessel has been retained lawfully by the applicant. To be eligible to obtain a CPH, the applicant must show that the qualifying vessel met the eligibility requirements, as applicable, in this part. Issuance of a valid CPH preserves the eligibility of the applicant to apply for a limited access permit for a replacement vessel based on the qualifying vessel's fishing and permit history at a subsequent time, subject to the replacement provisions specified in this section. If fishing privileges have been assigned or allocated previously under this part, based on the qualifying vessel's fishing and permit history, the CPH preserves such fishing privileges. A CPH must be applied for in order for the applicant to preserve the fishing rights and limited access eligibility of the qualifying vessel. An application for a CPH must be received by the Regional Administrator no later than 30 days prior to the end of the first full fishing year in which a vessel permit cannot be issued. Failure to do so is considered abandonment of the permit as described in paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section. A CPH issued under this part will remain valid until the fishing and permit history preserved by the CPH is used to qualify a replacement vessel for a limited access permit. Any decision regarding the issuance of a CPH for a qualifying vessel that has applied for or been issued previously a limited access permit is a final agency action subject to judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 704. Information requirements for the CPH application are the same as those for a limited access permit. Any request for information about the vessel on the CPH application form refers to the qualifying vessel that has been sunk, destroyed, or transferred. Vessel permit applicants who have been issued a CPH and who wish to obtain a vessel permit for a replacement vessel based upon the previous vessel history may do so pursuant to paragraph (a)(13)(i)(E) of this section.

(K) Abandonment or voluntary relinquishment of permits. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section apply.

(L) Restriction on permit splitting. The provisions of paragraph (a)(1)(i)(L) of this section apply.

(ii) Red crab incidental catch permit. A vessel of the United States that is subject to these regulations and that has not been issued a red crab limited access permit is eligible for and may be issued a red crab incidental catch permit to catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, barter, up to 500 lb (226.8 kg) of red crab, or its equivalent as specified at §648.263(a)(2)(i) and (ii), per fishing trip in or from the Red Crab Management Unit. Such vessel is subject to the restrictions in §648.263(b).

(14) Skate vessels. Any vessel of the United States must have been issued and have on board a valid skate vessel permit to fish for, possess, transport, sell, or land skates in or from the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit.

(15) Mid-Atlantic forage species and Atlantic chub mackerel. Any commercial fishing vessel must have been issued and have on board a valid commercial vessel permit issued in accordance with this paragraph (a)(15) to fish for, possess, transport, sell, or land Mid-Atlantic forage species or Atlantic chub mackerel in or from the EEZ portion of the Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit, as defined at §648.351(c). The vessel permit requirements specified in this paragraph (a)(15) for a commercial fishing vessel fishing for, possessing, transporting, selling, or landing Atlantic chub mackerel are effective through December 31, 2020. A vessel that fishes for such species exclusively in state waters is not required to be issued a Federal permit.

(b) Permit conditions. (1)(i) Any person who applies for and is issued or renews a fishing permit under this section agrees, as a condition of the permit, that the vessel and the vessel's fishing activity, catch, and pertinent gear (without regard to whether such fishing occurs in the EEZ or landward of the EEZ; and without regard to where such fish or gear are possessed, taken, or landed); are subject to all requirements of this part, unless exempted from such requirements under this part. All such fishing activities, catch, and gear will remain subject to all applicable state requirements. Except as otherwise provided in this part, if a requirement of this part and a management measure required by a state or local law differ, any vessel owner permitted to fish in the EEZ for any species managed under this part, except tilefish, must comply with the more restrictive requirement. Except as otherwise provided in this part, if a requirement of this part and a management measure required by a state or local law differ, any vessel owner permitted to fish in the tilefish management unit for tilefish managed under this part must comply with the more restrictive requirement. Owners and operators of vessels fishing under the terms of a summer flounder moratorium, scup moratorium, or black sea bass moratorium; or a spiny dogfish or bluefish commercial vessel permit, must also agree not to land summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, spiny dogfish, or bluefish, respectively, in any state after NMFS has published a notification in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota for that state or period has been harvested and that no commercial quota is available for the respective species. A state not receiving an allocation of summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, or bluefish, either directly or through a coast-wide allocation, is deemed to have no commercial quota available. Owners and operators of vessels fishing under the terms of the tilefish commercial permit must agree not to land golden tilefish or blueline tilefish after NMFS has published a notification in the Federal Register stating that the respective quota for the golden tilefish incidental fishery and/or the commercial blueline tilefish fishery has been harvested, as described in §648.295, unless landing golden tilefish authorized under a golden tilefish IFQ allocation permit. Owners or operators fishing for surfclams and ocean quahogs within waters under the jurisdiction of any state that requires cage tags are not subject to any conflicting Federal minimum size or tagging requirements. If a surfclam and ocean quahog requirement of this part differs from a surfclam and ocean quahog management measure required by a state that does not require cage tagging, any vessel owners or operators permitted to fish in the EEZ for surfclams and ocean quahogs must comply with the more restrictive requirement while fishing in state waters. However, surrender of a surfclam and ocean quahog vessel permit by the owner by certified mail addressed to the Regional Administrator allows an individual to comply with the less restrictive state minimum size requirement, as long as fishing is conducted exclusively within state waters.

(ii) Any person who applies for or has been issued a limited access or moratorium permit on or after September 4, 2007 agrees, as a condition of the permit, that the vessel may not fish for, catch, possess, or land, in or from Federal or state waters, any species of fish authorized by the permit, unless and until the permit has been issued or renewed in any subsequent permit year, or the permit either has been voluntarily relinquished pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section or otherwise forfeited, revoked, or transferred from the vessel.

(2) A vessel that is issued or renewed a limited access or moratorium permit on or after September 4, 2007 for any fishery governed under this section is prohibited from fishing for, catching, possessing, and/or landing any fish for which the vessel would be authorized under the respective limited access or moratorium permit in or from state and/or Federal waters in any subsequent permit year, unless and until the limited access or moratorium permit has been issued or renewed pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(B) of this section and the valid permit is on board the vessel. This prohibition does not apply to a vessel for which the limited access or moratorium permit has been voluntarily relinquished pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(i)(K) of this section or otherwise forfeited, revoked, or transferred from the vessel.

(c) Permit applications—(1) General. Applicants for a permit under this section must submit a completed application on an appropriate form obtained from the Regional Administrator. The application must be signed and submitted to the Regional Administrator at least 30 days before the date on which the applicant desires to have the permit made effective. The Regional Administrator will notify the applicant of any deficiency in the application pursuant to this section. Vessel owners who are eligible to apply for limited access or moratorium permits under this part shall provide information with the application sufficient for the Regional Administrator to determine whether the vessel meets the applicable eligibility requirements specified in this section.

(2) Vessel permit information requirements. (i) An application for a permit issued under this section, in addition to the information specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, also must contain at least the following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Vessel name, owner name or name of the owner's authorized representative, mailing address, and telephone number; USCG documentation number and a copy of the vessel's current USCG documentation or, for a vessel not required to be documented under title 46 U.S.C., the vessel's state registration number and a copy of the current state registration; a copy of the vessel's current party/charter boat license (if applicable); home port and principal port of landing, length overall, GRT, NT, engine horsepower, year the vessel was built, type of construction, type of propulsion, approximate fish hold capacity, type of fishing gear used by the vessel, number of crew, number of party or charter passengers licensed to be carried (if applicable), permit category; if the owner is a corporation, a copy of the current Certificate of Incorporation or other corporate papers showing the date of incorporation and the names of the current officers of the corporation, and the names and addresses of all persons holding any ownership interest in a NE multispecies permit or CPH or shareholders owning 25 percent or more of the corporation's shares for other fishery permits; if the owner is a partnership, a copy of the current Partnership Agreement and the names and addresses of all partners; permit number of any current or, if expired, previous Federal fishery permit issued to the vessel.

(ii) An application for an initial limited access multispecies hook-gear permit must also contain the following information:

(A) If the engine horsepower was changed or a contract to change the engine horsepower had been entered into prior to July 1, 1996, such that it is different from that stated in the vessel's most recent application for a Federal fisheries permit before July 1, 1996, sufficient documentation to ascertain the different engine horsepower. However, the engine replacement must be completed within 1 year of the date on which the contract was signed.

(B) If the length, GRT, or NT was changed or a contract to change the length, GRT, or NT had been entered into prior to July 1, 1996, such that it is different from that stated in the vessel's most recent application for a Federal fisheries permit, sufficient documentation to ascertain the different length, GRT, or NT. However, the upgrade must be completed within 1 year from the date on which the contract was signed.

(iii) An application for a limited access NE multispecies permit must also contain the following information:

(A) For vessels fishing for NE multispecies with gillnet gear, with the exception of vessels fishing under the Small Vessel permit category, an annual declaration as either a Day or Trip gillnet vessel designation as described in §648.82(j). A vessel owner electing a Day gillnet designation must indicate the number of gillnet tags that he/she is requesting, and must include a check for the cost of the tags, unless the vessel already possesses valid gillnet tags, as identified by the Regional Administrator. A permit holder letter will be sent to the owner of each eligible gillnet vessel, informing him/her of the costs associated with this tagging requirement and providing directions for obtaining valid tags. Once a vessel owner has elected this designation, he/she may not change the designation or fish under the other gillnet category for the remainder of the fishing year. Incomplete applications, as described in paragraph (e) of this section, will be considered incomplete only for the purposes of obtaining authorization to fish in the NE multispecies gillnet fishery and otherwise will be processed or issued without a gillnet authorization.

(B)—(C) [Reserved]

(iv) An application for a scallop permit must also contain the following information:

(A) For every person named by applicants for limited access scallop permits pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, the names of all other vessels in which that person has an ownership interest and for which a limited access scallop permit has been issued or applied for.

(B) If applying for a VMS general scallop permit, or full-time or part-time limited access scallop permit, or if opting to use a VMS unit, a copy of the vendor installation receipt or proof of vendor activation of the VMS from a NMFS-approved VMS vendor. NMFS-approved vendors are described in §648.9.

(C) If applying to fish under the small dredge program set forth under §648.51(e), an annual declaration into the program.

(v) An application for a surf clam and ocean quahog permit must also contain the pump horsepower.

(vi) Prior to issuance of a limited access Atlantic herring permit, a VMS unit provided by a NMFS-approved vendor must be installed and NMFS must receive a notice from the vendor that the VMS is activated.

(vii) The owner of a vessel that has been issued a Tier 1 or Tier 2 limited access mackerel must submit a volumetric fish hold certification measurement, as described in paragraph (a)(5)(iii)(H) of this section, with the permit renewal application for the 2013 fishing year.

(d) Fees. The Regional Administrator may charge a fee to recover administrative expenses of issuing a permit required under this section. The amount of the fee is calculated in accordance with the procedures of the NOAA Finance Handbook, available from the Regional Administrator, for determining administrative costs of each special product or service. The fee may not exceed such costs and is specified with each application form. The appropriate fee must accompany each application; if it does not, the application will be considered incomplete for purposes of paragraph (e) of this section. Any fee paid by an insufficiently funded commercial instrument shall render any permit issued on the basis thereof null and void.

(e) Issuance. (1) Except as provided in subpart D of 15 CFR part 904, the Regional Administrator shall issue a permit within 30 days of receipt of the application, unless the application is deemed incomplete for the following reasons:

(i) The applicant has failed to submit a complete application. An application is complete when all requested forms, information, documentation, and fees, if applicable, have been received and the applicant has submitted all applicable reports specified in §648.7;

(ii) The application was not received by the Regional Administrator by the applicable deadline set forth in this section;

(iii) The applicant and applicant's vessel failed to meet all applicable eligibility requirements set forth in this section;

(iv) An applicant for a limited access multispecies combination vessel or individual DAS permit, a limited access scallop permit (except an occasional scallop permit), an LAGC scallop permit, or electing to use a VMS, has failed to meet all of the VMS requirements specified in §§648.9 and 648.10; or

(v) The applicant has failed to meet any other application requirements stated in this part.

(2) Incomplete applications. Upon receipt of an incomplete or improperly executed application for any permit under this part, the Regional Administrator shall notify the applicant of the deficiency in the application. If the applicant fails to correct the deficiency within 30 days following the date of notification, the application will be considered abandoned.

(f) Change in permit information. Any change in the information specified in paragraphs (c)(2) or (c)(3) of this section must be submitted by the applicant in writing to the Regional Administrator within 15 days of the change, or the permit is void.

(g) Expiration. A permit expires upon the renewal date specified in the permit.

(h) Duration. A permit will continue in effect unless it is revoked, suspended, or modified under 15 CFR part 904, or otherwise expires, or ownership changes, or the applicant has failed to report any change in the information on the permit application to the Regional Administrator as specified in paragraph (f) of this section. However, the Regional Administrator may authorize the continuation of a permit if the new owner so requests. Applications for permit continuations must be addressed to the Regional Administrator.

(i) Alteration. Any permit that has been altered, erased, or mutilated is invalid.

(j) Reissuance. A permit may be reissued by the Regional Administrator when requested in writing, stating the need for reissuance, the name of the vessel (if applicable), and the fishing permit number assigned. An application for the reissuance of a permit will not be considered a new application. The fee for a reissued permit shall be the same as for an initial permit.

(k) Transfer. A permit issued under this part is not transferable or assignable. A permit will be valid only for the fishing vessel, owner and/or person for which it is issued.

(l) Display. A vessel permit must be carried, at all times, on board the vessel for which it is issued and shall be subject to inspection upon request by any authorized officer. A person issued a permit under this section must be able to present the permit for inspection when requested by an authorized officer. Permits must be maintained in legible condition.

(m) Sanctions. The Assistant Administrator may suspend, revoke, or modify, any permit issued or sought under this section. Procedures governing enforcement-related permit sanctions or denials are found at subpart D of 15 CFR part 904.

(n) Federal grant awards. The Regional Administrator may suspend, cancel, fail to renew, modify, or otherwise rescind any Federal fishing vessel permit, issued pursuant to this section, including the rights thereto, held by a person, corporation, non-profit organization, or government entity if the terms and conditions of any Federal grant award used to obtain said permit, or an associated memorandum of understanding or agreement, are violated by the grant recipient.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §648.4, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

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