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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 13, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 660Subpart C → §660.17


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES
Subpart C—West Coast Groundfish Fisheries


§660.17   Catch monitor program.

(a) General. The first receiver site license holder, the first receiver site license authorized representative, facility operators and managers are jointly and severally responsible for the first receiver being in compliance with catch monitor requirements specified in this section and at §660.140 (i).

(b) Purpose. The purpose of the Catch Monitor Program is to, among other related matters, confirm that the IFQ landings are accurately sorted, weighed and reported on electronic fish tickets.

(c) Catch monitor coverage requirements. Catch monitor coverage requirements for the Shorebased IFQ Program are specified at §660.140(i).

(d) Catch monitor certification and responsibilities. Catch monitor certification authorizes an individual to fulfill duties as specified by NMFS while under the employ of a catch monitor provider.

(1) Catch monitor training certification. A training certification signifies the successful completion of the training course required to obtain catch monitor certification. This certification expires when the catch monitor has not been deployed and performed sampling duties as required by the Catch Monitor Program Office for a period of time, specified by the Catch Monitor Program, after his or her most recent debriefing. The certification is renewed by successful completion of the training course.

(2) Catch Monitor Program annual briefing. Each catch monitor must attend a briefing prior to his or her first deployment within any calendar year subsequent to a year in which a training certification is obtained. To maintain a certification, a catch monitor must successfully complete any required briefing specified by the Catch Monitor Program. All briefing attendance, performance, and conduct standards required by the Catch Monitor Program must be met prior to any deployment.

(3) Catch monitor certification requirements. NMFS may certify individuals who:

(i) Are employed by a catch monitor provider at the time of the issuance of the certification and qualified, as described at paragraph (f)(1)(i) through (viii) of this section and have provided proof of qualifications to NMFS, through the catch monitor provider.

(ii) Have successfully completed catch monitor certification training.

(A) Successful completion of training by an applicant consists of meeting all attendance and conduct standards; meeting all performance standards for assignments, tests, and other evaluation tools; and completing all other training requirements established by the Catch Monitor Program.

(B) If a candidate fails training, he or she will be notified in writing on or before the last day of training. The notification will indicate: The reasons the candidate failed the training; whether the candidate can retake the training, and under what conditions.

(iii) Have not been decertified as an observer or catch monitor under provisions in §§660.17(g), and 660.140(h)(6), 660.150(j)(5), 660.160(g)(5) or 679.53(c) of this chapter.

(4) Maintaining the validity of a catch monitor certification. After initial issuance, a catch monitor must keep their certification valid by meeting all of the following requirements specified below:

(i) Successfully perform their assigned duties as described in the Catch Monitor Manual or other written instructions from the Catch Monitor Program.

(ii) Accurately record their data, write complete reports, and report accurately any observations of suspected violations of regulations relevant to conservation of marine resources or their environment.

(iii) Consistent with NOAA data confidentiality guidance, not disclose data and observations made on board a vessel to any person except the owner or operator of the observed vessel, an authorized state or OLE officer, NMFS or the Catch Monitor Program; and, not disclose data and observations made at a first receiver to any person other than the first receiver site license holder, the first receiver site license authorized representative, facility operators and managers an authorized state or OLE officer, NMFS or the Catch Monitor Program.

(iv) Successfully complete any required briefings as prescribed by the Catch Monitor Program.

(v) Successful completion of a briefing by a catch monitor consists of meeting all attendance and conduct standards issued in writing at the start of training; meeting all performance standards issued in writing at the start of training for assignments, tests, and other evaluation tools; and completing all other briefing requirements established by the Catch Monitor Program.

(vi) Successfully meet all debriefing expectations including catch monitor performance standards and reporting for assigned debriefings.

(vii) Submit all data and information required by the Catch Monitor Program within the program's stated guidelines.

(viii) Have been deployed as a catch monitor within the 12 months prior to any required briefing, unless otherwise authorized by the Catch Monitor Program.

(e) Catch monitor standards of behavior. Catch monitors must do the following:

(1) Perform authorized duties as described in training and instructional manuals or other written and oral instructions provided by the Catch Monitor Program.

(2) Accurately record and submit the required data, which includes fish species composition, identification, sorting, and weighing information.

(3) Write complete reports, and report accurately any observations of suspected violations of regulations.

(4) Returns phone calls, emails, text messages, or other forms of communication within the time specified by the Catch Monitor Program.

(5) Not disclose data and observations made on board a vessel to any person except the owner or operator of the observed vessel, an authorized officer, NMFS or the Catch Monitor Program; and not disclose data and observations made at a first receiver to any person other than the first receiver site license holder, the first receiver site license authorized representative, facility operators and managers an authorized officer, NMFS or the Catch Monitor Program.

(f) Catch monitor provider responsibilities. (1) Provide qualified candidates to serve as catch monitors. To be qualified a candidate must:

(i) Be a U.S. citizen or have authorization to work in the United States;

(ii) Be at least 18 years of age;

(iii) Have a high school diploma and;

(A) At least two years of study from an accredited college with a major study in natural resource management, natural sciences, earth sciences, natural resource anthropology, law enforcement/police science, criminal justice, public administration, behavioral sciences, environmental sociology, or other closely related subjects pertinent to the management and protection of natural resources, or;

(B) One year of specialized experience performing duties which involved communicating effectively and obtaining cooperation, identifying and reporting problems or apparent violations of regulations concerning the use of protected or public land areas, and carrying out policies and procedures within a recreational area or natural resource site.

(iv) Computer skills that enable the candidate to work competently with standard database software and computer hardware.

(v) Have a current and valid driver's license.

(vi) Have had a background investigation and been found to have had no criminal or civil convictions that would affect their performance or credibility as a catch monitor.

(vii) Have had health and physical fitness exams and been found to be fit for the job duties and work conditions;

(A) Physical fitness exams shall be conducted by a medical doctor who has been provided with a description of the job duties and work conditions and who provides a written conclusion regarding the candidate's fitness relative to the required duties and work conditions. A signed and dated statement from a licensed physician that he or she has physically examined a catch monitor or catch monitor candidate. The statement must confirm that, based on that physical examination, the catch monitor or catch monitor candidate does not have any health problems or conditions that would jeopardize that individual's safety or the safety of others while deployed, or prevent the catch monitor or catch monitor candidate from performing his or her duties satisfactorily. The physician's statement must be submitted to the Catch Monitor Program office prior to certification of a catch monitor. The physical exam must have occurred during the 12 months prior to the catch monitor's or catch monitor candidate's deployment. The physician's statement expires 12 months after the physical exam occurred and a new physical exam must be performed, and accompanying statement submitted, prior to any deployment occurring after the expiration of the statement.

(B) Copies of “certificates of insurance,” that names the Catch Monitor Program Coordinator as the “certificate holder,” shall be submitted to the Catch Monitor Program Office by February 1 of each year. The certificates of insurance shall verify the following coverage provisions and state that the insurance company will notify the certificate holder if insurance coverage is changed or canceled.

(1) Coverage under the U.S. Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act ($1 million minimum).

(2) States Worker's Compensation as required.

(3) Commercial General Liability.

(viii) Have signed a statement indicating that they are free from conflict of interest as described under §660.18(c).

(2) Catch monitor conduct and behavior. A catch monitor provider must develop and maintain a policy addressing conduct and behavior for their employees that serve as catch monitors.

(i) The policy shall address the following behavior and conduct regarding:

(A) Catch monitor use of alcohol;

(B) Catch monitor, possession, or distribution of illegal drugs; and

(C) Sexual contact with personnel off the vessels or processing facility to which the catch monitor is assigned, or with any vessel or processing plant personnel who may be substantially affected by the performance or non-performance of the catch monitor's official duties.

(ii) A catch monitor provider shall provide a copy of its conduct and behavior policy to each observer candidate and to the Catch Monitor Program by February 1 of each year.

(3) Contract. Provide to the candidate a copy of a written contract signed by the catch monitor and catch monitor provider that shows among other factors the following provisions for employment:

(i) Compliance with the standards of conduct, responsibilities, conflict of interest standards and drug and alcohol policy;

(ii) Willingness to complete all responsibilities of current deployment prior to performing jobs or duties which are not part of the catch monitor responsibilities.

(iii) Commitment to return all sampling or safety equipment issued for the deployment.

(4) Catch monitors provided to a first receiver. (i) Must have a valid catch monitor certification;

(ii) Must not have informed the catch monitor provider prior to the time of assignment that he or she is experiencing a mental illness or a physical ailment or injury developed since submission of the physician's statement, as required in paragraph (f)(1)(vii)(A) of this section that would prevent him or her from performing his or her assigned duties; and

(iii) Must have successfully completed all Catch Monitor Program required training and briefing before assignment.

(5) Respond to industry requests for catch monitors. A catch monitor provider must provide a catch monitor for assignment pursuant to the terms of the contractual relationship with the first receiver to fulfill first receiver requirements for catch monitor coverage under §660.140(i)(1). An alternate catch monitor must be supplied in each case where injury or illness prevents the catch monitor from performing his or her duties or where the catch monitor resigns prior to completion of his or her duties. If the catch monitor provider is unable to respond to an industry request for catch monitor coverage from a first receiver for whom the catch monitor provider is in a contractual relationship due to the lack of available catch monitors, the catch monitor provider must report it to NMFS at least four hours prior to the expected assignment time, unless the first receiver provides less than four hour notice to the provider, in which case the provider is to notify the Catch Monitor Program as soon as practical after the situation arises.

(6) Ensure that catch monitors complete duties in a timely manner. Catch monitor providers must ensure that catch monitors employed by that catch monitor provider do the following in a complete and timely manner:

(i) Submit to NMFS all data, logbooks and reports as required under the Catch Monitor Program deadlines.

(ii) Report for his or her scheduled debriefing and complete all debriefing responsibilities.

(7) Provide catch monitor salaries and benefits. A catch monitor provider must provide to its catch monitor employees salaries and any other benefits and personnel services in accordance with the terms of each catch monitor's contract.

(8) Provide catch monitor assignment logistics.

(i) A catch monitor provider must ensure each of its catch monitors under contract:

(A) Has an individually assigned mobile or cell phones, in working order, for all necessary communication. A catch monitor provider may alternatively compensate catch monitors for the use of the catch monitor's personal cell phone or pager for communications made in support of, or necessary for, the catch monitor's duties.

(B) Has Internet access for Catch Monitor Program communications and data submission;

(C) Remains available to OLE and the Catch Monitor Program until the completion of the catch monitors' debriefing.

(D) Receives all necessary transportation, including arrangements and logistics, of catch monitors to the location of assignment, to all subsequent assignments during that assignment, and to the debriefing location when an assignment ends for any reason; and

(E) Receives lodging, per diem, and any other services necessary to catch monitors assigned to first receivers, as specified in the contract between the catch monitor and catch monitor provider.

(F) While under contract with a catch monitor provider, each catch monitor shall be provided with accommodations in accordance with the contract between the catch monitor and the catch monitor provider. If the catch monitor provider is responsible for providing accommodations under the contract with the catch monitor, the accommodations must be at a licensed hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, or other accommodations that have an assigned bed for each catch monitor that no other person may be assigned to for the duration of that catch monitor's stay.

(ii) [Reserved]

(9) Catch monitor assignment limitations and workload.

(i) Not assign a catch monitor to the same first receiver for more than 90 calendar days in a 12-month period, unless otherwise authorized by NMFS.

(ii) Not exceed catch monitor assignment limitations and workload as outlined in §660.140(i)(3)(ii).

(10) Maintain communications with catch monitors. A catch monitor provider must have an employee responsible for catch monitor activities on call 24 hours a day to handle emergencies involving catch monitors or problems concerning catch monitor logistics, whenever catch monitors are assigned, or in transit, or awaiting first receiver reassignment.

(11) Maintain communications with the Catch Monitor Program office. A catch monitor provider must provide all of the following information by electronic transmission (email), fax, or other method specified by NMFS.

(i) Catch monitor training, briefing, and debriefing registration materials. This information must be submitted to the Catch Monitor Program at least 10 business days prior to the beginning of a scheduled catch monitor certification training or briefing session. Submissions received less than 10 business days prior to the beginning of a scheduled catch monitor certification training or briefing session will be approved by the Catch Monitor Program on a case-by-case basis.

(A) Training registration materials consist of the following:

(1) Date of requested training;

(2) A list of catch monitor candidates that includes each candidate's full name (i.e., first, middle and last names), date of birth, and gender;

(3) A copy of each candidate's academic transcripts and resume;

(4) A statement signed by the candidate under penalty of perjury which discloses the candidate's criminal convictions;

(B) Briefing registration materials consist of the following:

(1) Date and type of requested briefing session;

(2) List of catch monitors to attend the briefing session, that includes each catch monitor's full name (first, middle, and last names);

(C) The Catch Monitor Program will notify the catch monitor provider which catch monitors require debriefing and the specific time period the catch monitor provider has to schedule a date, time, and location for debriefing. The catch monitor provider must contact the Catch Monitor Program within 5 business days by telephone to schedule debriefings.

(1) Catch monitor providers must immediately notify the Catch Monitor Program when catch monitors end their contract earlier than anticipated.

(2) [Reserved]

(ii) Catch monitor provider contracts. If requested, catch monitor providers must submit to the Catch Monitor Program a completed and unaltered copy of each type of signed and valid contract (including all attachments, appendices, addendums, and exhibits incorporated into the contract) between the catch monitor provider and those entities requiring catch monitor services under §660.140(i)(1). Catch monitor providers must also submit to the Catch Monitor Program upon request, a completed and unaltered copy of the current or most recent signed and valid contract (including all attachments, appendices, addendums, and exhibits incorporated into the contract and any agreements or policies with regard to catch monitor compensation or salary levels) between the catch monitor provider and the particular entity identified by the Catch Monitor Program or with specific catch monitors. The copies must be submitted to the Catch Monitor Program via email, fax, or mail within 5 business days of the request. Signed and valid contracts include the contracts a catch monitor provider has with:

(A) First receivers required to have catch monitor coverage as specified at paragraph §660.140(i)(1); and

(B) Catch monitors.

(iii) Change in catch monitor provider management and contact information. A catch monitor provider must submit to the Catch Monitor Program any change of management or contact information as required at §660.18(h).

(iv) Catch monitor status report. Each Tuesday, catch monitor providers must provide the Catch Monitor Program with an updated list of deployments per Catch Monitor Program protocol. Deployment information includes provider name, catch monitor last name, catch monitor first name, trip start date, trip end date, status of catch monitor, vessel name and vessel identification number, date monitored offload, and first receiver assignment.

(v) Informational materials. Catch monitor providers must submit to NMFS, if requested, copies of any information developed and used by the catch monitor providers and distributed to first receivers, including, but not limited to, informational pamphlets, payment notification, and description of catch monitor duties.

(vi) Other reports. Reports of the following must be submitted in writing to the Catch Monitor Program by the catch monitor provider via fax or email address designated by the Catch Monitor Program within 24 hours after the catch monitor provider becomes aware of the information:

(A) Any information regarding possible catch monitor harassment;

(B) Any information regarding any action prohibited under §660.12(f);

(C) Any catch monitor illness or injury that prevents the catch monitor from completing any of his or her duties described in the catch monitor manual; and

(D) Any information, allegations or reports regarding catch monitor conflict of interest or breach of the standards of behavior described in catch monitor provider policy.

(12) Replace lost or damaged gear. Lost or damaged gear issued to a catch monitor by NMFS must be replaced by the catch monitor provider. All replacements must be provided to NMFS and be in accordance with requirements and procedures identified in writing by the Catch Monitor Program.

(13) Confidentiality of information. A catch monitor provider must ensure that all records on individual catch monitor performance received from NMFS under the routine use provision of the Privacy Act 5 U.S.C. 552a or as otherwise required by law remain confidential and are not further released to any person outside the employ of the catch monitor provider company to whom the catch monitor was contracted except with written permission of the catch monitor.

(g) Certification and decertification procedures for catch monitors.

(1) Catch monitor certification official. The Regional Administrator (or a designee) will designate a NMFS catch monitor certification official who will make decisions on whether to issue or deny catch monitor certification.

(2) Agency determinations on catch monitor certifications—(i) Issuance of certifications. Certification may be issued upon determination by the catch monitor certification official that the candidate has successfully met all requirements for certification as specified in §660.17(d).

(ii) Denial of a certification. The catch monitor certification official will issue a written determination identifying the reasons for denial of a certification.

(3) Limitations on conflict of interest for catch monitors. (i) Catch monitors must not have a direct financial interest, other than the provision of observer or catch monitor services, in a North Pacific fishery managed pursuant to an FMP for the waters off the coast of Alaska, Alaska state waters, or in a Pacific Coast fishery managed by either the state or Federal Governments in waters off Washington, Oregon, or California, including but not limited to:

(A) Any ownership, mortgage holder, or other secured interest in a vessel, first receiver, shorebased or floating stationary processor facility involved in the catching, taking, harvesting or processing of fish;

(B) Any business involved with selling supplies or services to any vessel, first receiver, shorebased or floating stationary processing facility; or

(C) Any business involved with purchasing raw or processed products from any vessel, first receiver, shorebased or floating stationary processing facilities.

(ii) Must not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gratuity, gift, favor, entertainment, loan, or anything of monetary value from any person who either conducts activities that are regulated by NMFS or has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the catch monitor's official duties.

(iii) May not serve as a catch monitor at any shoreside or floating stationary processing facility owned or operated where a person was previously employed in the last two years.

(iv) May not solicit or accept employment as a crew member or an employee of a vessel, or shoreside processor while employed by a catch monitor provider.

(v) Provisions for remuneration of catch monitors under this section do not constitute a conflict of interest.

(4) Catch monitor decertification—(i) Catch monitor decertification review official. The Regional Administrator (or a designee) will designate a catch monitor decertification review official(s), who will have the authority to review certifications and issue IADs of decertification.

(ii) Causes for decertification. The catch monitor decertification official may initiate decertification proceedings when it is alleged that any of the following acts or omissions have been committed:

(A) Failed to satisfactorily perform the specified duties and responsibilities;

(B) Failed to abide by the specified standards of conduct;

(C) Upon conviction of a crime or upon entry of a civil judgment for:

(1) Commission of fraud or other violation in connection with obtaining or attempting to obtain certification, or in performing the duties and responsibilities specified in this section;

(2) Commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property;

(3) Commission of any other offense indicating a lack of integrity or honesty that seriously and directly affects the fitness of catch monitors.

(iii) Issuance of IAD. Upon determination that decertification is warranted, the catch monitor decertification official will issue a written IAD. The IAD will identify the specific reasons for the action taken. Decertification is effective 30 calendar days after the date on the IAD, unless there is an appeal.

(iv) Appeals. A certified catch monitor who receives an IAD that suspends or revokes his or her catch monitor certification may appeal the determination within 30 calendar days after the date on the IAD to the Office of Administrative Appeals pursuant to §660.19.

[75 FR 78377, Dec. 15, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 53835, Aug. 30, 2011; 76 FR 74734, Dec. 1, 2011; 80 FR 22280, Apr. 21, 2015]

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