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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 697Subpart A → §697.5

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
Subpart A—General Provisions

§697.5   Operator permits.

(a) General. Any operator of a vessel issued a Federal limited access American lobster permit under §697.4(a), or any operator of a vessel of the United States that fishes for, possesses, or lands American lobsters or Jonah crabs, harvested in or from the EEZ must have been issued and carry on board a valid operator's permit issued under this section. The requirement in this paragraph (a) does not apply to: Charter, head, and commercial dive vessels that possess six or fewer American lobsters per person aboard the vessel if said lobsters are not intended for nor used in trade, barter or sale; recreational fishing vessels; and vessels that fish exclusively in state waters for American lobster.

(b) Operator application. Applicants for a permit under this section must submit a completed permit application on an appropriate form obtained from the Regional Administrator. To be complete, an application must contain at least the following information, and any other information specified on the application form or otherwise required by the Regional Administrator: Name, mailing address, and telephone number; date of birth; hair color; eye color; height; weight; social security number (optional) and signature of the applicant. The applicant must also provide two recent (no more than 1 year old) color passport-size photographs. The application must be signed by the applicant and submitted to the Regional Administrator at least 30 days prior to 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.

(c) Condition. Vessel operators who apply for an operator's permit under this section must agree, as a condition of this permit, that the operator and vessels fishing, catch, crew size, 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 while fishing in the EEZ or on board a vessel permitted under §697.4. The vessel and all such fishing, catch, and gear will remain subject to all applicable state or local requirements. Further, such operators must agree, as a condition of this permit, that if the permit is suspended or revoked pursuant to 15 CFR part 904, the operator cannot be on board any fishing vessel issued a Federal fisheries permit or any vessel subject to Federal fishing regulations while the vessel is at sea or engaged in off loading. If a requirement of this part and a management measure required by state or local law differ, any operator issued a permit under this part must comply with the more restrictive requirement or measure.

(d) Fees. The Regional Administrator may charge a fee to recover the administrative expenses of issuing a permit required under this section. The amount of the fee shall be 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 shall be specified with each application form. The applicable 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. Except as provided in subpart D of 15 CFR part 904, the Regional Administrator shall issue an operator's permit within 30 days of receipt of the application if the criteria specified herein are met. Upon receipt of an incomplete or improperly executed application, the Regional Administrator will notify the applicant of the deficiency in the application. If the application fails to correct the deficiency within 30 days following the date of notification, the application will be considered abandoned.

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

(g) Duration. An operator permit is valid until it is revoked, suspended, or modified under subpart D of 15 CFR part 904, or otherwise expires, or the applicant has failed to report a change in the information on the permit application to the Regional Administrator as specified in paragraph (j) of this section.

(h) Reissuance. An operator permit may be reissued by the Regional Administrator when requested in writing by the applicant, stating the need for reissuance and the number of the permit requested to be reissued. An applicant for a reissued operator permit must also provide two recent (no more than 1 year old) color passport-size photos of the applicant. An application for a reissued permit is not considered a new application. An appropriate fee may be charged.

(i) Transfer. Permits issued under this section are not transferable or assignable. A permit is valid only for the person to whom it is issued.

(j) Change in application information. Notice of a change in the permit holder's name, address, or telephone number must be submitted in writing to, and received by, the Regional Administrator within 15 days of the change in information. If written notice of the change in information is not received by the Regional Administrator within 15 days, the permit is void.

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

(l) Display. Any permit issued under this part must be maintained in legible condition and displayed for inspection upon request by any authorized officer.

(m) Sanctions. Vessel operators with suspended or revoked permits may not be on board a federally permitted fishing vessel in any capacity while the vessel is at sea or engaged in offloading. Permits issued or sought under this section may be suspended, revoked, or modified, by procedures governing enforcement-related permit sanctions and denials, found at subpart D of 15 CFR part 904.

(n) Vessel owner responsibility. Vessel owners are responsible for ensuring that their vessels are operated by an individual with a valid operator's permit issued under this section.

[64 FR 68248, Dec. 6, 1999, as amended at 84 FR 61579, Nov. 13, 2019]

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