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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of March 26, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 648 → Subpart A


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES


Subpart A—General Provisions


Contents
§648.1   Purpose and scope.
§648.2   Definitions.
§648.3   Relation to other laws.
§648.4   Vessel permits.
§648.5   Operator permits.
§648.6   Dealer/processor permits.
§648.7   Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
§648.8   Vessel identification.
§648.9   VMS vendor and unit requirements.
§648.10   VMS and DAS requirements for vessel owners/operators.
§648.11   Monitoring coverage.
§648.12   Experimental fishing.
§648.13   Transfers at sea.
§648.14   Prohibitions.
§648.15   Facilitation of enforcement.
§648.16   Penalties.
§648.17   Exemptions for vessels fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.
§648.18   Standardized bycatch reporting methodology.

§648.1   Purpose and scope.

(a) This part implements the fishery management plans (FMPs) for the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish fisheries (Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish FMP); Atlantic salmon (Atlantic Salmon FMP); the Atlantic sea scallop fishery (Scallop FMP); the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries (Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog FMP); the NE multispecies and monkfish fisheries ((NE Multispecies FMP) and (Monkfish FMP)); the summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries (Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass FMP); the Atlantic bluefish fishery (Atlantic Bluefish FMP); the Atlantic herring fishery (Atlantic Herring FMP); the spiny dogfish fishery (Spiny Dogfish FMP); the Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery (Deep-Sea Red Crab FMP); the golden and blueline tilefish fisheries (Tilefish FMP); and the NE skate complex fisheries (Skate FMP). These FMPs and the regulations in this part govern the conservation and management of the above named fisheries of the Northeastern United States.

(b) This part governs domestic fishing only. Foreign fishing is governed under subpart F of part 600 of this chapter.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 61 FR 43424, Aug. 23, 1996; 62 FR 13299, Mar. 20, 1997; 65 FR 1568, Jan. 11, 2000; 65 FR 77464, Dec. 11, 2000; 66 FR 49192, Sept. 26, 2001; 67 FR 63229, Oct. 10, 2002; 68 FR 49699, Aug. 19, 2003; 76 FR 60649, Sept. 29, 2011; 82 FR 52855, Nov. 15, 2017]

§648.2   Definitions.

In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson Act and in §600.10 of this chapter, the terms used in this part have the following meanings:

Alewife means Alosa pseudoharengus.

American lobster or lobster means Homarus americanus.

American shad means Alosa sapidissima.

Annual catch entitlement (ACE), with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means the share of the annual catch limit (ACL) for each NE multispecies stock that is allocated to an individual sector or state-operated permit bank based upon the cumulative fishing history attached to each permit participating in that sector or held by a state-operated permit bank in a given year. This share may be adjusted due to penalties for exceeding the sector's ACE for a particular stock in earlier years, or due to other violations of the FMP, including the yearly sector operations plan. When a sector's or state-operated permit bank's share of a NE multispecies stock, as determined by the fishing histories of vessels participating in that sector or permits held by a state-operated permit bank, is multiplied by the available catch, the result is the amount of ACE (live weight in pounds) that can be harvested (landings and discards) by participants in that sector or transferred by a state-operated permit bank, during a particular fishing year.

At-sea monitor, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means any person responsible for observing, verifying, and reporting area fished, catch, and discards of all species by gear type for sector trips as part of an approved sector at-sea monitoring program.

Atlantic butterfish or butterfish means Peprilus triacanthus.

Atlantic chub mackerel means Scomber colias.

Atlantic croaker means Micropogonias undulatus.

Atlantic deep-sea red crab (red crab) means Chaceon quinquedens.

Atlantic hagfish means Myxine glutinosa.

Atlantic herring means Clupea harengus.

Atlantic herring carrier means a fishing vessel that may receive and transport herring caught by another fishing vessel, provided the vessel has been issued a herring permit, does not have any gear on board capable of catching or processing herring, and that has on board a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator to transport herring caught by another fishing vessel or has declared an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS consistent with the requirements at §648.4(a)(10)(ii).

Atlantic herring dealer means:

(1) Any person who purchases or receives for a commercial purpose other than solely for transport or pumping operations any herring from a vessel issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit, whether offloaded directly from the vessel or from a shore-based pump, for any purpose other than for the purchaser's own use as bait;

(2) Any person owning or operating a processing vessel that receives any Atlantic herring from a vessel issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit whether at sea or in port; or

(3) Any person owning or operating an Atlantic herring carrier that sells Atlantic herring received at sea or in port from a vessel issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit.

Atlantic herring offload means to remove, begin to remove, to pass over the rail, or otherwise take Atlantic herring off of or away from any vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit for sale to either a permitted at-sea Atlantic herring dealer or a permitted land-based Atlantic herring dealer.

Atlantic herring processor means a person who receives unprocessed Atlantic herring from a fishing vessel issued a Federal Atlantic herring permit or from an Atlantic herring dealer for the purposes of processing; or the owner or operator of a fishing vessel that processes Atlantic herring; or an Atlantic herring dealer who purchases Atlantic herring from a fishing vessel with a Federal Atlantic herring permit for resale as bait.

Atlantic herring transfer at-sea means a transfer from the hold, deck, codend, or purse seine of a vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit to another vessel for personal use as bait, to an Atlantic herring carrier or at-sea processor, to a permitted transshipment vessel, or to another permitted Atlantic herring vessel. Transfers between vessels engaged in pair trawling are not herring transfers at-sea.

Atlantic mackerel or mackerel means Scomber scombrus.

Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish Monitoring Committee means the committee made up of staff representatives of the MAFMC and the NEFMC, and the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and NEFSC of NMFS. The MAFMC Executive Director or a designee chairs the Committee.

Atlantic salmon means Salmo salar.

Atlantic sea scallop or scallop means Placopecten magellanicus, throughout its range.

Beam trawl means gear, consisting of a twine bag attached to a beam attached to a towing wire, designed so that the beam does not contact the bottom. The beam is constructed with sinkers or shoes on either side that support the beam above the bottom or any other modification so that the beam does not contact the bottom. The beam trawl is designed to slide along the bottom rather than dredge the bottom.

Black sea bass means Centropristis striata.

Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representatives of the Mid-Atlantic, New England, and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils, the Northeast Regional Office of NMFS, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and Commission representatives. The Council Executive Director or his designee chairs the Committee.

Black sea bass pot or black sea bass trap means any such gear used in catching and retaining black sea bass.

Blowfish (puffer) means any species in the family Tetraodontidae.

Blueback herring means Alosa aestivalis.

Bluefish means Pomotomus saltatrix.

Bluefish Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representatives of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the New England Fishery Management Council, and South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the NMFS Northeast Regional Office, the NMFS Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and the Commission. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Executive Director or a designee chairs the committee.

Blueline tilefish means Caulolatilus microps.

Bonito means Sarda sarda.

Border transfer (BT) means the amount of herring specified pursuant to §648.200 that may be transferred to a Canadian transport vessel that is permitted under the provisions of Pub. L. 104-297, section 105(e).

Bottom-tending mobile gear, means gear in contact with the ocean bottom, and towed from a vessel, which is moved through the water during fishing in order to capture fish, and includes otter trawls, beam trawls, hydraulic dredges, non-hydraulic dredges, and seines (with the exception of a purse seine).

Bridles connect the wings of a bottom trawl to the ground cables. The ground cables lead to the doors or otter boards. The doors are attached to the towing vessel via steel cables, referred to as wires or warps. Each net has two sets of bridles, one on each side.

Brush-sweep trawl gear means trawl gear consisting of alternating roller discs and bristle brushes that are strung along cables, chains, or footropes, and aligned together to form the sweep of the trawl net, designed to allow the trawl sweep to maintain contact with the ocean floor, or any modification to trawl gear that is substantially similar in design or effect.

Bushel (bu) means a standard unit of volumetric measurement deemed to hold 1.88 ft3 (53.24 L) of surfclams or ocean quahogs in shell, or 1.24 ft3 (35.24 L) of in-shell Atlantic sea scallops.

Cage means a container with a standard unit of volumetric measurement containing 60 ft3 (1,700 L). The outside dimensions of a standard cage generally are 3 ft (91 cm) wide, 4 ft (122 cm) long, and 5 ft (152 cm) high.

Calendar day, with respect to the squid and butterfish fisheries, means the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours,

Chafing gear or cookies, with respect to the scallop fishery, means steel, rubberized or other types of donut rings, disks, washers, twine, or other material attached to or between the steel rings of a sea scallop dredge.

Charter or party boat means any vessel that carries passengers for hire to engage in recreational fishing and, with respect to multispecies, that is not fishing under a DAS.

Circle hook, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means a fishing hook with the point turned perpendicularly back to the shank, or an offset circle hook where the barbed end of the hook is displaced relative to the parallel plane of the eyed-end, or shank, of the hook when laid on its side.

Combination vessel means a vessel that has fished in any one calendar year with scallop dredge gear and otter trawl gear during the period 1988 through 1990, and that is eligible for an allocation of individual DAS under the NE Multispecies FMP and has applied for or been issued a limited access scallop permit.

Commercial fishing or fishing commercially means fishing that is intended to, or results in, the barter, trade, transfer, or sale of fish.

Commission means the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

Common pool trip, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means any trip taken by a common pool vessel under a NE multispecies DAS or under the provisions of a limited access NE multispecies Small Vessel or Handgear A permit, or an open access Handgear B permit that lands regulated species or ocean pout.

Common pool vessel, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means any vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit or open access NE multispecies Handgear B permit that is not a member of an approved sector for a particular fishing year and that is not operating under the provisions of an approved sector operations plan. Such vessels must use a NE multispecies DAS, or be fishing under the provisions of a limited access NE multispecies Small Vessel or Handgear A permit, or an open access Handgear B permit, to land regulated species or ocean pout, and must comply with effort controls, trip limits, gear restricted areas, and other provisions specified in this part. Vessels fishing under the provisions of the common pool are also referred to as non-sector vessels.

Conger eel means Conger oceanicus.

Council means the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) for the Atlantic herring, Atlantic sea scallop, Atlantic deep-sea red crab, NE multispecies, monkfish, and NE skate fisheries; or the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) for the Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish; Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog; summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass; spiny dogfish; Atlantic bluefish; and tilefish fisheries.

Councils with respect to the monkfish fishery and spiny dogfish fishery means the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC).

Cunner means Tautogolabrus adspersus.

DAS flip, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means ending fishing under a Regular B DAS and beginning fishing under a Category A DAS.

DAS Lease, with respect to the NE multispecies limited access fishery, means the transfer of the use of DAS from one limited access NE multispecies vessel to another limited access NE multispecies vessel for a period not to exceed a single fishing year.

DAS Lessee, with respect to the NE multispecies limited access fishery, means the NE multispecies limited access vessel owner and/or the associated vessel that acquires the use of DAS from another NE multispecies limited access vessel.

DAS Lessor, with respect to the NE multispecies limited access fishery, means the NE multispecies limited access vessel owner and/or the associated vessel that transfers the use of DAS to another NE multispecies limited access vessel.

Day(s)-at-Sea (DAS), with respect to the NE multispecies and monkfish fisheries (except as described in §648.82(k)(1)(iv)), and the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means the 24-hr period of time or any part thereof during which a fishing vessel is absent from port to fish for, possess, or land, or fishes for, possesses or lands, regulated species, monkfish, or scallops.

Dealer means any person who receives, for a commercial purpose (other than solely for transport on land), from the owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid permit under this part, any species of fish, the harvest of which is managed by this part, unless otherwise exempted in this part.

Dealer code means a confidential five-digit number assigned to each dealer required to submit purchases using the IVR system for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of the data reported through the IVR system.

De-hooker, with respect to the NE multispecies hook gear fishery, means the fairlead rollers when used in a manner that extracts fish hooks from caught fish, also known as “crucifiers.”

Directed fishery, with respect to the longfin squid, Illex squid, and butterfish fisheries, means commercial fishery operations in which more than an incidental catch of each species, as defined in this section, is retained by a vessel.

Dockside/roving monitor, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means any person responsible for observing/verifying the offloads of all species by common pool or sector vessels either directly to a federally permitted dealer or to a truck for later delivery to a federally permitted dealer, and for certifying the accuracy of landed weights, as reported by federally permitted dealers, pursuant to this part.

Dredge or dredge gear, with respect to the scallop fishery, means gear consisting of a mouth frame attached to a holding bag constructed of metal rings, or any other modification to this design, that can be or is used in the harvest of scallops.

Dredge bottom, with respect to scallops, means the rings and links found between the bail of the dredge and the club stick, which, when fishing, would be in contact with the sea bed. This includes the triangular shaped portions of the ring bag commonly known as “diamonds.”

Dredge top, with respect to the scallop fishery, means the mesh panel in the top of a dredge and immediately adjacent rings and links found between the bail of the dredge, the club stick, and the two side panels. The bail of the dredge is the rigid structure of the forward portion of the dredge that connects to the warp and holds the dredge open. The club stick is the rigid bar at the tail of the dredge bag that is attached to the rings.

Dredge vessel, with respect to the scallop fishery, means any fishing vessel that is equipped for fishing using dredge gear and that is capable of catching scallops.

Electronic monitoring means a network of equipment that uses a software operating system connected to one or more technology components, including, but not limited to, cameras and recording devices to collect data on catch and vessel operations. With respect to the NE multispecies fishery, electronic monitoring means any equipment that is used to monitor area fished and the amount and identity of species kept and discarded in lieu of at-sea monitors as part of an approved Sector at-sea monitoring program.

Exempted gear, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means gear that is deemed to be not capable of catching NE multispecies, and includes: Pelagic hook and line, pelagic longline, spears, rakes, diving gear, cast nets, tongs, harpoons, weirs, dipnets, stop nets, pound nets, pelagic gillnets, pots and traps, shrimp trawls (with a properly configured grate as defined under this part), and surfclam and ocean quahog dredges.

Fishing circle, with respect to the NE multispecies limited access fishery, means the calculated circumference of a bottom trawl based on the number of meshes and stretched mesh length at the narrow, aft end of the square of the net.

Fishing trip or trip means a period of time during which fishing is conducted, beginning when the vessel leaves port and ending when the vessel returns to port.

Fishing year means:

(1) For the Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery, from March 1 through the last day of February of the following year.

(2) Beginning in 2018, for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, from April 1 through March 31 of the following year (for 2017, the Atlantic sea scallop fishing year will be from March 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018).

(3) For the NE multispecies, monkfish and skate fisheries, from May 1 through April 30 of the following year.

(4) For the golden tilefish fishery, from November 1 through October 31 of the following year.

(5) For all other fisheries in this part, from January 1 through December 31.

Fixed gear, for the purposes of the Atlantic herring fishery, means weirs or stop seines.

Flatfish gillnets means gillnets that are either constructed with no floats on the float line, or that are constructed with floats on the float line and that have tie-down twine between the float line and the lead line not more than 48 inches (18.90 cm) in length and spaced not more than 15 feet (4.57 m) apart.

FMP means fishery management plan.

Fourspot flounder means Paralichthys oblongus.

Full-processing (fully process or fully processed), with respect to the Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery, means any activity that removes meat from any part of a red crab.

Gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies means all gillnet gear except pelagic gillnet gear specified at §648.81(b)(2)(ii) and (d)(5)(ii) and pelagic gillnet gear that is designed to fish for and is used to fish for or catch tunas, swordfish, and sharks.

Golden tilefish means Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps.

Gross registered tonnage (GRT) means the gross registered tonnage specified on the USCG documentation for a vessel.

Ground cables on a bottom trawl run between the bridles, which attach directly to the wings of the net, and the doors, or otter boards. The doors are attached to the towing vessel via steel cables, referred to as wires or warps.

Hagfish means Myxine glutinosa.

Hail Weight means a good-faith estimate in pounds (or count of individual fish, if a party or charter vessel), by species, of all species, or parts of species, such as monkfish livers, landed or discarded for each trip.

Handgear, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means handline gear, rod and reel gear, and tub-trawl gear.

Handline or handline gear means fishing gear that is released by hand and consists of one main line to which is attached no more than two leaders for a total of no more than three hooks. Handlines are retrieved only by hand, not by mechanical means.

Harbor porpoise means Phocoena phocoena.

Harbor Porpoise Review Team (HPRT) means a team of scientific and technical experts appointed by the NEFMC to review, analyze, and propose harbor porpoise take mitigation alternatives.

Hickory shad means Alosa mediocris.

Hook gear means fishing gear that is comprised of a hook or hooks attached to a line and includes, but is not limited to, longline, setline, jigs, troll line, rod and reel, and line trawl.

Illex means Illex illecebrosus (short-finned or summer squid).

Incidental catch, with respect to the longfin squid, Illex squid, and butterfish fisheries, means less than 250 lb (113 kg) of longfin squid, 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) of Illex squid, or 600 lb (272 kg) of butterfish retained on board the vessel.

Incidental Total Allowable Catch (TAC), with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means the total amount of catch (both kept and discarded) of a regulated groundfish stock of concern that can be taken by vessels fishing under Category B DAS.

Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) Program means, for the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fishery, the annual individual allocation of quota specified at §648.74.

Inshore exempted species means the following species:

Bay scallop—Aequipecten irradians.

Blood arc clam—Anadara ovalis.

Blood worm—Glycera dibranchiata.

Blue crab—Callinectes similis and Callinectes sapidus.

Blue mussel—Mytilus edulis.

Green crab—Carcinus maenas.

Hermit crab—Clibanarius vittatus, Pagurus pollicaris and Pagurus longicarpus.

Japanese shore crab—Hemigrapsus sanguineus.

Oyster—Crassostrea virginica and Ostrea edulis.

Quahog—Mercenaria mercenaria.

Razor clam—Ensis directus.

Sand worm—Neresis virens.

Soft clam—Mya arenaria.

Spider crabLibinia emarginata.

Interest in an IFQ allocation means: An allocation of quota share or annual IFQ allocation held by an individual; or by a company in which the individual is an owner, part owner, officer, shareholder, or partner; or by an immediate family member (an individual's parents, spouse, children, and siblings).

IVR System means the Interactive Voice Response reporting system established by the Regional Administrator for the purpose of monitoring harvest levels for certain species.

Jigging, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means fishing for regulated species with handgear, handline, or rod and reel using a jig, which is a weighted object attached to the bottom of the line used to sink the line and/or imitate a baitfish, which is moved (“jigged”) with an up and down motion.

John Dory means Zenopsis conchifera.

JVPt, with respect to the Atlantic herring fishery, means the specification of the total amount of herring available for joint venture processing by foreign vessels in the EEZ and state waters.

Land means to begin offloading fish, to offload fish, or to enter port with fish.

Lessee means:

(1) A vessel owner who receives temporarily transferred NE multispecies DAS from another vessel through the DAS Leasing Program specified at §648.82(k); or

(2) A person or entity eligible to hold golden tilefish IFQ allocation, who receives temporarily transferred golden tilefish IFQ allocation, as specified at §648.294(e)(1).

Lessor means:

(1) A vessel owner who temporarily transfers NE multispecies DAS to another vessel through the DAS Leasing Program specified at §648.82(k); or

(2) An IFQ allocation permit holder who temporarily transfers golden tilefish IFQ allocation, as specified at §648.294(e)(1).

Limited access general category (LAGC) scallop vessel means a vessel that has been issued an individual fishing quota (IFQ), Northern Gulf of Maine (NGOM), or incidental catch LAGC scallop permit pursuant to §648.4(a)(2)(ii). An LAGC scallop vessel may also be issued a limited access scallop permit.

Limited access herring vessel means a vessel that has been issued a valid permit for any type of limited access herring vessel permit described in §648.4.

Limited access scallop vessel means a vessel that has been issued a limited access full-time, part-time, or occasional scallop permit pursuant to §648.4(a)(2)(i). A limited access scallop vessel may also be issued an LAGC scallop permit.

Liner means a piece of mesh or any other material rigged inside or outside the main or outer net or dredge that restricts the mesh or ring size or otherwise reduces escapement.

Link, with respect to the sea scallop fishery, means the material, usually made of a 38 -inch (10-mm) or 716 -inch (11-mm) diameter metal rod, that joins two adjacent rings within the ring bag of a dredge.

Little tunny means Euthynnus alleteratus.

Longfin squid means Doryteuthis (Amerigo) pealeii (formerly Loligo pealeii).

Longhorn sculpin means Myoxocephalus octodecimspinosus.

Longline gear means fishing gear that is or is designed to be set horizontally, either anchored, floating, or attached to a vessel, and that consists of a main or ground line with three or more gangions and hooks.

Mahogany Quahog see Ocean Quahog

Maine bushel means a standard unit of volumetric measurement equal to 1.2445 cubic feet (35.24 L) of ocean quahogs in the shell.

Maine mahogany quahog zone means the area bounded on the east by the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary, on the south by a straight line at 43°50 N. latitude, and on the north and west by the shoreline of Maine.

MCSP means a Mobile Communications Service Provider, which is an operator of a mobile communications service used to provide wireless connectivity between mobile platforms and fixed platforms, and enables location transmission and two-way message exchange between the vessel and NMFS, when using a compatible MTU.

Menhaden means Atlantic menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus.

Mid-Atlantic forage species means the following species and species groups:

(1) Anchovies (family Engraulidae), including but not limited to the following species:

(i) Striped anchovy-Anchoa hepsetus.

(ii) Dusky anchovy-Anchoa lyolepis.

(iii) Bay anchovy-Anchoa mitchilli.

(iv) Silver anchovy-Engraulis eurystole.

(2) Argentines (family Argentinidae), including but not limited to the following species:

(i) Striated argentine-Argentina striata.

(ii) Pygmy argentine-Glossanodon pygmaeus.

(3) Greeneyes (family Chlorophthalmidae), including but not limited to the following species:

(i) Shortnose greeneye-Chlorophthalmus agassizi.

(ii) Longnose greeneye-Parasudis truculenta.

(4) Halfbeaks (family Hemiramphidae), including but not limited to the following species:

(i) Flying halfbeak-Euleptorhamphus velox.

(ii) Balao-Hemiramphus balao.

(iii) Ballyhoo-Hemiramphus brasiliensis.

(iv) False silverstripe halfbeak/American halfbeak/Meek's halfbeak-Hyporhamphus meeki.

(5) Herrings and Sardines (family Clupeidae). With the exception of other herring and sardine species managed under this part, including American shad, Atlantic herring, blueback herring, hickory shad, and river herring/alewife, as defined in this section, the following herring and sardine species are Mid-Atlantic forage species:

(i) Round herring-Etrumeus teres.

(ii) Scaled sardine-Harengula jaguana.

(iii) Atlantic thread herring-Opisthonema oglinum.

(iv) Spanish sardine-Sardinella aurita.

(6) Lanternfishes (family Myctophidae), including but not limited to the following species:

(i) Horned lanternfish-Ceratoscopelus maderensis.

(ii) Dumril's headlightfish-Diaphus dumerilii.

(iii) Crocodile lanternfish-Lampanyctus crocodilus.

(iv) Doflein's false headlightfish-Lobianchia dofleini.

(v) Spotted lanternfish-Myctophum punctatum.

(7) Pearlsides (family Sternoptychidae), including but not limited to the following species:

(i) Atlantic silver hatchetfish-Argyropelecus aculeatus.

(ii) Muller's pearlside-Maurolicus muelleri.

(iii) Weizman's pearlside-Maurolicus weitzmani.

(iv) Slope hatchetfish-Polyipnus clarus.

(8) Sand lances (family Ammodytidae), including but not limited to the following species:

(i) American/inshore sand lance-Ammodytes americanus.

(ii) Northern/offshore sand lance-Ammodytes dubius.

(9) Silversides (family Atherinopsidae), including but not limited to the following species:

(i) Rough silverside-Membras martinica.

(ii) Inland silverside-Menidia beryllina.

(iii) Atlantic silverside-Menidia menidia.

(10) Cusk-eels (order Ophidiiformes), including but not limited to the following species:

(i) Chain pearlfish-Echiodon dawsoni.

(ii) Fawn cusk-eel-Lepophidium profundorum.

(iii) Striped cusk-eel-Ophidion marginatum.

(11) Atlantic saury-Scomberesox saurus.

(12) Pelagic mollusks and cephalopods, excluding sharptail shortfin squid (Illex oxygonius), but including the following pelagic mollusc species:

(i) Neon flying squid-Ommastrephes bartramii.

(ii) European flying squid-Todarodes sagittatus.

(iii) Atlantic brief squid-Lolliguncula brevis.

(iv) Bobtail squids (family Sepiolidae), including but not limited to the following species:

(A) Odd bobtail squid-Heteroteuthis dispar.

(B) Big fin bobtail squid-Rossia megaptera.

(C) Warty bobtail squid-Rossia palpebrosa.

(D) Lesser bobtail squid-Semirossia tenera.

(E) Butterfly bobtail squid-Stoloteuthis leucoptera.

(v) Sea angels and sea butterflies (orders Gymnosomata and Thecosomata).

(vi) Tuberculate pelagic octopus-Ocythoe tuberculata.

(13) Species under one inch as adults, including but not limited to the following species groups:

(i) Copepods (subclass Copepoda).

(ii) Krill (order Euphausiacea).

(iii) Amphipods (order Amphipoda).

(iv) Ostracods (class Ostracoda).

(v) Isopods (order Isopoda).

(vi) Mysid shrimp (order Mysidacea).

Midwater trawl gear means trawl gear that is designed to fish for, is capable of fishing for, or is being used to fish for pelagic species, no portion of which is designed to be or is operated in contact with the bottom at any time. The gear may not include discs, bobbins, or rollers on its footrope, or chafing gear as part of the net.

Mobile gear means trawls, beam trawls, and dredges that are designed to maneuver with that vessel.

Monkfish, also known as anglerfish or goosefish, means Lophius americanus.

Monkfish gillnets means gillnet gear with mesh size no smaller than 10-inches (25.4 cm) diamond mesh that is designed and used to fish for and catch monkfish while fishing under a monkfish DAS.

Monkfish Monitoring Committee means a team of scientific and technical staff appointed by the NEFMC and MAFMC to review, analyze, and recommend adjustments to the management measures. The team consists of staff from the NEFMC and the MAFMC, NMFS Northeast Regional Office, NEFSC, the USCG, two fishing industry representatives selected by their respective Council chairman (one from each management area with at least one of the two representing either the Atlantic sea scallop or northeast multispecies fishery), and staff from affected coastal states, appointed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The Chair is elected by the Committee from within its ranks, subject to the approval of the Chairs of the NEFMC and MAFMC.

Monkfish-only DAS means monkfish DAS allocated to a limited access monkfish Category C, D, F, G, or H permit that are in excess of that permit's initial allocation of Northeast multispecies Category A DAS at the beginning of a fishing year.

MTU means a Mobile Transmitting Unit, which is a transceiver or communications device, including antennae, dedicated message terminal and display, and an input device such as a keyboard installed on a fishing vessel participating in the VMS program.

Mullet means any species in the family Mugilidae.

Multispecies frames, also known as multispecies racks, means the remains of the multispecies finfish after it has been filleted or processed, not including the fillet.

Multispecies Monitoring Committee means a team of scientific and technical staff appointed by the NEFMC to review, analyze, and recommend adjustments to the measurement measures. The team consists of staff from the NEFMC and the MAFMC, NMFS Northeast Region Office, NEFSC, the USCG, an industry representative, and no more than two representatives, appointed by the Commission, from affected states.

NAFO means Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization.

NAFO Convention Area means the waters of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean north of 35°00 N. lat. and west of a line extending due north from 35°00 N. lat. and 42°00 W. long. to 59°00 N. lat., thence due west to 44°00 W. long., and thence due north to the coast of Greenland and the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Davis Strait and Baffin Bay south of 78°10 N. lat.

NAFO Regulatory Area means the part of the NAFO Convention Area which lies beyond the 200-mile zone of the coastal states.

NEFSC means the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NMFS.

NE Skate Complex (skates) means Leucoraja ocellata (winter skate); Dipturis laevis (barndoor skate); Amblyraja radiata (thorny skate); Malacoraja senta (smooth skate); Leucoraja erinacea (little skate); Raja eglanteria (clearnose skate); and Leucoraja garmani (rosette skate).

Net tonnage (NT) means the net tonnage specified on the USCG documentation for a vessel.

Non-exempt gillnet fishery means a fishery which uses gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies.

Non-exempt species means species of fish not included under the GOM, GB and SNE Regulated Mesh Area exempted fisheries, as specified in §648.80(a)(5); (a)(6); (a)(9) through (14); (b)(3)(i) and (ii); (b)(5) through (8); and (d), (e), (h), and (i).

Northeast (NE) multispecies or multispecies means the following species:

American plaice—Hippoglossoides platessoides.

Atlantic cod—Gadus morhua.

Atlantic halibut—Hippoglossus hippoglossus.

Atlantic wolffish—Anarhichas lupus.

Haddock—Melanogrammus aeglefinus.

Ocean pout—Macrozoarces americanus.

Offshore hake—Merluccius albidus.

Pollock—Pollachius virens.

Redfish—Sebastes fasciatus.

Red hake—Urophycis chuss.

Silver hake (whiting)—Merluccius bilinearis.

White hake—Urophycis tenuis.

Windowpane flounder—Scophthalmus aquosus.

Winter flounder—Pleuronectes americanus.

Witch flounder—Glyptocephalus cynoglossus.

Yellowtail flounder—Pleuronectes ferruginea.

Northern shrimp means Pandalus borealis.

Not available for immediate use means that the gear is not being used for fishing and is stowed in conformance with one of the following methods:

(1) Nets—(i) Below-deck stowage. (A) The net is stored below the main working deck from which it is deployed and retrieved;

(B) The net is fan-folded (flaked) and bound around its circumference.

Observer or monitor means any person certified by NMFS to collect operational fishing data, biological data, or economic data through direct observation and interaction with operators of commercial fishing vessels as part of NMFS' Northeast Fisheries Observer Program. Observers or monitors include NMFS-certified fisheries observers, at-sea monitors, portside samplers, and dockside monitors.

(ii) On-deck stowage. (A) The net is fan-folded (flaked) and bound around its circumference;

(B) The net is securely fastened to the deck or rail of the vessel; and

(C) The towing wires, including the leg wires, are detached from the net.

(iii) On-reel stowage. (A) The net is on the net reel;

(B) The codend of the net is removed from the net and stored below deck; and

(C) The entire surface of the net is covered and securely bound by:

(1) Canvas of other similar opaque material; or

(2) A highly visible orange or yellow mesh material that is not capable of catching fish or being utilized as fishing gear. An example of highly visible orange or yellow mesh includes but is not limited to the orange fence material commonly used to enclose construction sites.

(iv) On-reel stowage for vessels transiting the Gulf of Maine Rolling Closure Areas and the Georges Bank Seasonal Closure Area. (A) If a vessel is transiting the Gulf of Maine Rolling Closure Areas and the Georges Bank Seasonal Closure Area, not available for immediate use also means, the net is on the net reel;

(B) No containment rope, codend tripping device, or other mechanism to close off the codend is attached to the codend;

(C) The entire surface of the net is covered and securely bound by:

(1) Canvas of other similar opaque material; or

(2) A highly visible orange or yellow mesh material that is not capable of catching fish or being utilized as fishing gear. Highly visible orange or yellow mesh includes but is not limited to the orange fence material commonly used to enclose construction sites.

(2) Scallop dredges. (i) The towing wire is detached from the scallop dredge, the towing wire is completely reeled up onto the winch, the dredge is secured, and the dredge or the winch is covered so that it is rendered unusable for fishing; or

(ii) The towing wire is detached from the dredge and attached to a bright-colored poly ball no less than 24 inches (60.9 cm) in diameter, with the towing wire left in its normal operating position (through the various blocks) and either is wound back to the first block (in the gallows) or is suspended at the end of the lifting block where its retrieval does not present a hazard to the crew and where it is readily visible from above.

(3) Hook gear (other than pelagic). All anchors and buoys are secured and all hook gear, including jigging machines, are covered.

(4) Sink gillnet gear. All nets are covered with canvas or other similar material and lashed or otherwise securely fastened to the deck or rail, and all buoys larger than 6 inches (15.24 cm) in diameter, high flyers, and anchors are disconnected.

(5) Other methods of stowage. Any other method of stowage authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator and subsequently published in the Federal Register.

Observer/sea sampler means any person certified/approved by NMFS to collect operational fishing data, biological data, or economic data through direct observation and interaction with operators of commercial fishing vessels as part of NMFS' Northeast Fisheries Observer Program and Northeast At-sea Monitoring Program. Observer/sea samplers are also referred to as fisheries observers, fisheries observers/sea samplers, and NMFS-certified fisheries observers/sea samplers.

Ocean quahog means the species Arctica islandica.

Offload or offloading means to begin to remove, to remove, to pass over the rail, or otherwise take away fish from any vessel. For purposes of the surfclam and ocean quahog fishery, it means to separate physically a cage from a vessel, such as by removing the sling or wire used to remove the cage from the harvesting vessel.

Open areas, with respect to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means any area that is not subject to restrictions of the Sea Scallop Rotational Areas specified in §§648.59 and 648.60, the Northern Gulf of Maine Management Area specified in §648.62, EFH Closed Areas specified in §§648.61 and 648.370, Dedicated Habitat Research areas specified in §648.371, or the Frank R. Lautenberg Deep-Sea Coral Protection Area described in §648.372.

Operational discards in the Atlantic herring fishery means small amounts of fish that cannot be pumped on board and remain in the codend or seine at the end of pumping operations. Leaving small amounts of fish in the codend or seine at the end of pumping operations is operationally discarding catch.

Operator means the master, captain, or other individual on board a fishing vessel, who is in charge of that vessel's operations.

Out of the monkfish fishery means the period of time during which a vessel is not fishing for monkfish under the monkfish DAS program.

Out of the multispecies fishery means the period of time during which a vessel is not fishing for regulated species under the NE multispecies DAS program.

Ownership interest, in the NE multispecies fishery, includes, but is not limited to holding share(s) or stock in any corporation, any partnership interest, or membership in a limited liability company, or personal ownership, in whole or in part, of a vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit or confirmation of permit history (CPH), including any ownership interest in any entity or its subsidiaries or partners, no matter how far removed.

Pair trawl or pair trawling means to tow a single net between two vessels.

Parlor trap/pot means any structure or other device, other than a net, with more than one compartment inside designed to impede escape of lobsters or crabs from the device or structure, which is placed, or designed to be placed, on the ocean bottom and is designed for, or is capable of, catching lobsters and/or red crabs.

Pelagic hook and line gear means handline or rod and reel gear that is designed to fish for, or that is being used to fish for, pelagic species, no portion of which is designed to be or is operated in contact with the bottom at any time.

Pelagic longline gear means fishing gear that is not fixed, nor designed to be fixed, nor anchored to the bottom and that consists of monofilament main line (as opposed to a cable main line) to which gangions are attached.

Permit year means:

(1) For the Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery, from March 1 through the last day of February of the following year;

(2) Beginning in 2018, for the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, from April 1 through the last day of March of the following year (for 2017, the Atlantic sea scallop permit year will be from March 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018);

(3) For all other fisheries in this part, from May 1 through April 30 of the following year.

Personal use, with respect to the surfclam or ocean quahog fishery, means harvest of surfclams or ocean quahogs for use as bait, for human consumption, or for other purposes (not including sale or barter) in amounts not to exceed 2 bu (106.48 L) per person per fishing trip.

Person who receives bluefish for commercial purposes means any person (excluding representatives of governmental agencies) engaged in the sale, barter, or trade of bluefish received from a fisherman, or one who transports bluefish from a fisherman.

Postmark means independently verifiable evidence of date of mailing, such as U.S. Postal Service postmark, United Parcel Service (U.P.S.) or other private carrier postmark, certified mail receipt, overnight mail receipt, or receipt received upon hand delivery to an authorized representative of NMFS.

Potential Sector contribution (PSC), with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means an individual vessel's share of the ACL for each stock of regulated species or ocean pout that is derived from the fishing history associated with the permit issued to that particular vessel for the purposes of participating in a sector and contributing to that sector's ACE for each stock allocated to sectors under the NE Multispecies FMP.

Prior to leaving port, with respect to the call-in notification system for NE multispecies, and the call-in notification system for monkfish vessels that are fishing under the limited access monkfish Category C, D, F, G, or H permit provisions that are also fishing under a NE multispecies DAS, means no more than 1 hour prior to the time a vessel leaves the last dock or mooring in port from which that vessel departs to engage in fishing, including the transport of fish to another port. With respect to the call-in notification system for monkfish vessels that are fishing under the limited access monkfish Category A or B permit provisions, it means prior to the last dock or mooring in port from which a vessel departs to engage in fishing, including the transport of fish to another port.

Private recreational fishing vessel, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means a vessel engaged in recreational fishing that has not been issued a Federal NE multispecies permit, does not sell fish, and does not take passengers for hire.

Processing, or to process, with respect to the Atlantic herring fishery, means the preparation of Atlantic herring to render it suitable for human consumption, bait, commercial uses, industrial uses, or long-term storage, including but not limited to cooking, canning, roe extraction, smoking, salting, drying, freezing, or rendering into meat or oil.

Processor, with respect to the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries, means a person who receives surfclams or ocean quahogs for a commercial purpose and removes them from a cage.

Purse seine gear means an encircling net with floats on the top edge, weights and a purse line on the bottom edge, and associated gear, or any net designed to be, or capable of being, used in such fashion.

Quota-managed species means any species of finfish managed under this part by an annual or seasonal quota, by annual target or actual TAC, or by DAH limits.

Records, with respect to records required to be kept by §648.7, means those that include, but are not limited to, any written, recorded, graphic, electronic, or digital material; as well as other information stored in or accessible through a computer or other information retrieval system; worksheets; weighout slips; preliminary, interim, and final tally sheets; tags; notes; logbooks; statements; receipts; checks; ledgers; notebooks; diaries; spreadsheets; diagrams; graphs; charts; tapes; disks; or computer printouts.

Recreational fishing means fishing that is not intended to, nor results in the barter, trade, or sale of fish.

Recreational fishing vessel, with respect to the scup fishery, means any vessel from which no fishing other than recreational fishing is conducted. Charter and party boats are considered recreational fishing vessels for purposes of the scup minimum size requirement.

Red Crab Management Unit means an area of the Atlantic Ocean from 35° 15.3 N. Lat., the approximate latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, northward to the U.S.-Canada border, extending eastward from the shore to the outer boundary of the exclusive economic zone and northward to the U.S.-Canada border in which the United States exercises exclusive jurisdiction over all Atlantic deep-sea red crab fished for, possessed, caught, or retained in or from such area.

Red crab trap/pot means any structure or other device, other than a net or parlor trap/pot, that is placed, or designed to be placed, on the ocean bottom and is designed for, or is capable of, catching red crabs.

Red crab trip, with respect to the Atlantic deep-sea red crab fishery, means a trip on which a vessel fishes for, possesses, or lands, or intends to fish for, possess, or land red crab in excess of the incidental limit, as specified at §648.263(b)(1).

Regional Administrator means the Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS, or a designee.

Regulated fishery means any fishery of the United States which is regulated under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Regulated species, means the subset of NE multispecies that includes Atlantic cod, witch flounder, American plaice, yellowtail flounder, haddock, pollock, winter flounder, windowpane flounder, redfish, white hake, Atlantic halibut, and Atlantic wolffish. Regulated species is also referred to as regulated NE multispecies.

Reporting month means the period of time beginning at 0001 hours local time on the first day of each calendar month and ending at 2400 hours local time on the last day of each calendar month.

Reporting week means the period of time beginning at 0001 local time on Sunday and ending at 2400 hours local time the following Saturday.

Re-rig or re-rigged means physical alteration of the vessel or its gear in order to transform the vessel into one capable of fishing commercially for a species in the applicable fishery.

Rigged hooks means hooks that are baited, or only need to be baited, in order to be fished. Unsecured, unbaited hooks and gangions are not considered to be rigged.

River herring means alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) and blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis).

Rockhopper and roller gear means trawl gear configured with disks, rollers, or other similar shaped devices that are attached to the bottom belly of the trawl, contact the sea bottom, and that are designed to raise the bottom panel of the trawl off the ocean bottom so as to enable the gear to be fished on hard bottom.

Rod and reel means a hand-held (including rod holder) fishing rod with a manually operated reel attached.

Roundfish gillnets means gillnets that are constructed with floats on the float line and that have no tie-down twine between the float line and the lead line.

Runaround gillnet or encircling gillnet means a rectangular net placed upright in the water column in a circular fashion with an opening equal to or less than 14 the length of the net or with an opening greater than 14 the length of the net, if the opening is obstructed in any fashion.

Scallop dredge vessel means any fishing vessel, other than a combination vessel, that uses or is equipped to use scallop dredge gear.

Scup means Stenotomus chrysops.

Scup Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representative of the MAFMC, NEFMC, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the NMFS Northeast Regional Office, the NEFSC, and the Commission. The MAFMC Executive Director or a designee chairs the committee.

Scup pot or trap means a pot or trap used in catching and retaining scup.

Sea Scallop Access Area, Scallop Access Area, or Access Area, with respect to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means an area that has been designated under the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan as a sea scallop rotational area that is open to the scallop fishery in a given fishing year.

Sea Scallop Plan Development Team (PDT) means a team of technical experts appointed by the NEFMC.

Sea Scallop Rotational Area, Scallop Rotational Area, or Rotational Area, with respect to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means an area that has been designated under the Atlantic Sea Scallop Fishery Management Plan as part of the Sea Scallop Rotational Management Program. A rotational area may be closed or open to the scallop fishery in a given fishing year. A rotational area open to the scallop fishery is termed a Sea Scallop Access Area and has area-specific management measures that are designed to control fishing effort and mortality on only the portion of the scallop resource within the area. Such measures are not applicable as defined in §648.2 in the definition to Open Areas.

Sea raven means Hemitripterus americanus.

Searobin means any species of the family Triglidae.

Sector, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means a group of persons holding limited access NE multispecies permits who have voluntarily entered into a contract and agree to certain fishing restrictions for a specified period of time, and that have been allocated a portion of the TACs of species managed under the NE Multispecies FMP to achieve objectives consistent with the applicable goals and objectives of the FMP. Each sector must meet the sector eligibility and minimum size requirements specified in §648.87(a)(3) and (4) to be approved by NMFS.

Sector trip, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means any trip taken by a sector vessel subject to the restrictions and conditions of an approved sector operations plan, as specified in §648.87(c), in which the vessel declared its intent to fish in the NE multispecies fishery pursuant to §648.10.

Sector vessel, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means any vessel assigned a permit that is a member of an approved sector for a particular fishing year and that is subject to the restrictions and conditions of an approved sector operations plan, as specified in §648.87.

Set-only trip means a fishing trip on which any federally permitted vessel deploys gear with the intention of retrieving it on a separate trip and does not haul-back or retrieve any gear capable of catching fish on the set-only trip.

Shad means American shad (Alosa sapidissima) and hickory shad (Alosa mediocris).

Shucking or to shuck means opening or to open a scallop, surfclam, or ocean quahog and removing the meat or the adductor muscle from the shell.

Shucking machine means any mechanical device that automatically removes the meat or the adductor muscle from a scallop, surfclam, or ocean quahog shell.

Sink gillnet or bottom-tending gillnet means any gillnet, anchored or otherwise, that is designed to be, or is fished on or near, the bottom in the lower third of the water column.

Skate means members of the Family Rajidae, including: Leucoraja ocellata (winter skate); Dipturis laevis (barndoor skate); Amblyraja radiata (thorny skate); Malacoraja senta (smooth skate); Leucoraja erinacea (little skate); Raja eglanteria (clearnose skate); and Leucoraja garmani (rosette skate).

Skate Management Unit means an area of the Atlantic Ocean from 35°15.3 N. lat., the approximate latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, northward to the U.S.-Canada border, extending eastward from the shore to the outer boundary of the EEZ and northward to the U.S.-Canada border in which the United States exercises exclusive jurisdiction over all skates fished for, possessed, caught, or retained in or from such area.

Slip(s) or slipping catch in the Atlantic herring fishery means discarded catch from a vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit that is carrying a NMFS-certified observer or monitor prior to the catch being brought on board or prior to the catch being made available for sampling and inspection by a NMFS-certified observer or monitor after the catch is on board. Slip(s) or slipping catch also means any catch that is discarded during a trip prior to it being sampled portside by a portside sampler on a trip selected for portside sampling coverage by NMFS. Slip(s) or slipping catch includes releasing fish from a codend or seine prior to the completion of pumping the fish on board and the release of fish from a codend or seine while the codend or seine is in the water. Slippage or slipped catch refers to fish that are slipped. Slippage or slipped catch does not include operational discards, discards that occur after the catch is brought on board and made available for sampling and inspection by a NMFS-certified observer or monitor, or fish that inadvertently fall out of or off fishing gear as gear is being brought on board the vessel.

Small-mesh multispecies means the subset of Northeast multispecies that includes silver hake, offshore hake, and red hake.

Smooth dogfish means Mustelis canis.

Sorting machine, with respect to the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, means any mechanical device that automatically sorts whole scallops by shell height, size, or other physical characteristics.

Spiny dogfish means Squalus acanthias.

Spiny Dogfish Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representatives of the MAFMC, NEFMC, the NMFS Northeast Regional Office, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and the states, as well as two ex-officio industry members (one from each Council jurisdiction). The MAFMC Executive Director or a designee chairs the committee.

Spot means Leiostomus xanthurus.

Square mesh, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means mesh in which the horizontal bars of the mesh run perpendicular to the long axis of the net so when the net is placed under a strain the mesh remains open to a square-like shape. Square mesh can be formed by hanging diamond mesh “on the square,” if the resulting mesh conforms with the above description of square mesh.

Squid means longfin squid (Doryteuthis (Amerigo) pealeii, formerly Loligo pealeii) or Illex illecebrosus.

Standard tote means a box typically constructed of plastic, designed to hold 100 lb (45.3 kg) of fish plus ice, and that has a liquid capacity of 70 L, or a volume of not more than 4,320 cubic in (2.5 cubic ft or 70.79 cubic cm).

State-operated permit bank means a depository established and operated by a state through an agreement between NMFS and a state in which Federal grant funds have been used by the state to obtain Federal fishing vessel permits so that the fishing access privileges associated with those permits may be allocated to qualified persons and that meets the requirement of §648.87(e).

Static gear, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means stationary gear, usually left for a period of time in one place, that depends on fish moving to the gear, and includes gillnets, longlines, handgear, traps, and pots.

Stock of concern, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means a stock that is in an overfished condition, or that is subject to overfishing.

Stocks targeted by the default measures, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, are: American plaice, and SNE/MA yellowtail flounder for the 2006 fishing year; and American plaice, GB cod, GOM cod, CC/GOM yellowtail flounder, SNE/MA yellowtail flounder, white hake and SNE/MA winter flounder for the 2009 fishing year.

Stretched mesh, with respect to the NE multispecies Ruhle Trawl, means mesh that is pulled so that slack in the mesh is eliminated and the mesh opening is closed.

Sub-lease, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means the leasing of DAS that have already been leased to another vessel.

Summer flounder means Paralichthys dentatus.

Summer Flounder Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representatives of the MAFMC, NEFMC, and SAFMC, the NMFS Northeast Regional Office, the NEFSC, the Southeast Science Center, and the Commission. The MAFMC Executive Director or a designee chairs the committee.

Surfclams means Atlantic surfclams of the species Spisula solidissima.

Sweep, with respect to the NE multispecies limited access fishery, means the part of a bottom trawl that, during normal use, is in contact with the sea floor along the outer edges of the lower webbing of the net.

Swordfish means Xiphias gladius.

Target total allowable catch (TAC) means the annual domestic harvest targets for regulated species.

Tautog (blackfish) means Tautoga onitas.

Tied up to the dock or tying up at a dock means tied up at a dock, on a mooring, or elsewhere in a harbor.

Tilefish means golden tilefish and blueline tilefish, collectively, unless otherwise noted.

Tilefish FMP Monitoring Committee means a committee made up of staff representatives of the MAFMC, the NMFS Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, up to three state representatives (the New England states having one representative and the Mid-Atlantic states having a maximum of two representatives) and one non-voting industry member. The MAFMC Executive Director or his designee chairs the committee.

Tilefish Management Unit means an area of the Atlantic Ocean from the latitude of the VA and NC border (36°33.36 N. Lat.), extending eastward from the shore to the outer boundary of the exclusive economic zone and northward to the United States-Canada border in which the United States exercises exclusive jurisdiction over all golden tilefish (Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps) and blueline tilefish (Caulolatilus microps) fished for, possessed, caught or retained in or from such area.

Total Length (TL) means the straight-line distance from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail (caudal fin) while the fish is lying on its side. For black sea bass, Total Length (TL) means the straight-line distance from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail (caudal fin), excluding any caudal filament, while the fish is lying on its side.

Transboundary Management Guidance Committee (TMGC), with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means the technical sub-committee that provides non-binding guidance to the U.S./Canada Steering Committee, comprised of government and industry representatives from U.S. and Canada.

Transboundary Resource Advisory Committee (TRAC), with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means a committee consisting of scientific staff from NMFS and Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans that jointly assess the status of the shared U.S./Canada stocks of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder.

Transfer means to begin to remove, to remove, to pass over the rail, or to otherwise take away fish from any vessel and move them to another vessel.

Transferee means a vessel owner who receives permanently transferred NE multispecies DAS and potentially other permits from another vessel through the DAS Transfer Program specified at §648.82(l).

Transferor means a vessel owner who permanently transfers NE multispecies DAS and potentially other permits to another vessel through the DAS Transfer Program specified at §648.82(l).

Trawl means gear consisting of a net that is towed, including but not limited to beam trawls, pair trawls, otter trawls, and Danish and Scottish seine gear.

Trawl sweep means the total length of the footrope on a trawl net that is directly attached to the webbing of a net.

Trip Identifier means the complete serial number of the vessel logbook page completed for that trip.

Tub-trawl, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means gear designed to be set horizontally on the bottom, with an anchored mainline to which are attached three or more gangions and hooks. Tub-trawls are retrieved only by hand, not by mechanical means.

Tuna purse seine gear, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means encircling gear designed and utilized to harvest pelagic tuna.

Under construction means that the keel had been laid or the vessel was under written agreement for construction or the vessel was under written contract for purchase.

Upon returning to port, means, for purposes of the call-in notification system for the NE multispecies and monkfish fisheries, upon first tying up at a dock at the end of a fishing trip.

U.S. at-sea processing (USAP), with respect to the Atlantic herring fishery, means the specification, pursuant to §648.200, of the amount of herring available for processing by U.S. vessels issued an Atlantic herring processing permit as described in §648.4(a)(10)(ii).

U.S./Canada Steering Committee, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means the joint U.S./Canada committee consisting of staff from NMFS and Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans that has overall responsibility for the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding.

Used DAS baseline, with respect to the NE multispecies fishery, means the number of DAS that represent the historic level of DAS use associated with a particular limited access permit, as described in §648.82(l).

Vessel length means the length specified on the USCG documentation for a vessel or on the state registration for a vessel not required to be documented under title 46 U.S.C., if the state length is verified by an authorized officer or NMFS official.

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) means a vessel monitoring system or VMS unit as set forth in §648.9 and approved by NMFS for use on Atlantic sea scallop, NE multispecies, monkfish, Atlantic herring, and Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog vessels, as required by this part.

VMS unit means a device installed on board a vessel used for vessel monitoring and transmitting the vessel's position as required by this part.

Weakfish means Cynoscion regalis.

Whiting means Merluccius bilinearis.

Whiting Monitoring Committee (WMC) means a team appointed by the NEFMC to review, analyze, and recommend adjustments to the management measures addressing small-mesh multispecies. The team consists of staff from the NEFMC and MAFMC, NMFS Northeast Regional Office, the NEFSC, the USCG, at least one industry representative from each geographical area (northern New England, southern New England, and the Mid-Atlantic), and no more than two representatives, appointed by the Commission, from affected states.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §648.2, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

Editorial Note: At 85 FR 7430, Feb. 7, 2020, §thnsp;648.2 was amended by revising the definition for “Slippage in the Atlantic herring fishery,” however, this definition does not exist so the amendment could not be incorporated.

§648.3   Relation to other laws.

(a) The relation of this part to other laws is set forth in §600.705.

(b) Nothing in these regulations supersedes more restrictive state management measures for any of the species referenced in §648.1 and, for Atlantic salmon, more restrictive local management measures.

§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 an NOGM 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.

§648.5   Operator permits.

(a) General. Any operator of a vessel fishing for or possessing: Atlantic sea scallops, NE multispecies, spiny dogfish, monkfish, Atlantic herring, Atlantic surfclam, ocean quahog, Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, scup, black sea bass, or Atlantic bluefish, harvested in or from the EEZ; golden tilefish or blueline tilefish harvested in or from the EEZ portion of the Tilefish Management Unit; skates harvested in or from the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit; or Atlantic deep-sea red crab harvested in or from the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit, issued a permit, including carrier and processing permits, for these species under this part, must have been issued under this section, and carry on board, a valid operator permit. An operator's permit issued pursuant to part 622 or part 697 of this chapter satisfies the permitting requirement of this section. This requirement does not apply to operators of recreational vessels.

(b) Operator permit application. Applicants for a permit under this section must submit a completed application on an appropriate form provided by the Regional Administrator. The application must be signed by the applicant and submitted to the Regional Administrator at least 30 days before the date upon 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.

(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 vessel's 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 for which a permit is issued under §648.4, unless exempted from such requirements under §648.12. 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 aboard 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 offloading. 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.

(d) Information requirements. An applicant must provide at least all the following information and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Name, mailing address, and telephone number; date of birth; hair color; eye color; height; weight; and signature of the applicant. The applicant must also provide two recent (no more than 1 year old), color, passport-size photographs.

(e) Fees. Same as §648.4(d).

(f) 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 a completed 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 applicant fails to correct the deficiency within 30 days following the date of notification, the application will be considered abandoned.

(g) Expiration. Same as §648.4(g).

(h) Duration. A permit is valid until it is revoked, suspended or modified under 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 (k) of this section.

(i) Reissuance. Reissued permits, for otherwise valid permits, may be issued by the Regional Administrator when requested in writing by the applicant, stating the need for reissuance and the Federal operator permit number assigned. An applicant for a reissued permit must also provide two recent, color, passport-size photos of the applicant. An application for a reissued permit will not be considered a new application. An appropriate fee may be charged.

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

(k) Change in permit 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.

(l) Alteration. Same as §648.4(i).

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

(n) Sanctions. Vessel operators with suspended or revoked permits may not be aboard a federally permitted fishing vessel in any capacity while the vessel is at sea or engaged in offloading. Procedures governing enforcement related permit sanctions and denials are found at subpart D of 15 CFR part 904.

(o) 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.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §648.5, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§648.6   Dealer/processor permits.

(a) General. (1) All dealers of NE multispecies, monkfish, skates, Atlantic herring, Atlantic sea scallop, Atlantic deep-sea red crab, spiny dogfish, summer flounder, Atlantic surfclam, ocean quahog, Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, scup, bluefish, golden tilefish, blueline tilefish, and black sea bass; Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog processors; Atlantic hagfish dealers and/or processors, and Atlantic herring processors or dealers, as described in §648.2; must have been issued under this section, and have in their possession, a valid permit or permits for these species.

(2) At-sea processors—(i) At-sea mackerel processors. Notwithstanding the provisions of §648.4(a)(5), any vessel of the United States must have been issued and carry on board a valid at-sea processor permit issued under this section to receive over the side, possess, and process Atlantic mackerel harvested in or from the EEZ by a lawfully permitted vessel of the United States.

(ii) Atlantic herring at-sea processing permit. A vessel of the United States, including a vessel that is >165 ft (50.3 m) length overall, or >750 GRT (680.4 mt), is eligible to obtain an Atlantic herring at-sea processing permit to receive and process Atlantic herring subject to the U.S. at-sea processing (USAP) allocation published by the Regional Administrator pursuant to §648.200. Such a vessel may not receive and process Atlantic herring caught in or from the EEZ unless the vessel has been issued and has on board an Atlantic herring at-sea processing permit.

(iii) Reporting requirements. An at-sea processor receiving Atlantic mackerel or Atlantic herring is subject to dealer reporting requirements specified in §648.7(a).

(b) Dealer/processor permit applications. Same as §648.5(b).

(c) Information requirements. Applications must contain at least the following information, as applicable, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Company name, place(s) of business (principal place of business if applying for a surfclam and ocean quahog permit), mailing address(es) and telephone number(s), owner's name, dealer permit number (if a renewal), name and signature of the person responsible for the truth and accuracy of the application, a copy of the certificate of incorporation if the business is a corporation, and a copy of the partnership agreement and the names and addresses of all partners, if the business is a partnership, name of at-sea processor vessel, and current vessel documentation papers.

(d) Fees. Same as §648.4(d).

(e) Issuance. Except as provided in subpart D of 15 CFR part 904, the Regional Administrator will issue a permit at any time during the fishing year to an applicant, unless the applicant fails to submit a completed application. An application is complete when all requested forms, information, and documentation have been received and the applicant has submitted all applicable reports specified in §648.7 during the 12 months immediately preceding the application. Upon receipt of an incomplete or improperly executed application, the Regional Administrator will 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) Expiration. Same as §648.4(g).

(g) Duration. A permit is valid until 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 required by paragraph (j) of this section.

(h) Reissuance. Reissued permits, for otherwise valid permits, may be issued by the Regional Administrator when requested in writing by the applicant, stating the need for reissuance and the Federal dealer permit number assigned. An application for a reissued permit will not be considered a new application. An appropriate fee may be charged.

(i) Transfer. Permits issued under this part are not transferable or assignable. A permit is valid only for the person to whom, or other business entity to which, it is issued.

(j) Change in application information. Same as §648.5(k).

(k) Alteration. Same as §648.4(i).

(l) Display. Same as §648.5(m).

(m) Federal versus state requirements. If a requirement of this part differs from a fisheries management measure required by state law, any dealer issued a Federal dealer permit must comply with the more restrictive requirement.

(n) Sanctions. Same as §648.4(m).

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §648.6, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§648.7   Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(a) Dealers—(1) Federally permitted dealers, and any individual acting in the capacity of a dealer, must submit to the Regional Administrator or to the official designee a detailed report of all fish purchased or received for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land, within the time period specified in paragraph (f) of this section, by one of the available electronic reporting mechanisms approved by NMFS, unless otherwise directed by the Regional Administrator. The dealer reporting requirements specified in this paragraph (a)(1) for dealers purchasing or receiving for a commercial purpose Atlantic chub mackerel are effective through December 31, 2020. The following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator, must be provided in each report:

(i) Required information. All dealers issued a dealer permit under this part must provide: Dealer name; dealer permit number; name and permit number or name and hull number (USCG documentation number or state registration number, whichever is applicable) of vessel(s) from which fish are purchased or received; trip identifier for each trip from which fish are purchased or received from a commercial fishing vessel permitted under this part; date(s) of purchases and receipts; units of measure and amount by species (by market category, if applicable); price per unit by species (by market category, if applicable) or total value by species (by market category, if applicable); port landed; cage tag numbers for surfclams and ocean quahogs, if applicable; disposition of the seafood product; and any other information deemed necessary by the Regional Administrator. If no fish are purchased or received during a reporting week, a report so stating must be submitted.

(ii) Exceptions. The following exceptions apply to reporting requirements for dealers permitted under this part:

(A) Inshore Exempted Species, as defined in §648.2, are not required to be reported under this part;

(B) When purchasing or receiving fish from a vessel landing in a port located outside of the Greater Atlantic Region (Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and North Carolina), only purchases or receipts of species managed by the Greater Atlantic Region under this part, and American lobster, managed under part 697 of this chapter, must be reported. Other reporting requirements may apply to those species not managed by the Northeast Region, which are not affected by this provision; and

(C) Dealers issued a permit for Atlantic bluefin tuna under part 635 of this chapter are not required to report their purchases or receipts of Atlantic bluefin tuna under this part. Other reporting requirements, as specified in §635.5 of this chapter, apply to the receipt of Atlantic bluefin tuna.

(2) System requirements. All persons required to submit reports under paragraph (a)(1) of this section are required to have the capability to transmit data via the Internet. To ensure compatibility with the reporting system and database, dealers are required to utilize a personal computer, in working condition, that meets the minimum specifications identified by NMFS. The affected public will be notified of the minimum specifications via a letter to all Federal dealer permit holders.

(3) Annual report. All persons issued a permit under this part are required to submit the following information on an annual basis, on forms supplied by the Regional Administrator:

(i) All dealers and processors issued a permit under this part must complete all sections of the Annual Processed Products Report for all species that were processed during the previous year. Reports must be submitted to the address supplied by the Regional Administrator.

(ii) Surfclam and ocean quahog processors and dealers whose plant processing capacities change more than 10 percent during any year shall notify the Regional Administrator in writing within 10 days after the change.

(iii) Atlantic herring processors, including processing vessels, must complete and submit all sections of the Annual Processed Products Report.

(iv) Atlantic hagfish processors must complete and submit all sections of the Annual Processed Products Report.

(4) [Reserved]

(b) Vessel owners or operators—(1) Fishing Vessel Trip Reports—(i) The owner or operator of any vessel issued a valid permit or eligible to renew a limited access permit under this part must maintain on board the vessel, and submit, an accurate fishing log report for each fishing trip, regardless of species fished for or taken, on forms supplied by or approved by the Regional Administrator. The reporting requirements specified in this paragraph (b)(1)(i) for an owner or operator of a vessels fishing for, possessing, or landing Atlantic chub mackerel are effective through December 31, 2020. If authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator, a vessel owner or operator may submit reports electronically, for example by using a VMS or other media. With the exception of those vessel owners or operators fishing under a surfclam or ocean quahog permit, at least the following information and any other information required by the Regional Administrator must be provided: Vessel name; USCG documentation number (or state registration number, if undocumented); permit number; date/time sailed; date/time landed; trip type; number of crew; number of anglers (if a charter or party boat); gear fished; quantity and size of gear; mesh/ring size; chart area fished; average depth; latitude/longitude (or loran station and bearings); total hauls per area fished; average tow time duration; hail weight, in pounds (or count of individual fish, if a party or charter vessel), by species, of all species, or parts of species, such as monkfish livers, landed or discarded; and, in the case of skate discards, “small” (i.e., less than 23 inches (58.42 cm), total length) or “large” (i.e., 23 inches (58.42 cm) or greater, total length) skates; dealer permit number; dealer name; date sold, port and state landed; and vessel operator's name, signature, and operator's permit number (if applicable).

(ii) Surfclam and ocean quahog vessel owners and operators. The owner or operator of any vessel conducting any surfclam and ocean quahog fishing operations, except those conducted exclusively in waters of a state that requires cage tags or when he/she has surrendered the surfclam and ocean quahog fishing vessel permit, shall maintain, on board the vessel, an accurate daily fishing log for each fishing trip, on forms supplied by the Regional Administrator, showing at least: Name and permit number of the vessel, total amount in bushels of each species taken, date(s) caught, time at sea, duration of fishing time, locality fished, crew size, crew share by percentage, landing port, date sold, price per bushel, buyer, tag numbers from cages used, quantity of surfclams and ocean quahogs discarded, and allocation permit number.

(iii) Charter/Party vessel permit owners and operators. The owner or operator of any fishing vessel that holds a Federal charter/party (for-hire) permit to fish for Atlantic bluefish, black sea bass, scup, summer flounder, tilefish, Atlantic mackerel, squid, and/or butterfish, when on a trip carrying passengers for hire, must submit the required Vessel Trip Report by electronic means. This report must be submitted through a software application approved by NMFS, and must contain all applicable information outlined in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) IVR system reports—(i) Atlantic herring owners or operators issued an All Areas open access permit. The owner or operator of a vessel issued an All Areas open access permit to fish for herring must report catch (retained and discarded) of herring via an IVR system for each week herring was caught, unless exempted by the Regional Administrator. IVR reports are not required for weeks when no herring was caught. The report shall include at least the following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Vessel identification; week in which herring are caught; management areas fished; and pounds retained and pounds discarded of herring caught in each management area. The IVR reporting week begins on Sunday at 0001 hour (hr) (12:01 a.m.) local time and ends Saturday at 2400 hr (12 midnight). Weekly Atlantic herring catch reports must be submitted via the IVR system by midnight each Tuesday, eastern time, for the previous week. Reports are required even if herring caught during the week has not yet been landed. This report does not exempt the owner or operator from other applicable reporting requirements of this section.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) VMS Catch Reports—(i) Atlantic herring owners or operators issued a limited access permit or Areas 2/3 open access permit. The owner or operator of a vessel issued a limited access permit or Areas 2/3 open access permit to fish for herring must report catch (retained and discarded) of herring daily via VMS, unless exempted by the Regional Administrator. The report shall include at least the following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Fishing Vessel Trip Report serial number; month and day herring was caught; pounds retained for each herring management area; and pounds discarded for each herring management area. Additionally, the owner or operator of a vessel issued a limited access permit or Areas 2/3 open access permit to fish for herring using midwater trawl or bottom trawl gear must report daily via VMS the estimated total amount of all species retained (in pounds, landed weight) by statistical area for use in tracking catch against catch caps (haddock, river herring and shad) in the herring fishery. Daily Atlantic herring VMS catch reports must be submitted in 24-hr intervals for each day and must be submitted by 0900 hr (9:00 a.m.) of the following day. Reports are required even if herring caught that day has not yet been landed. This report does not exempt the owner or operator from other applicable reporting requirements of this section.

(A) The owner or operator of any vessel issued a limited access herring permit or Areas 2/3 open access permit must submit a catch report via VMS each day, regardless of how much herring is caught (including days when no herring is caught), unless exempted from this requirement by the Regional Administrator.

(B) Atlantic herring VMS reports are not required from Atlantic herring carrier vessels.

(C) Reporting requirements for vessels transferring herring at sea. The owner or operator of a vessel issued a limited access permit to fish for herring that transfers herring at sea must comply with these requirements in addition to those specified at §648.13(f).

(1) A vessel that transfers herring at sea to a vessel that receives it for personal use as bait must report all transfers on the Fishing Vessel Trip Report.

(2) A vessel that transfers herring at sea to an authorized carrier vessel must report all catch daily via VMS and must report all transfers on the Fishing Vessel Trip Report. Each time the vessel transfers catch to the carrier vessel is defined as a trip for the purposes of reporting requirements and possession allowances.

(3) A vessel that transfers herring at sea to an at-sea processor must report all catch daily via VMS and must report all transfers on the Fishing Vessel Trip Report. Each time the vessel offloads to the at-sea processing vessel is defined as a trip for the purposes of the reporting requirements and possession allowances. For each trip, the vessel must submit a Fishing Vessel Trip Report and the at-sea processing vessel must submit the detailed dealer report specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(4) A transfer between two vessels issued limited access permits requires each vessel to submit a Fishing Vessel Trip Report, filled out as required by the LOA to transfer herring at sea, and a daily VMS catch report for the amount of herring each vessel catches.

(ii) Atlantic mackerel owners or operators. The owner or operator of a vessel issued a limited access mackerel permit must report catch (retained and discarded) of mackerel daily via VMS, unless exempted by the Regional Administrator. The report must include at least the following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Fishing Vessel Trip Report serial number; month, day, and year mackerel was caught; total pounds of mackerel retained and total pounds of all fish retained. Daily mackerel VMS catch reports must be submitted in 24-hr intervals for each day and must be submitted by 0900 hr on the following day. Reports are required even if mackerel caught that day have not yet been landed. This report does not exempt the owner or operator from other applicable reporting requirements of this section.

(iii) Longfin squid moratorium permit owners or operators. The owner or operator of a vessel issued a longfin squid moratorium permit must report catch (retained and discarded) of longfin squid daily via VMS, unless exempted by the Regional Administrator. The report must include at least the following information, and any other information required by the Regional Administrator: Fishing Vessel Trip Report serial number; month, day, and year longfin squid was caught; total pounds longfin squid retained and total pounds of all fish retained. Daily longfin squid VMS catch reports must be submitted in 24-hr intervals for each day and must be submitted by 0900 hr on the following day. Reports are required even if longfin squid caught that day have not yet been landed. This report does not exempt the owner or operator from other applicable reporting requirements of this section.

(c) When to fill out a log report. Log reports required by paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section must be filled out with all required information, except for information not yet ascertainable, prior to entering port. Information that may be considered unascertainable prior to entering port includes dealer name, dealer permit number, and date sold. Log reports must be completed as soon as the information becomes available. Log reports required by paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section must be filled out before landing any surfclams or ocean quahogs.

(d) Inspection. Upon the request of an authorized officer or an employee of NMFS designated by the Regional Administrator to make such inspections, all persons required to submit reports under this part must make immediately available for inspection copies of reports, and all records upon which those reports are or will be based, that are required to be submitted or kept under this part.

(e) Record retention—(1) Dealer records. Any record, as defined in §648.2, related to fish possessed, received, or purchased by a dealer that is required to be reported, must be retained and made available for immediate review for a total of 3 years after the date the fish were first possessed, received, or purchased. Dealers must retain the required records and reports at their principal place of business.

(2) VTRs. Copies of fishing log reports must be kept on board the vessel and available for review for at least 1 year, and must be retained for a total of 3 years after the date the fish were last possessed, landed, and sold.

(3) At-sea monitor reports. Any record, as defined in §648.2, related to fish observed by an at-sea monitor, including any reports provided to NMFS, sector managers, or another third-party service provider specified in paragraph (h) of this section, must be retained and made available for immediate review for a total of 3 years after the date the fish were first observed. At-sea monitor providers must retain the required records and reports at their principal place of business.

(f) Submitting reports—(1) Dealer or processor reports. (i) Detailed reports required by paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section must be received by midnight of the first Tuesday following the end of the reporting week. If no fish are purchased or received during a reporting week, the report so stating required under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section must be received by midnight of the first Tuesday following the end of the reporting week.

(ii) [Reserved]

(iii) Dealers who want to make corrections to their trip-level reports via the electronic editing features may do so for up to 3 business days following submission of the initial report. If a correction is needed more than 3 business days following the submission of the initial trip-level report, the dealer must contact NMFS directly to request an extension of time to make the correction.

(iv) Through April 30, 2005, to accommodate the potential lag in availability of some required data, the trip identifier, price and disposition information required under paragraph (a)(1) may be submitted after the detailed weekly report, but must be received within 16 days of the end of the reporting week or the end of the calendar month, whichever is later. Dealers will be able to access and update previously submitted trip identifier, price, and disposition data.

(v) Effective May 1, 2005, the trip identifier required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must be submitted with the detailed report, as required under paragraphs (f)(1)(i) of this section. Price and disposition information may be submitted after the initial detailed report, but must be received within 16 days of the end of the reporting week.

(vi) Annual reports for a calendar year must be postmarked or received by February 10 of the following year. Contact the Regional Administrator (see Table 1 to §600.502) for the address of NMFS Statistics.

(2) Fishing vessel log reports. (i) For any vessel not issued a NE multispecies; Atlantic herring permit; or any Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid, Illex squid, or butterfish permit; fishing vessel log reports, required by paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, must be postmarked or received by NMFS within 15 days after the end of the reporting month. For any vessel issued a NE multispecies permit; Atlantic herring permit; or any Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid, Illex squid, or butterfish permit; fishing vessel log reports must be postmarked or received by midnight of the first Tuesday following the end of the reporting week. For the purposes of this paragraph (f)(2)(i), the date when fish are offloaded will establish the reporting week or month the VTR must be submitted to NMFS, as appropriate.

(ii) Surfclam and ocean quahog log reports, required by paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, must be postmarked or received within 3 days after the end of each reporting week.

(iii) Charter/Party vessel electronic log reports, required by paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section, must be submitted within 48 hours after entering port at the conclusion of a trip.

(3) At-sea purchasers and processors. With the exception of the owner or operator of an Atlantic herring carrier vessel, the owner or operator of an at-sea purchaser or processor that purchases or processes any Atlantic herring, Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, scup, or black sea bass at sea must submit information identical to that required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section and provide those reports to the Regional Administrator or designee by the same mechanism and on the same frequency basis.

(g) Additional data and sampling. Federally permitted dealers must allow access to their premises and make available to an official designee of the Regional Administrator any fish purchased from vessels for the collection of biological data. Such data include, but are not limited to, length measurements of fish and the collection of age structures such as otoliths or scales.

(h) At-sea monitor/electronic monitoring reports. Any at-sea monitor assigned to observe a sector trip and any third-party service provider analyzing data from electronic monitoring equipment deployed on a sector trip must submit reports on catch, discard, and other data elements specified by the Regional Administrator to NMFS, the sector manager, and monitoring contractor, as instructed by the Regional Administrator.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §648.7, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§648.8   Vessel identification.

(a) Vessel name and official number. Each fishing vessel subject to this part and over 25 ft (7.6 m) in registered length must:

(1) Affix permanently its name on the port and starboard sides of the bow and, if possible, on its stern.

(2) Display its official number on the port and starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull, and on an appropriate weather deck so as to be clearly visible from enforcement vessels and aircraft. The official number is the USCG documentation number or the vessel's state registration number for vessels not required to be documented under title 46 U.S.C.

(b) Numerals. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the official number must be displayed in block arabic numerals in contrasting color at least 18 inches (45.7 cm) in height for fishing vessels over 65 ft (19.8 m) in registered length, and at least 10 inches (25.4 cm) in height for all other vessels over 25 ft (7.6 m) in registered length. The registered length of a vessel, for purposes of this section, is that registered length set forth in USCG or state records.

(c) Duties of owner. The owner of each vessel subject to this part shall ensure that—

(1) The vessel's name and official number are kept clearly legible and in good repair.

(2) No part of the vessel, its rigging, its fishing gear, or any other object obstructs the view of the official number from any enforcement vessel or aircraft.

(d) Non-permanent marking. Vessels carrying recreational fishing parties on a per capita basis or by charter must use markings that meet the above requirements, except for the requirement that they be affixed permanently to the vessel. The non-permanent markings must be displayed in conformity with the above requirements.

(e) New Jersey surfclam or ocean quahog vessels. Instead of complying with paragraph (a) of this section, surfclam or ocean quahog vessels licensed under New Jersey law may use the appropriate vessel identification markings established by that state.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 76 FR 60649, Sept. 29, 2011]

§648.9   VMS vendor and unit requirements.

(a) Approval. The type-approval requirements for VMS MTUs and MCSPs for the Greater Atlantic Region are those as published by the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) in the Federal Register, and are available upon request. Both the national type-approval requirements at 50 CFR part 600, subpart Q and any established regional standards must be met in order to receive approval for use in the Greater Atlantic Region. The NMFS OLE Director shall approve all MTUs, MCSPs, and bundles including those operating in the Greater Atlantic Region.

(b) Maintenance. Once approved, VMS units must maintain the minimum standards for which they were approved in the type approval requirements. Any changes made to the original submission for approval of an MTU or MCSP by NMFS must follow the procedures outlined in the type approval requirements.

(c) Notification. A list of approved VMS vendors will be published on the Northeast Regional Office Web site and in each proposed and final rule for implementing or modifying VMS requirements for specific fisheries.

(d) Revocations. Revocation procedures for type-approvals are at 50 CFR 600.1514. In the event of a revocation, NMFS will provide information to affected vessel owners as explained at 50 CFR 600.1516. In these instances, vessel owners may be eligible for the reimbursement of the cost of a new type-approved EMTU should funding for reimbursement be available.

[74 FR 20530, May 4, 2009, as amended at 79 FR 77410, Dec. 24, 2014]

§648.10   VMS and DAS requirements for vessel owners/operators.

(a) VMS Demarcation Line. The VMS Demarcation Line is defined by straight lines connecting the following coordinates in the order stated (a copy of a map showing the line is available from the Regional Administrator upon request):

VMS Demarcation Line

DescriptionN. lat.W. long.
1. Northern terminus point (Canada landmass)45°0366°47
2. A point east of West Quoddy Head Light44°48.966°56.1
3. A point east of Little River Light44°39.067°10.5
4. Whistle Buoy “8BI” (SSE of Baker Island)44°13.668°10.8
5. Isle au Haut Light44°03.968°39.1
6. A point south of Monhegan Island43°43.369°18.6
7. Pemaquid Point Light43°50.269°30.4
8. A point west of Halfway Rock43°38.070°05.0
9. A point east of Cape Neddick Light43°09.970°34.5
10. Merrimack River Entrance “MR” Whistle Buoy42°48.670°47.1
11. Halibut Point Gong Buoy “1AHP”42°42.070°37.5
12. Connecting reference point42°4070°30
13. Whistle Buoy “2” off Eastern Point42°34.370°39.8
14. The Graves Light (Boston)42°21.970°52.2
15. Minots Ledge Light42°16.270°45.6
16. Farnham Rock Lighted Bell Buoy42°05.670°36.5
17. Cape Cod Canal Bell Buoy “CC”41°48.970°27.7
18. A point inside Cape Cod Bay41°48.970°05
19. Race Point Lighted Bell Buoy “RP”42°04.970°16.8
20. Peaked Hill Bar Whistle Buoy “2PH”42°07.070°06.2
21. Connecting point, off Nauset Light41°5069°53
22. A point south of Chatham “C” Whistle Buoy41°3869°55.2
22. A point in eastern Vineyard Sound41°3070°33
24. A point east of Martha's Vineyard41°22.270°24.6
25. A point east of Great Pt. Light, Nantucket41°23.469°57
26. A point SE of Sankaty Head, Nantucket41°1369°57
27. A point west of Nantucket41°15.670°25.2
28. Squibnocket Lighted Bell Buoy “1”41°15.770°46.3
29. Wilbur Point (on Sconticut Neck)41°35.270°51.2
30. Mishaum Point (on Smith Neck)41°31.070°57.2
31. Sakonnet Entrance Lighted Whistle Buoy “SR”41°25.771°13.4
32. Point Judith Lighted Whistle Buoy “2”41°19.371°28.6
33. A point off Block Island Southeast Light41°08.271°32.1
34. Shinnecock Inlet Lighted Whistle Buoy “SH”40°49.072°28.6
35. Scotland Horn Buoy “S”, off Sandy Hook (NJ)40°26.573°55.0
36. Barnegat Lighted Gong Buoy “2”39°45.573°59.5
37. A point east of Atlantic City Light39°21.974°22.7
38. A point east of Hereford Inlet Light39°00.474°46
39. A point east of Cape Henlopen Light38°4775°04
40. A point east of Fenwick Island Light38°27.175°02
41. A point NE of Assateague Island (VA)38°0075°13
42. Wachapreague Inlet Lighted Whistle Buoy “A”37°35.075°33.7
43. A point NE of Cape Henry36°55.675°58.5
44. A point east of Currituck Beach Light36°22.675°48
45. Oregon Inlet (NC) Whistle Buoy35°48.575°30
46. Wimble Shoals, east of Chicamacomico35°3675°26
47. A point SE of Cape Hatteras Light35°12.575°30
48. Hatteras Inlet Entrance Buoy “HI”35°1075°46
49. Ocracoke Inlet Whistle Buoy “OC”35°01.576°00.5
50. A point east of Cape Lookout Light34°36.576°30
51. Southern terminus point34°3576°41

(b) Vessels required to use VMS. The following vessels must have installed on board an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria specified in, or as modified pursuant to §648.9(a):

(1) A scallop vessel issued a Full-time or Part-time limited access scallop permit, or an LAGC scallop permit;

(2) A scallop vessel issued an Occasional limited access permit when fishing under the Sea Scallop Area Access Program specified under §648.59;

(3) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish, Occasional scallop, or Combination permit, whose owner elects to provide the notifications required by this section using VMS, unless otherwise authorized or required by the Regional Administrator under paragraph (d) of this section;

(4) A vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit that fishes or intends to fish under a NE multispecies Category A or B DAS, or catches regulated species or ocean pout while on a sector trip; or a vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies small vessel category or Handgear A permit that fishes in multiple stock areas pursuant to paragraph (k)(2) of this section;

(5) A vessel issued a surfclam (SF 1) or an ocean quahog (OQ 6) open access permit;

(6) Effective January 1, 2009, a vessel issued a Maine mahogany quahog (OQ 7) limited access permit, unless otherwise exempted under paragraph §648.4(a)(4)(ii)(B)(1);

(7) A limited access monkfish vessel electing to fish in the Offshore Fishery Program in the SFMA, as provided in §648.95; and

(8) A vessel issued a limited access herring permit (i.e., All Areas Limited Access Permit, Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Permit, Incidental Catch Limited Access Permit), or a vessel issued an Areas 2/3 open access herring permit, or a vessel declaring an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS.

(9) A vessel issued a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 limited access Atlantic mackerel permit;

(10) A vessel issued a Tier 1 or Tier 2 longfin squid moratorium permit;

(11) A vessel issued an Illex squid moratorium permit; or

(12) A vessel issued a butterfish moratorium permit.

(c) Operating requirements for all vessels. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, or unless otherwise required by paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, all vessels required to use VMS units, as specified in paragraph (b) of this section, must transmit a signal indicating the vessel's accurate position, as specified under paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section:

(i) At least every hour, 24 hr a day, throughout the year; or

(ii) At least twice per hour, 24 hr a day, throughout the year, for vessels issued a scallop permit.

(2) Power-down exemption. (i) Any vessel required to transmit the vessel's location at all times, as required in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, is exempt from this requirement if it meets one or more of the following conditions and requirements:

(A) The vessel will be continuously out of the water for more than 72 consecutive hours, the vessel signs out of the VMS program by obtaining a valid letter of exemption pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, and the vessel complies with all conditions and requirements of said letter;

(B) The vessel owner signs out of the VMS program for a minimum period of 30 consecutive days by obtaining a valid letter of exemption pursuant to paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, the vessel does not engage in any fisheries or move from the dock/mooring until the VMS unit is turned back on, and the vessel complies with all conditions and requirements of said letter;

(C) [Reserved]

(D) The vessel has been issued an LAGC permit, is not in possession of any scallops onboard the vessel, is tied to a permanent dock or mooring, the vessel operator has notified NMFS through VMS by transmitting the appropriate VMS power-down code that the VMS will be powered down, and the vessel is not required by other permit requirements for other fisheries to transmit the vessel's location at all times. Such a vessel must re-power the VMS and submit a valid VMS activity declaration prior to moving from the fixed dock or mooring. VMS codes and instructions are available from the Regional Administrator.

(ii) Letter of exemption—(A) Application. A vessel owner may apply for a letter of exemption from the VMS transmitting requirements specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section for his/her vessel by sending a written request to the Regional Administrator and providing the following: The location of the vessel during the time an exemption is sought; the exact time period for which an exemption is needed (i.e., the time the VMS signal will be turned off and turned on again); and, in the case of a vessel meeting the conditions of paragraph (c)(2)(i)(A) of this section, sufficient information to determine that the vessel will be out of the water for more than 72 consecutive hours. The letter of exemption must be on board the vessel at all times, and the vessel may not turn off the VMS signal until the letter of exemption has been received.

(B) Issuance. Upon receipt of an application, the Regional Administrator may issue a letter of exemption to the vessel if it is determined that the vessel owner provided sufficient information as required under this paragraph (c)(2), and that the issuance of the letter of exemption will not jeopardize accurate monitoring of the vessel's DAS. Upon written request, the Regional Administrator may change the time period for which the exemption is granted.

(d) Presumption. If a VMS unit fails to transmit an hourly signal of a vessel's position, the vessel shall be deemed to have incurred a DAS, or fraction thereof, for as long as the unit fails to transmit a signal, unless a preponderance of evidence shows that the failure to transmit was due to an unavoidable malfunction or disruption of the transmission that occurred while the vessel was properly declared out of the scallop fishery, NE multispecies fishery, or monkfish fishery, as applicable, or while the vessel was not at sea.

(e) VMS notifications—(1) VMS installation notification. (i) The owner of such a vessel specified in paragraph (b) of this section, with the exception of a vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit as specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, must provide documentation to the Regional Administrator at the time of application for a limited access permit that the vessel has an operational VMS unit installed on board that meets the minimum performance criteria, unless otherwise allowed under paragraph (b) of this section.

(ii) Vessel owners must confirm the VMS unit's operation and communications service to NMFS by calling the Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) to ensure that position reports are automatically sent to and received by NMFS OLE.

(iii) NMFS does not regard the fishing vessel as meeting the VMS requirements until automatic position reports and a manual declaration are received.

(iv) If a vessel has already been issued a limited access permit without the owner providing such documentation, the Regional Administrator shall allow at least 30 days for the vessel to install an operational VMS unit that meets the minimum performance criteria, and for the owner to provide documentation of such installation to the Regional Administrator.

(v) The owner of a vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit that fishes or intends to fish under a NE multispecies Category A or B DAS, or that catches regulated species or ocean pout while on a sector trip, as specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, must provide documentation to the Regional Administrator that the vessel has an operational VMS unit installed on board, meeting all requirements of this part, prior to fishing under a NE multispecies DAS or under the provisions of an approved sector operations plan.

(vi) NMFS shall provide notification to all affected permit holders providing detailed information on procedures pertaining to VMS purchase, installation, and use.

(2) Replacement VMS installations. Should a VMS unit require replacement, a vessel owner must submit documentation to the Regional Administrator, within 3 days of installation and prior to the vessel's next trip, verifying, as described in this paragraph (e), that the new VMS unit is an operational approved system as described under §648.9(a).

(3) Access. As a condition to obtaining a limited access scallop, multispecies, an Atlantic herring, a surfclam, ocean quahog, or Maine mahogany quahog permit; or as a condition of using a VMS unit; all vessel owners must allow NMFS, the USCG, and their authorized officers or designees access to the vessel's DAS data, if applicable, and to location data obtained from its VMS unit, if required, at the time of or after its transmission to the vendor or receiver, as the case may be.

(4) Tampering. Tampering with a VMS, a VMS unit, or a VMS signal, is prohibited. Tampering includes any activity that may affect the unit's ability to operate or signal properly, or to accurately compute or report the vessel's position.

(5) Fishery participation notification. (i) A vessel subject to the VMS requirements of §648.9 and paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section that has crossed the VMS Demarcation Line under paragraph (a) of this section is deemed to be fishing under the DAS program, the Access Area Program, the LAGC IFQ or NGOM scallop fishery, or other fishery requiring the operation of VMS as applicable, unless prior to leaving port, the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel out of the scallop, NE multispecies, monkfish, or any other fishery, as applicable, for a specific time period. NMFS must be notified by transmitting the appropriate VMS code through the VMS, or unless the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel will be fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, as described in §648.85(a)(3)(ii), under the provisions of that program.

(ii) Notification that the vessel is not under the DAS program, the Access Area Program, the LAGC IFQ or NGOM scallop fishery, or any other fishery requiring the operation of VMS, must be received by NMFS prior to the vessel leaving port. A vessel may not change its status after the vessel leaves port or before it returns to port on any fishing trip, unless the vessel is a scallop vessel and is exempted, as specified in paragraph (f) of this section.

(iii) DAS counting for a vessel that is under the VMS notification requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, with the exception of vessels that have elected to fish exclusively in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on a particular trip, as described in paragraph (e)(5) of this section, begins with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed the VMS Demarcation Line after leaving port. DAS counting ends with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed the VMS Demarcation Line upon its return to port, unless the vessel is declared into a limited access scallop DAS trip and, upon its return to port, declares out of the scallop fishery shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line at or south of 39° N. lat., as specified in paragraph (f)(6) of this section, and lands in a port south of 39° N. lat.

(iv) For those vessels that have elected to fish exclusively in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area pursuant to §648.85(a)(3)(ii), the requirements of this paragraph (b) begin with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed into the Eastern U.S./Canada Area and end with the first location signal received showing that the vessel crossed out of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area upon beginning its return trip to port, unless the vessel elects to also fish outside the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, in accordance with §648.85(a)(3)(ii)(A).

(v) The Regional Administrator may authorize or require the use of the call-in system instead of the use of VMS, as described under paragraph (h) of this section. Furthermore, the Regional Administrator may authorize or require the use of letters of authorization as an alternative means of enforcing possession limits, if VMS cannot be used for such purposes.

(f) Atlantic sea scallop vessel VMS notification requirements. Less than 1 hour prior to leaving port, the owner or authorized representative of a scallop vessel that is required to use VMS as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section must notify the Regional Administrator by transmitting the appropriate VMS code that the vessel will be participating in the scallop DAS program, Area Access Program, LAGC scallop fishery, NGOM Management Program, or will be fishing outside of the scallop fishery under the requirements of its other Federal permits, or that the vessel will be steaming to another location prior to commencing its fishing trip by transmitting a “declared out of fishery” VMS code. If the owner or authorized representative of a scallop vessel declares out of the fishery for the steaming portion of the trip, the vessel cannot possess, retain, or land scallops, or fish for any other fish. Prior to commencing the fishing trip following a “declared out of fishery” trip, the owner or authorized representative must notify the Regional Administrator by transmitting the appropriate VMS code, before first crossing the VMS Demarcation Line, that the vessel will be participating in the scallop DAS program, Area Access Program, NGOM Management Program, or LAGC scallop fishery. VMS codes and instructions are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(1) IFQ scallop vessels. An IFQ scallop vessel that has crossed the VMS Demarcation Line specified under paragraph (a) of this section is deemed to be fishing under the IFQ program, unless prior to the vessel leaving port, the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel out of the scallop fishery by notifying the Regional Administrator through the VMS. If the vessel has not fished for any fish (i.e., steaming only), after declaring out of the fishery, leaving port, and steaming to another location, the owner or authorized representative of an IFQ scallop vessel may declare into the IFQ fishery without entering another port by making a declaration before first crossing the VMS Demarcation Line. An IFQ scallop vessel that is fishing north of 42°20 N. lat. is deemed to be fishing under the NGOM scallop fishery unless prior to the vessel leaving port, the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel out of the scallop fishery, as specified in paragraphs (e)(5)(i) and (ii) of this section. After declaring out of the fishery, leaving port, and steaming to another location, if the IFQ scallop vessel has not fished for any fish (i.e., steaming only), the vessel may declare into the NGOM fishery without entering another port by making a declaration before first crossing the VMS Demarcation Line.

(2) NGOM scallop fishery. A NGOM scallop vessel is deemed to be fishing in Federal waters of the NGOM management area and will have its landings applied against the LAGC portion of the NGOM management area TAC, specified in §648.62(b)(1), unless:

(i) Prior to the vessel leaving port, the vessel's owner or authorized representative declares the vessel out of the scallop fishery, as specified in paragraphs (e)(5)(i) and (ii) of this section, and the vessel does not possess, retain, or land scallops while under such a declaration. After declaring out of the fishery, leaving port, and steaming to another location, if the NGOM scallop vessel has not fished for any other fish (i.e., steaming only), the vessel may declare into the NGOM fishery without entering another port by making a declaration before first crossing the VMS Demarcation Line.

(ii) The vessel has specifically declared into the state-only NGOM fishery, thus is fishing exclusively in the state waters portion of the NGOM management area.

(3) Incidental scallop fishery. An Incidental scallop vessel that has crossed the VMS Demarcation Line on any declared fishing trip for any species is deemed to be fishing under the Incidental scallop fishery.

(4) Catch reports. (i) The owner or operator of a limited access or LAGC scallop vessel with an IFQ permit that fishes for, possesses, or retains scallops, and is not fishing under a NE Multispecies DAS or sector allocation, must submit reports through the VMS, in accordance with instructions to be provided by the Regional Administrator, for each day fished, including open area trips, access area trips as described in §648.59(b)(9), Northern Gulf of Maine RSA trips, and trips accompanied by a NMFS-certified observer. The reports must be submitted for each day (beginning at 0000 hr and ending at 2400 hr) and not later than 0900 hr of the following day. Such reports must include the following information:

(A) VTR serial number;

(B) Date fish were caught;

(C) Total pounds of scallop meats kept;

(D) Total pounds of all fish kept.

(ii) Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form for IFQ and NGOM vessels. A vessel issued an IFQ or NGOM scallop permit must report through VMS, using the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form, the amount of any scallops kept on each trip declared as a scallop trip, including declared scallop trips where no scallops were landed. In addition, vessels with an IFQ or NGOM permit must submit a Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form on trips that are not declared as scallop trips, but on which scallops are kept incidentally. A limited access vessel that also holds an IFQ or NGOM permit must submit the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form only when fishing under the provisions of the vessel's IFQ or NGOM permit. VMS Scallop Pre-Landing Notification forms must be submitted no less than 6 hours prior to arrival, or, if fishing ends less than 6 hours before arrival, immediately after fishing ends. If scallops will be landed, the report must include the vessel operator's permit number, the amount of scallop meats in pounds to be landed, the number of bushels of in-shell scallops to be landed, the estimated time of arrival in port, the landing port and state where the scallops will be offloaded, the VTR serial number recorded from that trip's VTR (the same VTR serial number as reported to the dealer), and whether any scallops were caught in the NGOM. If no scallops will be landed, a vessel issued an IFQ or NGOM scallop permit must provide only the vessel's captain/operator's permit number, the VTR serial number recorded from that trip's VTR (the same VTR serial number as reported to the dealer), and confirmation that no scallops will be landed. A vessel issued an IFQ or NGOM scallop permit may provide a corrected report. If the report is being submitted as a correction of a prior report, the information entered into the notification form will replace the data previously submitted in the prior report. Submitting a correction does not prevent NMFS from pursuing an enforcement action for any false reporting.

(iii) Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form for limited access vessels fishing on scallop trips. A limited access vessel on a declared sea scallop trip must report through VMS, using the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form, the amount of any scallops kept on each trip, including declared trips where no scallops were landed. The report must be submitted no less than 6 hours before arrival, or, if fishing ends less than 6 hours before arrival, immediately after fishing ends. If scallops will be landed, the report must include the vessel operator's permit number, the amount of scallop meats in pounds to be landed, the number of bushels of in-shell scallops to be landed, the estimated time of arrival, the landing port and state where the scallops will be offloaded, and the VTR serial number recorded from that trip's VTR (the same VTR serial number as reported to the dealer). If no scallops will be landed, a limited access vessel on a declared sea scallop trip must provide only the vessel's captain/operator's permit number, the VTR serial number recorded from that trip's VTR (the same VTR serial number as reported to the dealer), and confirmation that no scallops will be landed. A limited access scallop vessel may provide a corrected report. If the report is being submitted as a correction of a prior report, the information entered into the notification form will replace the data previously submitted in the prior report. Submitting a correction does not prevent NMFS from pursuing an enforcement action for any false reporting. A vessel may not offload its catch from a Sea Scallop Access Area trip at more than one location per trip.

(iv) Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form for limited access vessels on a declared DAS trip landing scallops at ports located at or south of 39° N. lat. In order to end a declared Sea Scallop DAS trip and steam south of 39° N. lat., a limited access vessel must first report through VMS, using the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form, the amount of any scallops kept on its DAS trip. Upon crossing shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line at or south of 39° N. lat., the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification form must be submitted. The report must include the vessel operator's permit number, the amount of scallop meats in pounds to be landed, the estimated time of arrival in port, the landing port and state where the scallops will be offloaded, and the VTR serial number recorded from that trip's VTR (the same VTR serial number as reported to the dealer). Prior to crossing seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line for the transit to a southern port at or south of 39° N. lat., the vessel must declare out of the scallop fishery. A limited access scallop vessel may provide a corrected report. If the report is being submitted as a correction of a prior report, the information entered into the notification form will replace the data previously submitted in the prior report. Submitting a correction does not prevent NMFS from pursuing an enforcement action for any false reporting.

(5) Scallop vessels fishing under exemptions. Vessels fishing under the exemptions provided by §648.54 (a) and/or (b)(1) must comply with the exemption requirements and notify the Regional Administrator by VMS notification or by call-in notification as follows:

(i) VMS notification for scallop vessels fishing under exemptions. (A) Notify the Regional Administrator, via their VMS, prior to each trip of the vessel under the state waters exemption program, that the vessel will be fishing exclusively in state waters; and

(B) Notify the Regional Administrator, via their VMS, prior to the vessel's first planned trip in the EEZ, that the vessel is to resume fishing under the vessel's DAS allocation.

(ii) Call-in notification for scallop vessels fishing under exemptions. (A) Notify the Regional Administrator by using the call-in system and providing the following information at least 7 days prior to fishing under the exemption:

(1) Owner and caller name and address;

(2) Vessel name and permit number; and

(3) Beginning and ending dates of the exemption period.

(B) Remain under the exemption for a minimum of 7 days.

(C) If, under the exemption for a minimum of 7 days and wishing to withdraw earlier than the designated end of the exemption period, notify the Regional Administrator of early withdrawal from the program by calling the call-in system, providing the vessel's name and permit number and the name and phone number of the caller, and stating that the vessel is withdrawing from the exemption. The vessel may not leave port to fish in the EEZ until 48 hr after notification of early withdrawal is received by the Regional Administrator.

(D) The Regional Administrator will furnish a phone number for call-ins upon request.

(E) Such vessels must comply with the VMS notification requirements specified in paragraph (e) of this section by notifying the Regional Administrator by entering the appropriate VMS code that the vessel is fishing outside of the scallop fishery. VMS codes and instructions are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(6) Limited access scallop vessels fishing under the DAS program and landing scallops at ports south of 39° N. Lat. If landing scallops at a port located at or south of 39° N. lat., a limited access vessel participating in the scallop DAS program may end its DAS trip once it has crossed shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line at or south of 39° N. lat. by declaring out of the scallop fishery and submitting the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form, as specified at paragraph (f)(4)(iv) of this section. Once declared out of the scallop fishery, and the vessel has submitted the Scallop Pre-Landing Notification Form, the vessel may cross seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line and steam to a port at or south of 39° N. lat., to land scallops while not on a DAS. Such vessels that elect to change their declaration to steam to ports with scallops onboard and not accrue DAS must comply with all the requirements at §648.53(f)(3).

(g) VMS notification requirements for other fisheries. (1) The owner or authorized representative of a vessel that is required to or elects to use VMS, as specified in paragraph (b) of this section, must notify the Regional Administrator of the vessel's intended fishing activity by entering the appropriate VMS code prior to leaving port at the start of each fishing trip except:

(i) If notified by letter, pursuant to paragraph (e)(1)(iv) of this section, or

(ii) The vessel is a scallop vessel and is exempted, as specified in paragraph (f) of this section.

(2) Notification of a vessel's intended fishing activity includes, but is not limited to, gear and DAS type to be used; area to be fished; and whether the vessel will be declared out of the DAS fishery, or will participate in the NE multispecies and monkfish DAS fisheries, including approved special management programs.

(3) A vessel operator cannot change any aspect of a vessel's VMS activity code outside of port, except as follows:

(i) An operator of a NE multispecies vessel is authorized to change the category of NE multispecies DAS used (i.e., flip its DAS), as provided at §648.85(b), or change the area declared to be fished so that the vessel may fish both inside and outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, as provided at §648.85(a)(3)(ii)(A).

(ii) An operator of a vessel issued both a NE multispecies permit and a monkfish permit are authorized to change their DAS declaration from a NE multispecies Category A DAS to a monkfish DAS, while remaining subject to the to the NE multispecies DAS usage requirements under §648.92(b)(1)(i), during the course of a trip, as provided at §648.92(b)(1)(iii)(A).

(iii) The vessel carries onboard a valid limited access or LAGC scallop permit, has declared out of the fishery in port, and is steaming to another location, pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

(4) VMS activity codes and declaration instructions are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(h) Call-in notification. The owner of a vessel issued a limited access monkfish permit who is participating in a DAS program and who is not required to provide notification using a VMS, and a scallop vessel qualifying for a DAS allocation under the occasional category that has not elected to fish under the VMS notification requirements of paragraph (e) of this section and is not participating in the Sea Scallop Area Access program as specified in §648.59, and any vessel that may be required by the Regional Administrator to use the call-in program under paragraph (i) of this section, are subject to the following requirements:

(1) Less than 1 hr prior to leaving port, for vessels issued a limited access NE multispecies DAS permit or, for vessels issued a limited access NE multispecies DAS permit and a limited access monkfish permit (Category C, D, F, G, or H), unless otherwise specified in paragraph (h) of this section, or an occasional scallop permit as specified in this paragraph (h), and, prior to leaving port for vessels issued a limited access monkfish Category A or B permit, the vessel owner or authorized representative must notify the Regional Administrator that the vessel will be participating in the DAS program by calling the call-in system and providing the following information:

(i) Owner and caller name and phone number;

(ii) Vessel name and permit number;

(iii) Type of trip to be taken;

(iv) Port of departure; and

(v) That the vessel is beginning a trip.

(2) A DAS begins once the call has been received and a confirmation number is given by the Regional Administrator, or when a vessel leaves port, whichever occurs first, unless otherwise specified in paragraph (e)(2)(iii) of this section.

(3) Vessels issued a limited access monkfish Category C, D, F, G, or H permit that are allowed to fish as a monkfish Category A or B vessel in accordance with the provisions of §648.92(b)(2)(i) are subject to the call-in notification requirements for limited access monkfish Category A or B vessels specified under this paragraph (h) for those monkfish DAS when there is not a concurrent NE multispecies DAS.

(4) The vessel's confirmation numbers for the current and immediately prior NE multispecies or monkfish fishing trip must be maintained on board the vessel and provided to an authorized officer immediately upon request.

(5) At the end of a vessel's trip, upon its return to port, the vessel owner or owner's representative must call the Regional Administrator and notify him/her that the trip has ended by providing the following information:

(i) Owner and caller name and phone number;

(ii) Vessel name and permit number;

(iii) Port of landing; and

(iv) That the vessel has ended its trip.

(6) A DAS ends when the call has been received and confirmation has been given by the Regional Administrator, or when a vessel enters port at the end of a fishing trip, whichever occurs later, unless otherwise specified in paragraph (e)(2)(iii) of this section.

(7) The Regional Administrator will furnish a phone number for DAS notification call-ins upon request.

(8) Regardless of whether a vessel's owner or authorized representative provides correct notification as required by paragraphs (e) through (h) of this section, a vessel meeting any of the following descriptions shall be deemed to be in its respective fishery's DAS or Scallop Access Area Program for the purpose of counting DAS or scallop access area trips/pounds, and, shall be charged DAS from the time of sailing to landing:

(i) Any vessel issued a limited access scallop permit and not issued an LAGC scallop permit that possesses or lands scallops;

(ii) A vessel issued a limited access scallop and LAGC IFQ scallop permit that possesses or lands more than 600 lb (272.2 kg) of scallops, unless otherwise specified in §648.59(d)(2);

(iii) Any vessel issued a limited access scallop and LAGC NGOM scallop permit that possesses or lands more than 200 lb (90.7 kg) of scallops;

(iv) Any vessel issued a limited access scallop and LAGC IC scallop permit that possesses or lands more than 40 lb (18.1 kg) of scallops;

(v) Any vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit subject to the NE multispecies DAS program requirements that possesses or lands regulated NE multispecies, except as provided in §§648.10(h)(9)(ii), 648.17, and 648.89; and

(vi) Any vessel issued a limited access monkfish permit subject to the monkfish DAS program and call-in requirement that possesses or lands monkfish above the incidental catch trip limits specified in §648.94(c).

(9) Vessels electing to use VMS. (i) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish, Occasional scallop, or Combination permit must use the call-in system specified in paragraph (h) of this section, unless the owner of such vessel has elected to provide the notifications required by paragraph (g) of this section, through VMS as specified under paragraph (h)(9)(ii) of this section. Any vessel issued a limited access monkfish or an Occasional scallop permit that has elected to provide notifications through VMS must continue to provide notifications through VMS for the entire fishing year.

(ii) A vessel issued a limited access monkfish or Occasional scallop permit may be authorized by the Regional Administrator to provide the notifications required by paragraph (e) of this section using the VMS specified in paragraph (b) of this section. For the vessel to become authorized, the vessel owner must provide documentation to the Regional Administrator at the time of application for a limited access permit that the vessel has installed on board an operational VMS as provided under §648.9(a). A vessel that is authorized to use the VMS in lieu of the call-in requirement for DAS notification shall be subject to the requirements and presumptions described under paragraphs (e)(2)(i) through (v) of this section. This paragraph (h) does not apply to vessels electing to use the VMS.

(i) Temporary authorization for use of the call-in system. The Regional Administrator may authorize or require, on a temporary basis, the use of the call-in system of notification specified in paragraph (h) of this section, instead of using the VMS. If use of the call-in system is authorized or required, the Regional Administrator shall notify affected permit holders through a letter, notification in the Federal Register, e-mail, or other appropriate means.

(j) Additional NE multispecies call-in requirements—(1) Spawning season call-in. With the exception of a vessel issued a valid Small Vessel category permit or the Handgear A permit category, vessels subject to the spawning season restriction described in §648.82 must notify the Regional Administrator of the commencement date of their 20-day period out of the NE multispecies fishery through the IVR system (or through VMS, if required by the Regional Administrator) and provide the following information:

(i) Vessel name and permit number;

(ii) Owner and caller name and phone number; and

(iii) Commencement date of the 20-day period.

(2) Gillnet call-in. A vessel subject to the gillnet restriction described in §648.82 must notify the Regional Administrator of the commencement of its time out of the NE multispecies gillnet fishery using the procedure described in paragraph (k)(1) of this section.

(k) Area-specific reporting requirements for NE multispecies vessels—(1) Reporting requirements for all limited access NE multispecies vessel owners or operators. In addition to any other reporting requirements specified in this part, the owner or operator of any vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit on either a common pool or sector trip must declare the following information via VMS or IVR, as instructed by the Regional Administrator:

(i) Broad stock area(s) to be fished. To fish in any of the broad stock areas, the vessel owner or operator must declare his/her intent to fish within one or more of the NE multispecies broad stock areas, as defined in paragraph (k)(3) of this section, prior to leaving port at the start of a fishing trip;

(ii) VTR serial number. On its return to port, prior to crossing the VMS demarcation line, as defined at §648.10, the vessel owner or operator must provide the VTR serial number for the first page of the VTR for that particular trip, or other applicable trip ID specified by NMFS; and

(iii) Trip-start hail report. If instructed by the Regional Administrator or required by a sector operations plan approved pursuant to §648.87(b)(2) and (c), the operator of a vessel must submit a trip-start hail report prior to departing port at the beginning of each trip notifying the sector manager and/or NMFS of the vessel permit number; trip ID number in the form of the VTR serial number of the first VTR page for that trip, or another trip identifier specified by NMFS; an estimate of the date and time of arrival to port; and any other information as instructed by the Regional Administrator. Trip-start hail reports by vessels operating less than 6 hr or within 6 hr of port must also include estimated date and time of offload. The trip-start hail report may be submitted via VMS or some other method, as instructed by the Regional Administrator or required by a sector operations plan approved pursuant to §648.87(b)(2) and (c). If the vessel operator does not receive confirmation of the receipt of the trip-start hail report from the sector manager or NMFS, the operator must contact the intended receiver to confirm the trip-start hail report via an independent back-up system, as instructed by the Regional Administrator. To the extent possible, NMFS shall reduce unnecessary duplication of the trip-start hail report with any other applicable reporting requirements..

(iv) Trip-end hail report. Upon its return to port and prior to crossing the VMS demarcation line as defined in §648.10, the owner or operator of any vessel issued a limited access NE multispecies permit that is subject to the VMS requirements specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section must submit a trip-end hail report to NMFS via VMS, as instructed by the Regional Administrator. The trip-end hail report must include at least the following information, as instructed by the Regional Administrator: The vessel permit number; VTR serial number, or other applicable trip ID specified by NMFS; intended offloading location(s), including the dealer name/offload location, port/harbor, and state for the first dealer/facility where the vessel intends to offload catch and the port/harbor, and state for the second dealer/facility where the vessel intends to offload catch; estimated date/time of arrival; estimated date/time of offload; and the estimated total amount of all species retained, including species managed by other FMPs (in pounds, landed weight), on board at the time the vessel first offloads its catch from a particular trip. The trip-end hail report must be submitted at least 6 hr in advance of landing for all trips of at least 6 hr in duration or occurring more than 6 hr from port. For shorter trips, the trip-end hail reports must be submitted upon the completion of the last tow or hauling of gear, as instructed by the Regional Administrator. To the extent possible, NMFS shall reduce unnecessary duplication of the trip-end hail reports with any other applicable reporting requirements.

(2) Reporting requirements for NE multispecies vessel owners or operators fishing in more than one broad stock area per trip. Unless otherwise provided in this paragraph (k)(2), the owner or operator of any vessel issued a NE multispecies limited access permit that has declared its intent to fish within multiple NE multispecies broad stock areas, as defined in paragraph (k)(3) of this section, on the same trip must submit a hail report via VMS providing a good-faith estimate of the amount of each regulated species retained (in pounds, landed weight) and the total amount of all species retained (in pounds, landed weight), including NE multispecies and species managed by other FMPs, from each statistical area. This reporting requirement is in addition to the reporting requirements specified in paragraph (k)(1) of this section and any other reporting requirements specified in this part. The report frequency is detailed in paragraphs (k)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section.

(i) Vessels declaring into GOM Stock Area and any other stock area. A vessel declared to fish in the GOM Stock Area, as defined in paragraph (k)(3)(i) of this section, and any other stock area defined in paragraphs (k)(3)(ii) through (iv) of this section, must submit a daily VMS catch report in 24-hr intervals for each day by 0900 hr of the following day. Reports are required even if groundfish species caught that day have not yet been landed.

(ii) Vessels declaring into multiple broad stock areas not including GOM Stock Area. A vessel declared into multiple stock areas defined in paragraphs (k)(3)(ii) through (iv) of this section, not including the GOM Stock Area I defined in paragraph (k)(3)(i) of this section, must submit a trip-level report via VMS prior to crossing the VMS demarcation line, as defined in §648.10, upon its return to port following each fishing trip on which regulated species were caught, as instructed by the Regional Administrator.

(iii) The Regional Administrator may adjust the reporting frequency specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section.

(iv) Exemptions from broad stock area VMS reporting requirements. (A) A vessel is exempt from the reporting requirements specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section if it is fishing in a special management program, as specified in §648.85, and is required to submit daily VMS catch reports consistent with the requirements of that program.

(B) The Regional Administrator may exempt vessels on a sector trip from the reporting requirements specified in this paragraph (k)(2) if it is determined that such reporting requirements would duplicate those specified in §648.87(b).

(3) NE multispecies broad stock areas. For the purposes of the area-specific reporting requirements listed in paragraph (k)(1) of this section, the NE multispecies broad stock areas are defined in paragraphs (k)(3)(i) through (iv) of this section. Copies of a map depicting these areas are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

(i) GOM Stock Area 1. The GOM Stock Area 1 is bounded on the east by the U.S./Canadian maritime boundary and straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

GOM Stock Area 1

PointN. latitudeW. longitude
G1(1)(1)
CII3(1)67°20
G642°2067°20
G1042°2070°00
G9(2)70°00

1The intersection of the shoreline and the U.S.-Canada maritime boundary.

2The intersection of the Cape Cod, MA, coastline and 70°00 W. long.

(ii) Inshore GB Stock Area 2. The inshore GB Stock Area is defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Inshore GB Stock Area 2

PointN. latitudeW. longitude
G9(1)70°00
G1042°2070°00
IGB142°2068°50
IGB241°0068°50
IGB341°0069°30
IGB441°1069°30
IGB541°1069°50
IGB641°2069°50
IGB741°2070°00
G12(2)70°00

1The intersection of the Cape Cod, MA, coastline and 70°00 W. long.

2South-facing shoreline of Cape Cod, MA.

(iii) Offshore GB Stock Area 3. The Offshore GB Stock Area 3 is bounded on the east by the U.S./Canadian maritime boundary and defined by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

Offshore GB Stock Area 3

PointN. latitudeW. longitude
IGB142°2068°50
G642°2067°20
CII3(1)67°20
SNE239°00(1)
SNE339°0069°00
SNE439°5069°00
SNE539°5068°50
IGB142°2068°50

1The U.S.-Canada maritime boundary as it intersects with the EEZ.

(iv) SNE/MA Stock Area 4. The SNE/MA Stock Area 4 is the area bounded on the north and west by the coastline of the United States, bounded on the south by a line running from the east-facing coastline of North Carolina at 35° N. lat. until its intersection with the EEZ, and bounded on the east by straight lines connecting the following points in the order stated:

SNE/MA Stock Area 4

PointN. latitudeW. longitude
G12(1)70°00
IGB741°2070°00
IGB641°2069°50
IGB541°1069°50
IGB441°1069°30
IGB341°0069°30
IGB241°0068°50
SNE439°5068°50
SNE339°5069°00
SNE539°0069°00
SNE639°00(2)

1South-facing shoreline of Cape Cod, MA.

2The U.S.-Canada maritime boundary as it intersects with the EEZ.

(l) [Reserved]

(m) Atlantic herring VMS notification requirements. (1) A vessel issued a Limited Access Herring Permit or an Areas 2/3 Open Access Herring Permit intending to declare into the herring fishery or a vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit and intending to declare an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS must notify NMFS by declaring a herring trip with the appropriate gear code prior to leaving port at the start of each trip in order to harvest, possess, or land herring on that trip.

(2) A vessel issued a Limited Access Herring Permit or an Areas 2/3 Open Access Herring Permit or a vessel that declared an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS must notify NMFS Office of Law Enforcement through VMS of the time and place of offloading at least 6 hr prior to landing or, if fishing ends less than 6 hours before landing, as soon as the vessel stops catching fish. The Regional Administrator may adjust the prior notification minimum time through publication of a document in the Federal Register consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(n) Limited access Atlantic mackerel VMS notification requirements. (1) A vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit intending to declare into the mackerel fishery must notify NMFS by declaring a mackerel trip prior to leaving port at the start of each trip in order to harvest, possess, or land mackerel on that trip.

(2) A vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit intending to land more than 20,000 lb (9.07 mt) of mackerel must notify NMFS of the time and place of offloading at least 6 hr prior prior to arrival, or, if fishing ends less than 6 hours before arrival, immediately upon leaving the fishing grounds. The Regional Administrator may adjust the prior notification minimum time through publication in the Federal Register consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(o) Longfin squid VMS notification requirement. A vessel issued a Tier 1 or Tier 2 longfin squid moratorium permit intending to harvest, possess, or land more than 2,500 lb (1.13 mt) of longfin squid on that trip must notify NMFS by declaring a longfin squid trip before leaving port at the start of each trip.

(p) Illex squid VMS notification requirement. A vessel issued an Illex squid moratorium permit intending to harvest, possess, or land 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) or more of Illex squid on that trip must notify NMFS by declaring an Illex squid trip before leaving port at the start of each trip.

[74 FR 20530, May 4, 2009]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §648.10, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§648.11   Monitoring coverage.

(a) Coverage. The Regional Administrator may request any vessel holding a permit for Atlantic sea scallops, NE multispecies, monkfish, skates, Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, scup, black sea bass, bluefish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic herring, tilefish, Atlantic surfclam, ocean quahog, or Atlantic deep-sea red crab; or a moratorium permit for summer flounder; to carry a NMFS-certified fisheries observer. A vessel holding a permit for Atlantic sea scallops is subject to the additional requirements specified in paragraph (k) of this section. A vessel holding an All Areas or Areas 23 Limited Access Herring Permit is subject to the additional requirements specified in paragraph (m) of this section. Also, any vessel or vessel owner/operator that fishes for, catches or lands hagfish, or intends to fish for, catch, or land hagfish in or from the exclusive economic zone must carry a NMFS-certified fisheries observer when requested by the Regional Administrator in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(b) Facilitating coverage. If requested by the Regional Administrator or their designees, including NMFS-certified observers, monitors, and NMFS staff, to be sampled by an observer or monitor, it is the responsibility of the vessel owner or vessel operator to arrange for and facilitate observer or monitor placement. Owners or operators of vessels selected for observer or monitor coverage must notify the appropriate monitoring service provider before commencing any fishing trip that may result in the harvest of resources of the respective fishery. Notification procedures will be specified in selection letters to vessel owners or permit holder letters.

(c) Safety waivers. The Regional Administrator may waive the requirement to be sampled by an observer or monitor if the facilities on a vessel for housing the observer or monitor, or for carrying out observer or monitor functions, are so inadequate or unsafe that the health or safety of the observer or monitor, or the safe operation of the vessel, would be jeopardized.

(d) Vessel requirements associated with coverage. An owner or operator of a vessel on which a NMFS-certified observer or monitor is embarked must:

(1) Provide accommodations and food that are equivalent to those provided to the crew.

(2) Allow the observer or monitor access to and use of the vessel's communications equipment and personnel upon request for the transmission and receipt of messages related to the observer's or monitor's duties.

(3) Provide true vessel locations, by latitude and longitude or loran coordinates, as requested by the observer or monitor, and allow the observer or monitor access to and use of the vessel's navigation equipment and personnel upon request to determine the vessel's position.

(4) Notify the observer or monitor in a timely fashion of when fishing operations are to begin and end.

(5) Allow for the embarking and debarking of the observer or monitor, as specified by the Regional Administrator, ensuring that transfers of observers or monitors at sea are accomplished in a safe manner, via small boat or raft, during daylight hours as weather and sea conditions allow, and with the agreement of the observers or monitors involved.

(6) Allow the observer or monitor free and unobstructed access to the vessel's bridge, working decks, holding bins, weight scales, holds, and any other space used to hold, process, weigh, or store fish.

(7) Allow the observer or monitor to inspect and copy any the vessel's log, communications log, and records associated with the catch and distribution of fish for that trip.

(e) Vessel requirements associated with protected species. The owner or operator of a vessel issued a summer flounder moratorium permit, a scup moratorium permit, a black sea bass moratorium permit, a bluefish permit, a spiny dogfish permit, an Atlantic herring permit, an Atlantic deep-sea red crab permit, a skate permit, or a tilefish permit, if requested by the observer or monitor, also must:

(1) Notify the observer or monitor of any sea turtles, marine mammals, summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, bluefish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic herring, Atlantic deep-sea red crab, tilefish, skates (including discards) or other specimens taken by the vessel.

(2) Provide the observer or monitor with sea turtles, marine mammals, summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, bluefish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic herring, Atlantic deep-sea red crab, skates, tilefish, or other specimens taken by the vessel.

(f) Coverage funded from outside sources. NMFS may accept observer or monitor coverage funded by outside sources if:

(1) All coverage conducted by such observers or monitors is determined by NMFS to be in compliance with NMFS' observer or monitor guidelines and procedures.

(2) The owner or operator of the vessel complies with all other provisions of this part.

(3) The observer or monitor is approved by the Regional Administrator.

(g) Industry-funded monitoring programs. Fishery management plans (FMPs) managed by the New England Fishery Management Council (New England Council), including Atlantic Herring, Atlantic Salmon, Atlantic Sea Scallops, Deep-Sea Red Crab, Northeast Multispecies, and Northeast Skate Complex, may include industry-funded monitoring programs (IFM) to supplement existing monitoring required by the Standard Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM), Endangered Species Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. IFM programs may use observers, monitors, including at-sea monitors and portside samplers, and electronic monitoring to meet specified IFM coverage targets. The ability to meet IFM coverage targets may be constrained by the availability of Federal funding to pay NMFS cost responsibilities associated with IFM.

(1) Guiding principles for new IFM programs. The Council's development of an IFM program must consider or include the following:

(i) A clear need or reason for the data collection;

(ii) Objective design criteria;

(iii) Cost of data collection should not diminish net benefits to the nation nor threaten continued existence of the fishery;

(iv) Seek less data intensive methods to collect data necessary to assure conservation and sustainability when assessing and managing fisheries with minimal profit margins;

(v) Prioritize the use of modern technology to the extent practicable; and

(vi) Incentives for reliable self-reporting.

(2) Process to implement and revise new IFM programs. New IFM programs shall be developed via an amendment to a specific FMP. IFM programs implemented in an FMP may be revised via a framework adjustment. The details of an IFM program may include, but are not limited to:

(i) Level and type of coverage target;

(ii) Rationale for level and type of coverage;

(iii) Minimum level of coverage necessary to meet coverage goals;

(iv) Consideration of waivers if coverage targets cannot be met;

(v) Process for vessel notification and selection;

(vi) Cost collection and administration;

(vii) Standards for monitoring service providers; and

(viii) Any other measures necessary to implement the industry-funded monitoring program.

(3) NMFS cost responsibilities. IFM programs have two types of costs, NMFS and industry costs. Cost responsibilities are delineated by the type of cost. NMFS cost responsibilities include the following:

(i) The labor and facilities associated with training and debriefing of monitors;

(ii) NMFS-issued gear (e.g., electronic reporting aids used by human monitors to record trip information);

(iii) Certification of monitoring service providers and individual observers or monitors; performance monitoring to maintain certificates;

(iv) Developing and executing vessel selection;

(v) Data processing (including electronic monitoring video audit, but excluding service provider electronic video review); and

(vi) Costs associated with liaison activities between service providers, and NMFS, Coast Guard, New England Council, sector managers, and other partners.

(vii) The industry is responsible for all other costs associated with IFM programs.

(4) Prioritization process to cover NMFS IFM cost responsibilities. (i) Available Federal funding refers to any funds in excess of those allocated to meet SBRM requirements or the existing IFM programs in the Atlantic Sea Scallop and Northeast Multispecies FMPs that may be used to cover NMFS cost responsibilities associated with IFM coverage targets. If there is no available Federal funding in a given year to cover NMFS IFM cost responsibilities, then there shall be no IFM coverage during that year. If there is some available Federal funding in a given year, but not enough to cover all of NMFS cost responsibilities associated with IFM coverage targets, then the New England Council will prioritize available Federal funding across IFM programs during that year. Existing IFM programs for Atlantic sea scallops and Northeast multispecies fisheries shall not be included in this prioritization process.

(ii) Programs with IFM coverage targets shall be prioritized using an equal weighting approach, such that any available Federal funding shall be divided equally among programs.

(iii) After NMFS determines the amount of available Federal funding for the next fishing year, NMFS shall provide the New England Council with the estimated IFM coverage levels for the next fishing year. The estimated IFM coverage levels would be based on the equal weighting approach and would include the rationale for any deviations from the equal weighting approach. The New England Council may recommend revisions and additional considerations to the Regional Administrator and Science and Research Director.

(A) If available Federal funding exceeds that needed to pay all of NMFS cost responsibilities for administering IFM programs, the New England Council may request NMFS to use available funding to help offset industry cost responsibilities through reimbursement.

(B) [Reserved]

(iv) Revisions to the prioritization process may be made via a framework adjustment to all New England FMPs.

(v) Revisions to the weighting approach for the New England Council-led prioritization process may be made via a framework adjustment to all New England FMPs or by the New England Council considering a new weighting approach at a public meeting, where public comment is accepted, and requesting NMFS to publish a notice or rulemaking revising the weighting approach. NMFS shall implement revisions to the weighting approach in a manner consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(5) IFM program monitoring service provider requirements. IFM monitoring service provider requirements shall be consistent with requirements in paragraph (h) of this section and observer or monitor requirements shall be consistent with requirements in paragraph (i) of this section.

(6) Monitoring set-aside. The New England Council may develop a monitoring set-aside program for individual FMPs that would devote a portion of the annual catch limit for a fishery to help offset the industry cost responsibilities for monitoring coverage, including observers, at-sea monitors, portside samplers, and electronic monitoring.

(i) The details of a monitoring set-aside program may include, but are not limited to:

(A) The basis for the monitoring set-aside;

(B) The amount of the set-aside (e.g., quota, days at sea);

(C) How the set-aside is allocated to vessels required to pay for monitoring (e.g., an increased trip limit, differential days at sea counting, additional trips, an allocation of the quota);

(D) The process for vessel notification;

(E) How funds are collected and administered to cover the industry's costs of monitoring; and

(F) Any other measures necessary to develop and implement a monitoring set-aside.

(ii) The New England Council may develop new monitoring set-asides and revise those monitoring set-asides via a framework adjustment to the relevant FMP.

(h) Monitoring service provider approval and responsibilities—(1) General. An entity seeking to provide monitoring services, including services for IFM Programs described in paragraph (g) of this section, must apply for and obtain approval from NMFS following submission of a complete application. Monitoring services include providing NMFS-certified observers, monitors (at-sea monitors and portside samplers), and/or electronic monitoring. A list of approved monitoring service providers shall be distributed to vessel owners and shall be posted on the NMFS Fisheries Sampling Branch (FSB) website at: https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/femad/fsb/.

(2) [Reserved]

(3) Contents of application. An application to become an approved monitoring service provider shall contain the following:

(i) Identification of the management, organizational structure, and ownership structure of the applicant's business, including identification by name and general function of all controlling management interests in the company, including but not limited to owners, board members, officers, authorized agents, and staff. If the applicant is a corporation, the articles of incorporation must be provided. If the applicant is a partnership, the partnership agreement must be provided.

(ii) The permanent mailing address, phone and fax numbers where the owner(s) can be contacted for official correspondence, and the current physical location, business mailing address, business telephone and fax numbers, and business email address for each office.

(iii) A statement, signed under penalty of perjury, from each owner or owners, board members, and officers, if a corporation, that they are free from a conflict of interest as described under paragraph (h)(6) of this section.

(iv) A statement, signed under penalty of perjury, from each owner or owners, board members, and officers, if a corporation, describing any criminal conviction(s), Federal contract(s) they have had and the performance rating they received on the contracts, and previous decertification action(s) while working as an observer or monitor or monitoring service provider.

(v) A description of any prior experience the applicant may have in placing individuals in remote field and/or marine work environments. This includes, but is not limited to, recruiting, hiring, deployment, and personnel administration.

(vi) A description of the applicant's ability to carry out the responsibilities and duties of a monitoring service provider as set out under paragraph (h)(5) of this section, and the arrangements to be used.

(vii) Evidence of holding adequate insurance to cover injury, liability, and accidental death for observers or monitors, whether contracted or employed by the service provider, during their period of employment (including during training). Workers' Compensation and Maritime Employer's Liability insurance must be provided to cover the observer or monitor, vessel owner, and observer provider. The minimum coverage required is $5 million. Monitoring service providers shall provide copies of the insurance policies to observers or monitors to display to the vessel owner, operator, or vessel manager, when requested.

(viii) Proof that its observers or monitors, whether contracted or employed by the service provider, are compensated with salaries that meet or exceed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines for observers. Observers shall be compensated as Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) non-exempt employees. Monitoring service providers shall provide any other benefits and personnel services in accordance with the terms of each observer's or monitor's contract or employment status.

(ix) The names of its fully equipped, NMFS/FSB certified, observers or monitors on staff or a list of its training candidates (with resumes) and a request for an appropriate NMFS/FSB Training class. All training classes have a minimum class size of eight individuals, which may be split among multiple vendors requesting training. Requests for training classes with fewer than eight individuals will be delayed until further requests make up the full training class size.

(x) An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) describing its response to an “at sea” emergency with an observer or monitor, including, but not limited to, personal injury, death, harassment, or intimidation. An EAP that details a monitoring service provider's responses to emergencies involving observers, monitors, or monitoring service provider personnel. The EAP shall include communications protocol and appropriate contact information in an emergency.

(4) Application evaluation. (i) NMFS shall review and evaluate each application submitted under paragraph (h)(3) of this section. Issuance of approval as a monitoring service provider shall be based on completeness of the application, and a determination by NMFS of the applicant's ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of a monitoring service provider, as demonstrated in the application information. A decision to approve or deny an application shall be made by NMFS within 15 business days of receipt of the application by NMFS.

(ii) If NMFS approves the application, the monitoring service provider's name will be added to the list of approved monitoring service providers found on the NMFS/FSB website specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, and in any outreach information to the industry. Approved monitoring service providers shall be notified in writing and provided with any information pertinent to its participation in the observer or monitor programs.

(iii) An application shall be denied if NMFS determines that the information provided in the application is not complete or the evaluation criteria are not met. NMFS shall notify the applicant in writing of any deficiencies in the application or information submitted in support of the application. An applicant who receives a denial of his or her application may present additional information to rectify the deficiencies specified in the written denial, provided such information is submitted to NMFS within 30 days of the applicant's receipt of the denial notification from NMFS. In the absence of additional information, and after 30 days from an applicant's receipt of a denial, a monitoring service provider is required to resubmit an application containing all of the information required under the application process specified in paragraph (h)(3) of this section to be re-considered for being added to the list of approved monitoring service providers.

(5) Responsibilities of monitoring service providers—(i) Certified observers or monitors. A monitoring service provider must provide observers or monitors certified by NMFS/FSB pursuant to paragraph (i) of this section for deployment in a fishery when contacted and contracted by the owner, operator, or vessel manager of a fishing vessel, unless the monitoring service provider refuses to deploy an observer or monitor on a requesting vessel for any of the reasons specified at paragraph (h)(5)(viii) of this section.

(ii) Support for observers or monitors. A monitoring service provider must provide to each of its observers or monitors:

(A) All necessary transportation, lodging costs and support for arrangements and logistics of travel for observers and monitors to and from the initial location of deployment, to all subsequent vessel assignments, to any debriefing locations, and for appearances in Court for monitoring-related trials as necessary;

(B) Lodging, per diem, and any other services necessary for observers or monitors assigned to a fishing vessel or to attend an appropriate NMFS/FSB training class;

(C) The required observer or monitor equipment, in accordance with equipment requirements listed on the NMFS/FSB website specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section, prior to any deployment and/or prior to NMFS observer or monitor certification training; and

(D) Individually assigned communication equipment, in working order, such as a mobile phone, for all necessary communication. A monitoring service provider may alternatively compensate observers or monitors for the use of the observer's or monitor's personal mobile phone, or other device, for communications made in support of, or necessary for, the observer's or monitor's duties.

(iii) Observer and monitor deployment logistics. Each approved monitoring service provider must assign an available certified observer or monitor to a vessel upon request. Each approved monitoring service provider must be accessible 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to enable an owner, operator, or manager of a vessel to secure monitoring coverage when requested. The telephone or other notification system must be monitored a minimum of four times daily to ensure rapid response to industry requests. Monitoring service providers approved under this paragraph (h) are required to report observer or monitor deployments to NMFS for the purpose of determining whether the predetermined coverage levels are being achieved in the appropriate fishery.

(iv) Observer deployment limitations. (A) A candidate observer's first several deployments and the resulting data shall be immediately edited and approved after each trip by NMFS/FSB prior to any further deployments by that observer. If data quality is considered acceptable, the observer would be certified. For further information, see https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/training/.

(B) For the purpose of coverage to meet SBRM requirements, unless alternative arrangements are approved by NMFS, a monitoring service provider must not deploy any NMFS-certified observer on the same vessel for more than two consecutive multi-day trips, and not more than twice in any given month for multi-day deployments.

(C) For the purpose of coverage to meet IFM requirements, a monitoring service provider may deploy any NMFS-certified observer or monitor on the same vessel for more than two consecutive multi-day trips and more than twice in any given month for multi-day deployments.

(v) Communications with observers and monitors. A monitoring service provider must have an employee responsible for observer or monitor activities on call 24 hours a day to handle emergencies involving observers or monitors or problems concerning observer or monitor logistics, whenever observers or monitors are at sea, stationed portside, in transit, or in port awaiting vessel assignment.

(vi) Observer and monitor training requirements. A request for a NMFS/FSB Observer or Monitor Training class must be submitted to NMFS/FSB 45 calendar days in advance of the requested training. The following information must be submitted to NMFS/FSB at least 15 business days prior to the beginning of the proposed training: A list of observer or monitor candidates; candidate resumes, cover letters and academic transcripts; and a statement signed by the candidate, under penalty of perjury, that discloses the candidate's criminal convictions, if any. A medical report certified by a physician for each candidate is required 7 business days prior to the first day of training. CPR/First Aid certificates and a final list of training candidates with candidate contact information (email, phone, number, mailing address and emergency contact information) are due 7 business days prior to the first day of training. NMFS may reject a candidate for training if the candidate does not meet the minimum qualification requirements as outlined by NMFS/FSB minimum eligibility standards for observers or monitors as described on the NMFS/FSB website.

(vii) Reports and Requirements—(A) Deployment reports. The monitoring service provider must report to NMFS/FSB when, where, to whom, and to what vessel an observer or monitor has been deployed, as soon as practicable, and according to requirements outlined on the NMFS/FSB website. The deployment report must be available and accessible to NMFS electronically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The monitoring service provider must ensure that the observer or monitor reports to NMFS the required electronic data, as described in the NMFS/FSB training. Electronic data submission protocols will be outlined in training and may include accessing government websites via personal computers/devices or submitting data through government issued electronics. The monitoring service provider shall provide the raw (unedited) data collected by the observer or monitor to NMFS at the specified time per program. For further information, see https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/         scallop/.

(B) Safety refusals. The monitoring service provider must report to NMFS any trip or landing that has been refused due to safety issues (e.g., failure to hold a valid USCG Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Examination Decal or to meet the safety requirements of the observer's or monitor's safety checklist) within 12 hours of the refusal.

(C) Biological samples. The monitoring service provider must ensure that biological samples, including whole marine mammals, sea turtles, sea birds, and fin clips or other DNA samples, are stored/handled properly and transported to NMFS within 5 days of landing. If transport to NMFS/FSB Observer Training Facility is not immediately available then whole animals requiring freezing shall be received by the nearest NMFS freezer facility within 24 hours of vessel landing.

(D) Debriefing. The monitoring service provider must ensure that the observer or monitor remains available to NMFS, either in-person or via phone, at NMFS' discretion, including NMFS Office for Law Enforcement, for debriefing for at least 2 weeks following any monitored trip. If requested by NMFS, an observer or monitor that is at sea during the 2-week period must contact NMFS upon his or her return. Monitoring service providers must pay for travel and land hours for any requested debriefings.

(E) Availability report. The monitoring service provider must report to NMFS any occurrence of inability to respond to an industry request for observer or monitor coverage due to the lack of available observers or monitors as soon as practicable if the provider is unable to respond to an industry request for monitoring coverage. Availability report must be available and accessible to NMFS electronically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

(F) Incident reports. The monitoring service provider must report possible observer or monitor harassment, discrimination, concerns about vessel safety or marine casualty, or observer or monitor illness or injury; and any information, allegations, or reports regarding observer or monitor conflict of interest or breach of the standards of behavior, to NMFS/FSB within 12 hours of the event or within 12 hours of learning of the event.

(G) Status report. The monitoring service provider must provide NMFS/FSB with an updated list of contact information for all observers or monitors that includes the identification number, name, mailing address, email address, phone numbers, homeports or fisheries/trip types assigned, and must include whether or not the observer or monitor is “in service,” indicating when the observer or monitor has requested leave and/or is not currently working for an industry-funded program. Any Federally contracted NMFS-certified observer not actively deployed on a vessel for 30 days will be placed on Leave of Absence (LOA) status (or as specified by NMFS/FSB according to most recent Information Technology Security Guidelines at https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/memos/. Those Federally contracted NMFS-certified observers on LOA for 90 days or more will need to conduct an exit interview with NMFS/FSB and return any NMFS/FSB issued gear and Common Access Card (CAC), unless alternative arrangements are approved by NMFS/FSB. NMFS/FSB requires 2-week advance notification when a Federally contracted NMFS-certified observer is leaving the program so that an exit interview may be arranged and gear returned.

(H) Vessel contract. The monitoring service provider must submit to NMFS/FSB, if requested, a copy of each type of signed and valid contract (including all attachments, appendices, addendums, and exhibits incorporated into the contract) between the monitoring service provider and those entities requiring monitoring services.

(I) Observer and monitor contract. The monitoring service provider must submit to NMFS/FSB, if requested, a copy of each type of signed and valid contract (including all attachments, appendices, addendums, and exhibits incorporated into the contract) between the monitoring service provider and specific observers or monitors.

(J) Additional information. The monitoring service provider must submit to NMFS/FSB, if requested, copies of any information developed and/or used by the monitoring service provider and distributed to vessels, observers, or monitors, such as informational pamphlets, payment notification, daily rate of monitoring services, description of observer or monitor duties, etc.

(viii) Refusal to deploy an observer or monitor. (A) A monitoring service provider may refuse to deploy an observer or monitor on a requesting fishing vessel if the monitoring service provider does not have an available observer or monitor within the required time and must report all refusals to NMFS/FSB.

(B) A monitoring service provider may refuse to deploy an observer or monitor on a requesting fishing vessel if the monitoring service provider has determined that the requesting vessel is inadequate or unsafe pursuant to the reasons described at §600.746.

(C) The monitoring service provider may refuse to deploy an observer or monitor on a fishing vessel that is otherwise eligible to carry an observer or monitor for any other reason, including failure to pay for previous monitoring deployments, provided the monitoring service provider has received prior written confirmation from NMFS authorizing such refusal.

(6) Limitations on conflict of interest. A monitoring service provider:

(i) Must not have a direct or indirect interest in a fishery managed under Federal regulations, including, but not limited to, a fishing vessel, fish dealer, and/or fishery advocacy group (other than providing monitoring services);

(ii) Must assign observers or monitors without regard to any preference by representatives of vessels other than when an observer or monitor will be deployed for the trip that was selected for coverage; and

(iii) Must not solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gratuity, gift, favor, entertainment, loan, or anything of monetary value from anyone who conducts fishing or fishing related activities that are regulated by NMFS, or who has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the official duties of monitoring service providers.

(7) Removal of monitoring service provider from the list of approved service providers. A monitoring service provider that fails to meet the requirements, conditions, and responsibilities specified in paragraphs (h)(5) and (6) of this section shall be notified by NMFS, in writing, that it is subject to removal from the list of approved monitoring service providers. Such notification shall specify the reasons for the pending removal. A monitoring service provider that has received notification that it is subject to removal from the list of approved monitoring service providers may submit written information to rebut the reasons for removal from the list. Such rebuttal must be submitted within 30 days of notification received by the monitoring service provider that the monitoring service provider is subject to removal and must be accompanied by written evidence rebutting the basis for removal. NMFS shall review information rebutting the pending removal and shall notify the monitoring service provider within 15 days of receipt of the rebuttal whether or not the removal is warranted. If no response to a pending removal is received by NMFS, the monitoring service provider shall be automatically removed from the list of approved monitoring service providers. The decision to remove the monitoring service provider from the list, either after reviewing a rebuttal, or if no rebuttal is submitted, shall be the final decision of NMFS and the Department of Commerce. Removal from the list of approved monitoring service providers does not necessarily prevent such monitoring service provider from obtaining an approval in the future if a new application is submitted that demonstrates that the reasons for removal are remedied. Certified observers and monitors under contract with observer monitoring service provider that has been removed from the list of approved service providers must complete their assigned duties for any fishing trips on which the observers or monitors are deployed at the time the monitoring service provider is removed from the list of approved monitoring service providers. A monitoring service provider removed from the list of approved monitoring service providers is responsible for providing NMFS with the information required in paragraph (h)(5)(vii) of this section following completion of the trip. NMFS may consider, but is not limited to, the following in determining if a monitoring service provider may remain on the list of approved monitoring service providers:

(i) Failure to meet the requirements, conditions, and responsibilities of monitoring service providers specified in paragraphs (h)(5) and (6) of this section;

(ii) Evidence of conflict of interest as defined under paragraph (h)(6) of this section;

(iii) Evidence of criminal convictions related to:

(A) Embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property; or

(B) The commission of any other crimes of dishonesty, as defined by state law or Federal law, that would seriously and directly affect the fitness of an applicant in providing monitoring services under this section; and

(iv) Unsatisfactory performance ratings on any Federal contracts held by the applicant; and

(v) Evidence of any history of decertification as either an observer, monitor, or monitoring service provider.

(i) Observer or monitor certification—(1) Requirements. To be certified, employees or sub-contractors operating as observers or monitors for monitoring service providers approved under paragraph (h) of this section. In addition, observers must meet NMFS National Minimum Eligibility Standards for observers specified at the National Observer Program website: https://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/op/pds/categories/scienceandtechnology.html. For further information, see https://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/observer-home/.

(2) Observer or monitor training. In order to be deployed on any fishing vessel, a candidate observer or monitor must have passed an appropriate NMFS/FSB Observer Training course and must adhere to all NMFS/FSB program standards and policies (refer to website for program standards, https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/training/). If a candidate fails training, the candidate and monitoring service provider shall be notified immediately by NMFS/FSB. Observer training may include an observer training trip, as part of the observer's training, aboard a fishing vessel with a trainer. Refer to the NMFS/FSB website for the required number of program specific observer and monitor training certification trips for full certification following training, https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/fsb/training/.

(3) Observer requirements. All observers must:

(i) Have a valid NMFS/FSB fisheries observer certification pursuant to paragraph (i)(1) of this section;

(ii) Be physically and mentally capable of carrying out the responsibilities of an observer on board fishing vessels, pursuant to standards established by NMFS. Such standards are available from NMFS/FSB website specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section and shall be provided to each approved monitoring service provider;

(iii) Have successfully completed all NMFS-required training and briefings for observers before deployment, pursuant to paragraph (i)(2) of this section;

(iv) Hold a current Red Cross (or equivalence) CPR/First Aid certification;

(v) Accurately record their sampling data, write complete reports, and report accurately any observations relevant to conservation of marine resources or their environment; and

(vi) Report unsafe sampling conditions, pursuant to paragraph (m)(6) of this section.

(4) Monitor requirements. All monitors must:

(i) Hold a high school diploma or legal equivalent;

(ii) Have a valid NMFS/FSB certification pursuant to paragraph (i)(1) of this section;

(iii) Be physically and mentally capable of carrying out the responsibilities of a monitor on board fishing vessels, pursuant to standards established by NMFS. Such standards are available from NMFS/FSB website specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section and shall be provided to each approved monitoring service provider;

(iv) Have successfully completed all NMFS-required training and briefings for monitors before deployment, pursuant to paragraph (i)(2) of this section;

(v) Hold a current Red Cross (or equivalence) CPR/First Aid certification if the monitor is to be employed as an at-sea monitor;

(vi) Accurately record their sampling data, write complete reports, and report accurately any observations relevant to conservation of marine resources or their environment; and

(vii) Report unsafe sampling conditions, pursuant to paragraph (m)(6) of this section.

(5) Probation and decertification. NMFS may review observer and monitor certifications and issue observer and monitor certification probation and/or decertification as described in NMFS policy found on the NMFS/FSB website specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this section.

(6) Issuance of decertification. Upon determination that decertification is warranted under paragraph (i)(5) of this section, NMFS shall issue a written decision to decertify the observer or monitor to the observer or monitor and approved monitoring service providers via certified mail at the observer's or monitor's most current address provided to NMFS. The decision shall identify whether a certification is revoked and shall identify the specific reasons for the action taken. Decertification is effective immediately as of the date of issuance, unless the decertification official notes a compelling reason for maintaining certification for a specified period and under specified conditions. Decertification is the final decision of NMFS and the Department of Commerce and may not be appealed.

(j) Coverage. In the event that a vessel is requested by the Regional Administrator to carry a NMFS-certified fisheries observer pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section and is also selected to carry an at-sea monitor as part of an approved sector at-sea monitoring program specified in §648.87(b)(1)(v) for the same trip, only the NMFS-certified fisheries observer is required to go on that particular trip.

(k) Atlantic sea scallop observer program—(1) General. Unless otherwise specified, owners, operators, and/or managers of vessels issued a Federal scallop permit under §648.4(a)(2), and specified in paragraph (a) of this section, must comply with this section and are jointly and severally responsible for their vessel's compliance with this section. To facilitate the deployment of at-sea observers, all sea scallop vessels issued limited access and LAGC IFQ permits are required to comply with the additional notification requirements specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section. When NMFS notifies the vessel owner, operator, and/or manager of any requirement to carry an observer on a specified trip in either an Access Area or Open Area as specified in paragraph (k)(3) of this section, the vessel may not fish for, take, retain, possess, or land any scallops without carrying an observer. Vessels may only embark on a scallop trip in open areas or Access Areas without an observer if the vessel owner, operator, and/or manager has been notified that the vessel has received a waiver of the observer requirement for that trip pursuant to paragraphs (k)(3) and (k)(4)(ii) of this section.

(2) Vessel notification procedures—(i) Limited access vessels. Limited access vessel owners, operators, or managers shall notify NMFS/FSB by telephone not more than 10 days prior to the beginning of any scallop trip of the time, port of departure, open area or specific Sea Scallop Access Area to be fished, and whether fishing as a scallop dredge, scallop trawl, or general category vessel.

(ii) LAGC IFQ vessels. LAGC IFQ vessel owners, operators, or managers must notify the NMFS/FSB by telephone by 0001 hr of the Thursday preceding the week (Sunday through Saturday) that they intend to start any open area or access area scallop trip and must include the port of departure, open area or specific Sea Scallop Access Area to be fished, and whether fishing as a scallop dredge, scallop trawl vessel. If selected, up to two trips that start during the specified week (Sunday through Saturday) can be selected to be covered by an observer. NMFS/FSB must be notified by the owner, operator, or vessel manager of any trip plan changes at least 48 hr prior to vessel departure.

(3) Selection of scallop trips for observer coverage. Based on predetermined coverage levels for various permit categories and areas of the scallop fishery that are provided by NMFS in writing to all observer service providers approved pursuant to paragraph (h) of this section, NMFS shall notify the vessel owner, operator, or vessel manager whether the vessel must carry an observer, or if a waiver has been granted, for the specified scallop trip, within 24 hr of the vessel owner's, operator's, or vessel manager's notification of the prospective scallop trip, as specified in paragraph (k)(2) of this section. Any request to carry an observer may be waived by NMFS. All waivers for observer coverage shall be issued to the vessel by VMS so as to have on-board verification of the waiver. A vessel may not fish in an area with an observer waiver confirmation number that does not match the scallop trip plan that was called in to NMFS. Confirmation numbers for trip notification calls are only valid for 48 hr from the intended sail date.

(4) Procurement of observer services by scallop vessels. (i) An owner of a scallop vessel required to carry an observer under paragraph (k)(3) of this section must arrange for carrying an observer certified through the observer training class operated by the NMFS/FSB from an observer service provider approved by NMFS under paragraph (h) of this section. The owner, operator, or vessel manager of a vessel selected to carry an observer must contact the observer service provider and must provide at least 48-hr notice in advance of the fishing trip for the provider to arrange for observer deployment for the specified trip. The observer service provider will notify the vessel owner, operator, or manager within 18 hr whether they have an available observer. A list of approved observer service providers shall be posted on the NMFS/FSB website at https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/femad/fsb/. The observer service provider may take up to 48 hr to arrange for observer deployment for the specified scallop trip.

(ii) An owner, operator, or vessel manager of a vessel that cannot procure a certified observer within 48 hr of the advance notification to the provider due to the unavailability of an observer may request a waiver from NMFS/FSB from the requirement for observer coverage for that trip, but only if the owner, operator, or vessel manager has contacted all of the available observer service providers to secure observer coverage and no observer is available. NMFS/FSB shall issue such a waiver within 24 hr, if the conditions of this paragraph (g)(4)(ii) are met. A vessel may not begin the trip without being issued a waiver.

(5) Cost of coverage. Owners of scallop vessels shall be responsible for paying the cost of the observer for all scallop trips on which an observer is carried onboard the vessel, regardless of whether the vessel lands or sells sea scallops on that trip, and regardless of the availability of set-aside for an increased possession limit or reduced DAS accrual rate. The owners of vessels that carry an observer may be compensated with a reduced DAS accrual rate for open area scallop trips or additional scallop catch per day in Sea Scallop Access Areas or additional catch per open area or access area trip for LAGC IFQ trips in order to help defray the cost of the observer, under the program specified in §§648.53 and 648.60.

(i) Observer service providers shall establish the daily rate for observer coverage on a scallop vessel on an Access Area trip or open area DAS or IFQ scallop trip consistent with paragraphs (k)(5)(i)(A) and (B), respectively, of this section.

(A) Access Area trips. (1) For purposes of determining the daily rate for an observed scallop trip on a limited access vessel in a Sea Scallop Access Area when that specific Access Area's observer set-aside specified in §648.60(d)(1) has not been fully utilized, a service provider may charge a vessel owner for no more than the time an observer boards a vessel until the vessel disembarks (dock to dock), where “day” is defined as a 24-hr period, or any portion of a 24-hr period, regardless of the calendar day. For example, if a vessel with an observer departs on July 1 at 10 p.m. and lands on July 3 at 1 a.m., the time at sea equals 27 hr, which would equate to 2 full “days.”

(2) For purposes of determining the daily rate in a specific Sea Scallop Access Area for an observed scallop trip on a limited access vessel taken after NMFS has announced the industry-funded observer set-aside in that specific Access Area has been fully utilized, a service provider may charge a vessel owner for no more than the time an observer boards a vessel until the vessel disembarks (dock to dock), where “day” is defined as a 24-hr period, and portions of the other days would be pro-rated at an hourly charge (taking the daily rate divided by 24). For example, if a vessel with an observer departs on July 1 at 10 p.m. and lands on July 3 at 1 a.m., the time spent at sea equals 27 hr, which would equate to 1 day and 3 hr.

(3) For purposes of determining the daily rate in a specific Sea Scallop Access Area for observed scallop trips on an LAGC vessel, regardless of the status of the industry-funded observer set-aside, a service provider may charge a vessel owner for no more than the time an observer boards a vessel until the vessel disembarks (dock to dock), where “day” is defined as a 24-hr period, and portions of the other days would be pro-rated at an hourly charge (taking the daily rate divided by 24). For example, if a vessel with an observer departs on July 1 at 10 p.m. and lands on July 3 at 1 a.m., the time spent at sea equals 27 hr, which would equate to 1 day and 3 hr.

(B) Open area scallop trips. For purposes of determining the daily rate for an observed scallop trip for DAS or LAGC IFQ open area trips, regardless of the status of the industry-funded observer set-aside, a service provider shall charge dock to dock where “day” is defined as a 24-hr period, and portions of the other days would be pro-rated at an hourly charge (taking the daily rate divided by 24). For example, if a vessel with an observer departs on the July 1st at 10 p.m. and lands on July 3rd at 1 a.m., the time at sea equals 27 hr, so the provider would charge 1 day and 3 hr.

(ii) NMFS shall determine any reduced DAS accrual rate and the amount of additional pounds of scallops per day fished in a Sea Scallop Access Area or on an open area LAGC IFQ trips for the applicable fishing year based on the economic conditions of the scallop fishery, as determined by best available information. Vessel owners and observer service providers shall be notified through the Small Entity Compliance Guide of any DAS accrual rate changes and any changes in additional pounds of scallops determined by the Regional Administrator to be necessary. NMFS shall notify vessel owners and observer providers of any adjustments.

(iii) Owners of scallop vessels shall pay observer service providers for observer services within 45 days of the end of a fishing trip on which an observer deployed.

(6) Coverage and cost requirements. When the available DAS or TAC set-aside for observer coverage is exhausted, vessels shall still be required to carry an observer as specified in this section, and shall be responsible for paying for the cost of the observer, but shall not be authorized to harvest additional pounds or fish at a reduced DAS accrual rate.

(l) NE multispecies observer coverage—(1) Pre-trip notification. Unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (l), or notified by the Regional Administrator, the owner, operator, or manager of a vessel (i.e., vessel manager or sector manager) issued a limited access NE multispecies permit that is fishing under a NE multispecies DAS or on a sector trip, as defined in this part, must provide advanced notice to NMFS of the vessel name, permit number, and sector to which the vessel belongs, if applicable; contact name and telephone number for coordination of observer deployment; date, time, and port of departure; and the vessel's trip plan, including area to be fished, whether a monkfish DAS will be used, and gear type to be used at least 48 hr prior to departing port on any trip declared into the NE multispecies fishery pursuant to §648.10 or §648.85, as instructed by the Regional Administrator, for the purposes of selecting vessels for observer deployment. For trips lasting 48 hr or less in duration from the time the vessel leaves port to begin a fishing trip until the time the vessel returns to port upon the completion of the fishing trip, the vessel owner, operator, or manager may make a weekly notification rather than trip-by-trip calls. For weekly notifications, a vessel must notify NMFS by 0001 hr of the Friday preceding the week (Sunday through Saturday) that it intends to complete at least one NE multispecies DAS or sector trip during the following week and provide the date, time, port of departure, area to be fished, whether a monkfish DAS will be used, and gear type to be used for each trip during that week. Trip notification calls must be made no more than 10 days in advance of each fishing trip. The vessel owner, operator, or manager must notify NMFS of any trip plan changes at least 24 hr prior to vessel departure from port. A vessel may not begin the trip without being issued an observer notification or a waiver by NMFS.

(2) Vessel selection for observer coverage. NMFS shall notify the vessel owner, operator, or manager whether the vessel must carry an observer, or if a waiver has been granted, for the specified trip within 24 hr of the vessel owner's, operator's or manager's notification of the prospective trip, as specified in paragraph (l)(1) of this section. All trip notifications shall be issued a unique confirmation number. A vessel may not fish on a NE multispecies DAS or sector trip with an observer waiver confirmation number that does not match the trip plan that was called in to NMFS. Confirmation numbers for trip notification calls are valid for 48 hr from the intended sail date. If a trip is interrupted and returns to port due to bad weather or other circumstance beyond the operator's control, and goes back out within 48 hr, the same confirmation number and observer status remains. If the layover time is greater than 48 hr, a new trip notification must be made by the operator, owner, or manager of the vessel.

(3) NE multispecies monitoring program goals and objectives. Monitoring programs established for the NE multispecies are to be designed and evaluated consistent with the following goals and objectives:

(i) Improve documentation of catch:

(A) Determine total catch and effort, for each sector and common pool, of target or regulated species; and

(B) Achieve coverage level sufficient to minimize effects of potential monitoring bias to the extent possible while maintaining as much flexibility as possible to enhance fleet viability.

(ii) Reduce the cost of monitoring:

(A) Streamline data management and eliminate redundancy;

(B) Explore options for cost-sharing and deferment of cost to industry; and

(C) Recognize opportunity costs of insufficient monitoring.

(iii) Incentivize reducing discards:

(A) Determine discard rate by smallest possible strata while maintaining cost-effectiveness; and

(B) Collect information by gear type to accurately calculate discard rates.

(iv) Provide additional data streams for stock assessments:

(A) Reduce management and/or biological uncertainty; and

(B) Perform biological sampling if it may be used to enhance accuracy of mortality or recruitment calculations.

(v) Enhance safety of monitoring program.

(vi) Perform periodic review of monitoring program for effectiveness.

(m) [Reserved]

(n) Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish observer coverage—(1) Pre-trip notification. (i) A vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit, as specified at §648.4(a)(5)(iii), must, for the purposes of observer deployment, have a representative provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name, vessel permit number, contact name for coordination of observer deployment, telephone number or email address for contact; and the date, time, port of departure, gear type, and approximate trip duration, at least 48 hr, but no more than 10 days, prior to beginning any fishing trip, unless it complies with the possession restrictions in paragraph (n)(1)(iii) of this section.

(ii) A vessel that has a representative provide notification to NMFS as described in paragraph (n)(1)(i) of this section may only embark on a mackerel trip without an observer if a vessel representative has been notified by NMFS that the vessel has received a waiver of the observer requirement for that trip. NMFS shall notify a vessel representative whether the vessel must carry an observer, or if a waiver has been granted, for the specific mackerel trip, within 24 hr of the vessel representative's notification of the prospective mackerel trip, as specified in paragraph (n)(1)(i) of this section. Any request to carry an observer may be waived by NMFS. A vessel that fishes with an observer waiver confirmation number that does not match the mackerel trip plan that was called in to NMFS is prohibited from fishing for, possessing, harvesting, or landing mackerel except as specified in paragraph (n)(1)(iii) of this section. Confirmation numbers for trip notification calls are only valid for 48 hr from the intended sail date.

(iii) A vessel issued a limited access mackerel permit, as specified in §648.4(a)(5)(iii), that does not have a representative provide the trip notification required in paragraph (n)(1)(i) of this section is prohibited from fishing for, possessing, harvesting, or landing more than 20,000 lb (9.07 mt) of mackerel per trip at any time, and may only land mackerel once on any calendar day, which is defined as the 24-hr period beginning at 0001 hours and ending at 2400 hours.

(iv) If a vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit, as specified in §648.4(a)(5)(iii), intends to possess, harvest, or land more than 20,000 lb (9.07 mt) of mackerel per trip or per calendar day, and has a representative notify NMFS of an upcoming trip, is selected by NMFS to carry an observer, and then cancels that trip, the representative is required to provide notice to NMFS of the vessel name, vessel permit number, contact name for coordination of observer deployment, and telephone number or email address for contact, and the intended date, time, and port of departure for the cancelled trip prior to the planned departure time. In addition, if a trip selected for observer coverage is cancelled, then that vessel is required to carry an observer, provided an observer is available, on its next trip.

(2) Sampling requirements for limited access Atlantic mackerel and longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit holders. In addition to the requirements in paragraphs (d)(1) through (7) of this section, an owner or operator of a vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel or longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit on which a NMFS-certified observer is embarked must provide observers:

(i) A safe sampling station adjacent to the fish deck, including: A safety harness, if footing is compromised and grating systems are high above the deck; a safe method to obtain samples; and a storage space for baskets and sampling gear.

(ii) Reasonable assistance to enable observers to carry out their duties, including but not limited to assistance with: Obtaining and sorting samples; measuring decks, codends, and holding bins; collecting bycatch when requested by the observers; and collecting and carrying baskets of fish when requested by the observers.

(iii) Advance notice when pumping will be starting; when sampling of the catch may begin; and when pumping is coming to an end.

(3) Measures to address slippage. (i) No vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit or a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit may slip catch, as defined at §648.2, except in the following circumstances:

(A) The vessel operator has determined, and the preponderance of available evidence indicates that, there is a compelling safety reason; or

(B) A mechanical failure, including gear damage, precludes bringing some or all of the catch on board the vessel for sampling and inspection; or

(C) The vessel operator determines that pumping becomes impossible as a result of spiny dogfish clogging the pump intake. The vessel operator shall take reasonable measures, such as strapping and splitting the net, to remove all fish that can be pumped from the net prior to release.

(ii) If a vessel issued any limited access Atlantic mackerel permit slips catch, the vessel operator must report the slippage event on the Atlantic mackerel and longfin squid daily VMS catch report and indicate the reason for slipping catch. Additionally, vessels issued a limited Atlantic mackerel permit or a longfin squid/butterfish moratorium permit, the vessel operator must complete and sign a Released Catch Affidavit detailing: The vessel name and permit number; the VTR serial number; where, when, and the reason for slipping catch; the estimated weight of each species brought on board or slipped on that tow. A completed affidavit must be submitted to NMFS within 48 hr of the end of the trip.

(iii) If a vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit slips catch for any of the reasons described in paragraph (n)(3)(i) of this section, the vessel operator must move at least 15 nm (27.8 km) from the location of the slippage event before deploying any gear again, and must stay at least 15 nm (27.8 km) from the slippage event location for the remainder of the fishing trip.

(iv) If catch is slipped by a vessel issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit for any reason not described in paragraph (n)(3)(i) of this section, the vessel operator must immediately terminate the trip and return to port. No fishing activity may occur during the return to port.

[85 FR 7431, Feb. 7, 2020]

§648.12   Experimental fishing.

The Regional Administrator may exempt any person or vessel from the requirements of subparts A (General provisions), B (Atlantic mackerel, squid, and butterfish), D (Atlantic sea scallop), E (Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog), F (NE multispecies and monkfish), G (summer flounder), H (scup), I (black sea bass), J (Atlantic bluefish), K (Atlantic herring), L (spiny dogfish), M (Atlantic deep-sea red crab), N (tilefish), O (skates), and P (Mid-Atlantic forage species and Atlantic chub mackerel) of this part for the conduct of experimental fishing beneficial to the management of the resources or fishery managed under that subpart. The Regional Administrator shall consult with the Executive Director of the MAFMC before approving any exemptions for the Atlantic mackerel, squid, butterfish, summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, spiny dogfish, bluefish, and tilefish fisheries, including exemptions for experimental fishing contributing to the development of new or expansion of existing fisheries for Mid-Atlantic forage species and Atlantic chub mackerel.

(a) The Regional Administrator may not grant such an exemption unless he/she determines that the purpose, design, and administration of the exemption is consistent with the management objectives of the respective FMP, the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, and that granting the exemption will not:

(1) Have a detrimental effect on the respective resources and fishery;

(2) Cause any quota to be exceeded; or

(3) Create significant enforcement problems.

(b) Each vessel participating in any exempted experimental fishing activity is subject to all provisions of the respective FMP, except those necessarily relating to the purpose and nature of the exemption. The exemption will be specified in a letter issued by the Regional Administrator to each vessel participating in the exempted activity. This letter must be carried on board the vessel seeking the benefit of such exemption.

(c) Experimental fishing for surfclams or ocean quahogs will not require an allocation permit.

(d) Temporary possession letter of authorization (LOA): The Regional Administrator (RA), or the RA's designee, may issue an LOA to eligible researchers on board federally permitted fishing vessels on which species of fish that otherwise could not be legally retained would be possessed temporarily for the purpose of collecting catch data. Under this authorization, such species of fish could be retained temporarily for data collection purposes, but shall be discarded as soon as practicable following data collection.

(1) Eligible activities. An LOA may be issued by the RA, or the RA's designee, to temporarily exempt a vessel, on which a qualified fishery research technician is collecting catch data, from the following types of fishery regulations: Minimum fish size restrictions; fish possession limits; species quota closures; prohibited fish species, not including species protected under the Endangered Species Act; and gear-specific fish possession restrictions.

(2) Eligibility criteria. Only personnel from the following bodies are eligible for a temporary possession LOA: Foreign government agency; U.S. Government agency; U.S. state or territorial agency; university (or other educational institution accredited by a recognized national or international accreditation body); international treaty organization; or scientific institution.

(3) Application requirements. To obtain a temporary possession LOA, an eligible applicant, as defined under paragraph (d)(2) of this section, is required to submit a complete application, which must contain the following information: The date of the application; the applicant's name, mailing address, and telephone number; a statement of the purposes and goals for which the LOA is needed; the name(s) and affiliation of the fishery research technicians will collect the data; a statement demonstrating the qualifications of the research technician that will collect the data; the species (target and incidental) expected to be harvested under the LOA; the proposed disposition of all regulated species harvested under the LOA; the approximate time(s) and place(s) fishing will take place; the type, size, and amount of gear to be used; and the signature of the applicant. In addition, for each vessel to be covered by the LOA, as soon as the information is available and before operations begin, the applicant is required to supply to NMFS the vessel operator name, the vessel's Federal fishing permit number, and the vessel registration or documentation number.

[61 FR 58466, Nov. 15, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 37156, July 11, 1997; 65 FR 45852, July 26, 2000; 65 FR 77466, Dec. 11, 2000; 66 FR 49144, Sept. 26, 2001; 68 FR 49700, Aug. 19, 2003; 75 FR 1022, Jan. 8, 2010; 76 FR 60649, Sept. 29, 2011; 82 FR 40732, Aug. 28, 2017]

§648.13   Transfers at sea.

(a) Vessels issued a longfin squid, butterfish, or Illex squid moratorium permit and vessels issued a squid/butterfish incidental catch permit may transfer or attempt to transfer or receive longfin squid, Illex squid, or butterfish only if authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator through the issuance of a letter of authorization (LOA).

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, vessels issued a multispecies permit under §648.4(a)(1) or a scallop permit under §648.4(a)(2) are prohibited from transferring or attempting to transfer any fish from one vessel to another vessel, except that vessels issued a Federal multispecies permit under §648.4(a)(1) and specifically authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator to do so, may transfer species other than regulated species from one vessel to another vessel.

(2) Vessels issued a Federal multispecies permit under §648.4(a)(1) may transfer from one vessel to another, for use as bait, up to 500 lb (226.8 kg) of silver hake and unlimited amounts of red hake, per trip, provided:

(i) The transferring vessel possesses a Federal multispecies permit as specified under §648.4(a)(1);

(ii) The transferring vessel has a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator on board; and

(iii) The receiving vessel possesses a written receipt for any small-mesh multispecies purchased at sea.

(c) All persons are prohibited from transferring or attempting to transfer NE multispecies or scallops from one vessel to another vessel, except in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) All persons are prohibited from transferring or attempting to transfer at sea summer flounder from one vessel to another vessel, except for vessels that have not been issued a Federal permit and fish exclusively in state waters.

(e) Vessels issued a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator to transfer small-mesh multispecies at sea for use as bait will automatically have 500 lb (226.8 kg) deducted from the vessel's combined silver hake and offshore hake possession limit, as specified under §648.86(d), for every trip during the participation period specified on the letter of authorization, regardless of whether a transfer of small-mesh multispecies at sea occurred or whether the actual amount that was transferred was less than 500 lb (226.8 kg). This deduction shall be noted on the transferring vessel's letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator.

(f) Atlantic herring. With the exception of transfers made to an at-sea processing vessel issued the required permit under §648.6(a)(2)(ii), any person or vessel, including any vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit, is prohibited from transferring, receiving, or attempting to transfer or receive any Atlantic herring taken from the EEZ, except as authorized in this paragraph (f), and in compliance with reporting requirements at §648.7 (b)(2)(i)(D).

(1) Personal use as bait. (i) The operator of a vessel that is not issued an Atlantic herring permit may purchase and/or receive Atlantic herring at sea for personal use as bait, provided the vessel receiving the transfer does not have purse seine, midwater trawl, pelagic gillnet, sink gillnet, or bottom trawl gear on board;

(ii) A vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit may transfer herring at sea to another vessel for personal use as bait:

(A) Provided the transferring vessel is issued a letter of authorization to transfer fish. The operator of the transferring vessel must show the letter of authorization to a representative of the vessel receiving fish or any authorized officer upon request; and

(B) Provided that the transfer of herring at sea to another vessel for personal use as bait does not exceed the possession limit specified for the transferring vessel in §648.204, except that no more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring may be caught or transferred per trip or per calendar day if the vessel is in, or the fish were harvested from, a management area closed to fishing as specified in §648.201.

(2) Atlantic herring carrier vessels. (i) A vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit may operate as a herring carrier vessel and receive herring provided it either is issued a carrier vessel letter of authorization and complies with the terms of that authorization, as specified in §648.4(a)(10)(ii), 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(l)(1).

(ii) A vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit may transfer herring at sea to an Atlantic herring carrier up to the applicable possession limits specified in §648.204, provided it is issued a letter of authorization for the transfer of herring and that no more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring may be caught or transferred at sea per trip or per calendar day if the vessel is in, or the fish were harvested from, an area closed to directed fishing as specified in §648.201.

(3) If a herring management area has been closed to fishing as specified in §648.201, a vessel may not transfer Atlantic herring harvested from or in the area to an IWP or Joint Venture vessel.

(4) If the amount of herring transshipped to a Canadian transshipment vessel would cause the amount of the border transfer specified pursuant to §648.200 to be exceeded, a vessel may not transfer Atlantic herring to a Canadian transshipment vessel permitted in accordance with Public Law 104-297.

(5) Transfer to at-sea processors. A vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit may transfer herring to a vessel issued an at-sea processing permit specified in §648.6(a)(2)(ii), up to the applicable possession limit specified in §648.204, except that no more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring may be caught or transferred at sea per trip or per calendar day if the vessel is in, or the fish were harvested from, a management area closed to directed fishing as specified in §648.201.

(6) Transfers between herring vessels. A vessel issued a valid Atlantic herring permit may transfer and receive herring at sea, provided such vessel has been issued a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator to transfer or receive herring at sea. Such vessel may not transfer, receive, or possess at sea, or land per trip herring in excess of the applicable possession limits specified in §648.204, except that no more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring may be caught, transferred, received, or possessed at sea, or landed per trip or per calendar day if the vessel is in, or the fish were harvested from, a management area closed to directed fishing as specified in §648.201.

(g) All persons are prohibited from transferring at sea, either directly or indirectly, or attempting to transfer at sea to any vessel, any red crab or red crab parts, taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit.

(h) Skates. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (h)(2) of this section, all persons or vessels issued a Federal skate permit are prohibited from transferring, or attempting to transfer, at sea any skates to any vessel, and all persons or vessels not issued a Federal skate permit are prohibited from transferring, or attempting to transfer, at sea to any vessel any skates while in the EEZ, or skates taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit.

(2) Vessels and vessel owners or operators issued Federal skate permits under §648.4(a)(14) may transfer at sea skates taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Skate Management Unit, provided:

(i) The transferring vessel possesses on board a valid letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator as specified under §648.322(c); and

(ii) The transferring vessel and vessel owner or operator comply with the requirements specified at §648.322(c).

(i) Scup. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (i)(2) of this section, all persons or vessels issued a Federal scup permit are prohibited from transferring, or attempting to transfer, at sea any scup to any vessel, and all persons or vessels are prohibited from transferring, or attempting to transfer, at sea to any vessel any scup while in the EEZ, or any scup taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Scup Management Unit.

(2) The owner or operator of a vessel issued a Federal scup permit under §648.4(a)(6)(i)(A) may transfer at sea scup taken in or from the EEZ portion of the Scup Management Unit, provided:

(i) The transfer occurs between two vessels with Federal scup permits;

(ii) The transfer occurs seaward of a boundary line that begins at 40°50 N. lat., 70°00 W. long., and runs south to connect points at 40°15 N. lat., 73°30 W. long.; 37°50 N. lat., 75°00 W. long.; and 35°30 N. lat., 75°00 W. long.;

(iii) The donating and receiving vessels possess gear that meets the requirements at §648.125(a)(2), (3), and (4) for commercial scup fishing gear;

(iv) The transfer occurs in the Winter I or Winter II periods of the scup fishing year;

(v) There is only one transfer per fishing trip for the donor vessel;

(vi) The donor vessel removes only enough scup from the net to attain the scup possession limit;

(vii) After removal of scup from the net by the donor vessel, the entire codend, with all its contents, is transferred to the receiving vessel;

(viii) Only scup in an amount not to exceed the possession limit are retained by the receiving vessel;

(ix) While fishing for scup, all other nets are stored and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2; and

(x) The donating and receiving vessels report the transfer amount on the vessel trip report for each vessel.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §648.13, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§648.14   Prohibitions.

Link to an amendment published at 85 FR 7441, Feb. 7, 2020.

(a) General prohibitions. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Violate any provision of this part, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, or any regulation, notice, or permit issued under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, or any other statute administered by NOAA.

(2) Assist, aid, or abet in the commission of any act prohibited by the Magnuson-Stevens Act; or any regulation, notice, or permit issued under the Magnuson-Stevens Act; or any other statute administered by NOAA.

(3) Fail to report to the Regional Administrator within 15 days any change in the information contained in any permit or permit application.

(4) Falsify or fail to affix and maintain vessel markings as required by §648.8.

(5) Make any false statement or provide any false information on, or in connection with, an application, declaration, record or report under this part.

(6) Fail to comply in an accurate and timely fashion with the log report, reporting, record retention, inspection, or other requirements of §648.7, or submit or maintain false information in records and reports required to be kept or filed under §648.7.

(7) Possess, import, export, transfer, land, or have custody or control of any species of fish regulated pursuant to this part that do not meet the minimum size provisions in this part, unless such species were harvested exclusively within state waters by a vessel that does not hold a valid permit under this part, or are species included in the NE Multispecies Fishery Management Plan that were harvested by a vessel issued a valid High Seas Fishing Compliance permit that fished exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

(8) Fail to comply with any sea turtle conservation measure specified in 50 CFR parts 222 and 223, including any sea turtle conservation measure implemented by notification in the Federal Register.

(9) Violate any provision of an in-season action to adjust trip limits, gear usage, season, area access and/or closure, or any other measure authorized by this part.

(10) Food safety program. (i) Purchase, receive for a commercial purpose other than transport to a testing facility, or process; or attempt to purchase, receive for commercial purpose other than transport to a testing facility; or process, outside Maine, ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone, except at a facility participating in an overall food safety program, operated by the official state agency having jurisdiction, that utilizes food safety-based procedures including sampling and analyzing for PSP toxin consistent with procedures used by the State of Maine for such purpose.

(ii) Land ocean quahogs outside Maine that are harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone, except at a facility participating in an overall food safety program, operated by the official state agency having jurisdiction, that utilizes food safety-based procedures including sampling and analyzing for PSP toxin consistent with procedures used by the State of Maine for such purpose.

(iii)—(iv) [Reserved]

(v) Fish for, harvest, catch, possess, or attempt to fish for, harvest, catch, or possess Atlantic surfclams and ocean quahogs from the reopened portion of the Georges Bank Closed Area, as defined in §648.76(a)(4), unless issued a Letter of Authorization, and fishing under the appropriate VMS declaration and under the terms and conditions of the PSP testing protocol, as specified in §648.76(a)(4)(i).

(b) Vessel and operator permits. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Fish for, take, catch, harvest or land any species of fish regulated by this part in or from the EEZ, unless the vessel has a valid and appropriate permit issued under this part and the permit is on board the vessel and has not been surrendered, revoked, or suspended.

(2) Alter, erase, or mutilate any permit issued under this part or any document submitted in support of an application for any such permit.

(3) Operate or act as operator of a vessel that fishes for or possesses any species of fish regulated by this part, or that is issued a vessel permit pursuant to this part, without having been issued and possessing a valid operator's permit.

(4) Fish for, possess, or land species regulated under this part with or from a vessel that is issued a limited access or moratorium permit under §648.4(a) and that has had the horsepower or length overall of such vessel or its replacement upgraded or increased in excess of the limitations specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(E) and (F).

(5) Fish for, take, catch, harvest or land any species of fish regulated by this part for which the vessel is eligible to possess under a limited access or moratorium permit prior to the time the vessel has been reissued the applicable limited access or moratorium permit by NMFS.

(6) Attempt to replace a limited access or moratorium fishing vessel, as specified at §648.4(a)(1)(i)(E), more than once during a permit year, unless the vessel has been rendered permanently inoperable.

(7) Purchase, possess, or receive from a vessel for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land, any species of fish for which a vessel permit is required under this part, unless the vessel possesses a valid vessel permit issued under this part.

(8) Transfer, remove, or offload, for a commercial purpose; or attempt to transfer, remove, land, or offload, for a commercial purpose; at sea, any species regulated under this part, unless the transferring vessel has been issued and carries on board a valid LOA from the Regional Administrator, or is otherwise exempted, and the receiving vessel has been issued and has on board a valid Federal permit for the species that is being transferred.

(9) Fish for, possess, or retain fish, during a fishing trip, aboard a Federally permitted vessel that, in the absence of an emergency, has not been operating under its own power for the entire trip.

(10) Fish with bottom-tending gear within the Frank R. Lautenberg Deep-sea Coral Protection Area described at §648.372, unless transiting pursuant to §648.372(d), fishing lobster trap gear in accordance with §697.21 of this chapter, or fishing red crab trap gear in accordance with §648.264. Bottom-tending gear includes but is not limited to bottom-tending otter trawls, bottom-tending beam trawls, hydraulic dredges, non-hydraulic dredges, bottom-tending seines, bottom longlines, pots and traps, and sink or anchored gill nets.

(11) If fishing with bottom-tending mobile gear, fish in, enter, be on a fishing vessel in, the EFH closure areas described in §648.371, unless otherwise exempted.

(12) Unless otherwise exempted, fish in the Dedicated Habitat Research Areas defined in §648.371.

(c) Dealer permits. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Purchase, possess or receive for a commercial purpose; or attempt to purchase, possess or receive for a commercial purpose; other than solely for transport on land, any species regulated under this part unless in possession of a valid dealer permit issued under this part, except that this prohibition does not apply to species that are purchased or received from a vessel not issued a permit under this part that fished exclusively in state waters, or pursuant to the §648.17 NAFO Regulatory Area exemptions.

(2) Sell, barter, trade, or transfer; or attempt to sell, barter, trade, or transfer; other than solely for transport on land, any Atlantic herring, multispecies, or monkfish from a vessel that fished for such species in the EEZ, unless the dealer or transferee has a valid dealer permit issued under §648.6. A person who purchases and/or receives Atlantic herring at sea for his own personal use as bait, and does not have purse seine, mid-water trawl, pelagic gillnet, sink gillnet, or bottom trawl gear on board, is exempt from the requirement to possess an Atlantic herring dealer permit.

(d) VMS. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Tamper with, damage, destroy, alter, or in any way distort, render useless, inoperative, ineffective, or inaccurate the VMS, VMS unit, or VMS signal required to be installed on or transmitted by vessel owners or operators required to use a VMS by this part.

(2) Fail to submit the appropriate VMS activity code for the intended activity at the appropriate time, in accordance with §648.10.

(3) Fail to comply with the appropriate VMS reporting requirements, as specified in §648.10.

(e) Observer program. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Assault, resist, oppose, impede, harass, intimidate, or interfere with or bar by command, impediment, threat, or coercion any NMFS-certified observer or monitor conducting his or her duties; any authorized officer conducting any search, inspection, investigation, or seizure in connection with enforcement of this part; any official designee of the Regional Administrator conducting his or her duties, including those duties authorized in §648.7(g).

(2) Refuse monitoring coverage by a NMFS-certified observer or monitor if selected for monitoring coverage by the Regional Administrator or the Regional Administrator's designee.

(3) Fail to provide information, notification, accommodations, access, or reasonable assistance to either a NMFS-certified observer or monitor conducting his or her duties as specified in §648.11.

(4) Submit false or inaccurate data, statements, or reports.

(f) Research and experimental fishing. It is unlawful for any person to violate any terms of a letter authorizing experimental fishing pursuant to §648.12 or fail to keep such letter on board the vessel during the period of the experiment.

(g) Squid, mackerel, and butterfish—(1) All persons. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.22(g), it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(i) Possession and landing. Take and retain, possess, or land more Atlantic mackerel, squid or butterfish than specified under, or after the effective date of, a notification issued under §§648.22 or 648.24(d).

(ii) Transfer and purchase. (A) Purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose; other than solely for transport on land; mackerel, squid, or butterfish caught by a vessel that has not been issued a Federal mackerel, squid, and butterfish vessel permit, unless the vessel fishes exclusively in state waters.

(B) Transfer longfin squid, Illex squid, or butterfish within the EEZ, unless the vessels participating in the transfer have been issued the appropriate LOA from the Regional Administrator along with a valid longfin squid, butterfish, or Illex squid moratorium permit and are transferring species for which the vessels are permitted, or a valid squid/butterfish incidental catch permit.

(2) Vessel and operator permit holders. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.22(g), it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a valid mackerel, squid, and butterfish fishery permit, or issued an operator's permit, to do any of the following:

(i) General requirement. Fail to comply with any measures implemented pursuant to §648.22.

(ii) Possession and landing. (A) Possess more than the incidental catch allowance of longfin squid, unless issued a longfin squid moratorium permit.

(B) Possess more than the incidental catch allowance of Illex squid, unless issued an Illex squid moratorium permit.

(C) Possess more than the incidental catch allowance of mackerel, unless issued a Limited Access mackerel permit.

(D) Take and retain, possess, or land mackerel, squid, or butterfish in excess of a possession limit specified in §648.26.

(E) Possess more than 5,000 lb (2.27 mt) of butterfish, unless the vessel meets the minimum mesh requirements specified in §648.23(a).

(F) Take and retain, possess, or land mackerel after a total closure specified under §648.24(b)(1).

(G) Fish for, possess, transfer, receive, or sell; or attempt to fish for, possess, transfer, receive, or sell; more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of mackerel per trip; or land, or attempt to land more than 20,000 lb (9.08 mt) of mackerel per day after 95 percent of the river herring and shad cap has been harvested, if the vessel holds a valid mackerel permit.

(H) Possess more than the incidental catch allowance of butterfish, unless issued a butterfish moratorium permit.

(iii) Gear and vessel requirements. (A) Fish with or possess nets or netting that do not meet the gear requirements for Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid, Illex squid, or butterfish specified in §648.23(a); or that are modified, obstructed, or constricted, if subject to the minimum mesh requirements, unless the nets or netting are stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2 or the vessel is fishing under an exemption specified in §648.23(a)(5).

(B) Fish for, retain, or possess Atlantic mackerel in or from the EEZ with a vessel that exceeds either 165 ft (50.3 m) in length overall and 750 GRT, or a shaft horsepower (shp) of 3,000 shp, except for the retention and possession of Atlantic mackerel for processing by a vessel holding a valid at-sea processor permit pursuant to §648.6(a)(2). It shall be presumed that the Atlantic mackerel on board were harvested in or from the EEZ, unless the preponderance of reliable evidence available indicates otherwise.

(C) Enter or fish in the mackerel, squid, and butterfish bottom trawling restricted areas, as described in §648.23(a)(6).

(D) If fishing with midwater trawl or purse seine gear, fail to comply with the requirements of §648.80(d) and (e).

(iv) Observer requirements for longfin squid fishery. Fail to comply with any of the provisions specified in §648.11.

(v) VMS reporting requirements in the directed Atlantic mackerel longfin squid, and Illex squid fisheries. (A) Fail to declare via VMS into the directed mackerel, longfin squid,, or Illex squid fisheries by entering the fishery code prior to leaving port at the start of each trip if the vessel will harvest, possess, or land more than an incidental catch of Atlantic mackerel, longfin squid, or Illex squid and is issued a Limited Access Atlantic mackerel permit, Tier 1 or Tier 2 longfin squid moratorium permit, or Illex squid moratorium permit.

(B) Fail to notify NMFS Office of Law Enforcement through VMS of the time and place of offloading at least 6 hr prior to arrival, or, if fishing ends less than 6 hours before arrival, immediately upon leaving the fishing grounds, if a vessel has been issued a Limited Access Atlantic mackerel permit, pursuant to §648.10.

(vi) Slip catch, as defined at §648.2, unless for one of the reasons specified at §648.11(n)(3)(i) if issued a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit, or a longfin squid or a butterfish moratorium permit.

(vii) For vessels with a limited access Atlantic mackerel permits, fail to move 15 nm (27.8 km), as required by §648.11(n)(3)(iii).

(viii)For vessels with a limited access Atlantic mackerel permit, fail to immediately return to port as required by §648.11(n)(3)(iv).

(ix) Fail to complete, sign, and submit a Released Catch Affidavit if fish are released pursuant to the requirements at §648.11(n)(3)(ii).

(x) Fail to report or fail to accurately report a slippage event on the VMS mackerel and longfin squid daily catch report, as required by §648.11(n)(3)(ii).

(3) Charter/party restrictions. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.22(g), it is unlawful for the owner and operator of a party or charter boat issued a mackerel, squid, and butterfish fishery permit (including a moratorium permit), when the boat is carrying passengers for hire, to do any of the following:

(i) Violate any recreational fishing measures established pursuant to §648.22(d).

(ii) Sell or transfer mackerel, squid, or butterfish to another person for a commercial purpose.

(iii) Carry passengers for hire while fishing commercially under a mackerel, squid, and butterfish fishery permit.

(4) Presumption. For purposes of this part, the following presumption applies: All mackerel and butterfish possessed on board a party or charter boat issued a mackerel, squid, and butterfish fishery permit are deemed to have been harvested from the EEZ.

(h) Atlantic salmon. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.22(g), it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Possession and landing. (i) Use any vessel of the United States for taking, catching, harvesting, fishing for, or landing any Atlantic salmon taken from or in the EEZ. It shall be presumed that the Atlantic salmon on board were harvested in or from the EEZ, unless the preponderance of reliable evidence available indicates otherwise.

(ii) Transfer, directly or indirectly; or attempt to transfer, directly or indirectly; to any vessel any Atlantic salmon taken in or from the EEZ.

(2) [Reserved]

(i) Atlantic sea scallops—(1) All persons. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(i) Permit requirement. Fish for, possess, or land, scallops without the vessel having been issued and carrying onboard a valid scallop permit in accordance with §648.4(a)(2), unless the scallops were harvested by a vessel that has not been issued a Federal scallop permit and fishes for scallops exclusively in state waters.

(ii) Gear and crew requirements. Have a shucking or sorting machine on board a vessel while in possession of more than 600 lb (272.2 kg) of shucked scallops, unless that vessel has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes exclusively in state waters.

(iii) Possession and landing. (A) Fish for or land per trip, or possess at any time prior to a transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land:

(1) In excess of 40 lb (18.1 kg) of shucked scallops at any time, 5 bu (1.76 hL) of in-shell scallops shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line, or 10 bu (3.52 hL) of in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line, unless:

(i) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes for scallops exclusively in state waters.

(ii) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board a limited access scallop permit and is properly declared into the scallop DAS, Area Access program, or the NGOM management area.

(iii) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board an IFQ scallop permit and is properly declared into the IFQ scallop fishery or is properly declared into the NE multispecies, Atlantic surfclam or quahog fishery, or other fishery requiring a VMS declaration, and is not fishing in a sea scallop access area.

(iv) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board an NGOM or IFQ scallop permit, and is properly declared into the NGOM scallop management area, and the LAGC portion of the NGOM TAC specified in §648.62 has not been harvested.

(v) [Reserved]

(2) In excess of 200 lb (90.7 kg) of shucked scallops at any time, 25 bu (8.8 hL) of in-shell scallops inside the VMS Demarcation Line, or 50 bu (17.6 hL) of in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line, unless:

(i) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes for scallops exclusively in state waters.

(ii) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board a limited access scallop permit and is properly declared into the scallop DAS or Area Access program.

(iii) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board an IFQ scallop permit issued pursuant to §648.4(a)(2)(ii)(A), is fishing outside of the NGOM scallop management area, and is properly declared into the general category scallop fishery or is properly declared into the NE multispecies, or Atlantic surfclam or quahog fishery, or other fishery requiring a VMS declaration, and is not fishing in a sea scallop access area.

(iv) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board a scallop permit and the vessel is fishing in accordance with the provisions of the state waters exemption program specified in §648.54.

(v) [Reserved]

(3) In excess of 600 lb (272.2 kg) of shucked scallops at any time, 75 bu (26.4 hL) of in-shell scallops per trip South of 42°20 N. Lat. and shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line or 100 bu (35.2 hL) in-shell scallops South of 42°20 N. Lat. and seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line, unless:

(i) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes for scallops exclusively in state waters.

(ii) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board a limited access scallop permit issued pursuant to §648.4(a)(2)(i) and is properly declared into the scallop DAS or Area Access program.

(iii) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board a scallop permit and the vessel is fishing in accordance with the provisions of the state waters exemption program specified in §648.54.

(iv) The scallops were harvested by a vessel that has been issued and carries on board an IFQ scallop permit, is carrying an at-sea observer, and is authorized by the Regional Administrator to have, and the vessel does not exceed, an increased possession limit to compensate for the cost of carrying the observer.

(iv) Transfer and purchase. (A) Land, offload, remove, or otherwise transfer; or attempt to land, offload, remove or otherwise transfer; scallops from one vessel to another, unless that vessel has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes exclusively in state waters.

(B) Sell, barter, or trade, or otherwise transfer scallops from a vessel; or attempt to sell, barter or trade, or otherwise transfer scallops from a vessel; for a commercial purpose, unless the vessel has been issued a valid scallop permit pursuant to §648.4(a)(2), or the scallops were harvested by a vessel that has not been issued a scallop permit and fishes for scallops exclusively in state waters.

(C) Purchase, possess, or receive for commercial purposes; or attempt to purchase or receive for commercial purposes; scallops from a vessel other than one issued a valid limited access or LAGC scallop permit, unless the scallops were harvested by a vessel that has not been issued a Federal scallop permit and fishes for scallops exclusively in state waters.

(D) Sell or transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land, any scallops harvested from the EEZ by a vessel issued a Federal scallop permit, unless the transferee has a valid scallop dealer permit.

(E) Fish for, possess, or retain scallops in Federal waters of the NGOM management area on a vessel that has been issued and carries on board a NGOM permit and has declared into the state waters fishery of the NGOM management area.

(v) Ownership cap. Have an ownership interest in more than 5 percent of the total number of vessels issued limited access scallop permits and confirmations of permit history, except as provided in §648.4(a)(2)(i)(M).

(vi) Closed area requirements

(A) Habitat Management Areas. (1) Fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the Habitat Management Areas specified in §648.370.

(2) Transit or enter the Habitat Management Areas specified in §648.370, except as provided by §648.61(b).

(B) Scallop Rotational Areas. (1) Fish for scallops in, or possess or land scallops from, the Scallop Rotational Areas closed to the scallop fishery through the specifications or framework adjustment processes specified in §648.55.

(2) Transit or enter the Scallop Rotational Areas, except as provided by §648.59(a) or (b).

(vii) Scallop sectors. Fail to comply with any of the requirements or restrictions for general category scallop sectors specified in §648.63.

(viii) [Reserved]

(ix) Observer program. (A) Refuse, or fail, to carry onboard an observer after being requested to by the Regional Administrator or the Regional Administrator's designee.

(B) Fail to provide information, notification, accommodations, access, or reasonable assistance to a NMFS-certified observer conducting his or her duties aboard a vessel, as specified in §648.11.

(C) Fail to comply with the notification, observer services procurement, and observer services payment requirements of the sea scallop observer program specified in §648.11(k).

(x) Presumption. For purposes of this section, the following presumption applies: Scallops that are possessed or landed at or prior to the time when the scallops are received by a dealer, or scallops that are possessed by a dealer, are deemed to be harvested from the EEZ, unless the preponderance of evidence demonstrates that such scallops were harvested by a vessel without a scallop permit and fishing exclusively for scallops in state waters.

(2) Limited access scallop vessel permit holders. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a limited access scallop permit under §648.4(a)(2) to do any of the following:

(i) Minimum shell height. Land, or possess at or after landing, in-shell scallops smaller than the minimum shell height specified in §648.50(a).

(ii) Vessel, gear, and crew restrictions. (A) Possess more than 40 lb (18.1 kg) of shucked, or 5 bu (1.76 hL) of in-shell scallops, or participate in the scallop DAS or Area Access programs, while in the possession of trawl nets that have a maximum sweep exceeding 144 ft (43.9 m), as measured by the total length of the footrope that is directly attached to the webbing of the net, except as specified in §648.51(a)(1), unless the vessel is fishing under the Northeast multispecies or monkfish DAS program.

(B) While under or subject to the DAS allocation program, in possession of more than 40 lb (18.1 kg) of shucked scallops or 5 bu (1.76 hL) of in-shell scallops, or fishing for scallops in the EEZ:

(1) Fish with, or have available for immediate use, trawl nets of mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in §648.51(a)(2).

(2) Fail to comply with any chafing gear or other gear obstruction restrictions specified in §648.51(a)(3).

(3) Fail to comply with the turtle deflector dredge vessel gear restrictions specified in §648.51(b)(5), and turtle dredge chain mat requirements in §223.206(d)(11) of this title.

(4) Fish under the small dredge program specified in §648.51(e), with, or while in possession of, a dredge that exceeds 10.5 ft (3.2 m) in overall width, as measured at the widest point in the bail of the dredge.

(5) Fish under the small dredge program specified in §648.51(e) with more persons on board the vessel, including the operator, than specified in §648.51(e)(3), unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator.

(6) Participate in the DAS allocation program with more persons on board the vessel than the number specified in §648.51(c), including the operator, when the vessel is not docked or moored in port, unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator.

(7) Fish in a Sea Scallop Access Area, as described in §648.60, with more persons on board the vessel than the number specified in §648.51(c) or §648.51(e)(3)(i), unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator.

(8) Have a shucking or sorting machine on board a vessel that shucks scallops at sea while fishing under the DAS allocation program, unless otherwise authorized by the Regional Administrator.

(9) Fish with, possess on board, or land scallops while in possession of trawl nets, when fishing for scallops under the DAS allocation program, unless exempted as provided for in §648.51(f).

(10) Fail to comply with the gear restrictions described in §648.51.

(iii) Possession and landing. (A) Land scallops after using up the vessel's annual DAS allocation or land scallops on more than one trip per calendar day when not participating under the DAS allocation program pursuant to §648.10, unless exempted from DAS allocations as provided in the state waters exemption, specified in §648.54.

(B) Fish for, possess, or land more than 50 bu (17.62 hL) of in-shell scallops inside the VMS Demarcation Line on or by a vessel, except as provided in the state waters exemption, as specified in §648.54.

(C) Fish for, possess, or land per trip, at any time, scallops in excess of any sea scallop possession and landing limit set by the Regional Administrator in accordance with §648.59(b)(3) when properly declared into the Sea Scallop Area Access Program as described in §648.59.

(D) Fish for, possess, or land yellowtail flounder from a vessel on a scallop fishing trip.

(E) Fish for, possess, or land scallops from the NGOM, unless on a scallop RSA compensation trip and allocated NGOM RSA allocation as described in §648.56(d).

(iv) DAS. (A) Fish for, possess, or land scallops after using up the vessel's annual DAS allocation and Access Area trip allocations, or when not properly declared into the DAS or an Area Access program pursuant to §648.10, unless the vessel has been issued an LAGC scallop permit pursuant to §648.4(a)(2)(ii) and is lawfully fishing in a LAGC scallop fishery, unless exempted from DAS allocations as provided in state waters exemption, specified in §648.54.

(B) Combine, transfer, or consolidate DAS allocations, except as allowed for one-for-one Access Area trip exchanges as specified in §648.59(b)(3)(ii).

(C) Fail to comply with any requirement for declaring in or out of the DAS allocation program or other notification requirements specified in §648.10.

(D) Fail to comply with any requirements for declaring out of the DAS allocation program and steaming to land scallops at ports located at or south of 39° N. lat., as specified in §648.53(f)(3).

(E) Possess on board or land in-shell scallops if declaring out of the DAS allocation program and steaming to land scallops at ports located at or south of 39° N. lat.

(v) VMS requirements. (A) Fail to have an approved, operational, and functioning VMS unit that meets the specifications of §648.9 on board the vessel at all times, unless the vessel is not subject to the VMS requirements specified in §648.10.

(B) If the vessel is not subject to VMS requirements specified in §648.10(b), fail to comply with the requirements of the call-in system specified in §648.10(c).

(C) If a limited access scallop vessel declares a scallop trip before first crossing the VMS Demarcation Line, but not necessarily from port, in accordance with §648.10(f), fail to declare out of the fishery in port and have fishing gear not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2, until declared into the scallop fishery.

(D) Once declared into the scallop fishery in accordance with §648.10(f), change its VMS declaration until the trip has ended and scallop catch has been offloaded, except as specified at §648.53(f)(3).

(E) Fail to submit a scallop access area pre-landing notification form through VMS as specified at §648.10(f)(4)(iii).

(vi) Scallop rotational area management program and scallop access area program requirements. (A) Fail to comply with any of the provisions and specifications of §648.59.

(B) Transit the Closed Area II Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in §648.60(d), unless there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2.

(C) Fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from an access area in excess of the vessel's remaining specific allocation for that area as specified in §648.59(b)(3) or the amount permitted to be landed from that area.

(D) Possess more than 50 bu (17.6 hL) of in-shell scallops outside the boundaries of a Sea Scallop Access Area by a vessel that is declared into the Area Access Program as specified in §648.59.

(E) Fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from any Sea Scallop Access Area without an observer on board, unless the vessel owner, operator, or manager has received a waiver to carry an observer for the specified trip and area fished.

(F)-(G) [Reserved]

(vii) State waters exemption program. Fail to comply with any requirement for participating in the State Waters Exemption Program specified in §648.54.

(viii) Fish for scallops in, or possess scallops or land scallops from, the yellowtail flounder accountability measure closed areas specified in §648.64 during the period specified in the notice announcing the closure and based on the closure table specified in §648.64.

(ix) Fish for scallops in the Mid-Atlantic Accountability Measure Area, described in §648.64(b)(2) with gear that does not meet the specifications described in §648.64(c) during the period specified in the notice announcing the Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Yellowtail Flounder or the Southern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area described in §648.64(e) and (g), respectively.

(x) Fish for scallops in the Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area described in §648.64(b)(1), with gear that does not meet the specifications described in §648.64(c) during the period specified in the notice announcing the Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder or the Northern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area described in §648.64(d) and (f), respectively.

(3) LAGC scallop vessels. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued an LAGC scallop permit to do any of the following:

(i) Permit requirements. (A) Fail to comply with the LAGC scallop permit restrictions as specified in §648.4(a)(2)(ii)(G) through (O).

(B) Fish for, possess, or land scallops on a vessel that is declared out of scallop fishing unless the vessel has been issued an Incidental scallop permit, or is an IFQ scallop vessel that is properly declared into the IFQ scallop, NE multispecies, Atlantic surfclam or quahog, or other fishery requiring a VMS declaration.

(ii) Gear requirements. (A) Possess or use trawl gear that does not comply with any of the provisions or specifications in §648.51(a), unless the vessel is fishing under the Northeast multispecies or monkfish DAS program.

(B) Possess or use dredge gear that does not comply with any of the provisions or specifications in §648.51(b).

(iii) Possession and landing. (A) Land scallops more than once per calendar day.

(B) Possess in-shell scallops while in possession of the maximum allowed amount of shucked scallops specified for each LAGC scallop permit category in §648.52.

(C) Declare into the NGOM scallop management area after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the LAGC portion of the NGOM scallop management area TAC has been harvested as specified in §648.62, unless the vessel is fishing exclusively in state waters, declared a state-waters only NGOM trip, and is participating in an approved state waters exemption program as specified in §648.54, or unless the vessel is participating in the scallop RSA program as specified in §648.56.

(D) Fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from the NGOM scallop management area after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register that the LAGC portion of the NGOM scallop management area TAC has been harvested, as specified in §648.62, unless the vessel possesses or lands scallops that were harvested south of 42°20 N lat., the vessel is transiting the NGOM scallop management area, and the vessel's fishing gear is properly stowed and not available for immediate use in accordance with §648.2 or unless the vessel is fishing exclusively in state waters, declared a state-waters only NGOM trip, and is participating in an approved state waters exemption program as specified in §648.54, or unless the vessel is participating in the scallop RSA program as specified in §648.56.

(iv) VMS requirements. (A) Fail to comply with any of the VMS requirements specified in §§648.10, 648.59, or 648.62.

(B) Fail to comply with any requirement for declaring in or out of the LAGC scallop fishery or other notification requirements specified in §648.10(b).

(C) If an LAGC scallop vessel declares a scallop trip shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line, but not necessarily from port, in accordance with §648.10(f), fail to declare out of the fishery in port and have fishing gear not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2, until declared into the scallop fishery.

(D) Once declared into the scallop fishery in accordance with §648.10(f), change its VMS declaration until the trip has ended and scallop catch has been offloaded.

(v) Scallop rotational area management program and scallop access area program requirements. (A) Fail to comply with any of the requirements specified in §648.59.

(B) Declare into or leave port for an area specified in §648.60 after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the number of LAGC trips have been taken, as specified in §648.59.

(C) Fish for or land per trip, or possess in excess of 40 lb (18.1 kg) of shucked scallops at any time in or from any Sea Scallop Access Area specified at §648.60, unless declared into the Sea Scallop Access Area Program.

(D) Fish for, possess, or land scallops in or from any Sea Scallop Access Area without an observer on board, unless the vessel owner, operator, or manager has received a waiver to carry an observer for the specified trip and area fished.

(E) Transit the Closed Area II Scallop Rotational Area, as defined in §648.60 (d), unless there is a compelling safety reason for transiting the area and the vessel's fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2.

(vi) Sectors. Fail to comply with any of the requirements and restrictions for General Category sectors and harvesting cooperatives specified in §648.63.

(4) IFQ scallop permit. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued an IFQ scallop permit to do any of the following:

(i) Possession and landing. (A) Fish for or land per trip, or possess at any time, in excess of 600 lb (272.2 kg) of shucked, or 75 bu (26.4 hL) of in-shell scallops per trip, or 100 bu (35.2 hL) in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line, unless the vessel is carrying an observer as specified in §648.11 and an increase in the possession limit is authorized by the Regional Administrator and not exceeded by the vessel, as specified in §§648.52(g) and 648.59(d).

(B) Fish for or land per trip, or possess at any time, in excess of 200 lb (90.7 kg) of shucked or 25 bu (8.8 hL) of in-shell scallops in the NGOM scallop management area, unless the vessel is seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line and in possession of no more than 50 bu (17.6 hL) of in-shell scallops, or when the vessel is not declared into the NGOM scallop management area and is transiting the NGOM scallop management area with gear properly stowed and unavailable for immediate use in accordance with §648.23.

(C) Declare into the NGOM scallop management area after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the LAGC share of the NGOM scallop management area TAC has been harvested as specified in §648.62, unless the vessel is fishing exclusively in state waters, declared a state-waters only NGOM trip, and is participating in an approved state waters exemption program as specified in §648.54, or unless the vessel is participating in the scallop RSA program as specified in §648.56.

(D) Possess more than 100 bu (35.2 hL) of in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line and not be participating in the Access Area Program, or possess or land per trip more than 50 bu (17.6 hL) of in-shell scallops shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line, unless exempted from DAS allocations as provided in §648.54.

(E) [Reserved]

(F) Fish for, possess, or land scallops in excess of a vessel's IFQ.

(G) Fish for, possess, or land more than 40 lb (18.1 kg) of shucked scallops, or 5 bu (1.76 hL) of in-shell scallops shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line, or 10 bu (3.52 hL) of in-shell scallops seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line, when the vessel is not declared into the IFQ scallop fishery, unless the vessel is fishing in compliance with all of the requirements of the State waters exemption program, specified at §648.54.

(H) Land scallops more than once per calendar day.

(ii) Owner and allocation cap. (A) Have an ownership interest in vessels that collectively are allocated more than 5 percent of the total IFQ scallop APL as specified in §648.53(a)(8).

(B) Have an IFQ allocation on an IFQ scallop vessel of more than 2.5 percent of the total IFQ scallop APL as specified in §648.53(a)(8).

(iii) IFQ Transfer Program. (A) Apply for an IFQ transfer that will result in the transferee having an aggregate ownership interest in more than 5 percent of the total IFQ scallop ACL.

(B) Apply for an IFQ transfer that will result in the receiving vessel having an IFQ allocation in excess of 2.5 percent of the total IFQ scallop ACL as specified in §648.53(a)(4)(i).

(C) Fish for, possess, or land transferred IFQ prior to approval of the transfer by the Regional Administrator as specified in §648.53(h)(5).

(D)-(F) [Reserved]

(G) Transfer scallop IFQ to, or receive scallop IFQ from, a vessel that has not been issued a valid IFQ scallop permit.

(iv) Cost Recovery Program. Fail to comply with any of the cost recovery requirements specified under §648.53(g)(4).

(v) Fish for scallops in the Mid-Atlantic Accountability Measure Area, described in §648.64(b)(2) with gear that does not meet the specifications described in §648.64(c) during the period specified in the notice announcing the Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic Yellowtail Flounder or the Southern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area described in §648.64(e) and (g), respectively.

(vi) Fish for scallops in the Georges Bank Accountability Measure Area described in §648.64(b)(1), with gear that does not meet the specifications described in §648.64(c) during the period specified in the notice announcing the Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder or the Northern Windowpane Flounder Gear Restricted Area described in §648.64(d) and (f), respectively.

(5) NGOM scallop permit. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued an NGOM scallop permit to do any of the following:

(i) Declare into, or fish for or possess scallops outside of the NGOM Scallop Management Area as defined in §648.62.

(ii) Fish for or land per trip, or possess at any time, in excess of 200 lb (90.7 kg) of shucked or 25 bu (8.81 hL) of in-shell scallops in or from the NGOM scallop management area, or seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line more than 50 bu (17.6 hL) of in-shell scallops.

(iii) Fish for, possess, or land scallops in state or Federal waters of the NGOM management area after the effective date of notification in the Federal Register that the LAGC share of the NGOM scallop management area TAC has been harvested as specified in §648.62, unless the vessel is fishing exclusively in state waters, declared a state-waters only NGOM trip, and is participating in an approved state waters exemption program as specified in §648.54, or unless the vessel is participating in the scallop RSA program as specified in §648.56.

(iv) Fish for, possess, or retain scallops in Federal waters of the NGOM after declaring a trip into NGOM state waters.

(6) Incidental scallop permit. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued an Incidental scallop permit to fish for, possess, or retain, more than 40 lb (18.1 kg) of shucked scallops, or 5 bu (1.76 hL) of in-shell scallops shoreward of the VMS Demarcation Line, or 10 bu (3.52 hL) of in-shell scallops while seaward of the VMS Demarcation Line.

(j) Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Possession and landing. (i) Fish for surfclams or ocean quahogs in any area closed to surfclam or ocean quahog fishing.

(ii) Shuck surfclams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ at sea, unless permitted by the Regional Administrator under the terms of §648.75.

(iii) Fish for, retain, or land both surfclams and ocean quahogs in or from the EEZ on the same trip.

(iv) Fish for, retain, or land ocean quahogs in or from the EEZ on a trip designated as a surfclam fishing trip under §648.15(b); or fish for, retain, or land surfclams in or from the EEZ on a trip designated as an ocean quahog fishing trip under §648.15(b).

(v) Fail to offload any surfclams or ocean quahogs harvested in the EEZ from a trip discontinued pursuant to §648.15(b) prior to commencing fishing operations in waters under the jurisdiction of any state.

(vi) Land or possess any surfclams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ without having been issued, or in excess of, an individual allocation.

(2) Transfer and purchase. (i) Receive for a commercial purpose other than solely for transport on land, surfclams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ, whether or not they are landed under an allocation under §648.74, unless issued a dealer/processor permit under this part.

(ii) Transfer any surfclams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ to any person for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land, without a surfclam or ocean quahog processor or dealer permit.

(iii) Offload unshucked surfclams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ outside the Maine mahogany quahog zone from vessels not capable of carrying cages, other than directly into cages.

(3) Gear and tags requirements. (i) Alter, erase, mutilate, duplicate or cause to be duplicated, or steal any cage tag issued under this part.

(ii) Produce, or cause to be produced, cage tags required under this part without written authorization from the Regional Administrator.

(iii) Tag a cage with a tag that has been rendered null and void or with a tag that has been previously used.

(iv) Tag a cage of surfclams with an ocean quahog cage tag, or tag a cage of ocean quahogs with a surfclam cage tag.

(v) Possess an empty cage to which a cage tag required by §648.77 is affixed, or possess any cage that does not contain surfclams or ocean quahogs and to which a cage tag required by §648.77 is affixed.

(vi) Land or possess, after offloading, any cage holding surfclams or ocean quahogs without a cage tag or tags required by §648.77, unless the person can demonstrate the inapplicability of the presumptions set forth in §648.77(h).

(vii) Sell null and void tags.

(4) VMS requirements. (i) Fail to maintain an operational VMS unit as specified in §648.9, and comply with any of the notification requirements specified in §648.15(b) including:

(A) Fish for, land, take, possess, or transfer surfclams or ocean quahogs under an open access surfclam or ocean quahog permit without having provided proof to the Regional Administrator that the vessel has a fully functioning VMS unit on board the vessel and declared a surfclam, ocean quahog, or Maine mahogany quahog fishing activity code via the VMS unit prior to leaving port as specified at §648.15(b).

(B) Fish for, land, take, possess, or transfer ocean quahogs under a limited access Maine mahogany quahog permit without having provided proof to the Regional Administrator of NMFS that the vessel has a fully functioning VMS unit on board the vessel and declared a fishing trip via the VMS unit as specified at §648.15(b).

(5) Maine mahogany quahog zone. (i) Land unshucked surfclams or ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ outside the Maine mahogany quahog zone in containers other than cages from vessels capable of carrying cages.

(ii) Land unshucked surfclams and ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone in containers other than cages from vessels capable of carrying cages unless, with respect to ocean quahogs, the vessel has been issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit under this part and is not fishing for an individual allocation of quahogs under §648.74.

(iii) Offload unshucked surfclams harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone from vessels not capable of carrying cages, other than directly into cages.

(iv) Offload unshucked ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone from vessels not capable of carrying cages, other than directly into cages, unless the vessel has been issued a Maine mahogany quahog permit under this part and is not fishing for an individual allocation of quahogs under §648.74.

(v) Land or possess ocean quahogs harvested in or from the EEZ within the Maine mahogany quahog zone after the effective date published in the Federal Register notifying participants that Maine mahogany quahog quota is no longer available for the respective fishing year, unless the vessel is fishing for an individual allocation of ocean quahogs under §648.74.

(6) Presumptions. For purposes of this part, the following presumptions apply:

(i) Possession of surfclams or ocean quahogs on the deck of any fishing vessel in closed areas, or the presence of any part of a vessel's gear in the water in closed areas is prima facie evidence that such vessel was fishing in violation of the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and these regulations.

(ii) Surfclams or ocean quahogs landed from a trip for which notification was provided under §648.15(b) or §648.74(b) are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ and count against the individual's annual allocation, unless the vessel has a valid Maine mahogany quahog permit issued pursuant to §648.4(a)(4)(i) and is not fishing for an individual allocation under §648.74.

(iii) Surfclams or ocean quahogs found in cages without a valid state tag are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ and are deemed to be part of an individual's allocation, unless the vessel has a valid Maine mahogany quahog permit issued pursuant to §648.4(a)(4)(i) and is not fishing for an individual allocation under §648.74; or, unless the preponderance of available evidence demonstrates that he/she has surrendered his/her surfclam and ocean quahog permit issued under §648.4 and he/she conducted fishing operations exclusively within waters under the jurisdiction of any state. Surfclams and ocean quahogs in cages with a Federal tag or tags, issued and still valid pursuant to this part, affixed thereto are deemed to have been harvested by the individual allocation holder to whom the tags were issued or transferred under §648.74 or §648.77(b).

(k) NE multispecies—(1) Permit requirements for all persons. It is unlawful for any person, including any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid Federal NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to do any of the following:

(i) Fish for, possess, or land NE multispecies, unless:

(A) The NE multispecies are being fished for or were harvested in or from the EEZ by a vessel holding a valid Federal NE multispecies permit under this part, or a letter under §648.4(a)(1), and the operator on board such vessel has a valid operator's permit and has it on board the vessel.

(B) The NE multispecies were harvested by a vessel not issued a Federal NE multispecies permit, nor eligible to renew or be reissued a limited access NE multispecies permit as specified in §648.4(b)(2), that fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(C) The NE multispecies were harvested in or from the EEZ by a recreational fishing vessel.

(D) Any haddock, and up to 100 lb (45 kg) of other regulated NE. multispecies other than haddock, were harvested by a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Area 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit on a declared herring trip, regardless of gear or area fished, or a vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and/or an Open Access Herring Permit that fished with midwater trawl gear, pursuant to the requirements in §648.80(d) and (e), and such fish are not sold for human consumption.

(E) Otherwise specified in §648.17.

(ii) Land, offload, remove, or otherwise transfer; or attempt to land, offload, remove or otherwise transfer; NE multispecies from one vessel to another vessel, unless both vessels have not been issued Federal NE multispecies permits and both fish exclusively in state waters, unless authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator, or otherwise allowed.

(iii) Sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer; or attempt to sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer; for a commercial purpose any NE multispecies from a trip, unless:

(A) The vessel is holding a Federal NE multispecies permit, or a letter under §648.4(a)(1), and is not fishing under the charter/party vessel restrictions specified in §648.89.

(B) The NE multispecies were harvested by a vessel without a Federal NE multispecies permit that fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(C) Or as otherwise specified in §648.17.

(iv) Operate or act as an operator of a vessel fishing for or possessing NE multispecies in or from the EEZ, or holding a Federal NE multispecies vessel permit without having been issued and possessing a valid operator's permit.

(2) Permit requirements for vessel and operator permit holders. It is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid Federal NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to do any of the following:

(i) Fish for, possess, or land NE multispecies with or from a vessel that has had the length overall of such vessel, or its replacement, increased or upgraded in excess of limitations specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(E) and (F).

(ii) Fish for, possess, or land NE multispecies with or from a vessel that has had the horsepower of such vessel or its replacement upgraded or increased in excess of the limitations specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(E) and (F).

(iii) Fail to comply with the pre-trip notification requirements of the NE multispecies observer program specified in §648.11(l).

(iv) Possess or land fish while setting fixed gear on a set-only trip as declared through the pre-trip notification system pursuant to §648.11(l).

(v) Fish for, possess, land fish, enroll in a sector, or lease a permit or confirmation of permit history (CPH) as a lessor or lessee, with a permit that has been rendered unusable as specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(N).

(vi) Acquire a limited access NE multispecies permit that would result in a permit holder exceeding any of the ownership accumulation limits specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(N), unless authorized under §648.4(a)(1)(i)(N).

(3) Dealer requirements. (i) It is unlawful to purchase, possess, import, export, or receive as a dealer, or in the capacity of a dealer, regulated species or ocean pout in excess of the possession limits specified in §648.82, §648.85, §648.86, or §648.87 applicable to a vessel issued a NE multispecies permit, unless otherwise specified in §648.17, or unless the regulated species or ocean pout are purchased or received from a vessel that caught them on a sector trip and such species are exempt from such possession limits in accordance with an approved sector operations plan, as specified in §648.87(c).

(ii) Sell or transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land, any NE multispecies harvested from the EEZ by a vessel issued a Federal NE multispecies permit, unless the transferee has a valid NE multispecies dealer permit.

(4) NAFO. It is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), to fail to comply with the exemption specifications in §648.17.

(5) Regulated Mesh Areas. It is unlawful for any person, including any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid Federal NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to do any of the following:

(i) Violate any of the provisions of §648.80, including paragraphs (a)(5), the Small-mesh Northern Shrimp Fishery Exemption Area; (a)(6), the Cultivator Shoal Whiting Fishery Exemption Area; (a)(9), Small-mesh Area 1/Small-mesh Area 2; (a)(10), the Nantucket Shoals Dogfish Fishery Exemption Area; (h)(3)(i), the GOM Scallop Dredge Exemption Area; (a)(12), the Nantucket Shoals Mussel and Sea Urchin Dredge Exemption Area; (a)(13), the GOM/GB Monkfish Gillnet Exemption Area; (a)(14), the GOM/GB Dogfish Gillnet Exemption Area; (a)(15), the Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery; (a)(16), the GOM Grate Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery; (h)(3)(ii), the Georges Bank/Southern New England Scallop Dredge Exemption Area; (a)(19), the Eastern and Western Cape Cod Spiny Dogfish Exemption Areas; (b)(3), exemptions (small mesh); (b)(5), the SNE Monkfish and Skate Trawl Exemption Area; (b)(6), the SNE Monkfish and Skate Gillnet Exemption Area; (b)(8), the SNE Mussel and Sea Urchin Dredge Exemption Area; (b)(9), the SNE Little Tunny Gillnet Exemption Area; (h)(3)(ii); or (b)(12), the SNE Skate Bait Trawl Exemption Area. Each violation of any provision in §648.80 constitutes a separate violation.

(ii) Enter or fish in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank, or Southern New England Regulated Mesh Areas, except as provided in §648.80(a)(3)(vi) and (b)(2)(vi), and, for purposes of transiting, all gear (other than exempted gear) must be stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2.

(iii) Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank Regulated Mesh Areas. (A) Fish with, use, or have on board, within the areas described in §648.80(a)(1) and (2), nets with mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in §648.80(a)(3) and (4); except as provided in §648.80(a)(5) through (8), (a)(9), (a)(10), (a)(15), (a)(16), (d), (e), and (i); unless the vessel has not been issued a NE multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters, or unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(B) Fish within the areas described in §648.80(a)(6) with net mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in §648.80(a)(3) or (4).

(iv) Southern New England Regulated Mesh Area. Fish with, use, or have available for immediate use within the area described in §648.80(b)(1), net mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in §648.80(b)(2), except as provided in §648.80(b)(3), (b)(9), (d), (e), and (i), or unless the vessel has not been issued a Federal NE multispecies permit and fishes for multispecies exclusively in state waters, or unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(v) Mid-Atlantic Regulated Mesh Area. Fish with, use, or have available for immediate use within the area described in §648.80(c)(1), nets of mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in §648.80(c)(2); except as provided in §648.80(c)(3), (d), (e), and (i); or unless the vessel has not been issued a Federal NE multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters, or unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(vi) Mid-water trawl exempted fishery. (A) Fish for, land, or possess NE multispecies harvested by means of pair trawling or with pair trawl gear, except under the provisions of §648.80(d), or unless the vessels that engaged in pair trawling have not been issued multispecies permits and fish for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(B) Possess, land, or fish for regulated species or ocean pout, except winter flounder as provided for in accordance with §648.80(i) from or within the areas described in §648.80(i), while in possession of scallop dredge gear on a vessel not fishing under the scallop DAS program as described in §648.53, or fishing under a LAGC permit, unless the vessel and the dredge gear conform with the definition of not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2, or unless the vessel has not been issued a Federal NE multispecies permit and fishes for, possesses, or lands NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(vii) Scallop vessels. (A) Violate any of the possession or landing restrictions on fishing with scallop dredge gear specified in §§648.80(h) and 648.94.

(B) Possess, land, or fish for regulated species, except winter flounder as provided for in accordance with §648.80(i) from or within the areas described in §648.80(i), while in possession of scallop dredge gear on a vessel not fishing under the scallop DAS program as described in §648.53, or fishing under a general scallop permit, unless the vessel and the dredge gear conform with the definition of not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2, or unless the vessel has not been issued a Federal NE multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(viii) Northern shrimp and small mesh multispecies exempted fisheries. (A) Fish for, harvest, possess, or land in or from the EEZ northern shrimp, unless such shrimp were fished for or harvested by a vessel meeting the requirements specified in §648.80(a)(5).

(B) Fish for, harvest, possess, or land in or from the EEZ, when fishing with trawl gear, any of the exempted species specified in §648.80(a)(9)(i), unless such species were fished for or harvested by a vessel meeting the requirements specified in §648.80(a)(5)(ii) or (a)(9)(ii).

(ix) Winter flounder state exemption program. Violate any provision of the state waters winter flounder exemption program as provided in §648.80(i).

(6) Gear requirements—(i) For all persons. It is unlawful for any person, including any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to do any of the following:

(A) Obstruct or constrict a net as described in §648.80(g)(1) or (2).

(B) Fish for, harvest, possess, or land any species of fish in or from the GOM/GB Inshore Restricted Roller Gear Area described in §648.80(a)(3)(vii) with trawl gear where the diameter of any part of the trawl footrope, including discs, rollers or rockhoppers, is greater than 12 inches (30.5 cm).

(C) Fish for, land, or possess NE multispecies harvested with brush-sweep trawl gear unless the vessel has not been issued a Federal NE multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(D) Possess brush-sweep trawl gear while in possession of NE multispecies, unless the vessel has not been issued a Federal NE multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(E) Use, set, haul back, fish with, possess on board a vessel, unless stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2, or fail to remove, sink gillnet gear and other gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies, with the exception of single pelagic gillnets (as described in §648.81(b)(2)(ii) and (d)(5)(ii)), in the areas and for the times specified in §648.80(g)(6)(i) and (ii), except as provided in §648.80(g)(6)(i) and (ii), and §648.81(b)(2)(ii) and (d)(5)(ii), or unless otherwise authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator.

(F) Fish for, land, or possess NE multispecies harvested with the use of de-hookers (“crucifiers”) with less than 6-inch (15.2-cm) spacing between the fairlead rollers unless the vessel has not been issued a Federal NE multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(G) Possess or use de-hookers (“crucifiers”) with less than 6-inch (15.2-cm) spacing between the fairlead rollers while in possession of NE multispecies, unless the vessel has not been issued a Federal NE multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(ii) For vessel and operator permit holders. It is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to do any of the following:

(A) Gillnet gear. (1) If the vessel has been issued a limited access NE multispecies permit and fishes under a NE multispecies DAS or on a sector trip with gillnet gear, fail to comply with gillnet tagging requirements specified in §§648.80(a)(3)(iv)(B)(4), (a)(3)(iv)(C), (a)(4)(iv)(B)(3), (b)(2)(iv)(B)(3), and (c)(2)(v)(B)(3), or fail to produce immediately, or cause to be produced immediately, gillnet tags when requested by an authorized officer.

(2) Produce, or cause to be produced, gillnet tags under §648.80(a)(3)(iv)(C), without the written confirmation from the Regional Administrator described in §648.80(a)(3)(iv)(C).

(3) Tag a gillnet or use a gillnet tag that has been reported lost, missing, destroyed, or that was issued to another vessel.

(4) Sell, transfer, or give away gillnet tags that have been reported lost, missing, destroyed, or issued to another vessel.

(5) Enter, fail to remove sink gillnet gear or gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies from, or be in the areas, and for the times, described in §648.80(g)(6)(i) and (ii), except as provided in §§648.80(g)(6)(i) and 648.81(i).

(B) Hook gear. Fail to comply with the restrictions on fishing and gear specified in §648.80(a)(3)(v), (a)(4)(v), (b)(2)(v), and (c)(2)(iv) if the vessel has been issued a limited access NE multispecies permit and fishes with hook gear in areas specified in §648.80(a), (b), or (c), unless allowed under §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(E).

(7) Closed areas and EFH—(i) All persons. It is unlawful for any person, including any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid Federal NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to do any of the following:

(A) Groundfish Closure Area restrictions. Enter, be on a fishing vessel in, or fail to remove gear from the EEZ portion of the areas described in §648.81(a)(3), (4), and (5) and (d)(3), except as provided in §648.81(a)(2), (d)(2), and (i).

(B) Groundfish Closure Area possession restrictions. Fish for, harvest, possess, or land regulated species in or from the closed areas specified in §648.81(a) through (d) and (n), unless otherwise specified in §648.81(c)(2)(iii), (d)(5)(i), (iv), (viii), and (ix), (i), (b)(2), or as authorized under §648.85.

(C) Restricted Gear Areas. (1) Fish, or be in the areas described in §648.81(f)(3) through (6) on a fishing vessel with mobile gear during the time periods specified in §648.81(f)(1), except as provided in §648.81(f)(2).

(2) Fish, or be in the areas described in §648.81(f)(3) through (5) on a fishing vessel with lobster pot gear during the time periods specified in §648.81(f)(1).

(3) Deploy in or fail to remove lobster pot gear from the areas described in §648.81(f)(3) through (5), during the time periods specified in §648.81(f)(1).

(D) Georges Bank Seasonal Closure Areas. Enter, fail to remove gear from, or be in the areas described in §648.81(c) during the time periods specified, except as provided in §648.81(c)(2).

(E) [Reserved]

(F) Closed Area II. Enter or be in the area described in §648.81(a)(5) on a fishing vessel, except as provided in §648.81(a)(5)(ii).

(G) [Reserved]

(ii) Vessel and permit holders. It is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, when fishing with bottom-tending mobile gear, fish in, enter, be on a fishing vessel in, the Habitat Management Areas described in §648.370.

(8) DAS restrictions for all persons. It is unlawful for any person, including any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to do any of the following:

(i) For vessels issued a limited access NE multispecies permit, or those issued a limited access NE multispecies permit and a limited access monkfish permit (Category C, D, F, G, or H), but not fishing under the limited access monkfish Category A or B provisions as allowed under §648.92(b)(2), call into the DAS program prior to 1 hr before leaving port.

(ii) Call in DAS in excess of those allocated, leased, or permanently transferred, in accordance with the restrictions and conditions of §648.82.

(9) DAS restrictions for vessel and operator permit holders. It is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to do any of the following:

(i) If operating under the provisions of a limited access NE multispecies Handgear A permit south of the GOM Regulated Mesh Area, as defined at §648.80(a)(1), fail to declare the vessel operator's intent to fish in this area via VMS or fail to obtain or retain on board a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator, as required by §648.82(b)(6)(iii).

(ii) DAS Leasing Program. (A) Provide false information on an application, required by §648.82(k)(4)(xi), to downgrade the DAS Leasing Program baseline.

(B) Lease NE multispecies DAS or use leased DAS that have not been approved for leasing by the Regional Administrator as specified in §648.82(k).

(C) Provide false information on, or in connection with, an application, required under §648.82(k)(3), to effectuate the leasing of NE multispecies DAS.

(D) Act as lessor or lessee of a NE multispecies Category B DAS, or Category C DAS.

(E) Act as lessor or lessee of NE multispecies DAS, if the lessor's or the lessee's vessels do not comply with the size restrictions specified in §648.82(k)(4)(ix).

(F) Sub-lease NE multispecies DAS.

(G) [Reserved]

(H) Lease NE multispecies DAS to a vessel that does not have a valid limited access multispecies permit.

(I) [Reserved]

(J) Lease NE multispecies DAS if the number of unused allocated DAS is less than the number of DAS requested to be leased.

(K) Lease NE multispecies DAS in excess of the duration specified in §648.82(k)(4)(viii).

(L) Combine, transfer, or consolidate DAS allocations, except as provided for under the DAS Leasing Program or the DAS Transfer Program, as specified under §648.82(k) and (l), respectively.

(M) Lease NE multispecies DAS to or from a common pool vessel if either the Lessor or the Lessee vessel is a sector vessel.

(N) Act as a lessor or lessee of NE multispecies DAS to or from a limited access permit that has been rendered unusable as specified in §648.4(a)(1)(i)(N).

(iii) DAS Transfer Program. (A) Transfer NE multispecies DAS, or use transferred DAS, that have not been approved for transfer by the Regional Administrator, as specified in §648.82(l).

(B) Provide false information on, or in connection with, an application, required by §648.82(l)(2), for a NE multispecies DAS transfer.

(C) Permanently transfer only a portion of a vessel's total allocation of DAS.

(D) Permanently transfer NE multispecies DAS between vessels, if such vessels do not comply with the size restrictions specified in §648.82(l)(1)(ii).

(E) Transfer NE multispecies DAS to or from a common pool vessel if either the Transferor or the Transferee vessel is a sector vessel.

(F) Transfer NE multispecies DAS to or from a sector vessel if either the Transferor or the Transferee vessel is enrolled in a different sector for that particular fishing year.

(iv) Gillnet fishery. (A) Fail to declare, and be, out of the non-exempt gillnet fishery as required by §648.82(j)(1)(ii), using the procedure specified in §648.82(h).

(B) For any common pool or sector vessel, fail to comply with the gillnet requirements and restrictions specified in §648.82(j), unless otherwise exempted pursuant to §648.87.

(C) If a vessel has been issued a limited access Day gillnet category designation, fail to comply with the restrictions and requirements specified in §648.82(j)(1).

(D) If a vessel has been issued a limited access Trip gillnet category designation, fail to comply with the restrictions and requirements specified in §648.82(j)(2).

(v) Spawning blocks. Fail to declare, and be, out of the NE multispecies DAS program as required by §648.82(g), using the procedure described under §648.82(h), as applicable.

(vi) DAS notification. (A) For purposes of DAS notification, if required, or electing, to have a VMS unit under §648.10:

(1) Fail to have a certified, operational, and functioning VMS unit that meets the specifications of §648.9 on board the vessel at all times.

(2) Fail to comply with the notification, replacement, or any other requirements regarding VMS usage specified in §648.10(b).

(B) Fail to comply with any provision of the DAS notification program specified in §648.10.

(vii) Charter/party vessels. Participate in the DAS program pursuant to §648.82 when carrying passengers for hire on board a vessel during any portion of a fishing trip.

(10) Gear marking requirement for all persons. It is unlawful for any person, including any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to fail to comply with the gear-marking requirements of §648.84.

(11) U.S./Canada Resource Management Area—(i) Possession and landing restrictions of the U.S./Canada Area—(A) All Persons. (1) Fish for, harvest, possess or land any regulated NE multispecies from the areas specified in §648.85(a)(1), unless in compliance with the restrictions and conditions specified in §648.85(a)(3).

(2) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Western U.S./Canada Area or Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1), exceed the trip limits specified in §648.85(a)(3)(iv), unless further restricted under §648.85(b) or exempted under §648.87.

(3) If fishing inside the Eastern U.S./Canada Area and in possession of fish in excess of what is allowed under more restrictive regulations that apply outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, fish outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, as prohibited under §648.85(a)(3)(ii)(A).

(4) If fishing both outside and inside of the areas specified for a SAP under §648.85(b)(3) and (8), under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1), fail to abide by the DAS and possession restrictions under §648.85(b)(8)(v)(A)(2) through (4).

(B) Vessel and operator permit holders. Fail to comply with the GB yellowtail flounder trip limit specified under §648.85(a)(3)(iv)(C).

(ii) Gear requirements for all persons. If fishing with trawl gear under a NE multispecies DAS or on a sector trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area defined in §648.85(a)(1)(ii), fail to fish with a haddock separator trawl, flounder trawl net, or Ruhle trawl, as specified in §648.85(a)(3)(iii) and (b)(6)(iv)(J)(1), unless using other gear authorized under §648.85(b)(6) or (8).

(iii) Notification and VMS requirements for all persons. (A) Enter or fish in the Western U.S./Canada Area or Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1), unless declared into the area in accordance with §648.85(a)(3)(ii).

(B) If declared into one of the areas specified in §648.85(a)(1), fish during that same trip outside of the declared area, unless in compliance with the applicable restrictions specified under §648.85(a)(3)(ii)(A) or (B).

(C) If the vessel has been issued a limited access NE multispecies DAS permit, and is in the area specified in §648.85(a), fail to comply with the VMS requirements in §648.85(a)(3)(i).

(D) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS or on a sector trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1)(ii), but not in a SAP specified in §648.85(b) on the same trip, fail to comply with the requirements specified in §648.85(a)(3).

(E) Fail to notify NMFS via VMS prior to departing the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, when fishing inside and outside of the area on the same trip, in accordance with §648.85(a)(3)(ii)(A)(1).

(F) When fishing inside and outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, fail to abide by the most restrictive requirements that apply to any area fished, including the DAS counting, trip limits, and reporting requirements that apply, as described in §648.85(a)(3)(ii)(A).

(iv) Reporting requirements for all persons. (A) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS or on a sector trip in the Western U.S./Canada Area or Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1), fail to report in accordance with §648.85(a)(3)(v).

(B) Fail to comply with the reporting requirements under §648.85(a)(3)(ii)(A)(2) when fishing inside and outside of the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on one trip.

(v) DAS—(A) All persons. If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1)(ii), and in one of the SAPs specified in §648.85(b)(3) or (8) on the same trip, fail to comply with the no discard and DAS flip provisions specified in §648.85(b)(3)(xi) and (b)(8)(v)(I), or the minimum Category A DAS requirement specified in §648.85(b)(3)(xii) and (b)(8)(v)(J).

(B) Vessel and operator permit holders. (1) [Reserved]

(2) For vessels fishing inside and outside the Eastern U.S./Canada Area on the same trip, fail to comply with the most restrictive regulations that apply on the trip as required by §648.85(a)(3)(ii)(A).

(vi) Closure of the U.S./Canada Area for all persons. If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS or on a sector trip, declare into, enter, or fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area specified in §648.85(a)(1) if the area is closed under the authority of the Regional Administrator as described in §648.85(a)(3)(iv)(D) or (E), unless fishing in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(3) or the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Program specified in §648.85(b)(8).

(12) SAP restrictions (i) It is unlawful for any person to:

(A) If declared into the areas specified in §648.85(b), enter or exit the declared areas more than once per trip.

(B) If a vessel is fishing under a Category B DAS in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder SAP specified in §648.85(b)(3), the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), or the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(8), remove any fish caught with any gear, including dumping the contents of a net, except on board the vessel.

(ii) General restrictions for vessel and operator permit holders. Discard legal-sized NE regulated multispecies, ocean pout, or Atlantic halibut while fishing under a SAP, as described in §§648.85(b)(3)(xi), 648.85(b)(7)(iv)(H), or 648.85(b)(8)(v)(I).

(iii) Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP restrictions for all persons. (A) If fishing under the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP, fish for, harvest, possess, or land any regulated NE multispecies or ocean pout from the area specified in §648.85(b)(3)(ii), unless in compliance with §648.85(b)(3)(i) through (xiii).

(B) Enter or fish in Closed Area II as specified in §648.81(a)(5), unless declared into the area in accordance with §648.85(b)(3)(v) or (b)(8)(v)(D).

(C) Enter or fish in Closed Area II under the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP outside of the season specified in §648.85(b)(3)(iii).

(D) If fishing in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(3), exceed the number of trips specified in §648.85(b)(3)(vi) or (vii).

(E) If fishing in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(3), exceed the trip limits specified in §648.85(b)(3)(viii).

(F) If fishing in the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(3), fail to comply with the gear requirements specified in §648.85(b)(3)(x).

(iv) [Reserved]

(v) Regular B DAS Program restrictions for vessel and operator permit holders. (A) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with §§648.85(b)(6)(iv)(A) through (J).

(B) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to use a haddock separator trawl as described in §648.85(a)(3)(iii)(A), or other approved gear as described in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(J).

(C) If possessing a Ruhle Trawl, either at sea or elsewhere, as allowed under §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(J)(1) or (b)(8)(v)(E)(1), fail to comply with the net specifications under §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(J)(3).

(D) Discard legal-sized NE regulated multispecies, ocean pout, Atlantic halibut, or monkfish while fishing under a Regular B DAS in the Regular B DAS Program, as described in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(E).

(E) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the landing limits specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(D).

(F) If fishing under a Regular B DAS in the Regular B DAS Program, fail to comply with the DAS flip requirements of §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(E) if the vessel harvests and brings on board more than the landing limit for a groundfish stock of concern specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(D), other groundfish specified under §648.86, or monkfish under §648.94.

(G) DAS usage restrictions. (1) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program, fail to comply with the restriction on DAS use specified in §648.82(d)(2)(i)(A).

(2) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the minimum Category A DAS and Category B DAS accrual requirements specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(F).

(3) Use a Regular B DAS in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), if the program has been closed as specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(G) or (H), or (b)(6)(vi).

(H) VMS requirements. (1) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the VMS requirement specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(A).

(2) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the VMS declaration requirement specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(C).

(I) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the observer notification requirement specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(B).

(J) If fishing in the Regular B DAS Program specified in §648.85(b)(6), fail to comply with the reporting requirements specified in §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(I).

(vi) Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP restrictions for vessel and operator permit holders. (A) If fishing in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the applicable requirements and conditions specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv), and (b)(7)(v) or (b)(7)(vi).

(B) Fish in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7) outside of the season specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iii).

(C) Fish in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Access Area specified in §648.85(b)(7)(ii), if that area is closed as specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(I) or (b)(7)(vi)(F).

(D) If fishing in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the applicable DAS use restrictions specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(A) and (b)(7)(vi)(A).

(E) VMS requirements. (1) If fishing in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the VMS requirements specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(B).

(2) If fishing in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the VMS declaration requirement specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(D).

(F) If fishing in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the observer notification requirements specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(C).

(G) If fishing in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the applicable gear restrictions specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(E), and (b)(7)(v)(A) or (b)(7)(vi)(B).

(H) If fishing in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the applicable landing limits specified in §648.85(b)(7)(iv)(H), and (b)(7)(v)(C) or (b)(7)(vi)(C).

(I) If fishing in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(7), fail to comply with the applicable reporting requirement specified in §648.85(b)(7)(v)(C) or (b)(7)(vi)(D).

(vii) Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Restrictions—(A) All Persons. (1) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS or on a sector trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(8), in the area specified in §648.85(b)(8)(ii), and during the season specified in §648.85(b)(8)(iv), fail to comply with §648.85(b)(8)(v).

(2) VMS and declaration requirements. (i) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS or on a sector trip in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP in the area specified in §648.85(b)(8)(ii), fail to comply with the VMS requirements in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(B).

(ii) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS or on a sector trip, fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(8), unless declared into the program in accordance with §648.85(b)(8)(v)(D).

(3) Enter or fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP outside of the season specified in §648.85(b)(8)(iv).

(4) If possessing a Ruhle Trawl, either at sea or elsewhere, as allowed under §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(J)(1) or (b)(8)(v)(E)(1), fail to comply with the net specifications under §648.85(b)(6)(iv)(J)(3).

(5) Possession limits and restrictions. (i) If fishing under a NE multispecies DAS in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP, exceed the possession limits specified in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(F).

(ii) If fishing under the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP, fish for, harvest, possess, or land any regulated NE multispecies from the area specified in §648.85(b)(8)(ii), unless in compliance with the restrictions and conditions of §648.85(b)(8)(v)(A) through (I).

(6) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(8), fail to comply with the reporting requirements of §648.85(b)(8)(v)(G).

(7) If fishing under the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(8), fail to comply with the observer notification requirements of §648.85(b)(8)(v)(C).

(B) Vessel and operator permit holders. (1) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area, and other portions of the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area on the same trip, fail to comply with the restrictions in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(A).

(2) DAS usage restrictions. (i) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area under a Category B DAS, fail to comply with the DAS flip requirements of §648.85(b)(8)(v)(I), if the vessel possesses more than the applicable landing limit specified in §§648.85(b)(8)(v)(F) or 648.86.

(ii) If fishing in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP Area under a Category B DAS, fail to have the minimum number of Category A DAS available as required by §648.85(b)(8)(v)(J).

(3) Fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP specified in §648.85(b)(8), if the SAP is closed as specified in §648.85(b)(8)(v)(K) or (L).

(13) Possession and landing restrictions. (i) It is unlawful for any person to:

(A) Under §648.85 or §648.86, fail to offload a sufficient amount of regulated species or ocean pout subject to a daily possession limit at the end of a fishing trip, as required by §648.86(i).

(B) Scallop vessels. Possess or land fish caught with nets of mesh smaller than the minimum size specified in §648.51, or with scallop dredge gear on a vessel not fishing under the scallop DAS program described in §648.54, or fishing under a general scallop permit, unless said fish are caught, possessed, or landed in accordance with §§648.80 and 648.86, or unless the vessel has not been issued a Federal NE multispecies permit and fishes for NE multispecies exclusively in state waters.

(ii) Vessel and operator permit holders. (A) Land, or possess on board a vessel, more than the possession or landing limits specified in §648.86(a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g), (h), (j), (k), (l), (n), and (o); or violate any of the other provisions of §648.86, unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(B) Possess or land per trip more than the possession or landing limits specified in §648.86(a), (b), (c), (e), (g), (h), (j), (l), (m), (n), and (o); §648.82(b)(5) and (6); §648.85; or §648.88, if the vessel has been issued a limited access NE multispecies permit or open access NE multispecies permit, as applicable.

(C) Fish for, possess at any time during a trip, or land regulated NE multispecies or ocean pout specified in §648.86 after using up the vessel's annual DAS allocation or when not participating in the DAS program pursuant to §648.82, unless otherwise exempted by §648.82(b)(5), §648.87, or §648.89, or allowed pursuant to §648.85(b)(6) or §648.88.

(D) Atlantic cod. (1) Enter port, while on a NE multispecies DAS trip, in possession of more than the allowable limit of cod specified in §648.86(b)(1), unless the vessel is fishing under the cod exemption specified in §648.86(b)(4).

(2) Enter port, while on a NE multispecies DAS trip, in possession of more than the allowable limit of cod specified in §648.86(b)(2).

(3) [Reserved]

(4) Fail to declare through VMS an intent to be exempt from the GOM cod trip limit under §648.86(b)(1), as required under §648.86(b)(4), or fish north of the exemption line if in possession of more than the GOM cod trip limit specified under §648.86(b)(1).

(E) Atlantic halibut. Possess or land per trip more than the possession or landing limit specified under §648.86(c).

(F) White hake. Possess or land more white hake than allowed under §648.86(e).

(G) Yellowtail flounder. While fishing in the areas specified in §648.86(g)(1) with a NE multispecies Handgear A permit, or under the NE multispecies DAS program, or under the limited access monkfish Category C or D permit provisions, possess yellowtail flounder in excess of the limits specified under §648.86(g)(1), unless fishing under the recreational or charter/party regulations, or transiting with gear stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2.

(H) GB winter flounder. Possess or land more GB winter flounder than allowed under §648.86(j).

(I) For common pool vessels, including vessels issued a limited access monkfish permit and fishing under the monkfish Category C or D permit provisions, land regulated species or ocean pout more than once within any 24-hr period.

(J) For common pool vessels, including vessels issued a limited access monkfish permit and fishing under the monkfish Category C or D permit provisions, fail to comply with the most restrictive trip limits applicable when fishing in multiple areas, as specified in §648.85 or §648.86.

(14) Sector requirements. It is unlawful for any person, including any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid Federal NE multispecies permit and fishing on a sector trip to do any of the following:

(i) Fail to abide by the restrictions specified in §648.87(b)(1).

(ii) Catch regulated species or ocean pout in excess of ACE allocated or transferred to that sector pursuant to §648.87(b)(1)(i) and (viii), respectively.

(iii) Fish in a particular stock area, the Eastern U.S./Canada Area, or a SAP if the sector has not been allocated, does not acquire, or otherwise has insufficient ACE remaining/available for all stocks caught in that area, or fail to operate in a manner that would not catch stocks for which the sector has not been allocated ACE, as described in an approved sector operations plan pursuant to §648.87(b)(2)(xiv), as prohibited in §648.87(b)(1)(ii).

(iv) Violate the provisions of an approved sector operations plan or letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator, as required by §648.87(b)(1)(iv) and (b)(2).

(v) Fail to remain in the sector for the remainder of the fishing year, as required by §648.87(b)(1).

(vi) Unless otherwise required to use a NE multispecies DAS to participate in another fishery, fish in the NE multispecies DAS program in a given fishing year or, for common pool vessels, fish in an approved sector in a given fishing year.

(vii) If a vessel is removed from a sector for violating the Sector rules, fish under the NE multispecies regulations for common pool vessels.

(viii) Discard legal-sized regulated species or ocean pout allocated to sectors pursuant to §648.87(b)(1)(i), as prohibited by §648.87(b)(1)(v).

(ix) Fail to comply with the reporting requirements specified in §648.87(b)(1)(v) or (vi).

(x) Leave port to begin a trip before an at-sea monitor has arrived and boarded the vessel or before electronic monitoring equipment has been properly installed if assigned to carry either an at-sea monitor or electronic monitoring equipment for that trip, as prohibited by §648.87(b)(5)(iii)(A).

(xi) Leave port to begin a trip if a vessel has failed a review of safety issues by an at-sea monitor and has not successfully resolved any identified safety deficiencies, as prohibited by §648.87(b)(5)(iv)(A).

(15) Open access permit restrictions—(i) All persons. (A) Violate any provision of the open access permit restrictions of §648.88.

(B) Possess on board gear other than that specified in §648.88(a)(2)(i), or fish with hooks greater than the number specified in §648.88(a)(2)(iii), if fishing under an open access Handgear permit.

(C) Fish for, possess, or land regulated multispecies from March 1 to March 20, if issued an open access Handgear permit.

(ii) Vessel and operator permit holders—(A) Open access Handgear permit. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued an open access NE multispecies Handgear permit to do any of the following, unless otherwise specified in §648.17:

(1) Violate any provision of the open access Handgear permit restrictions of §648.88(a).

(2) Possess, at any time during a trip, or land per trip, more than the possession limit of NE multispecies specified in §648.88(a), unless the vessel is a charter or party vessel fishing under the charter/party restrictions specified in §648.89.

(3) Use, or possess on board, gear capable of harvesting NE multispecies, other than rod and reel, or handline gear, or tub-trawls, while in possession of, or fishing for, NE multispecies.

(4) Possess or land NE multispecies during the time period specified in §648.88(a)(2).

(5) If operating under the provisions of a limited access NE multispecies Handgear B permit south of the GOM Regulated Mesh Area, as defined at §648.80(a)(1), fail to obtain or retain on board a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator, as required by §648.88(a)(2)(iv).

(B) Scallop multispecies possession limit permit. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a scallop multispecies possession limit permit to possess or land more than the possession limit of NE multispecies specified in §648.88(c), or to possess or land regulated species when not fishing under a scallop DAS, unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(C) Open access NE multispecies (non-regulated species permit). It is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid open access NE multispecies permit to possess or land any regulated species, as defined in §648.2, or to violate any applicable provisions of §648.88, unless otherwise specified in §648.14, §648.86, or §648.88.

(16) Recreational and charter/party requirements. It is unlawful for the owner or operator of a charter or party boat issued a valid Federal NE multispecies permit, or for a recreational vessel, as applicable, unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to do any of the following if fishing under the recreational or charter/party regulations:

(i) Possession and landing. Possess cod, haddock, or Atlantic halibut in excess of the possession limits specified in §648.89(c).

(ii) Gear requirements. Fish with gear in violation of the restrictions of §648.89(a).

(iii) Seasonal and area restrictions. (A) Fail to comply with the applicable restrictions if transiting the GOM Regulated Mesh Area with cod on board that was caught outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area.

(B) Fail to comply with the requirements specified in §648.81(d)(5)(v) when fishing in the areas described in §648.81(b)(3) and (4) and (d) during the time periods specified.

(iv) Restriction on sale and transfer. Sell, trade, barter, or otherwise transfer; or attempt to sell, trade, barter or otherwise transfer; NE multispecies for a commercial purpose as specified in §648.89(d).

(v) Size limits. If fishing under the recreational or charter/party regulations, possess regulated species or ocean pout that are smaller than the minimum fish sizes specified in §648.89(b)(1) and (b)(3).

(vi) Identification. If fishing under the recreational or charter/party regulations, possess regulated species or ocean pout without at least 2 square inches (5.1 square cm) of contiguous skin that allows for the ready identification of the species of fish upon landing.

(vii) Atlantic wolffish. If fishing under the recreational or charter/party regulations, possess Atlantic wolffish.

(viii) Ocean pout. If fishing under the recreational or charter/party regulations, possess ocean pout.

(ix) Windowpane flounder. If fishing under the recreational or charter/party regulations, possess windowpane flounder.

(17) Presumptions. For purposes of this part, the following presumptions apply: Regulated species possessed for sale that do not meet the minimum sizes specified in §648.83 are deemed to have been taken from the EEZ or imported in violation of these regulations, unless the preponderance of all submitted evidence demonstrates that such fish were harvested by a vessel not issued a permit under this part and fishing exclusively within state waters, or by a vessel issued a valid High Seas Fishing Compliance permit that fished exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area. This presumption does not apply to fish being sorted on deck.

(18) Trimester TAC AM. It is unlawful for any person, including any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid Federal NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to fish for, harvest, possess, or land regulated species or ocean pout in or from the closed areas specified in §648.82(n)(2)(ii) once such areas are closed pursuant to §648.82(n)(2)(i).

(19) At-sea/electronic monitoring service providers. It is unlawful for any at-sea/electronic monitoring service provider, including individual at-sea monitors, to do any of the following:

(i) Fail to comply with the operational requirements, including the recordkeeping and reporting requirements, specified in §648.87(b)(5).

(ii) Provide false or inaccurate information regarding area fished; species identification; or amount of each species kept, discarded, or landed.

(20) AMs for both stocks of windowpane flounder, ocean pout, Atlantic halibut, and Atlantic wolffish. It is unlawful for any person, including any owner or operator of a vessel issued a valid Federal NE multispecies permit or letter under §648.4(a)(1)(i), unless otherwise specified in §648.17, to fail to comply with the restrictions on fishing and gear specified in §648.90(a)(5)(i)(D) through (H).

(l) Small-mesh multispecies. (1) It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a valid Federal multispecies permit to land, offload, or otherwise transfer; or attempt to land, offload, or otherwise transfer; small-mesh multispecies from one vessel to another in excess of the limits specified in §648.13.

(2) Presumptions. For purposes of this part, the following presumption applies: All small-mesh multispecies retained or possessed on a vessel issued any permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested from the EEZ.

(m) Monkfish. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel that engages in fishing for monkfish to do any of the following, unless otherwise fishing in accordance with, and exempted under, the provisions of §648.17:

(1) Permit requirement. (i) Fish for, possess, retain, or land monkfish, unless:

(A) The monkfish are being fished for, or were harvested, in or from the EEZ by a vessel issued a valid monkfish permit under §648.4(a)(9).

(B) The vessel does not hold a valid Federal monkfish permit and fishes for or possesses monkfish exclusively in state waters.

(C) The vessel does not hold a valid Federal monkfish permit and engages in recreational fishing.

(D) The monkfish were harvested from the NAFO Regulatory Area in accordance with the provisions specified under §648.17.

(ii) Fish for, possess, or land monkfish in or from the EEZ without having been issued and possessing a valid operator permit pursuant to §648.5, and this permit is onboard the vessel.

(2) Gear requirements. (i) Fish with or use nets with mesh size smaller than the minimum mesh size specified in §648.91(c) while fishing under a monkfish DAS, except as authorized by §648.91(c)(1)(iii).

(ii) Fail to immediately produce gillnet tags when requested by an authorized officer.

(iii) Tag a gillnet with, or otherwise use or possess, a gillnet tag that has been reported lost, missing, destroyed, or issued to another vessel, or use or possess a false gillnet tag.

(iv) Sell, transfer, or give away gillnet tags.

(v) If the vessel has been issued a valid limited access monkfish permit, and fishes under a monkfish DAS, fail to comply with gillnet requirements and restrictions specified in §648.92(b)(8).

(3) Area restrictions. (i) Fail to comply with the restrictions applicable to limited access Category G and H vessels specified under §648.92(b)(9).

(ii) Fail to comply with the NFMA requirements specified at §648.94(f).

(4) DAS requirements. (i) Fail to comply with the monkfish DAS provisions specified at §648.92 when issued a valid limited access monkfish permit.

(ii) Combine, transfer, or consolidate monkfish DAS allocations.

(5) Size limits. Fail to comply with the monkfish size limit restrictions of §648.93 when issued a valid monkfish permit under §648.4(a)(9) or when fishing in the EEZ.

(6) Possession and landing. (i) Fail to comply with the monkfish possession limits and landing restrictions, including liver landing restrictions, specified under §648.94.

(ii) Violate any provision of the monkfish incidental catch permit restrictions as specified in §§648.4(a)(9)(ii) or 648.94(c).

(7) Transfer and sale. (i) Sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer for a commercial purpose; or attempt to sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer for a commercial purpose; any monkfish from a vessel without having been issued a valid monkfish vessel permit, unless the vessel fishes for monkfish exclusively in state waters, or exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area in accordance with the provisions specified under §648.17.

(ii) Purchase, possess, or receive as a dealer, or in the capacity of a dealer, monkfish in excess of the possession or trip limits specified in §648.94.

(iii) Land, offload, or otherwise transfer; or attempt to land, offload, or otherwise transfer; monkfish from one vessel to another vessel, unless each vessel has not been issued a monkfish permit and fishes exclusively in state waters.

(8) Presumption. For purposes of this part, the following presumption applies: All monkfish retained or possessed on a vessel issued any permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested from the EEZ, unless the preponderance of evidence demonstrates that such fish were harvested by a vessel that fished exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area, as authorized under §648.17.

(n) Summer flounder—(1) All persons. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.22(g), it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(i) Permit requirement. Possess summer flounder in or harvested from the EEZ, either in excess of the possession limit specified in §648.106, or before or after the time period specified in §648.105, unless the vessel was issued a summer flounder moratorium permit and the moratorium permit is on board the vessel and has not been surrendered, revoked, or suspended. However, possession of summer flounder harvested from state waters is allowed for state-only permitted vessels when transiting Federal waters within the Block Island Sound Transit Area provided they follow the provisions at §648.111.

(ii) Transfer and purchase. (A) Purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land, summer flounder from the owner or operator of a vessel issued a summer flounder moratorium permit, unless in possession of a valid summer flounder dealer permit.

(B) Purchase or otherwise receive for commercial purposes summer flounder caught by a vessel subject to the possession limit of §648.106.

(C) Purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose summer flounder landed in a state after the effective date published in the Federal Register notifying permit holders that commercial quota is no longer available in that state for the respective fishing year.

(iii) Gear requirements. Possess nets or netting with mesh not meeting the minimum mesh requirement of §648.108 if the person possesses summer flounder harvested in or from the EEZ in excess of the threshold limit of §648.106(a).

(2) Vessel and operator permit holders. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.102(e), it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a summer flounder permit (including a moratorium permit) to do any of the following:

(i) Possession and landing. (A) Possess 100 lb (45.4 kg) or more of summer flounder between May 1 and October 31, or 200 lb (90.7 kg) or more of summer flounder between November 1 and April 30, unless the vessel meets the gear requirements or restrictions specified in §648.108.

(B) Possess summer flounder in other than a container specified in §648.106(d) if fishing with nets having mesh that does not meet the minimum mesh-size requirement specified in §648.108(a), unless the vessel is fishing pursuant to the exemptions specified in §648.108(b).

(C) Land summer flounder for sale in a state after the effective date of a notification in the Federal Register notifying permit holders that commercial quota is no longer available in that state.

(D) Sell or transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land, any summer flounder, possessed or landed by a vessel not issued a summer flounder moratorium permit.

(ii) Transfer and purchase. Sell or transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land, any summer flounder, unless the transferee has a valid summer flounder dealer permit.

(iii) Gear requirements. (A) Fish with or possess nets or netting that do not meet the minimum mesh requirement, or that are modified, obstructed or constricted, if subject to the minimum mesh requirement specified in §648.108, unless the nets or netting are stowed in accordance with §648.108(e).

(B) Fish with or possess nets or netting that do not meet the minimum mesh requirement, or that are modified, obstructed or constricted, if fishing with an exempted net described in §648.108, unless the nets or netting are stowed in accordance with §648.108(f).

(C) Fish west or south, as appropriate, of the line specified in §648.108(b)(1) if exempted from the minimum mesh requirement specified in §648.108 by a summer flounder exemption permit.

(3) Charter/party restrictions. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.102(e), it is unlawful for the owner and operator of a party or charter boat issued a summer flounder permit (including a moratorium permit), when the boat is carrying passengers for hire or carrying more than three crew members if a charter boat or more than five members if a party boat, to:

(i) Carry passengers for hire, or carry more than three crew members for a charter boat or five crew members for a party boat, while fishing commercially pursuant to a summer flounder moratorium permit.

(ii) Possess summer flounder in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.106.

(iii) Fish for summer flounder other than during a season specified pursuant to §648.105.

(iv) Sell or transfer summer flounder to another person for a commercial purpose.

(4) Presumption. For purposes of this part, the following presumption applies: All summer flounder retained or possessed on a vessel issued a permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ.

(o) Scup—(1) All persons. Unless a vessel is participating in a research activity as described in §648.122(e) or unless a vessel has no Federal scup permit, possesses scup caught exclusively in state waters, and is transiting Federal waters within the Block Island Sound Transit Area in accordance with the provisions at §648.131, it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(i) Permit requirement. Fish for, catch, or retain for sale, barter, or trade scup in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat. on board a party or charter boat without the vessel having been issued an applicable valid party or charter boat permit pursuant to §648.4(a)(6), unless the vessel other than a party or charter vessel observes the possession limit restrictions and prohibition against sales specified in §648.125.

(ii) Possession and landing. (A) Possess scup in or harvested from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat. in an area closed, or before or after a season established pursuant to §§648.124 and 648.127.

(B) Possess scup in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.125.

(C) Fish for, possess, or land scup harvested in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat. for a commercial purpose after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota has been harvested.

(D) Fish for, catch, possess, or retain scup in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat. in excess of the amount specified in §648.125, unless the vessel complies with all of the gear restrictions in §648.125.

(E) Fish for, catch, retain, or land scup in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat. in excess of the limit established through the annual specification process and published in the Federal Register pursuant to §648.122(a).

(iii) Minimum fish size. Possess, other than solely for transport on land, scup harvested in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat. that do not meet the minimum fish size specified in §648.126.

(iv) Transfer and purchase. Purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose scup harvested from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat., or from a vessel issued a scup moratorium permit after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota has been harvested.

(v) Gear requirements. Fail to comply with any of the gear restrictions specified in §648.125.

(vi) Gear restricted areas. Fish for, catch, possess, retain, or land longfin squid, silver hake, or black sea bass in or from the areas and during the time periods described in §648.124(a) or (b) while in possession of any trawl nets or netting that do not meet the minimum mesh restrictions or that are obstructed or constricted as specified in §§648.124 and 648.125(a), unless the nets or netting are stowed in accordance with §648.125(a)(5).

(2) Vessel and operator permit holders. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.122(e), it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a scup permit (including a moratorium permit) to do any of the following:

(i) Possession and landing. (A) Possess scup in excess of the threshold amount specified in §648.125, unless the vessel meets the minimum mesh-size restrictions specified in §648.125.

(B) Land scup for sale after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota has been harvested.

(C) Possess scup in, or harvested from, the EEZ in an area closed by, or before or after a season established pursuant to §648.124.

(ii) Transfer and purchase. (A) Sell or transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land, any scup, unless the transferee has a dealer permit issued under §648.6.

(B) Transfer scup at sea, or attempt to transfer at sea to any vessel, any scup taken from the EEZ, unless in compliance with the provisions of §648.13(i).

(3) Charter/party requirements. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.122(e), it is unlawful for the owner or operator of a party or charter boat issued a scup permit (including a moratorium permit), when the boat is carrying passengers for hire, or when carrying more than three crew members, if a charter boat, or more than five members, if a party boat to:

(i) Carry passengers for hire, or carry more than three crew members for a charter boat, or five crew members for a party boat, while fishing for scup under the terms of a moratorium permit issued pursuant to §648.4(a)(6).

(ii) Possess scup in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.128.

(iii) Fish for scup other than during a season established pursuant to §648.124.

(iv) Sell scup or transfer scup to another person for a commercial purpose other than solely for transport on land.

(v) Possess scup that do not meet the minimum fish size specified in §648.126(b).

(4) Presumption. For purposes of this part, the following presumption applies: All scup retained or possessed on a vessel issued a permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ, north of 35°15.3 N. lat., unless a preponderance of the evidence shows the fish were harvested by a vessel that fished exclusively in state waters.

(p) Black sea bass—(1) All persons. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.142(e), it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(i) Permit requirement. Possess black sea bass in or harvested from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat., either in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.145, or before or after the time period established pursuant to §648.146, unless the person is operating a vessel issued a moratorium permit under §648.4 and the moratorium permit is on board the vessel. However, possession of black sea bass harvested from state waters is allowed for state-only permitted vessels when transiting Federal waters within the Block Island Sound Transit Area provided they follow the provisions at §648.151.

(ii) Possession and landing. Fish for, catch, possess, land, or retain black sea bass in or from the EEZ north of 35°15.3 N. lat. (the latitude of Cape Hatteras Light, NC, to the U.S.-Canadian border) in excess of the amount specified in §648.144(a)(1)(i), unless the vessel complies with all of the gear restrictions at §648.144(a).

(iii) Transfer and purchase. Purchase or otherwise receive for commercial purposes, other than solely for transport on land, black sea bass landed for sale by a moratorium vessel in any state, or part thereof, north of 35°15.3 N. lat., after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial annual quota has been harvested and the EEZ is closed to the harvest of black sea bass.

(iv) Gear restriction. Fail to comply with any of the gear restrictions specified in §648.144.

(v) Size limits. Fish for, possess, land, or retain black sea bass in or from the EEZ that does not comply with the minimum or maximum (as applicable) fish size specified in §648.147.

(vi) Special management zone. Fail to comply with any of the restrictions for special management zones specified in §648.148(b).

(2) Vessel and operator permit holders. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.142(e), it is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a black sea bass permit (including a moratorium permit) to do any of the following:

(i) Permit requirement. Sell or transfer to another person for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land, any black sea bass from a vessel, unless the transferee has a valid black sea bass dealer permit.

(ii) Possession and landing. (A) Land black sea bass for sale in any state, or part thereof, north of 35°15.3 N. lat. after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial annual quota has been harvested and the EEZ is closed to the harvest of black sea bass.

(B) [Reserved]

(C) Land black sea bass for sale in any state south of North Carolina.

(D) Possess black sea bass after the effective date of a notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial annual quota has been harvested and the EEZ is closed to the harvest of black sea bass, unless the vessel has been issued a Southeast Region Snapper/Grouper Permit and fishes for and possess black sea bass south of 35°15.3 N. lat.

(3) Charter/party restrictions. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.142(e), it is unlawful for the owner or operator of a party or charter boat issued a black sea bass permit (including a moratorium permit), when the boat is carrying passengers for hire or carrying more than three crew members, if a charter boat, or more than five members, if a party boat, to:

(i) Fish for black sea bass under the terms of a moratorium permit issued pursuant to §648.4(a)(7).

(ii) Possess, retain, or land black sea bass in excess of the possession limit established pursuant to §648.145.

(iii) Fish for black sea bass other than during a time allowed pursuant to §648.146.

(iv) Sell black sea bass or transfer black sea bass from a vessel to another person for a commercial purpose other than solely for transport on land.

(4) Presumption. For purposes of this part, the following presumption applies: All black sea bass retained or possessed on a vessel issued a permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested in the EEZ, unless the vessel also has been issued a Southeast Region Snapper/Grouper permit and fishes for, retains, or possesses black sea bass south of 35°15.3 N. lat.

(q) Bluefish. Unless participating in a research activity as described in §648.162(g), it is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Permit requirement. Possess in or harvest from the EEZ, Atlantic bluefish, in excess of the daily possession limit found at §648.164, unless the vessel is issued a valid Atlantic bluefish vessel permit under §648.4(a)(8)(i) and the permit is on board the vessel and has not been surrendered, revoked, or suspended.

(2) Possession and landing. (i) Land bluefish for sale in a state after the effective date of a notification in the Federal Register pursuant to §648.163(b), that the commercial quota is no longer available in that state.

(ii) Land bluefish for sale after the effective date of a notification in the Federal Register pursuant to §648.163(a), that the bluefish fishery is closed.

(3) Transfer and purchase. (i) Sell, barter, trade or transfer; or attempt to sell, barter, trade or otherwise transfer; other than for transport, bluefish that were harvested in or from the EEZ, unless the vessel has been issued a valid bluefish permit under §648.4(a)(8)(i).

(ii) Purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose bluefish harvested from the EEZ after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota has been harvested.

(iii) Purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose bluefish harvested by a Federally permitted vessel after the effective date of the notification published in the Federal Register stating that the commercial quota has been harvested.

(4) Charter/party restrictions. Carry passengers for hire, or carry more than three crew members for a charter boat or five crew members for a party boat, while fishing commercially pursuant to a bluefish permit issued under §648.4(a)(8).

(5) Presumption. For purposes of this part, the following presumption applies: All bluefish possessed on board a party or charter vessel issued a permit under §648.4(a)(8)(ii) are deemed to have been harvested from the EEZ.

(r) Atlantic herring—(1) All persons. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(i) Permit requirement. Operate, or act as an operator of, a vessel with an Atlantic herring permit, or a vessel fishing for or possessing herring in or from the EEZ, unless the operator has been issued, and is in possession of, a valid operator permit.

(ii) Possession and landing. (A) Fish for, possess, retain or land herring, unless:

(1) The herring are being fished for, or were harvested in or from, the EEZ by a vessel holding a valid herring permit under this part and the operator on board such vessel possesses a valid operator permit that is on board the vessel.

(2) The herring were harvested by a vessel not issued a herring permit that fished exclusively in state waters.

(3) The herring were harvested in or from the EEZ by a vessel engaged in recreational fishing.

(4) The herring were possessed for personal use as bait.

(5) Unless otherwise specified in §648.17.

(B) Fish for, possess, transfer, receive, or sell; or attempt to fish for, possess, transfer, receive, or sell; more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring per trip; or land, or attempt to land more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring per day in or from a management area closed pursuant to §648.201(a), or from a river herring and shad catch cap closure area that has been closed to specified gear pursuant to §648.201(a)(4)(ii), if the vessel has been issued and holds a valid herring permit.

(C) Possess or land more herring than is allowed by the vessel's Atlantic herring permit or the most restrictive herring possession limit associated with the permits issued to vessels working cooperatively, including vessels pair trawling, purse seining, or transferring herring at-sea.

(iii) Processing requirements. (A) Process herring that was caught in or from the EEZ by a U.S. vessel that exceeds the size limits specified in §648.4(a)(10)(iii), in excess of the specification of USAP.

(B) Discard herring carcasses at sea after removing the roe, if a Federally permitted vessel; or in the EEZ, if not a Federally permitted vessel.

(C) Catch, take, or harvest herring for roe, at sea, if a Federally permitted vessel; or if not Federally permitted, in or from the EEZ in excess of any limit established by §648.206(b)(24).

(iv) Transfer and purchase. (A) Purchase, possess, receive; or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive; as a dealer, or in the capacity of a dealer, herring harvested in or from the EEZ, without having been issued, and in possession of, a valid herring dealer permit.

(B) Purchase, possess, receive; or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive; as a processor, or in the capacity of a processor, herring from a fishing vessel with a herring permit or from a dealer with a herring dealer permit, without having been issued, and in possession of, a valid herring processor permit.

(C) Sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer; or attempt to sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer; for a commercial purpose, any herring, unless the harvesting vessel has been issued a herring permit, or unless the herring were harvested by a vessel without a Federal herring permit that fished exclusively in state waters.

(D) Purchase, possess, or receive, for a commercial purpose; or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive, for a commercial purpose; herring caught by a vessel without a herring permit, unless the herring was harvested by a vessel without a Federal herring permit that fished exclusively in state waters.

(E) Transfer, or attempt to transfer, herring to a Canadian transshipment vessel that is permitted in accordance with Public Law 104-297, if the amount of herring transshipped exceeds the amount of the border transfer specified in §648.200.

(v) Gear and vessel requirements. (A) If fishing with midwater trawl or purse seine gear, fail to comply with the requirements of §648.80(d) and (e).

(B) Catch, take, or harvest Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ with a U.S. vessel that exceeds the size limits specified in §648.4(a)(10)(iii).

(vi) Area requirements. (A) For the purposes of observer deployment, fail to notify NMFS at least 72 hr prior to departing on a declared herring trip with a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Area 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit and fishing with midwater trawl or purse seine gear, or on a trip with a vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and/or an Open Access Herring Permit that is fishing with midwater trawl gear in Management Areas 1A, 1B, and/or 3, as defined in §648.200(f)(1) and (3), pursuant to the requirements in §648.80(d) and (e).

(B) Possess, land, transfer, receive, sell, purchase, trade, or barter; or attempt to transfer, receive, sell, purchase, trade, or barter, or sell more than 2,000 lb (907 kg) of Atlantic herring per trip taken from the Herring GOM Haddock Accountability Measure Area and/or the Herring GB Haddock Accountability Measure Area, defined in §648.86(a)(3)(ii)(A)(1), by a vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit and that fished with midwater trawl gear, after the haddock cap for the area(s) has been reached pursuant to §648.86(a)(3), unless all herring possessed or landed by the vessel was caught outside the applicable Accountability Measure Area(s).

(C) Transit the Herring GOM Haddock Accountability Measure Area and/or the Herring GB Haddock Accountability Measure Area, defined in §648.86(a)(3)(ii)(A)(1), with a vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit and that fished with midwater trawl gear, when the 2,000-lb (907.2 kg) limit specified in §648.86(a)(3)(ii)(A)(1) is in place for the area being transited, in possession of more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring, unless all herring on board was caught outside of the applicable Herring GOM Haddock Accountability Measure Area and/or the Herring GB Haddock Accountability Measure Area, and all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use, as defined in §648.2.

(D) Fish for herring in Area 1A from June 1 through September 30 with midwater trawl gear.

(E) Possess or land haddock taken from the Herring GOM Haddock Accountability Measure Area and/or the Herring GB Haddock Accountability Measure Area, defined in §648.86(a)(3)(ii)(A)(1), by a vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit and that fished with midwater trawl gear, after the haddock cap for the area(s) has been reached pursuant to §648.86(a)(3), unless all haddock possessed or landed by the vessel was caught outside the applicable Accountability Measure Area(s).

(F) Transit the Herring GOM Haddock Accountability Measure Area and/or the Herring GB Haddock Accountability Measure Area, defined in §648.86(a)(3)(ii)(A)(1), with a vessel issued an Atlantic herring permit and that fished with midwater trawl gear, when the 0-lb (0-kg) haddock possession limit in §648.86(a)(3)(ii)(A)(1) is in place for the area being transited, in possession of haddock, unless all haddock on board was caught outside of the applicable Herring GOM Haddock Accountability Measure Area and/or the Herring GB Haddock Accountability Measure Area, and all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use, as defined in §648.2.

(G) Fish for, possess, or retain herring in any management area during a season that has zero percent of the herring sub-ACL allocated as specified in §648.201(d).

(vii) Transit and transport. (A) Transit or be in an area closed to fishing for Atlantic herring pursuant to §648.201(a) with more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring, unless all fishing gear is not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2.

(B) Receive Atlantic herring at sea in or from the EEZ, solely for transport, without an Atlantic herring carrier letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator or having declared an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS consistent with the requirements at §648.4(a)(10)(ii).

(C) Fail to comply with a letter of authorization from the Regional Administrator.

(D) Transit Area 1A from June 1 through September 30 with more than 2,000 lb (907.2 kg) of herring without mid-water trawl gear properly stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2.

(E) Discard haddock at sea that has been brought on deck, or pumped into the hold, of a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit fishing on a declared herring trip, regardless of gear or area fished, or on a trip with a vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and/or an Open Access Herring Permit fishing with midwater trawl gear, pursuant to the requirements in §648.80(d) and (e).

(F) Transit or be in an area that has zero percent sub-ACL available for harvest specified at §648.201(d) with herring on board, unless such herring were caught in an area or areas with an available sub-ACL specified at §648.201(d), all fishing gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2, and the vessel is issued a vessel permit that authorizes the amount of herring on board for the area where the herring was harvested.

(viii) VMS requirements. (A) Catch, take, or harvest Atlantic herring in or from the EEZ, if a limited access herring vessel, unless equipped with an operable VMS unit.

(B) Fail to notify the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement of the time and date of landing via VMS at least 6 hr prior to landing herring at the end of a declared herring trip, if a vessel has an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit and is fishing with either midwater trawl or purse seine gear, or a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and is fishing with midwater trawl gear in Management Areas 1A, 1B, and/or 3, as defined in §648.200(f)(1) and (3).

(C) Fail to declare via VMS into the herring fishery by entering the appropriate herring fishery code and appropriate gear code prior to leaving port at the start of each trip to harvest, possess, or land herring, if a vessel has been issued a Limited Access Herring Permit or issued an Areas 2/3 Open Access Herring Permit or is intending to act as an Atlantic herring carrier.

(D) Fail to notify NMFS Office of Law Enforcement through VMS of the time and place of offloading at least 6 hr prior to landing or, if fishing ends less than 6 hours before landing, as soon as the vessel stops catching fish, if a vessel has been issued a Limited Access Herring Permit or issued an Areas 2/3 Open Access Herring Permit or has declared an Atlantic herring carrier trip via VMS.

(2) Vessel and operator permit holders. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel holding a valid Federal Atlantic herring permit, or issued an operator's permit, to do any of the following:

(i) Sell, purchase, receive, trade, barter, or transfer haddock or other regulated NE. multispecies (cod, witch flounder, plaice, yellowtail flounder, pollock, winter flounder, windowpane flounder, redfish, white hake, and Atlantic wolffish); or attempt to sell, purchase, receive, trade, barter, or transfer haddock or other regulated NE. multispecies for human consumption; if the regulated NE. multispecies are landed by a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit fishing on a declared herring trip, regardless of gear or area fished, or by a vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and/or an Open Access Herring Permit fishing with midwater trawl gear pursuant to §648.80(d).

(ii) Fail to comply with requirements for herring processors/dealers that handle individual fish to separate out, and retain, for at least 12 hr, all haddock offloaded from a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit that fished on a declared herring trip regardless of gear or area fished, or by a vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and/or an Open Access Herring Permit that fished with midwater trawl gear pursuant to §648.80(d).

(iii) Sell, purchase, receive, trade, barter, or transfer; or attempt to sell, purchase, receive, trade, barter, or transfer; to another person, any haddock or other regulated NE. multispecies (cod, witch flounder, plaice, yellowtail flounder, pollock, winter flounder, windowpane flounder, redfish, white hake, and Atlantic wolffish) separated out from a herring catch offloaded from a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit that fished on a declared herring trip regardless of gear or area fished, or by a vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and/or an Open Access Herring Permit that fished with midwater trawl gear pursuant to §648.80(d).

(iv) While operating as an at-sea herring processor, fail to comply with requirements to separate out and retain all haddock offloaded from a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit that fished on a declared herring trip regardless of gear or area fished, or by a vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and/or an Open Access Herring Permit that fished with midwater trawl gear pursuant to §648.80(d).

(v) Fish with midwater trawl gear in any Northeast Multispecies Closed Area, as defined in §648.81(a)(3) through (5) and (c)(3) and (4), without a NMFS-approved observer on board, if the vessel has been issued an Atlantic herring permit.

(vi) Slip or operationally discard catch, as defined at §648.2, unless for one of the reasons specified at §648.202(b)(2), if fishing any part of a tow inside the Northeast Multispecies Closed Areas, as defined at §648.81(a)(3) through (5) and (c)(3) and (4).

(vii) Fail to immediately leave the Northeast Multispecies Closed Areas or comply with reporting requirements after slipping catch or operationally discarding catch, as required by §648.202(b)(4).

(viii) Slip catch, as defined at §648.2, unless for one the reasons specified at §648.11(m)(4)(i).

(ix) For vessels with All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permits, fail to move 15 nm (27.78 km), as required by §648.11(m)(4)(iv) and §648.202(b)(4)(iv).

(x) For vessels with All Areas or Areas 2/3 Limited Access Herring Permits, fail to immediately return to port, as required by §648.11(m)(4)(v) and §648.202(b)(4)(iv).

(xi) Fail to complete, sign, and submit a Released Catch Affidavit as required by §648.11(m)(4)(iii) and §648.202(b)(4)(ii).

(xii) Fail to report or fail to accurately report a slippage event on the Atlantic herring daily VMS catch report, as required by §648.11(m)(4)(iii) and §648.202(b)(4)(iii).

(3) Presumption. For purposes of this part, the following presumption applies: All Atlantic herring retained or possessed on a vessel issued any permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested from the EEZ, unless the preponderance of all submitted evidence demonstrates that such Atlantic herring were harvested by a vessel fishing exclusively in state waters.

(s) Spiny dogfish—(1) All persons. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(i) Permit requirement. Purchase or otherwise receive, other than solely for transport on land, spiny dogfish from any person on board a vessel issued a Federal spiny dogfish permit, unless the purchaser/receiver is in possession of a valid spiny dogfish dealer permit.

(ii) Transfer and purchase. Purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose spiny dogfish landed by a Federally permitted vessel in any state, from Maine to Florida, after the EEZ is closed to the harvest of spiny dogfish.

(2) Vessel and operator permit holders. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a valid Federal spiny dogfish permit or issued a valid Federal operator's permit to do any of the following:

(i) Permit requirement. Sell, barter, trade or transfer; or attempt to sell, barter, trade or otherwise transfer; other than solely for transport on land, spiny dogfish, unless the dealer, transferor, or transferee has a valid dealer permit issued under §648.6(a).

(ii) Possession and landing. (A) Fish for or possess spiny dogfish harvested in or from the EEZ after the EEZ is closed to the harvest of spiny dogfish.

(B) Land spiny dogfish for a commercial purpose after the EEZ is closed to the harvest of spiny dogfish.

(C) Possess more than the daily possession limit of spiny dogfish specified in §648.235.

(iii) Prohibition on finning. Violate any of the provisions in §§600.1203 and 600.1204 applicable to the dogfish fishery that prohibit finning.

(t) Red crab. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

(1) Permit requirement. Fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter; or attempt to fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter; any red crab or red crab parts in or from the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit, unless in possession of a valid Federal limited access red crab vessel permit or Federal red crab incidental catch permit.

(2) Possession and landing. (i) Fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter; or attempt to fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter; red crab in excess of the limits specified in §648.263.

(ii) Restriction on female red crabs. Fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter; or attempt to fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter; female red crabs in excess of one standard U.S. fish tote.

(iii) Fish for, possess, or land red crab, in excess of the incidental limit specified at §648.263(b)(1), after determination that the TAL has been reached and notice of the closure date has been made.

(3) Transfer and purchase. (i) Transfer at sea, or attempt to transfer at sea, either directly or indirectly, any red crab or red crab parts taken in or from the EEZ portion of the red crab management unit to any vessel.

(ii) Purchase, possess, or receive; or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive; more than 500 lb (226.8 kg) of whole red crab, or its equivalent in weight in accordance with the conversion provisions in §648.263(a)(2), caught or possessed in the EEZ portion of the red crab management unit by a vessel without a valid Federal limited access red crab permit.

(iii) Purchase, possess, or receive; or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive; up to 500 lb (226.8 kg) of whole red crab, or its equivalent in weight in accordance with the conversion provisions in §648.263(a)(2), caught in the EEZ portion of the Red Crab Management Unit by a vessel that has not been issued a valid limited access red crab permit or red crab incidental catch permit under this subpart.

(iv) Purchase or otherwise receive for a commercial purpose in excess of the incidental limit specified at §648.263(b)(1), after determination that the TAL has been reached and notice of the closure date has been made.

(4) Prohibitions on processing and mutilation. (i) Retain, possess, or land red crab claws and legs separate from crab bodies in excess of one standard U.S. fish tote, if fishing on a red crab trip with a valid Federal limited access red crab permit.

(ii) Retain, possess, or land any red crab claws and legs separate from crab bodies if the vessel has not been issued a valid Federal limited access red crab permit or has been issued a valid Federal limited access red crab permit, but is not fishing on a dedicated red crab trip.

(iii) Retain, possess, or land more than two claws and eight legs per crab if the vessel has been issued a valid Federal red crab incidental catch permit, or has been issued a valid Federal limited access red crab permit and is not fishing on a dedicated red crab trip.

(iv) Possess or land red crabs that have been fully processed at sea, i.e., engage in any activity that removes meat from any part of a red crab, unless a preponderance of available evidence shows that the vessel fished exclusively in state waters and was not issued a valid Federal permit.

(5) Gear requirements. Fail to comply with any gear requirements or restrictions specified at §648.264.

(6) Presumption. For purposes of this part, the following presumption applies: All red crab retained or possessed on a vessel issued any permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested in or from the Red Crab Management Unit, unless the preponderance of all submitted evidence demonstrates that such red crab were harvested by a vessel fishing exclusively outside of the Red Crab Management Unit or in state waters.

(u) Golden and blueline tilefish. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel to do any of the following:

(1) Permit requirements—(i) Operator permit. Operate, or act as an operator of, a vessel with a tilefish permit, or a vessel fishing for or possessing golden or blueline tilefish in or from the Tilefish Management Unit, unless the operator has been issued, and is in possession of, a valid operator permit. This requirement does not apply to operators of private recreational vessels.

(ii) Dealer permit. Purchase, possess, receive for a commercial purpose; or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive for a commercial purpose; as a dealer, or in the capacity of a dealer, golden or blueline tilefish that were harvested in or from the Tilefish Management Unit, without having been issued, and in possession of, a valid tilefish dealer permit.

(iii) Vessel permit. (A) Sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer from a vessel; or attempt to sell, barter, trade, or otherwise transfer from a vessel; for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land, any golden or blueline tilefish, unless the vessel has been issued a commercial tilefish permit, or unless the tilefish were harvested by a vessel without a commercial tilefish permit that fished exclusively in State waters.

(B) Operate a vessel that takes recreational fishermen for hire to fish for golden or blueline tilefish in the Tilefish Management Unit without a valid tilefish charter/party vessel permit, as required in §648.4(a)(12)(i).

(2) Possession and landing. (i) Fish for, possess, retain, or land golden or blueline tilefish, unless:

(A) The tilefish are being fished for or were harvested in or from the Tilefish Management Unit by a vessel holding a valid tilefish permit under this part, and the operator on board such vessel has been issued an operator permit that is on board the vessel.

(B) The tilefish were harvested by a vessel that has not been issued a tilefish permit and that was fishing exclusively in State waters.

(C) The tilefish were harvested in or from the Tilefish Management Unit by a vessel, other than a charter/party vessel, that is engaged in recreational fishing.

(ii) Land or possess golden or blueline tilefish harvested in or from the Tilefish Management Unit, in excess of either:

(A) The relevant commercial trip limit specified at §648.295, unless possessing golden tilefish authorized pursuant to a valid tilefish IFQ allocation permit, as specified in §648.294(a).

(B) The relevant recreational possession limit specified at §648.296, if engaged in recreational fishing including charter/party vessels.

(iii) Land golden tilefish harvested in or from the Tilefish Management Unit in excess of that authorized under a tilefish IFQ allocation permit as described at §648.294(a).

(iv) Fish for golden or blueline tilefish inside and outside of the Tilefish Management Unit on the same trip.

(v) Discard golden tilefish harvested in or from the Tilefish Management Unit, as defined in §648.2, unless participating in recreational fishing, as defined in §648.2, or while fishing subject to a trip limit pursuant to §648.295(a).

(vi) Land or possess golden tilefish in or from the Tilefish Management Unit, on a vessel issued a valid tilefish permit under this part, after the incidental golden tilefish fishery is closed pursuant to §648.295(a)(3), unless fishing under a valid tilefish IFQ allocation permit as specified in §648.294(a), or engaged in recreational fishing.

(vii) Land or possess blueline tilefish in or from the Tilefish Management Unit, on a vessel issued a valid tilefish permit under this part, after the commercial blueline tilefish fishery is closed pursuant to §648.295(b)(2), unless engaged in recreational fishing.

(viii) Land or possess golden or blueline tilefish in or from the Tilefish Management Unit, on a vessel issued a valid commercial tilefish permit under this part, that do not have the head and fins naturally attached to the fish.

(ix) Engage in recreational fishing for golden tilefish with fishing gear that is not compliant with the gear restrictions specified at §648.296.

(x) Engage in recreational fishing for blueline tilefish outside of the recreational open season specified at §648.296(b).

(3) Transfer and purchase. (i) Purchase, possess, or receive for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land; or attempt to purchase, possess, or receive for a commercial purpose, other than solely for transport on land; golden or blueline tilefish caught by a vessel without a tilefish permit, unless the tilefish were harvested by a vessel without a tilefish permit that fished exclusively in State waters.

(ii) Purchase or otherwise receive for commercial purposes golden or blueline tilefish caught in the EEZ from outside the Tilefish Management Unit unless otherwise permitted under 50 CFR part 622.

(4) Presumption. For purposes of this part, the following presumption applies: All golden or blueline tilefish retained or possessed on a vessel issued any permit under §648.4 are deemed to have been harvested in or from the Tilefish Management Unit, unless the preponderance of all submitted evidence demonstrates that such tilefish were harvested by a vessel fishing exclusively in state waters.

(v) Skates—(1) All persons. It is unlawful for any person to fish for, possess, transport, sell or land skates in or from the EEZ portion of the skate management unit, unless:

(i) Onboard a vessel that possesses a valid skate vessel permit.

(ii) Onboard a federally permitted lobster vessel (i.e., transfer at sea recipient) while in possession of only whole skates as bait that are less than the maximum size specified at §648.322(c).

(2) All Federal permit holders. It is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel holding a valid Federal permit to do any of the following:

(i) Retain, possess, or land thorny skates taken in or from the EEZ portion of the skate management unit specified at §648.2.

(ii) Retain, possess, or land barndoor skates taken in or from the EEZ portion of the skate management unit when fishing under a bait letter of authorization as described in §648.322(c); when fishing under a NE multispecies Category B DAS as described under §648.322(b); when fishing under the incidental skate possession limit for vessels not under a DAS as described in §648.322(b)(4); or when fishing in a NE multispecies DAS exemption program that allows the possession of skate or skate parts in an amount not to exceed 10 percent by weight of all other species on board, as specified in §648.80(b)(3)(ii), without a NE multispecies or monkfish DAS.

(iii) Discard any skate wings when in possession of barndoor skate wings.

(iv) Retain, possess, or land smooth skates taken in or from the GOM RMA described at §648.80(a)(1)(i).

(3) Skate permitted vessel requirements. It is unlawful for any owner or operator of a vessel holding a valid Federal skate permit to do any of the following:

(i) Skate wings. Fail to comply with the conditions of the skate wing possession and landing limits specified at §648.322(b), unless holding a valid letter of authorization to fish for and land skates as bait at §648.322(c).

(ii) Possession and transfer. (A) Transfer at sea, or attempt to transfer at sea, to any vessel, any skates unless in compliance with the provisions of §§648.13(h) and 648.322(c).

(B) Purchase, possess, trade, barter, or receive; or attempt to purchase, possess, trade, barter, or receive; skates caught in the EEZ portion of the skate management unit by a vessel that has not been issued a valid Federal skate permit under this part.

(C) Fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter; or attempt to fish for, catch, possess, transport, land, sell, trade, or barter; whole skates and skate wings in excess of the possession limits specified at §648.322.

(iii) DAS notification and skate wing possession. Fail to comply with the provisions of the DAS notification program specified in §§648.53, 648.82, and 648.92; for the Atlantic sea scallop, NE multispecies, and monkfish fisheries, respectively; when issued a valid skate permit and fishing under the skate wing possession limits at §648.322.

(iv) SNE Trawl and Gillnet Exemption areas restrictions. Fail to comply with the restrictions under the SNE Trawl and Gillnet Exemption areas for the NE skate fisheries at §§648.80(b)(5)(i)(B) and 648.80(b)(6)(i)(B).

(4) Presumption. For purposes of this part, the following presumption applies: All skates retained or possessed on a vessel are deemed to have been harvested in or from the Skate Management Unit, unless the preponderance of evidence demonstrates that such skates were harvested by a vessel, that has not been issued a Federal skate permit, fishing exclusively outside of the EEZ portion (such as fishing within the NAFO Regulatory Area under §648.17(a)(3)) of the skate management unit or only in state waters.

(w) Mid-Atlantic forage species and Atlantic chub mackerel. It is unlawful for any person owning or operating a vessel issued a valid commercial permit under this part to do any of the following:

(1) Fish for, possess, transfer, receive, or land; or attempt to fish for, possess, transfer, receive, or land; more than 1,700 lb (771.11 kg) of all Mid-Atlantic forage species combined per trip in or from the Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit, as defined at §648.351(c). A vessel not issued a commercial permit in accordance with §648.4 that fished exclusively in state waters or a vessel that fished Federal waters outside of the Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit that is transiting the area with gear that is stowed and not available for immediate use is exempt from this prohibition.

(2) Fish for, possess, transfer, receive, or land; or attempt to fish for, possess, transfer, receive, or land; more than 40,000 lb (18.14 mt) of Atlantic chub mackerel per trip in or from the Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit, as defined at §648.351(c), after the annual Atlantic chub mackerel landing limit has been harvested and notice has been provided to the public consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. A vessel not issued a commercial permit in accordance with §648.4 that fished exclusively in state waters or a vessel that fished in Federal waters outside of the Mid-Atlantic Forage Species Management Unit that is transiting the area with gear that is stowed and not available for immediate use is exempt from this prohibition.

[74 FR 20535, May 4, 2009]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §648.14, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§648.15   Facilitation of enforcement.

(a) General. See §600.504 of this chapter.

(b) Special notification requirements applicable to surfclam and ocean quahog vessel owners and operators. (1) Surfclam and ocean quahog open access permitted vessels. Vessel owners or operators issued an open access surfclam or ocean quahog open access permit for fishing in the ITQ Program, as specified at §648.74, are required to declare their intended fishing activity via VMS prior to leaving port.

(2) Maine mahogany quahog limited access permitted vessels. Beginning January 1, 2009, vessel owners or operators issued a limited access Maine mahogany quahog permit for fishing for Maine mahogany quahogs in the Maine mahogany quahog zone, as specified at §648.78, are required to declare via VMS, prior to leaving port, and entering the Maine mahogany quahog zone, their intended fishing activity, unless otherwise exempted under paragraph §648.4(a)(4)(ii)(B)(1).

(3) Declaration out of surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries. Owners or operators that are transiting between ports or fishing in a fishery other than surfclams and ocean quahogs must either declare out of fisheries or declare the appropriate fishery, if required, via the VMS unit, before leaving port. The owner or operator discontinuing a fishing trip in the EEZ or Maine mahogany quahog zone must return to port and offload any surfclams or ocean quahogs prior to commencing fishing operations in the waters under the jurisdiction of any state.

(4) Inspection by authorized officer. The vessel permits, the vessel, its gear, and catch shall be subject to inspection upon request by an authorized officer.

(5) Authorization for use of fishing trip notification via telephone. The Regional Administrator may authorize or require the notification of surfclam or ocean quahog fishing trip information via a telephone call to the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement nearest to the point of offloading, instead of the use of VMS. If authorized, the vessel owner or operator must accurately provide the following information prior to departure of his/her vessel from the dock to fish for surfclams or ocean quahogs in the EEZ: Name of the vessel; NMFS permit number assigned to the vessel; expected date and time of departure from port; whether the trip will be directed on surfclams or ocean quahogs; expected date, time, and location of landing; and name of individual providing notice. If use of a telephone call-in notification is authorized or required, the Regional Administrator shall notify affected permit holders through a letter, notification in the Federal Register, e-mail, or other appropriate means.

(c) Radio hails. Permit holders, while underway, must be alert for communication conveying enforcement instructions and immediately answer via VHF-FM radio, channel 16 when hailed by an authorized officer. Vessels not required to have VHF-FM radios by the Coast Guard are exempt from this requirement.

(d) Retention of haddock by herring dealers and processors. (1) Federally permitted herring dealers and processors, including at-sea processors, that cull or separate out from the herring catch all fish other than herring in the course of normal operations, must separate out and retain all haddock offloaded from a vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit that fished on a declared herring trip regardless of gear or area fished, or by a vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and/or an Open Access Herring Permit that fished with midwater trawl gear pursuant to §648.80(d). Such haddock may not be sold, purchased, received, traded, bartered, or transferred, and must be retained, after they have been separated, for at least 12 hr for dealers and processors on land, and for 12 hr after landing by at-sea processors. The dealer or processor, including at-sea processors, must clearly indicate the vessel that landed the retained haddock or transferred the retained haddock to an at-sea processor. Authorized officers must be given access to inspect the haddock.

(2) All haddock separated out and retained is subject to reporting requirements specified at §648.7.

(e) Retention of haddock by herring vessels using midwater trawl gear. A vessel issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit fishing on a declared herring trip regardless of gear or area fished, or a vessel issued a Limited Access Incidental Catch Herring Permit and/or an Open Access Herring Permit and fishing with midwater trawl gear pursuant to §648.80(d), may not discard any haddock that has been brought on the deck or pumped into the hold.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 14648, Mar. 27, 1997; 63 FR 27485, May 19, 1998; 71 FR 46875, Aug. 15, 2006; 72 FR 11276, Mar. 12, 2007; 72 FR 51703, Sept. 11, 2007; 76 FR 56997, Sept. 15, 2011; 76 FR 60649, Sept. 29, 2011]

§648.16   Penalties.

See §600.735.

§648.17   Exemptions for vessels fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

(a) Fisheries included under exemption—(1) NE multispecies. A vessel issued a valid High Seas Fishing Compliance Permit under part 300 of this title and that complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section, is exempt from NE multispecies permit, mesh size, effort-control, minimum fish size, and possession limit restrictions, specified in §§648.4, 648.80, 648.82, 648.83, and 648.86, respectively, while transiting the EEZ with NE multispecies on board the vessel, or landing NE multispecies in U.S. ports that were caught while fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

(2) Monkfish. A vessel issued a valid High Seas Fishing Compliance Permit under part 300 of this title and that complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section is exempt from monkfish permit, mesh size, effort-control, and possession limit restrictions, specified in §§648.4, 648.91, 648.92 and 648.94, respectively, while transiting the EEZ with monkfish on board the vessel, or landing monkfish in U.S. ports that were caught while fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

(3) Skates. A vessel issued a valid High Seas Fishing Compliance Permit under part 300 of this title and that complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section is exempt from skate permit and possession limit restrictions, specified in §§648.4 and 648.322, respectively, and from Atlantic sea scallop, NE multispecies, or monkfish DAS effort control restrictions specified in §§648.53, 648.82, and 648.92, respectively, and from mesh size and gear restrictions specified in §§648.51, 648.80, and 648.91, respectively, while transiting the EEZ with skates on board the vessel, or landing skates in U.S. ports that were caught while fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area. These vessels may possess, retain, and land barndoor skate; however, they may not possess, retain, or land other prohibited skate species specified in §§648.14(v) and 648.322(g).

(b) General requirements. (1) The vessel operator has a valid letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator on board the vessel;

(2) For the duration of the trip, the vessel fishes, except for transiting purposes, exclusively in the NAFO Regulatory Area and does not harvest fish in, or possess fish harvested in, or from, the EEZ;

(3) When transiting the EEZ, all gear is properly stowed in accordance with the definition of not available for immediate use as defined in §648.2; and

(4) The vessel operator complies with the High Seas Fishing Compliance Permit and all NAFO conservation and enforcement measures while fishing in the NAFO Regulatory Area.

[70 FR 21942, Apr. 28, 2005, as amended at 79 FR 52580, Sept. 4, 2014; 83 FR 48987, Sept. 28, 2018; 84 FR 34814, July 19, 2019]

§648.18   Standardized bycatch reporting methodology.

NMFS shall comply with the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM) provisions established in the following fishery management plans by the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology: An Omnibus Amendment to the Fishery Management Plans of the Mid-Atlantic and New England Regional Fishery Management Councils, completed March 2015, also known as the SBRM Omnibus Amendment, by the New England Fishery Management Council, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, National Marine Fisheries Service Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, and National Marine Fisheries Service Northeast Fisheries Science Center: Atlantic Bluefish; Atlantic Mackerel, Squid, and Butterfish; Atlantic Sea Scallop; Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean Quahog; Atlantic Herring; Atlantic Salmon; Deep-Sea Red Crab; Monkfish; Northeast Multispecies; Northeast Skate Complex; Spiny Dogfish; Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass; and Tilefish. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain a copy of the SBRM Omnibus Amendment from the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov, 978-281-9300). You may inspect a copy at the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930 or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: www.archives.gov/federal__register/code__of__federal__regulations/ibr__locations.html.

[80 FR 37193, June 30, 2015]

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