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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 20, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 660 → Subpart E


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES


Subpart E—West Coast Groundfish—Limited Entry Fixed Gear Fisheries


Contents
§660.210   Purpose and scope.
§660.211   Fixed gear fishery—definitions.
§660.212   Fixed gear fishery—prohibitions.
§660.213   Fixed gear fishery—recordkeeping and reporting.
§660.216   Fixed gear fishery—observer requirements.
§660.219   Fixed gear identification and marking.
§660.220   Fixed gear fishery—crossover provisions.
§660.230   Fixed gear fishery—management measures.
§660.231   Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery.
§660.232   Limited entry daily trip limit (DTL) fishery for sablefish.
Table 2 (North) to Part 660, Subpart E—Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear North of 40°10 N Lat.
Table 2 (South) to Part 660, Subpart E—Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear South of 40°10 N Lat.

Source: 75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, unless otherwise noted.

§660.210   Purpose and scope.

This subpart covers the Pacific Coast Groundfish limited entry fixed gear fishery.

§660.211   Fixed gear fishery—definitions.

These definitions are specific to the limited entry fixed gear fisheries covered in this subpart. General groundfish definitions are found at §660.11, subpart C.

Daily Trip Limit (DTL) Fishery means a sablefish fishery that occurs both north and south of 36° N. lat. that is subject to trip limit restrictions including daily and/or weekly and/or bimonthly trip limits.

Limited entry fixed gear fishery means the fishery composed of vessels registered to limited entry permits with longline and pot/trap endorsements.

Sablefish primary fishery means, for the limited entry fixed gear sablefish fishery north of 36° N. lat, the fishery where vessels registered to at least one limited entry permit with both a gear endorsement for longline or trap (or pot) gear and a sablefish endorsement fish up to a specified tier limit and when they are not eligible to fish in the DTL fishery.

Sablefish primary season means, for the limited entry fixed gear sablefish fishery north of 36° N. lat, the period when vessels registered to at least one limited entry permit with both a gear endorsement for longline or trap (or pot) gear and a sablefish endorsement, are allowed to fish in the sablefish primary fishery described at §660.231 of this subpart.

Tier limit means a specified amount of sablefish that may be harvested by a vessel registered to a limited entry fixed gear permit(s) with a Tier 1, Tier 2, and/or Tier 3 designation; a gear endorsement for longline or trap (or pot) gear; and a sablefish endorsement.

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 53838, Aug. 30, 2011]

§660.212   Fixed gear fishery—prohibitions.

These prohibitions are specific to the limited entry fixed gear fisheries and to the limited entry trawl fishery Shorebased IFQ Program under gear switching. In addition to the general prohibitions specified in §§660.12 and 600.725 of this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to:

(a) General. (1) Possess, deploy, haul, or carry onboard a fishing vessel subject to subparts C and E a set net, trap or pot, longline, or commercial vertical hook-and-line as defined at §660.11, subpart C, that is not in compliance with the gear restrictions in §660.230, subpart E, unless such gear is the gear of another vessel that has been retrieved at sea and made inoperable or stowed in a manner not capable of being fished. The disposal at sea of such gear is prohibited by Annex V of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973 (Annex V of MARPOL 73/78).

(2) Take and retain, possess, or land more than a single cumulative limit of a particular species, per vessel, per applicable cumulative limit period, except for sablefish taken in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary season from a vessel authorized to fish in that season, as described at §660.231 and except for IFQ species taken in the Shorebased IFQ Program from a vessel authorized under gear switching provisions as described at §660.140(k).

(3) Transport fish, if that fish includes any amount of sablefish, away from the point of landing before being sorted and weighed by federal groundfish species or species group, and recorded for submission on an electronic fish ticket under §660.213(e). (If fish will be transported to a different location for processing, all sorting and weighing to federal groundfish species groups must occur before transporting the fish away from the point of landing).

(4) Mix fish from more than one landing, where one or more of the landings includes any sablefish, prior to the fish being sorted and weighed for reporting on an electronic fish ticket under §660.213(e).

(5) Process, sell, or discard any fish, if that fish includes any amount of sablefish, that has not been accounted for on an electronic fish ticket under §660.213(e).

(b) Recordkeeping and reporting. (1) Fail to comply with all recordkeeping and reporting requirements at §660.13, subpart C; including failure to submit information, or submission of inaccurate or false information on any report required at §660.13(d), subpart C, and §660.213.

(2) Falsify or fail to make and/or file, retain or make available any and all reports of groundfish landings that include sablefish, containing all data, and in the exact manner, required by the regulation at §660.13, subpart C, or §660.213.

(c) Fishing in conservation areas.(1) Operate a vessel registered to a limited entry permit with a longline, trap (pot), or trawl endorsement and longline and/or trap gear onboard in an applicable GCA (as defined at §660.230(d)), except for purposes of continuous transiting, with all groundfish longline and/or trap gear stowed in accordance with §660.212(a) or except as authorized in the groundfish management measures at §660.230.

(2) Fish with bottom contact gear (defined at §660.11) within specific EFHCAs or the DECA, as specified in §660.12(a).

(d) Sablefish fisheries. (1) Take and retain, possess or land sablefish under the tier limits provided for the limited entry, fixed gear sablefish primary season, described in §660.231(b)(3), from a vessel that is not registered to a limited entry permit with a sablefish endorsement.

(2) Take and retain, possess or land sablefish in the sablefish primary season, described at §660.231(b), unless the owner of the limited entry permit registered for use with that vessel and authorizing the vessel to fish in the sablefish primary season is on board that vessel. Exceptions to this prohibition are provided at §660.231(b)(4)(i) and (ii).

(3) Process sablefish taken at-sea in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery defined at §660.231, from a vessel that does not have a sablefish at-sea processing exemption, described at §660.25(b)(6)(i).

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 75 FR 78427, Dec. 15, 2010; 76 FR 53838, Aug. 30, 2011; 76 FR 74746, Dec. 1, 2011; 81 FR 84430, Nov. 23, 2016; 84 FR 63991, Nov. 19, 2019]

§660.213   Fixed gear fishery—recordkeeping and reporting.

(a) General. General reporting requirements specified at §660.13 (a) through (c), subpart C, apply to limited entry fixed gear fishery vessels.

(b) Declaration reports for limited entry fixed gear fishery vessels. Declaration reporting requirements for limited entry fixed gear fishery vessels are specified at §660.13 (d), subpart C.

(c) VMS requirements for limited entry fixed gear fishery vessels. VMS requirements for limited entry fixed gear fishery vessels are specified at §660.14, subpart C.

(d) Retention of records. (1) Any person landing groundfish must retain on board the vessel from which groundfish are landed, and provide to an authorized officer upon request, copies of any and all reports of groundfish landings containing all data, and in the exact manner, required by the applicable state law throughout the cumulative limit period during which a landing occurred and for 15 days thereafter. All relevant records used in the preparation of electronic fish ticket reports or corrections to these reports, including dock tickets, must be maintained for a period of not less than three years after the date of landing and must be immediately available upon request for inspection by NMFS or authorized officers or others as specifically authorized by NMFS.

(2) For participants in the sablefish primary season, the cumulative limit period to which this requirement applies is April 1 through October 31 or, for an individual vessel owner, when the tier limit for the permit(s) registered to the vessel has been reached, whichever is earlier.

(e) Electronic fish ticket. The first receiver, as defined at §660.11, subpart C, of fish, if that fish includes any amount of sablefish, from a limited entry fixed gear vessel, is responsible for compliance with all reporting requirements described in this paragraph. Per requirements at §660.212(a), all fish, if that fish includes any amount of sablefish, must be reported via electronic fish ticket. When used in this paragraph, submit means to transmit final electronic fish ticket information via web-based form or, if a waiver is granted, by paper form. When used in this paragraph, record means the action of documenting electronic fish ticket information in any written format.

(1) Required information. All first receivers must provide the following types of information: Date of landing, vessel that made the landing, vessel identification number, limited entry permit number(s), name of the vessel operator, gear type used, receiver, actual weights of species landed listed by species or species group including species with no value, condition landed, number of salmon by species, number of Pacific halibut, ex-vessel value of the landing by species, fish caught inside/outside 3 miles or both, and any other information deemed necessary by the Regional Administrator (or designee) as specified on the appropriate electronic fish ticket form.

(2) Submissions. The first receiver must:

(i) Include, as part of each electronic fish ticket submission, the actual scale weight for each groundfish species as specified by requirements at §660.15(c), the vessel identification number, and the limited entry permit number. Use and maintain, for the purposes of submitting electronic fish tickets, equipment as specified at §660.15(d).

(ii) Submit a completed electronic fish ticket(s) no later than 24 hours after the date of landing, unless a waiver of this requirement has been granted under provisions specified at paragraph (e)(4) of this section.

(iii) Sablefish from a single landing in the limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery may be counted against more than one stacked permit, or against a tier limit(s) and the cumulative trip limit in the DTL fishery. For vessels with stacked limited entry sablefish permits, defined at §660.12, sablefish may be divided for the purposes of apportioning the sablefish amongst the remaining tier limits associated with each of the stacked permits; in that instance the electronic fish ticket(s) must record all pertinent limited entry permit numbers and apportion sablefish landed against each tier limit. Per regulations at §660.232(a)(2) a vessel may apportion sablefish catch between the remainder of its tier limit(s) and against the applicable DTL limits; in that instance the electronic fish ticket must be used to apportion sablefish landed against the tier(s) from the sablefish landed against cumulative trip limits of the DTL fishery. If sablefish is apportioned in either of the ways described in this paragraph, the electronic fish ticket must meet the process and submittal requirements specified in paragraphs (e)(iv) and (v) of this section. In addition, the owner-on-board, unless exempted under regulations at §660.231(a)(4), must review and sign documentation of the landing, as described in paragraphs (e)(2)(iv) and (v) of this section.

(iv) If electronic fish tickets will be submitted prior to processing or transport, follow these process and submittal requirements:

(A) After completing the landing, the electronic fish ticket information must be recorded immediately.

(B) Prior to submittal of the electronic fish ticket, the information recorded for the electronic fish ticket must be reviewed by the vessel operator who delivered the fish and the port sampler, if one is present. If required by regulations at §660.231(a)(4), the owner-on-board must also review the information recorded on the electronic fish ticket prior to submittal.

(C) After review, the receiver and the vessel operator must sign a printed hard copy of the electronic fish ticket or, if the landing occurs outside of business hours, the original dock ticket. If required by regulations at §660.231(a)(4), the owner-on-board must also sign a printed copy of the electronic fish ticket or, if the landing occurs outside of business hours, the original dock ticket.

(D) Prior to submittal, three copies of the signed electronic fish ticket must be produced by the receiver and a copy provided to each of the following:

(1) The vessel operator and/or the owner-on-board,

(2) The state of origin if required by state regulations, and

(3) The first receiver.

(E) After review and signature, the electronic fish ticket must be submitted within 24 hours after the date of landing, as specified in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section.

(v) If electronic fish tickets will be submitted after transport, follow these process and submittal requirements:

(A) The vessel name, limited entry permit number, and the electronic fish ticket number must be recorded on each dock ticket related to that landing.

(B) Upon completion of the dock ticket, but prior to transfer of the landing to another location, the dock ticket information that will be used to complete the electronic fish ticket must be reviewed by the vessel operator who delivered the fish. If the electronic fish ticket will report landings of sablefish in the sablefish primary fishery, the owner-on-board, unless exempted under regulations at §660.231(a)(4), must review the information recorded on the dock ticket prior to transfer of the landing to another location.

(C) After review, the first receiver and the vessel operator must sign the original copy of each dock ticket related to that landing. If a dock ticket includes landings of sablefish in the sablefish primary fishery, the owner-on-board, unless exempted under regulations at §660.231(a)(4), must sign the original copy of that dock ticket.

(D) Prior to submittal of the electronic fish ticket, three copies of the signed dock ticket must be produced by the first receiver and a copy provided to each of the following:

(1) The vessel operator and/or the owner-on-board,

(2) The state of origin if required by state regulations, and

(3) The first receiver.

(E) Based on the information contained in the signed dock ticket, the electronic fish ticket must be completed and submitted within 24 hours of the completion of the landing, as specified in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section.

(F) Three copies of the electronic fish ticket must be produced by the first receiver and a copy provided to each of the following:

(1) The vessel operator and/or the owner-on-board,

(2) The state of origin if required by state regulations, and

(3) The first receiver.

(3) Revising a submission. In the event that a data error is found, electronic fish ticket submissions must be revised by resubmitting the revised form electronically. Electronic fish tickets are to be used for the submission of final data. Preliminary data, including estimates of fish weights or species composition, shall not be submitted on electronic fish tickets.

(4) Waivers for submission. On a case-by-case basis, a temporary written waiver of the requirement to submit electronic fish tickets may be granted by the Assistant Regional Administrator or designee if he/she determines that circumstances beyond the control of a receiver would result in inadequate data submissions using the electronic fish ticket system. The duration of the waiver will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

(5) Reporting requirements when a temporary waiver has been granted. Receivers that have been granted a temporary waiver from the requirement to submit electronic fish tickets must submit on paper the same data as is required on electronic fish tickets within 24 hours of the date received during the period that the waiver is in effect. Paper fish tickets must be sent by facsimile to NMFS, West Coast Region, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 206-526-6736 or by delivering it in person to 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115. The requirements for submissions of paper tickets in this paragraph are separate from, and in addition to existing state requirements for landing receipts or fish receiving tickets.

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 78 FR 68773, Nov. 15, 2013; 81 FR 84430, Nov. 23, 2016]

§660.216   Fixed gear fishery—observer requirements.

(a) Observer coverage requirements—(1) Harvesting vessels. When NMFS notifies the owner, operator, permit holder, or the manager of a harvesting vessel of any requirement to carry an observer, the harvesting vessel may not be used to fish for groundfish without carrying an observer.

(2) Processing vessels. Unless specified otherwise by the Observer Program, any vessel 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA or longer that is engaged in at-sea processing must carry two certified observers procured from a permitted observer provider, and any vessel shorter than 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA that is engaged in at-sea processing must carry one certified observer procured from a permitted observer provider, each day that the vessel is used to take, retain, receive, land, process, or transport groundfish. Owners of vessels required to carry observers under this paragraph must arrange for observer services from a permitted observer provider except when the Observer Program has determined and given notification that the vessel must carry NMFS staff or an individual authorized by NMFS in addition to or in lieu of an observer provided by a permitted observer provider.

(b) Notice of departure basic rule. At least 24 hours (but not more than 36 hours) before departing on a fishing trip, a harvesting vessel that has been notified by NMFS that it is required to carry an observer, or that is operating in an active sampling unit, must notify NMFS (or its designated agent) of the vessel's intended time of departure.

(1) Optional notice—weather delays. A harvesting vessel that anticipates a delayed departure due to weather or sea conditions may advise NMFS of the anticipated delay when providing the basic notice described in paragraph (b) of this section. If departure is delayed beyond 36 hours from the time the original notice is given, the vessel must provide an additional notice of departure not less than four hours prior to departure, in order to enable NMFS to place an observer.

(2) Optional notice—back-to-back fishing trips. A harvesting vessel that intends to make back-to-back fishing trips (i.e., trips with less than 24 hours between offloading from one trip and beginning another), may provide the basic notice described in paragraph (b) of this section for both trips, prior to making the first trip. A vessel that has given such notice is not required to give additional notice of the second trip.

(c) Cease fishing report. Within 24 hours of ceasing the taking and retaining of groundfish, vessel owners, operators, or managers must notify NMFS or its designated agent that fishing has ceased. This requirement applies to any harvesting and processing vessel that is required to carry an observer, or that is operating in a segment of the fleet that NMFS has identified as an active sampling unit.

(d) Waiver. The West Coast Regional Administrator (or designee) may provide written notification to the vessel owner stating that a determination has been made to temporarily waive coverage requirements because of circumstances that are deemed to be beyond the vessel's control.

(e) Vessel responsibilities—(1) Accommodations and food. An operator of a vessel required to carry one or more observer(s) must provide accommodations and food that are Equivalent to those provided to the crew.

(2) Safe conditions. Maintain safe conditions on the vessel for the protection of observer(s) including adherence to all USCG and other applicable rules, regulations, or statutes pertaining to safe operation of the vessel, and provisions at §§600.725 and 600.746 of this chapter. Have on board a valid Commercial Fishing Vessel Safety Decal that certifies compliance with regulations found in 33 CFR chapter I and 46 CFR chapter I, a certificate of compliance issued pursuant to 46 CFR 28.710 or a valid certificate of inspection pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 3311.

(3) Observer communications. Facilitate observer communications by:

(i) Observer use of equipment. Allowing observer(s) to use the vessel's communication equipment and personnel, on request, for the entry, transmission, and receipt of work-related messages, at no cost to the observer(s), the observer provider or NMFS.

(ii) Functional equipment. Ensuring that the vessel's communications equipment, used by observers to enter and transmit data, is fully functional and operational.

(4) Vessel position. Allow observer(s) access to, and the use of, the vessel's navigation equipment and personnel, on request, to determine the vessel's position.

(5) Access. Allow observer(s) free and unobstructed access to the vessel's bridge, trawl or working decks, holding bins, processing areas, freezer spaces, weight scales, cargo holds, and any other space that may be used to hold, process, weigh, or store fish or fish products at any time.

(6) Prior notification. Notify observer(s) at least 15 minutes before fish are brought on board, or fish and fish products are transferred from the vessel, to allow sampling the catch or observing the transfer, unless the observer specifically requests not to be notified.

(7) Records. Allow observer(s) to inspect and copy any state or Federal logbook maintained voluntarily or as required by regulation.

(8) Assistance. Provide all other reasonable assistance to enable observer(s) to carry out their duties, including, but not limited to:

(i) Measuring decks, codends, and holding bins.

(ii) Providing the observer(s) with a safe work area.

(iii) Collecting bycatch when requested by the observer(s).

(iv) Collecting and carrying baskets of fish when requested by the observer(s).

(v) Allowing the observer(s) to collect biological data and samples.

(vi) Providing adequate space for storage of biological samples.

(f) Observer sampling station. This paragraph contains the requirements for observer sampling stations. The vessel owner must provide an observer sampling station that complies with this section so that the observer can carry out required duties.

(1) Accessibility. The observer sampling station must be available to the observer at all times.

(2) Location. The observer sampling station must be located within four meters of the location from which the observer samples unsorted catch. Unobstructed passage must be provided between the observer sampling station and the location where the observer collects sample catch.

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 77 FR 55158, Sept. 7, 2012; 78 FR 68773, Nov. 15, 2013; 80 FR 22301, Apr. 21, 2015]

§660.219   Fixed gear identification and marking.

(a) Gear identification. (1) Limited entry fixed gear (longline, trap or pot) must be marked at the surface and at each terminal end, with a pole, flag, light, radar reflector, and a buoy.

(2) A buoy used to mark fixed gear must be marked with a number clearly identifying the owner or operator of the vessel. The number may be either:

(i) If required by applicable state law, the vessel's number, the commercial fishing license number, or buoy brand number; or

(ii) The vessel documentation number issued by the USCG, or, for an undocumented vessel, the vessel registration number issued by the state.

(b) [Reserved]

§660.220   Fixed gear fishery—crossover provisions.

The crossover provisions listed at §660.60(h)(7), apply to vessels fishing in the limited entry fixed gear fishery.

[76 FR 74746, Dec. 1, 2011]

§660.230   Fixed gear fishery—management measures.

(a) General. Most species taken in limited entry fixed gear (longline and pot/trap) fisheries will be managed with cumulative trip limits (see trip limits in Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) of this subpart), size limits (see §660.60(h)(5)), seasons (see trip limits in Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) of this subpart and sablefish primary season details in §660.231), gear restrictions (see paragraph (b) of this section), and closed areas (see paragraph (d) of this section and §§660.70 through 660.79). Cowcod retention is prohibited in all fisheries, and groundfish vessels operating south of Point Conception must adhere to CCA restrictions (see paragraph (d)(10) of this section and §660.70). Yelloweye rockfish retention is prohibited in the limited entry fixed gear fisheries. Regulations governing and tier limits for the limited entry, fixed gear sablefish primary season north of 36° N lat. are found in §660.231. Vessels not participating in the sablefish primary season are subject to daily or weekly sablefish limits in addition to cumulative limits for each cumulative limit period. Only one sablefish landing per week may be made in excess of the daily trip limit and, if the vessel chooses to make a landing in excess of that daily trip limit, then that is the only sablefish landing permitted for that week. The trip limit for black rockfish caught with hook-and-line gear also applies, see §660.230(e). The trip limits in Table 2 (North) and Table 2 (South) of this subpart apply to vessels participating in the limited entry groundfish fixed gear fishery and may not be exceeded. Federal commercial groundfish regulations are not intended to supersede any more restrictive state commercial groundfish regulations relating to federally-managed groundfish.

(b) Gear restrictions—(1) Longline and pot or trap gear are authorized in the limited entry fixed gear fishery, providing the gear is in compliance with the restrictions set forth in this section, and gear marking requirements described in §660.219 of this subpart.

(2) Vessels participating in the limited entry fixed gear fishery may also fish with open access gear subject to the gear restrictions at §660.330(b), subpart F, but will be subject to the most restrictive trip limits for the gear used as specified at §660.60(h)(7), subpart C.

(3) Limited entry fixed gear (longline, trap or pot gear) must be attended at least once every 7 days.

(4) Traps or pots must have biodegradable escape panels constructed with 21 or smaller untreated cotton twine in such a manner that an opening at least 8 inches (20.3 cm) in diameter results when the twine deteriorates.

(5) Vessels fishing with bottom longline and snap gears as defined at §660.11 are subject to the requirements of the Seabird Avoidance Program described in §660.21.

(c) Sorting Requirements. (1) In addition to the requirements at §660.12(a)(8) the States of Washington, Oregon, and California may also require that vessels record their landings as sorted on their state landing receipts.

(2) For limited entry fixed gear vessels, the following species must be sorted:

(i) Coastwide—widow rockfish, canary rockfish, darkblotched rockfish, yelloweye rockfish, shortbelly rockfish, black rockfish, blue/deacon rockfish, minor nearshore rockfish, minor shelf rockfish, minor slope rockfish, shortraker rockfish, rougheye/blackspotted rockfish, shortspine and longspine thornyhead, Dover sole, arrowtooth flounder, petrale sole, starry flounder, English sole, other flatfish, lingcod, sablefish, Pacific cod, spiny dogfish, other fish, longnose skate, big skate, and Pacific whiting;

(ii) North of 40°10 N lat.—POP, yellowtail rockfish, cabezon (California), Washington cabezon/kelp greenling complex, Oregon cabezon/kelp greenling complex; and

(iii) South of 40°10 N. lat.—minor shallow nearshore rockfish, minor deeper nearshore rockfish, California scorpionfish, chilipepper, bocaccio, splitnose rockfish, Pacific sanddabs, cowcod, bronzespotted rockfish, blackgill rockfish and cabezon.

(d) Groundfish conservation areas. GCAs are defined by coordinates expressed in degrees of latitude and longitude. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the GCA boundaries are specified at §§660.70 through 660.74. A vessel that is authorized by this paragraph to fish within a GCA (e.g., fishing for “other flatfish” using no more than 12 hooks, “Number 2” or smaller), may not simultaneously have other gear on board the vessel that is unlawful to use for fishing within the GCA. The following GCAs apply to vessels participating in the limited entry fixed gear fishery.

(1) North coast recreational yelloweye rockfish conservation area. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the North Coast Recreational Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. The North Coast Recreational YRCA is designated as an area to be avoided (a voluntary closure) by commercial fixed gear fishers.

(2) North coast commercial yelloweye rockfish conservation area. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the North Coast Commercial Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the North Coast Commercial YRCA. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the North Coast Commercial YRCA. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the North Coast Commercial YRCA with or without groundfish on board.

(3) South coast recreational yelloweye rockfish conservation area. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the South Coast Recreational Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (YRCA) boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. The South Coast Recreational YRCA is designated as an area to be avoided (a voluntary closure) by commercial fixed gear fishers.

(4) Westport offshore recreational YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates that define the Westport Offshore Recreational YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. The Westport Offshore Recreational YRCA is designated as an area to be avoided (a voluntary closure) by commercial fixed gear fishers.

(5) Point St. George YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the Point St. George YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the Point St. George YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the Point St. George YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. The closure is not in effect at this time. This closure may be imposed through inseason adjustment. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the Point St. George YRCA, at any time, with or without groundfish on board.

(6) South Reef YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the South Reef YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the South Reef YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the South Reef YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. The closure is not in effect at this time. This closure may be imposed through inseason adjustment. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the South Reef YRCA, at any time, with or without groundfish on board.

(7) Reading Rock YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the Reading Rock YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the Reading Rock YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the Reading Rock YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. The closure is not in effect at this time. This closure may be imposed through inseason adjustment. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the Reading Rock YRCA, at any time, with or without groundfish on board.

(8) Point Delgada (North) YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the Point Delgada (North) YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the Point Delgada (North) YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the Point Delgada (North) YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. The closure is not in effect at this time. This closure may be imposed through inseason adjustment. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the Point Delgada (North) YRCA, at any time, with or without groundfish on board.

(9) Point Delgada (South) YRCA. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the Point Delgada (South) YRCA boundaries are specified at §660.70, subpart C. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the Point Delgada (South) YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry fixed gear within the Point Delgada (South) YRCA, on dates when the closure is in effect. The closure is not in effect at this time. This closure may be imposed through inseason adjustment. Limited entry fixed gear vessels may transit through the Point Delgada (South) YRCA, at any time, with or without groundfish on board.

(10) Cowcod Conservation Areas. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish within the CCAs, except for species authorized in this paragraph caught according to gear requirements in this paragraph, when those waters are open to fishing. Commercial fishing vessels may transit through the Western CCA with their gear stowed and groundfish on board only in the transit corridor, defined at §660.70. Fishing with limited entry fixed gear is prohibited within the CCAs, except as follows:

(i) Fishing for “other flatfish” is permitted within the CCAs under the following conditions: When using no more than 12 hooks, “Number 2” or smaller, which measure no more than 11 mm (0.44 inches) point to shank, and up to two 1-lb (0.45 kg) weights per line; and provided a valid declaration report as required at §660.13(d), subpart C, has been filed with NMFS OLE.

(ii) Fishing for rockfish and lingcod is permitted shoreward of the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour within the CCAs when trip limits authorize such fishing and provided a valid declaration report as required at §660.13(d) has been filed with NMFS OLE. Coordinates for the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour are listed in §660.71.

(11) Nontrawl Rockfish Conservation Area (RCA). The nontrawl RCA is defined at §660.11 and with latitude and longitude coordinates, at §§660.71 through 660.74, where fishing for groundfish with nontrawl gear is prohibited. Boundaries for the nontrawl RCA throughout the year are provided in the header to Table 2 (North) and Table 2 (South) of this subpart and may be modified by NMFS inseason pursuant to §660.60(c).

(i) It is unlawful to operate a vessel with limited entry nontrawl gear in the nontrawl RCA, except for the purpose of continuous transit, or when the use of limited entry nontrawl gear is authorized in this section. It is unlawful to take and retain, possess, or land groundfish taken with limited entry nontrawl gear within the nontrawl RCA, unless otherwise authorized in this section.

(ii) Limited entry nontrawl vessels may transit through the nontrawl RCA, with or without groundfish on board, provided all groundfish nontrawl gear is stowed either: Below deck; or if the gear cannot readily be moved, in a secured and covered manner, detached from all lines, so that it is rendered unusable for fishing.

(iii) The nontrawl RCA restrictions in this section apply to vessels registered to limited entry fixed gear permits fishing for species other than groundfish with nontrawl gear on trips where groundfish species are retained. Unless otherwise authorized in this section, a vessel may not retain any groundfish taken on a fishing trip for species other than groundfish that occurs within the nontrawl RCA. If a vessel fishes in a non-groundfish fishery in the nontrawl RCA, it may not participate in any fishing for groundfish on that trip that is prohibited within the nontrawl RCA. [For example, if a vessel fishes in the salmon troll fishery within the RCA, the vessel cannot on the same trip fish in the sablefish fishery outside of the RCA.]

(iv) It is lawful to fish within the nontrawl RCA with limited entry fixed gear only under the following conditions: when fishing for “other flatfish” off California (between 42° N. lat. south to the U.S./Mexico border) using no more than 12 hooks, “Number 2” or smaller, which measure no more than 11 mm (0.44 inches) point to shank, and up to two 1-lb (0.91 kg) weights per line when trip limits authorize such fishing, provided a valid declaration report as required at §660.13(d), subpart C, has been filed with NMFS OLE.

(12) Farallon Islands. Under California law, commercial fishing for all groundfish is prohibited between the shoreline and the 10 fm (18 m) depth contour around the Farallon Islands. An exception to this prohibition is that commercial fishing for “other flatfish” is permitted around the Farallon Islands using no more than 12 hooks, “Number 2” or smaller, which measure no more than 11 mm (0.44 inches) point to shank, and up to two 1-lb (0.45-kg) weights per line. (See Table 2 (South) of this subpart.) For a definition of the Farallon Islands, see §660.70, subpart C.

(13) Cordell Banks. Commercial fishing for groundfish is prohibited in waters of depths less than 100 fm (183 m) around Cordell Banks, as defined by specific latitude and longitude coordinates at §660.70, subpart C. An exception to this prohibition is that commercial fishing for “other flatfish” is permitted around Cordell Banks using no more than 12 hooks, “Number 2” or smaller, which measure no more than 11 mm (0.44 inches) point to shank, and up to two 1-lb (0.45-kg) weights per line.

(e) Black rockfish fishery management. The trip limit for black rockfish (Sebastes melanops) for commercial fishing vessels using hook-and-line gear between the U.S.-Canada border and Cape Alava (48°09.50 N. lat.), and between Destruction Island (47°40 N. lat.) and Leadbetter Point (46°38.17 N. lat.), is 100 lbs (45 kg) or 30 percent, by weight of all fish on board, whichever is greater, per vessel per fishing trip. These per trip limits apply to limited entry and open access fisheries, in conjunction with the cumulative trip limits and other management measures in §660.230, subpart E, and §660.330, subpart F. The crossover provisions in §660.60(h)(7), subpart C, do not apply to the black rockfish per-trip limits.

(f) Salmon bycatch. This fishery may be closed through automatic action at §660.60(d)(1)(v) and (vi).

(g) Essential Fish Habitat Conservation Areas (EFHCA). EFHCAs, defined at §660.11 and with latitude and longitude coordinates at §§660.75 through 660.79, apply to vessels using bottom contact gear, defined at §660.11, and includes limited entry fixed gear (e.g., longline and pot/trap,) among other gear types. EFHCAs closed to bottom contact gear are listed at §660.12(a).

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 27549, May 11, 2011; 76 FR 53838, Aug. 30, 2011; 78 FR 634, Jan. 3, 2013; 80 FR 12593, Mar. 10, 2015; 80 FR 71981, Nov. 18, 2015; 82 FR 9662, Feb. 7, 2017; 82 FR 60569, Dec. 21, 2017; 83 FR 64006, Dec. 12, 2018; 84 FR 49962, Sept. 24, 2019; 84 FR 63991, Nov. 19, 2019]

§660.231   Limited entry fixed gear sablefish primary fishery.

This section applies to the sablefish primary fishery for the limited entry fixed gear fishery north of 36° N. lat. Limited entry and open access fixed gear sablefish fishing outside of the sablefish primary season north of 36° N. lat. is governed by management measures imposed under §§660.230, 660.232, 660.330 and 660.332.

(a) Sablefish endorsement. In addition to requirements pertaining to fishing in the limited entry fixed gear fishery (described in subparts C and E), a vessel may not fish in the sablefish primary season for the limited entry fixed gear fishery, unless at least one limited entry permit with both a gear endorsement for longline or trap (or pot) gear and a sablefish endorsement is registered for use with that vessel. Permits with sablefish endorsements are assigned to one of three tiers, as described at §660.25(b)(3)(iv), subpart C.

(b) Sablefish primary season for the limited entry fixed gear fishery—(1) Season dates. North of 36° N. lat., the sablefish primary season for the limited entry, fixed gear, sablefish-endorsed vessels begins at 12 noon local time on April 1 and closes at 12 noon local time on October 31, or closes for an individual vessel owner when the tier limit for the sablefish endorsed permit(s) registered to the vessel has been reached, whichever is earlier, unless otherwise announced by the Regional Administrator through the routine management measures process described at §660.60(c).

(2) Gear type. During the primary season, when fishing against primary season cumulative limits, each vessel authorized to fish in that season under paragraph (a) of this section may fish for sablefish with any of the gear types, except trawl gear, endorsed on at least one of the sablefish endorsed permits registered for use with that vessel.

(3) Cumulative limits. (i) A vessel participating in the primary season will be constrained by the sablefish cumulative limit associated with each of the permits registered for use with that vessel. During the primary season, each vessel authorized to fish in that season under paragraph (a) of this section may take, retain, possess, and land sablefish, up to the cumulative limits for each of the permits registered for use with that vessel (i.e., stacked permits). If multiple limited entry permits with sablefish endorsements are registered for use with a single vessel, that vessel may land up to the total of all cumulative limits announced in this paragraph for the tiers for those permits, except as limited by paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section. Up to 3 permits may be registered for use with a single vessel during the primary season; thus, a single vessel may not take and retain, possess or land more than 3 primary season sablefish cumulative limits in any one year. A vessel registered for use with multiple limited entry permits is subject to per vessel limits for species other than sablefish, and to per vessel limits when participating in the daily trip limit fishery for sablefish under §660.232. In 2019, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 47,637 lbs (21,608 kg), Tier 2 at 21,653 lbs (9,822 kg), and Tier 3 at 12,373 lbs (5,612 kg). In 2020 and beyond, the following annual limits are in effect: Tier 1 at 48,642 lbs (22,064 kg), Tier 2 at 22,110 lbs (10,029 kg), and Tier 3 at 12,634 lbs (5,731 kg).

(ii) If a sablefish endorsed permit is registered to more than one vessel during the primary season in a single year, the second vessel may only take the portion of the cumulative limit for that permit that has not been harvested by the first vessel to which the permit was registered. The combined primary season sablefish landings for all vessels registered to that permit may not exceed the cumulative limit for the tier associated with that permit.

(iii) A cumulative trip limit is the maximum amount of sablefish that may be taken and retained, possessed, or landed per vessel in a specified period of time, with no limit on the number of landings or trips.

(iv) Incidental Pacific halibut retention north of Pt. Chehalis, WA (46°53.30 N lat.). From April 1 through October 31, vessels authorized to participate in the sablefish primary fishery, licensed by the International Pacific Halibut Commission for commercial fishing in Area 2A (waters off Washington, Oregon, California), and fishing with longline gear north of Pt. Chehalis, WA (46°53.30 N lat.) may possess and land up to the following cumulative limits: 250 pounds (113 kg) dressed weight of Pacific halibut for every 1,000 pounds (454 kg) dressed weight of sablefish landed and up to 2 additional Pacific halibut in excess of the 250-pounds-per-1,000-pound ratio per landing. “Dressed” Pacific halibut in this area means halibut landed eviscerated with their heads on. Pacific halibut taken and retained in the sablefish primary fishery north of Pt. Chehalis may only be landed north of Pt. Chehalis and may not be possessed or landed south of Pt. Chehalis.

(4) Owner-on-board requirement. Any person who owns or has ownership interest in a limited entry permit with a sablefish endorsement, as described at §660.25(b)(3), subpart C, must be on board the vessel registered for use with that permit at any time that the vessel has sablefish on board the vessel that count toward that permit's cumulative sablefish landing limit. This person must carry government issued photo identification while aboard the vessel. This person must review and sign a printed copy of the electronic fish ticket(s) or dock ticket, as described at §660.213(d), unless this person qualified for the owner-on-board exemption. A permit owner is qualified for the owner-on-board exemption and not obligated to be on board the vessel registered for use with the sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit during the sablefish primary season if:

(i) The person, partnership or corporation had ownership interest in a limited entry permit with a sablefish endorsement prior to November 1, 2000. A person who has ownership interest in a partnership or corporation that owned a sablefish-endorsed permit as of November 1, 2000, but who did not individually own a sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit as of November 1, 2000, is not exempt from the owner-on-board requirement when he/she leaves the partnership or corporation and purchases another permit individually. A person, partnership, or corporation that is exempt from the owner-on-board requirement may sell all of their permits, buy another sablefish-endorsed permit within up to a year from the date the last change in permit ownership was approved, and retain their exemption from the owner-on-board requirements. Additionally, a person, partnership, or corporation that qualified for the owner-on-board exemption, but later divested their interest in a permit or permits, may retain rights to an owner-on-board exemption as long as that person, partnership, or corporation purchases another permit by March 2, 2007. A person, partnership or corporation could only purchase a permit if it has not added or changed individuals since November 1, 2000, excluding individuals that have left the partnership or corporation, or that have died.

(ii) The person who owns or who has ownership interest in a sablefish-endorsed limited entry permit is prevented from being on board a fishing vessel because the person died, is ill, or is injured. The person requesting the exemption must send a letter to NMFS requesting an exemption from the owner-on-board requirements, with appropriate evidence as described at paragraph (b)(4)(ii)(A) or (B) of this section. All emergency exemptions for death, injury, or illness will be evaluated by NMFS and a decision will be made in writing to the permit owner within 60 calendar days of receipt of the original exemption request.

(A) Evidence of death of the permit owner shall be provided to NMFS in the form of a copy of a death certificate. In the interim before the estate is settled, if the deceased permit owner was subject to the owner-on-board requirements, the estate of the deceased permit owner may send a letter to NMFS with a copy of the death certificate, requesting an exemption from the owner-on-board requirements. An exemption due to death of the permit owner will be effective only until such time that the estate of the deceased permit owner has registered the deceased permit owner's permit to a beneficiary or up to three years after the date of death as proven by a death certificate, whichever is earlier. An exemption from the owner-on-board requirements will be conveyed in a letter from NMFS to the estate of the permit owner and is required to be on the vessel during fishing operations.

(B) Evidence of illness or injury that prevents the permit owner from participating in the fishery shall be provided to NMFS in the form of a letter from a certified medical practitioner. This letter must detail the relevant medical conditions of the permit owner and how those conditions prevent the permit owner from being onboard a fishing vessel during the primary season. An exemption due to injury or illness will be effective only for the fishing year of the request for exemption, and will not be granted for more than three consecutive or total years. NMFS will consider any exemption granted for less than 12 months in a year to count as one year against the 3-year cap. In order to extend an emergency medical exemption for a succeeding year, the permit owner must submit a new request and provide documentation from a certified medical practitioner detailing why the permit owner is still unable to be onboard a fishing vessel. An emergency exemption will be conveyed in a letter from NMFS to the permit owner and is required to be on the vessel during fishing operations.

[75 FR 60897, Oct. 1, 2010]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §660.231, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§660.232   Limited entry daily trip limit (DTL) fishery for sablefish.

(a) Limited entry DTL fisheries both north and south of 36° N. lat. (1) Before the start of the sablefish primary season, all sablefish landings made by a vessel declared into the limited entry fixed gear fishery and authorized by §660.231(a) to fish in the sablefish primary season will be subject to the restrictions and limits of the limited entry DTL fishery for sablefish specified in this section and which is governed by routine management measures imposed under §660.60(c), subpart C.

(2) Following the start of the primary season, all sablefish landings made by a vessel declared into the limited entry fixed gear fishery and authorized by §660.231(a) to fish in the primary season will count against the primary season cumulative limit(s) associated with the sablefish-endorsed permit(s) registered for use with that vessel. A vessel that is eligible to fish in the sablefish primary season may fish in the DTL fishery for sablefish once that vessels' primary season sablefish limit(s) have been landed, or after the close of the primary season, whichever occurs earlier (as described at §660.231(b)(1). If the vessel continues to fish in the limited entry fixed gear fishery for any part of the remaining fishing year, any subsequent sablefish landings by that vessel will be subject to the restrictions and limits of the limited entry DTL fishery for sablefish.

(3) Vessels registered for use with a limited entry fixed gear permit that does not have a sablefish endorsement may fish in the limited entry DTL fishery, consistent with regulations at §660.230, for as long as that fishery is open during the fishing year, subject to routine management measures imposed under §660.60(c), Subpart C. DTL limits for the limited entry fishery north and south of 36° N. lat. are provided in Tables 2 (North) and 2 (South) of this subpart.

(b) A vessel that is jointly registered, and has participated or will participate in both the limited entry fixed gear fishery and the Shorebased IFQ Program during the fishing year, is subject to crossover provisions described at §660.60(h)(7), subpart C.

[81 FR 84432, Nov. 23, 2016]

Table 2 (North) to Part 660, Subpart E—Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear North of 40°10 N Lat.

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[85 FR 258, Jan. 3, 2020]

Table 2 (South) to Part 660, Subpart E—Non-Trawl Rockfish Conservation Areas and Trip Limits for Limited Entry Fixed Gear South of 40°10 N Lat.

eCFR graphic er13fe20.017.gif

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[85 FR 8203, Feb. 13, 2020]

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