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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

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

Title 50Chapter VIPart 665 → Subpart A


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC


Subpart A—General


Contents
§665.1   Purpose and scope.
§665.2   Relation to other laws.
§665.3   Licensing and registration.
§665.4   Annual catch limits.
§§665.5-665.11   [Reserved]
§665.12   Definitions.
§665.13   Permits and fees.
§665.14   Reporting and recordkeeping.
§665.15   Prohibitions.
§665.16   Vessel identification.
§665.17   Experimental fishing.
§665.18   Framework adjustments to management measures.
§665.19   Vessel monitoring system.
§665.20   Western Pacific Community Development Program.

§665.1   Purpose and scope.

(a) The regulations in this part govern fishing for Pacific Island management unit species (MUS) and ecosystem component species (ECS) by vessels of the United States that operate or are based inside the outer boundary of the U.S. EEZ around American Samoa, Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Kingman Reef, Jarvis Island, Baker Island, Howland Island, Johnston Atoll, and Wake Island.

(b) General regulations governing fishing by all vessels of the United States and by fishing vessels other than vessels of the United States are contained in 50 CFR parts 300 and 600.

(c) Regulations governing the harvest, possession, landing, purchase, and sale of shark fins are found in 50 CFR part 600 subpart N.

(d) This subpart contains regulations that are common to all western Pacific fisheries managed under Fishery Ecosystem Plans (FEPs) prepared by the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

(e) Regulations specific to individual areas and fisheries are included in subparts B through F of this part.

(f) Nothing in subparts B through F of this part is intended to supersede any valid state or Federal regulations that are more restrictive than those published here.

[75 FR 2205, Jan. 14, 2010, as amended at 80 FR 62501, Oct. 16, 2015; 84 FR 2768, Feb. 8, 2019]

§665.2   Relation to other laws.

NMFS recognizes that any state law pertaining to vessels registered under the laws of that state while operating in the fisheries regulated under this part, that is consistent with this part and the FEPs implemented by this part, shall continue in effect with respect to fishing activities regulated under this part.

§665.3   Licensing and registration.

Any person who is required to do so by applicable state law or regulation must comply with licensing and registration requirements in the exact manner required by applicable state law or regulation.

§665.4   Annual catch limits.

(a) General. For each fishing year, the Regional Administrator shall specify an annual catch limit, including any overage adjustments, for each stock or stock complex of management unit species defined in subparts B through F of this part, as recommended by the Council, and considering the best available scientific, commercial, and other information about the fishery for that stock or stock complex. The annual catch limit shall serve as the basis for invoking accountability measures in paragraph (f) of this section.

(b) Overage adjustments. If landings of a stock or stock complex exceed the specified annual catch limit in a fishing year, the Council will take action in accordance with 50 CFR 600.310(g), which may include recommending that the Regional Administrator reduce the annual catch limit for the subsequent year by the amount of the overage or other measures, as appropriate.

(c) Exceptions. The Regional Administrator is not required to specify an annual catch limit for an ECS, or for an MUS that is statutorily excepted from the requirement pursuant to 50 CFR 600.310(h)(2).

(d) Annual catch target. For each fishing year, the Regional Administrator may also specify an annual catch target that is below the annual catch limit of a stock or stock complex, as recommended by the Council. When used, the annual catch target shall serve as the basis for invoking accountability measures in paragraph (f) of this section.

(e) Procedures and timing. (1) No later than 60 days before the start of a fishing year, the Council shall recommend to the Regional Administrator an annual catch limit, including any overage adjustment, for each stock or stock complex. The recommended limit should be based on a recommendation of the SSC of the acceptable biological catch for each stock or stock complex. The Council may not recommend an annual catch limit that exceeds the acceptable biological catch recommended by the SSC. The Council may also recommend an annual catch target below the annual catch limit.

(2) No later than 30 days before the start of a fishing year, the Regional Administrator shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of the proposed annual catch limit specification and any associated annual catch target, and request public comment.

(3) No later than the start of a fishing year, the Regional Administrator shall publish in the Federal Register and use other methods to notify permit holders of the final annual catch limit specification and any associated annual catch target.

(f) Accountability measures. When any annual catch limit or annual catch target is projected to be reached, based on available information, the Regional Administrator shall publish notification to that effect in the Federal Register and shall use other means to notify permit holders.

(1) The notice will include an advisement that fishing for that stock or stock complex will be restricted beginning on a specified date, which shall not be earlier than 7 days after the date of filing the notice for public inspection at the Office of the Federal Register. The restriction may include, but is not limited to, closure of the fishery, closure of specific areas, changes to bag limits, or restrictions in effort. The restriction will remain in effect until the end of the fishing year, except that the Regional Administrator may, based on a recommendation from the Council, remove or modify the restriction before the end of the fishing year.

(2) It is unlawful for any person to conduct fishing in violation of the restrictions specified in the notification issued pursuant to paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

[76 FR 37286, June 27, 2011, as amended at 84 FR 2768, Feb. 8, 2019]

§§665.5-665.11   [Reserved]

§665.12   Definitions.

In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-Stevens Act, §600.10 of this chapter, and subparts B through F of this part, general definitions for western Pacific fisheries have the following meanings:

American Samoa FEP means the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for American Samoa, available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council or PIRO.

Bottomfish FMP means the Fishery Management Plan for Bottomfish and Seamount Groundfish of the Western Pacific Region established in 1986 and replaced by FEPs.

Carapace length means a measurement in a straight line from the ridge between the two largest spines above the eyes, back to the rear edge of the carapace of a spiny lobster (see Figure 1 to this part).

Circle hook means a fishing hook with the point turned perpendicularly back towards the shank.

Commercial fishing means fishing in which the fish harvested, either in whole or in part, are intended to enter commerce or enter commerce through sale, barter, or trade. All lobster fishing in Crustacean Permit Area 1 is considered commercial fishing.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) means the Northern Mariana Islands.

Coral Reef Ecosystems FMP means the Fishery Management Plan for Coral Reef Ecosystems of the Western Pacific Region established in 2004 and replaced by FEPs.

Council means the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Crustacean receiving vessel means a vessel of the United States to which lobsters taken in a crustacean management area are transferred from another vessel.

Crustaceans FMP means the Fishery Management Plan for Crustacean Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region established in 1982 and replaced by FEPs.

Customary exchange means the non-market exchange of marine resources between fishermen and community residents, including family and friends of community residents, for goods, and/or services for cultural, social, or religious reasons. Customary exchange may include cost recovery through monetary reimbursements and other means for actual trip expenses, including but not limited to ice, bait, fuel, or food, that may be necessary to participate in fisheries in the western Pacific. Actual trip expenses do not include expenses that a fisherman would incur without making a fishing trip, including expenses relating to dock space, vessel mortgage payments, routine vessel maintenance, vessel registration fees, safety equipment required by U.S. Coast Guard, and other incidental costs and expenses normally associated with ownership of a vessel.

Dead coral means any precious coral that no longer has any live coral polyps or tissue.

Ecosystem component species (ECS) means a stock that a Council or the Secretary has determined does not require conservation and management, but is identified in an FEP to achieve ecosystem management objectives.

EFP means an experimental fishing permit.

First level buyer means:

(1) The first person who purchases, with the intention to resell, management unit species (MUS) or ECS, or portions thereof, that were harvested by a vessel that holds a permit or is otherwise regulated under crustacean fisheries in subparts B through E of this part; or

(2) A person who provides recordkeeping, purchase, or sales assistance in the first transaction involving MUS or ECS (such as the services provided by a wholesale auction facility).

Fishing gear, as used in regulations for the American Samoa, CNMI, Hawaii, and PRIA bottomfish fisheries in subparts B through E of this part, includes:

(1) Bottom trawl, which means a trawl in which the otter boards or the footrope of the net are in contact with the sea bed;

(2) Gillnet, (see §600.10);

(3) Hook-and-line, which means one or more hooks attached to one or more lines;

(4) Set net, which means a stationary, buoyed, and anchored gill net; and

(5) Trawl, (see §600.10).

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

Fishing year means the year beginning at 0001 local time on January 1 and ending at 2400 local time on December 31, with the exception of fishing for Deep 7 bottomfish and any precious coral MUS.

Freeboard means the straight line vertical distance between a vessel's working deck and the sea surface. If the vessel does not have gunwale door or stern door that exposes the working deck, freeboard means the straight line vertical distance between the top of a vessel's railing and the sea surface.

Harvest guideline means a specified numerical harvest objective.

Hawaiian Archipelago means the Main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, including Midway Atoll.

Hawaii FEP means the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Hawaiian Archipelago, available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council or PIRO.

Hookah breather means a tethered underwater breathing device that pumps air from the surface through one or more hoses to divers at depth.

Incidental catch or incidental species means species caught while fishing for the primary purpose of catching a different species.

Land or landing means offloading fish from a fishing vessel, arriving in port to begin offloading fish, or causing fish to be offloaded from a fishing vessel.

Large vessel means, as used in this part, any vessel equal to or greater than 50 ft (15.2 m) in length overall.

Length overall (LOA) or length of a vessel as used in this part, means the horizontal distance, rounded to the nearest foot (with any 0.5 foot or 0.15 meter fraction rounded upward), between the foremost part of the stem and the aftermost part of the stern, excluding bowsprits, rudders, outboard motor brackets, and similar fittings or attachments (see Figure 2 to this part). “Stem” is the foremost part of the vessel, consisting of a section of timber or fiberglass, or cast forged or rolled metal, to which the sides of the vessel are united at the fore end, with the lower end united to the keel, and with the bowsprit, if one is present, resting on the upper end. “Stern” is the aftermost part of the vessel.

Live coral means any precious coral that has live coral polyps or tissue.

Live rock means any natural, hard substrate, including dead coral or rock, to which is attached, or which supports, any living marine life form associated with coral reefs.

Low-use marine protected area (MPA) means an area of the U.S. EEZ where fishing operations have specific restrictions in order to protect the coral reef ecosystem, as specified under area restrictions in subparts B through F of this part.

Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) means the islands of the Hawaii Archipelago lying to the east of 161° W. long.

Mariana Archipelago means Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Mariana FEP means the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Mariana Archipelago, available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council or PIRO.

Medium vessel, as used in this part, means any vessel equal to or more than 40 ft (12.2 m) and less than 50 ft (15.2 m) LOA.

Non-commercial fishing means fishing that does not meet the definition of commercial fishing in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and includes, but is not limited to, sustenance, subsistence, traditional indigenous, and recreational fishing.

Non-precious coral means any species of coral other than those listed under the definitions for precious coral in §§665.161, 665.261, 665.461, and 665.661.

Non-selective gear means any gear used for harvesting coral that cannot discriminate or differentiate between types, size, quality, or characteristics of living or dead coral.

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) means the islands of the Hawaiian Archipelago lying to the west of 161° W. long.

No-take MPA means an area of the U.S. EEZ that is closed to fishing for or harvesting of any MUS or ECS, as defined in subparts B through F of this part.

Offload means to remove MUS or ECS from a vessel.

Offset circle hook means a circle hook in which 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.

Owner, as used in the regulations for the crustacean fisheries in subparts B through E of this part and §665.203(i) and (j), means a person who is identified as the current owner of the vessel as described in the Certificate of Documentation (Form CG-1270) issued by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for a documented vessel, or in a registration certificate issued by a state, a territory, or the USCG for an undocumented vessel. As used in the regulations for the precious coral fisheries in subparts B through E of this part and §665.203(c) through (h), the definition of “owner” in §600.10 of this chapter continues to apply.

Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO) means the headquarters of the Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, located at 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818; telephone number: 808-725-5000.

Pacific remote island areas (PRIA, or U.S. island possessions in the Pacific Ocean) means Palmyra Atoll, Kingman Reef, Jarvis Island, Baker Island, Howland Island, Johnston Atoll, Wake Island, and Midway Atoll.

Pelagics FEP means the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific, available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council or PIRO.

Pelagics FMP means the Fishery Management Plan for Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region that was established in 1987 and replaced by the western Pacific pelagic FEP.

Precious Corals FMP means the Fishery Management Plan for Precious Corals of the Western Pacific Region established in 1983 and replaced by fishery ecosystem plans (FEPs).

PRIA FEP means the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Pacific Remote Island Areas of Palmyra Atoll, Kingman Reef, Jarvis Island, Baker Island, Howland Island, Johnston Atoll, and Wake Island, available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council or PIRO.

Protected species means an animal protected under the MMPA, as amended, listed under the ESA, as amended, or subject to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, as amended.

Receiving vessel means a vessel that receives fish or fish products from a fishing vessel, and with regard to a vessel holding a permit under §665.801(e), that also lands western Pacific pelagic MUS taken by other vessels using longline gear.

Recreational fishing means fishing conducted for sport or pleasure, including charter fishing.

Regional Administrator means Regional Administrator, Pacific Islands Region, NMFS (see Table 1 of §600.502 of this chapter for address).

Selective gear means any gear used for harvesting coral that can discriminate or differentiate between type, size, quality, or characteristics of living or dead coral.

Special Agent-In-Charge (SAC) means the Special Agent-In-Charge, NMFS, Pacific Islands Enforcement Division, located at 1845 Wasp Blvd., Bldg. 176, Honolulu, HI 96818; telephone number: 808-725-6100, or a designee.

Special permit means a permit issued to allow fishing for coral reef ECS in low-use MPAs or with any gear not specifically allowed under §665.127, §665.227, or §665.427.

SSC means the Scientific and Statistical Committee of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council.

State of Hawaii commercial marine license means the license required by the State of Hawaii for anyone to take marine life for commercial purposes (also known as the commercial fishing license).

Transship means to offload or otherwise transfer MUS or ECS or products thereof to a receiving vessel.

Trap means a box-like device used for catching and holding lobsters or fish.

U.S. harvested coral means coral caught, taken, or harvested by vessels of the United States within any fishery for which an FMP or FEP has been implemented under the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

Vessel monitoring system unit (VMS unit) means the hardware and software owned by NMFS, installed on vessels by NMFS, and required to track and transmit the positions of certain vessels.

Western Pacific fishery management area means those waters shoreward of the outer boundary of the EEZ around American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, CNMI, Midway, Johnston and Palmyra Atolls, Kingman Reef, and Wake, Jarvis, Baker, and Howland Islands.

[75 FR 2205, Jan. 14, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 37286, June 27, 2011; 78 FR 33003, June 3, 2013; 79 FR 64111, Oct. 28, 2014; 84 FR 2768, Feb. 8, 2019; 84 FR 29396, June 24, 2019]

§665.13   Permits and fees.

(a) Applicability. The requirements for permits for specific western Pacific fisheries are set forth in subparts B through I of this part.

(b) Validity. Each permit is valid for fishing only in the specific fishery management areas identified on the permit.

(c) Application. (1) An application for a permit to operate in a Federal western Pacific fishery that requires a permit and is regulated under subparts B through I of this part may be obtained from NMFS PIRO. The completed application must be submitted to PIRO for consideration. In no case shall PIRO accept an application that is not on a Federal western Pacific fisheries permit application form.

(2) A minimum of 15 days after the day PIRO receives a complete application should be allowed for processing the application for fisheries under subparts B through I of this part. If an incomplete or improperly completed application is filed, NMFS will notify the applicant of the deficiency. If the applicant fails to correct the deficiency within 30 days following the date of the letter of notification of deficiency, the application will be administratively closed.

(d) Change in application information. Any change in the permit application information or vessel documentation, submitted under paragraph (c) of this section, must be reported to PIRO in writing within 15 days of the change to avoid a delay in processing the permit application. A minimum of 10 days from the day the information is received by PIRO should be given for PIRO to record any change in information from the permit application submitted under paragraph (c) of this section. Failure to report such changes may result in a delay in processing an application, permit holders failing to receive important notifications, or sanctions pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act at 16 U.S.C. 1858(g) or 15 CFR part 904, subpart D.

(e) Issuance. After receiving a complete application submitted under paragraph (c) of this section, the Regional Administrator will issue a permit to an applicant who is eligible under this part, as appropriate.

(f) Fees. (1) PIRO will not charge a fee for a permit issued under §§665.142, 665.162, 665.242, 665.262, 665.442, 665.462, 665.642, or 665.662 of this part, for a Ho'omalu limited access permit issued under §665.203, or for a Guam bottomfish permit issued under §665.404.

(2) PIRO will charge a non-refundable processing fee for each application (including transfer and renewal) for each permit listed in paragraphs (f)(2)(i) through (f)(2)(xiii) of this section. The amount of the fee is calculated in accordance with the procedures of the NOAA Finance Handbook for determining the administrative costs incurred in processing the permit. The fee may not exceed such costs. The appropriate fee is specified with each application form and must accompany each application. Failure to pay the fee will preclude the issuance, transfer, or renewal of any of the following permits:

(i) Hawaii longline limited access permit.

(ii) Mau Zone limited access permit.

(iii) Coral reef ecosystem special permit.

(iv) American Samoa longline limited access permit.

(v) MHI non-commercial bottomfish permit.

(vi) Western Pacific squid jig permit.

(vii) Crustacean permit.

(viii) CNMI commercial bottomfish permit.

(ix) Marianas Trench Monument non-commercial permit.

(x) Marianas Trench Monument recreational charter permit.

(xi) Pacific Remote Islands Monument recreational charter permit.

(xii) Rose Atoll Monument non-commercial permit.

(xiii) Rose Atoll Monument recreational charter permit.

(g) Expiration. A permit issued under subparts B through I of this part is valid for the period specified on the permit unless revoked, suspended, transferred, or modified under 15 CFR part 904.

(h) Replacement. Replacement permits may be issued, without charge, to replace lost or mutilated permits. An application for a replacement permit is not considered a new application.

(i) Transfer. An application for a permit transfer under §§665.203(d), 665.242(e), or 665.801(k), or for registration of a permit for use with a replacement vessel under §665.203(i), must be submitted to PIRO as described in paragraph (c) of this section.

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

(k) Display. Any permit issued under this subpart, or a facsimile of such permit, must be on board the vessel at all times while the vessel is fishing for, taking, retaining, possessing, or landing MUS or ECS shoreward of the outer boundary of the fishery management area. Any permit issued under this section must be displayed for inspection upon request of an authorized officer.

(l) Sanctions. Procedures governing sanctions and denials are found at subpart D of 15 CFR part 904.

(m) Permit appeals. Procedures for appeals of permitting and administrative actions are specified in the relevant subparts of this part.

[75 FR 2205, Jan. 14, 2010, as amended at 78 FR 33003, June 3, 2013; 78 FR 39583, July 2, 2013; 84 FR 2769, Feb. 8, 2019]

§665.14   Reporting and recordkeeping.

(a) State reporting. Except for precious coral and crustacean fisheries, any person who is required to do so by applicable state law or regulation must make and/or file all reports of MUS or ECS landings containing all data and in the exact manner required by applicable state law or regulation.

(b) Fishing record forms—(1) Applicability. (i) The operator of a fishing vessel subject to the requirements of §§665.124, 665.142, 665.162, 665.203(a)(2), 665.224, 665.242, 665.262, 665.404, 665.424, 665.442, 665.462, 665.603, 665.624, 665.642, 665.662, 665.801, 665.905, 665.935, or 665.965 must maintain on board the vessel an accurate and complete record of catch, effort, and other data on paper report forms provided by the Regional Administrator, or electronically as specified and approved by the Regional Administrator, except as allowed in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section.

(ii) All information specified by the Regional Administrator must be recorded on paper or electronically within 24 hours after the completion of each fishing day. The logbook information, reported on paper or electronically, for each day of the fishing trip must be signed and dated or otherwise authenticated by the vessel operator in the manner determined by the Regional Administrator, and be submitted or transmitted via an approved method as specified by the Regional Administrator, and as required by this paragraph (b).

(iii) In lieu of the requirements in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section, the operator of a fishing vessel registered for use under a Western Pacific squid jig permit pursuant to the requirements of §665.801(g) may participate in a state reporting system. If participating in a state reporting system, all required information must be recorded and submitted in the exact manner required by applicable state law or regulation.

(2) Timeliness of submission. (i) If fishing was authorized under a permit pursuant to §§665.142, 665.242, 665.442, 665.404, 665.162, 665.262, 665.462, 665.662, or 665.801, the vessel operator must submit the original logbook information for each day of the fishing trip to the Regional Administrator within 72 hours of the end of each fishing trip, except as allowed in paragraph (iii) of this section.

(ii) If fishing was authorized under a permit pursuant to §665.203(a)(2), the vessel operator or vessel owner must submit the original logbook form for each day of the fishing trip to the Regional Administrator within 72 hours of the end of each fishing trip.

(iii) If fishing was authorized under a PRIA bottomfish permit pursuant to §665.603(a), PRIA pelagic troll and handline permit pursuant to §665.801(f), crustacean fishing permit for the PRIA (Permit Area 4) pursuant to §665.642(a), or a precious coral fishing permit for Permit Area X-P-PI pursuant to §665.662, the original logbook form for each day of fishing within EEZ waters around the PRIA must be submitted to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the end of each fishing trip.

(iv) If fishing was authorized under a permit pursuant to §§665.124, 665.224, 665.424, 665.624, 665.905, 665.935, or 665.965, the original logbook information for each day of fishing must be submitted to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the end of each fishing trip.

(c) Transshipment logbooks. Any person subject to the requirements of §665.124(a)(2), §665.224(a)(2), §665.424(a)(2), §665.624(a)(2), or §665.801(e) must maintain on board the vessel an accurate and complete NMFS transshipment logbook containing report forms provided by the Regional Administrator. All information specified on the forms must be recorded on the forms within 24 hours after the day of transshipment. Each form must be signed and dated by the receiving vessel operator. The original logbook for each day of transshipment activity must be submitted to the Regional Administrator within 72 hours of each landing of western Pacific pelagic MUS. The original logbook for each day of transshipment activity must be submitted to the Regional Administrator within 7 days of each landing of coral reef ECS.

(d) Sales report. The operator of any fishing vessel subject to the requirements of §665.142, §665.242, §665.442, or §665.642, or the owner of a medium or large fishing vessel subject to the requirements of §665.404(a)(2) must submit to the Regional Administrator, within 72 hours of offloading of crustacean MUS or ECS, an accurate and complete sales report on a form provided by the Regional Administrator. The form must be signed and dated by the fishing vessel operator.

(e) Packing or weigh-out slips. The operator of any fishing vessel subject to the requirements of §§665.142, 665.242, 665.442, or 665.642 must attach packing or weighout slips provided to the operator by the first-level buyer(s), unless the packing or weighout slips have not been provided in time by the buyer(s).

(f) Modification of reporting and recordkeeping requirements. The Regional Administrator may, after consultation with the Council, initiate rulemaking to modify the information to be provided on the fishing record forms, transshipment logbook, and sales report forms and timeliness by which the information is to be provided, including the submission of packing or weighout slips.

(g) Availability of records for inspection. (1) Western Pacific pelagic MUS. Upon request, any fish dealer must immediately provide an authorized officer access to inspect and copy all records of purchases, sales, or other transactions involving western Pacific pelagic MUS taken or handled by longline vessels that have permits issued under this subpart or that are otherwise subject to subpart F of this part, including, but not limited to, information concerning:

(i) The name of the vessel involved in each transaction and the owner and operator of the vessel.

(ii) The weight, number, and size of each species of fish involved in each transaction.

(iii) Prices paid by the buyer and proceeds to the seller in each transaction.

(2) Crustaceans. Upon request, any first-level buyer must immediately allow an authorized officer and any employee of NMFS designated by the Regional Administrator, to access, inspect, and copy all records relating to the harvest, sale, or transfer of crustacean MUS or ECS taken by vessels that have permits issued under this subpart or §§665.140 through 665.145, §§665.240 through 665.252, §§665.440 through 665.445, or §§665.640 through 665.645. This requirement may be met by furnishing the information on a worksheet provided by the Regional Administrator. The information must include, but is not limited to:

(i) The name of the vessel involved in each transaction and the owner or operator of the vessel.

(ii) The amount, number, and size of each MUS or ECS involved in each transaction.

(iii) Prices paid by the buyer and proceeds to the seller in each transaction.

(3) Bottomfish and seamount groundfish. Any person who is required by state laws and regulations to maintain records of landings and sales for vessels regulated by this subpart and by §§665.100 through 665.105, 665.200 through 665.212, 665.400 through 665.407, and 665.600 through 665.606 must make those records immediately available for Federal inspection and copying upon request by an authorized officer.

(4) Coral reefs. Any person who has a special permit and who is required by state laws and regulations to maintain and submit records of catch and effort, landings and sales for coral reef ECS by this subpart and §§665.120 through 665.128, §§665.220 through 665.228, §§665.420 through 665.428, or §§665.620 through 665.628 must make those records immediately available for Federal inspection and copying upon request by an authorized officer as defined in §600.10 of this chapter.

(h) State reporting. Any person who has a permit under §§665.124, 665.203, 665.224, 665.404, 665.424, 665.603, or 665.624 and who is regulated by state laws and regulations to maintain and submit records of catch and effort, landings and sales for vessels regulated by subparts B through F of this part must maintain and submit those records in the exact manner required by state laws and regulations.

[75 FR 2205, Jan. 14, 2010, as amended at 78 FR 33003, June 3, 2013; 78 FR 39583, July 2, 2013; 84 FR 2769, Feb. 8, 2019]

§665.15   Prohibitions.

In addition to the prohibitions in §600.725 of this chapter, it is unlawful for any person to:

(a) Engage in fishing without a valid permit or facsimile of a valid permit on board the vessel and available for inspection by an authorized officer, when a permit is required under §§665.13 or 665.17, unless the vessel was at sea when the permit was issued under §665.13, in which case the permit must be on board the vessel before its next trip.

(b) File false information on any application for a fishing permit under §665.13 or an EFP under §665.17.

(c) Fail to file reports in the exact manner required by any state law or regulation, as required in §665.14.

(d) Falsify or fail to make, keep, maintain, or submit any logbook or logbook form or other record or report required under §§665.14 and 665.17.

(e) Refuse to make available to an authorized officer or a designee of the Regional Administrator for inspection or copying, any records that must be made available in accordance with §665.14.

(f) Fail to affix or maintain vessel or gear markings, as required by §§665.16, 665.128, 665.228, 665.246, 665.428, 665.628, or 665.804.

(g) Violate a term or condition of an EFP issued under §665.17.

(h) Fail to report any take of or interaction with protected species as required by §665.17(k).

(i) Fish without an observer on board the vessel after the owner or agent of the owner has been directed by NMFS to make accommodations available for an observer under §§665.17, 665.105, 665.145, 665.207, 665.247, 665.407, 665.445, 665.606, 665.645, or 665.808.

(j) Refuse to make accommodations available for an observer when so directed by the Regional Administrator under §§665.105, 665.145, 665.207, 665.247, 665.407, 665.445, 665.606, 665.645, or 665.808, or under any provision in an EFP issued under §665.17.

(k) Fail to notify officials as required in §§665.126, 665.144, 665.205, 665.226, 665.244, 665.426, 665.444, 665.626, 665.644, 665.803, or 665.808.

(l) Fish for, take or retain within a no-take MPA, defined in §665.99, §665.199, §665.399, or §665.599, any bottomfish MUS or ECS, crustacean MUS or ECS, western Pacific pelagic MUS, precious coral MUS or ECS, seamount groundfish MUS, or coral reef ecosystem ECS.

(m) Fail to comply with a term or condition governing the vessel monitoring system in violation of §665.19.

(n) Fish for, catch, or harvest MUS or ECS without an operational VMS unit on board the vessel after installation of the VMS unit by NMFS, in violation of §665.19(e)(2).

(o) Possess MUS or ECS, that were harvested after NMFS has installed the VMS unit on the vessel, on board that vessel without an operational VMS unit, in violation of §665.19(e)(2).

(p) Interfere with, tamper with, alter, damage, disable, or impede the operation of a VMS unit or attempt any of the same; or move or remove a VMS unit without the prior permission of the SAC in violation of §665.19(e)(3).

(q) Make a false statement, oral or written, to an authorized officer, regarding the use, operation, or maintenance of a VMS unit, in violation of §665.19(e).

(r) Interfere with, impede, delay, or prevent the installation, maintenance, repair, inspection, or removal of a VMS unit, in violation of §665.19(e).

(s) Interfere with, impede, delay, or prevent access to a VMS unit by a NMFS observer, in violation of §665.808(f)(4).

(t) Connect or leave connected additional equipment to a VMS unit without the prior approval of the SAC, in violation of §665.19(f).

(u) Fail to comply with the restrictions specified in the notification issued pursuant to §665.4(f)(1), in violation of §665.15(f)(2).

[75 FR 2205, Jan. 14, 2010, as amended at 76 FR 37287, June 27, 2011; 84 FR 2769, Feb. 8, 2019]

§665.16   Vessel identification.

(a) Applicability. Each fishing vessel subject to this part, except those identified in paragraph (e) of this section, must be marked for identification purposes, as follows:

(1) A vessel that is registered for use with a valid permit issued under §665.801 and used to fish on the high seas within the Convention Area as defined in §300.211 of this title must be marked in accordance with the requirements at §§300.14 and 300.217 of this title.

(2) A vessel that is registered for use with a valid permit issued under §665.801 of this part and not used to fish on the high seas within the Convention Area must be marked in accordance with either:

(i) Sections 300.14 and 300.217 of this title, or

(ii) Paragraph (b) of this section.

(3) A vessel that is registered for use with a valid permit issued under subparts B through E and subparts G through I of this part must be marked in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Identification. Each vessel subject to this section must be marked as follows:

(1) The vessel's official number must be affixed to the port and starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull, and on an appropriate weather deck, so as to be visible from enforcement vessels and aircraft. Marking must be legible and of a color that contrasts with the background.

(2) For fishing and receiving vessels of 65 ft (19.8 m) LOA or longer, the official number must be displayed in block Arabic numerals at least 18 inches (45.7 cm) in height, except that vessels in precious coral fisheries that are 65 ft (19.8 m) LOA or longer must be marked in block Arabic numerals at least 14 inches (35.6 cm) in height.

(3) For all other vessels, the official number must be displayed in block Arabic numerals at least 10 inches (25.4 cm) in height.

(c) The vessel operator must ensure that the official number is clearly legible and in good repair.

(d) The vessel operator must ensure that no part of the vessel, its rigging, or its fishing gear obstructs the view of the official number from an enforcement vessel or aircraft.

(e) The following fishing vessels are exempt from the vessel identification requirements in this section:

(1) A vessel registered for use under a MHI non-commercial bottomfish permit that is in compliance with State of Hawaii bottomfish vessel registration and marking requirements.

(2) A vessel less than 40 ft (12.2 m) LOA registered for use under a CNMI commercial bottomfish permit that is in compliance with CNMI bottomfish vessel registration and marking requirements.

[75 FR 2205, Jan. 14, 2010, as amended at 75 FR 3417, Jan. 21, 2010; 78 FR 33003, June 3, 2013; 78 FR 39583, July 2, 2013]

§665.17   Experimental fishing.

(a) General. The Regional Administrator may authorize, for limited purposes, the direct or incidental harvest of MUS or ECS that would otherwise be prohibited by this part. No experimental fishing may be conducted unless authorized by an EFP issued by the Regional Administrator in accordance with the criteria and procedures specified in this section. EFPs will be issued without charge.

(b) Observers. No experimental fishing for crustacean MUS or ECS may be conducted unless a NMFS observer is aboard the vessel.

(c) Application. An applicant for an EFP must submit to the Regional Administrator at least 60 days before the desired date of the EFP a written application including, but not limited to, the following information:

(1) The date of the application.

(2) The applicant's name, mailing address, and telephone number.

(3) A statement of the purposes and goals of the experiment for which an EFP is needed, including a general description of the arrangements for disposition of all species harvested under the EFP.

(4) A statement of whether the proposed experimental fishing has broader significance than the applicant's individual goals.

(5) For each vessel to be covered by the EFP:

(i) Vessel name.

(ii) Name, address, and telephone number of owner and operator.

(iii) USCG documentation, state license, or registration number.

(iv) Home port.

(v) Length of vessel.

(vi) Net tonnage.

(vii) Gross tonnage.

(6) A description of the species (directed and incidental) to be harvested under the EFP and the amount of such harvest necessary to conduct the experiment.

(7) For each vessel covered by the EFP, the approximate times and places fishing will take place, and the type, size, and amount of gear to be used.

(8) The signature of the applicant.

(d) Incomplete applications. The Regional Administrator may request from an applicant additional information necessary to make the determinations required under this section. An applicant will be notified of an incomplete application within 10 working days of receipt of the application. An incomplete application will not be considered until corrected in writing.

(e) Issuance. (1) If an application contains all of the required information, NMFS will publish a notice of receipt of the application in the Federal Register with a brief description of the proposal and will give interested persons an opportunity to comment. The Regional Administrator will also forward copies of the application to the Council, the USCG, and the fishery management agency of the affected state, accompanied by the following information:

(i) The current utilization of domestic annual harvesting and processing capacity (including existing experimental harvesting, if any) of the directed and incidental species for which an EFP is being requested.

(ii) A citation of the regulation or regulations that, without the EFP, would prohibit the proposed activity.

(iii) Biological information relevant to the proposal.

(2) At a Council meeting following receipt of a complete application, the Regional Administrator will consult with the Council and the Director of the affected state fishery management agency concerning the permit application. The applicant will be notified in advance of the meeting at which the application will be considered, and invited to appear in support of the application, if the applicant desires.

(3) Within 5 working days after the consultation in paragraph (e)(2) of this section, or as soon as practicable thereafter, NMFS will notify the applicant in writing of the decision to grant or deny the EFP and, if denied, the reasons for the denial. Grounds for denial of an EFP include, but are not limited to, the following:

(i) The applicant has failed to disclose material information required, or has made false statements as to any material fact, in connection with his or her application.

(ii) According to the best scientific information available, the harvest to be conducted under the permit would detrimentally affect any species of fish in a significant way.

(iii) Issuance of the EFP would inequitably allocate fishing privileges among domestic fishermen or would have economic allocation as its sole purpose.

(iv) Activities to be conducted under the EFP would be inconsistent with the intent of this section or the management objectives of the FEP.

(v) The applicant has failed to demonstrate a valid justification for the permit.

(vi) The activity proposed under the EFP would create a significant enforcement problem.

(4) The decision to grant or deny an EFP is final and unappealable. If the permit is granted, NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register describing the experimental fishing to be conducted under the EFP. The Regional Administrator may attach terms and conditions to the EFP consistent with the purpose of the experiment including, but not limited to:

(i) The maximum amount of each species that can be harvested and landed during the term of the EFP, including trip limits, where appropriate.

(ii) The number, sizes, names, and identification numbers of the vessels authorized to conduct fishing activities under the EFP.

(iii) The times and places where experimental fishing may be conducted.

(iv) The type, size, and amount of gear which may be used by each vessel operated under the EFP.

(v) The condition that observers be carried aboard vessels operating under an EFP.

(vi) Data reporting requirements.

(vii) Such other conditions as may be necessary to assure compliance with the purposes of the EFP consistent with the objectives of the FEP.

(f) Duration. Unless otherwise specified in the EFP or a superseding notice or regulation, an EFP is effective for no longer than one (1) year from the date of issuance, unless revoked, suspended, or modified. EFPs may be renewed following the application procedures in this section.

(g) Alteration. Any EFP that has been altered, erased, or mutilated is invalid.

(h) Transfer. EFPs issued under subparts B through F of this part are not transferable or assignable. An EFP is valid only for the vessel(s) for which it is issued.

(i) Inspection. Any EFP issued under subparts B through F of this part must be carried aboard the vessel(s) for which it was issued. The EFP must be presented for inspection upon request of any authorized officer.

(j) Sanctions. Failure of the holder of an EFP to comply with the terms and conditions of an EFP, the provisions of subparts A through F of this part, any other applicable provision of this part, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, or any other regulation promulgated thereunder, is grounds for revocation, suspension, or modification of the EFP with respect to all persons and vessels conducting activities under the EFP. Any action taken to revoke, suspend, or modify an EFP will be governed by 15 CFR part 904 subpart D. Other sanctions available under the statute will be applicable.

(k) Protected species. Persons fishing under an EFP must report any incidental take or fisheries interaction with protected species on a form provided for that purpose. Reports must be submitted to the Regional Administrator within 3 days of arriving in port.

[75 FR 2205, Jan. 14, 2010, as amended at 84 FR 2769, Feb. 8, 2019]

§665.18   Framework adjustments to management measures.

Framework measures described below for each specific fishery are valid for all management areas, except where specifically noted in this section.

(a) Pelagic measures—(1) Introduction. Adjustments in management measures may be made through rulemaking if new information demonstrates that there are biological, social, or economic concerns in the fishery. The following framework process authorizes the implementation of measures that may affect the operation of the fisheries, gear, harvest guidelines, or changes in catch and/or effort.

(2) Annual report. By June 30 of each year, the Council-appointed pelagics monitoring team will prepare an annual report on the fisheries in the management area. The report shall contain, among other things, recommendations for Council action and an assessment of the urgency and effects of such action(s).

(3) Procedure for established measures. (i) Established measures are regulations for which the impacts have been evaluated in Council or NMFS documents in the context of current conditions.

(ii) The Council may recommend to the Regional Administrator that established measures be modified, removed, or reinstituted. Such recommendation shall include supporting rationale and analysis, and shall be made after advance public notice, public discussion, and consideration of public comment. NMFS may implement the Council's recommendation by rulemaking if approved by the Regional Administrator.

(4) Procedure for new measures. (i) New measures are regulations for which the impacts have not been evaluated in Council or NMFS documents in the context of current conditions.

(ii) The Council will publicize, including by Federal Register notice, and solicit public comment on, any proposed new management measure. After a Council meeting at which the measure is discussed, the Council will consider recommendations and prepare a Federal Register notice summarizing the Council's deliberations, rationale, and analysis for the preferred action, and the time and place for any subsequent Council meeting(s) to consider the new measure. At subsequent public meeting(s), the Council will consider public comments and other information received to make a recommendation to the Regional Administrator about any new measure. NMFS may implement the Council's recommendation by rulemaking if approved by the Regional Administrator.

(b) Crustacean measures—(1) Introduction. New management measures may be added through rulemaking if new information demonstrates that there are biological, social, or economic concerns in Permit Areas 1, 2, or 3. The following framework process authorizes the implementation of measures that may affect the operation of the fisheries, gear, harvest guidelines, or changes in catch and/or effort.

(2) Annual report. By June 30 of each year, the Council-appointed team will prepare an annual report on the fisheries in the management area. The report shall contain, among other things, recommendations for Council action and an assessment of the urgency and effects of such action(s).

(3) Procedure for established measures. (i) Established measures are regulations for which the impacts have been evaluated in Council or NMFS documents in the context of current conditions.

(ii) The Council may recommend to the Regional Administrator that established measures be modified, removed, or reinstituted. Such recommendation shall include supporting rationale and analysis, and shall be made after advance public notice, public discussion, and consideration of public comment. NMFS may implement the Council's recommendation by rulemaking if approved by the Regional Administrator.

(4) Procedure for new measures. (i) New measures are regulations for which the impacts have not been evaluated in Council or NMFS documents in the context of current conditions.

(ii) The Council will publicize, including by a Federal Register document, and solicit public comment on, any proposed new management measure. After a Council meeting at which the measure is discussed, the Council will consider recommendations and prepare a Federal Register document summarizing the Council's deliberations, rationale, and analysis for the preferred action, and the time and place for any subsequent Council meeting(s) to consider the new measure. At subsequent public meeting(s), the Council will consider public comments and other information received to make a recommendation to the Regional Administrator about any new measure. NMFS may implement the Council's recommendation by rulemaking if approved by the Regional Administrator.

(c) Bottomfish measures—(1) Annual reports. By June 30 of each year, a Council-appointed bottomfish monitoring team will prepare an annual report on the fishery by area covering the following topics:

(i) Fishery performance data.

(ii) Summary of recent research and survey results.

(iii) Habitat conditions and recent alterations.

(iv) Enforcement activities and problems.

(v) Administrative actions (e.g., data collection and reporting, permits).

(vi) State and territorial management actions.

(vii) Assessment of need for Council action (including biological, economic, social, enforcement, administrative, and state/Federal needs, problems, and trends). Indications of potential problems warranting further investigation may be signaled by the following indicator criteria:

(A) Mean size of the catch of any species in any area is a pre-reproductive size.

(B) Ratio of fishing mortality to natural mortality for any species.

(C) Harvest capacity of the existing fleet and/or annual landings exceed best estimate of MSY in any area.

(D) Significant decline (50 percent or more) in bottomfish catch per unit of effort from baseline levels.

(E) Substantial decline in ex-vessel revenue relative to baseline levels.

(F) Significant shift in the relative proportions of gear in any one area.

(G) Significant change in the frozen/fresh components of the bottomfish catch.

(H) Entry/exit of fishermen in any area.

(I) Per-trip costs for bottomfish fishing exceed per-trip revenues for a significant percentage of trips.

(J) Significant decline or increase in total bottomfish landings in any area.

(K) Change in species composition of the bottomfish catch in any area.

(L) Research results.

(M) Habitat degradation or environmental problems.

(N) Reported interactions between bottomfish fishing operations and protected species in the NWHI.

(viii) Recommendations for Council action.

(ix) Estimated impacts of recommended action.

(2) Recommendation of management action. (i) The team may present management recommendations to the Council at any time. Recommendations may cover actions suggested for Federal regulations, state/territorial action, enforcement or administrative elements, and research and data collection. Recommendations will include an assessment of urgency and the effects of not taking action.

(ii) The Council will evaluate the team's reports and recommendations, and the indicators of concern. The Council will assess the need for one or more of the following types of management action: Catch limits, size limits, closures, effort limitations, access limitations, or other measures.

(iii) The Council may recommend management action by either the state/territorial governments or by Federal regulation.

(3) Federal management action. (i) If the Council believes that management action should be considered, it will make specific recommendations to the Regional Administrator after requesting and considering the views of its Scientific and Statistical Committee and Bottomfish Advisory Panel and obtaining public comments at a public hearing.

(ii) The Regional Administrator will consider the Council's recommendation and accompanying data, and, if he or she concurs with the Council's recommendation, will propose regulations to carry out the action. If the Regional Administrator rejects the Council's proposed action, a written explanation for the denial will be provided to the Council within 2 weeks of the decision.

(iii) The Council may appeal a denial by writing to the Assistant Administrator, who must respond in writing within 30 days.

(iv) The Regional Administrator and the Assistant Administrator will make their decisions in accord with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, other applicable law, and the bottomfish measures of the FEPs.

(v) To minimize conflicts between the Federal and state management systems, the Council will use the procedures in paragraph (c)(2) of this section to respond to state/territorial management actions. Council consideration of action would normally begin with a representative of the state or territorial government bringing a potential or actual management conflict or need to the Council's attention.

(4) Access limitation procedures. (i) Access limitation may be adopted under this paragraph (c)(4) only for the NWHI, American Samoa, and Guam.

(ii) If access limitation is proposed for adoption or subsequent modification through the process described in this paragraph (c)(4), the following requirements must be met:

(A) The bottomfish monitoring team must consider and report to the Council on present participation in the fishery; historical fishing practices in, and dependence on, the fishery; economics of the fishery; capability of fishing vessels used in the fishery to engage in other fisheries; cultural and social framework relevant to the fishery; and any other relevant considerations.

(B) Public hearings must be held specifically addressing the limited access proposals.

(C) A specific advisory subpanel of persons experienced in the fishing industry will be created to advise the Council and the Regional Administrator on administrative decisions.

(D) The Council's recommendation to the Regional Administrator must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the voting members.

(5) Five-year review. The Council will conduct a comprehensive review on the effectiveness of the Mau Zone limited access program 5 years following implementation of the program. The Council will consider the extent to which the FEP objectives have been met and verify that the target number of vessels established for the fishery is appropriate for current fishing activity levels, catch rates, and biological condition of the stocks. The Council may establish a new target number based on the 5-year review.

(d) Precious coral measures—(1) Introduction. Established management measures may be revised and new management measures may be established and/or revised through rulemaking if new information demonstrates that there are biological, social, or economic concerns in a precious coral permit area. The following framework process authorizes the implementation of measures that may affect the operation of the fisheries, gear, quotas, season, or levels of catch and/or in effort.

(2) Annual report. By June 30 of each year, the Council-appointed precious coral team will prepare an annual report on the fisheries in the management area. The report will contain, among other things, recommendations for Council action and an assessment of the urgency and effects of such action(s).

(3) Procedure for established measures. (i) Established measures are regulations for which the impacts have been evaluated in Council or NMFS documents in the context of current conditions.

(ii) The Council may recommend to the Regional Administrator that established measures be modified, removed, or reinstituted. Such recommendation will include supporting rationale and analysis and will be made after advance public notice, public discussion, and consideration of public comment. NMFS may implement the Council's recommendation by rulemaking if approved by the Regional Administrator.

(4) Procedure for new measures. (i) New measures are regulations for which the impacts have not been evaluated in Council or NMFS documents in the context of current conditions.

(ii) The Council will publicize, including by a Federal Register document, and solicit public comment on, any proposed new management measure. After a Council meeting at which the measure is discussed, the Council will consider recommendations and prepare a Federal Register document summarizing the Council's deliberations, rationale, and analysis for the preferred action and the time and place for any subsequent Council meeting(s) to consider the new measure. At a subsequent public meeting, the Council will consider public comments and other information received before making a recommendation to the Regional Administrator about any new measure. If approved by the Regional Administrator, NMFS may implement the Council's recommendation by rulemaking.

(e) Coral reef ecosystem measures—(1) Procedure for established measures. (i) Established measures are regulations for which the impacts have been evaluated in Council or NMFS documents in the context of current conditions.

(ii) The Council may recommend to the Regional Administrator that established measures be modified, removed, or reinstituted. Such recommendation shall include supporting rationale and analysis, and shall be made after advance public notice, public discussion and consideration of public comment. NMFS may implement the Council's recommendation by rulemaking if approved by the Regional Administrator.

(2) Procedure for new measures. (i) New measures are regulations for which the impacts have not been evaluated in Council or NMFS documents in the context of current conditions. New measures include, but are not limited to, catch limits, resource size limits, closures, effort limitations, reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

(ii) The Regional Administrator will publicize, including by Federal Register notice, and solicit public comment on, any proposed new management measure. After a Council meeting at which the measure is discussed, the Council will consider recommendations and prepare a document summarizing the Council's deliberations, rationale, and analysis for the preferred action, and the time and place for any subsequent Council meeting(s) to consider the new measure. At subsequent public meeting(s), the Council will consider public comments and other information received to make a recommendation to the Regional Administrator about any new measure. NMFS may implement the Council's recommendation by rulemaking if approved by the Regional Administrator.

(A) The Regional Administrator will consider the Council's recommendation and supporting rationale and analysis, and, if the Regional Administrator concurs with the Council's recommendation, will propose regulations to carry out the action. If the Regional Administrator rejects the Council's proposed action, the Regional Administrator will provide a written explanation for the denial within 2 weeks of the decision.

(B) The Council may appeal a denial by writing to the Assistant Administrator, who must respond in writing within 30 days.

(C) The Regional Administrator and the Assistant Administrator will make their decisions in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, other applicable laws, and the FEPs.

(D) To minimize conflicts between the Federal and state/territorial/commonwealth management systems, the Council will use the procedures in this paragraph (e)(2)(ii) to respond to state/territorial/commonwealth management actions. The Council's consideration of action would normally begin with a representative of the state, territorial or commonwealth government bringing a potential or actual management conflict or need to the Council's attention.

(3) Annual report. By July 31 of each year, a Council-appointed coral reef ecosystem monitoring team will prepare an annual report on coral reef fisheries of the western Pacific region. The report will contain, among other things:

(i) Fishery performance data, summaries of new information and assessments of need for Council action.

(ii) Recommendation for Council action. The Council will evaluate the annual report and advisory body recommendations and may recommend management action by either the state/territorial/commonwealth governments or by Federal regulation.

(iii) If the Council believes that management action should be considered, it will make specific recommendations to the Regional Administrator after considering the views of its advisory bodies.

§665.19   Vessel monitoring system.

(a) Applicability. The holder of any of the following permits is subject to the vessel monitoring system requirements in this part:

(1) Hawaii longline limited access permit issued pursuant to §665.801(b);

(2) American Samoa longline limited entry permit, for vessel size Class C or D, issued pursuant to §665.801(c);

(3) Vessels permitted to fish in Crustacean Permit Area 1 VMS Subarea; or

(4) CNMI commercial bottomfish permit, if the vessel is a medium or large bottomfish vessel, issued pursuant to §665.404(a)(2).

(b) VMS unit. Only a VMS unit owned by NMFS and installed by NMFS complies with the requirement of this subpart.

(c) Notification. After a permit holder subject to §665.19(a) has been notified by the SAC of a specific date for installation of a VMS unit on the permit holder's vessel, the vessel must carry and operate the VMS unit after the date scheduled for installation.

(d) Fees and charges. During the experimental VMS program, the holder of a permit subject to §665.19(a) shall not be assessed any fee or other charges to obtain and use a VMS unit, including the communication charges related directed to requirements under this section. Communication charges related to any additional equipment attached to the VMS unit by the owner or operator shall be the responsibility of the owner or operator and not NMFS.

(e) Permit holder duties. The holder of a permit subject to §665.19(a) and master of the vessel must:

(1) Provide opportunity for the SAC to install and make operational a VMS unit after notification.

(2) Carry and continuously operate the VMS unit on board whenever the vessel is at sea.

(3) Not remove, relocate, or make non-operational the VMS unit without prior approval from the SAC.

(f) Authorization by the SAC. The SAC has authority over the installation and operation of the VMS unit. The SAC may authorize the connection or order the disconnection of additional equipment, including a computer, to any VMS unit when deemed appropriate by the SAC.

§665.20   Western Pacific Community Development Program.

(a) General. In accordance with the criteria and procedures specified in this section, the Regional Administrator may authorize the direct or incidental harvest of management unit species that would otherwise be prohibited by this part.

(b) Eligibility. To be eligible to participate in the western Pacific community development program, a community must meet the following criteria:

(1) Be located in American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, or the Northern Mariana Islands (collectively, the western Pacific);

(2) Consist of community residents descended from aboriginal people indigenous to the western Pacific who conducted commercial or subsistence fishing using traditional fishing practices in the waters of the western Pacific;

(3) Consist of individuals who reside in their ancestral homeland;

(4) Have knowledge of customary practices relevant to fisheries of the western Pacific;

(5) Have a traditional dependence on fisheries of the western Pacific;

(6) Are currently experiencing economic or other constraints that have prevented full participation in the western Pacific fisheries and, in recent years, have not had harvesting, processing or marketing capability sufficient to support substantial participation in fisheries in the area; and

(7) Develop and submit a community development plan to the Council and the NMFS that meets the requirements in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Community development plan. An eligible community seeking access to a fishery under the authority of the Council and NMFS must submit to the Council a community development plan that includes, but is not limited to, the following information:

(1) A statement of the purposes and goals of the plan.

(2) A description and justification for the specific fishing activity being proposed, including:

(i) Location of the proposed fishing activity.

(ii) Management unit species to be harvested, and any potential bycatch.

(iii) Gear type(s) to be used.

(iv) Frequency and duration of the proposed fishing activity.

(3) A statement describing the degree of involvement by the indigenous community members, including the name, address, telephone and other contact information of each individual conducting the proposed fishing activity.

(4) A description of how the community and or its members meet each of the eligibility criteria in paragraph (b) of this section.

(5) If a vessel is to be used by the community to conduct fishing activities, for each vessel:

(i) Vessel name and official number (USCG documentation, state, territory, or other registration number).

(ii) Vessel length overall, displacement, and fish holding capacity.

(iii) Any valid federal fishing permit number(s).

(iv) Name, address, and telephone number of the vessel owner(s) and operator(s).

(d) Council review. The Council will review each community development plan to ensure that it meets the intent of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and contains all required information. The Council may consider advice of its advisory panels in conducting this review. If the Council finds the community development plan is complete, it will transmit the plan to the Regional Administrator for review.

(e) Agency review and approval. (1) Upon receipt of a community development plan from the Council, the Regional Administrator will review the plan for consistency with paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section, and other applicable laws. The Regional Administrator may request from the applicant additional information necessary to make the determinations pursuant to this section and other applicable laws before proceeding with the review pursuant to paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

(2) If the Regional Administrator determines that a plan contains the required information and is consistent with paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section, and other applicable laws, NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register to solicit public comment on the proposed plan and any associated environmental review documents. The notice will include the following:

(i) A description of the fishing activity to be conducted.

(ii) The current utilization of domestic annual harvesting and processing capacity (including existing experimental harvesting, if any) of the target, incidental, and bycatch species.

(iii) A summary of any regulations that would otherwise prohibit the proposed fishing activity.

(iv) Biological and environmental information relevant to the plan, including appropriate statements of environmental impacts on target and non-target stocks, marine mammals, and threatened or endangered species.

(3) Within 90 days from the end of the comment period on the plan, the Regional Administrator will notify the applicant in writing of the decision to approve or disapprove the plan.

(4) If disapproved, the Regional Administrator will provide the reasons for the plan's disapproval and provide the community with the opportunity to modify the plan and resubmit it for review. Reasons for disapproval may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(i) The applicant failed to disclose material information or made false statements related to the plan.

(ii) The harvest would contribute to overfishing or would hinder the recovery of an overfished stock, according to the best scientific information available.

(iii) The activity would be inconsistent with an applicable law.

(iv) The activity would create a significant enforcement, monitoring, or administrative problem, as determined by the Regional Administrator.

(5) If approved, the Regional Administrator will publish a notice of the authorization in the Federal Register, and may attach limiting terms and conditions to the authorization including, but not limited to, the following:

(i) The maximum amount of each management unit species and potential bycatch species that may be harvested and landed during the term of the authorization.

(ii) The number, sizes, names, identification numbers, and federal permit numbers of the vessels authorized to conduct fishing activities.

(iii) Type, size, and amount of gear used by each vessel, including trip limits.

(iv) The times and places where fishing may or may not be conducted.

(v) Notification, observer, vessel monitoring, and reporting requirements.

(f) Duration. Unless otherwise specified, and unless revoked, suspended, or modified, a plan may be effective for no longer than five years.

(g) Transfer. Plans authorized under this section are not transferable or assignable.

(h) Sanctions. The Regional Administrator may revoke, suspend or modify a community development plan in the case of failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the plan, any other applicable provision of this part, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, or other applicable laws.

(i) Program review. NMFS and the Council will periodically review and assess each plan. If fishery, environmental, or other conditions have changed such that the plan's goals or requirements are not being met, or the fishery has become in an overfished state or overfishing is occurring, the Regional Administrator may revoke, suspend, or modify the plan.

[75 FR 54046, Sept. 3, 2010]

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