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e-CFR data is current as of November 27, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 680 → Subpart B


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 680—SHELLFISH FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA


Subpart B—Management Measures


Contents
§680.20   Arbitration System.
§680.21   Crab harvesting cooperatives.
§680.22   Sideboard protections for GOA groundfish fisheries.
§680.23   Equipment and operational requirements.
§680.30   [Reserved]

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§680.20   Arbitration System.

(a) Applicability—(1) Arbitration System. All CVO QS, Arbitration IFQ, Class A IFQ holders, PQS and IPQ holders must enter the contracts as prescribed in this section that establish the Arbitration System. Certain parts of the Arbitration System are voluntary for some parties, as specified in this section. All contract provisions will be enforced by parties to those contracts.

(2) Open negotiation. Any holder of uncommitted IFQ may negotiate with any holder of uncommitted IPQ, the price and delivery terms for that season or for future seasons for any uncommitted IFQ and uncommitted IPQ. Uncommitted IFQ holders and uncommitted IPQ holders may freely contact each other and initiate open negotiations.

(3) Document submittal information. Submit documents and reports to NMFS as follows: by mail to the Regional Administrator, NMFS, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802; by courier to NMFS, 709 West 9th Street, Juneau, AK 99801; or by fax to 907-586-7465.

(b) Eligibility for Arbitration System—(1) Arbitration Organization. The following persons are the only persons eligible to join an Arbitration Organization:

(i) Holders of CVO QS,

(ii) Holders of PQS,

(iii) Holders of Arbitration IFQ,

(iv) Holders of Class A IFQ affiliated with a PQS or IPQ holder, and

(v) Holders of IPQ.

(2) Persons eligible to use negotiation and Binding Arbitration procedures. The following persons are the only persons eligible to enter contracts with a Contract Arbitrator to use the negotiation and Binding Arbitration procedures described in paragraph (h) of this section to resolve price and delivery disputes or negotiate remaining contract terms not previously agreed to by IFQ and IPQ holders under other negotiation approaches:

(i) Holders of Arbitration IFQ, and

(ii) Holders of IPQ.

(3) Persons ineligible to use negotiation and Binding Arbitration procedures. Holders of IFQ that are affiliated with holders of PQS or IPQ are ineligible to enter contracts with a Contract Arbitrator to use the negotiation and Binding Arbitration procedures described in paragraph (h) of this section to resolve price and delivery disputes or negotiate remaining contract terms not previously agreed to by IFQ and IPQ holders under other negotiation approaches.

(c) Preseason requirements for joining an Arbitration Organization. All holders of CVO QS, PQS, Arbitration IFQ, Class A IFQ affiliated with a PQS or IPQ holder, and IPQ must join and maintain a membership in an Arbitration Organization as specified in paragraph (d) of this section. All holders of QS, PQS, IFQ, or IPQ identified in the preceding sentence must join an Arbitration Organization at the following times:

(1) For QS holders and PQS holders except as provided for in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, not later than May 1 of each year for the crab fishing year that begins on July 1 of that year.

(2) For IFQ holders and IPQ holders, not later than 15 days after the issuance of IFQ and IPQ for that crab QS fishery if that IFQ or IPQ holder does not also hold QS or PQS.

(3) During 2005, QS and PQS holders must join an Arbitration Organization as described in paragraph (d) of this section not later than August 15, 2005.

(4) Persons receiving QS, PQS, IFQ, or IPQ by transfer after these dates must join an Arbitration Organization at the time of receiving the QS, PQS, IFQ, or IPQ by transfer.

(d) Formation process for an Arbitration Organization. (1) Arbitration Organizations must be formed to select and contract a Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, Contract Arbitrator(s), and establish the Arbitration System, including the payment of costs of arbitration, described in this section for each crab QS fishery. All persons defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section must join an Arbitration Organization.

(i) Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organization. Holders of Arbitration QS and Arbitration IFQ must join an Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organization. This Arbitration Organization may not have members who are not holders of Arbitration QS or Arbitration IFQ. Arbitration QS holders and Arbitration IFQ holders may join separate Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations. The mechanism for forming an Arbitration Organization is determined by the members of the organization.

(ii) PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organization. Holders of PQS or IPQ must join a PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organization. This Arbitration Organization may not have members who are not holders of PQS or IPQ. PQS holders and IPQ holders may join separate PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations. The mechanism for forming an Arbitration Organization is determined by the members of the organization.

(iii) Affiliated QS/IFQ Arbitration Organization. Holders of CVO QS or Class A IFQ affiliated with a PQS or IPQ holder must join an Affiliated QS/IFQ Arbitration Organization. This Arbitration Organization may not have members who are not holders of QS or IFQ affiliated with a PQS or IPQ holder. CVO QS holders and Class A IFQ holders may join separate Affiliated QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations. The mechanism for forming an Arbitration Organization is determined by the members of the organization.

(iv) Limitation on joining an Arbitration Organization. For a crab QS fishery during a crab fishing year, a person who holds:

(A) PQS/IPQ may join only one PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organization;

(B) Affiliated QS/IFQ may join only one Affiliated QS/IFQ Arbitration Organization; and

(C) Arbitration QS/IFQ may join only one Arbitration QS/IFQ Organization.

(2) Each Arbitration Organization must submit a complete Annual Arbitration Organization report to NMFS. A complete report must include:

(i) A copy of the business license of the Arbitration Organization;

(ii) A statement identifying the members of the organization and the amount of Arbitration QS and Arbitration IFQ, Non-Arbitration QS and Non-Arbitration IFQ, or PQS and IPQ held by each member and represented by that Arbitration Organization;

(iii) QS, PQS, IFQ, and IPQ ownership information on the members of the organization;

(iv) Management organization information, including:

(A) The bylaws of the Arbitration Organization;

(B) A list of key personnel of the management organization including, but not limited to, the board of directors, officers, representatives, and any managers;

(v) The name of the Arbitration Organization, permanent business mailing addresses, name of contact persons and additional contact information of the managing personnel for the Arbitration Organization, resumes of management personnel; and

(vi) A copy of all minutes of any meeting held by the Arbitration Organization or any members of the Arbitration Organization.

(3) An Arbitration Organization, with members who are QS or PQS holders, must submit a complete Annual Arbitration Organization Report to NMFS in accordance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section by August 20, 2005, for the crab fishing year beginning on July 1, 2005, and by May 1 of each subsequent year for the crab fishing year beginning on July 1 of that year.

(4) An Arbitration Organization, with members who are IFQ or IPQ holders, must submit a complete Annual Arbitration Organization Report to NMFS in accordance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section by not later than 15 days after the issuance of IFQ and IPQ for that crab QS fishery.

(e) Role of Arbitration Organization(s) and annual requirements—(1) General. The members of each Arbitration Organization must enter into a contract that specifies the terms and conditions of participation in the organization.

(i) The contract among members of an Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organization, or a PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organization shall include the terms, conditions, and provisions specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

(ii) The contract among members of an Affiliated QS/IFQ Arbitration Organization shall include the terms, conditions, and provisions in paragraph (e)(3) of this section.

(2) Provisions for Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations, and PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations—(i) Selection of Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator(s). A provision authorizing the Arbitration Organization to act on behalf of its members in the selection of and contracting with the Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator(s) under paragraph (e)(4) of this section.

(ii) Confidentiality of information. A provision that a member that is a party to a Binding Arbitration proceeding shall sign a confidentiality agreement with the party with whom it is arbitrating stating they will not disclose at any time to any person any information received from the Contract Arbitrator or any other party in the course of the arbitration. That confidentiality agreement shall specify the potential sanctions for violating the agreement.

(iii) Provision of information to members. A provision requiring the Arbitration Organization to provide to its members:

(A) A copy of the contracts for the Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator for each fishery in which the member participates; and

(B) A copy of the Market Report and the Non-Binding Price Formula for each fishery in which the member participates within 5 days of its release.

(iv) Information release. (A) A provision requiring that the Arbitration Organization deliver to NMFS any data, information, and documents generated pursuant to this section.

(B) In the case of a PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organization(s):

(1) A provision that requires the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organization to provide for the delivery of the names of and contact information for its members who hold uncommitted IPQ, and to identify the regional designations and amounts of such uncommitted IPQ, to Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations either directly or through a third-party data provider so the information may be provided to any persons that hold uncommitted Arbitration IFQ for purposes of Share Matching, Binding Arbitration, and Post Arbitration Opt-in;

(2) A provision that prohibits the disclosure of any information received under this provision to any person except those Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations, or their third-party data provider so that information may be provided to holders of uncommitted Arbitration IFQ. The provision will require that information concerning uncommitted IPQ be updated within 24 hours of a change of any such information, including any commitment of IPQ, and that information be provided to those persons that hold uncommitted Arbitration IFQ. This provision may include a mechanism to provide information to uncommitted Arbitration IFQ holders through a secure Web site, or through other electronic means;

(3) A provision that requires the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organization to arrange for the delivery to all holders of uncommitted Arbitration IFQ through the Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations holders or their third-party data provider the terms of a decision of a Contract Arbitrator in a Binding Arbitration proceeding involving a member that holds uncommitted IPQ within 24 hours of notice of that decision. This provision may include a mechanism to provide information to uncommitted Arbitration IFQ holders through a secure Web site, or through other electronic means; and

(4) A provision that requires the holders of uncommitted IPQ to provide information concerning such uncommitted IPQ as necessary for the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organization to comply with this paragraph and prohibits the disclosure of any such information by such holder to any person, except as directed in this paragraph.

(C) In the case of a Arbitration QS/IFQ Organization(s):

(1) A provision that requires Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations holders, or their third-party data provider to provide information concerning uncommitted IPQ from PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organization(s) as necessary for the Arbitration IFQ holder to use that information in a timely manner.

(2) A provision that prohibits the disclosure of any such information concerning uncommitted IPQ from PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organization to any person, except as directed therein.

(D) Third-party Data Provider provision. Notwithstanding any provision in this section, an Arbitration Organization required to supply or receive information under this section must hire administrative personnel or may contract with a person who will arrange for the receipt and delivery of information as required. Any such third party that receives such information cannot be affiliated with or employed by or related to any QS, PQS, IFQ, or IPQ holder in any crab QS fishery and must enter a contract that:

(1) Prohibits such third person from releasing any information received to any person except as specifically provided by this section; and

(2) Prohibits such third person from entering taking any employment from or establishing any relationship, except under a contract meeting the requirements of this section for a period of 3 years after the termination of the contract.

(v) Costs. A provision that authorizes the Arbitration Organization to enter into a contract with all other Arbitration Organizations for the payment of the costs of arbitration as specified under this section.

(A) The Arbitration Organizations must establish a contract that requires the payment of all costs of the Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator(s), dissemination of information concerning uncommitted IPQ to holders of uncommitted Arbitration IFQ, and the costs of such persons associated with lengthy season approach, share matching approach, Binding Arbitration, quality and performance disputes, to be shared equally so that IPQ holders pay 50 percent of the costs and Arbitration IFQ holders and Class A IFQ holders pay 50 percent of the costs.

(B) Each person shall pay an amount of the cost based on the amount of IPQ or IFQ held by that person at the time of application to an Arbitration Organization.

(C) PQS holders shall advance all costs and shall collect the contribution of IFQ holders at landing subject to terms mutually agreed to by the Arbitration Organizations.

(vi) Negotiation methods. A provision that prohibits the Arbitration Organization from engaging in any contract negotiations on behalf of its members, except for those necessary to hire the Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator(s).

(vii) Enforcement of the contract. Violations of the contract shall be enforced under civil law.

(3) Provisions applying to Affiliated QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations. The provisions that allow for the provision of information to members, payment of costs, limits on the transfer of QS, PQS, IFQ, and IPQ, and enforcement of the contract as described under paragraphs (e)(2)(iv), (v), (vii), and (viii) will apply to the contract among members of an Affiliated QS/IFQ Arbitration Organization(s).

(4) Process for selection of Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator(s). (i) For each crab fishing year, QS holders who are members of Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organization(s) and PQS holders who are members of PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organization(s), by mutual agreement, will select one Market Analyst, one Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator(s) for each crab QS fishery. The number of Contract Arbitrators selected for each fishery will be subject to the mutual agreement of those Arbitration Organizations. The selection of the Market Analyst and the Formula Arbitrator must occur in time to ensure the Market Report and non-binding price formula are produced within the time line established in paragraphs (f)(4)(i) and (g)(2)(viii)(B) of this section.

(ii) The Arbitration Organizations representing Arbitration QS holders and PQS holders in a crab fishery shall establish by mutual agreement the contractual obligations of the Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator(s) for each fishery. The contractual obligations of the Market Analyst, the Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrators will be enforced by the parties to the contract.

(iii) The same person may be chosen for the positions of Market Analyst and Formula Arbitrator for a fishery.

(iv) A person selected to be a Contract Arbitrator may not be the Market Analyst or Formula Arbitrator, and shall not be affiliated with, employed by, or otherwise associated with, the Market Analyst or Formula Arbitrator, for that fishery.

(5) Notification to NMFS. Not later than June 1 for that crab fishing year, except as provided in paragraph (e)(6) of this section, the Arbitration Organizations representing the holders of Arbitration QS and PQS in each fishery shall notify NMFS of the persons selected as the Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator(s) for the fishery in accordance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

(6) First-year implementation. During 2005, the selection of and establishment of the contractual obligations of the Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator(s) as required under this section shall occur not later than September 1, 2005.

(7) IFQ and IPQ issuance and selection of the Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator(s). NMFS will not issue CVO IFQ and IPQ for a crab QS fishery until Arbitration Organizations establish by mutual agreement contracts with a Market Analyst, Formula Arbitrator, and Contract Arbitrator(s) for that fishery and notify NMFS.

(f) Roles and standards for the Market Analyst and process for producing the Market Report. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section:

(i) The Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations shall establish a contract with the Market Analyst to produce a Market Report for each crab QS fishery. The terms of this contract must specify that the Market Analyst must produce a Market Report that shall provide an analysis of the market for products of that fishery.

(ii) The Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations may, by mutual agreement, include a provision in the contract with the Market Analyst to forgo production of a Market Report for a crab QS fishery if the Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations anticipate that the crab QS fishery will not open for fishing during a crab fishing year. If such a provision is included in the contract with the Market Analyst, the Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations must include a provision in the contract with the Market Analyst to produce a Market Report not later than the June 30 for the crab QS fishery that was expected to remain closed but subsequently opens for fishing during the crab fishing year.

(2) The contract with the Market Analyst must specify that:

(i) The Market Analyst will base the Market Report on a survey of the market for crab products produced by the fishery.

(ii) The Market Analyst will note generally the sources from which he or she gathered information. The Market Report must include only publicly available data and information. Data and information will be considered publicly available if they are published in a manner that makes them available, either for a fee or at no cost, to the public at large.

(iii) The Market Report shall consider the following factors:

(A) Current ex-vessel prices, including ex-vessel prices received for crab harvested under Class A IFQ, Class B IFQ, and CVC IFQ permits;

(B) Consumer and wholesale product prices for the processing sector and the participants in the arbitration (recognizing the impact of sales to affiliates on wholesale pricing);

(C) Innovations and developments of the harvesting and processing sectors and the participants in the arbitration (including new product forms);

(D) Efficiency and productivity of the harvesting and processing sectors (recognizing the limitations on efficiency and productivity arising out of the management program structure);

(E) Quality (including quality standards of markets served by the fishery and recognizing the influence of harvest strategies on the quality of landings);

(F) The interest of maintaining financially healthy and stable harvesting and processing sectors;

(G) Safety and expenditures for ensuring adequate safety;

(H) Timing and location of deliveries; and

(I) The cost of harvesting and processing less than the full IFQ or IPQ allocation (underages) to avoid penalties for overharvesting IFQ and a mechanism for reasonably accounting for deadloss.

(iv) There shall only be one annual Market Report for each fishery.

(v) The Market Analyst must not issue interim or supplemental reports for any crab QS fishery unless the Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations, by mutual agreement, include a provision in the contract with the Market Analyst for the production of interim or supplemental reports for a crab QS fishery. If the Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations have a mutual agreement to produce interim or supplemental reports, the contract with the Market Analyst must specify the terms and conditions under which those interim or supplemental reports will be produced.

(3) The Market Analyst shall not disclose any information to any person not required under this section.

(4) In 2005, the Market Report shall be produced not later than September 30, 2005 or 25 days prior to the first crab fishing season for that crab QS fishery whichever is later in that crab fishing year as required under this section.

(i) In all subsequent years and except as provided in paragraph (f)(1)(ii) of this section, the Market Report for each crab QS fishery must be produced not later than 50 days prior to the first crab fishing season for that crab QS fishery, unless the Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations, by mutual agreement, include a provision in the contract with the Market Analyst to establish a different date for production of the Market Report for that crab QS fishery.

(ii) The contract with the Market Analyst must specify that the Market Analyst will provide the Market Report in that crab fishing year to:

(A) Each Arbitration Organization in that fishery;

(B) NMFS Alaska Region in accordance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section; and

(C) The Formula Arbitrator and any Contract Arbitrator(s) for the fishery.

(g) Roles and standards for the Formula Arbitrator. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this section:

(i) The Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations shall establish a contract with the Formula Arbitrator to produce a Non-Binding Price Formula for each crab QS fishery.

(ii) The Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations may, by mutual agreement, include a provision in the contract with the Formula Arbitrator to forgo production of a Non-Binding Price Formula for a crab QS fishery if the Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations anticipate that the crab QS fishery will not open for fishing during a crab fishing year. If such a provision is included in the contract with the Formula Arbitrator, the Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and the PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations must include a provision in the contract with the Formula Arbitrator to produce a Non-Binding Price Formula not later than June 30 for the crab QS fishery that was expected to remain closed but subsequently opens for fishing during the crab fishing year.

(2) The contract with the Formula Arbitrator must specify that:

(i) The Formula Arbitrator will conduct a single annual fleet-wide analysis of the markets for crab to establish a Non-Binding Price Formula under which a fraction of the weighted average first wholesale prices for crab products from the fishery may be used to set an ex-vessel price; and

(ii) The Non-Binding Price Formula shall:

(A) Be based on the historical distribution of first wholesale revenues between fishermen and processors in the aggregate based on arm's length first wholesale prices and ex-vessel prices, taking into consideration the size of the harvest in each year; and

(B) Establish a price that preserves the historical division of revenues in the fishery while considering the following:

(1) Current ex-vessel prices, including ex-vessel prices received for crab harvested under Class A, Class B, and CVC IFQ permits;

(2) Consumer and wholesale product prices for the processing sector and the participants in arbitrations (recognizing the impact of sales to affiliates on wholesale pricing);

(3) Innovations and developments of the harvesting and processing sectors and the participants in arbitrations (including new product forms);

(4) Efficiency and productivity of the harvesting and processing sectors (recognizing the limitations on efficiency and productivity arising out of the management program structure);

(5) Quality (including quality standards of markets served by the fishery and recognizing the influence of harvest strategies on the quality of landings);

(6) The interest of maintaining financially healthy and stable harvesting and processing sectors;

(7) Safety and expenditures for ensuring adequate safety;

(8) Timing and location of deliveries; and

(9) The cost of harvesting and processing less than the full IFQ or IPQ allocation (underages) to avoid penalties for overharvesting IFQ and a mechanism for reasonably accounting for deadloss.

(C) Include identification of various relevant factors such as product form, delivery time, and delivery location.

(D) Consider the “highest arbitrated price” for the fishery from the previous crab fishing season, where the “highest arbitrated price” means the highest arbitrated price for arbitrations of IPQ and Arbitration IFQ which represent a minimum of at least 7 percent of the IPQ resulting from the PQS in that fishery. For purposes of this process, the Formula Arbitrator may aggregate up to three arbitration findings to collectively equal a minimum of 7 percent of the IPQ. When arbitration findings are aggregated with 2 or more entities, the lesser of the arbitrated prices of the arbitrated entities included to attain the 7 percent minimum be considered for the highest arbitrated price.

(iii) The Non-Binding Price Formula may rely on any relevant information available to the Formula Arbitrator, including, but not limited to,

(A) Information provided by the QS, PQS, IPQ and IFQ holders in the fishery, and

(B) The Market Report for the fishery.

(iv) The Formula Arbitrator:

(A) May meet with IFQ holders who are members of any single FCMA cooperative collectively;

(B) Shall meet with IPQ holders individually;

(C) Shall meet with distinct FCMA cooperatives individually; and

(D) Shall meet with IFQ holders who are not members of the same FCMA cooperative individually.

(v) The Formula Arbitrator may request any relevant information from QS, PQS, IPQ, and IFQ holders in the fishery, but the Formula Arbitrator shall not have subpoena power.

(vi) The Formula Arbitrator may obtain information from persons other than QS, PQS, IPQ, and IFQ holders in the fishery, if those persons agree to provide such data. Any information that is provided must be based on activities occurring more than three months prior to the date of submission to the Formula Arbitrator.

(vii) The Formula Arbitrator shall keep confidential the information that is not publicly available and not disclose the identity of the persons providing specific information.

(viii) (A) In 2005, the non-binding price formula shall be produced not later than September 30, 2005 or 25 days prior to the first crab fishing season for that crab QS fishery whichever is later in that crab fishing year as required under this section.

(B) In all subsequent years and except as provided in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this section, the Non-Binding Price Formula must be produced not later than 50 days prior to the first crab fishing season for that crab QS fishery, except that the Non-Binding Price Formulas for the western Aleutian Islands golden king crab fishery and the eastern Aleutian Islands golden king crab fishery must be produced not later than 30 days prior to the first crab fishing season for those crab QS fisheries.

(C) The contract with the Formula Arbitrator must specify that the Formula Arbitrator will provide the non-binding price formula in that crab fishing year to:

(1) Each Arbitration Organization in that fishery;

(2) NMFS in accordance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section; and

(3) The Market Analyst and all Contract Arbitrators in the fishery.

(ix) The Formula Arbitrator shall not disclose any information to any person unless required under this section.

(h) Roles and standards for the Contract Arbitrator(s)—(1) General. For each crab QS fishery, the Arbitration QS/IFQ Arbitration Organizations and PQS/IPQ Arbitration Organizations shall establish a contract with all Contract Arbitrators in that fishery that specifies that each Contract Arbitrator may be selected to resolve a dispute concerning the terms of delivery, price, or other factors in the fishery.

(2) Selection of Contract Arbitrators. The contract with the Contract Arbitrator shall specify the means by which the Contract Arbitrator will be selected to resolve specific disputes. This contract must specify that for any dispute for which the Contract Arbitrator is selected, the Contract Arbitrator will comply with the last best offer arbitration method as set forth in this section.

(3) Negotiation and Binding Arbitration Procedure. The contract with the Contract Arbitrator(s) shall specify the following approaches for negotiation and Binding Arbitration among members of the Arbitration Organizations:

(i) Restrictions on collective negotiation. An IFQ and an IPQ holder may negotiate individually. Groups of IFQ holders may negotiate collectively with an IPQ holder only under the following provisions:

(A) Members of an FCMA cooperatives may participate collectively with other members of the same FCMA cooperative in Binding Arbitration except as otherwise provided under this section.

(B) Members of different FCMA cooperatives shall not participate collectively in Binding Arbitration.

(C) IPQ holders shall not participate collectively. Only one IPQ holder shall enter into Binding Arbitration with any IFQ holder or IFQ holder(s).

(D) An Arbitration Organization must not negotiate on behalf of a member. This shall not prohibit the members of an Arbitration IFQ Arbitration Organization from negotiation if the Arbitration Organization qualifies as an FCMA cooperative.

(ii) Open negotiations. At any time prior to the date of the first crab fishing season of a crab fishing year for that crab QS fishery, any holder of uncommitted Arbitration IFQ may negotiate with any holder of uncommitted IPQ, the price and delivery terms for that season for any uncommitted IFQ and uncommitted IPQ.

(A) Uncommitted Arbitration IFQ holders and Uncommitted IPQ holders may freely contact each other and initiate open negotiations.

(B) If Arbitration IFQ holders and IPQ holders do not reach an agreement on price, delivery terms, or other terms after committing shares, an Arbitration IFQ holder may initiate Binding Arbitration in accordance with the procedures specified in this section in order to resolve disputes in those price, delivery terms, or other terms.

(C) Once IFQ or IPQ has been committed, the IFQ holder and IPQ holder cannot engage in open negotiation using those shares.

(iii) Lengthy season approach. (A) Prior to the date of the first crab fishing season for that crab QS fishery in that crab fishing year a committed IPQ holder and one or more committed Arbitration IFQ holders may choose to adopt a Lengthy Season approach. The Lengthy Season approach is an alternative method to the Binding Arbitration proceedings.

(B) A Lengthy Season approach allows a committed IPQ holder and a committed Arbitration IFQ holder to agree to postpone negotiation of specific contract terms until a time during the crab fishing year as agreed upon by the Arbitration IFQ holder and IPQ holder participating in the negotiation. The Lengthy Season approach allows the Arbitration IFQ holders and IPQ holder involved in the negotiation to postpone Binding Arbitration, if necessary, until a time during the crab fishing year. If the parties ready a final agreement on the contract terms, Binding Arbitration is not necessary.

(C) If a committed IPQ holder and one or more committed Arbitration IFQ holder(s) are unable to reach an agreement on whether to adopt a Lengthy Season approach, they may request mediation to assist the parties in determining whether to adopt a Lengthy Season approach. The parties may request a Contract Arbitrator to act as a mediator. If the mediation proves unsuccessful or is not selected, the Arbitration IFQ holder may initiate enter Binding Arbitration to determine whether to adopt a lengthy season approach.

(1) Binding Arbitration may begin immediately with the same Contract Arbitrator.

(2) If the Contract Arbitrator serves as a mediator in an unsuccessful mediation, either party may request another Contract Arbitrator for the Binding Arbitration.

(iv) Share matching. (A) At any time 120 hours (five days) after NMFS issues IFQ and IPQ for that crab QS fishery in that crab fishing year, holders of uncommitted Arbitration IFQ may choose to commit the delivery of harvests of crab to be made with that uncommitted Arbitration IFQ to an uncommitted IPQ holder. The issuance of IFQ and IPQ for a crab QS fishery occurs on the time and date that IFQ and IPQ amounts for that crab QS fishery are posted on the NMFS, Alaska Region website at http://www.fakr.noaa.gov.

(B) To commit Arbitration IFQ, the holder of uncommitted IFQ must offer an amount of Arbitration IFQ:

(1) Not less than 50 percent of the Arbitration IFQ holder's total uncommitted Arbitration IFQ, or an amount of uncommitted Arbitration IFQ equal to the total amount of uncommitted IPQ available, whichever is less, if the Arbitration IFQ holder is not an FCMA cooperative; and

(2) Not less than 25 percent of the Arbitration IFQ holder's total uncommitted Arbitration IFQ, or an amount of uncommitted Arbitration IFQ equal to the total amount of uncommitted IPQ available, whichever is less, if the Arbitration IFQ holder is an FCMA cooperative.

(C) Any holder of uncommitted IPQ must accept all proposed Arbitration IFQ commitments, up to the amount of its uncommitted IPQ. The commitment of IPQ will take place on receipt of notice from the holder of uncommitted Arbitration IFQ of the intention to commit that IFQ.

(D) After matching, an Arbitration IFQ holder and an IPQ holder may decide to enter mediation to reach agreement on contract terms. The Arbitration IFQ holder and IPQ holder may request a Contract Arbitrator to act as a mediator to facilitate an agreement.

(1) If the mediation proves unsuccessful, or if mediation is not selected, the Arbitration IFQ holder may initiate Binding Arbitration which may begin immediately with the same Contract Arbitrator.

(2) If the Contract Arbitrator serves as a mediator in an unsuccessful mediation, the Arbitration IFQ holder may request another Contract Arbitrator for the Binding Arbitration.

(v) Initiation of Binding Arbitration. If an Arbitration IFQ holder intends to initiate Binding Arbitration, the Arbitration IFQ holder must initiate the Binding Arbitration procedure not later than 360 hours (15 days) after NMFS issues IFQ and IPQ for that crab QS fishery in that crab fishing year. Binding Arbitration is initiated after the committed Arbitration IFQ holder notifies a committed IPQ holder and selects a Contract Arbitrator. Binding Arbitration may be initiated to resolve price, terms of delivery, and other disputes. There will be only one Binding Arbitration Proceeding for an IPQ holder but multiple Arbitration IFQ holders may participate in this proceeding. This limitation on the timing of Binding Arbitration proceedings does not include proceedings that arise due to:

(A) The lengthy season approach;

(B) Performance disputes; and

(C) Quality disputes.

(vi) Joining a Binding Arbitration proceeding. Any uncommitted Arbitration IFQ holder may join a Binding Arbitration proceeding as a party by committing the shares to the arbitration and providing notice to the IPQ holder and the Contract Arbitrator(s). An Arbitration IFQ holder may join a Binding Arbitration proceeding only if uncommitted IPQ is available. Once shares are committed to a Binding Arbitration Proceeding they cannot be uncommitted. The contract with the Contract Arbitrator may specify the terms and timing of joining the proceedings.

(vii) Arbitration schedule meeting. The Contract Arbitrator shall meet with all parties to a Binding Arbitration proceeding as soon as possible once a Binding Arbitration proceeding has been initiated for the sole purpose of establishing a schedule for the Binding Arbitration. This schedule shall include the date by which the IPQ holder and Arbitration IFQ holder(s) must submit their last best offer and any supporting materials, and any additional meetings or mediation if agreed to by all parties. This meeting will discuss the schedule of the Binding Arbitration proceedings and not address terms of last best offers.

(viii) Terms of last best offers. The Contract Arbitrator will meet with the parties to the Binding Arbitration proceeding to determine the matters that must be included in the last best offer, which may include a fixed price or a price over a time period specified by the parties, a method for adjusting prices over a crab fishing year, or an advance price paid at the time of delivery.

(ix) Submission of last best offers. The parties to a Binding Arbitration proceeding shall each submit to the Contract Arbitrator(s) a last best offer defining all the terms specified for inclusion in a last best offer by the Contract Arbitrator. An Arbitration IFQ holder that is an FCMA cooperative may submit a last best offer that defines terms for the delivery of crab harvested by members of that FCMA cooperative with IFQ held by the cooperative. An Arbitration IFQ holder that is not an FCMA cooperative may submit a last best offer that defines the term of delivery of crab harvested with IFQ held by that person. The IPQ holder that is a party to the proceeding shall submit a single offer that defines terms for delivery of crab harvested with all IFQ that are subject to the proceedings.

(x) Arbitration decisions. The Contract Arbitrator(s) shall decide among each offer received from an Arbitration IFQ holder and the offer received from the IPQ holder. Each arbitration decision shall result in a binding contract between the IPQ holder and the Arbitration IFQ holder defined by the terms of the offer selected by Contract Arbitrator(s). An arbitration decision applies to all committed IFQ and committed IPQ in that arbitration.

(xi) Announcement of decisions. (A) If last best offers are submitted at least 15 days before the first crab fishing season for that crab fishing year for that crab QS fishery, arbitration decisions shall be issued no later than 10 days before the first crab fishing season for that crab fishing year for that crab QS fishery. Otherwise, the Contract Arbitrator will notify the parties of the arbitration decision within 5 days of the parties submitting their last best offers.

(B) The Contract Arbitrator will notify the parties by providing each Arbitration IFQ holder and IPQ holder that is a party to the Binding Arbitration proceeding, a copy of any decision. The decision is binding on the parties to the Binding Arbitration proceeding.

(4) Basis for the Arbitration decision. The contract with the Contract Arbitrator shall specify that the Contract Arbitrator will be subject to the following provisions when deciding which last best offer to select.

(i) The Contract Arbitrator's decision shall:

(A) Be based on the historical distribution of first wholesale revenues between fishermen and processors in the aggregate based on arm's length first wholesale prices and ex-vessel prices, taking into consideration the size of the harvest in each year; and

(B) Establish a price that preserves the historical division of revenues in the fishery while considering the following:

(1) Current ex-vessel prices, including ex-vessel prices received for crab harvested under Class A IFQ, Class B IFQ, and CVC IFQ permits;

(2) Consumer and wholesale product prices for the processing sector and the participants in the arbitration (recognizing the impact of sales to affiliates on wholesale pricing);

(3) Innovations and developments of the harvesting and processing sectors and the participants in the arbitration (including new product forms);

(4) Efficiency and productivity of the harvesting and processing sectors (recognizing the limitations on efficiency and productivity arising out of the management program structure);

(5) Quality (including quality standards of markets served by the fishery and recognizing the influence of harvest strategies on the quality of landings);

(6) The interest of maintaining financially healthy and stable harvesting and processing sectors;

(7) Safety and expenditures for ensuring adequate safety;

(8) Timing and location of deliveries; and

(9) The cost of harvesting and processing less than the full IFQ or IPQ allocation (underages) to avoid penalties for overharvesting IFQ and a mechanism for reasonably accounting for deadloss.

(C) Consider the Non-Binding Price Formula established in the fishery by the Formula Arbitrator.

(ii) The Contract Arbitrator's decision may rely on any relevant information available to the Contract Arbitrator, including, but not limited to:

(A) Information provided by the QS, PQS, IPQ and IFQ holders in the fishery regarding the factors identified in paragraph (h)(4)(i) of this section; and

(B) The Market Report for the fishery.

(iii) Each of the Arbitration IFQ holders and the IPQ holders that is party to the proceeding may provide the Contract Arbitrator with additional information to support its last best offer. The Contract Arbitrator must receive and consider all data submitted by the parties.

(iv) The Contract Arbitrator may request specific information from the Arbitration IFQ holder(s) and IPQ holder that will be useful in reaching a final decision. The Contract Arbitrator will not have subpoena power and it is in the sole discretion of the person from whom information is requested as to whether to provide the requested information.

(5) Limits on the release of data. The parties to a Binding Arbitration proceeding shall be precluded from full access to the information provided to the Contract Arbitrator.

(i) Arbitration IFQ holders that are party to an arbitration proceeding shall have access only to information provided directly by the IPQ holder to the Contract Arbitrator for that Binding Arbitration proceeding.

(ii) IPQ holders that are party to an arbitration proceeding shall have access only to information provided directly by an Arbitration IFQ holder to the Contract Arbitrator for that Binding Arbitration proceeding.

(iii) The Contract Arbitrator shall keep confidential the information provided by any QS, PQS, IFQ, or IPQ holders in the fishery and not disclose the identity of the persons providing specific information except as provided in paragraph (h)(6) of this section.

(iv) The Arbitration IFQ holders and IPQ holders shall not release information received in a Binding Arbitration proceeding to persons who were not party to that Binding Arbitration proceeding other than the final result of that arbitration proceeding except as provided for in paragraph (h)(6) of this section.

(6) Information provided to NMFS. The Contract Arbitrator must provide any information, documents, or data required under this paragraph to NMFS in accordance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section not later than 30 days prior to the end of the crab fishing year for which the open negotiation or arbitration applied. The contract with the Contract Arbitrator must specify that the Contract Arbitrator provide NMFS with:

(i) A copy of any minutes from any meeting attended by that Contract Arbitrator between or among any PQS or IPQ holders concerning any negotiations under this section;

(ii) Any last-best offers made during the Binding Arbitration process, including all contract details, the names of other participants in the arbitration, and whether the bid was accepted by the Contract Arbitrator; and

(iii) A copy of any information, data, or documents given by the Contract Arbitrator to any person who is not a party to the particular arbitration for which that information was provided. The Contract Arbitrator must identify the arbitration to which the information, data, or documents apply, and the person to whom those information, data, or documents were provided.

(7) Enforcement of Binding Arbitration decisions. The decision of the Contract Arbitrator for Binding Arbitration shall be enforced among the parties to that arbitration.

(8) Failure of Contract Arbitrator(s). Except as provided for in paragraph (h)(6) of this section, the failure of a Contract Arbitrator to perform shall be enforced by the Arbitration Organizations.

(9) Post Binding Arbitration opt-in. (i) An Arbitration IFQ holder with uncommitted IFQ, may opt-in to any contract that results from a completed a Binding Arbitration procedure with any IPQ holder that has uncommitted IPQ.

(A) All the terms from the arbitrated contract will apply. The Contract Arbitrator may determine fees and a time frame by which a Post Binding Arbitration opt-in may occur if those terms are not specified in the arbitrated contract.

(B) Once exercised, the opt-in results in a contract that is binding on both the Arbitration IFQ and IPQ holder.

(ii) To initiate the opt-in process, the holder of uncommitted Arbitration IFQ will notify the holder of uncommitted IPQ in writing of its intent to opt-in.

(iii) Holders of uncommitted Arbitration IFQ may opt-in to a contract resulting from a completed Binding Arbitration procedure with a person that holds uncommitted IPQ for that fishery.

(iv) If the IPQ holder and the Arbitration IFQ holder are unable to resolve a dispute regarding whether the opt-in offer is consistent with the original contract from the completed Binding Arbitration procedure, the dispute may be decided by the Contract Arbitrator to the original arbitration that resulted in the contract to which the Arbitration IFQ holder is seeking to opt-in. The Contract Arbitrator will decide only whether the proposed opt-in terms are consistent with the original contract.

(10) Performance disputes. If an IPQ holder and an Arbitration IFQ holder are unable to resolve disputes regarding the obligations to perform specific contract provisions after substantial negotiations or when time is of the essence, the issues of that dispute shall be submitted for Binding Arbitration before a Contract Arbitrator for that fishery.

(i) Binding Arbitration resulting from a performance dispute can occur at any point during or after the crab fishing year. The dispute must be raised by the IPQ holder or the Arbitration IFQ holder. Arbitration of that performance dispute must be initiated prior to the date of the first crab fishing season for the following crab fishing year in that crab QS fishery.

(ii) Performance dispute arbitration shall follow the applicable procedures described for a Binding Arbitration in paragraph (h)(3) of this section, except that the time frame for the procedure applicable to a performance dispute will be determined by the Contract Arbitrator once the dispute has been raised.

(iii) If a party fails to abide by the arbitration decision, a party may pursue available contract remedies.

(iv) The costs of arbitrating performance disputes shall be provided from the general fees collected by the Arbitration Organizations pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section.

(v) The Contract Arbitrator may assign fees to any party bringing frivolous complaints. Any such fees shall be paid by the party and not from the fees collected under paragraph (e)(2)(vi) of this section.

(11) Quality disputes. When disputes regarding the quality of the harvested crab arise within the context of an existing contract, the parties may settle the disputes within the context of the arbitration system according to the following:

(i) In cases where the IPQ holder and Arbitration IFQ holder(s) have agreed to a formula-based price for crab but where they cannot reach an agreement on the quality and price of the crab, the IPQ holder and Arbitration IFQ holder(s) will receive their share of the value of the amount of crab delivered based on the provisions of the contract.

(ii) In quality disputes where the Arbitration IFQ holders prefer to use actual ex-vessel price and not a formula-based price and a dispute arises regarding crab quality and price, the dispute should be referred to a mutually agreeable independent quality specialist firm. This independent quality specialist firm will determine the quality of the crab. This information will be used as the basis for subsequent price determinations. The IPQ holder and Arbitration IFQ holder(s) with this quality dispute shall share the cost of hiring the specialist firm and agree to abide by its findings according to the terms of their agreement.

(i) Other procedures and administrative decisions. The Arbitration Organizations, Market Analyst, Contract Arbitrator, Formula Arbitrator, and the Third Party Data Provider are authorized to adopt arbitration system procedures and make administrative decisions, including additional provisions in the various contracts, provided those actions are not inconsistent with any other provision in the regulations.

[70 FR 10241, Mar. 2, 2005, as amended at 70 FR 33395, June 8, 2005; 70 FR 75421, Dec. 20, 2005; 71 FR 40033, July 14, 2006; 73 FR 35088, June 20, 2008; 73 FR 76190, Dec. 15, 2008; 74 FR 51519, Oct. 7, 2009; 76 FR 68364, Nov. 4, 2011]

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§680.21   Crab harvesting cooperatives.

This section governs the formation and operation of crab harvesting cooperatives. The regulations in this section apply only to crab harvesting cooperatives that have formed for the purpose of applying for and fishing under a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit issued by NMFS. Members of crab harvesting cooperatives that are not FCMA cooperatives should consult counsel before commencing any activity if the members are uncertain about the legality under the antitrust laws of the crab harvesting cooperative's proposed conduct.

(a) Formation of crab harvesting cooperatives. The following requirements apply to the formation of crab harvesting cooperatives.

(1) Membership requirements. A crab harvesting cooperative is limited to QS holders that hold any amount of CPO, CVO, CPC, or CVC QS, and that NMFS has determined are eligible to receive crab IFQ.

(i) Minimum number of members. Each crab harvesting cooperative must include at least four unique QS holding entities. A unique QS holding entity is a QS holder or group of affiliated QS holders that are not affiliated with any other QS holders or QS holding entities in the crab harvesting cooperative. For the purpose of this paragraph, the term “affiliation” is defined at §680.2.

(ii) Voluntary nature of membership. Membership in a crab harvesting cooperative is voluntary. No person may be required to join a crab harvesting cooperative, and no crab harvesting cooperative may be required to accept a member who the crab harvesting cooperative chooses not to accept.

(iii) Membership in more than one crab harvesting cooperative. (A) A QS holder may join one crab harvesting cooperative per CR fishery.

(B) Upon joining a crab harvesting cooperative for a CR fishery, NMFS will convert all of a QS holder's QS holdings for that CR fishery to crab harvesting cooperative IFQ.

(2) Legal and organizational requirements. A crab harvesting cooperative must meet the following legal and organizational requirements before it is eligible to apply for a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit:

(i) Registered business entity. Each crab harvesting cooperative must be formed as a partnership, corporation, or other legal business entity that is registered under the laws of one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.

(ii) Appointment of a designated representative. Each crab harvesting cooperative must appoint an individual as designated representative to act on the crab harvesting cooperative's behalf and serve as contact point for NMFS for questions regarding the operation of the crab harvesting cooperative. The designated representative may be a member of the crab harvesting cooperative or some other individual authorized by the crab harvesting cooperative to act on its behalf.

(b) Application for annual crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permits. A crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit is an annual permit issued to a crab harvesting cooperative that establishes an annual catch limit of crab that is based on the collective QS holdings of the members of the crab harvesting cooperative that have been contributed by the members. A crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit will list the IFQ amount, by fishery, held by the crab harvesting cooperative and identify the members of the crab harvesting cooperative. Each crab harvesting cooperative will be issued a separate IFQ permit for each type of QS held by a member (or members) of the crab harvesting cooperative.

(1) June 15 application deadline. A completed Application for Annual Crab Harvesting Cooperative Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Permit listing the name of each member of the crab harvesting cooperative must be submitted annually by each crab harvesting cooperative and received by NMFS no later than June 15 (or postmarked by this date, if sent via U.S. mail or a commercial carrier) for the upcoming crab fishing year for which the crab harvesting cooperative is applying to receive IFQ. If a complete application is not received by NMFS by this date, or postmarked by this date, the crab harvesting cooperative will not receive IFQ for the upcoming crab fishing year. In the event that NMFS has not received a complete and timely application by June 15, NMFS will presume that the application was timely filed if the applicant can provide NMFS with proof of timely filing. Each crab harvesting cooperative member is responsible for submitting a completed Application for Annual Crab Individual Fishing Quota Permit to NMFS by June 15 pursuant to §680.4.

(2) Contents. A complete application must contain the following information:

(i) Cooperative identification. Enter the crab harvesting cooperative's legal name; type of business entity under which the crab harvesting cooperative is organized; state in which the crab harvesting cooperative is legally registered as a business entity; printed name of the crab harvesting cooperative's designated representative; the permanent business address, telephone number, facsimile number, and e-mail address (if available) of the crab harvesting cooperative or its designated representative; and the signature of the crab harvesting cooperative's designated representative and date signed.

(ii) Members of the cooperative. Full name and NMFS Person ID of each member of the crab harvesting cooperative.

(iii) Additional documentation. For the application to be considered complete, the following documents must be attached to the application: the completed and signed annual application for crab IFQ/IPQ permit for all members of the crab harvesting cooperative, a copy of the business license issued by the state in which the crab harvesting cooperative is registered as a business entity, a copy of the articles of incorporation or partnership agreement of the crab harvesting cooperative, and a copy of the crab harvesting cooperative agreement signed by the members of the crab harvesting cooperative (if different from the articles of incorporation or partnership agreement of the crab harvesting cooperative).

(3) Issuance of crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permits. Upon receipt of a completed application for an annual crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit that is subsequently approved, NMFS will issue one-year crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permits to the crab harvesting cooperative. The crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permits will list the crab IFQ amounts that are generated by the aggregate QS holdings of all members of the crab harvesting cooperative for each fishery, region, sector, and Class A/B IFQ categories. Issuance by NMFS of a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit is not a determination that the crab harvesting cooperative is formed or is operating in compliance with antitrust law.

(4) Appeals. A crab harvesting cooperative or person that is adversely affected by an initial administrative determination (IAD) that is associated with the issuance of a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit may appeal the IAD using the appeals procedures described in §680.43.

(c) Restrictions on fishing under a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit. The following restrictions govern fishing for IFQ crab under a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit:

(1) Maintenance of permit on board. A copy of a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit must be maintained on board any vessel that is being used to harvest crab under the permit.

(2) Persons eligible to harvest crab under a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit. The only person eligible to harvest crab under a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit is the crab IFQ hired master under §680.4(g) who is operating a vessel in which at least a 10 percent ownership share is held by a member of the crab harvesting cooperative to whom the IFQ permit is issued.

(3) Liability. Each member of a crab harvesting cooperative is responsible for ensuring that members of the crab harvesting cooperative and crab IFQ hired masters of the crab harvesting cooperative comply with all regulations applicable to fishing for CR crab.

(d) Transfers by members of a crab harvesting cooperative. The following requirements address transfers of QS and IFQ by members of a crab harvesting cooperative.

(1) Transfer of QS. A member of a crab harvesting cooperative may acquire or divest QS at any time in accordance with the transfer procedures in §680.41. However, transfers of QS that occur after the June 15 deadline for crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit applications will not be reflected in the type or amount of IFQ permit issued to the crab harvesting cooperative for that crab fishing year.

(2) Transfer of individually held IFQ. A member of a crab harvesting cooperative may acquire or divest individually held IFQ using the transfer procedures described in §680.41. However, any vessel used to harvest IFQ not held by a crab harvesting cooperative loses the vessel use cap exemption.

(3) Transfer of crab harvesting cooperative IFQ prohibited. A member of a crab harvesting cooperative may not acquire or divest crab harvesting cooperative IFQ. Crab harvesting cooperative IFQ may only be transferred between two crab harvesting cooperatives.

(e) Transfers by crab harvesting cooperatives. The following requirements address transfers of QS, IFQ, PQS, and IPQ by crab harvesting cooperatives that have been issued crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permits.

(1) Acquisition of QS, PQS, and IPQ prohibited. A crab harvesting cooperative that has been issued a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit is prohibited from acquiring any amount of QS, PQS, or IPQ for the valid duration of the crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit. A crab harvesting cooperative that acquires any amount of QS, PQS, or IPQ becomes ineligible to receive a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit.

(2) Transfer of crab harvesting cooperative IFQ. A crab harvesting cooperative may transfer its IFQ only to another crab harvesting cooperative. Crab harvesting cooperatives wishing to engage in an inter-cooperative transfer must complete an application for inter-cooperative transfer to transfer crab IFQ between crab harvesting cooperatives. A crab harvesting cooperative is prohibited from transferring any amount of crab harvesting cooperative IFQ to any entity that is not a crab harvesting cooperative operating under a crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit.

(3) Use caps. Inter-cooperative transfers of IFQ will apply to the individual use caps of crab harvesting cooperative members through the designation of the crab harvesting cooperative members conducting the transfer.

(f) Application for transfer of crab harvesting cooperative IFQ—(1) Completed application. NMFS will process an application for transfer of crab harvesting cooperative individual fishing quota (IFQ) provided that a paper or electronic request form is completed by the applicant, with all applicable fields accurately filled in, and all required additional documentation is attached.

(2) Certification of transferor—(i) Non-electronic submittal. The transferor's designated representative must sign and date the application certifying that all information is true, correct, and complete. The transferor's designated representative must submit the paper application as indicated on the application.

(ii) Electronic submittal. The transferor's designated representative must log into the system and create a transfer request as indicated on the computer screen. By using the transferor's NMFS ID, password, and Transfer Key and submitting the transfer request, the designated representative certifies that all information is true, correct, and complete.

(3) Certification of transferee—(i) Non-electronic submittal. The transferee's designated representative must sign and date the application certifying that all information is true, correct, and complete.

(ii) Electronic submittal. The transferee's designated representative must log into the system and accept the transfer request as indicated on the computer screen. By using the transferee's NMFS ID, password, and Transfer Key, the designated representative certifies that all information is true, correct, and complete.

(4) Submittal information. An application for transfer of crab harvesting cooperative IFQ crab QS or PQS may be submitted to NMFS as instructed on the application. Forms are available on the NMFS Alaska Region website at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov, or by contacting NMFS at 800-304-4846, Option 2.

(g) Inseason changes to crab harvesting cooperative membership. The following requirements address inseason changes to crab harvesting cooperative membership.

(1) Eligible membership changes. A crab harvesting cooperative may add a new member if that person becomes eligible to join the crab harvesting cooperative through the acquisition of any amount of the QS upon which the crab harvesting cooperative's annual IFQ permit was based, provided that the person acquiring the QS in question has been determined by NMFS to be eligible to hold IFQ. Likewise, a crab harvesting cooperative may remove a member if that person no longer holds any of the QS upon which the crab harvesting cooperative's annual IFQ permit was based.

(2) Inseason membership changes are voluntary. A crab harvesting cooperative is not required to add or remove members during the fishing season to reflect inseason transfers of QS. Each crab harvesting cooperative is free to establish its own process for deciding whether or not to admit new members or to remove existing members during the fishing season to reflect changes in the QS holdings. No crab harvesting cooperative is required to admit a new QS holder that the crab harvesting cooperative chooses not to admit, regardless of whether the person in question has acquired any amount of QS upon which the crab harvesting cooperative's annual IFQ is based. If a crab harvesting cooperative chooses to make inseason membership changes, then it must comply with paragraph (g)(3) of this section.

(3) Application for an inseason change in cooperative membership. To change crab harvesting cooperative membership, a crab harvesting cooperative must submit to NMFS a revised application for an annual crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit together with any revised supporting documents that are required to be submitted with the application. The revised application for an annual crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit must be accompanied by a cover letter that indicates the revisions that have been made. Upon approval of the membership change, NMFS will issue a revised crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit that reflects the change. A new member may not fish on behalf of a cooperative except as a crab IFQ hired master until NMFS issues a revised crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit that reflects the change in membership.

(4) Successors-in-interest. If a member of a crab harvesting cooperative dies (in the case of an individual) or dissolves (in the case of a business entity), the QS held by that person will be transferred to the legal successor-in-interest. However, the crab harvesting cooperative IFQs generated by that person's QS holdings remain under the control of the crab harvesting cooperative for the valid duration of the crab harvesting cooperative IFQ permit. Each crab harvesting cooperative is free to establish its own internal procedures for admitting a successor-in-interest during the fishing season to reflect the transfer of QS due to the death or dissolution of a QS holder. The regulations in this section do not require any crab harvesting cooperative to admit a successor-in-interest that the cooperative chooses not to admit. If a crab harvesting cooperative chooses to admit the successor-in-interest for membership, then the crab harvesting cooperative must comply with paragraph (g)(3) of this section.

[70 FR 10241, Mar. 2, 2005, as amended at 70 FR 33395, June 8, 2005; 73 FR 35088, June 20, 2008; 74 FR 51519, Oct. 7, 2009; 80 FR 15897, Mar. 26, 2015; 81 FR 1561, Jan. 13, 2016]

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§680.22   Sideboard protections for GOA groundfish fisheries.

The regulations in this section restrict the owners of vessels with a history of participation in the Bering Sea snow crab fishery from using the increased flexibility provided by the CR Program to expand their level of participation in GOA groundfish fisheries. These restrictions are commonly known as “sideboards.”

(a) Vessels and LLP licenses subject to sideboard restrictions. The sideboard fishing restrictions described in this section are based on a vessel's fishing history and apply both to the fishing vessel itself and to any LLP license generated by that vessel's fishing history. The criteria used to determine which vessels and LLP licenses are subject to GOA groundfish sideboard fishing restrictions are as follows:

(1) Vessels subject to GOA groundfish sideboard directed fishing closures. Any vessel that NMFS has determined meets one or both of the following criteria is subject to GOA groundfish sideboard directed fishing closures issued under paragraph (e) of this section.

(i) Any non-AFA vessel that made a legal landing of Bering Sea snow crab (C. opilio) between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2000, that generated any amount of Bering Sea snow crab (C. opilio) fishery QS; and

(ii) Any vessel named on an LLP license that was generated in whole or in part by the fishing history of a vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) Vessels prohibited from directed fishing for Pacific cod in the GOA. Any vessel that NMFS has determined meets either of the following two criteria is prohibited from directed fishing for Pacific cod in the GOA:

(i) Any vessel subject to GOA groundfish sideboard closures under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section that landed less than 50 mt (110,231 lb), in round weight equivalents, of groundfish harvested from the GOA between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2000, or

(ii) Any vessel named on an LLP license that was generated in whole or in part by the fishing history of a vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.

(3) Vessels and LLP licenses exempt from Pacific cod sideboard closures in the GOA. Any vessel or LLP license that NMFS has determined meets either of the following criteria is exempt from sideboard directed fishing closures for Pacific cod in the GOA:

(i) Any vessel subject to GOA groundfish closures under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section that landed less than 750,000 lb (340.2 mt), in raw weight equivalents, of Bering Sea snow crab and more than 680 mt (1,499,143 lb), in round weight equivalents, of Pacific cod harvested from the GOA between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2000; and

(ii) Any LLP license that:

(A) Was initially issued based on the catch history of a vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section; and

(B) Did not generate crab QS based on legal landings from any vessel other than the vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section.

(4) Vessels and LLP licenses exempt from pollock sideboard closures in the GOA. Any vessel or LLP license that NMFS has determined meets either of the following criteria is exempt from sideboard directed fishing closures for pollock in the GOA:

(i) Any vessel subject to GOA groundfish closures under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section that landed less than 1,212,673 lb (550 mt), in raw weight equivalents, of Bering Sea snow crab, and had 20 or more legal landings of pollock harvested from the GOA between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2000; and

(ii) Any LLP license that:

(A) Was initially issued based on the catch history of a vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section; and

(B) Did not generate crab QS based on legal landings from any vessel other than the vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section.

(b) Notification of affected vessel owners and LLP license holders. After NMFS determines which vessels and LLP licenses meet the criteria described in paragraph (a) of this section, NMFS will inform each vessel owner and LLP license holder in writing of the type of sideboard restriction and issue a revised Federal Fisheries Permit and/or LLP license that displays the restriction on the face of the permit or license.

(c) Appeals. A vessel owner or LLP license holder who believes that NMFS has incorrectly identified his or her vessel or LLP license as meeting the criteria for a GOA groundfish sideboard restriction may request reconsideration. All requests for reconsideration must be submitted in writing to the RAM Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, together with any documentation or evidence supporting the request. If the request for reconsideration is denied, affected persons may appeal using the procedures described at §680.43.

(d) Determination of GOA groundfish sideboard ratios. Except for fixed gear sablefish, sideboard ratios for each GOA groundfish species, species group, season, operation type, gear type, and area, for which annual specifications are made, are established according to the following formulas:

(1) Pacific cod. The sideboard ratios for Pacific cod are calculated by dividing the aggregate retained catch of Pacific cod by vessels that are subject to sideboard directed fishing closures under paragraph (a)(1) of this section and that do not meet the criteria in paragraphs (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this section by the total retained catch of Pacific cod by all groundfish vessels between 1996 and 2000.

(2) Pollock. The sideboard ratios for pollock are calculated by dividing the aggregate retained catch of pollock by vessels that are subject to sideboard directed fishing closures under paragraph (a)(1) of this section and that do not meet the criteria in paragraph (a)(4) of this section by the total retained catch of pollock by all groundfish vessels between 1996 and 2000.

(3) Groundfish other than Pacific cod and pollock. The sideboard ratios for groundfish species and species groups other than Pacific cod and pollock are calculated by dividing the aggregate landed catch by vessels subject to sideboard directed fishing closures under paragraph (a)(1) of this section by the total landed catch of that species by all groundfish vessels between 1996 and 2000.

(e) Conversion of sideboard ratios into annual sideboard harvest limits. NMFS will convert sideboard ratios into annual sideboard harvest limits according to the following procedures.

(1) Annual sideboard harvest limits. (i) Except as provided in paragraphs (e)(1)(ii) and (iii) of this section, annual sideboard harvest limits for each groundfish species, except fixed-gear sablefish, will be established by multiplying the sideboard ratios calculated under paragraph (d) of this section by the proposed and final TACs in each area for which a TAC is specified. If a TAC is further apportioned by season, the sideboard harvest limit also will be apportioned by season in the same ratio as the overall TAC. The resulting harvest limits expressed in metric tons will be published in the annual GOA groundfish harvest specification notices.

(ii) NMFS will not establish an annual sideboard harvest limit for Pacific cod for vessels that catch and process Pacific cod using hook-and-line gear in the Central GOA Regulatory Area if all eligible participants request that the sideboard harvest limit be removed in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (e)(1)(ii)(A) of this section. NMFS will not establish an annual sideboard harvest limit for Pacific cod for vessels that catch and process Pacific cod using hook-and-line gear in the Western GOA Regulatory Area if all eligible participants request that the sideboard harvest limit be removed in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (e)(1)(ii)(B) of this section. NMFS will publish notification of the removal of the sideboard harvest limit for Pacific cod for vessels that catch and process Pacific cod using hook-and-line gear in the Central GOA Regulatory Area or the Western GOA Regulatory Area through the annual GOA groundfish harvest specifications (see §679.20(c)(1)(iii) and (c)(3)(ii)).

(A) Central GOA. For the Central GOA Regulatory Area (Statistical Areas 620 and 630; see Figure 3 to 50 CFR part 679), the holders of all LLP licenses listed in Column A of Table 10 to this part must submit to NMFS a completed Request to Extinguish Pacific Cod Sideboard Limits for Hook-and-Line Catcher/Processors in the Western or Central GOA, and the request must be received by NMFS on or before May 18, 2016.

(B) Western GOA. For the Western GOA Regulatory Area (Statistical Area 610; see Figure 3 to 50 CFR part 679), the holders of all LLP licenses listed in Column B of Table 10 to this part must submit to NMFS a completed Request to Extinguish Pacific Cod Sideboard Limits for Hook-and-Line Catcher/Processors in the Western or Central GOA, and the request must be received by NMFS on or before May 18, 2016.

(iii) NMFS will not establish an annual sideboard harvest limit for groundfish species, other than Pacific cod apportioned to catcher vessels using pot gear in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas. Directed fishing for groundfish species, other than Pacific cod apportioned to catcher vessels using pot gear in the Western and Central Regulatory Areas, is prohibited.

(2) Sideboard directed fishing allowance. (i) If the Regional Administrator determines that a harvest limit for a species or species group has been or will be reached, the Regional Administrator may establish a sideboard directed fishing allowance for the species or species group applicable only to the group of crab vessels to which the sideboard limit applies.

(ii) If the Regional Administrator determines that a harvest limit is insufficient to support a directed fishery for that species or species group, then the Regional Administrator may set the sideboard directed fishing allowance at zero for that species or species group.

(3) Directed fishing closures. Upon attainment of a sideboard directed fishing allowance, the Regional Administrator will publish notification in the Federal Register prohibiting directed fishing for the species or species group in the specified subarea, regulatory area, or district. A directed fishing closure is effective for the duration of the fishing year or season.

(f) Sideboard protections in the State of Alaska parallel groundfish fisheries. Vessels subject to the sideboard restrictions under paragraph (a) of this section, with a Federal Fisheries Permit or LLP license, shall be subject to the regulations of this section while participating in any groundfish fishery in State waters adjacent to the GOA opened by the State of Alaska and for which the State of Alaska adopts a Federal fishing season.

[70 FR 10241, Mar. 2, 2005, as amended at 71 FR 38301, July 6, 2006; 76 FR 35780, June 20, 2011; 76 FR 74690, Dec. 1, 2011; 80 FR 28545, May 19, 2015; 84 FR 2731, Feb. 8, 2019]

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§680.23   Equipment and operational requirements.

(a) Catcher vessel requirements. A catcher vessel used to harvest CR crab must:

(1) Carry and use a VMS as described in paragraph (d) of this section;

(2) Land all retained crab to an RCR operating under an approved catch monitoring plan as described in paragraph (g) of this section;

(b) Catcher/processor requirements. A catcher/processor used to harvest CR crab must:

(1) Carry and use a VMS as described in paragraph (d) of this section;

(2) Weigh all retained crab to be processed on board, in its raw form, on a scale approved by NMFS as described in paragraph (e) of this section;

(3) Land all retained crab not processed on board at an RCR;

(4) Offload all CR crab product processed onboard at a shoreside location in the United States accessible by road or regularly scheduled air service; and

(5) Provide an approved observer platform scale and test weights that meet the requirements in paragraph (e) of this section.

(c) RCR requirements. An RCR must:

(1) Ensure that all CR crab landings are weighed on a scale approved by the State in which the landing takes place.

(2) Ensure that all crab landing and weighing be conducted as specified in an approved crab monitoring plan as described in paragraph (g) of this section, and that a copy of the crab monitoring plan is made available to NMFS personnel or authorized officer upon demand.

(d) Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) requirements—(1) General requirements. General VMS requirements concerning the approval and installation of VMS components and the responsibilities of vessel owners and operators are detailed at §679.28(f)(1) through (5).

(2) VMS transmission requirements. A vessel's transmitter must be transmitting if:

(i) The vessel is operating in any reporting area (see definitions at §679.2) off Alaska;

(ii) The vessel has crab pots or crab pot hauling equipment, or a crab pot launcher onboard; and

(iii) The vessel has or is required to have a Federal crab vessel permit for that crab fishing year.

(e) Scales approved by NMFS. To be approved by NMFS, a scale used to weigh crab at sea must meet the type evaluation and initial inspection requirements set forth in §679.28(b)(1) and (2). Once a scale is installed on a vessel and approved by NMFS for use, it must be reinspected annually as described in §679.28(b) by requesting a scale inspection from NMFS. Each scale must be tested daily and meet the maximum permissible error (MPE) requirements described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(1) At-sea scale tests. To verify that the scale meets the MPEs specified in this paragraph, the vessel operator must test each scale or scale system used to weigh CR crab one time during each 24-hour period when use of the scale is required. The vessel owner must ensure that these tests are performed in an accurate and timely manner.

(i) Belt scales. The MPE for the daily at-sea scale tests is plus or minus 3 percent of the known weight of the test material. The scale must be tested by weighing at least 400 kg (882 lb) of crab or an alternative material supplied by the scale manufacturer on the scale under test. The known weight of the test material must be determined by weighing it on a platform scale approved for use under §679.28 (b)(7).

(ii) Automatic hopper scales. An automatic hopper scale must be tested at its minimum and maximum capacity with approved test weights. Test weights must be placed in the bottom of the hopper unless an alternative testing method is approved by NMFS. The MPE for the daily at-sea scale tests is plus or minus 2 percent of the weight of the approved test weights.

(iii) Platform scales used for observer sampling. A platform scale used for observer sampling must be tested at 10, 25, and 50 kg (or 20, 50, and 100 lb if the scale is denominated in pounds) using approved test weights. The MPE for the daily at-sea scale test is plus or minus 0.5 percent if the scale is used to determine the known weight of test material for the purpose of testing a belt scale. If the scale is not used for that purpose, the MPE for the daily at-sea scale test is plus or minus 1 percent.

(iv) Approved test weights. Each test weight must have its weight stamped on or otherwise permanently affixed to it. The weight of each test weight must be annually certified by a National Institute of Standards and Technology approved metrology laboratory or approved for continued use by the NMFS authorized inspector at the time of the annual scale inspection.

(v) Requirements for all scale tests. (A) Notify the observer at least 15 minutes before the time that the test will be conducted, and conduct the test while the observer is present.

(B) Conduct the scale test and record the following information on the at-sea scale test report form:

(1) Vessel name;

(2) Month, day, and year of test;

(3) Time test started to the nearest minute;

(4) Known weight of test weights;

(5) Weight of test weights recorded by scale;

(6) Percent error as determined by subtracting the known weight of the test weights from the weight recorded on the scale, dividing that amount by the known weight of the test weights, and multiplying by 100; and

(7) Sea conditions at the time of the scale test.

(C) Maintain the test report form on board the vessel until the end of the crab fishing year during which the tests were conducted, and make the report forms available to observers, NMFS personnel, or an authorized officer. In addition, the vessel owner must retain the scale test report forms for 3 years after the end of the crab fishing year during which the tests were performed. All scale test report forms must be signed by the vessel operator.

(2) Scale maintenance. The vessel owner must ensure that the vessel operator maintains the scale in proper operating condition throughout its use, that adjustments made to the scale are made so as to bring the performance errors as close as practicable to a zero value, and that no adjustment is made that will cause the scale to weigh inaccurately.

(3) Printed reports from the scale. The vessel owner must ensure that the printed reports are provided as required by this paragraph. Printed reports from the scale must be maintained on board the vessel until the end of the year during which the reports were made and be made available to NMFS or NMFS authorized personnel. In addition, the vessel owner must retain printed reports for 3 years after the end of the year during which the printouts were made.

(i) Reports of catch weight and cumulative weight. Reports must be printed at least once every 24 hours prior to submitting a CR crab landing report as described in §680.5. Reports must also be printed before any information stored in the scale computer memory is replaced. Scale weights must not be adjusted by the scale operator to account for the perceived weight of water, mud, debris, or other materials. Scale printouts must show:

(A) The vessel name and Federal crab vessel permit number;

(B) The weight of each load in the weighing cycle (hopper scales only);

(C) The date and time the information was printed;

(D) The total amount weighed since the last printout was made; and

(E) The total cumulative weight of all crab or other material weighed on the scale.

(ii) Printed report from the audit trail. The printed report must include the information specified in sections 2.3.1.8, 3.3.1.7, and 4.3.1.8 of appendix A to 50 CFR part 679. The printed report must be provided to the authorized scale inspector at each scale inspection and must also be printed at any time upon request of NMFS staff or other NMFS-authorized personnel.

(iii) Platform scales used for observer sampling. A platform scale used for observer sampling is not required to produce a printed record unless that scale is also used to obtain raw weight for a CR crab landing report.

(4) Scale installation requirements. Unless otherwise approved by NMFS, a scale used to obtain raw weight for a CR crab landing report must be installed such that:

(i) From the location where the observer samples unsorted crab, the observer can ensure that all crab are being weighed;

(ii) The scale may not be installed in a manner that facilitates bypassing. It must not be possible for the scale inspector and an assistant to bypass the scale with 100 kg (220 lb) of test material in less than 20 seconds.

(f) Scales approved by the state. Scale requirements in this paragraph are in addition to those requirements set forth by the State in which the scale is approved, and nothing in this paragraph may be construed to reduce or supersede the authority of the State to regulate, test, or approve scales within the State. Scales used to weigh CR crab that are also required to be approved by the State must meet the following requirements:

(1) Verification of approval. The scale must display a valid State sticker indicating that the scale was inspected and approved within the previous 12 months.

(2) Visibility. An RCR must ensure that the scale and scale display are visible simultaneously. NMFS personnel or NMFS authorized personnel, including observers, must be allowed to observe the weighing of crab on the scale and be allowed to read the scale display at all times.

(3) Printed scale weights. (i) An RCR must ensure that printouts of the scale weight of each delivery are made available to NMFS personnel or to NMFS authorized personnel, including observers, at the time printouts are generated. An RCR must maintain printouts on site until the end of the fishing year during which the printouts were made and make them available upon request by an authorized officer for 3 years after the end of the fishing year during which the printout was made.

(ii) A scale used to weigh any portion of a landing of CR crab must produce a printed record for each landing, or portion of each landing, weighed on that scale. The printed record must include:

(A) The RCR's name;

(B) The weight of each load in the weighing cycle;

(C) The total weight of crab in each landing, or portion of the landing that was weighed on that scale;

(D) The date and time the information is printed; and

(E) The name and ADF&G vessel registration number of the vessel making the delivery. The scale operator may write this information on the scale printout in ink at the time of landing.

(4) Inseason scale testing. Scales used to weigh CR crab must be tested by RCR personnel when testing is requested by NMFS-staff or by NMFS-authorized personnel.

(i) Inseason testing criteria. To pass an inseason test, NMFS staff or NMFS-authorized personnel will verify that the scale display and printed information are clear and easily read under all conditions of normal operation, that weight values are visible on the display until the value is printed, and that the scale does not exceed the maximum permissible errors specified in the following table:

Test load in scale divisions Maximum error in scale divisions
(A) 0-5001
(B) 501-2,0002
(C) 2,001-4,0003
(D) >4,0004

(ii) Test weight requirements. Scales must be tested with the amount and type of weight specified for each scale type in the following tables under paragraphs (f)(4)(ii)(A) through (f)(4)(ii)(D) of this section:

(A) Automatic hopper 0 to 150 kg (0 to 300 lb) capacity.

Certified test weights Other test
material
(1) Minimum weighment or 10 kg (20 lb), whichever is greaterMinimum.
(2) MaximumMaximum.

(B) Automatic hopper >150 kg (300 lb) capacity.

Certified test weights Other test
material
(1) Minimum weighment or 10 kg (20 lb), whichever is greaterMinimum.
(2) 25 percent of maximum of 150 kg (300 lb), whichever is greaterMaximum.

(C) Platform, flatbed or hanging scales less than 150 kg (300 lb) capacity.

Certified test weights Other test
material
(1) 10 kg (20 lb)Not Acceptable.
(2) MidpointNot Acceptable.
(3) MaximumNot Acceptable.

(D) Platform, flatbed or hanging scales >150 kg (300 lb) capacity.

Certified test weights Other test
material
(1) 10 kg (20 lb)Not Acceptable.
(2) 12.5 percent of maximum or 75 kg (150 lb), whichever is greater50 percent of maximum or 75 kg (150 lb), whichever is greater.
(3) 25 percent of maximum or 150 kg (300 lb), whichever is greater75 percent of maximum or 150 kg (300 lb), whichever is greater.

(iii) Certified test weights. An RCR must ensure that there are sufficient test weights on-site to test each scale used to weigh CR crab. Each test weight used for inseason scale testing must have its weight stamped on or otherwise permanently affixed to it. The weight of each test weight must be certified by a National Institute of Standards and Technology approved metrology laboratory every 2 years.

(iv) Other test material. When permitted in paragraph (f)(4)(ii) of this section, a scale may be tested with test material other than certified test weights.

(g) Crab Monitoring Plans (CMP). A CMP is a plan submitted by an RCR for each location or processing vessel where the RCR wishes to take deliveries of CR crab. The CMP must detail how the RCR will meet the catch monitoring standards detailed in paragraph (g)(5) of this section. An RCR that processes only CR crab harvested under a CPO or CPC IFQ permit is not required to prepare a CMP.

(1) CMP Approval. NMFS will approve a CMP if it meets all the performance standards specified in paragraph (g)(5) of this section. The location or vessel identified in the CMP may be inspected by NMFS prior to approval of the CMP to ensure that the location conforms to the elements addressed in the CMP. If NMFS disapproves a CMP, the plant owner or manager may resubmit a revised CMP or file an administrative appeal as set forth under the administrative appeals procedures described in §679.43.

(2) Inspection scheduling. The time and place of a CMP inspection may be arranged by submitting a written request for an inspection to NMFS, Alaska Region. An inspection must be requested no less than 10 working days before the requested inspection date. NMFS staff will conduct CMP inspections in any port located in the United States that can be reached by regularly scheduled commercial air service. The inspection request must include:

(i) Name and signature of the person submitting the application and the date of the application;

(ii) Address, telephone number, facsimile number, and e-mail address (if available) of the person submitting the application; and

(iii) A proposed CMP detailing how the RCR will meet each of the standards in paragraph (g)(5) of this section.

(3) Approval period. NMFS will approve a CMP for 1 year if it meets the performance standards specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section. An owner or manager must notify NMFS in writing if changes are made in plant operations or layout that do not conform to the CMP.

(4) Changing an approved CMP. An RCR may change an approved CMP by submitting a CMP addendum to NMFS. Depending on the nature and magnitude of the change requested, NMFS may require a CMP inspection as described in paragraph (g)(2) of this section. A CMP addendum must contain:

(i) Name and signature of the person submitting the addendum;

(ii) Address, telephone number, facsimile number and e-mail address (if available) of the person submitting the addendum; and

(iii) A complete description of the proposed CMP change.

(5) CMP standards—(i) Crab sorting and weighing requirements. All crab, including crab parts and crab that are dead or otherwise unmarketable, delivered to the RCR must be sorted and weighed by species. The CMP must detail how and where crab are sorted and weighed.

(ii) Scales used for weighing crab. The CMP must identify by serial number each scale used to weigh crab and describe the rationale for its use.

(iii) Scale testing procedures. Scales identified in the CMP must be accurate within the limits specified in paragraph (f)(4)(i) of this section. For each scale identified in the CMP a testing plan must be developed that:

(A) Describes the procedure the plant will use to test the scale;

(B) Lists the test weights and equipment required to test the scale;

(C) Lists where the test weights and equipment will be stored; and

(D) Lists the names of the personnel responsible for conducting the scale testing.

(iv) Printed record. An RCR must ensure that the scale produces a complete and accurate printed record of the weight of each species in a landing. All of the crab in a delivery must be weighed on a scale capable of producing a complete printed record as described in paragraph (e)(3) of this section. A printed record of each landing must be printed before the RCR submits a CR crab landing report.

(v) Observation area. Each CMP must designate an observation area. The observation area is a location designated on the CMP where an individual may monitor the offloading and weighing of crab. The observation area must meet the following standards:

(A) Access to the observation area. The observation area must be freely accessible to observer, NMFS staff or enforcement aides at any time during the effective period of the CMP.

(B) Monitoring the offloading and weighing of crab. From the observation area, an individual must have an unobstructed view or otherwise be able to monitor the entire offload of crab between the first location where crab are removed from the boat and a location where all sorting has taken place and each species has been weighed.

(C) Other requirements. The observation area must be sheltered from the weather and not exposed to unreasonable safety hazards.

(vi) Plant liaison. The CMP must designate a plant liaison. The plant liaison is responsible for:

(A) Orienting new observers, NMFS staff and enforcement aides to the plant;

(B) Assisting in the resolution of observer concerns; and

(C) Informing NMFS if changes must be made to the CMP.

(vii) Drawing to scale of delivery location. The CMP must be accompanied by a drawing to scale of the delivery location or vessel showing:

(A) Where and how crab are removed from the delivering vessel;

(B) The observation area;

(C) The location of each scale used to weigh crab; and

(D) Each location where crab is sorted.

(viii) Single geographic location. All offload and weighing locations detailed in a CMP must be located on the same vessel or in the same geographic location. If a CMP describes facilities for the offloading of vessels at more than one location, it must be possible to see all locations simultaneously.

[70 FR 10241, Mar. 2, 2005, as amended at 70 FR 75421, Dec. 20, 2005; 73 FR 76190, Dec. 15, 2008; 75 FR 56486, Sept. 16, 2010]

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§680.30   [Reserved]

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