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Title 50

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Subpart F - American Fisheries Act and Aleutian Island Directed Pollock Fishery Management Measures
Source:

67 FR 79734, Dec. 30, 2002, unless otherwise noted.

§ 679.60 Authority and related regulations.

(a) Regulations under this subpart were developed by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to implement the American Fisheries Act (AFA) (Div. C, Title II, Subtitle II, Public Law 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681 (1998)) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-199, Sec. 803). Additional regulations in this part that implement specific provisions of the AFA and Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 are set out at §§ 679.2 Definitions, 679.4 Permits, 679.5 Recordkeeping and reporting (R &R), 679.7 Prohibitions, 679.20 General limitations, 679.21 Prohibited species bycatch management, 679.28 Equipment and operational requirements, 679.31 CDQ reserves, and 679.50 Groundfish Observer Program.

(b) Regulations developed by the Department of Transportation to implement provisions of the AFA are found at 46 CFR part 356.

[70 FR 9867, Mar. 1, 2005]

§ 679.61 Formation and operation of fishery cooperatives.

(a) Who is liable for violations by a fishery cooperative and cooperative members? A fishery cooperative must comply with the provisions of this section. The owners and operators of vessels that are members of a fishery cooperative, including vessels under contract to a cooperative, are responsible for ensuring that the fishery cooperative complies with the directed fishing, sideboard closures, PSC limits and other allocations and restrictions that are applicable to the fishery cooperative. The owners and operators of vessels that are members of a fishery cooperative, including vessels under contract to a cooperative, are responsible for ensuring that all fishery cooperative members comply with the directed fishing, sideboard closures, PSC limits and other allocations and restrictions that are applicable to the fishery cooperative.

(b) Who must comply this section? Any fishery cooperative formed under section 1 of the Fisherman's Collective Marketing Act 1934 (15 U.S.C. 521) for the purpose of cooperatively managing directed fishing for BS subarea pollock must comply with the provisions of this section. The owners and operators of all the member vessels that are signatories to a fishery cooperative are jointly and severally responsible for compliance with the requirements of this section.

(c) Designated representative and agent for service of process. Each cooperative must appoint a designated representative and agent for service of process and must ensure that the cooperative's designated representative and agent for service of process comply with the regulations in this part.

(1) What is a designated representative? The designated representative is the primary contact person for NMFS on issues relating to the operation of the cooperative. Any cooperative formed under this section must appoint a designated representative to fulfill regulatory requirements on behalf of the cooperative including, but not limited to, filing of cooperative contracts, filing of annual reports, submitting all cost recovery fees, and in the case of inshore sector catcher vessel cooperatives, signing cooperative fishing permit applications and completing and submitting inshore catcher vessel pollock cooperative catch reports.

(2) What is an agent for service of process? Any cooperative formed under this section must appoint an agent who is authorized to receive and respond to any legal process issued in the United States with respect to all owners and operators of vessels that are members of the cooperative. The cooperative must provide the Regional Administrator with the name, address and telephone number of the appointed agent. Service on or notice to the cooperative's appointed agent constitutes service on or notice to all members of the cooperative.

(3) What is the term of service and process for replacing the agent for service of process? The agent for service of process must be capable of accepting service on behalf of the cooperative until December 31 of the year 5 years after the calendar year for which the fishery cooperative has filed its intent to operate. The owners and operators of all member vessels of a cooperative are responsible for ensuring that a substitute agent is designated and the Agency is notified of the name, address and telephone number of the substitute agent in the event the previously designated agent is no longer capable of accepting service on behalf of the cooperative or the cooperative members within that 5-year period.

(d) Annual filing requirements. You must file on an annual basis, with the Council and NMFS, a signed copy of your fishery cooperative contract, and any material modifications to any such contract, together with a copy of a letter from a party to the contract requesting a business review letter on the fishery cooperative from the Department of Justice and any response to such request. The Council and NMFS will make this information available to the public upon request.

(1) Must multi-year contracts be re-filed annually? If your cooperative contract was previously filed with NMFS and the Council under this paragraph (d), then you may submit a renewal letter to NMFS and the Council by the filing deadline in lieu of the cooperative contract and business review letter. The renewal letter must provide notice that the previously filed cooperative contract will remain in effect for the subsequent fishing year. The renewal letter also must detail any material modifications to the cooperative contract that have been made since the last filing including, but not limited to, any changes in cooperative membership.

(2) Where must contracts or renewal letters be filed? You must send a signed copy of your cooperative contract or renewal letter and the required supporting materials to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 West 4th Ave, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501; and to the NMFS Alaska Region. The mailing address for the NMFS Alaska Region is P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802. The street address for delivery by private courier is 709 West 9th St., Suite 401, Juneau, AK 99801.

(3) What is the deadline for filing? The contract or renewal letter and supporting materials must be received by NMFS and by the Council at least 30 days prior to the start of any fishing activity conducted under the terms of the contract. In addition, an inshore cooperative that is also applying for an allocation of BS subarea pollock under § 679.62 must file its contract, any amendments hereto, and supporting materials no later than December 1 of the year prior to the year in which fishing under the contract will occur.

(e) What are the required elements in a cooperative contract? -

(1) Requirements for all fishery cooperatives. Any cooperative contract filed under this paragraph (e) must:

(i) List parties to the contract.

(ii) List all vessels and processors that will harvest and process pollock harvested under the cooperative.

(iii) Specify the amount or percentage of pollock allocated to each party to the contract.

(iv) Specify a designated representative and agent for service of process.

(v) Include a contract clause under which the parties to the contract agree to make payments to the State of Alaska for any pollock harvested in the directed pollock fishery that are not landed in the State of Alaska, in amounts which would otherwise accrue had the pollock been landed in the State of Alaska subject to any landing taxes established under Alaska law. Failure to include such a contract clause or for such amounts to be paid will result in a revocation of the authority to form fishery cooperatives under section 1 of the Act of June 25, 1934 (15 U.S.C. 521 et seq.).

(vi) List the obligations of members of a cooperative, governed by this section, to ensure the full payment of all AFA fee liabilities that may be due.

(2) Additional required elements in all fishery cooperatives that include AFA catcher vessels. A cooperative contract that includes catcher vessels must include adequate provisions to prevent each non-exempt member catcher vessel from exceeding an individual vessel sideboard limit for each BSAI or GOA sideboard species or species group that is issued to the vessel by the cooperative in accordance with the following formula:

(i) The aggregate individual vessel sideboard limits issued to all member vessels in a cooperative must not exceed the aggregate contributions of each member vessel towards the overall groundfish sideboard amount as calculated by NMFS under § 679.64(b) and as announced to the cooperative by the Regional Administrator, or

(ii) In the case of two or more cooperatives that have entered into an inter-cooperative agreement, the aggregate individual vessel sideboard limits issued to all member vessels subject to the inter-cooperative agreement must not exceed the aggregate contributions of each member vessel towards the overall groundfish sideboard amount as calculated by NMFS under § 679.64(b) and as announced by the Regional Administrator.

(f) Annual reporting requirement. Any fishery cooperative governed by this section must submit an annual written report on fishing activity to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 West 4th Avenue, Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501. The Council will make copies of each report available to the public upon request.

(1) What is the submission deadline? The cooperative must submit the annual report by April 1 of each year. Annual reports must be postmarked by the submission deadline or received by a private courier service by the submission deadline.

(2) What information must be included? The annual report must contain, at a minimum:

(i) The cooperative's allocated catch of pollock and sideboard species, and any sub-allocations of pollock and sideboard species made by the cooperative to individual vessels on a vessel-by-vessel basis;

(ii) The cooperative's actual retained and discarded catch of pollock, sideboard species, and PSC on an area-by-area and vessel-by-vessel basis;

(iii) A description of the method used by the cooperative to monitor fisheries in which cooperative vessels participated;

(iv) A description of any actions taken by the cooperative in response to any vessels that exceed their allowed catch and bycatch in pollock and all sideboard fisheries; and

(v) The total weight of pollock landed outside the State of Alaska on a vessel-by-vessel basis.

(vi) The number of salmon taken by species and season, and list each vessel's number of appearances on the weekly “dirty 20” lists for non-Chinook salmon.

(3) What is the required format? You must submit at least one copy of each annual report ready for duplication on unbound single-sided 8.5- by-11-inch paper, or in an alternative format approved in advance by the Council.

(g) Landing tax payment deadline. You must pay any landing tax owed to the State of Alaska under section 210(f) of the AFA and paragraph (e)(1)(v) of this section before April 1 of the following year, or the last day of the month following the date of publication of statewide average prices by the Alaska State Department of Revenue, whichever is later. All members of the cooperative are prohibited from harvesting pollock in the BS subarea directed pollock fishery after the payment deadline if any member vessel has failed to pay all required landing taxes from any landings made outside the State of Alaska by the landing deadline. Members of the cooperative may resume directed fishing for pollock once all overdue landing taxes are paid.

[67 FR 79734, Dec. 30, 2002, as amended at 68 FR 6836, Feb. 11, 2003; 70 FR 9868, Mar. 1, 2005; 72 FR 61076, Oct. 29, 2007; 73 FR 76166, Dec. 15, 2008; 75 FR 53069, Aug. 30, 2010; 76 FR 12886, Mar. 9, 2011; 81 FR 168, Jan. 5, 2016]

§ 679.62 Inshore sector cooperative allocation program.

(a) How will inshore sector cooperative allocations be made? An inshore catcher vessel cooperative that applies for and receives an AFA inshore cooperative fishing permit under § 679.4(l)(6) will receive a sub-allocation of the annual BS subarea inshore sector directed fishing allowance. Each inshore cooperative's annual allocation amount(s) will be determined using the following procedure:

(1) Determination of individual vessel catch histories. The Regional Administrator will calculate an official AFA inshore cooperative catch history for every inshore-sector endorsed AFA catcher vessel according to the following steps:

(i) Determination of annual landings. For each year from 1995 through 1997 the Regional Administrator will determine each vessel's total non-CDQ inshore pollock landings from the Bering Sea Subarea and Aleutian Islands Subarea separately, except for the F/V PROVIDIAN (USCG documentation number 1062183).

(ii) Determination of annual landings for the F/V PROVIDIAN. For the F/V PROVIDIAN, pursuant to Public Law 106-562, the Regional Administrator will substitute the 1992 through 1994 total Bering Sea subarea and Aleutian Islands subarea pollock non-CDQ inshore landings made by the F/V OCEAN SPRAY (USCG documentation number 517100 for the purpose of determining annual cooperative quota share percentage.

(iii) Offshore compensation. If a catcher vessel made a total of 500 or more mt of landings of non-CDQ Bering Sea Subarea pollock or Aleutian Islands Subarea pollock to catcher/processors or offshore motherships other than the EXCELLENCE (USCG documentation number 967502); GOLDEN ALASKA (USCG documentation number 651041); or OCEAN PHOENIX (USCG documentation number 296779) over the 3-year period from 1995 through 1997, then all non-CDQ offshore pollock landings made by that vessel during from 1995 through 1997 will be added to the vessel's inshore catch history by year and subarea.

(iv) Best two out of three years. After steps (a)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section are completed, the 2 years with the highest landings will be selected for each subarea and added together to generate the vessel's official AFA inshore cooperative catch history for each subarea. A vessel's best 2 years may be different for the Bering Sea subarea and the Aleutian Islands Subarea.

(2) Determination of individual vessel catch histories after approval of replacement of catcher vessel and approval of removal of catcher vessel from the AFA directed pollock fishery.

(i) If NMFS approves the application of an owner of a catcher vessel that is a member of an inshore vessel cooperative to replace a catcher vessel pursuant to § 679.4(l)(7), NMFS will assign the AFA inshore pollock catch history of the replaced vessel to the replacement vessel.

(ii) If NMFS approves the application of an owner of a catcher vessel that is a member of an inshore vessel cooperative to remove a catcher vessel from the AFA directed pollock fishery pursuant to § 679.4(l)(7), NMFS will assign the AFA inshore pollock catch history of the removed vessel to one or more vessels in the inshore vessel cooperative to which the removed vessel belonged as required by § 679.4(l)(7); NMFS will not assign the catch history for any non-pollock species of the removed vessel to any other vessel, and NMFS will permanently extinguish any exemptions from sideboards that were specified on the AFA permit of the removed vessel.

(3) Conversion of individual vessel catch histories to annual cooperative quota share percentages. Each inshore pollock cooperative that applies for and receives an AFA inshore pollock cooperative fishing permit will receive an annual quota share percentage of pollock for the BS subarea that is equal to the sum of each member vessel's official AFA inshore cooperative catch history for the BS subarea divided by the sum of the official AFA inshore cooperative catch histories of all inshore-sector endorsed AFA catcher vessels. The cooperative's quota share percentage will be listed on the cooperative's AFA pollock cooperative permit.

(4) Conversion of quota share percentage to TAC allocations. (Effective April 1, 2005) Each inshore pollock cooperative that receives a quota share percentage for a fishing year will receive an annual allocation of Bering Sea and/or Aleutian Islands pollock that is equal to the cooperative's quota share percentage for that subarea multiplied by the annual inshore pollock allocation for that subarea. Each cooperative's annual pollock TAC allocation may be published in the proposed and final BSAI harvest specifications notice.

(b) What are the restrictions on fishing under a cooperative fishing permit? A cooperative that receives a cooperative fishing permit under § 679.4(l)(6) must comply with all of the fishing restrictions set out in this subpart. The owners and operators of all the member vessels that are named on an inshore cooperative fishing permit and the owners and operators of any vessels under contract to the cooperative under paragraph (c) of this section are jointly and severally responsible for compliance with all of the requirements of a cooperative fishing permit pursuant to § 679.4(l)(6).

(1) What vessels are eligible to fish under an inshore cooperative fishing permit? Only catcher vessels listed on a cooperative's AFA inshore cooperative fishing permit or vessels under contract to the cooperative under paragraph (c) of this section are permitted to harvest any portion of an inshore cooperative's annual pollock allocation.

(2) What harvests accrue against an inshore cooperative's annual pollock allocation? The following catches will accrue against a cooperative's annual pollock allocation regardless of whether the pollock was retained or discarded:

(i) Member vessels. All pollock caught by a member vessel while engaged in directed fishing for pollock in the BS subarea unless the vessel is under contract to another cooperative and the pollock is assigned to another cooperative.

(ii) Contract vessels. All pollock contracted for harvest and caught by a vessel under contract to the cooperative under paragraph (c) of this section while the vessel was engaged in directed fishing for pollock in the BS subarea.

(c) Contract fishing by non-member vessels. A cooperative that wishes to contract with a non-member vessel to harvest a portion of the cooperative's annual pollock allocation must comply with the following procedures.

(1) How does a cooperative contract with a non-member vessel? A cooperative that wishes to contract with a non-member vessel must submit a completed contract fishing application to the Alaska Region, NMFS, in accordance with the contract fishing application instructions.

(2) What information must be included on a contract fishing application? The following information must be included on a contract fishing application:

(i) Co-op name(s). The names of the cooperative or cooperatives that wish to contract with a non-member vessel.

(ii) Designated representative(s). The names and signatures of the designated representatives for the cooperatives that wish to contract with a non-member vessel and the vessel's home cooperative.

(iii) Vessel name. The name and AFA permit number of the contracted vessel.

(iv) Vessel owner. The name and signature of the owner of the contracted vessel.

(v) Harvest schedule. A completed harvest schedule showing how all catch and any overages by the contracted vessel will be allocated between the contracting cooperative (or cooperatives) and the contract vessel's home cooperative. In the event that multiple cooperatives are jointly contracting with a non-member vessel, the harvest schedule must clearly specify how all catch and any overages will be allocated among the various cooperatives.

(3) What vessels are eligible to conduct contract fishing on behalf of an inshore cooperative? Only AFA catcher vessels with an inshore fishing endorsement that are members of an inshore cooperative may conduct contract fishing on behalf of another inshore cooperative.

(4) Who must be informed? A cooperative that has contracted with a non-member vessel to harvest a portion of its inshore pollock allocation must inform any AFA inshore processors to whom the vessel will deliver pollock while under contract to the cooperative prior to the start of fishing under the contract.

(5) How must contract fishing be reported to NMFS? An AFA inshore processor that receives pollock harvested by a vessel under contract to a cooperative must report the delivery to NMFS on the electronic delivery report by using the co-op code for the contracting cooperative rather than the co-op code of the vessel's home cooperative.

[67 FR 79734, Dec. 30, 2002, as amended at 68 FR 6836, Feb. 11, 2003; 69 FR 64688, Nov. 8, 2004; 70 FR 9868, Mar. 1, 2005; 79 FR 54602, Sept. 12, 2014; 84 FR 2728, Feb. 8, 2019]

§ 679.63 Catch weighing requirements for vessels and processors.

(a) What are the requirements for listed AFA catcher/processors and AFA motherships? -

(1) Catch weighing. All groundfish landed by listed AFA catcher/processors or received by AFA motherships must be weighed on a NMFS-certified scale and made available for sampling by a NMFS certified observer. The owner and operator of a listed AFA catcher/processor or an AFA mothership must ensure that the vessel is in compliance with the scale requirements described at § 679.28(b), that each groundfish haul is weighed separately, and that no sorting of catch, except halibut sorted on deck by vessels participating in the halibut deck sorting described at § 679.120, takes place prior to weighing.

(2) Observer sampling station. The owner and operator of a listed AFA catcher/processor or AFA mothership must provide an observer sampling station as described at § 679.28(d) and must ensure that the vessel operator complies with the observer sampling station requirements described at § 679.28(d) at all times that the vessel harvests groundfish or receives deliveries of groundfish harvested in the BSAI or GOA.

(b) What are the requirements for unlisted AFA catcher/processors? The owner or operator of an unlisted AFA catcher/processor must comply with the catch weighing and observer sampling station requirements set out in paragraph (a) of this section at all times the vessel is engaged in directed fishing for pollock in the BSAI.

(c) What are the requirements for AFA replacement vessels? The owner and operator of an AFA replacement vessel are subject to the catch weighing requirements and the observer sampling station requirements in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section that applied to the owner and operator of the replaced vessel.

(d) What are the requirements for AFA inshore processors? -

(1) Catch weighing. All groundfish landed by AFA catcher vessels engaged in directed fishing for pollock in the BSAI must be sorted and weighed on a scale approved by the State of Alaska as described in § 679.28(c), and be made available for sampling by a NMFS certified observer. The observer must be allowed to test any scale used to weigh groundfish in order to determine its accuracy.

(2) The plant manager or plant liaison must notify the observer of the offloading schedule for each delivery of BSAI pollock by an AFA catcher vessel at least 1 hour prior to offloading. An observer must monitor each delivery of BSAI pollock from an AFA catcher vessel and be on site the entire time the delivery is being weighed or sorted.

[67 FR 79734, Dec. 30, 2002, as amended at 79 FR 54602, Sept. 12, 2014; 84 FR 55053, Oct. 15, 2019]

§ 679.64 Harvesting sideboard limits in other fisheries.

(a) Harvesting sideboards for listed AFA catcher/processors and catcher/processors designated on listed AFA catcher/processor permits. The Regional Administrator will restrict the ability of listed AFA catcher/processors and a catcher/processor designated on a listed AFA catcher/processor permit to engage in directed fishing for non-pollock groundfish species to protect participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the BS subarea directed pollock fishery.

(1) How will groundfish sideboard limits for AFA listed catcher/processors and catcher/processors designated on listed AFA catcher/processor permits be calculated? Except for Aleutian Islands pollock and BSAI Pacific cod, the Regional Administrator will establish annual AFA catcher/processor harvest limits for each groundfish species or species group in which a TAC is specified for an area or subarea of the BSAI as follows:

(i) Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch.

(A) The Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch harvest limit will be equal to the 1996 through 1997 aggregate retained catch of Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch by catcher/processors listed in Sections 208(e)(1) through (20) and 209 of the AFA in non-pollock target fisheries divided by the sum of the Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch catch in 1996 and 1997 multiplied by the remainder of the Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch TAC after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) in the year in which the harvest limit will be in effect.

(B) If the amount of Pacific ocean perch calculated under paragraph (a)(1)(i)(A) of this section is determined by the Regional Administrator to be insufficient to meet bycatch needs of AFA catcher/processors in other directed fisheries for groundfish, the Regional Administrator will prohibit directed fishing for Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch by AFA catcher/processors and establish the sideboard amount equal to the amount of Aleutian Islands Pacific ocean perch caught by AFA catcher/processors incidental to directed fishing for other groundfish species.

(ii) Atka mackerel. The Atka mackerel harvest limit for each area and season will be equal to:

(A) Bering Sea subarea and Eastern Aleutian Islands, zero; and

(B) Western Aleutian Islands, 20 percent of the annual TAC specified for Atka mackerel.

(iii) Flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole. The harvest limit for flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole will be equal to the 1995 through 1997 aggregate retained catch of that species by catcher/processors listed in Sections 208(e)(1) through (e)(20) and 209 of the AFA in non-pollock target fisheries divided by the sum of the catch of that species in 1995 through 1997 multiplied by the remainder of the TAC of that species after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) in the year in which the harvest limit will be in effect.

(iv) Remaining groundfish species.

(A) Except as provided for in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (a)(1)(iii) of this section, the harvest limit for each BSAI groundfish species or species group will be equal to the 1995 through 1997 aggregate retained catch of that species by catcher/processors listed in Sections 208 (e)(1) through (e)(20) and 209 of the AFA in non-pollock target fisheries divided by the sum of the catch of that species in 1995 through 1997 multiplied by the TAC of that species available for harvest by catcher/processors in the year in which the harvest limit will be in effect.

(B) If the amount of a species calculated under paragraph (a)(1)(iv)(A) of this section is determined by the Regional Administrator to be insufficient to meet bycatch needs for AFA catcher/processors in other directed fisheries for groundfish, the Regional Administrator will prohibit directed fishing for that species by AFA catcher/processors and establish the sideboard amount equal to the amount of that species caught by AFA catcher/processors incidental to directed fishing for other groundfish species.

(v) Yellowfin sole sideboard limit exemption. AFA catcher/processors will not be subject to a harvest limit for yellowfin sole in the BSAI during a calendar year if the aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector is greater than or equal to 125,000 metric tons.

(2) What are the halibut and crab PSC sideboard limits? The halibut and crab PSC bycatch limits specified for catcher/processors in the BSAI are listed in Tables 40 and 41 to this part.

(3) How will AFA catcher/processor sideboard limits be managed?

(i) The Regional Administrator will manage groundfish harvest limits and PSC bycatch limits for AFA catcher/processors through directed fishing closures in fisheries established under paragraph (a)(1) of this section in accordance with the procedures set out in §§ 679.20(d)(1)(iv) and 679.21(b)(4)(iii).

(ii) Directed fishing for the BSAI groundfish that have sideboard limits listed in Table 54 of this part is prohibited.

(b) Harvesting sideboards for AFA catcher vessels. The Regional Administrator will restrict the ability of AFA catcher vessels to engage in directed fishing for other groundfish species to protect participants in other groundfish fisheries from adverse effects resulting from the AFA and from fishery cooperatives in the BS subarea directed pollock fishery.

(1) To whom do the catcher vessel sideboard limits apply? Catcher vessel harvest limits and PSC bycatch limits apply to all AFA catcher vessels participating in all GOA groundfish fisheries and all non-pollock groundfish fisheries in the BSAI except vessels qualifying for sideboard exemptions in the specific fisheries identified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(2) Who is exempt from catcher vessel sideboards?

(i) BSAI Pacific cod sideboard exemptions -

(A) AFA catcher vessels less than 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA that are determined by the Regional Administrator to have harvested a combined total of less than 5,100 mt of BSAI pollock, and to have made 30 or more legal landings of Pacific cod in the BSAI directed fishery for Pacific cod from 1995 through 1997 are exempt from sideboard closures for BSAI Pacific cod.

(B) AFA catcher vessels with mothership endorsements are exempt from BSAI Pacific cod catcher vessel sideboard directed fishing closures after March 1 of each fishing year.

(ii) GOA groundfish sideboard exemptions. AFA catcher vessels less than 125 ft (38.1 m) LOA that are determined by the Regional Administrator to have harvested less than 5,100 mt of BSAI pollock and to have made 40 or more landings of GOA groundfish from 1995 through 1997 are exempt from GOA groundfish catcher vessel sideboard directed fishing closures.

(iii) An AFA rebuilt catcher vessel will have the same sideboard exemptions, if any, as the vessel before rebuilding, irrespective of the length of the AFA rebuilt catcher vessel.

(iv) An AFA replacement vessel for an AFA catcher vessel will have the same sideboard exemptions, if any, as the replaced AFA catcher vessel, irrespective of the length of the AFA replacement vessel, except that if the replacement vessel was already designated on an AFA permit as exempt from sideboard limits, the replacement vessel will maintain the exemption even if the replaced vessel was not exempt from sideboard limits.

(3) How will groundfish sideboard limits be calculated? Except for Aleutian Islands pollock, the Regional Administrator will establish annual AFA catcher vessel harvest limits for each groundfish species or species group in which a TAC is specified for an area or subarea of the GOA and BSAI as follows:

(i) BSAI groundfish other than Amendment 80 species. The AFA catcher vessel groundfish harvest limit for each BSAI groundfish species or species group other than BSAI Pacific cod will be equal to the aggregate retained catch of that groundfish species or species group from 1995 through 1997 by all AFA catcher vessels; divided by the sum of the TACs available to catcher vessels for that species or species group from 1995 through 1997; multiplied by the TAC available to catcher vessels in the year or season in which the harvest limit will be in effect.

(ii) BSAI Pacific cod. The AFA catcher vessel groundfish harvest limit for BSAI Pacific cod will be equal to the retained catch of BSAI Pacific cod in 1997 by AFA catcher vessels not exempted under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) of this section divided by the BSAI Pacific cod TAC available to catcher vessels in 1997; multiplied by the BSAI Pacific cod TAC available to catcher vessels in the year or season in which the harvest limit will be in effect.

(iii) Amendment 80 species other than Pacific cod. The AFA catcher vessel groundfish harvest limit for each Amendment 80 species other than BSAI Pacific cod will be equal to the aggregate retained catch of that Amendment 80 species from 1995 through 1997 by all AFA catcher vessels, divided by the sum of the TAC available to catcher vessels for that species or species group from 1995 through 1997, and multiplied by the remainder of the TAC after the subtraction of the CDQ reserve under § 679.20(b)(1)(ii)(C) in the year or season in which the harvest limit will be in effect.

(iv) GOA groundfish. The AFA catcher vessel groundfish harvest limit for each GOA groundfish species or species group will be equal to the aggregate retained catch of that groundfish species or species group from 1995 through 1997 by AFA catcher vessels not exempted under paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section; divided by the sum of the TACs of that species or species group available to catcher vessels from 1995 through 1997; multiplied by the TAC available to catcher vessels in the year or season in which the harvest limit will be in effect.

(4) How will halibut and crab PSC limits be calculated? -

(i) BSAI. The halibut and crab PSC bycatch limits specified for catcher vessels in the BSAI are listed in Tables 40 and 41 to this part.

(ii) GOA. The AFA catcher vessel PSC bycatch limit for halibut in the GOA will be a portion of the PSC limit equal to the ratio of aggregate retained groundfish catch by AFA catcher vessels in each PSC target category from 1995 through 1997 relative to the retained catch of all vessels in that fishery from 1995 through 1997.

(5) How will catcher vessel sideboard limits be managed?

(i) The Regional Administrator will manage groundfish harvest limits and PSC bycatch limits for AFA catcher vessels using directed fishing closures according to the procedures set out at §§ 679.20(d)(1)(iv) and 679.21(d)(7) and (e)(3)(v).

(ii) Directed fishing for the BSAI groundfish that have sideboard limits listed in Table 55 of this part and the GOA groundfish that have sideboard limits listed in Table 56 of this part is prohibited.

(6) Yellowfin sole sideboard limit exemption. AFA catcher vessels will not be subject to a harvest limit for yellowfin sole in the BSAI during a calendar year if the aggregate ITAC of yellowfin sole assigned to the Amendment 80 sector and BSAI trawl limited access sector is greater than or equal to 125,000 metric tons.

[67 FR 79734, Dec. 30, 2002, as amended at 70 FR 9868, Mar. 1, 2005; 72 FR 52725, Sept. 14, 2007; 72 FR 50818, Sept. 4, 2007; 73 FR 27770, May 14, 2008; 79 FR 54602, Sept. 12, 2014; 81 FR 24733, Apr. 27, 2016; 84 FR 2728, Feb. 8, 2019]

§ 679.65 Bering Sea Chinook Salmon Bycatch Management Program Economic Data Report (Chinook salmon EDR program).

(a) Requirements. NMFS developed the regulations under this section to implement the Chinook salmon EDR program. Additional regulations that implement specific portions of the Chinook salmon EDR program are set out under paragraphs (a)(1) through (4) of this section:

(1) Daily fishing logbook (DFL), catcher vessel trawl gear. See § 679.5(c)(4).

(2) Electronic logbook (ELB), AFA and CDQ trawl catcher/processors. See § 679.5(f) in combination with eLandings pursuant to § 679.5(e).

(3) IPA Annual Report. See § 679.21(f)(13).

(4) AFA cooperative annual reporting requirement. See § 679.61(f)(2).

(b) Chinook salmon PSC Compensated Transfer Report (CTR).

(1) An owner or leaseholder of an AFA-permitted vessel and the representative of any entity that received an allocation of Chinook salmon PSC from NMFS must submit a CTR, Part 1, each calendar year, for the previous calendar year.

(2) Any person who transferred Chinook salmon PSC allocation after January 20, and paid or received money for the transfer, must submit a completed CTR (Part 1 and Part 2) for the previous calendar year.

(3) The CTR is available through the Internet on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov, or by contacting NMFS at (206) 526-6414.

(4) Beginning in 2013, and each year thereafter, the completed CTR must be submitted electronically on or before 1700, A.l.t., on June 1, following the instructions on the form.

(c) Vessel Fuel Survey.

(1) An owner or leaseholder of an AFA-permitted vessel must submit all completed Vessel Fuel Surveys for each vessel used to harvest pollock in the Bering Sea in a given year.

(2) The Vessel Fuel Survey is available through the Internet on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov, or by contacting NMFS at (206) 526-6414.

(3) The owner or leaseholder annually must submit a completed Vessel Fuel Survey, electronically on or before 1700, A.l.t., on June 1, 2013, and each year thereafter, following the instructions on the form.

(d) Vessel Master Survey.

(1) For any AFA-permitted vessel used to harvest pollock in the Bering Sea in the previous year:

(i) The vessel master must complete the Vessel Master Survey, and the Vessel Master certification following the instructions on the form.

(ii) An owner or leaseholder must complete the Vessel owner certification following instructions on the form.

(iii) An owner or leaseholder must submit all Vessel Master Surveys, and each Vessel owner certification electronically on or before 1700, A.l.t., on June 1, 2013, and each year thereafter, following the instructions on the form.

(2) The Vessel Master Survey is available through the Internet on the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov, or by contacting NMFS at (206) 526-6414.

(e) Chinook salmon EDR verification and audit procedures. NMFS or the designated data collection agent (DDCA) will conduct verification of Chinook salmon EDR information with the persons identified at § 679.65(b)(1), (b)(2), (c)(1), (d)(1)(i), and (d)(1)(ii).

(1) The persons identified at § 679.65(b)(1), (b)(2), (c)(1), (d)(1)(i), and (d)(1)(ii) must respond to inquiries by NMFS and its DDCA for purposes of the CTR, within 20 days of the date of issuance of the inquiry.

(2) The persons identified at § 679.65(b)(1) and (b)(2) must provide copies of additional data to facilitate verification by NMFS and its DDCA for purposes of the CTR. These paper or electronic copies may include, but are not limited to, previously audited or reviewed financial statements, worksheets, tax returns, invoices, receipts, and other original documents substantiating the data submitted.

[77 FR 5395, Feb. 3, 2012]

§ 679.66 AFA cost recovery.

(a) Cost recovery fee program for AFA -

(1) Who is responsible for submitting the fee?

(i) The person designated on the AFA inshore cooperative permit as the designated representative at the time of a Bering Sea pollock landing.

(ii) The person designated as the representative of the entity representing the AFA catcher/processor sector under § 679.21(f)(8)(i)(C) at the time of a Bering Sea pollock landing.

(iii) The person designated as the representative of the AFA mothership cooperative at the time of a Bering Sea pollock landing.

(2) Responsibility.

(i) Subsequent transfer of AFA permits held by cooperative members does not affect the designated representative's liability for noncompliance with this section.

(ii) Changes in the membership in a cooperative, such as members joining or departing during the relevant year, or changes in the holdings of AFA permits of those members do not affect the designated representative's liability for noncompliance with this section.

(3) Fee collection. Each designated representative (as identified under paragraph (a)(1) of this section) is responsible for submitting the cost recovery payment for all Bering Sea pollock landings debited against the AFA cooperative's or AFA sector's AFA pollock fishery allocation.

(4) Payment -

(i) Payment due date. The designated representative (as identified under paragraph (a)(1) of this section) must submit all AFA fee payment(s) to NMFS at the address provided in paragraph (a)(4)(iii) of this section no later than December 31 of the calendar year in which the Bering Sea pollock landings were made.

(ii) Payment recipient. Make electronic payment payable to NMFS.

(iii) Payment address. Submit payment and related documents as instructed on the fee submission form. Payments must be made electronically through the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Instructions for electronic payment will be made available on both the payment Web site and a fee liability summary letter mailed to each designated representative.

(iv) Payment method. Payment must be made electronically in U.S. dollars by automated clearing house, credit card, or electronic check drawn on a U.S. bank account.

(b) AFA standard ex-vessel value determination and use -

(1) General. A designated representative must use the AFA standard price determined by NMFS under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(2) AFA standard price -

(i) General. Each year the Regional Administrator will publish the AFA standard price in the Federal Register by December 1 of the year in which the landings were made. The AFA standard price will be described in U.S. dollars per AFA pollock equivalent pound for Bering Sea pollock landings made by AFA cooperative or AFA sector members during the current calendar year.

(ii) Effective duration. The AFA standard price published by NMFS shall apply to all Bering Sea pollock landings made by an AFA cooperative or AFA sector member during the current calendar year.

(iii) Determination. NMFS will calculate the AFA standard price to reflect, as closely as possible, the standard price of Bering Sea pollock landings based on information provided in the COAR for the previous year, as described in § 679.5(p). The Regional Administrator will base the AFA standard price on the following information:

(A) Landed pounds of Bering Sea pollock;

(B) Total ex-vessel value of Bering Sea pollock; and

(C) Price adjustments, including retroactive payments.

(c) AFA fee percentages -

(1) Established percentages. The AFA fee percentages are the amounts as determined by the factors and methodology described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. These amounts will be announced by publication in the Federal Register in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. These amounts must not exceed 3.0 percent pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1854(d)(2)(B).

(2) Calculating fee percentage value. Each year NMFS will calculate and publish AFA fee percentages for AFA inshore cooperatives, the AFA catcher/processor sector, and the AFA mothership cooperative according to the following factors and methodology:

(i) Factors. NMFS will use the following factors to determine the fee percentages:

(A) The catch to which the AFA pollock cost recovery fee will apply;

(B) The ex-vessel value of that catch; and

(C) The costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the AFA directed pollock fisheries.

(ii) Methodology. NMFS will use the following equations to determine the AFA fee percentage: 100 × DPC/V, where:

(A) DPC = the direct program costs for the directed AFA pollock fisheries for the most recent fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) with any adjustments to the account from payments received in the previous year.

(B) V = total of the standard ex-vessel value of the catch subject to the AFA fee liability for the current year.

(iii) Direct program costs will be calculated separately for:

(A) AFA inshore cooperatives;

(B) The AFA catcher/processor sector; and

(C) The AFA mothership cooperative.

(3) Publication -

(i) General. NMFS will calculate and announce the AFA fee percentages in a Federal Register notice by December 1 of the year in which the Bering Sea pollock landings were made. AFA fee percentages will be calculated separately for the AFA inshore cooperatives, the AFA catcher/processor sector, and the AFA mothership cooperative. NMFS will calculate the AFA fee percentages based on the calculations described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(ii) Effective period. NMFS will apply the calculated AFA fee percentages to all Bering Sea directed pollock landings made between January 1 and December 31 of the current year.

(4) Applicable percentage. A designated representative must use the AFA fee percentage applicable at the time a Bering Sea directed pollock landing is debited from an AFA pollock fishery allocation to calculate the AFA fee liability for any retroactive payments for that landing.

(5) Fee liability determination.

(i) Each AFA inshore cooperative, the AFA mothership cooperative, and the AFA catcher/processor sector will be subject to an AFA fee liability for any Bering Sea pollock debited from its AFA pollock fishery allocation during a calendar year.

(ii) The AFA fee liability assessed to an AFA inshore cooperative will be based on the proportion of the AFA fee liability of Bering Sea pollock debited from that AFA inshore cooperative's AFA pollock fishery allocation relative to all AFA inshore cooperatives during a calendar year as determined by NMFS.

(iii) The AFA fee liability assessed to the AFA catcher/processor sector will be based on the standard ex-vessel value of Bering Sea pollock debited from the sector's AFA pollock fishery allocation during a calendar year as determined by NMFS.

(iv) The AFA fee liability assessed to the AFA mothership cooperative will be based on the proportion of the standard ex-vessel value of Bering Sea pollock debited from the cooperative's AFA pollock fishery allocation during a calendar year as determined by NMFS.

(v) NMFS will provide a fee liability summary letter to each designated representative by December 1 of each year. The summary will explain the AFA fee liability determination including the current fee percentage and details of Bering Sea pollock pounds debited from the AFA pollock fishery allocation by permit, species, date, and prices.

(d) Underpayment of fee liability -

(1) No AFA inshore cooperative will receive its AFA pollock fishery allocation until the cooperative's designated representative submits full payment of the cooperative's AFA fee liability.

(2) The AFA mothership cooperative will not receive its AFA pollock fishery allocation until the cooperative's designated representative submits full payment of that cooperative's AFA fee liability.

(3) The AFA catcher/processor sector will not receive its Bering Sea pollock allocation until the entity's designated representative defined at § 679.21(f)(8)(i)(C) submits full payment of the AFA fee liability at the time of a Bering Sea pollock landing, except the Regional Administrator may release to the AFA catcher/processor sector a portion of the AFA catcher/processor sector's Bering Sea pollock allocation that is equal to the portion of the fee liability submitted by the entity's designated representative.

(4) If the designated representative fails to submit full payment for the AFA fee liability by the date described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the Regional Administrator, at any time thereafter, may send an IAD to the designated representative stating that the estimated fee liability, based on the information submitted by the designated representative, is the AFA fee liability due from the designated representative.

(5) If the designated representative fails to submit full payment for the AFA fee liability by the date described at paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the Regional Administrator will not issue a Bering Sea pollock allocation to that AFA cooperative or AFA sector for the following calendar year, except as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(6) Upon final agency action determining that the designated representative has not submitted the AFA fee liability payment, the Regional Administrator may continue to not issue a Bering Sea pollock allocation for that AFA cooperative or AFA sector for any subsequent calendar years until NMFS receives the unpaid fees. If payment is not received by the 30th day after the final agency action, the agency may pursue collection of the unpaid fees.

(e) Over payment. Upon issuance of final agency action, payment submitted to NMFS in excess of the AFA fee liability determined to be due by the final agency action will be returned to the designated representative unless the designated representative requests the agency to credit the excess amount against a cooperative's or sector's future AFA fee liability.

(f) Appeals. The designated representative who receives an IAD for incomplete payment of an AFA fee liability may appeal under the appeals procedures set out at 15 CFR part 906.

(g) Annual report. Each year, NMFS will publish a report describing the AFA Cost Recovery Fee Program.

[81 FR 168, Jan. 5, 2016]

§ 679.67 Aleutian Islands pollock cost recovery.

(a) Cost recovery fee program for Aleutian Islands pollock -

(1) Representative. The person identified as the representative, designated by the Aleut Corporation, at the time of an Aleutian Islands pollock landing is responsible for submitting all cost recovery fees.

(2) Fee collection. The designated representative (as identified under paragraph (a)(1) of this section) is responsible for submitting the cost recovery payment for all Aleutian Islands pollock landings made under the authority of Aleut Corporation.

(3) Payment.

(i) Payment due date. The designated representative (as identified under paragraph (a)(1) of this section) must submit all cost recovery fee payment(s) to NMFS at the address provided in paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section no later than December 31 of the calendar year in which the Aleutian Islands pollock landings were made.

(ii) Payment recipient. Make electronic payment payable to NMFS.

(iii) Payment address. Submit payment and related documents as instructed on the fee submission form. Payments must be made electronically through the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov. Instructions for electronic payment will be made available on both the payment Web site and a fee liability summary letter mailed to the designated representative of the Aleut Corporation.

(iv) Payment method. Payment must be made electronically in U.S. dollars by automated clearing house, credit card, or electronic check drawn on a U.S. bank account.

(b) Aleutian Islands pollock standard ex-vessel value determination and use -

(1) General. The designated representative of the Aleut Corporation must use the Aleutian Islands pollock standard price determined by NMFS under paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(2) Aleutian Islands pollock standard price -

(i) General. Each year the Regional Administrator will publish the Aleutian Islands pollock standard price in the Federal Register by December 1 of the year in which the landings were made. The Aleutian Islands pollock standard price will be described in U.S. dollars per Aleutian Islands pollock equivalent pound for Aleutian Islands pollock landings during the current calendar year.

(ii) Effective duration. The Aleutian Islands pollock standard price published by NMFS shall apply to all Aleutian Islands pollock landings during the current calendar year.

(iii) Determination. NMFS will calculate the Aleutian Islands pollock standard price to reflect, as closely as possible, the standard price of Aleutian Islands pollock landings based on information provided in the COAR for the previous year, as described in § 679.5(p). The Regional Administrator will base Aleutian Islands pollock standard price on the following information:

(A) Landed pounds of Aleutian Islands pollock;

(B) Total ex-vessel value of Aleutian Islands pollock; and

(C) Price adjustments, including retroactive payments.

(c) Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage -

(1) Established percentage. The Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage is the amount as determined by the factors and methodology described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. This amount will be announced by publication in the Federal Register in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. This amount must not exceed 3.0 percent pursuant to 16 U.S.C. 1854(d)(2)(B).

(2) Calculating fee percentage value. Each year NMFS will calculate and publish the fee percentage according to the following factors and methodology:

(i) Factors. NMFS will use the following factors to determine the fee percentage:

(A) The catch to which the Aleutian Islands pollock cost recovery fee will apply;

(B) The ex-vessel value of that catch; and

(C) The costs directly related to the management, data collection, and enforcement of the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery.

(ii) Methodology. NMFS will use the following equations to determine the fee percentage: 100 × DPC/V, where:

(A) DPC = the direct program costs for the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery for the most recent fiscal year (October 1 through September 30) with any adjustments to the account from payments received in the previous year.

(B) V = total of the standard ex-vessel value of the catch subject to the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability for the current year.

(3) Publication -

(i) General. NMFS will calculate and announce the fee percentage in a Federal Register notice by December 1 of the year in which the Aleutian Islands pollock landings were made. NMFS will calculate the Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage based on the calculations described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(ii) Effective period. NMFS will apply the calculated Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage to all Aleutian Islands pollock landings made between January 1 and December 31 of the current year.

(4) Applicable percentage. The designated representative must use the Aleutian Islands pollock fee percentage applicable at the time an Aleutian Islands pollock landing is debited from the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation to calculate the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability for any retroactive payments for that pollock.

(5) Fee liability determination.

(i) The Aleut Corporation will be subject to a fee for any Aleutian Islands pollock debited from the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation during a calendar year.

(ii) NMFS will provide a fee liability summary letter to the Aleut Corporation by December 1 of each year. The summary will explain the fee liability determination including the current fee percentage, and details of Aleutian Islands pollock pounds debited from the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation by permit, species, date, and prices.

(d) Underpayment of fee liability -

(1) The Aleut Corporation will not receive its Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation until the Aleut Corporation's designated representative submits full payment of the Aleut Corporation's cost recovery fee liability.

(2) If the Aleut Corporation's designated representative fails to submit full payment for Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability by the date described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Regional Administrator may at any time thereafter send an IAD to the Aleut Corporation's designated representative stating that the estimated fee liability, based on the information submitted by the designated representative, is the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability due from the Aleut Corporation.

(3) If the Aleut Corporation's designated representative fails to submit full payment by the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability payment deadline described at paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Regional Administrator will not issue the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation to the Aleut Corporation for that calendar year.

(4) Upon final agency action determining that the Aleut Corporation has not paid its Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability, the Regional Administrator may continue to not issue the Aleutian Islands directed pollock fishery allocation for any subsequent calendar years until NMFS receives the unpaid fees. If payment is not received by the 30th day after the final agency action, the agency may pursue collection of the unpaid fees.

(e) Over payment. Upon issuance of final agency action, payment submitted to NMFS in excess of the Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability determined to be due by the final agency action will be returned to the Aleut Corporation unless its designated representative requests the agency to credit the excess amount against the cooperative's future Aleutian Islands pollock fee liability.

(f) Appeals. A representative of the Aleut Corporation who receives an IAD for incomplete payment of an Aleutian Islands pollock fee may appeal under the appeals procedures set out at 15 CFR part 906.

(g) Annual report. Each year, NMFS will publish a report describing the Aleutian Islands Pollock Cost Recovery Fee Program.

[81 FR 170, Jan. 5, 2016]