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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No.

153 / Thursday, August 9, 2007 / Rules and Regulations 44795

data in a timely fashion and would a document in the Federal Register (Anoplopoma fimbria) with hook-and-
delay the closure of Pacific ocean perch announcing the effective date of these line gear is governed by regulations
in the Western Regulatory Area of the paragraphs. implementing the BSAI and GOA
GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a ADDRESSES: Copies of the Categorical groundfish FMPs as part of the IFQ
notice providing time for public Exclusion, Regulatory Impact Review Program.
comment because the most recent, (RIR), the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Relevant background on the IFQ
relevant data only became available as Analysis (IRFA) prepared for the Program and each part of this action is
of August 3, 2007. proposed rule and the Final Regulatory presented in the proposed rule
The AA also finds good cause to Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) prepared for published November l, 2006 (71 FR
waive the 30-day delay in the effective this action may be obtained from the 64218). That publication proposed
date of this action under 5 U.S.C. North Pacific Fishery Management changes to the IFQ Program regulations
553(d)(3). This finding is based upon Council (Council) at 605 West 4th, Suite in seven areas. This final rule adopts the
the reasons provided above for waiver of 306, Anchorage, Alaska 99501–2252, following five changes in their entirety:
prior notice and opportunity for public • Allow transfers of QS for medical
907–271–2809, or NMFS Alaska Region,
comment. reasons;
P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802, • Require a vessel monitoring system
This action is required by § 679.20 Attn: Ellen Sebastian, and on the NMFS
and is exempt from review under for vessels harvesting sablefish in the
Alaska Region website at http:// BSAI;
Executive Order 12866. www.noaa.fakr.gov. • Amend the block program for
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Written comments regarding the halibut by (a) allowing a QS holder to
Dated: August 6, 2007. burden-hour estimates or other aspects hold 3 blocks rather than 2, (b) dividing
of the collection-of-information
Emily Menashes, halibut blocks in Areas 3B and 4A that
requirements contained in this final rule
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable yield more than 20,000 lb (9.1 mt),
may be submitted to NMFS Alaska
Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. based on the 2004 harvest figures, into
Region, and by email to
[FR Doc. 07–3893 Filed 8–6–07; 2:03 pm] a block of 20,000 lb (9.1 mt) and the
DavidlRostker@omb.eop.gov or fax to
BILLING CODE 3510–22–S remainder unblocked, and (c) increasing
202–395–7285.
the halibut sweep-up level in Areas 2C
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jay
and 3A to 5,000 lb (2.3 mt);
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Ginter, 907–586–7228 or • Allow category D QS to be fished on
jay.ginter@noaa.gov. vessels less than or equal to 60 ft (18.3
National Oceanic and Atmospheric SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The m) length overall (LOA) in areas 3B and
Administration International Pacific Halibut 4C; and
Commission (IPHC) and NMFS manage • Allow category B catcher vessel QS
50 CFR Part 679 fishing for Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus for Area 2C halibut and Southeast
[Docket No. 0612242964–7332–02; I.D. stenolepis) through regulations Outside District sablefish, which
080106C] established under the authority of the currently must be fished on vessels
Halibut Act (16 U.S.C. 773–773k). The greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA, to be
RIN 0648–AS84 IPHC promulgates regulations governing fished on catcher vessels of any length.
the halibut fishery under the The sixth proposed change would
Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic
Convention between the United States have tightened the requirements for QS
Zone Off Alaska; Individual Fishing
and Canada for the Preservation of the holders who use hired skippers by
Quota Program; Community
Halibut Fishery of the Northern Pacific requiring specific documentation of
Development Quota Program
Ocean and Bering Sea. The IPHC’s vessel ownership and requiring
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries regulations are subject to approval by ownership of the vessel used by the
Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and the Secretary of State with concurrence hired skipper for the prior 12 months.
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), of the Secretary of Commerce The final rule adopts the documentation
Commerce. (Secretary). NMFS publishes the requirement but not the 12-month
ACTION: Final rule. approved IPHC regulations as annual ownership requirement. Specifically,
management measures pursuant to 50 the final rule lists the documentation a
SUMMARY: NMFS adopts a rule that CFR 300.62. Additional management QS holder must submit to prove
modifies the Individual Fishing Quota regulations not in conflict with ownership of a documented vessel that
(IFQ) Program for the fixed-gear regulations adopted by the IPHC (such a hired master will use. This final rule
commercial Pacific halibut fishery and as the IFQ Program) may be does not adopt the 12-month ownership
sablefish fishery by revising regulations recommended by the Council and requirement in the proposed rule,
specific to those fisheries. This action is implemented by the Secretary through namely that QS holders must prove at
intended to improve the effectiveness of NMFS to allocate harvesting privileges least the minimum vessel ownership (20
the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program among U.S. fishermen under the percent ownership interest) for 12
(IFQ Program) and is necessary to authority of the Halibut Act (16 U.S.C. consecutive months prior to using a
promote the objectives of the Magnuson- 773–773k). hired master. NMFS is seeking
Stevens Fishery Conservation and The U.S. groundfish fisheries of the clarification from the Council on
Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens exclusive economic zone in the Gulf of whether the Council wishes to exclude
Act) and the Northern Pacific Halibut Alaska (GOA) and the Bering Sea and from the 12-month requirement those
Act of 1982 (Halibut Act) with respect Aleutian Islands (BSAI) are managed by QS holders whose vessels need
to the IFQ fisheries. NMFS under fishery management plans temporary repairs and, for that reason,
DATES: Effective on September 10, 2007, (FMPs). The FMPs were prepared by the have their QS fished from vessels that
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except for §§ 679.42(d) and 679.42(i) Council under the Magnuson-Stevens the QS holders have owned less than 12
which contain information collection Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) and are months.
requirements that have not been implemented by regulations at 50 CFR This final rule does not adopt the
approved by OMB. NMFS will publish part 679. Fishing for sablefish seventh proposed change. The final rule

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44796 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 153 / Thursday, August 9, 2007 / Rules and Regulations

does not change the Product Recovery cards.’’ Under the final rule, NMFS transfer only of the IFQ derived from the
Rate (PRR) for bled sablefish from 0.98 instead will issue ‘‘CDQ permits’’ and QS certificate issued in the name of the
to 1.00. The Secretary disapproves this ‘‘CDQ hired master permits.’’ QS holder. Sometimes a QS holder has
proposed rule because it would violate As described in the proposed rule, IFQ derived from his or her QS and IFQ
National Standard 2 of the Magnuson- CDQ cards, like IFQ cards, originally leased from another QS holder on the
Stevens Act: ‘‘Conservation and served as a catch accounting tool for same IFQ permit. The QS holder may
management measures shall be based identification and catch reporting obtain a medical transfer only for the
upon the best scientific information through a swipe card computer system. IFQ derived from his or her own QS.
available.’’ NMFS has replaced that system with an The final rule makes explicit that NMFS
The parts of the final rule affecting the Internet-based reporting system. Hence, may not approve a medical transfer of
halibut fishery are adopted under the CDQ cards are obsolete and leased QS.
authority of the Halibut Act. The parts unnecessary. CDQ hired masters will be By specifying that a ‘‘QS holder’’ may
of the final rule affecting the sablefish required to carry an original CDQ hired obtain a medical transfer, the final rule
fishery are adopted under the authority master permit for identification also clarifies that an IFQ or CDQ hired
of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This final purposes while fishing for or making master permit holder cannot obtain a
rule also implements Amendment 67 to landings of CDQ halibut and a copy of medical transfer other than for his or her
the FMP for Groundfish for the Gulf of the CDQ permit under which they are IFQ. If a hired master becomes sick and
Alaska (Notice of Availability published fishing. The final rule also revises unable to participate in the fishery, the
October 3, 2006; 71 FR 58372), which associated terms, such as changing QS holder who hired the master can
allows category B QS to be fished on a ‘‘CDQ cardholder’’ to ‘‘CDQ hired hire another master. Again, NMFS
vessel of any length in all areas master permit holder.’’ concludes that the Council did not
(November l, 2006; 72 FR 64218). 2. The final rule clarifies who may intend to allow subleasing of QS, in this
Amendment 67 was approved by the seek a medical transfer provision of instance by the hired master who
Secretary on January 3, 2007. catcher vessel QS under § 679.42(d). becomes sick.
The final rule also adopts two The final rule uses the term ‘‘QS 3. The final rule clarifies who may
administrative changes that were in the holder’’ as the most accurate and precise receive an emergency waiver under
proposed rule (November l, 2006; 72 FR term. The proposed rule used the term § 679.42(d)(1). This provision allows
64218). The first administrative change ‘‘IFQ holder’’ and ‘‘QS holder.’’ An ‘‘IFQ NMFS to waive the requirements that
clarifies the existing regulation that holder’’ could be confused with an ‘‘IFQ the person authorized to fish IFQ
once an IFQ permit holder has caught permit holder.’’ Usually, an IFQ permit sablefish or halibut be present on the
his or her total sablefish IFQ, the IFQ holder will also hold QS, but a few IFQ vessel and sign the landing report, if
permit holder can not catch additional catcher vessel permit holders do not that person experiences an extreme
IFQ sablefish in State of Alaska (State) hold QS because they are leasing QS personal emergency during a fishing
or Federal waters. The second from the heir of a deceased QS holder trip. The prior regulation stated that
administrative change eliminates the under § 679.41(k) or from a Community NMFS could waive those requirements
term ‘‘IFQ card’’ and replaces it with Quota Entity under § 679.41(l). The IFQ for an IFQ card holder. Because the rule
‘‘IFQ hired master permit.’’ The final Program generally does not allow eliminates IFQ cards, the final rule
rule extends this change to the Western catcher vessel QS to be leased; however, states that NMFS may waive those
Alaska Community Development Quota the Council and the Secretary have requirements for ‘‘a person authorized
(CDQ) Program, changing the term approved leasing in these restricted to fish IFQ halibut or IFQ sablefish,’’
‘‘CDQ card’’ to ‘‘CDQ hired master situations. The person who leases which may be an IFQ permit holder or
permit.’’ catcher vessel QS receives an IFQ an IFQ hired master permit holder.
The background and rationale for permit and is therefore an IFQ permit 4. The final rule eliminates the
each part of this final rule were holder, but not necessarily a QS holder. requirement proposed at
explained in the proposed rule, NMFS concludes that the Council § 679.42(d)(2)(iv)(B) that NMFS
published November l, 2006 (71 FR intended to allow medical transfers by disapprove an application for a second
64218). Changes made in the final rule QS holders, not the slightly larger class medical transfer unless a health
from the proposed rule are explained of IFQ permit holders. The IRFA, professional attested to a reasonable
below. prepared by Council staff, described likelihood of recovery of the applicant.
those eligible for the benefit of medical This requirement is eliminated from the
Changes in the Final Rule transfers as ‘‘individual halibut or final rule because the Council motion
This section explains the changes sablefish QS holders.’’ If IFQ permit adopting this action did not have that
from the proposed rule in the final rule, holders who are lessees could obtain a requirement. Further, this requirement
except editorial changes, which are not medical transfer of the right to fish the would put an applicant’s doctor or other
discussed. pounds remaining on their IFQ permit, health professional and the applicant in
1. The final rule revises §§ 679.4, those IFQ permit holders would, in a difficult situation if the doctor could
679.5, and 679.7 and extends the essence, be subleasing QS. Because the not attest that the applicant had a
administrative change in the proposed basic rule in the IFQ Program is that reasonable likelihood of recovery.
rule regarding IFQ cards to the CDQ catcher vessel QS cannot be leased, and Additionally it might be hard for a
Program. The CDQ halibut fishery and because the Council has approved health professional to assess whether
the IFQ halibut fishery are largely leasing only in strictly limited the applicant/patient has a reasonable
subject to the same fisheries situations, NMFS concludes that the likelihood of recovery if the patient is in
management regulations. The two Council did not intend to allow the early stages of diagnosis and
fisheries have comparable permitting subleasing of QS and did not intend to treatment of a disease or condition.
and reporting requirements. The final grant the benefit of medical transfers to NMFS notes that the Council’s motion
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rule eliminates the term ‘‘IFQ cards.’’ To IFQ permit holders who are fishing had other elements which prevented
maintain consistency between the IFQ leased QS. potential abuse of medical transfers
Program and the CDQ Program, the final A corollary of this conclusion is that such as a prohibition against a QS
rule also eliminates the term ‘‘CDQ a QS holder may obtain a medical holder receiving a medical transfer more

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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 153 / Thursday, August 9, 2007 / Rules and Regulations 44797

than twice in five years and the were abusing the hired skipper (g)(2). The final rule also eliminates a
requirement for proof of a qualifying provision through vessel ownership specific effective date for this provision
medical condition from a health arrangements that were informal and and relies instead on the overall
professional. These requirements were unverifiable. The Council also was effective date of the final rule (see
in the proposed rule and are retained in responding to NMFS staff reports that DATES).
the final rule. NMFS had difficulty verifying the 8. The final rule does not approve the
5. The final rule clarifies the required ownership under the prior proposed change in the PRR for bled
documentation that a QS holder must regulation which simply required sablefish from 0.98 to 1.00. NMFS finds
submit to prove the QS holder’s written documentation. The final rule that this proposed change is not based
minimum 20 percent ownership in the addresses the Council’s concerns by on the best scientific information
vessel from which a hired master will requiring that the QS holders submit available, and would violate National
fish the QS. The QS holder who is an specified formal documents that are Standard 2 in the Magnuson-Stevens
owner of a documented vessel must issued by the government to prove that Act, that requires conservation and
submit an Abstract of Title issued by the they are an owner of the vessel that will management measures to be based upon
U.S. Coast Guard to show that the QS be used to harvest their IFQ. If these the best scientific information available
holder is an owner of the vessel and, if formal documents do not show (16 U.S.C. 1851 (a)(2)). Therefore, the
the Abstract of Title does not prove the percentage ownership, the final rule PRR for bled sablefish remains at 0.98.
required percentage interest, the QS requires QS holders to supplement See responses to comments 20, 21 and
holder must submit additional written those formal documents with other 22 below.
documentation. The QS holder who is written documentation. Comments and Responses
the owner of an undocumented vessel 6. The final rule does not adopt the
must submit a State of Alaska boat proposed requirement that a QS holder NMFS received 12 letters that
registration or a commercial vessel prove the minimum 20 percent vessel contained 22 comments on the proposed
license that shows that the QS holder is ownership for 12 months prior to the QS rule.
an owner of the vessel. The State of holder’s use of a hired master. NMFS is Comment 1: One individual, who
Alaska issues an ‘‘Alaska Boat seeking clarification from the Council identified himself as a current IFQ
Registration’’ through its Department of on whether the Council wants also to holder, stated that he supported all the
Motor Vehicles and a ‘‘Commercial exempt QS holders whose vessels need proposed changes as beneficial to the
Vessel License’’ through its Commercial repairs from the 20 percent/12-month IFQ Program.
Fisheries Entry Commission. If either requirement and, if so, the criteria for Response: This support is noted.
State document does not prove the the exemption. For a full explanation, Comment 2: NMFS allows too many
required percentage ownership, the final see Response to Comment 4. fish to be harvested. Fish species are
rule clarifies that the QS holder must 7. The final rule adds § 679.42(g)(2) going extinct.NMFS should cut all
submit further written documentation to which directs the Regional quotas by 50 percent this year and 10
prove the required percentage Administrator to identify all halibut percent each succeeding year.
ownership. blocks in Areas 3B and 4A that result in Response: This rule changes certain
This clarification was necessary an allocation of more than 20,000 lb (9.1 features of the IFQ Program and does
because the proposed rule at § 679.42(i) mt) of halibut IFQ, based on the 2004 not affect how many halibut or sablefish
and (j) required proof of ownership of a total allowable catch (TAC) for fixed may be harvested in Federal waters off
documented vessel ‘‘as supported by the gear halibut in those areas, and divide Alaska. NMFS disagrees with the
U.S. Abstract of Title issued by the U.S. those halibut blocks into one block of commenter’s perception that fish
Coast Guard and any other 20,000 lb (9.1 mt) and the remainder species off Alaska are going extinct.
documentation indicating percentage unblocked, based on the 2004 TAC. This Halibut and groundfish are managed
ownership’’ and proof of ownership of action was analyzed in the RIR/IRFA conservatively and sustainably with
an undocumented vessel ‘‘as supported and specifically adopted by the Council. annual quotas based on the best
by a State of Alaska vessel registration The proposed rule inadvertently scientific information available. The
and any other documentation indicating omitted the regulatory text for this IPHC recommends annual catch limits
percentage ownership.’’ The problem action although its description and for Pacific halibut, which are adopted in
with this language is that it did not rationale were presented in the regulations that the United States
clearly state the role and purpose of proposed rule, and NMFS gave notice Secretary of State approves under
‘‘other documentation.’’ On one hand, that it was considering approving it (71 section 4 of the Halibut Act. NMFS
read literally, it required the QS holder FR 64222 - 64223). The final rule adopts annually publishes catch limits and
to submit the Abstract of Title and other this action as recommended by the other management measures that are
documentation, even if the abstract or Council and described in the proposed recommended by the IPHC to sustain
the State document sufficiently proved rule. halibut stocks. For 2007, the annual
percent ownership. On the other hand, Because of this change, existing management measures for halibut were
it could have been read to allow a QS paragraph (g)(2) with the heading published March 14, 2007 (72 FR
holder to prove the required ownership ‘‘Holding or to hold blocks of QS’’ is 11792). NMFS sets the annual TAC for
interest through other documentation renumbered as paragraph (g)(4). groundfish, including sablefish, in
only, without submitting an Abstract of Proposed paragraph (g)(3) in this regulations which are adopted by the
Title. The latter interpretation would section, headed ‘‘Transfer of QS Secretary under the Magnuson-Stevens
have been the same as the prior blocks,’’ remains paragraph (g)(3) in the Act. NMFS annually publishes TAC
regulation which merely required a QS final rule. However, the final rule specifications for groundfish, including
holder to submit written documentation clarifies paragraph (g)(3) to provide an sablefish, and the rationale for the TAC,
of his or her ownership interest. exception to the requirement in in the Federal Register. The TACs for
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The Council concluded that the prior paragraph (g)(1)(i) for those persons who groundfish for 2007 and 2008 in the
regulation the requirement simply for have more than one block of QS and BSAI were published on March 2, 2007
written documentation was inadequate. unblocked QS as a result of the Regional (72 FR 9451). The TACs for groundfish
It was concerned that some QS holders Administrator’s action under paragraph for 2007 and 2008 in the Gulf of Alaska

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44798 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 153 / Thursday, August 9, 2007 / Rules and Regulations

were published on March 5, 2007 (72 FR notice that NMFS might adopt that holder who is scheduling a vessel
9676). provision. A vessel repair exemption is upgrade or routine maintenance be
Comment 3: Two comments not a logical outgrowth of the proposed exempt or only a QS holder whose
specifically supported the new rule, which exempted only QS holders vessel needs unanticipated repairs?
provision at § 679.42(d)(1) to allow who suffered a total loss or constructive Would the exemption be triggered by
medical transfers by QS holders. total loss of their vessels. repairs over a certain dollar amount or
Response: The support is noted. Comments on this subject, however, by repairs that kept the vessel out of the
Comment 4: Under proposed bring to light a consequence of the fishery for a certain period of time?
§ 649.42(i)(1), QS holders who want to proposed rule, which NMFS concludes Would it matter whether the need for
use a hired master to harvest their IFQ was unanalyzed, and probably repairs occurred early or late in the IFQ
must have owned at least a 20 percent unintended, by the Council. Currently, season? For how long would the QS
interest in the vessel from which the QS if a QS holder’s vessel needs repairs, the holder be exempt from the 12-month
will be fished for at least 12 months QS holder can acquire a 20 percent requirement? And would the QS holder
prior to their using a hired master ownership interest in another vessel and whose vessel needs repairs be exempt
permit. The proposed regulation at use a hired master on that vessel to from the 12-month ownership
§ 679.42(i)(6) exempted a QS holder harvest his or her IFQ. Under the requirement and the 20 percent
from this requirement if the QS holder proposed rule, if a QS holder’s vessel ownership requirement? After receiving
suffered ‘‘the actual total loss or suffers damages and is out of the fishery Council guidance on this issue, the
constructive total loss’’ of a vessel for repairs, the QS holder would not be Administrative Procedure Act would
owned by the QS holder. The final rule able to hire a master to fish his or her require that NMFS publish the criteria
should define ‘‘constructive total loss’’ QS until his vessel is repaired, or until or conditions of the ‘‘vessel repair’’
to include a vessel that is out of the 12 months have elapsed, unless the QS exemption in a new proposed rule,
fishery for 30 days or longer. Another holder had a minimum 20 percent before NMFS could adopt it in a final
comment said that a vessel owner ownership interest in a second vessel rule.
should be exempt if his or her vessel for the 12 months prior to wanting to Therefore, NMFS is not adopting the
would be out of the fishery for repairs use a hired master and the second vessel 12-month requirement in the final rule
for two to six months. was available to fish in the IFQ fishery.
Response: NMFS acknowledges that and is seeking clarification from the
NMFS is not willing to presume that Council on whether it wants to exempt
the term ‘‘constructive total loss’’ was many or most QS holders could
not defined in the proposed rule and QS holders whose vessels need repair
maintain at least a 20 percent ownership from the 20 percent ownership
agrees that it should be defined in a interest in two or more vessels.
final rule. The terms ‘‘total loss’’ and requirement, the 12-month ownership
For QS holders who may use hired
‘‘constructive total loss’’ are most requirement, or the combined 20
masters (other than in Area 2C for
commonly used in insurance. ‘‘Total percent/12-month requirement and, if it
halibut or Southeast Outside for
loss’’ means the complete destruction of does, the terms of the exemption.
sablefish), the proposed rule left them
an item of property. ‘‘Constructive total the option of personally fishing their Comment 5: The only QS holders who
loss’’ means a loss to insured property IFQ. If an individual QS holder is have the right to use a hired skipper are
that is not total, but is so great that personally fishing his or her IFQ, this QS holders who were initial recipients
repair would cost more than the value can be done from any boat, even if the of QS for catcher vessels and who meet
of the property. Some definitions of QS holder has no ownership interest in other requirements. Some of these ‘‘old
‘‘constructive total loss’’ include that it. For QS holders that must use hired timers’’ will not be able to afford to buy
the item has lost its total usefulness to masters such as corporations or or build a new boat and then leave it
the insured person. If NMFS were going partnerships that were initial QS tied to the dock for 12 months before it
to adopt the 12-month vessel ownership recipients, the proposed rule did not goes fishing.
requirement in the final rule, the only leave them that option because they Response: The proposed regulation
QS holders that it could exempt from must use a hired master. would not have required a QS holder to
the 20 percent/12-month requirement It is not clear whether the Council leave a boat tied to the dock before the
would be those IFQ permit holders who wanted to exempt QS holders whose vessel goes fishing, as it could have
had suffered a total loss or constructive vessels need repairs from the 12-month been used in non-IFQ fisheries. If NMFS
total loss of their vessels, in accordance vessel ownership requirement, from the had adopted this part of the proposed
with a standard definition of those 20 percent ownership requirement or rule, NMFS would have had to
terms. from the combined 20 percent/12-month determine whether to make this
NMFS cannot adopt in this final rule vessel ownership requirement. In requirement effective immediately or
a definition of ‘‘constructive total loss’’ December 2006 the Council passed a whether to delay the effective date for
that includes a vessel that is out of the resolution asking NMFS to define 12 months. See Comment 9.
IFQ fishery temporarily for repair. This ‘‘constructive loss.’’ The Council then As noted in response to Comment 4,
definition of ‘‘constructive total loss’’ submitted a comment on the proposed NMFS has concluded that the proposed
was not in the proposed rule. This rule. The Council’s comment suggests regulation affected whether these ‘‘old
definition is antithetical to the standard that the Council wanted NMFS to define timers’’ could use hired masters to fish
definition of ‘‘constructive total loss,’’ ‘‘constructive loss’’ to include a vessel their IFQ when their vessels were out of
which is that the item is unable to be that was out of the fishery for repairs. the fishery temporarily for repairs.
repaired for less than the value of the In that case, however, NMFS has NMFS is seeking clarification from the
item. Thus, NMFS could not, consistent insufficient guidance on what vessel Council on whether it wants to exempt
with the requirements in the repair situations to exempt. This from the 20 percent/12-month vessel
Administrative Procedure Act, adopt in uncertainty leads to the following ownership requirement only those QS
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this final rule an exemption from the 12- questions: Would any repair of a vessel, holders who suffer a total loss or total
month requirement for QS holders or only certain types of repairs, trigger constructive loss of their vessels or
whose vessels are undergoing repair an exemption from the 12-month whether it also wants to exempt QS
because the proposed rule did not give ownership requirement? Would a QS holders whose vessels are temporarily

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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 153 / Thursday, August 9, 2007 / Rules and Regulations 44799

out of the fishery for repairs and, if so, agreements undermined the Response: NMFS agrees that in the
the terms of the exemption. development of an owner-operated long run this problem will be resolved
Comment 6: The proposed fishery. Therefore, in addition to a as original recipients pass from the
requirement for a QS holder to own a 20 substantial percentage ownership, fishery. However, a considerable
percent interest in a vessel for 12 defined as 20 percent or more, the amount of catcher vessel QS is still held
months prior to using a hired master Council recommended an additional by QS holders who may use hired
will make entry into the halibut and requirement of owning the vessel for a masters and QS holders who must use
longline fishery more difficult. Under substantial period of time, defined as hired masters. As of 2002, QS holders
the current system, it is easier for a twelve months or longer. who may use hired masters held 42
person who owns a vessel, and does not The proposed 12-month ownership percent of the halibut catcher vessel QS
own IFQ, to find IFQ permit holders to requirement resulted from and 33 percent of sablefish catcher
be partners. recommendations of Council vessel QS. As of 2002, QS holders who
Response: The imposition of a 12- committees established to assist the must use hired masters held 25 percent
month vessel ownership requirement Council in its conservation and of halibut catcher vessel QS and 30
would still allow those seeking entry management duties under the percent of sablefish catcher vessel QS
into the IFQ fishery to prove themselves Magnuson-Stevens Act. In October 2003 (see Table 3.1 of the FRFA). Because
by forming ownership agreements with the IFQ Implementation and Cost many QS holders are still using hired
IFQ permit holders, but they would Recovery Committee (Committee) masters, the Council and NMFS can
have to be longer-term agreements, i.e., recommended a number of changes in impose restrictions to prevent these QS
a year or longer. If the imposition of the the IFQ Program. The Committee holders from, in effect, leasing their QS.
12-month ownership requirement recommended that NMFS implement Hence, the Council’s recommendation
causes QS holders who have been criteria to tighten compliance with the and the proposed rule that these original
entering into short-term ownership minimum 20 percent vessel ownership QS holders must have a substantial,
agreements to sell their QS, more QS requirement that the Council adopted in long term interest in the vessel from
will be available for purchase by those 1999, including a one-year limitation on which their QS is fished.
seeking entry into an IFQ fishery. As noted in response to Comment 4,
ownership changes. In December 2003,
As noted in response to Comment 4, however, the proposed rule would have
the Advisory Panel for the Council
however, NMFS needs the Council to prevented all QS holders from entering
clarify whether it wishes to exempt QS reviewed the Committee’s
recommendations and recommended into short-term ownership agreements,
holders whose vessels are temporarily including those who do so because their
out of the IFQ fishery for repairs from that the Council analyze them. In
December 2003, the Council approved vessels need repairs. NMFS is seeking
the 20 percent/12-month ownership clarification from the Council on
requirement and if so, the terms of the the Committee’s recommendations for
whether the Council wishes to exempt
exemption. analysis. In October 2004, the Council
from the 20 percent/12 month
Comment 7: The problem of QS approved publication of the analysis for
ownership requirement those QS
holders forming short-term vessel public review and comment. In
holders whose vessels are temporarily
ownership agreements has never been December 2004, the Council approved
out of IFQ fishery due to repairs and, if
quantified and is a personal issue only. tightening the 20 percent vessel
so, the terms of the exemption.
Response: NMFS disagrees that the ownership requirement by requiring Comment 9: If NMFS adopts the
proposed 12-month vessel ownership specified documentation of ownership proposed 12-month ownership
rule was merely responding to and by requiring that the QS holder provision in § 679.42(i) and (j), the
‘‘personal issues.’’ The Council was have the requisite minimum ownership effective date of this provision should
responding to genuine policy concerns. interest for twelve months prior to using be 12 months after the regulation is
From the inception of the IFQ Program, the hired skipper exception. All adopted. This would provide lead time
the Council’s goal has been to have an meetings of the Council and its for compliance by QS holders before the
owner-operated fleet in the IFQ committees are open to the public. regulation becomes law.
fisheries. Based on the Council’s As noted in response to Comment 4, Response: NMFS is not adopting the
recommendation, NMFS adopted the however, the proposed rule would have 12-month ownership requirement in
minimum 20 percent vessel ownership prevented all QS holders from entering this final rule. If NMFS adopts this
requirement in 1999 (May 10, 1999; 89 into short-term ownership agreements, requirement in a future rule, NMFS will
FR 24960). Before that, an IFQ permit including those who do so because their consider this comment when it sets an
holder wishing to use a hired master vessels need repairs. NMFS is seeking effective date for the rule.
had to prove only ‘‘an ownership clarification from the Council on Comment 10: The proposed 12-month
interest’’ and IFQ permit holders could whether the Council wishes to exempt ownership requirement in § 649.42(i)
acquire as little as 0.1 percent from the 20 percent/12-month and § 679.42 (j)(1) imposes an unfair
ownership interest in a vessel expressly ownership requirement those QS burden on QS holders that are required
for the purpose of hiring a skipper holders whose vessels are temporarily to hire a master to harvest their QS.
(December 16, 1998; 63 FR 69256). The out of the IFQ fishery due to repairs Maintaining and insuring a vessel for 12
Council required a minimum 20 percent and, if so, the terms of the exemption. months prior to using the vessel is an
ownership interest to prevent that Comment 8: The proposed inequitable requirement. QS holders
practice, which had circumvented the requirement that a QS holder own a 20 who may, or who must, use a hired
Council’s goal of an owner-operated percent interest in a vessel for twelve master could be required to maintain
fleet in the IFQ fisheries. But the months prior to applying to use a hired their ownership for a period of 12
minimum 20–percent-ownership master is unnecessary because the only months without such an economic
requirement still allowed an IFQ permit QS holders who can hire masters are burden. An alternative suggested in the
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holder to ‘‘own’’ a 20 percent interest in original recipients. Eventually, no comment is to accept only one change
a vessel for a short period of time, e.g., original recipients will exist and all QS annually in a vessel’s documentation.
the duration of a two- or three-week holders will have to be onboard the Response: NMFS does not see this
fishing trip. Such short-term ownership vessel when their IFQ is fished. comment as a reason not to adopt the

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12-month ownership requirement. If by Response: This final rule does not on the value of the sablefish that the
‘‘economic burden,’’ the commenter specify what documentation is vessel harvests in a year.
means that the rule may result in QS necessary to prove a ‘‘constructive total Response: This rule does not exempt
holders making a more substantial loss’’ because it does not adopt any any vessel operator who harvests
investment in the vessels from which provision that contains the term sablefish in the BSAI from the
their QS is fished, NMFS sees that as ‘‘constructive total loss.’’ As previously requirement to have a VMS. The
consistent with the Council’s reasons for noted, NMFS is seeking clarification requirement applies to all vessels. The
adopting the 12-month ownership from the Council on whether it wants to preamble to the proposed rule invited
requirement. See Response to Comment exempt from the 12-month ownership comment on whether small vessels
7. The alternative suggested by the requirement only those QS holders who should be exempt from the VMS
commenter only one change in vessel have suffered a total loss or total requirement. No comments were
ownership a year does not require that constructive loss of their vessel or received in favor of exempting vessels
the QS holder maintain an ownership whether it also wants to exempt those based on size. This comment merely
interest for 12 months. This alternative QS holders whose vessels are out of the stated that an exemption based on the
still allows a QS holder to use a hired IFQ fishery temporarily for repair. If in amount of a vessel’s harvest would be
master on a vessel in which the QS the future the Council proposes a rule better than an exemption based on an
holder had an ownership interest only that requires a QS holder to prove a overall length of a vessel. For reasons
for the duration of a fishing trip. ‘‘constructive total loss’’ of a vessel, the described in the preamble to the
However, the minimum 12-month Council will evaluate whether to specify proposed rule, NMFS concludes that no
requirement would affect all QS the documentation required to prove the exemption is warranted.
holders, including those QS holders loss. Comment 15: Our vessel is already
who resort to short-term vessel Comment 13: The proposed regulation required to have a VMS, because we fish
ownership agreements because their specifying the documentation that a QS in critical habitat in the Aleutian Islands
regular vessels need repairs. NMFS is holder must submit to prove 20 percent and in area 4B. Using the VMS for
seeking clarification from the Council clearance in the BSAI has turned out to
ownership interest in a vessel is
on whether it wishes to exempt QS have some actual time and fuel saving
unnecessary because an owner already
holders whose vessels are temporarily benefits.
has to produce documentation to prove Response: NMFS notes this
out of the IFQ fishery for repairs from 20 percent ownership of a vessel. information.
the 20 percent/12-month ownership Response: NMFS disagrees. The prior Comment 16: The number of QS
requirement and, if it does, the terms of regulation required only that NMFS blocks that a person can hold should not
the exemption. determine 20 percent ownership of a be increased from two blocks to three
Comment 11: The proposed regulation vessel ‘‘on the basis of written blocks. The proposed regulation allows
is good because it tightens up the documentation’’ (50 CFR 679.42(i)(1)). further fleet consolidation, will result in
requirement for a QS holder to use a The Council was concerned that, under less blocks available for purchase, will
hired skipper. The current regulation is the prior regulation, some vessel owners likely increase the cost of QS and will
too vague. were abusing the hired skipper make entry into the halibut fishery more
Response: NMFS agrees that the provision through the use of informal, difficult.
previous regulation for documentation unverifiable transactions. The Council Response: When the IFQ Program was
of a QS holders’s 20 percent ownership also was responding to NMFS staff started, all initially issued QS that
interest in the vessel was vague in that reports that, under the prior regulation, resulted in less than 20,000 lb of IFQ
it required an individual to submit only it had been difficult to verify the was ‘‘blocked,’’ that is, issued as an
non-specified ‘‘written documentation.’’ minimum 20 percent vessel ownership. inseparable unit. Also, no person was
The final rule requires specific The final rule meets the Council’s allowed to own more than two QS
documentation an Abstract of Title for concerns by requiring the QS holder to blocks per species in any regulatory
documented vessels and a State of submit a formal document of ownership area, or one QS block, if unblocked QS
Alaska boat registration or commercial issued by a government agency. An also was held by that individual for that
vessel license for undocumented owner of a documented vessel must area. The block approach was meant to
vessels. See the discussion of change submit an Abstract of Title issued by the prevent excessive consolidation in the
number 5 under ‘‘Changes in the Final U.S. Coast Guard that shows the QS IFQ fisheries, and maintain the diversity
Rule.’’ holder is an owner of the vessel. An of the IFQ longline fleet, without
The proposed rule also sought to owner of an undocumented vessel must compromising the flexibility and
restrict the use of hired masters by submit a State of Alaska boat economic efficiency of the program as a
requiring a QS holder to own the registration or commercial vessel license whole. As noted in the FRFA for this
required interest in a vessel for at least that shows the QS holder is an owner action, the proportion of QS that is
12 months before receiving a hired of the vessel. If these documents prove unblocked QS ranges from 29 percent in
master permit. As noted, NMFS is the required percentage ownership, the Area 2C to 65 percent in Area 3A.
seeking clarification from the Council QS holder need not submit any other NMFS is aware of the concerns raised in
on whether it wants to exempt QS documentation. If these formal the comment; they were discussed by
holders whose vessels need repairs from documents do not prove percentage the Council and discussed in the FRFA
the minimum 12-month vessel ownership, the QS holder must prove for this action. The FRFA notes that an
ownership requirement and, if so, the the required percentage ownership increase from two to three blocks would
terms of the exemption. through additional written lead to consolidation of QS, and would
Comment 12: The final rule should documentation. be likely to increase the value of
define what documentation is necessary Comment 14: Vessel operators who blocked QS, but may consequently
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to prove a ‘‘constructive total loss’’ for harvest sablefish in the BSAI should not decrease the value of unblocked QS.
the exemption from the 12-month be exempt from the Vessel Monitoring The FRFA notes that the action might
ownership vessel requirement in System (VMS) based on vessel size. If an reduce the availability of entry-level
§ 679.42(i)(6). exemption is desired, it should be based opportunities in the fishery. The

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Council weighed these considerations QS holders who currently are at the therefore, likely will result in somewhat
against the potential benefits of easing threshold limit and the block limit to less observer data. NMFS concludes,
restrictions on the transfer of large incrementally increase their QS holding however, that this is not a reason to
blocks, and on helping small vessel without first selling one of their blocks. disapprove this action for several
owners constrained by ownership of The Council balanced these reasons. First, this rule makes the
two small blocks to make more considerations before choosing the category B QS restrictions for Area 2C
economically viable trips. 5,000 lb limit as its preferred halibut QS and Southeast Outside
Comment 17: The sweep up limit for alternative. sablefish QS consistent with the
QS blocks in regulatory Areas 2C and Comment 18: The ‘‘fish down’’ category B QS restrictions in the rest of
3A should not be increased to 5,000 exception for category B QS in Area 2C the State. Second, vessels over 60 ft
pounds, particularly in light of the and Southeast Outside should not be (18.3 m) LOA that harvest IFQ sablefish
proposal to increase the QS blocks a repealed. The current regulation and halibut generally must have
person can hold from two to three prevents category B QS in Area 2C and observer coverage for 30 percent of their
blocks. The proposed sweep up Southeast Outside from being fished on fishing days. Therefore, these vessels do
regulation will make entry into the vessels less than 60 feet length overall not currently generate observer data
halibut fishery more difficult. If the (LOA). The proposed regulation will every time they are fishing. These
halibut sweep up limit is increased to have a severe adverse financial effect on vessels still will harvest some IFQ
5,000 pounds, at current quota prices, IFQ permit holders who purchased halibut and sablefish and will supply
an ‘‘entry level’’ block of halibut would vessels larger than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA observer data from 30 percent of their
cost approximately $100,000. because the proposed rule will make QS fishing days. The extent of the decrease
Response: The block provisions of the less available for vessels that size. in observer data is uncertain but is
IFQ Program created many blocks that Response: This final rule makes the expected to be marginal. Finally, if the
were quite small. The halibut IFQ category B restrictions for Area 2C Council and NMFS perceive a harmful
regulations allow a ‘‘sweep-up’’ of small halibut QS and Southeast Outside decline in observer data, they can
blocks that would be economically sablefish QS consistent with restrictions propose rules to change the
unfishable (i.e., the value of the harvest in all other halibut and sablefish requirements of observer coverage.
would not exceed the costs of the management areas off of Alaska. The Comment 20: The Product Recovery
fishing trip). This allowed small QS FRFA noted that this action would Rate (PRR) for bled sablefish should be
blocks to be permanently consolidated increase the marketability and changed from 0.98 to 1.00, based on the
as long as the resulting block did not potentially the value of unblocked and study, ‘‘Product Recovery Rates for Bled
exceed a specified limit. This limit has large blocks of category B QS. In this Sablefish,’’ by NOAA Fisheries and
been 3,000 lb for halibut, based on 1996 event, existing holders of category B QS Alaska Longline Fishermen’s
TACs. This final rule implements the in these areas would see an increase in Association (ALFA) members in Sitka.
Council’s recommendation that, for the value of their holdings. The FRFA The study supports the conclusion that
Areas 2C and 3A, the sweep-up limit be further noted that this might reduce the the PRR for bled sablefish of 0.98 does
increased to 5,000 lb, based on 1996 QS value of category C halibut and sablefish not reflect the difference between the
units. QS, relatively, as the supply of QS was weight of bled sablefish and unbled
The FRFA for this rule recognizes that expanded for operators of vessels less sablefish.
the block program was implemented in than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA. Response: NMFS disagrees based on
part to provide entry level opportunity While the FRFA points to potential its determination that the study does not
in the IFQ fisheries, and that the increased costs for large vessels, the support the proposed change in the PRR
increase in the ‘‘sweep-up’’ limit would costs are not expected to be prohibitive. for bled sablefish from 0.98 to 1.00.
reduce the numbers of small blocks Large vessel operations may still enter NMFS concludes that the proposed
available in the fishery. In this event, the market to purchase category B change is not based upon the best
blocks containing more QS units than shares, and may be in a better financial scientific information available and that
were previously allowed likely will cost position to do so. Small vessel owners adoption of the proposed change would
more to purchase. Note that not all would be unlikely to drive category B violate National Standard 2 of the
blocks would be consolidated to the prices above category C and D QS prices Magnuson-Stevens Act. Therefore,
maximum size, and the amount of because that would increase their cost of NMFS disapproves the proposed change
unblocked QS would not be affected. usable QS. of the PRR for bled sablefish from 0.98
The FRFA also indicates that the 3,000– Comment 19: The exception to the to 1.00. This means that the PRR for
lb sweep-up limit imposed costs on ‘‘fish down’’ regulation for category B bled sablefish remains at 0.98, which is
some fishing operations by constraining QS in Area 2C and Southeast Outside the current PRR in Table 3 to Part 679.
their growth and efficiency. The FRFA should not be repealed. The proposed In the preamble to the proposed rule,
indicates large declines in the numbers rule allows category B QS that currently NMFS noted ‘‘serious concerns that the
of operations in areas 2C and 3A with must be fished on vessels greater than proposal may not be based on sufficient
QS holdings less than 3,000 lb, 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA to be fished on scientific evidence’’ (71 FR 64222).
suggesting that holdings in this size smaller vessels. The proposed NMFS specifically requested public
range are not economically viable. regulation will decrease scientific data comment on the appropriate PRR for
Moreover, the block system creates available on the halibut and sablefish this product type. Public comment did
significant transaction costs for fisheries since vessels greater than 60 not demonstrate to NMFS that the
operations with two blocks. An feet must have observers onboard but proposed rule was based on the best
operation with two blocks must sell one vessels smaller than 60 feet do not have scientific information available.
of its existing blocks before buying a to have observers onboard. Therefore, NMFS cannot approve the
new block. The FRFA notes that the Response: This rule likely will result proposed change in the sablefish PRR.
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complexity involved in this dual in some QS that currently is fished from A brief description of the study cited
transaction may provide a substantial vessels greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA in the comment follows (the full study
obstacle to growth for active fishery being fished from vessels less than or is in Appendix 2 of the FRFA). In 2002
participants. This final rule allows some equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA and, and 2003, NMFS staff and ALFA

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members conducted field experiments are treated as unbled. The study found handling method was standard. The
to determine the change in individual a blood loss of 1 percent for gaffed study did not analyze the effect of any
sablefish weight due to blood loss from sablefish because gaffing itself even other storage or handling methods.
different types of harvest methods. Fish with no intentional bleeding causes Therefore, the caveat in the study about
weights were compared before and after blood loss. Hence, the study suggests different storage and handling practices
bleeding. Sablefish lost 2 percent of that the PRR for bled sablefish is does not support changing the PRR for
their weight when bled on deck without inaccurate, relative to the PRR for bled sablefish from 0.98 to 1.00.
flowing seawater. Sablefish lost 1.6 unbled sablefish, because fishermen Comment 22: A PRR of 0.98 for bled
percent of their weight when bled and who catch and bleed their sablefish are sablefish discourages bleeding sablefish,
immersed in flowing seawater. Sablefish charged 2 percent more than fishermen which is bad because bleeding improves
lost 2 percent of their weight when who catch and gaff their sablefish. The the quality of product.
carefully brought aboard and bled. study does not suggest, however, that Response: The FRFA noted that in the
Sablefish lost 1.7 percent of their weight even this ‘‘relative inaccuracy’’ is 2 fall of 2005, Council staff interviewed
when they were gaffed aboard and bled percent, because it concludes that bled representatives of the major sablefish
without flowing seawater. Sablefish lost sablefish weigh 1 percent less, not 2 processors and the unanimous response
1 percent of their weight when gaffed percent less, than gaffed sablefish. Thus, was that they paid fishermen no price
aboard, and not intentionally bled, even if ‘‘relative inaccuracy’’ were a premium for bled versus unbled
because of blood loss at the gaff wound. valid basis to change the PRR for bled sablefish. If quality is measured by the
The study concluded the following sablefish, it would support a change in market by what processors are willing to
statement: the PRR for bled sablefish only from pay bleeding does not increase quality.
The Product Recovery Rate currently 0.98 to 0.99, an alternative that was A more basic problem exists with this
applied by fishery managers to estimate catch rejected by the Council and not argument. Any PRR less than 1.00 for
weight for bled sablefish (2.0 %) slightly proposed. any fish product ‘‘discourages’’ that
overestimates ‘‘blood loss’’ for fish gaffed If the current PRRs do not accurately product because a fisherman’s IFQ
aboard (1.7 %). The PRR applied by fishery account is debited more for that product
reflect the difference between bled and
managers for unbled sablefish (0.0 %) than for a whole fish product. For
underestimates ‘‘blood loss’’ for fish gaffed unbled sablefish, it may be because the
aboard (1.0 %). Estimating the actual change PRR for unbled sablefish is inaccurate, example, the PRR for sablefish headed
in weight due to blood loss for a commercial not because the PRR for bled sablefish and gutted without tail is 0.50 (Table 3
fishing trip is difficult because it requires is inaccurate. The problem may be that to Part 679). This means that if an IFQ
accounting for storage methods and handling gaffed sablefish are treated as unbled permit holder reports a sablefish headed
practices. but they are, in fact, bled, albeit and gutted without a tail that weighs 10
The question is whether this study unintentionally. To solve this problem, pounds, the permit holder will be
supports the proposed change in the the Council could consider counted as having caught a sablefish
PRR for bled sablefish from 0.98 to 1.00. recommending a PRR for unbled that weighed 20 pounds. Although this
The study does not support that change. sablefish of 0.99 or recommending a arguably discourages heading and
The study concludes that the 2.0 new category for gaffed sablefish with a gutting and removing the tail of the
percent PRR for bled sablefish ‘‘slightly PRR of 0.99. This problem cannot be sablefish, the discouragement is
overestimates’’ blood loss for bled solved by changing the PRR for bled compensated to the extent that buyers
sablefish. The blood loss for bled sablefish from 0.98 to 1.00, because the want that sablefish product enough to
sablefish was 1.7 percent. The slight conclusion that a sablefish loses no pay fishermen for the time, labor, and
overestimation is 0.03 percent. All the weight when bled is not based on the expense to produce it.
percentages in the PRR table are whole best available scientific data. The purpose of the PRR is not to
percentages (Table 3 to Part 679). Comment 21: The PRR for bled encourage or discourage particular
Therefore, under conventional rounding sablefish should be changed from 0.98 processing activities. The purpose of the
rules, 2 percent is the closest whole to 1.00 because the study, ‘‘Product PRR is to accurately measure the
percentage to the actual blood loss of 1.7 Recovery Rates for Bled Sablefish,’’ biomass of fish that is removed from the
percent and is the proper PRR for bled concluded that different storage ocean. NMFS concludes that the current
sablefish. methods and handling practices could PRR for bled sablefish accurately
A change in the PRR for bled sablefish affect blood loss. measures the biomass of sablefish that is
to 1.00 would imply that NMFS Response: NMFS agrees that the study removed from the ocean and is based on
concluded that sablefish, when bled, concluded that different storage the best scientific information available.
lose no weight. The PRR for all other methods and handling practices could Because NMFS concludes that the
groundfish species, when bled, is 0.98 affect blood loss. The study concluded, proposed 1.00 PRR for bled sablefish is
(Table 3 to Part 679). The conclusion ‘‘Measuring an accurate PRR requires not based on the best scientific
that a species, when bled, loses no further studies of the effects of storage information available, the proposed
weight is counterintuitive and the study methods (ice or refrigerated seawater) change is not approved.
does not support that conclusion. and handling practices (gaffing, hook
The commenters are correct that the removal devices, and soak time), which Classification
study results do question the accuracy would be time-consuming to complete.’’ The Administrator, Alaska Region,
of the PRR of 1.00 for unbled sablefish. The only practice that the study NMFS, determined that Amendment 67
The PRR for unbled sablefish is 1.00, analyzed and stated was normal was is necessary for the conservation and
which means NMFS adds nothing to the gaffing. The study concluded that management of the sablefish fishery and
weight of unbled sablefish when gaffing led to a 1 percent weight loss. that it is consistent with the Magnuson-
debiting the IFQ account of the IFQ Gaffed fish are treated as unbled. As Stevens Fishery Conservation and
permit holder that harvests sablefish noted in response to Comment 20, this Management Act and other applicable
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that are categorized as unbled. The conclusion about gaffed fish does not laws.
study stated that gaffing was the normal support changing the PRR for bled The FRFA prepared for each action
method for bringing sablefish aboard sablefish from 0.98 to 1.00. The study assesses potential impacts on small
during longline fishing. Gaffed sablefish did not state that any other storage or entities for purposes of the Regulatory

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Flexibility Act (RFA). NMFS reviewed data exist on vessel affiliation. The transfer in any two of the previous five
multiple alternatives for each individual conclusions of the FRFA for each action years.
action, including a ‘‘no action’’ are summarized separately below. Options were considered which
alternative and a preferred alternative, would have been less specific about the
Emergency Medical Transfers types of medical professionals from
in separate FRFAs. Each FRFA describes
the potential adverse impacts on small Since the initial implementation of whom affidavits would have been
entities, attributable to the proposed the halibut and sablefish IFQ Program in accepted, and which would have
alternatives for each action. 1995, individuals have submitted allowed transfers for persons who had
The objective of each action in this numerous petitions to NMFS and the received medical transfers in three of
final rule and its legal basis is explained Council requesting the temporary the last six years. These options might
in the preamble of the proposed rule (71 transfer of IFQs for medical reasons. have provided more flexibility to small
FR 64218) and in this final rule. These individuals sought medical entities, however the Council and
Changes in the final rule from the transfers due to the inability of IFQ NMFS are also concerned about the
proposed rule are described under holders to physically be onboard the potential for abuse of this program, and
‘‘Changes in Final Rule’’ above. vessel as IFQs were fished. NMFS was adopted more conservative measures to
NMFS defines all halibut and previously unable to implement a better control use of the exemption.
sablefish vessels as small businesses, for medical transfer program recommended These more conservative measures
the purpose of this analysis. In 2003, by the Council due to legal and advance the Council’s objective of
1,338 unique vessels made IFQ halibut administrative constraints. The limiting IFQ leasing and encouraging an
landings, and 409 unique vessels made approach proposed in this action would owner-operator fishery.
sablefish landings. resolve the issues arising from previous An individual must submit an
The number of small entities approaches. Application for Emergency Medical
operating as fishing vessels in the IFQ This action could directly affect 3,349 Transfer of IFQ to receive a medical
fisheries may be deduced from certain halibut QS holders and 874 sablefish QS transfer. Public reporting time per
restrictions placed on those vessels. The holders. NMFS currently does not have response is estimated to average 2 hours
IFQ Program restricts the amount of sufficient ownership and affiliation per application. To support the
annual IFQ that may be landed from any information to determine the precise application, the QS holder must submit
individual vessel. A vessel may be used number of small entities in the IFQ a written declaration from a medical
to land up to 0.5 percent of all halibut Program or the number that would be professional.
IFQ TAC, or up to 1 percent of all impacted by the proposed action.
sablefish TAC. In 2003, 295,050 lb Approximately 12 QS holders contact Owner Onboard Exception
(133.8 mt) of halibut constituted 0.5 NMFS or the Council each year for The proposed rule, and the Council’s
percent of all the halibut IFQ TAC and information about medical transfers in preferred alternative for Action 2, had
348,635 lb (158.1 mt) of sablefish the IFQ Program. However, it is not two elements for tightening the
constituted 1 percent of all the sablefish possible to estimate how many QS requirements for a QS holder to use a
IFQ TAC. NMFS annually publishes holders did not contact NMFS or the hired skipper rather than being onboard
standard prices for halibut and sablefish Council, but would have requested a the vessel. First, the proposed rule
that are estimates of the ex-vessel prices medical transfer if it were available. specified the documentation a QS
received by fishermen for their harvests. This analysis assumes that all halibut holder had to submit to prove the
NMFS uses these prices for calculating and sablefish QS operations are small minimum 20 percent ownership interest
IFQ holder cost recovery fee liabilities. for RFA purposes. in the vessel that the hired skipper
In 2003 price data suggested that the Alternative 1 was the no action or would use. Second, the proposed rule
prevailing prices were approximately status quo alternative and would not required the QS holder to have the
$2.92 per pound for halibut and $2.36 have any associated adverse economic minimum ownership interest for 12
per pound for sablefish (68 FR 71036; impacts on directly regulated small months prior to using a hired master. As
December 22, 2003). In combination, the entities. However, the status quo would explained below, the final rule adopts
harvest limits and prices imply not have advanced the objectives of this the documentation requirement but
maximum ex-vessel revenues of about action to relieve a burden on certain does not adopt the 12-month provision.
$1.68 million for halibut and sablefish types of fishing operations. Alternative
together. Although some halibut and 2 would allow medical transfers, but Specified Documentation
sablefish IFQ operations participate in would require an applicant to document The requirement for catcher vessel QS
other revenue generating activities, the his/her medical emergency with NMFS. holders to be onboard the vessel during
halibut and sablefish IFQ fisheries The transfer would also require an harvest and offloading of IFQ species
probably represent the largest single affidavit from a licensed medical doctor, constitutes a key element of the halibut
source of annual gross receipts. an advanced nurse practitioner, or a and sablefish IFQ Program. The Council
Based on available data, and more primary community health aide, that remains concerned about alleged abuses
general vessel economic activity describes the medical condition of the regulatory provision allowing
information of vessels in these IFQ affecting the applicant and attests to the vessel owners who received QS as
fisheries, no vessel subject to these inability of the applicant to participate initial allocation to hire masters to
restrictions is believed to have been in the IFQ fishery(ies) for which she or harvest their IFQs without being
used to land more than $4.0 million in he holds IFQ permit(s), during the IFQ onboard the vessel. Specifically, the
combined gross receipts in 2003. season. In the case of a family member’s final rule specifies the documentation
Therefore, all halibut and sablefish medical emergency, the affidavit would that a QS holder must submit to prove
vessels have been assumed to be ‘‘small describe the necessity for the IFQ permit the required ownership of the vessel
entities,’’ for purposes of the FRFA. holder to tend to an immediate family that the hired master will use. For
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However, this simplifying assumption member who suffers from the medical documented vessels, the QS holder
likely overestimates the true number of condition. An emergency transfer would must submit an Abstract of Title. For
small entities, since it does not take not be granted if the individual had undocumented vessels, the QS holder
account of vessel affiliations. No reliable been granted an emergency medical must submit a State of Alaska

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registration or license. In both cases, documentation procedures so as to There are 163 unique persons holding
other written documentation may be successfully enforce the regulations. QS in the AI or BS and GOA. Of these
required if necessary to prove the This regulation supports the Council’s unique persons, 42 hold QS in all three
required percentage ownership interest. objective of encouraging an owner- areas, 34 hold QS in the AI and GOA,
The Council adopted the documentation operator fishery. and 43 hold QS in both the BS and GOA
requirement out of concern that some The projected reporting, for a total of 119 directly affected small
vessel owners were abusing the hired recordkeeping, and other compliance entities under Alternative 2. This
skipper provision through the use of requirements of this provision are analysis assumes that all operations are
informal, unverifiable transactions. The expected to take one hour per document small.
Council was also responding to NMFS to prove vessel ownership. The analysis of vessel clearance
staff reports that, under the prior alternatives reviews the status quo and
regulation, it had been difficult to verify 12-month Ownership Requirement the preferred alternative to add either
the minimum 20 percent vessel The final rule did not adopt the 12- visual clearance or VMS requirements.
ownership. month requirement in the Council’s Alternative 1 would result in no change
Two comments on the proposed rule preferred alternative for reasons to the regulations. Alternative 2 imposes
addressed the documentation issue. explained in Comments and Responses. a check-in/check-out requirement and/
Comment 11 favored the provision. NMFS received comments from the or a VMS requirement. The preferred
Comment 13 said the requirement was public and from the Council on the alternative would implement the VMS
unnecessary because the current proposed rule. These comments raised requirement option of Alternative 2,
regulation required written the question of the effect of the without the check-in/check-out option,
documentation. NMFS responded to proposed rule on QS holders whose as a disincentive to misreporting of
those comments under ‘‘Comments and vessels need repair and who, for that
catch areas.
Responses’’ and made no change in this The status quo alternative would not
reason, use a hired master to fish their
provision as a result of public comment. have created a clearance requirement.
IFQ from a vessel which they have not
The final rule could directly regulate An option for Alternative 2 that would
a maximum of 4,200 halibut and owned for 12 months. NMFS concluded have created a visual clearance
sablefish QS holders who hold category that it could not exempt those QS requirement for vessels that did not
B, C, or D QS. NMFS currently does not holders whose vessels need repairs from carry VMS was not adopted. The status
have sufficient ownership and the 12-month requirement because the quo alternative would have created
affiliation information to determine proposed rule only excluded QS holders smaller costs for operating vessels, but
precisely the number of small entities in whose vessels suffered ‘‘constructive would not have met the monitoring and
the IFQ Program or the number that total loss.’’ That term is commonly used enforcement objectives of this action,
would be adversely impacted by the in insurance and a key element of a and the objective of increasing public
present action. The FRFA assumes that standard definition of ‘‘constructive confidence in sablefish management.
all entities affected by the hired master total loss’’ is that the insured item The visual clearance alternative was not
provision are small for RFA purposes. cannot be economically repaired, i.e., adopted because the lack of personnel,
The FRFA for the documentation the cost of repairing the item is worth and legal constraints on delegation of
provision reviews the status quo more than the item itself. Further, if the enforcement authority to private
(Alternative 1) and the Council’s Council wishes to adopt a vessel repair entities, made it impracticable for
preferred alternative (Alternative 2) exemption, the Council must specify the enforcement purposes.
which was contained in the proposed elements of the exemption. NMFS This action will create new
rule and is adopted in the final rule. therefore is not adopting the 12-month recordkeeping requirements for fishing
Alternative 1 would maintain the requirement in the final rule but is operations. The operator of any vessel
current 20 percent vessel ownership seeking clarification from the Council who fishes for sablefish in the BSAI
requirement for catcher vessel QS on a possible exemption to the 12- management area must carry a
holders eligible to hire a master to month vessel ownership for QS holders transmitting VMS while fishing until all
harvest IFQs. Current regulations do not who resort to short-term ownership sablefish caught in any of these areas is
specify the documents needed to vessel agreements because their vessels landed. The operator of the vessel also
demonstrate percentage of vessel need repairs. must notify NOAA Fisheries Office of
ownership and, therefore, the Sablefish Vessel Clearance Law Enforcement of the presence of a
requirement is difficult to monitor, Requirements functioning VMS unit on the vessel at
verify, or enforce. Alternative 2 amends least 72 hours before fishing, and
the regulations to require specific, This rule adds a VMS-based vessel receive a VMS confirmation number.
formal documentation of ownership of clearance requirement to the BSAI
the catcher vessel before use of the hired sablefish fisheries. The BS and AI Bled Sablefish Product Recovery Rate
master exception: (1) an Abstract of sablefish fixed gear sectors have not Under current regulations, NMFS
Title for a documented vessel showing fully harvested their TACs since the applies a PRR of 0.98 to all sablefish
the required 20 percent minimum beginning of the IFQ Program. Reasons intentionally bled upon landing. NMFS
ownership interest (or other percentage, for harvest shortfalls include predation uses this rate to calculate the equivalent
if applicable), and (2) a State of Alaska by killer whales, increased costs of round weight to be attributed to a
vessel registration or license for traveling to the BSAI, and relatively low harvest allocation.
undocumented vessels. In both cases, catch rates in the BSAI that may result This action could directly affect a
other written documentation may be in harvesters fishing in the western maximum of 874 sablefish QS holders
required if necessary to prove the GOA and possible misreporting that the (this estimate is probably high because
required percentage ownership interest. harvest was from the BS or AI. The of some double-counting of QS holders),
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While the status quo would place a industry has expressed concern that a although not all of these IFQ holders
smaller burden on directly regulated lack of enforcement may have resulted land their catch as bled fish. At present,
small entities, it would not accomplish in misreporting of harvests taken in the NMFS does not have sufficient
the objective of tightening the GOA as having come from the BSAI. ownership and affiliation information to

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determine precisely the number of small holding limits, two alternatives would environment (e.g., market demand,
entities in the IFQ Program or the allow the break-up of blocks yielding input costs). At present, the capital
number that would be adversely more than 20,000 lb of halibut, based on demands associated with transferring
impacted by this action. This analysis the 2004 TACs, and a fourth would very large restricted blocks is reportedly
assumes that all operations are small. increase sweep-up limits for halibut in prohibitive. The preferred alternative
The FRFA reviewed the status quo Areas 2C and 3A. would contribute to alleviating this
and two alternatives to change the PRR Alternative 1 is the no action potential barrier to the transfer of the
for bled sablefish. Alternative 1 would alternative and would not have any large, restricted blocks. The action may
not revise the PRR for bled sablefish, associated adverse economic impacts on increase the amount of unblocked QS
and it would remain at 0.98. Alternative directly regulated small entities, but and decrease its value. This would hurt
2 would change the PRR to 1.0 for bled would not accomplish the objectives of small entities currently holding
sablefish, which would effectively the action. unblocked QS, but may help small
eliminate the PRR. Alternative 3 would Alternative 2 would increase the entities that had an interest in acquiring
change the PRR to 0.99. Alternatives 2 block limits for persons holding only more. Differential impacts on the basis
and 3 might have allowed some small blocks, and/or persons holding blocks of size of the regulated entity
fishing entities to increase the revenues and unblocked QS. Four options were attributable to this preferred alternative
from their QS. The Council’s preferred available. The Council chose the option are difficult to identify, because all are
alternative was Alternative 2, which that relaxed the limits the least; under ‘‘small’’ based on criteria in the RFA.
was contained in the proposed rule. its preferred option a QS holder without Alternative 4 would allow large QS
However, NMFS concluded that the unblocked QS would be able to hold block holders to divide their holding
proposed rule, which would have three blocks (as opposed to two under into smaller blocks, potentially
changed the PRR for bled sablefish from the status quo), while a QS holder with increasing efficient use of the QS
0.98 to 1.00, was not based on the best unblocked QS would continue to be holding. Data are unavailable to
scientific information available and restricted to holding one block (as under determine the extent to which QS
therefore violated National Standard 2 the status quo). Other alternatives holders would be likely to take
of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. NMFS would have allowed persons without advantage of this option. Should all
explains this conclusion in responses to unblocked QS to hold up to four blocks, large holdings be divided, the
comments 20, 21, and 22 on the or allowed persons with unblocked QS
alternative may impact the market price
proposed rule. The FRFA incorporates to hold up to 2 or 3 blocks. QS block
of block holdings.
NMFS’ responses to these public holders that are currently constrained
Alternative 5 was selected as a part of
comments and also concludes that would benefit from increased
the preferred alternative. Alternative 5
Alternative 2 violates National Standard operational flexibility under an
increased block size limit. This may would increase the halibut sweep-up
2.
decrease the market value of unblocked levels in Areas 2C and 3A from 3,000 lb
No additional recordkeeping or
QS in relation to blocked QS, because equivalents to 5,000 lb equivalents in
reporting requirements are associated
by relaxing the ownership constraint on QS units, based on the 1996 halibut
with this action.
blocked QS, it would become relatively TAC. This preferred alternative would
Halibut Block Program Amendments more marketable. This would hurt small allow small QS block holders to
Since implementation of the IFQ entities that currently hold it, but incrementally increase their holdings.
Program, the halibut fleet has benefit small entities that would like to There are no apparent adverse impacts
experienced large quota increases, acquire it. There are no data available to on small entities.
consolidation, and changing use determine whether and by how much The Council sought to provide more
patterns. Halibut QS holders have the alternative would change QS market flexibility for fishing operations to
indicated that the existing block and value. change and grow, and to structure
sweep-up restrictions are cumbersome, Alternative 3 would unblock all QS themselves into viable operations, while
and changing the restrictions could blocks yielding more than 20,000 lb of maintaining a balance with constraints
improve flexibility and efficiency in halibut based on 2004 TACs, in all that prevented undue consolidation.
fishing operations. regulatory areas. The Council modified The Council relaxed consolidation
This action would directly regulate Alternative 3 by (a) limiting the restrictions somewhat in order to permit
holders of halibut QS blocks in all IFQ preferred alternative to only Areas 3B operations to restructure more easily,
areas. There are 3,205 persons, both and 4A, because these areas contain the but it did not adopt other alternatives
individual and collective entities, who most large QS blocks, and by (b) that would have relaxed restrictions by
hold at least one block of halibut QS. permitting the division of large blocks a greater amount because it sought to
Eighty to ninety percent of QS holders into new blocks yielding 20,000 lb, plus limit the extent to which consolidation
hold at least one block in each unblocked QS. Additional flexibility in would occur. Alternative 1 was rejected
regulatory area except for Area 4A. At managing QS holdings would yield because it would not address the
present, NMFS does not have sufficient greater asset liquidity to owners of large problem. The less restrictive options for
ownership and affiliation information to QS blocks, allowing them to be more Alternatives 2 and 3 were rejected
determine precisely the number of small responsive to operational needs and because of the increased scope for
entities in the IFQ Program, nor the economic opportunities. The preferred consolidation. Alternative 4 was
number of directly regulated small alternative also may impact the value of somewhat more restrictive than the
entities that would be adversely unblocked shares in Areas 3B and 4A by preferred version of Alternative 3 in the
impacted by the present actions. This increasing the proportion of unblocked areas where increased flexibility was
analysis assumes that all operations are QS available in those IFQ areas. Benefits considered to be appropriate (3B and
small for RFA purposes. could accrue to holders of large QS 4A), and was thus rejected. Alternative
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The FRFA reviews the status quo and blocks, and fishermen wishing to make 5 was adopted.
four alternatives to the existing halibut adjustments to their QS asset holdings No additional recordkeeping and
IFQ Program requirements. One to reflect changes in their personal reporting requirements are associated
alternative would increase block circumstances, or the broader economic with this action.

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44806 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 153 / Thursday, August 9, 2007 / Rules and Regulations

Halibut QS Vessel Category vessel safety in the Western Alaska vessels greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA
Amendments halibut fisheries in Areas 3B and 4C, who made landings in 2003 in the
Halibut fishermen in western Alaska and concerns over low harvests of halibut fisheries in Area 2C, 40 large
have identified safety concerns in Areas category D QS in Area 4C. Since vessel owners who landed sablefish in
3B and 4C, and problems in fully concerns are specific to Areas 3B and the Southeast Outside District in 2003,
harvesting Area 4C QS, associated with 4C, the status quo action is appropriate 825 persons who are category B, C, or
fishing in those areas on small vessels. for Western Alaska Areas 4A, 4B, and D halibut QS holders in Area 2C, and
These problems can be alleviated, in 4D. The status quo alternative does not 436 persons who are category B or C
large part, by relaxing the current address the safety objectives in Areas 3B sablefish QS holders in the Southeast
and 4C, and the low harvest concerns in Outside District. Currently, NMFS does
restrictions on vessel length associated
Area 4C, so it was not chosen. not have sufficient ownership and
with category D quota share.
The action could potentially directly Alternatives 2, 3, and 4 can meet these affiliation information to determine
regulate 243 category D halibut QS objectives. A qualitative analysis precisely the number of RFA small
suggests that these alternatives appear to entities in the IFQ Program nor the
holders in Areas 3B, 4A, 4B, and 4C.
impose similar costs on directly number that would be adversely
Currently, NMFS does not have
regulated small entities. Alternative 2, impacted by the preferred alternative.
sufficient ownership and affiliation
which would allow category D QS to be For the purposes of this RFA, this
information to determine precisely the
fished off of category C vessels is the analysis assumes that all operations are
number of entities in the IFQ Program
preferred alternative. Both Alternatives small.
that are ‘‘small,’’ based on the Small
2 and 3 may reduce entry level The preferred alternative would allow
Business Administration guidelines, nor
opportunities by increasing the cost of all category B QS, in either Area 2C for
the number that would be adversely
acquiring category D QS. Alternative 3 halibut or the Southeast Outside District
impacted by the present action. This
would allow category D QS to be fished for sablefish to be fished on any size
analysis assumes that all directly off of vessels of any size, while
regulated operations are small for RFA catcher vessel. It may have the potential
Alternative 2 maintains the less than or to disadvantage large (greater than 60 ft
purposes. equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA restriction;
Four alternatives were considered: (1) (18.3 m) LOA) vessel operations that can
thus Alternative 2 would preserve more only harvest category B QS, as
the status quo, (2) an alternative of the existing fleet structure.
permitting category D QS to be fished competition for access to these QS could
Alternative 4 would eliminate category be substantially broadened. It may also
from category C vessels, (3) an D QS, and may limit the Council’s
alternative permitting D QS to be fished lead to decreases in the prices of
future ability to use this class of QS to category C and D QS. While the status
from category C and B vessels, and (4) meet its programmatic objections.
an alternative to combine C and D QS. quo alternative may have smaller
NMFS is not aware of any alternatives, adverse impacts on owners of larger
The preferred alternative is Alternative in addition to the alternatives
2 in Areas 3B and 4C, and the status quo vessels and of category C and D QS, the
considered therein, that would more status quo would not accomplish the
in other western Alaska areas. effectively meet these RFA criteria.
Alternative 1 is a no action alternative objective of the action, which is to
No additional recordkeeping and
and would not have associated adverse eliminate a discriminatory provision,
reporting requirements are associated
economic impacts on directly regulated align halibut and sablefish program
with this action.
small entities. Alternative 1 is the rules in Southeast Alaska with rules
preferred alternative in Areas 4A, 4B, Southeast Alaska QS Restriction elsewhere in the state, and relieve a
and 4D, because no safety or IFQ harvest Amendment burden on holders of halibut and
concerns were raised by industry in In the original IFQ Program for sablefish B QS in Southeast Alaska.
those areas. halibut and sablefish, category B QS was No additional recordkeeping and
Alternatives 2, 3, and 4 would allow permitted to be fished only on a vessel reporting requirements are associated
category D QS to be fished on larger greater than 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA. In 1996 with this action.
vessels, which includes vessels less the Council adopted a regulatory change This rule contains a collection-of-
than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA for that allowed category B QS to be fished information requirement subject to the
Alternatives 2 and 4, and vessels of any on vessels less than or equal to 60 ft Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and
size for Alternative 3. The proposed (18.3 m) LOA. At the time, certain which has been approved by OMB
alternatives could address safety category B QS holdings in the Southeast under control number 0648–0445.
concerns for small vessel operators and Outside District sablefish and Area 2C Public reporting burden per response is
concerns over the ability of category D halibut fisheries were identified as estimated to average 12 minutes for a
QS holders in Area 4C to completely ineligible for ‘‘fish down,’’ and IFQ VMS check-in report, 6 hours for VMS
harvest their IFQs. Because the derived from these quota shares must be installation, and 4 hours for VMS
proposed alternatives are likely to fished on a vessel greater than 60 ft maintenance.
increase the value of category D QS, (18.3 m) LOA. This was intended to This rule also contains a collection-of-
there may be some corollary decrease in ensure that category B quota share information requirement subject to
the value of category C QS, and also would be available to vessels 60 ft (18.3 review and approval by OMB under the
category B QS in the case of Alternative m) LOA or greater. However, some Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). This
3. However, category D QS constitutes fishermen have recently identified this requirement has been submitted to OMB
such a small share of the aggregate prohibition as unnecessary, inefficient, for approval. Public reporting burden
halibut TAC in Area 3B, that such a and burdensome. per response is estimated to average 2
change in relative value would not be This proposed action could hours for Application for Emergency
expected to substantially influence the potentially affect 72 holders of category Medical Transfer of IFQ and 4 hours for
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market for QS. There may be a B halibut QS in Area 2C, and 87 persons each letter of appeal. NMFS will publish
somewhat greater impact in Area 4C. who hold category B sablefish QS in the a final rule upon notification of OMB
The objective of this action is to Southeast Outside District. Indirectly, approval and assignment of an OMB
address industry concerns about small the action may affect 22 owners of control number for this new collection.

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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 153 / Thursday, August 9, 2007 / Rules and Regulations 44807

Public comment is sought regarding: Dated: August 1, 2007. in any state who, because of specialized
whether this proposed collection of John Oliver, education and experience, is certified to
information is necessary for the proper Deputy Assistant Administrator for perform acts of medical diagnosis and
performance of the functions of the Operations, National Marine Fisheries the prescription and dispensing of
agency, including whether the Service. medical, therapeutic, or corrective
information shall have practical utility; ■ For the reasons set out in the measures under regulations adopted by
the accuracy of the burden estimate; preamble, 50 CFR part 679 is amended the state Board of Nursing.
ways to enhance the quality, utility, and as follows: * * * * *
clarity of the information to be Licensed medical doctor means a
collected; and ways to minimize the PART 679—FISHERIES OF THE person who is licensed, certified, and/
burden of the collection of information, EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF or registered in accordance with
ALASKA applicable Federal, state, or local laws
including through the use of automated
collection techniques or other forms of ■ 1. The authority citation for part 679 and regulations, and is authorized to
information technology. Estimated time continues to read as follows: conduct the practice of medicine as
includes the time for reviewing defined by the state in which the person
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773 et seq.; 1801 et resides.
instructions, searching existing data seq.; 3631 et seq.; and Pub. L. 108 199, 118
sources, gathering and maintaining the Stat. 110. * * * * *
data needed , and completing and ■ 2. In § 679.1, paragraph (d)(1)(i)(B) is Primary community health aide
reviewing the collection of information. revised to read as follows: means a person who has completed the
first of three levels of community health
Send comments regarding this burden § 679.1 Purpose and scope. aide training offered by the Norton
estimate, or any other aspect of this data Sound Health Corporation at the Nome
* * * * *
collection, including suggestions for Hospital, the Kuskokwim Community
(d) * * *
reducing the burden, to NMFS (see (1)* * * College in Bethel, the Alaska Area
ADDRESSES) and by e-mail to (i) * * * Native Health Service in Anchorage, or
DavidlRostker@omb.eop.gov, or fax to (B) Using fixed gear in waters of the another accredited training center.
(202) 395–7285. State of Alaska adjacent to the BSAI and * * * * *
Notwithstanding any other provision the GOA, provided that aboard such ■ 4. In § 679.4, paragraphs (a)
of the law, no person is required to vessels are persons who currently hold introductory text, (a)(1)(i), (a)(1)(ii), (d)
respond to, nor shall any person be sablefish quota shares, sablefish IFQ introductory text, (d)(2), (d)(3)(i), (d)(4),
subject to a penalty for failure to comply permits, or sablefish IFQ hired master (d)(5), (d)(6)(i), (e) introductory heading,
with, a collection of information subject permits. (e)(3), (e)(4), and (e)(5) are revised to
to the requirements of the PRA, unless * * * * * read as follows:
that collection of information displays a ■ 3. In § 679.2 add definitions in
§ 679.4 Permits.
currently valid OMB Control Number. alphabetical order for ‘‘Advanced nurse
practitioner’’, ‘‘Licensed medical (a) Requirements. Only persons who
List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 679 doctor’’, and ‘‘Primary community are U.S. citizens are authorized to
health aide’’ to read as follows: receive or hold permits under this
Alaska, Fisheries, Recordkeeping and
section, with the exception that an IFQ
reporting requirements. § 679.2 Definitions. hired master permit or a CDQ hired
* * * * * master permit need not be held by a
Advanced nurse practitioner means a U.S. citizen.
registered nurse authorized to practice (1) * **

Permit is in effect from issue date


If program permit type is: For more information, see...
through the end of:

(i) IFQ:
(A) Registered Buyer Until next renewal cycle Paragraph (d)(3) of this section
(B) Halibut & sablefish permits Specified fishing year Paragraph (d)(1) of this section
(C) Halibut & sablefish hired master permits Specified fishing year Paragraph (d)(2) of this section
(ii) CDQ Halibut
(A) Halibut permit Specified fishing year Paragraph (e) of this section
(B) Halibut hired master permit Specified fishing year Paragraph (e) of this section
* * * * * * *

(d) IFQ permits, IFQ hired master (2) IFQ hired master permit. (i) An (ii) An original IFQ hired master
permits, and Registered Buyer permits. IFQ hired master permit authorizes the permit issued to an eligible individual
The permits described in this section individual identified on the IFQ hired in accordance with § 679.42(i) and (j) by
are required in addition to the permit master permit to land IFQ halibut or IFQ the Regional Administrator must be on
and licensing requirements prescribed sablefish for debit against the specified board the vessel that harvests IFQ
in the annual management measures IFQ permit until the IFQ hired master halibut or IFQ sablefish at all times that
published in the Federal Register permit expires, or is revoked, such fish are retained on board by a
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pursuant to § 300.62 of this title and in suspended, or modified under 15 CFR hired master. Except as specified in
the permit requirements of this section. part 904, or cancelled on request of the § 679.42(d), an individual that is issued
* * * * * IFQ permit holder. an IFQ hired master permit must remain
on board the vessel used to harvest IFQ

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44808 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 153 / Thursday, August 9, 2007 / Rules and Regulations

halibut or IFQ sablefish with that IFQ by the CDQ group to land halibut for (2) * * *
hired master permit during the IFQ debit against the CDQ group’s halibut (i) * * *
fishing trip and at the landing site CDQ. (D) Remain at landing site. Once the
during all IFQ landings. (4) Alteration. No person may alter, landing has commenced, the IFQ permit
(iii) Each IFQ hired master permit erase, mutilate, or forge a halibut CDQ holder, IFQ hired master permit holder,
issued by the Regional Administrator permit, hired master permit, Registered or CDQ hired master permit holder and
will display an IFQ permit number and Buyer permit, or any valid or current the harvesting vessel may not leave the
the name of the individual authorized permit or document issued under this landing site until the IFQ halibut, IFQ
by the IFQ permit holder to land IFQ part. Any such permit or document that sablefish or CDQ halibut account is
halibut or IFQ sablefish for debit against has been intentionally altered, erased, properly debited (as defined in
the IFQ permit holder’s IFQ. In mutilated, or forged is invalid. paragraph (l)(2)(iv)(D) of this section).
addition, IFQ hired master permits will (5) Landings. A person may land CDQ (E) No movement of IFQ halibut, CDQ
also display the ADF&G vessel halibut only if he or she has a valid halibut, or IFQ sablefish. The offloaded
identification number of the authorized halibut CDQ hired master permit. The IFQ halibut, CDQ halibut, or IFQ
vessel. person(s) holding the halibut CDQ hired sablefish may not be moved from the
(3) * * * master permit and the Registered buyer landing site until the IFQ Landing
(i) A Registered Buyer permit must comply with the requirements of Report is received by OLE, Juneau, AK,
authorizes the person identified on the § 679.5(g) and (l)(1) through (6). and the IFQ permit holder’s or CDQ
permit to receive and make an IFQ * * * * * permit holder’s account is properly
landing by an IFQ permit holder or IFQ debited (as defined in paragraph
■ 5. In § 679.5, paragraphs (a)(1)(i)(B)
hired master permit holder or to receive (l)(2)(iv)(D) of this section).
and (C); (g)(2)(iv)(A) and (B); (l)(2)(i)(D)
and make a CDQ halibut landing by a and (E); (l)(2)(iii)(C), (l)(2)(iii)(H), (I) and * * * * *
CDQ permit holder or CDQ hired master (M); (l)(2)(iv)(B)(2); (l)(2)(iv)(D); (iii) * * *
permit holder at any time during the (l)(4)(i)(E)(1) and (2); (l)(4)(ii)(D); and (C) Name and permit number of the
fishing year for which it is issued until (l)(5)(ii) introductory text are revised to IFQ permit holder, IFQ hired master
the Registered Buyer permit expires, or read as follows: permit holder, or CDQ hired master
is revoked, suspended, or modified permit holder;
under 15 CFR part 904. § 679.5 Recordkeeping and reporting * * * * *
* * * * * (R&R). (H) ADF&G statistical area of harvest
(4) Issuance. The Regional (a)* * * reported by the IFQ permit holder or
Administrator will issue IFQ permits (1)* * * IFQ hired master permit holder;
and IFQ hired master permits annually (i)* * * (I) If ADF&G statistical area is bisected
or at other times as needed to (B) IFQ halibut and sablefish. The IFQ by a line dividing two IFQ regulatory
accommodate transfers, revocations, permit holder, IFQ hired master permit areas, the IFQ regulatory area of harvest
appeals resolution, and other changes in holder, or Registered Buyer must reported by the IFQ permit holder or
QS or IFQ holdings, and designation of comply with the R&R requirements IFQ hired master permit holder;
masters under § 679.42. provided at paragraphs (g), (k), and (l) * * * * *
(5) Transfer. The quota shares and of this section. (M) After the Registered Buyer enters
IFQ issued under this section are not (C) CDQ halibut. The CDQ permit the landing data in the Internet
transferable, except as provided under holder, CDQ hired master permit holder, submission form(s) and receipts are
§ 679.41. IFQ hired master permits and or Registered Buyer must comply with printed, the Registered Buyer, or his/her
Registered Buyer permits issued under the R&R requirements provided at representative, and the IFQ permit
this paragraph (d) are not transferable. paragraphs (g), (k), (l)(1) through (6), holder, IFQ hired master permit holder,
(6) * * * (n)(1), and (n)(2) of this section. or CDQ hired master permit holder must
(i) IFQ permit and IFQ hired master * * * * * sign the receipts to acknowledge the
permit. (A) The IFQ permit holder must (g) * * * accuracy of the IFQ landing report.
present a copy of the IFQ permit for (2) * * * (iv) * * *
inspection on request of any authorized (iv) * * * (B) * * *
officer or Registered Buyer receiving (A) A person holding a valid IFQ (2) The IFQ permit holder, IFQ hired
IFQ species. permit, or IFQ hired master permit, and master permit holder, or CDQ hired
(B) The IFQ hired master permit a Registered Buyer permit may conduct master permit holder must initiate a
holder must present a copy of the IFQ a dockside sale of IFQ halibut or IFQ Landing Report by logging into the IFQ
permit and the original IFQ hired master sablefish with a person who has not landing report system using his or her
permit for inspection on request of any been issued a Registered Buyer permit own password and must provide
authorized officer or Registered Buyer after all IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish identification information requested by
receiving IFQ species. have been landed and reported in the system.
* * * * * accordance with paragraph (l) of this * * * * *
(e) Halibut CDQ permits and CDQ section. (D) Properly debited landing. A
hired master permits. * * * (B) A person holding a valid halibut properly concluded printed Internet
* * * * * CDQ hired master permit and Registered submission receipt or a manual landing
(3) Halibut CDQ hired master permits. Buyer permit may conduct a dockside report receipt which is sent by facsimile
An individual must have onboard the sale of CDQ halibut with a person who from OLE to the Registered Buyer, and
vessel a valid halibut CDQ hired master has not been issued a Registered Buyer which is then signed by the Registered
permit issued by the Regional permit after all CDQ halibut have been Buyer and IFQ permit holder, IFQ hired
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Administrator before landing any CDQ landed and reported in accordance with master permit holder, or CDQ hired
halibut. Each halibut CDQ hired master paragraph (l) of this section. master permit holder constitutes
permit will identify a CDQ permit * * * * * confirmation that OLE received the
number and the individual authorized (l) * * * landing report and that the IFQ permit

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holder’s or CDQ permit holder’s account permit, and if using a hired master, holder to harvest and process IFQ
is properly debited. A copy of each without an IFQ hired master permit in species on a vessel of any length;
receipt must be maintained by the the name of an individual aboard, (B) Category B QS and associated IFQ,
Registered Buyer as described in unless fishing on behalf of a CDQ group which authorizes an IFQ permit holder
paragraph (l) of this section. and authorized under § 679.32(c). to harvest IFQ species on a vessel of any
* * * * * (4) Except as provided in § 679.40(d), length;
(4) * * * retain IFQ or CDQ halibut or IFQ or (C) Category C QS and associated IFQ,
(i) * * * CDQ sablefish on a vessel in excess of which authorizes an IFQ permit holder
(E) * * * the total amount of unharvested IFQ or to harvest IFQ species on a vessel less
(1) A vessel operator submitting an CDQ, applicable to the vessel category than or equal to 60 ft (18.3 m) LOA:
IFQ Departure Report to document IFQ and IFQ or CDQ regulatory area(s) in (D) Category D QS and associated IFQ,
halibut or IFQ sablefish must have one which the vessel is deploying fixed gear, which authorizes an IFQ permit holder
or more IFQ permit holders or IFQ hired and that is currently held by all IFQ or to harvest IFQ halibut on a vessel less
master permit holders on board with a CDQ permit holders aboard the vessel, than or equal to 35 ft (10.7 m) LOA,
combined IFQ balance equal to or unless the vessel has an observer aboard except as provided in § 679.42(a).
greater than all IFQ halibut and IFQ under subpart E of this part and * * * * *
sablefish on board the vessel. maintains the applicable daily fishing
(2) A vessel operator submitting an ■ 9. In § 679.41, paragraphs (a)(2), (e)(3)
log prescribed in the annual
IFQ Departure Report to document CDQ introductory text, (e)(3)(i), and (e)(3)(ii)
management measures published in the
halibut must ensure that one or more are revised to read as follows:
Federal Register pursuant to § 300.62 of
CDQ hired master permit holders are this title and § 679.5. § 679.41 Transfer of quota shares and IFQ.
onboard with enough remaining halibut
* * * * * (a) * * *
CDQ balance to harvest amounts of CDQ
(6) Landing—(i) IFQ permit or IFQ (2) Transactions requiring IFQ permits
halibut equal to or greater than all CDQ
hired master permit. Make an IFQ to be issued in the name of a hired
halibut onboard.
landing without an IFQ permit or IFQ master employed by an individual or a
* * * * * hired master permit, as appropriate, in
(ii) * * * corporation are not transfers of QS or
the name of the individual making the IFQ.
(D) Halibut IFQ, halibut CDQ,
landing. * * * * *
sablefish IFQ, and CR crab permit
(ii) Hired master, CDQ. Make a CDQ (e) * * *
numbers of IFQ and CDQ permit holders
halibut landing without a CDQ hired (3) Halibut. QS blocks for the same
on board;
master permit listing the name of the IFQ regulatory area and vessel category
* * * * * hired master.
(5) * * * that represent less than 3,000 lb (1.4 mt)
(ii) Record retention. The IFQ permit * * * * * of halibut IFQ, based on the 1996 catch
holder, IFQ hired master permit holder, (11) Discard halibut or sablefish limit for halibut in a specific IFQ
or CDQ hired master permit holder must caught with fixed gear from any catcher regulatory area and the QS pool for that
retain a legible copy of all Landing vessel when any IFQ permit holder IFQ regulatory area on January 31, 1996,
Report receipts, and the Registered aboard holds unused halibut or may be consolidated into larger QS
Buyer must retain a copy of all reports sablefish IFQ for that vessel category blocks provided that the consolidated
and receipts required by this section. and the IFQ regulatory area in which the blocks do not represent greater than
All retained records must be available vessel is operating, unless: 3,000 lb (1.4 mt) of halibut IFQ based on
for inspection by an authorized officer: * * * * * the preceding criteria. In Areas 2C and
* * * * * ■ 7. In § 679.23, paragraph (g)(2) is 3A, QS blocks for the same IFQ
■ 6. In § 679.7, paragraphs (a)(10)(ii), revised to read as follows: regulatory area and vessel category that
(f)(3)(i), (f)(3)(ii), (f)(4), (f)(6)(i), (f)(6)(ii), represent less than 5,000 lb (2.3 mt) of
§ 679.23 Seasons. halibut IFQ, based on the 1996 catch
and (f)(11) introductory text are revised
to read as follows: * * * * * limit for halibut in a specific IFQ
(g) * * * regulatory area and the QS pool for that
§ 679.7 Prohibitions. (2) Catches of sablefish by fixed gear IFQ regulatory area on January 31, 1996,
* * * * * during other periods may be retained up may be consolidated into larger QS
(a) * * * to the amounts provided for by the blocks provided that the consolidated
(10) * * * directed fishing standards specified at blocks do not represent greater than
(ii) Alter, erase, or mutilate any § 679.20 when made by an individual 5,000 lb (2.3 mt) of halibut IFQ based on
permit or document issued under aboard the vessel who has a valid IFQ the preceding criteria. A consolidated
§§ 679.4 or 679.5. permit and unused IFQ in the account block cannot be divided and is
***** on which the permit was issued. considered a single block for purposes
(f) * * * of use and transferability. The
(3) * * * * * * * *
maximum number of QS units that may
(i) Halibut. (A) Retain halibut caught ■ 8. In § 679.40, paragraphs (a)(5)(ii)(A)
be consolidated into a single block in
with fixed gear without a valid IFQ through (D) are revised to read as each IFQ regulatory area is as follows:
permit, and if using a hired master, follows:
(i) Area 2C: 33,320 QS.
without an IFQ hired master permit in (ii) Area 3A: 46,520 QS.
§ 679.40 Sablefish and halibut QS.
the name of an individual aboard.
(B) Retain halibut caught with fixed * * * * * * * * * *
gear without a valid CDQ permit and (a) * * * ■ 10. In § 679.42, paragraph (a)(3) is
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without a CDQ hired master permit in (5) * * * removed; paragraphs (a)(2)(iv), and (l)
the name of an individual aboard. (ii) * * * are added; and paragraphs (a)(1)
(ii) Sablefish. Retain sablefish caught (A) Category A QS and associated introductory text, (c)(1)(i), (d), (g), (i),
with fixed gear without a valid IFQ IFQ, which authorizes an IFQ permit and (j) are revised to read as follows:

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§ 679.42 Limitations on use of QS and IFQ. (B) Not qualify for a hired master (2) A concise description of the
(a) * * * exception under paragraph (i)(1) of this medical condition affecting the
(1) The QS or IFQ specified for one section. applicant or applicant’s family member
IFQ regulatory area must not be used in (iii) Application. A QS holder may including verification that the applicant
a different IFQ regulatory area, except apply for a medical transfer by is unable to participate in the IFQ
all or part of the QS and IFQ specified submitting a medical transfer fishery for which he or she holds IFQ
for regulatory area 4C may be harvested application to the Alaska Region, permits during the IFQ season because
in either Area 4C or Area 4D. NMFS. A QS holder who has received of the medical condition and, for an
an approved medical transfer from RAM affected family member, a description of
* * * * *
may transfer the IFQ derived from his or the care required; and
(2) * * * her own QS to an individual eligible to (3) The dated signature of the licensed
(iv) In Areas 3B and 4C, category D receive IFQ. A medical transfer medical doctor, advanced nurse
QS and associated IFQ authorizes an application is available at http:// practitioner, or primary community
IFQ permit holder to harvest IFQ halibut www.fakr.noaa.gov or by calling 1–800– health aide who conducted the medical
on a vessel less than or equal to 60 ft 304–4846. Completed applications must examination;
(18.3 m) LOA. be mailed to: Restricted Access (G) The signatures and printed names
* * * * * Management Program, NMFS, Alaska of the transferor and transferee, and
(c) * * * Region, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK date; and
(1) * * * 99802–1668. A complete application (H) The signature, seal, and
(i) Have a valid IFQ permit or a valid must include: commission expiration of a notary
IFQ hired master permit. (A) The applicant’s (transferor’s) public.
* * * * * identity including his or her full name, (iv) Restrictions. (A) A medical
(d) Emergency waivers and medical NMFS person ID, date of birth, Social transfer shall be valid only during the
transfers. The person authorized to fish Security Number or Tax ID, permanent calendar year for which the permit is
IFQ halibut or sablefish must be aboard business mailing address, business issued;
the vessel during fishing operations and telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail (B) A medical transfer will be issued
must sign the IFQ landing report except address (if any). A temporary mailing only for the IFQ derived from the QS
as provided in § 679.41 and under the address may be provided, if appropriate; held by the applicant;
following circumstances: (B) The recipient’s (transferee’s) (C) NMFS will not approve a medical
(1) Emergency waiver. In the event of identity including his or her full name, transfer if the applicant has received a
extreme personal emergency during a NMFS person ID, date of birth, Social medical transfer in any 2 of the previous
fishing trip involving a person Security Number or Tax ID, permanent 5 years for the same medical condition.
authorized to fish IFQ halibut or business mailing address, business (v) Medical transfer evaluations and
sablefish, the requirements or paragraph telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail appeals—(A) Initial evaluation. The
(c)(1) of this section may be waived. The address (if any). A temporary mailing Regional Administrator will evaluate an
waiving of these requirements under address may be provided, if appropriate; application for a medical transfer
(C) The identification characteristics
this provision shall apply to IFQ halibut submitted in accordance with
of the IFQ including whether the
or IFQ sablefish retained on the fishing paragraphs (d)(2)(iii) and (d)(2)(iv) of
transfer is for halibut or sablefish IFQ,
trip during which the emergency this section. An applicant who fails to
IFQ regulatory area, number of units,
occurred. submit the information specified in the
range of serial numbers for IFQ to be
(2) Medical transfers. In the event of application for a medical transfer will
transferred, actual number of IFQ
a medical condition affecting a QS be provided a reasonable opportunity to
pounds, transferor (seller) IFQ permit
holder or an immediate family member submit the specified information or
number, and fishing year;
of a QS holder that prevents the QS (D) The price per pound (including submit a revised application.
holder from being able to participate in leases) and total amount paid for the (B) Initial administrative
the halibut or sablefish IFQ fisheries, a IFQ in the requested transaction, determinations (IAD). The Regional
medical transfer may be approved for including all fees; Administrator will prepare and send an
the IFQ derived from the QS held by the (E) The primary source of financing IAD to the applicant if the Regional
person affected by the medical for the transfer, how the IFQ was Administrator determines that the
condition. located, and the transferee’s (buyer’s) application provided by the applicant is
(i) General. A medical transfer will be relationship to the transferor (seller); deficient or if the applicant fails to
approved if the QS holder demonstrates (F) A written declaration from a submit the specified information or a
that: licensed medical doctor, advanced revised application. The IAD will
(A) He or she is unable to participate nurse practitioner, or primary indicate the deficiencies in the
in the IFQ fishery for which he or she community health aide as those persons application, including any deficiencies
holds QS because of a medical are defined in § 679.2. The declaration with the information on the revised
condition that precludes participation must include: application. An applicant who receives
by the QS holder; or (1) The identity of the licensed an IAD may appeal under the appeals
(B) He or she is unable to participate medical doctor, advanced nurse procedures set out at § 679.43.
in the IFQ fishery for which he or she practitioner, or primary community * * * * *
holds QS because of a medical health aide including his or her full (g) Limitations on QS blocks—(1)
condition involving an immediate name, business telephone, permanent Number of blocks per species. No
family member that requires the QS business mailing address (number and person, individually or collectively,
holder’s full time attendance. street, city and state, zip code), and may hold more than two blocks of
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(ii) Eligibility. To be eligible to receive whether the individual is a licensed sablefish or three blocks of halibut in
a medical transfer, a QS holder must: medical doctor, advanced nurse any IFQ regulatory area, except:
(A) Possess one or more catcher vessel practitioner, or primary community (i) A person, individually or
IFQ permits; and health aide; collectively, who holds unblocked QS

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for a species in an IFQ regulatory area, the vessel as shown by a State of Alaska lists the corporation, partnership or
may hold only one QS block for that vessel license or registration that lists other entity as an owner and, if
species in that regulatory area; and the individual as an owner and, if necessary to prove the required
(ii) A CQE may hold no more than ten necessary to show the required percentage ownership, other written
blocks of halibut QS in any IFQ percentage ownership interest, other documentation;
regulatory area and no more than five written documentation; and (ii) For an undocumented vessel,
blocks of sablefish QS in any IFQ (iii) Is represented on the vessel by a owns a minimum 20–percent interest in
regulatory area on behalf of any eligible hired master employed by that the vessel as shown by a State of Alaska
community. individual and permitted in accordance vessel license or registration that lists
(2) Action by the Regional with § 679.4(d)(2). the corporation, partnership or other
Administrator in Areas 3B and 4A. In (2) Paragraph (i)(1) of this section entity as an owner and, if necessary to
Areas 3B and 4A, the Regional does not apply to any individual who show the required percentage
Administrator shall: received an initial allocation of QS ownership interest, other written
(i) Identify any halibut blocks that assigned to category B, C, or D and who, documentation; and
result in an allocation of more than prior to April 17, 1997, employed a (iii) Is represented on the vessel by a
20,000 lb (9.1) mt of halibut IFQ, based master to fish any of the IFQ issued to hired master employed by that
on the 2004 TAC for fixed gear halibut that individual, provided the individual individual and permitted in accordance
in those areas and the QS pools for continues to own the vessel from which with § 679.4(d)(2).
those areas as of January 31, 2004; and the IFQ is being fished at no lesser (2) The provision of paragraph (j)(1) of
(ii) Divide those halibut blocks into percentage of ownership interest than this section is not transferable and does
one block of 20,000 lb (9.1 mt) and the that held on April 17, 1997, and not apply to QS assigned to vessel
remainder unblocked, based on the 2004 provided that this individual has not category B, C, or D for halibut in IFQ
TAC for fixed gear halibut in those areas acquired additional QS through transfer regulatory Area 2C or for sablefish in the
and the QS pools for those areas as of after September 23, 1997. IFQ regulatory area east of 140° W. long.
January 31, 2004. (3) Paragraph (i)(1) of this section that is transferred to a corporation or
(3) Transfer of QS blocks. does not apply to individuals who partnership. Such transfers of additional
Notwithstanding paragraph (g)(1)(i) of received an initial allocation of QS QS within these areas must be to an
this section, a person who holds more assigned to vessel category B, C, or D for individual pursuant to § 679.41(c) and
than one block of halibut QS and halibut in IFQ regulatory Area 2C or for be used pursuant to paragraphs (c) and
unblocked halibut QS as a result of the sablefish QS in the IFQ regulatory area (i) of this section.
Regional Administrator’s action under east of 140° W. long., and this (3) A corporation or partnership,
paragraph (g)(2) of this section may exemption is not transferable. except for a publicly held corporation,
transfer unblocked QS until such time (4) The exemption provided in that receives an initial allocation of QS
as that person transfers a halibut QS paragraph (i)(1) of this section may be assigned to vessel category B, C, or D
block to another person. exercised by an individual on a vessel loses the exemption provided under this
(4) Holding or to hold blocks of QS. owned by a corporation, partnership, or paragraph (j) on the effective date of a
For purposes of this section, ‘‘holding’’ other entity in which the individual is change in the corporation or partnership
or ‘‘to hold’’ blocks of QS means being a shareholder, partner, or member, from that which existed at the time of
registered by NMFS as the person who provided that the individual maintains initial allocation.
received QS by initial assignment or a minimum 20–percent interest in the (4) For purposes of this paragraph (j),
approved transfer. vessel owned by the corporation, ‘‘a change’’ means:
* * * * * partnership, or other entity. For (i) For corporations and partnerships,
(i) Use of IFQ resulting from QS purposes of this paragraph, interest in a the addition of any new shareholder(s)
assigned to vessel category B, C, or D by vessel is determined as the percentage or partner(s), except that a court
individuals. In addition to the ownership of a corporation, partnership, appointed trustee to act on behalf of a
requirements of paragraph (c) of this or other entity by that individual shareholder or partner who becomes
section, IFQ permits issued for IFQ multiplied by the percentage of incapacitated is not a change in the
resulting from QS assigned to vessel ownership of the vessel by the corporation or partnership; or
category B, C, or D must be used only corporation, partnership, or other entity. (ii) For estates, the final or summary
by the individual who holds the QS (5) IFQ derived from QS held by a distribution of the estate.
from which the associated IFQ is CQE must be used only by the (5) The Regional Administrator must
derived, except as provided in individual whose IFQ permit account be notified of a change in the
paragraph (i)(1) of this section. contains the resulting IFQ. corporation, partnership, or other entity
(1) An individual who received an (j) Use of IFQ resulting from QS as defined in this paragraph (j) within
initial allocation of QS assigned to assigned to vessel category B, C, or D by 15 days of the effective date of the
category B, C, or D does not have to be corporations and partnerships. (1) change. The effective date of change, for
aboard the vessel on which his or her Except as provided in paragraph (j)(7) of purposes of this paragraph (j), is the
IFQ is being fished or to sign IFQ this section, a corporation, partnership date on which the new shareholder(s) or
landing reports if that individual: or other entity that received an initial partner(s) may realize any corporate
(i) For a documented vessel, owns a allocation of QS assigned to category B, liabilities or benefits of the corporation
minimum 20–percent interest in the C, or D may fish the IFQ resulting from or partnership or, for estates, the date of
vessel as shown by the U.S. Abstract of that QS and any additional QS acquired the determination of a legal heir to the
Title issued by the U.S. Coast Guard that within the limitations of this section estate, or the date of the order for
lists the individual as an owner and, if from a vessel if that corporation, distribution of the estate.
necessary to prove the required partnership or other entity: (6) QS assigned to vessel category B,
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percentage ownership, other written (i) For a documented vessel, owns a C, or D and IFQ resulting from that QS
documentation; minimum 20–percent interest in the held in the name of a corporation,
(ii) For an undocumented vessel, vessel as shown by the U.S. Abstract of partnership, or other entity that
owns a minimum 20–percent interest in Title issued by the U.S. Coast Guard that changes, as defined in this paragraph (j),

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must be transferred to an individual, as allocation of QS assigned to category B, ownership in the vessel by that person
prescribed in § 679.41, before it may be C, or D must provide annual updates to who is a shareholder in the corporation,
used at any time after the effective date the Regional Administrator identifying partnership, or other entity.
of the change. all current shareholders or partners and * * * * *
(7) A corporation or a partnership that affirming the entity’s continuing (l) Sablefish vessel clearance
received an initial allocation of QS existence as a corporation or requirements—(1) General. Any vessel
assigned to category B, C, or D and that, partnership. operator who fishes for sablefish in the
prior to April 17, 1997, employed a (9) The exemption provided in this Bering Sea or Aleutian Islands IFQ
master to fish any of the IFQ issued to paragraph (j) may be exercised by a regulatory areas must possess a
that corporation or partnership may corporation, partnership, or other entity transmitting VMS transmitter while
continue to employ a master to fish its on a vessel owned by a person who is fishing for sablefish.
IFQ on a vessel owned by the a shareholder in the corporation, (2) VMS requirements. (i) The
corporation or partnership provided that partnership, or other entity, provided operator of the vessel must comply with
the corporation or partnership continues that the corporation, partnership, or § 679.28(f)(3), (f)(4), and (f)(5); and
to own the vessel at no lesser percentage other entity maintains a minimum of (ii) The operator of the vessel must
of ownership interest than that held on 20–percent interest in the vessel. For contact NMFS at 800–304–4846 (option
April 17, 1997, and provided that purposes of this paragraph (j), interest in 1) between 0600 and 0000 A.l.t. and
corporation or partnership did not a vessel is determined as the percentage receive a VMS confirmation number at
acquire additional QS through transfer of ownership in the corporation, least 72 hours prior to fishing for
after September 23, 1997. partnership, or other entity by that sablefish in the Bering Sea or Aleutian
(8) A corporation, partnership, or person who is a shareholder in the Islands IFQ regulatory areas.
other entity, except for a publicly held corporation, partnership, or other entity, [FR Doc. E7–15341 Filed 8–8–07; 8:45 am]
corporation, that receives an initial multiplied by the percentage of BILLING CODE 3510–22–S
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