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38298 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No.

129 / Thursday, July 6, 2006 / Rules and Regulations

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Area 2C and Area 3A based on the requirements, Russian Federation,
constant exploitation yield (CEY) for Transportation, Treaties, Wildlife.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric halibut in Area 2C and Area 3A. When Dated: June 29, 2006.
Administration the Commission establishes the annual William T. Hogarth,
CEY, § 300.65(c)(2) provides that NMFS
50 CFR Part 300 Assistant Administrator for Fisheries,
must notify the public of the GHLs by National Marine Fisheries Service.
[Docket No. 060215036–6178–02; I.D. publication of a notice in the Federal
Register, presumably for Area 2C and ■ Accordingly, 50 CFR part 300 is
Area 3A as prescribed in § 300.65(c)(1) corrected by making the following
RIN 0648–AU30 rather than for Area 2C and Area 3B as correcting amendment:
currently stated in § 300.65(c)(2). The
Pacific Halibut Fisheries; Guideline PART 300—INTERNATIONAL
regulation also is not consistent with
Harvest Levels for the Guided FISHERIES REGULATIONS
§ 300.65(c)(3) which codifies procedures
Recreational Halibut Fishery;
that NMFS takes if the GHL is exceeded Subpart E—Pacific Halibut Fisheries
in Area 2C and Area 3A. Therefore, the
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries reference to Area 3B at § 300.65(c)(2) is ■ 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR
Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and not consistent with the Commission part 300, subpart E, continues to read as
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), areas outlined in all other GHL follows:
Commerce. regulations at § 300.65(c). In addition, Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773–773k.
ACTION: Final rule; correcting the GHL was not intended to apply in ■ 2. In § 300.65, paragraph (c)(2) is
amendment. Area 3B as it was described in the revised to read as follows:
proposed rule (67 FR 3867, January 28,
SUMMARY: This action corrects the 2002), or in the preamble to the final § 300.65 Catch sharing plan and domestic
regulatory text of a final rule published rule implementing the GHL (68 FR management measures in waters in and off
August 8, 2003, (FR Doc. 03–20285) that 47256, August 8, 2003). Reference to Alaska.
implemented the guideline harvest level Area 3B at § 300.65(c)(2) is a * * * * *
(GHL) for the charter sport fishery for typographical mistake. This rule issues (c) * * *
Pacific halibut in waters off Alaska. This a correcting amendment to correct the (2) NMFS will publish a notice in the
action is necessary to correct a typographical error at § 300.65(c)(2) to Federal Register on an annual basis
typographical error in regulations indicate Commission management Area establishing the GHL for Area 2C and
implementing the GHL. 3A instead of Area 3B. Area 3A for that Calendar year within
DATES: July 6, 2006. 30 days of receiving information from
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: the Commission which establishes the
Jason Gasper, NMFS, 907–586–7228 or Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), the constant exploitation yield for that year.
email at Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, * * * * *
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A final NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive [FR Doc. E6–10556 Filed 7–5–06; 8:45 am]
rule published August 8, 2003, (68 FR the requirement to provide prior notice BILLING CODE 3510–22–S
47256) implemented guideline harvest and opportunity for public comment on
level (GHL) measures for managing the this correcting amendment to the GHL
harvest of Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus regulations, as such procedures would DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
stenolepis) in the charter sport fishery in be unnecessary. Notice and comment is
International Pacific Halibut unnecessary because this action makes National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Commission (Commission) management a minor, non-substantive change Administration
Area 2C and Area 3A in and off Alaska. correcting a Commission area in
This correcting amendment revises the § 300.65(c)(2), which is itself a 50 CFR Part 680
regulation at 50 CFR 300.65(c)(2) to ministerial provision requiring NOAA [Docket No. 060404093–6177–02; I.D.
change the reference to Commission to publish in the Federal Register notice 033106A]
management from Area 3B to Area 3A. to the public of the GHLs set for Areas
2C and 3A pursuant to § 300.65(c)(1). RIN 0648–AU24
Paragraph (c)(2) is set out as paragraph
(i)(2) in the August 8, 2003, rule and The rule does not make any substantive
change in the rights and obligations of Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic
was redesignated as paragraph (c)(2) on Zone Off Alaska; Allocating Bering Sea
April 1, 2005 (70 FR 16742). charter sport fishermen managed under
the GHL halibut regulations. No aspect and Aleutian Islands King and Tanner
Need for Correction of this action is controversial and no Crab Fishery Resources
Current text at § 300.65(c)(2) change in operating practices in the AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries
incorrectly indicates that the GHL will fishery is required. Because this action Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
be established for Commission Area 3B. makes only the minor, non-substantive Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),
This regulation states that ‘‘NMFS will changes to § 300.65(c)(2) described Commerce.
publish a notice in the Federal Register above, this rule is not subject to the 30- ACTION: Final rule.
on an annual basis establishing the GHL day delay in effective date requirement
for Area 2C and Area 3B for that of 5 U.S.C. 553(d). SUMMARY: NMFS issues a final rule
Calendar year within 30 days of List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 300 implementing changes to the regulations
receiving information from the for the Crab Rationalization Program.
Commission which establishes the Administrative practice and This action is necessary to correct two
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constant exploitation yield for that procedure, Antarctica, Canada, Exports, discrepancies in the scope of the
year.’’ This regulation is not consistent Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Imports, sideboard protections for Gulf of Alaska
with § 300.65(c)(1), which provides for Indians, Labeling, Marine resources, (GOA) groundfish fisheries provided in
the annual determination of GHLs for Reporting and recordkeeping a previous rulemaking. Specifically, this

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Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 129 / Thursday, July 6, 2006 / Rules and Regulations 38299

action would remove the sideboard the Program. The second change federally permitted vessels that fish in
restrictions from vessels that did not clarifies that the sideboard protections the State parallel groundfish fisheries.
generate Bering Sea snow crab apply to federally permitted vessels that The Council intended the sideboards
(Chionoecetes opilio) quota share and fish in the State parallel groundfish to apply to vessels that qualify for
would apply the sideboards to federally fisheries. These changes are necessary to Bering Sea snow crab quota share under
permitted vessels operating in the State implement the Program’s sideboard the Program. The proposed rule for the
of Alaska (State) parallel fisheries. This provisions. A description of this action Program included regulatory language to
action is intended to promote the goals is provided in the preamble to the this effect (69 FR 63200, October 29,
and objectives of the Fishery proposed rule and is briefly summarized 2004). However, this language was
Management Plan for Bering Sea/ here. changed in the final rule to apply the
Aleutian Islands King and Tanner Crabs State parallel fisheries occur in State sideboards to vessels that had snow crab
(FMP), the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery waters but are opened at the same time landings during the qualifying period.
Conservation and Management Act as Federal fisheries in Federal waters. This change has the unintended
(Magnuson-Stevens Act), and other State parallel fishery harvests are consequence of applying the sideboards
applicable law. considered part of the Federal total to vessels that did not qualify for quota
DATES: Effective on August 7, 2006. allowable catch (TAC) and federally share. This final rule changes the
ADDRESSES: Copies of the regulatory permitted vessels move between State regulatory language to reflect the
impact review/initial regulatory and Federal waters during the original language in the Program’s
flexibility analysis (RIR/IRFA) and Final concurrent parallel and Federal proposed rule. NMFS received no
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) fisheries. The State opens the parallel public comments on this aspect of the
prepared for this action, and copies of fisheries through emergency order by Program’s proposed rule.
the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands adopting the groundfish seasons, The existing regulations restrict
Crab Fisheries Final Environmental bycatch limits, and allowable gear types participation in Federal fisheries but not
Impact Statement (EIS) prepared for the that apply in the adjacent Federal in the adjacent State waters fisheries.
Crab Rationalization Program may be fisheries. This omission in the regulations would
obtained from the NMFS Alaska Region, Sideboard limits restrict the ability of allow vessels whose history generated
P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802, vessels whose histories resulted in quota share to increase their
Attn: Ellen Walsh, Records Officer, and Bering Sea snow crab quota share, or participation in the groundfish fisheries.
from the NMFS Alaska Region website fishing under License Limitation This final rule changes the regulations
at Program (LLP) licenses derived from to clarify that the GOA groundfish
those vessels, to participate in GOA sideboard directed fishing closures
groundfish fisheries. The purpose of the apply to federally permitted vessels
Gretchen Harrington, 907–586–7228 or
sideboard limits is to prevent vessels while fishing in the State parallel
that traditionally participated in the fisheries.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In January Bering Sea snow crab fishery from using NMFS finds it necessary to apply the
2004, the U.S. Congress amended the flexibility of the Program to increase sideboard limits to federally permitted
section 313(j) of the Magnuson-Stevens their participation in the GOA vessels fishing in State parallel fisheries
Act through the Consolidated groundfish fisheries, and primarily the in order to implement the FMP. Without
Appropriations Act of 2004 (Public Law GOA Pacific cod fishery. Historically, this regulatory change, vessels that
108–199, section 801). As amended, the Bering Sea snow crab fishery and traditionally participated in the Bering
section 313(j)(1) requires the Secretary GOA groundfish fisheries operated Sea snow crab fishery could use the
of Commerce to approve and implement concurrently from January through flexibility of the Program to increase
by regulation the Crab Rationalization March, meaning that a crab vessel their participation in the GOA
Program (Program), as it was approved owner had to decide whether to fish for groundfish fisheries, and primarily the
by the North Pacific Fishery Bering Sea snow crab or GOA GOA Pacific cod fishery, because they
Management Council (Council). In June groundfish but could not participate could circumvent the directed fishing
2004, the Council consolidated its fully in both fisheries. With crab closures by fishing in State waters.
actions on the Program into Amendment rationalization, vessel owners have the NMFS has notified the public that it
18 to the FMP. Additionally, in June flexibility to fish for snow crab during will implement the sideboard limits in
2004, the Council developed a greatly extended season, or to lease the State parallel fisheries in the
Amendment 19 to the FMP, which their crab individual fishing quota (IFQ) preamble to the proposed and final rules
represents minor changes necessary to and not fish at all. This increased for the Program and in the notice of
implement the Program. NMFS flexibility for crab fishermen could lead availability for Amendments 18 and 19.
published a final rule to implement to increases in fishing effort in GOA
Amendments 18 and 19 on March 2, groundfish fisheries, especially the Changes from the Proposed Rule
2005 (70 FR 10174). Pacific cod fishery, and could negatively One non-substantive change was
NMFS published the proposed rule affect the other participants in those made from the proposed rule to the final
for the sideboard restriction regulatory fisheries. rule. In § 680.22(f), the phrase ‘‘that are
change in the Federal Register on April required to have’’ was changed to
24, 2006 (71 FR 20966), with a public Need for Regulatory Changes
‘‘with’’ because the term ‘‘required’’
comment period through May 9, 2006. This action makes two changes to the implied that a Federal Fisheries Permit
NMFS received no public comments on regulations governing sideboard or LLP license was required in State
the proposed rule. provisions for the GOA groundfish waters. The term ‘‘with’’ clarifies that
This final rule corrects two aspects of fisheries at 50 CFR 680.22. The first Federal regulations apply to vessels
the sideboard provisions in the change removes the sideboard
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operating under Federal permits.

regulations implementing the Program. restrictions from vessels whose histories
One change removes the sideboard did not generate Bering Sea snow crab Classification
limits from vessels that did not generate quota share. The second change clarifies NMFS has determined that the final
Bering Sea snow crab quota share under that the sideboard restrictions apply to rule is consistent with the FMP, the

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38300 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 129 / Thursday, July 6, 2006 / Rules and Regulations

Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other operational flexibility to expand their in that analysis, the sideboard limits
applicable laws. participation in the already fully prevent these participants from using
This final rule has been determined to subscribed GOA groundfish fisheries. these benefits to increase their effort in
be not significant for purposes of The proposed regulatory changes are the GOA groundfish fisheries. The
Executive Order 12866. necessary owing to the introduction of sideboard restrictions provide the
NMFS prepared a final regulatory two inconsistencies that exist between sideboarded vessels the ability to
flexibility analysis (FRFA) as required the Program provisions and the maintain their historic harvest levels in
by section 604(a) of the Regulatory language in the implementing GOA groundfish fisheries, and therefore,
Flexibility Act (RFA). The FRFA regulations. These corrections will do not make the sideboarded vessels
describes the economic impact this rule implement the sideboards as intended worse-off economically. Vessels with
will have on small entities. A by the Council. minimal harvests in the snow crab
description of the action, why it is being fisheries and substantial harvests in the
Sideboards on Vessels Without Quota
considered, and the legal basis for it are Pacific cod fishery would be exempt
included at the beginning of this section from the sideboard restrictions, since
in the preamble and in the SUMMARY Six small entities, as defined for RFA these vessels have little dependence on
section of the preamble. A summary of purposes, would be directly regulated the crab fisheries. In addition, vessels
the analysis follows. A copy of this by the removal of the sideboard with less than a minimum historic
analysis is available from NMFS (see provisions from vessels that did not harvest from GOA groundfish fisheries
ADDRESSES). generate snow crab quota shares. These are not permitted to participate in GOA
entities are currently, although groundfish fisheries.
Issues Raised by Public Comments on inadvertently, subject to the economic
the IRFA The proposed action does not likely
burden of the sideboard restrictions,
have the potential to impose
NMFS received no public comments despite not having qualified for snow
disproportionate impacts on small
on the IRFA. crab quota shares. The proposed action
entities, relative to large entities. The
would lift this uncompensated burden
Need for and Objectives of this Action regulatory change applying the
from these six small entities by
sideboard constraints to State waters
This action is necessary to correct two removing their sideboard restrictions.
during the parallel fisheries would
aspects of the sideboard provisions in
Sideboards in the State Parallel provide all qualifying vessels, large and
the regulations implementing the
Groundfish Fisheries small, a level playing field upon which
Program that were inadvertently
As promulgated, the current to operate, as had been the intention of
misstated at 50 CFR 680.22.
regulatory language may allow federally the Council from the outset. Because
Number and Description of Small permitted vessels to circumvent the this change merely rescinds an
Entities Directly Regulated by the Rule Program’s sideboards by fishing only in unintentional and unexploited
One hundred and ninety five entities the State parallel groundfish fisheries in regulatory loophole, the only possible
are subject to the sideboard regulations the GOA. Since the start of the 2006 A effect is to codify the commonly held
and fish in the GOA groundfish season Pacific cod fishery (the first GOA understanding among the fishing
fisheries. A fishing operation is groundfish opening following industry of the sideboard rule.
considered to be a small entity for RFA implementation of the current Program This rule does not have the potential
purposes if its total annual gross provisions), no vessels prohibited by to significantly reduce profits for small
receipts, from all sources, is less than $4 these sideboard provisions from fishing entities. The absence of cost data
million. The 2004 gross revenue data for Pacific cod have fished in the State precludes quantitative estimation of
from the State fishticket database is parallel fisheries. The fact that no potential impacts on profitability,
readily available and includes revenue vessels currently are exploiting this although these would be expected to be
from all fishing operations in Alaska loophole in the regulations is testament minimal, because no vessels chose to
and adjacent EEZ waters. Based on these to the clear intent that the sideboards exploit this loophole in the 2006 A
data, as many as 189 of the 195 entities apply to the State parallel fisheries, and season (the first groundfish fishery after
may be considered small. the plain language understanding of the sideboard implementation).
term ‘‘GOA.’’ This action proposes to This regulation does not impose new
Description of Significant Alternatives correct the sideboard provisions of the recordkeeping and reporting
and a Description of Steps Taken to Program’s implementing regulations, by requirements on any directly regulated
Minimize the Significant Economic applying them to federally permitted small entities.
Impacts on Small Entities vessels fishing in State parallel
Small Entity Compliance Guide
No significant alternatives to the groundfish fisheries. Therefore, the
proposed rule exist that accomplish the preferred action has no economic effects NMFS has posted a small entity
stated objectives, are consistent with beyond those considered in the EIS compliance guide on the Internet at
applicable statutes, and would prepared for the Program (see
minimize the economic impact of the ADDRESSES). sustainablefisheries/crab/rat/
proposed rule on small entities. A no Sideboard restrictions prevent adverse progfaq.htm to satisfy the Small
action alternative was considered, but spillover effects in other fisheries from Business Regulatory Enforcement
was rejected because it did not meet the an influx of effort from the rationalized Fairness Act of 1996, which requires a
objectives of the Program’s sideboard crab fisheries. The Crab Rationalization plain language guide to assist small
provisions. No significant adverse Program, because it issued quota share entities in complying with this rule.
effects are shown for this action. to vessel owners and provided them the Contact NMFS to request a hard copy of
The Council created the sideboards ability to form cooperatives, provides
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the guide (see ADDRESSES).

with the expressed purpose of these directly regulated entities
List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 680
restricting the owners of vessels substantial economic benefits, as
acquiring snow crab quota share from discussed in the EIS prepared for the Alaska, Fisheries, Reporting and
using the resulting increased Program (see ADDRESSES). As discussed recordkeeping requirements.

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Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 129 / Thursday, July 6, 2006 / Rules and Regulations 38301

Dated: June 29, 2006. ■ 2. In § 680.22, paragraph (a)(1)(i) is (f) Sideboard protections in the State
William T. Hogarth, revised and paragraph (f) is added to of Alaska parallel groundfish fisheries.
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, read as follows: Vessels subject to the sideboard
National Marine Fisheries Service. restrictions under paragraph (a) of this
§ 680.22 Sideboard protections for GOA
■ For the reasons set out in the groundfish fisheries. section, with a Federal Fisheries Permit
preamble, NMFS amends 50 CFR part * * * * * or LLP license, shall be subject to the
680 as follows: (a) * * * regulations of this section while
(1) * * * participating in any groundfish fishery
PART 680—SHELLFISH FISHERIES OF (i) Any non-AFA vessel that made a in State waters adjacent to the GOA
THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE legal landing of Bering Sea snow crab opened by the State of Alaska and for
OFF ALASKA (C. opilio) between January 1, 1996, and which the State of Alaska adopts a
December 31, 2000, that generated any Federal fishing season.
■ 1. The authority citation for part 680 amount of Bering Sea snow crab (C. [FR Doc. E6–10554 Filed 7–5–06; 8:45 am]
continues to read as follows: opilio) fishery QS; and BILLING CODE 3510–22–S
Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1862. * * * * *
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