50 CFR 680.22 - Sideboard protections for GOA groundfish fisheries.

§ 680.22 Sideboard protections for GOA groundfish fisheries.
The regulations in this section restrict the owners of vessels with a history of participation in the Bering Sea snow crab fishery from using the increased flexibility provided by the CR Program to expand their level of participation in GOA groundfish fisheries. These restrictions are commonly known as “sideboards.”
(a) Vessels and LLP licenses subject to sideboard restrictions. The sideboard fishing restrictions described in this section are based on a vessel's fishing history and apply both to the fishing vessel itself and to any LLP license generated by that vessel's fishing history. The criteria used to determine which vessels and LLP licenses are subject to GOA groundfish sideboard fishing restrictions are as follows:
(1) Vessels subject to GOA groundfish sideboard directed fishing closures. Any vessel that NMFS has determined meets one or both of the following criteria is subject to GOA groundfish sideboard directed fishing closures issued under paragraph (e) of this section.
(i) Any non-AFA vessel that made a legal landing of Bering Sea snow crab (C. opilio) between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2000, that generated any amount of Bering Sea snow crab (C. opilio) fishery QS; and
(ii) Any vessel named on an LLP license that was generated in whole or in part by the fishing history of a vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section.
(2) Vessels prohibited from directed fishing for Pacific cod in the GOA. Any vessel that NMFS has determined meets either of the following two criteria is prohibited from directed fishing for Pacific cod in the GOA:
(i) Any vessel subject to GOA groundfish sideboard closures under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section that landed less than 50 mt (110,231 lb), in round weight equivalents, of groundfish harvested from the GOA between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2000, or
(ii) Any vessel named on an LLP license that was generated in whole or in part by the fishing history of a vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.
(3) Vessels and LLP licenses exempt from Pacific cod sideboard closures in the GOA. Any vessel or LLP license that NMFS has determined meets either of the following criteria is exempt from sideboard directed fishing closures for Pacific cod in the GOA:
(i) Any vessel subject to GOA groundfish closures under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section that landed less than 750,000 lb (340.2 mt), in raw weight equivalents, of Bering Sea snow crab and more than 680 mt (1,499,143 lb), in round weight equivalents, of Pacific cod harvested from the GOA between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2000; and
(ii) Any LLP license that:
(A) Was initially issued based on the catch history of a vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section; and
(B) Did not generate crab QS based on legal landings from any vessel other than the vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section.
(4) Vessels and LLP licenses exempt from pollock sideboard closures in the GOA. Any vessel or LLP license that NMFS has determined meets either of the following criteria is exempt from sideboard directed fishing closures for pollock in the GOA:
(i) Any vessel subject to GOA groundfish closures under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section that landed less than 1,212,673 lb (550 mt), in raw weight equivalents, of Bering Sea snow crab, and had 20 or more legal landings of pollock harvested from the GOA between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2000; and
(ii) Any LLP license that:
(A) Was initially issued based on the catch history of a vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section; and
(B) Did not generate crab QS based on legal landings from any vessel other than the vessel meeting the criteria in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section.
(b) Notification of affected vessel owners and LLP license holders. After NMFS determines which vessels and LLP licenses meet the criteria described in paragraph (a) of this section, NMFS will inform each vessel owner and LLP license holder in writing of the type of sideboard restriction and issue a revised Federal Fisheries Permit and/or LLP license that displays the restriction on the face of the permit or license.
(c) Appeals. A vessel owner or LLP license holder who believes that NMFS has incorrectly identified his or her vessel or LLP license as meeting the criteria for a GOA groundfish sideboard restriction may request reconsideration. All requests for reconsideration must be submitted in writing to the RAM Division, Alaska Region, NMFS, together with any documentation or evidence supporting the request. If the request for reconsideration is denied, affected persons may appeal using the procedures described at § 680.43.
(d) Determination of GOA groundfish sideboard ratios. Except for fixed gear sablefish, sideboard ratios for each GOA groundfish species, species group, season, operation type, gear type, and area, for which annual specifications are made, are established according to the following formulas:
(1) Pacific cod. The sideboard ratios for Pacific cod are calculated by dividing the aggregate retained catch of Pacific cod by vessels that are subject to sideboard directed fishing closures under paragraph (a)(1) of this section and that do not meet the criteria in paragraphs (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this section by the total retained catch of Pacific cod by all groundfish vessels between 1996 and 2000.
(2) Pollock. The sideboard ratios for pollock are calculated by dividing the aggregate retained catch of pollock by vessels that are subject to sideboard directed fishing closures under paragraph (a)(1) of this section and that do not meet the criteria in paragraph (a)(4) of this section by the total retained catch of pollock by all groundfish vessels between 1996 and 2000.
(3) Groundfish other than Pacific cod and pollock. The sideboard ratios for groundfish species and species groups other than Pacific cod and pollock are calculated by dividing the aggregate landed catch by vessels subject to sideboard directed fishing closures under paragraph (a)(1) of this section by the total landed catch of that species by all groundfish vessels between 1996 and 2000.
(e) Conversion of sideboard ratios into annual harvest limits. NMFS will convert sideboard ratios into annual harvest limits according to the following procedures.
(1) Annual harvest limits. Annual harvest limits for each groundfish species, except fixed-gear sablefish, will be established by multiplying the sideboard ratios calculated under paragraph (d) of this section by the interim and final TACs in each area for which a TAC is specified. If a TAC is further apportioned by season, the sideboard harvest limit also will be apportioned by season in the same ratio as the overall TAC. The resulting harvest limits expressed in metric tons will be published in the annual GOA groundfish harvest specification notices.
(2) Sideboard directed fishing allowance.
(i) If the Regional Administrator determines that a harvest limit for a species or species group has been or will be reached, the Regional Administrator may establish a sideboard directed fishing allowance for the species or species group applicable only to the group of crab vessels to which the sideboard limit applies.
(ii) If the Regional Administrator determines that a harvest limit is insufficient to support a directed fishery for that species or species group, then the Regional Administrator may set the sideboard directed fishing allowance at zero for that species or species group.
(3) Directed fishing closures. Upon attainment of a sideboard directed fishing allowance, the Regional Administrator will publish notification in the Federal Register prohibiting directed fishing for the species or species group in the specified subarea, regulatory area, or district. A directed fishing closure is effective for the duration of the fishing year or season.
(f) Sideboard protections in the State of Alaska parallel groundfish fisheries. Vessels subject to the sideboard restrictions under paragraph (a) of this section, with a Federal Fisheries Permit or LLP license, shall be subject to the regulations of this section while participating in any groundfish fishery in State waters adjacent to the GOA opened by the State of Alaska and for which the State of Alaska adopts a Federal fishing season.
[70 FR 10241, Mar. 2, 2005, as amended at 71 FR 38301, July 6, 2006; 76 FR 35780, June 20, 2011; 76 FR 74690, Dec. 1, 2011]

Title 50 published on 2013-10-01

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