50 CFR 404.11 - Permitting procedures and criteria.
(a) Issuance. Subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretaries deem appropriate, a person may conduct an activity prohibited by § 404.7 if such activity is specifically authorized by a permit issued under this section.
(b) Application requirements. Applicants for permits under this section shall submit applications to: NOAA/Inouye Regional Center; NOS/ONMS/PMNM/Attn: Permit Coordinator; 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176; Honolulu, HI 96818.
(c) Permit Types. A permit under this subpart may be issued if the Secretaries find that the activity:
(1) Is research designed to further understanding of Monument resources and qualities;
(2) Will further the educational value of the Monument;
(3) Will assist in the conservation and management of the Monument;
(4) Will allow Native Hawaiian practices subject to paragraph (e) of this section;
(5) Will allow a special ocean use subject to paragraph (f) of this section; or
(6) Will allow recreational activities subject to paragraph (g) of this section.
(d) Findings. A permit may not be issued under this section unless the Secretaries find:
(1) The activity can be conducted with adequate safeguards for the resources and ecological integrity of the Monument;
(2) The activity will be conducted in a manner compatible with the purposes of the Proclamation, considering the extent to which the conduct of the activity may diminish or enhance Monument resources, qualities, and ecological integrity, any indirect, secondary or cumulative effects of the activity, and the duration of such effects;
(3) There is no practicable alternative to conducting the activity within the Monument;
(4) The end value of the activity outweighs its adverse impacts on Monument resources, qualities, and ecological integrity;
(5) The duration of the activity is no longer than necessary to achieve its stated purpose;
(6) The applicant is qualified to conduct and complete the activity and mitigate any potential impacts resulting from its conduct;
(7) The applicant has adequate financial resources available to conduct and complete the activity and mitigate any potential impacts resulting from its conduct;
(8) The methods and procedures proposed by the applicant are appropriate to achieve the proposed activity's goals in relation to their impacts to Monument resources, qualities, and ecological integrity;
(9) The applicant's vessel has been outfitted with a mobile transceiver unit approved by OLE and complies with the requirements of § 404.5; and
(10) There are no other factors that would make the issuance of a permit for the activity inappropriate.
(e) Additional findings for Native Hawaiian practice permits. In addition to the findings listed in paragraph (d) of this section, a permit to allow Native Hawaiian practices under paragraph (c)(4) of this section, may not be issued unless:
(1) The activity is non-commercial and will not involve the sale of any organism or material collected;
(2) The purpose and intent of the activity are appropriate and deemed necessary by traditional standards in the Native Hawaiian culture (pono), and demonstrate an understanding of, and background in, the traditional practice, and its associated values and protocols;
(3) The activity benefits the resources of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the Native Hawaiian community;
(4) The activity supports or advances the perpetuation of traditional knowledge and ancestral connections of Native Hawaiians to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands; and
(5) Any Monument resource harvested from the Monument will be consumed in the Monument.
(f) Additional findings, criteria, and requirements for special ocean use permits. (1) In addition to the findings listed in paragraph (d) of this section, the following requirements apply to the issuance of a permit for a special ocean use under paragraph (c)(5) of this section:
(i) Any permit for a special ocean use issued under this section:
(A) Shall authorize the conduct of an activity only if that activity is compatible with the purposes for which the Monument is designated and with protection of Monument resources;
(B) Shall not authorize the conduct of any activity for a period of more than 5 years unless renewed;
(C) Shall require that activities carried out under the permit be conducted in a manner that does not destroy, cause the loss of, or injure Monument resources; and
(D) Shall require the permittee to purchase and maintain comprehensive general liability insurance, or post an equivalent bond, against claims arising out of activities conducted under the permit and to agree to hold the United States harmless against such claims;
(ii) Each person issued a permit for a special ocean use under this section shall submit an annual report to the Secretaries not later than December 31 of each year which describes activities conducted under that permit and revenues derived from such activities during the year.
(2) In addition to the findings listed in paragraph (d) of this section, a permit may not be issued for a special ocean use unless the activity has been determined to be consistent with the findings made pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.
(3) Categories of special ocean use being permitted for the first time under this section will be restricted in duration and permitted as a special ocean use pilot project. Subsequent permits for any category of special ocean use may only be issued if a special ocean use pilot project for that category meets the requirements of this section, and any terms and conditions placed on the permit for the pilot project.
(4) Public notice shall be provided prior to requiring a special ocean use permit for any category of activity not previously identified as a special ocean use.
(5) The following requirements apply to permits for a special ocean use for an activity within the Midway Atoll Special Management Area.
(i) A permit for a special ocean use for activities within the Midway Atoll Special Management Area may be issued provided:
(A) The activity furthers the conservation and management of the Monument; and
(B) The Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service or his or her designee has determined that the activity is compatible with the purposes for which the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge was designated.
(ii) As part of a permit issued pursuant to this paragraph (f)(5), vessels may be allowed to transit the Monument as necessary to enter the Midway Atoll Special Management Area.
(6) A permit for a special ocean use for activities outside the Midway Atoll Special Management Area may be issued provided:
(i) The activity will directly benefit the conservation and management of the Monument;
(ii) The purpose of the activity is for research or education related to the resources or qualities of the Monument;
(iii) Public notice of the application and an opportunity to provide comments is given at least 30 days prior to issuing the permit; and
(iv) The activity does not involve the use of a commercial passenger vessel.
(g) Additional findings for recreation permits. A permit for recreational activities under paragraph (c)(6) of this section may be issued for activities to be conducted within the Midway Atoll Special Management area if, in addition to the findings listed in paragraph (d) of this section:
(1) The activity is for the purpose of recreation as defined in section 404.3;
(2) The activity is not associated with any for-hire operation; and
(3) The activity does not involve any extractive use.
(h) Sustenance fishing. Sustenance fishing, as defined in 404.3, may be allowed outside of any Special Preservation Area as a term or condition of any permit issued under this part. Sustenance fishing in the Midway Atoll Special Management Area shall not be allowed unless the activity has been determined by the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or his or her designee to be compatible with the purposes for which the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge was established. Sustenance fishing must be conducted in a manner compatible with the Proclamation and this part, including considering the extent to which the conduct of the activity may diminish Monument resources, qualities, and ecological integrity, as well as any indirect, secondary, or cumulative effects of the activity and the duration of such effects. Sustenance fishing is subject to systematic reporting requirements when developed by the Secretaries.