Longline catcher processor subsector of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) non-pollock groundfish fishery program.
This section implements the capacity reduction program that Title II, Section 219(e) ofPublic Law 108-447 enacted for the longline catcher processor subsector of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) non-pollock groundfish fishery.
Unless otherwise defined in this section, the terms defined in § 600.1000 of subpart L of this part expressly apply to this section. The following terms have the following meanings for the purpose of this section:
Act means Title II, Section 219 ofPublic Law 108-447.
AI means the Aleutian Islands.
Application Form means the form published on the FLCC's website that sets forth whether the qualifying LLP License is a Latent License and identifies the individual(s) authorized to execute and deliver Offers and Offer Ranking Ballots on behalf of the Subsector Member.
Auditor means Jack V. Tagart, Ph.D., d.b.a. Tagart Consulting.
Authorized Party means the individuals authorized by Subsector Members on the application form to execute and submit Offers, Rankings, protests and other documents and/or notices on behalf of Subsector Member.
Ballot means the form found on the auditor's website used to cast a vote in favor of, or in opposition to, the currently Selected Offers.
BS means the Bering Sea.
BSAI means the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands.
BSAI Pacific Cod ITAC means the Total Allowable Catch for Pacific cod after the subtraction of the 7.5 percent Community Development Program reserve.
Capacity Reduction Agreement or Reduction Agreement means an agreement entered into by the Subsector Members and the FLCC under which the FLCC is permitted to develop and submit a Capacity Reduction Plan to the Secretary.
Certificate of Documentation (COD) means a document issued by the U.S. Coast Guard's National Documentation Center that registers the vessel with the United States Government.
Closing Vote means a vote held pursuant to paragraph (d)(7) of this section, after two-thirds (2/3) or more of the Nonoffering Subsector Members submit Ranking Forms electing to accept the Selected Offerors and close the Selection Process, and there are no unresolved Protests or Arbitrations.
Current Offer means an Offer submitted by a Subsector Member to the Auditor during any Submission Period and, with regard to such Offer, Offeror has not become a Rejected Offeror. The term “Current Offer” includes Selected Offers.
Current Offeror means an Offering Subsector Member that has submitted an Offer to the Auditor during any Submission Period and, with regard to such Offer, Offeror has not become a Rejected Offeror. The term “Current Offeror” includes Selected Offerors.
Database means the online LLP License database maintained by NMFS as downloaded by the Auditor pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section.
Effective Date means the date the Capacity Reduction Agreement becomes effective pursuant to section 4.e of the Capacity Reduction Agreement.
Fishing Capacity Reduction Contract or Reduction Contract means the contract that any Current Offeror must sign and agree to abide by if NMFS accepts the offer by signing the Reduction Contract.
FLCC Counsel means Bauer Moynihan & Johnson LLP or other counsel representing the FLCC in any review or arbitration under the Capacity Reduction Agreement.
Latent License means an LLP License on which a vessel was not designated at the time an Offer is submitted.
means a Federal License Limitation Program groundfish license issued pursuant to § 679.4(k)
of this chapter or successor regulation that is noninterim and transferable, or that is interim and subsequently becomes noninterim and transferable, and that is endorsed for BS or AI catcher processor fishing activity, C/P, Pacific cod and hook and line gear.
Longline Subsector means the longline catcher processor subsector of the BSAI non-pollock groundfish fishery as defined in the Act.
Longline Subsector ITAC means the longline catcher processor subsector remainder of the Total Allowable Catch after the subtraction of the 7.5 percent Community Development Program reserve.
Nonoffering Subsector Member shall have the meaning ascribed thereto in paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section.
Offer Content means all information included in Offers submitted to the Auditor pursuant to paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section.
Offer Form means the form found on the Auditor's website used to make an offer.
Offer(s) means a binding offer(s) from a Subsector Member to sell its LLP, right to participate in the fisheries, the fishing history associated with such LLP, and any vessel set forth on the Offer Form submitted by Offeror pursuant to the terms of this Capacity Reduction Agreement.
Opening Date means the first Monday following the Effective Date set forth in paragraph (c)(3) of this section.
Person includes any natural person(s) and any corporation, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, association or any other entity whatsoever, organized under the laws of the United States or of a state.
Prequalification Offer shall have the meaning ascribed thereto in paragraph (d)(2)(iii) of this section.
Ranking Form means the form posted by the Auditor pursuant to paragraph (d)(5)(iii) of this section.
Ranking Period shall have the meaning ascribed thereto in paragraph (d)(5)(ii) of this section.
Reduction Fishery means the BSAI non-pollock groundfish fishery.
Reduction Fishing Interests shall have the meaning ascribed thereto in the Fishing Capacity Reduction Contract.
Reduction Plan means a business plan prepared by the Subsector Members in accordance with Section 1 of the Capacity Reduction Agreement and forwarded to the Secretary for approval.
Reduction Privilege Vessel means the vessel listed on the Offeror's License Limitation Program license.
Rejected Offer means an Offer that has been through one or more Rankings and is not a Selected Offer following the latest Ranking Period, with respect to which the Offering Subsector Member's obligations have terminated pursuant to paragraphs (d)(2)(i) and (d)(6)(v) of this section.
Rejected Offeror means a Subsector Member that has submitted an Offer which has been ranked and was not posted as a Selected Offer pursuant to paragraph (d)(6)(ii) of this section.
Restricted Access Management (RAM) means the Restricted Access Management Program in the Alaska Region, NMFS, located in Juneau, Alaska.
Secretary means the Secretary of Commerce or a designee.
Selected Offer shall have the meaning ascribed thereto in paragraph (d)(6)(iv) of this section.
Selected Offeror means a Subsector Member that has submitted an Offer which has been ranked and is posted as a Selected Offer pursuant to paragraph (d)(6)(ii) of this section.
Selection Process means the process set forth in paragraph (d) of this section for selecting the fishing capacity to be removed by the Reduction Plan.
Submission Period(s) or Submitting Period(s) shall have the meaning ascribed thereto in paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section.
Subsector Member(s) means a member(s) of the Longline Subsector.
means the internet Web site developed and maintained on behalf of the FLCC for implementation of the Selection Process described herein with a URL address of
Qualification and enrollment of subsector members—
A copy of the Reduction Agreement, Application Form, and Reduction Contract shall be mailed to each holder of record of an LLP License endorsed for BS or AI catcher processor activity, C/P, Pacific cod and hook and line gear, as the Auditor determines from the Database downloaded by the Auditor as of January 30, 2006, regardless of whether the LLP License is indicated in the Database as noninterim and transferable or otherwise.
Any person, regardless of whether having received the mailing described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, may as a Subsector Member apply to enroll with the FLCC to participate in the Reduction Program, by submitting all of the following documents:
Fully executed Reduction Agreement;
Photocopy of the LLP License(s) evidencing Subsector Member's qualification as a member of the Longline Subsector;
Unless applying as the holder of a Latent License, a photocopy of Federal Fisheries Permit for the vessel(s) designated on the LLP License(s) on the date the Reduction Agreement is signed by the Subsector Member;
Unless applying as the holder of a Latent License, a photocopy of the Certificate of Documentation (COD) for the vessel(s) designated on the LLP License(s) on the date the Reduction Agreement is signed by the Subsector Member; and
An executed Application Form which sets forth whether the qualifying LLP License is a Latent License and identifies the individual(s) authorized to execute and deliver Offers and Offer Ranking Ballots on behalf of the Subsector Member.
Examination by Auditor—
Each application must be submitted to the Auditor who will examine applications for completeness and inconsistencies, whether on the face of the documents or with the Database. Any application which is incomplete or which contains inconsistencies shall be invalid. The Auditor shall notify by e-mail or mail an applicant of the basis for the Auditor's finding an application invalid. An applicant may resubmit a revised application. If the application meets all requirements, the Auditor may accept the application as valid and enroll the applicant.
Interim LLP Licenses.
If an LLP License is interim and/or nontransferable, the applicant's enrollment shall be accepted as a Subsector Member and may fully participate in the Selection Process. However, any posting of an Offer submitted with respect to such LLP License shall note the status of such LLP License until that Subsector Member submits to the Auditor a letter from the RAM confirming that it is within the Subsector Member's control to cause the qualifying LLP License to be issued as noninterim and transferable upon withdrawal of all applicable appeals.
Applications that meet all requirements will be accepted until the Selection Process is completed.
The Effective Date of any Reduction Agreement shall be ten (10) calendar days after written notice is sent by the Auditor to each holder of record of an LLP License endorsed for BS or AI catcher processor activity, C/P, Pacific cod and hook and line gear (as determined by the Auditor from the Auditor's examination of the Database) advising that the number of Subsector Members that have delivered to the Auditor a complete Application, including a fully executed Reduction Agreement, exceeds seventy percent (70 percent) of the members of the Longline Subsector (as determined by the Auditor from the Auditor's examination of the Database).
All notices related to the effective date of the Reduction Agreement shall be sent by the Auditor via registered mail.
A Subsector Member, unless such Subsector Member is a Current Offeror or Selected Offeror, may terminate the Reduction Agreement at any time with respect to that Subsector Member by giving ten (10) calendar days written notice to the Auditor preferably via e-mail. Withdrawal of a Subsector Member shall not affect the validity of the Reduction Agreement with respect to any other Subsector Members. Once effective, the Reduction Agreement shall continue in full force and effect regardless of whether subsequent withdrawals reduce the number of Subsector Members below that level required to effectuate the Reduction Agreement. Attempted withdrawal by a Current Offeror or Selected Offeror shall be invalid, and such Offer shall remain a binding, irrevocable Offer, unaffected by the attempted withdrawal.
Selection of fishing capacity to be removed by Reduction Plan.
The fishing capacity removed by the Reduction Plan will be the Reduction Fishing Interests voluntarily offered through the Reduction Plan by offering Subsector Members and as selected by the Nonoffering Subsector Members, up to an aggregate amount of thirty six million dollars ($36,000,000) as set forth in this paragraph (d).
The Selection Process will begin upon the Effective Date of the Reduction Agreement. The Selection Process will alternate on a weekly basis between:
Submitting Periods, during which individual Subsector Members may submit Offers of fishing capacity they wish to include in the Reduction Plan; and
Ranking Periods, during which Nonoffering Subsector Members will rank the submitted Offers.
An Offer from a Subsector Member shall be a binding, irrevocable offer from a Subsector Member to relinquish to NMFS the Reduction Fishing Interests for the price set forth on the Offer contingent on such Offer being a Selected Offer at the closing of the Selection Process. Once submitted, an Offer may not be revoked or withdrawn while that Offer is a Current Offer or Selected Offer. An Offer that is submitted by a Subsector Member, but is not a Selected Offer during the subsequent Ranking Period, shall be deemed to be terminated and the Subsector Member shall have no further obligation with respect to performance of that Offer.
All Offers submitted to the Auditor shall include the following information: LLP License number; LLP License number(s) of any linked crab LLP Licenses; license MLOA (MLOA—maximum length overall of a vessel is defined at § 679.2 of this chapter); the license area, gear and species endorsements; a summary of the Pacific cod catch history for the calendar years 1995-2004; and the offered price. The Offer shall also state whether a vessel is currently designated on the LLP License and as such will be withdrawn from all fisheries if the Offer is selected for reduction in the Reduction Plan. If so, the Offer shall identify such vessel by name, official number, and current owner. In addition, the Offer shall provide a summary of the Pacific cod catch history for the calendar years 1995-2004 of the vessel to be retired from the fisheries. All summary catch histories included in Offers shall be calculated utilizing both the weekly production report and best blend methodology and shall separately state for each methodology the Pacific cod catch in metric tons and as a percentage of the overall catch for the longline catcher processor subsector on an annual basis for each of the required years. If the vessel stated to be withdrawn from the fisheries is not owned by the LLP License owner of record, the Offer shall be countersigned by the owner of record of the vessel. An Offer offering a Latent License shall state on the Offer Form that the offered LLP License is a Latent License. The Offer Form shall also include a comment section for any additional information that Offerors wish to provide to the Subsector Members concerning the Offer.
Prequalification of offers.
A Subsector Member may submit a Prequalification Offer to the Auditor at any time prior to the Opening Date. A Prequalification Offer shall contain all elements of an Offer, except that a price need not be provided. The Auditor shall notify the Subsector Member submitting a Prequalification Offer as to any deficiencies as soon as practicable. All details of a Prequalification Offer shall be kept confidential by the Auditor.
Commencing on the first Tuesday following the Opening Date and during all Submission Periods until the Selection Process is closed, any Subsector Member may submit an Offer. All Offers are to be on the applicable form provided on the FLCC website, executed by an Authorized Party and submitted to the Auditor by facsimile. Any Subsector Member may submit an Offer during any Submission Period, even if that Subsector Member has not submitted an Offer in any previous Submission Period. If a Subsector Member holds more than one LLP License, such Subsector Member may, but is not required to, submit an Offer for each LLP License held during a Submission Period.
The initial Submission Period shall commence at 9 a.m. (Pacific time) on the Tuesday following the Opening Date and end at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) on the Friday of that week. Subsequent Submission Periods shall commence at 9 a.m. (Pacific time) on the first Tuesday following the preceding Ranking Period and end at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) on the Friday of that week. All times set forth in the Reduction Agreement and used in the Offer process shall be the time kept in the Pacific time zone as calculated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Validity of offer.
The Auditor shall examine each Offer for consistency with the Database and information contained in the enrollment documents. If there is an inconsistency in the information contained in the Offer, any of the elements required of an Offer pursuant to paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section are missing, or the Auditor does not receive the original Offer Form before the Offers are to be posted pursuant to paragraph (d)(4) of this section, the Auditor shall notify the offering Subsector Member by e-mail or mail that the Offer is nonconforming as soon as practicable after discovering the basis of invalidity. The Subsector Member may submit a revised, conforming Offer prior to the close of that Submission Period or, in any subsequent Submission Period. Only one Offer may be submitted with respect to an LLP License during a Submission Period. In the event a Subsector Member submits more than one Offer with respect to an LLP License during a Submission Period, the first conforming Offer received by the Auditor shall be binding and irrevocable and any subsequent Offers shall be deemed invalid.
By submitting an Offer, the Offering Subsector Member, warrants and represents that the Offering Subsector Member has read and understands the terms of the Reduction Agreement, the Offer, and the Reduction Contract and has had the opportunity to seek independent legal counsel regarding such documents and/or agreements and the consequences of submitting an Offer.
For each Offer received during a Submission Period, the Auditor shall post on the Website no later than 5 p.m. (Pacific time) on the following Tuesday all of the details of such Offer as set forth on the Offer Form. In addition, the Auditor shall post, as available to Auditor, a summary by year of up to ten (10) years catch history during the period 1995-2004 in total round weight equivalents and percentage of Longline Subsector ITAC harvested for any vessel that is included in the Offer. Subsector Member (or vessel owner, if other than the Subsector Member) expressly authorizes Auditor to release the catch history summary information previously prepared for that Subsector Member or vessel owner by the Auditor as part of the analysis of FLCC's membership's catch history previously conducted by the Auditor on behalf of the FLCC.
Offers shall be posted on the Website by the Auditor in alphabetical order of the Offering Subsector Member's name.
Questions as to offer.
The Auditor shall respond to no questions from Subsector Member regarding Offers except to confirm that the posting accurately reflects the details of the Offer. If an Offering Subsector Member notices an error in an Offer posting on the Website, such Subsector Member shall notify the Auditor as soon as practicable. The Auditor shall review such notice, the posting and the original Offer. If an error was made in posting the Auditor shall correct the posting as soon as practicable and notify the Subsector Members via e-mail or mail of the correction. In the event such an error is not discovered prior to Ranking, an Offering Subsector Member shall be bound to the terms of the submitted Offer, not the terms of the posted Offer.
The Auditor shall maintain on the Website an archive of prior Offers posted, which shall be available for review by all Subsector Members.
Each Subsector Member that has not submitted an Offer during the preceding Submission Period, or whose vessel is not included as a withdrawing vessel in an Offer during the preceding Submission Period (i.e., a Nonoffering Subsector Member), may submit to the Auditor a Ranking Form during a Ranking Period. With respect to Ranking, a Subsector Member that holds more than one LLP License may participate in the Ranking process for each LLP License not included in an Offer.
The initial Ranking Period shall commence immediately after the Offers from the preceding Submission Period have been posted and end at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) on the Friday of that week. Subsequent Ranking Periods shall commence immediately after the Offers from the preceding Submission Period have been posted and end at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) on the Friday of that week.
Prior to each Ranking Period, the Auditor will post a Ranking Form on the Website in “pdf” file format. Each eligible Subsector Member wishing to rank the current Offers shall rank the Offers on the Ranking Form numerically in the Subsector Member's preferred order of purchase. The Offer that Subsector Member would most like to have accepted should be ranked number one (1), and subsequent Offers ranked sequentially until the Offer that the Subsector Member would least like to see accepted is ranked with the highest numerical score. A Subsector Member wishing to call for a Closing Vote shall, in lieu of ranking the Current Offers, mark the Ranking Form to accept the Selected Offers selected during the prior Ranking Period and close the Selection Process. To be valid, the Ranking Form must rank each Current Offer listed on the Ranking Form or, if applicable, be marked to call for a Closing Vote. Ranking Forms shall be submitted by sending a completed Ranking Form, signed by an Authorized Party, to the Auditor by facsimile or mail prior to the end of the Ranking Period. A Subsector Member is not required to rank the Offers during a Ranking Period or call for a Closing Vote.
Validity of subsector member ranking.
The Auditor shall examine each Ranking Form for completeness, whether the form either ranks the Offers or calls for a Closing Vote (but not both), and authorized signature. Any incomplete or otherwise noncompliant Ranking Form(s) shall be invalid, and shall not be included in the Rankings of the Current Offers. The Auditor shall notify the Subsector Member of the reason for declaring any Ranking Form invalid as soon as practicable. A Subsector Member may cure the submission of an invalid Ranking Form by submitting a complying Ranking Form if accomplished before the end of the applicable Ranking Period.
Compiling the rankings.
Unless two-thirds (2/3) of the Nonoffering Subsector Members have called for a Closing Vote, the Auditor shall compile the results of the Ranking Forms by assigning one point for each position on a Ranking Form. That is, the Offer ranked number one (1) on a Ranking Form shall be awarded one (1) point, the Offer ranked two (2) shall receive two (2) points, and continuing on in this manner until all Offers have been assigned points correlating to its ranking on each valid Ranking Form. The Offer with the least number of total points assigned shall be the highest ranked Offer, and the Offer with the greatest total points assigned shall be the lowest ranked Offer.
The Auditor shall post the results of the compilation of the Ranking Forms on the Website in alphabetical order based on the Offering Subsector Member's name no later than 5 p.m. (Pacific time) on the Monday following the Ranking Period. The Auditor shall post the highest consecutive ranking Offers that total thirty six million dollars ($36,000,000) or less. Those Offering Subsector Members whose Offers are posted shall be deemed Selected Offerors and their Offers shall be deemed Selected Offers. Those Offering Subsector Members whose Offers are not posted shall be deemed Rejected Offerors.
Selected offer information or confidentiality.
The Auditor shall post the name of the Offering Subsector Member, the amount of the Offer, and a summary of the total number of Ranking Forms received and the number of such forms on which the Members called for a Closing Vote. Other than the foregoing, the Auditor shall not post any details of the compilation of the Ranking Forms.
Selected Offerors may not withdraw their Offers unless in subsequent rankings their Offers no longer are within the highest ranking Offers and they become Rejected Offerors. A Selected Offeror may, however, modify a Selected Offer solely to the extent such modification consists of a reduction in the Offer price. A Selected Offeror may submit a modified Offer to the Auditor during the next Offering Period as set forth in paragraph (d)(3) of this section. Unless a Selected Offeror becomes a Rejected Offeror in a subsequent Ranking, a Selected Offeror shall be bound by the terms of the lowest Selected Offer submitted as if such modified Offer had been the original Selected Offer. In the event a Selected Offeror submits a modified Offer and such Offer is not ranked because sufficient votes are received to call for a Closing Vote, the previously Selected Offer shall remain the Selected Offer.
The Offer of a Rejected Offeror is terminated and the Rejected Offeror is no longer bound by the terms of its Offer. A Rejected Offeror may, at its sole discretion, resubmit the same Offer, submit a revised Offer, or elect not to submit an Offer during any subsequent Submission Period until the Selection Process is closed.
In the event there is a tie with respect to Offers which results in the tied Offers exceeding thirty-six million dollars ($36,000,000), the tied Offers and all Offers ranked lower than the tied Offers shall be deemed to be rejected and the Rejected Offerors may, at their option, submit an Offer in a subsequent Submission Period.
Auditor shall maintain on the Website an archive of prior Offer Rankings as posted over the course of the Selection Process, which shall be available for Subsector Member review.
The Selection Process will close when two-thirds (2/3) or more of the Nonoffering Subsector Members of the Longline Subsector, as determined by the Auditor, affirmatively vote to accept the Selected Offerors selected during the prior Ranking Period as part of the Reduction Plan to be submitted to the Secretary.
Call for vote.
A Closing Vote will be held when: at least two-thirds (2/3) of the Nonoffering Subsector Members submit Ranking Forms electing to accept the Selected Offerors and close the Selection Process in lieu of Ranking the current Offers; and there are no unresolved Protests or Arbitrations. The Auditor shall notify all Subsector Members by e-mail or mail and posting a notice on the Website as soon as practicable that a Closing Vote is to be held. Such notice shall state the starting and ending dates and times of the voting period, which shall be not less than three (3) nor more than seven (7) calendar days from the date of such notice. A voting period shall commence at 9 a.m. (Pacific time) on Monday and end at 5 p.m. on the Friday of that week.
No less than three (3) calendar days prior to the voting period, the Auditor will post a Closing Ballot on the Website in “pdf” file format. Each eligible Nonoffering Subsector Member wishing to vote shall print out the Closing Ballot, and, with respect to each of the currently Selected Offers on the Closing Ballot, vote either in favor of or opposed to accepting that Selected Offer and submit a completed and signed Closing Ballot to the Auditor preferably by facsimile prior to the end of the Voting Period.
The Auditor shall examine each submitted Closing Ballot for completeness and authorized signature. Any incomplete Closing Ballot shall be void, and shall not be included in the voting results. The Auditor shall not notify the Subsector Member of an invalid Closing Ballot.
The Auditor shall post the results of the Vote as soon as practicable after voting closes. Each Offer on the Closing Ballot that receives votes approving acceptance of such Offer from two-thirds (2/3) or more of the total number of Nonoffering Subsector Members shall be a Selected Offeror and shall be the basis for the Reduction Plan submitted to NMFS. Any Offer on the Closing Ballot that does not receive such two-thirds (2/3) approval shall be rejected and shall not be included among the Offers included among the Reduction Plan submitted to NMFS.
Notification to NMFS.
Upon closing of the Selection Process, FLCC shall notify NMFS in writing of the identities of the Selected Offerors and provide to NMFS a completed and fully executed original Reduction Agreement from each of the Selected Offerors and a certified copy of the fully executed Reduction Agreement and Reduction Contract.
Submission of reduction plan, including repayment.
Upon completion of the offering process, the FLCC on behalf of the Subsector Members shall submit to NMFS the Reduction Plan which shall include the provisions set forth in this paragraph (e).
The Reduction Plan shall identify as the proposed capacity reduction, without auction process, the LLP Licenses as well as the vessels and the catch histories related to the LLP Licenses, linked crab LLP Licenses, and any other fishing rights or other interests associated with the LLP Licenses and vessels included in the Selected Offers. The aggregate of all Reduction Agreements and Reduction Contracts signed by Subsector Members whose offers to participate in this buyback were accepted by votes of the Subsector Members, will together with the FLCC's supporting documents and rationale for recognizing that these offers represent the expenditure of the least money for the greatest capacity reduction, constitute the Reduction Plan to be submitted to NMFS for approval on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce.
As authorized by Section 219(B)(2) of the Act, the capacity reduction loan (the “Reduction Loan”) shall be amortized over a thirty (30) year term. The Reduction Loan's original principal amount may not exceed thirty-six million dollars ($36,000,000), but may be less if the reduction cost is less. Subsector Members acknowledge that in the event payments made under the Reduction Plan are insufficient to repay the actual loan, the term of repayment shall be extended by NMFS until the loan is paid in full.
The Reduction Loan's interest rate will be the U.S. Treasury's cost of borrowing equivalent maturity funds plus 2 percent. NMFS will determine the Reduction Loan's initial interest rate when NMFS borrows from the U.S. Treasury the funds with which to disburse reduction payments. The initial interest rate will change to a final interest rate at the end of the Federal fiscal year in which NMFS borrows the funds from the U.S. Treasury. The final interest rate will be 2 percent plus a weighted average, throughout that fiscal year, of the U.S. Treasury's cost of borrowing equivalent maturity funds. The final interest rate will be fixed, and will not vary over the remainder of the reduction loan's 30-year term. The Reduction loan will be subject to a level debt amortization. There is no prepayment penalty.
The Reduction Loan shall be repaid by fees collected from the Longline Subsector. The fee amount will be based upon: The principal and interest due over the next twelve months divided by the product of the Hook & Line, Catcher Processor (Longline Subsector; sometimes referred to as the “H&LCP Subsector”) portion of the BSAI Pacific cod ITAC (in metric tons) set by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) in December of each year multiplied by 2,205 (i.e., the number of pounds in a metric ton). In the event that the Longline Subsector portion for the ensuing year is not available, the Longline Subsector portion forecast from the preceding year will be used to calculate the fee.
The fee will be expressed in cents per pound rounded up to the next one-tenth of a cent. For example: If the principal and interest due equal $2,900,000 and the Longline Subsector portion equals 100,000 metric tons, then the fee per round weight pound of Pacific cod will equal 1.4 cents per pound. [2,900,000 /(100,000 × 2,205) = .01315]. The fee will be accessed and collected on Pacific cod to the extent possible and if not, will be accessed and collected as provided for in this paragraph (e).
Fees must be accessed and collected on Pacific cod used for bait or discarded. Although the fee could be up to 5 percent of the ex-vessel production value of all post-reduction Longline Subsector landings, the fee will be less than 5 percent if NMFS projects that a lesser rate can amortize the fishery's reduction loan over the reduction loan's 30-year term. In the event that the total principal and interest due exceeds 5 percent of the ex-vessel Pacific cod revenues, a penny per pound round weight fee will be calculated based on the latest available revenue records and NMFS conversion factors for pollock, arrowtooth flounder, Greenland turbot, skate, yellowfin sole and rock sole.
The additional fee will be limited to the amount necessary to amortize the remaining twelve months principal and interest in addition to the 5 percent fee accessed against Pacific cod. The additional fee will be a minimum of one cent per pound. In the event that collections exceed the total principal and interest needed to amortize the payment due, the principal balance of the loan will be reduced. To verify that the fees collected do not exceed 5 percent of the fishery revenues, the annual total of principal and interest due will be compared to the latest available annual Longline Subsector revenues to ensure it is equal to or less than 5 percent of the total ex-vessel production revenues. In the event that any of the components necessary to calculate the next year's fee are not available, or for any other reason NMFS believes the calculation must be postponed, the fee will remain at the previous year's amount until such a time that new calculations are made and communicated to the post reduction fishery participants.
It is possible that the fishery may not open during some years and no Longline Subsector portion of the ITAC is granted. Consequently, the fishery will not produce fee revenue with which to service the reduction loan during those years. However, interest will continue to accrue on the principal balance. When this happens, if the fee rate is not already at the maximum 5 percent, NMFS will increase the fisheries' fee rate to the maximum 5 percent of the revenues for Pacific cod and the species mentioned in paragraph (e)(2)(iii)(B), apply all subsequent fee revenue first to the payment of accrued interest, and continue the maximum fee rates until all principal and interest payments become current. Once all principal and interest payments are current, NMFS will make a determination about adjusting the fee rate.
NMFS has promulgated framework regulations generally applicable to all fishing capacity reduction programs (§ 600.1000
et seq.). The reduction loan shall be subject to the provisions of § 600.1012, except that: the borrower's obligation to repay the reduction loan shall be discharged by the owner of the Longline Subsector license regardless of which vessel catches fish under this license and regardless of who processes the fish in the reduction fishery in accordance with § 600.1013. Longline Subsector license owners in the reduction fishery shall be obligated to collect the fee in accordance with § 600.1013.
The LLP License holder of the vessel harvesting in the post-capacity reduction plan Longline Subsector shall be responsible for self-collecting the repayment fees owed by that LLP License holder. Fees shall be submitted to NMFS monthly and shall be due no later than fifteen (15) calendar days following the end of each calendar month.
Record keeping and Reporting.
The holder of the LLP License on which a vessel harvesting in the post-capacity reduction plan Longline Subsector is designated shall be responsible for compliance with the applicable record keeping and reporting requirements.
Agreement with Secretary.
Each Selected Offeror, and vessel owner if not the Subsector Member, that has submitted a Selected Offer shall complete and deliver to the FLCC for inclusion in the Reduction Plan submitted to NMFS, designee for the Secretary, a completed and fully executed Reduction Contract. Any and all LLP License(s) and or vessels set forth on a Selected Offer shall be included as Reduction Fishing Interests in such Reduction Contract.
Decisions of the Auditor and the FLCC.
Time is of the essence in developing and implementing a Reduction Plan and, accordingly, the Offerors shall be limited to, and bound by, the decisions of the Auditor and the FLCC.
The Auditor's examination of submitted applications, Offers, Prequalification Offers and Rankings shall be solely ministerial in nature. That is, the Auditor will verify whether the documents submitted by Subsector Members are, on their face, consistent with each other and the Database, in compliance with the requirements set forth in the Reduction Agreement, and, signed by an Authorized Party. The Auditor may presume the validity of all signatures on documents submitted. The Auditor shall not make substantive decisions as to compliance (e.g., whether an interim LLP License satisfies the requirements of the Act, or whether a discrepancy in the name appearing on LLP Licenses and other documents is material).
The parties to the Reduction Agreement have agreed that the opportunity to develop and submit a capacity reduction program for the Longline Subsector under the terms of the Act is both unique and finite and that failure of a Selected Offeror, and vessel owner, if not a Subsector Member, to perform the obligations provided by the Reduction Agreement will result in irreparable damage to the FLCC, the Subsector Members and other Selected Offerors. Accordingly, the parties to the Reduction Agreement expressly acknowledge that money damages are an inadequate means of redress and agree that upon the failure of the Selected Offeror, and vessel owner if not a Subsector Member, to fulfill its obligations under the Reduction Agreement that specific performance of those obligations may be obtained by suit in equity brought by the FLCC in any court of competent jurisdiction without obligation to arbitrate such action.
All times related to the Selection Process shall be the time kept in the Pacific time zone as calculated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In the event that any date occurring within the Selection Process is a Federal holiday, the date shall roll over to the next occurring business day.
The Reduction Agreement shall automatically terminate if no vote of acceptance is completed by December 31, 2007. The Reduction Agreement may be terminated at any time prior to approval of the Reduction Plan by NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, by written notice from 50 percent of Subsector Members.
Choice of law/venue.
The Reduction Agreement shall be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington without regard to its choice of law provisions. The parties submit to the exclusive personal jurisdiction of the United States District Court located in Seattle, Washington, with respect to any litigation arising out of or relating to the Reduction Agreement or out of the performance of services hereunder.
All executed counterparts of the Reduction Agreement, Application Forms and Offers constitute the agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter of the Reduction Agreement and are incorporated into the Reduction Agreement as if fully written.
The Reduction Agreement may be executed in multiple counterparts and will be effective as to signatories on the Effective Date. The Reduction Agreement may be executed in duplicate originals, each of which shall be deemed to be an original instrument. All such counterparts and duplicate originals together shall constitute the same agreement, whether or not all parties execute each counterpart.
The facsimile signature of any party to the Reduction Agreement shall constitute the duly authorized, irrevocable execution and delivery of the Reduction Agreement as fully as if the Reduction Agreement contained the original ink signatures of the party or parties supplying a facsimile signature.
Subsector Member acknowledges that the Reduction Agreement, the Reduction Contract, and the Reduction Plan may be subject to amendment to conform to the requirements for approval of the Reduction Plan by NMFS on behalf of the Secretary. The Auditor shall distribute to each Subsector Member in electronic format the amended form of the Reduction Agreement, the Reduction Contract, and the Reduction Plan, which amended documents in the form distributed by the Auditor and identified by the Auditor by date and version, the version of each such document then in effect at the time of any dispute arising or action taken shall be deemed binding upon the parties with respect to such dispute and/or action.
Subsector Member must expressly warrant and represent in the Reduction Agreement that:
Subsector Member has had an opportunity to consult with Subsector Member's attorney or other advisors of Subsector Member with respect to the Reduction Agreement, the Reduction Contract, and the Act and the ramifications of the ratification of the Reduction Plan contemplated therein;
Subsector Member has full understanding and appreciation of the ramifications of executing and delivering the Reduction Agreement and, free from coercion of any kind by the FLCC or any of its members, officers, agents and/or employees, executes and delivers the Reduction Agreement as the free and voluntary act of Subsector Member;
The execution and delivery of the Reduction Agreement, does not and will not conflict with any provisions of the governing documents of Subsector Member;
The person executing the Reduction Agreement has been duly authorized by Subsector Member to execute and deliver the Reduction Agreement and to undertake and perform the actions contemplated herein; and
Subsector Member has taken all actions necessary for the Reduction Agreement to constitute the valid and binding obligation of Subsector Member, enforceable in accordance with its terms.
Approval of the reduction plan.
Acceptance of the Offers are at the sole discretion of NMFS on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. To be approved by NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary, any Reduction Plan developed and submitted in accordance with this section and subpart M to this part must be found by the Assistant Administrator of NMFS, to:
Be consistent with the requirements of Section 219(e) of the FY 2005 Appropriations Act (Public Law 108-447);
Be consistent with the requirements of Section 312(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1861(a)) except for the requirement that a Council or Governor of a State request such a program (as set out in section 312(b)(1)) and for the requirements of section 312(b)(4);
Contain provisions for a fee system that provides for full and timely repayment of the capacity reduction loan by the Longline Subsector and that it provide for the assessment of such fees;
Not require a bidding or auction process;
Result in the maximum sustained reduction in fishing capacity at the least cost and in the minimum amount of time; and
Permit vessels in the Longline Subsector to be upgraded to achieve efficiencies in fishing operations provided that such upgrades do not result in the vessel exceeding the applicable length, tonnage, or horsepower limitations set out in Federal law or regulation.
The provisions of § 600.1010 (including §§ 600.1004(a), 600.1008, 600.1009, 600.1013, 600.1014, and 600.1017(a)(5), (6) and (7)) shall apply to the Reduction Plan of this section to the extent that they do not conflict with this section or with subpart M of this part.