50 CFR § 648.15 - Facilitation of enforcement.

§ 648.15 Facilitation of enforcement.

(a) General. See § 600.504 of this chapter.

(b) Special notification requirements applicable to surfclam and ocean quahog vessel owners and operators -

(1) Surfclam and ocean quahog open access permitted vessels. Vessel owners or operators issued an open access surfclam or ocean quahog open access permit for fishing in the ITQ Program, as specified at § 648.74, are required to declare their intended fishing activity via VMS prior to leaving port.

(2) Maine mahogany quahog limited access permitted vessels. Beginning January 1, 2009, vessel owners or operators issued a limited access Maine mahogany quahog permit for fishing for Maine mahogany quahogs in the Maine mahogany quahog zone, as specified at § 648.78, are required to declare via VMS, prior to leaving port, and entering the Maine mahogany quahog zone, their intended fishing activity, unless otherwise exempted under paragraph § 648.4(a)(4)(ii)(B)(1).

(3) Declaration out of surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries. Owners or operators that are transiting between ports or fishing in a fishery other than surfclams and ocean quahogs must either declare out of fisheries or declare the appropriate fishery, if required, via the VMS unit, before leaving port. The owner or operator discontinuing a fishing trip in the EEZ or Maine mahogany quahog zone must return to port and offload any surfclams or ocean quahogs prior to commencing fishing operations in the waters under the jurisdiction of any state.

(4) Inspection by authorized officer. The vessel permits, the vessel, its gear, and catch shall be subject to inspection upon request by an authorized officer.

(5) Authorization for use of fishing trip notification via telephone. The Regional Administrator may authorize or require the notification of surfclam or ocean quahog fishing trip information via a telephone call to the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement nearest to the point of offloading, instead of the use of VMS. If authorized, the vessel owner or operator must accurately provide the following information prior to departure of his/her vessel from the dock to fish for surfclams or ocean quahogs in the EEZ: Name of the vessel; NMFS permit number assigned to the vessel; expected date and time of departure from port; whether the trip will be directed on surfclams or ocean quahogs; expected date, time, and location of landing; and name of individual providing notice. If use of a telephone call-in notification is authorized or required, the Regional Administrator shall notify affected permit holders through a letter, notification in the Federal Register, e-mail, or other appropriate means.

(c) Radio hails. Permit holders, while underway, must be alert for communication conveying enforcement instructions and immediately answer via VHF-FM radio, channel 16 when hailed by an authorized officer. Vessels not required to have VHF-FM radios by the Coast Guard are exempt from this requirement.

(d) Retention of haddock by herring dealers and processors.

(1) Federally permitted herring dealers and processors, including at-sea processors, that cull or separate out from the herring catch all fish other than herring in the course of normal operations, must separate out and retain all haddock offloaded from a vessel issued a Category A or B Herring Permit that fished on a declared herring trip regardless of gear or area fished, or by a vessel issued a Category C, D, or E Herring Permit that fished with midwater trawl gear pursuant to § 648.80(d). Such haddock may not be sold, purchased, received, traded, bartered, or transferred, and must be retained, after they have been separated, for at least 12 hours for dealers and processors on land, and for 12 hours after landing by at-sea processors. The dealer or processor, including at-sea processors, must clearly indicate the vessel that landed the retained haddock or transferred the retained haddock to an at-sea processor. Authorized officers must be given access to inspect the haddock.

(2) All haddock separated out and retained is subject to reporting requirements specified at § 648.7.

(e) Retention of haddock by herring vessels using midwater trawl gear. A vessel issued a Category A or B Herring Permit fishing on a declared herring trip regardless of gear or area fished, or a vessel issued a Category C, D, or E Herring Permit and fishing with midwater trawl gear pursuant to § 648.80(d), may not discard any haddock that has been brought on the deck or pumped into the hold.

[61 FR 34968, July 3, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 14648, Mar. 27, 1997; 63 FR 27485, May 19, 1998; 71 FR 46875, Aug. 15, 2006; 72 FR 11276, Mar. 12, 2007; 72 FR 51703, Sept. 11, 2007; 76 FR 56997, Sept. 15, 2011; 76 FR 60649, Sept. 29, 2011; 85 FR 26884, May 6, 2020]

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