50 CFR § 665.816 - American Samoa longline limited entry program.
(a) General. Under § 665.801(c), certain U.S. vessels are required to be registered for use under a valid American Samoa longline limited access permit. Under the American Samoa Longline Limited Entry Program, the maximum number of longline fishing permits available is limited to 60 permits annually.
(b) Terminology. For purposes of this section, the following terms have these meanings:
(1) Documented participation means participation proved by, but not necessarily limited to, a properly submitted NMFS or American Samoa logbook, an American Samoa creel survey record, a delivery or payment record from an American Samoa-based cannery, retailer or wholesaler, an American Samoa tax record, an individual wage record, ownership title, vessel registration, or other official documents showing:
(i) Ownership of a vessel that was used to fish in the EEZ around American Samoa; or
(ii) Evidence of work on a fishing trip during which longline gear was used to harvest western Pacific pelagic MUS in the EEZ around American Samoa. If the applicant does not possess the necessary documentation of evidence of work on a fishing trip based on records available only from NMFS or the Government of American Samoa (e.g., creel survey record or logbook), the applicant may issue a request to PIRO to obtain such records from the appropriate agencies, if available. The applicant should provide sufficient information on the fishing trip to allow PIRO to retrieve the records.
(2) Family means those people related by blood, marriage, and formal or informal adoption.
(c) Vessel size classes. The Regional Administrator shall issue American Samoa longline limited access permits in the following size classes:
(1) Small vessel, which is less than 50 ft (15.2 m) LOA.
(2) Large vessel, which is equal to or over 50 ft (15.2 m) LOA.
(d) Permit eligibility. Any U.S. national or U.S. citizen or company, partnership, or corporation is eligible for an American Samoa longline limited access permit.
(e) Permit issuance.
(1) If the number of permits issued falls below the maximum number of permits allowed, the Regional Administrator shall publish a notice in the Federal Register and use other means to notify prospective applicants of any available permit(s) in each class. Any application for issuance of a permit must be submitted to PIRO no later than 120 days after the date of publication of the notice on the availability of additional permits in the Federal Register. The Regional Administrator shall issue permits to persons according to the following priority standard:
(i) Priority accrues to the person with the earliest documented participation in the pelagic longline fishery in the EEZ around American Samoa from smallest to largest vessel.
(ii) In the event of a tie in the priority ranking between two or more applicants, the applicant whose second documented participation in the pelagic longline fishery in the EEZ around American Samoa is first in time will be ranked first in priority. If there is still a tie between two or more applicants, the Regional Administrator will select the successful applicant by an impartial lottery.
(2) An application must be made, and application fees paid, in accordance with § 665.13(c)(1), (d), and (f)(2). If the applicant is any entity other than a sole owner, the application must be accompanied by a supplementary information sheet, obtained from the Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, containing the names and mailing addresses of all owners, partners, and corporate officers that comprise ownership of the vessel for which the permit application is prepared.
(3) Within 30 days of receipt of a completed application, the Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries shall make a decision on whether the applicant qualifies for a permit and will notify the successful applicant by a dated letter. The successful applicant must register a vessel of appropriate size to the permit within 120 days of the date of the letter of notification. The successful applicant must also submit a supplementary information sheet, obtained from the Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, containing the name and mailing address of the owner of the vessel to which the permit is registered. If the registered vessel is owned by any entity other than a sole owner, the names and mailing addresses of all owners, partners, and corporate officers must be included. If the successful applicant fails to register a vessel to the permit within 120 days of the date of the letter of notification, the Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries shall issue a letter of notification to the next person on the priority list or, in the event that there are no more prospective applicants on the priority list, re-start the issuance process pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section. Any person who fails to register the permit to a vessel under this paragraph (e)(3) within 120 days shall not be eligible to apply for a permit for 6 months from the date those 120 days expired.
(4) An appeal of a denial of an application for a permit shall be processed in accordance with § 665.801(o).
(f) Permit term. The duration of a permit is three years from the date of issuance by NMFS.
(g) Permit transfer. The holder of an American Samoa longline limited access permit may transfer the permit to another individual, partnership, corporation, or other entity as described in this section. The application for permit transfer must be submitted to the Regional Administrator within 30 days of the transfer date. If the applicant is any entity other than a sole owner, the application must be accompanied by a supplementary information sheet, obtained from the Assistant Regional Administrator for Sustainable Fisheries, containing the names and mailing addresses of all owners, partners, and corporate officers. After such an application has been made, the permit is not valid for use by the new permit holder until the Regional Administrator has issued the permit in the new permit holder's name under § 665.13(c).
(1) An American Samoa longline limited access permit may be transferred (by sale, gift, bequest, intestate succession, barter, or trade) to only the following persons:
(i) A western Pacific community located in American Samoa that meets the criteria set forth in section 305(I)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1855(I)(2), and its implementing regulations in this part; or
(ii) Any U.S. citizens or national.
(2) Additionally, an American Samoa longline limited access small vessel permit may also be transferred (by sale, gift, bequest, intestate succession, barter, or trade) to a family member of the permit holder.
(h) Permit renewal.
(1) An American Samoa longline limited access permit will not be renewed following three years in which the vessel(s) to which it is registered landed less than:
(i) Small vessel: A total of 500 lb (227 kg) of western Pacific pelagic MUS harvested using longline gear; or
(ii) Large vessel: A total of 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of western Pacific pelagic MUS harvested using longline gear.
(2) For all vessels, the minimum harvest amount must be landed in American Samoa.
(3) In the event of a transfer, the new permit holder would be required to meet the harvest requirement based on the following formula: Remaining harvest amount = product of percentage of time left within the 3-year permit period and the minimum harvest amount for that size vessel. The original permit term and duration does not change in the event of a transfer.
(i) Concentration of permits. No more than 10 percent of the maximum number of permits, of both size classes combined, may be held by the same permit holder. Fractional interest will be counted as a full permit for calculating whether the 10-percent standard has been reached.