Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
This final rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the Federal Register's Web site at
The action amends regulations at 50 CFR 600.1400 that implement the National Saltwater Angler Registry and State Exemption Program (NSAR). The rule established the requirements and procedures for anglers, spear fishers and for-hire fishing vessels to register with NMFS unless exempt from the registration requirement. The NSAR regulations also established the requirements and procedures whereby states may be designated as Exempted States. The anglers and for-hire fishing vessels licensed or registered by Exempted States, and those anglers and vessels that are not required to be licensed or registered under the laws of such states, are not required to register with NMFS.
Based on its experience with administering NSAR and input from states, NMFS has determined that minor revisions to the rule are needed to clarify and update certain provisions in order to address the following objectives: (1) Eliminate duplicative permitting and registration requirements for holders of Main Hawaiian Islands Non-commercial Bottomfish Permits; (2) allow states that exempt minors under the age of 17 from the state license or registration requirements to be eligible for Exempted State designation; (3) allow the U.S. Virgin Islands to be designated as an Exempted State under the qualifying regional survey option of the rule; and (4) clarify and update various provisions of the rule.
The proposed changes were explained in the preamble to the proposed rule.
On February 6, 2012, NMFS published a notice of the proposed rule (77 FR 5751). The public comment period ended on April 6, 2012. NMFS received thirteen comments on the proposed rule, including one from a state, one from a regional fishery management council, one from a non-governmental organization and ten from individuals. The comments and responses are summarized below.
The submission of angler registry data by states supports one of the many components of MRIP, the creation of a list of anglers to be surveyed as part of the survey to develop statistics regarding angler effort, including fishing trip data, for the Atlantic and Gulf states and Puerto Rico. The current MRIP timetable for implementing system-wide changes to these effort surveys provides for continued pilot testing of effort sampling designs that use both angler registries and other lists for persons to be sampled, including postal address and telephone directory lists, into 2013. Not until these current pilot projects are complete, in late 2013 or later, will NMFS determine what specific sampling design to use in MRIP effort surveys on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, beginning in 2014 or later. An additional year to provide updated registry information will extend into 2013. This would allow the states to provide complete registry data by 2014, the earliest time by which the new effort survey designs will be in use for the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
In response to public comment, NMFS made the following changes in the final rule:
In § 600.1405(b)(7) NMFS is not adopting the proposed amendment to clarify that the exception to the NSAR registration requirement for licensed commercial fishing vessels is only for commercial fishing and not for for-hire fishing.
In § 600.1416(d), NMFS modified the rule to allow a one-year extension of time for the completion of formal agreements between state agencies.
In addition to the changes made in response to public comment as described above, NMFS made one
NMFS has determined that the rule is consistent with the applicable provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law.
This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.
The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none has been prepared.
This final rule modifies a collection-of-information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) and which has been approved by OMB under control number 0648-0578. Public reporting burden for angler registration is estimated to average three minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding these burden estimates or any other aspect of this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to NMFS (see
Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number.
Fisheries, Fishing, Fishing vessels, Statistics.
For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS amends 50 CFR part 600 to read as follows:
16 U.S.C. 1881.
In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and in § 600.10 of this title, the terms used in this subpart have the following meanings. For purposes of this subpart, if applicable, the terms used in this subpart supersede those used in § 600.10.
(1) A single state fishing license that permits fishing in fresh waters and tidal waters at one price; or
(2) A single state license that permits a group of fishing and hunting activities, including fishing in tidal waters, at a price that is less than the sum of the cost of the individual licenses.
(b) * * *
(4) Holds a permit issued by NMFS for for-hire fishing under 50 CFR 622.4(a)(1), 635.4(b), 648.4(a), or 660.707(a)(1);
(8) Holds an HMS Angling permit under 50 CFR 635.4(c) or a MHI Non-commercial Bottomfish permit under 50 CFR 665.203(a)(2);
(a) A state must annually update and submit to NMFS, in a format consistent with NMFS guidelines, the name, address and, to the extent available in the state's database, telephone number and date of birth, of all persons and for-hire vessel operators, and the name and state registration number or U.S. Coast Guard documentation number of for-hire vessels that are licensed to fish, or are registered as fishing, in the EEZ, in the tidal waters of the state, or for anadromous species. The Memorandum of Agreement developed in accordance with § 600.1415(b)(2) will specify the timetable for a state to compile and submit complete information telephone numbers and dates of birth for its license holders/registrants. The waters of the state for which such license-holder data must be submitted will be specified in the Memorandum of Agreement.
(b) * * *
(1) Under 17 years of age;
(7) Fishing on days designated as “free fishing days” by states. “
(c) Unless the state can demonstrate that a given category of anglers is so small it has no significant probability of biasing estimates of fishing effort if these anglers are not included in a representative sample, a state may not be designated as an exempted state if its licensing or registration program excludes anglers in any category other than those listed in paragraph (b) of this section.
(d) Required enhancements to exempted state license-holder data. An exempted state must submit the following angler identification data by Jan. 1, 2012, or within two years of the effective date of the Memorandum of Agreement, whichever is later, and thereafter in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement. States that provide NMFS with notice that they are required to enact legislation or to enter into formal memoranda of agreement or contracts with other state agencies to comply with this requirement must submit the data within three years of the effective date of the Memorandum of Agreement:
(1) Name, address and telephone number, updated annually, of excluded anglers over age 59, unless the state can demonstrate that the number of anglers excluded from the license or registration requirement based on having a date of birth before June 1, 1940 is so small it has no significant probability of biasing estimates of fishing effort if these anglers are not included in a representative sample;
(b) * * *
(1) * * *
(iii) Puerto Rico;
(iv) U.S. Virgin Islands;
(v) California, Oregon and Washington;
(vii) Hawaii; or
(viii) American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(3) Utilize angler registry data to identify individuals to be surveyed by telephone, mail or Internet if such regional survey includes a telephone survey component; and