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Fisheries Off West Coast States; Highly Migratory Species Fisheries

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.


Final rule.


NMFS issues a final rule to initiate collection of a permit fee for vessel owners participating in commercial and charter recreational fishing for highly migratory species (HMS) in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the West Coast of California, Oregon, and Washington. The HMS permits are issued under implementing regulations for the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP).


This final rule is effective August 27, 2009.


Rodney R. McInnis, Regional Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802 4213. Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this final rule may be submitted to the Southwest Region and by e-mail to, or fax to (202) 395-7285.

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Chris Fanning, Permits Coordinator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, NMFS, 562-980-4198.

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On April 7, 2004, NMFS published a final rule to implement the HMS FMP (69 FR 18444) that included mandatory permit requirements at 50 CFR 660.707. The HMS FMP permit requirements included authority to collect permit fees which NMFS opted not to exercise at that time. NMFS is now exercising the option to charge an administrative fee for the recovery of HMS permit processing and issuance expenses as authorized under Section 303(b)(1) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), 16 U.S.C. 1853(b)(1). Section 304(d) of the MSA specifies that such fees may not exceed the administrative costs of issuing the permits. This final rule specifies that an application for an HMS permit, including the renewal of an existing permit, must include a fee payable by the vessel owner. The amount of the fee will be determined in accordance with the NOAA Finance Handbook available at (​~finance/​FinanceHandbook.htm) and specified on the application form. At this time, the fee amount is expected to be approximately $30. The proposed rule to require a permit fee was published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2008 (73 FR 77589), soliciting public comment through January 20, 2009.

Comments and Responses

NMFS did not receive any public comment on the proposed rule.


The Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, determined that this regulation is necessary for the conservation and management of the U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and other applicable laws.

This final rule has been determined to be 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 action 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 was prepared.

This final rule contains a collection-of-information requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) which has been approved by OMB as an amendment to OMB Control No. 0648-0204. Public reporting burden for the payment of HMS permit fees is estimated to average 5 minutes or less per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate, or any other aspect of this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to NMFS (see ADDRESSES) and by e-mail to, or fax to (202) 395-7285. Notwithstanding any Start Printed Page 37178other 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.

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List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

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Dated: July 23, 2009.

James W. Balsiger,

Acting Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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For the reasons set out in the preamble,

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1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

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2. A new paragraph (e) is added to § 660.707 to read as follows:

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(e) Fees. An application for a permit, or renewal of an existing permit under paragraph (b)(1) of this section will include a fee for each vessel. The fee amount required will be calculated in accordance with the NOAA Finance Handbook and specified on the application form.

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[FR Doc. E9-17936 Filed 7-27-09; 8:45 am]