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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BF80 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Observer Coverage Requirements for Catcher Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area 
Abstract:

This rule would allow the owner of a catcher vessel in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area trawl limited access fisheries to annually choose to have the vessel placed in the full observer coverage category for all fishing in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area in the upcoming year. Under current regulations for the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program, catcher vessels in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area trawl limited access fisheries are assigned to the partial observer coverage category. Vessels in the partial observer coverage category must carry an observer on selected fishing trips, whereas vessels in the full observer coverage category must carry an observer for all of their fishing activity. Owners of trawl catcher vessels have requested to be allowed to voluntarily choose full coverage to obtain observer data from all of their fishing trips to better manage their halibut prohibited species catch.

 
Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 679   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  07/07/2016  81 FR 44251   
NPRM Comment Period End  08/08/2016 
Final Action  11/00/2016 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
James Balsiger
Regional Administrator, Alaska Region
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
709 West Ninth Street,
Juneau, AK 99801
Phone:907 586-7221
Fax:907 586-7465
Email: jim.balsiger@noaa.gov