Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; North Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery Program

CourtNational Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration
Citation86 FR 74071
Record Number2021-28292
Publication Date29 December 2021
Federal Register, Volume 86 Issue 247 (Wednesday, December 29, 2021)
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 247 (Wednesday, December 29, 2021)]
                [Notices]
                [Pages 74071-74074]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2021-28292]
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                DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
                National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
                [RTID 0648-XB545]
                Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska; North
                Pacific Halibut and Sablefish Individual Fishing Quota Cost Recovery
                Program
                AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS); National Oceanic and
                Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
                ACTION: Notice of standard prices and fee percentage.
                -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                SUMMARY: NMFS publishes the individual fishing quota (IFQ) standard
                prices and fee percentage for cost recovery for the IFQ Program for the
                halibut and sablefish fisheries of the North Pacific (IFQ Program). The
                fee percentage for 2021 is 2.3 percent. This action is intended to
                provide holders of halibut and sablefish IFQ permits with the 2021
                standard prices and fee percentage to calculate the required payment
                for IFQ cost recovery fees due by January 31, 2022.
                DATES: The standard prices and fee percentages are valid on December
                29, 2021.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charmaine Weeks, Fee Coordinator, 907-
                586-7231.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                Background
                 NMFS Alaska Region administers the IFQ Program in the North
                Pacific. The IFQ Program is a limited access system authorized by the
                Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-
                Stevens Act) and the Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 (Halibut
                Act). Fishing under the IFQ Program began in March 1995. Regulations
                implementing the IFQ Program are set forth at 50 CFR part 679.
                 In 1996, the Magnuson-Stevens Act was amended to, among other
                purposes, require the Secretary of Commerce to ``collect a fee to
                recover the actual costs directly related to the management and
                enforcement of any . . . individual quota program.'' This requirement
                was further amended in 2006 to include collection of the actual costs
                of data collection and to replace the reference to ``individual quota
                program'' with a more general reference to ``limited access privilege
                program'' at Sec. 304(d)(2)(A) of the Act. Section 304(d)(2) of the
                Magnuson-Stevens Act also specifies an upper limit on these fees, when
                the fees must be collected, and where the fees must be deposited.
                 On March 20, 2000, NMFS published regulations at Sec. 679.45 to
                implement cost recovery for the IFQ Program (65 FR 14919). Under the
                regulations, an IFQ permit holder must pay a cost recovery fee for
                every pound of IFQ halibut and sablefish that is landed on their IFQ
                permit(s). The IFQ permit holder is responsible for self-collecting the
                fee for all IFQ halibut and sablefish landings on their permit(s). The
                IFQ permit holder is also responsible for submitting IFQ fee
                payments(s) to NMFS on or before January 31 of the year following the
                year in which the IFQ landings were made. The total dollar amount of
                the fee is determined by multiplying the NMFS published fee percentage
                by the ex-vessel value of all IFQ landings made on the permit(s) during
                the IFQ fishing year. As required by Sec. 679.45(d)(1) and (d)(3)(i),
                NMFS publishes this notice of the fee percentage for the IFQ halibut
                and sablefish fisheries in the Federal Register during or prior to the
                last quarter of each year.
                Standard Prices
                 The fee is based on the sum of all payments made to fishermen for
                the sale of the fish during the year. This includes any retro-payments
                (e.g., bonuses, delayed partial payments, post-season payments) made to
                the IFQ permit holder for previously landed IFQ halibut or sablefish.
                 For purposes of calculating IFQ cost recovery fees, NMFS
                distinguishes between two types of ex-vessel value: Actual and
                standard. Actual ex-vessel value is the amount of all compensation,
                monetary or non-monetary, that an IFQ permit holder received as payment
                for his or her IFQ fish sold. Standard ex-vessel value is the default
                value used to calculate the fee. IFQ permit holders have the option of
                using actual ex-vessel value if they can satisfactorily document it;
                otherwise, the standard ex-vessel value is used.
                 Section 679.45(b)(3)(iii) requires the Regional Administrator to
                publish IFQ standard prices during the last quarter of each calendar
                year. These standard prices are used, along with estimates of IFQ
                halibut and IFQ sablefish landings, to calculate standard ex-vessel
                values. The standard prices are described in U.S. dollars per IFQ
                equivalent pound for IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish landings made during
                the year. According to Sec. 679.2, IFQ equivalent pound(s) means the
                weight amount, recorded in pounds, and calculated as round weight for
                sablefish and headed and gutted weight for halibut, for an IFQ landing.
                The weight of halibut in pounds landed as guided angler fish is
                converted to IFQ equivalent pound(s) as specified in Sec.
                300.65(c)(5)(ii)(E). NMFS calculates the standard prices to closely
                reflect the variations in the actual ex-vessel values of IFQ halibut
                and IFQ sablefish landings by month and port or port-group. The
                standard prices for IFQ halibut and IFQ sablefish are listed in the
                tables that follow the next section. Data from ports are combined as
                necessary to protect confidentiality.
                Fee Percentage
                 NMFS calculates the fee percentage each year according to the
                factors and methods described at Sec. 679.45(d)(2). NMFS determines
                the fee percentage that applies to landings made in the previous year
                by dividing the total costs directly related to the management, data
                collection, and enforcement of the IFQ Program (management costs)
                during the previous year by the total standard ex-vessel value of
                halibut and sablefish IFQ landings made during the previous year
                (fishery value). NMFS captures the actual management costs associated
                with certain management, data collection, and enforcement functions
                through an established accounting system that allows staff to track
                labor, travel, contracts, rent, and procurement. NMFS calculates the
                fishery value as described under the section Standard Prices.
                 Using the fee percentage formula described above, the percentage of
                management costs to fishery value for the 2021 calendar year is 2.3
                percent of the standard ex-vessel value. An IFQ permit holder is to use
                the fee percentage of 2.3 percent to calculate their fee for IFQ
                equivalent pound(s) landed during the 2021 halibut and sablefish IFQ
                fishing season. An IFQ permit holder is responsible for submitting the
                2021 IFQ fee payment to NMFS on or before January 31, 2022. Payment
                must be made in accordance with the payment methods set forth in Sec.
                679.45(a)(4)(iv). Payment can be made using credit card, debit card, or
                electronic check via the pay.gov program. NMFS does not accept credit
                [[Page 74072]]
                card information by phone or in-person for fee payments.
                 The 2021 fee percentage of 2.3 percent is less than the 2020 fee
                percentage of 3.0 percent (85 FR 82442, December 18, 2020). Between
                2020 and 2021 there was a net decrease in management costs and a net
                increase in fishery value. Management costs decreased by approximately
                10 percent while fishery value increased by approximately 66 percent.
                The net increase in value was due to higher ex-vessel prices and
                landings for both halibut and sablefish IFQ fisheries.
                 Table 1--Registered Buyer Standard Ex-Vessel Prices by Landing Location for the 2021 IFQ Season \1\
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Halibut Sablefish
                 Landing location Period ending standard EX standard EX
                 vessel price vessel price
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                HOMER
                 March 31............................ 5.73
                 April 30............................ 5.99 1.95
                 May 31.............................. 6.07 1.89
                 June 30............................. 6.73 1.82
                 July 31............................. 7.70 1.84
                 August 31........................... 6.97 1.70
                 September 30........................ 7.20 2.19
                 October 31.......................... 7.20 2.19
                 November 30......................... 7.20 2.19
                 December 31......................... 7.20 2.19
                KETCHIKAN
                 March 31............................
                 April 30............................ 5.84
                 May 31.............................. 6.18
                 June 30............................. 6.10
                 July 31.............................
                 August 31...........................
                 September 30........................ 6.78
                 October 31.......................... 6.78
                 November 30......................... 6.78
                 December 31......................... 6.78
                KODIAK
                 March 31............................ 5.28
                 April 30............................ 5.49 1.55
                 May 31.............................. 5.68 1.60
                 June 30............................. 6.03 1.76
                 July 31............................. 6.28 1.92
                 August 31........................... 6.32 1.78
                 September 30........................ 6.48 1.88
                 October 31.......................... 6.48 1.88
                 November 30......................... 6.48 1.88
                 December 31......................... 6.48 1.88
                PETERSBURG
                 March 31............................
                 April 30............................ 5.66
                 May 31.............................. 5.77
                 June 30............................. 6.40
                 July 31............................. 6.63
                 August 31........................... 6.59
                 September 30........................ 6.84
                 October 31.......................... 6.84
                 November 30......................... 6.84
                 December 31......................... 6.84
                SEWARD
                 March 31............................ .............. 1.76
                 April 30............................ 6.03 1.58
                 May 31.............................. 6.09 1.68
                 June 30.............................
                 July 31............................. 7.32
                 August 31...........................
                 September 30........................
                 October 31..........................
                 November 30.........................
                 December 31.........................
                SITKA
                 March 31............................ 5.59 2.02
                 April 30............................ 5.77 2.08
                 May 31.............................. 5.62 2.24
                 June 30............................. 6.07 2.33
                 July 31............................. 6.74
                 August 31........................... 6.50 2.01
                 September 30........................ 6.65 2.26
                 October 31.......................... 6.65 2.26
                [[Page 74073]]
                
                 November 30......................... 6.65 2.26
                 December 31......................... 6.65 2.26
                PORT GROUP BERING SEA \2\
                 March 31............................
                 April 30............................
                 May 31.............................. 5.02 1.77
                 June 30............................. 5.35 1.70
                 July 31............................. 5.56 1.57
                 August 31........................... 5.79 2.00
                 September 30........................ 5.96 1.85
                 October 31.......................... 5.96 1.85
                 November 30......................... 5.96 1.85
                 December 31......................... 5.96 1.85
                PORT GROUP CENTRAL GOA \3\
                 March 31............................ 5.64 1.68
                 April 30............................ 5.89 1.54
                 May 31.............................. 5.95 1.63
                 June 30............................. 6.38 1.75
                 July 31............................. 7.25 1.79
                 August 31........................... 6.85 2.07
                 September 30........................ 7.20 1.92
                 October 31.......................... 7.20 1.92
                 November 30......................... 7.20 1.92
                 December 31......................... 7.20 1.92
                PORT GROUP SE ALASKA \4\
                 March 31............................ 5.65 2.01
                 April 30............................ 5.79 1.88
                 May 31.............................. 5.80 2.07
                 June 30............................. 6.12 2.08
                 July 31............................. 6.69 1.99
                 August 31........................... 6.60 1.98
                 September 30........................ 6.73 2.19
                 October 31.......................... 6.73 2.19
                 November 30......................... 6.73 2.19
                 December 31......................... 6.73 2.19
                ALL-ALASKA \5\
                 March 31............................ 5.64 1.95
                 April 30............................ 5.83 1.68
                 May 31.............................. 5.82 1.78
                 June 30............................. 6.17 1.84
                 July 31............................. 6.59 1.78
                 August 31........................... 6.48 2.03
                 September 30........................ 6.86 2.03
                 October 31.......................... 6.86 2.03
                 November 30......................... 6.86 2.03
                 December 31......................... 6.86 2.03
                ALL \5\
                 March 31............................ 5.64 1.95
                 April 30............................ 5.83 1.68
                 May 31.............................. 5.82 1.78
                 June 30............................. 6.17 1.84
                 July 31............................. 6.59 1.78
                 August 31........................... 6.51 2.03
                 September 30........................ 6.86 2.03
                 October 31.......................... 6.86 2.03
                 November 30......................... 6.86 2.03
                 December 31......................... 6.86 2.03
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                1. Note: In many instances, prices are not shown in order to comply with confidentiality guidelines when there
                 are fewer than three processors operating in a location during a month. Additionally, landings at different
                 harbors in the same general location (e.g., ``Juneau, Douglas, and Auke Bay'') have been combined to report
                 landings to the main port (e.g., ``Juneau'').
                2. Landing Locations Within Port Group--Bering Sea: Akutan, Dillingham, Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, King Cove, King
                 Salmon, Naknek, Nome, Savoonga, St. Lawrence Island, St. Paul, Togiak.
                3. Landing Locations Within Port Group--Central Gulf of Alaska: Alitak, Cordova, Homer, Kenai, Kodiak, Sand
                 Point, Seward, Valdez, Whittier.
                4. Landing Locations Within Port Group--Southeast Alaska: Craig, Elfin Cove, Haines, Hoonah, Juneau, Kake,
                 Ketchikan, Pelican, Petersburg, Port Alexander, Sitka, Wrangell, Yakutat.
                5. Landing Locations Within Port Group--All: For Alaska: All landing locations included in 2, 3, and 4. For
                 Washington: Bellingham, Seattle.
                [[Page 74074]]
                 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.
                 Dated: December 23, 2021.
                Peter Cooper,
                Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine
                Fisheries Service.
                [FR Doc. 2021-28292 Filed 12-28-21; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
                

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