Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery

Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 238 (Wednesday, December 11, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 238 (Wednesday, December 11, 2019)]
[Page 67723]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office []
[FR Doc No: 2019-26630]
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
[RTID 0648-XV139]
Fishing Capacity Reduction Program for the Pacific Coast
Groundfish Fishery
AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, Commerce.
ACTION: Notice of fee rate adjustment.
SUMMARY: NMFS issues this notice to decrease the fee rate to 3.5
percent for the Pacific Coast Groundfish fee-share fishery to repay the
$28,428,718.88 Groundfish sub-loan of the $35,662,471 reduction loan
that financed the Pacific Coast Groundfish fishing capacity reduction
DATES: The fee rate decrease for the Pacific Coast Groundfish fishery
will begin on landings starting on January 1, 2020. The first due date
for fee payments with the decreased rate will be February 14, 2020.
ADDRESSES: Send questions about this notice to Elaine Saiz, Chief,
Financial Services Division, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315
East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3282.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elaine Saiz, (301) 427-8752.
I. Background
    Sections 312(b) through (e) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery
Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1861a (b) through (e))
generally authorizes fishing capacity reduction programs. In
particular, section 312(d) authorizes industry fee systems for repaying
reduction loans that finance reduction programs. Subpart L of 50 CFR
part 600 is the framework rule generally implementing section 312(b)
through (e). Sections 1111 and 1112 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936
(46 App. U.S.C. 1279f and 1279g) generally authorizes reduction loans.
    Enacted on February 20, 2003, section 212 of Division B, Title II,
of Public Law 108-7 (section 212) specifically authorizes a fishing
capacity reduction program for that portion of the limited entry trawl
fishery under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan
whose permits, excluding those registered to whiting catcher-
processors, are endorsed for trawl gear operation (reduction fishery).
    The reduction program's objective was to reduce the number of
vessels and permits endorsed for the operation of groundfish trawl
gear. The program also involved corollary fishing capacity reduction in
the California, Oregon, and Washington fisheries for Dungeness crab and
pink shrimp and the sub-loans for these state fisheries have all been
    NMFS proposed the implementing notice on May 28, 2003 (68 FR 31653)
and published the final notice on July 18, 2003 (68 FR 42613). NMFS
allocated a $28,428,719 reduction loan to the groundfish fishery. The
allocation became a reduction loan repayable by fees from the
groundfish fishery.
    NMFS published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2005 (70 FR
40225), the final rule to implement the industry fee system for
repaying the program's reduction loan. The regulations implementing the
program are located at Sec.  600.1012 of 50 CFR part 600's subpart M.
On August 8, 2005, NMFS published in the Federal Register (70 FR 45695)
a notice of the fee effective date and established September 8, 2005 as
the effective date when fee collection and loan repayment began.
II. Purpose
    The purpose of this notice is to adjust, in accordance with the
framework rule's Sec.  600.1013(b), the fee rate for the groundfish
fishery. Section 600.1013(b) directs NMFS to recalculate the fee rate
that will be reasonably necessary to ensure reduction loan repayment
within the specified 30-year term. NMFS has determined that the current
fee rate of 4.0 percent for the groundfish fishery is projected to
collect more than the annual amortization amount needed for 2020.
Therefore, NMFS is decreasing the fee rate to 3.5 percent for all
landings beginning January 1, 2020.
    Fish buyers may continue to disburse collected fee deposits to NMFS
by using ( or by mailing payments to our
lockbox. Our lockbox's address is: NOAA Fisheries Pacific Coast
Groundfish Buyback, P.O. Box 979059, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. Fish
buyers must include the fee collection report with the fee payment.
Fish buyers using ( will find an
electronic fee collection report form. Fish buyers not using ( may also access the NMFS website for a
copy of the fee collection report at:
III. Notice
    The new 3.5 percent fee rate for the groundfish fishery will begin
for all landings starting January 1, 2020. From and after this date,
all groundfish program fish sellers paying fees shall begin paying
groundfish program fees at the revised rate. From and after this date,
all fees received by NMFS for the groundfish fishery shall be subject
to the new fee rates regardless of the applicable fee month. The first
due date for fee payments with the decreased rate will be February 14,
    Fee collection and submission shall follow previously established
methods in Sec.  600.1013 of the framework rule and in the final fee
rule published in the Federal Register on July 13, 2005 (70 FR 40225).
    Authority: The authority for this action is Pub. L. 107 206,
Pub. L. 108 7, 16 U.S.C. 1861a (b) through (e), and 50 CFR 600.1000
et seq.
    Dated: December 5, 2019.
Brian T. Pawlak,
Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, Director, Office
of Management and Budget, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-26630 Filed 12-10-19; 8:45 am]