Date: November 1, 2000
Federal Register summary: “The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has recommended to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), management measures which would allow permit owners to register multiple limited entry fixed-gear permits with sablefish endorsements to a single vessel (permit stacking), beginning with the 2001 regular nontrawl sablefish fishery. As part of a permit stacking program, the Council proposes to restrict persons from owning more than three limited entry permits with sablefish endorsements; to allow limited entry permits with sablefish endorsements to be owned only by individuals, not corporations or other business entities; and to require permit owners to be on board a vessel to which a sablefish permit is registered when it is participating in the fishery. 66 FR 17681, April 3, 2001
However, owners of permits as of November 1, 2000, are proposed to be exempt from these restrictions. Persons holding more than three permits on November 1, 2000, would not be allowed to accumulate more permits, but neither would they be required to sell their excess permits. To inform the industry that it was proposing permit restrictions applicable to permits acquired after November 1, 2000, the Council recommended that NMFS announce November 1, 2000, as a control date. This control date is intended to provide notification of the council’s intent and to discourage: persons from accumulating permits above the limit; individual permit owners from incorporating or becoming partnerships; and increases in absentee permit ownership, before the permit stacking regulations become effective. “
Who affected: Limited entry fixed-gear sablefish fishery permit owners
Why: Overcapitalization in the groundfish fishery was undermining the effectiveness of management. Reducing capacity was necessary to reduce overfishing, minimize bycatch, and improve the economic outlook for the West Coast fishing industry. Sablefish permit stacking was designed to reduce capacity in the limited entry fixed-gear sablefish fishery. The Council intended to have a program in place for the 2001 regular nontrawl sablefish fishery.
The proposal would allow permit owners to register multiple limited entry fixed-gear permits with sablefish endorsements to a single vessel (permit stacking), beginning with the 2001 regular nontrawl sablefish fishery. This control date was intended to discourage persons from accumulating permits above the limit, individual permit owners from incorporating or becoming partnerships, and increases in absentee permit ownership before the permit stacking regulations became effective.
What is a control date?
Control dates are published as an “advanced notice of proposed rulemaking” in the Federal Register.
When the Council begins considering a new limited entry program or the revision of an existing program, it often announces a control date. A control date tells the public that the Council may recommend that activities occurring after that date not count toward qualification for the limited entry program (or modification) being considered. Fishers are not guaranteed future participation, regardless of their date of activity or level of participation in the fishery. Interested parties are urged to contact the Pacific Council office to stay informed of the development of any planned regulations.
Announcement of a control date does not commit the Pacific Council to developing any particular management regime or to use any specific criteria for determining participation in a fishery. The Pacific Council may choose a different control date or a management program that does not make use of such a date. The Pacific Council may also choose to take no further action to modify or control entry or access to the fishery.
Any action by the Pacific Council will be taken pursuant to the requirement for FMP development established under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, may require amendment of the regulations implementing the related FMP, and possibly require amendment of the FMP itself. Such action will entail a proposal for an FMP regulatory amendment with public input and a supporting analysis, NMFS approval, and appropriate rulemaking procedures. These advance notices of proposed rulemakings have been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.