Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for a Regulatory Amendment to Revise Administrative and Procedural Aspects of the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program

February 11, 2009

Analysis of regulatory amendments related to observer providers, observers, and industry participating in the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program

The Council recommends amending Federal regulations relevant to numerous administrative, technical, and procedural requirements applicable to observer providers, observers, and industry participating in the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program. Specifically, the proposed actions would:

  • Modify the current permit issuance process so that observer and observer provider permit issuance is a discretionary NMFS decision. (Issue 1)
  • Amend current Federal regulations addressing observer behavior involving drugs, alcohol, and physical sexual conduct to remove NMFS oversight of observer behavior that does not affect job performance. Require that observer providers submit policies related to these activities and continue to notify NMFS upon learning of an incident. (Issue 2)
  • Clarify in Federal regulations that observer providers are allowed to provide observers or technical staff for purposes of exempted fishing permits, scientific research permits, or other scientific research activities. (Issue 3)
  • Revise the definition of “fishing day” in Federal regulations. (Issue 4)
  • Require observer providers to submit detailed economic information to NMFS every three years. (Issue 5)
  • No action is recommended on Issue 6, which proposed specifying a date by which observers who have collected data in the previous fishing year would be required to be available for debriefing.
  • Implement housekeeping issues related to errors or clarifications in existing regulations at 50 CFR 679.50. (Issue 7)

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 04/08/2020

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