Federal Register: March 6, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 43)
DOCID: fr06mr09-10 FR Doc E9-4371
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission
CFR Citation: 50 CFR Part 660
Docket ID: [Docket No. 0809121213-9221-02]
RIN ID: RIN 0648-AX24
NOTICE: Part II
DOCUMENT ACTION: Final rule.
Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; 2009-2010 Biennial Specifications and Management Measures
DATES: Effective March 1, 2009.
This final rule sets the 2009-2010 harvest specifications and management measures for groundfish taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California and it revises rebuilding plans for four of the seven overfished rockfish species, consistent with the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan. Together, the revisions to rebuilding plans and the 20092010 harvest specifications and management measures are intended to rebuild overfished stocks as soon as possible, taking into account the status and biology of the stocks, the needs of fishing communities, and the interaction of the overfished stocks within the marine environment.
Commerce Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This final rule is accessible via the Internet at the Office of the Federal Register's Web site at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html. Background information and documents are available at the Pacific Fishery Management Council's Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org/. Background
NMFS published a proposed rule to implement the 20092010 groundfish harvest specifications and management measures on December 31, 2008, (73 FR 80516). The proposed rule requested comments through January 30, 2009. NMFS received eight letters of comment, which are addressed later in the preamble to this final rule. See the preamble to the proposed rule for additional background information on the fishery and on this final rule.
The amount of each Pacific Coast groundfish species or species group that is available for harvest in a specific year is referred to as a harvest specification. Harvest specifications include acceptable biological catches (ABCs), optimum yields (OYs), and harvest guidelines (HGs). Harvest specifications may also include ``setasides'' of harvestable amounts of fish.
The ABC is a biologically based estimate of the amount of fish that may be harvested each year without affecting the sustainability of the resource. The ABC may be modified with precautionary adjustments to account for uncertainty. An OY is a target harvest level for a species or species group. The OYs may be set equal to the ABC for the species or species group, but are often set lower as a precautionary measure. The Council's policies on setting ABCs, OYs, and other harvest specifications are discussed later in the preamble to this final rule. Harvest specifications for 20092010 are provided in Tables 1a through 2c.
Management measures for 20092010 work in combination with the existing regulations to create a management structure that is intended to constrain fishing so the catch of overfished groundfish species does not exceed the rebuildingbased OYs while allowing, to the extent possible, the OYs for healthier groundfish stocks that cooccur with the overfished stocks to be achieved. In order to rebuild overfished species, allowable harvest levels of healthy species will only be achieved where such harvest will not deter rebuilding of overfished stocks.
Comments and Responses
During the comment period for the 20092010 harvest specifications and management measures proposed rule, NMFS received eight letters of comment. The Makah Tribe and the Quileute Tribe each submitted letters of comment concerning the tribal allocation for Pacific whiting. The Department of the Interior submitted a letter stating they had no comment. California Department of Fish and Game, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife submitted editorial and technical corrections to be made in the final rule to make it consistent with the Pacific Council action. One letter of comment was sent jointly by four environmental advocacy organizations (Natural Resources Defense Council, Pacific Marine Conservation Council, Ocean Conservancy, and Marine Fish Conservation Network; hereinafter, ``The Four Organizations.'') Santa Monica Seafood sent a letter of comment in support of precautionary and sustainable fishery management. Substantive comments received on the proposed rule are addressed here:
Comment 1: The Makah Tribe supported the proposed rule, and focused their comments on the portion of the rule that addressed tribal treaty fisheries for Pacific whiting. They believe that the total allocation of whiting to the treaty tribes should be sufficient to meet the needs of each tribe participating in the fishery, as reasonably determined by the tribes themselves, and that each tribe should be responsible for managing the portion of the allocation necessary to meet its needs and minimizing bycatch. The Makah believe that the proposed rule is consistent with these principles, and addresses the possibility of a race for fish and any associated exceedence of bycatch limits.
Response: NOAA agrees that the rule reflects the approach described by the Makah, and that a goal of the tribal whiting portion of the rule is to accommodate the tribal treaty right and to avoid a race for fish and excessive bycatch.
Comment 2: The Quileute Tribe believes that the proposed rule's division of the tribal whiting allocation into ``setasides'' for the Makah Tribe and the Quileute Tribe is inconsistent with court rulings in United States v. Washington and with prior NOAA practice.
Response: As stated in the proposed rule, the tribal setasides for
2009 are based on timely requests made to the Council, consistent with
the schedule for the implementation of tribal fisheries set forth in 50
CFR 660.324(b). Both the Makah Tribe and the Quileute Tribe made timely
requests for the 2009 whiting fishery for consideration at the June
2008 Council meeting. At this meeting, and at additional meetings and
discussions among the tribal, state, and federal comanagers, NOAA
reached an understanding that the Quileute anticipated harvesting up to
8,000 mt and that the Makah anticipated harvesting up to 42,000 mt, for
a total tribal allocation of 50,000 mt. Fifty thousand metric tons,
while higher that previous tribal allocations, is still clearly within
the treaty right given the current knowledge of the distribution [[Page 9875]]
and abundance of the coastal whiting stock. At its June 2008 meeting, the Council recommended this amount and the individual tribal set asides for further analysis.
Following the Council's recommendation and the issuance of the DEIS analyzing that recommendation and the associated bycatch, the Quileute Tribe stated its intent to harvest up to 24,000 mt of whiting in the 2009 fishery. The tribes have not reached agreement regarding the division of the tribal share for 2009 in light of the Quileute Tribe's later, larger harvest estimate. Without clear management targets for each tribe, a race for fish may occur as whiting migrate from south to north, reaching the Quileutes usual and accustomed fishing areas (U&A) before they reach the Makah U&A. A race for fish could result in excessive bycatch of overfished species, and the closure of other groundfish fisheries.
The division of the tribal share of whiting into setasides for the individual tribes is not inconsistent with either the court rulings in United States v. Washington or NOAA's past practice. These setasides are not formal allocations, nor do they create precedent for future years. They are, however, necessary under the circumstances to ensure that the tribal and nontribal fisheries are conducted in an orderly manner and bycatch limits of overfished species are not exceeded. The tribes bear the primary responsibility for dividing the tribal share of the fish. U.S. v. Washington, 384 F. Supp. 312, 417 (1974). However, the court has also emphasized the importance of close coordination between the comanagers to ensure that the fishery resource is properly managed and conserved. See, e.g., U.S. v. Washington, 520 F.2d 676, 685 (9th Cir. 1975). In several instances, the court has ordered the co managers to share information on a schedule, and to consult with each other on the management of the fisheries. See, e.g., U.S. v. Washington, 459 F. Supp. 1020, 103538 (W.D. Wash. 1978); U.S. v. Washington, 626 F. Supp. 1405, 1420 (W. D. Wash. 1985). The process and schedule for the implementation of new tribal fisheries set forth in 50 CFR 660.324(b) is consistent with the comanagement responsibility the court has described. The goal of the schedule is to integrate consideration of the tribal fisheries into the Council's process for determining annual groundfish harvest specifications. Close coordination in planning for tribal and nontribal fisheries is particularly important given the severe limits imposed on the west coast groundfish fisheries in order to rebuild overfished species such as canary and yelloweye rockfish. NOAA is responsible under the MSA for minimizing bycatch and preventing overfishing, and must carry out this responsibility consistent with the tribes' treaty fishing rights. Further, as trustee for all of the tribes, the Federal Government has a responsibility to ensure that one tribe's exercise of its treaty right does not prevent another tribes' exercise of that right. The regulatory processes for implementing the tribal fisheries and the tribal set asides for 2009 are consistent with these legal mandates.
The Council has asked NOAA to work with the tribal, state, and Federal comanagers to develop a proposal for the tribal whiting fishery for 2010 and beyond. NOAA has begun the process of developing scientific information for use in achieving this goal, in consultation with the tribal and state comanagers. Specifically, NOAA hopes to reach consensus with the other comanagers on the appropriate tribal allocation, and to provide the tribes with information that may assist them in reaching agreement on the division of the tribal share in the future. NOAA does not intend to allocate the total tribal whiting allocation to the individual tribes. Should the tribes fail to reach consensus regarding the division of that amount amongst themselves in the future, NOAA will consider initiating litigation to resolve this issue in order to ensure that the fishery is conducted in a manner that accommodates the treaty rights of the tribes, and avoids excessive bycatch.
Comment 3: The Quileute Tribe argues that the proposed setasides unfairly favor the Makah Tribe because the Makah setaside is significantly larger than the Quileute setaside, even though at least as many whiting pass through the Quileute U&A as pass through the Makah U&A.
Response: As described above, the tribal setasides for 2009 are
based on the tribes' own estimates of the size of their harvests, not
on any independent analysis by NOAA. Further, the setasides for 2009
do not create any sort of precedent for future tribal fisheries.
Ideally, the tribes will reach consensus on the division of the total tribal share for 2010 and beyond.
California Department of Fish and Game, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Comment 4: The California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) submitted a list of 20 editorial, technical, and corrective comments on the proposed rule. The comments ranged from edits on capitalization to proposing clarifying revisions to the regulatory text for California's recreational groundfish fisheries. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife had one minor comment on incidental catch of lingcod in the salmon troll fishery. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife suggested corrections to the ABC/OY tables.
Response: None of the CDFG comments represent fundamental revisions, but propose to correct the final rule so that it is consistent with the Pacific Council's final action. Much of the preamble text, to which the first four CDFG comments pertain, is not repeated or revised in this final rule. Therefore, though NMFS agrees with these four editorial comments, no revisions are made to this final rule. NMFS also agrees with the remainder of the comments and has revised the following regulatory paragraphs in response to these comments: Sec. 660.384; Table 1a, Table 1c, and Table 2a; and Sec. 660.394. The lingcod comment from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife was addressed in Table 5 (North). Comments from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife were addressed in ABC/OY tables 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, and 2c. These changes are explained below in the section Changes from the Proposed Rule.
Comment 5: In their comment letter (Comment 9), CDFG requests that NMFS add language to Sec. 660.390Groundfish Conservation Areas that refers readers to the California Recreational Fishery regulations, at Sec. 660.384(c), so that they can see the effective periods of each particular area closure.
Response: The introductory regulatory text to section Sec. 660.390 states that, `` * * * Fishing activity that is prohibited or permitted within a particular groundfish conservation area is detailed at Sec. Sec. 660.381 through 660.384.'' This introductory text was not published in the proposed rule, as no revisions to this language were proposed. NMFS feels that the clarification requested by CDFG is already captured in the existing regulatory language, and therefore has not made any revisions in this final rule.
The Four Organizations
Comment 6: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to manage blue rockfish separately from the minor nearshore complex and set a precautionary OY that reduces catch below the 2007 level given scientific suspicion that this species may be experiencing overfishing.
Response: NMFS will continue to manage blue rockfish under the minor nearshore rockfish complexes and to
establish a 220 mt harvest guideline (HG) for all California fisheries. The 220 mt HG is below the assessment ABC of 241 mt in 2009 (223 mt north of Pt. Conception from base model in the assessment plus 18 mt for south of Pt. Conception) and 239 mt in 2010 (221 mt north of Pt. Conception from base model in the assessment plus 18 mt for south of Pt. Conception) and is therefore a prescribed harvest level below the overfishing threshold. California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) has committed to maintaining harvests below this HG and has the authority to enact more precautionary management measures if necessary (see section 18.104.22.168 in the DEIS for more details). Blue rockfish are covered by the California Nearshore Fishery Management Plan and are harvested primarily inside state waters off California, so California has the greater ability to control the harvest of blue rockfish. They have indicated they will take management measures as necessary to stay within harvest guidelines.
Comment 7: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to schedule greenspotted rockfish for assessment in the 20092010 cycle per the SSC recommendation.
Response: Deciding which groundfish stocks to assess in 2009 is not part of this final rule. NMFS notes that the assessment schedule, developed by the Council in close coordination with NMFS and the states, is based on a variety of factors, including data availability and workload issues for all involved.
Comment 8: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to conduct an assessment of and design specific protection measures for bronzespotted rockfish as scientific data indicate it is vulnerable to fishing and that landings have declined dramatically; they also urged NMFS to keep the preferred alternative choice of a noretention policy.
Response: As per the response on greenspotted rockfish, deciding on whether an assessment of bronzespotted rockfish is done is not a part of the proposed action. Given the scientific information on bronzespotted rockfish, which is summarized in the FEIS, NMFS is prohibiting retention of bronzespotted rockfish in all west coast fisheries, which will greatly reduce fishing mortality, since historical data indicate that the stock was targeted when it was encountered. The available scientific information also suggests that bronzespotted rockfish are distributed in the same habitats as cowcod and continuing the Cowcod Conservation Areas should contribute to conservation of the stock. In the proposed rule, regulatory language at Sec. 660.384(c)(3)(iii)(B) mistakenly neglected to add bronzespotted rockfish to the list of species that may not be retained in the California recreational fishery. In the final rule, this section is revised to add bronzespotted rockfish to the list of species that may not be retained in the California recreational fishery. Also, NMFS adds species specific trip limits for bronzespotted rockfish, to designate it as ``closed'', in Tables 3 (South), 4 (South), and 5 (South). These actions are consistent with the FEIS.
Comment 9: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to conduct a spiny dogfish stock assessment in the 20092010 timeframe. They assert that spiny dogfish are a slowgrowing species which is ``experiencing crashes and red listings within its range.''
Response: NMFS notes again that the assessment schedule is not part of this final rule and is based on a variety of factors, including data availability and workload issues. As discussed in NMFS response to comments in Chapter 15 of the FEIS, NMFS has considered that the general life history characteristics of spiny dogfish make the species generally vulnerable to overexploitation. However, trip limits in combination with Rockfish Conservation Areas (RCAs), are intended to reduce the total catch of dogfish over historical catch levels. NMFS assumes that the reference to ``red listings'' refers to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list, which does not appear to include Pacific spiny dogfish. It should also be noted that there does not appear to be the same potential threats to spiny dogfish populations in the northeast Pacific compared to other regions where they occur.
Comment 10: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to rebuild darkblotched rockfish within 10 years, which they assert is required under the MagnusonStevens Act; in the event that NMFS does not follow this course of action, at a minimum NMFS should implement an OY no higher than the 2006 OY level of 200 mt to reflect the new biological understanding that the stock is rebuilding more slowly than previously thought.
Response: The MagnusonStevens Act requires a rebuilding period
that is as short as possible, taking into account the appropriate
statutory factors, and that does not exceed 10 years unless it is
biologically impossible. In the groundfish FMP, T
The Four Organizations imply that a zeroharvest strategy is a MagnusonStevens Act mandate for the revised rebuilding plan since the stock can now be rebuilt within ten years under a zeroharvest strategy. This does not make sense, since that reasoning would require a zeroharvest strategy whenever a stock is potentially within ten years of being rebuilt at any point in the rebuilding period.
The darkblotched rebuilding plan, as well as all west coast
groundfish rebuilding plans, relies on a strategy to rebuild in as
short a time as possible while taking into account the status and
biology of the depleted stock, the needs of fishing communities, and
the interaction of the depleted stock within the marine ecosystem. As
described in section 2.1.1 of the FEIS, this rebuilding objective was
underscored in an August 2005 ruling in the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals, which resulted in reconsideration of all west coast groundfish
rebuilding plans under FMP Amendment 164 in 2006. The resulting
darkblotched OYs in 2007 and 2008 were specified in accordance with the
Amendment 164 rebuilding plan, considering the time to rebuild, the
needs of west coast fishing communities, and other appropriate factors.
Setting the 2009 and 2010 darkblotched OY no higher than the 2006 OY of
200 mt would cause significant negative impacts to west coast fishing communities as evidenced
by the analyses in the Amendment 164 EIS, and the analyses used to decide the preferred OYs for 2009 and 2010 in the FEIS.
The rebuilding approach under Amendment 164 does not consider the harvest and rebuilding of darkblotched rockfish in isolation from the harvest and rebuilding of other groundfish species. Changes in the OYs for any of the overfished species affect the time to rebuild for that species and the ability of fishermen to harvest other species of groundfish, including healthy species. Similarly, changes in OYs for groundfish species have differing economic impacts on West Coast fishing communities. For these reasons, the Four Organizations have taken a limited perspective on the darkblotched rebuilding plan. Consistent with Amendment 164, NMFS took a programmatic perspective for 2009 and 2010 and examined all rebuilding plans, and their impacts on communities, simultaneously. In doing so, NMFS considered both time to rebuild and needs of communities in the decision for all changes to rebuilding plans and selection of overfished species OYs.
Darkblotched rockfish is one of the most important overfished species in relation to the overall health of commercial fisheries and their communities, because its rebuilding OY limits access to some of the most valuable target stocks (Dover sole, thornyheads, sablefish, petrale sole, and to some degree, Pacific whiting). Therefore, a relatively small reduction in darkblotched harvest in one year will result in a relatively large reduction in the amount of the target species that can be harvested. Because marginal changes in the darkblotched harvest rate have a relatively large effect on economic benefits from the groundfish commercial fisheries, a darkblotched OY that is slightly less conservative than those for other overfished species and results in a slightly longer rebuilding period is justified.
Comment 11: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to adopt an OY of 44 mt or 85 mt for canary rockfish in light of the fact that the 2007 OY of 44 mt was manageable and that the new, more optimistic stock assessment has considerable uncertainty.
Response: Considerable analysis of the new canary rockfish stock assessment, the new canary rockfish rebuilding analysis, and the alternative 2009 and 2010 OYs resulting from the new assessment and rebuilding analysis was done in the process leading to NMFS's decision on a canary rockfish OY of 105 mt. The Stock Assessment Review (STAR) panel and the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) that critically evaluated the new canary rockfish assessment in 2007 recommended the new, more optimistic assessment as the best available science. While there is uncertainty in the new canary rockfish assessment, the new assessment is considered superior to previous canary rockfish assessments by the STAR panel and the SSC.
NMFS disagrees with the Four Organizations' assertion that the 105 mt canary rockfish OY ``prioritizes economic gain over rebuilding within the statutorily required timeframe''. The reductions in groundfish harvest imposed by the canary rockfish rebuilding plan have created significant adverse economic impacts on all sectors of the west coast groundfish fishery. As shown during the development of Amendment 164 and continuing now, many of the most economically vulnerable ports are losing their infrastructure and seeing many fishingrelated business losses.
In addition to the impacts predicted during the development of Amendment 164, following the adoption of 20072008 groundfish harvest specifications and management measures, the Council received updated observer data that indicated canary rockfish bycatch was higher than previously thought. As a result, at the April, 2007 Council meeting, the Council recommended inseason adjustments to management measures in order to keep overall harvest levels within the canary rockfish OY. As a result, NMFS expanded the size of the RCAs, closing off several important grounds for fishing communities off the Washington and Oregon coasts (72 FR 19390, April 18, 2007). This resulted in community impacts in 2007 and 2008 that were worse than had been anticipated. The regulations and management measures initially established for 2007 were much less restrictive than those now in place as a result of the more recent observer data. Significantly, in the remote fishing community of Neah Bay, all areas actively fished by the nontribal trawl fleet were closed, eliminating much of the fishing activity occurring in that port and community. Other communities may not have been harmed to the same degree, but were certainly impacted more than anticipated when the 20072008 groundfish harvest specifications and management measures were developed and analyzed. Vessels in Astoria, for example, lost much of their access to fishing grounds shorewardofthetrawl RCA, an area relied upon heavily in the past. The 44 mt OY was, and would continue to be, extremely restrictive in the trawl fishery, as well as for other sectors.
The Council's SSC and National Standard 1 guidelines generally
recommend a constant harvest rate strategy for rebuilding plans.
However, in view of the requirement to rebuild as quickly as possible
while taking into account the appropriate factors, the Council's
preferred 20092010 canary rockfish OY of 105 mt actually lowers the
status quo harvest rate in the current rebuilding plan (maintaining the
status quo SPR harvest rate of F
Comment 12: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to adhere to the rebuilding plan adopted in 164 for yelloweye rockfish and not modify it to allow higher take in 2010. Additionally, they assert that the modified rebuilding plan has a lower probability of rebuilding than under the original rampdown plan.
Response: The revised rebuilding plan for yelloweye rockfish
essentially maintains the status quo rebuilding plan adopted under FMP
Amendment 164 by maintaining the target rebuilding year and
maintaining the SPR harvest rate scheduled to be in place once the
constant harvest rate strategy begins in 2011. The harvest is ramping
down from the OY levels in 2007 and 2008 (23 mt and 20 mt respectively)
to 17 mt in 2009 as specified in the status quo rebuilding plan. The
modification is that in 2010, the OY will remain at 17 mt rather than
be reduced to 14 mt, as specified in the status quo rebuilding plan.
The harvest of yelloweye rockfish under the status quo rebuilding plan in 2010 would take 1.29 percent of the spawning biomass in
that year. Under the revised rebuilding plan, 1.56 percent will be taken. This slight modification occurs in only one year of the rebuilding plan and provides no appreciable difference in the time or probability to rebuild between this alternative and the status quo plan. Table 410 in the FEIS that shows the rebuilding probability for yelloweye rockfish under both the preliminary and final preferred alternative are essentially the same, as calculated to one tenth of one percent.
The Four Organizations allege that there is no quantitative analysis to support the view that implementing a lower yelloweye OY in 2010 would have unacceptably severe impacts on fishing communities. NMFS disagrees. As an example, in terms of California recreational fisheries, yelloweye is the most constraining species north of Pt. Arena. A 2010 yelloweye rockfish OY of 17 mt provides for an additional three months of fishing in that area, as opposed to a 2010 OY of 14 mt. See Figures 241 and 251 in the FEIS.
Avoiding yelloweye rockfish in line gear fisheries has proven extremely difficult. The Council and NMFS have been progressively specifying more conservative management measures to achieve the target yelloweye rockfish harvest rate in the rebuilding plan. New recommended management measures for 2009 and 2010, such as expanding the size of the nontrawl RCA by extending it seaward and shoreward in areas north of 40[deg]10[min] N. latitude, are designed to maintain yelloweye rockfish impacts below the target harvest prescribed in the rebuilding plan. As noted in the FEIS (see sections 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199), the slightly higher yelloweye rockfish harvest rate in 2010 under the preferred alternative is recommended in large part due to higher than anticipated yelloweye bycatch in the northern California recreational groundfish fishery in 2007 and to allow one more year to determine effective management measures, including potential new Yelloweye RCAs (YRCAs) needed to minimize bycatch of yelloweye rockfish in a manner that minimizes potential impacts.
Comment 13: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to analyze and determine a threshold of economic activity below which a disaster would occur and structure the rebuilding alternatives to analyze incremental increases of overfished species OY. In addition, the Four Organizations assert that NMFS has failed to show that the groundfish fishery is experiencing a ``disaster.''
Response: Declaration of a ``disaster threshhold'' is not a requirement under MSA or any other applicable laws. The appropriate standard is set out in the MSA. The analysis of socioeconomic impacts associated with overfished species OYs uses the same framework adopted under Amendment 164 for rebuilding plans and the 20072008 harvest specifications. Under this framework, impacts to west coast fishing communities associated with rebuilding alternatives are analyzed based on each community's dependence on the groundfish fishery and the general economic resilience of that community to changes in fishing opportunities. Communities that are highly dependent on the groundfish fishery and with very low resilience to changes in economic activities associated with groundfish fishing are considered more vulnerable to negative socioeconomic impacts under more conservative rebuilding alternatives. Each community is differentially affected by an individual species rebuilding plan based on that species distribution and the way that species rebuilding plan affects the fisheries that contribute to the community's economic infrastructure. This is a more realistic approach for assessing impacts on communities since different communities suffer such different impacts.
However, to put the ``disaster threshold'' question in its proper context, one must consider that the current nonwhiting groundfish fishery is much more constrained today under the full range of overfished species OYs analyzed for the 20092010 management period than those that were specified prior to and during the year 2000 when the west coast groundfish fishery was declared a federal disaster. That is, there are far fewer groundfish fishing opportunities available today under the more conservative management regime than there were during the late 1990s and 2000. This is driven by the groundfish rebuilding plans that today dictate the amount of fishing opportunity that can be considered.
Comment 14: The Four Organizations submitted detailed comments
challenging the rebuilding approach adopted under Amendment 164. The
Four Organizations assert that NMFS prioritizes shortterm economic
gains over the rebuilding of overfished species. They urged the agency
to adopt and implement the paradigm that is mandated by the MSA and the 9th Circuit Court. The Four Organizations assert that the
``interrelated'' framework approach of Amendment 164 undermines the statutory requirement to rebuild as quickly as possible and that the agency has offered no scientific basis for treating the overfished species and their OYs as ``interrelated.'' They specifically state that ``The agency is allowing more bycatch of the overfished species that it deems to be in slightly better shape in an effort to compensate fishermen for having to stay away from ones in worse shape. Nothing in the MSA allows the agency to make this tradeoff between more fishing of some overfished species and less than others.'' In addition, the Four Organizations urge NMFS to adopt Alternative 3 instead of the current preferred alternative as Alternative 3 rebuilds overfished species more quickly and the DEIS analysis fails to demonstrate it would cause disastrous consequences.
Response: As explained in response to Comment 10, consistent with Amendment 164, NMFS took a programmatic perspective for 2009 and 2010 and examined all rebuilding plans, and their impacts on communities, simultaneously. In doing so, NMFS considered both time to rebuild and needs of communities in the decision for all changes to rebuilding plans and selection of overfished species OYs. Consistent with the 9th Circuit's recognition that different species of groundfish coexist in the fishery when it stated that the MSA ``allows the Agency to set limited quotas that would account for the shortterm needs of fishing communities (for example, to allow for some fishing of plentiful species despite the inevitability of bycatch), even though this would mean that the rebuilding period would take longer than it would under a total fishing ban.'' Natural Resources Defense Council v. NMFS, 421 F. 3d 872,880 (9th Cir. 2005) at 11423. The rebuilding approach does not consider the harvest and rebuilding of one groundfish species in isolation from the harvest and rebuilding of other groundfish species. Changes in the OYs for any of the overfished species affect the time to rebuild for that species and the ability of fishermen to harvest other species of groundfish, including healthy species. Similarly, changes in OYs for different groundfish species have differing economic impacts on West Coast fishing communities.
Short rebuilding time periods, after taking into account the
appropriate statutory factors, have been the first priority to the
Council and the agency during the development and implementation of
Amendment 164. Specifically for the 20092010 specifications, a wider
range of alternative OYs was analyzed for the seven overfished species managed
under the groundfish FMP than for the other, healthier stocks. This was due to the need to periodically evaluate the effectiveness of management measures to rebuild these stocks and to fully evaluate new stock status information that became available through stock assessments. Rebuilding OYs chosen by the Council for analysis in the DEIS encompass a reasonable range of alternatives, including 0 mt to higher OYs.
The DEIS analyses approach the harvest specifications decision by first considering the implications to stock rebuilding by evaluating alternative OYs using the criteria of catch monitoring uncertainty, stock assessment uncertainty, the level of stock depletion, rebuilding probabilities, and the extended duration of rebuilding (see DEIS section 4.2). These evaluations are used to rank the risk of alternative OYs in achieving rebuilding objectives at the individual stock level. This evaluation specifically looks at the tradeoff of potential fishing opportunities provided by progressively higher OYs versus extending rebuilding periods for these species. The next step is to systematically range OY alternatives for all seven species in concert (termed rebuilding alternatives in the DEIS) to generally gauge how these different OY suites may affect fishing opportunities on the west coast shelf and slope. This analysis recognizes that available yields for each overfished species differentially affect fisheries spatially both latitudinally and in distance from the shore, as well as by the selectivity of the various fishing gears deployed on the west coast to catch that species. For instance, yelloweye rockfish OY alternatives have a greater effect on fisheries deploying line gears on the northern shelf while widow OY alternatives are more likely to affect the ability of whitingdirected trawl fisheries to successfully harvest their whiting allocations. Finally, the analysis projects the socioeconomic impacts to west coast fishing communities by ranking communities based on their dependence on groundfish fisheries constrained by rebuilding OYs and their resilience to changes in economic activity affected by fishing opportunities. This multitiered analytical approach to rebuilding all the overfished species is designed to appropriately address the MagnusonStevens Act mandate to rebuild in as short a time as possible while taking into account the status and biology of the depleted stock, the needs of fishing communities, and the interaction of the depleted stock within the marine ecosystem.
Alternative 3 OYs are in some cases more conservative than status
quo rebuilding plans and in other cases more liberal. This is because
all rebuilding plans, except the yelloweye rockfish plan during the
harvest rate rampdown period, specify a constant harvest rate strategy
as recommended by the Council's SSC and National Standard 1 guidelines.
As discussed in response to Comment 11, the higher Alternative 6 OY for
canary rockfish comports to the status quo rebuilding plan since that OY is determined using the specified SPR harvest rate of
NMFS disagrees that the rebuilding plan gives priority to economic interests over rebuilding. In taking into account the needs of fishing communities, the Council and NMFS recognize that fishing communities have, for a number of years, already seen their economic activities curtailed in order to rebuild overfished species. The analysis in the DEIS provides information and analyses on individual community impacts and broader coastwide fishery impacts of groundfish fishery management focused on rebuilding overfished species. The analysis identifies classes of communities according to attributes of fishery dependence, resilience, and vulnerability. In comparing these community attributes to amounts of overfished species, target groundfish species and other target species (crab, shrimp, etc.) associated with these communities, NMFS found that there were few regions on the West Coast without a highly dependent or vulnerable groundfish fishing community.
In addition to severely reduced groundfish fishing opportunities, in May, 2008, a commercial fishery failure was declared for the West Coast salmon fishery. The unprecedented collapse of Sacramento River Fall Chinook, combined with the exceptionally poor status of coho salmon from Oregon and Washington, led officials to close all commercial and sport Chinook ocean fishing off California and most of Oregon in 2008. This 2008 salmon closure left thousands of commercial fishermen and dependent commercial and recreational businesses struggling to make ends meet. In response to a request for $290 million in disaster aid by the Governors of Washington, Oregon, and California, Congress appropriated $170 million in disaster aid to affected commercial fishermen and affected commercial and recreational businesses, including support businesses. Given the lack of opportunity for fishermen to harvest salmon in 2008, the Council and NMFS recognized that there might be an increased economic incentive to harvest West Coast groundfish stocks. Because of this, the Council and NMFS took actions to reduce cumulative trip limits for some species in open access fisheries as a conservation measure to ensure that specific OYs were not exceeded (73 FR 21057, April 18, 2008). While the salmon measures for 2009 have not yet been determined, salmon seasons off California and Oregon may be similarly constrained in 2009.
The DEIS provides a rationale for the preferred alternative. Setting harvest specifications and associated management measures is largely driven by the legal requirement to rebuild overfished species. Because of the resulting constraints that this imposes on fisheries and the fact that harvest of other stocks is constrained by the restrictions on overfished stocks, the risk that other stocks will be subjected to overfishing is minimal. For overfished stocks, the basic approach that guides the adoption of a rebuilding strategy comes from the MSA, as explained above.
Table 757c in the FEIS shows estimated income impacts under the
different management measure alternatives by commercial and tribal
fishery including nongroundfish fisheries. Income impacts are a
measure of total harvesting, processing, and support activities
connected with Councilmanaged commercial harvests and recreational
angler trip expenditures. The Councilpreferred alternative shows a $22
million increase in commercial personal income impacts compared to No
Action. This is about a 3percent increase in the total west coast
personal income generated landings of groundfish and nongroundfish
over the status quo. In terms of ``groundfish only'' impacts, income
generated by the directed groundfish fisheries is about $19 million for
about a 12 percent increase over the status quo. These personal income
impacts are primarily based on the exvessel revenues projected for
each of the alternatives which in turn are based on projected OYs.
These projections are discussed in the RIR/IRFA associated with this
action (Chapter 10 of the DEIS and FEIS) and Chapter 7 of the DEIS and FEIS. The
analysis provides projections that compare various alternatives considered including: 2007, NoAction (status quo regulations), and Council's preferred (regulations associated with this final rule). For the tribal and nontribal commercial fleets, the Council's preferred Alternative leads to $104 million in projected exvessel revenues. This is $13 million greater than the NoAction Alternative projection$91 million and $20 million greater than those earned in 2007. These increases are from the increase in the sablefish OY and the use of the 2008 whiting OY for projecting the 2009 and 2010 whiting OYs. In 2007, the commercial and tribal fleets harvested 5,200 mt of the 5,900 mt sablefish OY and received about $21 million in exvessel revenues. The proposed 200910 sablefish OYs are about 8,400 mt eacha 46 percent increase. In 2007, whiting vessels harvested about 86 percent of the 243,000 mt OY, earning about $39 million in exvessel revenues. The 2008 OY is 269,000 mtan 11 percent increase.
The Council's analysis provides impacts by gear group or fishery. (The Council's analysis also provides impacts by fishing communities showing estimates by 18 community/port groups which encompass about 63 individual ports. This analysis is not presented here.) Under these proposed regulations, the projected commercial exvessel revenues for the nontribal directed groundfish groups are about $90 million yearly. These figures represent slight increases from the NoAction (status quo) alternative. Forecast revenues for the limited entry nonwhiting trawl fleet are higher than those forecast under previous years' (2007 2008) management regime. The prime reason for this increase is the increase in the sablefish OY as opposed to changes in the rebuilding species OYs. However, the proposed areabased management controls for this fishery are likely to be more limiting than those developed for the 20072008 fisheries. These changes will lead to a decrease in fishable area and a potential increase in the cost of fishing because vessels traveling to and fishing at deeper depths will need more fuel. Fixed gear sablefish harvesters will produce more revenue than earned in the 200708 period because of the higher sablefish OY. However, similar to the situation for limited entry trawlers, area management will be more restrictive and cause harvesting costs to rise. The nearshore groundfish fishery will be able to reach exvessel revenues that equal the status quo but also will face increased area limits. Under the proposed rules, tribal groundfish fisheries should produce the same amount of exvessel revenues and personal income as under the NoAction Alternative. The projected revenues earned by limited entry whiting fishery (which includes the catcherprocessor fleet) are similar to those projected for the previous biennial period.
However, the potential amount of exvessel revenue and personal income will chiefly depend on the 2009 Pacific whiting assessment, adopted yearly by the Council during the March meeting. The Council's preferred alternative assumes that the 298,272 mt of whiting will be harvested in 2009. In 2007, 86 percent of the 2007 243,000 mt OY was harvested and the analysis forecasted that 60 percent of the 2008 OY of 269,000 mt would be harvested. Most recent estimates of the 2008 fishery indicate that 92 percent of 2008 OY was harvested. In January 2009, whiting stock assessment scientists have started developing the Pacific whiting assessment. Early indications are that the OY for Pacific whiting will not increase but decrease from 2009 levels. Consequently the Council projections of $22 million increase in personal income may actually be closer to $14 million if actual 2008 final whiting harvests and 2009 OYs are applied based on Tables 757c of the FEIS.
For the coastwide recreational fishery, the projected number of charterboat and private angler trips associated with this rule is higher under the preferred alternative compared to the No Action alternative and are less than in 2007 (See FEIS Tables 765 a, b, and c). Under the No Action Alternative, 1.2 million angler trips are projected. These trips would lead to an estimated $114 million in angler expenditures and $90 million in personal income (profits, wages, and other income that result from angler expenditures and remain in fishing communities). Under the Councilpreferred Alternative, anglers will take an estimated 1.27 million trips and spend $118 million and yield $93 million in personal income. This is an increase of 3 percent compared to No Action alternative but lower than the 2007 levels of expenditure ($122 million) and personal income ($96 million). As groundfish are caught in targeted bottomfish trips and in targeted trips for halibut, salmon, tuna and other species, these estimates are projections for the total west coast recreational fishery. For groundfishtargeted trips only, the No Action Alternative leads to $48 million in personal income. This is slightly down from 2007 levels of $51 million. Charterboats are considered small businesses. Under these proposed regulations, coastwide, the projected annual number of charterboat trips for all species is 399,000 trips. This is a decrease from 2007 levels of 414,000 trips and a slight increase from the No Action level of 392,000 trips. The impacts to the recreational sectors are driven by the OYs for yelloweye rockfish, canary rockfish, and to a lesser extent bocaccio and widow rockfish. The 200910 yelloweye rockfish OYs under the final Council preferred alternative represent a decrease of 3 mt from No Action levels. Management measures designed so as not to exceed the yelloweye rockfish OY also keep recreational catch within harvest guidelines for other potentially constraining species, such as canary rockfish. The proposed yelloweye bycatch reduction measures include restricting recreational fisheries to depths shallower than 20 fm in certain areas and/or during certain months and expanding areas to protect yelloweye rockfish.
The Councilpreferred alternative, in comparison to No Action, continues current rebuilding strategies for most overfished species with an increase in positive shortterm socioeconomic impacts (assuming that the whiting fishery is prosecuted at levels similar to past years). As discussed above, and in the FEIS and related documents, lower OYs and associated management measures could result in shorter rebuilding periods for overfished species; however, the Council and NMFS also considered the needs of fishing communities along the entire West Coast in selecting its preferred alternative. The cumulative decline in revenue and income over the past decade has been significant and the small increases in projected revenue are justified. Additional reductions in revenue due to additional management restrictions would likely have significant shortterm socioeconomic impacts. The rationale for adopting the preferred alternative is therefore consistent with the comprehensive requirements of the MSA at Sec. 304(e)(4)(A).
Comment 15: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to implement management changes recommended by scientists to address the challenges and uncertainties that climate change and ocean acidification bring.
Response: NMFS agrees there are great challenges and uncertainties
associated with climate change and ocean acidification. Potential long
term changes to marine ecosystems brought about by climate change and
ocean acidification were considered in our management decision. As stated in our
response to comments in the FEIS, relevant observations on climate change are included in Chapter 5 of the Supplemental Comprehensive Analysis to the Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion, 2008 (http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/SalmonHydropower/ColumbiaSnakeBasin/ FinalBOs.cfm). Interannual climatic variations (e.g. El Nino and La Nina), longer term cycles in ocean conditions (e.g. Pacific Decadal Oscillation), and ongoing global climate change have implications for marine habitats and groundfish species. These phenomena are an area of substantial scientific investigation. Scientific evidence strongly suggests that global climate change is already altering marine ecosystems from the tropics to polar seas. Physical changes associated with warming include increases in ocean temperature, increased stratification of the water column, and changes in the intensity and timing of coastal upwelling. These changes will alter primary and secondary productivity, and the structure of marine communities. NMFS believes that the west coast groundfish fishery is conservatively managed and we will continue to pursue the necessary research and adaptive management strategies to best address a changing marine ecosystem.
Comment 16: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to analyze an option to increase intersector allocation to the fixed gear fleet by 2530 percent, as fixed gear generally causes orders of magnitude less bycatch and habitat destruction than trawl gear.
Response: Intersector allocations are being considered in a separate ongoing process under FMP Amendment 21. We anticipate an alternative will be analyzed that will address an increase in allocation to fixed gear. Consideration of habitat impacts associated with different gear types and effects of long term sector allocations on west coast fishing communities will be considered in that process.
Comment 17: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to reduce the cowcod OY to 3 mt to reflect the new, more pessimistic understanding of the species's unfished biomass. The Four Organizations assert that NMFS has made no adjustments in rebuilding specifications in order to be precautionary or responsive to the change in unfished biomass from 18 percent to 4.6 percent.
Response: The 2007 cowcod assessment incorporated a suite of corrections and changes to the previous assessment (2005), resulting in revised estimates of several management reference points. The change in perception of stock status is reflected in the results of the revised rebuilding analysis. Due to technical flaws in the 2005 assessment, a direct comparison of revised rebuilding parameters to status quo values is inappropriate and misleading.
The revised rebuilding analysis identifies a median rebuilding year
of 2069 with a 3 mt OY and a median rebuilding year of 2072 with a 4 mt
OY. The median time to rebuild the stock if all fishingrelated
mortality were eliminated beginning in 2009 (T
Cowcod is the most constraining species in the southern trawl fishery, and in past years catch of cowcod in this fishery has been highly variable and unpredictable. While the average cowcod mortality in the trawl fishery is only 1.3 mt, catches have been as high as 2.1 mt in recent years. When combined with the total mortality from all sectors of the fishery, this variation would not be accommodated by a 3 mt OY. Therefore, additional fishery restrictions would be necessary if a 3 mt cowcod OY were adopted. Additional restrictions would not be necessary with a 4 mt OY, and the median time to rebuild is only extended by three years.
Comment 18: The Four Organizations urged NMFS to analyze the effect that the trawl individual quota (TIQ) program is likely to have on communities identified as vulnerable in the specifications process to determine if a higher OY (and thus a longer rebuilding period) will actually preserve these communities.
Response: The TIQ program is being considered in a separate ongoing process under FMP Amendment 22. We anticipate that alternatives will be analyzed to address the effects that the program will have on communities, including those identified as vulnerable in previous analyses. Such considerations as rebuilding overfished species and effects of overfished species allocations on west coast fishing communities will be considered in that process. One of the purposes of the Adaptive Management portion of the TIQ program is for the deployment and use of quotas specifically set aside to mitigate for unforeseen impacts upon communities.
Comment 19: The Four Organizations described the need to develop Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) and encouraged NMFS to begin integrating these requirements into the harvest specifications for 20092010.
Response: NMFS appreciates the perspectives provided by the Four Organizations on the ACL rule. However, the ACL rule and NMFS associated actions in response are not part of the final action on harvest specifications and management measures for 20092010; ACLs will be addressed by the Council and NMFS during the next several years.
Comment 20: The Four Organizations assert, using information on the groundfish trawl fishery, that the groundfish fishery has stabilized as evidenced by increasing average revenues per vessel in comparison to 1995 and 1996, and in particular since implementation of the 2002 Buyback Program.
Response: It is not clear that the groundfish trawl fishery has
stabilized. While it is true that the Pacific Coast Groundfish LE Trawl
Fishery Rationalization Decision Document (October 2008) at page 140
stated that ``Exvessel revenues in the fishery peaked in the mid 1990s
at over $60 million. Following the passage of the Sustainable Fisheries
Act (1996) and the listing of several species as overfished, harvests
became increasingly restricted and landings and revenues declined
steadily until 2002. Since 2002 exvessel revenues have stabilized at
around $2327 million per year.'' It should be noted that the per
vessel trend analysis that the Four Organizations refer to did not
account for inflation nor for changes in the costs of fishing,
particularly fuel prices which until recently have increased
tremendously and buyback loan fees which have been incurred by the
industry. Since September 2005, there has been the imposition of a
federal 5 percent exvessel revenue fee on ground fish trawl landings
for purposes of repaying the $36 million loan associated with the 2002
trawl buyback program. Depending on the state of landing, similar or
lesser fees are associated with landings of crab and shrimp. According
to Table 746 in the FEIS, Oregon June fuel prices increased from $0.93
per gallon in 1999 to over $2.20 a gallon in 2005 with most of the
increase occurring in 2004 and 2005 as 2003 prices were about $1.12 per
gallon. Recent estimates by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries
Commission show that prices continued to increase through June of 2008
to about $4.20 per gallon and have since declined to $2.80 per gallon.
(Note that California and Washington fuel prices tend be higher than
Oregon prices.) The Four Organizations cite the conclusion that ``the
fleet reduction and cost efficiency model shows that the consolidation
that may occur could diminish the number of vessels by 50 to 66 percent
or to a nonwhiting fleet size that is somewhere on the order of 4060 vessels.'' This
model was based on analysis of the 2004 trawl fishery. After taking into account landings of flatfish, crab, shrimp, whiting and other groundfish, one of the conclusions was that groundfish vessels either suffered a loss of about $2.5 million in 2004 or broke even in 2004 depending on the assumption of the annual rate of return to vessel capital investment.
Three additional perspectives should be noted. First is that the Four Organizations focused this comment on the trawl sector whereas the Council took into account all sectors of the fishery, including the nontrawl sector and the recreational sector. Second, although reducing capacity leads to fewer vessels that have higher trip limits and generally improved economics of the trawl fleet, more important indicators for fishing communities are the total flow of fish and revenue to the community and the resulting amount of income that is generated. Finally, the third perspective is that since Council adoption of the 200910 OYs in June of 2008, the national economy has moved into a serious recession. It is a reasonable expectation that the impacts of a declining national economy include reduced demand for seafood and therefore lower prices and revenues to the commercial industry and reduced participation in the recreational fishery. Santa Monica Seafood
Comment 21: Santa Monica Seafood urges NMFS to reconsider the proposed catch levels and adopt more precautionary and risk averse catch levels for canary, darkblotched, and yelloweye rockfish. They also urged NMFS to account for uncertainty and to rebuild overfished species populations as quickly as possible.
Response: As described in the responses above, the rebuilding approach takes a precautionary approach and is designed to rebuild the overfished stocks consistent with legal requirements.
Changes From the Proposed Rule
The three states submitted comments on the proposed rule, and those comments are addressed in the response to comments section as well as this section due to changes from the proposed rule as a result of those comments.
The proposed rule included revisions to the California recreational management measures, and the regulations at Sec. 660.384 (c)(3). The California Department of Fish and Game(CDFG) provided comments regarding this section, pointing out several minor errors, inconsistencies between current regulations that were not proposed to be revised, and inconsistencies with the Council recommendations.
In this final rule NMFS is correcting the latitudinal coordinate for Point Arena in Sec. 660.384 (c)(3)(i)(A)(2) and (3) from 38[deg]57[min] N. lat. to 38[deg]57.50[min] N. lat. so that it is consistent with the definition of ``Point Arena, CA'' as defined in the list of commonly used geographic coordinates listed at Sec. 660.302.
In Sec. 660.384 (c)(3)(i)(A)(2), an editing error introduced language that referred to the closed areas around the Farallon Islands and Cordell Banks. These groundfish conservation areas, as defined in Sec. 660.390, are not in the NorthCentral North of Point Arena Region. Therefore, the references to the Farallon Islands and Cordell Banks were removed from this paragraph.
In Sec. 660.384 (c)(3)(ii)(B), NMFS proposed recreational management measures in the California recreational rockfish, cabezon, and greenling (RCG complex) fishery. These proposed regulations included a description of measures for the area between 42[deg] and 40[deg]10' N. lat. and the area south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. CDFG commented that since the measures described were identical, both north and south, that NMFS should revise the paragraph to have those measures apply for the entire state. Therefore, NMFS is removing language from Sec. 660.384 (c)(3)(ii)(B) regarding fish per day limits in the area north and south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. because the limits are the same north and south.
CDFG also noted that the ``other flatfish'' regulations at Sec. 660.384 (c)(3)(iv) in the proposed rule listed a gear restriction of ``2 hooks and 1 line when fishing for other flatfish''. CDFG noted that no gear restrictions for other flatfish were recommended by the Council. Therefore, NMFS removed the gear restriction language of 2 hooks and 1 line for ``other flatfish'' in Sec. 660.384 (3)(iv).
The states of Oregon and California both had comments pertaining to
the ABC/OY tables, Tables 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, and 2c to part 660
subpart G. Some of the suggested corrections were typographic errors
and errors in table formatting that occurred upon publication in the
Federal Register. The following typographic and nonsubstantive
corrections were made: the titles of tables 2B and 2C are corrected to
read 2010 instead of 2008; in Table 1a, the portion of the lingcod ABC
for the Vancouver Columbia areas (Columns 1 and 2) of 4,473 mt was
listed one row too low, and is moved up one row in order to be listed
in the correct area of the coast; in Table 1a, the coastwide ABC and OY
values for lingcod were reformatted, in order to visually represent
their coastwide nature; and footnote hh/ to Tables 1 and 2 are revised
to correct grammatical errors and to correct transposed numbers. Some
of the comments from the two states are intended to correct some of the
specifications that were incorrect in the proposed rule, as they were
inconsistent with the specifications recommended by the Council.
Additional corrections, therefore, are made to the ABC/OY tables in this final rule to make them consistent with the Council
recommendations and the final preferred alternative analyzed in the
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Gretchen Arentzen (Northwest Region, NMFS), phone: 2065266147, fax: 2065266736 and email