Business Size Standard Established

The National Marine Fisheries Service has issued a final
rule to establish a small business size standard of $11 million in annual gross
receipts for the commercial fishing industry, for Regulatory Flexibility Act
compliance purposes only.
For purposes of this final rule, published in the Federal
Register at the end of December, NMFS identified a commercial fishing business
as a business primarily engaged in commercial fishing, the commercial fishing
industry as composed of all such businesses, and said the $11 million standard
only applies to this industry.
The standard does not apply to businesses primarily engaged
in seafood processing, seafood wholesale activities, or any other activity
within the seafood industry.
NMFS said the $11 million standards would be used in RFA
analyses in place of the Small Business Administration’s current standards of
$20.5 million, $5.5 million and $7.5 million for the finfish, shellfish and
other marine fishing sectors respectively of the US commercial fishing
NMFS said establishing a single size standard of $11 million
for the commercial fishing industry will simplify the RFA analyses done in
support of NMFS’ rules, and better meet the RFA’s intent by more accurately
representing expected disproportionate effects of NMFS’ rules between small and
large commercial fishing businesses.
The new rule will also create a standard that more
accurately reflects the size distribution of all businesses in the commercial
fishing industry, and allow NMFS to determine when changes to the standard are
necessary and appropriate.

The purpose of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended by
the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, is to provide small
entities with an expanded opportunity to participate in the development of
certain regulations. The RFA defines “small entity” as a small business, small
organization or small governmental jurisdiction.