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Notice

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Northwest Region Gear Identification Requirements

Action

Notice.

Summary

The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Written comments must be submitted on or before April 4, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6625, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at dHynek@doc.gov).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Jamie Goen, (206) 526-4646 or jamie.goen@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

I. Abstract Back to Top

The success of fisheries management programs depends significantly on regulatory compliance. The requirements that fishing gear be marked are essential to facilitate enforcement. The ability to link fishing gear to the vessel owner or operator is crucial to the enforcement of regulations issued under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The marking of fishing gear is also valuable in actions concerning damage, loss, and civil proceedings. The regulations specify fishing gear must be marked with the vessel's official number, federal permit or tag number, or some other specified form of identification. The regulations further specify how the gear is to be marked (e.g., location and color). Law enforcement personnel rely on this information to assure compliance with fisheries management regulations. Gear that is not properly identified is confiscated. The identifying number on fishing gear is used by NMFS, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other marine agencies in issuing violations, prosecutions, and other enforcement actions. Gear marking helps ensure that a vessel harvests fish only from its own traps/pots/other gear and that traps/pots/other gear are not illegally placed. Gear violations are more readily prosecuted when the gear is marked, allowing for more cost effective enforcement. Cooperating fishermen also use the number to report placement or occurrence of gear in unauthorized areas. The regulation-compliant fishermen ultimately benefit from this requirement, because unauthorized and illegal fishing is deterred and more burdensome regulations are avoided.

II. Method of Collection Back to Top

The physical marking of fishing buoys is done by the affected public (fishermen in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery) according to regulation. No information is collected.

III. Data Back to Top

OMB Number: 0648-0352.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 548.

Estimated Time per Response: 3 hours (15 minutes per marking).

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,782.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public:$2,000.

IV. Request for Comments Back to Top

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

Dated: January 29, 2008.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

[FR Doc. E8-1884 Filed 2-1-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-P

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