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

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).




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, Pub. L. 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506 (c)(2)(A)).


Written comments must be submitted on or before October 9, 2001.


Direct all written comments to Madeleine Clayton, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6086, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington DC 20230 (or via Internet at

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to William L. Robinson, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115 (phone 206-526-6140).

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I. Abstract

The success of fisheries management programs depends significantly on regulatory compliance. 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 enforcement of regulations issued under the authority of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management. The marking of fishing gear is also valuable in actions concerning damage, loss, and civil Start Printed Page 42204proceedings. 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. Regulation-compliant fishermen ultimately benefit as unauthorized and illegal fishing is deterred and more burdensome regulations are avoided.

II. Method of Collection

The physical marking of fishing buoys is done by the affected public (fishermen in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery) according to regulation.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0648-0352.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations (fishermen in the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery).

Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,033.

Estimated Time Per Response: 15 minutes per marking (with an average of 11.6 buoy markings per vessel).

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 3,002.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $4,503.

IV. Request for Comments

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.

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Dated: August 3, 2001.

Madeleine Clayton,

Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 01-20118 Filed 8-9-01; 8:45 am]