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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; American Fisheries Act, Vessel and Processor Permit Applications

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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, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).


Written comments must be submitted on or before April 14, 2003.


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

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Patsy A. Bearden at 907-586-7228, or at

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I. Abstract

The American Fisheries Act (AFA) established an allocation program for the pollock fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). Under the AFA, only vessels and processors that meet specific qualifying criteria are eligible to fish for and process pollock in the BSAI. The BSAI pollock quota is suballocated to groups of vessel owners who form fishing vessel cooperatives under the AFA.

All AFA vessel and processor permits have no expiration date and will remain valid indefinitely unless revoked by NMFS. Inshore catcher vessel cooperatives wishing to receive an allocation of the BSAI inshore pollock Total Allowable Catch (TAC) are required to submit an application for an inshore cooperative fishing permit on an annual basis by December 1 of the year prior to the year in which the cooperative fishing permit will be in effect. The information must be collected once a year because NMFS must identify the universe of participating vessels and processors prior to the start of each fishing year in order to assign allocations of pollock TAC to eligible groups of vessels that form cooperatives.

II. Method of Collection

Paper forms are used.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0648-0393.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations, individuals or households, and not-for-profit institutions.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 20.

Estimated Time Per Response: 2 hours for an application for an AFA catcher vessel permit; 30 minutes for application for an AFA Permit for Replacement Vessel; 2 hours for application for an AFA Inshore Catcher Vessel Cooperative Permit; 2 hours for an application for an AFA mothership permit; and 2 hours for an application for an AFA inshore processor permit.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 39.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $59.

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: February 5, 2003.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 03-3495 Filed 2-11-03; 8:45 am]