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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; South Pacific Tuna Act

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


Written comments must be submitted on or before February 27, 2004


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 Raymond Clarke at 808-973-2935, ext. 205, or at

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I. Abstract

The Treaty on Fisheries Between the Governments of Certain Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States, signed in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, in 1987, and its annexes, schedules and implementing agreements, as amended (Treaty), authorize U.S. tuna vessels to fish within fishing zones of a large region of the Pacific Ocean. The South Pacific Tuna Act (16 U.S.C. 973g and 973f) and U.S. implementing regulations (50 CFR282.3 and 282.5), authorize the collection of information from participants in the Treaty fishery. Vessel operators who wish to participate in the Treaty fishery must submit annual license and registration applications and periodic written reports of catch and unloading of fish from a licensed vessel. The information collected is submitted to the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), on forms generated by the FFA, through the U.S. government (National Marine Fisheries Service). License and registration application information is used by FFA to determine the operational capability and financial responsibility of a vessel operator interested in participating in the Treaty fishery. The information obtained from vessel catch and unloading reports is used by FFA to assess fishing effort and fishery resources in the region and to track the amount of fish caught within each Pacific island state's exclusive economic zone for fair disbursement of Treaty monies. If the information is not collected, the U.S. government will not meet its obligations under the Treaty, and the lack of fishing information will result in poor management of the fishery resources.

II. Method of Collection

The information is collected using forms required under the Treaty.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0648-0218.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 32.

Estimated Time Per Response: 15 minutes for a license application form; 30 minutes for a registration application form; 15 minutes for a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) application form; 1 hour for a catch report; 30 minutes for an unloading logsheet; 4 hours to install a VMS; 2 hours per year to maintain a VMS; and 24 seconds per day for automated VMS position messages.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 430.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $53,000.

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: December 19, 2003.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 03-31896 Filed 12-24-03; 8:45 am]