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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Application To Shuck Surf Clams/Ocean Quahogs at Sea.

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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.


Written comments must be submitted on or before July 11, 2005.


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 Brian R. Hooker, Department of Commerce, Sustainable Fisheries Division, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930 or (978) 281-9220.

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I. Abstract

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northeast Region manages the Atlantic surf clam and ocean quahog fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Northeastern United States through the Atlantic Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council prepared the FMP pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson Act). The regulations implementing the FMP are specified under 50 CFR part 648.70.

The recordkeeping and reporting requirements at § 648.70 and § 648.74 form the basis for this collection of information. NMFS Northeast Region requests information from Atlantic surf clam and ocean quahog individual transferable quota (ITQ) allocation holders in order to process and track requests from the allocation holders to transfer quota allocation to another entity. NMFS Northeast Region also requests information from Atlantic surf clam and ocean quahog permit holders in order to track and properly account for Atlantic surf clam and ocean quahog harvest that is shucked at sea. Because there is not a standard conversion factor for estimating unshucked product from shucked product, NMFS requires vessels that choose to shuck product at sea to carry on board the vessel a NMFS approved observer to certify the amount of Atlantic surf clam and ocean quahog harvested. This information, upon receipt, results in an increasingly more efficient and accurate database for management and monitoring of fisheries of the Northeastern U.S. EEZ.

II. Method of Collection

Paper applications are used to process requests.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0648-0240.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 600.

Estimated Time Per Response: 5 minutes for the application to transfer quota, and 30 minutes for the application to shuck surf clams and ocean quahogs at sea.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 51.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $230,400.

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: May 5, 2005

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 05-9329 Filed 5-9-05; 8:45 am]