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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; American Fisheries Act: Recordkeeping and Reporting

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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.


Written comments must be submitted on or before March 24, 2006.


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, 907-586-7008 or

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I. Abstract

The American Fisheries Act (AFA) was signed into law in October of 1998. The AFA established an allocation program for the pollock fishery of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI). The purposes of the AFA were to tighten U.S. ownership standards that had been exploited under the Anti-reflagging Act, to provide Alaska's BSAI pollock fleet the opportunity to conduct their fishery in a more rational manner, and to protect non-AFA participants in other fisheries.

Reduced bycatch, higher utilization rates, increased economic returns, and improved safety are among the direct benefits of the AFA. The flexibility provided by cooperatives and by individual vessel allocations of pollock and other species has allowed the BSAI pollock fleet to spread their fishing effort in time and space, thus somewhat mitigating the negative impacts of the Steller sea lion (SSL) conservation and protection measures. The BSAI pollock quota is suballocated to groups of vessel owners who form fishing vessel cooperatives. The cooperative management structure has shifted more of the monitoring and enforcement burden to the cooperatives and their members, allowing NMFS to manage the fishery more precisely.

In order to make timely management decisions on closures, NMFS requires shoreside processors and stationary floating processors to use shoreside processor electronic logbook report (SPELR) to provide catcher vessel delivery information describing daily harvests of pollock and sideboard species on a vessel-by-vessel basis. The SPELR software provided by NMFS has automatic features that allow the users to effect file transfer by computer modem to the NMFS communication server, or file transfer can occur as an attachment to an e-mail message.

II. Method of Collection

Electronic files, paper reports, and paper applications are required from participants. Methods of submittal include transfer by computer modem, transfer by e-mail attachment, and facsimile transmission.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0648-0401.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Individuals or household; business or other for-profits organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 26. Start Printed Page 3471

Estimated Time per Response: 20 hours for Annual preliminary report; 8 hours for Annual final report; 30 minutes for Non-member vessel contract fishing application; 30 minutes to complete and print shoreside processor electronic logbook report (SPELR); 5 minutes to electronically submit SPELR report; 5 minutes for Inshore catcher vessel cooperative pollock catch report; and 5 minutes for Agent for service of process.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,024.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $635.

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: January 17, 2006.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. E6-670 Filed 1-20-06; 8:45 am]