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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Basic Requirements for All Marine Mammal Special Exception Permits To Take, Import and Export Marine Mammals, and for Maintaining a Captive Marine Mammal Inventory Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Fur Seal Act, and the Endangered Species Act

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).




The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing Start Printed Page 16122effort 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 May 30, 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 Amy Sloan, (301) 713-2289 or

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I. Abstract

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), Fur Seal Act (FSA), and Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibit certain actions affecting marine mammals and endangered and threatened species, with exceptions. Permits can be obtained for scientific research, enhancing the survival or recovery of a species or stock, commercial and educational photography, and import and capture for public display; authorizations can be obtained for scientific research that involves minimal disturbance. The applicants desiring a permit or authorization must provide certain information in order for the National Marine Fisheries Service to determine whether a proposed activity is consistent with the purposes, policies, and requirements of these laws, and that the activity is in the best interest of the protected species and the public. The permit holders and authorized researchers must report on activities conducted to ensure compliance with permit conditions and protection of the animals. Holders of captive marine mammals must report changes to their animal inventory.

Scientific research and enhancement permit applications for non-salmonid endangered and threatened species previously submitted under OMB No. 0648-0402, will be combined with permit applications for marine mammals in order to streamline the process for requesting takes of multiple species and to accommodate an online application system currently in development. The regulations implementing permit, authorization, and inventory requirements under the MMPA and FSA are at 50 CFR part 216; the regulations for permit requirements under the ESA are at 50 CFR part 222.

The respondents will be researchers, photographers, and other members of the public seeking exceptions to prohibited activities on marine mammals and endangered and threatened species, excluding salmonids, through permits or authorizations for purposes described above; and holders of marine mammals in captivity.

II. Method of Collection

Permit and authorization application materials and reports are paper and in some cases, electronic, and are written to respond to a required format. Inventory materials and reports are paper forms. Methods of submittal include mail, facsimile transmission, and electronic submission.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0648-0084.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Individuals or households; not-for-profit institutions; business or other for-profit organizations; Federal Government; and State, Local, or Tribal Government.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 518.

Estimated Time Per Response: 32 hours for an application for a scientific research or enhancement permit; 20 hours for an application for a public display permit; 10 hours for an application for a photography permit or a General Authorization; 20 hours for a major amendment or modification to a permit; 3 hours for a minor amendment or modification to a permit or for a change to a General Authorization; 12 hours for a scientific research or enhancement permit report; 8 hours for a General Authorization report; 2 hours for public display or photography permit report; 2 hours for a request to retain or transfer a rehabilitated marine mammal; 2 hours for a marine mammal inventory (1 hour for a transport notification; 30 minutes each for a data sheet and a person/holder/facility sheet); and 2 hours for recordkeeping.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 6,678.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $1,700.

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: March 24, 2006.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. E6-4614 Filed 3-29-06; 8:45 am]