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Notice

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Fishery Capacity Reduction Program Buyback Requests

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

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.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted on or before April 25, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

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 dHynek@doc.gov).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Leo Erwin, (301) 713-2390, or via the Internet at Leo.Erwin@noaa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

NOAA has established a program to reduce excess fishing capacity by paying fishermen to (1) surrender their fishing permits or (2) both surrender their permits and either scrap their vessels or restrict vessel titles to prevent fishing. Start Printed Page 10004These fishing capacity reduction programs, or buybacks, can be funded by a Federal loan to the industry or by direct Federal or other funding. These buybacks are conducted pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and the Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act (Pub. L. 109-479). The regulations implementing the buybacks are at 50 CFR part 600.

Depending upon the type of buyback involved, the program can entail the submission of buyback requests by industry, the submission of bids, referenda of fishery participants, and reporting of the collection of fees to repay a Federal loan. For buybacks involving State-managed fisheries, the State may need to develop the buyback plan and comply with other information requirements. The information collected by NMFS is required to request a buyback, submit supporting data for requested buybacks, to submit bids, and to conduct referenda of fishery participants.

The recordkeeping and reporting requirements at 50 CFR parts 600.1013 through 600.1017 form the basis for this collection of information on fee payment and collection. NMFS requests information from participating buyback participants. This information, upon receipt, tracks the repayment of the Federal loans that are issued as part of the buybacks, and ensures accurate management and monitoring of the loans during the repayment term.

II. Method of Collection

Paper reports or electronic reports are required from buyback participants. Methods of submittal include mailing of paper forms, submission of forms via the Internet, and/or facsimile transmission of paper forms.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0376.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households; and State, Local, or Tribal government.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,200.

Estimated Time per Response: 6,634 hours for an implementation plan; 4 hours for a referenda vote; 4 hours for an invitation to bid; 10 minutes to submit a fish ticket; 2 hours for a monthly buyer fee collection report; 4 hours for an annual buyer fee collection report; potentially 270 hours for a State approval of plans and amendments to State fishery management plans; and 1 hour for advising of any holder or owner claims that conflict with accepted bidders' representations about reduction permit ownership or reduction vessel ownership.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 46,300.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $2,000.

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: February 20, 2008.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. E8-3508 Filed 2-22-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-P