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Notice

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; NMFS Alaska Region Observer Providers

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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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 September 2, 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 Patsy A. Bearden, (907) 586-7008 or patsy.bearden@noaa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Alaska Region Groundfish Observer Program (Observer Program) collects and disseminates catch, bycatch, and biological data necessary to support in-season monitoring and stock assessment of fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone off the coast of Alaska. Owners of vessels, shoreside processors, and stationary floating processors are required to carry observers and must arrange for observer services from an observer provider. Although the vessel and plant owners pay for the cost of the observers, the costs associated with managing the program are paid by NMFS. A list of observer providers is available from the Observer Program's home page at http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/​refm/​observers/​observer_​providers.htm. The main focus of this information collection continues to be the documentation required by NMFS from an observer provider. Observer providers are permitted by NMFS to hire and deploy qualified individuals as observers in the Alaska Region groundfish fisheries. Observer candidates are required to meet specified criteria in order to qualify as an observer and must successfully complete an initial certification training course, as well as meet other criteria, prior to being certified.

II. Method of Collection

Paper applications, electronic reports, and telephone calls are required from participants, and methods of submittal include Internet and facsimile transmission of paper forms.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0318.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 205.

Estimated Time Per Response: 30 minutes for industry request for assistance in improving observer data quality issues; 60 hours for new permit application for observer provider; 15 minutes for update to provider Start Printed Page 37932information; 15 minutes for observer candidates college transcripts and disclosure statements, observer candidate; 15 minutes for observer candidates college transcripts and disclosure statements, observer provider; 5 minutes for notification of observer physical examination, observer provider; 2 hours for observer physical examination; 7 minutes for projected observer assignment; 7 minutes for briefing registration; 12 minutes for certificate of insurance; 15 minutes for copies of contracts; 7 minutes for weekly deployment/logistics reports; 7 minutes for debriefing registration; 2 hours for reports of problems; 40 hours for observer provider permit expiration or denial of permit appeals; and 20 hours for appeals for denial of observer certification, certification suspension, or decertification.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,959.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $83,126.

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: June 26, 2008.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. E8-14933 Filed 7-1-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-P