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

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.




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 June 5, 2009.


Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 7845, 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 (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.; MMPA), Fur Seal Act (16 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.; FSA), and Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.; ESA) prohibit certain actions affecting marine mammals and endangered and threatened species, with exceptions. Permits can be obtained for scientific research and enhancing the survival or recovery of a species or stock of marine mammals or threatened or endangered species; commercial and educational photography of marine mammals; and import and capture of marine mammals for public display. Letters of Confirmation can be obtained under the General Authorization (GA) for scientific research that involves minimal disturbance to marine mammals. The applicants desiring a permit or authorization must provide certain information for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to determine whether a proposed activity is consistent with the purposes, policies, and requirements of the applicable laws, and that the activity is in the best interest of the protected species and the public. 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.

This information collection applies to protected species for which NMFS is responsible, including the marine mammal species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) and threatened and endangered species including sea turtles (in water), white abalone, black abalone, smalltooth sawfish, shortnose sturgeon, and elkhorn and staghorn corals. 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.

Respondents will be researchers, photographers, and other members of the public seeking exceptions to prohibited activities on marine mammals and endangered and threatened species 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 available in paper and electronic versions, and are written to respond to a required format. Inventory materials and reports are paper forms. Methods of submission include mail, facsimile transmission, and electronic submission via e-mail or through an on-line application system known as Authorizations and Permits for Protected Species (APPS).

III. Data

OMB Control 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: 514.

Estimated Time per Response: 50 hours for an application for a scientific research or enhancement permit; 30 hours for an application for a public display permit; 10 hours for an application for a photography permit or GA Letter of Confirmation; 35 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 GA Letter of Confirmation; 12 hours for a scientific research or enhancement permit report; 8 hours for a GA Letter of Confirmation report; 2 hours for a public display or photography permit report; request to retain or transfer a rehabilitated marine mammal, or 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: 7,716.

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: April 1, 2009.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. E9-7676 Filed 4-3-09; 8:45 am]