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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Protocol for Access to Tissue Specimen Samples From the National Marine Mammal Tissue Bank

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 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, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).


Written comments must be submitted on or before July 5, 2011.


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 Patricia Lawson, 301-713-2289 or at

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I. Abstract

In 1989, the National Marine Mammal Tissue Bank (NMMTB) was established by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Protected Resources in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Minerals Management Service (MMS), and the US Geological Survey/Biological Resources Division (USGS/BRD). The NMMTB provides protocols, techniques, and physical facilities for the long-term storage of tissues from marine mammals. Scientists can request tissues from this repository for retrospective analyses to determine environmental trends of contaminants and other substances of interest. The NMMTB collects, processes, and stores tissues from specific indicator species (e.g., Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic white sided dolphins, pilot whales, harbor porpoises), animals from mass strandings, animals that have been obtained incidental to commercial fisheries, animals taken for subsistence purposes, biopsies, and animals from unusual mortality events through two projects, the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP) and the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project (AMMTAP).

The purposes of this collection of information are: (1) To enable NOAA to allow the scientific community the opportunity to request tissue specimen samples from the NMMTB and, (2) to enable the MMHSRP of NOAA to assemble information on all specimens submitted to the Marine Environmental Specimen Bank (Marine ESB), which includes the NMMTB.

II. Method of Collection

Respondents must complete a specimen banking information sheet for every sample submitted to the Bank. Methods of submitting reports include the Internet, mail and facsimile transmission of paper forms. Those requesting samples send the information, and their research findings, mainly via email.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0468.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; individuals or households; business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 50.

Estimated Time per Response: Request for tissue sample, 2 hours; specimen submission form, 45 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 155.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $152.

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 27, 2011.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2011-10658 Filed 5-2-11; 8:45 am]