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Notice

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Alaska Recreational Charter Vessel Guide and Owner Data Collection

Document Details

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 December 6, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 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 Amber Himes-Cornell, (206) 526-4221, or Amber.Himes@noaa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

Numerous management measures have recently been proposed or implemented that affect recreational charter boat fishing for Pacific halibut off Alaska. On January 5, 2010, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) issued a final rule establishing a limited entry permit system for charter vessels in the guided halibut sport fishery in International Pacific Halibut Commission Areas 2C (Southeast Alaska) and 3A (Central Gulf of Alaska) (75FR554). This permit system is intended to address concerns about the growth of fishing capacity in this fishery sector, which accounts for a substantial portion of the overall recreational halibut catch in Alaska. On March 16, 2011, a size limit on Pacific halibut caught while charter boat fishing for the 2011 fishing season was established (76FR14300). In addition, on July 22, 2011, a Halibut Catch Sharing Plan (76FR44156) was proposed that would alter the way Pacific halibut is allocated between the guided sport (i.e., the charter sector) and the commercial halibut fishery.

To assess the effect of regulatory restrictions (currently in place or potential) on charter operator and owner behavior and welfare, it is necessary to obtain a better general understanding of the Alaska recreational charter boat industry. Some information useful for this purpose is already collected from existing sources, such as charter vessel logbooks administered by Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). However, information on vessel and crew characteristics, services offered to clients, spatial and temporal aspects of their operations and fishing behavior, and costs and earnings information are generally not available from these existing data sources and thus must be collected directly from the industry through voluntary survey efforts.

In order to address this information gap, NMFS' Alaska Fisheries Science Center proposes to conduct a survey of charter vessel owners to collect annual cost and earnings data that will supplement logbook data collected by ADF&G. The proposed data collection will provide basic economic information about the charter sector, including revenues produced from different products and services provided to clients, fixed and variable operating costs and locations of purchases. These data will support improved analysis and of the effects of fisheries regulations on the charter fishing industry, information that is increasingly needed by the Council and NMFS to deal with ongoing halibut resource issues and other fishery management issues involving the charter industry.

II. Method of Collection

The method of data collection will be a survey of charter vessel owners implemented through a mailed questionnaire.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: None.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission (request for a new information collection).

Affected Public: Individuals or households; business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,200.

Estimated Time per Response: 60 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,200.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

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.Start Printed Page 62375

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: October 4, 2011.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2011-25966 Filed 10-6-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-P