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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Title: Northwest Region Gear Identification Requirements.

OMB Control Number: 0648-0352.

Form Number(s): NA.

Type of Request: Regular submission (revision and extension of a current information collection).

Number of Respondents: 946.

Average Hours per Response: 15 minutes.

Burden Hours: 3,798.

Needs and Uses: This request is for revision and extension of a current information collection.

The success of fisheries management programs depends significantly on regulatory compliance. The requirements that fishing gear be marked are essential to facilitate enforcement. The ability to link fishing gear to the vessel owner or operator is crucial to the enforcement of regulations issued under the authority of the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The marking of fishing gear is also valuable in actions concerning damage, loss, and civil proceedings. Regulations at 50 CFR 660.219 and 660.319 specify fishing gear must be marked with the vessel's official number, federal permit or tag number, or some other specified form of identification. The regulations further specify how the gear is to be marked (e.g., location and color). Law enforcement personnel rely on this information to assure compliance with fisheries management regulations. Gear that is not properly identified is confiscated. The identifying number on fishing gear is used by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), and other marine agencies in issuing violations, prosecutions, and other enforcement actions. Gear marking helps ensure that a vessel harvests fish only from its own traps/pots/other gear and that traps/pots/other gear are not illegally placed. Gear violations are more readily prosecuted when the gear is marked, allowing for more cost effective enforcement. Cooperating fishermen also use the number to report placement or occurrence of gear in unauthorized areas. Regulation-compliant fishermen ultimately benefit from this requirement, because unauthorized and illegal fishing is deterred and more burdensome regulations are avoided.

Revised individual fishing quota (IFQ) trawl fishery regulations at 50 CFR 660.140, per Final Rule 0648-AY68 (75 FR 78344) allow trawl allocation to be harvested with fixed gears. Thus, 20 of the limited entry vessels in this collection would have up to a total of 400 additional pieces of gear to mark, adding 100 hours and $100.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

Frequency: Annually.

Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

OMB Desk Officer:

Copies of the above information collection proposal can be obtained by calling or writing Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, (202) 482-0336, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at

Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to

Dated: January 17, 2012.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

[FR Doc. 2012-1039 Filed 1-19-12; 8:45 am]