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Notice

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Northeast Region Logbook Family of Forms

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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 October 9, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at JJessup@doc.gov).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Lindsey Feldman, (978) 675-2179 or Lindsey.Feldman@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

This request is for a revision and extension of a currently approved information collection.

Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) has the responsibility for the conservation and management of marine fishery resources. Much of this responsibility has been delegated to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Under this stewardship role, the Secretary was given certain regulatory authorities to ensure the most beneficial uses of these resources. One of the regulatory steps taken to carry out the conservation and management objectives is to collect data from users of the resource. Thus, as regional Fishery Management Councils develop specific Fishery Management Plans (FMP), the Secretary has promulgated rules for the issuance and use of a vessel Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), and vessel logbooks (VTR) to obtain fishery-dependent data to monitor, evaluate, and enforce fishery regulations.

Fishing vessels permitted to participate in Federally-permitted fisheries in the Northeast are required to submit logbooks containing catch and effort information about their fishing trips. Permitted vessels that catch halibut are also asked to voluntarily provide additional information on the estimated size of the fish and the time of day caught through vessel logbooks. Participants in the herring, tilefish, and red crab fisheries are also required to make weekly reports on their catch through IVR. In addition, vessels fishing under a days-at sea (DAS) management system can use the IVR system to request a DAS credit when they have canceled a trip for unforeseen circumstances. The information submitted is needed for the management of the fisheries.

This revision/renewal removes the VMS requirement for Northeast multispecies permit holders participating in the special access programs (SAPs), the Category B (regular) Days-at-Sea (DAS) program, and fishing in the United States/Canada Resource Sharing Understanding Area to avoid duplication, as this information collection is approved under another collection (0648-0605).

II. Method of Collection

Most information is submitted on paper forms, although electronic means may be arranged. Vessels are permitted to submit `did not fish' vessel logbooks electronically through their Fish-On-Line accounts. In addition, some vessels are participating in a pilot electronic vessel trip reporting system (EVTR). In the herring, tilefish, and red crab fisheries vessel owners or operators must provide weekly catch information to an IVR system. In the NE Multispecies fishery, vessel owners or operators must declare catch and discards of groundfish species of concern through VMS for all trips.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0212.

Form Number: NOAA Forms 88-30 and 88-40.

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

Affected Public: Business and other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,721.

Estimated Time per Response: 5 minutes per Fishing Vessel Trip Report (FVTR); 12.5 minutes per response for the Shellfish Log; 4 minutes for a herring or red crab report to the IVR system; 2 minutes for a tilefish report to the IVR system; 30 seconds for voluntary additional halibut information; and 5 minutes for each DAS credit request.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 15,227.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $75,814.

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.

Dated: August 3, 2012.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

[FR Doc. 2012-19414 Filed 8-7-12; 8:45 am]

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