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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Economic Surveys for U.S. Commercial Fisheries

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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 October 26, 2012.


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


Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Eric Thunberg, (508) 495-2272 or


I. Abstract

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

Economic data for selected United States (U.S.) commercial fisheries will be collected for each of the following groups of operations, based on pre-approved questions: (1) Processors, including onshore plants, floating processing plants, mothership vessels, and catcher/processor vessels; (2) first receivers of fish, including dealers, wholesalers, and auctions; (3) catcher vessels; and (4) for-hire vessels. Companies associated with these groups will be surveyed for expenditure, earnings, effort, ownership, and employment data; and basic demographic data on fishing and processing crews. These economic data collection programs contribute to legally mandated analyses required under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MFCMA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 (EO 12866 and EO 13563) as well as a variety of state statutes including Florida Statute 120.54, Hawaii Revised Statute 201M-2, New Jersey Permanent Statutes 52:14B-19 and Oregon Revised Statutes 183.335 and 183.540.

In general, questions will be asked concerning ex-vessel and wholesale prices and revenue, variable and fixed costs, expenditures, effort, ownership, dependence on the fisheries, and fishery employment. The data collection efforts will be coordinated to reduce the additional burden for those who participate in multiple fisheries. Participation in these data collections will be voluntary.

Program change: We are adding questions for first receivers to this collection.

The data will be used for the following three purposes: (1) To monitor the economic performance of these fisheries through primary processing; (2) to analyze the economic performance effects of current management measures; and (3) to analyze the economic performance effects of alternative management measures. The measures of economic performance to be supported by this data collection program include the following: (1) contribution to net national benefit; (2) contribution to income of groups of participants in the fisheries (i.e., fishermen, vessel owners, processing plant employees, and processing plant owners); (3) employment; (4) regional economic impacts (income and employment); and (5) factor utilizations rates. As required by law, the confidentiality of the data will be protected.

Data collections will focus each year on a different component of the U.S. commercial fisheries, with only limited data collected in previously surveyed components of these fisheries. The latter will be done to update the models that will be used to track economic performance and to evaluate the economic effects of alternative management actions. This cycle of data collection will facilitate economic performance data being available and updated for all the components of the U.S. commercial fisheries identified above.

II. Method of Collection

The surveys will be conducted via mail, phone and in-person interview. In general, respondents will be mailed a copy of the survey instrument in advance of a phone or in-person interview. Where feasible, survey respondents will be provided with the option to respond to a survey on-line or other electronic medium.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0369.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission (extension and revision of a currently approved collection).

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 7,000.

Estimated Time Per Response: 1-2 hours for a response from a catcher vessel or for-hire vessel for operating cost, annual cost, revenue, effort, employment, ownership, and limited demographic data; 20-30 minutes per response from a catcher vessel or for-hire vessel for operating cost data; 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes per response from a catcher vessel or for-hire vessel for annual expenditure and demographic data; 8 hours for a response from a West Coast or Alaska processor, including catcher/processor vessels, mothership vessels, floating processing plants, and onshore plants; 1-2 hours for a response from an East Coast or Gulf processor.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 7,000.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

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 22, 2012.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

[FR Doc. 2012-21029 Filed 8-24-12; 8:45 am]