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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Social Capital Survey of Northeast Groundfish Fishery Permit Holders

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 November 16, 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 Patricia Pinto Da Silva at (508) 295.2370 or


I. Abstract

This request is for a new information collection.

Quota allocations to groups of self-selecting permit holders (known as sector allocations) are increasingly being considered as a way to provide fishermen with greater control and flexibility in their fishing businesses while achieving efficiency gains. This new approach, which devolves substantial management responsibilities to groups of fishermen, represents a potential transformation in the relationship among permit holders as well as the relationship between permit holders and fisheries governance structures.

The NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Region expect that the success of sectors is likely to be shaped by the strength of the relationships between permit holders including their degree of trust and collaboration. We also expect that successful sectors will build norms and networks that enable collective action over time. The value of these relationships is commonly referred to in social and economic literature as social capital.

A baseline of existing social capital in the groundfish fishery in the Northeast Region was conducted in 2010 by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. This survey, to be conducted twice over the next six years, will follow up on this earlier initiative and will enable researchers to measure the change in the types and strength of relationships between groundfish permit holders in the Northeast. This work will inform our understanding of how best to design collaborative management structures in support of sustainable fisheries in the region and nationally.

II. Method of Collection

Information will be collected via telephone interviews.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: None.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular (new information collection).

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 550.

Estimated Time Per Response: 2 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,100.

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.

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: September 12, 2012.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

[FR Doc. 2012-22820 Filed 9-14-12; 8:45 am]