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Notice

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Alaska Chinook Salmon Economic Data Report (EDR)

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AGENCY:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 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 November 24, 2014.

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).

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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 Patsy A. Bearden, (907) 586-7008, or patsy.bearden@noaa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Alaska Region manages the groundfish fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone off Alaska. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) prepared the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The FMP is implemented under regulations at 50 CFR part 679.

NMFS manages the Bering Sea pollock fishery under the American Fisheries Act (AFA) (16 U.S.C. 1851). The AFA “rationalized” the Bering Sea pollock fishery in part by allowing for the formation and management of fishery cooperatives. AFA fishing vessels harvest pollock using pelagic (mid-water) trawl gear, which consists of large nets towed through the water by the vessel. At times, Chinook salmon and pollock occur in the same locations in the Bering Sea. Consequently, Chinook salmon are incidentally caught in the nets as pollock is harvested. This incidental catch is called bycatch and is also called prohibited species catch (PSC). Chinook Salmon are defined as a prohibited species because they are caught by a vessel issued a Federal Fisheries Permit under § 679.4(b) while fishing for groundfish (pollock) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI) or Gulf of Alaska.

In December 2009, the Council recommended that NMFS implement the Chinook Salmon Economic Data Report (Chinook Salmon EDR) to evaluate the effectiveness of Chinook salmon bycatch management measures for the Bering Sea pollock fishery that were implemented under Amendment 91 to the BSAI FMP (75 FR 53026, August 30, 2010).

The Chinook EDR Program provides information to the analysts and the Council for determining the effectiveness of the Incentive Plan Agreement (IPA). The Chinook EDR Program evaluates the effectiveness of the IPA incentives, the PSC limits, and the performance standard in terms of minimizing salmon bycatch in times of high and low levels of salmon abundance, and evaluates how Amendment 91 affects where, when, and how pollock fishing and salmon bycatch occur. The data collection program also provides data for NMFS and the Council to study and verify conclusions drawn by industry in the IPA annual reports.

II. Method of Collection

Attachment to email, electronically (Internet), fax, or mail.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0633.

Form Number(s): None.

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

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

Estimated Number of Respondents: 200.

Estimated Time Per Response: 40 hours for Compensated Transfer Report; 4 hours each for Vessel Fuel Survey, Vessel Master Survey; and Chinook EDR Verification/Audit.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 9,976.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $25,958.

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.

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Dated: September 17, 2014.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2014-22511 Filed 9-22-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-P