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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Economic Value of the Reduction in the Risk of Whale Strikes in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.




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 May 4, 2015.


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

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Dr. Vernon R. (Bob) Leeworthy, (301) 713-7261 or

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I. Abstract

This request is for a new information collection.

NOAA is sponsoring a class project at the Bren School of Management & Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara to estimate the market and non-market economic values associated with the reduction in risk of whale strikes by different scenarios of changes in traffic lanes and/or vessel speeds for major commercial vessels operating in the region of southern California where the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is located.

NOAA will conduct surveys of the for hire operations that take people out for non-consumptive recreation to watch whales or other wildlife to obtain total use by type of activity (e.g., whale watching, and other wildlife observation) and the spatial use by type of activity. Information will also be obtained on costs-and-earnings of the operations and demographic information on owner/captains and crews. Surveys will also be conducted of the passengers aboard the for hire operation boats to obtain their market and non-market economic use values for the reduction in the risk of whale strikes. Additional information will be obtained on importance-satisfaction ratings of key natural resource attributes, facilities and services along with demographic profiles of passengers.

II. Method of Collection

For the for hire operations, a team of students will go to the operations offices and collect the information. For the passengers, surveys will be conducted at the docks after the completion of their whale watching trip. Self-addressed, postage paid mail back questionnaires will be used for importance-satisfaction ratings and whale watching trip expenditures.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-xxxx.

Form Number(s): None.

Type of Review: Regular submission (request for a new information collection).

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 25 for-hire operations and 500 individuals.

Estimated Time per Response: 2 hours per for-hire operation; 20 minutes each per on-site interview of passengers, importance-satisfaction mail-back and expenditure mail-back.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 367: For-hire operations, 50 hours; on-site survey of passengers, 167 hours; importance-satisfaction mail-back, 83 hours; expenditure mail-back, 67 hours.

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.

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Dated: February 27, 2015.

Sarah Brabson,

NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2015-05003 Filed 3-4-15; 8:45 am]