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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Alaska Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Program

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 August 7, 2017.


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 Scott Miller, (907) 586-7228.

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I. Abstract

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

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) units integrate global positioning system (GPS) and communications electronics into a single, tamper-resistant package to automatically determine the vessel's position several times per hour. The units can be set to transmit a vessel's location periodically and automatically to an overhead satellite in real time. In most cases, the vessel owner is unaware Start Printed Page 26063of exactly when the unit is transmitting and is unable to alter the signal or the time of transmission. The VMS unit is passive and automatic, requiring no reporting effort by the vessel operator. A communications service provider receives the transmission and relays it to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard. Enforcement of management measures, such as directed fishing closures and critical habitat no-fishing zones, relies heavily on the use of VMS.

II. Method of Collection

Automatic GPS position reporting starts after VMS transceiver installation and power activation on board the vessel. The unit is pre-configured and tested for NMFS VMS operations. Vessel operators who purchase and install a VMS on a vessel must fax a one-time VMS check-in report to NMFS. Thereafter, submittal is automatic by satellite.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0445.

Form Number(s): None.

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

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

Estimated Number of Respondents: 83.

Estimated Time per Response: 12 minutes for VMS check-in report; 2 hours for VMS operation (includes installation and maintenance).

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 130.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $67,793 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: June 1, 2017.

Sarah Brabson,

NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2017-11627 Filed 6-5-17; 8:45 am]