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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Title: North Pacific Observer Program.

OMB Control Number: 0648-0318.

Form Number(s): None.

Type of Request: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

Number of Respondents: 875.

Average Hours per Response: 5 minutes to request full observer coverage, placement in or removed from the Electronic Monitoring (EM) selection pool, close an EM trip in ODDS, pre-cruise meeting notification, physical examination verification, update to provider information; 15 minutes to log a fishing trip in ODDS; 48 hours for a Vessel Monitoring Plan; 1 hour to submit EM data, and observer training registration; 30 minutes for request small catcher/processor placement in partial coverage category; 4 hours for appeals; 2 minutes to notify observer before handling the vessel's Bering Sea pollock catch; 8 hours for candidates' college transcripts and statements; 7 minutes for observer briefing registration, projected observer assignments, and observer deployment and logistics reports; 30 minutes for observer debriefing registration, observer provider contracts, invoice copies, and industry request for assistance; 12 minutes for certificates of insurance; 2 hours for other reports; 60 hours for observer provider permit application.

Burden Hours: 15,871.

Needs and Uses: This request is for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

The North Pacific Observer Program (Observer Program) is implemented under the authority of section 313 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and regulations at 50 CFR 679. Through the Start Printed Page 61145Observer Program, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) collects the data necessary to conserve and manage the groundfish and halibut fisheries off Alaska. Observers collect biological samples and fishery-dependent information used to estimate total catch and interactions with protected species. Managers use data collected by observers to manage groundfish and prohibited species catch within established limits and to document and reduce fishery interactions with protected resources. Scientists use observer data to assess fish stocks, to provide scientific information for fisheries and ecosystem research and fishing fleet behavior, to assess marine mammal interactions with fishing gear, and to assess fishing interactions with habitat.

All vessels and processors that participate in federally managed or parallel groundfish and halibut fisheries off Alaska are assigned to one of two categories: (1) The full observer coverage category, where vessels and processors obtain observer coverage by contracting directly with observer providers; or (2) the partial coverage category, where NMFS, in consultation with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council determines when and where observer coverage is needed. Some vessels and processors may be in full coverage for part of the year and partial coverage at other times of the year depending on the observer coverage requirements for specific fisheries. Funds for deploying observers on vessels in the partial coverage category are provided through a system of fees based on the gross ex-vessel value of retained groundfish and halibut. This observer fee is assessed on all landings by vessels that are not otherwise in full coverage. Information collected for the observer fee is approved under OMB Control No. 0648-0711.

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

Frequency: On occasion, weekly and annually.

Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

This information collection request may be viewed at Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to or fax to (202) 395-5806.

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Dated: November 23, 2018.

Sarah Brabson,

NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2018-25917 Filed 11-27-18; 8:45 am]