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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Large Pelagic Fishing Survey

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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 March 9, 2020.


Direct all written comments to Adrienne Thomas, PRA Officer, NOAA, 151 Patton Avenue, Room 159, Asheville, NC 28801 (or via the internet at All comments received are part of the public record. Comments will generally be posted without change. All Personally Identifiable Information (for example, name and address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to John Foster, (301) 427-8130 or

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I. Abstract

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

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for monitoring and managing United States (U.S.) marine fisheries resources. Collection of information regarding fishing for large pelagic species (tunas, billfishes, swordfish, and sharks) is necessary to fulfill the following statutory requirements: Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.), the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), and to meet administrative requirements of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Marine Recreational Fishery Policy implemented to comply with Executive Order 12962 on Recreational Fisheries.

The Atlantic Tunas Convention Act at 16 U.S.C. 971d(c)(3)(I) provides the Secretary of Commerce the authority to “require any commercial or recreational fisherman to obtain a permit from the Secretary and report the quantity of catch of a regulated species”. Section 303(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act specifies data and analyses to be included in Fishery Management Plans (FMPs), as well as pertinent data, which shall be submitted to the Secretary of Commerce under the plan. Recommendation One of the NMFS Marine Recreational Fishery (MRF) Policy focuses on developing “a comprehensive data acquisition and analysis system (participation, catch, effort and socio-economic data) on a regular, continuing basis” in support of the Executive Order 12962 requirement to assess the implementation and evaluate achievements of the “Recreational Fishery Resources Conservation Plan.”

Because highly migratory species are only sought on a relatively small proportion of the total marine recreational angler fishing trips made, the fishing effort directed at such species, and the resulting angler catches are generally not estimated very precisely or accurately by general (all species) recreational surveys. Therefore, the Large Pelagics Survey (LPS) was designed as a specialized survey that would focus specifically on the recreational fishery directed at large pelagic, also called highly migratory, species. This specialization has allowed higher levels of sampling needed to provide more precise and accurate estimates of pelagic fishing effort and catches of large pelagic species.

The LPS consists of two complementary surveys: A directory frame telephone survey of tuna and/or HMS permit holders to obtain fishing effort information (Large Pelagic Telephone Survey or LPTS), and a dockside survey which collects catch information and also estimates the proportion of vessels fishing for large pelagics that are not on the telephone frame (Large Pelagic Intercept Survey or LPIS). Results from the two survey components are combined to estimate total landings of Highly Migratory Species. In addition, we are requesting approval to continue to implement the Large Pelagic Biological Survey (LPBS) to collect supplemental weight and length measurements of landed fish through independent dockside sampling, as well as LPIS Validation telephone calls to validate LPIS data. Implementation of certain components will depend on fiscal year funding and NMFS priorities.

NMFS, regional fishery management councils, interstate marine fisheries commissions, and state fishery agencies use the data in developing, implementing and monitoring fishery management programs. This collection has been the key source of data used to monitor recreational quotas for the harvest of bluefin tuna in the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England regions. Catch distributions, harvested size distributions, and other indices obtained in this data collection have formed the basis of fishery management plans and used in stock assessments for Atlantic highly migratory species such as tunas, billfish, swordfish and sharks.

II. Method of Collection

Dockside and telephone interviews are used. In lieu of telephone interviews, respondents may also provide information online via a web tool.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0380.

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: 15,024.

Estimated Time per Response: 11 minutes for a telephone interview; 5 minutes for a dockside interview, 11/2 minutes to respond to a follow-up validation call for dockside interviews; 1 minute for biological sampling of catch.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 3,608.

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.Start Printed Page 704

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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Sheleen Dumas,

Department PRA Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department.

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[FR Doc. 2020-00004 Filed 1-6-20; 8:45 am]