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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Highly Migratory Species Vessel Logbooks and Cost-Earnings Data Reports

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National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.


Notice of information collection, request for comments.


The Department of Commerce, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed, and continuing information collections, which helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment preceding submission of the collection to OMB.


To ensure consideration, comments regarding this proposed information collection must be received on or before September 21, 2020.


Interested persons are invited to submit written comments to Adrienne Thomas, NOAA PRA Officer, at Please reference OMB Control Number 0648-0371 in the subject line of your comments. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

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Requests for additional information or specific questions related to collection activities should be directed to Cliff Hutt, Fisheries Management Specialist, NOAA Fisheries, (301) 427-8503,

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I. Abstract

This request is for renewal of a current information collection. Under the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), the NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for management of the nation's marine fisheries. In addition, NMFS must comply with the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.), under which the agency implements recommendations by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), as necessary and appropriate.

NMFS collects information via vessel logbooks to monitor the U.S. catch of Atlantic swordfish, sharks, billfish, and tunas in relation to the quotas, thereby ensuring that the United States complies with its domestic and international obligations. The Highly Migratory Species (HMS) logbook program, OMB Control No. 0648-0371, was specifically designed to collect the vessel-level information needed for the management of Atlantic HMS, and includes set forms, trip forms, negative reports, and cost-earning requirements for both commercial and recreational vessels. The information supplied through the HMS logbook program provides the catch and effort data on a per-set or per-trip level of resolution for both directed and incidental species. In addition to HMS fisheries, the HMS logbook program is also used to report catches of dolphin and wahoo in commercial dolphin wahoo permit holders that do not hold any other Federal permits. Additionally, the HMS logbook collects data on incidental species, such as sea turtles, which is necessary to evaluate the fisheries in terms of bycatch and encounters with protected species. While most HMS fishermen use the HMS logbook program, HMS can also be reported as part of several other logbook collections including the Northeast Region Fishing Vessel Trip Reports (0648-0212) and Southeast Region Coastal Logbook (0648-0016).

These data are necessary to assess the status of HMS, dolphin, and wahoo in each fishery. International stock assessments for tunas, swordfish, billfish, and some species of sharks are conducted through ICCAT's Standing Committee on Research and Statistics periodically and provide, in part, the basis for ICCAT management recommendations, which become binding on member nations. Domestic stock assessments for most species of sharks and for dolphin and wahoo are Start Printed Page 44521used as the basis of managing these species.

Supplementary information on fishing costs and earnings has been collected via the HMS logbook program. This economic information enables NMFS to assess the economic impacts of regulatory programs on small businesses and fishing communities, consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Executive Order 12866, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and other domestic laws.

II. Method of Collection

Paper logbooks have historically been the primary mode of reporting, but electronic logbooks, including mobile applications, will be offered on a voluntary basis for the HMS logbook in the near future.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0371.

Form Number(s): NOAA Form 88-191.

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

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations (vessel owners).

Estimated Number of Respondents: 7,281.

Estimated Time per Response: 10 minutes for cost/earnings summaries attached to logbook reports, 30 minutes for annual expenditure forms, 12 minutes for logbook catch trip and set reports, 2 minutes for negative logbook catch reports.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 33,828.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $80,329.50 in maximum recordkeeping/reporting costs.

Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

Legal Authority: Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), and the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.).

IV. Request for Comments

We are soliciting public comments to permit the Department/Bureau to: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the time and cost burden for this proposed collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Evaluate ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) Minimize the reporting burden on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request to OMB to approve this information collection request (ICR). Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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Sheleen Dumas,

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

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[FR Doc. 2020-15964 Filed 7-22-20; 8:45 am]