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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Review and Approval; Comment Request; North Pacific Observer Safety Survey

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National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.


Notice of information collection, request for comment.


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 January 22, 2021.


Interested persons are invited to submit written comments to Adrienne Thomas, NOAA PRA Officer, at Please reference OMB Control Number 0648-0759 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 Special Agent Jaclyn Smith, NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, 222 W 7th Ave. #10, Anchorage, AK 99513, 907-271-1869, or

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I. Abstract

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

NMFS certified observers are a vital part of fisheries management. Observers are deployed to collect fisheries data in the field; observers often deploy to vessels and work alongside fishers for weeks and months at a time. The work environment observers find themselves in can be challenging, especially if the observer finds themselves a target for victim type violations such as sexual harassment, intimidation, or even assault. NOAA Fisheries' Office of Law Enforcement prioritizes investigations into allegations of sexual harassment, hostile work environment, assault and other complaints which may affect observers individually. However, it is difficult for a person to disclose if they have been a victim of a crime, and law enforcement cannot respond if no complaint is submitted. The true number of observers who have experienced victim type crimes is unknown, and the reasons why they do not report is also unclear. More information is needed to understand how many observers per year experience victim type crimes, and why they chose not to report to law enforcement.

The Office of Law Enforcement, Alaska Division, is conducting a survey of North Pacific Observers to determine the number of observers who experienced victimizing behavior during deployments. This survey will be launched on an annual basis. The survey will also investigate the reasons that prevented observers from reporting these violations. The results of the survey will provide the Office of Law Start Printed Page 74695Enforcement a better understanding of how often observers are victimized, which will enable them to reallocate resources as needed, conduct more training for observers to ensure they know how to report, conduct training to ensure people understand what constitutes a victim crime, and to increase awareness of potential victimizations. Additionally, the survey results will help law enforcement understand the barriers to disclosure, so enforcement may begin to address these impediments so they no longer prevent observers from disclosure.

II. Method of Collection

Data will be collected on a voluntary basis, via an electronic survey to ensure anonymity. The survey will be offered to all observers who deployed in 2020 in the North Pacific Observer Program. Individual data will not be released for public use.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0759.

Form Number(s): None.

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

Affected Public: Individuals.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 300.

Estimated Time per Response: 10 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 50 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

Legal Authority: U.S. Code: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

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 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. 2020-25765 Filed 11-20-20; 8:45 am]