[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 128 (Tuesday, July 3, 2012)]
[Pages 39470-39471]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-16168]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Modification to 
Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank Herring Letter of Authorization

AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: 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.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before September 4, 

ADDRESSES: 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 [email protected]).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or 
copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should 
be directed to Allison Murphy, 978-281-9122 or [email protected].


I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a current information collection.
    Under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 
the Secretary of Commerce has the responsibility for the conservation 
and management of marine fishery resources. We, NOAA's National Marine 
Fisheries Service, and the Regional Fishery Management Councils are 
delegated the majority of this responsibility. The New England Fishery 
Management Council (Council) develops management plans for fishery 
resources in New England.
    In 2009, we implemented modifications to the requirements for 
midwater trawl vessels issued an All Areas Limited Access Herring 
Permit and/or an Areas 2 and 3 Limited Access Herring Permit that fish 
in Northeast (NE) multispecies Closed Area I (CA I). Affected vessels 
intending to fish in CA I at any point during a trip are required to 
declare their intention when scheduling a NMFS-approved at-sea 
observer. To ensure 100-percent observer coverage, midwater trawl 
vessels are not permitted to fish in CA I without an observer.
    Midwater trawl vessels in the directed herring fishery that have 
been assigned a NMFS-approved at-sea observer and that are fishing in 
CA I, are prohibited, unless specific conditions are met (see below), 
from releasing fish from the codend of the net, transferring fish to 
another vessel that is not carrying a NMFS-approved observer, or 
discarding fish at sea, unless the fish have first been brought aboard 
the vessel and made available for sampling and inspection by the 
    We recognize that there are certain conditions under which fish 
must be released from the codend without being sampled. Therefore, fish 
that have not been pumped aboard the vessel may be released if the 
vessel operator finds that: Pumping the catch could compromise the 
safety of the vessel; mechanical failure precludes bringing some or all 
of a catch aboard the vessel; or spiny dogfish have clogged the pump 
and consequently prevent pumping of the rest of the catch. If a net is 
released for any of these three reasons, the vessel operator must 
complete and sign a CA I Midwater Trawl Released Codend Affidavit 
detailing where, when, and why the net was released as well as a good-
faith estimate of both the total weight of fish caught on that tow and 
the weight of fish released (if the tow had been partially pumped). The 
completed affidavit form must be submitted to us within 48 hr of the 
completion of the trip.
    Following the release of a net for one of the three exemptions 
specified above, the vessel is required to exit CA I. The vessel may 
continue to fish, but may not fish in CA I for the remainder of the 

II. Method of Collection

    Respondents must submit paper forms via postal service.

III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0602.
    Form Number: None.
    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a current 
information collection).
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 46.
    Estimated Time per Response: 5 minutes.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 12.
    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $75.

[[Page 39471]]

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 
    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.

    Dated: June 27, 2012.
Gwellnar Banks,
Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2012-16168 Filed 7-2-12; 8:45 am]