[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 180 (Monday, September 17, 2012)]
[Pages 57071-57072]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22757]



Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    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: NMFS Observer Programs' Information that can be Gathered 
Only Through Questions.
    OMB Control Number: 0648-0593.
    Form Number(s): NA.
    Type of Request: Regular submission (extension of a current 
information collection).
    Number of Respondents: 13,295.
    Average Hours Per Response: An observed trip is considered a 
response, and completion of all required forms per observer program 
averages 67 minutes, ranging from 15 minutes to 112 minutes.
    Burden Hours: 26,782.
    Needs and Uses: This request is for extension of a current 
information collection. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) deploys 
fishery observers on United States (U.S.) commercial fishing vessels 
and to fish processing plants in order to collect biological and 
economic data. NMFS has at least one observer program in each of its 
six Regions. These observer programs provide the most reliable and 
effective method for obtaining information that is critical for the 
conservation and management of living marine resources. Observer 
programs primarily obtain information through direct observations by 
employees or agents of NMFS; and such observations are not subject to 
the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). However, observer programs also 
collect the following information that requires clearance under the 
PRA: (1) Standardized questions of fishing vessel captains/crew or fish 
processing plant managers/staff, which include gear and performance 
questions, safety questions, and trip costs, crew size and other 
economic questions; (2) questions asked by observer program staff/
contractors to plan observer deployments; (3) forms that are completed 
by observers and that fishing vessel captains are asked to review and 
sign; (4) questionnaires to evaluate observer performance; and (5) a 
form to certify that a fisherman is the permit holder when requesting 
observer data from the observer on the vessel. NMFS seeks to renew OMB 
PRA clearance for these information collections.
    The information collected will be used to: (1) Monitor catch and 
bycatch in federally managed commercial fisheries; (2) understand the 
population status and trends of fish stocks and protected species, as 
well as the interactions between them; (3) determine the quantity and 
distribution of net benefits derived from living marine resources; (4) 
predict the biological, ecological, and economic impacts of existing 
management action and proposed management options; and (5) ensure that 
the observer programs can safely and efficiently collect the 
information required for the previous four uses. In particular, these 
biological and economic data collection programs contribute to legally 
mandated analyses required under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (MSA), the Endangered Species Act, the 
Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), Executive Order 12866 
(E.O. 12866), as well as a variety of state statutes. The 
confidentiality of the data will be protected as required by the MSA, 
Section 402(b).
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.
    Frequency: On occasion.
    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.
    OMB Desk Officer: [email protected].
    Copies of the above information collection proposal can be obtained 
by calling or writing Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance 
Officer, (202) 482-0336, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at 
[email protected]).
    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information 
collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice 
to [email protected].

[[Page 57072]]

    Dated: September 11, 2012.
Gwellnar Banks,
Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2012-22757 Filed 9-14-12; 8:45 am]