[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 244 (Wednesday, December 19, 2012)]
[Page 75143]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30536]



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: Modification to Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank Herring Letter of 
    OMB Control Number: 0648-0602.
    Form Number(s): NA.
    Type of Request: Regular submission (extension of a current 
information collection).
    Number of Respondents: 46.
    Average Hours Per Response: 5 minutes.
    Burden Hours: 12.
    Needs and Uses: 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 (NMFS), 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 
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations.
    Frequency: On occasion.
    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.
    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].

    Dated: December 14, 2012.
Gwellnar Banks,
Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2012-30536 Filed 12-18-12; 8:45 am]