[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 135 (Monday, July 17, 2017)]
[Pages 32685-32686]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-14863]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Scientific 
Research, Exempted Fishing, and Exempted Activity Submissions

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 15, 

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 Craig Cockrell, Highly Migratory Species Management 
Division, 13533 F/SF1, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; 
(301) 427-8503; or [email protected].


I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a current information collection.
    Exempted fishing permits (EFPs), scientific research permits 
(SRPs), display permits, letters of acknowledgment (LOAs), and shark 
research fishery permits are issued under the authority of the 
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization 
Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) and/or the Atlantic 
Tunas Convention Act (ATCA) (16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.). Issuance of EFPs 
and related permits is necessary for the collection of Highly Migratory 
Species (HMS) for public display and scientific research that requires 
exemption from regulations (e.g., seasons, prohibited species, 
authorized gear, and minimum sizes) that otherwise may prohibit such 
collection. Display permits are issued for the collection of HMS for 
the purpose of public display, and a limited number of shark research 
fishery permits are issued for the collection of fishery-dependent data 
for future stock assessments and cooperative research with commercial 
fishermen to meet the shark research objectives of the Agency.
    Regulations at 50 CFR 600.745 and 50 CFR 635.32 govern scientific 
research activity, exempted fishing, and exempted educational 
activities with respect to Atlantic HMS. Since the Magnuson-Stevens Act 
does not include scientific research within the definition of 
``fishing'', scientific research is exempt from this statute, and the 
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) does not issue EFPs for bona 
fide research activities (e.g., research conducted from a research 
vessel and not a commercial or recreational fishing vessel) involving 
species that are only regulated under the Magnuson-Stevens Act (e.g., 
most species of sharks) and not under ATCA. NMFS requests copies of 
scientific research plans for these activities and indicates 
concurrence by issuing a LOA to researchers to indicate that the 
proposed activity meets the definition of scientific research and is 
therefore exempt from regulation.
    Scientific research is not exempt from regulation under ATCA. NMFS 
issues SRPs for collection of species managed under this statute (e.g., 
tunas, swordfish, billfish, and some shark species), which authorize 
researchers to collect HMS from bona fide research vessels (e.g., NMFS 
or university research vessel.) NMFS will issue an EFP when research/
collection involving such species occurs from commercial or 
recreational fishing platforms.
    To regulate these fishing activities, NMFS needs information to 
determine the justification for granting an EFP, LOA, SRP, display, or 
shark research fishery permit. The application requirements are 
detailed at 50 CFR 600.745(b)(2). Interim, annual, and no-catch/fishing 
reports must also be submitted to the HMS Management Division within 
NMFS. The authority for the NMFS requiring this information is found at 
50 CFR 635.32(a).
    NMFS has updated the burden estimates based on participation in the 
Atlantic HMS Management Division's exempted fishing program from 2014 
to 2016 and the Shark Research Fishery from 2014-2016. Since 2014 the 
shark research fishery application and the exempted fishing permit 
application have been separate applications. The burden estimates for 
these two applications remain the same for each application (40 

[[Page 32686]]

II. Method of Collection

    Respondents have a choice of either electronic or paper forms. 
Methods of submittal include email of electronic forms, mail and 
facsimile transmission of paper forms.

III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0471.
    Form Number(s): None.
    Type of Review: Regular submission (revision of a currently 
approved collection).
    Affected Public: Non-profit institutions; State, local, or tribal 
government; business or other for-profit organizations.
    Estimated Number of Respondents for Research and Display Permits: 
    Estimated Number of Respondents for Shark Research Fishery Permits: 
    Estimated Number of Calls to Request an Observer for Shark Research 
Fishery Participants: 84.
    Estimated Time Per Response: 2 hours for a scientific research 
plan; 40 minutes for an application for an EFP, Display Permit, SRP, 
LOA, or Shark Research Permit; 1 hour for an interim report; 40 minutes 
for an annual fishing report; 15 minutes for an application for an 
amendment; 5 minutes for notification of departure phone calls to NMFS 
Enforcement; 10 minutes for calls to request and observer; and 2 
minutes for ``no-catch'' reports.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 616.
    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $7.84.

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: July 11, 2017.
Sarah Brabson,
NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
[FR Doc. 2017-14863 Filed 7-14-17; 8:45 am]