[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 47 (Wednesday, March 11, 1998)]
[Pages 11871-11872]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-6186]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Economic Performance Data for West Coast (California--Alaska) 
Commercial Fisheries; Proposed Collection

ACTION: Proposed collection; comment request.


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, Pub. L. 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before May 11, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Direct all written comments to Linda Engelmeier, 
Departmental Forms Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 
5327, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20230.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or 
copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions 
should be directed to Dave Colpo, Pacific States Marine Fisheries 
Commission, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., 
Seattle, WA 98115, (206) 526-4251, [email protected]; Steve Freese, 
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 
98115 (206) 526-6113, Steve.F[email protected]; or Joe Terry, Alaska 
Fisheries Science Center, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115, 
(206) 526-4253, Joe.T[email protected].

I. Abstract

    Economic performance data for select West Coast (California-Alaska) 
commercial fisheries will be collected for each of the following four 
groups of operations: (1) On-shore processors; (2) motherships; (3) 
catcher/processor vessels; and (4) catcher vessels. Companies 
associated with these groups will be surveyed for expenditure, earnings 
and employment data. In general, questions will be asked concerning ex-
vessel and wholesale prices and revenue, variable and fixed costs, 
expenditures, dependence on the fisheries, and fishery employment. Data 
will be collected for participants in the commercial groundfish and 
salmon marine fisheries, including charter boats operations for 
California, Oregon and Washington, and for participants in the 
commercial groundfish and halibut fisheries off Alaska. The data 
collection efforts will be coordinated to reduce the additional burden 
for those who participate in multiple fisheries. Each year the 
principal focus of this data collection program will be on a different 
set of fisheries or on a different set of participants in these 
fisheries. The data will be used for the following three purposes: (1) 
To monitor the economic performance of these fisheries and various 
components of these fisheries through primary processing; (2) to 
analyze the economic performance effects of current management 
measures; and (3) to analyze the economic performance effects of 
alternative management measures. The measures of economic performance 
to be supported by this data collection program include the following: 
(1) Contribution to net National benefit; (2) contribution to income of 
groups of participants in the fisheries (i.e., fishers, vessel owners, 
processing plant employees, and processing plant owners); (3) 
employment; (4) regional economic impacts (income and employment); and 
(5) factor utilization rates. As required by law, the confidentiality 
of the data will be protected.
    In each year, the data collection effort will focus on a different 
component of the West Coast fisheries and more limited data will be 
collected for the previously surveyed components of these fisheries. 
The latter will be done to update the models that will be used to track 
economic performance and to evaluate the economic effects of 
alternative management actions. This cycle of data collection will 
result in economic performance data being available and updated for all 
the components of the West Coast fisheries identified above.
    The large scale of most of the processing operations involved in 
these fisheries and of many of the harvesting operations, and the 
concentration of ownership in many of these fisheries, particularly off 
Alaska, means that improved economic data for the management of these 
fisheries is a high priority for the individuals who will provide data 
for these fisheries. This is demonstrated by the fact that associations 
representing many of the Alaskan participants in these fisheries 
support this data collection effort and have volunteered to assist in 
proving the data.

II. Method of Collection

    Data will be collected from a sample of the owners and operators of 
catcher vessels, catcher/processors, on-shore processing plants, and 
motherships that participate in these fisheries. The data are expected 
to be collected principally by NMFS and Pacific States Marine Fisheries 
Commission economists. Questionnaires will be mailed to the selected 
members of each of the four survey groups, and in many cases those 
individuals will be interviewed to ensure the clarity of their 
responses. To the extent practicable, the data collected will consist 
of data that the respondents maintain for their own business purposes. 
Therefore, the collection burden will consist principally of 
transcribing data from their internal records to the survey instrument 
and participating in personal interviews. In addition, current data 
reporting requirements will be evaluated to determine if they can be 
modified to provide improved economic data at a lower cost to 
respondents and the Agency. Similarly, it will be determined if some of 
these data can be collected more effectively and efficiently from the 
firms that provide bookkeeping and accounting services to participants 
in West Coast commercial marine fisheries. This data collection method 
would be used only after obtaining permission to do so from 
participants in the fisheries.
    Response to the surveys described in this Federal Register Notice 
will be voluntary. The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has 
recommended the development of additional mandatory reporting 
requirements for economic data. If such requirements are implemented, 
the data collected with voluntary surveys in Alaska would be decreased.

III. Data

    OMB Number: None.
    Form Number: N/A.
    Type of Review: Regular Submission.
    Affected Public: Businesses and other for-profit (selected 
harvesters and processors who participate in select West Coast 
commercial marine fisheries.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: (3-year average): 1,471 in total

[[Page 11872]]

consisting of 600 small catcher vessel owners, 630 large catcher vessel 
owners, 206 primary processor owners, including factory trawlers, 
motherships and on-shore processing plants, 5 secondary processors and 
130 charter boat operators.
    Estimated Time Per Response: 1 hour per small catcher vessel; 2 
hours per large catcher vessel and charter boat; 5 hours per primary 
and secondary processor.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,675 hours (3-year average).

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0. Respondents will not be 
required to purchase equipment or materials to respond to this survey.

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: March 5, 1998.
Linda Engelmeier,
Departmental Forms Clearance Officer, Office of Management and 
[FR Doc. 98-6186 Filed 3-10-98; 8:45 am]