[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 153 (Monday, August 10, 2015)]
[Pages 47910-47911]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-19567]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Surfclam/Ocean 
Quahog Individual Transferable Quota Administration.

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 October 9, 2015.

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 Douglas Potts, (978) 281-9341 or [email protected].


I. Abstract

    This request is for an extension of a currently approved collection 
associated with the Atlantic surfclam and ocean quahog fisheries. 
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Greater Atlantic Region 
manages these fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the 
Northeastern United States through the Atlantic Surfclam and Ocean 
Quahog Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The Mid-Atlantic Fishery 
Management Council prepared the FMP pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens 
Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The 
regulations implementing the FMP are specified at 50 CFR part 648 
subpart E.

[[Page 47911]]

    The recordkeeping and reporting requirements at Sec. Sec.  648.74, 
648.75, and 648.76 form the basis for this collection of information. 
We request information from surfclam and ocean quahog individual 
transferable quota (ITQ) permit holders to issue ITQ permits and to 
process and track requests from permit holders to transfer quota share 
or cage tags. We also request information from surfclam and ocean 
quahog ITQ permit holders to track and properly account for surfclam 
and ocean quahog harvest shucked at sea. Because there is not a 
standard conversion factor for estimating unshucked product from 
shucked product, NMFS requires vessels that shuck product at sea to 
carry on board the vessel a NMFS-approved observer to certify the 
amount of these clams harvested. This information, upon receipt, 
results in an efficient and accurate database for management and 
monitoring of fisheries of the Northeastern U.S. EEZ.
    Georges Bank has been closed to the harvest of surfclams and ocean 
quahogs since 1990 due to red tide blooms that cause paralytic 
shellfish poisoning (PSP). In 2013, a portion of Georges Bank was 
reopened with certain restrictions. We request information from 
surfclam and ocean quahog ITQ permit holders who fish in the reopened 
portion of the Georges Bank Closed Area to ensure compliance with the 
Protocol for Onboard Screening and Dockside Testing in Molluscan 
Shellfish. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the commercial 
fishing industry, and NMFS developed the PSP protocol to test and 
verify that clams harvested from Georges Bank continue to be safe for 
human consumption. The National Shellfish Sanitation Program adopted 
the PSP protocol at the October 2011 Interstate Shellfish Sanitation 

II. Method of Collection

    Forms are online at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/gpea_forms/forms.htm as 
``fillable'' pdf documents, which can then be downloaded, printed, and 
faxed or mailed to NMFS. ITQ transfer forms may also be submitted 
electronically. Information for the PSP protocol is submitted through 
paper forms, as well as through electronic methods, including email, 
telephone, and shipboard electronic equipment such as VHF radio, email, 
or a vessel monitoring system.

III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0240.
    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: 189.
    Estimated Time per Response: ITQ permit application form, review of 
a pre-filled ITQ ownership form for renewing entities, ITQ transfer 
form, 5 minutes each; 1 hour to complete the ITQ ownership form for new 
applicants; and 30 minutes for the application to shuck surfclams and 
ocean quahogs at sea. The requirements under the PSP protocol are based 
on the number of vessels that land surfclams or ocean quahogs and the 
number of trips taken into the area, with a total estimated annual 
burden of 2,400 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 2,538.
    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $111,764 in recordkeeping/
reporting costs.

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 Office of Management and Budget 
approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter 
of public record.

Sarah Brabson,
NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
[FR Doc. 2015-19567 Filed 8-7-15; 8:45 am]