[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 204 (Friday, October 21, 2016)]
[Page 72784]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-25452]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Alaska Region 
Gear Identification

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 December 20, 

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 Patsy A. Bearden, telephone 907-586-7008, or 
[email protected].


I. Abstract

    Regulations specify that all hook-and-line, longline pot, and pot-
and-line marker buoys carried on board or used by any vessel must be 
marked with Federal Fisheries Permit number or State of Alaska 
Department of Fish and Game vessel registration number. Regulations 
that marker buoys be marked with identification information are 
essential to facilitate fisheries enforcement and actions concerning 
damage, loss, and civil proceedings. The ability to link fishing gear 
to the vessel owner or operator is crucial to enforcement of 
    This collection also provides a voluntary opportunity for Gulf of 
Alaska (GOA) individual fishing quota (IFQ) sablefish fishermen to use 
a gear that physically protects caught sablefish from depredation by 
whales. That option, the use of pot longline gear, currently exists in 
sablefish IFQ fisheries in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands 
management areas. Potential benefits of pot longline gear for sablefish 
fishing include: Mitigation of whale interaction with fishing gear, 
reduced mortality of seabirds, reduced bycatch of non-target fish 
species, reduced overall halibut mortality when targeting sablefish, 
and better accounting of total sablefish fishing mortality.
    Whales are able to strip hooked fish from hook-and-line gear, which 
reduces the amount of sablefish caught by fishermen. As such, whale 
depredation represents undocumented fishing mortality.
    Many seabird species are attracted to fishing vessels in order to 
forage on bait, offal, discards, and other prey made available by 
fishing operations. These interactions can result in direct mortality 
for seabirds if they become entangled in fishing gear or strike the 
vessel or fishing gear while flying.
    Each vessel must use mandatory logbooks (see OMB Control No. 0648-
0213 and 0648-0515) when participating in a longline pot fishery. When 
the number of pots deployed by a vessel is self-reported through 
logbooks, the use of pot tags provides an additional enforcement tool 
to ensure that the pot limits are not exceeded. The use of pot tags 
requires a uniquely identified tag to be securely affixed to each pot. 
This allows at-sea enforcement and post-trip verification of the number 
of pots fished.

II. Method of Collection

    Information will be collected using paper or electronic logbooks. 
Marker buoys are marked with identification information.

III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0353.
    Form Number(s): None.
    Type of Review: Extension of a current information collection.
    Affected Public: Individuals or households; Business or other for-
profit organizations.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 990.
    Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes each for Request for IFQ 
Sablefish Pot Gear Tags, Request for Replacement of IFQ Sablefish Pot 
Gear Tags or Lost Gear, Marking of longline pot gear; and Groundfish 
Hook-and-line marker buoys.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1800 hr.
    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $ 11,310.

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: October 17, 2016.
Sarah Brabson,
NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
[FR Doc. 2016-25452 Filed 10-20-16; 8:45 am]