Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Billfish Certificate of Eligibility

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, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).

Table of Contents

Dates:

Written comments must be submitted on or before June 4, 2004.

Addresses:

Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6625, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at dHynek@doc.gov).

For further information contact:

Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Christopher Rogers, Highly Migratory Species Management Division (F/SF1), Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (phone 301-713-2347).

Supplementary information:

I. Abstract

Under the provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801et seq.), NOAA is responsible for management of the Nation's marine fisheries. In addition, NOAA must comply with the United States' obligations under the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act of 1975 (16 U.S.C. 971et seq.). A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) for Billfishes is required under 50 CFR 635 to accompany all billfish, except for a billfish landed in a Pacific state and remaining in the state of landing. This documentation certifies that the accompanying billfish was not harvested from the Atlantic Ocean management unit (described on the form), and identifies the vessel landing the billfish, the vessel's home port, theport of offloading, and the date of offloading. The certificate must accompany the billfish to any dealer or processor who subsequently receives or possesses the billfish. A standard form is not currently required to document the necessary information. However, NOAA is considering a proposed rule that would require a standard form, and its submission to NOAA after the final sale of the billfish. This collection is necessary to implement the Atlantic Billfish Fishery Management Plan, whose objective is to reserve Atlantic billfish for the recreational fishery.

II. Method of Collection

A paper form and recordkeeping are used.

III. Data

OMB Number:0648-0216.

Form Number: None.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Business and other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents:100 for initial completion of certificate (50 dealers x 2 COEs) and 300 for subsequent billfish purchase recordkeeping.

Estimated Time Per Response:20 minutes for initial completion of certificate and 2 minutes for subsequent billfish purchase recordkeeping.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours:43.3 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public:$0.

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 technology.

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 26, 2004. Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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