Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The groundfish tagging program provides scientists with information necessary for effective conservation, management, and scientific understanding of the groundfish fishery off Alaska and the Northwest Pacific. The program area includes the Pacific Ocean off Alaska (the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Area, and the Alexander Archipelago of Southeast Alaska), California, Oregon, and Washington. Fish movement information from recovered tags is used in population dynamics models for stock assessment. There are two general categories of tags. Simple plastic tags (spaghetti tags) are external tags approximately two inches long printed with code numbers. When a tag is returned the tag number is correlated with databases of released, tagged fish to determine the net movement and growth rate of the tagged fish. Archival tags are microchips with sensors encased in plastic cylinders that record the depth, temperature or other data, which can be downloaded electronically from the recovered tags. The groundfish tagging and tag recovery program is part of the fishery resource assessment and data collection that NMFS conducts under the Magnuson-Stevens Act authority as codified in 16 U.S.C. 1801(a)(8).
This is a volunteer program requiring the actual tag from the fish to be returned, along with recovery information. Reporting forms with pre-addressed and postage-free envelopes are distributed to processors and catcher vessels.
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.