Paperwork Reduction Act Renewal for Vessel Marking Requirements, Opportunity for Comment
This is a request for an extension of a currently approved information collection.
The success of fisheries management programs depends significantly on regulatory compliance. The vessel identification requirement is essential to facilitate enforcement. The ability to link fishing (or other activity) to the vessel owner or operator is crucial to enforcement of regulations issued under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. A vessel’s official number is required to be displayed on the port and starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull, and on a weather deck. It identifies each vessel and should be visible at distances at sea and in the air. Law enforcement personnel rely on vessel marking information to assure compliance with fisheries management regulations. Vessels that qualify for particular fisheries are also readily identified, and this allows for more cost-effective enforcement. Cooperating fishermen also use the vessel numbers to report suspicious or noncompliant activities that they observe in unauthorized areas. The identifying number on fishing vessels is used by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), and other marine agencies in issuing regulations, prosecutions, and other enforcement actions necessary to support sustainable fisheries behaviors as intended in regulations. Regulation-compliant fishermen ultimately benefit from these requirements, as unauthorized and illegal fishing is deterred, and more burdensome regulations are avoided.
The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment preceding submission of the collection to OMB.