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Privacy Act Statement

Privacy act statement in regards to the collection of information by observers in commercial fisheries.


The collection of this information is authorized under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C 1801 et seq., the High Seas Fishing Compliance Act, the Tuna Conventions Act of 1950, the Antarctic Marine Living Resources Convention Act, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFCIA; 16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq), the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Fur Seal Act.  The authority for the mandatory collection of the Tax Identification Number (TIN) is 31 U.S.C. 7701.


In order to manage U.S. fisheries, the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) requires the use of fishery observers by participants in the United States. Fishery observers provide the only reliable and/or most effective method for obtaining information that is critical for the conservation and management of living marine resources. Information collected by observers deployed in commercial fisheries includes vessel owner contact information, date of birth, TIN, permit number(s) and vessel descriptive information. Permit holder information may be used as sampling frames for surveys, as part of Fishery Management Council (FMC) analysis to support FMC decisions.

Routine Uses

The Department will use this information to determine permit eligibility and to identify fishery participants. Disclosure of this information is permitted under the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. Section 552a), to be shared within NMFS offices and the NMFS Observer Program. Disclosure of this information is also subject to all of the published routine uses as identified in the Privacy Act System of Records Notice COMMERCE/NOAA-19, Permits and Registrations for the United States Federally Regulated Fisheries.


Furnishing this information is voluntary; however, failure to provide complete and accurate information will affect continued eligibility for a permit.

Last updated by Office of Science and Technology on October 25, 2018