[Federal Register: August 3, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 148)]
[Page 44677]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Information Collection To Be Sent to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for Approval Under the Paperwork Reduction Act; 1018-0127; 
Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus) Tagging Program

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We (Fish and Wildlife Service) plan to send the collection of 
information described below to OMB for approval under the provisions of 
the Paperwork Reduction Act. Information collected through the 
horseshoe crab tagging program will aid in managing and protecting this 

DATES: You must submit comments on or before October 3, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Send comments on the information collection requirements to 
Hope Grey, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, MS 222-ARLSQ, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 
(mail); Hope_Grey@fws.gov (e-mail); or (703) 358-2269 (fax).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request a copy of the proposed 
information collection requirements, related forms, or explanatory 
material, contact Hope Grey, Information Collection Clearance Officer, 
at the addresses above or by telephone at (703) 358-2482.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OMB regulations at 5 CFR 1320, which 
implement provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.), require that interested members of the public and 
affected agencies have the opportunity to comment on information 
collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). On June 
10, 2005, OMB approved our emergency request for information collection 
associated with the horseshoe crab tagging program. The supporting 
statement for our emergency request is available online at http://www.fws.gov/pdm/0127SupCurrent.pdf.
 The OMB control number for this 

collection is 1018-0127, which expires on November 30, 2005. We plan to 
request that OMB approve this information collection for a 3-year term. 
Federal agencies may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not 
required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number.
    Horseshoe crabs are among the world's oldest creatures. This 
evolutionary survivor has been used by people for centuries. It plays 
an important role in the ecology of the coastal ecosystem, while over 
time also providing the opportunity for commercial, recreational, 
medical, scientific, and educational uses.
    In 1998, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), a 
management organization with representatives from each State on the 
Atlantic Coast, developed a horseshoe crab management plan. The ASMFC 
plan and its subsequent addenda established mandatory State-by-State 
harvest quotas, and created the 1,500 square mile Carl N. Shuster, Jr. 
Horseshoe Crab Sanctuary off the mouth of Delaware Bay. Active 
management and innovative techniques used by fishermen to conserve bait 
have successfully reduced commercial horseshoe crab landings in recent 
years. Conch and eel fishermen have been using bait bags in their 
traps, so they can only use a portion of one crab per trap, compared to 
using a whole crab in each trap. The bait bags have reduced the demand 
for bait by 50 to 75 percent in recent years.
    Although restrictive measures have been taken in recent years, 
populations are not showing immediate increases. Because horseshoe 
crabs do not breed until they reach 9 or more years of age, it may take 
some time before the population measurably increases. Recently a 
Horseshoe Crab Cooperative Tagging Program was established to monitor 
this species. Horseshoe crabs are tagged and released by cooperating 
Federal and State agencies, universities, and biomedical companies. 
Agencies that tag and release horseshoe crabs will complete the 
Horseshoe Crab Tagging Release Form (FWS Form 3-2311) and provide the 
following data to the Service: organization name, contact person name, 
tag number, sex of crab, prosomal width, capture site, latitude, 
longitude, waterbody, State, and date.
    Through public participants who recover tagged crabs, we plan to 
collect the following information using FWS Form 3-2310 (Horseshoe Crab 
Recapture Report): tag number, whether or not tag was removed, whether 
or not the tag was circular or square, condition of crab, date 
captured/found, crab fate, finder type, capture method, capture 
location, reporter information, and comments. If the public participant 
who reports the tagged crab requests information, we will send data 
pertaining to the tagging program, and tag and release information on 
the horseshoe crab he/she found or captured. The information collected 
is stored at the Maryland Fishery Resources Office, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, and used to evaluate migratory patterns, survival, and 
abundance of horseshoe crabs.
    Title: Horseshoe Crab Tag Tagging Program.
    OMB Control Number: 1018-0127.
    Form Number: FWS Forms 3-2310 and 3-2311.
    Frequency: When horseshoe crabs are tagged and when horseshoe crabs 
are found or captured.
    Description of Respondents: Tagging agencies include Federal and 
State agencies, universities, and biomedical companies. Members of the 
general public provide recapture information.
    Total Annual Responses: Approximately 1,510.
    Total Annual Burden Hours: 980 hours.
    We invite comments concerning this submission on: (1) Whether or 
not the collection of information is necessary for the proper 
performance of the functions of the agency, including whether or not 
the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of our 
estimate of the burden of collection of information; (3) ways to 
enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be 
collected; and, (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of 
information on respondents.

    Dated: June 29, 2005.
Hope G. Grey,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 05-15304 Filed 8-2-05; 8:45 am]