[Federal Register: December 10, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 238)]
[Page 75125-75126]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-FHC-2008-N0330] [51320-1334-0000 L4]

Information Collection Sent to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for Approval; OMB Control Number 1018-0127; Horseshoe Crab 
Tagging Program

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We (Fish and Wildlife Service) have sent an Information 
Collection Request (ICR) to OMB for review and approval. The ICR, which 
is summarized below, describes the nature of the collection and the 
estimated burden and cost. This ICR is scheduled to expire on December 
31, 2008. We 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. However, under OMB regulations, we may 
continue to conduct or sponsor this information collection while it is 
pending at OMB.

DATES: You must send comments on or before January 9, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments and suggestions on this ICR to the Desk 
Officer for the Department of the Interior at OMB-OIRA at (202) 395-
6566 (fax) or OIRA_DOCKET@OMB.eop.gov (e-mail). Please provide a copy 
of your comments to Hope Grey, Information Collection Clearance 
Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 222-ARLSQ, 4401 North Fairfax 
Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 (mail) or hope_grey@fws.gov (e-mail).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information 
about this ICR, contact Hope Grey by mail or e-mail (see ADDRESSES) or 
by telephone at (703) 358-2482.

    OMB Control Number: 1018-0127.
    Title: Horseshoe Crab Tagging Program.
    Service Form Number(s): FWS Forms 3-2310 and 3-2311.
    Type of Request: Extension of currently approved collection.
    Affected Public: Tagging agencies include Federal and State 
agencies, universities, and biomedical companies. Members of the 
general public provide recapture information.
    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.
    Frequency of Collection: On occasion. When horseshoe crabs are 
tagged and when horseshoe crabs are found or captured.

                                   Number of annual    Number of annual   Completion time per    Annual burden
            Activity                  respondents          responses            response             hours
FWS Form 3-2310.................                 500               1,500  10 minutes.........                250
FWS Form 3-2311.................                  10                  10  73 hours*..........                730
    Totals......................                 510               1,510  ...................                980

    *Average time required per response is dependent on the number of 
tags applied by an agency in 1 year. Agencies tag between 25 and 9,000 
horseshoe crabs annually, taking between 2 to 5 minutes per crab to 
tag. Each agency determines the number of tags it will apply.
    Abstract: Horseshoe crabs play a vital role commercially, 
biomedically, and ecologically along the Atlantic coast. Horseshoe 
crabs are commercially harvested and used as bait in eel and conch 
fisheries. Biomedical companies along the coast also collect and bleed 
horseshoe crabs at their facilities. Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate is 
derived from crab blood, which has no synthetic substitute, and is used 
by pharmaceutical companies to test sterility of products. Finally, 
migratory shorebirds also depend on the eggs of horseshoe crabs to 
refuel on their migrations from South America to the Arctic. One bird 
in particular, the red knot, feeds primarily on horseshoe crab eggs 
during its stopover. That bird is under a status review for listing 
under the Endangered Species Act.
    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.
    Although restrictive measures have been taken in recent years, 
populations are not showing immediate increases. Because horseshoe 
crabs do not breed until they are 9 years or older, it may take some 
time before the population measurably increases. Federal and State 
agencies, universities, and biomedical companies participate in a 
Horseshoe Crab Cooperative Tagging Program. The Maryland Fishery 
Resources Office, Fish and Wildlife Service, maintains the information 
that we collect under this program and uses it to evaluate migratory 
patterns, survival, and abundance of horseshoe crabs.
    Agencies that tag and release the crabs complete FWS Form 3-2311 
(Horseshoe Crab Tagging) and provide the Service with:
    (1) Organization name.
    (2) Contact person name.
    (3) Tag number.
    (4) Sex of crab.
    (5) Prosomal width.
    (6) Capture site, latitude, longitude, waterbody, State, and date.
    Members of the public who recover tagged crabs provide the 
following information using FWS Form 3-2310 (Horseshoe Crab Recapture 
    (1) Tag number.
    (2) Whether or not tag was removed.
    (3) Whether or not the tag was circular or square.
    (4) Condition of crab.
    (5) Date captured/found.
    (6) Crab fate.
    (7) Finder type.
    (8) Capture method.
    (9) Capture location.
    (10) Reporter information.
    (11) Comments.
    If the public participant who reports the tagged crab requests 
information, we send data pertaining to the tagging program and tag and 
release information on the horseshoe crab he/she found or captured.
    Comments: On June 24, 2008, we published in the Federal Register 
(73 FR 35705) a notice of our intent to request that OMB renew this 
ICR. In that notice, we solicited comments for 60 days, ending on 
August 25, 2008. We received one comment. The commenter did not address 
the necessity, clarity, or accuracy of the information collection,

[[Page 75126]]

but did oppose the use of horseshoe crabs by biomedical companies and 
proposed a ban on the use of horseshoe crabs for any purpose. We have 
not made any changes to our information collection as a result of the 
    We again invite comments concerning this information collection on:
    (1) Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, 
including whether or not the information will have practical utility;
    (2) The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this 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 
    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of 
public record. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail 
address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you 
should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal 
identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. 
While you can ask OMB in your comment to withhold your personal 
identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it 
will be done.

    Dated: November 18, 2008
Hope Grey,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E8-29139 Filed 12-9-08; 08:45 am]