[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 186 (Monday, September 26, 2011)]
[Pages 59422-59423]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-24639]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-FHC-2011-N191; 51320-1334-0000-L4]

Proposed Information Collection; Horseshoe Crab Tagging Program

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: We (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) will ask the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the information collection (IC) 
described below. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and 
as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent 
burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take 
this opportunity to comment on this IC. This IC is scheduled to expire 
on March 31, 2012. 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.

DATES: To ensure that we are able to consider your comments on this IC, 
we must receive them by November 25, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments on the IC to the Service Information 
Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service, MS 2042-PDM, 
4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203 (mail); or 
INFOCOL@fws.gov (e-mail). Please include ``1018-0127'' in the subject 
line of your comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information 
about this IC, contact Hope Grey at INFOCOL@fws.gov (e-mail) or 703-
358-2482 (telephone).


I. 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 currently listed as a candidate for protection 
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 increasing slowly. 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:
     Organization name.
     Contact person name.
     Tag number.
     Sex of crab.
     Prosomal width.
     Capture site, latitude, longitude, waterbody, State, and 
    Members of the public who recover tagged crabs provide the 
following information using FWS Form 3-2310 (Horseshoe Crab Recapture 
     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.
    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.

II. Data

    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.
    Description of Respondents: 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.

[[Page 59423]]

                                     Number of annual  Number of annual   Completion time per     Annual burden
              Activity                  respondents        responses            response              hours
FWS Form 3-2310....................               950             2,250  5 minutes............               188
FWS Form 3-2311....................                18                18  95 hours\*\..........             1,710
                                    ------------------------------------                       -----------------
    Totals.........................               968             2,268  .....................             1,898
\*\ 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,
  record, and report data. Each agency determines the number of tags it will apply.

III. Comments

    We invite comments concerning this information collection on:
     Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, 
including whether or not the information will have practical utility;
     The accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this 
collection of information;
     Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
     Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of 
information on respondents.
    Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of 
public record. We will include or summarize each comment in our request 
to OMB to approve this IC. Before including your address, phone number, 
email 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 us in your comment to withhold your personal 
identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we 
will be able to do so.

    Dated: September 21, 2011.
Tina A. Campbell,
Chief, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2011-24639 Filed 9-23-11; 8:45 am]