[Federal Register: June 24, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 122)]
[Page 35705-35706]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R5-FHC-2008-N00165] [51320-1334-0000 L4]

Proposed Information Collection; 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) 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 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.

DATES: You must submit comments on or before August 25, 2008.

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

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

I. Abstract
    Horseshoe crabs are among the world's oldest creatures. People have 
used this evolutionary survivor for centuries. Horseshoe crabs play an 
important role in the ecology of the coastal ecosystem, and, over time, 
have provided opportunities 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. Fishermen use 
active management and innovative techniques to conserve bait that 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 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.
    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 years or older, it may take some 
time before the population measurably increases. A Horseshoe Crab 
Cooperative Tagging Program was established to monitor this species. 
Cooperating Federal and State agencies, universities, and biomedical 
companies tag and release horseshoe crabs. Agencies that tag and 
release the crabs complete the Horseshoe Crab Tagging Release Form (FWS 
Form 3-2311) 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.
    Through public participants who recover tagged crabs, we collect 
the following information using FWS Form 3-2310 (Horseshoe Crab 
Recapture Report):
    (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. 
The information

[[Page 35706]]

that we collect is stored at the Maryland Fishery Resources Office, 
Fish and Wildlife Service, and used to evaluate migratory patterns, 
survival, and abundance of horseshoe crabs.
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.
    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.
III. Request for Comments
     We invite comments concerning this IC 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. We will include and/or summarize each comment in our 
request to OMB to approve this IC. 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 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: May 29, 2008
Hope Grey,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. E8-14228 Filed 6-23-08; 8:45 am]