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Soundings Archive

NMFS Seeks Comment on Beluga Whale ICR
On Feb. 7, 2012, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice seeking public comment on an Information Collection Request regarding the beluga whale. NMFS plans to send this ICR to the Office of Management and Budget for review. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, OMB must review and approve this ICR before NMFS can collect the information it covers.

NMFS' Federal Register notice describes this information as "Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Economic Survey." NMFS' notice further explains that the Service

    "plans to conduct a survey to collect data for measuring the economic benefits the public receives for providing additional protection, beyond current levels, to the Cook Inlet beluga whale. These preferences are currently not known, but are needed to assist in the evaluation of alternative measures to further protect and recover the species' population, such as in the evaluation of critical habitat designations. The survey consists of conducting a mail-telephone survey of U.S. households to collect data that will be used to measure these public preferences and values.

    During 2011, NMFS fielded a pilot version of the survey to a small number of U.S. households, primarily to evaluate the survey administration procedures prior to sending the survey out to a larger and more representative sample. The results of this pretest indicated the need to make minor adjustments to the survey administration (e.g., timing of mailings and telephone calls), which will be incorporated in the data collection to which this notice pertains."
Comments on this proposed ICR are due to NMFS by April 9, 2012.
  • Click here to read NMFS' Federal Register notice
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