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NOAA looking at mapping and tagging of Atlantic highly migratory species

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the Department of Commerce is seeking public comment on renewal of the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Voluntary Release Reports. The Department announced its request for public comment in the Federal Register of April 15, 2014.

NOAA is asking the Office of Management & Budget for routine renewal of the form, which it last got three years ago. NOAA says it takes about five minutes to complete the form and only about 13 responders reply every year. NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service uses the data to learn about highly migratory species of fish that are tagged and released. Fisherman can volunteer to provide info on where and when they tag and release the relevant fish.

NOAA uses the data to help create an interactive web site mapping tool. People use the website to learn about the species. The web page also includes info on how people can get involved in tagging programs. NOAA does not, however, consider the findings to be scientifically representative of fish populations.

Any individual, business or non-profit can volunteer to submit reports at any time. The department is taking suggestions and comments on the form until May 14. Email them to or fax them to (202) 395-5806.

The official site for where to send comments is tricky to navigate.

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