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Marine Mammals; File No. 881-1443

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National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.


Issuance of permit amendment.


Notice is hereby given that the Alaska SeaLife Center, P.O. Box 1329, Seward, AK 99664 has been issued an amendment to scientific research Permit No. 881-1443.


The amendment and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the following office(s):

Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13730, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301/713-2289); and

Regional Administrator, Alaska Region, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668 (907/586-7221).

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Ruth Johnson or Amy Sloan, 301/713-2289.

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On September 19, 2001, notice was published in the Federal Register (66 FR 48663) that an amendment of Permit No. 881-1443, issued March 27, 1998 (63 FR 14905), had been requested by the above-named organization. The requested amendment has been granted under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the provisions of § 216.39 of the Regulations Governing the Taking and Importing of Marine Mammals (50 CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the provisions of § 222.25 of the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered fish and wildlife (50 CFR 222.23).

Issuance of this amendment, as required by the ESA was based on a finding that such permit (1) was applied for in good faith, (2) will not operate to the disadvantage of the endangered species which is the subject of this permit, and (3) is consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in section 2 of the ESA.

The amendment authorizes modifications to existing research protocols as well as new research projects. Modifications to existing protocols include: (1) increasing frequency of blubber biopsies taken from Steller sea lions from 3 to 6 times per year for fatty acid and organochlorine testing; (2) increasing mass of blubber biopsies taken from harbor seals from 50 to 500 mg for organochlorine testing; (3) collecting saliva from Steller sea lions and harbor seals for deuterium, steroid, and hormone analyses; (4) analyzing vaginal and preputial swabs for cell cytology in Steller sea lions and harbor seals; and (5) administering stable isotopes to Steller sea lions for nutritional studies.

New projects include: (1) hormone stimulation studies and collection of feces for assessment of stress or well-being in relation to diet in Steller sea lions; (2) bioenergetic studies of Steller sea lions involving determination of metabolic rates using flow respirometry and metabolic chambers, and dietary marker administration and dry holding for collection of urine and feces; (3) collection of skin and mucosal swabs from harbor seals and Steller sea lions for development of cell lines and microbiological analyses; (4) administration of deuterium labeled vitamin E and a vitamin A analog and increased frequency of blood sampling to determine metabolic requirements of these vitamins; and (5)photographic studies to determine pelage pattern consistency of harbor seals.

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Dated: July 25, 2002.

Eugene T. Nitta,

Acting Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service

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[FR Doc. 02-19430 Filed 7-31-02; 8:45 am]