National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Start Printed Page 4294Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Receipt of application.
Notice is hereby given that Sea World, Inc., 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, Florida 32821, has applied in due form for a permit to import one beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) and one Commerson's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) for the purposes of public display.
Written or telefaxed comments must be received on or before March 1, 2004.
The application 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 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301/713-2289); and
Regional Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, California 90802, (562/980-4021).
Written comments or requests for a public hearing on this request should be submitted to the Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, F/PR1, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Those individuals requesting a hearing should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this particular permit request would be appropriate.
Comments may also be submitted by facsimile at (301) 713-0376, provided the facsimile is confirmed by hard copy submitted by mail and postmarked no later than the closing date of the comment period. Please note that comments will not be accepted by e-mail or other electronic media.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jennifer Skidmore or Jill Lewandowski, (301/713-2289).End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), and the Regulations Governing the Taking and Importing of Marine Mammals (50 CFR part 216).
The applicant requests authorization to import one male, adult beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) and one male, adult Commerson's dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) from the Duisburg Zoo, Germany to Sea World of California in San Diego, California. The applicant requests this import for the purpose of public display. The receiving facility, Sea World of California, 1720 South Shores Road, San Diego, California 92109 is: (1) open to the public on regularly scheduled basis with access that is not limited or restricted other than by charging for an admission fee; (2) offers an educational program based on professionally accepted standards of the AZA and the Alliance for Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums; and (3) holds an Exhibitor's License, number 93-C-069, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. 2131-59).
In addition to determining whether the applicant meets the three public display criteria, NMFS must determine whether the applicant has demonstrated that the proposed activity is humane and does not represent any unnecessary risks to the health and welfare of marine mammals; that the proposed activity by itself, or in combination with other activities, will not likely have a significant adverse impact on the species or stock; and that the applicant's expertise, facilities and resources are adequate to accomplish successfully the objectives and activities stated in the application.
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.
Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of this application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.Start Signature
Dated: January 23, 2004.
Stephen L. Leathery,
Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 04-1937 Filed 1-28-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S