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Notice

Marine Mammals; Photography Permit Application No. 1074-1779

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Receipt of application.

SUMMARY:

Notice is hereby given that the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (Marc Dantzker, Principal Investigator), Macaulay Library, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, New York, 14850, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct commercial/educational photography of several species of non-listed marine mammals.

DATES:

Written, telefaxed, or e-mail comments must be received on or before March 14, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

The application and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment (See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

Written comments or requests for a public hearing on this application should be mailed 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 Start Printed Page 7083hearing on this particular request would be appropriate.

Comments may also be submitted by facsimile at (301)427-2521, provided the facsimile is confirmed by hard copy submitted by mail and postmarked no later than the closing date of the comment period.

Comments may also be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for providing email comments is NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: File No. 1074-1779.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jennifer Jefferies or Ruth Johnson, (301)713-2289.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The subject permit is requested under the authority of § 104(c)(6) 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). Section 104(c)(6) provides for photography for educational or commercial purposes involving non-endangered and non-threatened marine mammals in the wild. NMFS is currently working on proposed regulations to implement this provision. However, in the meantime, NMFS has received and is processing this request as a “pilot” application for Level B Harassment of non-listed marine mammals for educational purposes.

The purpose of the proposed project is to film several species of non-listed marine mammals for a multimedia educational outreach package called Sea of Sound. The objective of this project is to teach classrooms and homes around the world about the richness and importance of undersea sound. The closeness of filming would be considered Level B harrassment and therefore would require a permit under the MMPA. The photographers intend to attempt to document marine mammal movement and aggregation under varying conditions. Sea of Sound would be produced using high definition (HD) video and surround sound. The HD video system would be self contained and diver operated. The passive audio system would be deployed using a hydrophone array on short cables or in a self contained unit that is diver operated. The action area would include National Marine Sanctuaries throughout the United States. The Permit would expire five years after the date of issuance.

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.

Documents may be reviewed in the following locations:

Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone(301) 713-2289; fax (301) 427-2521;

Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, BIN C15700, Bldg. 1, Seattle, WA 98115-0700; phone (206) 526-6150; fax (206) 526-6426;

Alaska Region, NMFS, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668; phone(907) 586-7221; fax (907) 586-7249;

Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213; phone (562) 980-4001; fax (562) 980-4018;

Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Rm 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814-4700; phone (808) 973-2935; fax (808) 973-2941;

Northeast Region, NMFS, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2298; phone (978) 281-9328; fax (978) 281-9394; and,

Southeast Region, NMFS, 9721 Executive Center Drive North, St. Petersburg, FL 33702-2432; phone (727) 570-5301; fax (727) 570-5320.

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Dated: February 4, 2005.

Stephen L. Leathery,

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

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[FR Doc. 05-2627 Filed 2-9-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-S