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Marine Mammals; File No. 774-1847-01

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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


Notice; issuance of permit amendment.


Notice is hereby given that NMFS Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Antarctic Marine Living Resources Program (Rennie Holt, Ph.D., Principal Investigator), 8604 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037 has been issued an amendment to scientific research Permit No. 774-1847.


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 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301)713-2289; fax (301)427-2521; and

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

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Kate Swails or Tammy Adams, (301)713-2289.

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On January 23, 2007 notice was published in the Federal Register (72 FR 2868) that an amendment of Permit No. 774-1847, issued September 11, 2006 (71 FR 53423) 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.), and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216).

Permit No. 774-1847 authorizes the permit holder to continue a long-term ecosystem monitoring program of pinniped species in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The permit holder is authorized to take up to 710 Antarctic fur seals (Arctophalus gazell) and 20 leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) annually. The animals are captured, measured, weighed, tagged, blood sampled, and have time-depth recorders, VHF transmitters, and platform terminal transmitters attached. A subset of fur seals are given an enema, have a tooth extracted, milk sampled, and are part of a doubly-labeled water study on energetics. A subset of leopard seals are blubber and muscle sampled.

The amendment authorizes the permit holder to increase annual research-related mortality to eight Antarctic fur seals (3 adults and 5 pups) and two leopard seals. Permit conditions are such that research must be stopped when the mortality level is reached. The amendment is intended to allow the continuation of the long-term monitoring studies in the event of greater than anticipated levels of research-related mortality.

In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

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Dated: March 14, 2007.

P. Michael Payne,

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

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[FR Doc. E7-5055 Filed 3-19-07; 8:45 am]