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Notice

Marine Mammals; File No. 774-1847-02

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice; issuance of permit amendment.

SUMMARY:

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. 774-1847-01.

ADDRESSES:

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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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On August 29, 2007 notice was published in the Federal Register (72 FR 49703) that an amendment of Permit No. 774-1847-01, issued March 20, 2007 (72 FR 13093) 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. 774-1847-01 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. Annual research-related mortality of up to eight Antarctic fur seals (3 adults and 5 pups) and two leopard seals is also authorized.

The amendment authorizes the permit holder to collect vibrissae from any adult/juvenile animal currently permitted for capture and to collect tissue samples and bleach mark 50 adult male Antarctic fur seals. Additional capture is not required to collect these samples.

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: October 3, 2007.

P. Michael Payne,

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

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[FR Doc. E7-20098 Filed 10-5-07; 8:45 am]

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