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Notice

Marine Mammals; File No. 774-1714

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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 (SWFSC) (Jeremy Rusin, Principal Investigator), Protected Resources Division, 8604 La Jolla Shores Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037 has been issued an amendment to scientific research Permit No. 774-1714-06.

ADDRESSES:

The amendment and related documents are available for review upon written request or by appointment in the following offices: See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Amy Hapeman or Carrie Hubard, (301)713-2289.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On March 12, 2007, notice was published in the Federal Register (72 FR 10986) that an amendment of Permit No. 774-1714, issued June 30, 2004 (68 FR 57673), 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 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 regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 222-226).

Permit No. 774-1714-07 authorizes the SWFSC to conduct research on seven pinniped species, 55 cetacean species, and five sea turtle species in the Pacific, Indian, Atlantic, Arctic and Southern Oceans. The permit authorizes Level B harassment during aerial and vessel surveys for photo-identification/photogrammetry, incidental harassment, collection of sloughed skin, and salvage of carcasses and parts; Level A harassment for capture, biopsy sampling, and tagging activities; and the import/export of specimens. This amendment: (1) reorganizes the take table to reflect annual takes instead of 5-year cumulative takes; (2) increases the number of animals harassed during aerial and vessel surveys, biopsy sampled, and/or tagged for several cetacean species; (3) collapses authorized takes of six cetacean stocks to the species level; (4) adds Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) to species that may be harassed during aerial and vessel surveys for photo-id and biopsy sampled; (5) adds four new cetacean categories for animals that are observed but not identifiable during surveys; (6) adds 14 cetacean species/stocks to those that may be harassed/sampled in the Southern Ocean; and (7) authorizes the satellite tagging of 50 non-endangered killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Antarctic Start Printed Page 22343waters annually. The amended permit is valid until it expires on June 30, 2009.

In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an environmental assessment was prepared analyzing the effects of the permitted activities. After a Finding of No Significant Impact, the determination was made that it was not necessary to prepare an environmental impact statement.

Issuance of this permit, 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 such endangered species; and (3) is consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in section 2 of the ESA.

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; and

Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, 1601 Kapiolani Blvd., Rm 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814-4700; phone (808)944-2200; fax (808)973-2941.

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Dated: April 21, 2008.

P. Michael Payne,

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

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[FR Doc. E8-9114 Filed 4-24-08; 8:45 am]

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