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Notice

Marine Mammals; File No. 1121-1900

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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 NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology (Principal Investigator: Dr. Brandon Southall), Silver Spring, MD, has been issued an amendment to Permit No. 1121-1900 to conduct research on marine mammals.

ADDRESSES:

The permit 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; http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/​pr/​permits/​review.htm; and

Southeast Region, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701; phone (727)824-5312; fax (727)824-5309.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tammy Adams or Jolie Harrison, (301)713-2289.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On April 2, 2008, notice was published in the Federal Register (73 FR 17957) that a request for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 1121-1900 to take beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris and Mesoplodon spp.) and other odontocete species had been submitted by the above-named institution (permit holder). The requested permit amendment has been issued 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 parts 222-226).

The permit amendment extended the duration of the permit to allow conduct of three additional annual field seasons, and modified the protocols for playback experiments as requested by the permit holder. The amended permit authorizes research involving temporary attachment of scientific instruments (digital archival recording tags), photo-identification, and exposure to controlled levels of natural and anthropogenic underwater sounds, including signals simulating mid-frequency sonar. Sloughed skin samples collected from the detached instrument would be imported into the U.S. for analysis. The permit is valid through January 1, 2011.

In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a supplemental 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.

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Dated: August 6, 2008.

P. Michael Payne,

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

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[FR Doc. E8-18617 Filed 8-11-08; 8:45 am]

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