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Notice

Marine Mammals; File No. 14097

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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:

Notice; issuance of permit.

SUMMARY:

Notice is hereby given that National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) (Jeremy Rusin, Principal Investigator), Protected Resources Division, 3333 N. Torrey Pines Ct., La Jolla, CA 92037, has been issued a permit to conduct scientific research on five pinniped species, 57 cetacean species, and five sea turtle species in the Pacific, Southern, Indian, and Arctic Oceans.

ADDRESSES:

The permit 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:

Kristy Beard or Amy Hapeman, (301) 713-2289.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On July 27, 2009, notice was published in the Federal Register (74 FR 37015) that a request for a permit to conduct scientific research on five pinniped species, 57 cetacean species, and five sea turtle species in the Pacific, Southern, Indian, and Arctic Oceans had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The requested permit 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 Start Printed Page 40777endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

The permit authorizes three projects. Under Project I (Pinnipeds) population assessments will be conducted of northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) via aerial photography, ground or vessel surveys, and photogrammetry to determine abundance, distribution patterns, length frequencies, and breeding densities. Scats and spewings will be collected from California sea lions to determine their diet. Under Project II (Cetaceans) surveys will be conducted to determine the abundance, distribution, movement patterns, and stock structure of cetaceans in U.S. territorial and international waters. These studies will be conducted through vessel surveys, aerial surveys, small plane photogrammetry, photo-identification (from vessels and small boats), biological sampling, radio tagging, and satellite tagging. Under Project III (Sea Turtles) surveys will be conducted to determine the abundance, distribution, movement patterns, stock structure, and diet of sea turtles in U.S. territorial and international waters. Sea turtles will be opportunistically captured during Project II surveys for collection of blood samples, stomach contents, and tissue biopsy and to attach satellite tags. Cetacean, pinniped, and sea turtle parts, specimens, and biological samples collected during these projects will also be salvaged and imported/exported.

In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an environmental assessment (EA) was prepared analyzing the effects of the permitted activities on the human environment. Based on the analyses in the EA, NMFS determined that issuance of the permit would not significantly impact the quality of the human environment and that preparation of an environmental impact statement was not required. That determination is documented in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), signed on July 1, 2010.

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) 713-0376;

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: July 7, 2010.

Tammy C. Adams,

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

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[FR Doc. 2010-17164 Filed 7-13-10; 8:45 am]

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