Notice; receipt of application.
Notice is hereby given that Eye of the Whale (Olga von Ziegesar, Responsible Party and Principal Investigator), P.O. Box 15191, Fitz Creek, AK 99603, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).
Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before June 11, 2012.
The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the Features box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 16919 from the list of available applications.
These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the following offices:
Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376; and
Alaska Region, NMFS, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668; phone (907) 586-7221; fax (907) 586-7249.
Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the above address. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.
Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Amy Hapeman or Carrie Hubard, (301) 427-8401.
The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 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).
The applicant requests a five-year scientific research permit to continue a long-term census of humpback whales in Prince William Sound and adjacent waters of Alaska. Up to 200 takes for close vessel approach, photo-identification and behavioral observation of whales is requested annually to better define abundance, distribution, reoccurrence of old individuals vs. new individuals, feeding habits, vital rates, associations between animals, and sex of individual whales.
A draft environmental assessment (EA) has been prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), to examine whether significant environmental impacts could result from issuance of the proposed scientific research permit. The draft EA is available for review and comment simultaneous with the scientific research permit application.
Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of the application to the Marine Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.
Dated: May 8, 2012.
Tammy C. Adams,
Acting Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-11525 Filed 5-10-12; 8:45 am]
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