Notice; issuance of permit amendment.
Notice is hereby given that a major amendment to Permit No. 16109 has been issued to GeoMarine, Inc. (Responsible Party: Suzanne Bates), 2201 K Avenue, Suite A2, Plano, TX 75074.
The permit amendment and related documents are available for review 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;
Northeast Region, NMFS, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930; phone (978) 281-9328; fax (978) 281-9394; and
Southeast Region, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, FL 33701; phone (727) 824-5312; fax (727) 824-5309.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Joselyd Garcia-Reyes or Carrie Hubard, (301) 427-8401.
On June 5, 2012, notice was published in the Federal Register (77 FR 33198) that a request for an amendment to Permit No. 16109 to conduct research on marine mammals and sea turtles had been submitted by the above-named organization. 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 has been amended to increase sei whale takes to 50 per year. The amended permit is valid through the expiration date of the original permit, May 15, 2017.
An environmental assessment (EA) analyzing the effects of the permitted activities on the human environment was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Based on the analyses in the EA, NMFS determined that issuance of the permit amendment 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 May 1, 2012.
As required by the ESA, issuance of this permit amendment 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.
Dated: August 13, 2012.
P. Michael Payne,
Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-20403 Filed 8-17-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P