National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Notice; receipt of application.
Notice is hereby given that Samuel Wasser, Ph.D., University of Washington, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 351800, Seattle, WA 98195, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on killer whales (Orcinus orca).
Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before May 10, 2013.
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. 17344 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
Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., BIN C15700, Bldg. 1, Seattle, WA 98115-0700; phone (206) 526-6150; fax (206) 526-6426.
Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. 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.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Carrie Hubard or Jennifer Skidmore, (301) 427-8401.
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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 permit to study killer whales of the endangered Eastern North Pacific Southern Resident stock in waters of Washington, including the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound. The objective of the research is to use noninvasive physiological and genetic measures to examine the impacts of the three major threats to this stock: (1) Reduced prey ability; (2) excessive exposures to environmental contaminants; and (3) disturbance from private and commercial vessel traffic. The primary research method is the collection of opportunistic fecal samples, which would be scooped from the water column and then analyzed for genetics, hormones, and contaminants. Each year, the entire population of Southern Resident killer whales (currently estimated at 87 individuals) would be Start Printed Page 21348approached up to six times for photo-identification and fecal sampling. Fifteen killer whales of the Eastern North Pacific transient stock may also be approached annually for the same activities. The permit would be valid for five years.
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.
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.
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Dated: March 26, 2013.
Helen M. Golde,
Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-08363 Filed 4-9-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P