National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Notice; receipt of application.
Notice is hereby given that Waikiki Aquarium, 2777 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815 (Dr. Andrew Rossiter, Responsible Party), has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on and enhancement of captive Hawaiian monk seals.
Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before March 23, 2018.
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. 21251 from the list of available applications.
These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the 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.
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. 21251 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.
Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jennifer Skidmore or Sara Young, (301) 427-8401.
End Further Info
Start Supplemental Information
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 parts 222-226).
The Waikiki Aquarium is requesting a 5-year permit to continue to maintain in captivity up to three male Hawaiian monk seals (Neomonachus schauinslandi) for research and enhancement purposes. The aquarium currently maintains two non-releasable seals. Research proposed includes continuation of a long-term diet study using voluntary behaviors to monitor changes in body mass. The Aquarium will continue its collaboration with the University of California Santa Cruz investigating underwater feeding behavior. The Aquarium will begin a new project with Dr. Christin Murphy of the Department of Defense and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute studying ventral vibrissae. All activities will occur at the Waikiki Aquarium.
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.
End Supplemental Information
Dated: February 15, 2018.
Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-03541 Filed 2-20-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P