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Notice

Marine Mammals; File No. 23095

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice; receipt of application.

SUMMARY:

Notice is hereby given that Ari Friedlaender, Ph.D., University of California at Santa Cruz, 115 McAllister Way, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on eight whale species.

DATES:

Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before September 11, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

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. 23095 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. 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:

Amy Hapeman or Shasta McClenahan; phone: (301) 427-8401.

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SUPPLEMENTARY 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 applicant proposes to study eight cetacean species, including endangered blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (B. physalus), sei (B. borealis), and Southern right (Eubalaena australis) whales, in the Southern Ocean for five years. The primary objectives are to understand population demography, health, behavior, and ecology of whales. Animals would be approached during vessel and aerial surveys for: Passive acoustic recordings, counts, observation, photo-identification, photogrammetry, biopsy sampling, sloughed skin collection, tagging (suction-cup, dart, or implantable), tracking, and/or incidental harassment. Biological samples would be imported into the United States. See the application for complete numbers of animals requested by species and procedure.

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: August 7, 2019.

Julia Marie Harrison,

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

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[FR Doc. 2019-17211 Filed 8-9-19; 8:45 am]

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