Incidental Taking of Marine Mammals; Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to the Explosive Removal of Offshore Structures in the Gulf of Mexico, 22517 [2013-08857]

Download as PDF 22517 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 73 / Tuesday, April 16, 2013 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC623 Incidental Taking of Marine Mammals; Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to the Explosive Removal of Offshore Structures in the Gulf of Mexico National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of Letters of Authorization (LOA). AGENCY: SUMMARY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued LOAs to take marine mammals incidental to the explosive removal of offshore oil and gas structures (EROS) in the Gulf of Mexico. DATES: These authorizations are effective from April 15, 2013 through July 19, 2013. ADDRESSES: The application and LOAs are available for review by writing to P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910– 3235 or by telephoning the contact listed here (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), or online at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental.htm. Documents cited in this notice may be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Howard Goldstein or Jolie Harrison, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 301–427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs the Secretary of Commerce (who has delegated the authority to NMFS) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by United States citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region, if certain findings are made and regulations are issued. Under the MMPA, the term ‘‘take’’ means to harass, hunt, capture, or kill or to attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal. Authorization for incidental taking, in the form of annual LOAs, may be granted by NMFS for periods up to five years if NMFS finds, after notice and opportunity for public comment, that the total taking over the five-year period will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) of marine mammals, and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant). In addition, NMFS must prescribe regulations that include permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on the species and its habitat (i.e., mitigation), and on the availability of the species for subsistence uses, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating rounds, and areas of similar significance. The regulations also must include requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking. Regulations governing the taking of marine mammals incidental to EROS were published on June 19, 2008 (73 FR 34875), and remain in effect through July 19, 2013. For detailed information on this action, please refer to that Federal Register notice. The species that applicants may take in small numbers during EROS activities are bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis), pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata), Clymene dolphins (Stenella clymene), striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris), rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis), Risso’s dolphins (Grampus griseus), melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra), shortfinned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). NMFS received requests for LOAs from W&T Offshore, Inc. (W&T Offshore) and W&T Energy VI, LLC (W&T Energy) for activities covered by EROS regulations. Reporting NMFS Galveston Laboratory’s Platform Removal Observer Program (PROP) has provided reports for W&T Offshore’s removal of offshore structures during 2012. W&T Energy does not have reports for any operations to date. NMFS PROP observers and non-NMFS observers reported the following during W&T Offshore’s EROS operations in 2012: Structure Dates W&T Offshore ................ W&T Offshore ................ mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Company Marine mammals sighted (individuals) Eugene Island Area, Block 196, Platform B ......... Eugene Island Area, Block 205, Platform D ......... March 27 to 30, 2012 .... April 9 to 12, 16 to 17, 23 to 25, 2012. Bottlenose dolphins (2) Spotted dolphins (60) .... Pursuant to these regulations, NMFS has issued LOAs to W&T Offshore and W&T Energy. Issuance of the LOAs is based on a finding made in the preamble to the final rule that the total taking over the five-year period (with monitoring, mitigation, and reporting measures) will have a negligible impact on the affected species or stock(s) of marine mammals and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on subsistence uses. NMFS will review reports to ensure that the applicants are in compliance with meeting the VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:58 Apr 15, 2013 Jkt 229001 requirements contained in the implementing regulations and LOA, including monitoring, mitigation, and reporting requirements. Dated: April 11, 2013. Helen M. Golde, Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2013–08857 Filed 4–15–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Biological impacts observed to marine mammals None. None. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XB155 Endangered Species; File No. 16549 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Issuance of permit. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\16APN1.SGM 16APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 73 (Tuesday, April 16, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Page 22517]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-08857]



[[Page 22517]]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC623


Incidental Taking of Marine Mammals; Taking of Marine Mammals 
Incidental to the Explosive Removal of Offshore Structures in the Gulf 
of Mexico

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

ACTION: Notice; issuance of Letters of Authorization (LOA).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and 
implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has 
issued LOAs to take marine mammals incidental to the explosive removal 
of offshore oil and gas structures (EROS) in the Gulf of Mexico.

DATES: These authorizations are effective from April 15, 2013 through 
July 19, 2013.

ADDRESSES: The application and LOAs are available for review by writing 
to P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office 
of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-
West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3235 or by telephoning the 
contact listed here (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), or online 
at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm. Documents cited 
in this notice may be viewed, by appointment, during regular business 
hours, at the aforementioned address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Howard Goldstein or Jolie Harrison, 
Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 301-427-8401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 
1361 et seq.) directs the Secretary of Commerce (who has delegated the 
authority to NMFS) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not 
intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by United States 
citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial 
fishing) within a specified geographical region, if certain findings 
are made and regulations are issued. Under the MMPA, the term ``take'' 
means to harass, hunt, capture, or kill or to attempt to harass, hunt, 
capture, or kill any marine mammal.
    Authorization for incidental taking, in the form of annual LOAs, 
may be granted by NMFS for periods up to five years if NMFS finds, 
after notice and opportunity for public comment, that the total taking 
over the five-year period will have a negligible impact on the species 
or stock(s) of marine mammals, and will not have an unmitigable adverse 
impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence 
uses (where relevant). In addition, NMFS must prescribe regulations 
that include permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting 
the least practicable adverse impact on the species and its habitat 
(i.e., mitigation), and on the availability of the species for 
subsistence uses, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating 
rounds, and areas of similar significance. The regulations also must 
include requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such 
taking.
    Regulations governing the taking of marine mammals incidental to 
EROS were published on June 19, 2008 (73 FR 34875), and remain in 
effect through July 19, 2013. For detailed information on this action, 
please refer to that Federal Register notice. The species that 
applicants may take in small numbers during EROS activities are 
bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), Atlantic spotted dolphins 
(Stenella frontalis), pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella 
attenuata), Clymene dolphins (Stenella clymene), striped dolphins 
(Stenella coeruleoalba), spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris), 
rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis), Risso's dolphins (Grampus 
griseus), melon-headed whales (Peponocephala electra), short-finned 
pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), and sperm whales (Physeter 
macrocephalus). NMFS received requests for LOAs from W&T Offshore, Inc. 
(W&T Offshore) and W&T Energy VI, LLC (W&T Energy) for activities 
covered by EROS regulations.

Reporting

    NMFS Galveston Laboratory's Platform Removal Observer Program 
(PROP) has provided reports for W&T Offshore's removal of offshore 
structures during 2012. W&T Energy does not have reports for any 
operations to date. NMFS PROP observers and non-NMFS observers reported 
the following during W&T Offshore's EROS operations in 2012:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                    Biological
                                                                                Marine mammals       impacts
            Company                     Structure                Dates             sighted         observed to
                                                                                (individuals)     marine mammals
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
W&T Offshore...................  Eugene Island Area,      March 27 to 30,     Bottlenose         None.
                                  Block 196, Platform B.   2012.               dolphins (2).
W&T Offshore...................  Eugene Island Area,      April 9 to 12, 16   Spotted dolphins   None.
                                  Block 205, Platform D.   to 17, 23 to 25,    (60).
                                                           2012.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Pursuant to these regulations, NMFS has issued LOAs to W&T Offshore 
and W&T Energy. Issuance of the LOAs is based on a finding made in the 
preamble to the final rule that the total taking over the five-year 
period (with monitoring, mitigation, and reporting measures) will have 
a negligible impact on the affected species or stock(s) of marine 
mammals and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on subsistence 
uses. NMFS will review reports to ensure that the applicants are in 
compliance with meeting the requirements contained in the implementing 
regulations and LOA, including monitoring, mitigation, and reporting 
requirements.

    Dated: April 11, 2013.
Helen M. Golde,
Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-08857 Filed 4-15-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P