Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Missile Launch Operations From San Nicolas Island, CA, 70538-70539 [2013-28343]

Download as PDF 70538 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 26, 2013 / Notices incidental.htm#applications. Documents cited in this notice may also be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michelle Magliocca, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce 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 specific geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review. Authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth. NMFS has defined ‘‘negligible impact’’ in 50 CFR 216.103 as ‘‘. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.’’ With respect to military readiness activities, the MMPA defines ‘‘harassment’’ as: ‘‘(i) any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A Harassment]; or (ii) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering, to a point where such behavioral patterns are abandoned or significantly altered [Level B Harassment].’’ northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). The Navy is requesting a 5-year LOA proposed to be conducted from 2014 through 2019. These activities are classified as military readiness activities. The Navy states that these activities may expose some of the marine mammals present around SNI to elevated sound levels from up to 40 missile launches per year. The Navy is requesting authorization to take three marine mammal species by Level B harassment. Description of the Specified Activity In the application submitted to NMFS, the Navy requests authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting up to 40 missile launches a year from SNI. A detailed description of the proposed activity, including duration, location, and missiles involved, are provided in the Navy’s application (pages 5–14). In summary, NAWCWD plans to continue a launch program for missiles and targets from several launch sites on SNI. Some launches are used for practicing defensive drills and some launches may be conducted for testing new types of targets. Missiles vary from tactical and developmental weapons to target missiles used to test defensive strategies and other weapons systems. Up to 200 missiles may be launched over a 5-year period, but the number and type of launch varies depending on operational needs. Information Solicited Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning the Navy’s request (see ADDRESSES). All input related to the Navy’s request and NMFS’ role in governing the incidental taking of marine mammals will be considered by NMFS when developing, if appropriate, the most effective regulations governing the issuance of LOAs. Dated: November 21, 2013. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2013–28342 Filed 11–25–13; 8:45 am] Summary of Request BILLING CODE 3510–22–P On July 24, 2013, NMFS received an application from the Navy requesting regulations governing a Letter of Authorization (LOA) for the take of three species of marine mammals incidental to NAWCWD’s missile launches from SNI over 5 years: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:04 Nov 25, 2013 Jkt 232001 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XA832 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Missile Launch Operations From San Nicolas Island, CA National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of issuance of a Letter of Authorization. AGENCY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given that a letter of authorization (LOA) has been issued to the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, U.S. Navy (Navy), to take three species of seals and sea lions incidental to missile launch operations from San Nicolas Island (SNI), California, a military readiness activity. DATES: Effective December 1, 2013, through June 2, 2014. ADDRESSES: The LOA and supporting documentation are available for review on the Internet at: http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental.htm#applications. Documents cited in this notice may be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address and at the Southwest Regional Office, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michelle Magliocca, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 301–427–8401, or Monica DeAngelis, NMFS, 562–980– 3232. SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs NMFS to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. 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. However, for military readiness activities, the National Defense Authorization Act (Pub. L. 108–136) removed the ‘‘small numbers’’ and ‘‘specified geographical region’’ limitations. Under the MMPA, the term E:\FR\FM\26NON1.SGM 26NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 228 / Tuesday, November 26, 2013 / Notices ‘‘take’’ means to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or to attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill marine mammals. Authorization may be granted for periods up to 5 years if NMFS finds, after notification and opportunity for public comment, that the taking 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 and on the availability of the species for subsistence uses, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance. The regulations must include requirements for monitoring and reporting of such taking. Regulations governing the taking of northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina richardsi), and California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), by harassment, incidental to missile launch operations at SNI, were issued on June 2, 2009, and remain in effect until June 2, 2014 (74 FR 26580, June 3, 2009). For detailed information on this action, please refer to that document. The regulations include mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements for the incidental take of marine mammals during missile launches at SNI. emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Summary of Request On September 24, 2013, NMFS received a request for an LOA renewal pursuant to the aforementioned regulations that would authorize take of pinnipeds, by harassment, incidental to missile launch operations from SNI. The request covers the remaining 6 months of the Navy’s current regulations. Summary of Activity Conducted During 2012–2013 As described in the Navy’s annual monitoring report, the missile launch operations conducted by the Navy during this time period were within the scope and amounts authorized by the 2012–2013 LOA, and the levels of take remain within the scope and amounts contemplated by the final rule and detailed in the 2012–2013 LOA. A total of eight launches took place using two missile types on seven different days. Planned Activities and Estimated Take for 2013–2014 During 2013–2014, the Navy expects to conduct the same type and amount of VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:04 Nov 25, 2013 Jkt 232001 launches identified in the 2012–2013 LOA. Therefore, NMFS is authorizing the same amount of take authorized in 2012. 2012–2013 Monitoring The Navy conducted the monitoring required by the 2012–2013 LOA and described in the Monitoring Plan, which included acoustic monitoring of missile launches and visual monitoring of pinnipeds. The Navy submitted their 2012–2013 Monitoring Report, which is posted on NMFS’ Web site (http:// www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/ incidental.htm), within the required timeframe. In summary, visual monitoring shows that pinnipeds startled and moved in response to launch sounds and most individuals returned to normal behavior within 5 minutes. Authorization The Navy complied with the requirements of the 2012–2013 LOA and NMFS has determined that there was no evidence of pinniped injuries or mortalities related to vehicle launches from SNI. The Navy’s activities fell within the scope of the activities analyzed in the 2009 rule, and the observed take did not exceed that authorized in the 2012–2013 LOA. NMFS has determined that this action continues to have a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks of marine mammals on SNI. Accordingly, NMFS has issued an LOA to the Navy authorizing the take of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to missile launch activities from SNI. The provision requiring that the activities not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the affected species or stock for subsistence uses does not apply for this action. Dated: November 21, 2013. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. STATUS: 70539 Closed. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: Surveillance, Enforcement Matters, and Examinations. In the event that the times, dates or locations of this or any future meetings change, an announcement of the change, along with the new time, date and location of the meeting will be posted on the Commission’s Web site at http:// www.cftc.gov. CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Melissa D. Jurgens, 202–418–5516. Natise Stowe, Executive Assistant. [FR Doc. 2013–28536 Filed 11–22–13; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6351–01–P COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting AGENCY HOLDING THE MEETING: Commodity Futures Trading Commission. TIME AND DATE: 10:00 a.m., Friday, December 6, 2013. PLACE: 1155 21st St. NW., Washington, DC, 9th Floor Commission Conference Room. STATUS: Closed. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: Surveillance, Enforcement Matters, and Examinations. In the event that the times, dates or locations of this or any future meetings change, an announcement of the change, along with the new time, date and location of the meeting will be posted on the Commission’s Web site at http:// www.cftc.gov. CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Melissa D. Jurgens, 202–418–5516. Natise Stowe, Executive Assistant. [FR Doc. 2013–28534 Filed 11–22–13; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6351–01–P [FR Doc. 2013–28343 Filed 11–25–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting Commodity Futures Trading Commission. TIME AND DATE: 10:00 a.m., Friday, December 13, 2013. PLACE: 1155 21st St. NW., Washington, DC, 9th Floor Commission Conference Room. Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Corporation for National and Community Service. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: AGENCY HOLDING THE MEETING: PO 00000 Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\26NON1.SGM 26NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 228 (Tuesday, November 26, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 70538-70539]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28343]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XA832


Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals 
Incidental to Missile Launch Operations From San Nicolas Island, CA

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of issuance of a Letter of Authorization.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), as 
amended, and implementing regulations, notification is hereby given 
that a letter of authorization (LOA) has been issued to the Naval Air 
Warfare Center Weapons Division, U.S. Navy (Navy), to take three 
species of seals and sea lions incidental to missile launch operations 
from San Nicolas Island (SNI), California, a military readiness 
activity.

DATES: Effective December 1, 2013, through June 2, 2014.

ADDRESSES: The LOA and supporting documentation are available for 
review on the Internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm#applications. Documents cited in this notice may be 
viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the 
aforementioned address and at the Southwest Regional Office, NMFS, 501 
West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michelle Magliocca, Office of 
Protected Resources, NMFS, 301-427-8401, or Monica DeAngelis, NMFS, 
562-980-3232.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs 
NMFS to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, 
taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. 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. However, for military readiness activities, the 
National Defense Authorization Act (Pub. L. 108-136) removed the 
``small numbers'' and ``specified geographical region'' limitations. 
Under the MMPA, the term

[[Page 70539]]

``take'' means to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or to attempt to 
harass, hunt, capture, or kill marine mammals.
    Authorization may be granted for periods up to 5 years if NMFS 
finds, after notification and opportunity for public comment, that the 
taking 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 and on the 
availability of the species for subsistence uses, paying particular 
attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar 
significance. The regulations must include requirements for monitoring 
and reporting of such taking.
    Regulations governing the taking of northern elephant seals 
(Mirounga angustirostris), Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina 
richardsi), and California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), by 
harassment, incidental to missile launch operations at SNI, were issued 
on June 2, 2009, and remain in effect until June 2, 2014 (74 FR 26580, 
June 3, 2009). For detailed information on this action, please refer to 
that document. The regulations include mitigation, monitoring, and 
reporting requirements for the incidental take of marine mammals during 
missile launches at SNI.

Summary of Request

    On September 24, 2013, NMFS received a request for an LOA renewal 
pursuant to the aforementioned regulations that would authorize take of 
pinnipeds, by harassment, incidental to missile launch operations from 
SNI. The request covers the remaining 6 months of the Navy's current 
regulations.

Summary of Activity Conducted During 2012-2013

    As described in the Navy's annual monitoring report, the missile 
launch operations conducted by the Navy during this time period were 
within the scope and amounts authorized by the 2012-2013 LOA, and the 
levels of take remain within the scope and amounts contemplated by the 
final rule and detailed in the 2012-2013 LOA. A total of eight launches 
took place using two missile types on seven different days.

Planned Activities and Estimated Take for 2013-2014

    During 2013-2014, the Navy expects to conduct the same type and 
amount of launches identified in the 2012-2013 LOA. Therefore, NMFS is 
authorizing the same amount of take authorized in 2012.

2012-2013 Monitoring

    The Navy conducted the monitoring required by the 2012-2013 LOA and 
described in the Monitoring Plan, which included acoustic monitoring of 
missile launches and visual monitoring of pinnipeds. The Navy submitted 
their 2012-2013 Monitoring Report, which is posted on NMFS' Web site 
(http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm), within the 
required timeframe. In summary, visual monitoring shows that pinnipeds 
startled and moved in response to launch sounds and most individuals 
returned to normal behavior within 5 minutes.

Authorization

    The Navy complied with the requirements of the 2012-2013 LOA and 
NMFS has determined that there was no evidence of pinniped injuries or 
mortalities related to vehicle launches from SNI. The Navy's activities 
fell within the scope of the activities analyzed in the 2009 rule, and 
the observed take did not exceed that authorized in the 2012-2013 LOA. 
NMFS has determined that this action continues to have a negligible 
impact on the affected species or stocks of marine mammals on SNI. 
Accordingly, NMFS has issued an LOA to the Navy authorizing the take of 
marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to missile launch activities 
from SNI. The provision requiring that the activities not have an 
unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the affected species 
or stock for subsistence uses does not apply for this action.

    Dated: November 21, 2013.
Donna S. Wieting,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-28343 Filed 11-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P