Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Fisheries Research, 52256-52257 [2015-21298]

Download as PDF 52256 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 167 / Friday, August 28, 2015 / Notices Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES physiology, habitat use, and diving behavior of Southern Ocean pinnipeds and the factors that affect and constrain their foraging and at-sea behaviors and how these ecological and physiological factors (1) vary in space and time, (2) influence and constrain the behavior of these species, (3) are impacted by environmental change, and (4) compare with other marine mammal species. To accomplish these objectives, the applicant proposes to capture and sample leopard (Hydrurga leptonyx), crabeater (Lobodon carcinophaga), southern elephant (Mirounga leonina), Ross (Ommatophoca rossii), Weddell (Leptonychotes weddellii), and Antarctic fur (Arctocephalus gazella) seals throughout their range for five years. Researchers may capture up to 40 animals per species per year at sites throughout their range to collect tissue samples, morphometrics, and metabolic and physiological measurements, apply identifying marks, and attach instruments; as well as an additional 50 pups of each species for marking, morphometrics, and minimal sample collection. An additional 100 each of crabeater seals, leopard seals, and Ross seals, 500 southern elephant seals, and 1000 each of Weddell seals and Antarctic fur seals may be taken annually via Level B harassment by incidental disturbance during captures, opportunistic sample collection, and resights. Unintentional mortality or serious injury of up to four animals per species annually not to exceed ten animals per species over five years is requested. Blood and tissue samples would be imported from the Southern Ocean and Antarctica to the United States and exported world-wide for analyses. 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. Dated: August 25, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–21393 Filed 8–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:19 Aug 27, 2015 Jkt 235001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XE103 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Fisheries Research National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for letter of authorization; request for comments and information. AGENCY: NMFS’ Office of Protected Resources has received a request from the NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to conducting fisheries research, over the course of five years from the date of issuance. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of the NWFSC’s request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on the NWFSC’s application and request. DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than September 28, 2015. ADDRESSES: Comments on the applications should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to ITP.Laws@noaa.gov. Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25megabyte file size. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to the Internet at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/ permits/incidental/research.htm without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ben Laws, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability An electronic copy of the NWFSC’s application may be obtained by visiting the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/ permits/incidental/research.htm. The NWFSC is concurrently releasing a draft Environmental Assessment, prepared pursuant to requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, for the conduct of their fisheries research. A copy of the draft EA, which would also support our proposed rulemaking under the MMPA, is available at the same Web site. Background Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) 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) if certain findings are made and regulations are issued. Incidental taking shall be allowed if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) affected and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for taking for subsistence uses, and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking 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.’’ Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines ‘‘harassment’’ as: ‘‘Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].’’ Summary of Request On August 10, 2015, NMFS received an application from the NWFSC E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 167 / Friday, August 28, 2015 / Notices requesting authorization for take of marine mammals incidental to fisheries research conducted by the NWFSC. The requested regulations would be valid for five years from the date of issuance. The NWFSC plans to conduct fisheries research surveys in the Pacific Ocean, within the California Current, Puget Sound, and the Columbia River. It is possible that marine mammals may interact with fishing gear (e.g., trawls nets, longlines) used in NWFSC’s fisheries research projects, resulting in injury, serious injury, or mortality. In addition, the NWFSC operates active acoustic devices that have the potential to disturb marine mammals. Because the specified activities have the potential to take marine mammals present within these action areas, the NWFSC requests authorization to take multiple species of marine mammal that may occur in these areas. Lhorne on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Specified Activities 14:19 Aug 27, 2015 Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning the NWFSC’s request (see ADDRESSES). NMFS will consider all information, suggestions, and comments related to the request during the development of proposed regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals by the NWFSC, if appropriate. Dated: August 21, 2015. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2015–21298 Filed 8–27–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Additions The Federal Government has a responsibility to conserve and protect living marine resources in U.S. federal waters and has also entered into a number of international agreements and treaties related to the management of living marine resources in international waters outside the United States. NOAA has the primary responsibility for managing marine fin and shellfish species and their habitats, with that responsibility delegated within NOAA to NMFS. In order to direct and coordinate the collection of scientific information needed to make informed management decisions, Congress created six Regional Fisheries Science Centers, each a distinct organizational entity and the scientific focal point within NMFS for region-based federal fisheries-related research. This research is aimed at monitoring fish stock recruitment, abundance, survival and biological rates, geographic distribution of species and stocks, ecosystem process changes, and marine ecological research. The NWFSC is the research arm of NMFS in the Pacific Northwest. Research is aimed at monitoring fish stock recruitment, survival and biological rates, abundance and geographic distribution of species and stocks, and providing other scientific information needed to improve our understanding of complex marine ecological processes. The NWFSC proposes to administer and conduct these survey programs over the five-year period. Several of these surveys also use active acoustic devices. VerDate Sep<11>2014 Information Solicited Jkt 235001 Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. ACTION: Additions to the Procurement List. AGENCY: This action adds products and a service to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities. DATES: Effective Date: 9/28/2015. ADDRESSES: Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia, 22202–4149. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603–7740, Fax: (703) 603–0655, or email CMTEFedReg@AbilityOne.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Additions On 6/19/2015 (80 FR 35320–35321), 6/26/2015 (80 FR 36772) and (80 FR 36773–36774) and 7/2/2015 (80 FR 38179), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notices of proposed additions to the Procurement List. After consideration of the material presented to it concerning capability of qualified nonprofit agencies to provide the products and service and impact of the additions on the current or most recent contractors, the Committee has determined that the products and service listed below are suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501–8506 and 41 CFR 51–2.4. PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52257 Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were: 1. The action will not result in any additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities other than the small organizations that will furnish the products and service to the Government. 2. The action will result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products and service to the Government. 3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-WagnerO’Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501–8506) in connection with the products and service proposed for addition to the Procurement List. End of Certification Accordingly, the following products and service are added to the Procurement List: Products: NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8465–00–NIB–0160—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Blue, Large 8465–00–NIB–0161—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Blue, XLarge 8465–00–NIB–0226—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3’’ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Blue, Large 8465–00–NIB–0227—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3’’ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Blue, XLarge 8465–00–NIB–0180—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Yellow, Large 8465–00–NIB–0181—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Yellow, XLarge 8465–00–NIB–0228—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3’’ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Yellow, Large 8465–00–NIB–0229—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3’’ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Yellow, XLarge 8465–00–NIB–0182—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Orange, Large 8465–00–NIB–0183—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, Orange, XLarge 8465–00–NIB–0230—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3’’ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Orange, Large 8465–00–NIB–0231—Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro, 3’’ White Reflective Vinyl Numbers, Orange, XLarge Mandatory Purchase For: Total Government Requirement Mandatory Source of Supply: Georgia Industries for the Blind, Bainbridge, GA Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support Distribution: A-List E:\FR\FM\28AUN1.SGM 28AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 167 (Friday, August 28, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52256-52257]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-21298]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XE103


Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals 
Incidental to Fisheries Research

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

ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for letter of authorization; 
request for comments and information.

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

SUMMARY: NMFS' Office of Protected Resources has received a request 
from the NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) for 
authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to 
conducting fisheries research, over the course of five years from the 
date of issuance. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine 
Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing receipt of the NWFSC's 
request for the development and implementation of regulations governing 
the incidental taking of marine mammals. NMFS invites the public to 
provide information, suggestions, and comments on the NWFSC's 
application and request.

DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than 
September 28, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the applications should be addressed to Jolie 
Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Physical comments should 
be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and 
electronic comments should be sent to ITP.Laws@noaa.gov.
    Instructions: NMFS is not responsible for comments sent by any 
other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the 
end of the comment period. Comments received electronically, including 
all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size. Attachments 
to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel or 
Adobe PDF file formats only. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted to the Internet at 
www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm without change. 
All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily 
submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit 
confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected 
information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ben Laws, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Availability

    An electronic copy of the NWFSC's application may be obtained by 
visiting the Internet at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm. The NWFSC is concurrently releasing a draft Environmental 
Assessment, prepared pursuant to requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act, for the conduct of their fisheries research. 
A copy of the draft EA, which would also support our proposed 
rulemaking under the MMPA, is available at the same Web site.

Background

    Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) directs 
the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) 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) if certain findings are made and regulations are 
issued.
    Incidental taking shall be allowed if NMFS finds that the taking 
will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s) affected and 
will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the 
species or stock(s) for taking for subsistence uses, and if the 
permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the 
mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking 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.'' Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent 
here, the MMPA defines ``harassment'' as: ``Any act of pursuit, 
torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine 
mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) 
has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in 
the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but 
not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or 
sheltering [Level B harassment].''

Summary of Request

    On August 10, 2015, NMFS received an application from the NWFSC

[[Page 52257]]

requesting authorization for take of marine mammals incidental to 
fisheries research conducted by the NWFSC. The requested regulations 
would be valid for five years from the date of issuance. The NWFSC 
plans to conduct fisheries research surveys in the Pacific Ocean, 
within the California Current, Puget Sound, and the Columbia River. It 
is possible that marine mammals may interact with fishing gear (e.g., 
trawls nets, longlines) used in NWFSC's fisheries research projects, 
resulting in injury, serious injury, or mortality. In addition, the 
NWFSC operates active acoustic devices that have the potential to 
disturb marine mammals. Because the specified activities have the 
potential to take marine mammals present within these action areas, the 
NWFSC requests authorization to take multiple species of marine mammal 
that may occur in these areas.

Specified Activities

    The Federal Government has a responsibility to conserve and protect 
living marine resources in U.S. federal waters and has also entered 
into a number of international agreements and treaties related to the 
management of living marine resources in international waters outside 
the United States. NOAA has the primary responsibility for managing 
marine fin and shellfish species and their habitats, with that 
responsibility delegated within NOAA to NMFS.
    In order to direct and coordinate the collection of scientific 
information needed to make informed management decisions, Congress 
created six Regional Fisheries Science Centers, each a distinct 
organizational entity and the scientific focal point within NMFS for 
region-based federal fisheries-related research. This research is aimed 
at monitoring fish stock recruitment, abundance, survival and 
biological rates, geographic distribution of species and stocks, 
ecosystem process changes, and marine ecological research. The NWFSC is 
the research arm of NMFS in the Pacific Northwest.
    Research is aimed at monitoring fish stock recruitment, survival 
and biological rates, abundance and geographic distribution of species 
and stocks, and providing other scientific information needed to 
improve our understanding of complex marine ecological processes. The 
NWFSC proposes to administer and conduct these survey programs over the 
five-year period. Several of these surveys also use active acoustic 
devices.

Information Solicited

    Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and 
comments concerning the NWFSC's request (see ADDRESSES). NMFS will 
consider all information, suggestions, and comments related to the 
request during the development of proposed regulations governing the 
incidental taking of marine mammals by the NWFSC, if appropriate.

    Dated: August 21, 2015.
Donna S. Wieting,
Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-21298 Filed 8-27-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P