Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Seabird Research Activities in Central California, 66379-66380 [2019-26171]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 233 / Wednesday, December 4, 2019 / Notices Cash Deposit Requirements Because Gem-Year does not have a superseding cash deposit rate, i.e., there have been no final results published in a subsequent administrative review for Gem-Year, Commerce will issue revised cash deposit instructions to CBP. Effective November 30, 2019, the cash deposit rate applicable to entries of subject merchandise exported by GemYear is 206.00 percent. Notification to Interested Parties This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 516A(e), 751(a)(1), and 777(i)(1) of the Act. Dated: November 27, 2019 Jeffrey I. Kessler, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. [FR Doc. 2019–26215 Filed 12–3–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XR068] Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Seabird Research Activities in Central California 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 has received a request from Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue) for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to seabird research activities in central California 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 Point Blue’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 Point Blue’s application and request. DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than January 3, 2020. ADDRESSES: Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:17 Dec 03, 2019 Jkt 250001 Fisheries Service. Physical comments should be sent to 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910 and electronic comments should be sent to ITP.Fowler@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 online at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/ national/marine-mammal-protection/ incidental-take-authorizations-researchand-other-activities 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: Amy Fowler, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427–8401. An electronic copy of Point Blue’s application may be obtained online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/ national/marine-mammal-protection/ incidental-take-authorizations-researchand-other-activities. In case of problems accessing these documents, please call the contact listed above. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce (as delegated to 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 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. An incidental take authorization 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 PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 66379 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. The MMPA states that the term take means to harass, hunt, capture, kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal. 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 September 17, 2019, NMFS received an application from Point Blue requesting authorization for take of marine mammals incidental to seabird research activities at three research sites in central California. We determined the application was adequate and complete on November 26, 2019. The requested regulations would be valid for five years, from July 7, 2020 through July 6, 2025. Point Blue plans to monitor and census seabird populations, observe seabird nesting habitat, restore nesting burrows, and resupply a field station. The proposed action may incidentally expose marine mammals occurring in the vicinity to human presence at pinniped haulouts, thereby resulting in incidental take, by Level B harassment only. Therefore, Point Blue requests authorization to incidentally take marine mammals. NMFS has previously issued nine Incidental Harassment Authorizations (IHAs) to Point Blue for similar work from 2006 through 2018 (72 FR 71121, December 14, 2007; 73 FR 77011, December 18, 2008; 75 FR 8677, February 19, 2010; 77 FR 73989, December 7, 2012; 78 FR 66686, November 6, 2013; 80 FR 80321, December 24, 2015; 81 FR 34978, June 1, 2016; 82 FR 31759, July 7, 2017; 83 FR 31372, July 5, 2018). Point Blue complied with all the requirements (e.g., mitigation, monitoring, and reporting) of the previous IHAs and their monitoring reports are available online at: https:// www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/ marine-mammal-protection/incidentaltake-authorizations-research-and-otheractivities. E:\FR\FM\04DEN1.SGM 04DEN1 66380 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 233 / Wednesday, December 4, 2019 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Specified Activities The planned activities occur on Southeast Farallon Island (SEFI), An˜o Nuevo Island (ANO), and Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS). Point Blue, along with partners Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge and PRNS, have been conducting seabird research activities at these locations for over 30 years. This research is conducted under cooperative agreements with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in consultation with the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Point Blue’s research activities have the potential to harass California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus), Guadalupe fur seals (Arctocephalus townsendi), and Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus). Research on SEFI is conducted year round. At SEFI, seabird monitoring sites are visited ∼ 1–3 times per day for a maximum of 500 visits per year. Most seabird monitoring visits are brief (∼15 minutes), though seabird observers are present from 2–5 hours daily at North Landing from early April—early August each year to conduct observational studies on breeding common murres (Uria aalge). Boat landings to re-supply the field station, lasting 1–3 hours, are conducted once every two weeks. At VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:17 Dec 03, 2019 Jkt 250001 ANI, research is conducted approximately once/week from April– August, with occasional intermittent visits made during the rest of the year. The maximum number of visits per year would be 20. Landings and visits to nest boxes are brief (∼15 minutes). Research at PRNS is conducted year round, with an emphasis during the seabird nesting season with occasional intermittent visits the rest of the year. The maximum number of visits per year is 20. A component of the seabird research involves habitat restoration and monitoring which requires sporadic visits from September–November, between the seabird breeding season and the elephant seal pupping season. Information Solicited Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning Point Blue’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 Point Blue, if appropriate. Dated: November 27, 2019. Angela Somma, Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 19–56] Arms Sales Notification Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense. AGENCY: ACTION: Arms sales notice. The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of an arms sales notification. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karma Job at karma.d.job.civ@mail.mil or (703) 697–8976. This 36(b)(1) arms sales notification is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104–164 dated July 21, 1996. The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 19–56 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: November 27, 2019. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 2019–26171 Filed 12–3–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\04DEN1.SGM 04DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 233 (Wednesday, December 4, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66379-66380]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-26171]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XR068]


Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals 
Incidental to Seabird Research Activities in Central California

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 has received a request from Point Blue Conservation 
Science (Point Blue) for authorization to take small numbers of marine 
mammals incidental to seabird research activities in central California 
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 Point Blue'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 Point Blue's application and request.

DATES: Comments and information must be received no later than January 
3, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the application 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 [email protected].
    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 online at https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-research-and-other-activities 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: Amy Fowler, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401. An electronic copy of Point Blue's 
application may be obtained online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-research-and-other-activities. In case of problems accessing these 
documents, please call the contact listed above.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) 
direct the Secretary of Commerce (as delegated to 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 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.
    An incidental take authorization 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.
    The MMPA states that the term take means to harass, hunt, capture, 
kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.
    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 September 17, 2019, NMFS received an application from Point Blue 
requesting authorization for take of marine mammals incidental to 
seabird research activities at three research sites in central 
California. We determined the application was adequate and complete on 
November 26, 2019. The requested regulations would be valid for five 
years, from July 7, 2020 through July 6, 2025. Point Blue plans to 
monitor and census seabird populations, observe seabird nesting 
habitat, restore nesting burrows, and resupply a field station. The 
proposed action may incidentally expose marine mammals occurring in the 
vicinity to human presence at pinniped haulouts, thereby resulting in 
incidental take, by Level B harassment only. Therefore, Point Blue 
requests authorization to incidentally take marine mammals.
    NMFS has previously issued nine Incidental Harassment 
Authorizations (IHAs) to Point Blue for similar work from 2006 through 
2018 (72 FR 71121, December 14, 2007; 73 FR 77011, December 18, 2008; 
75 FR 8677, February 19, 2010; 77 FR 73989, December 7, 2012; 78 FR 
66686, November 6, 2013; 80 FR 80321, December 24, 2015; 81 FR 34978, 
June 1, 2016; 82 FR 31759, July 7, 2017; 83 FR 31372, July 5, 2018). 
Point Blue complied with all the requirements (e.g., mitigation, 
monitoring, and reporting) of the previous IHAs and their monitoring 
reports are available online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-research-and-other-activities.

[[Page 66380]]

Specified Activities

    The planned activities occur on Southeast Farallon Island (SEFI), 
A[ntilde]o Nuevo Island (ANO), and Point Reyes National Seashore 
(PRNS). Point Blue, along with partners Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge and 
PRNS, have been conducting seabird research activities at these 
locations for over 30 years. This research is conducted under 
cooperative agreements with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) 
in consultation with the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine 
Sanctuary. Point Blue's research activities have the potential to 
harass California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), harbor seals 
(Phoca vitulina), northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), 
northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus), Guadalupe fur seals 
(Arctocephalus townsendi), and Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus).
    Research on SEFI is conducted year round. At SEFI, seabird 
monitoring sites are visited ~ 1-3 times per day for a maximum of 500 
visits per year. Most seabird monitoring visits are brief (~15 
minutes), though seabird observers are present from 2-5 hours daily at 
North Landing from early April--early August each year to conduct 
observational studies on breeding common murres (Uria aalge). Boat 
landings to re-supply the field station, lasting 1-3 hours, are 
conducted once every two weeks. At ANI, research is conducted 
approximately once/week from April-August, with occasional intermittent 
visits made during the rest of the year. The maximum number of visits 
per year would be 20. Landings and visits to nest boxes are brief (~15 
minutes). Research at PRNS is conducted year round, with an emphasis 
during the seabird nesting season with occasional intermittent visits 
the rest of the year. The maximum number of visits per year is 20. A 
component of the seabird research involves habitat restoration and 
monitoring which requires sporadic visits from September-November, 
between the seabird breeding season and the elephant seal pupping 
season.

Information Solicited

    Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and 
comments concerning Point Blue'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 Point Blue, if appropriate.

    Dated: November 27, 2019.
Angela Somma,
Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-26171 Filed 12-3-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P