Marine Mammals; Issuance of Permits, 71324-71325 [2020-24816]

Download as PDF 71324 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 217 / Monday, November 9, 2020 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XA620] Marine Mammals; Issuance of Permits National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; issuance of permits. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that individuals and institutions have been issued Letters of Confirmation (LOCs) for activities conducted under the General Authorization for Scientific Research on marine mammals. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for a list of names and address of recipients. ADDRESSES: The LOCs and related documents are available for review upon written request via email to NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Hapeman (LOC Nos. 19430, 23970), Carrie Hubard (LOC No. 22291), Jordan Rutland (LOC Nos. 23673, 23772, 23782), Courtney Smith (LOC Nos. 18689, 18959, 19826, 23546), and Sara Young (LOC No. 23253), at (301) 427– 8401. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The requested LOCs have been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216). The General Authorization allows for bona fide scientific research that may result only in taking by Level B harassment of marine mammals. The following LOCs were issued in Fiscal Year 2020 (October 1, 2019–September 30, 2020). File No. 23253: Issued to Pacific Mammal Research (Principal Investigator [PI]: Cindy Elliser, Ph.D.), 1513 A Avenue, Anacortes, Washington, 98221, on December 23, 2019, this study supplements current land-based visual and photo-identification/behavior surveys with boat-based photoidentification/behavior surveys and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) surveys for population monitoring of harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) in the inland waters of Washington. The LOC expires on December 31, 2024. File No. 18689: The LOC, held by the Wild Dolphin Project (PI: Denise Herzing, Ph.D.), P.O. Box 8436, Jupiter, Florida 33468, was extended on January 30, 2020, for approximately 6 months while the holder’s new application (File khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:35 Nov 06, 2020 Jkt 253001 No. 23673) was in process (see below). The LOC authorized vessel surveys, photo-identification, and behavioral observations on bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis) dolphins and 12 other range-wide, non-Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed cetacean species within the coastal and offshore waters of southeast Florida. The objectives of the research did not change. This LOC was subsequently terminated on May 26, 2020, when a new LOC (No. 23673; see below) was issued to Dr. Herzing. File No. 18959: The LOC, held by Ruth Carmichael, Ph.D., Dauphin Island Sea Lab, 101 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528, was extended on March 5, 2020, for approximately 3 months while the holder’s new application (File No. 23772) was in process (see below). The LOC authorized vessel-based surveys of bottlenose dolphins for behavioral observations, photo-identification, and photography/videography. The objectives are to determine population dynamics, abundance, movement patterns, social structure, and behavioral patterns of bottlenose dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico. This LOC was subsequently terminated on June 16, 2020, when a new LOC (No. 23772; see below) was issued to Dr. Carmichael. File No. 23546: Issued to Donna Hauser, Ph.D., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2160 Koyukuk Drive, P.O. Box 757340, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, on March 24, 2020. The LOC authorizes the close approach of spotted seals (Phoca largha) in coastal haulouts in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas of northern Alaska using ground and UAS surveys to conduct photo-identification, behavioral observations and monitoring, and remote video monitoring. Research objectives are to investigate the distribution, habitat use, foraging ecology, health, population structure, behavior, and abundance. Scat, spew, shed skin or hair may also be collected. The LOC expires on April 1, 2025. File No. 23673: Issued to the Wild Dolphin Project (PI: Denise Herzing, Ph.D.), on May 26, 2020, to conduct vessel-based surveys for counts, photoidentification, photography, and observation on 13 species: Atlantic spotted, bottlenose, Fraser’s (Lagenorhyncus hosei), pantropical spotted (Stenella attenuatta), Risso’s (Grampus griseus), spinner (Stenella longirostris), striped (Stenella coeruleoalba), and unidentified lagenorhynchine (Lagenorhyncus spp.) dolphins; false killer (Pseudorca crassidens), unidentified beaked PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (Ziphius cavirostris and Mesoplodon spp.), long-finned pilot (Globicephala melas), short-finned pilot (Globicephala macrorhynchus), and unidentified Kogia (dwarf or pygmy sperm whale; Kogia spp.) whales. Research will take place within Florida waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico from Martin County through the Florida Keys including in the Intracoastal Waterway, coastal waters, and offshore waters. The LOC expires on May 31, 2025. File No. 23772: Issued to Ruth Carmichael, Ph.D., Dauphin Island Sea Lab, on June 16, 2020, to conduct vessel-based surveys of bottlenose dolphins for behavioral observations, photo-identification, and photography/ videography. The objectives are to determine population dynamics, abundance, movement patterns, social structure, and behavioral patterns of bottlenose dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico. This LOC expires June 30, 2020. File No. 19430: The LOC, held by Jonathan Scordino, Makah Tribe, Makah Fisheries Management, P.O. Box 115, 150 Resort Drive, Neah Bay, WA 98357, was extended on July 21, 2020, for approximately 2 months while the holder’s new application (File No. 23970, see below) was in process. The LOC authorizes vessel surveys of cetaceans and vessel and ground surveys (including scat collection) of pinnipeds in Washington State, with the primary study area at the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula. The purposes of the research are to: (1) Document the abundance and seasonal distribution patterns of marine mammals in this area, (2) determine diet overlap between certain marine mammal species and fisheries, (3) analyze scat for saxitoxin and domoic acids from harmful algal blooms, and (4) monitor the rate and cause of entanglements for pinnipeds. The extended LOC expired on September 30, 2020. File No. 19826: The LOC, issued to Deanna Rees, U.S. Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic, 6500 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, Virginia 23508, was extended on July 21, 2020, for approximately 4 months so that the researchers can complete their field season conducting ground surveys, photo-identification, and behavioral observations of gray (Halichoerus grypus grypus), harbor, and harp (Phoca groenlandica) seals in the lower Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, and Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island waters. The purpose of the research is to investigate site fidelity and movement among haul-out locations, and to improve baseline knowledge of pinniped occurrence in areas adjacent to E:\FR\FM\09NON1.SGM 09NON1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 217 / Monday, November 9, 2020 / Notices Navy training and testing areas. The extended LOC expires on May 31, 2021. File No. 22291: Issued to Barbara Brunnick, Ph.D., Palm Beach Dolphin Project, Taras Oceanographic Foundation, 5905 Stonewood Court, Jupiter, Florida 33468, on June 30, 2020, to conduct vessel surveys for photoidentification, behavioral observations, photography, and videography of cetaceans in the near shore coastal waters of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida. The objectives of the research are to document the abundance, distribution, population dynamics, health, and habitat utilization of bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins within the study area. Other cetacean species that may be studied if encountered are: Clymene dolphin (Stenella clymene), dwarf and pygmy sperm whales, melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra), pantropical spotted dolphin, roughtoothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis), short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis delphis), shortfinned pilot whale, spinner dolphin, and striped dolphin. The LOC expires on June 30, 2025. File No. 23782: Issued to Janet Mann, Ph.D., Georgetown University, Reiss Science Room 406, 3700 O St. NW, Washington, DC 20057, on June 30, 2020 to conduct vessel-based surveys for behavioral observations, photoidentification, passive acoustics, UAS operations, and photography/ videography of bottlenose dolphins in the Potomac River off the Northern Neck of Virginia. The objectives are to estimate seasonal abundance, habitat use, ranging patterns, seasonal site fidelity, dolphin-human interactions, behavioral ecology, and social structure of bottlenose dolphins. The LOC expires on June 30, 2025. File No. 23970: Issued to Jonathan Scordino, Makah Tribe, Makah Fisheries Management, on September 30, 2020, to conduct (1) vessel surveys of 20 cetacean species for close approach; photography/video; photoidentification; behavioral observations; sloughed skin and feces collection; and focal follows in waters from California to Washington and Alaska; and (2) vessel and ground surveys of 6 pinniped species for counts, close approach, photography/video, behavioral observations, and scat collection in Washington waters. The objective is to document marine mammal abundance, seasonal distribution patterns, vital rates, diet, mixing ratios, genetics, and interactions with humans. The LOC replaces No. 19430 and expires on September 30, 2025. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:35 Nov 06, 2020 Jkt 253001 In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activities are categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. Dated: November 4, 2020. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–24816 Filed 11–6–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Solicitation of Applications for the Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB) Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC). ACTION: Solicitation of applications. AGENCY: NOAA is soliciting applications to fill up to four membership vacancies on the Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB). DATES: Application materials must be received no later than December 9, 2020. ADDRESSES: Submit application materials to Christa Rabenold via email: christa.rabenold@noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David McKinnie, OEAB Designated Federal Officer: 206–526–6950; david.mckinnie@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NOAA is soliciting applications to fill up to four vacancies on the OEAB with individuals demonstrating expertise in areas of scientific research relevant to ocean exploration, including marine archaeology, or ocean-science education and communication. Representatives of other federal agencies involved in ocean exploration are encouraged to apply. The new OEAB members will serve initial three-year terms, renewable once. The purpose of the OEAB is to advise the NOAA Administrator on matters pertaining to ocean exploration. The OEAB functions as an advisory body in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., with the exception of section 14. It reports to the NOAA Administrator, as directed by 33 U.S.C. 3405. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 71325 The OEAB consists of approximately ten members, including a chair and cochair(s), designated by the NOAA Administrator in accordance with FACA requirements and the terms of the approved OEAB Charter. The OEAB was established: (1) To advise the Administrator on priority areas for survey and discovery; (2) To assist the program in the development of a five-year strategic plan for the fields of ocean, marine, and Great Lakes science, exploration, and discovery; (3) To annually review the quality and effectiveness of the proposal review process established under section 12003(a)(4); and (4) To provide other assistance and advice as requested by the Administrator. OEAB members are appointed as special government employees (SGEs) and will be subject to the ethical standards applicable to SGEs. Members are reimbursed for actual and reasonable expenses incurred in performing such duties but will not be reimbursed for their time. All OEAB members serve at the discretion of the NOAA Administrator. The OEAB meets three to four times each year, exclusive of subcommittee, task force, and working group meetings. As a Federal Advisory Committee, the OEAB’s membership is required to be balanced in terms of viewpoints represented and the functions to be performed as well as including the interests of geographic regions of the country and the diverse sectors of our society. For more information about the OEAB, visit https://oeab.noaa.gov. Although the OEAB reports directly to the NOAA Administrator, OER, which is part of the NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, provides staffing and other support for the OEAB. OER’s mission is to explore the ocean for national benefit. OER: • Explores the ocean to make discoveries of scientific, economic, and cultural value, with priority given to the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone and Extended Continental Shelf. • Promotes technological innovation to advance ocean exploration. • Provides public access to data and information. • Encourages the next generation of ocean explorers, scientists, and engineers. • Expands the national ocean exploration program through partnerships. For more information about OER, please visit https:// oceanexplorer.noaa.gov. E:\FR\FM\09NON1.SGM 09NON1

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[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 217 (Monday, November 9, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 71324-71325]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-24816]



[[Page 71324]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XA620]


Marine Mammals; Issuance of Permits

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

ACTION: Notice; issuance of permits.

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

SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that individuals and institutions have 
been issued Letters of Confirmation (LOCs) for activities conducted 
under the General Authorization for Scientific Research on marine 
mammals. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for a list of names and address 
of recipients.

ADDRESSES: The LOCs and related documents are available for review upon 
written request via email to [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Hapeman (LOC Nos. 19430, 23970), 
Carrie Hubard (LOC No. 22291), Jordan Rutland (LOC Nos. 23673, 23772, 
23782), Courtney Smith (LOC Nos. 18689, 18959, 19826, 23546), and Sara 
Young (LOC No. 23253), at (301) 427-8401.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The requested LOCs have been issued under 
the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended 
(16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking and 
importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216). The General 
Authorization allows for bona fide scientific research that may result 
only in taking by Level B harassment of marine mammals. The following 
LOCs were issued in Fiscal Year 2020 (October 1, 2019-September 30, 
2020).
    File No. 23253: Issued to Pacific Mammal Research (Principal 
Investigator [PI]: Cindy Elliser, Ph.D.), 1513 A Avenue, Anacortes, 
Washington, 98221, on December 23, 2019, this study supplements current 
land-based visual and photo-identification/behavior surveys with boat-
based photo-identification/behavior surveys and unmanned aircraft 
systems (UAS) surveys for population monitoring of harbor porpoise 
(Phocoena phocoena) and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) in the inland 
waters of Washington. The LOC expires on December 31, 2024.
    File No. 18689: The LOC, held by the Wild Dolphin Project (PI: 
Denise Herzing, Ph.D.), P.O. Box 8436, Jupiter, Florida 33468, was 
extended on January 30, 2020, for approximately 6 months while the 
holder's new application (File No. 23673) was in process (see below). 
The LOC authorized vessel surveys, photo-identification, and behavioral 
observations on bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and Atlantic spotted 
(Stenella frontalis) dolphins and 12 other range-wide, non-Endangered 
Species Act (ESA) listed cetacean species within the coastal and 
offshore waters of southeast Florida. The objectives of the research 
did not change. This LOC was subsequently terminated on May 26, 2020, 
when a new LOC (No. 23673; see below) was issued to Dr. Herzing.
    File No. 18959: The LOC, held by Ruth Carmichael, Ph.D., Dauphin 
Island Sea Lab, 101 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528, was 
extended on March 5, 2020, for approximately 3 months while the 
holder's new application (File No. 23772) was in process (see below). 
The LOC authorized vessel-based surveys of bottlenose dolphins for 
behavioral observations, photo-identification, and photography/
videography. The objectives are to determine population dynamics, 
abundance, movement patterns, social structure, and behavioral patterns 
of bottlenose dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico. This LOC was 
subsequently terminated on June 16, 2020, when a new LOC (No. 23772; 
see below) was issued to Dr. Carmichael.
    File No. 23546: Issued to Donna Hauser, Ph.D., University of Alaska 
Fairbanks, 2160 Koyukuk Drive, P.O. Box 757340, Fairbanks, Alaska 
99775, on March 24, 2020. The LOC authorizes the close approach of 
spotted seals (Phoca largha) in coastal haulouts in the Chukchi and 
Beaufort Seas of northern Alaska using ground and UAS surveys to 
conduct photo-identification, behavioral observations and monitoring, 
and remote video monitoring. Research objectives are to investigate the 
distribution, habitat use, foraging ecology, health, population 
structure, behavior, and abundance. Scat, spew, shed skin or hair may 
also be collected. The LOC expires on April 1, 2025.
    File No. 23673: Issued to the Wild Dolphin Project (PI: Denise 
Herzing, Ph.D.), on May 26, 2020, to conduct vessel-based surveys for 
counts, photo-identification, photography, and observation on 13 
species: Atlantic spotted, bottlenose, Fraser's (Lagenorhyncus hosei), 
pantropical spotted (Stenella attenuatta), Risso's (Grampus griseus), 
spinner (Stenella longirostris), striped (Stenella coeruleoalba), and 
unidentified lagenorhynchine (Lagenorhyncus spp.) dolphins; false 
killer (Pseudorca crassidens), unidentified beaked (Ziphius cavirostris 
and Mesoplodon spp.), long-finned pilot (Globicephala melas), short-
finned pilot (Globicephala macrorhynchus), and unidentified Kogia 
(dwarf or pygmy sperm whale; Kogia spp.) whales. Research will take 
place within Florida waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico 
from Martin County through the Florida Keys including in the 
Intracoastal Waterway, coastal waters, and offshore waters. The LOC 
expires on May 31, 2025.
    File No. 23772: Issued to Ruth Carmichael, Ph.D., Dauphin Island 
Sea Lab, on June 16, 2020, to conduct vessel-based surveys of 
bottlenose dolphins for behavioral observations, photo-identification, 
and photography/videography. The objectives are to determine population 
dynamics, abundance, movement patterns, social structure, and 
behavioral patterns of bottlenose dolphins in the northern Gulf of 
Mexico. This LOC expires June 30, 2020.
    File No. 19430: The LOC, held by Jonathan Scordino, Makah Tribe, 
Makah Fisheries Management, P.O. Box 115, 150 Resort Drive, Neah Bay, 
WA 98357, was extended on July 21, 2020, for approximately 2 months 
while the holder's new application (File No. 23970, see below) was in 
process. The LOC authorizes vessel surveys of cetaceans and vessel and 
ground surveys (including scat collection) of pinnipeds in Washington 
State, with the primary study area at the northwest tip of the Olympic 
Peninsula. The purposes of the research are to: (1) Document the 
abundance and seasonal distribution patterns of marine mammals in this 
area, (2) determine diet overlap between certain marine mammal species 
and fisheries, (3) analyze scat for saxitoxin and domoic acids from 
harmful algal blooms, and (4) monitor the rate and cause of 
entanglements for pinnipeds. The extended LOC expired on September 30, 
2020.
    File No. 19826: The LOC, issued to Deanna Rees, U.S. Navy, Naval 
Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic, 6500 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, 
Virginia 23508, was extended on July 21, 2020, for approximately 4 
months so that the researchers can complete their field season 
conducting ground surveys, photo-identification, and behavioral 
observations of gray (Halichoerus grypus grypus), harbor, and harp 
(Phoca groenlandica) seals in the lower Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, and 
Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island waters. The purpose of the research is 
to investigate site fidelity and movement among haul-out locations, and 
to improve baseline knowledge of pinniped occurrence in areas adjacent 
to

[[Page 71325]]

Navy training and testing areas. The extended LOC expires on May 31, 
2021.
    File No. 22291: Issued to Barbara Brunnick, Ph.D., Palm Beach 
Dolphin Project, Taras Oceanographic Foundation, 5905 Stonewood Court, 
Jupiter, Florida 33468, on June 30, 2020, to conduct vessel surveys for 
photo-identification, behavioral observations, photography, and 
videography of cetaceans in the near shore coastal waters of Palm Beach 
and Martin Counties, Florida. The objectives of the research are to 
document the abundance, distribution, population dynamics, health, and 
habitat utilization of bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic spotted 
dolphins within the study area. Other cetacean species that may be 
studied if encountered are: Clymene dolphin (Stenella clymene), dwarf 
and pygmy sperm whales, melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra), 
pantropical spotted dolphin, rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis), 
short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis delphis), short-finned 
pilot whale, spinner dolphin, and striped dolphin. The LOC expires on 
June 30, 2025.
    File No. 23782: Issued to Janet Mann, Ph.D., Georgetown University, 
Reiss Science Room 406, 3700 O St. NW, Washington, DC 20057, on June 
30, 2020 to conduct vessel-based surveys for behavioral observations, 
photo-identification, passive acoustics, UAS operations, and 
photography/videography of bottlenose dolphins in the Potomac River off 
the Northern Neck of Virginia. The objectives are to estimate seasonal 
abundance, habitat use, ranging patterns, seasonal site fidelity, 
dolphin-human interactions, behavioral ecology, and social structure of 
bottlenose dolphins. The LOC expires on June 30, 2025.
    File No. 23970: Issued to Jonathan Scordino, Makah Tribe, Makah 
Fisheries Management, on September 30, 2020, to conduct (1) vessel 
surveys of 20 cetacean species for close approach; photography/video; 
photo-identification; behavioral observations; sloughed skin and feces 
collection; and focal follows in waters from California to Washington 
and Alaska; and (2) vessel and ground surveys of 6 pinniped species for 
counts, close approach, photography/video, behavioral observations, and 
scat collection in Washington waters. The objective is to document 
marine mammal abundance, seasonal distribution patterns, vital rates, 
diet, mixing ratios, genetics, and interactions with humans. The LOC 
replaces No. 19430 and expires on September 30, 2025.
    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a final determination has been made that the 
activities are categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare 
an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.

    Dated: November 4, 2020.
Julia Harrison,
Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-24816 Filed 11-6-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P