Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the Explosive Removal of Offshore Structures in the Gulf of Mexico
NMFS, upon application from the Minerals Management Service (MMS), is issuing regulations to govern the unintentional takings of small numbers of marine mammals incidental to explosive severance activities at offshore oil and gas structures in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Issuance of regulations, and Letters of Authorization (LOAs) under those regulations, governing the unintentional incidental takes of marine mammals in connection with particular activities is required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) when the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary), after notice and opportunity for comment, finds, as here, that such takes will have a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks of marine mammals and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on their availability for taking for subsistence uses, and if the Secretary sets forth the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on affected marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, and on the availability of such species or stocks for subsistence uses. These regulations do not authorize offshore structure removal activities as such authorization is not within the jurisdiction of the Secretary. Rather, NMFS' regulations together with LOAs authorize the unintentional incidental take of marine mammals in connection with this activity.
Availability of Seats for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council
The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS or sanctuary) is seeking applicants for the following vacant seats on its Sanctuary Advisory Council (Council): At-Large (Alternate). Applicants are chosen based upon their particular expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying; community and professional affiliations; philosophy regarding the protection and management of marine resources; and possibly the length of residence in the area affected by the sanctuary. Applicants who are chosen as members should expect to serve two-to-three-year terms, pursuant to the Council's Charter.