Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities: Cook Inlet, Alaska
We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in response to a request from Hilcorp Alaska, LLC, Harvest Alaska, LLC, and the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, finalize regulations authorizing the nonlethal, incidental take by harassment of small numbers of northern sea otters in State and Federal waters (Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf) within Cook Inlet, Alaska, as well as all adjacent rivers, estuaries, and coastal lands. Take may result from oil and gas exploration, development, production, and transportation activities occurring for a period of 5 years. This rule authorizes take by harassment only; no lethal take is authorized. We will issue Letters of Authorization, upon request, for specific proposed activities in accordance with these regulations. Additionally, the Office of Management and Budget has approved a revision of the existing Information Collection control number 1018-0070, for incidental take of marine mammals in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, to include oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet.