Listing Endangered or Threatened Species: 12-Month Finding on a Petition To Delist the Southern Resident Killer Whale
We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), are issuing a 12-month finding on a petition to delist the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We listed the Southern Resident killer whale DPS as endangered under the ESA in 2005. We accepted the petition to delist the Southern Resident killer whale DPS on November 27, 2012, initiating a public comment period and a status review. Based on our review of the petition, public comments, and the best available scientific information, we find that delisting the Southern Resident killer whale DPS is not warranted.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Marine Seismic Survey in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. (Shell) to take, by harassment, small numbers of 13 species of marine mammals incidental to a marine survey program in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska, during the 2013 Arctic open-water season. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to Shell to take, by Level B harassment, 13 species of marine mammals during the specified activity.
Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; 2013 Commercial Accountability Measure and Closure for South Atlantic Snowy Grouper
NMFS implements accountability measures (AMs) for commercial snowy grouper in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the South Atlantic. Commercial landings for snowy grouper, as estimated by the Science and Research Director (SRD), are projected to reach the commercial annual catch limit (ACL) (commercial quota) on August 10, 2013. Therefore, NMFS closes the commercial sector for snowy grouper in the South Atlantic EEZ on August 10, 2013, and it will remain closed until the start of the next fishing season, January 1, 2014. This closure is necessary to protect the snowy grouper resource.
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Navy Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Activities at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division
In accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations, notification is hereby given that NMFS has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to the U.S. Navy (Navy) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) activities at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD).