National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration November 12, 2020 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Marine Site Characterization Surveys Off of Coastal Virginia
Document Number: 2020-25034
Type: Notice
Date: 2020-11-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS received a request from Dominion Energy Virginia (Dominion) on September 29, 2020, for a modification to the incidental harassment authorization (IHA) that was issued on August 28, 2020. This initial IHA allowed Dominion to take nine species of marine mammals, by Level B harassment, incidental to marine site characterization surveys conducted in the areas of the Commercial Lease of Submerged Lands for Renewable Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Virginia (Lease No. OCS-A-0483) as well as in coastal waters where an export cable corridor will be established in support of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Commercial (CVOW Commercial) Project. Dominion was recording take of Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) by Level B harassment at a rate that would exceed the authorized limit on this species and therefore, NMFS is proposing to modify the IHA to increase authorized take by Level B harassment of spotted dolphin. The mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures remain the same as prescribed in the initial IHA and no additional take was requested for other species. NMFS will consider public comments on the requested modification prior to making any final decision and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision.
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Omnibus Framework Adjustment To Modify the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Risk Policy
Document Number: 2020-24944
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2020-11-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS proposes to approve and implement changes to the Mid- Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Risk Policy. The purpose of this action is to adjust the Council's risk policy by accepting a higher level of risk for stocks at or above biomass targets. These adjustments could lead to increases in catch limits for healthy fisheries managed by the Council.
Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to the U.S. Navy Training and Testing Activities in the Northwest Training and Testing (NWTT) Study Area
Document Number: 2020-23757
Type: Rule
Date: 2020-11-12
Agency: Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NMFS, upon request from the U.S. Navy (Navy), issues these regulations pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to govern the taking of marine mammals incidental to the training and testing activities conducted in the Northwest Training and Testing (NWTT) Study Area. The Navy's activities qualify as military readiness activities pursuant to the MMPA, as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (2004 NDAA). These regulations, which allow for the issuance of Letters of Authorization (LOA) for the incidental take of marine mammals during the described activities and timeframes, prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species and their habitat, and establish requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.