| Supplemental environmental assessment on the effects of issuing an amendment to scientific research permit no. 16109-01 for protected sea turtles and marine mammals - :15120 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Supplemental environmental assessment on the effects of issuing an amendment to scientific research permit no. 16109-01 for protected sea turtles and marine mammals
  • Published Date:
    2016
Filetype[PDF-1.23 MB]


Details:
  • Personal Authors:
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of General Counsel, ; United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Office of Protected Resources,, Permits and Conservation Division, ;
  • Description:
    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposes to issue a major amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 16109-01 for takes of marine mammals and sea turtles in the wild, pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) and the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Permit No. 16109-01 authorizes harassment during close approach via vessel for photo-identification, behavioral observations, and incidental harassment of marine mammals and sea turtles from New Jersey to North Carolina. The proposed permit amendment would: (1) extend the action area to include all U.S. waters from Maine to Florida to the to the limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone; (2) authorize harassment during aerial surveys; (3) change the frequency of vessel-based surveys currently authorized from once per season to twice a month, year-round; (4) increase take numbers of currently authorized marine mammals and sea turtles; and (5) add six species [i.e., Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and green (Chelonia mydas) sea turtles]. The requested changes would allow Versar, Inc. (fonnerly GeoMarine, Inc.) to collect the necessary data for generating abundance/density estimates for sea turtles and marine mammals. The amended permit would expire on May 15, 2017.

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