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Endangered Species Act Section 7 Biological Opinion: Issuance of Incidental Harassment Authorization under section 101(a)(5)(a) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to Shell Gulf of Mexico and Shell Offshore Inc. (Shell) for Aviation Operations Associated with Ice Condition Monitoring over the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas From May 2015 through April 2016
Filetype[PDF-1.32 MB]

  • Description:
    This opinion evaluates the effects of the proposed action on the threatened Arctic ringed seal (Phoca hispida hispida), the Beringia distinct population segment (DPS) of the bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus nautica) 1 , and proposed critical habitat for the Arctic ringed seal. NMFS PR1 determined that this proposed action will not affect ESA-listed cetaceans (Shane Guan, NMFS PR1 Pers. Comm. May 6, 2015) because whales are unlikely to be present in the vicinity of ice-coring activities (and associated helicopter landings) and are unlikely to be disturbed by passing fixed-wing aircraft associated with this project. Therefore, NMFS PR1 has not included any cetacean species in its proposed action and no take of such species is authorized.

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