Final Marine Mammal Protection Act Section 101(a)(5)(E): Negligible Impact Determination
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Final Marine Mammal Protection Act Section 101(a)(5)(E): Negligible Impact Determination

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    The purpose of this document is to conduct the analysis necessary to determine whether the M/SI incidental to U.S. commercial fisheries will have a negligible impact on ESA-listed marine mammals taken in commercial fisheries in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) offshore of Alaska. The determination follows a process previously described and implemented by NMFS when issuing incidental take permits under MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E) (e.g., 75 FR 29984, May 28, 2010). The time frame for the data used in this analysis includes the 5-year period (2008-2012) for which data are available and have been analyzed in the Alaska marine mammal stock assessment reports (SAR) (Allen and Angliss 2015). The NMFS Guidelines for Assessing Marine Mammal Stocks (GAMMS) and the subsequent GAMMS II provide guidance that, when available, the most recent five-year time frame of commercial fishery incidental M/SI data is an appropriate measure of effects of fishing operations on marine mammals (Wade and Angliss 1997). A fiveyear time frame provides enough data to adequately capture year-to-year variations in take levels, while reflecting current environmental and fishing conditions as they may change over time. In cases where available observer data are only available outside that time frame, as in the case for state-managed fisheries, the most recent observer data is used. Where entanglement data from the NMFS Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Network are considered, the five-year time frame from 2008-2012 is used.
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