| Environmental assessment for the issuance of scientific research permits for research on humpback whales and other cetaceans - :4697 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Environmental assessment for the issuance of scientific research permits for research on humpback whales and other cetaceans
  • Published Date:
    2010
Filetype[PDF-3.71 MB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Office of Protected Resources. ; United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of Program Planning and Integration, ;
  • Description:
    "The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposes to issue eight five-year scientific research permits and one amendment to a five-year scientific research permit for takes of marine mammals in the wild, pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.). Permit Nos. 14682, 10018-01, 13846, 14451, 14585, 114599, 14122, 14296, and 14353 would authorize varying combinations of research activities directed at cetacean species. Activities would include aerial surveys, vessel surveys for behavioral observations, photo-identification, underwater photography and videography, collection of sloughed skin and feces, sampling whale blows, passive acoustic recordings, export and re-import of parts, tags attached by suction cup or by implanting darts, barbs, or a portion of the tag into the skin and blubber, biopsy sample collection, and acoustic playbacks. Specific objectives for each permit vary, but all would continue long-term research on humpback whales and other cetacean species"--Abstract (page 1).

    "The proposed action is the amendment of three scientific research permits to authorize incidental harassment and vessel surveys for behavioral observations, photo-identification, underwater photography and videography of Insular Hawaiian false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The permit amendments are necessary because the existing permits include authorization under the MMPA to take false killer whales in Pacific waters off Hawaii. Insular Hawaiian false killer whales were listed as endangered under the ESA in November 2012; therefore, the permit holders now require authorization under the ESA to take Insular Hawaiian false killer whales. Issuance of the original permits, which authorize aerial surveys, vessel surveys for behavioral observations, photo-identification, underwater photography and videography, collection of sloughed skin and feces, sampling whale blows, passive acoustic recordings, export and re-import of parts, tags attached by suction cup or by implanting darts, barbs, or a portion of the tag into the skin and blubber, biopsy sample collection, and acoustic playbacks on humpback whales and other cetacean species, was analyzed in an Environmental Assessment completed in 2010. Impacts from these activities would continue to be short-term and minimal to individual animals and negligible to the species. A biological opinion concluded that the proposed action would not likely jeopardize the continued existence of the species and would not likely destroy or adversely modify designated critical habitat. The permits would be valid through the expiration dates of the original permits. All three permits expire July 31, 2015"--Summary from cover letter.

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