| Supplemental environmental assessment (SEA) on the issuance of a modification to scientific research permit No. 15661 to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Department of Lands and Natural Resources to conduct research on listed sea turtles [2013] : a supplement to the 2012 EA entitled 'Environmental assessment and supplemental environmental assessment on the effects of issuing a permit and permit modification for scientific research on protected sea turtles in the Western Pacific Ocean' - :4857 | National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
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Supplemental environmental assessment (SEA) on the issuance of a modification to scientific research permit No. 15661 to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Department of Lands and Natural Resources to conduct research on listed sea turtles [2013] : a supplement to the 2012 EA entitled 'Environmental assessment and supplemental environmental assessment on the effects of issuing a permit and permit modification for scientific research on protected sea turtles in the Western Pacific Ocean'
  • Published Date:
    2013
Filetype[PDF-1.66 MB]


Details:
  • Personal Authors:
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of Program Planning and Integration, ; United States, National Marine Fisheries Service., Office of Protected Resources, ;
  • Description:
    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) proposes to issue a modification to a research permit to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Lands and Natural Resources (Responsible Party: Arnold Palacios), for takes of threatened green (Chelonia mydas) and endangered hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles in the wild, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended (16 U.S.C. สนสน 1531 et seq.). The modification would be valid through January 31, 2017. The original objectives of the sea turtle research would remain unchanged: to characterize population structure, size class composition, foraging ecology, and migration patterns for green and hawksbill sea turtles in the Northern Mariana Islands (NMI) to identify potential conservation or critical habitat areas for immature and adult sea turtles in nearshore waters. Authorized research consists of counts and hand captures of sea turtles during vessel surveys. Captured sea turtles may be measured, weighed, flipper and passive integrated transponder tagged, temporarily marked, tissue sampled, photographed, and released. A subset of the turtles may be satellite tagged before release and then tracked from the vessel. Sea turtle carcasses, tissues, or parts may be opportunistically salvaged each year. The permit would be modified to authorize blood and scute sampling of a subset of captured sea turtles to address a new objective: to analyze a broad suite of environmental pollutants that may be threatening the health of sea turtles in the NMI. All other research objectives, capture methods, take numbers, action area, and activities would remain unchanged. The data generated by the permit modification would help determine the movement and habitat use of green and hawksbill sea turtles found in the waters of the action area. Moreover, this data would provide information that could help with the management, conservation, and recovery of these listed species.

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