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Soundings Archive

NMFS Requests Public Comment on Proposed ITAs for Chukchi/Beaufort Seas
On June 7, 2007, the National Marine Fisheries Service requested public comment on two proposed Incidental Take Authorizations, by harassment, for oil and gas activities in the Chukchi and U.S. Beaufort Seas.

The first proposed ITA responds to an application submitted by Shell Offshore, Inc., and WeternGeco. This ITA would authorize the applicants to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting marine geophysical programs, including deep seismic surveys, on oil and gas blocks located on Outer Continental Shelf waters in the mid and Eastern Beaufort and on pre-lease areas in the Northern Chukchi Sea. The affected marine mammals include bowhead whales. NMFS proposes several mitigation requirements, including marine mammal exclusion zones, marine mammal monitoring observers aboard the vessels, and aerial monitoring.

The second proposed ITA responds to an application submitted by FEX L.P. This ITA would authorize the applicant to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a barging operation. The barges would be used either to resupply or demobilize ongoing drilling activities on the Northwest National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Oil and Gas Leases. The affected marine mammals include bowhead whales. NMFS proposes several mitigation requirements, including marine mammal monitoring observers aboard the vessels.

Comments are due to NMFS by July 9, 2007, for both ITAs.

  • Click here to read Seismic ITA
  • Click here to read Barging ITA

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