The Navy Has Several Marine Mammal Protection Act Permit Applications Pending
The U. S. National Marine Fisheries Service has its hands full with the Navy these days. The Navy has filed several long and potentially contentious applications requesting that NMFS approve marine mammal takings in various waters of the United States. The applications are filed under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. They cover the following waters and activities:
2008 Navy's Gulf of Mexico Range Complex Training Exercises
(Letter of Authorization or "LOA" Application, and Application Addendum)
2008 Navy's Mariana Islands Range Complex
(LOA Application, Application Addendum, and Additional Information)
2008 Navy's Northwest Training Range Complex (NWTRC)
(LOA and Application Addendum)
2008 Navy's East Coast Undersea Warfare Training Range
The Navy applications are interesting for many reasons, including their use of new and complex techniques to model the effects of navy activities (such as "use of explosive hand grenades") on marine mammals. See GOMEX LOA addendum
The Navy's latest submission on the Mariana Islands Range complex, available online here, includes the following additional information submitted at NMFS' request:
"1. A site-specific monitoring plan
NMFS requests public comment on L-DEO's application no later than April 6, 2009.
2. A more detailed description of the proposed reporting requirements as
informed by Navy/NMFS discussions during previous consultations
3. A more detailed description of how the mid-frequency sonar training covered under the MIRC application may, in a limited number of exercises, overlap with low frequency sonar operation."
NMFS' notice of L-DEO's application has not yet been published in the Federal Register.
All the pending Navy applications to NMFS, and their underlying record, can be viewed here.
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