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Soundings Archive

Shell Applies for Chukchi IHA
On June 1, 2009, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published notice that NMFS has received an application from Shell Oil for an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals incidental to an open-water marine survey program. The program includes shallow hazards and site clearance work and strudel scour surveys in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS requests comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to Shell to incidentally take, by harassment, small numbers of several species of marine mammals during the Arctic open-water seasons between August 2009, and July, 2010, during these activities.

NMFS’ Federal Register notice of Shell’s IHA application states:

    “Any impacts to marine mammals associated with sound propagation from vessel movements and survey operations would be non-lethal, temporary, and, at most, may result in short-term displacement of whales and seals from within the ensonified zones produced by such sound sources.”
At NMFS’ request, Shell prepared and submitted two addenda to its original IHA application which discuss in more detail several issues, including potential effects on marine mammals. The effects discussed include tolerance, masking and non-auditory physiological effects.

NMFS requests comment on Shell’s IHA no later than July 1, 2009.

  • Click here to read NMFS’ FR notice of Shell’s IHA application
  • Click her to read Shell’s IHA application
  • Click here to read first addendum to Shell’s IHA application
  • Click here to read second addendum to Shell’s IHA application

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