NMFS Issues IHA for Navy Construction Activities

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issued an incidental harassment authorization, under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, to the U.S. Navy to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, five species of marine mammals during construction activities associated with a wharf construction project in Hood Canal, Washington. This authorization is effective from July 16, 2014, through February 15, 2015. Click here to read NMFS’ Federal Register notice of this IHA.


Increase in New England Gray Seal Populations Leads to Calls for Controlled Hunt

According to an Associated Press article, the New England gray seal population “has rebounded so much that some frustrated residents are calling for a controlled hunt.” The AP article explains:

“The once-thriving New England gray seal population was decimated by the mid-20th century because of hunting, with Massachusetts keeping a seal bounty on the books until the 1960s. But scientists say conservation efforts, an abundance of food and migration from Canada combined to revive the population.

Russian Conference on Marine Mammals

Early registration is open until July 10 for the VIII International Conference “Marine Mammals of Holarctic.” This conference will be held on September 22-27, 2014 in St. Petersburg.

Key topics of the event:
— Population Biology
–Assessment and monitoring of populations
–Environment (distribution, habitat and migration, etc.)
–Behavior and Acoustics
–Physiology, health, toxicology
–New technologies and research methods
–Conservation, resource exploitation, management and legislation
–Rehabilitation, husbandry.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE (http://ctocongress.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7665ee82d7cf2775669df1fd4&id=c2e501bb06&e=b09deac1d1).

REGISTER NOW (http://ctocongress.us8.list-manage.com/track/click?u=7665ee82d7cf2775669df1fd4&id=3d2868dc52&e=b09deac1d1) .


NMFS Amends Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has published final rules amending NMFS’ regulations implementing the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan. This rule revises the management measures for reducing the incidental mortality and serious injury to the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), and fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) in commercial trap/pot and gillnet fisheries. NMFS has published these rules pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act .

NMFS also intends the measures in the Plan to benefit minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), which are not classified as strategic stocks under the MMPA, but are known to be taken incidentally in commercial fisheries.