The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service proposes to issue an amended permit to authorize the incidental, but not intentional, take of two stocks of marine mammals listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and under the Marine Mammal Protection Act , by the California (CA) thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 in mesh) and the Washington /Oregon /CA sablefish pot fishery.
In accordance with the MMPA, NMFS must issue this permit provided that it can make the determinations that: the incidental take will have a negligible impact on the affected stocks; a recovery plan for all affected stocks of threatened or endangered marine mammals has been developed or is being developed; and as required by the MMPA, a take reduction plan and monitoring program have been implemented, and vessels in the CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (≥14 in mesh) and the WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fisheries are registered.
NMFS has made a preliminary determination that incidental taking from commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on the endangered humpback whale (CA/OR/WA stock) and the endangered sperm whale (CA/OR/WA stock).
Recovery plans have been completed for humpback and sperm whales.
NMFS solicits public comments on the draft negligible impact determination (NID) and on the proposal to issue a permit to vessels that operate in these fisheries for the taking of affected endangered stocks of marine mammals.
Comments must be received by September 24, 2014.
Click here to read NMFS’ Federal Register notice for this proposed action.