NMFS Proposes IHA for Central California

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has published notice of its receipt of an application from Point Blue Conservation Science requesting an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting proposed seabird research activities on Southeast Farallon Island, Ano Nuevo Island, and Point Reyes National Seashore in central California from January 2015 through January 2016. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS requests comments on its proposed issuance of an Authorization to Point Blue to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, four species of marine mammals during the year-long monitoring project.

European Cetacean Society Conference and Workshops

The European Cetacean Society Conference will be held in Malta from the 23rd to the 25th March 2015. Workshops will be held on the 21st & 22nd March 2015. Registration for the ECS 29th Conference on Marine Mammals is the 16th of January 2015.

Also note that an interesting list of workshops have been proposed for you to consider. As participation may be limited in number or to particular expertise, kindly contact workshop organizers for details soon.

Conference organizers welcome your video submission proposals up until the 16th of January.

Please refer to following for relevant info:

NMFS Proposes Not to List Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin Under the ESA

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed not to list the Eastern Taiwan Strait population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) under the U.S. Endangered species act. This proposal is based on NMFS’ conclusion that the

“humpback dolphin is not a distinct population segment and therefore does not warrant listing”

In the same Federal Register notice, NMFS proposes to list six other non-marine mammal species under the ESA. Comments on NMFS’ proposed actions must be received by NMFS to list eight species must be received by February 17, 2015.

Click here to read NMFS’ notice of these actions.

New Online Reporting for Marine Mammal Interactions

The Marine Mammal Authorization Program (MMAP), under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, now has electronic reporting available for marine mammal interactions in commercial fisheries. Fishermen may now fill out MMAP mortality/injury reporting forms online or download the form and email it to nmfs.mireport@noaa.gov.

NMFS Proposes Critical Habitat for Ringed Seal

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has proposed designated critical habitat for the Arctic subspecies (Phoca hispida hispida) of the ringed seal (Phoca hispida) under the Endangered Species Act.  NMFS proposes to designate one specific area of marine habitat in the northern Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas.  NMFS solicits comment from the public on all aspects of the proposal, including NMFS’ identification and consideration of the economic, national security, and other relevant impacts of the proposed designation.

Comments on this proposed rule must be received by NMFS by March 3, 2015.