NMFS Seeks Comment on Proposed Take Rules for Fisheries Research

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received a request from NMFS’ Southeast Fisheries Science Center for authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals incidental to conducting fisheries research, over the course of five years from the date of issuance. Pursuant to regulations implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS is announcing receipt of the SEFSC’s request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals, and invites the public to provide information, suggestions, and comments on the SEFSC’s application and request. Comments and information must be received by NMFS no later than May 23, 2016.

NMFS Issues New Five-Year Affirmative Findings for Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain.

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issued new five-year affirmative findings for the Governments of Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Spain under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. These new five-year affirmative findings will allow yellowfin tuna and yellowfin tuna products harvested in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean in compliance with the International Dolphin Conservation Program by The Nations’ flagged purse seine vessels or purse seine vessels operating under The Nations’ jurisdiction to be imported into the United States. The new five-year affirmative findings were based on reviews of documentary evidence submitted by the Governments of The Nations and obtained from the InterAmerican Tropical Tuna Commission. These new five-year affirmative findings are effective for the five-year period of April 1, 2015, through March 31, 2020.

North Norwegian Humpback Whale Website

There is a new website dedicated to the recent work around the North Norwegian Humpback Whale Catalogue. Its creators explain:

“Recent years (2010-2016) have seen the annual recurrence of large schools of Norwegian Spring Spawning herring (Clupea harengus) in local fjord systems in Northern Norway during winter-time. This herring superabundance attracts humpback whales that use the region as a temporary feeding stopover area before embarking on their migration southward.

NMFS Seeks Comment on Marine Mammal Harassment Authorization in Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort

The National Marine Fisheries Service, of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has requested comments on NMFS’ proposed issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals to Quintillion Subsea Operations, LLC. This IHA would be effective during Quintillion’s subsea cable-laying operation in the state and federal waters of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas, Alaska, during the open-water season of 2016. All takes authorized would be by Level B Harassments. NMFS proposes to issue this IHA pursuant to NMFS’s authority under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Click here for more information on this proposed IHA.