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Soundings Archive

NMFS Proposes Seismic IHA for the Langseth
On November 25, 2008, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service proposed issuing an Incidental Harassment Authorization to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DEO). The IHA would be issued by NMFS under the Marine Mammals Protection Act. It would apply to the seismic research vessel Langseth, which is operated by L-DEO and owned by the National Research Foundation. The IHA would authorize the Langseth to take small numbers of marine mammals, by Level B (behavioral) harassment only, incidental to conducting a seismic survey in the southwest Pacific Ocean during January through February, 2009.

Among other mitigation requirements, L-DEO will be required to use Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) to spot marine mammals during the Langseth's seismic operations. PAM is required as a supplement to visual monitoring for marine mammals. If marine mammals are detected within specified safety radii from the vessel during seismic operations, then the Langseth has to stop seismic operations until the marine mammals are outside the radii.

NMFS requests comments on the Langseth IHA no later than December 26, 2008.

  • Click here to read NMFS' Federal Register notice

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