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Soundings Archive

L-DEO Requests MMPA Permit for Seismic Operations in Canadian Marine Protected Area
The U. S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received an application from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a part of Columbia University, for an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take small numbers of marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a seismic survey in the northeast Pacific Ocean. L-DEO's application is submitted to NMFS pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act. L-DEO seeks permission to take, by Level B harassment only, small numbers of marine mammals incidental to conducting a marine seismic survey during August through October, 2009.

This survey, also known as the Endeavor Tomography (ETOMO) Study, will take place approximately 250 kilometers (km) (155 miles (mi)) southwest of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, within the Canadian Endeavour Marine Protected Area (MPA) along an 80km- (50- mi-) long section of the Endeavour segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. The Endeavor MPA is a unique ecosystem consisting of hydrothermal vents and associated fauna.

This proposed seismic voyage would take place in a Canadian marine protected area. Canada officially designated the area as an MPA in March 2003. Scientific research for the conservation, protection and understanding of the area is permissible under the Canadian Oceans Act of 1996. Regulations regarding this MPA can be found on the Department of Justice Canada website at:

NMFS requests public comment on L-DEO's application no later than April 6, 2009.

NMFS' notice of L-DEO's application has not yet been published in the Federal Register.

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