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Soundings Archive

NMFS Seeks Comment on USGS' IHA Application for Seismic in the Gulf of Alaska
The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has received an application from the U.S. Geological Survey for an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting a marine geophysical survey in the central Gulf of Alaska during June, 2011. The IHA would be granted pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act. NMFS requests public comment on its proposed issuance of an IHA that authorizes USGS to incidentally harass, by Level B harassment only, 9 species of marine mammals during the specified activity. Any comments and information must be received by NMFS no later than May 2, 2011.

USGS plans to conduct the proposed survey from approximately June 5 to 25, 2011. USGS plans to use one source vessel, the R/V Marcus G. Langseth and a seismic airgun array to collect seismic reflection and refraction profiles to be used to delineate the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf in the GOA. In addition to the proposed operations of the seismic airgun array, USGS intends to operate a multibeam echosounder and a sub-bottom profiler continuously throughout the survey. Acoustic stimuli (i.e., increased underwater sound) generated during the operation of the seismic airgun array may have the potential to cause a short-term behavioral disturbance for marine mammals in the survey area.

  • Click here to read NMFS' Federal Register notice of the USGS application
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