[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 216 (Tuesday, November 9, 2010)]
[Pages 68757-68758]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-28271]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XZ66

Marine Mammals; File No. 781-1824

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice; receipt of application for permit amendment.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Northwest Fisheries Science 
Center (NWFSC, Dr. M. Bradley Hanson, Principal Investigator), 2725 
Montlake Blvd. East, Seattle, Washington 98112-2097, has applied for an 
amendment to Scientific Research Permit No. 781-1824-01.

DATES: Written, telefaxed, or e-mail comments must be received on or 
before December 9, 2010.

ADDRESSES: The application and related documents are available for 
review by selecting ``Records Open for Public Comment'' from the 
Features box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species home 
page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 781-1824 
from the list of available applications.
    These documents are also available upon written request or by 
appointment in the following office(s):
    Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 
20910; phone (301) 713-2289; fax (301) 713-0376; and
    Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, BIN C15700, Bldg. 
1, Seattle, WA 98115-0700; phone (206) 526-6150; fax (206) 526-6426.
    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the 
Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, at the address 
listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-
0376, or by e-mail to [email protected]. Please include File 
No. 781-1824 in the subject line of the e-mail comment.
    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a 
written request to the Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education 
Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the 
specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Sloan or Laura Morse, (301) 713-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject amendment to Permit No. 781-
1824-01 is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal 
Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the 
regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 
CFR part 216), the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 
U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the regulations governing the taking, 
importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR 
    Permit No. 781-1824-00 (issued on March 31, 2006; 74 FR 19875), as 
amended by Permit No. 781-1824-01

[[Page 68758]]

(minor amendment issued on May 26, 2006), authorizes the permit holder 
to conduct research to determine the abundance, distribution, movement 
patterns, habitat use, contaminant levels, prey, behavior, energetics, 
and stock structure of cetacean species in the eastern North Pacific 
off the coast of Washington, Oregon, and California. These studies are 
carried out through vessel surveys, photo-identification from large and 
small vessels, biological sample collection, passive acoustic 
monitoring, and satellite/radio and data log/time-depth tagging and 
tracking. The permit authorizes NWFSC to take endangered blue whales 
(Balaenoptera musculus), fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), humpback 
whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), 
and Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW, Orcinus orca), as well as 15 
non-ESA-listed cetacean species. The permit expires on April 14, 2011.
    The permit holder is requesting the permit be amended to increase 
the number of SRKW suction cup tagged (from 10 to 20 animals annually) 
and to add satellite tagging of six SRKW with dart tags annually. The 
primary purpose of this request is to determine winter ranges and 
increase data on distribution patterns of SRKW for use in critical 
habitat determinations. The activities are requested for the duration 
of the permit.
    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), a draft supplemental environmental assessment 
(SEA) has been prepared to examine whether significant environmental 
impacts could result from issuance of the proposed scientific research 
permit. The draft SEA is available for review and comment simultaneous 
with the scientific research permit application.
    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal 
Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of this application to the Marine 
Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: November 3, 2010.
P. Michael Payne,
Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of 
Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-28271 Filed 11-8-10; 8:45 am]