[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 73 (Tuesday, April 17, 2007)]
[Pages 19181-19182]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-7294]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[I.D. 041107A]

Marine Mammals; File No. 1079-1828

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

ACTION: Notice; receipt of application.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that NOAA Fisheries Office of Science 
and Technology (Principal Investigator: Dr. Brandon Southall), Silver 
Spring, MD, has applied in due form for a permit to conduct scientific 
research on marine mammals.

DATES: Written, telefaxed, or e-mail comments must be received on or 
before May 17, 2007.

ADDRESSES: The application and related documents are available for 
review upon written request or by appointment in the following 
    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)427-2521; http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/review.htm; and
    Southeast Region, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, FL 
33701; phone (727)824-5312; fax (727)824-5309.
    Written comments or requests for a public hearing on this 
application should be mailed to the Chief, Permits, Conservation and 
Education Division, F/PR1, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 
East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Those 
individuals requesting a hearing should set forth the specific reasons 
why a hearing on this particular request would be appropriate.
    Comments may also be submitted by facsimile at (301)427-2521, 
provided the facsimile is confirmed by hard copy submitted by mail and 
postmarked no later than the closing date of the comment period.
    Comments may also be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for 
providing e-mail comments is NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Include in the 
subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: 
File No. 1079-1828.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tammy Adams or Jolie Harrison, 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject permit is requested under the 
authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended 
(MMPA; 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 (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the 
regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of

[[Page 19182]]

endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).
    The applicant proposes to observe behavioral responses in several 
deep-diving cetacean species exposed to natural and artificial 
underwater sounds and quantify exposure conditions associated with 
various effects. These behavioral response studies (BRS) would focus on 
beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris and Mesoplodon spp.), but the 
responses of other odontocete species, including Risso's dolphins 
(Grampus griseus), pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus), melon-
headed whales (Peponocephala electra), and endangered sperm whales 
(Physeter macrocephalus), may also be monitored. Please refer to Table 
IV.C.2-1 of the application for a complete list of cetacean species 
that may be indirectly harassed during the BRS. The BRS would be 
conducted in the Tongue of the Ocean (east of Andros Island, Bahamas). 
During the BRS, subject whales would have scientific instruments 
(digital archival recording tags) temporarily attached via suction cup, 
be photographed for identification, and be exposed to controlled levels 
of natural and anthropogenic underwater sounds, including signals 
simulating mid-frequency sonar. Whales would be monitored visually and 
through passive acoustic monitoring (via an underwater hydrophone 
array), as well as through data from the tags, for responses to the 
sounds. Sloughed skin samples collected from the detached suction cup 
would be imported into the U.S. for analysis. The permit would be valid 
for a maximum of 5 years from date of issuance.
    A draft Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared to examine 
whether significant environmental impacts could result from issuance of 
the proposed scientific research permit. The draft EA is available for 
review and comment simultaneous with the scientific research permit 
    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: April 11, 2007.
P. Michael Payne,
Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of 
Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. E7-7294 Filed 4-16-07; 8:45 am]