[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 58 (Tuesday, March 26, 2013)]
[Pages 18322-18323]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06827]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC580

Marine Mammals; File No. 17751

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

ACTION: Notice; receipt of application.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that Yoko Mitani, Ph.D., Hokkaido 
University, 3-1-1 Minato-cho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 041-8611, Japan, has 
applied in due form for a permit to conduct research on gray 
(Eschrichtius robustus) and killer (Orcinus orca) whales.

DATES: Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or 
before April 25, 2013.

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 
(APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File 
No. 17751 from the list of available applications.
    These documents are also available upon written request or by 
appointment in the following offices:

Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 
1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone 
(301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376; and
Alaska Region, NMFS, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668; phone (907) 
586-7221; fax (907) 586-7249.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the 
Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. 
Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by 
email to [email protected]. Please include the File No. in the 
subject line of the email comment.

[[Page 18323]]

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a 
written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the 
address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons 
why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carrie Hubard or Kristy Beard, (301) 

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.) and the regulations governing the taking 
and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216). Dr. Mitani requests 
a five-year permit to study gray and killer whales in Alaskan waters, 
including the Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Arctic Ocean. 
The objectives of the research are to examine the distribution and 
movement patterns of gray and killer whales in the area. The marine 
mammal research is part of a larger study on the reduction of sea ice 
in the Arctic with the goal of developing predictive ecosystem models. 
Research methods would consist of vessel surveys, photo-identification, 
behavioral observations, passive acoustics, thermal imaging, collection 
of sloughed skin and prey items, and dart tagging. Annually, up to ten 
killer whales and ten gray whales may have a LIMPET satellite dart tag 
attached. An additional 1000 animals of each species would be 
approached for non-invasive research activities or incidentally 
harassed annually. No other marine mammal species would be approached.
    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that 
the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to 
prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.
    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal 
Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of the application to the Marine 
Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: March 21, 2013.
P. Michael Payne,
Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-06827 Filed 3-25-13; 8:45 am]