[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 135 (Monday, July 15, 2013)]
[Pages 42041-42042]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-16766]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC100

Marine Mammals; File No. 17115

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 James Lloyd-Smith, Department of 
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los 
Angeles, 610 Charles E. Young Dr. South, Box 723905, Los Angeles, CA 
90095-7239, has applied for an amendment to Scientific Research Permit 
No. 17115-00.

DATES: Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or 
before August 14, 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 home 
page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 17115 
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
    Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long 
Beach, CA 90802-4213; phone (562) 980-4001; fax (562) 980-4018.
    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 NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Please include File No. 17115 in 
the subject line of the email comment.
    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.


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject amendment to Permit No. 17115-00 
is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 
1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), and the regulations 
governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216).
    Permit No. 17115-00, issued on September 24, 2012 (77 FR 63296), 
authorizes the permit holder to study the prevalence of leptospirosis 
in wild California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) in California. Up 
to 80 California sea lions may be taken annually on A[ntilde]o Nuevo 
Island by capture (including restraint and anesthesia); marking and 
measuring; sampling (blood, urine, vibrissae); and release. A limited 
number of non-target sea lions may be captured and released without 
sampling. Up to 5,000 sea lions, 3,000 northern elephant seals 
(Mirounga angustirostris), and 60 harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) may be 
taken by incidental disturbance annually. Four

[[Page 42042]]

unintentional mortalities of California sea lions are authorized. The 
permit expires September 30, 2017.
    The permit holder is requesting the permit be amended to expand the 
scope of the study and include authorization for capture, sampling, and 
release of California sea lions as described above at two additional 
sampling sites in California (160 animals at San Nicolas Island and 80 
animals at Monterey Bay). A limited number of non-target sea lions may 
be captured and released without sampling. The permit holder also 
requests incidental disturbance at each of the new sites for the 
following species: California sea lions (6,000 on San Nicolas Island; 
and 3,000 in Monterey Bay); Northern elephant seals (2,000 on San 
Nicolas; and 100 in Monterey Bay); and Pacific harbor seals (100 on San 
Nicolas, and 50 in Monterey Bay). The permit holder proposes to 
disentangle and mark/sample a limited number of California sea lions 
encountered during the research activities. Permission to increase the 
number of mortalities of California sea lions from four to eight over 
the duration of the permit is requested. The applicant also requests to 
extend the maximum number of sampling years from four to five over the 
duration of the permit.
    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 this application to the Marine 
Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: July 9, 2013.
P. Michael Payne,
Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-16766 Filed 7-12-13; 8:45 am]