Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361
Authorization shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses, and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking are set forth.
NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as:
an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.
The NDAA (Public Law 108-136) removed the “small numbers” and “specified geographical region” limitations and amended the definition of “harassment” as it applies to a “military readiness activity” to read as follows (Section 3(18)(B) of the MMPA):
(i) any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A Harassment]; or (ii) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering, to a point where such behavioral patterns are abandoned or significantly altered [Level B Harassment].
On June 25, 2007, NMFS received an application from the Navy requesting authorization for the take of 24 species of marine mammals incidental to upcoming Navy training activities to be conducted within the HRC, which covers 235,000 nm
On January 5, 2009, NMFS' final rule governing the take of marine mammals incidental to U.S. Navy Training in the Hawaii Range Complex became effective. In accordance with the final rule, NMFS issued an LOA to the Navy on January 8, 2009, authorizing Level B harassment of 24 species of marine mammals and mortality of 11 species of marine mammals incidental to U.S. Navy training, maintenance, and RDTE activities in the HRC. Issuance of this LOA is based on findings, described in the preamble to the final rule (74 FR 1456, January 12, 2009), that the taking resulting from the activities described in this LOA will have a negligible impact on marine mammal stocks and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the affected marine mammal stock for subsistence uses. The LOA describes the permissible methods of taking and includes requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such taking.