Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213; phone (562)980-4001; fax (562)980-4018.
On May 13, 2009, notice was published in the
The permit modification authorizes researchers to annually fat biopsy and ultrasound up to 38 leatherback sea turtles as part of a health and nutritional assessment of this species. It also provides authority to close approach and attach VHR/TDR/sonic tag/GPS/video camera units by suction cup on up to 20 leatherback sea turtles annually, and to later capture the same animals to remove the unit and then sample, tag, and attach another VHR/TDR/sonic tag/GPS/video camera unit to the animals before release. Additionally, the permit modification authorizes researchers to annually attach a VHR/TDR/sonic tag/GPS unit and tissue sample 20 leatherback sea turtles using a biopsy pole. The permit currently authorizes researchers to attach the unit or tissue sample 20 animals, not both. The number of leatherback sea turtles captured does not increase under the modification, but the mix of activities conducted on each animal does. The research may continue to occur in waters off the coast of the western United States through February 1, 2012.
Issuance of this modification, as required by the ESA was based on a finding that such permit (1) was applied for in good faith, (2) will not operate to the disadvantage of such endangered or threatened species, and (3) is consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in section 2 of the ESA.