On June 9, 2009, notice was published in theFederal Register(74 FR 27286) that a request for a permit to import specimens for scientific research had been submitted by the above-named applicant. The requested permit has been issued under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1361et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR part 216). Permit No. 14502 authorizes the importation of muscle, blubber, and teeth samples from Risso's, spinner, and spotted dolphins and short-finned pilot whales collected during the legal cetacean hunts of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Samples from up to 100 individuals will be imported to the NOAA Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort, North Carolina, for contaminant analysis (specifically methyl-mercury). No animals will be taken to provide samples for this research and no marine mammals will be incidentally harassed. The permit is valid through June 17, 2012.
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321et seq.), a final determination has been made that the activity proposed is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement.
Dated: June 20, 2011.
P. Michael Payne,
Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.