Incidental Take Authorization: Office of Naval Research Arctic Research Activities in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (2019)
NOAA Fisheries has received a request from the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to Arctic Research Activities in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NOAA Fisheries is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. We are also requesting comments on a possible one-year renewal that could be issued under certain circumstances and if all requirements are met, as described in Request for Public Comments at the end of this notice. NOAA Fisheries will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested MMPA authorizations and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision. ONR’s activities are considered military readiness activities pursuant to the MMPA, as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004.