Incidental Take Authorization: SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Recovery Activities in California (2018)
NOAA Fisheries has received a request from Space Exploration Technology Corporation (SpaceX) for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to boost-back and landing of Falcon 9 rockets at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and at contingency landing locations in the Pacific Ocean. 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.