Permit Application to Import 3 Bottlenose Dolphins (File No. 22686, Chicago Zoological Society)


Marine Mammal Protection Act
Affected Species
Action Status


The Chicago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo (Bill Zeigler, Responsible Party) has applied for a permit to import three bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for public display.  Up to three captive born bottlenose dolphins would be imported from Dolphin Quest Bermuda to either the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, IL or Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.  The permit would expire in five years.       

On March 19, 2019 (84 FR 10044), NOAA Fisheries published a notice of the permit application.  During the 30-day comment period, we received several requests for a 60-day extension of the comment period and for a public hearing. 

We have decided to extend the public comment period for an additional 30 days to provide the public an opportunity to review additional information provided by the Chicago Zoological Society.  However, we determined that a public hearing is not warranted because documentation related to this Marine Mammal Protection Act permit application can be provided in writing. 

In order to allow for a full 30 days for additional public comment, we will accept comments through May 19, 2019, even though the FR notice indicates that the comment period ends on May 16, 2019. 

We have obtained additional information from the Chicago Zoological Society regarding the health status of the dolphins and the water quality at Coral World.  In addition, they have updated their transport plans regarding the timing and destination of the dolphins to be imported.  The revised application and supplemental application information is provided below.

Comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on May 19, 2019, to be considered.  Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

  • Email addressed to, please use the File No. 22686 in the subject line of the email comment;
  • Mail addressed to the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; ATTN: Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division; or
  • Faxed to (301) 713-0376; ATTN: Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources.

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Permits and Conservation Division

Office of Protected Resources
Phone: 301-427-8401
Fax: 301-713-0376

Last updated by Office of Protected Resources on 05/28/2019