U.S. Navy Target and Missile Launch Activities at San Nicolas Island, CA (2021)
NOAA Fisheries received a request from the U.S. Navy for an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level B harassment only, during target and missile launch activities on San Nicolas Island (SNI). These activities are identical to those covered in the current renewal authorization, which expires on June 11, 2021. The Navy is requesting, and NOAA Fisheries is proposing to issue, an IHA authorizing incidental take of marine mammal during target and missile launch activities which were already analyzed in a 2019 IHA issued on June 12, 2019 (84 FR 28462; June 19, 2019) and a renewal IHA issued on June 19, 2020 (85 FR 38863; June 29, 2020). The proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures remain the same as prescribed in the previous IHAs. NOAA Fisheries is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to incidentally take marine mammals during the specified activities. We will consider public comments prior to making any final decision on the issuance of the requested authorizations and agency responses will be summarized in the final notice of our decision. The Navy's activities are considered military readiness activities.