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Biological Opinion on the Incidental Harassment Authorization to Allow for Incidental Takes of Marine Mammals During Shallow Hazards Survey in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska

July 22, 2011

Biological opinion on the effects of oil and gas exploration activities in the U. S. Chukchi Sea on the endangered bowhead whales, fin whales, and humpback whales.

This opinion will address the potential effects from authorization of a “small take” permit under section 101 (a)(5) of the MMPA, for certain oil and gas exploration activities in the U. S. Chukchi Sea for 2011. Its purpose is to provide an assessment of those actions on the continued existence of the bowhead, fin, and humpback whales, as well as to provide measures to conserve the species and mitigate impact. This biological opinion incorporates much of the information provided by PR1, as well as pertinent research on the whales and matters related to oil exploration. Traditional knowledge and the observations of Inupiat hunters are presented, along with information gained through scientific research. This combined knowledge contributes, along with western science, to a more complete understanding of these issues. A reasonable assessment of potential effects can only be made by considering both these systems of knowledge.

Action Agency: NOAA Fisheries Permits, Conservation, and Education Division

NMFS Consultation Number: AKR-2011-6545

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 06/04/2020

Section 7 Consultation Biological Opinions Bowhead Whale Fin Whale Humpback Whale