Biological Opinion on the Issuance of Incidental Harassment Authorization to Shell for Geophysical Surveys, and Equipment Recovery and Maintenance Activities
Biological opinion on the potential effects of open-water seismic and marine surveys, equipment recovery and maintenance activities in the U.S. Chukchi Sea, Alaska during the 2013 Open Water Season on endangered and threatened species and critical habitat. NMFS Consultation Number: FIAKR/2013/9281
This opinion considers the effects of the authorization of an IHA to take marine mammals by harassment under the MMPA incidental to open-water seismic and marine surveys, equipment recovery and maintenance to Shell in the U.S. Chukchi Sea from July 1 to October 31, 2013. These actions have the potential to affect the endangered bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), endangered fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), endangered humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), endangered right whale (Eubalaena japonica), endangered western Steller sea lion (Eumatopias jubatus) distinct population segment, threatened Arctic subspecies of ringed seal (Phoca hispida hispida), and threatened Beringia DPS of bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus barbatus), as well as the designated critical habitats for North Pacific right whale and Steller sea lion. NOAA Fisheries PR1 is the federal action agency that issues IHAs and is responsible for ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of the IHA activities.
Action Agency: National Marine Fisheries Service's Office of Protected Resources - Permits and Conservation Division