Biological Opinion on the Issuance of Incidental Harassment Authorization to TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA for Marine 2D Seismic Activities in the Federal and International Waters in the Chukchi Sea
Biological opinion on the effects of this proposal on endangered and threatened species and critical habitat during the 2013 open water season.
This opinion considers the effects of the authorization of an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals by harassment under the MMPA incidental to open-water seismic surveys to TGS in the U.S. waters and international waters of the Chukchi Sea from July 15 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 (DPS), 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.
Action Agency: NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources Permits and Conservation Division (PR1)
NMFS Consultation Number: F/AKR/2013/9282