Biological Opinion on the Issuance of Permit No. 20430 for Research on Blue, Fin, and Humpback Whales off the Coast of California
This biological opinion evaluates the effects of long-term marine mammal research off the west coast of the United States.
The purpose of the proposed permit is to allow an exception to the moratoria and prohibition on takes established under the ESA and MMPA in order to allow the applicant to conduct scientific research on ESA-listed blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (Balaenoptera physalus) and humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae, Mexico and Central America Distinct Population Segments (DPSs)) whales, as well non-ESA listed Eastern North Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) and Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus) off the coast of California in the U.S. Pacific Ocean. The permit would also authorize incidental harassment of ESA-listed sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) and several other non-ESA listed marine mammals.