Biological Opinion on the Issuance of Regulations and a Letter of Authorization to Take Marine Mammals Incidental to Offshore Oil and Gas Operations
Biological opinion on the potential effects of BPXA operations at the Northstar facility in the U. S. Beaufort Sea
NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources, Permits and Conservation Division requested formal consultation on regulations and subsequent Letter of Authorization under section 101(a)(5) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended, for offshore oil and gas facilities operations at the Northstar development in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska. This document constitutes NOAA Fisheries' biological opinion on the effects of that action on threatened and endangered species in accordance with section 7 of the ESA. Specifically, this biological opinion analyzes the effects of the action on the endangered bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), the threatened Beringia distinct population segment of bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus nauticus), and the threatened Arctic subspecies of ringed seals (Phoca hispida hispida).