Biological Opinion Office of Naval Research (ONR) Arctic Activities - mid-September 2022 through mid-September 2023
Biological Opinion on the effects of research vessels and the deployment of a variety of devices on several marine mammal species and designated critical habitat. NMFS Consultation Number: AKRO-2022-01871.
Project activities involve acoustic testing and a multi-frequency navigation system concept test using left-behind active acoustic sources in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. More specifically, these experiments involve the deployment of moored, drifting, and ice-tethered active acoustic sources from the Research Vessel (R/V) Sikuliaq. Another vessel will be used to retrieve the acoustic sources. Underwater sound from the acoustic sources may result in Level B harassment of marine mammals.
The proposed incidental harassment authorization (IHA) for this project would cover the fifth year of a larger project for which ONR obtained prior IHAs (83 FR 48799, September 27, 2018; 84 FR 50007, September 24, 2019; 85 FR 53333, August 28, 2020; 86 FR 54931, October 5, 2021). The IHA would be valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance (mid-September 2022 to mid-September 2023).