Biological Opinion on Quintillion Subsea Operations, LLC, Proposed Subsea Fiber Optic Cable-laying Activities and Issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization
Biological opinion on the proposed actions concerning Subsea Fiber Optic Cable-laying Activities in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas, Alaska, and their effects on endangered and threatened species and designated critical habitat for those species.
This biological opinion considers the effects of the proposed subsea cable-laying project and the associated proposed issuance of an IHA. These actions may affect the following species and designated critical habitat: bowhead (Balaena mysticetus), fin (Balaenoptera physalus), Western North Pacific (WNP) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae), Mexico DPS humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae ), blue (Balaenoptera musculus), North Pacific right (Eubalaene japonica), sperm (Physeter microcephalus), and western North Pacific gray (Eschrichtius robustus) whales; western DPS Steller sea lions; Beringia DPS bearded (Erignathus barbatus nauticus) and Arctic ringed (Phoca hispida hispida) seals; Steller sea lion critical habitat and North Pacific right whale critical habitat. We concur with the action agency determination that this action is not likely to adversely affect the following species or critical habitats: blue, North Pacific right, sperm, and western North Pacific gray whales; North Pacific right whale critical habitat; and Steller sea lion critical habitat (see section 5.1).