The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has issued an Incidental Harassment Authorization to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a component of Columbia University, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation to take marine mammals, by harassment, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, mid-November through December 2015. This IHA is issued under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The NSF prepared a draft Environmental Analysis in accordance with Executive Order 12114, ‘‘Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions’’ for their proposed federal action. The environmental analysis titled ‘‘Environmental Analysis of a Marine Geophysical Survey by the R/V Marcus G. Langseth in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, November– December 2015,’’ prepared by LGL, Ltd. environmental research associates, on behalf of NSF and Lamont-Doherty is available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm
NMFS prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) titled, ‘‘Proposed Issuance of an Incidental Harassment Authorization to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to Take Marine Mammals by Harassment Incidental to a Marine Geophysical Survey in Eastern Mediterranean Sea, November– December 2015,’’ in accordance with NEPA and NOAA Administrative Order 216–6. To obtain an electronic copy of these documents, download the files at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm
NMFS also issued a Biological Opinion under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act to evaluate the effects of the survey and Authorization on marine species listed as threatened and endangered. The Biological Opinion is available online at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/ consultations/opinions.htm