The U.S. National and Marine Fisheries Service has received a request from the U.S. Navy to amend NMFS’ Marine Mammal Protection Act regulations authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to Navy training and testing activities conducted in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Study Area from November 2018 to November 2023 to cover seven years of the Navy’s activities, instead of five.
Section 316 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, signed into law on August 13, 2018, amended the MMPA to extend the maximum period for MMPA incidental take regulations under section 101(a)(5)(A) from five to seven years for military readiness activities.The Navy’s activities qualify as military readiness activities. The Navy proposes no changes to their specified activities,mitigation measures, monitoring, or reporting and requests that NMFS amend the final rule issued on November 14, 2018, to authorize incidental take of marine mammals for the two additional years now allowed under the statute.
NMFS invites the public to provide information,suggestions, and comments on the Navy’s application.
NMFS must receive comments and information must no later than January 25,2019.
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