Nominations to the Marine Mammal Scientific Review Groups

As required by of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the U.S.

Secretary of Commerce established three independent regional scientific review groups to provide advice on a range of marine mammal science and management issues. The U.S. National Marine fisheries Service conducted a membership review of the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific SRGs, and is soliciting nominations for new members to fill vacancies and gaps in expertise.

SRGs members are highly qualified individuals with expertise in marine mammal

“AOP 2019”

Editor’s note:  The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the above-titled notice on an IAGC website. The notice reads as follows:

“Wednesday, October 09, 2019 8:00 AM – Friday, October 11, 2019 6:00 PM

Cape Town, South Africa

Africa Oil & Power (AOP) is Africa’s Energy Conference. Now the official conference of the Department of Energy (DoE) of South Africa, AOP will be held this year at the CTICC 1 in Cape Town on October 9-11, 2019. Join Africa’s oil, gas and power leaders for the year’s premier energy event.

https://africaoilandpower.com/event/aop-2019/

 

 

Comment on Navy MMPA Authorizations for Northwest Training and Testing Study Area

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published notice that NMFS has NMFS received a request from the U.S. Navy for authorization to take marine mammals

incidental to training and testing activities conducted in the Northwest Training and Testing Study Area for a period of seven years, from November, 2020 through November, 2027.  The NWTT Study Area is composed of established maritime operating and warning areas in the eastern North Pacific Ocean region, including areas of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, and Western Behm Canal in southeastern Alaska.

NOAA/NMFS’ Proposed GOM Take Rules Do Not Comply with OMB’s Memorandum Implementing the IQA

The Center for Regulatory Effectiveness prepared and sent to NOAA/NMFS a Supplement to CRE’s previously filed Information Quality Act (“IQA”) Alert on NOAA/NMFS’ proposed Gulf of Mexico Take Rules for oil and gas exploration.  CRE’s Supplement is entitled

“PROPOSED GULF OF MEXICO TAKE RULES FOR OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION DO NOT COMPLY WITH OMB’s IQA IMPLEMENTATION MEMORANDUM.”

CRE’s Alert Supplement included the following summary (footnotes omitted):

NMFS Issues Regulations Authorizing Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to  Oil and Gas Activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, upon request from Hilcorp Alaska LLC has issued hereby regulations governing the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to oil and gas activities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, over the course of five years (2019-2024). These regulations, which allow for the issuance of Letters of Authorization for the incidental take of marine mammals during the described activities and specified timeframes, prescribe the permissible methods of taking and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, as well as requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.

NMFS and BOEM Conduct  Line-Transect Aerial Surveys of Arctic Marine Mammals

Editor’s note: The U.S. National Marine fisheries Service published the above-titled article on its Science Blog.  This article reads in part as follows:

NMFS Cites 10 Years of Operations without Harm In Approving L-DEO IHAs for Seismic  in Northeast Pacific Ocean

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issued an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory to incidentally harass, by Level A and Level B harassment, marine mammals during seismic activities associated with a marine geophysical survey in the Northeast Pacific Ocean. This Authorization is effective from July 10, 2019 through July 9, 2020.

The Marine Mammal Commission filed comment on the proposed IHA that criticized the take models used in L-DEO’s IHA application. NMFS reject MMC’s criticisms for the following and other reasons:

More Motions in the Atlantic Seismic IHA Litigation

The federal court judge in the South Carolina Atlantic IHA litigation set a summary judgment briefing schedule, which could have decided the case on the merits. The Federal Defendants, which include the National Marine Fisheries Service, provided voluminous additions to the record before the court in the case, and indicated that they would provide additional documents that the Government does not consider to be part of the administrative record sometime within three weeks of July 2, 2019.The Environmental Plaintiffs then filed motions asking the court to suspend all deadlines in the briefing schedule and order the Federal Defendants to provide information about their supplementing the record.

“Seismic Imaging Centre starts operating at BHU”

Editor’s Note: The International association of Geophysical Contractors posted the above-titled article on IAGC’s website. The article reads as follows:

“Seismic Imaging Centre- a dedicated high computing centre with more than 1,000 speed computing cores for carrying out research, training and all the complex modelling work, related to earth science science was inaugurated in the department of Geophysics, Institute of Science of Banaras Hindu University.

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NMFS Reopens comment Period on Proposed Rules for Liberty Drilling and Production Island, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has reopened the public comment period on NMFS’ proposed rule under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to authorize the taking of marine mammals, by mortality, serious injury, Level A harassment, and Level B harassment, incidental to the construction and operation of the Liberty Drilling and Production Island, Beaufort Sea, Alaska.

The comment period for the proposed rule that published on May 29, 2019 closed on June 28, 2019. NMFS is reopening the public comment period until July 31, 2019, to provide the public with additional time to submit information and to comment on this proposed rule.