NMFS has issued the Navy an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting Acoustic Technology Experiments in the western North Pacific Ocean. This authorization is effective from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014.
The Marine Mammal Commission had recommended that NMFS require the Navy to use passive acoustic monitoring continually during the experiments to supplement daytime visual monitoring. NMFS rejected this MMC recommendation because “NMFS does not believe that supplementing visual monitoring with passive acoustic monitoring during daytime hours will add to the protection of marine mammals in the vast majority of cases, as the location of a marine mammal cannot be identified using a single sound recorder.”
NMFS’ Federal Register notice of this IHA and response to comments is available online at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-08/pdf/2013-16296.pdf