NMFS Innovative Approach to the Regulation of Sonar


Editors Note:   Accolades to NMFS for using its extensive regulatory authorities in a balanced and effective fashion. Critics of federal regulation should note the innovative approach taken by NMFS and its actions are a  living testimony to the fact that  when  sound science dominates the rulemaking process  the dual objectives of  marine mammal protection and national defense are both achieved in an effective manner.

Summit County Citizens  Voice
Can a high-tech navy coexist with marine mammals ?

    Federal biologists propose new rule to guide naval training

Posted on January 28, 2013 by Bob Berwyn


A humpback whale near Hawaii. Photo courtesy NOAA.


 The International Quiet Ocean Experiment is a decade long study which is aimed at exploring the totality of ocean noise, including commercial shipping.

 The UNESCO  sponsored activity will provide a basis for focusing US regulators, and regulators throughout the world,  on  the major sound sources  in lieu of an undue emphasis on seismic exploration.

CRE on Harmonization of Seismic Regulation: US– A Report to CRE Brazil on the State of Seismic Regulation in the United States (Gulf of Mexico)


This material is being provided to CRE Brazil for its use in the harmonization of marine sound activities in a number of international proceedings.

 The United  States  Government has regulated oil and gas seismic in the Gulf of Mexico (“GOM”) for many years, first through the Minerals Management Service (“MMS”) and now through MMS’ successors the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”). This Government regulation has occurred primarily under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (“OCSLA”) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (“MMPA”}.

CRE Brazil on the Harmonization of Seismic Regulation: Ireland

CRE Brazil Comments on:  Draft Guidance to Manage the Risk to Marine Mammals from  Man-made Sound Sources in Irish Water (“Draft Guidance”)

 available online at   http://www.npws.ie/media/npwsie/content/files/Guidance_Consultation%20Draft.pdf,

 National Parks and Wildlife Service of  Ireland’s Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (“Department”).

 Comments submitted electronically on April 26, 2012

 See Report

CRE Brazil on the Harmonization of Seismic Regulation: UNEP

Editor’s Note: These commnets were originally filed in April, 2011. They are being reproduced to add to the body of scientific information presented in this Interactive Public Docket. dealing with the harmonization of seismic regulation.


UNEP is meeting within the next two weeks on a draft report dealing with the impact of noise on marine mammals.

 CRE Brazil  is  not aware  of any request by UNEP for comments from the public on the current version of the report although they might have made done so on an earlier version.