“Research Key to Boosting Benefits of Large Marine Protected Areas”

The Pew Charitable Trusts posted the above-titled article, which reads in part as follows:

“Although much scientific study and planning is involved at every stage of creating large, remote, offshore marine protected areas (MPAs), even ocean science experts concede they have limited knowledge of these regions.

That’s because most MPA research has focused on small, coastal protected areas, which have existed for longer than their bigger, offshore cousins and are easier to monitor due to their proximity to shore. Some work has been done to extrapolate coastal research findings to remote MPAs, but it doesn’t offer a complete picture of what is happening in the larger regions. Achieving that understanding would require comprehensive research and reporting, which in turn should help governments, scientists, and conservationists design and implement large MPAs that deliver strong ecological outcomes.

Government Can File Single Brief in Response to Plaintiffs’ Preliminary Injunction Motions in Atlantic IHA Litigation

Multiple plaintiffs have sued NOAA and other federal government defendants in the United States District Court for South Carolina, challenging NOAA’s issuance of Incidental Harassment Authorizations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act for oil and gas exploration offshore the Atlantic Coast.  Most of the plaintiffs filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction o n their claims.  The State of South Carolina, a recent entry into the case, filed a separate Motion for Preliminary Injunction on its claims. Most of the plaintiffs have joined both motions.

The court granted the Government’s unopposed motion to file a single, consolidated brief of up to 58 pages in response to the two Preliminary Injunction Motions.

Comment on NMFS’ Proposed Rules authorizing IHAs for Navy SURTASS LFA Sonar Activities

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice that NMFS has received a request from the U.S. Navy for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to the use of Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active sonar systems onboard U.S. Navy surveillance ships for training and testing activities in the western and central North Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean beginning August 2019.

CRE Files Information Quality Act Alert on NOAA Take Rule

On March 4, 2019, the Center for Regulatory Effectiveness (CRE) filed with NOAA an Information Quality Act (IQA) Alert concerning NOAA’s proposed marine mammal Incidental Take Rules for oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM Take Rule). An IQA Alert is a mechanism authorized by the Information Quality Act. It notifies a federal agency that if the contents of a proposed information dissemination remain unchanged, then final dissemination of the information will be subject to an IQA Request for Correction; in this instance one to be filed by CRE.