Comment on NMFS’ New SARs

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service NMFS has reviewed the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regional marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs) under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). SARs for marine mammals in the Alaska, Atlantic, and Pacific regions were revised according to new information.  NMFS solicits public comments on the draft 2019 SARs.

In addition to releasing draft 2019 Pacific SARs for public comment, NMFS is also providing an opportunity to comment on the final 2018 Western North Pacific (WNP) gray whale SAR previously published in the Federal Register on June 19, 2019 (84 FR 28489). NMFS is also requesting new information for strategic stocks that were not updated in 2019. Comments must be received by NMFS by February 25, 2020.

Extended Deadline for GOM Seismic Take Rules

A New Orleans federal district court has extended until December 5, 2019, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service’s deadline for publishing final Take rules for Marine Mammals in the Gulf of Mexico.  These rules would be published under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act.  In their stipulated motion to the court, the parties to the case characterize this as an “interim” extension to allow for discussions that may culminate in a stipulated and presumably longer extension of the settlement agreement.  Click here to read the parties’ motion for an extension, which the court granted.

“A Seismic Shift Towards Quieter Surveys”

Editor’s note: Marine Technology posted the above-titled article by Elaine Maslin.  The article reads as follows:

“Since the earliest days of offshore oil and gas exploration, the need to “shoot” seismic surveys has been helping companies to find the hydrocarbons they can then produce.

Seismic data helps geophysicists and geologists understand the rock formations in the earth, what might be happening in them and, crucially, if they might contain oil and gas. Similar to acquiring seismic data onshore, it means emitting sound energy (a source) then detecting its return and interpreting that information to image the subsurface.