NMFS Proposes Another IHA that Violates Executive Order on Offshore Energy Strategy

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has issuance of another Incidental Harassment Authorization that uses NMFS’ new Acoustic Guidance, in violation of Section 10 of President Trump’s Executive Order Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy.

NMFS proposes to issue this IHA under the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act. It would authorize the Washington State Department of Transportation to take marine mammals incidental to the Mukilteo Multimodal Construction Project in Washington State. NMFS must receive any comments and information on this proposed IHA no later than June 9, 2017. Click here for more details and relevant links.

President Trump’s Offshore Energy Strategy Executive Order is available here.

Section 10 of the Order states that

“The Secretary of Commerce shall review NOAA’s Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-55 of July 2016 (Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing) for consistency with the policy set forth in section 2 of this order and, after consultation with the appropriate Federal agencies, take all steps permitted by law to rescind or revise that guidance, if appropriate.”

The Secretary of Commerce has not completed this review. NMFS’ continued reliance on and required use of the Acoustic Guidance is inconsistent with this Order’s requirements.

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