Comment on NMFS’ Proposed Extension of NAVY IHA Expiration Date

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service received a request from the U.S. Navy to extend the expiration date from December 2023 to December 2025 for Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) regulations authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to Navy training and testing activities conducted in the Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Study Area. In August 2018, the MMPA was amended by the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019 to allow for seven-year authorizations for military readiness activities, as compared to the previously allowed five years. The Navy’s activities qualify as military readiness activities pursuant to the MMPA as amended by the NDAA for FiscalYear 2004.

In making the request to extend the time period covered by the MMPA 2018 HSTT regulations from five to seven years, the Navy proposes no changes to their specified activities, the geographical region in which those activities would be conducted.

NMFS must receive any comments and information no later than June 7, 2019.

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