SUBHEAD: US Navy is seeking an open license to kill marine mammals in much of the Pacific Ocean between 2014 and 2019. Stop them!
By Juan Wilson on 9 October 2012 for Island Breath -
Image above: Multi-mass strandings and deaths to pilot whales in Australia attributed to Navy operations. From (http://kangaboy.net/navy-military-sonar-killing-whales-dolphins/).
Thanks to an email from Lyn McNutt we spotted this information about requests by Navy to take (kill) ocean mammals through 2019. See (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-10-04/html/2012-24539.htm). This would include activities in and around Hawaii and include activities of the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai's westside.
The Navy is requesting this permission BEFORE their EIS is approved, and they are asking for "take" (kill) approval at the highest level defined in their EIS (Alternative 3--a very much augmented program of potentially harmful activity). Nobody has agreed to the EIS let alone adopting alternative 3!!!!!
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has received a request from the U.S. Navy (Navy) for authorization to take (kill) marine mammals incidental to the training and testing activities conducted in the Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing (HSTT) study area from January 2014 through January 2019.
Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is announcing our receipt of the Navy's request for the development and implementation of regulations governing the incidental taking of marine mammals and inviting information, suggestions, and comments on the Navy's application and request.
This permit request by the US Navy for marine mammal takes (kills) is for the period to be covered by the US Navy EIS which is still in the development stage, and is not approved. You cannot approve a request for marine mammal "takes" for activities that are still being studied and negotiated and not specified exactly.
SPECIFIC NAVY ACTIVITY:
In the application submitted to NMFS, the Navy requests authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting the following training and testing activities (where's the kitchen sink?):
- amphibious warfare (in Hawaii?)
- anti-surface warfare
- anti-submarine warfare
- mine warfare
- naval special warfare
- Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) testing
- Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) testing
- Office of Naval Research (ONR)
- Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) testing.
Interested persons may submit information, suggestions, and comments concerning the Navy's request (see ADDRESSES). All input related to the Navy's HSTT request and NMFS' role in governing the incidental taking of marine mammals will be considered by NMFS when developing, if appropriate, the most effective regulations governing the issuance of letters of authorization.
Comments and information must be received no later than November 5, 2012.
WRITTEN COMMENTS TO:
Michael Payne Chief Permits & Conservation Division
Office of Protected Resources
National MarineFisheries Service
315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910–3225.
EMAIL COMMENTS TO:
NMFS is not responsible for email comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here. Comments sent via email, including all attachments, must not exceed a 10- megabyte file size.
ADDITIONAL INFO CONTACT:
Michelle Magliocca, Office of Protected Resources
Phone (301) 427-8401
All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.
A copy of the Navy's application may be obtained by visiting the internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm.
The Navy's Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for HSTT was made available to the public on May 11, 2012 (77 FR 27743). Documents cited in this notice may also be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address.