Monday, October 15, 2012

In the News: Navy Applies to National Marine Fisheries Service for Letter of Authorization to Allow a Massive Incidental Taking of Marine Mammals

Recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA), National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources disclosed that the U.S. Navy submitted applications for letters of authorization (LOA) for marine mammal incidental takings under section 101(a)(5) (A-D) of the Marine Mammal Act of 1972 (as amended (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(5)) for activities to be scheduled over the next five years for both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets.  Proceeding based on the authority given to them in the Supreme Court's Winter decision in 2008, the U.S. Navy has requested the following:
  • the Navy requests 17 annual mortalities applicable to all small odontocetes (any combination of species known to be present in the Study Area) from training activities involving explosives, with a total of 85 mortalities predicted over the 5‐year period. Over the 5year LOA period being requested, the Navy requests 1,553 total Level A harassments and 10,267,161 total Level B harassments for all marine mammals combined for training activities. While the Navy does not anticipate any marine mammal strandings or mortalities from sonar or other active acoustic sources, the Navy requests authorization for additional take by mortality of up to 10 beaked whales in any given year and no more than 10 animals over the 5year LOA period as part of training activities involving the use of sonar and other active acoustic sources. (see pg. 107).
    Federal Register Comments are being accepted through Nov. 5, 2012, here.
              Federal Register Comments are being accepted through Nov. 5, 2012, here.

Related Resources:

Incidental Take Authorizations, NOAA Fisheries Office of Proected Res., (last visited Oct. 15, 2012). 
Editorial: Marine Mammals and the Navy’s 5-Year Plan, N.Y. Times (Oct. 11, 2012),

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