[MARMAM] Marine Mammal Permit Regulations Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Amy.Sloan Amy.Sloan at noaa.gov
Thu Sep 13 08:53:07 PDT 2007

Marine Mammal Permit Regulations Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

The Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, is considering proposing changes to its implementing 
regulations and criteria governing the issuance of permits for 
scientific research and enhancement activities under Section 104 of the 
Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).  We have published an Advanced 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) in the Federal Register and are 
soliciting review and comment to better inform the process.  The ANPR 
and MMPA implementing regulations (50 CFR part 216) can be found at

On May 10, 1996, a final rule was published establishing requirements 
for issuing permits to take, import, or export marine mammals (including 
endangered and threatened marine mammals) and marine mammal parts under 
NMFS jurisdiction for purposes of scientific research and enhancement, 
photography, and public display.  NMFS intends to revise these 
regulations to streamline and clarify permitting requirements, simplify 
procedures for transferring marine mammal parts, possibly apply the 
General Authorization (GA) to research activities involving Level A 
harassment of non-ESA listed marine mammals, and implement a 'permit 
application cycle' for application submission and processing of all 
marine mammal permits.  NMFS intends to write regulations for 
photography permits and is considering whether this activity should be 
covered by the GA.  Any other recommendations regarding regulations at 
50 CFR part 216 received in response to this ANPR will be considered 
prior to proposed rulemaking.

The scientific research permitting process has been under considerable 
review and increased scrutiny during the past few years.  The ANPR 
provides some recommendations for changes to the MMPA regulations but is 
not considered comprehensive [note: ESA implementing regulations at 50 
CFR part 222 are not being considered at this time].  We would 
appreciate your review and any suggestions on where improvements in the 
regulations would benefit the permitting process.  The ANPR will be 
followed by a proposed rulemaking once comments are received and reviewed.

Please provide comments by the close of the comment period (November 13, 
2007). Comments may be submitted as follows:
.    By mail to:
Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division
Attn: Permit Regulations ANPR
Office of Protected Resources, NMFS
1315 East-West Highway
Room 13705
Silver Spring, MD 20910
.    By facsimile at (301) 427-2521, followed by mail;
.    By email to NMFS.Pr1Comments at noaa.gov (include in the subject line 
of the email "Permit Regulations ANPR"); or
.    Via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

For further information please contact Michael Payne 
(Michael.Payne at noaa.gov) or Amy Sloan (Amy.Sloan at noaa.gov) by email or 
at (301) 713-2289.

Amy Sloan
Biologist, Office of Protected Resources
National Marine Fisheries Service
1315 East-West Highway
SSMC3, F/PR1, Room 13730
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Phone: 301-713-2289 x 136
Fax: 301-427-2521


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