[MARMAM] Guidance for cetacean research and response in the Gulf of Mexico
Amy.Hapeman at noaa.gov
Mon Jul 26 13:21:21 PDT 2010
Dear MARMAM subscribers:
The following serves as guidance on Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)
and Endangered Species Act (ESA) requirements and coordination of marine
mammal research, response, and salvage efforts related to the Deepwater
Horizon BP oil spill. Please note the following information only
applies to marine mammal species under the jurisdiction of NMFS.
Research and response activities for manatees are regulated by the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service (www.fws.gov <http://www.fws.gov>).
Marine Mammal Research_
The NMFS Office of Protected Resources is working with the NMFS
Southeast Regional Office and permitted researchers to coordinate marine
mammal studies in the Gulf of Mexico. Research coordination is
especially important in the face of the ongoing oil spill from BP's
Deepwater Horizon well. We are also pursuing coordination of research
activities with NOAA's Natural Resources Damage Assessment process.
This will ensure that information provided to NOAA for use in damage
assessment meets legal requirements.
Permitted marine mammal researchers, including Letter of Confirmation
(LOC) Holders, working in the Gulf of Mexico, including all coastal
waters, bays, sounds, and estuaries thereof, during the Deepwater
Horizon oil spill and beyond must notify Laura.Engleby at noaa.gov
<mailto:Laura.Engleby at noaa.gov> (phone: 727-551-5791) with the NMFS
Southeast Regional Office of field plans at least two weeks prior to
initiating research activities. Compliance with this permit or LOC
requirement allows for coordination of activities to minimize impacts to
animals, avoid interference among projects, and optimize opportunities
for data collection and sharing.
For questions about permits or requesting changes to your permit or LOC,
please contact Amy.Hapeman at noaa.gov <mailto:Amy.Hapeman at noaa.gov> or
Kristy.Beard at noaa.gov <mailto:Kristy.Beard at noaa.gov> (phone: 301-713-2289).
Marine Mammal Stranding Response and Salvage _
To conduct marine mammal rescue and response activities, such as
rehabilitation or translocation, salvaging and sampling dead animals, or
otherwise taking a marine mammal for its protection or welfare (e.g.,
hazing, disentanglement, monitoring to determine if response is
necessary) in the Gulf of Mexico you must be authorized as either:
* A stranding network responder working under the authority of a
Stranding Response Agreement issued by the NMFS Southeast Regional
Office (pursuant to section 112c of the MMPA), or
* A Federal, State, or local government employee who may take a
marine mammal in the normal course of his/her official duties
pursuant to section 109h of the MMPA.
Please contact Erin.Fougeres at noaa.gov <mailto:Erin.Fougeres at noaa.gov>
(phone: 727-824-5323) for more information to ensure that established
protocols and procedures for treating marine wildlife impacted by oil
are followed and to allow for appropriate response coordination. Please
note that additional ESA authorization may be required for endangered
__Please DO NOT touch or try to approach oiled animals. The chemicals
in oil are toxic and only trained personnel with appropriate protective
gear and equipment should handle and treat oiled animals. *If you see
an oiled, injured or dead marine mammal, sea turtle, or bird,
immediately contact the Wildlife Hotline at: 866-557-1401.*
National Marine Fisheries Service
Office of Protected Resources
Permits, Conservation and Education Division
1315 East-West Highway, Room 13702,
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tel: 301-713-2289 ext. 163
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