50 CFR 216.274 - Mitigation.

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§ 216.274 Mitigation.
(a) When conducting activities identified in § 216.270(c), the mitigation measures contained in the Letter of Authorization issued under §§ 216.106 and 216.277 must be implemented. These mitigation measures include, but are not limited to:
(1) Navy's General SOCAL Maritime Measures for All Training at Sea:
(i) Personnel Training (for all Training Types):
(A) All commanding officers (COs), executive officers (XOs), lookouts, Officers of the Deck (OODs), junior OODs (JOODs), maritime patrol aircraft aircrews, and Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW)/Mine Warfare (MIW) helicopter crews shall complete the NMFS-approved Marine Species Awareness Training (MSAT) by viewing the U.S. Navy MSAT digital versatile disk (DVD). All bridge lookouts shall complete both parts one and two of the MSAT; part two is optional for other personnel.
(B) Navy lookouts shall undertake extensive training in order to qualify as a watchstander in accordance with the Lookout Training Handbook (Naval Education and Training Command [NAVEDTRA] 12968-D).
(C) Lookout training shall include on-the-job instruction under the supervision of a qualified, experienced lookout. Following successful completion of this supervised training period, lookouts shall complete the Personal Qualification Standard Program, certifying that they have demonstrated the necessary skills (such as detection and reporting of partially submerged objects). Personnel being trained as lookouts can be counted among required lookouts as long as supervisors monitor their progress and performance.
(D) Lookouts shall be trained in the most effective means to ensure quick and effective communication within the command structure in order to facilitate implementation of mitigation measures if marine species are spotted.
(ii) Operating Procedures and Collision Avoidance:
(A) Prior to major exercises, a Letter of Instruction, Mitigation Measures Message or Environmental Annex to the Operational Order shall be issued to further disseminate the personnel training requirement and general marine species mitigation measures.
(B) COs shall make use of marine species detection cues and information to limit interaction with marine species to the maximum extent possible consistent with safety of the ship.
(C) While underway, surface vessels shall have at least two lookouts with binoculars; surfaced submarines shall have at least one lookout with binoculars. Lookouts already posted for safety of navigation and man-overboard precautions may be used to fill this requirement. As part of their regular duties, lookouts will watch for and report to the OOD the presence of marine mammals.
(D) On surface vessels equipped with a mid-frequency active sensor, pedestal mounted “Big Eye” (20x110) binoculars shall be properly installed and in good working order to assist in the detection of marine mammals in the vicinity of the vessel.
(E) Personnel on lookout shall employ visual search procedures employing a scanning methodology in accordance with the Lookout Training Handbook (NAVEDTRA 12968-D).
(F) After sunset and prior to sunrise, lookouts shall employ Night Lookout Techniques in accordance with the Lookout Training Handbook. (NAVEDTRA 12968-D).
(G) While in transit, naval vessels shall be alert at all times, use extreme caution, and proceed at a “safe speed” so that the vessel can take proper and effective action to avoid a collision with any marine animal and can be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.
(H) When marine mammals have been sighted in the area, Navy vessels shall increase vigilance and take reasonable and practicable actions to avoid collisions and activities that might result in close interaction of naval assets and marine mammals. Actions may include changing speed and/or direction and are dictated by environmental and other conditions (e.g., safety, weather).
(I) Floating weeds and kelp, algal mats, clusters of seabirds, and jellyfish are good indicators of marine mammals. Therefore, where these circumstances are present, the Navy shall exercise increased vigilance in watching for marine mammals.
(J) Navy aircraft participating in exercises at sea shall conduct and maintain, when operationally feasible and safe, surveillance for marine mammals as long as it does not violate safety constraints or interfere with the accomplishment of primary operational duties. Marine mammal detections shall be immediately reported to assigned Aircraft Control Unit for further dissemination to ships in the vicinity of the marine species as appropriate when it is reasonable to conclude that the course of the ship will likely result in a closing of the distance to the detected marine mammal.
(K) All vessels shall maintain logs and records documenting training operations should they be required for event reconstruction purposes. Logs and records will be kept for a period of 30 days following completion of a major training exercise.
(2) Navy's Measures for MFAS Operations:
(i) Personnel Training (for MFAS Operations):
(A) All lookouts onboard platforms involved in ASW training events shall review the NMFS-approved Marine Species Awareness Training material prior to use of mid-frequency active sonar.
(B) All COs, XOs, and officers standing watch on the bridge shall have reviewed the Marine Species Awareness Training material prior to a training event employing the use of mid-frequency active sonar.
(C) Navy lookouts shall undertake extensive training in order to qualify as a watchstander in accordance with the Lookout Training Handbook (Naval Educational Training [NAVEDTRA], 12968-D).
(D) Lookout training shall include on-the-job instruction under the supervision of a qualified, experienced watchstander. Following successful completion of this supervised training period, lookouts shall complete the Personal Qualification Standard program, certifying that they have demonstrated the necessary skills (such as detection and reporting of partially submerged objects). This does not forbid personnel being trained as lookouts from being counted as those listed in previous measures so long as supervisors monitor their progress and performance.
(E) Lookouts shall be trained in the most effective means to ensure quick and effective communication within the command structure in order to facilitate implementation of mitigation measures if marine species are spotted.
(ii) Lookout and Watchstander Responsibilities:
(A) On the bridge of surface ships, there shall always be at least three people on watch whose duties include observing the water surface around the vessel.
(B) All surface ships participating in ASW training events shall, in addition to the three personnel on watch noted previously, have at all times during the exercise at least two additional personnel on watch as marine mammal lookouts.
(C) Personnel on lookout and officers on watch on the bridge shall have at least one set of binoculars available for each person to aid in the detection of marine mammals.
(D) On surface vessels equipped with mid-frequency active sonar, pedestal mounted “Big Eye” (20x110) binoculars shall be present and in good working order to assist in the detection of marine mammals in the vicinity of the vessel.
(E) Personnel on lookout shall employ visual search procedures employing a scanning methodology in accordance with the Lookout Training Handbook (NAVEDTRA 12968-D).
(F) After sunset and prior to sunrise, lookouts shall employ Night Lookouts Techniques in accordance with the Lookout Training Handbook.
(G) Personnel on lookout shall be responsible for reporting all objects or anomalies sighted in the water (regardless of the distance from the vessel) to the Officer of the Deck, since any object or disturbance (e.g., trash, periscope, surface disturbance, discoloration) in the water may be indicative of a threat to the vessel and its crew or indicative of a marine species that may need to be avoided as warranted.
(iii) Operating Procedures:
(A) Navy will distribute final mitigation measures contained in the LOA and the Incidental take statement of NMFS' biological opinion to the Fleet.
(B) COs shall make use of marine species detection cues and information to limit interaction with marine species to the maximum extent possible consistent with safety of the ship.
(C) All personnel engaged in passive acoustic sonar operation (including aircraft, surface ships, or submarines) shall monitor for marine mammal vocalizations and report the detection of any marine mammal to the appropriate watch station for dissemination and appropriate action.
(D) During mid-frequency active sonar operations, personnel shall utilize all available sensor and optical systems (such as night vision goggles) to aid in the detection of marine mammals.
(E) Navy aircraft participating in exercises at sea shall conduct and maintain, when operationally feasible and safe, surveillance for marine species of concern as long as it does not violate safety constraints or interfere with the accomplishment of primary operational duties.
(F) Aircraft with deployed sonobuoys shall use only the passive capability of sonobuoys when marine mammals are detected within 200 yds (183 m) of the sonobuoy.
(G) Marine mammal detections shall be immediately reported to assigned Aircraft Control Unit for further dissemination to ships in the vicinity of the marine species as appropriate where it is reasonable to conclude that the course of the ship will likely result in a closing of the distance to the detected marine mammal.
(H) Safety Zones—When marine mammals are detected by any means (aircraft, shipboard lookout, or acoustically) within or closing to inside 1,000 yds (914 m) of the sonar dome (the bow), the ship or submarine shall limit active transmission levels to at least 6 decibels (dB) below normal operating levels.
(1) Ships and submarines shall continue to limit maximum transmission levels by this 6-dB factor until the animal has been seen to leave the area, has not been detected for 30 minutes, or the vessel has transited more than 2,000 yds (1829 m) beyond the location of the last detection.
(2) Should a marine mammal be detected within or closing to inside 500 yds (457 m) of the sonar dome, active sonar transmissions shall be limited to at least 10-dB below the equipment's normal operating level. Ships and submarines shall continue to limit maximum ping levels by this 10-dB factor until the animal has been seen to leave the area, has not been detected for 30 minutes, or the vessel has transited more than 2,000 yds (1829 m) beyond the location of the last detection.
(3) Should the marine mammal be detected within or closing to inside 200 yds (183 m) of the sonar dome, active sonar transmissions shall cease. Sonar shall not resume until the animal has been seen to leave the area, has not been detected for 30 minutes, or the vessel has transited more than 2,000 yds (1829 m) beyond the location of the last detection.
(4) Special conditions applicable for dolphins and porpoises only: If, after conducting an initial maneuver to avoid close quarters with dolphins or porpoises, the OOD concludes that dolphins or porpoises are deliberately closing to ride the vessel's bow wave, no further mitigation actions are necessary while the dolphins or porpoises continue to exhibit bow wave riding behavior.
(5) If the need for power-down should arise as detailed in paragraph (a)(2)(iii)(H) of this section, the Navy shall follow the requirements as though they were operating at 235 dB—the normal operating level (i.e., the first power-down will be to 229 dB, regardless of at what level above 235 dB active sonar was being operated).
(I) Prior to start up or restart of active sonar, operators will check that the Safety Zone radius around the sound source is clear of marine mammals.
(J) Active sonar levels (generally)—Navy shall operate active sonar at the lowest practicable level, not to exceed 235 dB, except as required to meet tactical training objectives.
(K) Helicopters shall observe/survey the vicinity of an ASW training event for 10 minutes before the first deployment of active (dipping) sonar in the water.
(L) Helicopters shall not dip their active sonar within 200 yds (183 m) of a marine mammal and shall cease pinging if a marine mammal closes within 200 yds (183 m) after pinging has begun.
(M) Submarine sonar operators shall review detection indicators of close-aboard marine mammals prior to the commencement of ASW training events involving active mid-frequency sonar.
(N) Night vision goggles shall be available to all ships and air crews, for use as appropriate.
(3) Navy's Measures for Underwater Detonations:
(i) Surface-to-Surface Gunnery (explosive rounds):
(A) Lookouts shall visually survey for floating weeds and kelp. Intended impact (i.e., where the Navy is aiming) shall not be within 600 yds (585 m) of known or observed floating weeds and kelp, and algal mats.
(B) For exercises using targets towed by a vessel or aircraft, target-towing vessels/aircraft shall maintain a trained lookout for marine mammals, if applicable. If a marine mammal is sighted in the vicinity, the tow aircraft/vessel shall immediately notify the firing vessel, which shall suspend the exercise until the area is clear.
(C) A 600-yard radius buffer zone shall be established around the intended target.
(D) From the intended firing position, trained lookouts shall survey the buffer zone for marine mammals prior to commencement and during the exercise as long as practicable.
(E) The exercise shall be conducted only when the buffer zone is visible and marine mammals are not detected within it.
(ii) Surface-to-Surface Gunnery (non-explosive rounds):
(A) Lookouts shall visually survey for floating weeds and kelp, and algal mats. Intended impact will not be within 200 yds (183 m) of known or observed floating weeds and kelp, and algal mats.
(B) A 200-yd (183 m) radius buffer zone shall be established around the intended target.
(C) From the intended firing position, trained lookouts shall survey the buffer zone for marine mammals prior to commencement and during the exercise as long as practicable.
(D) If applicable, target towing vessels shall maintain a lookout. If a marine mammal is sighted in the vicinity of the exercise, the tow vessel shall immediately notify the firing vessel in order to secure gunnery firing until the area is clear.
(E) The exercise shall be conducted only when the buffer zone is visible and marine mammals are not detected within the target area and the buffer zone.
(iii) Surface-to-Air Gunnery (explosive and non-explosive rounds):
(A) Vessels shall orient the geometry of gunnery exercises in order to prevent debris from falling in the area of sighted marine mammals.
(B) Vessels will expedite the recovery of any parachute deploying aerial targets to reduce the potential for entanglement of marine mammals.
(C) Target towing aircraft shall maintain a lookout, if applicable. If a marine mammal is sighted in the vicinity of the exercise, the tow aircraft shall immediately notify the firing vessel in order to secure gunnery firing until the area is clear.
(iv) Air-to-Surface Gunnery (explosive and non-explosive rounds)
(A) If surface vessels are involved, lookouts will visually survey for floating kelp in the target area. Impact shall not occur within 200 yds (183 m) of known or observed floating weeds and kelp or algal mats.
(B) A 200 yd (183 m) radius buffer zone shall be established around the intended target.
(C) If surface vessels are involved, lookout(s) shall visually survey the buffer zone for marine mammals prior to and during the exercise.
(D) Aerial surveillance of the buffer zone for marine mammals shall be conducted prior to commencement of the exercise. Aircraft crew/pilot shall maintain visual watch during exercises. Release of ordnance through cloud cover is prohibited: aircraft must be able to actually see ordnance impact areas.
(E) The exercise shall be conducted only if marine mammals are not visible within the buffer zone.
(v) Small Arms Training—(grenades, explosive and non-explosive rounds)—Lookouts will visually survey for floating weeds or kelp, algal mats, and marine mammals. Weapons shall not be fired in the direction of known or observed floating weeds or kelp, algal mats, or marine mammals.
(vi) Air-to-Surface At-sea Bombing Exercises (explosive and non-explosive):
(A) If surface vessels are involved, trained lookouts shall survey for floating kelp and marine mammals. Ordnance shall not be targeted to impact within 1,000 yds (914 m) of known or observed floating kelp or marine mammals.
(B) A 1,000 yd (914 m) radius buffer zone shall be established around the intended target.
(C) Aircraft shall visually survey the target and buffer zone for marine mammals prior to and during the exercise. The survey of the impact area shall be made by flying at 1,500 ft (152 m) or lower, if safe to do so, and at the slowest safe speed. Release of ordnance through cloud cover is prohibited: aircraft must be able to actually see ordnance impact areas. Survey aircraft should employ most effective search tactics and capabilities.
(D) The exercise will be conducted only if marine mammals are not visible within the buffer zone.
(vii) Air-to-Surface Missile Exercises (explosive and non-explosive):
(A) Ordnance shall not be targeted to impact within 1,800 yds (1646 m) of known or observed floating kelp.
(B) Aircraft shall visually survey the target area for marine mammals. Visual inspection of the target area shall be made by flying at 1,500 (457 m) feet or lower, if safe to do so, and at slowest safe speed. Firing or range clearance aircraft must be able to actually see ordnance impact areas. Explosive ordnance shall not be targeted to impact within 1,800 yds (1646 m) of sighted marine mammals.
(viii) Demolitions, Mine Warfare, and Mine Countermeasures (up to a 20-lb NEW charge):
(A) Exclusion Zones—All Demolitions, Mine Warfare and Mine Countermeasures Operations involving the use of explosive charges must include exclusion zones for marine mammals to prevent physical and/or acoustic effects to those species. These exclusion zones shall extend in a 700-yard arc radius around the detonation site.
(B) Pre-Exercise Surveys—For Demolition and Ship Mine Countermeasures Operations, pre-exercise survey shall be conducted within 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the scheduled explosive event. The survey may be conducted from the surface, by divers, and/or from the air, and personnel shall be alert to the presence of any marine mammal. Should a marine mammal be present within the survey area, the exercise shall be paused until the animal voluntarily leaves the area. The Navy shall suspend detonation exercises and ensure the area is clear for a full 30 minutes prior to detonation. Personnel shall record any marine mammal observations during the exercise.
(C) Post-Exercise Surveys—Surveys within the same radius shall also be conducted within 30 minutes after the completion of the explosive event.
(D) Reporting—If there is evidence that a marine mammal may have been stranded, injured or killed by the action, Navy activities shall be immediately suspended and the situation immediately reported by the participating unit to the Officer in Charge of the Exercise (OCE), who will follow Navy procedures for reporting the incident to Commander, Pacific Fleet, Commander, Third Fleet, Commander, Navy Region Southwest, Environmental Director, and the chain-of-command. The situation shall also be reported to NMFS (see Stranding Plan for details).
(ix) Mining Operations—Initial target points shall be briefly surveyed prior to inert ordnance (no live ordnance used) release from an aircraft to ensure the intended drop area is clear of marine mammals. To the extent feasible, the Navy shall retrieve inert mine shapes dropped during Mining Operations.
(x) Sink Exercise:
(A) All weapons firing shall be conducted during the period 1 hour after official sunrise to 30 minutes before official sunset.
(B) An exclusion zone with a radius of 1.5 nm shall be established around each target. This 1.5 nm zone includes a buffer of 0.5 nm to account for errors, target drift, and animal movement. In addition to the 1.5 nm exclusion zone, a further safety zone, which extends from the exclusion zone at 1.5 nm out an additional 0.5 nm, shall be surveyed. Together, the zones (exclusion and safety) extend out 2 nm from the target.
(C) A series of surveillance over-flights shall be conducted within the exclusion and the safety zones, prior to and during the exercise, when feasible. Survey protocol shall be as follows:
(1) Overflights within the exclusion zone shall be conducted in a manner that optimizes the surface area of the water observed. This may be accomplished through the use of the Navy's Search and Rescue Tactical Aid, which provides the best search altitude, ground speed, and track spacing for the discovery of small, possibly dark objects in the water based on the environmental conditions of the day. These environmental conditions include the angle of sun inclination, amount of daylight, cloud cover, visibility, and sea state.
(2) All visual surveillance activities shall be conducted by Navy personnel trained in visual surveillance. At least one member of the mitigation team shall have completed the Navy's marine mammal training program for lookouts.
(3) In addition to the overflights, the exclusion zone shall be monitored by passive acoustic means, when assets are available. This passive acoustic monitoring would be maintained throughout the exercise. Potential assets include sonobuoys, which can be utilized to detect any vocalizing marine mammals (particularly sperm whales) in the vicinity of the exercise. The sonobuoys shall be re-seeded as necessary throughout the exercise. Additionally, passive sonar onboard submarines may be utilized to detect any vocalizing marine mammals in the area. The OCE would be informed of any aural detection of marine mammals and would include this information in the determination of when it is safe to commence the exercise.
(4) On each day of the exercise, aerial surveillance of the exclusion and safety zones shall commence 2 hours prior to the first firing.
(5) The results of all visual, aerial, and acoustic searches shall be reported immediately to the OCE. No weapons launches or firing may commence until the OCE declares the safety and exclusion zones free of marine mammals.
(6) If a protected species observed within the exclusion zone is diving, firing shall be delayed until the animal is re-sighted outside the exclusion zone, or 30 minutes have elapsed. After 30 minutes, if the animal has not been re-sighted it would be assumed to have left the exclusion zone.
(7) During breaks in the exercise of 30 minutes or more, the exclusion zone shall again be surveyed for any protected species. If marine mammals are sighted within the exclusion zone, the OCE shall be notified, and the procedure described in paragraph (a)(3)(x)(C)(6 ) of this section would be followed.
(8) Upon sinking of the vessel, a final surveillance of the exclusion zone shall be monitored for 2 hours, or until sunset, to verify that no marine mammals were harmed.
(D) Aerial surveillance shall be conducted using helicopters or other aircraft based on necessity and availability. The Navy has several types of aircraft capable of performing this task; however, not all types are available for every exercise. For each exercise, the available asset best suited for identifying objects on and near the surface of the ocean would be used. These aircraft would be capable of flying at the slow safe speeds necessary to enable viewing of marine vertebrates with unobstructed, or minimally obstructed, downward and outward visibility. The exclusion and safety zone surveys may be cancelled in the event that a mechanical problem, emergency search and rescue, or other similar and unexpected event preempts the use of one of the aircraft onsite for the exercise.
(E) Where practicable, the Navy shall conduct the exercise in sea states that are ideal for marine mammal sighting, i.e., Beaufort Sea State 3 or less. In the event of a 4 or above, survey efforts shall be increased within the zones. This shall be accomplished through the use of an additional aircraft, if available, and conducting tight search patterns.
(F) The exercise shall not be conducted unless the exclusion zone can be adequately monitored visually.
(G) In the event that any marine mammals are observed to be harmed in the area, a detailed description of the animal shall be taken, the location noted, and if possible, photos taken. This information shall be provided to NMFS via the Navy's regional environmental coordinator for purposes of identification (see the Stranding Plan for detail).
(H) An after action report detailing the exercise's time line, the time the surveys commenced and terminated, amount, and types of all ordnance expended, and the results of survey efforts for each event shall be submitted to NMFS.
(xi) Extended Echo Ranging/Improved Extended Echo Ranging (EER/IEER/AEER):
(A) Crews shall conduct visual reconnaissance of the drop area prior to laying their intended sonobuoy pattern. This search shall be conducted at an altitude below 457 m (500 yd) at a slow speed, if operationally feasible and weather conditions permit. In dual aircraft operations, crews are allowed to conduct coordinated area clearances.
(B) For IEER (AN/SSQ-110A), crews shall conduct a minimum of 30 minutes of visual and aural monitoring of the search area prior to commanding the first post detonation. This 30-minute observation period may include pattern deployment time.
(C) For any part of the briefed pattern where a post (source/receiver sonobuoy pair) will be deployed within 914 m (1,000 yd) of observed marine mammal activity, the Navy shall deploy the receiver ONLY and monitor while conducting a visual search. When marine mammals are no longer detected within 914 m (1,000 yd) of the intended post position, the Navy shall co-locate the explosive source sonobuoy (AN/SSQ-110A) (source) with the receiver.
(D) When able, Navy crews shall conduct continuous visual and aural monitoring of marine mammal activity. This is to include monitoring of own-aircraft sensors from first sensor placement to checking off station and out of RF range of these sensors.
(E) Aural Detection—If the presence of marine mammals is detected aurally, then that shall cue the Navy aircrew to increase the diligence of their visual surveillance. Subsequently, if no marine mammals are visually detected, then the crew may continue multi-static active search.
(F) Visual Detection—If marine mammals are visually detected within 914 m (1,000 yd) of the explosive source sonobuoy (AN/SSQ-110A) intended for use, then that payload shall not be detonated. Aircrews may utilize this post once the marine mammals have not been re-sighted for 30 minutes, or are observed to have moved outside the 914 m (1,000 yd) safety buffer. Aircrews may shift their multi-static active search to another post, where marine mammals are outside the 914 m (1,000 yd) safety buffer.
(G) For IEER (AN/SSQ-110A), aircrews shall make every attempt to manually detonate the unexploded charges at each post in the pattern prior to departing the operations area by using the “Payload 1 Release” command followed by the “Payload 2 Release” command. Aircrews shall refrain from using the “Scuttle” command when two payloads remain at a given post. Aircrews will ensure that a 914 m (1,000 yd) safety buffer, visually clear of marine mammals, is maintained around each post as is done during active search operations.
(H) Aircrews shall only leave posts with unexploded charges in the event of a sonobuoy malfunction, an aircraft system malfunction, or when an aircraft must immediately depart the area due to issues such as fuel constraints, inclement weather, and in-flight emergencies. In these cases, the sonobuoy will self-scuttle using the secondary or tertiary method.
(I) The Navy shall ensure all payloads are accounted for. Explosive source sonobuoys (AN/SSQ-110A) that can not be scuttled shall be reported as unexploded ordnance via voice communications while airborne, then upon landing via naval message.
(J) Marine mammal monitoring shall continue until out of own-aircraft sensor range.
(4) The Navy shall abide by the letter of the “Stranding Response Plan for Major Navy Training Exercises in the SOCAL Range Complex” (available at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm ), which is incorporated herein by reference, to include the following measures:
(i) Shutdown Procedures—When an Uncommon Stranding Event (USE—defined in § 216.271) occurs during a Major Training Exercise (MTE) (as defined in the Stranding Plan, meaning including Sustainment, SHAREM, IAC2, JTFEX, or COMPTUEX) in the SOCAL Range Complex, the Navy shall implement the procedures described below.
(A) The Navy shall implement a Shutdown (as defined § 216.271) when advised by a NMFS Office of Protected Resources Headquarters Senior Official designated in the SOCAL Range Complex Stranding Communication Protocol that a USE involving live animals has been identified and that at least one live animal is located in the water. NMFS and Navy shall communicate, as needed, regarding the identification of the USE and the potential need to implement shutdown procedures.
(B) Any shutdown in a given area shall remain in effect in that area until NMFS advises the Navy that the subject(s) of the USE at that area die or are euthanized, or that all live animals involved in the USE at that area have left the area (either of their own volition or herded).
(C) If the Navy finds an injured or dead marine mammal floating at sea during an MTE, the Navy shall notify NMFS immediately or as soon as operational security considerations allow. The Navy shall provide NMFS with species or description of the animal(s), the condition of the animal(s) including carcass condition if the animal(s) is/are dead), location, time of first discovery, observed behaviors (if alive), and photo or video (if available). Based on the information provided, NMFS shall determine if, and advise the Navy whether a modified shutdown is appropriate on a case-by-case basis.
(D) In the event, following a USE, that: (a) Qualified individuals are attempting to herd animals back out to the open ocean and animals are not willing to leave, or (b) animals are seen repeatedly heading for the open ocean but turning back to shore, NMFS and the Navy shall coordinate (including an investigation of other potential anthropogenic stressors in the area) to determine if the proximity of MFAS/HFAS activities or explosive detonations, though farther than 14 nm from the distressed animal(s), is likely decreasing the likelihood that the animals return to the open water. If so, NMFS and the Navy shall further coordinate to determine what measures are necessary to further minimize that likelihood and implement those measures as appropriate.
(ii) Within 72 hours of NMFS notifying the Navy of the presence of a USE, the Navy shall provide available information to NMFS (per the SOCAL Range Complex Communication Protocol) regarding the location, number and types of acoustic/explosive sources, direction and speed of units using MFAS/HFAS, and marine mammal sightings information associated with training activities occurring within 80 nm (148 km) and 72 hours prior to the USE event. Information not initially available regarding the 80 nm (148 km), 72 hours, period prior to the event shall be provided as soon as it becomes available. The Navy shall provide NMFS investigative teams with additional relevant unclassified information as requested, if available.
(iii) Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)—The Navy and NMFS shall develop a MOA, or other mechanism consistent with federal fiscal law requirements (and all other applicable laws), that will establish a framework whereby the Navy can (and provide the Navy examples of how they can best) assist NMFS with stranding investigations in certain circumstances.

Title 50 published on 2014-10-01

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  • 2014-11-04; vol. 79 # 213 - Tuesday, November 4, 2014
    1. 79 FR 65327 - Marine Mammals; Subsistence Taking of Northern Fur Seals; St. George Island, Alaska
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      DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      Final rule.
      Effective October 30, 2014.
      15 CFR Part 902

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United States Code

Title 50 published on 2014-10-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 50 CFR 216 after this date.

  • 2014-11-04; vol. 79 # 213 - Tuesday, November 4, 2014
    1. 79 FR 65327 - Marine Mammals; Subsistence Taking of Northern Fur Seals; St. George Island, Alaska
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      Final rule.
      Effective October 30, 2014.
      15 CFR Part 902