50 CFR § 18.128 - Reporting requirements.

§ 18.128 Reporting requirements.

Holders of a Letter of Authorization (LOA) must report the results of monitoring and mitigation activities to the Service's Marine Mammals Management Office via email at: fw7_mmm_reports@fws.gov.

(a) In-season monitoring reports.

(1) Activity progress reports. Holders of an LOA must:

(i) Notify the Service at least 48 hours prior to the onset of activities;

(ii) Provide the Service weekly progress reports of any significant changes in activities and/or locations; and

(iii) Notify the Service within 48 hours after ending of activities.

(2) Walrus observation reports. Holders of an LOA must report, on a weekly basis, all observations of walruses during any industry activity. Upon request, monitoring report data must be provided in a common electronic format (to be specified by the Service). Information in the observation report must include, but is not limited to:

(i) Date, time, and location of each walrus sighting;

(ii) Number of walruses;

(iii) Sex and age (if known);

(iv) Observer name and contact information;

(v) Weather, visibility, sea state, and sea-ice conditions at the time of observation;

(vi) Estimated range at closest approach;

(vii) Industry activity at time of sighting;

(viii) Behavior of animals sighted;

(ix) Description of the encounter;

(x) Duration of the encounter; and

(xi) Mitigation actions taken.

(3) Polar bear observation reports. Holders of an LOA must report, within 48 hours, all observations of polar bears and potential polar bear dens, during any industry activity. Upon request, monitoring report data must be provided in a common electronic format (to be specified by the Service). Information in the observation report must include, but is not limited to:

(i) Date, time, and location of observation;

(ii) Number of bears;

(iii) Sex and age of bears (if known);

(iv) Observer name and contact information;

(v) Weather, visibility, sea state, and sea-ice conditions at the time of observation;

(vi) Estimated closest distance of bears from personnel and facilities;

(vii) Industry activity at time of sighting;

(viii) Possible attractants present;

(ix) Bear behavior;

(x) Description of the encounter;

(xi) Duration of the encounter; and

(xii) Mitigation actions taken.

(b) Notification of LOA incident report. Holders of an LOA must report, as soon as possible, but within 48 hours, all LOA incidents during any industry activity. An LOA incident is any situation when specified activities exceed the authority of an LOA, when a mitigation measure was required but not enacted, or when injury or death of a walrus or polar bear occurs. Reports must include:

(1) All information specified for an observation report;

(2) A complete detailed description of the incident; and

(3) Any other actions taken.

(c) Final report. The results of monitoring and mitigation efforts identified in the marine mammal monitoring and mitigation plan must be submitted to the Service for review within 90 days of the expiration of an LOA, or for production LOAs, an annual report by January 15th of each calendar year. Upon request, final report data must be provided in a common electronic format (to be specified by the Service). Information in the final (or annual) report must include, but is not limited to:

(1) Copies of all observation reports submitted under the LOA;

(2) A summary of the observation reports;

(3) A summary of monitoring and mitigation efforts including areas, total hours, total distances, and distribution;

(4) Analysis of factors affecting the visibility and detectability of walruses and polar bears during monitoring;

(5) Analysis of the effectiveness of mitigation measures;

(6) Analysis of the distribution, abundance, and behavior of walruses and/or polar bears observed; and

(7) Estimates of take in relation to the specified activities.

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