50 CFR 18.31 - Scientific research permits and public display permits.
The Director may, upon receipt of an application and in accordance with the issuance criteria of this section, issue a permit authorizing the taking and importation of marine mammals for scientific research purposes or for public display.
(a) Application procedure. Applications for permits to take and import marine mammals for scientific research purposes or for public display shall be submitted to the Director. Each such application must contain the general information and certification required by § 13.12(a) of this subchapter plus the following additional information:
(1) A statement of the purpose, date, location and manner of the taking or importation;
(2) A description of the marine mammal or the marine mammal products to be taken or imported, including the species or subspecies involved; the population stock, when known, the number of specimens or products (or the weight thereof, where appropriate); and the anticipated age, size, sex, and condition (i.e., whether pregnant or nursing) of the animals involved;
(3) If the marine mammal is to be taken and transported alive, a complete description of the manner of transportation, care and maintenance, including the type, size, and construction of the container or artificial environment; arrangements for feeding and sanitation; a statement of the applicant's qualifications and previous experience in caring for and handling captive marine mammals and a like statement as to the qualifications of any common carrier or agent to be employed to transport the animal; and a written certification of a licensed veterinarian knowledgeable in the field of marine mammals that he has personally reviewed the arrangements for transporting and maintaining the animals and that in his opinion they are adequate to provide for the well-being of the animal;
(4) If the application is for a scientific research permit, a detailed description of the scientific research project or program in which the marine mammal or marine mammal product is to be used including a copy of the research proposal relating to such program or project and the names and addresses of the sponsor or cooperating institution and the scientists involved;
(5) If the application is for a scientific research permit, and if the marine mammal proposed to be taken or imported is listed as an endangered or threatened species or has been designated by the Secretary as depleted, a detailed justification of the need for such a marine mammal, including a discussion of possible alternatives, whether or not under the control of the applicant; and
(6) If the application is for a public display permit, a detailed description of the proposed use to which the marine mammal or marine mammal product is to be put, including the manner, location, and times of display, whether such display is for profit, an estimate of the numbers and types of persons who it is anticipated will benefit for such display, and whether and to what extent the display is connected with educational or scientific programs. There shall also be included a complete description of the enterprise seeking the display permit and its educational, and scientific qualifications, if any.
(b) Review by Marine Mammal Commission. Upon receipt of an application the Director shall forward the application to the Marine Mammal Commission together with a request for the recommendations of the Commission and the Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals. In order to comply with the time limits provided in these regulations, the Director shall request that such recommendation be submitted within 30 days of receipt of the application by the Commission. If the Commission or the Committee, as the case may be, does not respond within 30 days from the receipt of such application by the Commission, the Director shall advise the Commission in writing that failure to respond within 45 days from original receipt of the application (or such longer time as the Director may establish) shall be considered as a recommendation from the Commission and the Committee that the permit be issued. The Director may also consult with any other person, institution or agency concerning the application.
(c) Issuance criteria. Permits applied for under this section shall be issued, suspended, modified and revoked pursuant to regulations contained in § 18.33. In determining whether to issue a scientific research permit, the Director shall consider whether the proposed taking or importation will be consistent with the policies and purposes of the Act; and whether the granting of the permit is required to further a bona fide and necessary or desirable scientific purpose, taking into account the benefits anticipated to be derived from the scientific research contemplated and the effect of the purposed taking or importation on the population stock and the marine ecosystem. In determining whether to issue a public display permit, the Director shall consider whether the proposed taking or importation will be consistent with the policies and purposes of the Act; whether a substantial public benefit will be gained from the display contemplated, taking into account the manner of the display and the anticipated audience on the one hand, and the effect of the proposed taking or importation on the population stocks of the marine mammal in question and the marine ecosystem on the other; and the applicant's qualifications for the proper care and maintenance of the marine mammal or the marine mammal product, and the adequacy of his facilities.
(d) Additional permit conditions. In addition to the general conditions set forth in part 13 of this subchapter B, permits issued under this section shall be subject to the following conditions:
(1) Any permit issued under these regulations must be in the possession of the person to whom it is issued (or an agent of such person) during:
(i) The time of the authorized taking or importation;
(ii) The period of any transit of such person or agent which is incidental to such taking or importation; and
(iii) Any other time while any marine mammal taken or imported under such permit is in the possession of such person or agent.
(2) A duplicate copy of the issued permit must be physically attached to the container, package, enclosure, or other means of containment, in which the marine mammal is placed for purposes of storage, transit, supervision, or care.
(e) Tenure of permits. The tenure of permits for scientific research or public display shall be designated on the face of the permit.