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US - Marine Mammals - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations

NMFS proposes regulations to implement resolutions adopted by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) and by the Parties to the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (IDCP). These regulations would prohibit activities that undermine the effective implementation and enforcement of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act (DPCIA), and International Dolphin Conservation Program Act (IDCPA). This proposed rule would enlarge the class of vessels required to pay observer fees. The procedure to categorize tuna purse seine vessels as ``active'' in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) and the deadline for submitting vessel permit applications would change. Procedures are proposed for managing the capacity of the U.S. tuna purse seine fleet operating in the ETP through maintenance of a Vessel Register, the definitive list of vessels authorized to purse seine for tuna in the ETP. This proposed rule is intended to contribute to the long-term conservation of dolphin and tuna stocks and to ensure that the domestic tuna tracking and verification program remains consistent with international standards.

US - Marine Mammals - Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations

This interim final rule allows the entry of yellowfin tuna into the United States under certain conditions from nations fully complying with the International Dolphin Conservation Program (IDCP). It also allows U.S. vessels to set their purse seines on dolphins in the ETP. The standard for the use of "dolphin-safe" labels for tuna products also is changed.

US - Marine Mammals - Taking and Importing of Marine Mammals; Listing of the Northeastern Offshore Spotted Dolphin as Depleted

NMFS has determined that the northeastern stock of offshore spotted dolphin is below its maximum net productivity level (MNPL) and, therefore, is depleted as defined by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). This determination is based on a review of the best available information.

US - Marine Mammals - Taking and Importing of Marine Mammals; Deterrence Regulations and Guidelines

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) Amendments of 1994 provided new authority to citizens of the United States to deter marine mammals from: Damaging fishing gear and catch; damaging private property; endangering public safety; or damaging public property. The Amendments require NMFS to publish a list of guidelines for use in safely deterring marine mammals and to prohibit deterrence measures that have a significant adverse impact on marine mammals. This proposed rule sets forth preliminary versions of the guidelines and prohibitions, and seeks public comment upon which to refine them.

US - Marine Mammals - Taking and Importing of Marine Mammals

The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS, issued an affirmative finding for the Government of Mexico under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) on April 12, 2000. This affirmative finding allows importation into the United States of yellowfin tuna and yellowfin tuna products harvested in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP) after March 3, 1999, by Mexican-flag purse seine vessels or vessels operating under Mexican jurisdiction greater than 400 short tons (362.8 mt) carrying capacity. The affirmative finding was based on documentary evidence submitted by the Government of Mexico and obtained from the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC).

US - Marine Mammals - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental

NMFS, upon application from the University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Scripps), is issuing regulations to govern the unintentional take of a small number of marine mammals incidental to the continued operation of a low frequency (LF) sound source by Scripps.

US - Marine Mammals - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals

This material from the Federal Register invites public comment on the proposed guidelines outlined by the NMFS for acceptable methods for deterring marine mammals. 

US - Marine Mammals - Public Display of Marine Mammals

NMFS is announcing that the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums Alliance) have submitted, for reference purposes, the professionally accepted standards on which their members base their education and conservation programs. The MMPA was amended substantially on April 30, 1994.  These 1994 Amendments require that persons holding marine mammals for purposes of public display, or requesting issuance of a permit to capture or import a marine mammal for purposes of public display, must offer a program for education or conservation purposes that is based on professionally recognized standards of the public display community.

US - Marine Mammals - Protected Species Special Exception Permits

NMFS is proposing to amend the regulations for permits to capture or import marine mammals for purposes of public display under MMPA. The proposed revisions would implement amendments to the MMPA enacted in 1994, affecting marine mammals held captive for public display purposes and clarify the public display requirements relating to permits to capture or import, transport or transfer, and export marine mammals.

US - Marine Mammals - Preventing Harassment From Human Activities Directed at Marine Mammals in the Wild

NMFS is considering whether to propose regulations to protect marine mammals in the wild from human activities that are directed at the animals and that have the potential to harass the animals. Some of these activities include feeding wild marine mammals, and "Swim-With" programs.