The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) received five requests for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to conducting deep penetration seismic surveys for hydrocarbon exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. The applicants are companies that provide services, such as geophysical data acquisition, to the oil and gas industry. Upon review of the five requests, NMFS submitted questions, comments, and requests for additional information to the individual applicant companies; the resulting revised versions of the applications were determined by NMFS to be adequate and complete. In accordance to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NMFS is now requesting comments on its proposal to authorize incidental take of marine mammals to these companies for geophysical surveys.
*As of July 5, 2017, NMFS granted comment period extension requests. Comments will now be accepted through July 21, 2017.*