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e-CFR data is current as of August 12, 2020

Title 50Chapter IISubchapter CPart 217Subpart C → §217.24

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
Subpart C—Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Research and Monitoring in Southern Alaska National Parks

§217.24   Mitigation requirements.

When conducting the activities identified in §217.20(a), the mitigation measures contained in any LOA issued under §§216.106 of this chapter and 217.24 must be implemented. These mitigation measures shall include but are not limited to:

(a) General conditions. (1) A copy of any issued LOA must be in the possession of NPS, its designees, and additional survey crew personnel operating under the authority of the issued LOA;

(2) Before all surveys, the lead NPS biologist must instruct additional survey crew on appropriate conduct when in the vicinity of hauled-out marine mammals. This training must brief survey personnel on marine mammals (inclusive of identification as needed, e.g., neonates); and

(3) NPS must avoid interaction with any marine mammal species for which take is not authorized (or any species for which authorized take numbers have been met). For humpback, killer, and beluga whales, NPS must avoid operation of a motor vessel within 14 nautical mile of these cetaceans. If accidentally positioned within 14 nautical mile of these cetaceans, NPS must slow the vessel speed to 10 knots or less and maintain course away from the marine mammal until at least 14 nautical mile of separation exists;

(b) Glacier Bay gull and climate monitoring. (1) On an annual basis, NPS may conduct a maximum of five days of gull monitoring for each survey location listed in the LOA;

(2) On an annual basis, the NPS may conduct a maximum of three days of activities related to climate monitoring on Lone Island;

(3) NPS is required to conduct pre-survey monitoring before deciding to access a study site;

(4) Prior to deciding to land onshore, NPS must use high-powered image stabilizing binoculars before approaching at distances of greater than 500 m (1,640 ft) to determine and document the number, species, and location of hauled-out marine mammals;

(5) During pre-survey monitoring, vessels must maintain a distance of 328 to 1,640 ft (100 to 500 m) from the shoreline;

(6) If a harbor seal pup less than one week of age (neonate) is present within or near a study site or a path to a study site, NPS must not access the site nor conduct the study at that time. In addition, if during the activity, a pup less than one week of age is observed, all research activities must conclude for the day;

(7) NPS must maintain a distance of at least 100 m from any Steller sea lion;

(8) NPS must perform controlled and slow ingress to islands where harbor seals are present;

(9) NPS must monitor for offshore predators at the study sites during pre-survey monitoring and must avoid research activities when killer whales (Orcinus orca) or other predators are observed within a 1 mile radius; and

(10) NPS must maintain a quiet working atmosphere, avoid loud noises, and must use hushed voices in the presence of hauled-out pinnipeds; and

(c) SWAN marine bird surveys. (1) On an annual basis, NPS may conduct one summer survey at each location listed in the LOA;

(2) On an annual basis, the NPS may conduct one winter survey at each location listed in the LOA;

(3) NPS must maintain a minimum vessel distance of 100 meters from the shoreline at all times while surveying; and

(4) If hauled out Steller sea lions or harbor seals are observed, NPS must maintain the vessel speed and minimum distance. If survey conditions allow, the survey must be attempted from a distance greater than 150 meters.

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