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e-CFR data is current as of August 10, 2020

Title 50Chapter IISubchapter CPart 218Subpart O → §218.145

Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
Subpart O—Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; U.S. Navy's Northwest Training and Testing (NWTT) Study Area

§218.145   Requirements for monitoring and reporting.

(a) The Navy is required to cooperate with the NMFS, and any other Federal, state or local agency monitoring the impacts of the activity on marine mammals.

(b) General Notification of Injured or Dead Marine Mammals—Navy personnel shall ensure that NMFS is notified immediately (or as soon as clearance procedures allow) if an injured, stranded, or dead marine mammal is found during or shortly after, and in the vicinity of, any Navy training exercise utilizing MFAS, HFAS, or underwater explosive detonations. The Navy will provide NMFS with species or description of the animal(s), the condition of the animal(s) (including carcass condition if the animal is dead), location, time of first discovery, observed behaviors (if alive), and photo or video (if available). In the event that an injured, stranded, or dead marine mammal is found by the Navy that is not in the vicinity of, or during or shortly after, MFAS, HFAS, or underwater explosive detonations, the Navy will report the same information as listed above as soon as operationally feasible and clearance procedures allow.

(c) General Notification of Ship Strike—In the event of a ship strike by any Navy vessel, at any time or place, the Navy shall do the following:

(1) Immediately report to NMFS the species identification (if known), location (lat/long) of the animal (or the strike if the animal has disappeared), and whether the animal is alive or dead (or unknown), and the time of the strike.

(2) Report to NMFS as soon as operationally feasible the size and length of animal, an estimate of the injury status (ex., dead, injured but alive, injured and moving, unknown, etc.), vessel class/type and operational status.

(3) Report to NMFS the vessel length, speed, and heading as soon as feasible.

(4) Provide NMFS a photo or video, if equipment is available.

(5) Within 2 weeks of the strike, provide NMFS with a detailed description of the specific actions of the vessel in the 30-minute timeframe immediately preceding the strike, during the event, and immediately after the strike (e.g., the speed and changes in speed, the direction and changes in direction, other maneuvers, sonar use, etc., if not classified); a narrative description of marine mammal sightings during the event and immediately after, and any information as to sightings prior to the strike, if available; and use established Navy shipboard procedures to make a camera available to attempt to capture photographs following a ship strike.

(d) Event Communication Plan—The Navy shall develop a communication plan that will include all of the communication protocols (phone trees, etc.) and associated contact information required for NMFS and the Navy to carry out the necessary expeditious communication required in the event of a stranding or ship strike, including as described in the proposed notification measures above.

(e) The Navy must conduct all monitoring and/or research required under the Letter of Authorization including abiding by the NWTT monitoring plan. (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/military.htm).

(f) Annual NWTT Monitoring Report—The Navy shall submit an annual report of the NWTT monitoring describing the implementation and results of the NWTT monitoring efforts from the previous calendar year. Data collection methods will be standardized across range complexes and study areas to allow for comparison in different geographic locations. Although additional information will be gathered, the protected species observers collecting marine mammal data pursuant to the NWTT monitoring plan shall, at a minimum, provide the same marine mammal observation data required in this section. The report shall be submitted either 90 days after the calendar year, or 90 days after the conclusion of the monitoring year to be determined by the Adaptive Management process. The NWTT Monitoring Report may be provided to NMFS within a larger report that includes the required Monitoring Plan reports from multiple range complexes and study areas (the multi-Range Complex Annual Monitoring Report). Such a report would describe progress of knowledge made with respect to monitoring plan study questions across all Navy ranges associated with the Integrated Comprehensive Monitoring Program. Similar study questions shall be treated together so that progress on each topic shall be summarized across all Navy ranges. The report need not include analyses and content that does not provide direct assessment of cumulative progress on the monitoring plan study questions.

(g) Annual NWTT Exercise and Testing Reports—The Navy shall submit preliminary reports detailing the status of authorized sound sources within 21 days after the anniversary of the date of issuance of the LOA. The Navy shall submit detailed reports 3 months after the annual anniversary of the date of issuance of the LOA. The detailed annual reports shall describe the level of training and testing conducted during the reporting period, and a summary of sound sources used (total annual hours or quantity [per the LOA] of each bin of sonar or other non-impulsive source; total annual number of each type of explosive exercises; total annual expended/detonated rounds [missiles, bombs, etc.] for each explosive bin; and improved Extended Echo-Ranging System (IEER)/sonobuoy summary, including total number of IEER events conducted in the Study Area, total expended/detonated rounds (buoys), and total number of self-scuttled IEER rounds. The analysis in the detailed reports will be based on the accumulation of data from the current year's report and data collected from previous reports. The annual classified exercise reports will also include the amount of hull-mounted mid-frequency and high frequency active sonar use during training and testing activities in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and in the months specified for the following three feeding areas (to the extent that active sonar training or testing does occur in these areas): The Humpback Whale Northern Washington feeding area (May through November); the Stonewall and Heceta Bank feeding area (May through November) and the Gray Whale Northern Puget Sound Feeding Area (March through May).

(h) 5-year Close-out Exercise and Testing Report—This report will be included as part of the 2020 annual exercise or testing report. This report will provide the annual totals for each sound source bin with a comparison to the annual allowance and the 5-year total for each sound source bin with a comparison to the 5-year allowance. Additionally, if there were any changes to the sound source allowance, this report will include a discussion of why the change was made and include the analysis to support how the change did or did not result in a change in the EIS and final rule determinations. The report will be submitted 3 months after the expiration of the rule. NMFS will submit comments on the draft close-out report, if any, within 3 months of receipt. The report will be considered final after the Navy has addressed NMFS' comments, or 3 months after the submittal of the draft if NMFS does not provide comments.

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