Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We???ve made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the Help button on the bottom right of each page!

e-CFR data is current as of August 6, 2020

Title 50Chapter IISubchapter CPart 218Subpart I → §218.85


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 218—REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS
Subpart I—Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT)


§218.85   Requirements for monitoring and reporting.

(a) Unauthorized take. The Navy must notify NMFS immediately (or as soon as operational security considerations allow) if the specified activity identified in §218.80 is thought to have resulted in the mortality or serious injury of any marine mammals, or in any Level A or Level B harassment take of marine mammals not identified in this subpart.

(b) Monitoring and reporting under the LOAs. The Navy must conduct all monitoring and required reporting under the LOAs, including abiding by the AFTT Study Area monitoring program. Details on program goals, objectives, project selection process, and current projects are available at www.navymarinespeciesmonitoring.us.

(c) Notification of injured, live stranded, or dead marine mammals. The Navy must consult the Notification and Reporting Plan, which sets out notification, reporting, and other requirements when dead, injured, or live stranded marine mammals are detected. The Notification and Reporting Plan is available at www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/marine-mammal-protection/incidental-take-authorizations-military-readiness-activities.

(d) Annual AFTT Study Area marine species monitoring report. The Navy must submit an annual report of the AFTT Study Area monitoring describing the implementation and results from the previous calendar year. Data collection methods must be standardized across range complexes and study areas to allow for comparison in different geographic locations. The report must be submitted to the Director, Office of Protected Resources of NMFS either within 90 days after the calendar year, or within 90 days after the conclusion of the monitoring year to be determined by the Adaptive Management process. This report will 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 must be treated together so that progress on each topic can 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.

(e) Annual AFTT Study Area training and testing reports. Each year, the Navy must submit a preliminary report (Quick Look Report) detailing the status of authorized sound sources within 21 days after the anniversary of the date of issuance of each LOA to the Director, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS. Each year, the Navy must submit a detailed report within 3 months after the anniversary of the date of issuance of each LOA to the Director, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS. The annual reports must contain information on major training exercises (MTEs), sinking exercise (SINKEX) events, and a summary of all sound sources used, including within specified mitigation reporting areas, as described in paragraph (e)(3) of this section. The analysis in the detailed report must be based on the accumulation of data from the current year's report and data collected from the previous report. The detailed reports must contain information identified in paragraphs (e)(1) through (5) of this section.

(1) Major training exercises (MTEs). This section of the report must contain the following information for MTEs conducted in the AFTT Study Area:

(i) Exercise information (for each MTE):

(A) Exercise designator;

(B) Date that exercise began and ended;

(C) Location;

(D) Number and types of active sonar sources used in the exercise;

(E) Number and types of passive acoustic sources used in exercise;

(F) Number and types of vessels, aircraft, and other platforms participating in exercise;

(G) Total hours of all active sonar source operation;

(H) Total hours of each active sonar source bin; and

(I) Wave height (high, low, and average) during exercise.

(ii) Individual marine mammal sighting information for each sighting in each exercise where mitigation was implemented:

(A) Date/time/location of sighting;

(B) Species (if not possible, indication of whale/dolphin/pinniped);

(C) Number of individuals;

(D) Initial detection sensor (e.g., sonar, Lookout);

(E) Indication of specific type of platform observation made from (including, for example, what type of surface vessel or testing platform);

(F) Length of time observers maintained visual contact with marine mammal;

(G) Sea state;

(H) Visibility;

(I) Sound source in use at the time of sighting;

(J) Indication of whether animal was less than 200 yd, 200 to 500 yd, 500 to 1,000 yd, 1,000 to 2,000 yd, or greater than 2,000 yd from sonar source;

(K) Mitigation implementation (e.g. whether operation of sonar sensor was delayed, or sonar was powered or shut down, and how long the delay was);

(L) If source in use was hull-mounted, true bearing of animal from the vessel, true direction of vessel's travel, and estimation of animal's motion relative to vessel (opening, closing, parallel); and

(M) Lookouts must report, in plain language and without trying to categorize in any way, the observed behavior of the animal(s) (such as animal closing to bow ride, paralleling course/speed, floating on surface and not swimming, etc.) and if any calves were present.

(iii) An evaluation (based on data gathered during all of the MTEs) of the effectiveness of mitigation measures designed to minimize the received level to which marine mammals may be exposed. This evaluation must identify the specific observations that support any conclusions the Navy reaches about the effectiveness of the mitigation.

(2) Sinking exercises (SINKEXs). This section of the report must include the following information for each SINKEX completed that year:

(i) Exercise information (gathered for each SINKEX):

(A) Location;

(B) Date and time exercise began and ended;

(C) Total hours of observation by Lookouts before, during, and after exercise;

(D) Total number and types of explosive source bins detonated;

(E) Number and types of passive acoustic sources used in exercise;

(F) Total hours of passive acoustic search time;

(G) Number and types of vessels, aircraft, and other platforms participating in exercise;

(H) Wave height in feet (high, low, and average) during exercise; and

(I) Narrative description of sensors and platforms utilized for marine mammal detection and timeline illustrating how marine mammal detection was conducted.

(ii) Individual marine mammal sighting information for each sighting where mitigation was implemented:

(A) Date/time/location of sighting;

(B) Species (if not possible, indicate whale, dolphin, or pinniped);

(C) Number of individuals;

(D) Initial detection sensor (e.g., sonar or Lookout);

(E) Length of time observers maintained visual contact with marine mammal;

(F) Sea state;

(G) Visibility; and

(H) Whether sighting was before, during, or after detonations/exercise, and how many minutes before or after.

(I) Distance of marine mammal from actual detonations (e.g. less than 200 yd, 200 to 500 yd, 500 to 1,000 yd, 1,000 to 2,000 yd, or greater than 2,000 yd, or target spot if not yet detonated).

(J) Lookouts must report, in plain language and without trying to categorize in any way, the observed behavior of the animal(s) (such as animal closing to bow ride, paralleling course/speed, floating on surface and not swimming etc.), including speed and direction and if any calves were present.

(K) Resulting mitigation implementation: The report must indicate whether explosive detonations were delayed, ceased, modified, or not modified due to marine mammal presence and for how long.

(L) If observation occurred while explosives were detonating in the water, indicate munition type in use at time of marine mammal detection.

(3) Summary of sources used. This section must include the following information summarized from the authorized sound sources used in all training and testing events:

(i) Total annual hours or quantity (per the LOA) of each bin of sonar or other acoustic sources (pile driving and air gun activities); and

(ii) Total annual expended/detonated ordnance (missiles, bombs, sonobuoys, etc.) for each explosive bin.

(4) Geographic information presentation. The reports must present an annual (and seasonal, where practical) depiction of training and testing bin usage (as well as pile driving activities) geographically across the AFTT Study Area.

(5) Sonar exercise notification. The Navy must submit to NMFS (contact as specified in the LOA) an electronic report within fifteen calendar days after the completion of any MTE indicating:

(i) Location of the exercise;

(ii) Beginning and end dates of the exercise; and

(iii) Type of exercise.

(f) Seven-year close-out comprehensive training and testing report. This report must be included as part of the 2025 annual training and testing report. This report must provide the annual totals for each sound source bin with a comparison to the annual allowance and the seven-year total for each sound source bin with a comparison to the seven-year allowance. Additionally, if there were any changes to the sound source allowance, this report must 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 draft report must be submitted within three months after the expiration of this subpart to the Director, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS. NMFS must submit comments on the draft close-out report, if any, within three 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.

Need assistance?