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

Title 50Chapter IISubchapter CPart 218Subpart J → §218.95


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


§218.95   Requirements for monitoring and reporting.

(a) Unauthorized take. Navy personnel must notify NMFS immediately (or as soon as operational security considerations allow) if the specified activity identified in §218.90 is thought to have resulted in the serious injury or mortality of any marine mammals, or in any Level A harassment or Level B harassment of marine mammals not identified in this subpart.

(b) Monitoring and reporting under the LOA. The Navy must conduct all monitoring and reporting required under the LOA, including abiding by the U.S. Navy's Marine Species Monitoring Program for the MITT Study Area. 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. Navy personnel 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 https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/incidental-take-authorization-us-navy-mariana-islands-training-and-testing-mitt.

(d) Annual MITT Study Area marine species monitoring report. The Navy must submit an annual report to NMFS of the MITT Study Area monitoring which will be included in a Pacific-wide monitoring report including results specific to the MITT Study Area describing the implementation and results from the previous calendar year. Data collection methods will be standardized across Pacific Range Complexes including the MITT, HSTT, NWTT, and Gulf of Alaska (GOA) Study Areas to the best extent practicable, to allow for comparison in different geographic locations. The report must be submitted to the Director, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, either within three months after the end of the calendar year, or within three months after the conclusion of the monitoring year, to be determined by the Adaptive Management process. NMFS will submit comments or questions on the draft monitoring report, if any, within three months of receipt. The report will be considered final after the Navy has addressed NMFS' comments, or three months after the submittal of the draft if NMFS does not provide comments on the draft report. Such a report will describe progress of knowledge made with respect to monitoring study questions across multiple Navy ranges associated with the ICMP. Similar study questions must be treated together so that progress on each topic can be summarized across multiple Navy ranges. The report need not include analyses and content that does not provide direct assessment of cumulative progress on the monitoring study question. This will continue to allow the Navy to provide a cohesive monitoring report covering multiple ranges (as per ICMP goals), rather than entirely separate reports for the MITT, Hawaii-Southern California, Gulf of Alaska, and Northwest Training and Testing Study Areas.

(e) Annual MITT Study Area Training and Testing Exercise Report. 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 the LOA to the Director, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS. The Navy must also submit a detailed report (MITT Annual Training and Testing Exercise Report) to the Director, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, within three months after the one-year anniversary of the date of issuance of the LOA. The MITT Annual Training and Testing Exercise Report can be consolidated with other exercise reports from other range complexes in the Pacific Ocean for a single Pacific Exercise Report, if desired. NMFS will submit comments or questions on the report, if any, within one month of receipt. The report will be considered final after the Navy has addressed NMFS' comments, or one month after submittal of the draft if NMFS does not provide comments on the draft report. The annual will contain information on major training exercises (MTEs), Sinking Exercise (SINKEX) events, and a summary of all sound sources used (total hours or quantity of each bin of sonar or other non-impulsive source; total annual number of each type of explosive exercises; and total annual expended/detonated rounds (missiles, bombs, sonobuoys, etc.) for each explosive bin). The annual report will also contain information on sound sources used including within specific mitigation reporting areas as described in paragraph (e)(4) of this section. The annual report will also contain both the current year's data as well as cumulative sonar and explosive use quantity from previous years' reports. Additionally, if there were any changes to the sound source allowance in a given year, or cumulatively, the report will include a discussion of why the change was made and include analysis to support how the change did or did not affect the analysis in the 2020 MITT FSEIS/OEIS and MMPA final rule. The annual report will also include the details regarding specific requirements associated with specific mitigation areas. The final annual/close-out report at the conclusion of the authorization period (year seven) will serve as the comprehensive close-out report and include both the final year annual use compared to annual authorization as well as a cumulative seven-year annual use compared to seven-year authorization. The detailed reports must contain the information identified in paragraphs (e)(1) through (6) of this section.

(1) MTEs. This section of the report must contain the following information for MTEs conducted in the MITT 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 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.

(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 or dolphin).

(C) Number of individuals.

(D) Initial Detection Sensor (e.g., sonar, Lookout).

(E) Indication of specific type of platform observation was 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 the 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) Whether operation of sonar sensor was delayed, or sonar was powered or shut down, and how long the delay.

(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).

(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) 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.

(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 observation (by Navy Lookouts) information for each sighting where mitigation was implemented.

(A) Date/Time/Location of sighting.

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

(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.

(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 (or target spot if not yet detonated): 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.

(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) 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 of the report 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 transducers; and

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

(4) Marpi Reef and Chalan Kanoa Reef Geographic Mitigation Areas. The Navy must report any active sonar use (all bins, by bin) between December 1 and April 30 that occurred as specifically described in these areas. Information included in the classified annual reports may be used to inform future adaptive management within the MITT Study Area.

(5) Geographic information presentation. The reports must present an annual (and seasonal, where practical) depiction of training and testing bin usage geographically across the MITT Study Area.

(6) 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) Final Close-Out Report. The final (year seven) draft annual/close-out 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 three months after the submittal of the draft if NMFS does not provide comments.

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