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e-CFR data is current as of July 8, 2020

Title 50Chapter IISubchapter CPart 216Subpart D → §216.41


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 216—REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS
Subpart D—Special Exceptions


§216.41   Permits for scientific research and enhancement.

In addition to the requirements under §§216.33 through 216.38, permits for scientific research and enhancement are governed by the following requirements:

(a) Applicant. (1) For each application submitted under this section, the applicant shall be the principal investigator responsible for the overall research or enhancement activity. If the research or enhancement activity will involve a periodic change in the principal investigator or is otherwise controlled by and dependent upon another entity, the applicant may be the institution, governmental entity, or corporation responsible for supervision of the principal investigator.

(2) For any scientific research involving captive maintenance, the application must include supporting documentation from the person responsible for the facility or other temporary enclosure.

(b) Issuance Criteria. For the Office Director to issue any scientific research or enhancement permit, the applicant must demonstrate that:

(1) The proposed activity furthers a bona fide scientific or enhancement purpose;

(2) If the lethal taking of marine mammals is proposed:

(i) Non-lethal methods for conducting the research are not feasible; and

(ii) For depleted, endangered, or threatened species, the results will directly benefit that species or stock, or will fulfill a critically important research need.

(3) Any permanent removal of a marine mammal from the wild is consistent with any applicable quota established by the Office Director.

(4) The proposed research will not likely have significant adverse effects on any other component of the marine ecosystem of which the affected species or stock is a part.

(5) For species or stocks designated or proposed to be designated as depleted, or listed or proposed to be listed as endangered or threatened:

(i) The proposed research cannot be accomplished using a species or stock that is not designated or proposed to be designated as depleted, or listed or proposed to be listed as threatened or endangered;

(ii) The proposed research, by itself or in combination with other activities will not likely have a long-term direct or indirect adverse impact on the species or stock;

(iii) The proposed research will either:

(A) Contribute to fulfilling a research need or objective identified in a species recovery or conservation plan, or if there is no conservation or recovery plan in place, a research need or objective identified by the Office Director in stock assessments established under section 117 of the MMPA;

(B) Contribute significantly to understanding the basic biology or ecology of the species or stock, or to identifying, evaluating, or resolving conservation problems for the species or stock; or

(C) Contribute significantly to fulfilling a critically important research need.

(6) For proposed enhancement activities:

(i) Only living marine mammals and marine mammal parts necessary for enhancement of the survival, recovery, or propagation of the affected species or stock may be taken, imported, exported, or otherwise affected under the authority of an enhancement permit. Marine mammal parts would include in this regard clinical specimens or other biological samples required for the conduct of breeding programs or the diagnosis or treatment of disease.

(ii) The activity will likely contribute significantly to maintaining or increasing distribution or abundance, enhancing the health or welfare of the species or stock, or ensuring the survival or recovery of the affected species or stock in the wild.

(iii) The activity is consistent with:

(A) An approved conservation plan developed under section 115(b) of the MMPA or recovery plan developed under section 4(f) of the ESA for the species or stock; or

(B) If there is no conservation or recovery plan, with the Office Director's evaluation of the actions required to enhance the survival or recovery of the species or stock in light of the factors that would be addressed in a conservation or recovery plan.

(iv) An enhancement permit may authorize the captive maintenance of a marine mammal from a threatened, endangered, or depleted species or stock only if the Office Director determines that:

(A) The proposed captive maintenance will likely contribute directly to the survival or recovery of the species or stock by maintaining a viable gene pool, increasing productivity, providing necessary biological information, or establishing animal reserves required to support directly these objectives; and

(B) The expected benefit to the species or stock outweighs the expected benefits of alternatives that do not require removal of marine mammals from the wild.

(v) The Office Director may authorize the public display of marine mammals held under the authority of an enhancement permit only if:

(A) The public display is incidental to the authorized captive maintenance;

(B) The public display will not interfere with the attainment of the survival or recovery objectives;

(C) The marine mammals will be held consistent with all requirements and standards that are applicable to marine mammals held under the authority of the Acts and the Animal Welfare Act, unless the Office Director determines that an exception is necessary to implement an essential enhancement activity; and

(D) The marine mammals will be excluded from any interactive program and will not be trained for performance.

(vi) The Office Director may authorize non-intrusive scientific research to be conducted while a marine mammal is held under the authority of an enhancement permit, only if such scientific research:

(A) Is incidental to the permitted enhancement activities; and

(B) Will not interfere with the attainment of the survival or recovery objectives.

(c) Restrictions. (1) The following restrictions apply to all scientific research permits issued under this subpart:

(i) Research activities must be conducted in the manner authorized in the permit.

(ii) Research results shall be published or otherwise made available to the scientific community in a reasonable period of time.

(iii) Research activities must be conducted under the direct supervision of the principal investigator or a co-investigator identified in the permit.

(iv) Personnel involved in research activities shall be reasonable in number and limited to:

(A) Individuals who perform a function directly supportive of and necessary to the permitted research activity; and

(B) Support personnel included for the purpose of training or as backup personnel for persons described in paragraph (c)(1)(iv)(A).

(v) Any marine mammal part imported under the authority of a scientific research permit must not have been obtained as the result of a lethal taking that would be inconsistent with the Acts, unless authorized by the Office Director.

(vi) Marine mammals held under a permit for scientific research shall not be placed on public display, included in an interactive program or activity, or trained for performance unless such activities:

(A) Are necessary to address scientific research objectives and have been specifically authorized by the Office Director under the scientific research permit; and

(B) Are conducted incidental to and do not in any way interfere with the permitted scientific research; and

(C) Are conducted in a manner consistent with provisions applicable to public display, unless exceptions are specifically authorized by the Office Director.

(vii) Any activity conducted incidental to the authorized scientific research activity must not involve any taking of marine mammals beyond what is necessary to conduct the research (i.e., educational and commercial photography).

(2) Any marine mammal or progeny held in captive maintenance under an enhancement permit shall be returned to its natural habitat as soon as feasible, consistent with the terms of the enhancement permit and the objectives of an approved conservation or recovery plan. In accordance with section 10(j) of the ESA, the Office Director may authorize the release of any population of an endangered or threatened species outside the current range of such species if the Office Director determines that such release will further the conservation of such species.

[61 FR 21938, May 10, 1996]

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