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Application for Scientific Research and Enhancement on Hawaiian Monk Seals (File No. 16632)

More on Hawaiian Monk Seals


Hawaiian Monk Seal on beach
Hawaiian Monk Seal
(Monachus schauinslandi)
Photo: NOAA

Permit Application

The NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources has published notice of receipt of an application (78 FR 13863) submitted by the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (PIFSC) Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program for a 5-year scientific research and enhancement permit for carrying out recovery actions on Hawaiian monk seals. The permit is requested under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The permit application below is available for public review through April 15, 2013.

Comments may be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, by:

Summary of permit request

The PIFSC Hawaiian monk seal Research Program requests a 5-year permit to carry out research and enhancement activities designed to recover the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Activities would occur along beaches and nearshore waters throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago (Northwestern Hawaiian Islands [NWHI] and main Hawaiian Islands [MHI]) and Johnston Atoll.

Research is intended to identify impediments to recovery, inform the design of conservation interventions, and evaluate those measures. Research activities include:

Enhancement activities are designed to improve the survival and reproductive success of individual monk seals, with the intent to improve subpopulation and overall species' status. Enhancement includes deworming, translocation, hazing and removal of aggressive adult male seals that harm or kill other seals, disentangling, dehooking, treating injured seals in the wild, behavioral modification, vaccination, and supplemental feeding of post-release rehabilitated seals.

Types of translocations proposed include:

Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)

In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, NOAA Fisheries is preparing a Final Programmatic EIS for Hawaiian monk seal recovery actions. A Draft PEIS for Hawaiian monk seal recovery actions was made available to the public in 2011 (76 FR 51945). The intent of the PEIS is to evaluate the potential direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts on the human environment of the alternative approaches to implementing recovery actions, including research and enhancement activities requiring permits.

Updated: March 1, 2013