[Federal Register: August 28, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 166)]
[Page 50893-50894]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

[I.D. 080306C]

Marine Mammals and Endangered Species; National Marine Fisheries 
Service File No. 493-1848; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service File No. 

AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce; U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (FWS), Interior.

ACTION: Notice; receipt of application.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Darlene R. Ketten, Ph.D., 
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Biology Department, MRF- Room 
233, MS 50, Woods Hole, MA 02543 has applied in due form for a permit 
from NMFS and FWS to take parts from species of marine mammals for 
purposes of scientific research.

DATES: Written or telefaxed comments must be received on or before 
September 27, 2006.

ADDRESSES: The application request and related documents are available 
for review upon written request or by appointment in the following 
    Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of Protected 
Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 
20910; phone (301) 713-2289; fax (301) 427-2521;
    Northeast Region, NMFS, One Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-
2298; phone (978) 281-9200; fax (978) 281-9371; and
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, 
4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 700, Arlington, VA 22203; phone (800) 
358-2104; fax (703) 358-2281.
    Written comments or requests for a public hearing on this 
application should be mailed to the Chief, Permits, Conservation and 
Education Division, F/PR1, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 
East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Those 
individuals requesting a hearing should set forth the specific reasons 
why a hearing on this particular request would be appropriate.
    Comments may also be submitted by facsimile at (301) 427-2521, 
provided the facsimile is confirmed by hard copy submitted by mail and 
postmarked no later than the closing date of the comment period.
    Comments may also be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for 
providing e-mail comments is NMFS.Pr1Comments@noaa.gov. Include in the 
subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: 
File No. 493-1848/MA130062.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Skidmore or Kate Swails, 
Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 713-2289.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The subject permit is requested under the 
authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended 
(MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), the regulations governing the taking 
and importing of marine mammals (50 CFR parts 18 and 216), the Fur Seal 
Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.), the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the 
regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of 
endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 17 and 222-226).
    Dr. Ketten is requesting a permit for the possession and worldwide 
import/export of marine mammal and endangered species parts from the 
orders of Cetacea (dolphins, porpoises and whales), Pinnipedia (seals, 
sea lions and walrus), Carnivora (sea otter, Enhydra lutris, and polar 
bear, Ursus maritimus) and Sirenia (dugongs and manatees). Whole 
carcasses, heads, or temporal bones (ears) are requested from stranded 
animals that die prior to beaching, are euthanized upon stranding, or 
which die in captivity. No animals would be taken or killed for the 
purpose of this research.
    The research proposed by Dr. Ketten utilizes three-dimensional 
analyses of aquatic mammals ears to generate estimates of auditory 
sensitivity, seeking to determine how structural elements of these ears 
contribute to underwater hearing. Mathematical models and three-
dimensional reconstructions of

[[Page 50894]]

head and ear anatomy are produced from whole carcasses, heads, or 
temporal bones from animals that strand and die or die in captivity. 
The tissues are scanned by CT (Computerized Tomography) and MRI 
(Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and the ears are decalcified, sectioned, 
digitized, and reconstructed. Measurements from these reconstructions 
are used to calculate frequency distribution maps for each species 
examined. These inner ear models have provided the first evidence of 
acute infrasonic hearing in some species, new insights into how marine 
mammals achieve extreme infra and also ultrasonic hearing, and 
estimates of species specific hearing curves. A permit is requested for 
a period of 5 years.
    In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), an initial determination has been made that 
the activities proposed are categorically excluded from the requirement 
to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact 
    Concurrent with the publication of this notice in the Federal 
Register, NMFS is forwarding copies of this application to the Marine 
Mammal Commission and its Committee of Scientific Advisors.

    Dated: August 22, 2006.
Charlie R. Chandler,
Chief, Branch of Permits, Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service.

    Dated: August 22, 2006.
P. Michael Payne,
Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division, Office of 
Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 06-7196 Filed 8-25-06; 8:45 am]