Request For Comments: Petition for Rulemaking To Establish a Whale Protection Zone for Southern Resident Killer Whales (Apr. 13)
Action: Notice of receipt of petition; request for comments.
Summary: This document announces receipt by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of a petition for rulemaking to establish a whale protection zone in the San Juan Islands, Washington, to support recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales. NMFS is requesting comments on the petition and will consider all comments and available information when determining whether to accept the petition and proceed with the suggested rulemaking.
Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter“N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).
In particular we request information and comments on: (1) The advisability of and need for regulations to establish a whale protection zone; (2) the geographic scope of regulations; (3) alternative management options for regulating vessel interactions with killer whales, including but not limited to the option in the petition; (4) scientific and commercial information regarding the effects of vessels on killer whales and their habitat; (5) information regarding potential economic effects of regulating vessel interactions; and (6) any additional relevant information that NMFS should consider should it accept the petition.
To inform your comments, information on the previous vessel regulations, the petition and other supporting documents is available at: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/marine_mammals/killer_whale/vessel_regulations.html.
Dates: The closing date for comments on the petition is April 13, 2017.