The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is accepting public comment through Jan. 25 on a request from Trident Seafoods Corp. to take marine mammals incidental to pile driving and removal events associated with replacement of its Bunkhouse Dock in Kodiak, Alaska.
The project involves removing over 200 pilings, many of them wooden, and replacing them with about 80 steel pilings. The pile driver to be used to remove old pilings and install new ones makes a lot of noise and can disturb marine mammals. Species that may possibly be impacted range from humpback whales and killer whales to harbor seals.
In a notice published in the Federal Register on Dec. 26, NOAA Fisheries said comments were requested in advance of its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization.
NMFS is also requesting comment on a possible one-time, one-year renewal that could be issued under certain circumstances and if all requirements are met, as described in the request for public comment.
All comments are to be considered in asking any final decision on issuance of the requested Marine Mammal Protection Act authorization. Agency responses are to be summarized in the final notice of NMFS’s decision.
Public comments may be sent via email (ITP.firstname.lastname@example.org) to Jolie Harrison, chief, permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.