NMFS Authorizes Incidental Take of Cetaceans in the Gulf of Mexico

The National Marine Fisheries Service has issued a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to Andarko Petroleum Company for the incidental harassment of killer whales and other cetaceans during the company’s geophysical survey activity in the Gulf of Mexico from September 18, 2021, through March 17, 2022. Pursuant to existing Marine Mammal Protection Act regulations, issuance of an LOA is only permissible when the number of affected animals is “small,” which the agency interprets to mean less than one third of the best available population abundance estimate in the area.