NMFS Authorizes Incidental Harm and Harassment to Killer Whales and other Cetaceans

The National Marine Fisheries Service has issued a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to Western Geco for the take (harm and harassment) of marine mammals incidental to geophysical survey activity in the Gulf of Mexico between January 1, 2022 and April 30, 2022. The LOA authorizes Western Geco to harm (lethal or nonlethal) and harass eighteen cetacean species, including killer whales, sperm whales, Rice’s whales, Risso’s dolphins, and bottlenose dolphins while using airguns to conduct 3D ocean bottom node surveying. FWS issued the LOA after declaring that the proposed activity would have a “negligible impact” on the affected species.