National Marine Fisheries Service Authorizes Harm to Whales and Dolphins During Oil Drilling

The National Marine Fisheries Service issued a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to Equinor Gulf of Mexico, LLC, pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act’s Regulations for Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Geophysical Surveys Related to Oil and Gas Activities in the Gulf of Mexico. The LOA authorizes Equinor to harm or harass the following cetacean species during the course of oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico between January 10, 2022 and May 28, 2022: Rice whales, sperm whales, melon-headed whales, pygmy killer whales, false killer whales, killer whales, short-finned pilot whales, pygmy sperm whales, beaked whales, rough-toothed dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, Clymene dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins, spinner dolphins, striped dolphins, Fraser’s dolphins, and Risso’s dolphins.