The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responding to the public’s request for an extension of the public comment period and public hearing on an application submitted by the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) for the importation of three bottlenose dolphins (tursiops truncatus) for public display.
NMFS has decided to extend the public comment period for an additional 30 days to provide the public an opportunity to review additional information provided by CZS. However, NMFS determined that a public hearing is not warranted because documentation related to this MMPA permit application can be provided in writing. In order to allow for a full 30 days for additional public comment, it will accept comment through May 19, 2019, even though the FR notice indicates that the comment period ends on May 16, 2019.
NMFS has gone back to CZS and has requested additional information regarding the health status of the dolphins and the water quality at Coral World of St. Thomas, V.I. In addition, CZS has updated their transport plans regarding the timing and destination of the dolphins to be imported. The amended application is posted online at: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/permit-application-import-3-bottlenose-dolphins-file-no-22686-chicago-zoological-society