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US - Marine Mammal Protection Act - Table of Contents


The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) is the main regulatory vehicle that protects marine mammal species and their habitats in an effort to main sustainable populations. In doing so, the statute outlines prohibitions, required permits, criminal and civil penalties, and international aspects in addressing marine mammals.  This document provides a table of contents for the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) with links to the specific statutory sections.

US - Marine Mammals - 50 CFR Part 216. Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing NMFS issues a final rule to implement provisions of the International Dolphin Conservation Program Act (IDCPA). This rule replaces the interim rule published in the Federal Register on January 3, 2000. This final rule makes technical changes and clarifications to the interim final rule which is already in effect. The interim final rule allows the entry of yellowfin tuna into the United States under certain conditions from nations fully complying with the International Dolphin Conservation Program (IDCP) and the Agreement on the IDCP. The interim final rule establishes a standard for the use of "dolphin-safe" labels for tuna products and also establishes a tuna-tracking and verification program to ensure that the dolphin-safe status of tuna domestically produced and imported into the United States is documented.
US - Marine Mammals - Endangered Fish and Wildlife; Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement


NMFS will be preparing an EIS to analyze the potential impacts of applying new criteria in guidelines to determine what constitutes a ``take'' of a marine mammal under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA) as a result of exposure to anthropogenic noise in the marine environment. This notice describes the proposed action and possible alternatives and also describes the proposed scoping process.

US - Marine Mammals - Feeding Populations of Marine Mammals in the Wild


NMFS is issuing a final rule that amends the definition of "take" under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to include feeding marine mammals in the wild, and adds a new definition of "feeding." As a result, feeding dolphins, porpoise, whales, seals and sea lions in the wild will be prohibited unless the feeding is incidental to another activity such as the routine discard of fish bycatch or discharges from processing plants or vessels.

US - Marine Mammals - Petition to Designate the Sakhalin Bay-Amur River Stock of Beluga Whales under the MMPA Under § 1383 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), 16 U.S.C. § 1361 et seq., the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Cetacean Society International, and Earth Island Institute hereby petition the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, through the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), to designate Sakhalin Bay-Amur River beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in the Sea of Okhotsk as a “depleted” stock. As described herein, the best scientific information available indicates that these beluga whales constitute a stock that is well below its optimum sustainable population (OSP) and, under the MMPA, qualify for such designation. The evidence also suggests that the stock continues to decline and faces a number of risk factors, providing additional impetus for such designation.
US - Marine Mammals - Preventing Harassment From Human Activities Directed at Marine Mammals in the Wild


NMFS is considering whether to propose regulations to protect marine mammals in the wild from human activities that are directed at the animals and that have the potential to harass the animals. Some of these activities include feeding wild marine mammals, and "Swim-With" programs. 

US - Marine Mammals - Protected Species Special Exception Permits


NMFS is proposing to amend the regulations for permits to capture or import marine mammals for purposes of public display under MMPA. The proposed revisions would implement amendments to the MMPA enacted in 1994, affecting marine mammals held captive for public display purposes and clarify the public display requirements relating to permits to capture or import, transport or transfer, and export marine mammals.

US - Marine Mammals - Public Display of Marine Mammals


NMFS is announcing that the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums Alliance) have submitted, for reference purposes, the professionally accepted standards on which their members base their education and conservation programs. The MMPA was amended substantially on April 30, 1994.  These 1994 Amendments require that persons holding marine mammals for purposes of public display, or requesting issuance of a permit to capture or import a marine mammal for purposes of public display, must offer a program for education or conservation purposes that is based on professionally recognized standards of the public display community.

US - Marine Mammals - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals


This material from the Federal Register invites public comment on the proposed guidelines outlined by the NMFS for acceptable methods for deterring marine mammals. 

US - Marine Mammals - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental


NMFS, upon application from the University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Scripps), is issuing regulations to govern the unintentional take of a small number of marine mammals incidental to the continued operation of a low frequency (LF) sound source by Scripps.

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