Protected Resources

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Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 provides protection for all marine mammals. The MMPA prohibits, with certain exceptions, the "take" of marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas, and the importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the U.S.

The MMPA provides the authority for NOAA Fisheries Service to issue permits and authorization for marine mammal take, authorize and control incidental mortality of marine mammals in commercial fisheries, prepare stock assessment reports for all marine mammal stocks in U.S. waters, and establish a program from marine mammal health assessment and stranding response, among other responsibilities. For more information on the MMPA, please see the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources’ MMPA webpage.

Some marine mammals are further protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which provides the conservation of species that are endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of their range, and the conservation of the ecosystems on which they depend. For more information on the ESA and PIRO’s ESA programs, please visit our ESA webpage.