Depleted Designation for Western North Atlantic Coastal Migratory Stock of Bottlenose Dolphins
NMFS designates the coastal migratory stock of bottlenose dolphins along the U.S. mid-Atlantic coast as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). This action is required by the MMPA when a species or population stock is determined to have fallen below its optimum sustainable population (OSP) level. NMFS has determined that the stock is below a level that can maintain maximum net productivity, which is the lower bound of the OSP range, as a result of a mortality event that occurred in 1987-88 in which the stock likely declined by more than 50 percent. Under the MMPA, this designation requires the application of certain restrictions on taking and importation, and the preparation and implementation of a conservation plan to restore the stock to its OSP.