NOAA Fisheries prepares marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs) annually, as directed by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The reports are prepared in consultation with one or more of three regional Scientific Review Groups (SRGs) and are released as Draft SARs for public review and comment before being finalized.
NOAA Fisheries currently tracks 246 stocks of marine mammals with Stock Assessment Reports, 66 revised reports representing 74 stocks were updated for 2017.
In these 2017 draft reports, three stocks (Hawaii pelagic false killer whale and California/Oregon/Washington Cuvier’s and mesoplodont beaked whales) changed in status from “strategic” to “non-strategic,” and one changed in status from “non-strategic” to “strategic” (Gulf of Maine humpback whale). Strategic Stock is defined by the MMPA as a marine mammal stock—