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Marine Mammal Authorization Program

The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits killing or injuring marine mammals except under certain circumstances. The Marine Mammal Authorization Program provides an annual exemption for accidentally killing or injuring marine mammals—referred to as incidental take—during commercial fishing operations.

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A view of a crowd of people from behind. They are wearing winter gear and holding up cameras to take pictures of whales swimming near the boat. Spectators spot whales on a WhaleSENSE whale watching trip in Juneau, Alaska. Credit: NOAA Fisheries
Mother and calf humpback whales near Maui, Hawaii. Humpback whales in the Pacific Ocean swim approximately 3,000 miles from Alaska to Hawaii to spend the winter in the warmer tropical waters. Credit: Jason Moore (NOAA permit #18786) Mother and calf humpback whales near Maui, Hawaii. Humpback whales in the Pacific Ocean swim approximately 3,000 miles from Alaska to Hawaii to spend the winter in the warmer tropical waters. Credit: Jason Moore (NOAA permit #18786)
Two humpback whales swimming underwater. The water is very blue, and the surface is visible just above their heads. Humpback whales swimming underwater. Credit: Kogia.org