Marine Mammal Protection Act List of Fisheries

Background

What Is the List of Fisheries?

The Marine Mammal Protection Act mandates that all commercial fisheries be classified by the level of incidental marine mammal death and serious injury. The level of marine mammal death and serious injury that occurs incidental to each fishery is reported in the annual Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports for each stock.

Accordingly, the List of Fisheries (LOF) puts each fishery into one of three categories:

  1. Frequent incidental death or serious injury of marine mammals.
  2. Occasional incidental death or serious injury of marine mammals.
  3. Remote likelihood of/no known incidental death or serious injury of marine mammals.

How Do I Find out If a Specific Fishery Is in Category I, II, or III?

You can look up any fishery in the most recent version of the LOF (see table below). The LOF is updated annually and published in the Federal Register.

The LOF contains four tables:

  1. Pacific Ocean (including Alaska) fisheries.
  2. Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean fisheries.
  3. High seas fisheries (2009–present).
  4. Fisheries affected by Take Reduction Teams (2009–present).

A fishery may be in one category for one marine mammal stock and another category for a different marine mammal stock. A fishery is typically categorized on the LOF according to its highest level of death/injury (e.g., a fishery in Category III for one stock and Category II for another will be listed under Category II). Learn more below about the criteria used to classify fisheries.

Lists of Fisheries

Table

Final List

Proposed List

2018 List of Fisheries

83 FR 5349;
February 7, 2018

82 FR 47424;
October 12, 2017

2017 List of Fisheries

82 FR 3655; January 12, 2017

81 FR 54019; August 15, 2016

2016 List of Fisheries

 

81 FR 20550; April 8, 2016

80 FR 58427; September 29, 2015

2015 List of Fisheries

79 FR 77919; December 29, 2014

79 FR 50589; August 25, 2014

2014 List of Fisheries

 

79 FR 14418; March 14, 2014

78 FR 73477; December 6, 2013

2013 List of Fisheries

 

78 FR 53336; August 29, 2013

78 FR 23708; April 22, 2013

2012 List of Fisheries

 

76 FR 73912; November 29, 2011

76 FR 37716; June 28, 2011

2011 List of Fisheries

 

75 FR 68468; November 8, 2010

75 FR 36318; June 25, 2010

2010 List of Fisheries

 

74 FR 58859; November 16, 2009

74 FR 27739; June 11, 2009

2009 List of Fisheries

73 FR 73032; December 1, 2008

73 FR 33760; June 13, 2008

2008 List of Fisheries

72 FR 66048; November 27, 2007

72 FR 35393; June 28, 2007

2007 List of Fisheries

72 FR 14466; March 28, 2007

71 FR 70339; December 4, 2006

2006 List of Fisheries

71 FR 48802; August 22, 2006

71 FR 20941; April 24, 2006

2005 List of Fisheries

71 FR 247; January 4, 2006

69 FR 70094; December 2, 2004

2004 List of Fisheries

69 FR 48407; August 10, 2004

69 FR 19365; April 13, 2004

2003 List of Fisheries

68 FR 41725; July 15, 2003

68 FR 1414; January 10, 2003

Notice of Continuing Effect

67 FR 2410; January 17, 2002

2001 List of Fisheries

66 FR 42780; August 15, 2001

66 FR 6545; January 22, 2001

Notice of Continuing Effect

65 FR 24448; April 26, 2000

1999 List of Fisheries

64 FR 9067; February 24, 1999

63 FR 42803; August 11, 1998

1998 List of Fisheries

63 FR 5748; February 4, 1998

62 FR 28657; May 27, 1997

1997 List of Fisheries

62 FR 33; January 2, 1997

61 FR 37035; July 16, 1996

1996 List of Fisheries

60 FR 67063; December 28, 1995

60 FR 31666; June 16, 1995

Correction

60 FR 37043; July 19, 1995

Fishery Classification Criteria

In classifying fisheries, NOAA compares the numbers of marine mammals that are incidentally killed or seriously injured by commercial fishing operations to a stock’s potential biological removal (PBR) level. The PBR level is defined in 50 CFR 229.2 as the highest number of animals that can be removed from a stock—not including natural deaths—while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population.

Using these numbers, NOAA Fisheries takes a two-tiered approach. Tier 1 considers the total impact of all fisheries on each marine mammal stock; Tier 2 considers individual fisheries’ impact on each stock.

Tier 1: Annual mortality and serious injury across all fisheries that interact with a stock:

  • If the total is 10 percent or less of the PBR level of this stock, all fisheries interacting with this stock are placed in Category III.
  • Otherwise, these fisheries are subject to Tier 2.

Tier 2: Annual mortality and serious injury of a stock in a given fishery:

  • Category I: 50 percent or more of the PBR level.
  • Category II: between 1 and 50 percent of the PBR level.
  • Category III: 1 percent or less of the PBR level.

For more details on how threshold percentages between the categories were determined, see the preamble to the final rule implementing section 118 of the MMPA (60 FR 45086, August 30, 1995).

Since fisheries are categorized on a per-stock basis, a fishery may be in one category for one stock and another category for a different stock. A fishery is typically categorized on the LOF according to its highest level of death/injury: for example, a fishery that qualifies for Category III for one stock and Category II for another will be listed under Category II.

Reporting Requirements

Any vessel owner, vessel operator, or fisherman (for non-vessel fisheries) working in a Category I, II, or III fishery must report all incidental deaths or injuries of marine mammals during commercial fishing to NOAA Fisheries (per 50 CFR 229.6). Learn more about reporting.

“Injury” is defined in 50 CFR 229.2 as a wound or other physical harm. An animal that ingests fishing gear is also considered to be injured. So is any animal released with fishing gear entangling, trailing, or perforating any part of its body. All these injuries must be reported.

Further Requirements for Category I and II Fisheries

Registration

Under 50 CFR 229.4, the owner of a vessel or gear working in a Category I or II fishery must get a marine mammal authorization by registering with the Marine Mammal Authorization Program. NOAA Fisheries will issue the vessel or gear owner an authorization certificate that the operator must have while fishing.

Registration Fees

The procedure for registering differs between NOAA regions. For most fisheries, NOAA Fisheries has integrated the marine mammal authorization registration process with state and federal fishery license, registration, or permit systems and related programs. Participants in these fisheries are automatically registered under the MMPA and are not required to pay the $25 registration fee.

Observers

Fishermen working in a Category I or II fishery must accommodate observers onboard their vessels upon request (per 50 CFR 229.7).

Take Reduction Planning

Fishermen working in a Category I or II fishery must comply with any applicable take reduction plans. NOAA Fisheries may develop and implement take reduction plans for any Category I or II fishery that interacts with a strategic stock.

More Information