The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was enacted on October 21, 1972. The MMPA established a national policy to prevent marine mammal species and population stocks from declining beyond the point where they ceased to be significant functioning elements of the ecosystems of which they are a part.
Three federal entities share responsibility for implementing the MMPA:
NOAA Fisheries—responsible for the protection of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—responsible for the protection of walrus, manatees, sea otters, and polar bears.
Marine Mammal Commission—provides independent, science-based oversight of domestic and international policies and actions of federal agencies addressing human impacts on marine mammals and their ecosystems.
The following is a list of the policies, guidance, and regulations we use to administer the MMPA.
Guidelines for Assessing Marine Mammal Stocks: Report of the GAMMS III Workshop, February 15-18, 2011, La Jolla, California (NOAA Tech Memo NMFS-OPR-47)