Arctic Marine Mammal Disaster Response Guidelines Technical Memo and Appendices, 2017
NOAA Fisheries guidance for the immediate and effective protection, rescue, rehabilitation of, and the minimization of damage to, fish and wildlife resources and their habitat that are harmed or that may be jeopardized by a discharge.
The coastline of Alaska and its offshore areas provide seasonal feeding, breeding, and migratory habitat for large numbers of marine mammals. In some cases, the major portion of the world's population of a particular species may be present. Moreover, these species include important subsistence resources for Alaska Native communities. NOAA Fisheries manages whales and most seals. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) manages Pacific walruses, northern sea otters, and polar bears. There are many similarities between NOAA Fisheries and USFWS in disaster responses, but there are also some differences. Questions about USFWS species should be directed to the USFWS’ Marine Mammals Management Office.
The Arctic Marine Mammal Disaster Response Guidelines were developed under obligations in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the Clean Water Act, as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, and regulatory obligations under the National Contingency Plan (NCP). NCP regulations require a fish and wildlife response plan for the immediate and effective protection, rescue, rehabilitation of, and the minimization of damage to, fish and wildlife resources and their habitat.