As required by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service has considered and responded to public comments on revisions of the 2015 marine mammal stock assessment reports for each stock of marine mammals occurring in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States. These reports contain information regarding the distribution and abundance of the stock, population growth rates and trends, the stock’s Potential Biological Removal level, estimates of annual human-caused mortality and serious injury from all sources, descriptions of the fisheries with which the stock interacts, and the status of the stock. Initial reports were completed in 1995.
The MMPA requires NMFS and the U.S. fish and Wildlife service FWS to review the SARs at least annually for strategic stocks and stocks for which significant new information is available, and at least once every three years for non-strategic stocks. NMFS and FWS are required to revise a SAR if the status of the stock has changed or can be more accurately determined. NMFS, in conjunction with the Alaska, Atlantic,
and Pacific Scientific Review Groups, reviewed the status of marine mammal stocks as required and revised reports in each of the three regions.
NMFS updated SARs for 2015, and the revised reports were made available
for public review and comment for 90 days (80 FR 58705, September 20, 2015).
NMFS received comments on the draft SARs and has revised the reports as
necessary. This notice announces the availability of the final 2015 reports for
the 108 stocks that are currently finalized.