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Soundings Archive

NMFS Publishes New Marine Mammals Strandings Criteria
On December 14, 2006, the National Marine Fisheries Service published new criteria for designating an "Unusual Mortality Event" ("UME"). The Marine Mammal Protection Act defines UME as a set of multiple strandings that are unexpected, that involve a significant die-off of any marine mammal population, and which demands an immediate response.

From 1991 through 2006, there have been 37 formally recognized UMEs in the United States.

The new NMFS criteria were developed by the NMFS Working Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events. The new criteria will be used to formally determine whether an UME is occurring.

  • Click here to read NMFS Federal Register notice

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