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Soundings Archive

NMFS Is Developing a Comprehensive International Action Plan for Marine Mammal Conservation
On June 10, 2011, the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service published Federal Register notice of NMFS' final revised marine mammal stock assessment reports for 2010. NMFS also responded to comments on the draft SARs it published. In its response to comments, NMFS announced an international action plan for marine mammal conservation.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act requires NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prepare SARs 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 (PBR) 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.

NMFS received letters containing comments on the draft 2010 SARs from the Marine Mammal Commission, five non-governmental organizations (National Resources Defense Council, Humane Society of the United States, Cascadia Research Collective, California Gray Whale Coalition, and Hawaii Longline Association), and one individual.

The Marine Mammal Commission's comments included a recommendation

    "that NMFS develop a strategy for collaboration with other nations to improve assessment and conservation of transboundary stocks of marine mammals."
NMFS responded to this recommendation by stating that
    "NMFS, through the Office of International Affairs, is preparing a comprehensive international action plan for marine mammal conservation. As this plan is being developed, NMFS is also evaluating strategies to obtain information on the marine mammal conservation programs in other nations pursuant to MMPA section 101(a)(2)."
  • Click here to read NMFS' Federal Register notice of SARs and NMFS' response to comments
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