Marine Mammal Authorization Program (MMAP)
The Marine Mammal Authorization Program (MMAP) allows commercial fishers to lawfully "incidentally take" a marine mammal in a commercial fishery.
If you own a commercial vessel or non-vessel gear engaging in a Category I or II fishery, you must obtain a marine mammal authorization certificate from NOAA Fisheries, or our designated agent, in order to lawfully incidentally take a marine mammal in a commercial fishery.
You can find your category in the annually reviewed and revised List of Fisheries, which is published on our website and in the Federal Register. Consequently, your registration requirement may change from one year to the next. The Current List is in place until next year's final rule goes into effect.
Current Category I and II Fishery Identification Codes for completing the mortality/injury reports are listed at the bottom of this page.
All commercial fisheries, as required under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), must be categorized based on the relative frequency of incidental mortalities and serious injuries of marine mammals in the fishery:
- Category I designates fisheries with frequent mortalities and serious injuries incidental to commercial fishing;
- Category II designates fisheries with occasional mortalities and serious injuries;
- Category III designates fisheries with a remote likelihood or no known mortalities or serious injuries.
If you have a state and/or Federal fishery license:
- you are not required to submit an MMAP registration/renewal form
Your registration is automatically renewed and you should receive an authorization certificate in the mail. Note that in Southeast regional fisheries, you will receive a letter with instructions to download and print the certificate from the Southeast MMAP website or to contact the Southeast Regional Office to obtain an authorization certificate.
If you do not receive your authorization certificate, please contact your NOAA Fisheries Regional Office.
If you do not have a state or Federal fishery license:
- you should contact your regional NOAA Fisheries office for more information on how to submit an MMAP registration/renewal form and the $25 processing fee to receive or renew your Authorization Certificates.
How do I report a mortality/injury of a marine mammal incurred during the course of commercial fishing operations?
You must, regardless of your category, report every incidental mortality and injury of marine mammals that occurs as a result of commercial fishing operations. If you do not report within 48 hours, you may be subject to suspension, revocation, or denial of a marine mammal authorization certificate
- Submit the online MMAP mortality/ injury reporting electronic form within 48 hours of the end of a fishing trip in which the mortality or serious injury occurred, or, for non-vessel fisheries, within 48 hours of the occurrence.
- Complete the MMAP mortality/ injury reporting form [pdf] within 48 hours of the end of a fishing trip in which the mortality or serious injury occurred, or, for non-vessel fisheries, within 48 hours of the occurrence and return to NOAA Fisheries by:
- email to firstname.lastname@example.org as an attachment;
- fax to (301-713-0376); or
- mail postage-paid form to:
National Marine Fisheries Service
Office of Protected Resources
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
We supply forms to all Category I and II vessel owners. Forms are also available at major ports and marinas.
Find your Fishery Identification Code at the bottom of this page.
Do I have to report when I kill or injure a marine mammal if I am in Category III?
Yes, all vessels owners/operators in Category I, II, and III fisheries must report if they incidentally kill or injure a marine mammal while fishing. You are not required to obtain an authorization certificate for incidental takes if you only participate in a Category III fishery, however, the incidental take will not be authorized unless you report it.
We have defined a marine mammal injury as a wound or other physical harm. Signs of injury may include:
- gear ingestion
- loss of or damage to an appendage or jaw
- inability to use one or more appendages
- asymmetry in the shape of the body or body position
- any swelling or hemorrhage (bruising)
- laceration (deep cut)
- puncture or rupture of eyeball
- listlessness or inability to defend itself
- inability to swim or dive after release from fishing gear
- signs of equilibrium imbalance
- released trailing gear/gear perforating body
My authorization certificate, in combination with my fishing permit, allows the incidental take of marine mammals; what does 'incidental take' mean?
Incidental take is defined by the MMPA as take that is non-intentional, accidental, and not the purpose of carrying out an otherwise lawful activity. If you incidentally kill or injure a marine mammal during the course of commercial fishing operations you must file a report with NOAA Fisheries within 48 hours of the end of the fishing trip or, for non-vessel fisheries, within 48 hours of the mortality/injury.
When is it permissible to intentionally take a marine mammal?
Intentional, lethal take is strictly prohibited, except if imminently necessary in the case of self-defense or to save a person’s life. If a marine mammal is killed in self-defense or to save a person’s life, you must file a mortality/injury report with NOAA Fisheries.
Yes, section 101(a)(4)(A) of the Marine Mammal Protection Act allows you to deter marine mammals from damaging your fishing gear or catch as long as the measures do not result in the death or serious injury of the marine mammal. NOAA Fisheries is currently developing national guidelines, under section 101(a)(4)(B), for measures that can be used to safely deter marine mammals. The guidelines will be released for public comment before they are finalized.
NOAA Fisheries has the authority to place an observer on any vessel participating in a Category I or II fishery, and on vessels participating in Category III under certain circumstances. Observer programs help us:
- obtain reliable estimates of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals;
- determine the reliability of reports submitted by vessel owners and operators; and
- identify changes in fishing methods or technology that may increase or decrease incidental mortality or serious injury.
Fishing industry representatives will be notified and public meetings will be held whenever possible to provide advance notification to a fishery that observers will be required. Vessels that are notified of their requirement to carry an observer must comply with regulations regarding:
- advance notification of anticipated fishing activity;
- cooperation with the observer in the performance of the observer's duties; and
- when feasible, the collection and retention of marine mammals incidentally killed.
Vessel owners may wish to consider liability insurance to protect themselves if an accident occurs and an observer is ill, disabled, injured, or killed in the course of service.
For more information on the MMAP, or to obtain hard copies of the mortality/injury reporting form [pdf], contact the office nearest you:
HQ- Washington, DC area
NMFS Office of Protected Resources
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
P.O. Box 21668
709 West 9th Street
Juneau, AK 99802
Greater Atlantic Region
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930-2298
Pacific Islands Region
1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176
Honolulu, HI 98618
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
West Coast Region - CA Office
501 West Ocean Blvd. Suite 4200
Long Beach, CA 90802
West Coast Region - WA Office
7600 Sand Point Way, NE
Seattle, WA 98115
- Greater Atlantic Region MMAP website
- Southeast Region MMAP website
- List of Fisheries
- Marine Mammal Protection Act
- NMFS National Observer Program
MMAP Category I and II Fishery Identification Numbers
No. Cat. Fishery Description
47 II AK Bristol Bay salmon drift gillnet fishery
48 II AK Bristol Bay salmon set gillnet fishery
45 II AK Cook Inlet salmon drift gillnet fishery
122 II AK Cook Inlet salmon set gillnet
18 II AK Kodiak salmon set gillnet fishery
08 II AK Peninsula/Aleutian Islands salmon drift gillnet fishery
19 II AK Peninsula/Aleutian Islands salmon set gillnet fishery
06 II AK Prince William Sound salmon drift gillnet fishery
15 II AK Southeast salmon drift gillnet fishery
16 II AK Yakutat salmon set gillnet fishery
Purse seine fisheries
120 II AK Kodiak salmon purse seine fishery
121 II AK Cook Inlet salmon purse seine fishery
101 II AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, flatfish trawl fishery
102 II AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands pollock trawl fishery
103 II AK Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands rockfish trawl fishery
11 I CA/OR thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet fishery (>_14 in. mesh) (includes the high seas Pacific Highly Migratory
Species drift gillnet fishery)
12 II CA halibut/white seabass and other species set gillnet (>3.5in mesh)
21 II WA Puget Sound Region salmon drift gillnet fishery (includes all inland waters south of US-Canada border and
eastward of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line--Treaty Indian fishing is excluded)
92 II CA yellowtail, barracuda and white seabass drift gillnet fishery (mesh size ?3.5in and <14in)
91 I HI deep-set (tuna target) longline/set line fishery (includes the high seas Western Pacific Pelagic (deep-set component)
130 II HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline/set line fishery (includes the high seas Western Pacific Pelagic (shallow-set
166 II American Samoa longline fishery
167 II HI shortline fishery
131 II CA spot prawn pot fishery
132 II CA Dungeness crab pot fishery
133 II OR Dungeness crab pot fishery
134 II WA/OR/CA sablefish pot fishery
173 II WA Coastal Dungeness crab pot/trap fishery
57 I Northeast sink gillnet fishery
59 I Mid-Atlantic gillnet fishery
83 II NC inshore gillnet fishery
58 II Northeast anchored float gillnet fishery
89 II Northeast drift gillnet fishery
84 II Southeast Atlantic gillnet fishery
40 II Southeastern U.S. Atlantic shark gillnet fishery
110 II Chesapeake Bay inshore gillnet fishery
05 I Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico large pelagics longline fishery (includes the high seas Atlantic Highly
Migratory Species longline fishery)
70 II Mid-Atlantic mid-water trawl (including pair trawl) fishery
65 II Northeast mid-water trawl (including pair trawl) fishery
77 II Northeast bottom trawl fishery
100 II Mid-Atlantic bottom trawl fishery
175 II Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl fishery
Haul/Beach and purse seine fisheries
71 II Mid-Atlantic haul/beach seine fishery
87 II NC long haul seine fishery
111 II Mid-Atlantic menhaden purse seine fishery
Stop net fisheries
72 II NC roe mullet stop net fishery
Pound net fisheries
88 II VA pound net fishery
74 I Northeast/Mid-Atlantic American lobster trap/pot fishery
97 II Atlantic mixed species trap/pot fishery
85 II Atlantic blue crab trap/pot fishery
176 II Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico stone crab trap/pot fishery
GULF OF MEXICO
Purse seine fisheries
66 II Gulf of Mexico menhaden purse seine fishery
95 II Gulf of Mexico gillnet fishery
HIGH SEAS (those without a component operating in U.S. waters)
Drift Gillnet fisheries
135 II Atlantic Highly Migratory Species drift gillnet fishery
137 II Atlantic Highly Migratory Species trawl fishery
140 II Western Pacific Pelagic trawl fishery
168 II CCAMLR trawl fishery
Purse Seine fisheries
142 II South Pacific Tuna purse seine fishery
143 II Western Pacific Pelagic purse seine fishery
Longline and Troll fisheries
147 II South Pacific Albacore Troll longline fishery
148 II South Pacific Tuna longline fishery
169 II CCAMLR longline fishery
149 II Atlantic Highly Migratory Species troll fishery
150 II South Pacific Albacore Troll troll fishery
151 II South Pacific Tuna troll fishery
152 II Western Pacific Pelagic troll fishery
Handline/Pole and Line/Seine-Handline/Liners Not Elsewhere Identified (NEI) fisheries
153 II Atlantic Highly Migratory Species handline/pole and line fishery
154 II Pacific Highly Migratory Species handline/pole and line fishery
155 II South Pacific Albacore Troll handline/pole and line fishery
156 II Western Pacific Pelagic handline/pole and line fishery
158 II Pacific Highly Migratory Species liner (NEI) fishery
159 II South Pacific Albacore Troll liner (NEI) fishery
160 II Western Pacific Pelagic liner (NEI) fishery
Updated: June 30, 2015