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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.

Do I need an authorization?

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.

How do I know if I am in a category I or II 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.

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.

How do I obtain a marine mammal authorization certificate?

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:

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

Online:

Email/fax/mail:

  • 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 nmfs.mireport@noaa.gov 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.

How do I know if I've injured a marine mammal?

We have defined a marine mammal injury as a wound or other physical harm. Signs of injury may include:

  • bleeding
  • 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

Can I deter marine mammals from fishing gear and catch?

While you are strictly prohibited from intentionally lethally taking marine mammals in the course of commercial fishing operations, intentional lethal take is authorized if imminently necessary in self-defense or to save the life of another person. If a marine mammal is killed in self-defense or to save the life of another person, 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. The report can be made using the mortality/injury reporting forms and procedures described above.

Which fisheries carry observers?

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.

Contacts

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
301-427-8402
nmfs.mireport@noaa.gov

Alaska Region
P.O. Box 21668
709 West 9th Street
Juneau, AK 99802
907-586-7235
kristy.long@noaa.gov

Greater Atlantic Region
55 Great Republic Drive
Gloucester, MA 01930-2298
978-282-8462
allison.rosner@noaa.gov

Pacific Islands Region
1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176
Honolulu, HI 98618
808-725-5156
nancy.young@noaa.gov

Southeast Region
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
727-209-5952
jessica.powell@noaa.gov

West Coast Region - CA Office
501 West Ocean Blvd. Suite 4200
Long Beach, CA 90802
562-980-3238
elizabeth.petras@noaa.gov

West Coast Region - WA Office
7600 Sand Point Way, NE
Seattle, WA 98115
206-526-6550
brent.norberg@noaa.gov

More Information

 


 

MMAP Category I and II Fishery Identification Numbers

No.   Cat.        Fishery Description 

ALASKA

                            Gillnet fisheries

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

                            Trawl fisheries

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

                      

 PACIFIC OCEAN

                            Gillnet fisheries                     

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)

                            Longline fisheries

91     I       HI deep-set (tuna target) longline/set line fishery (includes the high seas Western Pacific Pelagic (deep-set component)

                            fishery)

130   II      HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline/set line fishery (includes the high seas Western Pacific Pelagic (shallow-set

                            component) fishery)

166   II      American Samoa longline fishery

167   II      HI shortline fishery

                           Trap/pot fisheries

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

                       

ATLANTIC OCEAN

                            Gillnet fisheries

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

                            Longline fisheries

05     I       Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico large pelagics longline fishery (includes the high seas Atlantic Highly

                            Migratory Species longline fishery)

                            Trawl fisheries

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

                            Trap/pot fisheries

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

                            Gillnet fisheries

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

                          Trawl fisheries

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 Elseware 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: December 3, 2014