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NOAA Fisheries
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Marine Mammal Take Reduction Program

Purpose | Goals | Process | Content | Contact | More Info


Take Reduction Teams

· Atlantic Large Whale Team

· Atlantic Offshore Cetacean Team

· Atlantic Trawl Gear Team

· Bottlenose Dolphin Team

· False Killer Whale Team

· Gulf of Maine Harbor Porpoise Team

· Mid-Atlantic Harbor Porpoise Team

· Mid-Atlantic Team

· Pacific Offshore Cetacean Team

· Pelagic Longline Team


TRP Fact Sheet
TRP Fact Sheet

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) section 118 specifies that NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) develop and implement take reduction plans (Plans) to assist in the recovery or prevent the depletion of strategic marine mammal stocks that interact with Category I and II fisheries.

A strategic stock is one which:

The immediate goal of take reduction plans is to reduce, within six months of its implementation, the incidental serious injury or mortality of marine mammals from commercial fishing to levels less than PBR.

The long-term goal is to reduce, within five years of its implementation, the incidental serious injury and mortality of marine mammals from commercial fishing operations to insignificant levels approaching a zero serious injury and mortality rate, taking into account the economics of the fishery, the availability of existing technology, and existing state or regional fishery management plans.

NMFS convenes take reduction teams (Teams) to develop such plans. Take reduction teams consist of a balance of representatives from the fishing industry, fishery management councils, state and Federal resource management agencies, the scientific community, and conservation organizations.

Once NMFS publishes a Federal Register notice to establish and convene a Team, the team has 6 months to develop a draft Plan. The MMPA states that a Plan must be developed by consensus and then submitted to NMFS. NMFS has 60 days to publish a draft Plan, including any proposed changes to the plan. The public then has an opportunity to review the plan and provide comments on the draft Plan and the proposed regulations for implementing the Plan. If a Team cannot reach consensus on a draft plan, the Team can document the range of possibilities considered and both majority and minority views. If a Team does not submit a draft Plan, NMFS has 8 months from the date the Team was formed to develop a proposed plan and implementing regulations. NMFS may use the Team's deliberations as the basis for a proposed plan. After the close of the comment period on a proposed Plan and implementing regulations, NMFS has 60 days to publish a final Plan and regulations to implement that Plan. After each Plan is finalized, the Team and NMFS meet periodically to monitor implementation of the plan.

Each take reduction plan must include:

  • A review of the final stock assessment report for each marine mammal addressed by the Plan and any substantial new information;
  • An estimate of the total number and, if possible, age and gender, of animals from the stock that is incidentally killed or seriously injured each year during the course of commercial fishing operations, by fishery;
  • Recommended regulatory or voluntary measures for the reduction of incidental mortality and serious injury; and
  • Recommended dates for achieving the specific objectives of the plan.

Kristy Long
NMFS Office of Protected Resources
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

More Info

Updated: December 16, 2011

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