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Zero Mortality Rate Goal

Overview

pilot whale lying on the deck of a boat
Pilot Whale mortality
(Globicephala sp.)
Photo: Mandy Merklein, P. Michael Payne

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was enacted in 1972 with the ideal of eliminating mortality and serious injury of marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing operations.

In 1994, Congress amended the MMPA and established a requirement that the level of incidental mortality and serious injury of marine mammals be reduced to insignificant levels approaching a zero rate by April 30, 2001, which is commonly referred to as the Zero Mortality Rate Goal (ZMRG).

To implement the MMPA, NMFS established a threshold level for mortality and serious injury that would meet this requirement. NMFS defined an Insignificance Threshold in regulations and estimated this threshold level as 10 percent of the "Potential Biological Removal (PBR) level" for a stock of marine mammals.

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