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Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Program

Scientific Review Groups | Stock Assessment Reports | Guidelines


Marine Mammal Observer
Photo: NOAA


In general, the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) prohibits the "taking" of marine mammals on lands or waters under U.S. jurisdiction. The MMPA also contains exceptions to this general prohibition on take, most of which require certain findings or determinations related to the effect of taking on marine mammal stocks. In addition, the MMPA directs NMFS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to evaluate the status of marine mammal populations and to prepare conservation plans to promote the recovery of depleted stocks of marine mammals.

The marine mammal stock assessment program supplies the information needed to

  observations of marine mammals charted on a map of the U.S. west coast
Marine Mammals Observations
(click for larger view)


Data collection, analysis, and interpretation are conducted through marine mammal research programs at each NMFS Fisheries Science Center. Draft reports of research and assessment programs are subjected to quality assurance (peer review) within the Science Centers, by the three independent Scientific Review Groups, and/or by other qualified experts, such as editorial boards for scientific journals or the Center for Independent Experts.Exit Disclaimer icon

Stock Assessment Reports
The products of NMFS' marine mammal research and monitoring program are used in a variety of ways, including the Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports. Draft stock assessment reports are peer reviewed by the independent regional Scientific Review Groups. Following peer review, the draft reports are made available for public review for 90 days. Once final, information summarized in these reports, or explained in detail in the references cited in the reports, contribute to:

More Information
You may find more details on marine mammal research programs in Science Centers across the country:

Updated: February 6, 2014