40 Facts for 40 Years: The Marine Mammal Protection Act Turns 40
21. We’re proud to say the United States has been a part of the International Whaling Commission since 1949. NOAA is the lead agency for coordinating U.S. efforts to promote the rights and needs of aboriginal subsistence whalers & conservation activities. Learn more.
22. When marine mammals are strong, the ocean is strong. Marine mammals are top predators that eat many of the same fish that we do and several species live in our coastal areas. Learn more.
23. Lesson time: two major groups of marine mammals are (1) whales, dolphins, and porpoises and (2) seals, sea lions, and walruses. We protect them all. Learn more.
24. Fur seals migrate the distance of 229 marathons—6,000 miles round trip—from their summer breeding grounds in the Bering Sea. They even sleep floating on the surface of the water during their migrations. NOAA scientists track these seals on their incredible journey. Learn more.
25. The U.S. puts the conservation of healthy and stable ecosystems and the conservation of individual species at the top of its list. Learn more.
26. What a homecoming—our favorite orphan killer whale calf, Springer, was rescued from Puget Sound and returned to her family in Canada in 2002, then spotted again 10 years later. Learn more.
27. How do marine mammals react to human-produced sound? Did you know that NOAA Fisheries works with other government agencies and academic institutions to study human-produced sound in the marine environment? Learn more.
28. The Marine Mammal Protection Act was enacted on October 21, 1972 so that all marine mammals could have better protections. Learn more.
29. Dolphins will be happy to know—Dolphin SMART is a unique program benefiting both dolphins and participating dolphin-viewing businesses. Learn more.
30. For your safety and theirs, never approach whales within 100 feet. Learn more.
31. True or False? Monk seals eat lobster. Not true! Find out what they eat and learn more.
32. Hawaiian monk seals are native to the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll, which means they are found nowhere else on earth. A rough Hawaiian translation of monk seal is "dog running in the rough seas," learn more about their history. It's a myth that monk seals eat about 400 pounds of fish per day. Learn more.
33. Who defends marine mammals? We do—NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement investigates crimes against marine mammals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Learn more.
34. Marine mammals are the cutest. But feeding, swimming with, or touching marine mammals is illegal and dangerous behavior under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Learn more.
35. Who are the top predators in the Antarctic, aside from humans? That would be leopard seals: their diet regularly includes penguins. Learn more.
36. Even Sherlock Homes may be stumped by Pacific right whales—very little is known about their long-term movements and habits. NOAA gathers more clues through research. Learn more.
37. 101 spotted dolphins? Young Atlantic spotted dolphins do not have spots and look like slender bottlenose dolphins. As these animals get older, they acquire more and more spots. Learn more.
38. Be a hero hiker like these guys—during the time of a monk seal shooting in May 2009, photos from hikers in the area helped lead the investigators to the perpetrators. Learn more.
39. Why go to Cirque Du Soleil if you have the chance to watch the amazing movements of dolphins? Some describe the swimming of Atlantic spotted dolphins as acrobatic because of the way they leap and jump at the surface. Learn more.
40. Leopard seals weigh about 1,000 pounds and have lots of teeth, making them dangerous to be near. No wonder NOAA scientists use flying vehicles to study leopard seals. Learn more.