The Marine Mammal Protection Act

Topics: Whale, Marine mammal, Polar bear Pages: 3 (740 words) Published: September 8, 2013
The Marine Mammal Protection Act

This paper includes information a particular environmental law. Specifically, the Marine Mammal Protection Act is discussed along with the history and background of this particular environmental law. In addition, the reasoning behind its existence will be elaborately deliberated.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act
The Marine Mammal Protection Act was established and signed in 1972. According to Ray and Potter (2011), this bill was “passed, despite some times-contentious testimony, without significant opposition or debate by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and was signed into law on 21 October 1972”. This particular environmental act sought to protect whales, dolphins, sea lions, seals, manatees and other species of marine mammals, many of which remain threatened or endangered. The law requires wildlife agencies to review any activity -- for example, the use of underwater explosives or high-intensity active sonar, which has the possibility to kill these animals in the wild. The law is our nation's leading instrument for the conservation of these species, and is an international model for such laws. The Marine Mammal Protection Act makes it illegal to take marine mammals without a valid permit. Basically, this means people may not harass, feed, hunt, capture, collect, or kill any marine mammal or part of a marine mammal. The Marine Mammal Protection Act also formalized the marine mammal health and stranding response program to improve the response of stranding and unusual mortality events. The Marine Mammal Protection Act is managed by the federal government. The National Marine Fisheries Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Department of Commerce, is responsible for managing cetaceans, otariids, and phocids. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, part of the Department of the Interior, is responsible for managing odobenids, sirenians, otters, and polar...

References: Dye, L. R. (1993). The Marine Mammal Protection Act: Maintaining the commitment to marine mammal conservation. Case Western Reserve Law Review, 43(4), 1411.
Ray, G., & Potter, J. M. (2011). The Making of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Aquatic Mammals, 37(4), 522-552.
Risenhoover, A. (2012). Taking of Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; False Killer Whale Take Reduction Plan. Federal Register, 77(230), 71260-71286.
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