Marine mammal protection act
The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) plays a crucial role in the survival of marine mammals. Marine mammals are vital to the balance of marine ecosystems and are key indicators of the overall health of the ocean. Our ocean is in trouble and marine mammals are facing many new threats ranging from warming ocean temperatures to ocean trash and plastic pollution to depletion of fish stocks - to name a few. The MMPA helps protect our most vulnerable creatures, including cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), sirenians (manatees and dugongs), sea otters and polar bears within the waters of the United States.
The MMPA makes it illegal to "take" marine mammals without a permit. This means people may not harass, feed, hunt, capture or kill any marine mammal nor can anyone import marine mammal products into U.S. territory. On top of this, guidelines were created for viewing marine life which includes keeping a recommended distance of 50 yds from dolphins and 100 yds from whales. If these rules aren't followed, you are breaking federal law.
MMPA passed on October 21, 1972, to address human impacts on marine mammals and their ecosystems. Marine mammals were in danger of diminishing, some to the point of extinction, as a result of human activities like hunting and fishing. Today they still face many of these same pressures. In 1994, the MMPA was amended to require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to use science-based research to assess marine mammal populations in order to modify their protection.
The mission of Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network (LMMN) is to protect local marine mammals for future generations through quality science, public outreach and conserving their environment. Help us continue to fight for the protection of our local marine mammals! Visit our "Get Involved" or "DONATE" page to learn more.