POPULATION & ENVIRONMENT LINKAGES SERVICE
Coasts & Oceans - Marine Mammals
Last updated: 04/13/00
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National Library for the Environment
Type of Resource Nontechnical Report
Title The Northern Right Whale
Author M. Lynne Corn
Affiliation Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
Url http://www.cnie.org/nle/biodv-12.html
Peer Review Internal Review Process
Abstract 1995 report prepared as a briefing document for the U.S. Congress. "Of all the large whale species, the northern right whale is the most endangered. . . Fewer than 350 remain in the northwestern Atlantic; a European population was extirpated by the 1500s. Because of this severe depletion, the right whale was the first whale species to receive international protection, beginning in 1935. It is now protected by a host of national laws and international treaties. However, its numbers remain low, even though the California grey whale population has almost tripled under the same laws. Scientists surmise that right whale recovery may be impeded by habitat degradation, propeller and fishing gear injuries and fatalities, and competition for food. In an attempt to boost the population, three key areas of the right whales' range within Federal jurisdiction have been designated as critical habitat. The National Marine Fisheries Service is considering additional measures to reduce harmful human interactions with right whales."

Type of Resource Nontechnical Report
Title Dolphin Protection and Tuna Seining
Author Eugene H. Buck
Affiliation Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
Url http://www.cnie.org/nle/mar-14.html
Peer Review Internal Review Process
Abstract 1997 report prepared as a briefing document for the U.S. Congress. "Schools of yellowfin tuna associate with dolphins in the eastern tropical Pacific (ETP) Ocean. U.S. fishermen began to exploit this resource in the late 1950s by encircling the dolphins with large purse seine nets to capture the yellowfin tuna swimming beneath them. Despite efforts to release the entrapped dolphins (which were of no value to U.S. fishermen) while landing the tuna, dolphins became entangled in the nets and drowned. By the early 1970s, as many as 300,000 or more dolphins may have been drowned each year by U.S. tuna seiners in the ETP. . . . Despite the extensive mortalities, no ETP dolphin population has been listed as endangered or threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. However, two ETP dolphin stocks were listed as depleted under the MMPA." Measures taken to reduce dolphin mortality and other factors had reduced such mortalities in the EPT to 3,274 by1995.

Type of Resource Nontechnical Report
Title Marine Mammal Protection Act Amendments of 1994
Author Eugene H. Buck
Affiliation Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
Url http://www.cnie.org/nle/biodv-11.html
Peer Review Internal Review Process
Abstract 1994 report prepared as a briefing document for the U.S. Congress. "The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 was reauthorized by the Marine Mammal Protection Act Amendments of 1994 (Public Law 103-238) as signed by President Clinton on April 30, 1994. These Amendments reauthorize appropriations for the Marine Mammal Commission, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of the Interior -- the agencies responsible for implementing the Marine Mammal Protection Act -- through fiscal year 1999. In addition, substantial changes were made to many of the Act's provisions, incorporating contributions from commercial fishers, conservation groups, public display institutions, scientific researchers, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Marine Mammal Commission, animal protection groups, and the Alaska Native community."

Type of Resource Nontechnical Report
Title Marine Mammals in Captivity: Background and Management Issues in the United States
Author Patricia Lawson, Eugene H. Buck
Affiliation Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
Url http://www.cnie.org/nle/mar-21.html
Peer Review Internal Review Process
Abstract 1997 report prepared as a briefing document for the U.S. Congress. "Public display of marine mammals is a business in many states, and public display facilities often are part of a public or private zoo. Although initial motives for capturing these animals may have been curiosity, marine mammals have considerable public appeal and some operators have been successful in combining research, educational, and business goals. Marine mammals are held in captivity in at least 36 countries for public display, education, entertainment, swim-with-the-dolphin programs, and scientific research. 1 Marineland of Florida in St. Augustine, which opened in 1938, was the world's first large oceanarium. Approximately 109 facilities in North America currently display 1,459 marine mammals.2 At least 22 species of marine mammals are currently held in captivity in the United States; the most abundant species in marine parks is the California sea lion (557 animals), followed by bottlenose dolphins (332 animals) and harbor seals (248 animals).3 In 1995, about 60 million people visited U.S. facilities holding marine mammals."

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