NOAA Fisheries is responsible for managing the impacts of commercial and recreational fisheries on marine mammals under the authorities of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA). Interactions between fisheries and marine mammals include: incidental bycatch in fishing gear, predation on fish that are being targeted or already captured during fisheries harvest operations by marine mammals (referred to as marine mammal depredation), and removal of preferred marine mammal fish forage and prey by fisheries harvest. The bycatch of marine mammals can occur: during active fishing operations that involve mobile fishing gear; in fishing gear that is fixed in place; and fishing gear that has been lost, discarded, or otherwise no longer being used for fisheries harvest (marine debris). NOAA has programs and policies in place to monitor the amount of marine mammal bycatch that occurs in fisheries and minimize impacts to populations when conservation concerns may be warranted. These programs include fisheries and conservation issues that involve fishing operations and marine mammals throughout the oceans of the U.S. and internationally. NOAA also studies and manages the impacts of fishing on the health and behavior of marine mammals through various regulatory and conservation actions. The West Coast Region is directly involved in a wide variety of domestic and international issues where the impacts of fisheries on marine mammals are being closely evaluated and measures to minimize effects are being developed and implemented.
To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal, please call: 1-866-767-6114
For law enforcement, harassments, and other violations, please call: 1-800-853-1964
For entangled marine mammals, please call: 1-877-SOS-WHALe or 1-877-767-9425
or hail the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF Ch. 16
To report derelict gear, please call: 1-855-542-3935
2015 Amended Negligible Impact Determination for Humpback & Sperm Whales
2017 Draft Negligible Impact Determination for Humpback & Sperm Whales