Intersection of Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) prohibits the taking (harassment, injury, killing) of marine mammals unless exempted or specifically permitted or authorized as described in Section 101(a) (5) (A) and (D). NOAA Fisheries' Office of Protected Resources in Silver Spring, Md., issues incidental take authorizations. Information is available on that office’s Website about the types of permits, how to apply and timelines for permit processing.

The connection with Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7: NOAA Fisheries' issuance of incidental take authorizations under the MMPA is a federal action that requires ESA Section 7 consultation. Generally, NOAA Fisheries cannot issue an incidental take statement for marine mammals under the ESA until an MMPA incidental take authorization has been issued.