Georgia Water/Laws/Marine Mammal Protection Act

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U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (of 1972 as amended)

General Description

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The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) protects all marine mammals, 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 Act makes it illegal to take or import marine mammals without a permit. This means people may not harass, feed, hunt, capture, collect, or kill any marine mammal.

Divided Administrative Responsibility

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The MMPA is managed by the federal government. The NMFS, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Department of Commerce, is responsible for managing cetaceans otariids, and phocids. The FWS, part of the Department of the Interior, is responsible for managing odobenids, sirenians, otters, and polar bears. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, part of the Department of Agriculture, is responsible for regulations managing marine mammals in captivity.