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House Legislation

Sponsor(s): Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD)

H.R. 2693 Marine Mammal Protection Act Amendments

Purpose: The Marine Mammal Protection Act (“MMPA”), which was enacted in 1972, establishes essential protections for marine mammals and the marine ecosystems of which they are a part. Among other provisions, the MMPA provides a moratorium on the importation or taking of marine mammals (where “taking” includes harassing, hunting, capturing or killing) with certain exceptions which require authorization. The MMPA also addresses “incidental take” in fisheries, such as dolphin deaths associated with tuna fishing. H.R. 2693 would amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act to decrease government oversight of industries that use marine mammals. For example, H.R. 2693 re-defines “harassment” so that many activities which currently require authorization instead would be able to proceed without government oversight as well as weakening some of the restrictions on the “incidental take” of marine mammals.

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