Regulatory Brief

 Draft Revisions to the Guidelines for Preparing Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports (January 2012)


Formal title: Docket Number [NOAA-NMFS-2012-0007]Draft Revisions to the Guidelines for Preparing Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports

On January 24, 2012 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) solicited public comments on draft revisions to the guidelines for preparing marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs).


Brief Description:

Section 117 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) requires NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to prepare stock assessments for each stock of marine mammals occurring in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States. These reports must contain information regarding:

  • Distribution and Abundance of Stock
  • Population Growth Rates and Trends
  • Estimates of Annual Human-caused Mortality
  • Serious Injury from All Sources

AVMA Response:

The AVMA is appreciative of enhancements that the NMFS proposes for the SARs which may facilitate advances in species conservation efforts. The AVMA recognizes that if the revisions are adopted, the SARs may provide more targeted science-based evidence for ESA listing, management, and de-listing of species, which the AVMA supports. Additionally, the AVMA encourages the NMFS to incorporate veterinary expertise relative to marine mammal population, health, and ecosystem efforts.

Background Documents:

March 26, 2012 – Full AVMA Response (PDF)

January 24, 2012 – Federal Register Notice (PDF)

Draft Revisions to the Guidelines for Preparing Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports (PDF)

Relevant AVMA Policies