The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 was enacted to maintain marine mammal stocks at their optimum sustainable population (OSP) level and to restore depleted stocks.  The law prohibits the take of  all 128 species of marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, sea otters, manatees, polar bears, seals, and walruses.  The term “take” is defined as “to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture or kill any marine mammal.”