Marine mammals under attack

IFAW alert

Find out how many marine mammals are killed each year by commercial fishing operations. Download free publication here.

More than 30 years ago, the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was enacted to keep whales, seals, dolphins and other marine mammals safe from hunting and human threats. But now this crucial protection is in grave danger of being weakened and the animals need you to speak out before it’s too late.

In just a few weeks, Congress will be considering H.R. 4075, a bill that would remove a critical provision from the MMPA. The amendment would remove a deadline by which the commercial fishing industry must significantly reduce the serious injury and death of marine mammals accidentally caught in fishing nets and/or gear.

The proposal also includes a provision that would allow facilities that house marine mammals to own them, letting them keep important information about their marine mammals out of the public’s reach.

Take Action: Protect Marine Mammals

The MMPA was the first legislation anywhere in the world to require an ecosystem approach to marine resource management. It includes a general ban on killing or importing marine mammals without a permit.

Twenty-seven marine mammal populations are still being killed in significant numbers. When Congress addressed the harm caused to marine mammals by commercial fishing in 1994, they created a “Zero Mortality Rate Goal” requiring the numbers of serious injuries and deaths from bycatch be reduced to insignificant levels. The deadline for this goal passed seven years ago.

As a result, approximately 1,900 additional whales, dolphins and other marine mammals are still killed each year. The new provision would remove the zero mortality rate deadline altogether, leaving commercial fisheries no real goal to reduce their impact on marine mammals.

Introduced by Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA), H.R. 4075 would weaken protections for marine mammals. Please contact your Representative today and tell them to OPPOSE this harmful bill.

Thanks for speaking out,

Fred O’Regan President and CEO


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