The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) requires that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) develop Stock Assessment Reports (SARs) for all marine mammal stocks that occur regularly in U.S. waters. These reports are based upon the best available scientific information and include information on the distribution, abundance, population trends, human-caused mortality, and the Potential Biological Removal (PBR) of each stock. PBR is defined as the maximum number of individuals that can be removed from the stock while allowing it to remain at or above its optimum sustainable population level (OSP). If human-caused mortality is estimated to exceed the PBR, the stock is designated as “strategic”, and, when possible, measures are identified and implemented to reduce mortality.
Stock assessment reports are reviewed annually for strategic stocks and for stocks for which new information is available, and at least once every three years for all other stocks. Drafts of Pacific Stock Assessment Reports are reviewed by the Pacific Scientific Review Group (PSRG) prior to being made available for public comment. The Pacific Scientific Review Group is an independent panel, consisting of marine mammal researchers, wildlife managers, industry representatives, tribes, and conservation group representatives, whose task is to review stock assessments and advise NMFS on current and future management and research. Preliminary research reports and data analyses are also reviewed by the PSRG prior to publishing final SARs. Some reports reflect "gray literature" and can be found at the Publications Page of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center's EEZ Mammals and Acoustics Program. These stock assessment reports summarize information from a wide range of sources and an extensive bibliography of all sources is given in each report. We urge users of these documents to refer to and cite original literature sources rather than citing this report or previous stock assessment reports.
DOCUMENTS USED IN PREPARARTION OF MARINE MAMMAL STOCK ASSESSMENTS
NMFS. 2005. Revisions to Guidelines for Assessing Marine Mammal Stocks (GAMMS II). 24 pp.
NMFS. 2012. PROCEDURES FOR ASSESSING SERIOUS INJURY IN MARINE MAMMALS.
Differentiating Serious and Non-Serious Injury of Marine Mammals: Report of the Serious Injury Technical Workshop 10-13 September 2007, Seattle, Washington. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-39. 108 pp.
Further information and background on the Marine Mammal Protection Act and U.S. Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports can be found at the NMFS Office of Protected Resources Stock Assessment Reports web site, and in the following references:
The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (as amended through 1997)
Taylor, B.L., P.R. Wade, D.P. DeMaster, and J. Barlow. 2000. Incorporating uncertainty into management models of marine mammals. Conservation Biology 14: 1243-1252.
Barlow J., S.L. Swartz , T.C. Eagle, and P.R. Wade. 1995. U.S. Marine Mammal Stock Assessments: Guidelines for Preparation, Background, and a Summary of the 1995 Assessments. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-95-6. 76p.
Wade, P.R. and Angliss R.P, 1997. Guidelines for Assessing Marine Mammal Stocks: Report of the GAMMS Workshop, April 3-5, 1996, Seattle, WA. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-12.