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Alaska marine mammal stock assessments, 1995

Preface

On April 30,1994, Public Law 103-238 was enacted allowing significant changes to provisions within the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Interactions between marine mammals and commercial fisheries are addressed under three new Sections. This new regime replaced the interim exemption that has regulated fisheries-related incidental takes since 1988. Section 117, Stock Assessments, required the establishment of three regional scientific review groups to advise and report on the status of marine mammal stocks within Alaskan waters, along the Pacific Coast (including Hawaii), and the Atlantic Coast (including the Gulf of Mexico).

This report provides information on the marine mammal stocks of Alaska under the jurisdiction of the National Marine Fisheries Service. Each stock assessment includes a description of the stock’s geographic range, a minimum population estimate, current population trends, current and maximum net productivity rates, optimum sustainable population levels and allowable removal levels, and estimates of annual human-caused mortality and serious injury through interactions with commercial fisheries and subsistence hunters. Under the new regime, these data will be used to evaluate the progress of each fishery towards achieving its goal of zero mortality and serious injury.

This is a working document. Each stock assessment report is designed to stand alone and will be updated as new information becomes available. The authors wish to solicit any new data or comments that would serve to improve future stock assessment reports.


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