(a) The regulations in this part implement sections 101(a)(5)(E) and 118 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1371(a)(5)(E) and 1387) that provide for exceptions for the taking of marine mammals incidental to certain commercial fishing operations from the Act's general moratorium on the taking of marine mammals.
(b) Section 118 of the Act, rather than sections 103 and 104, governs the incidental taking of marine mammals in the course of commercial fishing operations by persons using vessels of the United States, other than vessels fishing for yellowfin tuna in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean purse seine fishery, and vessels that have valid fishing permits issued in accordance with section 204(b) of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1824(b) ).
(c) The regulations of Subpart B also govern the incidental taking by commercial fishers of marine mammals from species or stocks designated under the Act as depleted on the basis of their listing as threatened species or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531et seq.).
(d) The regulations of this part do not apply to the incidental taking of California sea otters or to Northwest treaty Indian tribal members exercising treaty fishing rights.
(e) Authorizations under subpart A of this part are exemptions only from the taking prohibitions under the Act and not those under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. To be exempt from the taking prohibitions under the Endangered Species Act, specific authorization under subpart B of this part is required.
(f) Authorizations under this part do not apply to the intentional lethal taking of marine mammals in the course of commercial fishing operations except as provided for under §§ 229.4(k) and 229.5(f).
(g) The purposes of the regulations in this part are to:
(1) Reduce the incidental mortality or serious injury of marine mammals occurring in the course of commercial fishing operations below the potential biological removal level for a particular stock, and
(2) Reduce the incidental mortality or serious injury of marine mammals occurring in the course of commercial fishing operations to insignificant levels approaching a zero mortality and serious injury rate by the statutory deadline of April 30, 2001.
[60 FR 45100, Aug. 30, 1995, as amended at 64 FR 9086, Feb. 24, 1999]
Title 50 published on 2012-10-01
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