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Marine Mammal Commission

The Marine Mammal Commission (MMC) was established under Title II of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, to provide independent oversight of the marine mammal conservation policies and programs being carried out by Federal regulatory agencies. In carrying out its responsibilities, MMC is charged with seven primary duties:

1. undertake a review and study of the activities of the United States pursuant to existing laws and international conventions relating to marine mammals, including, but not limited to, the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, the Whaling Convention Act of 1949, the Interim Convention on the Conservation of North Pacific Fur Seals and the Fur Seal Act of 1966;
2. conduct a continuing review of the condition of the stocks of marine mammals, of methods for their protection and conservation, of humane means of taking marine mammals, of research programs conducted or proposed to be conducted under the authority of this Act, and of all applications for permits for scientific research, public display, or enhancing the survival or recovery of a species or stock;
3. undertake or cause to be undertaken such other studies as it deems necessary or desirable in connection with its assigned duties as to the protection and conservation of marine mammals;
4. recommend to the Secretary and to other federal officials such steps as it deems necessary or desirable for the protection and conservation of marine mammals;
5. recommend to the Secretary of State appropriate policies regarding existing international arrangements for the protection and conservation of marine mammals and suggest appropriate international arrangements for the protection and conservation of marine mammals;
6. recommend to the Secretary such revisions of the endangered species list and threatened species list published pursuant to section 4(c)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as may be appropriate with regard to marine mammals; and
7. recommend to the Secretary, other appropriate federal officials, and Congress such additional measures as it deems necessary or desirable to further the policies of this Act, including provisions for the protection of the Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts whose livelihood may be adversely affected by actions taken pursuant to this Act.

The Marine Mammal Commission also carries out a small research program in support of projects aimed at meeting the conservation and protection goals of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

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