USFWS
Marine Mammals Management
Alaska Region

 

Definitions

Take - to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal,  including, without limitation, any of the following: The collection of dead animals or parts thereof; the restraint or detention of a marine mammal, no matter how temporary; tagging a marine mammal; or the negligent or intentional operation of an aircraft or vessel, or the doing of any other negligent or intentional act which results in the disturbing or molesting of a marine mammal.

Harassment
1. General definition: any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which—
(a) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild; or
(b) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering.

2. For Military Readiness or Federal Scientific Research activities:
(a) any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild; or
(b) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering, to a point where such behavioral patterns are abandoned or significantly altered.

Incidental, but not intentional taking - takings that result from, but are not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity. “Incidental, but not intentional taking” is defined in 50 CFR 18.27 (Regulations governing small takes of marine mammals incidental to specified activities) as “takings which are infrequent, unavoidable, or accidental. It does not mean that the taking must be unexpected.”

Letter of Authorization – issued to specific operators for activities covered by incidental take regulations.
                                                             
Incidental Harassment Authorization – an authorization of take of one or more marine mammals by harassment only during a period of up to 1 year.

Incidental Take Authorization – a general term referring to either an Incidental Take Regulation or Incidental Harassment Authorization.

Incidental Take Regulations – authorization of take of one or more marine mammals during a period of up to 5 years in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act; requires the promulgation of regulations in the federal register.

Incidental Take Statement – an authorization issued for take of a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. This term is not used under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, but is included here for clarity. If take of a threatened or endangered marine mammal is authorized under the ESA, the Incidental Take Statement will specify what measures are necessary for compliance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act. In order for an ESA incidental take statement to be issued for a marine mammal, an MMPA incidental take authorization must be issued first (16 U.S.C 1543).

Level A harassment - harassment that causes injury or has the potential to cause injury; see Harassment: subparts 1.a. and 2.a., above.

Level B harassment - harassment that causes or has the potential to cause disruption of natural behavioral patterns; see Harassment: subparts 1.b. and 2.b., above.

Negligible impact - "negligible impact" is defined in 50 CFR 18.27 (Regulations governing small takes of marine mammals incidental to specified activities) as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

Small numbers - The term “small numbers” is defined in 50 CFR 18.27 (Regulations governing small takes of marine mammals incidental to specified activities) as “a portion of a marine mammal species or stock whose taking would have a negligible impact on that species or stock.”

Negligible impact - "negligible impact" is defined in 50 CFR 18.27 (Regulations governing small takes of marine mammals incidental to specified activities) as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

Unmitigable adverse impact - "Unmitigable adverse impact" is defined in 50 CFR 18.27 (Regulations governing small takes of marine mammals incidental to specified activities) as “an impact resulting from the specified activity: (1) that is likely to reduce the availability of the species to a level insufficient for a harvest to meet subsistence needs by (i) causing the marine mammals to abandon or avoid hunting areas, (ii) directly displacing subsistence users, or (iii) placing physical barriers between the marine mammals and the subsistence hunters; and (2) that cannot be sufficiently mitigated by other measures to increase the availability of marine mammals to allow subsistence needs to be met.”

U.S. citizens -“U.S. citizens” is defined in 50 CFR 18.27 (Regulations governing small takes of marine mammals incidental to specified activities) as “individual U.S. citizens or any corporation or similar entity if it is organized under the laws of the United States or any governmental unit defined in 16 U.S.C. 1362(13). U.S. Federal, State, and local government agencies shall also constitute citizens of the United states for purposes of this section.”

Last updated: March 11, 2014