Marine Mammals Management
Alaska Region


Marking, Tagging & Reporting Program

The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 allows Alaska Natives to harvest marine mammals for subsistence uses.

Woman splitting a walrus hide for traditional boat covering. USFWS. The Marine Mammal Protection Act (pdf) requires that all sea otter and polar bear hides and skulls, and all walrus tusks be tagged by a representative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This program is implemented through resident MTRP taggers located in coastal villages and communities throughout Alaska.

To find out how to contact taggers, call Brad Benter or Forrest Hannan at 1-907-786-3980 or 1-907-786-3551.

There are more than 150 taggers located in about 100 villages. The information collected by the MTRP will help ensure the long-term survival of these species by monitoring the Native harvest and controlling the illegal take, trade, and transport of marine mammal parts.

MTRP personnel are also active in the Walrus Harvest Monitoring Program (WHMP). In this program, USFWS representatives monitor the annual spring walrus hunt in several Alaskan villages. The representatives record information on the animals taken in the hunt, collect biological samples and assist in tagging the ivory of the harvested walruses.

Annual reports from the WHMP are available by contacting the Marine Mammals office at 1-907-786-3819 or 1-800-362-5148.

Last updated: September 13, 2013