National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
Data Center Description
The National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML) is responsible for conducting research on marine mammals important to the mission of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with particular attention to issues related to marine mammals off the coasts of California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. This work includes stock assessments, life history determinations, and status and trends. Information is provided to various U.S. governmental and international organizations to assist in developing rational and appropriate management regimes for marine resources under NOAA's jurisdiction. Research programs are carried out cooperatively with other Federal, state and private sector agencies.
Research conducted by the NMML utilizes a variety of methods and tools to obtain needed information. Determination of status and trends of marine mammal populations requires information on abundance, stock structure, mortality and net productivity. To obtain these data, censuses are carried out from ships, aircraft and on land. Radio and satellite-linked telemetry is utilized to determine movements and migrations, critical feeding areas and depths, and other behavioral data. Sophisticated analyses and modeling are carried out to determine necessary population parameters.
Information is provided to the NMFS Alaska and Northwest Regional Offices, and to the Office of Protected Resources. NMFS is also required to provide data to the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council (NPFMC), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and to other commissions established under treaties.
Marine mammal stock assessment information is published annually by NMML staff and is available here. Information included in the Stock Assessment Reports for Alaska marine mammals is reviewed by the Alaska Scientific Review Group.