Marine Mammal Protection Act
In 1972 the Marine Mammal protection act (MMPA) was established. The act was
originally designed to provide protection to dolphins from incidental take by commercial
fisherman. The MMPA banned the take and commercial harvest of marine mammals, with
Section 101(b) allows for the subsistence harvest of marine mammals by Alaska
Natives, without regulation, unless the animal is listed as endangered and is likely to
In 1994 the Indigenous Peoples Council on Marine Mammals (IPCoMM) was formed to
seek co-management between Natives and federal agencies. As a result of the efforts of
IPCoMM, Section 119 was added to authorize Secretaries of Commerce and Interior to
enter into cooperative agreements with Alaska Native Organizations.
Currently, IPCoMM is cooperating with the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine
Fisheries Service, and the Marine Mammal Commission to add a new Sec. 119(a) to allow
for management before depletion, and to allow federal agencies to enforce tribal
regulations. Reauthorization of the Act is pending in Congress.
what we do
IPCoMM Participants meet in Fall, 2004 at the Alaska Federation of
Natives conference room in Anchorage, Alaska.