16 U.S.C. § 1362 - Definitions

Cite as:16 U.S.C. § 1362
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-193 (10/30/2020)

For the purposes of this chapter-

(1) The term "depletion" or "depleted" means any case in which-

(A) the Secretary, after consultation with the Marine Mammal Commission and the Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals established under subchapter III of this chapter, determines that a species or population stock is below its optimum sustainable population;

(B) a State, to which authority for the conservation and management of a species or population stock is transferred under section 1379 of this title, determines that such species or stock is below its optimum sustainable population; or

(C) a species or population stock is listed as an endangered species or a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 [ 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.].

(2) The terms "conservation" and "management" mean the collection and application of biological information for the purposes of increasing and maintaining the number of animals within species and populations of marine mammals at their optimum sustainable population. Such terms include the entire scope of activities that constitute a modern scientific resource program, including, but not limited to, research, census, law enforcement, and habitat acquisition and improvement. Also included within these terms, when and where appropriate, is the periodic or total protection of species or populations as well as regulated taking.

(3) The term "district court of the United States" includes the District Court of Guam, District Court of the Virgin Islands, District Court of Puerto Rico, District Court of the Canal Zone, and, in the case of American Samoa and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the District Court of the United States for the District of Hawaii.

(4) The term "humane" in the context of the taking of a marine mammal means that method of taking which involves the least possible degree of pain and suffering practicable to the mammal involved.

(5) The term "intermediary nation" means a nation that exports yellowfin tuna or yellowfin tuna products to the United States and that imports yellowfin tuna or yellowfin tuna products that are subject to a direct ban on importation into the United States pursuant to section 1371(a)(2)(B) of this title.

(6) The term "marine mammal" means any mammal which (A) is morphologically adapted to the marine environment (including sea otters and members of the orders Sirenia, Pinnipedia and Cetacea), or (B) primarily inhabits the marine environment (such as the polar bear); and, for the purposes of this chapter, includes any part of any such marine mammal, including its raw, dressed, or dyed fur or skin.

(7) The term "marine mammal product" means any item of merchandise which consists, or is composed in whole or in part, of any marine mammal.

(8) The term "moratorium" means a complete cessation of the taking of marine mammals and a complete ban on the importation into the United States of marine mammals and marine mammal products, except as provided in this chapter.

(9) The term "optimum sustainable population" means, with respect to any population stock, the number of animals which will result in the maximum productivity of the population or the species, keeping in mind the carrying capacity of the habitat and the health of the ecosystem of which they form a constituent element.

(10) The term "person" includes (A) any private person or entity, and (B) any officer, employee, agent, department, or instrumentality of the Federal Government, of any State or political subdivision thereof, or of any foreign government.

(11) The term "population stock" or "stock" means a group of marine mammals of the same species or smaller taxa in a common spatial arrangement, that interbreed when mature.


(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term "Secretary" means-

(i) the Secretary of the department in which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is operating, as to all responsibility, authority, funding, and duties under this chapter with respect to members of the order Cetacea and members, other than walruses, of the order Pinnipedia, and

(ii) the Secretary of the Interior as to all responsibility, authority, funding, and duties under this chapter with respect to all other marine mammals covered by this chapter.

(B) in 1 section 1387 of this title and subchapter V (other than section 1421f-1 of this title) the term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Commerce.

(13) The term "take" means to harass, hunt, capture, or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.

(14) The term "United States" includes the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, American Samoa, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands.

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