The U.S. Government, through the NMFS, the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, and other Federal agencies, undertakes a number of research projects on cetaceans in U.S. waters and overseas. NMFS also collaborates with non-U.S. scientists on a wide variety of cetacean research activities. Generally, these efforts include collaboration on assessments of stock status and genetic structure, bycatch assessments and mitigation efforts, evaluations of the impacts of human-made sound, assessments of contaminant loads in tissues, and capacity building and training efforts on a variety of topics – most notably training and development of observer and stranding response networks. In October, 2012, NMFS released the International Marine Mammal Action Plan to fulfill the U.S.’s international obligations to protect and conserve marine mammals, reduce the impacts of human activities on marine mammals, and ensure that the agency’s efforts are coordinated in a strategic fashion. The Action Plan includes seven strategic priorities to improve research and understanding of marine mammal biology, advance the conservation and management of marine mammals globally, and increase cooperation and collaboration with national and international partners. The International Marine Mammal Action Plan can be viewed at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ia/species/marine_mammals/immap.pdf.
The U.S. Government, through the NMFS, the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, and other Federal agencies, undertakes a number of research projects on cetaceans in U.S. waters and overseas.