Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 106 Part 6.djvu/502

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106 STAT. 5060 PUBLIC LAW 102-587 —NOV. 4, 1992 16 USC 1421 SEC. 3002. FINDINGS. The Congress finds the following: (1) Current stranding network participants have performed an undeniably valuable and ceaseless job of responding to marine mammal strandings over the last 15 years. (2) Insufficient understanding of the connection between marine mammal health and uie physical, chemical, and biological parameters of their environment prevents an adequate understanding of the causes of marine mammal unusual mortality events. (3) An accurate assessment of marine mammal health, health trends in marine mammal populations in the wild, and causes of marine mammal luiusual mortality events cannot be made without adequate reference data on marine mammals and the environment in which they live. (4) A systematic assessment of the sources, presence, levels, and effects of potentially harmful contaminants on marine mammals would provide a better understanding of some of the causes of marine mammal unusual mortality events and may serve as an indicator of the general health of our coastal and marine environments. (5) Responses to marine mammal unusiial mortality events are often uncoordinated, due to the lack of sufficient contingency planning. (6) Standardized methods for the reporting of dying, dead, or otherwise incapacitated marine mammals in the wild would greatly assist in the determination of the causes of marine mammal unusual mortality events and enhance general knowledge of marine mammal species. (7) A formed system for collection, preparation, and archiving of, and providing access to, marine m£unmal tissues will enhance efforts to investigate the health of marine mammals and health trends of marine mammal populations, and to develop reference data. (8) Information on marine mammals, including results of analyses of marine mammal tissues, should be broadly available to the scientific community, including stranding network participants, through a marine mammal ata base. SEC. 3003. MARINE MAMMAL HEALTH AND STRANDING RESPONSE PRO- GRAM. (a) IN GENERAL.— The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new title: ""TITLE m—MARINE MAMMAL HEALTH AND STRANDING RESPONSE 16 USC 1421. 'SEC. 301. ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM. "(a) ESTABLISHMENT. —The Secretary shall, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, the Marine Mammal Commission, and individuals with knowledge and experience in marine science, marine mammal science, marine mammal veterinary and husbandry practices, and marine conservation, including stranding network p£urticipants, establish a program to be known as the 'Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program'. "(b) PURPOSES. — The purposes of the ftt)gram shall be to—