Protected Resources

The Protected Resources Division (PRD) is responsible for implementing marine mammal conservation and recovery programs under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in close coordination with the State of Alaska and other partners. 

PRD develops and implements conservation programs for marine mammals including whales, ice seals, harbor seals, northern fur seals, and Steller sea lions; develops and implements recovery programs for threatened and endangered species including Cook Inlet beluga whales, bowhead whales, North Pacific right whales, western Steller sea lions, and Arctic ringed seals; coordinates the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network to respond to stranded or entangled marine mammals; consults with federal agencies to minimize the effects of proposed actions on threatened and endangered marine mammals and their critical habitat, such as oil and gas development and coastal construction projects; develops and implements co-management agreements with Alaska Native organizations to cooperatively manage subsistence use of marine mammals; works collaboratively with stakeholders to implement guidelines and practices for marine mammal viewing to avoid harassment; conducts reviews to determine if species warrant protection under the ESA or if ESA-listed species no longer need such protection; and analyzes interactions between marine mammals and commercial fisheries to minimize adverse effects.