THE MARINE MAMMAL COMMISSION COMPENDIUM
AGREEMENTS INVOLVING NATIVE ALASKAN GROUPS / MARINE MAMMALS
First Update; pages 1013-1017
Done at Anchorage 1 February 1994
Entered into effect 1 February 1994
Primary source citation: Copy of text provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior
MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT
"THE UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE (FWS), THE ALASKA SEA OTTER COMMISSION (ASOC) AND THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME (ADF&G), DO MUTUALLY AGREE AND DECLARE:
That there should be open and continuous communication and exchange of information among agencies and groups interested in the health, well being, and utilization of the northern sea otter ("Enhydra lutris), and that a sound management policy for this species is best developed and implemented with mutual cooperation and assistance from the above parties.
Therefore: The following Memorandum of Agreement (Agreement) is presented in recognition of this acknowledgment of mutual purpose and goals.
This agreement is designed to assist the signatory agencies in the cooperative management of the northern sea otter by providing for the exchange of biological, management and socioeconomic information, and for support of the requirements of pertinent laws, regulations, and resolutions.
In furtherance of this purpose, the agreement provides for coordination and cooperation among the FWS, the ASOC, and the ADF&G, Division of Wildlife Conservation, to achieve the following goals:
1.Conservation - Maintain healthy populations of the northern sea otter for ecosystem integrity, public enjoyment, scientific research, and Alaska Native harvest.
2.Habitat - Maintain healthy habitats for sea otters in Alaska.
3.Research - Obtain information necessary for the sound management and conservation of sea otters.
4.Harvest Monitoring and Reporting - Obtain accurate harvest information and biological samples which will provide information needed to make sound management decisions.
5.Education and Information Sharing - Provide a vehicle by which information regarding the effective management of the northern sea otter can be exchanged, shared, and/or made public.
6.Enforcement - Enforce provisions of pertinent laws and regulations in order to maintain healthy populations of sea otters.
7.Management Conflicts - Identify, and if possible, work towards resolution of management conflicts associated with sea otters.
8.Technical Committee - This agreement provides for the formation of a Technical Advisory Committee (Committee) comprised of two representatives appointed by each of the signatory organizations as well as outside scientific experts on sea otters, to provide advice concerning sea otter management in order to achieve the above goals.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enters into this Agreement pursuant to the authority granted in the Marine Mammal Protection Act, (MMPA) 16 USC 1382(c).
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game enters into this Agreement pursuant to authority granted in AS 16.05.050. The Alaska Sea Otter Commission enters into this Agreement pursuant to authority granted in Commission By-Laws and member village council resolutions.
III. Applications to other Treaties, Conventions, or Agreements:
A. Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to alter, amend or abrogate the authority of Alaska Natives to take sea otters in a non-wasteful manner for subsistence or handicrafts under section 101 (b) of the MMPA, 16 U.S.C. 1361 (b), or to authorize any federal restriction of the harvest of sea otters by Alaska Natives unless the sea otter population is formally determined to be depleted pursuant to the Act.
B. Nothing in this Agreement shall be read to abrogate the management responsibility of the Service as charged under the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361-1407). Further, the provisions of this Agreement shall not be deemed to contravene the provisions of any existing international treaty, convention, statute or agreement which may otherwise apply to the northern sea otter.
C. If anything in this Agreement shall be deemed unlawful, or contrary to laws and regulations made and provided for in such case, it shall be null and void and not affect the remainder of the Agreement.
A. Cooperative management - for purposes of this agreement, cooperative management is defined as a formal arrangement between the FWS, the ADF&G and the ASOC that recognizes the shared responsibility held by each for the conservation and management of sea otter populations. V. Now Therefore be it known that the Parties hereto agree as follows:
A. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service agrees:
1. to recognize the ASOC as the representative of ASOC member Native village governments on issues pertaining to sea otter conservation and management;
2. to coordinate with other agencies and persons in carrying out its responsibilities under the MMPA including the Alaska Native exemption, as amended, as provided in 16 U.S.C. Sect. 1361-1470;
3. to develop and conduct scientific studies in cooperation with the ADF&G and the ASOC, including, but not limited to: a) determine the distribution, size, and trends of the sea otter population in different regions of Alaska; b) assess the general health, welfare, and other life history parameters of the sea otter; c) identify, describe, and protect important breeding, pupping, and feeding habitat and haul out areas of the sea otter; d) investigate the impact of human activities on northern sea otters which may result in "taking" as defined by the MMPA, or habitat alteration resulting from development activities, oil spills, and other such activities;
4. to work with the ADF&G and the ASOC to develop regional sea otter management plans;
5. to cooperate with the ASOC and designated user groups to ensure compliance with the provisions of the MMPA, and to provide such law enforcement input and activity as is necessary;
6. to notify and involve the ASOC and the ADF&G prior to and during the development of sea otter management regulations or proposed amendments to the MMPA;
7. to incorporate, where appropriate, the written recommendations of the ASOC on FWS management planning documents or regulations concerning sea otter uses unless determined to violate the MMPA and/or other recognized principles of fish and wildlife conservation;
8. to implement Marking and Tagging and Reporting Regulations consistent with section 109(i) of the MMPA, as amended, and to utilize village residents as monitors to the maximum extent practicable;
9. (a) to uphold the federal government's trust responsibility to Alaska Natives; (b) to assure that sound biological management principles are used to guide the FWS and Alaska Natives in the management of sea otter populations, and; (c) to aid in securing funding and other opportunities for Alaska Natives to participate more actively in natural resources planning processes affecting sea otters;
10. to promote and encourage further research, communication, and agreements with foreign nations regarding the management and conservation of sea otters;
11. to cooperate with the ASOC and the ADF&G in developing and implementing a biological sampling program for sea otters harvested by Alaska Natives;
12. to cooperate with the ASOC and the ADF&G in developing and disseminating educational materials on the conservation, management, and utilization of sea otters.
B. The Alaska Sea Otter Commission Agrees:
1. to recognize the FWS as the federal agency vested with legal authority for sea otter management under the MMPA as amended;
2. to inform and educate sea otter users with regard to the value and necessity of their compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and their cooperation with efforts to obtain biological information about sea otters;
3. to provide a method for transfer of local knowledge about sea otters and their uses to federal, state, and tribal agencies so that this information can be used in decisions about the conservation and management of sea otters;
4. to cooperate with the Service in the implementation of the sea otter marking and tagging program;
5. to work with coastal Alaska Native villages to promote responsible management practices and non-wasteful uses of sea otters, and to ensure that uses are consistent with the MMPA as amended;
6. to act as a liaison between village governments and federal and state agencies with regard to management concerns, research, educational information, village concerns, and federal laws and regulations;
7. to promote and encourage further research, communication and agreements with foreign nations regarding the conservation and utilization of sea otters by Alaska Natives;
8. to cooperate with the FWS and the ADF&G in developing and implementing a biological sampling program for sea otters harvested by Alaska Natives;
9. to cooperate with the FWS and the ADF&G in developing and disseminating educational materials on the conservation, management, and utilization of sea otters;
10. to work with the FWS and ADF&G to develop and implement regional sea otter management plans.
C. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game agrees:
1. to recognize the FWS as the agency with legal responsibility for the management of the sea otter under the MMPA as amended;
2. to fulfill the responsibilities assigned and accepted by all parties of this agreement or through amendment to the agreement;
3. to cooperate with the FWS and the ASOC in: a) developing and implementing a sea otter conservation plan; b) conducting scientific studies to monitor the health, welfare, distribution, status and trends of the sea otter population; c) ensuring that management of state owned lands and waters provides adequate protection of important sea otter habitats;
4. to encourage local programs for compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and agreements;
5. to promote and encourage further research, communication, and agreements with foreign nations regarding the management and conservation of the sea otter;
6. to cooperate with the ASOC and the FWS in developing and implementing a biological sampling program for sea otters harvested by Alaska Natives;
7. to cooperate with the ASOC and the FWS in developing and disseminating educational materials on the conservation, management, and utilization of sea otters.
VI. It is further mutually agreed that:
1. amendments to this agreement may be proposed at any time by submission in writing to the other affected parties, and shall become effective upon approval by the signatories hereto or their representatives;
2. the effective date of this Agreement shall be from the date of final endorsement. The Agreement shall remain in force until one party signifies in writing to the others the desire to terminate its participation and obligations. The Agreement shall become null and void 30 days after such notification. This Agreement shall be reviewed by all signatory parties annually on the anniversary date and recommended changes be incorporated by amendment, or the Agreement terminated in part or in whole;
3. nothing in this Agreement shall preclude any party from advocating positions related to the management of sea otter and its habitat which may be contrary to that of the signatory parties, whether related to the development of legislation, promulgation of regulations, pursuit of administrative or judicial actions or otherwise;
4. nothing in this agreement shall obligate any party in the expenditure of funds, or future payments of money, in excess of appropriations authorized by law;
5. each party agrees that it will be responsible for its own acts and the results thereof and each party shall not be responsible for the acts of the other party; and each party agrees it will assume to itself risk and liability resulting in any manner under this agreement;
6. no member of Congress, or the Commissioner, shall be admitted to any share or part of the agreement or to any benefit that may arise therefrom;
7. each party will comply with all applicable laws, regulations and executive orders relative to Equal Employment Opportunity.
[Signature] Regional Director U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Anchorage, Alaska
[Signature] Chair Alaska Sea Otter Commission Fairbanks, Alaska
[Signature] Commissioner Alaska Department of Fish and Game Juneau, Alaska