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Committee Detail

Note: An Annual Comprehensive Review, as required by §7 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, is conducted each year on committee data entered for the previous fiscal year (referred to as the reporting year). The data for the reporting year is not considered verified until this review is complete and the data is moved to history for an agency/department. See the Data From Previous Years section at the bottom of this page for the committee’s historical, verified data.

MMC - 1059 - Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals - Statutory (Congress Created)


Committee NameCommittee of Scientific Advisors on Marine MammalsAgency NameMarine Mammal Commission
Fiscal Year2020Committee Number1059
Original Establishment Date12/21/1972Committee StatusChartered
Actual Termination Date Committee URL
New Committee This FYNoPresidential Appointments*No
Terminated This FYNoMax Number of Members*9
Current Charter Date4/29/2019Designated Fed Officer Position Title*General Counsel
Date Of Renewal Charter4/29/2021Designated Federal Officer Prefix
Projected Termination Date Designated Federal Officer First Name*Michael
Exempt From Renewal*NoDesignated Federal Officer Middle NameL.
Specific Termination AuthorityDesignated Federal Officer Last Name*Gosliner
Establishment Authority*Statutory (Congress Created)Designated Federal Officer Suffix
Specific Establishment Authority*16 U.S.C. 1403Designated Federal Officer Phone*(301) 504-0087
Effective Date Of Authority*12/21/1972Designated Federal Officer Fax*(301) 504-0099
Exempt From EO 13875 Discretionary CmteNot ApplicableDesignated Federal Officer Email*
Committee Type*Continuing
Committee Function*Scientific Technical Program Advisory Board


Agency Recommendation*Continue
Legislation to Terminate Required 
Legislation StatusNot Applicable
How does cmte accomplish its purpose?*Through annual meetings and frequent exchanges of information with the Commissioners and staff, the members of the Committee of Scientific Advisors keep abreast of current marine mammal issues, review pertinent documents, and assist in formulating Commission recommendations. During Fiscal Year 2020, the Marine Mammal Commission's Committee of Scientific Advisors continued to provide the Commission with the expert scientific advice necessary to prepare 117 letters with formal recommendations to other agencies concerning Federal, State, and international actions affecting the conservation of marine mammals and their habitats. Specific matters upon which the Committee provided essential scientific review and advice to the Commission during Fiscal Year 2019 included actions needed to reduce threats to marine mammal species listed under the Endangered Species Act, including the vaquita, Cook Inlet beluga whale, North Atlantic right whale, blue whale, southern resident killer whale, false killer whale, Hawaiian monk seal, and polar bear. In addition, the Committee helped formulate agency positions on steps needed to reduce interactions between marine mammals and fisheries activities, particularly for the North Atlantic right whale, false killer whales in Hawaii, and the vaquita. The Committee also reviewed a host of other Commission recommendations to help ensure that other activities, such as military training and sonar operations, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, wind energy projects, geophysical research, and coastal construction projects, do not adversely affect marine mammal populations. Other key issues on which the Committee provided advice included proposed stock assessment revisions, aboriginal subsistence whaling, including a proposal from the Makah Tribe to hunt gray whales, restoration projects and other follow-up to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, conflicts between growing marine mammal populations and human activities, and proposed import bans on catch from fisheries in other countries that take marine mammals in excess of U.S. standards. During Fiscal Year 2020 the Committee also reviewed documents prepared by other agencies pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. The Committee reviewed 52 requests for authorizations to take marine mammals incidental to various activities other than commercial fishing. During Fiscal Year 2020, the Committee reviewed and provided detailed comments and recommendations on 48 permit applications and requests for permit amendments to take or import marine mammals for purposes of scientific research, public display, photography and/or species enhancement. The Committee also reviewed and provided advice on numerous scientific research proposals and preproposals, as well as on reports submitted by Commission contractors as part of the Commission's research and studies program.
How is membership balanced?*The members of the Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals are selected by the Chairman of the Commission, in consultation with the other Commissioners. Consistent with the provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the names of nominees are submitted to the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the Director of the National Science Foundation, and the Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences for approval. This helps to ensure a high level of expertise in members is maintained with respect to scientific disciplines, marine mammal species, and geographic areas of particular importance to the Commission's responsibilities. For example, sources of scientific expertise in marine mammal veterinary medicine, population dynamics, population assessment, biometrics, acoustics, and behavior are needed to provide advice on various matters before the Commission. The Commission also requires a high level of knowledge concerning the biology and ecology of certain marine mammal species, such as the West Indian manatee, right whales and other species of large whales, the vaquita, Southern Resident killer whales, sea otters, the Cook Inlet stock of beluga whales, the polar bear, and the Hawaiian monk seal. These marine mammal species require special attention by the Commission because of their small population levels and/or threats they face. In addition, Committee members are selected to provide broad familiarity with marine mammal species and issues from a range of geographic regions, including Alaska and other polar regions, the Pacific coast of the United States, Florida, and Hawaii, where Commission responsibilities are especially great.The Commission periodically solicits nominations of prospective Committee members from the public via a Federal Register announcement. Those nominations will be considered as appointments to the committee are made.
How frequent & relevant are cmte mtgs?*The Committee generally meets annually and at other times as necessary. The meetings provide the Committee and Commission with the opportunity to exchange views and information and to focus its attention on issues of particular importance or urgency. The Commission and Committee had planned to meet in New Orleans, Louisiana, in Fiscal Year 2020 to review the effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and ongoing efforts to address the impacts of the spill, as well as other issues related to marine mammal conservation in the southeastern United States.However, due to closures and travel restrictions related to the Covid 19 pandemic, that meeting was postponed. It is anticipated that the Commission and Committee will take up some of those issues at an in-person or virtual meeting during Fiscal Year 2021.
Why advice can't be obtained elsewhere?*No other body, either within or outside the government, has the breadth of knowledge or expertise that the Committee possesses with respect to marine mammals. Having a ready source of expertise available to the Commission is essential for scientifically sound and timely decisions to be made with respect to research and management questions before the Commission. If the Committee were not available to the Commission, contracts to obtain the expert knowledge and advice would be required on a case-by-case basis, which would be more time-consuming, more costly, and more administratively burdensome.
Why close or partially close meetings?N/A
Recommendation RemarksNone


Outcome Improvement To Health Or Safety*YesAction Reorganize Priorities*Yes
Outcome Trust In GovernmentYesAction Reallocate ResourcesYes
Outcome Major Policy ChangesYesAction Issued New RegulationsNo
Outcome Advance In Scientific ResearchYesAction Proposed LegislationNo
Outcome Effective Grant MakingYesAction Approved Grants Or Other PaymentsYes
Outcome Improved Service DeliveryNoAction OtherNo
Outcome Increased Customer SatisfactionNoAction CommentNA
Outcome Implement Laws/Reg RequirementsYesGrants Review*Yes
Outcome OtherNoNumber Of Grants Reviewed45
Outcome CommentNANumber Of Grants Recommended10
Cost Savings*Unable to DetermineDollar Value Of Grants Recommended$241,680.00
Cost Savings CommentNAGrants Review CommentNot Applicable
Number Of Recommendations*117Access Contact Designated Fed. Officer*Yes
Number Of Recommendations CommentThis is the number of Commission recommendations reviewed by the Committee in Fiscal Year 2020. We do not maintain a total going back to the Committee's creation in the 1970s.Access Agency WebsiteYes
% of Recs Fully Implemented*100.00%Access Committee WebsiteNo
% of Recs Fully Implemented CommentNAAccess GSA FACA WebsiteYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented*0.00%Access PublicationsYes
% of Recs Partially Implemented CommentNAAccess OtherNo
Agency Feedback*YesAccess CommentN/A
Agency Feedback Comment*Committee members are provided copies of Commission recommendations that result from consultation with the Committee and all agency recommendations are posted on the Commission's web site.Narrative Description*The Marine Mammal Protection Act requires the Commission to consult with the Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals on all studies and recommendations it makes, on research programs conducted or proposed by the Commission, and on all applications for scientific research permits under the Act. The advice that the Commission receives from the Committee is critical to meeting the statutory obligations of the Commission as it formulates recommendations to other agencies on matters concerning marine mammal conservation and as it establishes priorities for its own research program.
Hide Section - COSTS


Payments to Non-Federal Members*$53,095.00Est Payments to Non-Fed Members Next FY*$63,000.00
Payments to Federal Members*$0.00Est. Payments to Fed Members Next FY*$0.00
Payments to Federal Staff*$51,400.00Estimated Payments to Federal Staff*$62,000.00
Payments to Consultants*$0.00Est. Payments to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Non-Federal Members*$6,401.00Est Travel Reimb Non-Fed Members nextFY*$9,500.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Members*$0.00Est Travel Reimb For Fed Members*$2,500.00
Travel Reimb. For Federal Staff*$0.00Est. Travel Reimb to Fed Staff Next FY*$0.00
Travel Reimb. For Consultants*$0.00Est Travel Reimb to Consultants Next FY*$0.00
Other Costs$0.00Est. Other Costs Next FY*$1,500.00
Total Costs$110,896.00Est. Total Next FY*$138,500.00
Federal Staff Support (FTE)*0.40Est. Fed Staff Support Next FY*0.55
Cost RemarksMost costs were lower than anticipated due to postponement of the scheduled annual meeting.Est Cost RemarksActual costs will depend on whether an in-person meeting is held or, in the alternative, the number and duration of any virtual meetings.
Hide Section - Interest Areas

Interest Areas

Animal Sciences and Husbandry
Fish and Wildlife
Veterinary Medicine
Basic Science
Natural Resources
Environmental Issues
Oceans and Atmospheric Sciences
Federal Government
Tribal Government
International Economic Policy
International Law
International Organizations
Basic Research
Science and Technology
Science and Technology
Boating and Navigation


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Data from Previous Years

ActionCommittee System IDCommittee NameFiscal Year
 COM-035101Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2019
 COM-032796Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2018
 COM-001678Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2017
 COM-002559Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2016
 COM-003850Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2015
 COM-004526Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2014
 COM-006258Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2013
 COM-006471Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2012
 COM-008040Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2011
 COM-008651Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2010
 COM-010431Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2009
 COM-010605Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2008
 COM-012328Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2007
 COM-012465Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2006
 COM-014202Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2005
 COM-014333Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2004
 COM-016129Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2003
 COM-016651Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2002
 COM-017786Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2001
 COM-018599Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals2000
 COM-019658Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals1999
 COM-020450Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals1998
 COM-021870Committee of Scientific Advisors on Marine Mammals1997