Commercial walrus hunting was banned in Canada in 1931. A U.S. Department of Commerce
regulation in 1937 and The Congressional Walrus Act of 1941 banned all U.S. commercial
hunting, allowing only native subsistence hunting.
B. The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).
1. The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 made it illegal to hunt or
harass any marine mammal in U.S. waters.
2. The MMPA does allow for certain exceptions: native subsistence hunting; collecting
or temporarily restraining marine mammals for research, education, and public display; and
taking restricted numbers of marine mammals incidentally in the course of fishing
3. The primary objective of the MMPA is to maintain the health and stability of the
marine ecosystem and to obtain and maintain an optimum sustainable population of marine
4. According to the MMPA, all walruses in U.S. waters are under the jurisdiction of the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
C. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
In 1975, the Pacific walrus was placed on Appendix III of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Although
Pacific walruses are not threatened or endangered, this classification assures the Pacific
walrus some government protection.
D. Marine zoological parks.
1. Having walruses at marine zoological parks provides the opportunity for the public
to learn, up-close, about these animals and how human activities may impact their
2. In the protected environment of a marine zoological park, scientists can examine
aspects of walrus biology that are difficult or impossible to study in the wild.
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