Subject: Re: whale: ownership & release

Daniel K. Odell (
Fri, 31 Jan 1997 22:38:29 -0500 (EST)

Dear Tara:

The first thing you need to do is to get a copy of the Marine Mammal
Protection Act of 1972.  It is the federal law that protects all marine
mammals in US waters and specifically allows the take of wild marine
mammals for public display and research.  To the best of my knowledge
there is no legal 'obligation' on the part of public display or research
facilities to return any animals to the wild.  In fact, the return of
animals to the wild requires a scientific research permit.

You can get a copy of the MMPA from the National Marine Fisheries Service
Office of Protected Species web page.  You can find it listed under 'other
useful links' on the Society for Marine Mammalogy's web site.

Dan Odell
Sea World

On Thu, 30 Jan 1997, Tara Huether wrote:

> I am a law student at the Northwestern School of Law in Portland, OR and am 
> currently researching the legal aspects of marine park's ownership of whales 
> and their obligation, if any, to release a whale back into the wild.  Do you 
> know of any publications, case studies, or informational materials which would 
> cover these areas?  I would be very appreciative of any leads you could give 
> me.
> Thank you
> Tara M. Huether