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CcLober 29, 2012

Chlef, ermlLs and ConservaLlon ulvlslon
Cfflce of roLecLed 8esources
naLlonal Marlne llsherles Servlce
1313 LasL-WesL Plghway, 8oom 13703
Sllver Sprlng, Mu 20910

8e: Marlne Mammals, llle 17324, nCAA-nMlS-2012-0138 (8ln 0648-xC137)

1he naLlonal Aquarlum respecLfully submlLs Lhe followlng commenLs wlLh regard Lo Marlne Mammals
llle 17324, Lhe permlL appllcaLlon by Lhe Ceorgla Aquarlum Lo lmporL 18 beluga whales lnLo Lhe unlLed
SLaLes for publlc dlsplay purposes.

Aquarlums, zoos and museums play an essenLlal role ln educaLlng Lhe publlc abouL anlmals, promoLlng
envlronmenLal conservaLlon and encouraglng Lhe preservaLlon and proLecLlon of our blue planeL. 1he
naLlonal Aquarlum ls commlLLed Lo Lhls mlsslon and ls submlLLlng Lhese commenLs Lo express our
poslLlon regardlng lmporLaLlon of small ceLaceans.

ln concerL wlLh Lhe flndlngs of a wlde communlLy of marlne mammal sclenLlsLs conducLlng research ln
Lhe fleld and ln aquarlums, we aL Lhe naLlonal Aquarlum have been conLrlbuLlng Lo Lhe advancemenL of
research and publlc knowledge ln recenL years abouL Lhe senLlence and soclal sysLems of ceLaceans.
1hese flndlngs have helped us make slgnlflcanL lmprovemenLs and lnnovaLlons ln Lhe care, welfare and
exhlblLlon of our dolphln colony and have gulded our pollcy, esLabllshed ln 2011, LhaL speclflcally
opposes Lhe collecLlon of ceLaceans from Lhe wlld for any purpose.

1he Marlne Mammal roLecLlon AcL of 1972, as amended ln 2007 (MMA), has led Lo lmporLanL
advances ln Lhe conservaLlon, proLecLlon and welfare of marlne mammals. ln Lhe lnLervenlng 40 years,
aquarlum professlonals and Lhe sclenLlflc communlLy have galned much lnslghL lnLo Lhe lnLelllgence,
self-awareness and soclal consclousness of ceLaceans, especlally dolphlns and small whales. ln parL
because of Lhls knowledge and research conducLed here and elsewhere, we aL Lhe naLlonal Aquarlum
plan Lo call on our peer lnsLlLuLlons, sclenLlsLs and oLher experLs Lo revlew Lhe relevance of currenL
MMA pollcles regardlng Lhe collecLlon of ceLaceans from Lhe wlld and collecLlvely crafL a new
approach Lo all such pracLlces.


!ohn C. 8acanelll
Chlef LxecuLlve Cfflcer

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