marine mammal populations along with the quality of critical habitats, including the acoustic quality. Account should be taken of the populations involved; it is sensible to protect more rigorously species that are more endangered (e.g., northern right whales, Eubalaena glacialis) than those that are less at risk. Basic research regarding what is significant about critical habitats and what factors have population-level effects—for example, food supply, water quality, and noise levels and characteristics— will prove much more effective for protecting marine mammals than merely attempting to regulate individual human activities that may potentially cause changes in the behavior of an individual marine mammal. NMFS regulations should encompass the entirety of noise pollution and other threats to marine mammals.



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