What is Marine Mammal Protection Act?

Legal Definition
The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) was the first act of the United States Congress to call specifically for a totem and taboo-style approach to wildlife management, setting aside marine mammals as untouchable and unapproachable. It is seen as the first federal animal rights legislation in the United States. It was signed into law on October 21, 1972 by President Richard Nixon and took effect 60 days later on December 21, 1972. MMPA prohibits the "taking" of marine mammals, and enacts a moratorium on the import, export, and sale of any marine mammal, along with any marine mammal part or product within the United States. The Act defines "take" as "the act of hunting, killing, capture, and/or harassment of any marine mammal; or, the attempt at such." The MMPA defines harassment as "any act of pursuit, torment or annoyance which has the potential to either: a. injure a marine mammal in the wild, or b. disturb a marine mammal by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, which includes, but is not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering." The MMPA provides for enforcement of its prohibitions, and for the issuance of regulations to implement its legislative goals.
-- Wikipedia