For a Federal Marine Wildlife Laboratory

WHEREAS, the various programs of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service relating to marine wildlife (mammals and birds) are largely inadequate, uncoordinated, administratively and geographically separated; and

WHEREAS, the Marine Mammal Biological Laboratory (MMBL) of the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (BCF) has, since its creation, occupied temporary quarters separated from the marine environment and lacked facilities for maintaining living marine mammals and birds in captivity; and

WHEREAS, sea otters, whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, walruses, and sea birds all have economic, esthetic, and ecological values and many have at one time or another suffered and some are today suffering deplorably from mismanagement; and

WHEREAS, marine wildlife species enter international waters as well as territorial waters of many nations and wise management of most populations to be effective must be in accord with international agreement; and

WHEREAS, extensive studies of marine wildlife are important to formulate wise management policy, and the need for knowledge of the abundance, distribution, population dynamics, and other biological and ecological factors becomes increasingly important to the conservation of resources needed by a rapidly expanding human population; and

WHEREAS, the present but inadequate marine wildlife programs of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service are currently threatened with further reduction;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Society of Mammalogists requests the President of the United States and the Secretary of the Interior to convene a panel of experts for the purpose of deciding: (1) Where a properly planned facility should be built; (2) what its organizational structure should be; and (3) what the physical features of the laboratory, including enclosures, offices, library, museum, and logistical facilities, should include; and further, that this panel's recommendations be implemented.