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Marine mammals have been used in the U.S. entertainment system for several decades. While they were first acquired through capture from the wild, the trade and birth of marine mammals in facilities of public display – zoos and aquariums – has boomed. Since the early 1940s, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been tasked with maintaining the record of each marine mammal under U.S. ownership. However, documentation has been improperly maintained, leading to inaccurate data, and even the “misplacement” of marine mammals. This is largely due to the lack of communication of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which is tasked with observing and enforcing the well-being of marine mammals in public display facilities. Through scrutiny of federal regulations concerning marine mammals, and the inventory of marine mammals, it is evident that federal agencies are not maintaining their statutory duties, and marine mammals are suffering as a result.

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