NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal report is urging the National Marine Fisheries Service to collect more data on bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico and figure out how to better protect the mammals from fishermen.
The report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, was issued Wednesday and looked at the federal agency's compliance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The GAO says there are 14 stocks of marine mammals in U.S. waters that are not being monitored closely enough by NMFS. They say bottlenose dolphins are among those mammal stocks.
NMFS says it has not done more to monitor mammal populations threatened by fishing because it does not have the money to do so.