Wherever used in this article, unless a different meaning clearly appears in the context, the following terms shall be given the following respective meanings:
(1) COMMISSIONER. The Commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources of the State of Alabama.
(2) DEPARTMENT. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources of the State of Alabama.
(3) CONSERVATION and MANAGEMENT. The collection and application of biological information for the purposes of increasing and maintaining the number of animals within species and populations of marine mammals at the optimum carrying capacity of their habitat. Such terms include the entire scope of activities that constitute a modern scientific resources program, including, but not limited to, research, census law enforcement and habitat acquisition and improvement. Also included within these terms, when and where appropriate, is the periodic or total protection of species or populations as well as regulated taking.
(4) MARINE MAMMAL. Any mammal which is morphologically adapted to the marine environment or primarily inhabits the marine environment. Such term includes any part of any such marine mammal, including its raw, dressed or dyed fur or skin.
(5) MARINE MAMMAL PRODUCT. Any item of merchandise which consists or is composed, in whole or in part, of any marine mammal.
(6) MORATORIUM. A complete cessation of the taking of marine mammals, except as provided in this article.
(7) OPTIMUM CARRYING CAPACITY. The ability of a given habitat to support the optimum sustainable population of a species or population stock in a healthy state without diminishing the ability of the habitat to continue that function.
(8) OPTIMUM SUSTAINABLE POPULATION. With respect to any population stock, the number of animals which will result in the maximum productivity of the population or the species, keeping in mind the optimum carrying capacity of the habitat and the health of the ecosystem of which they form a constituent element.
(9) PERSON. Any individual, firm, corporation, association or partnership; or any officer, employee, agent, department or other instrumentality of the federal government or of any state government.
(10) POPULATION STOCK or STOCK. A group of marine mammals of the same species or smaller taxa in a common spatial arrangement that interbreed when mature.
(11) TAKE. To harass, hunt, capture or kill, or attempt to harass, hunt, capture or kill any marine mammal.
(12) MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION ACT OF 1972. The federal law designed to protect and conserve marine mammals as such act may be subsequently amended.