Marine mammals are ecologically and culturally important species, and various countries have specific legislation to protect the welfare of individual marine mammals and the conservation of their populations. Anthropogenic noise represents a particular challenge for conservation and management. There is a large and growing body of research to support the conclusion that anthropogenic noise can affect marine mammal behavior, energetics, and physiology. The legal, policy, and management issues surrounding marine mammals and noise are similarly complex. Our objective is twofold. First, we discuss how policy and legal frameworks in Canada have some important differences from other jurisdictions covered in previous reviews, and provide a useful general case study. Secondly, we highlight some priority research areas that will improve marine mammal conservation and management. Our examples focus on the research needed to meet stated conservation objectives for marine mammal species in waters under Canadian jurisdiction.