DV-09-018 Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Conference

Sean Todd
Allied Whale
College of the Atlantic
105 Eden St.
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

In the United States, marine mammals and sea turtles are federally protected by a number of laws, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972), and the Endangered Species Act (1973). Federal law mandates response to marine mammals and sea turtles in distress. However, beyond legal and ethical obligations, stranding events offer an important opportunity for both science and public outreach/education; strandings represent an important source of data that can be utilized to make conservation management more effective, and yield information on the health of wild populations that cannot be gained elsewhere in the field, either because of logistic or ethical concerns.

The Northeast Region Stranding Network consists of 18 NOAA-authorized organizations from Maine to Virginia who respond to marine mammal and sea turtle stranding events, and rely substantially on public volunteer networks. Marine mammal and sea turtle stranding response is maximized within the Northeast region by annual meetings of network participants for the purposes of data and protocol sharing. The Northeast Region Stranding Conference provides a forum for network participants to learn and share information to improve the overall efficiency of stranding response and productivity of the network. The annual conference also provides a venue for members of the public to maintain their training as volunteers.

Sea Grant sponsored the 2010 conference which took palce in Bar Harbor and was hosted by College of the Atlantic, Allied Whale, Maine Department of Marine Resources and UNE MARC.
Presentations and videos from the conference can be found at the following websites:
iTunes U

Sea Grant funds: $2,000