Teaming up with Marine Mammals of Maine to protect local marine mammals

09/23/2015

A fully operational triage center will allow immediate treatment for seals and other marine animals affected by fishing gear each year on New England coasts.

No wild animal can have its needs entirely met when kept as a pet

We have partnered with Marine Mammals of Maine (MMoME) to develop a triage center for the immediate treatment and stabilization of seals and other marine mammals stranded, injured or entangled in lost, discarded and abandoned fishing gear each year on New England coasts.

Elizabeth Hogan, our U.S. Oceans and Wildlife Campaign Manager says: “It is our responsibility as stewards of animal protection to partner with other organizations like Marine Mammals of Maine who are having a direct impact on the survival of precious marine life. The staff at MMoMe are on the frontline of rescuing hundreds of marine animals each year over 2,400 miles of coastline. We are thrilled to support MMoME in the development of this much-needed triage center and to work together to rescue and release even more seals and marine animals.”

Local physical space has been donated in Harpswell, Maine, and several pieces of additional equipment and resources are needed to ensure the facility can operate effectively to address the growing number of animal strandings and injuries caused by fishing gear entanglement and boat strikes. A fully operational triage center will allow animals to be stabilized on site instead of transporting unstable animals hundreds of miles away, which can cause stress and set back recovery; and provide training for local volunteers and staff.

Lynda Doughty, Executive Director at Marine Mammals of Maine, says: “Last year’s closing of the Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation Center at the University of New England put an immense strain on our capabilities to assist animals during a very busy stranding season. We are pleased to have the support of World Animal Protection to help us build our operations further so that even more marine mammals have a chance to survive by being treated immediately on site at the triage center. With our new location and the support of the local community and other partners, we will ensure that these beloved marine animals, who call our shores their home, are around for more generations to come.”

The rich local habitat in Maine is home to several species of seals, sea turtle and whales, which also face entanglement risks given the vast scope of the fishing industry in Maine. As part of its Sea Change campaign, we have been working locally with partners and the fishing industry in Maine and New Hampshire to remove abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear and marine litter, known as ’ghost gear’, and globally to partner with other NGOs, governments, fishing industry representatives, and corporations to develop solutions to create safer, cleaner oceans for the marine animals that live in them through our Global Ghost Gear Initiative. The World Animal Protection – MMoME triage center project will also allow for research and data collection on the specific causes of entanglement and species impacted.

Our Sea Change campaign

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Together we can make difference for 1 million marine animals by 2018.