Seacoast Science Center
Marine Mammal Rescue Team
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Marine Mammal Rescue Team

The Seacoast Science Center was granted authorization by the National Marine Fisheries Service to lead New Hampshire's marine mammal rescue effort, effective January 1, 2014. The Center's Marine Mammal Rescue Team responds to stranded, injured and diseased seals, whales, porpoises, and dolphins in NH's coastal region.

All marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, enacted by the federal government on October 21, 1972. Fulfilling this requirement, the Center's Marine Mammal Rescue Team staffs a 24/7 hotline (603-997-9448) and deploys first responders. Collaborating with New England Aquarium and rehabilitation facilities in the region, the Center leads the rescues; the Aquarium conducts the necropsy and pathology, and rehabilitation facilities care for and release animals.

What should you do if you spot a seal or other marine mammal on a beach?
  • Watch quietly from at least 150 feet away
  • Keep dogs away from the animal
  • Do not pour water on the animal
  • Do not offer the animal food or water
  • Do not cover the animal with a towel or blanket
  • Do not try to move the animal
  • Call 603-997-9448 and report the animal's location, size, coloring, and behavior
Seals belong on the beach.
Whales and dolphins do not.

Unlike whales or dolphins, seals are semi-aquatic and are comfortable out of the water. Most seals haul out onto beaches to sleep, nurse, or to soak up the sun. Seals are cute, but they are wild animals and should not be disturbed. By getting too close, you disturb the seal and could provoke it to bite.

It is illegal to disturb any marine mammal.

People who harass or disturb them are subject to civil and criminal penalties.

Why is it important to respond to every seal that hauls out onto a beach or stranded whale, dolphin or porpoise?
  • To protect the public's health and safety by properly managing sick or dead animals
  • To protect the health of stranded animals by reducing harmful human interactions
  • To advance marine mammal biology and ecology research by maintaining continuous data flow into the national database
We cannot continue to rescue marine mammals without your help.

Federal funding for marine mammal rescue operations has been reduced. That means the Center must rely heavily on contributions from its coastal communities. Please help keep our Team ready to respond and give today.

Thank You

Thank you to our Marine Mammal Rescue program founding funders: From the Bow Seat, Kittyhawk Revocable Charitable Trust, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Advised Funds (Barbara K. and Cyrus B. Sweet III Fund, Thomas W. Haas Fund, Charles and Lora Arter Fund, a Fund of Stephen and Ann Smith), New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Sarah K. de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust, Prescott Grant Program. Our Marine Mammal Rescue Team was ready to respond on January 1, 2014 thanks to their generous support.

Thank you, also, to all individuals and businesses who supported our Marine Mammal Rescue program in 2015. We look forward to your continued support in 2016. A complete list of 2015 Marine Mammal Rescue Donors can be found here.