About MMR

Seacoast Science Center Marine Mammal Rescue responds to all reports of live (healthy, injured, sick) and deceased seals, whales, porpoise, and dolphins in NH and northern MA (from Essex, MA to the Maine border).

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Marine Mammal Rescue Hotline: 603-997-9448



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All marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, enacted by the federal government on October 21,1972. Fulfilling this requirement, the Seacoast Science Center 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 response and rescue, the Aquarium conducts the necropsies, 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 Marine Mammal Resuce team ready to respond and give today.


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