About Marine Mammal Rescue

Seacoast Science Center’s Marine Mammal Rescue (MMR) team is advancing wildlife conservation through stranded marine mammal response, care, and community outreach in New Hampshire and Northeastern Massachusetts.

MMR responds to all reports of live (healthy, injured, sick) and deceased seals, whales, porpoises, and dolphins in NH and northern MA (from Essex, MA, to the Maine border).

Marine Mammal Reporting Hotline: 603-997-9448

All marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act, enacted by the federal government on October 21, 1972. Fulfilling this requirement, Seacoast Science Center Marine Mammal Rescue staffs a 24/7 hotline (603-997-9448) and responds to all reports of marine mammals that haul out or strand on the shore in New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts (from Essex, MA to the Maine border). MMR leads the response and rescue and conducts health assessments and triage while collaborating necropsy labs conduct postmortem exams and rehabilitation facilities care for and release animals.

What should you do if you spot a live or dead seal or other marine mammal on a beach?

Marine Mammal Response Hotline: 603-997-9448
  • 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.
two people standing near whale going into the ocean

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 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.
rescuers helping a seal on the rocks

Support our Work

Because of your philanthropy, we can continue our important wildlife conservation work, including responding to and rescuing marine mammals from our beaches, educating our community about ocean ecology, and instilling a commitment to conservation.

Seacoast Science Center will be CLOSED today: Friday, April 5, 2024. Our utilities are currently down and need to get repaired before we are able to open for visitors. Thank you for your understanding. 

CLOSED today.

Seacoast Science Center is closed today due to inclement weather.