Marine Mammal Entanglement and Marine Debris in Alaska
Marine debris adversely impacts more than 800 marine and coastal species.
Entanglement and Marine Debris
Marine mammal entanglement, or by-catch, is a global problem that every year results in the death of hundreds of thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals world-wide (Reid et al, 2006). The sources of these entanglements are extensive and diverse. Actively-fished gear, marine debris - lost or abandoned fishing gear, and non-fishery-related gear and other gear types have been involved in marine animal entanglements. The International Whaling Commission recently listed entanglement as a primary concern, and entanglement is considered one of the primary causes of anthropogenic mortality in humpback and grey whales.
Marine Mammal Entanglement
How to Report Injured, Entangled or Dead Marine Mammals
Please let us know if you see injured, entangled or dead whales, seals or sea lions in the water or on the beach. The most important information to collect is the date, location of the animal (including latitude and longitude), number of animals, and species. Take pictures from different angles if you are able. Please don't move or touch the animal.
- NOAA Fisheries statewide 24-hour Stranding Hotline: (877) 925-7773 or (877) 9-AKR-PRD
- Protected Resources Office (M-F 8:00-4:00):
- Juneau: (907) 586-7235
- Anchorage: (907) 271-5006
- Alaska SeaLife Center Stranding Hotline: (888) 774-7325
- Report a Death or Injury of a Marine Mammal During Commercial Fishing Operations
NOTE: If the animal is a walrus, sea otter, or polar bear, call the Marine Mammals Management Office of the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage (800-362-5148 FREE, business hours) or the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward (888-774-7325, 24-hrs).
- National Ocean Service Alaska Marine Debris Program
- Entanglement of Marine Life: Risks and Response
- U.S. Whale Entanglement Response Level 1 - Alaska Region Course
- Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network
- National Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program
- Alaska Protected Resources Division