Cook Inlet Beluga Whale Stranding Response Plan
August 2009 plan for responding to stranded Cook Inlet beluga whales
NOAA Fisheries has management responsibility for all cetaceans and pinnipeds, with the exception of the walrus. This Stranding Plan serves as the guiding document for the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region, Protected Resources Division when responding to stranded Cook Inlet beluga whales. NOAA Fisheries will take every reasonable action to appropriately respond to strandings, while acting in the best interest of the live stranded beluga(s) to prevent mortality and limit stress, but human safety will always take precedence. If NOAA Fisheries is unable to respond to a stranding in a timely manner, NOAA Fisheries may appoint a member of the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network, who has a stranding authorization from NOAA Fisheries to respond to marine mammal strandings, to act as a primary responder. This plan replaces the 1993 Turnagain Arm Marine Mammal Stranding Response Plan for beluga response and is intended for internal use, but sections may be made available to the public upon approval.