Marine Mammals on the West Coast
To report a dead, injured, or stranded marine mammal in Washington, Oregon, or California, please call the West Coast Region Stranding Hotline: 1-866-767-6114.
Marine mammals are any mammal that makes the sea its home for part or all of its life. This includes cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses), sea otters, sirenians (manatees and dugongs), and polar bears. Marine mammals are found worldwide. We have over 30 species off the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts. It is our responsibility to protect these species throughout the West Coast and within the United States. Many of these animals are affected by human impacts, fisheries, and environmental changes.
Several innovative programs—ship strike strategies, derelict gear hotlines, stranding networks, and rehabilitation efforts—are working to restore threatened and endangered marine animals. For marine mammals also listed under the Endangered Species Act, we work with partners to develop recovery plans that guide specific actions to protect and recover their populations.
How to Report
To report a dead, injured, or stranded marine mammal in Washington, Oregon, or California:
West Coast Region Stranding Hotline: 1-866-767-6114
To report entangled marine mammals:
Entanglement Reporting Hotline: 1-877-SOS-WHAL or 1-877-767-9425
The U.S. Coast Guard: VHF Ch. 16
To report harassments and other violations to law enforcement:
NOAA Enforcement Hotline: 1-800-853-1964
To report derelict gear:
Derelict Gear Hotline: 1-855-542-3935
To view current predictions for Blue Whales off the U.S. West Coast, visit the WhaleWatch site.
NOAA Fisheries manages most marine mammals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act (ESA); however, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages northern sea otters, walrus, manatees, and polar bears.
All cetaceans and pinnipeds managed by NOAA Fisheries on the West Coast:
NOAA Fisheries has listed 22 species of marine mammals under the ESA. Ten of these species occur on the West Coast: Guadalupe fur seals and nine cetaceans, including two distinct population segments (DPS) of humpback whale and the Western North Pacific DPS of gray whale.
Steller sea lions also occur on the West Coast, but the eastern DPS that occurs off the West Coast was delisted in 2013. The western DPS of Steller sea lions remains on the ESA list as an endangered species and is managed by NOAA Fisheries' Alaska Region. The Alaska Fisheries Science Center's Marine Mammal Laboratory does research on Steller sea lions.
ESA-listed Species on the West Coast:
Management & Recovery
SOS WHALe Brochure (PDF, 2 pages)
Pinniped Policy & Management
Deterrence methods for problem pinnipeds (PDF, 1 page)
Pinniped Entanglements Q & A (PDF, 2 pages)
Pinniped branding on the West Coast Q & A (PDF, 3 pages)
Reports on West Coast pinnipeds (PDF, 48 pages)
Share The Shore Q & A (PDF, 2 pages)