Whales are among the largest and oldest animals on Earth. They can be found in every ocean and range in size from the small dwarf sperm whale to the massive blue whale, the largest animal on the planet. Whales belong to a group of marine mammals called cetaceans. Marine mammals in the cetacean family include whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
There are two types of cetaceans: baleen and toothed. Baleen whales, or Mysticetes, have baleen plates which sieve prey, like krill, from the water. Toothed whales, or Odontocetes, have teeth and feed on fish, squid, and other marine mammals such as seals and sea lions.
Together with our partners, we work to ensure the conservation of whales which are all protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and protect and recover those that are listed under the Endangered Species Act.
We work closely with the commercial fishing industry to reduce harmful interactions with marine mammals, turtles, and other protected species.
On-Demand gear development at the Center continues to evolve with the help of industry.
The gear library is a collection of on-demand or “ropeless” systems, built with help and donations from environmental and academic organizations, that we lend to fishermen for testing.
We conduct surveys and develop abundance and distribution models to better understand how protected species such as whales, dolphins, and sea turtles use our waters.