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Spring Marine Mammal Stranding Response Workshop

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Allied Whale’s workshop will train volunteers in stranding response for seals and whales

BAR HARBOR, ME – Allied Whale, College of the Atlantic’s marine mammal research group, will hold its annual Spring Marine Mammal Stranding Response workshop on Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 1 pm – 5 pm at the college’s McCormick Lecture Hall. The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will train volunteers in stranding response for seals and whales while also detailing what marine mammals share Mount Desert Island’s shores. Emphasis will be on harbor seals and their pups, as well as health assessment.

All marine mammals are federally protected in the US, and as such, it is illegal to touch, harm, injure, annoy, harass, or kill any marine mammal. Allied Whale is one of several institutions in the US authorized to handle all marine mammals. Allied Whale handles stranding response from Rockland, ME to the Canadian border, and are required to respond to all marine mammals to determine if they are stranded or not, assess health of animals, collect and transport if needed, perform necropsies (autopsies) on dead marine mammals and report data to NOAA Fisheries.

The types of strandings Allied Whale typically responds to include harbor seal pups in spring and summer time, harp and hooded seals (collectively known as the “ice seals”) during the winter months, and grey seals in both summer and winter. The response area covers approximately 2,600 miles of indented coastline and includes the myriad of islands in between, so team members must be ready to travel several hours to respond to a stranded animal. Allied Whale often works in collaboration with the Maine Strandings Collaborative, taking stranded animals to the only rehabilitation facility in Maine: the Marine Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation (MARC) at the University of New England in Biddeford.

Educating the public is an incredibly important aspect of what Allied Whale does. This free workshop, besides required training for volunteers, provides an excellent opportunity to teach those who just want to learn about marine mammals.

To sign up, or to learn more about the workshop, contact Rosemary Seton at or 207-288-5644.

About Allied Whale
Allied Whale was founded in 1972 to conduct research for the effective conservation of marine mammal populations and their habitats, and to train students to enter careers related to those goals. While their research is primarily based in the Gulf of Maine, Allie Whale’s efforts extend north to Canada and across the North Atlantic to the British Isles south to the Cape Verde Islands as well as all the way down to South America and Antarctica.

About College of the Atlantic
College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more information, visit