Who to contact
Offshore accidents with marine animals can quickly escalate into emergencies, so it’s important to know what to look for and what to do. Emergencies do not involve live, free-swimming healthy cetaceans or live, healthy hauled-out seals.
No matter what the emergency is, the incident should be reported to the appropriate agency – see below for a list of response networks in your region:
Contact the DFO hotline: call 1-800-465-4336, then visit http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/species-especes/mammals-mammiferes-eng.html
Contact the Baleines en Direct (a GREMM intiative): call 1-877-722-5346 then visit http://baleinesendirect.org/urgences-mammiferes-marins/
Maritime Provinces (N.S., N.B., P.E.I.)
Contact Marine Animal Response Society (MARS): call 1-866-567-6277 then visit http://marineanimals.ca/site/strandings-rescue/what-is-a-stranding/
Newfoundland and Labrador
Contact Whale Release and Strandings Newfoundland and Labrador: call 1-709-895-3003 or 1-888-895-3003 then visit http://www.newfoundlandlabradorwhales.net
Anywhere in Canada
Contact DFO’s Observe, Record, and Report hotline at 1-800-465-4336
Anywhere in the U.S.A.
Contact the Marine Mammal Stranding and Entanglement Hotline 1- 888-256-9840
On the high seas, this may simply be informing any scientists who monitor large animals in those areas. In territorial waters, the governing agency (list above) needs to be informed.
Once on the phone, continue to observe the marine animal and follow the five important steps below:
Stay calm and call the regional authority (numbers below)
Determine if alive or dead (monitor breathing)
Identify the species, if possible
Record exact location, time, number of animals, description of condition, and take photographs
You may receive further information for action upon contacting your regional marine animal emergency network
For further information please refer to the Marine Animal Response Network website.