Mendocino's Marine Mammals

ALERT: Report Live Stranded Marine Mammals to The Marine Mammal Center!!

(415) 289-SEAL /7325!

Report Dead Stranded Marine Mammals to the Noyo Center for Marine Science: 

(707) 813-7925

The Mendocino Coast is home to a spectacular array of marine mammals, from whales to porpoises, seals to sea lions. The U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act protects all marine mammals, including cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises), pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), sirenians (manatees and dugongs), sea otters, and polar bears within the waters of the United States. Under this law, people may not harass, feed, hunt, capture, collect, or kill any marine mammal or part of a marine mammal. For a full look at the MMPA, visit NOAA’s website.

Ocean users play an important role in marine mammal conservation, so here are some basic guidelines for interaction with these amazing animals:

  • Remain at least 100 yards away from whales and where they come to shore, and 50 yards away from other marine mammals.
  • Do not try to feed, touch, ride or swim with marine mammals or turtles.
  • Avoid following behind or directly approaching in front of an animal. Attempt to parallel an animal’s course.
  • Should dolphins or porpoises choose to ride the bow wave of your boat, reduce speed gradually if necessary and avoid sudden course changes
  • If approached by an animal, put the engine in neutral and allow the animal to pass. Do not engage the propellers until the animal is observed at the surface and clear of the vessel.
  • When marine wildlife is known to be in the area, post a lookout, reduce speed, and be cautious.

Please report marine mammals that appear to be ill, abandoned or in danger to The Marine Mammal Center at (415) 289-7325 or SEAL! You’ll help The Marine Mammal Center provide a humane response to these animals by giving them a second chance at life and at the same time, help researchers with their ongoing studies.  Please report all dead marine mammals to the Noyo Center at 707-733-NOYO.  We are working with the California Academy of Sciences to collect data on these animals and their threats.