Marine Mammals of Maine opens treatment center for injured animals


Facility receives authorization for rescuing injured marine mammals along Maine’s coastline

The expert staff at MMoME are on the front line of rescuing hundreds of marine animals each year over 2,400 miles of coastline, and the service they provide is truly life-saving for the marine animals that need immediate care,

Our partner, Marine Mammals of Maine (MMoME) has officially opened a new triage center in Harpswell, Maine where injured or stranded marine mammals found and rescued along the Maine coastline can be cared for.

The triage center was developed in partnership with World Animal Protection and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The facility has received authorization from NOAA’s Regional Marine Mammal Stranding Response Program, in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and has already treated several seals. We are providing funding and other support for the new triage center.

This harbor seal pup was a recent resident of the MMoME traige center

At the center, immediate treatment and stabilization is provided for seals in need of care, including those that may be entangled in lost or derelict fishing gear. The triage center partnership will also allow for research and data collection on the specific causes of entanglement and species impacted.

“We are very excited that our triage center is operational with the necessary new equipment to stabilize animals, NOAA authorization, and support from partners including World Animal Protection." said Lynda Doughty, Executive Director of Marine Mammals of Maine.


Related: An injured harbor seal is off to rehab after rescue by MMoME

On-site assistance for animals in need

The triage center is fully equipped to address animals whether stranded or injured, typically reported locally. The fully operational triage center allows animals to be stabilized on-site instead of being transported hundreds of miles away to receive the necessary care, which can cause stress and delay recovery. The triage center’s team is also providing training for local volunteers and staff on caring for injured marine mammals.

"Spring and summer are usually a very busy period for local marine animal strandings, and we are ready to respond and treat the many marine mammals that need our help,” Doughty said..

A harp seal rescued by MMoME in September 2015 was released back into the wild on Earth Day 2016.

On the front line to protect animals

Elizabeth Hogan, U.S. Oceans and Wildlife Campaign Manager for World Animal Protection, traveled to Maine and attended the triage center's opening event.

“We are so pleased to see Marine Mammals of Maine’s new triage center up and running. The expert staff at MMoME are on the fron tline of rescuing hundreds of marine animals each year over 2,400 miles of coastline, and the service they provide is truly life-saving for the marine animals that need immediate care, ” Hogan said.

Hogan shared updates from the opening event on Twitter.

Next: Read about Lemongrass, a seal who wouldn't have survived without help from MMoME

Working for Sea Change

The rich local habitat in Maine is home to several species of seals, sea turtles and whales.

As part of our Sea Change campaign, we have been working locally with partners and the fishing industry in Maine and New Hampshire to remove lost or otherwise derelict fishing gear and marine litter, known as ’ghost gear’ from local waters.

We work globally to partner with other NGOs, governments, fishing industry representatives, and corporations to develop solutions to create safer, cleaner oceans for the marine animals that live in them through our Global Ghost Gear Initiative.