Have you ever wondered what PTMSC’s Marine Mammal Stranding Network does?
Well, today is your lucky day!!
PTMSC’S Stranding Network is called the East Jefferson County Marine Mammal Stranding Network (EJCMMSN). The EJCMMSN is authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service to investigate live and dead stranded marine mammals, collect scientific data, and educate the public about issues involving marine mammals and human interaction.
Local citizens and visitors to east Jefferson county coast call the EJCMMSN Hotline if they have found a stranded marine mammal. We check the hotline messages frequently throughout the day and always return the call. If appropriate we send a responder to investigate the sighting. The majority of our responders are local volunteers (which could be you!).
Our responders are trained to collect data that includes the animal’s species, sex, health/body condition, and signs of human interaction. This information is then entered into a database, reported to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and used by scientific researchers for a variety of studies. Occasionally fresh dead carcasses or parts are collected for necropsy or sample collection. If the animal is injured or tangled in fishing gear measures are taken to make sure the animal gets the help it needs.
So what exactly is a marine mammal stranding anyway? Check out this spiffy table explaining what normal behavior is and what qualifies as a marine mammal stranding!