• Share to Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Email
    • Print

 

When marine mammals end up live or dead on beaches or in shallow water, we call it “stranding.” They may be sick from disease or pollutants, or they may be disoriented. Some recover, while many others die.


For centuries, humans have tried to figure out why these strandings occur. In the case of a single animal, it is often due to sickness or old age. Mass strandings, which typically involve “social” species, like dolphins and pilot whales, are more puzzling.

A federal program funds the studies necessary to determine the cause of strandings. With Congress currently seeking ways to cut budgets, money for stranding response is on the line.

Stranding response not only saves the lives of dolphins and whales; it can help safeguard human health. A few years ago, the stranding program discovered that sea lions were dying due to a toxic organism in the food they were eating—food that humans eat as well.

Marine mammals can be an early warning of problems in the ocean ecosystem on which both they and we depend. You can help by letting your elected officials know that you support funding this work.

If you find an animal stranded on a beach, call the police immediately.


Dolphin

Corbis

What Causes Strandings?

Scientists don't have all the answers yet, but family bonds, ocean geography, underwater acoustic testing, and toxins in their food supply may help explain why marine mammals strand themselves.

Learn More

News & Events

More News & Events

Our Victories

  • March 31, 2014

    Top UN Court Orders Japan to End Antarctic Whaling

    Statement on the ruling of the International Court of Justice that Japan’s whaling program is a breach of the global whaling moratorium and lacks scientific legitimacy in regard to the quotas set and the numbers taken.

  • February 14, 2014

    On Heels of Major Criminal Bust, Shark Fin Distributors Drop Lawsuit

    The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recently seized 2,000 pounds of illegal shark fins from a San Francisco merchant. That merchant is a part of an association whose members sold and distributed shark fins to restaurants and grocery stores and who had sued the State of California challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on the sale and trade of shark fins. In the wake of this major bust, the association has voluntarily dismissed its legal challenge.

  • January 6, 2014

    China Destroys Confiscated Ivory Stockpile

    China, the world’s largest market for ivory products, destroyed 6.1 tons of its confiscated stockpile. The momentous event occurred in Guangzhou, a southern port city and main transit and destination point in the global ivory trade.

  • September 13, 2013

    Remaining Rhino Species Gets Immediate Protection Under U.S. Law

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service immediately listed the southern white rhino as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, giving the species greater protection from poaching. With two or three rhinos poached every day for their horns, conservationists believe that within a few years’ time, there will be no more rhinos in the wild in Africa.

More Victories
  • Sign Up
  • Log in using one of your preferred sites
    Login Failure
  • Take Action
  • Shop