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Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network (OMMSN)

CLICK HERE to learn what to do if you find a marine mammal ashore

Objectives of the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network

  • Promote the scientific investigation of marine mammal stranding events
  • Provide for the welfare of live stranded animals
    • Mitigate harassment
    • Disentangle marine mammals from debris and fishery gear
  • Advance public education about marine mammal strandings
  • Report Level A Data to NMFS for inclusion in national database

Please be advised: it is normal for seals and sea lions to rest on shore, and there are no rescue and rehabilitation options for sick or injured seals and sea lions in Oregon. The state policy is to minimize disturbance from people and to let nature take its course.

READ MORE ABOUT the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network

Sea Lion Webcam at Newport's Port Dock 1

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Sea Lion Webcam at Newport's Port Dock 1

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Stranding News

Harbor Seal Pupping Season Has Begun

Springtime is pup season. At this time of year, harbor seal pups are frequently found alone on area beaches. They are usually not stranded, but simply resting (as all baby mammals must do) and waiting for their mothers to come back ashore to nurse them. Adult female seals are shy and unlikely to rejoin a pup if there is activity nearby. They may only return to suckle their pup at night when people (and dogs) are not around. It is very important not to interfere with this process, and especially not to move a pup from where it is receiving care from its mother. READ MORE

5 Cetacean strandings in 4 Days

Over the course of just four days, between the 19th and 22nd of February, the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network was alerted to strandings of four striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) and one Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli), on beaches between Gearhart and North Bend. It is highly unusual for so many cetaceans to strand within such a short time frame. Necropsies were conducted on four of these and final results are still pending.

Funding for Stranding Networks in Peril

To the deep dismay of stranding response organizations around the U.S., the administration budget requests over the last two years have not included funding for the John H. Prescott Grant Program.  Because the Prescott Grant is the primary source of financial support for stranding network activities nationwide, it’s hard to imagine how stranding responses will be conducted without this critical support.

Fortunately, the Marine Mammal Instutitue has secured Prescott grant funding to carry us through the current fiscal year. With the budget allocation for this category reduced by 75%, our proposal was one of only 12 stranding network programs funded nationwide (compared with 42 the previous fiscal year).

Unfortunately, the Administration’s budget proposal for FY2014 has again eliminated a request for Prescott funding. It is the responsibility of Congress to make final funding decisions regarding appropriation bills and that process is still underway. Jim Rice and Bruce Mate of the Marine Mammal Institute drafted a letter and gathered 57 co-signatures in support of the reinstitution of Prescott funding, which has been sent to key legislators. You can read the letter here.