State, feds issue guidelines on stranded marine mammals

Sep 27, 2018

Augusta — This year, Maine has seen an unusual number of live and deceased seals wash up on Maine shores, according to a press release issued by the Department of Environmental Protection Sept. 26. Handling and disposing of these animals is challenging. To address these issues, a multi-agency work group developed guidance for coastal communities, waterfront property owners, and the public in dealing with stranded seals.

First, and most importantly, report any live or dead stranded seals to the Maine Marine Animal Reporting Hotline at 800-532-9551 as soon as possible. Reports are necessary for scientists to document and take samples when possible. Reports will also help researchers determine when the unusual mortality event is over.

The public is advised to remember that marine mammals are protected under federal law, and it is illegal to approach, touch or move marine mammals without authorization.

A Marine Mammal Fact Sheet and Marine Animal Disposal Guidance document are available on Maine DEP’s website at maine.gov/dep/waste/residuals/index.html.

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