Protected Species Response
The Division of Marine Fisheries collaborates with several partners toward the conservation of marine protected species, including marine mammals, sea turtles, and endangered fish species. The Division’s role in protected species has included both as first responders, removal of stranded species, and releasing rehabilitated animals. Reporting on standings for such species are critical in both preserving those that can be rehabilitated and furthering our understanding on what causes these events to occur. Below is contact information for specific areas of interest. Alternatively, to report a sighting you can also contact the Department at (401)222-3070 and the Division of Marine Fisheries at 401-423-1923. For further questions on the Division’s involvement with protected species, contact Scott Olszewski
Sea Turtles & Small Whales - All sea turtle and small cetacean reports should be reported immediately. Call with exact location, description of the animal, and contact information -- Mystic Aquarium (860) 572-5955, Press 0 for an operator or ext. 107.
Seals - If the seal is not injured, remember that seals routinely haul out (beach themselves) and no response is warranted until after 24 hours. If the seal remains beached after that time, or is otherwise injured/sick, call with exact location, description of the animal, and contact information Mystic Aquarium (860) 572-5955, Press 0 for an operator or ext. 107.
Large Whales - The Large Whale Disentanglement Network is coordinated by the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS). This network has the necessary authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)and the communications and logistical support of the U.S. Coast Guard. The speedy and accurate reporting of entangled whales by all boaters is essential to the process.
Entanglements - Call the Center for Coastal Studies (800)-900-3622 for emergencies, and (508) 487-3622 for non-emergency calls and notify the U.S. Coast Guard by phone or VHF Channel 16. Provide the position, description, and behavior of the animal and a description of the gear and entanglement. Leave your contact number with them. You may be requested to stand by the whale on a voluntary basis. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DISENTANGLE without NMFS authorization and instructions through the NETWORK.
Stranded / Floating Dead - Call the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) at 866-755-NOAA.
Right Whale Sighting - Call the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) at 866-755-NOAA with the location of the animal (Lat./Long. or LORAN bearings) and the time sighted.
Sturgeon – All reports on endangered species of sturgeon should be reported immediately. Call with exact date, location, and description of the animal and contact information to the DEM Division of Marine Fisheries at 401-423-1923.