Conservation Medicine- Marine Mammals

shutterstock_571085983World Vets provides veterinary support for marine mammal stranding events in the state of Washington, working in collaboration with the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Fisheries), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), EcoMarine Institute, Cascadia Research Collective and other stranding networks in the state of Washington.  Cases are referred to us through multiple stranding networks in Washington.  Our response area includes over 500 miles of Pacific coastline and inland waters of the Salish Sea.  World Vets headquarters shutterstock_546481309is strategically located in the maritime city of Gig Harbor, Washington which is centrally located to areas that have a high incidence of marine mammal stranding cases.

In the last year, World Vets has responded to over 30 marine mammal stranding events in Washington State. Cases have involved Gray Whales, Harbor Porpoise, Striped Dolphin , Harbor Seals, Elephant Seals, Sea Lions and Sea Otter.

We are currently working to open a federally approved Marine Mammal Urgent Care/ Triage Center and 24-hour Holding Facility that would allow immediate veterinary support for injured marine animals.  Animals requiring lengthy rehabilitation will be transferred to long-term rehabilitation facilities as appropriate.  Others may be ready to release back into the wild after initial assessments and diagnostics.  We also plan to have capabilities to provide oil-spill response for marine mammals.  We have been working through the process since early 2018 and plan to be ready to open this summer (2018), pending final approval through NOAA Fisheries.


We need your help!

Please donate here to support World Vets Marine Mammal Program


Report an injured marine mammal-  If you are in the state of Washington and see a sea lion, harbor seal, harbor porpoise or other marine mammal that is injured or in distress, please report it to the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network Hotline at 1-866-767-6114.

Marine mammals occasionally swim into derelict fishing gear or marine debris and get stuck, injured or even killed. To report an entangled whale in Washington, Oregon or California, please call:

1-877-SOS-WHALe (1-877-767-9425).   Report entanglements immediately.  Never attempt to approach or disentangle a whale yourself!

Marine Mammals are federally protected.  Do not touch or harass them and stay back at least 100 yards (200 yards for Killer Whales).

killer whale

sea lion