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Seal Sitters MMSN renews contract with NOAA

Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network (SSMMSN) has been granted a contract again this year as a member in good standing with NOAA’s West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

This legally binding agreement gives SSMMSN the authority to respond to marine mammals, dead and alive, along the shoreline of West Seattle from Brace Point through the Duwamish River (including Harbor Island). It gives us the jurisdiction to examine and transport marine mammals.

Seal Sitters has the authority to close down access to public areas and establish appropriate perimeters around marine mammals to ensure not only their protection, but that of the public.

All marine mammals are protected from harassment by both the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act (punishable by fines up to $10,000 and one year in jail) and Washington State law RCW 77.15.130 (a criminal misdemeanor, mandatory court appearance, punishable with up to 90 days in jail and up to $1000 fine). In cases of disturbance or harassment (including feeding, touching, moving), SSMMSN will document infractions and turn over evidence to NOAA’s Office for Law Enforcement and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement for prosecution. If deemed necessary, the local police will also be contacted.

As part of our responsibility, dead marine mammals are examined and documentation is entered into NOAA’s national database. In some instances, animals may also be taken for necropsy. If a marine mammal is not a candidate for necropsy and is on public beach, SSMMSN will arrange for removal through our cooperative arrangement with Seattle Parks. If the dead animal is on private property, disposal is the responsibility of the homeowner.

Please report ALL live and dead marine mammals on both private and public beach to Seal Sitters’ hotline 206-905-SEAL (7325) so that we may help monitor the health of populations. SSMMSN does not receive any funding from local, State or Federal government and depends on donations to perform our work.
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