Whale Entanglement Hotline: (877) SOS-WHALE (767-9425)
The Whale Entanglement Team (WET)® saving whales one at a time.
These are living, breathing animals that are suffering.
Whale disentanglement featured on the PBS and BBC BIG BLUE LIVE, August 2015.
Click here to check out the action in this BBC clip from the program.
PBS and BBC BIG BLUE LIVE, A Three-Part Live Television Event Showcased Marine Life Along America’s West Coast including Monterey Bay. The live Natural History Production was a first for PBS that aired August 31, September 1 and 2, 2015.
Click here for story about WET’s role in the rescue of the entangled humpback whale on May 10, 2016 off Pt. Lobos.
Click here for story about WET’s role in the rescue of the entangled humpback whale on April 21, 2016 off the Big Sur coastline.
Click here for story about how male orca became entangled in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary on April 5, 2016.
Click here for Boat Raffle - you could win our former Research Vessel Sweetpea!
Click to watch Whale Entanglement Team video
created by CSUMB student, Stephanie Marcos, in May 2015.
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WETsm needs your help to save these whales from a slow, painful death.
Make a Whale Smile Campaign
Dollar for Dollar match up to $5000.00
To donate by check please make payable to Marine Life Studies with WETsm on the memo line and send to: PO Box 163, Moss Landing, CA 95039
Dollar for Dollar match up to $5000.00 for Whale Rescue Research Vessel.
Read and watch video about 4-day rescue over Fourth of July, 2015: Entangled humpback freed near Farrallon Islands
We have outgrown our 19’ boat. A larger vessel was needed that could accommodate all of Marine Life Studies' programs, including WETsm, and the Albin 40' North Sea Cutter was the best fit. The Albin can hold all the equipment that we need for a complete response when there is a report of an entangled whale in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
We got the larger vessel, a 2006 40-foot Albin North Sea Cutter, here just in the nick of time.
We arrived with the Albin at the Moss Landing Harbor on June 12th in the evening and received a call by noon on June 14th to mount a response as there was an entangled whale reported in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Additionally, there were 2 whales in July disentangled, made possible because of the Albin, Marine Life Studies' Whale Rescue Research Vessel, being first on scene. We had to travel such a long distance for the responses that our 19' Donzi would not of gone the distance as it had a very limited range.
We are proud that our Whale Rescue Research Vessel was crucial in the successful disentanglement of the humpback whales in July by being first on the scene. It was worth the debt of $60,000. Thanks to many generous donations in 2015, the amount owed is reduced to $50,164. We still need your help to pay it off and help to purchase new equipment needed for WETsm. Consider setting up an automatic monthly recurring donation.
Moss Landing team eying a 40-foot Albin that can carry all the equipment needed to rescue a whale from a life-threatening entanglement. Marine Life Studies has secured two anonymous donors who will match donations up to $150,000. Stap is asking the public to chip in the rest. "No donation is too small," Stap said. "Everyone can help save whales."
The number of entangled whales significantly increased in 2015.
The number of reported entanglements has significantly increased in central California over the last couple years. The larger, more capable vessel enables us to carry all the equipment needed for a full response on board at all times. This has greatly reduced our response time, enabling more whales the chance to be rescued from life-threatening entanglements. In 2015 there were 25 confirmed entanglement reports with 21 of them here in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
WETsm is a group of unpaid professionals (volunteers) assembled and trained for the purpose of supporting large whale entanglement response. All work is directed under the authority of NOAA's Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, and are a member of California Whale Rescue Network. WETsm was founded by Peggy Stap, Executive Director of Marine Life Studies and Mary Whitney, Founder of Fluke Foundation.
Accomplishments of Marine Life Studies include: the initial team assembly, 877-SOS-WHALE phone number, printed response cards, printed marine mammal guides, a complete tool cache for Monterey Bay, additional tools for San Francisco, a response boat, a trailer, Wet on Wheels, that can carry all equipment including a roll-up hypalon boat with motor, and in 2015 Marine Life Studies acquired the new Whale Rescue Research Vessel, fully equipped for rapid whale rescue response located in Moss Landing, center of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
How you can help!
Prompt reporting is the best way to help the distressed animal. Standing by until responders can arrive is vital. Standing by is so important to keep track of the animal. It is a big ocean out there and without someone standing by to help direct responders the chances of saving that whale is greatly reduced. If not able to standby, it is so valuable to get the exact location (latitude and longitude if possible), direction of travel, and description of gear (color of buoys, etc.). If possible take photos and/or video of the animal but please do not approach to animal - stay at least 100 to 150 yards away.
Ocean users play an important role in efforts to save whales in distress from pain, deformity, and death. Please report injured, entangled, and ship-struck whale concerns to the 24/7 WETsm hotline at (877) SOS-WHALE (767-9425) or hail the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF CH-16.
Support WETsm - Donate Today!
• Funds for fuel - Whale Rescue is Costly!
• Dual Garmin 1040xs with GMR18 XHD Radar Dome and Transducer
• 4 GoPro cameras, flash cards and additional batteries
• 6-Element Directional handheld antennae
• One Mac Book Pro Laptop Computer with solid state hard drive
• 2 - 4TB portable hard drives
• Person Protective Equipment for crew: Mustang floatation suits,
ACR Relink personal locator beacons, Gumby survival suits
• Still need to raise $54,200 toward loan for the Whale Rescue
Research Vessel for Central California
• Fixed RDF Antennae with RDF Wideband Radio Direction Finding
Receiver (to pick up VHF signal of GPS/Argos telemetry
Resighting a whale is the hardest part of disentanglement if unable to disentangle due to weather conditions, end of day, etc. With a telemetry buoy, we can easily resight the whale.
We need to be a safe distance from the whales while working, and the lighter, rigid, carbon fiber poles allow us to keep that distance and effectively use the tools. GoPro cameras are essential in the analysis of the entanglement so we can view the whale and the nature of the entanglement above and below the water before deciding the best method in removing the entanglement.
Fuel funds for responding boats come out of team members' personal contributions.
Whale Entanglement Team (WET)® Disentangles Humpback Whale on October 29, 2014 in Monterey Bay. Click here for the full story.
Happy Ending – Humpback whale disentangled May in Santa Barbara re-sighted in Monterey Bay 7/5/14. Click here for full story.
May 14, 2014: WETsm successfully disentangled a humpback whale.
May 1, 2014: Another entangled whale in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Actress and activist Amber Valletta joins the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in Monterey, California, September 26 – 28, 2012 to raise awareness of entangled whales in California. Marine Life Studies and Fluke Foundation were instrumental in formalizing the Whale Entanglement Team known as WETsm to disentangle whales from marine debris and fishing gear. The PSA by IFAW will air throughout California.
New Public Service Announcement by IFAW: CLICK HERE TO VIEW
All donations are tax deductible.
|News Anchor Cheryl Jennings of ABC 7/KGO TV joined the Whale Entanglement Team
in November 2010.
Watch the Video.
If interested in a water-proof Response and Reporting Card card for your boat, please contact us.
Marine Life Studies coordinated a hands-on water training for WETsm in December.
Cheryl McCormick, Executive Director of the American Cetacean Society (ACS), joined us.
The article about WETsm is now available on page 5.
Some photos taken under the NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (MMHSRP) permit #932-1905.