California W.E.T. (Whale Entanglement Team) is a group of marine mammal professionals and volunteers under the direction of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Protected Resources. W.E.T. is tasked with responding to whales entangled in fishing gear and marine debris. These highly trained and experienced teams include marine biologists, veterinarians, mariners, and other volunteers coordinating with several governmental agencies including NMFS, NOAA Enforcement, US Coast Guard, and state agencies under the authority of the Marine Mammal.
Entangled Whale Hot-line:
(877) SOS-WHALE (767-9425)
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 W.E.T. hot-line at (877) SOS-WHALE (767-9425) or hail the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF CH-16.
Prompt reporting is the best way to help the distressed animal. Standing by until responders can arrive is so important. 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 150 to 200 yards away.
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 along with Fluke Foundation were instrumental in formalizing the Whale Entanglement Team known as W.E.T. to disentangle whales from marine debris and fishing lines. The PSA by IFAW will air throughout California.
New Public Service Announcement by IFAW: CLICK HERE TO VIEW
News Anchor Cheryl Jennings of ABC 7/KGO TV joined the Whale Entanglement Team in November 2010. Watch the Video.
We are distributing the Response and Reporting Card to boaters. If interested in a water-proof card for your boat please contact us.
Download a pdf of the Response and Reporting Card.
Marine Life Studies coordinated a hands-on water training for W.E.T. in December.
Cheryl McCormick, Executive Director of the American Cetacean Society (ACS), joined us.
The article about W.E.T. is now available on page 5.