Since MLS has limited funds to run the project we decided that in 2007 we would concentrate on projects that could make a difference but would not take much cash, just time. So of course a project we actually started working on in the fall 2006 was slated as the number one project to put all our efforts into. The project is to help facilitate a "Whale Rescue Network" for Monterey Bay that has grown to incorporate all of California and coordinate it with existing trained personnel already in place.
Marine debris is increasing which is detrimental to marine life, especially commercial fisheries gear/nets. Whales and dolphins can become entangled in all sorts of manmade debris floating in our oceans. We want Monterey Bay to have a full set of disentanglement tools and annual training for a crew with the expertise to be able to go out when an entangled whale is reported and use their skills to free them. We have been working with Joe Cordaro, the Regional Stranding Coordinator for California and Ed Lyman, Marine Mammal Response Manager for the Hawaiian Islands National Marine Sanctuary (HINMS) on providing more training for large whale disentanglement.
Training will be held in the spring of 2008, date and location to be announced. Contact us to be on the mailing list. Humpbacks are endangered and are one of the whales mostly likely to become entangled because of their curious nature.
If interested in becoming involved, a prerequisite would be to take the following Incident Command training which is free and available on line. There are several levels. Here are the links for levels one and two: