NOAA Announces New Marine Mammal Stranding Organization on Nantucket

NOAA Fisheries has announced that Marine Mammal Rescue Nantucket is now an authorized marine mammal stranding response organization for Nantucket, Tuckernuck and Muskeget Islands.

After 4 years of zero stranding coverage on Nantucket and its outer islands, Marine Mammal Rescue Nantucket (known as MMRACK) fills an important gap in the GARFO network. Led by Marine Mammal Alliance Nantucket CEO Scott Leonard, who spent more than a decade working as a stranding volunteer with New England Aquarium, MMRACK will respond to both live and dead whales, dolphins, and seals. In addition to assessing and providing transportation for animals in need of treatment, Leonard’s team, which consists of seasoned volunteers who have worked or trained with the New England Aquarium, will also perform necropsies (animal autopsies) on dead animals.

“Nantucket is a unique place with a rich marine mammal history,” says Leonard. “MMRACK’s mission is to provide public education and outreach with the focus on raising awareness of human and marine mammal interaction, while providing humane care to our marine species. We are looking forward to being part of the network, and plan on working closely with International Fund for Animal Welfare, Marine Mammals of Maine, U.S. Coast Guard, Massachusetts Environmental Police, and other regional partner organizations.”

To report stranded marine mammals on Nantucket, Tuckernuck, and Muskeget, call the Marine Mammal Rescue Nantucket Hotline, (833) 667-6626.