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The Marine Mammal Center is a nonprofit veterinary hospital, research, and educational center dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ill and injured marine mammals and the study of their health. Since 1975, the Center has rescued and treated more than 16,500 marine mammals and has accumulated a body of knowledge about marine mammal and ocean health. Through public education about marine mammals, the Center hopes to foster ocean stewardship and conservation. For more information, visit http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


The Marine Mammal Center was recently contacted by a journalist for information about entanglements and the issue of lost fishing gear's effect on marine mammals for an article about a newly funded UC Davis project to retrieve this marine debris. The project, called the California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Program, will spend a $400,000 grant over the next two years to dive and retrieve lost fishing gear such as traps, hooks, line, and nets.

The effects of lost or abandoned fishing gear on marine mammals are seen regularly by the Center. The most common effects we see are entanglements in fishing nets and fish hooks lodged in a marine mammal's skin. One such animal is Thrasher, a California sea lion currently being treated at the Center. Thrasher was rescued with one fish hook through his lip and one in a flipper. During his rescue and transport yesterday, the first fish hook was dislodged. The hook on his flipper was removed with a pair of wire cutters today at our Sausalito headquarters. See photos above. Hopefully the UC Davis program will diminish the numbers of patients we see with these kinds of conditions.

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