Nov 7 - Dec 31, 2019

Marine Life Studies


We are committed to protecting our ocean, whales, dolphins and other marine wildlife through research, education, conservation, and whale rescue. Our mission is to acquire knowledge, share knowledge and inspire the next generation of whale, dolphin and ocean conservationists. We acquire knowledge through on-going research and rescuing entangled whales, share and utilize that knowledge to encourage conservation, and inspire the public, especially children, with our educational programs.

The Big Idea

Our big idea is an ongoing project. The Whale Entanglement Team (WET)® is a key part of saving whales in NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). WET® provides skilled expertise, custom tools, data collection, a rapid response vessel and other assets to help save and disentangle whales from fishing gear. Our Whale Rescue Research Vessel is managed and maintained as a rapid deployment first response vessel accommodating all tools/equipment/personnel needed for WET® to free whales from life-threatening entanglements. Also, it’s a training platform for WET® volunteers via our Research Scientist Program. Trainees learn to understand whale behavior, situation complexity, data collection, Incident Command, vessel operations & safety. WET's continual whale disentanglement training is crucial for successful responses. We collect extensive data during entanglement responses that is critical to facilitate new practices, tools, and gear to mitigate future entanglements. WET® is a group of unpaid professional volunteers trained to disentangle large whales under NOAA's Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program. Without your support, WET® can not save whales in MBNMS.

The professionals who volunteer their time to be a part of Marine Life Studies' Whale Entanglement Team WET® not only save the lives of many whales in our marine sanctuary, but also provide cutting edge changes in whale disentanglement techniques for teams across the nation. Their attention to education and outreach as well as collaboration with area scientists makes the program sustainable and a valuable asset to the greater community. Brian Kieft, Software Engineer, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

- Brian Kieft