History of IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research Team

IFAW has been active in responding to stranding events in and around Cape Cod since the 1980s, when a group of animal welfare and conservation organizations on Cape Cod informally collaborated to respond to stranded marine mammals under the authorization of the New England Aquarium.

The group made great strides in improving stranding response, but recognized the need for a more cohesive, full-time stranding response organization.  With the support of a number of these organisations, including IFAW, the Cape Cod Stranding Network (CCSN) was born. We continued to fund the network for many years until, in 2007, it officially became a part of IFAW.

The team, now known as the Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team, has made significant advances since those early days, including:

  • A quicker response time which has improved the survival rates of stranded marine mammals.
  • Access to advanced technical equipment to make the team more effective in the field.
  • The experience of responders, along with the team’s cutting edge stranding science, is now shared on an international scale. 

As a leader in marine mammal response, we have been invited to respond to strandings in Argentina and Madagascar, and have conducted trainings throughout the US and in India and Trinidad.

This global reach has helped share our unique experience and knowledge of marine mammal strandings, while also enabling us to exchange information and learn from others.  Through these collaborative efforts, we continue to honour the mission of contributing to the conservation of marine mammals.