Satellites show rescued dolphins swimming off coast of Maine

Thursday, 26 January, 2012
Yarmouth Port, MA


Satellite tracking data from the International Fund for Animal Welfare ( suggests the majority of dolphins rescued during recent mass strandings have survived their ordeal and are currently about 18 miles off the coast of Maine.

IFAW rescuers placed temporary satellite tracking tags on six of the twenty four animals rescued and released since January 12.  Daily reports show some of these satellite tagged animals have travelled over 190 miles and appear to be utilizing known offshore habitats for this species.

"We can’t afford to satellite tag all of the dolphins that are released, but by looking at the data from tagged animals we can hopefully get a picture of where the larger group may be headed. Currently the satellite tags show these dolphins are swimming about 12 to 20 miles off the southern coast of Maine,” said Brian Sharp, Stranding Coordinator for the International Fund for Animal Welfare ( "Three of the twenty four animals died within a few days after release and were collected by IFAW for necropsy, but that's somewhat expected in a stranding of this magnitude" he continued.  “Right now, three satellite tags are still transmitting and signs for the remaining twenty one dolphins are encouraging."

IFAW experts note they will monitor the animals for as long as the satellite tags continue to transmit and generally wait at least 21 days before considering the release a success. 

To ensure animals are not harmed, all satellite tags are designed to drop off after a few weeks. All released dolphins have small, minimally invasive tags attached so they can be identified if located in the future.

IFAW relies on individual donations to keep rescue teams in the field and is currently appealing for funds to help replenish supplies of satellite tags and other costs of their rescue and research efforts. To learn more or make a contribution, the public is encouraged to visit

To request photos, b-roll, or interviews, contact A.J. Cady (781) 733-9092

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Press Contact

A.J. Cady, IFAW
Contact phone:
+1 (781) 733-9092
Contact email:
Abby Berman, IFAW
Contact phone:
+1 (646) 695-7044
Contact email:


Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy