Rescuing stranded dolphins, whales, and seals

Rescuing stranded dolphins, whales, and seals

Marine mammal rescue and research

IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team (MMRR) is a dedicated group of highly trained individuals committed to promoting the conservation of marine mammal species (dolphins, whales, porpoises, and seals) and their habitats. Based in Massachusetts, we provide rapid response and humane care to stranded animals, advance stranding science and promote public awareness through education.

Cape Cod is one of only a few places in the world where multiple whales and dolphins frequently beach themselves together on the shore. These mass stranding events require rapid response in order to save as many whales and dolphins as possible.

Marine Mammal Rescue and Research from IFAW - Int. Fund for Animal Welf on Vimeo.

IFAW's Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team go to extreme lengths to save animals in crisis.

Working out of our Cape Cod headquarters, the MMRR team is ready to deploy staff, a reserve of specialized response equipment and a dedicated corps of local volunteers at a moment’s notice.

Our coverage area encompasses the entire Cape Cod region and extends from the Cape Cod Canal south to the Rhode Island border, representing around 700 miles of coastline. We are one of fourteen organizations comprising the Northeast Regional Stranding Network, which ensures expert, rapid response along the entire coast from Maine to Virginia.

If you see a stranded or dead seal, dolphin or whale on Cape Cod or the southern coast of Massachusetts, call IFAW at 508-743-9548. 

Find out more about:

Why animals strand on beaches

What to do if you encounter a stranded dolphin

History of IFAW’s stranding work

How our research helps animals survive

Volunteering for rescues on Cape Cod, United States

Frequently asked questions

Marine Mammal Rescue and Research Fact Sheet

Emergency Hotline

To report a stranding on Cape Cod, call the MMRR team Emergency Hotline:


Entanglement Hotline

To report an entangled whale in California waters, call the California Whale Entanglement Team:



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