photo: © Ryan Berger, NOAA MMHSRP permit 932-1489


Help Distressed Cetaceans


Please call one of the hotlines below immediately if you see a whale, dolphin or porpoise in need of help!

distressed or stranded

Report distressed or stranded whales, dolphins and porpoises to

The Marine Mammal Center

(415)289-SEAL / (415)289-7325

for animals found between San Luis Obispo and Mendocino Counties


Report entangled whales, dolphins and porpoises to the

Whale Entanglement Team

(877)SOS-WHALE / (877)767-9425

for animals found anywhere along the California coastline

Report Cetacean Sightings

Whale Alert - reducing ship strikes

Among the many threats faced by whales today are ship strikes, which occur more and more in busy shipping lanes. A collaboration of government agencies, academic institutions, non-profit conservation groups and private sector companies have developed Whale Alert, an app that helps reduce the chance of fatal ship strikes by large vessels.

The app can be used by anyone out on the water to report presence of cetaceans. It displays active whale management areas, required reporting areas, recommended routes, areas to be avoided and near real-time warnings in shipping lanes along the east and west coasts of the United States and Canada. This information allows vessel operators to avoid collision with whales by slowing down and heightening their visual awareness.   To download the app, visit the website. - tracking individual whales around the world

Happywhale tracks individual whales throughout our world's oceans. The Happywhale team believes that whale watching guides, naturalists and passengers are vital to our understanding of whales. Scientists can only be in one place at one time; by harnessing the power of millions of whale watching enthusiasts, we can expand our scientific knowledge exponentially.

The Happywhale platform empowers whale watchers to photograph whales and tell their stories.

First, review their instructions on how to take whale ID photos. Next, get out there and photograph whales. Last, submit your whale photos at They'll run your images through their ID system built in collaboration with scientists at Cascadia Research Collective and Allied Whale. If they find a match, they'll tell you what they know about your whale. If you are the first Happywhale contributor to see a whale, congratulations! They will let you know that too.

Happywhale welcomes you to submit images from past whale sightings. Submitting older photos is a great way to start building your account and will give us valuable historical data on whales.

As each of your whales is spotted around the world, they'll send you updates. You can track your whales on your personal Happywhale page. As the Happywhale site and functionality grows, you'll be able to stay in touch with team members around the globe. You'll also discover how your data is being used by scientists. What stories will your photos tell?