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Conservation of protected marine species

DMF has participated in numerous programs to protect endangered marine mammals and sea turtles. The following projects are a portion of what we do to protect these species.

About these projects

DMF works on protecting certain marine mammals and reptiles that use Massachusetts waters. The federal Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act protect these animals. Our projects includes studying animals migration patterns and reducing human impact.

Read on to learn about the work we've done with protected species in past years. You can also see archived reports and links to helpful sites to learn more.

Cape Cod Bay right whale surveillance program

This program involves surveillance of right whales to ensure their safety. DMF conducts this service in Cape Cod Bay and surrounding waters. The Center for Coastal Studies and NOAA Fisheries are partners on the program.

Atlantic large whale take reduction plan

In 1997, NOAA carried out regulations to reduce injury and death of large whales due to entanglement in fishing gear. This became known as the Take Reduction Plan. DMF has been a part of the Plan since its birth. NOAA proposed amendments to the Plan in 2014. These amendments included expanded gear marking and a fixed gear closure from February to April in the Massachusetts Bay Restricted Area.

Large whale disentanglement network

This project consists of a rapid response network to large whales entangled in fishing gear. DMF, the Center for Coastal Studies, NOAA and the Massachusetts Environmental Trust partner on this program.

Leatherback sea turtle disentanglement

DMF partners with Center for Coastal Studies to disentangle leatherback sea turtles. Leatherbacks tend to become entangled in vertical lines from fixed fishing gear.

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