Like land animals, marine animals can sometimes find themselves in situations requiring human assistance. Second to needing help, the next most terrifying thing to the animal is not being able to vocalize in words a call for help. Some animals can make loud distress sounds to get our attention, but it is ultimately up to us humans to be vigilant of any marine animal in a life threatening situation.

But who do you contact if you know of or see a dolphin, sea turtle, whale, seal, manatee, or any marine animal that needs to be rescued? Here are five United States marine animal rescue hotlines you can call to report a stranded or injured animal, or visit their websites for educational information and marine animal facts for your knowledge bank!

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1. National Marine Fisheries Service National Enforcement Hotline for Violations

About: The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for the management, conservation and protection of living aquatic resources within the United States’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is water three to 200 miles offshore. If you see a marine law violation, call the National Marine Fisheries Service National Enforcement Hotline for Violations at the phone number below to make a report.

Marine animals they can help with: All

Phone: 1-800-853-1964

Hotline hours: N/A

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2. Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding & Entanglement Hotline

About: A hotline for the Northeast Region (NER) of the United States, the Northeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding & Entanglement is a part of a network that responds to stranded and entangled marine mammals and sea turtles.

Marine animals they can help with: Any stranded or entangled marine mammal, sea turtles

Phone: Northeast region call 866-755-6622. Search for numbers by individual NE states

Hotline hours: Varies by state

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3. National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline 

About: A hotline for the Southeast United States region including Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. The National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) is the base for the Southeast United States Marine Mammal Stranding Program. NMFS authorizes organizations and volunteers under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to respond to marine mammals stranded throughout the United States. This organization forms a part of the stranding network whose participants are trained to respond to live and dead marine mammals stranded along southeastern United State beaches.

Marine animals they can help with: All

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Phone: Southeast Region 877-433-8299. Search for numbers by individual SE states

Hotline hours: Varies by state

4. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration West Coast Region Stranding Hotline 

About: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, West Coast Region takes reports and calls about stranded, injured or dead marine animals. Please check this link to find out how to submit other types of reports such as for entangled animals or witnessing the harassment of marine mammals.

Marine animals they can help with: Any stranded marine mammal

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Phone: West Coast Region 866-767-6114. Search for numbers by individual West Coast states

Hotline hours: Varies by state

5. The Marine Mammal Center

About: Headquartered in Sausalito, CA in the Marin Headlands, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, The Marine Mammal Center is the only organization authorized by the National Marine Mammal Fisheries Service to rescue as well as provide veterinary care for ill and injured marine mammals along 600 miles of California coast. This organization operates with approximately 45 staff and over 1000 volunteers who work out of additional field locations in Mendocino, Monterey, and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Marine animals they can help with: All

Phone: Sausalito call 415-289-SEAL, Monterey call 831-633-6298, San Luis Obispo call 805-771-8300

Hotline hours: Sausalito — 24-hours, Monterey — 24-hours, San Luis Obispo — n/a

Green Monsters: Do you know of a marine animal rescue hotline or run one? Share it with us by submitting it to our Animal Rescue Hotline directory!

Image source: Jay Ebberly/Flickr