Maryland Coastal Bays Program in Partnership with National Aquarium
MCBP will be hosting a volunteer training for seal stewards.
Date:Monday, November 11, 2019
Location:West Ocean City Fire Department, 10124 Keyser Point Road
Instructed by: Jen Dittmar, National Aquarium’s Director of Animal Rescue
If you are interested in participating please contact Sandi at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 410-213-2297 ext 106.
Seals Are Protected
Many do not know that seals are a protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Therefore, it is illegal to touch, feed, or harass a seal. By keeping 50 yards away from a seal, you can best ensure that harassment or change in their behavior will not occur. If you encounter a seal that has hauled out, please contact Marine Animal Rescue Program at 410-576-3880 or 1-800-628-9944.
What is Hauling Out?
Seal haul out for many reasons, mating, giving birth, predator avoidance, thermal regulation, social activity, parasite reduction, and rest. A non-trained observer, may take in their cute faces and want a closer look, but seals in our area are often hauling due to rest or distress. Contact or run ins with humans and dogs on the beach put all at risk; as the seal is still a mammal that can have and pass viruses and diseases along to you or your pet.
Seal Steward Responsibility
When a seal hauls and MARP response team deems it healthy, the stewards take two -hour shifts watching the seal and making sure beach goers keep a safe distance. They are also there to provide specific information on the seal they are watching.
If you see a seal in the bay, call call 410-213-2297 ext. 106 and it will be registered to keep track of sightings. UNLESS it is in distress, then please call MARP number above.