Julia Winters

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2015


Cetacean mass stranding events are generally complicated and challenging to manage, with limits imposed on first responders by limited personnel, the need for specialized equipment, logistical difficulties (e.g., transport and coordination), and financial strain. To address some of these issues, a Mass Stranding Response Manual was created for the Stranding Team of Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA). The content of this manual includes basic guidelines and protocols for CMA staff, interns, and volunteers, accompanied by the following: a detailed contact list for resources and equipment available within CMA’s stranding coverage area, a general support kit equipment checklist, various forms associated with streamlining the organization of CMA personnel on-site, and a quick-reference health assessment sheet for stranded cetaceans. In addition, Stranding Team volunteers were educated and trained regarding the basics of mass strandings and their potential responsibilities during a response. The goal of the manual, training, education, and additional components of this project was to ensure that CMA’s Stranding Team is thoroughly prepared for and adequately trained to respond to a mass stranding of cetaceans at any given time. Increased safety, preparedness, and efficiency will ideally lead to a better overall outcome for each mass stranding response, including improved animal care and maximized data collection. The Mass Stranding Response Manual can be adapted for use at other stranding facilities with different resources and needs.


Department: MBF

MPS Track: MMS

Location: Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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