If you want to help protect whales, the first step is to LEARN all you can about whales and their ocean environments and ENGAGE in whale watching activities in your local area to experience these animals in their natural habitat.
You can also take action by reporting whale sightings. Use the Whale Alert app to report live whales along the west coast. Report dead, injured or stranded marine mammals in Washington, Oregon, and California by calling 1-866-767-6114. If law enforcement is needed for harassments and other violations, call 1-800-853-1964. If you see an entangled whale or other marine mammal, call 1-877-SOS-WHALe or 1-877-767-9425 or hail the U.S. Coast Guard on a VHF radio, channel 16. And if you come across derelict gear, call 1-855-542-3935. Timely reporting can help. You can learn more at the NOAA Fisheries site.
Other great ways to help whales include doing the following things that help PROTECT the oceans in which they live:
- Don’t litter! Also, pick it up when you see it, even if it’s not yours. Take extra care while on or near the water, especially with fishing lines, nets, and any plastics.
- Reduce your waste! Buy products with minimal packaging when you can. Re-use and recycle items whenever possible. Start composting food scraps and yard waste.
- Reduce pollution! At home, you can reduce use of herbicides, pesticides, and cleaning products or switch to eco-friendly methods. On the road, reduce your fuel use with fuel efficient vehicles, by carpooling, or riding your bike and walking when you can. Be sure to recycle your motor oil and fix any leaks.
- Conserve water! Limit watering your lawn or switch to native plants that need less watering. Or collect rain water for your lawn and gardens.
- Shop wisely! Buy organic foods and support organic farming to reduce pollutants. When buying or ordering seafood, make sure they are from sustainable sources and safe fishing practices; the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program can help guide your decisions with thier downloadable pocket guide or app.
- Respect sea-life! Don’t feed seabirds, mammals, or turtles. Keep a safe distance from them when enjoying them, and do not disturb their nesting grounds.
- Share your knowledge! Encourage others to join in your efforts to protect whales and the oceans.
Want to learn more ways to protect whales? Find out how you can SUPPORT the Whale Alert – West Coast program.