“This month CMA’s Stranding Team has assisted on a variety of calls. Right at the start of the month, CMA’s Stranding Team participated in a collaborative effort to disentangle a dolphin calf in the Indian River Lagoon system. The calf had been spotted several days earlier with the line and buoy from a crab trap wrapped around its tail, and being followed closely by its mother. CMA joined forces with fellow organizations including Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Hubbs SeaWorld, SeaWorld Orlando, Georgia Aquarium’s Conservation Field Station, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Marine Mammal Conservancy, to help disentangle this dolphin! A fleet of boats set out in the early morning to locate the mother-calf pair. After about five hours of searching their 50 square mile home range, our very own Chuck White spotted the pair! Under the direction of Larry Fulford, the legendary captain of the capture boat, a 400-yard net was thrown out and we went to work! Everyone entered the water to support the net, which encircled the pair. Once both animals were restrained, the line was removed from the calf, and both the mother and calf were released! Hubbs SeaWorld monitored the pair after the intervention to ensure that there were no complications. This dolphin intervention was a success largely due to the dedication and effort put forth from each and every one of the participating facilities. It truly is amazing what teamwork can accomplish! 

The Stranding Team has also been given the opportunity to assist on a variety of sea turtle calls; a total of 5 this month, which were all green sea turtles. Once again, a big thank you to the Sea Turtle Department for allowing us to partake in these calls. 

We rounded up the month by doing some training with the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, the largest nonprofit bird sanctuary in North America. All in all it was a very insightful and interesting day, topped off by capturing, disentangling, and releasing a pelican that had been entangled in fishing gear. 

This month has been very exciting, with many rescue success stories! As always, we would like to extend a huge thank you to our dedicated Stranding Team Members for all of their hard work! We are excited to see what next month has in store!”

 Happy Holidays!

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