Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station Update

Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station Update

Earlier this year, Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station (GACFS) employees and volunteers participated in the rescue of a dolphin calf who was observed tangled in fishing gear. The calf and its mother were spotted near Cape Canaveral, Florida in early January. GACFS and partner institutions including Sea World Orlando, HUBBS Sea World Research Institute, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and University of Florida worked out a plan of action to free the calf of its entanglement under the supervision and authorization of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. The mother and calf were both safely restrained as the crew worked to free the small dolphin from the heavy fishing gear that had begun to cut into the young animal’s skin, leaving it with pronounced wounds on its fluke. Once the entanglement was cleared away, antibiotics were administered, a full medical exam was performed, and a satellite tag was placed on the mother so keep track of the pair post release. Conservation Field Station staff assist with these types of rescues along Florida’s coast throughout the year as a member of the National Marine Fisheries Mammal Stranding Network.

Dolphin_Disentanglement

Also, the team at the Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station recently upgraded their marine mammal stranding equipment by designing and purchasing a new marine mammal ambulance. The brand new mobile unit will be a valuable asset to not only GACFS’ stranding response crew but for the larger National Marine Fisheries Mammal Stranding Network, of which the GACFS is a member.

dolphin ambulance outside 11 dolphin ambulance outside 1