Pier, Aquarium support stranding efforts 🐋 🐳

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January 2023

Winter brings northeast winds and plenty of big swells carrying cold water to our coast. Whales migrate south and fishing slows to a crawl due to cold water.

It’s during these nor'easters that distressed marine mammals land on beaches from Carova south to Ocracoke Island.

For years, Jennette's Pier staffers have succeeded as first responders for the OBX Marine Mammal Stranding Network when whales, dolphin, and porpoise strand. They respond to calls in a 40-mile stretch from Duck to south Nags Head.

Unfortunately, most times these animals are sick and dying. Once deceased, scientific data is collected.

The North Carolina Aquariums are committed to serving this important role in the community. Marina Doshkov, a database technician and registrar at the N. C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island, serves as the Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator in that 40-mile stretch.

She has more than 18 years’ worth of experience with marine mammal strandings in North Carolina and additional time in Florida, Louisiana and British Columbia, Canada.

Her husband, Paul, serves in the same stranding coordinator role for Hatteras Island, which is part of his duties as a National Park Service ranger and biologist on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

As for seals, in most cases they are simply “hauled out” to rest and they should be given a wide berth.

To report any strandings on northern OBX beaches call 252-455-9654. For Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, call 252-216-6892.

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