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The Marine Mammal Conservancy (MMC) is committed to protecting Marine Mammals & Their Habitats Through Research, Rescue, Rehabilitation, Release and Education. MMC a US Internal Revenue Service designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation located on a three-acre lot on the Gulf coast of Key Largo, Florida. MMC is a volunteer based organization that encourages the public to participate in the efforts to conserve and protect marine mammals and our oceans. The Marine Mammal Conservancy, Inc is authorized under a Stranding Agreement with the US National Marine Fisheries Service to respond, rescue, transport, and rehabilitates stranded and injured marine mammals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
You may ask why this type of effort is so worth-while. Marine mammals are recognized as a keystone species because of their position at the top of the oceans’ food chain. However, knowledge of marine mammals is extremely limited to those species inhabiting near shore waters. In 1991, the Stranding Network discovered a lethal virus called Morbilli which is highly contagious among marine mammals. Consequently, big aquariums had to stop participating in rehabilitation efforts in order to preserve their permanent marine mammal residents. This left smaller organizations like MMC to continue the research into marine mammal disease, treatment and the investigation into the causes of marine mammal stranding events. MMC provides researchers worldwide as well as the US National Marine Fisheries Service with valuable data on behavior, treatment techniques, medical conditions, baselines on healthy species, re-adaptation/release techniques, tracking technologies and live interaction that cannot be obtained from dead specimens.
There is a documented increase in stranding events of wild marine mammal populations worldwide. The Stranding Network as well as MMC believes it is extremely important to know why because what affects one part of the food chain could eventually affect mankind as well. Some of the causes in the decline are man-made such as over-fishing and pollution, but some are not. All of the causes of stranding events, whether man-made or natural, need to be documented so that the evidence can be used to save future generations of marine mammals and insure that the resource management decisions we make today, preserves the health of our oceans as a whole tomorrow.
Visit their website at http://marinemammalconservancy.org/