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Nina Delmar: The Great Whale Rescue (1st) Hardcover – 2010
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1) The Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act stipulate that heavy fines and even jail time can be incurred if people harass or interact with animals under the Acts' protection without approved permits. Though people's hearts are in the right place when they try to help a protected species, they are, in fact, breaking the law.
2) All those lovely, heartwarming stories you hear about whales calming in the presence of their rescuers or "thanking" them? For each one of those stories there are 10 times as many where the animal was completely uncooperative and a danger to its rescuers. There are people (untrained) who have been killed attempting to disentangle whales. Think about it. These are wild animals that weigh thousands of pounds. They are hurt and they are stressed. Do you really want to be in the water with that? NEVER get into the water with an entangled whale. I have many close friends and colleagues who are TRAINED disentanglers who work from boats and with specialized tools. It's an extremely dangerous job and should only be attempted by professionals.
3) When a whale is disentangled by well-meaning, important data for managers is lost. When authorized disentanglement teams remove gear from a whale, they will do everything possible to retrieve the gear, which would not only eliminate the risk of ghost gear entangling other marine animals, but it also allows the team to analyze the gear to determine its origin (mooring line, specific fishery, location of where the gear may have originated, etc). This type of information is provided to managers to better understand and mitigate the risk of entanglement.
Again, the intentions of this book come from a good-hearted place, but under no circumstances should anyone, especially children, attempt to rescue a marine animal. Should you ever find yourself in a circumstance where you want to help an injured or entangled marine animal please do the following:
1) Call your local marine stranding network. There are trained responders along the US Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico coastlines. Or call your local US Coast Guard who will alert the stranding networks.
2) If the animal is free-swimming, stay with it as long as YOUR safety permits. All too often an entangled animal is reported, but is unable to be relocated unless the reporter stays with it.
3) Take photos if possible.
It is heart-breaking to see an animal in trouble and the desire to help is strong, but know that by just following the three steps above, you ARE helping to save that animal's life.
Carl has published several books and I've read them all - would be great to see him do more children's books such as this one. His work is so important!