WET — Whale Entanglement Team

Fluke Foundation Co-Founder of WET

The preservation of the worlds large whale populations are very important. Every year a growing number of whales lives are threatened as they become entangled in fisheries gear and marine debris. Fluke Foundation believes that when entangled whales are discovered, they should be disentangled and rescued. That’s why Mary Whitney, founder of Fluke Foundation, spent years working with Peggy Stap, founder of Marine Life Studies, developing the Whale Entanglement Team (WET).  WET was born in 2006 to fill a need in and around Monterey Bay and Central California.

Together, over the next 10 years, we found funding for a toll free hotline to call when entangled whales are sighted, waterproof educational cards for boaters about entangled whales, necessary equipment and caches of specially designed tools required to disentangle large whales. We found willing qualified personnel to be trained and ready at a moments notice on a volunteer basis. Since the early years, the team and expertise has grown, the equipment cache has grown, WET’s visibility has grown, and best yet, the number of successful disentanglements has grown.

WET — Whale Entanglement Team

Fluke Foundation and Marine Life Studies were instrumental in the creation of the entangled whale rescue program named Whale Entanglement Team (WET). Fluke Foundation also partnered with Marine Life Studies to find funding for the specially designed whale disentanglement tools and all necessary equipment for the disentanglement team that primarily responds to the area including Monterey Bay and surrounding National Marine Sanctuary.

Today California has numerous teams along the coastline all trained and qualified to rescue entangled whales. Much of the state is now coordinated under one entity called California Whale Rescue (CWR). WET is a member of California Whale Rescue (CWR) network of teams. WET is one of several CWR teams, all operating under the direction of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Office of Protected Resources. All are tasked with responding to whales entangled in fisheries gear and marine debris under the authority of the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program permit #93.

The toll free hotline is available all day everyday. Boaters, fishers, and other ocean users play an extremely important role saving whales. Help save whales from distress, pain, deformity, death by calling the toll-free Hotline to report injured, entangled, and ship-struck whales.

1 (877) SOS-WHALE (767-9425)

or hail U.S. Coast Guard on VHF CH-16

Immediate reporting is the best way to help! 


WET Featured on Sea Rescue

This award winning Saturday morning TV show tells the stories of rescue, rehabilitation and return of sea life. WET was featured on episode 401 “Beyond the Call” and a preview can be seen on the Sea Rescue website. Click here to view the preview. You can find the full episode on Hulu Plus or Amazon Prime.

Below are images from the show: