Marine Megafauna
Stranding Rescue, Rehabilitation
and Release

This project focuses on rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing stranded marine megafaunal species like cetaceans and sea turtles.

‘Marine Megafauna’ are large marine species such as sharks, rays, marine mammals, and turtles. These animals are key components of marine ecosystems, but as they are long-lived and have low reproductive rates, their populations are usually the first to be reduced by human pressures.

Marine megafauna play a large role in maintaining a healthy marine ecosystem. However, since around 20% – 30% are considered endangered and/or threatened, it raises concerns about the impact of aquatic life and the impact humans have played in contributing to its condition.

When a marine animal washes up on the shore dead or alive, is visibly injured or distressed, or is stuck in shallow waters it is called stranding. In such a situation, to be able to save the animal and prevent any harm to people in that area, human intervention is needed.

A marine megafauna stranding network has many benefits. It has not only helped documentation of strandings and allowed us to assess the health of our oceans but has increased awareness among government bodies and people alike. The animal's well-being is now considered a shared responsibility, and departments, along with stakeholders of the coastline and residents in the state, are coming together to fight for and protect these animals.

The main goals of this project are:

1) Build awareness around the current status of marine megafauna

Educate the general public and people in positions of influence on the need for greater Marine Protection Efforts in India.

2) Create Effective stranding response strategies for first responders

Strengthen pre-existing stranding response networks and set up new networks to optimise stranding response support along the coast.

3) Create Effective veterinary treatment and necropsy protocols

Assure the safety of all individuals interacting with these animals and create best practice protocols for veterinary aid to marine megafauna.

4) Identify causes of strandings

Understand how anthropogenic pressures affect marine megafauna.

5) Rehabilitate and Release

Treat and successfully release individual animals that have been stranded

Key Achievements

  • MoU signed.

  • 266 cases of live and dead stranded sea birds, sea turtles and marine mammals responded to in Goa and 73 in Karnataka.

  • Reconnaissance survey conducted for Gujarat.

  • 5,052,016 INR raised in year 1, and 21,137,124 INR committed for three years.

  • An app designed in collaboration with the Worldwide Veterinary Service to help collect data.

  • The Emaho team developed The Coastal Guardians film to aid fundraising and awareness about the program.

Current status: Fully funded in three states for 3 years

Download our project deck to Learn More about this project

International Partner: 

National Partner: ReefWatch Marine Conservation

Year of initiation: 2021

Area of work: Environment, Marine, Collaborative

Donors: Edicon, Eicher Motors Foundation, CSCAPES, Siddhartha Lal Foundation, Buddhadev Mangaldas, Zia Chaney, Vishal Jain, Arun Nayar, Niki Nayar, Suvir Malaney

Fundraising target: (for 3 years in 3 states) 22,637,124 INR

Total Funds raised: (for 3 years in 3 states) 22,637,124 INR