Mystic Aquarium's marine mammal and sea turtle stranding data 1976-2011

Mystic Aquarium

Dataset credit

Mystic Aquarium


Primary contact Ainsley Smith Duke University
Data entry Connie Kot



Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program supports animals in need, educates the public about the marine environment and its inhabitants, and promotes our mission to inspire people to care about and protect our ocean planet. Mystic Aquarium is a founding member of the Northeast Region Stranding Network. The network consists of independent organizations dedicated to caring for sick and injured marine animals and learning more about the reasons they come ashore. Only groups and facilities authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service are permitted to handle these animals, which are protected under federal law.

The efforts of the Aquarium and its volunteer "first responder" network are centered on the coasts of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Fishers Island, New York, USA, but the Aquarium has also supported institutions from Maine to New Jersey, and even in Texas, when other institutions have needed support for their operations. To date the Aquarium has responded to more than 1100 stranded seals, whales, dolphins, porpoises and sea turtles. From 2007 to 2012, we have responded to 376 strandings and 426 sightings and accepted 113 seals from other facilities for rehabilitation.


Aquarium scientists maintain data on marine mammal and sea turtle strandings and sightings as a means of monitoring the behavior and health of these animals, always vigilant for changes in patterns that might signal an unusual event such as a viral outbreak or a toxic algal bloom. The condition of these animals reveals much about the health of our oceans.

Supplemental information

[2020-09-30] The following invalid species names were corrected according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
Turtles: Testudines (173749) => Testudines (948936)

April 9, 2013: Time of stranding was not available, so 00:00:00 was used; two records did not have month or day available, so Jan 1 was used.




This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downloadable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission.

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidUnique ID (created by OBIS-SEAMAP)
notesTime was not availabile, so "00:00:00" was used; when month and day were not available, Jan 1 was used and noted
animalnumAnimal number (ID)
longitudeLongitude of observation
latitudeLatitude of observation
countyCounty of observation
stateState of observation
dispoDisposition/condition of animal
sp_obsSpecies observed
taxaTaxa observed
obs_dateDate of observation
sp_tsnSpecies ITIS TSN
obs_timeTime was not available, so "00:00:00" was used
obs_countNumber of animals
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals885
Sea turtles256
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin1976-03-18
Date, End2011-12-29
Temporal prec.111000
Latitude41.00 - 41.86
Longitude-73.65 - -71.10
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics