The New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife (NJDFW) has created a new Marine Protected Wildlife Reporter Tool which enables users to report sightings of and encounters with federally listed endangered or threatened marine species as well as prohibited shark species.
Compatible with smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers, users can report the species that was encountered and other pertinent information. This valuable data will be used by NJDFW biologists to track habitat use and collect life history information in order to effectively manage the recovery of these important natural resources.
This application is intended for the general public to submit their observations of protected marine wildlife in waters off New Jersey. The list of wildlife tracked includes all federal-listed Endangered or Threatened marine species as of December 2020, as well as all marine mammals and prohibited shark species which may occur in our area.
Submission of one or more photographs of the observation is encouraged in order to verify the accuracy of the identification. However, all applicable laws and regulations must be followed when attempting to get a photograph. Per the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act, viewing marine mammals and sea turtles must be conducted in a manner that does not harass the animals.
“We do not support, condone, approve, or authorize activities that involve closely approaching, interacting, or attempting to interact with endangered or otherwise protected species in the wild,” the NJDFW notes at the online reporting tool.