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The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums is an international association representing marine life parks, aquariums, zoos, research facilities, and professional organizations dedicated to the highest standards of care for marine mammals and to their conservation in the wild through public education, scientific study, and wildlife presentations. It was founded in 1987 and established offices near Washington, DC, in 1992, when it was formally incorporated. Collectively, the Alliance membership represents the greatest body of experience and knowledge about marine mammal care and husbandry.

The Alliance is the first and largest organization in the U.S. or abroad dedicated to the concerns and issues that affect the public display of marine mammals. The most commonly exhibited species in Alliance member facilities are dolphins, beluga and killer whales, sea lions and seals.

The Alliance administers a stringent accreditation process for its members. Accredited members must uphold Alliance Standards and Guidelines to optimize the psychological and physical health of, and environmental conditions for, individual marine mammals under their care, and to maximize the educational and scientific value of their collections as a whole.

Education is a top priority of Alliance members, who are committed to programming aimed at teachers, children, and adults. These programs enhance the experience of seeing living animals with exhibits, displays, programs, publications, and other learning tools. Education programs provide opportunities for visitors learn about marine mammal biology and natural history and become more aware of, and sensitive toward, the marine environment. They also address important marine conservation issues and engender a strong, active commitment to marine mammal conservation for which the public must ultimately shoulder the responsibility.

Alliance member collaborations have continually enhanced the success of dolphin and whale reproduction as members share information and provide technical assistance important to reproduction management. The Alliance also, when requested, facilitates partnering agreements between individual members to enhance breeding and genetic diversity.

The Alliance emphasizes and promotes research that benefits the health and well-being of both the marine mammals living in public display facilities and those in the wild. Knowledge acquired through research using husbandry data from animals in public display facilities, in tandem with field research, is essential to marine mammal conservation and one of the most effective ways of ensuring the health of wild marine mammal populations in the 21st century.

The Alliance supports the voluntary participation of its members in activities aimed at:
  • rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing stranded marine mammals
  • providing homes to animals that are deemed non-releasable, and
  • collecting stranded animal data, which is a significant source of information on the natural history, health, and status of wild populations.
Caring for stranded marine mammals is a critical commitment and the accumulated knowledge, collective experience, and resources of Alliance facilities are the primary factors in the many successful rehabilitation efforts each year.