Yamaha Marine Group donated a 40-horsepower engine to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, Calif., to assist rescue efforts of marine mammals along the California coast.
The center will use the outboard to repower its 16-foot Zodiac rescue vessel.
The center rescues and medically treats marine mammals including California sea lions, Northern elephant seals, Pacific harbor seals, and Northern fur seals that are suffering from extreme malnourishment or starvation as well as animals that have been injured by man-caused marine debris, including fishing nets, lines and trash.
Last year alone the center rescued 538 sick or injured sea lions stranded along the California coast. Experts speculate that warmer ocean temperatures have moved the mammals’ food sources into deeper, colder water, keeping mothers away from pups for longer periods of time.
“Due to the generosity of Yamaha Marine Group, we will be able to expand the research of our marine mammals, and share vital information with other leaders in our field,” center executive director Keith Matassa said in a statement. “Additionally, when there is an immediate need for offshore support, such as whale entanglement, we will be amply ready and prepared to respond."
“Yamaha has been involved with the Pacific Marine Mammal Center for several years by providing Yamaha product donations for fundraising purposes, in addition to volunteering man hours for sea lion rescue,” Yamaha Marine Group communications manager Martin Peter said. “Yamaha Marine is pleased to join efforts with other Yamaha divisions to further support the needs of the PMMC — and to assist in alleviating the plight of stranded or injured marine mammals.”