Rich and son Hayden looking for crabs at Eagle Harbor Cypress Island Salish Sea.

Rich and son Hayden looking for crabs at Eagle Harbor Cypress Island Salish Sea.

Our Mission:

SMELTS is committed to performing research and the development on new technologies for the cause of rescue and prevention of harmful human interaction on marine life.  SMELTS educates communities on being good stewards of the enviroment focusing on the ocean and its global importance to life on earth by communicating this understanding through outreach and education for the benefit of society.

Who we are:

SMELTS is a non profit located in Washington State. Our focus is on Marine Mammal Interaction prevention technologies and bycatch reduction. we strive to educate our community on human interaction with sensitive groups of at risk species. My name is Rich Riels, I am the founder  of SMELTS (Sea Mammal Education Learning and Technology Society) I am an engineer by trade and hold a position here at smelts as the Executive Director and VP of Research and Development. My passion has always been the wilderness, the ocean and all its wild creatures. Over the years I have spent my spare time volunteering for Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network and SoundWatch. These organizations protect the marine mammals of the Salish sea. In my experience helping with volunteer positions I have seen and assisted with many marine mammals entangled, injured and deceased due to human interaction. My love for these majestic creatures of the ocean has driven me to use my engineering education to develop human interaction prevention technologies. Recently I have teamed up with 2 colleagues, Daniel Greenberg and David Orsatti. With our collective knowledge of mechanics, engineering, and animal health and rescue we are developing and designing a line-less crab/lobster pot.  Our goal is to help fisherman reduce the number of lost pots (and bycatch) and to reduce the amount of animal injuries and deaths from line entanglements.

Please take a moment and checkout our project page titled Crab/lobster raft. Also check out our page titled marine mammal collision Avoidance, this is another way we are trying to conserve the health and well being of whales.