The interactions between marine wildlife and marine energy devices are not well understood, leading to regulatory delays for device deployments and testing. Technologies that enable marine wildlife observations can help to fill data gaps and reduce uncertainties about animal–device interactions. A validation test conducted in Galveston Bay near La Porte, Texas, in December 2022 used a technology package consisting of a tethered balloon system and three independent sensor systems, including three-band visible, eight-band multispectral, and single-band thermal to detect three marine-mammal-shaped surrogates. The field campaign aimed to provide an initial step to evaluating the use of the TBS and the effectiveness of the sensor suite for marine wildlife observations and detection. From 2 December to 7 December 2022, 6 flights were conducted under varying altitudes and environmental conditions resulting in the collection of 5454 images. A subset of the images was classified and analyzed with two collection criteria including Beaufort wind force scale and TBS altitude to assess a range of observations of a surrogate from near-shore to offshore based on pixel count. The results of this validation test demonstrate the potential for using TBSs and imaging sensors for marine wildlife observations and offer valuable information for further development and application of this technology for marine energy and other blue economy sectors.