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Marine Strandings

The stranding of marine animals is not uncommon along the coastline and can happen throughout the year.  It is important that if you see an animal stranded on the shore that you do the right thing.

If the stranded animal is alive it is important not to get too close to it as it is a wild animal in distress and may defensively or accidently hurt you. If the animal is dead again, please do not come into direct contact with the animal, you don't know how it died. 

Live stranded animals

Contact the British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825 765 546 during office hours and 07787 433 412 outside of office hours.

There is useful information on the British Divers Marine Life Rescue website on how you can help marine mammals in need.

Dead stranded animals

Contact the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Stranding Network on 0345 201 2626. This number operates 24 hours a day. 

It is important to give the Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Stranding Network. as much information as possible including:

  • The type of creature it is (if known).
  • The size of the creature. 
  • The condition of the creature, including obvious visible wounds.
  • The name of the beach and if the animal is near any identifiable landmarks.

Although the Marine Stranding network are interested in the stranding of all marine wildlife their focus is on the strandings of dolphins, whales and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) as well as seals, turtles and basking sharks. If the stranding is not alive the Marine Strandings Network help to contribute towards international research efforts through surveying strandings and collecting detailed data of marine strandings in Cornwall and where appropriate, assist in removing the carcass for post mortem examination.

If the stranding cannot be removed it is the responsibility of the landowner to remove the carcass, which depending on the location and size of the stranding can be a difficult process.