Marine Strandings Appeal

Image by Annabelle Lowe

Cornwall’s dolphins and porpoises urgently need your help. Shockingly, 2017 saw the worst marine strandings for 15 years along the Cornish coastline. We need to stop this happening.

Target £16,000. Without research, more will die.

It’s a heart-wrenching sight to see beautiful animals such as dolphins and porpoises dead on the beach. In 2017, 249 bodies of these once magnificent cetaceans littered our beaches. Moreover, scientists estimate that only 5-10% of animals dying at sea get washed ashore. This means last year the total off Cornwall could have been anywhere between 2,490 and 4,980 animals.To put this into perspective, head to tail, around 18km, the same distance from Penzance to Porthcurno, along the beautiful South West Coast Path! Such a shocking illustration of the enormous waste of life.

Harbour Porpoise, image by Jenny Lord

Without the hard evidence, we can’t do anything except keep counting the bodies and these animals deserve better.

"Marine mammal
strandings can have
natural causes but,
increasingly, human
activity is behind
these tragic events.
The Strandings
Network is a well-organised and
highly effective project that is
not only shedding light on the
problem, but giving us the means
to do something about it."

Gillian Burke, BBC Springwatch
Presenter & MSN Volunteer

Our Marine Strandings Network has recorded every stranded animal reported over the last 25 years and provides us with vital information to help determine the cause of death and identify threats to their survival.

Among the key local threats is accidental entanglement in fishing nets, known as bycatch, which can be recognised from injuries such as encircling marks, cuts to the fins and mouth, and broken beaks. This can be from the larger offshore pelagic trawl vessels, and we know bycatch also happens in local inshore nets. But there are other causes of death such as pollution, starvation and even deadly bullying by bigger animals which results in broken bones, bruising and serious cuts called ‘rake’ marks.

We must ensure we have the strong evidence we need to work proactively, in partnership with fishermen and other marine organisations and government, to find practical solutions, including bycatch mitigation in the form of pingers, and influence marine policy decisions to better protect our cetaceans.

We urgently need to raise £16,000 in order to act effectively. Every donation brings us closer to saving these majestic creatures and your contribution will be greatly appreciated.

Have you seen a stranding? Let us know, call our 24/7 hotline on 0345 2012626



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