Marine Strandings Network

Marine Strandings Appeal

Marine Strandings Network

Video by Thomas Scott, Falmouth University

Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Marine Strandings Network is the licensed recorder for all marine strandings in Cornwall.

The Marine Strandings Network is a flagship project of Cornwall Wildlife Trust and has been recording and monitoring dead marine wildlife strandings in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for 20 years. We work in partnership with the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Progamme (DEFRA Funded) and University of Exeter to lead on marine strandings work for Cornwall. 

We train and support a team of over 150 volunteers who man the dedicated Strandings Hotline and record all reported strandings of marine organisms on Cornwall's coastline. The army of MSN Volunteers record and photograph all stranded dolphins, whales and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) as well as seals, basking sharks and turtles, and facilitate post mortem examinations of suitable animals to determine causes of death. This gives us an understanding of the threats marine wildlife are facing, so we can campaign for changes to manage and mitigate these threats. 

Recording stranded animals provides us with information about the marine environment and the health of marine creatures. This information is vital in helping us to conserve wildlife and cannot be learnt from studying live animals. 

Here's what we can learn more about from studying dead marine wildlife:

  • Distribution
  • Diet
  • Health and diseases
  • Behaviour and Ecology
  • Effects of pollution
  • Reproduction

The Marine Strandings Network is not only interested in the big marine megafauna. We also collect data on all marine life stranded in Cornwall; everything from guillemots and zulu fish to violet snails and buoy barnacles.

Found a dead marine animal? 

Call our dedicated Strandings Hotline immediately

0345 201 2626

Found a live marine animal in distress or an incident of marine animal disturbance? Please see our contact pages for detail of who to call.

Want to volunteer with the Marine Strandings Network?

Interested in volunteering with the Marine Strandings Network? You could help man the hotline to take details of strandings events and coordinate volunteers to attend and record these animals, or be one of the callout volunteers responding and recording on the beach.

Email us to find out more about what's involved and our next training opportunity -