Marine Strandings Network

Marine Strandings Network

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 over 25 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, 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 suidtable animals to determin causes of death. This gives us an understanding of the threats marine wildlife are facing, so we can campaign for changes to manage and mitaigate 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.We can learn about causes of death and threats to survival. 

We can learn about causes of death and threats to survival

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

MSN is not only intrerested in the big marine mega-fauna, 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 'Marine Emergency Contacts'

Donate to our Marine Strandings Appeal

Cornwall’s dolphins and porpoises urgently need your help. Shockingly, 2017 saw the worst marine strandings for 15 years along the Cornish coastline with a total of 249 animals washing up dead on our beaches. We need to stop this happening.

Please donate to our appeal to fund vital work to better protect our dolphins.

Volunteers have been collecting data on strandings for many years and we now have over 5500 records on our strandings database, the earliest dating back to 1308! All marine records are welcome and kept by the Strandings Coordinator. The data is shared with all interested individuals and organisations.

Supported by Frugi

Frugi, a local children's organic clothing company, helps protect Cornwall’s dolphins through donations to Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas marine conservation programme and our Marine Strandings Network.

A big thank you also goes to Cornwall phone for supplying our strandings number 0345 201 2626 free of charge.

Also sponsored by Tesco Bags of Help. 

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 -