Marine Strandings Network
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Hands-on marine conservation

The Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network is the official recorder for all marine strandings in Cornwall.

The Marine Strandings Network consists of a team of over 100 volunteers who record all reported strandings of organic organisms on Cornwall's coastline. Although this includes everything from jellyfish to nuts, the volunteers' main activity is recording and photographing all stranded dolphins, whales and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) as well as seals, basking sharks and turtles.

Volunteers have been collecting data on strandings for many years and we now have over 5000 records on our strandings database, the earliest dating back to 1308! The records are kept by the Strandings Coordinator and are shared with other organisations.

Between 2000 and 2012 we recorded nearly 1800 dead dolphins and whales and over 850 grey seals around Cornwall.

What we can learn from different species

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
  • distribution
  • diet
  • health and diseases
  • behaviour among the same, and between different, species
  • the effects of pollution
  • reproduction

Would you be able to identify a dolphin, whale, seal, basking shark or marine turtle on the beach? Click on one of the pictures below to see our identification guides.

Report a Stranded Marine animal

Ring the 24 hour hotline number immediately:

0345 201 2626


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Copyright 2005-2014 Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network. All rights reserved. Registered charity no. 214929.
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