Stranded or dead marine animals

If you find a live stranded animal

Finding a stranded animal can be distressing. Though your first instinct may be to try to help it back into the water, you should never try to do this. They have stranded for a reason and require urgent professional medical attention.

Keep your distance, and keep other people, dogs, and gulls away. They are wild animals so contact with or proximity to humans can add additional stress to an already distressing situation.

You also put yourself at risk of injury if the animal thrashes or tries to move. Direct contact can also transmit disease.

Please contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) on 023 9255 2100 as soon as possible (phone line is open 24 hours a day).

Please take note of your location, the state of the tide and any obvious injuries you can see.

Please do not try to deal with a stranded animal alone, always call for help.

If you find a dead stranded animal

Finding a dead animal can be distressing. Avoid touching the animal and always make sure to wash your hands if any contact is made; dead marine animals, like any other animal, can carry disease or infection.

Dead strandings can help us learn about marine animals' diet, health and disease, the effects of pollution and bycatch, distribution, and specific threats that they face.

Please contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) on 023 9255 2100 as soon as possible (phone line is open 24 hours a day).

Please take note of your location, the state of the tide and any obvious injuries you can see.