This project provides a systematic and coordinated approach to the surveillance of cetacean strandings in the UK and to the investigation of causes of death.
Data on UK stranded marine turtles and basking sharks are now also being collected under the project.
The project aims to collate, analyse and report data for all cetacean, marine turtle and basking shark strandings around the coast of the UK; to determine the causes of death in 100 stranded cetaceans each year; and to undertake surveillance on the incidence of disease in stranded cetaceans in order to identify any substantial new threats to their conservation status.
The information from this project helps to ensure that the UK complies with a number of national and international agreements/obligations, including the Habitats Directive and the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans in the Baltic and North Sea (ASCOBANS).
The data generated also facilitates informed management decisions to improve or maintain favourable conservation status in threatened species, through the investigation of important causes of death such as accidental entrapment in commercial fishing gear (by-catch).
Download our Marine Strandings Hotline Poster.