British Marine Life 
Study Society

Cetacea: Whales & Dolphins

At least 19 species of cetaceans are regularly found in the seas surrounding the British Isles.


Would you know what to do if you found a whale stranded on a beach?
Each year anywhere between five and 50 whales, dolphins and porpoises are washed up on Britain's beaches.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue, a volunteer charity, was set up in 1998 to rescue them.

BBC News Report


Dolphins by Steve Savage

Photograph by Nicolas Jouault

New born Bottle-nosed Dolphin with adult, 19 May 2001, swimming against flood tide, and shallow water
Photograph by Nicolas Jouault, Jersey

There are five species of true dolphin sighted in British waters. These are the Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus, Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis, Striped Dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba, Atlantic White-sided Dolphin Lagenorhynchus acutus, and White-beaked Dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris. The Bottle-nosed Dolphin is the species most frequently seen, often in groups as it is a very sociable species. Bottle-nosed Dolphins grow to an average length of 3.1 to 3.7 metres (10-12 ft). The only known breeding areas around the British Isles for this species are the Moray Firth and Cardigan Bay. The Common Dolphin is widely distributed along the west coast and in the North Sea, and the much rarer Striped Dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba, is found to the south and west of Britain and Ireland. 

A sixth species Risso's Dolphin, Grampus griseus, generally ignores boats, neither avoiding them or approaching them or bow-riding.  AH.

Difference between a Dolphin and a Porpoise (Link)


21 August 2003

'Atlas of cetacean distribution in north-west European waters' 

The publication by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) of an atlas of their distribution in waters off north-western Europe.  It is based on the sightings made by hundreds of observers over the past 25 years.  The atlas is a first for these waters, and becomes the first globally to take full account of the variation between areas in the amount of searching that observers have carried out to gather the information.

Click on this text for the full information including ordering

Price £17.00 from the Natural History Book Service (www.nhbs.com), or phone +44 (0)1803 865913. 


Index to Reports



 

28 June 2005
A group of a dozen Sperm Whales, Physeter macrocephalus, including a calf, were spotted between Bressay and Noss in the Shetland Isles (island off the east mainland). From a vantage point overlooking Noss Sound, we were rewarded by the sight of a group of Sperm Whales gently drifting eastwards at a distance of about two miles. Visibility was fairly good and we could determine the distinctive outline and classic blow through the scope, though they were a long way out when viewed through binoculars. Despite the variety of whales and dolphins around the Shetland Isles, Sperm Whales are unusual in the relatively shallow water for these huge sea mammals. A group is very rare and the calf may be the first record for the Shetlands. 
Images


12 April 2005
At 9.00 am a stranded Blainville's Beaked Whale, Mesoplodon densirostris, was discovered and subsequently identified at Ameland, part of the Dutch Wadden Islands by Chris Smeenk and colleagues. The animal was a female 435 cm long and she turned out to be pregnant, a 118 cm foetus was retrieved from the uterus. This record represents the first for the North Sea and only the 8th record for Europe.


Photograph by Frances Stockdale
 
 

14-21 March 2004
A full skeleton of a small 120 cm cetacean was discovered on the shore at Low Newton, in Northumberland, north-east England.
Full Report
 

3 September 2003
A large whale skull was landed at Shoreham (Monteum's Wharf, River Adur) from a small (under 10 metres length) trawler fishing three miles off Brighton Marina, Sussex.

 


Further Details and Photographs
 

30-31 August 2003
National Whale and Dolphin Watch
Sea Watch Foundation 

The Sea Watch Foundation organised the UK's National Whale and Dolphin Watch Weekend, aimed at providing a snapshot picture of the numbers and variety of whales, dolphins and porpoises to be seen around the British Isles. 
Details

BMLSS Cetacea

27 August 2003
Two Melon-headed Whales, Peponocephala electra, became stranded alive near La Rochelle, western France (Charente-Maritime département, Poitou-Charentes région) in the central coastal area of the Bay of Biscay (latitude 46°). Both stranded whales were helped back to sea, but one of them was discovered washed up dead on a nearby beach on 29 August 2003. When the live beached whales were discovered, neither was outwardly seen to be ill or injured. 
This is the first record of this whale seen alive in European seas as this is a tropical species that usually lives and hunts in large schools in the open oceans. 
The dead specimen was an adult male that measured 2.43 metres long and weighed 123 kg (the other whale measured approximately the same length). This is nearly its full size and although they are called whales they are actually 30% smaller than Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. 

Report from Olivier Van Canneyt, of the Centre de Recherche sur les Mammifères Marins (based in La Rochelle), via ORCA, via UK Cetnet
Full Report and Photographs
 


1998  Shetland Islands: 

Shetland Sea Mammal Report 1998
 

Bottle-nosed Dolphins
Sperm Whale - 1
Sperm Whale - 2 
Striped Dolphin

17 January:  Two Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, were sighted in Uyea Sound, Unst, Shetland Isles.  This is a rare record for these islands. The latest sightings are to be found on the Shetland News Web Site.

22/23 March 1997. Sperm Whale in Firth of Forth. 

British Divers Marine Life Rescue
 
 

British Whales & Dolphins
Cape Cod Stranding Network Training Manual
Cetacean List (NE Atlantic)
Cetaceans Information (Shetland Isles Wildlife News)
Cetaceans Information (Cornwall:  Nick Tregenza)
Cetacean Rehabilitation in Netherlands and Denmark
Cetacean Research & Rescue Unit (CRRU)
Channel Islands (Photographic Portfolio by Nicolas Jouault)
Channel Islands (Marine Mammals of)

Channel Islands (Marine Mammals)
Company of Whales
Herring - Killer Whale Interaction Project (Norwegian Coast)
Irish Whale & Dolphin Group web pages
Killer Whales site
Mammal Society: Cetaceans
Marine Connection
Marine Mammals of the English Channel Smart Group
Marine Mammals of the UK Cetacean Links Page

National Whale Stranding Recording Scheme

Natural History Museum, London
Natural History Museum   Department of Zoology   National Whale Stranding Recording Scheme

SeaQuest Southwest / Cornwall Dolphin Group
Shetland Isles Cetacean List with Notes
Shetland Sea Mammal Group
La Société Guernesiaise
Southern Marine Life Rescue
Sussex Dolphins (article)
Stranded Cetacean Report Numbers
UK & Celtic Marine Mammal Project
UK CetNet eForum
Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society
Whales News Worldwide (External Link)
 

    Northern Bottle-nosed Whales, off Scotland       by Chris Hicks
     

WHALE & DOLPHIN  WATCHING
 

Husavik

The Whale Watch capital in Iceland is based at Husavik.  Sights include Blue Whales, Humpbacks, Orca, Minke and Sei Whales, dolphins, porpoises, plus Northern Bottle-nosed Whales. 

The page for whale and dolphin spotting around Britain has not been prepared yet.  If you are interested in marine wildlife, including marine mammals, and are planning a holiday in the UK, especially Scotland, it is work clicking on the image "SeaProbe" and having a look at the page:

Boat Trips
(Underwater Windows)

 
 


Dolphin and Whale Watch Pages

Isle of Man
Wales
 

Also

New Quay Dolphin Monitoring Group, Cardigan Bay, Wales
http://www.ceinewydd.co.uk/

Dolphins, Porpoises and Whales of the Moray Firth
http://www.highlanderweb.co.uk/dolphins.htm

ORCA   Organisation Cetacea
http://www.orcaweb.org 

Ireland
 

Emer Rogan   EMail:E.Rogan@ucc.ie

Emer Rogan
Dept. of Zoology and Animal Ecology
University College
Cork.
Tel: +353 21 904 197

Irish Whale & Dolphin Group web pages

Cornwall:

Cetaceans Information (Cornwall:  Nick Tregenza)

Scotland

Sea Life Surveys Web Pages (Isle of Mull, Scotland) with Cetacean and Marine Life information

Dolphins & Seals of the Moray Firth

SEAQUEST SW REPORTS

Sea Watch Foundation

Cetacean Research (& Rescue) Unit (CRRU)

SMRU Bass Bycatch Report & Research


Dear All

Although occasional dolphin sightings are fairly common in Cornwall during the Summer months, August this year has produced some unusual activity.

From 3 August 2000, a pod of about 7-8 Bottle-nosed Dolphins were first seen by fishermen off St. George's Island, Looe, from where they then moved to Talland Bay (between Looe and Polperro). As of today, they are still in residence at high tides. They approach to within 20 metres of the beach, in some 1 m of water, and are extremely curious of bathers and small boats.

The local boatmen of Looe and Polperro are running trips for tourists to visit the dolphins, which seem unconcerned by the attention. I have waded out myself and been poked and prodded by three or four at once - an unforgettable experience.

Local fishermen report larger than normal inshore catches of Mackerel and Cuttlefish - perhaps an explanation for the dolphin activity.

Jon.
From: "Jon Makeham" <jonmakeham@beeb.net>

On:
 


MARINE WILDLIFE of the NE ATLANTIC OCEAN
EFORUM PAGE (LINK TO)


Latest News 
 2003

News:  Dead and stranded cetaceans, Cornwall (January 2003)
News: Stranded Sperm Whale in the Wash
News:  Large Pods of Dolphins off Cornwall (1)
News:  Large Pods of Dolphins off Cornwall (2)
News:  Humpback Whale off Aberdeen


23 - 24 March 2002
A pod of between 30 and 40 Pilot Whales, Globicephala melas, became stranded, or nearly stranded, at near Camp in North in Tralee Bay, County Kerry, Ireland, and were prevented from beaching and helped back out to sea. 18 of these whales (actually dolphins with a bottle-shaped head) perished, but many were coaxed back into the sea on the first day. On the following day, 10 to 12 whales were spotted the shallow water of Fenit Harbour, but they did not become beached and the Fenit lifeboatmen were able to escort them back into deeper water. 
Information from Paul Peachey (Independent Newspaper)
One of the female whales gave birth as the lifeboatmen preventing it from beaching. 
Additional information from Derek Day
In the authentic report, the calf was bodily lifted by a farmer and put back into the sea. 
Information completed by Dave Wall (Irish Whale & Dolphin Group) via UK Cetnet
Full Reports

18 February 2002
A massive stranding of 150 Common Dolphins, Delphinus delphis, occurred on the beach at  Pleubian on the Côtes d'Armor, Bretagne (Britanny), on the English Channel (le Manche) coast of northern France.  This stranding occurred at 3:00 pm just before the low spring tide.
Close-up MapAccording to people who witnessed the event at Pleubian beach, the first dolphin beached itself followed by its congeners. This prompted an attempted rescue by the Fire Brigade, the Police and the public who were able to rescue 20 of the unfortunate dolphins and push them back into the water. Unfortunately despite strenuous efforts about 60 dolphins perished (the original report was of 48 dead dolphins) but 90 survived.
The reason for the stranding is not known but the topography of the bay and the large tidal range were probably contributory.
Map

Stranded Dolphin Identification Notes
Mass Stranding Exercises in Scotland

5 February 2002
Cetacean Deaths
Large numbers of dolphins are washed up dead on the French coast with about 300 reports. The French newspapers showed the dolphin carcasses piled up high on the beach. 

Report by Andrew Syvret (Pinnacle Marine Limited)
The total reports of stranded cetaceans for Cornwall reached 45 this year.
(In previous years the numbers have been recorded at 26.)
Reports from Stella Turk on the Cornish Mailing List


January 2002
At least 50 small cetaceans, mostly dolphins, have been washed dead up on English Channel coasts during this month. Dolphins are washed up dead every year, but there seems to be at least double the normal numbers this year. Although, the cause of death is not known for sure, most people seem to think that fishing activities are to blame. The cause of the increase is less clear; it could be because of the bad weather has washed more ashore, it could be because more are being caught because of increased dolphin numbers, or increased fishing effort, or it could be because more people are reporting their grisly discoveries.
More information can be found on the following efora:
Marine Mammals of the English Channel Smart Group
UK Cetnet
Cornish Wildlife Mailing List

3 January 2002
A 2.88 metres long female Pygmy Sperm Whale, Kogia breviceps, was washed up dead on Thurlestone Beach in Devon. This is an extremely unusual stranding of a deep sea whale. Scientists from the Natural History Museum in London have taken DNA samples in an attempt to discover from which population this whale came from. The cause of death was unknown. This species is much commoner in the southern hemisphere. The presence of a population west of the Bay of Biscay is possible. This whale is classified as a Vagrant in the British Cetacean List.

Pictures
Natural History Museum   Department of Zoology
National Whale Stranding Recording Scheme (includes excellent photographs)
Further Details
BMLSS Cetaceans

February 2001
Every year scores of dolphins are washed up dead on the shores of Cornwall and Devon.
Jon Makeham (Looe) has sent a report to the eforum from information in the Cornish Times. 
Dolphin Report

13 November 1999
Two Pilot Whales, Globicephala melas, were seen close to the Wolf Rock, Cornwall, on Saturday afternoon. (Vince Smith)

On Sunday the 13th and Monday 14th June 1999 I saw 3 Common Dolphins, Delphinus delphis, swimming off Kennack Sands on the Lizard Peninsula. They were 2 metres long. The south Cornish coast is a good dolphin watching area. 

 Report by Jake Scolding (Cadgwith) 
18 September 1999
A pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, numbering up to 20 individuals were reported by Hazel Meredith in Fistral Bay, Cornwall, (SW7961) in an area occupied by bathers. Later in the month pods were reported off Perranporth and Crantock. 

More information and Reports on the Seaquest SW (Cornwall Wildlife Trust web pages).

and on Cornish Marine Wildlife Reports 2000 (by Ray Dennis)


From: "Darrell Clegg" <cleggd@plymouth.gov.uk>
Subject: Re Cornish Humpback sightings

The following is from the Caradon Field and Natural History Club's annual report for 1992:

Humpback Whale
Megaptera novaeangliae

Rare in British waters, there was obviously a family party in the south-west during the summer. A young animal on the Cornish coast was a terrific tourist attraction and made TV coverage. Two adults were seen together off Brixham around the time of the Rame sighting. There is no previous report of this species from Cornish waters.

Rame Head: EJW (Ed Wilson) recorded a large whale moving South-East out of Whitsand Bay at 08:00 hrs on 19 June 1992, through his telescope he saw it roll and noted the impression of a lump before the dorsal fin. No other whale shows this but because of the brevity of the view he recorded it as only a probable, he has experience of Humpback and several other whale species in Antarctic waters however, and was unaware that Humpbacks were being seen off the South-West at this time. Confirmation of a Humpback being seen off Plymouth came from the MBA (Marine Biological Association) who were sent a photograph of an undoubted Humpback taken from a yacht off Bolt Head on 13th June. There are also second-hand reports of a Humpback being seen by a fishing boat way out in Looe Bay earlier in June (per RC) and of a large whale with enormous flippers being sighted about a mile south of the Eddystone on about 9th July ( a Cawsand fisherman)

Darrell Clegg
City of Plymouth Library and Information Services
http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/star/library.htm
cleggd@plymouth.gov.uk

Vince Smith's One-List/Cornish Wildlife
Seaquest SW (Cornwall Wildlife Trust web pages)

Tunes of the Humpback Whale (New Scientist)
 

22 January 1995
Humpback Whale was observed for about one hour, feeding on Mackerel off the Eddystone Lighthouse, an island off south Cornwall. 
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1995


Shetland Isles:

19 June 1999 
A pod of 7 White-sided Dolphins, Lagenorhynchus acutus, visited Laxfirth Voe (central Mainland) this evening and a Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, was spotted off Compass Head (Sumburgh). 

A day in the life of a Porpoise

Whales and Dolphins in Shetland Waters
 
 



all the world's whales, dolphins and porpoises on one site!
species breakdowns, latest news, threats, shopping, pictures,
maps and much much more --- all on the giants of the deep!
  CETACEA - http://www.cetacea.org


 
 
 

The UK Digital Marine Atlas, published by the British Oceanographic Data Centre at the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, includes colour maps of cetacean distributions (common species only) around the British Isles.


Book Reviews (click on the text):

21 August 2003

'Atlas of cetacean distribution in north-west European waters' 

The publication by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) of an atlas of their distribution in waters off north-western Europe.  It is based on the sightings made by hundreds of observers over the past 25 years.  The atlas is a first for these waters, and becomes the first globally to take full account of the variation between areas in the amount of searching that observers have carried out to gather the information.

Click on this text for the full information including ordering

Price £17.00 from the Natural History Book Service (www.nhbs.com), or phone +44 (0)1803 865913. 


British Marine Wildlife News Index

Earliest reports first
 

News:  Sperm Whale (Firth of Forth 1997)
News:  River Trent Dolphin
News: Striped Dolphin
Northern Bottle-nosed Whales
News:  Minke Whale
News: Bottle-nosed Dolphins
News: Humpback Whale
News: Sperm Whale
News: Killer Whales
News: Harbour Porpoises (Shetlands 1999)
News: Harbour Porpoises (Neesicks is the Shetland name) 
Porpoises in Broadland Bay, Isle of Skye
News up to July 1997
Sussex Dolphins 1998
News: Striped Dolphin 1998
News: Risso's Dolphins 1999
News:  Beached Minke Whale in Dorset, 1999
News:  Rescue of a Risso's Dolphin in Ireland
News:  Sussex Porpoises 1999
Sea Mammal Research Unit (Cetacean Abundance in the North Sea)
News:  Risso's Dolphin in Cornwall 1999
News:  Bottle-nosed Dolphin in Cornwall 1999
News:  Common Dolphin in Cornwall 1999
News:  White-beaked Dolphin in Cornwall 1999
News:  Pilot Whale in the Thames estuary 1999
News:  Northern Bottle-nosed Whale stranding (Ireland) 1999
News:  Risso's Dolphins (Cornwall)
Contamination of Harbour Porpoises by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to deaths from infectious disease (New Scientist)
News:  Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalus, (Cornwall)
Bay of Biscay Cetacean One-List Discussion Group
Killer Whales site
Publication:  Killer Whales
Shetland Sea Mammal Report 1998
News: Risso's Dolphins 2000 & Sei Whale (Cornwall)
News: Killer Whales 2000 (Shetlands)
News: Humpback Whales & White-sided & White-beaked Dolphins (Shetland Isles)
News: White-sided Dolphins in large pods (Shetland Isles)
News: Sperm Whale (southern North Sea, stranded dead)
News: Minke Whale, Cornwall, July 2000
News: White-beaked Dolphins, NE Scotland
News: Porpoises and larger Cetaceans, (Yorkshire) August 2000
News: Cuvier's Beaked Whale (Co. Sligo, Ireland)
News: Common Dolphins (Hampshire)
Bottle-nosed Dolphins off Looe, Cornwall
News:  Blue Whales
News:  Common Dolphins off Cornwall 1999
Sussex Dolphins 1999
CMW Reports: Common Dolphins in the River Dart
Web Page that includes Whales breaching in the Bay of Biscay 
News: Atlantic White-sided Dolphins (stranded, Sutherland) (stranded, north Devon)
News: Striped Dolphins (Isles of Scilly ) 2000
News: Sowerby's Whales in Biscay (UK Cetnet Digest 292, 25/10/00)
Crustacean EBiota of Cetaceans (notes only)
Local News:  Decomposed Cetacean off Sussex
Porpoises:  a few Yorkshire notes
Bottle-nosed Dolphins (Isle of Mull 2000)
News: Fin Whale washed up at Heysham, Lancashire
News: Bottlenosed Dolphins (Isle of Skye)
News: Bottlenosed Dolphins (Jersey, winter)
News: Minke Whale (Cornwall) 2001
News: Durlston Bay Dolphins including a calf
News: Sperm Whale washed up Cornwall
Smart Group:  Dolphin Deaths off Cornwall
News:  Sussex Cetaceans 2001 (February 2001 Report)
Common and Bottle-nosed Dolphins (how to tell them apart when decomposed)
News: Humpback Whales (Orkney)
News 2001: stranded Humpback Whale (Kent)
News 2001: Killer Whales in Cork harbour, Ireland
News: Bottle-nosed Dolphin, London 2001
News: Sixty Bottle-nosed Dolphins (Dorset)
Humpback Whale (Photograph by the Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit)News:  Humpback Whale in the Moray Firth 2001 (External Link)
Reports: Common Dolphins around the Channel Islands, July-August 2001
News: Humpback Whale from Fair Isle 2001
News: Bottle-nosed Whale (dead stranding) from the Sound of Mull 2001
News: 100+ Common Dolphins (Guernsey)
News: Risso's Dolphins in the Moray Firth 2001
News: Sei Whale washed up in Cumbria
News:  Beached Sperm Whale in the Shetlands, at Trondra
News: Large pod of Pilot Wales in the English Channel
Sussex Cetaceans 2001
Sussex Sea Watch Foundation News 2001
News: Bottle-nosed Whale (dead stranding) from the Orkneys
News:  Harbour Porpoises of Devon
News:  Dead Cetaceans off Cornwall
News:  White-beaked Dolphin, outer Moray 2001
News: Pygmy Sperm Whale (Devon) 2002
News: January strandings in the English Channel
News: Common Dolphins, massive stranding, northern France
Stranded Dolphin Identification Notes
News:  Probable Cuvier's beaked Whale at Islay
News:  Pilot Wales stranding rescue at Tralee Bay
News:  Killer Whales pod, Fetlar, Shetland Isles
News: Bottle-nosed Dolphin at Weymouth
News:  150 Common Dolphins
Report:  Pod of ten Bottle-nosed Dolphins including a calf
News: Dolphins killing a young Porpoise
News:  Sowerby's Beaked Whale (Cornwall) 2002 
News: White-sided Dolphin (Sussex)
News: Sperm Whale in the Westerschelde
News: Cuvier's Beaked Whale (Norfolk)
News: Sperm Whale, decomposed (Firth of Forth)
News: Killer Whales (Shetland Isles)
News:  Pod of 20 Common Dolphins (Cornwall)
News: Cuvier's Beaked Whale, decomposed (Cornwall)
Local News:  Bottle-nosed Dolphins (Sussex)
Diary:  Whale & Dolphin Watching Weekend (Sea Watch Foundation)
News:  Humpback Whale in the Moray Firth
News: Minke Whales off Rum
News: Pilot Whales near Guernsey
News:  Minke Whales off Whitby
News:  Bottle-nosed Dolphins at Newquay
News: Three Dolphin species pods together off Cork
News:  Eight Sperm Whales off the Orkneys
News: Young Humpback Whale, Denmark
News: Bottle-nosed Dolphins (Aberdeen)
News: Minke Whale in Portland Harbour
Cetacean News 2002 (CD-ROM only)

News:  Dead and stranded cetaceans, Cornwall (January 2003)
News:  Stranded Sperm Whale in the Wash
News:  Large Pods of Dolphins off Cornwall (1)
News:  Large Pods of Dolphins off Cornwall (2)
News:  Humpback Whale off Aberdeen
News:  Sperm Whale, stranded dead at Burrafirth, Shetlands
News:  Sperm Whale stranded dead near King's Lynn
News:  Sperm Whale stranded dead on the Stiffkey Marshes, Norfolk
News:  Sperm Whale stranded dead, near Dunkerque, France
News:  Minke Whale rescue, Cornwall
News:  Killer Whales in Pentland Firth
News: Melon-headed Whales, live stranding on the French coast
News:  Risso's Dolphins off Cornwall
News:  500 Porpoises off Land's End
News:  Whale Skull at Shoreham, Sussex    Further Details and Photographs
Political News: UK ask Iceland to spare whales
News:  Risso's Dolphins off Guernsey
News:  Humpback Whale (dead) off the Netherlands
News:  Risso’s Dolphins off Runnelstone, Cornwall
News:  Risso’s Dolphins off Stumble Head, Pembrokeshire
News: Bottle-nosed Whale at Bovisand, Devon
News:  Humpback Whales (first live record from the Netherlands)
News:  Superpod of Dolphins off Cornwall
News:  Fin Whale stranded dead on the Brittany shore
News:  Hundreds of Common Dolphins in Falmouth Bay

2004

News:  Bottle-nosed Dolphins in Studland Bay, Dorset
News: Cuvier’s Beaked Whale washed up dead on Mull
News:  Dead Sperm Whale at Thornham, Norfolk
News:  Dolphins off the Sussex coast
News:  Fin Whale washed up dead on Coll in the Hebrides
News;  Four Fin Whales off Cornwall
News:  Dead Sperm Whale (Belgium)
News:  Porpoise skeleton (pictures) off Northumberland
News:  Sperm Whale stranded in the Wash
News: Risso’s Dolphins, NW Wales
News:  Bottle-nosed Dolphins killing a Porpoise off Aberdeen, Scotland
News:  Killer Whales off Cornwall
News: juvenile Humpback Whale
News: juvenile Humpback Whale found dead off the Netherlands
News:  Sperm Whale found dead off the Netherlands
News:  Bottle-nosed Dolphins in Cromarty Firth
News:  Humpback Whale and Minke Whales near the Isle of Skye
News:  Minke Whale in Falmouth Bay
News: Fin Whale washed up dead on the south Wales (Bristol Channel) mud flats
News: Sowerby's Beaked Whale washed up dead at Fishguard, Wales
News: Fin Whale washed up dead on the south Devon coast (near Brixham)
News: Fin Whale washed up dead on the Cornish coast (near Land's End)
News: White-beaked Dolphins off Dungeness, Kent

2005

News:  Bottle-nosed Dolphin (dead stranding) intraspecific attack? at Gwithian, Cornwall
Images: Bottle-nosed Dolphin (dead stranding) intraspecific attack? at Gwithian, Cornwall
BBC News: Dolphins attack Porpoises
News: Stranded Sperm Whale in County Cork
News: Humpback Whale off north Wales
News: Baby Dolphin washed up dead (Sussex)
News: Common Dolphin on Lancing Beach (Sussex)
News:  White-beaked Dolphin death at Scarborough, Yorks
News: Blainville's Beaked Whale, Mesoplodon densirostris,was discovered stranded and dead and subsequently identified at Ameland, part of the Dutch Wadden Islands by Chris Smeenk and colleagues 
  Full story and images on the ORCA website
News:  Fishermen suspected of killing Porpoises in the North Sea (Times Report)
News:  Sperm Whale washed up dead on Skye
News:  Dolphin attack on Porpoises in the Moray Firth
News:  Striped Dolphin on an Isle of Wight beach
News:  Minke Whales at Dunnet Head, north Scotland
News: A group of Sperm Whales, including a calf, off the Shetlands
News:  First Minke Whales in the Moray Firth of the year
News: Beluga Whale near the Orkneys
News:  More Minke Whales in the Moray Firth
News:  Minke Whale off Prawle Point, south Devon
News:  Humpback Whales in Cardigan Bay
News:  Fin Whales off SW Wales
News:  Superpod of Common Dolphins in Cardigan Bay
News:  Humpback Whales in the Irish Sea
News: White-beaked Dolphins off Norfolk
News:  Northern Bottle-nosed Whales off Skye
News:  Striped Dolphin washed up dead of St. Ives
News:  Fin Whale washed up dead on the Isle of Wight

2006

News:  Bottle-nosed Dolphin in Maryport Harbour, Solway
News:  Northern Bottle-nosed Whale in the Thames at Westminster
News:  White-beaked Dolphin dead at Caithness, Scotland
News:  50 Common Dolphins & four Fin Whales off Cornwall
News:  Bottle-nosed Dolphin in Maryport Harbour, released into the open sea
News:  Sperm Whale stranded and died off Spurn Point, outer Humber
News:  Sperm Whale stranded dead off Skegness, Lincs
News:  Humpback Whale washed up dead in Kent
News:  Minke Whale washed up dead in Cumbria
 
August 2006
A Long-finned Pilot Whale, Globicephala melas, was washed up dead on Gruinard Bay, off Gruinard Island. The nearest place on the map is probably Laide.

News:  A pair of Northern Bottle-nosed Whales stranded alive on the Lincolnshire coast (but perished)
News: Humpback Whale wedged in a Humber dock and died
News:  Juvenile Northern Bottle-nosed Whale washed up dead at Inverness
News:  Dead Minke Whale at Porthcothan, Cornwall

2007

News:  Killer Whale in Firth of Forth
News: White-sided Dolphin washed up on North Uist
News:  Risso's Dolphins off Aberdeenshire
News:  Large school of Porpoises off Sussex
News:  Risso's Dolphin in Fishguard Harbour
News:  300+ Common Dolphins in the Moray Firth
News: Northern Bottle-nosed Whale stranded in the River Orwell
News:  Young Minke Whale in Fraserburgh Harbour
News: Fin Whales SE of the Faroes
News: Northern Bottle-nosed Whale dies on Lewis
News:  Large Fin Whale washed up dead in the Humber
News:  Humpback Whale off the Mumbles, south Wales
 

2008

News:  Stranded Striped Dolphin, Cornwall
News:  Cuvier’s Beaked Whale dead on Islay
News:  Dead baby Fin Whale, Cornwall
News:  Humpback Whales near Boulogne
News:  Dolphins mass stranding in Cornwall
News:  White-beaked Dolphin on Belshare, Uist.
News:  Risso's Dolphin in the River Clyde
News: Sperm Whale stranded in the Moray Firth
News: Northern Bottle-nosed Whale beached at Langstone Harbour
News:  Sowerby's Beaked Whale washed up in the Isles of Scilly 
News: White-beaked Dolphin stranded at Tynemouth

2009

News:  Humpback Whale washed up dead in the Thames
News:  Northern Bottle-nosed Whale in Poole Bay
News:  Juvenile Northern Bottle-nosed Whale in the River Clyde
News:  Northern Bottle-nosed Whale in Lock Eil, near Fort William

Sperm Whale washed ashore at Balmedie
Photograph by James Ross on flickr

News:  Sperm Whale stranded dead on the Aberdeenshire coast, Scotland
News:  Fin Whale washed up dead on the Lancashire coast

2010
 

25 January 2010

Photograph by Victoria Metheringham

A ten metre long Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus, was discovered after becoming stranded on rocks at Beadnell Bay on on the Northumberland Coast, north-east England. The whale had been dead for several days.


News: Sperm Whale stranded dead off the Northumberland Coast
 

17-22 February 2010
A 17 metre long Fin Whale, Balaenoptera physalis, was spotted by Jean Lawson floating about three kilometres off the shore of north Cornwall. The dead mammal then floated north-east until five days later the huge whale washed up in a cove near Porthtowan, 37 miles away from the first sighting.


Fin Whale washed up at Porthtowan
Photograph by David Fenwick Snr

More Images

News:  Fin Whale stranded dead on north Cornwall
News:  Minke Whale stranded near Montrose

28 June 2010
Dean Tapley was the first to spot a Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus, off the south coast of Devon in the morning in calm seas. He spent about half an hour watching the whale and taking pictures before returning to shore and reporting what he had seen to Paignton Harbourmaster. 
"It was the sound of the water coming out of the blowhole which will stay with him. It was just so loud," said Dean Tapley.

"It has been known for these animals to occasionally enter the western English Channel but very rare for the animal to travel as far east as this and so close to shore." 

BBC News Report with a Movie Recording

Comments by Gemma Veneruso (Sea Watch Foundation)

News:  Sperm Whale seen off south Devon
News:  Huge pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins off Anglesey

17 July 2010
I made a wonderful but sad discovery as I walked along the pebbles at Chesil Cove, Dorset. At first, I could not take in what I was looking at because it looked, somehow, so artificial – like a large model or toy. This exquisite creature was a newly born (neonatal) Risso’s Dolphin, Grampus griseus.

The stranded body of this small dolphin was about 1.3 metres long. It looked unlike any dolphin I had ever seen before and was clearly not a Common or Bottle-nose Dolphin as it had no ‘beaked’ snout. The odd shape of the head is characteristic of this species as also with the dorsal fin, pectoral fins and the tail flukes.
 

Full Report & Images on Jessica’s Nature Blog

News:  Neonatal Risso's Dolphin washed up on Chesil Cove
News:  Minke Whale breaching off Cornwall
News:  Humpback Whales adult and juvenile washed up in Cornwall
 

8 August 2010
 

The carcass of a baby cetacean was washed up on the shore at South Heacham Beach, Norfolk. It was about a metre long and the skull about 23 cm. It is most likely to be a babyHarbour Porpoise, Phocoena phocoena.

Report and Photographs by John Wiltshire
News:  Baby Cetacean washed up at South Heacham, Norfolk

20 September 2010


 

Common Dolphin, Delphinus delphis,  washed up dead at Trebarwith Strand, on the north coast of Cornwall
It was about 1.2 metre in length, perhaps 40 kg in mass

Photographs by Jolyon Sandercock

ID by Caroline Weir on UK Cetnet Yahoo Group
ID confirmed by Dr Kev Robinson (CRRU)

Cetacean Research & Rescue Unit

News: Sperm Whales in the Moray Firth
News: Pilot Whales in Loch Carnon, Sea of Hebrides
 

2011

News:  Pilot Whales in the Irish Sea
News: Sperm Whale washed ashore in Kent
 

  Sperm Whale
Photograph by Richard Kinzler on flickr


News:  White-beaked Dolphin washed up dead in Dorset
News:  Pilot Whales school in Loch Carnon, Outer Hebrides
News:  Fin Whales in the Celtic Sea
News:  Sperm Whale stranded at Redcar, Teeside.
News:  Humpback Whale feeding in the Moray Firth
News:  Sperm Whale off south Devon
News:  Sei Whale off SW Scotland

Stranded Pilot Whale at Kyle of Durness
Photograph © by Alan Airey
Whales & Dolphins Gallery (by Alan Airey)

News: Pilot Whales mass stranding in the shallow Kyle of Durness, north Scotland
News: Fin Whales washed up dead in north Devon
News: Sowerby's Whale washed up in Norfolk
News: Sperm Whale died in Ireland
News: Fin Whale:rescue on the Humber
News:  Sperm Whale off Skye
News:  Sei Whale in the Shetlands
News:  Sei Whale stuck in the mud in the Humber
News:  Sei Whale stranded and died in the Outer Hebrides
News: Dwarf Sperm Whale off Cornwall
News: Sperm Whale off the Orkneys
News: Dolphins off Sussex (two reports)
News:  Sperm Whale washed up dead at Hunstanton, Norfolk (the Wash)
News: Minke Whale washed up at Thanet, north Kent
 

2012

News:  A pod of Killer Whales in Mousa Sound, Shetlands
News:  A pod of Risso's Dolphins off Strumble head, SW Wales
News: Humpback Whale off Aberdeen
News:  Fin Whales off Wexford
News:  Sperm Whale washed up at Skegness
News:  Risso's Dolphins off Shetland
 

18 April 2012

Dolphins in Cardigan Bay 2011
Photograph by Rhys Thatcher

New evidence has emerged of the distances Cardigan Bay’s Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, choose to travel during the winter months.
Experts have found at least some of them head north and like to spend their winter breaks in the seas around the Isle of Man.
Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre’s (CBMWC) science officer Sarah Perry has been studying photographs taken by Manx conservation groups in Douglas Bay in January and has managed to identify at least eight of the animals previously seen off New Quay (SW Wales). 
The images were taken by the Manx Wildlife Trust marine officer Eleanor Stone.  (Extract)


 

22 May 2012

Minke Whale
Photograph by Eleanor Stone/Manx Wildlife Trust
Click on the image for more photographs

A Minke Whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, swam around our boat, one of four seen off the Isle of Man. Minke Whales are regular visitors in the seas around this large island in the Irish Sea, but they are rarely seen up close.
facebook Report
 

29 May 2012
A pod of five to seven Minke Whales, Balaenoptera acutorostrata, were spotted by anglers from their boat off Hastings, East Sussex. Minke Whales are a very rare sight off the Sussex coast at any time of the year.

Video Link

 The encounter lasted 15 minutes and this one minute clip showed three of the whales.
 

News: Juvenile Humpback Whale Encounter off Yorkshire
News: Fin Whale stranding in Cornwall
News: Fin Whale stranding in County Cork, Ireland
News: Beaked Whale calf stranding in the Severn estuary
News: Pod of Pilot Whales stranded at Fife
News: Blue Whales spotted off Ireland (Porcupine Bight)
News: Sei Whale stranded dead at Arbroath
News: Sei Whale stranded off Northumberland
News: Fin Whale stranded dead on the Suffolk coast
News:  Sowerby's Beaked Whale stranded on a Yorkshire beach
News: leucistic all white Harbour Porpoise
News:  Baleen Whale (probably a Fin Whale) washed up on Purbeck, Dorset
News: Rare white Humpback Whale, off northern Norway
News: Five Humpback Whales off southern Ireland

2013

News:  Sperm Whales in winter
News: Fin Whale washed up dead on the Solway coast
News: Risso's Dolphin stranding, Cornwall
News:  Humpback Whales off Caithness
News: Sperm Whale at Oban
News: Pod of 14 Sperm Whales off Scotland
News:  Beaked Whale stranded off Wales
News: three Beaked Whales stranded off NW Ireland
News: young Minke Whale washed up in Norfolk
News: Pod of 15 Risso Dolphins
News: Super-pod 500 White-sided Dolphins, Unst
News: Sperm Whale stranded in Holland
News: Live Minke Whale stranding in the Firth of Forth
News:  True's Beaked Whales in the Porcupine Seabight

Beached Sei Whale
Photograph & Report by Cathal McNaughton

News:  Sei Whale washed up in County Antrim
News:  Sowerby's Beaked Whale and calf stranded on St. Kilda
News:  Humpback Whale off Norfolk
News:  Minke Whales washed up dead in Norfolk

2014

News: Sperm Whale washed ashore dead at Edinburgh
News: Sperm Whale washed ashore dead at Sheppey, Kent
News: Two Sperm Whales washed up dead in Unst
News: Humpback Whale washed up on Mull
News: Killer Whale washed up on North Uist
News: Humpback Whale breaching off Skye
News: Pygmy Sperm Whale on Anglesey (alive) (dead)
News: Cuvier’s Beaked Whale stranded dead on Antrim NI.
News: Cuvier’s Beaked Whale stranded dead on Outer Hebrides
 

2015

News: Kiiller Whale washed up dead, Co Waterford, Ireland
News: First ever Bowhead Whale sighting
News: Sperm Whale stranded dead off Harris
News: Common Dolphins enter Weymouth Harbour
News: Humpback Whale off Scilly
News: Humpback Whale perished off Scotland
News: Sowerby's Beaked Whale stranding off Isle of Lewis
News: white Humpback Whale off Ireland
News: Beluga Whale off Northern Ireland

News:  Blue Whale off Ireland

24 August 2015
A spectacular and very rare sighting of the a Blue Whale, Balaenoptera musculus, occurred over very deep water 250 miles off the Irish coast was made from the RRS James Cook on a a five week scientific expedition in the NE Atlantic. "The largest creature on the Earth surfaced from the murk of a deep-sea canyon, lingered just long enough for observers to grab a few pictures, and then vanished from sight into the fog and rain." This was only the fourth sighting in the seas surrounding the British Isles since these great whales were hunted to near extinction nearly a century ago.  The Blue Whale was spotted by the oceanographers over the Whittard Canyon which varies from 200 m to 4000m in depth and is an important little explored biodiversity route from the very deep sea to the Continental Shelf. A previous scientific sonar record had discovered the presence of Blue Whales off Fastnet in 2000. This expedition also recorded the presence of twenty Fin Whales, Balaenoptera physalus, including seven seen around the research vessel when the Blue Whale surfaced. The survey team also recorded a Broad-billed Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, several hundred metres below the surface using ROV Isis

Blog of the Expedition
Submarine Canyons
Previous Sighting 2012
News: Two Beluga Whales off Northumberland
News: 50+ Risso's Dolphins off Anglesey
News:  dead Fin Whale off Kent
News:  dead Fin Whale at Cleethorpes
 

2016

News: Orca called Lulu found dead
News: Two Sperm Whales washed ashore in the German Wadden Sea
News: Five Sperm Whales stranded on the Dutch coast.  Total = 13
News: Sperm Whales washed ashore, east coast of England.  Total = 4

 
Once a Sperm Whale or group of Sperm Whaleshas entered the North Sea and continues due south, the animals will reach progressively shallower waters. The North Sea, and particularly its funnel-shaped southern sector less than 50 metres deep, is totally unsuitable for Sperm Whales. Although they must be able to go without food for quite some time, a prolonged stay in these waters will eventually prove fatal, if the animals do not find their way out in time. 

Historical Records

News: More Sperm Whales washed ashore. Cumulative total = 29

Cuvier's Beaked Whale washed ashore in Donegal
Humpback Whale stranded dead on Outer Hebrides
News: Bowhead Whale in Cornwall
News: Bowhead Whale in the Irish Sea
News: Orca named 'John Coe" (Scotland) (Western Community)
News: Orca named 'John Coe" (Ireland)

Orca
'Hebridean Community' of Killer Whales (or Western Community): a community living of the western seas of Ireland and Scotland
Northern Isles Community that moves between Iceland and Scotland to hunt and raise young.

News: Humpback Whales breaching
News: Floppy Fin Orca (Northern Isles Community)
 

Killer Whales
Photograph by Jodie Sutherland

Shetland Orca Sightings  facebook


Killer Whales near Sandwick, Shetland
Photograph by Bev Redfern

News: Sperm Whale stranding, Cornwall
News: more Killer Whales in Shetland seas
News: White-beaked Dolphins off Cornwall

July 2016

For a majestic month the residents of the Shetland Isles enjoyed views of several (maybe four) pods of Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, roaming up and down the rocky coasts of the archipelago, mainly seen from east shores of Mainland, but nowhere were they predictable, seen coming close inshore under the cliffs and seen feeding on shoals of  of fish, ducks, seals and a Porpoise. One pod was over 20 strong.

News: Humpback Whale off Aberdeen
News: "John Coe" Killer Whale off the Hebrides
News; Fin Whale stranded near Dublin
News: Killer Whales at Whalsay, Shetland
News: Fin Whale stranded dead off Noss, Shetland
News: Fin Whale stranded dead on a Norfolk beach
News: Leucistic Porpoise
News:  Pygmy Sperm Whale stranded dead
News: Sowersby's Beaked Whale washed ashore dead
News:  4 Humpback Whales alive
 

2017

News: Bowhead Whale, Belgium
News: Two-headed Porpoise, Netherlands
 
 

 



 

Images:

Killer Whales, Orcinus orca, around the Lofoten Islands, Norway
UK Dolphin Watch Image Portfolio, July 2002
White Humpback Whale "Migaloo" (Australia)

National Whale Stranding Recording Scheme

Some Rare Records

Shetland Wildlife Records 1996
Shetland Wildlife Records 1997
Shetland Wildlife Records 1998
Shetland Wildlife Records 1999
Shetland Wildlife Records 2000
Shetland Wildlife Records 2001
Shetland Wildlife Records 2002
Shetland Wildlife Records 2003/4

Shetland Wildlife Records 2005/6

Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1993
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1994
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1995
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1996
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1997
Cornish Marine Life Records (Ray Dennis) 1998
Cornish Marine Wildlife Reports 1999 (by Ray Dennis)
Cornish Marine Wildlife Reports 2000 (by Ray Dennis)
Cornish Marine Wildlife Reports 2001 (by Ray Dennis)
Cornish Marine Wildlife Reports 2002 (by Ray Dennis)
Cornish Marine Wildlife Reports 2003 (by Ray Dennis)
Cornish Marine Wildlife Reports 2004 (by Ray Dennis)
Cornish Marine Wildlife Reports 2005 (by Ray Dennis)
Cornish Marine Life Records 2006 (Ray Dennis Records)
Cornish Marine Life Records 2007 (Ray Dennis Records)
Cornish Marine Life Records 2008 (Ray Dennis Records)
Cornish Marine Life Records 2009 (Ray Dennis Records)

Sussex Cetaceans


Minimising disturbance to cetaceans from recreation at sea
http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/whales/cetacean.pdf

Minimising disturbance to Cetaceans from Whale watching operations
http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/whales/

Acoustic monitoring of large whales to the west of Britain and Ireland using bottom mounted hydrophone arrays 
October 1996 - September 1998
http://www.oilandgas.org.uk/issues/afen/v0000632.htm

International Whaling Commission
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/Homepages/iwcoffice/
 

MARMAM

Moray Firth Dolphins: Disease Notes
Zoonosis (Marine Mammals)


?  What to do if you find a stranded whale or dolphin  ?

If you find a LIVE stranded or injured whale or dolphin on the beach you must send for help QUICKLY. A whale or dolphin stranding is an emergency and the speed of response by a professional rescue team is perhaps the most crucial factor in determining whether or not an animal can be returned to the sea alive.

The UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) has been running since 1990 and is funded by Defra and the Devolved Administrations. They coordinate the investigation of all whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans), marine turtles and basking sharks that strand around the UK coastline. As well as documenting each individual stranding, we also retrieve a proportion for investigation at post-mortem to allow us to establish a cause of death. The data and samples collected during the course of our research have also facilitated a large number of international collaborations, which have addressed a wide range of scientific questions.

CSIP  Stranded (Dead) Animal Call Line: 0800 6520333

More Stranded Animal Report Numbers (Link)


EMERGENCY NUMBERS FOR LIVE CETACEAN STRANDINGS
ENGLAND
WALES
SCOTLAND
IRELAND
0300 1234 999
0300 1234 999
0131 339 0111
See Below
CORNWALL
JERSEY
GUERNSEY
SHETLANDS
0845 201 2626
01534 724331
00 44 1481 727967

 
British Divers Marine Life Rescue
01825  765546
(out of hours: 07787 433412) 

LINK TO THE STRANDINGS PAGE


 
 

 
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(out of hours: 07787 433412) 

LINK TO THE STRANDINGS PAGE


 
   
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