More than 3400 whales, dolphins and porpoises have stranded on UK beaches over the past six years.
The ZSL's UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) is a collaborative progeamme that has been running since 1990 and is funded by Defra and the Devolved Administrations. The CSIP coordinates 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, the CSIP retrieve samples for investigation at post-mortem.
Strandings that undergo post-mortem examination provide a unique insight into causes of death, diseases, environmental contaminant levels, reproductive patterns, diet and other aspects of the general health of cetacean populations in the seas around our coasts. This provides important baseline data all with a view to informing the long-term conservation status of cetaceans.
Information from the post-mortem examination will be added to a database on stranded cetaceans, which is managed by the CSIP and provides an essential resource for identifying factors which may cause cetaceans to strand, helping to prevent these events happening in the future.
We are also dependent on the public for notifying us about any new strandings. If you have seen a stranding, please call: 0800 6520333
A leaflet about strandings and how to identify them: CSIP leaflet (1.7 MB)