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Mindful conservation – why we need a new respect for nature

'We should look at whales and dolphins as the indigenous people of the seas -...
tins of whale meat

How Japan’s whaling industry is trying to convince people to eat whales

Japan's hunters kill hundreds of whales every year despite the fact that hardly anyone in...
Common dolphins © Christopher Swann

Did you know dolphins have personalities?

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
Microplastics on beach

Blue whales and the menace of microplastics – how we’ll solve this problem

Our love affair with plastic began in the 1950s when it revolutionised manufacturing. But what...
A dolphin called Arnie with his shell.

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...

Best practice in rescue

Finding a live stranded dolphin or whale on the shore is always an unexpected and deeply emotional experience. There is little that can prepare you for it. Largely without government funding, the rescue of dolphins and whales is generally undertaken by passionate volunteers. Hopefully a veterinarian with experience of marine species will oversee the rescue, sometimes marine mammal scientists are involved and often local communities assist.

What we learn about how best to rescue those individuals that are deemed healthy enough to be returned to the sea, we learn from each other and from experience. In 2013, British Divers Marine Life Rescue and WDC organised the European Cetacean Society Best Practice in Rescue workshop, with contributions from vets and others with extensive marine mammal rescue expertise from throughout Europe and the US, to benefit from our collective knowledge.

I have attended many, many strandings over the years. Each stranding is unique, yet I have found every one similarly shocking and emotional. How can finding a dolphin or whale out of the sea and lying on the beach in front of you be anything else? I’m sad to say that none of those stranded whales and dolphins have survived and so I have not yet had the opportunity to be involved in a rescue attempt. When that day comes, I will feel better prepared because of the experiences that those who have been there before me have shared.  

If you find a stranded dolphin or whale, please contact your local rescue network so that the appropriate veterinary advice can be provided and the best care and support given.