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What is a Stranding?
In most stranding cases, the cause of the stranding is unknown, but some identified causes have included disease, parasite infestation, harmful algal blooms, injuries from ship strikes or fishery entanglements, pollution exposure, trauma, and starvation. While most stranded animals are found dead, some strand alive. In a limited number of cases it's possible to transport them to regional rehabilitation centers for care. In rare cases, successfully rehabilitated animals are returned to the wild.
A stranding is:
- a dead marine mammal on the beach or in the water;
- a marine mammal that is alive on the shore and unable to return to the water under its own power;
- a marine mammal that is alive on the shore and, although able to return to the water, is in need of apparent medical attention;
- a marine mammal in the water and cannot return to its natural habitat under its own power or without assistance.
To report a dead, injured or stranded marine mammal, please call: 1-800-853-1964
Click here to learn what information to report.