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Reporting Stranded Marine Animals

In the case of finding a dead or stranded marine animal, call 01463 243030 or email: stranding@sac.co.uk. Rescue for live stranded marine animals is available 24 hrs a day by calling:

External Links

Cetaceans: Whales, Dolphins & Porpoises

DolphinsThe Scottish Government has responsibility for the conservation and protection of all cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) within Scottish waters.

All cetaceans are protected under the EU Habitats Directive, which makes it an offence to deliberately capture, kill or recklessly disturb cetaceans. A Special Area of Conservation (SAC) has been established in the Moray Firth to protect the local population of Bottlenose dolphins. A consultation on an SAC for Harbour Porpoise is currently under way.

The Scottish Government has produced guidance for marine users on the Protection of European Protected Species from injury and disturbance for Scottish Inshore Waters.

Whale Watching

The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 contained provisions for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) to create a Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code which sets out recommendations, advice and information relating to commercial and leisure activities involving the watching of marine wildlife. In particular, the Code contains information on:

  • activities which are likely to disturb marine wildlife;
  • the circumstances in which marine wildlife may be approached; and
  • the manner in which marine wildlife may best be viewed with minimum disturbance

UK Dolphin and Porpoise Conservation Strategy

A new Dolphin and Porpoise Conservation Strategy is currently being developed by Marine Scotland in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Welsh Government and UK Nature Conservation Bodies including the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Natural England (NE), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

This Strategy will provide regulators, public authorities and stakeholders with a summary of the pressures that may affect dolphin and porpoise species in UK waters, with the aim of ensuring effective management to achieve and/or maintain favourable conservation status for these species. It will develop a series of actions to support a joined up approach to management with both site-specific and wider measures working together to conserve dolphin and porpoise populations.

Workshop 19 & 20 April 2018

As part of developing the Strategy further, a two day workshop is being held at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 19th and 20th April.

The workshop intends to give stakeholders and relevant organisations the opportunity to provide feedback on the developing Strategy.

To register your interest, please email oana.racu@gov.scot.

Note: the workshop has limited capacity. We would like to have a mixture of skills and expertise from NGO community, industry, nature conservation bodies, science/academia, Government Departments and other related marine stakeholders at the workshop. We therefore ask those interested in this event to carefully consider who from their organisation should attend and we ask that you propose no more than two participants. Should applications exceed maximum numbers, a filtering process will be undertaken to ensure fair and transparent representation of all interested sectors.