NRW supports dolphin stranding rescue effort

Six common dolphins were returned to the sea after being stranded on a beach in North Wales yesterday (31 January) but one has sadly died.

The four adults and two calves were spotted at the beach in Valley on Anglesey on Wednesday morning.

A team of volunteer Marine Mammal Medics from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) responded, assisted by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) marine experts, RAF Valley personnel and the Coastguard with the rescue effort.

Holly Self, NRW’s marine mammals specialist advisor, was one of those who helped with the rescue.

“This was a small-scale mass stranding of four adults and two calves.
“We assisted BDMLR and the Coastguard monitoring four individuals that remained close to shore after the original group of six had been successfully refloated on the morning’s incoming tide.
“Concerns about restranding risk during the evening’s outgoing tide prompted redirection efforts from BDMLR to encourage them towards open water.”

Checks were made on Thursday morning but sadly one individual was found dead on the beach. It will be collected for a post-mortem examination by the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme.

Common dolphins, which are a European Protected Species, are a widespread species that can be seen in the waters around Wales hunting and feeding in large groups.

Dolphin strandings can occur for a variety of reasons including illness, and the drivers for mass stranding events are complex and when they occur it is commonly in highly social species.

We would like to thank all BDMLR volunteers, RAF Valley personnel, Milfeddygon Bodrwnsiwn Veterinary Group, Cemaes Bay Coastguard Search and Rescue Team and members of the public for their support during this incident.