Marine Wildlife questions & answers

Questions and answers relating to marine wildlife - updated 08/04/2020

How do I report an injured or dead marine animal?

If you come across an abandoned seal pup which is obviously injured, sick or distressed, contact Exploris (Tel. 028 4272 8062 or 07701372623).  If you encounter seals be prepared to move away slowly and quietly.  Keep pets under control.  It is best to keep dogs on a lead in areas where seals are hauled out.

If you find a whale, dolphin or porpoise stranded on the beach contact DAERA Marine and Fisheries Division (Tel. 028 905 694217 or– If you wish to report a live stranded whale, dolphin or porpoise during out of office hours (evenings or weekends) please call 0800 80 70 60. Incidents relating to the strandings of large marine animals such as whales or dolphins can often attract attention and lead to the formation of crowds.  It is essential that social distancing requirements are kept.

Duty officers will make an assessment of the stranding severity based upon the details provided.  To aid with this assessment, anyone who wishes to report a stranding is asked to forward any supporting photographs/videos to the email address above after calling.  Depending on the severity assigned, some incidents may not be responded to immediately to avoid unnecessary travel.  Only those incidents assigned a high severity will be investigated as per normal procedures with additional measures put in place to ensure social distancing is carried out. All incidents will be logged. 

How do I report marine wildlife disturbance?

If you wish to report an incident of marine wildlife disturbance please contact DAERA Marine and Fisheries Division on the above number or email address, providing as much information as possible.

If you see anyone intentionally or recklessly injuring, disturbing or harassing marine wildlife, the incident should be reported.  Information should be passed immediately to the PSNI* on 101.

  • Describe your call as a wildlife crime report;
  • Give details of the (potential) crime;
  • Ask for an incident reference number;
  • Retain incident number and date.

*Information can also be given anonymously via Crimestoppers.

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