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United Kingdom National Whale Stranding Database 1913-2008
United Kingdom Natural History Museum United Kingdom National Whale Stranding Database 1913-2008. In: OBIS-SEAMAP . OBIS-SEAMAP,, 2004-03-11 12:42:47.154484-05, vector digital data.
Contact: Natural History Museum (NHM), more

Access data
Availability: Creative Commons License This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Data of whale stranding monitored since 1913 in waters of England and Wales. more

The Natural History Museum has been monitoring whale strandings since 1913. In 1324, a statute was passed which gave the Crown qualified rights to cetaceans stranded on, or caught in the waters of England and Wales. Similar rights were claimed for the Crown of Scotland. The animals were described as "Fishes Royal." In 1913, by agreement with the then Board of Trade, these rights were transferred to the Natural History Museum in London, at that time known as the British Museum (Natural History). Since then, in monitoring cetacean strandings, over 8,000 animals have been recorded, some of the species being new to British waters. Initially, information was stored on a card index. Latterly, information is collated and entered on computer. The resulting database is used to produce distribution maps and analyze information about the biology and ecology of the different species. The National Stranded Whale Recording Scheme is now the center of a coordinated investigation, funded since April 1990 by the then United Kingdom (UK) Department of the Environment, subsequently by the Department of the Environment Transport and the Regions, and now the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, into the biology and ecology of cetacean populations around the British Isles and is a contribution to the UK's program of research on the North Sea and its response to ASCOBANS (the Agreement on the conservation of Small Cetaceans Of the Baltic And North Seas). Investigations are carried out in association with the Institute of Zoology at Regents Park, London (London Zoo) which has responsibility for coordinating autopsies. Every year, between 350 and 800 whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) wash up on British shores. Most are dead, but some are still alive. The Museum is responsible for monitoring these strandings. Since The UK Whale & Dolphin Stranding Scheme started in 1913, more than 11,000 animals have been recorded. Museum scientists study the remains of dead stranded cetaceans to learn more about their biology. Their investigations reveal how many cetaceans strand in Britain each year, what species they are, where and when they strand, and the age and sex of the animals. They also research animal behavior and uncover causes of death. The data our scientists compile is used by other researchers, government agencies, conservationists and animal welfare groups. The information they provide is vital to increasing our understanding of whales, dolphins and porpoises, and conserving them in the future. The UK Whale & Dolphin Stranding scheme is one of the longest-running scientific investigations of its kind. It has generated a wealth of crucial information about these captivating marine mammals.

Biology > Mammals
Marine, Marine mammals, Stranding, UK

Geographical coverage

Temporal coverage
1913 - 2008

Natural History Museum (NHM), moredata creator

Related datasets
Published in:
EurOBIS: European Ocean Biogeographic Information System, more
OBIS-SEAMAP: Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations

CSIP: UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, more


Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Research: field survey
Metadatarecord created: 2009-06-09
Information last updated: 2011-06-08
All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy

If any information here appears to be incorrect, please contact us
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