Often when you’re walking along Nova Scotian shores, you may encounter an animal which is in distress. Other times you may see a dead animal and wonder who needs to be called. The Marine Animal Response Society responds to stranded dolphins, porpoises, seals, whales, and sharks in Nova Scotia and assists with those in New Brunswick and PEI.

If you find a stranded, injured or dead marine animal in Nova Scotia please call
The Marine Animal Response Society Hotline at:

Except for a few select species, stranded animals offer one of the few ways in which we can gain information about many species which inhabit our waters. It is important that all incidents are reported to the hotline as soon as possible so we can document each incident. Information collected from stranded marine animals can help us examine a range of biological, ecological, health and other issues. More importantly, they can help us to determine the type and level of human interactions these species encounter. With the lack of direct research on most of these species, strandings is one of the only ways in which we can document these threats.

Click on the links below to learn more.

  1. If you’re not sure if it’s a stranding, please visit our what is a stranding page.
  2. Learn what to do if you’ve found a live cetaceansealshark or turtle or dead marine animal.
  3. Don’t know what species you’ve found? Check out our species profiles to help you determine what species you’ve found.


A stranding includes any incidents that do not involve live, free-swimming, healthy animals or live, healthy seals hauled out on land.

A stranding can include live animals out of the water on a beach, an injured or ill seal on a beach or a dead or entangled animals at sea or on a beach.

Learn more about strandings.