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Dead marine mammals often wash ashore along our coastline. Because dead animals can provide valuable information to scientists about the animal’s behaviour and cause of death, reporting the sighting of dead whales can be extremely useful in improving scientific knowledge. It is very important that all of these events are fully documented.

If you find a dead marine animal in the Canadian Maritime Provinces, please call
the Marine Animal Response Society Hotline at:


If you find a dead marine animal, you should try to provide MARS with the following information:

1. The exact location of the animal (beach, closest town etc.)
2. The location of the animal(s)
3. The number of dead animals
4. The time that you first sighted the dead animal(s)
5. The species of the animal, if you are able to identify it
6. A description of the animal (size, colouring, and other physical features; see identification keys and species profiles)
7. A description of the animal’s condition. Are there any open wounds? Is there anything attached to the animal (rope, plastic etc.)
8. Does it have any identification tags or markings?

Things to remember:

Photographs are invaluable. If at all possible, please photograph the animal from all visible angles and of all wounds or injuries.
Do not touch, pick up, or try to move the animal. Dead animals can carry diseases.
• Make sure that no dogs or other people interfere with the remains as the carcass may provide valuable scientific information.
• If the carcass is likely to wash away, please secure the animal to a nearby tree or large rock (if possible). Be careful not to touch the animal too much and wear gloves.