February 22nd, 2016 (Katy Lunn). Animal was a small female harbour porpoise :: Numbers of the animals are declining rapidly
A porpoise was discovered by a dog walker after being washed up on Redcar beach today.
Gav Hubbard, 37, who works as a jeweller at Bond’s in Redcar photographed the dolphin-like marine mammal before reporting it to the council.
The stranded animal was a small female harbour porpoise and appears to be ‘smiling’ in a separate picture send into The Gazette by Simon Wood.
Female porpoises are larger than the male so this animal was only a teenager, at about 1.2 metres.
They can reach over two metres in length.
There were no obvious injuries on the animal other than a few abrasions thought to have been made by scavengers.
Marine mammal medic Sarah Barry, who works for Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, said “As far as I know this is the first porpoise to wash up recently. I haven’t heard of one for about a year, but they can wash up at any time, particularly January through to March time when they are really hungry after the winter.”
Harbour porpoise numbers are declining rapidly.
It is thought that this is due to a number of reasons, including over-fishing in the North sea particularly of Herring, acoustic pollution from Seismic surveys and installation of offshore windfarms, and fishing with nets.
It is thought animals may get caught in fishing nets and drown.
Also recently spotted on our coastline was a seal pup at Redcar and bottlenose dolphins at Saltburn.
If you see a stranded marine mammal call British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825 765546.
The organisation will get onto a local marine mammal medic volunteer who will deal with the situation.