The Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team will respond to any marine mammal or sea turtle strandings, whether the animals are alive or dead.

We define strandings as:

  • animals that wash up on beaches either sick, injured, or dead
  • animals that are in the water either sick, injured, or dead
  • animals that are entangled or entrapped and cannot return to their natural habitats without assistance

Marine mammals that strand in Virginia include whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and manatees. There are also five species of sea turtles that you might see in Virginia.

Report a StrandingIf you see a stranded animal, it is important that you call the Stranding Response Team as soon as possible at  (757) 385-7575. If the animal is alive, your immediate call may make the difference for its survival. If the animal is dead, the sooner we can conduct an examination and necropsy (animal autopsy), the better the chances of discovering the cause of stranding and death. In addition, rapid response ensures that we can maximize the scientific research available from these amazing animals.

Immediately call the Stranding Response hotline at  (757) 385-7575 if you see a stranded marine mammal or sea turtle, alive or dead. The hotline is available 24 hours per day, every day of the year. When you call, we will ask for information on the location of the stranded animal, the species (if known), the size, the condition (alive or dead), and a phone number where we can call for further information. You can also print out our Wanted Poster and keep it handy for information on reporting a stranding in Virginia.