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March 23, 2017

What to Do if You Find a Stranded Dolphin

Stranding is an event in which one or more marine mammals arrive to the coast line, whether dead or alive, showing an inability to return to deep waters in which they can move. Discover how to help them!

The causes of this happening can be natural (due to depredation such as injuries from bites or attacks, adverse environmental conditions or diseases) or anthropogenic (pollution, harassment, fishing gear, among others).


In Mexico, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (PROFEPA) is the coordinating body responsible for decision-making, the choice of methods, specialists or application of specific measures. Here are the actions you can carry out if you find a stranded dolphin or other cetacean in need of your help.

Steps to help a stranded dolphin

  1. Report the situation to PROFEPA to the number 01-800-PROFEPA (770 3372).
  2. Provide as much information as possible: contact, location, time of sighting, number of stranded animals, weather conditions and a description of the animal.
  3. DO NOT HANDLE OR MOVE THE ORGANISMS UNTIL THE TEAM OF EXPERTS ISSUES INSTRUCTIONS, once their physical and/or health conditions are assessed.
  4. Remove any objects that may hurt them and avoid clusters of persons around the organisms.
  5. Protect the organisms physically from wind and sunlight. Staying calm will contribute to the tranquility of the animal.
  6. If conditions allow it, keep their skin fresh and moist with a light cloth; avoid covering the blowhole and fins (do not throw water directly). Maintain their position on their belly and dig holes around their pectoral fins so they may rest without having to bear their full weight.