La Rochelle, France (7 jours/7)

Report a stranding

You discover on the beach a marine mammal, either living or dead

Call on (7 days/7)

See the ministerial note on reporting

The animal is dead (95% of cases in France)

Strandings of marine mammals are a source of data and biological samples that provide us with information on their state of health and that of their environment. In order to acquire as much information as possible, it is essential that all strandings be reported to PELAGIS so that RNE can intervene.

The examination of a stranded marine mammal is obligatory before its elimination, it must be carried out by a person authorised* because the transport and all other interventions on marine mammals are regulated by law.


Don’t touch anything

Do not handle the animal to avoid any risk of disease transmission.


Please notify

Keep your distance and report the location, species, size and condition.


Intervention bt the RNE

A person authorised to intervene will go to the site as soon as possible to examine the animal.


What next?

It will first be removed by the beach cleaning services (municipality or department) and then examined before being incinerated in a rendering centre.



It is a living cetacean

This type of stranding mainly concerns small cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises).


Don’t panic!

Contact us for any decision and don’t panic, stay calm, help is on the way!


Keep your distance

Observe it from a distance. Avoid crowds, bustle and noise. Warn Pelagis by describing precisely where the animal is.


Beware of bites

Avoid manipulating the animal unnecessarily to avoid stressing or injuring it, especially as a wild animal may try to defend itself (blows, bites…). Never pull on the flippers.


Do not act alone

Do not attempt to put the boat back in the water without the help of qualified people (RNE or rescue services).


Watering with care

Moisten the animal’s skin by covering its back and flanks with damp cloths, never cover or water its vent (breathing orifice at the top of the head). If the cloths are missing, water the animal carefully.


It is a live seal

Consult us to find out whether or not it is a real stranding because a seal lying on the coast is not necessarily in trouble! Most often it is young, tired and thinner individuals with very few reactions who are really in distress.

If the seal is considered to be in difficulty


Beware of bites

Observe it from a distance. Avoid caressing or touching it to avoid bites that can transmit diseases.


Notify Pelagis

Notify the National Stranding Network, indicating the location and condition of the animal. RNE correspondents will arrive quickly if necessary.


The seal is in the water

If it is in the water, do not intervene because the risk to yourself is too great and the animal will easily manage to flee.


Please note

Seals do not necessarily need to be in the water to survive. The presence of a seal on a beach is natural. Do not try to put it back in the water.



And if it’s a turtle?

It is the GTMF (Groupe Tortues Martines France) that manages turtle strandings. Set up in 2007, the GTMF takes over from the “Groupe Tortues Marines” created by the Ministry of Sustainable Development. It is run by the Natural Heritage Department of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

It brings together more than 150 members who are involved in the conservation of marine turtles through their missions and activities and care centres.

 To Contact them


Do you recognize them?

Species Guide