Stranded, entangled, or injured cetaceans

Cetacean stranding, entanglement, and injury of cetaceans occasionally occurs along the Victorian coast. Should you see a cetacean that looks like is it about to strand or is stranded, entangled or is injured, call the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning ‘Emergency Whale and Dolphin Hotline’

DELWP Emergency Whale and Dolphin Hotline

1 300 136 017

For injured seals and birds, contact

Zoo’s Victoria’s Marine Response Unit (MRU)

1 300 245 678

As scientists, we are unsure why cetaceans strand. Cetaceans can strand due to ill health or they may just come too close to the coast and be washed ashore during rough conditions. It is also theorised that in some cases, the attributes of a coastline may contribute to strandings.

Not all whales that come in close to the coast will strand. Southern right whales will often sit out past the surf break and remain in the area for an extended period of time.

If you do encounter a stranded whale or dolphin, please remember that whales and dolphins are protected by law, consequently, it is illegal to interfere with it. Heavy penalties will be handed out to people who collect samples or souvenirs from stranded cetacean carcasses.

See the DEECA website for further information about what may happen at a stranding.