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Strandings & Rescue


Often when you’re walking along Nova Scotian shores, you may encounter an animal which is in distress. Other times you may see a dead animal and wonder who needs to be called. The Marine Animal Response Society responds to stranded seals, whales, dolphins, and porpoises on Nova Scotia and assists with those in New Brunswick and PEI. 


If you find a stranded, injured or dead marine mammal in Nova Scotia please call The Marine Animal Response Society Hotline at:




Except for a few select species, stranded animals offer one of the few ways in which we can gain information about many of the marine mammal species which inhabit our waters. It is important that all incidents are reported to the hotline as soon as possible so we can document each incident. Information collected from stranded marine mammals can help us examine a range of biological, ecological, health and other issues. More importantly, they can help us to determine the type and level of human interactions these species encounter. With the lack of direct research on most of these species, strandings is one of the only ways in which we can document these threats.


Click on the links below to learn more.

  1. If you’re not sure if it’s a stranding, please visit our what is a stranding page.

  2. Learn what to do if you’ve found a live cetacean or seal, dead marine mammal or a turtle.

  3. Learn more about our stranding records.

  4. Look at some of the incidents we’ve responded to on our stranding map.

  5. Don’t know what species you’ve found? Check out our identification key to help you determine what species you’ve found.

Visit our conservation page to learn more about these issues in Maritime waters.