Officials and volunteers practice resuing a beached dolphin. a Live stranded Bottlenose dolphin at Ballycastle in 2008 (above right).
ENVIRONMENT officials should be prepared to call police if onlookers interfere with rescues of beached whales, dolphins and seals, according to the latest guidance.
The advice is contained in newly issued ‘Protocol for Dealing with Stranded Marine Mammals’ for Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs staff, as well as councils, environmental bodies and members of the public.
The document, published last month, defines strandings as “the occurrence of a marine animal immobilized ashore.”
Some may strand accidentally and simply require rescue, but others may be ill or injured and need medical attention.
*Full story in this week's Chronicle*