HC Deb 05 February 1996 vol 271 cc37-8W
Mr. Gordon Prentice

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many whales have become stranded and have died around the shore of the United Kingdom in each year since 1990; what research he has commissioned into the causes; and what advice he has issued to local authorities on the disposal of the carcases. [13143]

Mr. Clappison

The numbers of whales, including dolphins and porpoises, recorded as stranded around the United Kingdom since 1990 are shown in the table.

The marine mammals stranding project, funded by the Department of the Environment and the Welsh Office, includes post mortems to study gross pathology, bacteriology and virology. Results of post mortems have been used to consider contaminant levels and incidences of bycatch in fishing nets.

The project co-ordinators and veterinarians offer advice to local authorities on disposal of carcases according to individual circumstances including the location, the size of carcase, and matters affecting public health and safety.

Numbers of whales (including dolphins and porpoises) stranded and perished around the shores of the United Kingdom since 1990
Year Total strandings Confirmed live when stranded Live strandings which subsequently perished
1990 147 8 8
1991 192 14 10
1992 423 15 5
1993 321 25 16
1994 368 55 31
19951 252 20 15
19961 36 0 0
1 Provisional (some data still to be assimilated).