After three storms battered Wales over the course of five days last week, the Marine Environmental Monitoring, an environmental conservation organisation, was “busy with calls to Cetaceans stranded around the Welsh coastline”.
The Ynyslas dolphin was collected from the beach on Thursday, 17 February, after Storm Dudley passed through mid Wales. The Aberdesach dolphin was reported to the conservation group on Friday, 18, but they were unable to collect it until Sunday morning due to Storm Eunice.
The Marine Environmental Monitoring group, which is a partner organisation within the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP), said they hope the two dolphins will provide a “better understanding as to what happened to them during the storms”.
But while the group have sent samples to labs across the UK, they said finding out more about what happened to the dolphins will be a “very slow process”.
A spokesperson for the Marine Environmental Monitoring organisation said they have received reports from across Wales, “from Pembrokeshire up to the Isle of Anglesey”: “We have been out to a number of these reports and been able to collect a common dolphin from Ynyslas in Ceredigion and another in Aberdesach in Gwynedd. It is hoped that these two common dolphins will give us a better understanding as to what happen to them during the storms.
“We collected the dolphin on Ynyslas beach on Thursday after storm Dudley. The common dolphin is a young male at 1.45m long which, has suffered some scavenger damage around the left eye. Apart from that it doesn’t seem to show any other signs of injury.
“The common dolphin that was on Aberdesach beach was reported to us on Friday but due to storm Eunice, we couldn’t collect it until Sunday morning. Conditions was still rough due to storm Franklin but thankfully with the help of Gem Simmons and Stef from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue and Nia Haf Jones from the Wildlife trust Wales we were able to recover it. Again, it was another young male just over 1.50m. Due to it being on the beach longer it has suffered greater scavenger damage but will still provide valuable data.
“Both Animals will be transferred to the team at ZSL on Tuesday, 22 February ready for them to carryout a post-mortem.
“As people venture back out to the beaches after the storms, we are expecting further calls to marine animals that have been brought ashore by the three storms. If you do come across a Cetacean, Large bodied shark, marine turtle, or seal we ask that you call the Cetacean Stranding Investigation Programme on 0800 652 0333.”