The National Contingency Plan concerning strandings of marine mammals

Sick seal pups

If you find or see a sick or exhausted seal or whale, please do not touch it. Contact the nearest unit of Naturstyrelsen (the Danish Nature Agency) or call the Fisheries and Maritime Museum on +45 76 12 20 00.

Both the Danish Nature Agency and the Fisheries and Maritime Museum are a part of the National Contingency Plan concerning strandings of marine mammals in Denmark.
Their responsibilities include the quick humane killing of sick and exhausted seals and whales.

 

Dead seals and whales

Please contact us if you find a dead seal or whale on the beach. Remember to take a photo of the animal and write with details of where you found it. You can contact the Fisheries and Maritime Museum by telephone or email on +45 76 12 20 00 or fimus@fimus.dk or Line A. Kyhn of Aarhus University on +45 30 18 31 48. You can also contact the nearest local Danish Nature Agency office.

The Fisheries and Maritime Museum, Aarhus University and the Danish Nature Agency are all part of the National Contingency Plan for stranded marine mammals. They collect some of the dead seals and whales. These animals are taken to the Veterinary Diagnostics Centre at the DTU (Technical University of Denmark) or the Department for Chemistry and Bioscience at Aalborg University, where they are inspected to determine whether they were ill and what caused their deaths. We can learn a lot about the marine environment by studying dead marine mammals. Therefore, tissue samples are also taken to be used in research and monitoring projects. Selected skeletons from stranded seals and whales are conserved by the Fisheries and Maritime Museum and the Natural History Museum. These skeletons are added to the two museums’ collections and contribute to research and to educating the general public.

Read more about this collaboration here

If you find a sick seal

Do not touch it!

If you see a sick or exhausted seal on the beach, leave it alone and contact the Fisheries and Maritime Museum on tel. +45 76 12 20 00 or the nearest local Danish Nature Agency office.

If you have more general questions about marine mammals, you are welcome to contact Charlotte Bie Thøstesen, the Fisheries and Maritime Museum’s natural history curator.

 

Abandoned seal pups or “howlers” on the beach

The common seals along Denmark’s coasts give birth to their young in June and July. During this period you may come across young seal pups lying on the beach. If you do, the best thing to do is leave them alone and keep your distance. It is not unusual for a mother to leave her young for a short time to seek food. You might hear seal pups calling. Although the sound can be upsetting, if a young seal pup is crying, this does not always mean that the mother has disappeared. However, if a seal pup remains in the same place on the beach for more than twenty-four hours, it may have been abandoned. If so, you should contact the Fisheries and Maritime Museum on tel. +45 76 12 20 00 or the nearest local Danish Nature Agency office.

What is the National Contingency Plan for stranded marine mammals?

Since 1991, information about seals and whales has been systematically collected. This has been done in close cooperation between the Danish Environment Agency, The Danish Nature Agency, the Fisheries and Maritime Museum, the Natural History Museum of Denmark, the Department for Bioscience at Aarhus University, the Centre for Diagnostics at the Technical University of Denmark and the Department for Chemistry and Bioscience at Aalborg University.
The National Contingency Plan concerning strandings of marine mammals monitors the health of seals and whales in Denmark.
The contingency team helps to increase the awareness about marine mammals in Denmark, including the diversity of species and the status of populations.

All records of collected and registered marine mammals are entered in a database managed by the Fisheries and Maritime Museum. The records are published annually in a report by the National Contingency Plan concerning strandings of marine mammals.

You can read the latest reports here.

Aquarium

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Sealarium

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Museum

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