What to do in the event of a stranding?

If you observe a marine mammal stranded or about to strand, contact the local RNE contact-person : 

  • Martinique: 06 96 03 02 04 (ROCEM)
  • Guadeloupe: 06 90 57 19 44 (Network of marine mammal strandings in the Guadeloupe archipelago)
  • Saint-Barthélemy: 06 90 31 70 73 (Territorial Environnent Agency)
  • Saint-Martin: 06 90 38 77 71 (Saint-Martin Nature Reserve)

In the event of a dead animal:

  • Do not handle the animal to avoid any risk of disease transmission
  • Regardless of its state of decay, the animal will be examined as soon as possible
  • The remains will be removed by the beach cleaning services (municipality or department)

In the event of a living animal:

  • Do not handle the animal to avoid injury
  • Do not climb on the animal
  • Remember that a wild animal in distress will defend itself (bites, blows, etc.)
  • Avoid crowds, agitation and noise that could stress the animal
  • Do not attempt a release without the assistance of network correspondents or a State representative
  • Protect the animal from sun rays with a parasol
  • Protect the animal from desiccation (drying out) by covering it with a wet cloth, taking care not to obstruct its spout which allows it to breathe
  • Dig the sand under the animal to facilitate its breathing and prevent it from suffocating under its own weight

What are the handling risks?

  • Risk of injury (flip of tail, biting, etc.), falls or cuts
  • Risks of contamination (Vibrio sp. Poxvirus)
  • Brucella maris, recently discovered and potentially contagious to humans in laboratories, is systematically examined in the spleen of stranded animals
  • Autopsies also pose health risks (Erysipelas due to Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae)