Restoration & Rehabilitation

Marine Megafauna Strandings are events where marine animals are found either dead or alive on beaches or on shore and are unable to return to the water. They usually require assistance both medical and physical to be moved back to the water. There is an absence of data globally surrounding the cause of most strandings, however the major causes have been found to be fisheries related, exposure to pollution, unusual natural events, diseases and parasitic infections. Marine Megafauna Strandings have gone undocumented and unrecorded in the past, our team initiated the project by first addressing the issue of a lack of database of Marine strandings. 


Since 2019, a number of volunteers have and continue to be recruited to create a reliable network of Marine Megafauna Stranding reporters and rescuers. The reported data is then diligently recorded by our team. Marine animals that are stranded and found alive are attended to by our veterinarian and treated or rescued appropriately. Stranded marine animals reported dead are studied through post-mortems conducted by our veterinarian when possible and recorded. Over the last year, the Marine Megafauna Strandings project has been involved in handling over 236 separate incidents of strandings along the coast of Karnataka. 

In addition to the post mortems conducted, ReefWatch has also set up a Rescue and Rehabilitation Transit Centre for Marine Wildlife in Kundapur, Karnataka. We have treated and released 22 marine animals which include Sea Turtles and a number of Pelagic (Sea) Birds including Gannets, Skuas and Gulls. We have created a large group of volunteers and reporters who keep us informed about strandings and other marine events such as fish die-offs, algal blooms, oil spills and other Marine Disasters, that allows us and the concerned Government Authorities to respond rapidly.

Our work along the coast has created a coordinated system to address the problem of Marine Megafauna Strandings in Karnataka, that has since been replicated in Goa and that we hope to replicate in all coastal states of the country.