VA Aquarium responds to several dolphin strandings from Ft. Story to Eastern Shore

Virginia Aquarium_Stranding Response_Common Dolphin_March 2022.jpg
Posted at 5:25 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 17:33:31-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Several sightings and strandings of dolphins have been reported over the past three days.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Virginia Aquarium’s Stranding Response Team says they have taken nearly a dozen phone calls for common dolphin sightings and strandings.

The dolphins have been seen between Fort Story and up the bay side of the Eastern Shore, as far north as Harborton and as far south as Fisherman Island.

Common dolphins are not typically found in shallow waters.

Since Sunday, crews found four live common dolphins that were stranded in shallow creeks, five dead dolphins that were stranded on shore, and a group of about ten dolphins moving freely in a shallow creek.

They hoped the live dolphins would go back to the deeper waters on their own. The team responded Tuesday to two dolphins that were re-stranded.

One dolphin was found with a severe wound on its flank while the other dolphins had no obvious sign of injury or illness.

The aquarium will now collect samples for information on the cause of stranding. Aquarium biologists believe the deaths are from biological causes and not human interactions.

This is an ongoing investigation and additional analyses will be conducted over the next several months.

To report stranded marine mammal and sea turtle sightings, immediately contact the Virginia Aquarium’s Stranding Response hotline at 757-385-7575 with the exact location. Do not approach stranded animals and keep a safe distance of at least 50 yards from the animal.