+351 291 961 859 / +351 924 432 091
In 1991 the Natural History Museum in Funchal (MMF) initiates the recording of the number of stranded cetaceans in the Madeira Archipelago, either dead or alive. In 1996 the Madeira Whale Museum takes responsibility for noting down these records, by structuring and creating the Madeira cetacean stranding network (Racam). The collection of data related to stranded cetaceans begins to be performed systematically and with the completion of post-mortem examinations. This network was later updated and restructured in 2008 under the project EMECETUS.
The RACAM is important because:
- it promotes the proper handling of stranded cetaceans (alive or dead);
- it minimizes the risk for public health and safety;
- the stranded animals are used as a source of scientific information;
- it contributes to the conservation of cetaceans in the Madeira Archipelago.
- it contributes to raising public awareness for the conservation of cetaceans and marine environment.
What to do if you find a whale or a dolphin on the beach or floating at sea?
1. In case you find or become aware of a dolphin or a whale (dead or alive) on our beaches or waters, contact the Madeira Whale Museum at 291 961 859/964 432 091 (available 24 hours, including Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).
If possible, please provide the following information:
• Place where you found the animal;
• Number and size of the animals;
• Species (if known);
• If the animal is alive or dead, and their conditions (whether decaying or not);
• Sea conditions on the location and if the tide is high or low;
• Conditions of access to the location.
2. If the animal is dead, do not get too close or touch the animal (for it may carry diseases).
3. If the animal is alive, you must not:
• Stay very close to the tail or the head;
• Push or pull the pectoral fins, fluke or head;
• Cover the blowhole (breathing hole on top of the head);
• Allow water or sand to get into the blowhole;
• Apply sunscreen lotion on its skin;
• Touch the animal more than necessary.
4. Take pictures if you can.
Entities that have collaborated with Racam:
• Natural History Museum in Funchal (MMF) ;
• Marine Biology Station of Funchal;
• Natural Park of Madeira;
• Porto Santo Line;
• Porto Santo Verde;
• Laboratório Regional de Veterinária e Segurança Alimentar (Regional Veterinary and Food Safety Laboratory);
• Meia Serra solid waste treatment plant;
• All of the municipalities of the archipelago;
• Direcção Regional das Pescas (Regional Directorate for Fisheries)
• Direcção Regional do Ambiente (Regional Directorate for Environment).