If you see a sick, injured, stranded, or dead marine mammal or sea turtle, immediately contact CBES STRANDING RESPONSE TEAM HOTLINE

Handling stranded and beached marine animals in Vietnam is a multidisciplinary issue. In terms of conservation, successfully rescuing and releasing individuals of endangered marine species contributes to the maintenance and development of species populations. Additionally, the rescue of dolphins and whales, which are iconic species, also aids in raising awareness of conservation and connecting communities with science. From an epidemiological and environmental health perspective, providing appropriate solutions for large stranded whale cases helps minimize pollution and prevent the spread of dangerous diseases. Ethically, as marine animals, especially dolphins and whales, are highly intelligent creatures, showing empathy and assisting them is an act of compassion

In Vietnam, the majority of marine species are rare and endangered animals that require protection, restoration, and development, according to Decision 82/2008/QD-BNN issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on July 17, 2008. Therefore, the rescue of stranded marine animals is the responsibility of multiple stakeholders, ranging from the public to local authorities, companies, non-profit organizations, and scientific research institutions.

In addition to conservation and scientific research, the rescue of stranded marine animals, particularly whales, and the burial of washed-up individuals are also related to cultural and religious beliefs in many local communities in Vietnam. The practice of worshipping the Whale, which is quite common in coastal areas, provides the motivation for the local community to assist and support stranded whales and dolphins in distress. From a cultural perspective, the rescue of marine animals is considered a “virtuous and beautiful deed” and reflects the rich ethnic identity of the community.

However, in Vietnam, the majority of stranded marine animals are typically handled by local fishermen who lack knowledge of marine biology and physiology. Local authorities such as the Fisheries Department, the Veterinary Department, local non-profit organizations, and officials from nearby marine conservation areas are usually notified of stranded marine animal cases. These entities have the authority and responsibility to intervene in the rescue process to ensure the highest chances of survival for the animals, or to gather necessary information and data for scientific research and conservation efforts. However, even these entities have not received specialized training in stranded and beached animal issues, and they primarily handle situations based on intuition and experience. As a result, many cases of stranded marine animals in Vietnam have been handled inappropriately, leading to the unnecessary loss of rescued animals’ lives and posing risks such as infectious diseases and accidents to the rescuers


CBES and Vietnam Marine Megafauna Network established RAPID RESPONSE NETWORK for stranding cases of Cetacean and Sea Turtle that aims to mitigate the impacts of stranding, provide immediate care to stranded animals, facilitate rehabilitation when possible, contribute to scientific knowledge, and raise public awareness about the conservation of these vulnerable species

CBES Stranding response hotline

The 24/7 hotline aims to detect and respond to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles as quickly as possible. Timely reporting allows CBES expert for a prompt assessment of the situation, which is vital for providing appropriate care and minimizing the stress and harm to the animals.

Rescue and rehabilitation

CBES rescue teams are present at the scene in cases where special care is needed to ensure the continuous well-being of the animals. Their role involves offering immediate assistance, minimizing stress, addressing injuries or health concerns, and providing a safe and supportive environment for recovery. CBES collaborates closely with veterinarians to develop tailored rehabilitation plans for animals that are recuperating from injuries or illnesses. These plans may involve various elements, such as physical therapy, dietary adjustments, environmental enrichment, and progress monitoring. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the animal’s recovery and facilitate their successful return to their natural habitats.

Veterinary care

CBES also provides support to veterinarians in delivering specialized medical care for injured marine mammals and sea turtles. This assistance is crucial in addressing the unique health needs of these animals. CBES collaborates with veterinarians who specialize in marine animal medicine or have experience in treating marine mammals and sea turtles.

Rescue training and Equipment support

CBES conducts training programs focused on dolphin and sea turtle rescue, aiming to provide stakeholder and local communities with a broad understanding of how to effectively handle stranded marine mammals and sea turtles. The primary objective is to offer comprehensive training that improves their ability to respond to and handle instances of stranded marine animals, thereby enhancing their overall capacity in managing such situations.

Data collection and monitoring

The monitoring of marine mammal and sea turtle stranding events can provide valuable information for research purposes. This data can be used to inform conservation efforts, assess the health of populations, identify threats or trends, and develop effective strategies for the protection and conservation of these species.

How can we help the Marine Mammals and Sea Turtle

Reduce pollution

Take steps to reduce pollution in our oceans. Properly dispose of trash, minimize the use of single-use plastics, and participate in beach clean-ups. Marine mammals and dolphins are adversely affected by pollution, such as plastic ingestion and entanglement in debris.

Report strandings

If you come across a stranded marine mammal or dolphin, report it to the local authorities or a marine mammal stranding network. Do not attempt to touch or rescue the animal yourself, as they require specialized care and handling.

Educate others

Spread awareness about the importance of marine mammal and dolphin conservation. Educate others about the threats they face, their ecological significance, and the actions that can be taken to protect them. Encourage responsible tourism practices, such as supporting dolphin-watching tours that prioritize the well-being of the animals.

Support sustainable seafood choices

Choose seafood that is harvested using sustainable practices. Overfishing and bycatch pose significant threats to marine mammals and dolphins, so opting for sustainable seafood helps protect their habitats and food sources.

Report strandings

Participate in local community efforts related to marine mammal and dolphin conservation. Attend educational events, volunteer for beach clean-ups or marine mammal monitoring programs, and engage with local conservation groups working on their protection.
By taking these actions, you can

Educate others

Spread awareness about the importance of marine mammal and dolphin conservation. Educate others about the threats they face, their ecological significance, and the actions that can be taken to protect them. Encourage responsible tourism practices, such as supporting dolphin-watching tours that prioritize the well-being of the animals.

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