How is this research funded?

The Dutch government funds research into porpoise strandings

Stranding investigation at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture Nature and Food; the government wants to shed light on the cause of death of porpoises stranding in the Netherlands and is particularly interested in determining what role human activities play in these events.

Since the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Seas (ASCOBANS) came in to force in 1991 the Netherlands has  been committed to conserving porpoises in Dutch waters. Porpoise population monitoring which includes the investigation of stranding events is covered by a clause in Dutch law which will be reviewed in 2020. Additional monitoring such as aerial surveys and diet and pollution studies is performed by Wageningen Marine Research (previously IMARES).

People come across dead porpoises on the beach. We want to know whether they died as a result of human activities – that’s where the Utrecht-based ‘CSI porpoise’ comes in!

The current funding covers our research into porpoise strandings; however, investigation of strandings involving other species of whales and dolphins is largely dependent on volunteers and contributions. By co-ordinating these investigations, the porpoise stranding team in Utrecht lends its scientific knowledge, logistical resources and practical experience to this work. Due to the perceived increase in the so-called ‘unique strandings’ involving other cetacean species in recent years, we are currently seeking to secure permanent funding for this valuable work.

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