Over 20 common dolphins stranded on Kerry beaches since start of year

An investigation is underway following a spike in the numbers of dolphin strandings.

Nationally, more than 70 animals have washed up both alive and dead since the start of the year; dolphin strandings have tripled in recent years.

Since the beginning of the year, there has been at least 20 reported strandings of common dolphins around Kerry; some of the mammals were alive and were refloated.

Among the other species that stranded on Kerry beaches were pilot whales, stripped dolphins and harbour porpoises.

The Irish Independent reports that dozens of carcasses collected by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group have been sent to the Marine Institute for tests as part of a joint investigation with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

It’s hoped the investigation might shed light on why there has been such an increase in strandings particularly among common dolphins in the first three months of the year.

Among the possible reasons for the strandings are old age, disease, pollution and fisheries bycatch.