Strandings of marine mammals on the north-western Spanish coast (Galicia) have been systematically recorded since 1990. A total of 1433 marine mammals belonging to 15 species was recorded from 1990 to 1999. The most frequently recorded species stranded were common dolphin (47%), bottlenose dolphin (11%) and harbour porpoise (7%). The number of strandings recorded increased annually over the study period, probably reflecting an increased observer effort. During 1996–1999, an average of 1·65 animals were stranded annually for each 10 km of coastline, the highest density of strandings recorded on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula. More than 80% of the strandings were located on the western coast of Galicia, mainly in autumn and winter. During the study period, 42 proven incidental catches were recorded, although signs of by-catch were seen in a further 198 animals. The average size of stranded common dolphins and the proportion of males both increased towards the end of the calendar year.
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