A NUMBER of dolphins, whales and porpoises found washed up may have been dead for some time before they ended up on Irish beaches.
More than 20 incidents have been reported on beaches in counties Donegal, Mayo and Kerry in the past 10 days where common dolphins, pilot whales and porpoises have been found dead.
A fisheries expert has said prevailing winds and strong sea currents may have been responsible for the dead cetaceans turning up on Irish shores.
Kevin Flannery says the deaths could also be attributed to fish shortages during the winter months. "Pilot whales in particular are also notorious for mass strandings, so I would say it's a combination of all of these things rather than anything more sinister," Mr Flannery said.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) says it's unusual to see this number of dead dolphins washed ashore.
Volunteer with the IWDG Rosemary Hill said: "Any sightings reported we record, measure and photograph and there seems to be so much going on that it's a bit strange," she said.