The IRT was tasked to investigate the badly decomposed carcass of a porpoise found on Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis. Following the initial investigation, the relevant authorities were organised to remove the carcass & discard it safely.
One of the roles of the Coastguard is to attend reports of any situations associated with ‘Royal Fish’. ‘Royal Fish’ are sturgeons, porpoises, whales and dolphins. (In Scotland, porpoises and dolphins, and whales, measuring less than 25 feet from snout to the middle of the tail, are not Royal Fish.) Our duties include reporting the incident to the ‘Receiver of Wreck’ who normally deals with ship wrecks. If the animal is alive, we normally liaise with the RSPCA. Sadly, if it is dead the Receiver of the Wreck or the local coastguard team will arrange the safe removal of the carcass. We also have to measure the ‘Royal Fish’ and make some judgement as to the likely cause and this information is passed to the Natural History Museum.