© Tata Regala

Algarve Stranding Network

The project arises from the initiative to reactivate RAAlg (Algarve Stranding Network), inactive since 2017, in order to fill an existing gap in this coastal area regarding the systematic collection of information on sea turtle and cetacean dead strandings. The National Stranding Network is coordinated by the Nature and Forests Conservation Institute (ICNF). However, in order to provide a faster response to the occurrence of strandings, the creation of a network of local and regional teams sub-coordinated by entities such as non-governamental organizations and universities, is of paramount importance. In order to accomplish this, the Algarve Stranding Network was created comprising a team of biologists from CCMAR and the University of Algarve, on permanent standby.

This team is accredited and trained to respond to alerts of dead sea turtles and cetaceans throughout the Algarve, from Odeceixe to Vila Real de Santo António. All stranded animals are considered for systematic collection of information to determine patterns of occurrence and assess causes of death. Fresh animal necropsies are also performed to obtain samples for various studies.

The Ria Formosa Natural Park (ICNF) is playing a key role in this project, by providing adequate facilities and infrastructures for our labs at Quinta de Marim, in Olhão. Futhermore, the ICNF Nature Rangers are also assisting the team of biologists with transport between our labs and the stranding locations, whenever possible.

© João Pontes

           coordination                funding                 partners        ICNF



Our Team

RAAlg is composed by a small team of marine biologists commited to attain as much information possible from dead strandigns occurring in the South of Portugal. The success of our mission relies heavily on the cooperation of private and public entities, as well as the citizien support in registering alerts.


© RAAlg team - Determining the GPS coordinates of a stranded Common-dolphin


© RAAlg team - Bottlenose-dolphin stomach content analysis


Preliminary observations on a stranded Bottlenose dolphin
© Joana Bores (SPEA) - RAAlg team carrying out preliminary observations on a stranded Bottlenose dolphin


© RAAlg team - Necropsy of a Harbour-porpoise and sample collection


Ana Isa Fialho
Ana Isa Fialho , Field Coordinator

Mestre em Biologia Marinha com especialização em Aquacultura e Pescas, pela Universidade do Algarve. Desenvolveu trabalhos baseados na avaliação de impactes ambientais, no comportamento animal e na comunicação da ciência. A biodiversidade, a conservação e o bem-estar animal são uma constante no seu percurso profissional.

Jan Dirk Hofman , Field Coordinator

Mestre em Biologia Marinha na Universidade de Algarve onde desenvolveu estudos sobre relações entre algas e plantas marinhas. Trabalhou num centro de reabilitação de focas nos Países Baixos surgindo interesse por pinípedes, cetáceos e também tartarugas marinhas.

Ana Marçalo4
Ana Marçalo , Founding member/Institutional Coordinator

PhD in Marine Biology and Fisheries and post-doc researcher at CCMAR and University of Algarve. She specializes in fisheries biology, with expertise in purse seining. For about 10 years that she also focus her efforts in studying the interaction of marine protected species (cetaceans, marine turtles and birds) with Portuguese fisheries, finding causes of death of strandings and promoting mitigation trials.

João Pontes
João Pontes , Colaborator

With academic background in Marine Biology, João specialized in Aquaculture and Fisheries (MSc) with the Algarve University. He has been working on various fields of expertise involving fisheries, such as management, participative management, socio-economy, ecology, biodiversity and conservation, with emphasis on recreational and artisanal fisheries.
The sustainable interaction between cetaceans and fisheries is a sensitive research area with which João has recently been in contact.