A PORPOISE has been discovered dead on a Wearside beach.
Coastguards were called to Seaburn at 7.10am on Monday after reports of the stranded mammal.
Although initially thought to be alive, the mammal was reported dead at the scene.
It has been identified as a 1.5-metre-long male harbour porpoise.
Coastguard rescue officer Neil Mearns said: “Marine mammals occasionally become stranded on the local coastline.
“As a porpoise is classed as a ‘Royal Fish’, it is the coastguard’s responsibility to report such occurrences to the Receiver of Wreck and also notify the Department of Zoology at the Natural History Museum.”
While it is not known how the porpoise died, coastguards confirmed there are no suspicious circumstances.
The carcass was removed by staff from Sunderland City Council’s Resorts, with representatives from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) present.
Mr Mearns said: “It is possible that the Natural History Museum may require a post-mortem examination to be carried out.”