In July 1999, the Scottish Government became responsible (on behalf of the Crown) for dealing with 'Royal Fish' found stranded on Scottish shores. In Scotland, these are considered to be those stranded whales measuring more than 25 feet long from the snout to the middle of the tail.
The local coastguard should notify Marine Scotland of any Royal Fish providing, wherever possible, details of the size and species of whale involved. It should also inform the Scottish Agricultural College's Veterinary Section in Inverness (which records all cetacean strandings around Scotland and which may wish to undertake a post-mortem) and the appropriate Local Authority Environmental Health Department, which will consider whether there is a need to make arrangements for the disposal of the carcass.
Guidance on how to deal with stranded Royal Fish is now available and further information on cetacean strandings in general can be obtained at the Natural History Museum website.