A dead mammal was found washed up on a West Dorset beach.

The Lyme Regis Coastguard were called out to deal with a dead porpoise on Monmouth Beach today (Monday, February 12), shortly after 11am.

As the Harbour Porpoise is deemed to be a ‘Royal Fish,’ coastguard crews had to pass on details to the relevant authorities which includes the Natural History Museum.

A spokesperson for HM Coastguard said: “It is quite normal for the coastguard to be called out for the stranding of whales, dolphins and porpoises.

“We have to report it to the Natural History Museum as it is deemed to be a Royal Fish who will make a record, as well as the local authorities to make sure that it is disposed of safely.”

The coastguard team are assigned the role of taking information like the location, the species, as well as photos.

Under the law of the United Kingdom, whales, porpoises and sturgeons are royal fish, and when taken become the personal property of the monarch of the United Kingdom as part of his or her royal prerogative.