Every year, scientists at the Sea Watch Foundation lead a campaign to get members of the general public contributing to science to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises and they’re calling on you to get involved with the National Whale and Dolphin Watch between 28th July and 5th August 2018!
For over forty years, Sea Watch Foundation scientists as well as volunteer observers all around the coast have been reporting on whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) to inform Sea Watch’s huge database of records. In fact, the scheme is one of the oldest and longest running citizen science schemes in the world. Now it’s your turn to take part in their flagship summer event, the ‘National Whale & Dolphin Watch’ which is now in its 17th year.
“It’s all about reporting your whale, dolphin and porpoise sightings as well as getting out there to look for them” begins Dr Chiara Giulia Bertulli, Sightings Officer for the research charity.
“Without reports from the public on these magnificent animals we cannot compile data which is used for their protection” continues Chiara.
Cetaceans can be found all around the coast of the UK and recently around the English coast there have been many species spotted, including white-beaked dolphins which have been sighted a few times and in one occasion a pod of 4 individuals were sighted circling and checking a commercial boat out from closeby for 20 minutes off Hastings. A young fin whale was sighted in the river Great Ouse in Norfolk, a group of kayakers has a close encounter with a minke whale which few miles off Looe island in Cornwall, and a triplet of Risso’s dolphins were observed hanging around Porthpean beach and spy hopping in the evening.
The charity encourages wildlife-lovers to head to the coast to collect watch data of their own or to join a wildlife tour and collect data at sea. No experience is necessary and the team at Sea Watch will be happy to set you off on the right foot.
“We need as many eyes on the sea as possible. That means we’re looking for people all around the English coast to arrange a watch for themselves and for everybody to report the animals that they see” adds Chiara.
During the nine-day 2016 event, eleven different whales and dolphins were recorded in UK waters as well as the tiny harbour porpoise which measures just a metre and a half when fully grown. Also, some 555 sightings were logged around England, and for more facts and figures from last years’ event, please see the 2017 National Whale and Dolphin Watch report.
Find out more about the event: www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw
Register your own watch: http://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw-2018/
To view the 2017 National Whale & Dolphin Watch Report: