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 27th July and 4th August 2019!
For over forty years, Sea Watch Foundation scientists as well as volunteer observers all around the coast of the British Isles from Shetland to the Isles of Scilly have been reporting sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) to inform Sea Watch’s huge database of records. The scheme is one of the oldest and longest running citizen science projects in the world. Anyone can take part in this flagship summer event, the ‘National Whale and Dolphin Watch’ , now in its 18th year.
“It’s all about looking out for whales, dolphins and porpoises and submit their records to us” says Dr Chiara Giulia Bertulli, Sightings Officer and lead organizer of this year’s NWDW event.
“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 3 individuals was sighted surface feeding off Saltburn-on-Sea, North Yorkshire. A humpback whale was sighted from the South West Coastal Path in Cornwall, breaching, flipper slapping close to shore, a juvenile minke whale was sighted few meters away from a commercial boat off Falmouth Bay in Cornwall, and a large group of over 20 Risso’s dolphins were observed foraging off Point Lizard for over an hour.
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 2018 event, thirteen different whales and dolphins were recorded in UK waters, a number which was only been recorded once before. Also, some 586 sightings were logged around England, and for more facts and figures from last years’ event, please see the 2018 National Whale and Dolphin Watch report.
Find out more about the event: www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw
Join a registered watch: https://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw-2019-watch-list/
(please note that new watches are being added all the time so keep looking!)
To view the 2018 National Whale & Dolphin Watch Report: