The Sea Watch Foundation was founded as a charity and a limited company in 1991 by Dr Peter Evans, in association with Paul Vodden (who for several years had been involved in animal welfare and conservation, working for the RSPCA, Greenpeace and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society).
The aim was to create a more formal framework for the work of the Mammal Society’s Cetacean Group, set up by Dr Evans in 1973 to find out more about cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) in Britain and Irish waters by involving the public in the study of living wild animals. Previously, scientific knowledge was derived entirely from the examination of dead animals that had been stranded ashore or the target of whaling activities.
Today Sea Watch has three offices. The head office is in North Anglesey, with a field office in South West Anglesey, and there is a field office in New Quay (West Wales), where the Cardigan Bay bottlenose dolphin monitoring project is based. Staff and consultants also operate from other parts of the UK.