A big boost to our National Whale & Dolphin Watch data collection this year is going to be from OceanWatch arranged by ORCA. We’re thrilled that they have decided to coincide their new initiative with our long-standing event as it will help us build on the picture of UK cetaceans during the watch period. Below, ORCA explain more about the event…
What is it?
ORCA OceanWatch is an exciting new inititative which involves local sea faring businesses that use Portsmouth International Port and ports all around the UK. Bridge crews will be trained to identify and record whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) that they encounter whilst out at sea. To complement the offshore watches, ORCA will also be running land based watches on the Isle of Wight during this week of dedicated cetacean watches.
National Whale and Dolphin Watch
National Whale and Dolphin Watch, run every year by the Sea Watch Foundation, is now in its 14th year, and runs from the 25th July to the 2nd August 2015. Various shore and boat-based watches for whales, dolphins and porpoises will be run all over the country. ORCA OceanWatch will be an offshore component to the National Whale and Dolphin Watch, and it will provide us with a comprehensive ‘snapshot’ of whale, dolphin and porpoise presence and distribution in UK waters.
Where are we surveying?
We have a variety of ferry and cruise survey routes around the UK covering the North Sea, English Channel, Bay of Biscay and Celtic Sea but in addition to this we have cruise ship routes that go even further afield. We will also be watching from shore on the Isle of Wight this summer. Shorewatches will take place from two locations; St. Catherine’s Point and The Needles. Dates and contact information for these are on the National Whale and Dolphin Watch events list. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter for more updates #ORCAOceanWatch.
What will happen to the sightings data?
ORCA will analyse the cetacean data collected and share what are findings are online, complete with sightings maps and hopefully some fantastic photos! The data will also be sent to Sea Watch Foundation to incorporate into their national snapshot of cetacean sightings.
How can I get involved?
Conduct your own survey on land and at sea
Are you travelling by ferry around the UK during the National Whale and Dolphin Watch? Why not record your sightings and let us know what you see using this form. Following the guide and key on the reverse side of the form to complete your survey. Completed forms can be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively you can post them to:
For more information about the Isle of Wight Shore Watches and ORCA OceanWatch, please contact ORCA’s Community Wildlife Officer, Anna Bunney on email@example.com
If you would also like to add an event to the National Whale & Dolphin Watch 2015 please click here for more information. Thank you!