The Sea Watch Foundation is pleased to announce that we have received a grant from the charity Sea Changers to conduct a cetacean survey off the coast of North Wales. The survey will be conducted as part of Sea Watch’s Welsh Sea Watchers project, a new initiative by the Sea Watch Foundation, funded by the Volunteering in Wales Fund, which aims to establish a network of dedicated volunteers, volunteering their time to monitor, educate and raise awareness of the diversity of Welsh cetaceans.
The Sea Changers grant will enable Sea Watch to train Welsh Sea Watch volunteers in boat based data collection and photo-id techniques, as well as providing a unique opportunity to further the understanding of cetacean distribution in Welsh waters.
The North Wales coast has been subject to extensive coastal development such as the installation of a windfarms around Rhyl but unfortunately there is still a lack of knowledge concerning cetacean populations in this area.
A previous survey of Liverpool Bay, funded by Sea Changers in 2013, revealed the first match between bottlenose dolphins resident in Cardigan Bay and animals spotted off the Dee Estuary, a discovery Dr. Peter Evans, director of Sea Watch termed, “ a landmark moment.”
If Cardigan Bay dolphins spend a significant amount of time outside of the protected areas in Cardigan Bay, as some recent surveys suggest, an increased understanding of their movements around North Wales is vital to long-term conservation efforts.
It is hoped that this dedicated survey off the North Wales coast will build on and expand Sea Watch’s knowledge of bottlenose dolphin habitat use.
If you would like to volunteer for our Welsh Sea Watchers project, please contact our Wales Development Officer (pictured above on last years Sea Changers survey) on: firstname.lastname@example.org.