This year’s Sea Watch National Whale and Dolphin Watch - now in its 20th year - takes place from Saturday 24thJuly to Sunday 1st August 2021.
And the organisers are asking members of the public to help.
Sea Watch Foundation has been operating for over 30 years, delivering on its mission to aid in the conservation of whales, dolphins, and porpoises through monitoring, research, and education.
Sea Watch’s cetacean sightings database is one of the largest of its kind in the world, and its decades-long research in areas such as Cardigan Bay have led to the formation of Special Areas of Conservation for bottlenose dolphins, just one example of the direct impact of their work.
Understanding the status of cetaceans and other marine mammals in British and Irish waters is more important than ever. Recording sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises helps us to understand their distribution, diversity, and behaviour, which contributes to ongoing research by Sea Watch Foundation and other organisations.
Last year, during the week of National Whale and Dolphin Watch, 1,348 sightings were recorded nationally; that’s an average of one sighting per hour for every site surveyed! We have over 30 recorded species of cetacean in our waters, so this year, why not discover what’s in your area?
No experience is needed to participate - just patience, enthusiasm, and some binoculars. If you’re going to be close to the sea during the week of 24th July to 1st August, get involved!
Currently Sea Watch have 412 confirmed watches, which you can view here. If you’d like a bit more support, or this is your first time surveying, we also have virtual training sessions available, which can be booked by emailing the relevant address. Training sessions will cover all the basics of cetacean ID and how to collect data effectively.
Please remember if you are conducting watches, to do so within any local Covid-19 guidelines to keep yourselves and others safe.