National Whale & Dolphin Watch

Bottlenose Dolphins - Liverpool Bay

Bottlenose Dolphins - Liverpool Bay - Credit: Archant

Lots of people flock to the Moray Firth in east Scotland or Cardigan Bay on the west coast of Wales to see bottlenose dolphins, but did you also know you might spot them in Liverpool Bay, around the Firth of Forth or off the coast of Cornwall?

Harbour porpoise are the more likely species off the Suffolk coast, but if you’re in the right place at the right time then perhaps you’ll see a pod of white-beaked dolphins!

And you don’t have to go to Norway or Iceland to watch killer whales. They are regularly seen around our north and west Scottish coastlines and you might even spot one in the North and Irish Seas!

There’s a wealth of marine mammals out there, and it’s thanks to the general public that we can build up a picture of what’s where.

Sea Watch Foundation has recently processed a huge amount of data from Sea Watchers at almost 700 sites around our coasts and we noticed that we’re missing some pretty big gaps in certain places. This is your call to arms! You don’t need to be a scientist or a whale -expert to help, we just need a little of your time! We ask that certain details be recorded (chat to us about this first) and that watches last at least half an hour, between July 26th and 3rd August 2014.

We have a network of regional coordinators ready to train you up as a Sea Watcher and then you’ll be able to help us watch from even more sites around the UK! Even if you think that your nearest coastline is uneventful, your records will teach us whether this is actually true; if no one’s there how do we know what we’re missing?! We have regular observers up and down the nation who have contributed to our database for as much as forty years. Their help is invaluable, but with your help we can gain an even bigger picture!

We now have a 2014 National Whale and Dolphin Watch page on our website waiting for your events to be uploaded so please get in touch with your plans and deas!

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You can email our sightings officer, Kathy James, on or call us in our New Quay office on 01545 561227.