SCIENTISTS at the Sea Watch Foundation have been leading a campaign in order to get members of the general public to contribute to science to help protect the safety of whales and dolphins.
Over the past 40 years, whales, dolphins and porpoises around the coast have been monitored by Sea Watch Foundation scientists as well as volunteer observers.
For the past 14 years, this has been spearheaded through an annual event, the ‘National Whale & Dolphin Watch’. This year’s event takes place between this coming Saturday and the following Sunday (Jul 23-31).
Sea Watch Foundation’s Sightings Officer, Kathy James, said: “All that people need to do to take part is to report their whale and dolphin sightings to us and to either participate in the advertised organised watches or to arrange their own. It’s very easy and we’ll explain how!”
Apart from encouraging watches all around the UK, the marine research charity is also hosting a series of family-friendly events in New Quay, where they hold an office.
The charity will also be opening doors on their ‘Dolphin Hub’ educational facility, which means there will be family-fun whatever the weather!
You’ll find Sea Watch volunteers on New Quay pier in all but the most unpleasant weather and the Dolphin Hub above Harbour Homes, next to the Wellington Pub on the seafront (above Dolau Beach) will be open daily.
“Many people don’t realise the wealth of whales and dolphins we have around our coasts. You don’t need to go abroad to go whale watching or to have a dolphin experience,” adds Kathy. “Cardigan Bay is a particularly rich area for bottle nose dolphins and offers one of the best opportunities in the whole of the UK to see these incredible creatures!
“Please come along to join in with our events, watch for dolphins or even join a boat trip. There are also watches taking place at other sites along the Welsh coastline, which people can view on our website.”
During the 2015 event, the arctic beluga whale was added to the list of species seen around the UK during this annual summer watch, among some 946 sightings of 4480 animals.