Scotland tops dolphin-sighting records

Record numbers of dolphins and whales have been sighted in Britain this week

Dolphins in the sea (Photo by: Laszlo Szirtesi via Getty Images)

Record numbers of dolphins and whales have been sighted in Britain this week as part of the annual National Whale and Dolphin Watch.

Scotland recorded the highest number of cetacean sightings, closely followed by England then Wales in the 2019 National Whale and Dolphin Watch.

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Humpback whales

This year, there have been over 600 sightings of cetaceans – marine animals including whales, dolphins and porpoises – which is 400 more than this time last year.

Eight different species have been recorded from Shetland down to South Devon so far, including Atlantic white-sided dolphins, orcas and minke whales.

A dolphin in the Scottish Highlands (Photo by Wild and Free via Getty Images)
This year marks the 18th National Whale and Dolphin Watch (Photo by: Wild and Free via Getty Images)

Bottlenose dolphins have also been sighted daily in New Quay, west Wales, while also being spotted in Littlehampton, Sussex.

The National Whale and Dolphin Watch is one of the oldest and longest running citizen science projects in the world, and scientists are still urging the public to join the monitoring effort.

“No experience is necessary, you just need to download a watch form from our website, record the environmental conditions every fifteen minutes and watch for at least an hour” says Dr Chiara Giulia Bertulli, Sightings Officer at Sea Watch Foundation and organiser of this year’s event.

Wale watch
Harbour porpoise, white-beaked dolphin, Risso’s dolphin and minke whale are just some of the species that have been sighted this week (Photo by: Yuri Smityuk via Getty Images)

“Not all watches will result in a sighting, but that piece of information is still very valuable to us. By taking part you are contributing greatly to the report we will publish” adds Chiara.

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To find out more about the National Whale and Dolphin Watch or view the sightings that have been made so far, head to the Sea Watch Foundation.