Organised by marine environmental charity, the Sea Watch Foundation (SWF), the event aims to raise awareness and provide understanding of Britain’s marine mammals and the threats that they face. The charity is calling on people to scan the seas for some of Britain’s most charismatic marine mammals.
Marine mammals such as whales and dolphins form an important part of the UK’s marine ecosystem, and the mammals’ complex social behaviours and hunting tactics makes them among Britain’s most popular sea life.
The SWF has monitored the UK’s coastal populations of whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans) for more than forty years, however the marine mammals continue to be subject to several threats, including by-catch in fishing gear, marine pollution, fish stock depletion and climate change.
According to the charity, the UK is home to a surprisingly wide-range of marine wildlife, with popular dolphin and whale watching spots found off the coast of Cornwall, Pembrokeshire and Scotland, among others.
SWF sighting’s officer, Kathy James, said: “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.
“We’ve recently seen an usually high number of humpback whale sightings around the UK, for example, and we have some amazing dolphin-spotting locations.”
If you’d like to register your own Whale and Dolphin Watch, please visit: www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk
You can read about the results of the 2017 survey here.
Image: A calf and three adult bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) breaching from the water, Moray Firth, Scotland. Credit: Getty