UK National Whale and Dolphin Watch July 23rd - 31st

by Rich Mallon-Day - 7/18/2016 5:34:10 PM

For the last 40 years, dolphins, whales and porpoises have been monitored around the UK coast; for the past 14 years it has been organized as the annual "National Whale and Dolphin Watch" run by the Sea Watch Foundation. This year's event runs from July 23rd through July 31st.

There are currently 29 species of Whales and dolphins that have been recorded in UK waters; last year Beluga Whales were added with a first-ever sighting. The distribution of these species vary widely, with some having a Nation-wide distribution and others localized to specific areas. The most commonly sighted species are bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise and minke whale.

“Many people don’t realize 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." says SWF sighting's officer, Kathy James. "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.”

Everyone is invited to participate, either by joining an organized watch or by organizing a watch of their own through the SWF. Don't be discouraged if you don't spot a whale or dolphin though, even a zero sighting is important data for researchers. With climate change and increased fisheries pressures this type of longitudinal study is vital for understanding the changes to our local waters.

For more information on the "National Whale and Dolphin Watch", to locate a Watch to join, or to organize a watch, visit the Sea Watch Foundation at