Whale and Dolphin Watch 2021

People surveying sea at Mull of Galloway
Lisa Paton

Get involved in this year's Sea Watch National Whale and Dolphin Watch.

Now in its 20th year, Sea Watch Foundation’s annual National Whale and Dolphin Watch event is just around the corner, and more important than ever. From 24th July to 1st August, Sea Watch Foundation invites you to take part in a national event that seeks to take a snapshot of the incredible cetacean life around our coastlines!

Last year, during the week of National Whale and Dolphin Watch, 1,348 sightings were recorded nationally; that’s an average of one sighting per hour for every site surveyed! We have over 30 recorded species of cetacean in our waters, so this year, why not discover what’s in your area?

No experience is needed to participate - just patience, enthusiasm, and some binoculars. If you’re going to be close to the sea during the week of 24th July to 1st August, get involved!

Sea Watch Foundation has been operating for over 30 years, delivering on its mission to aid in the conservation of whales, dolphins, and porpoises through monitoring, research, and education. In a time of increasing pressures on the marine environment, understanding the status of cetaceans and other marine mammals in British and Irish waters is more important than ever. Recording sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises helps us to understand their distribution, diversity, and behaviour, which contributes to ongoing research by Sea Watch Foundation and other organisations. 

To register your watch, simply email nwdw2021@gmail.com. You will be provided with Sea Watch Foundation recording forms to record your effort and sightings during your watch, or you can also record data using the new free Sea Watcher App. You can also download a species identification guide for help identifying species during your watch!

Currently there are over 400 confirmed watches, which you can view here. If you’d like a bit more support, or this is your first time surveying, there's virtual training sessions available which will cover all the basics of cetacean ID and how to collect data effectively.

If you register a watch and send back your data before August 15th, you could also be in with a chance to win some amazing raffle prizes.

Casual sightings are also welcome throughout the week, but will not be entered into the prize draw. You can submit any casual records using the online sightings form.

For full details, visit the Sea Watch Foundation's website.