National Whale and Dolphin Watch is back!

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This summer marks the Sea Watch Foundation’s 21st annual National Whale and Dolphin Watch.

The organisation hopes as many people as possible will join in on the nine-day event that runs from Saturday July 23 to Sunday July 31.

Members of the public are being encouraged to conduct watches for whales, dolphins and porpoises across the country and to join in with raising awareness on how these species can be protected.

‘Although Sea Watch Foundation encourages the public to conduct watches throughout the year, National Whale and Dolphin Watch offers a chance to create a snapshot of what can be seen in our coastal waters in a short period of time,’ says Katie Baker, communication and outreach officer at Sea Watch Foundation.

She added: ‘We also aim to raise awareness of marine mammals and the issues they face, as well as bringing people together for a good cause through our events and organised watches.’

No special knowledge is needed to take part in the week; keen observers can sign up to training courses or use a free SeaWatcher App and species guides to get involved.

During last year’s event more than 1,630 sightings were reported, with over 9,000 individual animals.

Memorable sightings included humpback whales off Shetland and Inverness-shire;
Atlantic white-sided dolphins off Shetland; Sowerby’s white-beaked whales of the Firth of Forth, Fife; and striped dolphins off Queensferry in Lothian.

To find out more about National Whale and Dolphin Watch you can visit
www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk