A local marine conservation charity has called for the public to lend their support for ORCA OceanWatch 2017 and help the conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises.
Now in its third year, ORCA OceanWatch encourages bridge crews and seafarers across the UK ferry & cruise network to collect sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively known as cetaceans) during a dedicated part of the summer.
The project aims to raise awareness of the rich diversity of marine wildlife around the UK coastline, and has had incredible support from the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group since it started in 2015.
ORCA are this year asking for members of the public to get involved and lend their eyes to try and identify marine mammals from land and at sea, with the area a perfect location to try and catch a glimpse of some phenomenal wildlife.
Whether at sea on board the Scillonian III passenger ferry to Scilly or on land, the charity are asking members of the public to keep their eyes peeled and send them any sightings or pictures they capture of animals during this week.
The data will be used for ORCA’s incidental sightings database, as well as contributing to the Sea Watch Foundation’s National Whale & Dolphin Watch, a citizen science initiative that runs in parallel to ORCA OceanWatch each year.
The Isles of Scilly are incredibly rich, with the last ORCA survey on the route sighting six different species and almost 100 individuals.
The team have high hopes for a really productive ORCA OceanWatch with two surveys taking place during this year’s programme.
Passengers on the route should keep an eye out for common dolphin, Risso’s dolphins and even humpback whales and orcas, which are all species we have seen during summer months.
To find out more about ORCA OceanWatch 2017, visit www.orcaweb.org.uk/get-involved/OceanWatch and keep up to date using the hashtag #ORCAOceanWatch.
To learn how to get involved in National Whale & Dolphin Watch, visit http://www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw/.
Will was joined on the phone this week by Anna Bunney, ORCA Education Coordinator to find out more...