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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 August 2006, 08:35 GMT 09:35 UK
Whale watchers scan Welsh waters
Bottlenose dolphins
Bottlenose dolphins can be seen in Anglesey Pic: Sea Watch Foundation
Marine scientists are scanning Welsh waters to see if rare whales spotted last summer have returned to the area a year later.

Six fin whales - the second largest creatures on Earth - were recorded off the Pembrokeshire coast during last year's whale and dolphin watch week.

The Sea Watch Foundation hope the public will again help expert watchers collect data on the UK's sea mammals.

The information is used to monitor the 28 species known to visit UK waters.

The charity's whale and dolphin watching week runs from 12-20 August.

Sightings officer Hanna Nuuttila said Wales was one of the best places in the UK to spot a variety of different types of whale and dolphin.

The marine biologist, based in New Quay, Ceredigion, said: "A good place to start is Anglesey. It's a great place to spot harbour porpoise, bottlenose dolphins and minke whale."

Fin whale off the coast of Wales
Fin whales were spotted last year Pic: Sea Watch Foundation

Ms Nuuttila also recommends the Lleyn Peninsula, Cardigan Bay and Pwlhelli as good watching spots.

"You are definitely likely to see something if you have the patience to get out and watch," she said.

The foundation wants people to record the time and place they spot any dolphins or whales, along with the sea and weather conditions at the time.

The information is will then be used to create a "scientific snapshot" of the distribution of the mammals around the coast.

In the last four years, the National Whale and Dolphin Watch has produced 2,337 sightings of over 12,000 marine mammals.

  • The south and west Wales Sea Trust is launching its "dolphathon" on Saturday. More than 100 volunteers will set off from Fishguard and Rosslare in Ireland to take part in a dolphin survey of the Irish Sea.

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