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Dolphin and whale watchers wanted
Dolphins
Short beaked common dolphins occur offshore between August and December but they can also be seen from land

Marine research charity Sea Watch is looking for willing volunteers to observe the Cornish coastline.

The charity is hoping to recruit the volunteers to help them gather information into the distribution of whales, dolphins, pilot & minke whales.

The research will take place during this summer's National Whale and Dolphin Watch (NWDW).

Observers can watch from land or from sea if they have access to a boat and no experience is necessary.

We have some observers who do watches all day everyday and others who do one two hour watch and it is all beneficial
Sea Watch Sightings Officer Gemma Veneruso

Information gathered creates a snapshot of the distribution of dolphins, whales and porpoises - cetaceans - around the coast, feeding into scientific discussions on abundance and distribution.

Bottlenose dolphins are seen regularly while sightings of Risso's dolphin are slightly less common but occur mainly between March and September.

Short beaked common dolphin occur mainly offshore between August and December but they can also be seen from land and harbour porpoise are seen throughout the summer.

Groups of long-finned pilot whales are sometimes seen offshore, particularly in November and December along with white-beaked dolphins.

Minke whales are often seen around Porthgwarra with fin whales known to pass through in the winter months.

Key locations for sightings include Bude, Trevose Head, St Agnes Head, St Ives, Pendeen, Land's End, Gwennap Head and Lizard Point.

Sea Watch collects sightings data all year round
Sea Watch collects sightings data all year round

Sea Watch Sightings Officer Gemma Veneruso said: "We are hoping to recruit people who are willing to commit to spend some time during the watch looking out at locations near where they live.

"Any time that they can spare would be appreciated. We have some observers who do watches all day everyday and others who do one two hour watch and it is all beneficial.

"They will need binoculars. A compass is useful, but not essential, as is a camera. I will be sending out detailed information to all volunteers about the species they can expect to see locally, how to identify them and the sort of information we need recording.

"We would also like to ask any local environmental organisations, centres or commercial boat operators to be involved in the event by doing their own watches."

Sea Watch collects sightings data all year round which helps to feed into discussions to help shape marine conservation policies aimed at protecting the whales, dolphins and porpoises around our coast.

Essential information

National Whale and Dolphin Watch is being held from August 7 - 15.

To become an observer, or for more information on Sea Watch's sightings network and other research projects:

Anyone interested should contact Gemma at Sea Watch on 01545 561227 or email her at:

If you wish to support the work of Sea Watch but unable to commit to time during National Whale and Dolphin Watch you can support their research through:




SEE ALSO
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Dolphin football off north coast
15 Oct 09 |  Wales
Fin whales filmed with dolphins
17 Aug 09 |  South west
Dolphins die after mass stranding
09 Jun 08 |  Cornwall

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