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Dolphin watchers wanted in Sussex

Two bottlenose dolphins
Bottlenose dolphins - your sighting could help the species

Dolphin spotters are being sought in Sussex - with the aim of helping the species all over the world.

Dolphins

Some BBC Newsline viewers sent this footage in of dolphins swimming alongside their boat in north Antrim.

The charity Sea Watch is planning a national watch for dolphins, porpoises and whales.

All can be seen off the coast of Sussex although Sea Watch are especially keen to find 'watchers' in Seaford, Hove, Eastbourne, Brighton, East Wittering and Littlehampton.

Harbour porpoises and bottlenose dolphins are regularly spotted along the Sussex coast.

Sightings

In May 2007, thirty common dolphins were sighted south west of the NAB Tower in West Sussex.

A northern bottlenose whale was seen off East Wittering in July 2008.

Observers can carry out watches from land or, if they have access to a boat, from sea and no experience is necessary.

Key sites

Gemma Veneruso from the charity said people had to be "willing to commit to spend some time".

National Whale and Dolphin Watch
Whale and Dolphin Watch runs from August 7 - 15th
You can watch from land or from a boat
The aim is to build a 'snapshot' of dolphin and whale populations around the UK

"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." she said.

Watchers will need binoculars and ideally a compass and a camera.

"We are hoping to build as comprehensive picture as possible of what species are around our coast during that period." said Gemma.

National policy

Sea Watch works to collect sightings all year round, with the aim of informing marine conservation policy makers.

To become an observer, or for more information on Sea Watch's sightings network and other research projects, see the charity's website .

Anyone interested should contact Gemma at Sea Watch on 01545 561227 or email her at sightings@seawatchfoundation.org.uk.

BBC Sussex will be interviewing Gemma Veneruso at 8.40am on Thursday July 1st.




SEE ALSO
Dolphin sightings entertain
16 Jun 10 |  Northern Ireland
Dolphin calf sighted off Anglesey
25 Mar 10 |  North west

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