Residents and visitors to the area around St Abb’s Head are being urged to help marine research charity Sea Watch keep track of the dolphins and whales living around the UK’s coastline during this summer’s annual National Whale and Dolphin Watch (NWDW).
Anyone can join in NWDW, which runs from Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 7 by attending a manned watch or by doing their own watch and sending in sightings to Sea Watch.
A special event, “Searching for Cetaceans” is being run by the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve which will take place on Sunday, August 7 between 11am and 4pm at St Abb’s Head, outside the lighthouse compound.
Voluntary Marine Reserve ranger and local Sea Watch contact Georgia Conolly said: “We’re inviting people to come and join our annual whale and dolphin watching event which is part of National Whale and Dolphin Watch.
“The rangers will be watching from St Abb’s Head, outside the lighthouse compound and people can turn up any time to help them search.”
The event is free, open to all and no booking is required.
Georgia continued: “Bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise and minke whales are species we might expect to see from the Head. Add to that the stunning views and passing seabirds and people will be spoilt for choice for things to spot.”
Sea Watch’s sightings officer Danielle Gibas added: “We need help from as many people as possible during the watch. The information we collect creates a snapshot of the distribution of dolphins, whales and porpoises – cetaceans - around the coast, which is then fed into scientific discussions on abundance and distribution.
“We gather data on sightings throughout the year providing essential background on the relative abundance and distribution of cetaceans. This helps shape marine conservation policies aimed at protecting the whales, dolphins and porpoises around our coast.”
In total, 28 species of dolphins, whales and porpoises have been recorded in UK and Irish waters, 12 of these during a National Whale and Dolphin Watch.