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Residents of the Outer Hebrides—a well-recognised hotspot for marine life—are invited to participate in a 10-day citizen scientist project to log whale and dolphin sightings.

The Sea Watch Foundation is keen to recruit sharp-eyed volunteers to observe and record the marine mammals from Friday, July 26, to Sunday, August 4.

By collecting the data, National Whale and Dolphin Watch will contribute to ongoing scientific research, helping to monitor population trends, distribution, and behaviour of these sea creatures.

Now in its 23rd year, National Whale and Dolphin Watch has become an important event for citizen scientists, researchers, and wildlife enthusiasts. 

A bottle-nosed dolphin.

Last year, around 1,000 volunteers participated, recording sightings of 11 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Over 1400 sightings were submitted to the National Sightings Database over the 9-day period.

Claudia Afeltra, Communication and Outreach Officer for the Sea Watch Foundation said: “By gathering data on cetacean abundance, distribution, and behaviour, we contribute valuable insights into marine mammal health and ecosystem dynamics, informing vital conservation efforts. All while educating members of the public on the importance of these species.”

National Whale and Dolphin Watch is an opportunity for the public of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in marine conservation.

No specialist knowledge is required to take part. Volunteers can use the free SeaWatcher App, and species guides to get involved.

Further information is available from

Main image credit: Sea Watch Foundation