Our work protecting whales and dolphins

ORCA believes that the only way to protect our whales and dolphins is to identify areas where they’re vulnerable and study their habitats. That way, we can protect these places by changing the way we use them. That includes shipping, fishing, noise pollution, marine litter and more. Best of all, this information can be shared and used across the globe. Providing a local solution to a global problem.

If we can’t look after animals as awe-inspiring, enigmatic and downright remarkable as whales and dolphins, what can we do?
Mark Carwardine - ORCA Patron, zoologist and conservationist

At the heart of our work

Protecting Whale & Dolphin Hotspots

At the heart of ORCA’s work is the monitoring and protection of whales, dolphins and porpoises. It is critical that we learn more about our whales and dolphins in order to understand their way of life, where they breed, feed and travel.

Saving Large Whales From Ship Strike

ORCA is working to prevent one of the main threats to large whales – the risk of being hit by ships. Unfortunately, large whales are hit and killed by ships in the Bay of Biscay, in the North East Atlantic. An area identified as an area of high risk from fatal ship strikes.

Saving Large Whales From Ship Strike
The State of European Cetaceans report 2017

The State of European Cetaceans

The State of European Cetaceans is ORCA's report series, documenting the results of its survey findings, and more importantly, drawing conclusions about what the results mean for whales, dolphins and porpoises in the wild.

Inspiring & Educating People

The heart of ORCA’s work

ORCA aims to inspire as many people as possible about the importance of whales and dolphins. This work is all carried out by ORCA volunteers, without whom this work would not be possible.

Explore Species & Sightings

Did you know that the waters of UK and Europe are home to over a third of the whale, dolphin and porpoise species worldwide? We regularly see several of these species from our survey routes. Start exploring...

Raise free funds for ORCA

It's a challenging time for many, but our work goes on. At a time where you may be thinking of protecting yourself by ordering online, you may be pleased to know that any online purchases you make could also support us! 

With Give As You Live, you're able to earn a donation equivalent to a percentage of your spend at over 4,000  online retailers, at no cost to you or us. We'll be eternally grateful for your help! 

Just visit our Give As You Live page here to sign up and start shopping!

ORCA Sea Safari

Sea Safari

ORCA offers unforgettable Sea Safaris in the Bay of Biscay.  A great way to see whales and dolphins at sea.

ORCA in Schools

ORCA in Schools

ORCA educational programme teaching people of all ages about whales and dolphins.

Train with us

Survey at Sea

ORCA training courses will give you all of the skills required to competently perform surveys at sea.

ORCA’s Whale Education Month

In October each year, hundreds of schools and thousands of students take part in ORCA’s Whale Education Month month. This is an annual event with different topics each year. Although we encourage schools to deliver the materials in October, teachers can use the materials all year to inspire students about wonderful whales and dolphins.

Whale Education Month 2022

Every October, ORCA produces a series of educational resources for schools and home educators. These fun and interactive resources link in with the National Curriculum and provides students support in the topics of science, geography, maths and English. 

In 2022 the theme for Whale Education Month will be Adaptations and Evolution. The lessons will look at the amazing adaptations and extraordinary evolution of whales, dolphins and porpoises. 

Don’t forget, you can view all resources from past Whale Education Month lessons below.

Our Patrons

Chris Packham

is an ORCA patron, television presenter, wildlife expert, photographer and author with a passionate concern for conservation and the environment.
“The importance of what ORCA does cannot be over estimated. They enthuse all who come close with a desire to know more”

Mark Carwardine

is a zoologist, outspoken conservationist, award-winning writer, TV & radio presenter, wildlife photographer, wildlife tour leader and magazine columnist.
“Every time I head out to sea I get the same uplifting feeling, the same good vibes. When I see a whale I am floating, on a high, living on another planet.”

Nigel Marven

is a producer and presenter of wildlife films for television. Nigel has travelled to every corner of the globe filming a whole array of species of mammal, reptile, bird and fish.
"The ORCA team play a pivotal role in marine conservation, we can’t protect what we don’t know about."

Lizzie Daly

is a conservationist, biologist, science communicator and broadcaster who has had a passion for nature and an obsession with the marine environment.

"I have seen first-hand what a difference ORCA make in helping protect our oceans after crossing the Bay of Biscay to look out for cetaceans"