ORCA OceanWatchers

ORCA surveying offers people from all walks of life the opportunity to actively participate in whale and dolphin conservation.

We are excited to launch our new citizen science monitoring programme; ORCA OceanWatchers. 

We’ve designed ORCA OceanWatchers to enable everyone to collect data in a flexible way and will enable you to contribute to our conservation work.

The ORCA OceanWatchers online training course, along with a bespoke app (available on iPhone and Android) will enable everyone to collect effort-based data about whales, dolphins and porpoises.  This data can be collected at any time, anywhere that you can see the sea, no matter the platform you're on or the people you're with, whether that’s from your local beach, on holiday at the coast, scanning the seas from a cruise ship, working on an offshore platform, travelling via ferry, or from your own boat.

The flexible ORCA OceanWatchers survey methodology and easy-to-use app will enable many people to get involved with our vital monitoring work, and collect data more regularly. 

To take part in the ORCA OceanWatchers programme, you will need to:

  • Attend an ORCA OceanWatchers training course
  • Become a member of ORCA
  • Download and log into the ORCA OceanWatchers app
  • Get out there to survey; wherever and whenever you like!

The ORCA OceanWatchers course will teach you everything you need to know about how to identify the different species likely to be sighted in UK and European waters and how to use the ORCA OceanWatchers surveying app. 

Dates for the 2023 OceanWatchers courses will be available soon. 

All you need is a passion for whales and dolphins! 

The ORCA OceanWatchers programme is designed to complement our two decades of data collection whilst allowing citizen scientists to collect data in new and exciting ways – both on land and at sea.

This programme is designed to complement the vital work that our Marine Mammal Surveyor volunteers do when they are collecting data from the bridge of ships.  You can find out more about our offshore Marine Mammal Surveyors here.

This new initiative gives us an opportunity to monitor important habitats so we can continue to drive policy and help create protected areas in UK and European waters.

"We have really enjoyed our first year using the app and look forward to doing more in the future. The training course was very empowering - even to two technophobes like us, as well as good fun. Hopefully, we shall see more cetaceans whilst surveying in the coming year!"

Dennis and Anne Kell - ORCA OceanWatchers

Thank you to our amazing sponsors Celestron. 

Ever since Tom Johnson unveiled the revolutionary C8 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope that remains the standard for astronomers around the world, for over sixty years Celestron has continued his legacy of innovation and dedication to discovery. From our world-renowned telescopes that can be found in places as diverse as a family’s back garden to the International Space Station, to our binoculars and spotting scopes that provide birders and other outdoor enthusiasts with class-leading optics, to microscopes used by amateurs and professionals alike to explore the wonders of microscopic worlds, to our most recently developed Elements brand thermal power packs that provide heat, light, and power anywhere it is needed most, we remain dedicated to the pursuit of providing innovative and reliable instruments to all those whose desire to explore everything from the microscopical to the astronomical is, like ours, inexhaustible.

For more information about Celestron, please visit www.celestron.com

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @ORCA_web  #ORCAOceanWatch


We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your valuable support in helping us to continue our vital whale, dolphin and porpoise monitoring work.

Share your views

How do you think we can we take this data forward?  What should those in power be doing to protect our whales, dolphins and porpoises more? Please get involved and let us know...