2021 Survey Update

Categories // Surveyor Network News

2021 Survey Update

An update on the 2021 Saga Cruises 

Dear All,

We have now confirmed all the Saga Cruise teams for 2021. Successful applicants have been emailed, places confirmed and we are ready for the first cruise to head out on Sunday 27th June! Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications we are not able to individually email all unsuccessful applicants.

It has been over a year since we have had an ORCA Team out at sea collecting data, so this is a wonderful step forward and makes us very happy to be placing volunteers on board vessels again. We are very excited about these upcoming cruises, wish the teams wonderful sailing conditions with plenty of sightings and will keep you all up-to-date with what is seen via our website and social media channels; you never know they may even see Wally the walrus!

With regards to the commencement of our ferry surveys, we are continuing to liaise with all of our ferry partners on a regular basis. Currently we do not have a return date for the surveys, but as soon as we have any news we will let you all know.

It has been a busy couple of months for ORCA, and not only due to the imminent recommencement of some of our at sea programmes. Firstly, we launched our State of European Cetaceans 2021 report (SOEC) last month, the fifth in a series of annual reports summarising the distribution and range of cetacean populations, with a focus in and around UK and European waters, using data collected on platforms of opportunity by you, our incredible network of Marine Mammal Surveyors. If you have not done so already you can read the latest report here. This month our brand new programme, ORCA OceanWatchers, was officially launched! ORCA OceanWatchers has been designed to allow citizen scientists to collect data in a new and exciting way, both on land and at sea and gives us another opportunity to monitor important cetacean habitats. Many of you took part in the training earlier this year and now have access to the ORCA OceanWatchers app, and we are loving seeing all of your data coming in to our Data Portal. If you or someone you know would like to find out more about ORCA OceanWatchers and how to can get involved please click here.

In the opening of our latest SOEC, ORCA patron Chris Packham, said “….the wealth of detail and effort manifest in this report is a clear reminder to me of the whirring dynamo that is ORCA’s army of fabulous citizen scientists. Kennedy once said that anyone can make a difference and everyone should try. So for every ORCA volunteer that has stood on a deck in the grimmest of weathers, recording sightings of whales and dolphins, I take my hat off to you. You and ORCA are making a difference and that is what whales and dolphins need most right now.”

This has never been more true. Even though we are not able to get you all out to sea as we normally would be right now, you are making a HUGE difference to cetacean conservation through your continued support, membership and donations, and for that we would like to say a big thank you to each and every one of you. With very best wishes,


Lucy Babey
Head of Science and Conservation 
Deputy Director