ORCA OceanWatchers

Citizen Scientists

Citizen Scientists

The ORCA OceanWatchers programme gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to our conservation work. The online training course, along with our smartphone app gives you the chance to collect vital effort-based data about whales, dolphins and porpoises.  This data can be collected at any time, anywhere that you can see the sea!



ORCA have worked with bridge crews, offshore workers and expedition staff to train seafarers to become citizen scientists. ORCA conducts training to all seafarers to collect data on whales, dolphins and porpoises that they encounter at sea, as well as learning about threats to these animals, such as ship strike.

ORCA OceanWatch Week

ORCA OceanWatch is an exciting initiative aimed at involving as many people as possible in the collection of  data on the whales, dolphins and porpoises that they encounter, whether watching from land or at sea.  During a dedicated nine-day period. ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyors, Wildlife Officers, Cruise Conservationists and all Oceanwatchers including seafarers are out in force to survey as much of our seas as possible. 

The event aims to raise the profile of British and European cetaceans while collecting a large amount of data over a concentrated period of time. The data will also contribute to the National Whale and Dolphin Watch in collaboration with Sea Watch Foundation. 

ORCA OceanWatch Results 

This analysis is produced by ORCA each year and is based on data collected by Seafarers, Wildlife Officers, Marine Mammal Surveyors, Cruise Conservationist and volunteer citizen scientists watching from both land and at sea during a concentrated nine-day period.


Key facts of the 2019 ORCA OceanWatch include:

  • A total of 2201 animals were sighted during a 9 day period 
  • Common dolphin were the most seen cetacean with 883 recorded 
  • 12 ferry and cruise companies participated 
  • 18 species of cetacean recorded

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