South West Wales

158 dolphins and whales spotted in weekend Sea Watch

A bottle nose dolphin
Image caption The first results in the dolphin and whale survey have now come in

A total of 158 dolphins and whales were spotted off the coast of Wales in an annual survey, says a marine charity.

Six different species were seen during the weekend exercise by Sea Watch volunteers.

The largest was a group of 44 bottlenose dolphins spotted near Anglesey, while others included minke whale and harbour porpoise.

Remaining data from boat operators may increase the final total.

The survey was the 10th annual National Whale and Dolphin Watch (NWDW) and took place 5-7 August.

In Wales, other sightings included:

  • A pod of 30 common dolphin, 30 miles west of Caernarfon, Gwynedd
  • Bottlenose dolphin and harbour porpoise around Cardigan island, Mwnt, Ynys Lochtyn, Bird's Rock in New Quay and New Quay harbour
  • Groups of harbour porpoise from Point Lynas and others in Bull Bay

Sea Watch's sightings officer Danielle Gibas said: "It was particularly interesting to have reports of six different species and maybe when all the reports are in there will be more.

'By chance'

"These sightings add to the long-standing data base that we have here and help us to determine the health, distribution and movements of the dolphins and whales living around our coastlines."

The charity, which is pulling together a UK-wide picture, also wants volunteers to send in regular sightings throughout the year.

"It could either be reports of whales and dolphins people see by chance but preferably we would like people to commit to boat-based watches or two-hour land-based watches," said Ms Gibas.

In total, 28 species of dolphins, whales and porpoises have been recorded in UK and Irish waters, 12 of these during a National Whale and Dolphin Watch.

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