January 2016 – ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor Course

Just to do something different, Andrew & I attended an ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor Training Course which was held at the City Museum in Portsmouth.  

We found out how to search for marine mammals and how to identify the different species.  This was quite a challenge.  We were surprised to hear that in UK and European waters it is possible to see 1 species of porpoise, 8 species of dolphins, 2 of which are called whales (!) and 9 species of whales. 

After a sandwich lunch we had sessions on the sampling protocol and how to record data, followed by a quiz on Cetacean identification and found we had forgotten everything from the morning! 

We found the course very interesting but are not really sure if we could put into place our identification skills in reality.

ORCA works in partnership with Brittany Ferries to deliver I-Spy Whale Watching trips and Andrew and I are thinking of doing one of these in the summer to see if we can use our identification skills in reality. Anyone fancy an alternative to a couple of days diving??  You don’t have to have done the surveyor course to book these trips.

Full report


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