After a two-year break in surveys, this year, we were delighted that ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyors returned to the bridge of ferries across the UK to collect vital whale and dolphin sightings data. We were also thrilled to be on board for 10 Saga itineraries on the Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure.
Our Saga teams travelled through the wildlife-rich waters of the UK, and some sailed to the Canaries, Greenland, Svalbard and the Mediterranean. With wonderful sightings and encounters of fin whales, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, orcas, belugas and even polar bears, it was fantastic to be able to get you out to sea again.
You have surveyed an incredible 193,645 km this year, covering 9 sea regions and have recorded 10,396 individual animals! Of these, 10,051 animals were cetaceans, and 21 different cetacean species were identified. Awesome!
We would also like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been out and about collecting data on the ORCA OceanWatchers app - it is so exciting to see huge amounts of data coming directly into our Data Portal every day!
Looking forward to 2023, we are currently finalising the dates of the ferry surveys with our partners and will keep you updated on progress with this in the new year. The teams for the 2023 Saga cruises are currently being compiled, and successful applicants will be notified via email in the New Year, and we will update you all on the progress of this via the Surveyor Network News page.
Please note the ORCA Office will be closed from 12.00 pm on Friday 23rd December 2022, until 9.00 am on Tuesday 3rd January 2023. Any enquiries during this time will be answered as soon as possible in the new year.
On behalf of the entire ORCA family, a huge thank you to each and every one of you for your continued support throughout 2022. We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2023.
Lucy Babey | Head of Science and Conservation | Deputy Director | ORCA | www.orca.org.uk