Influencing Change Worldwide

We act as key advisors and contributors to the UK Government’s Joint Cetacean Data Programme, which compiles survey and sightings data, and which ultimately acts as an ongoing health check of the UK’s whale and dolphin populations. ORCA also chair’s Wildlife and Countryside Link’s Marine Mammal Working Group, which is a key advisory forum for UK policy.

ORCA provide expert advice on current and high-risk conservation issues to ASCOBANS (Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas). As one example, ORCA was part of a coalition with three other NGOs, which submitted a proposal around the concerted action needed for the harbour porpoise in the Baltic Sea and Iberian peninsula. The Convention of The Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) adopted this proposal at COP13 in 2020.

We are also observers at the ACCOBAMS forum (Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area.)

The International Whaling Commission

We were invited to join the UK Government delegation at the last International Whaling Commission (IWC) COP and now have an invitation to attend future interim meetings, including the Scientific Committee, in an expert capacity. This important forum is not just about the hunting of whales but also about their current conservation status, which is of direct relevance to our data collection work.

We’re also a member or the IWC Ship Strike Expert Panel.


Knowledge and expertise

We also work with and help pass on our knowledge and expertise to bodies such as the Life Conceptu Maris project, which undertakes sighting and data collection in the Mediterranean.

Life Conceptu Maris project

Antarctic Ambassadorship

ORCA is currently chair of the Antarctic Ambassadorship Committee (part of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators IAATO). The Committee acts as a forum for people who have experienced the wonders of the Antarctic and want to continue helping safeguard it for the future.

We are also a member of the IAATO Whale Expert Group.

Antarctic Ambassadors

Ocean Leaders

Our Director of Programmes, Lucy Babey, is an accredited Edinburgh Ocean Leader, which is an initiative to accelerate and develop exceptional ocean professionals in an effort to make a significant positive impact on the health of our oceans.

Ocean Leaders

The data we collect and publish is used extensively by students and academics and is cited in a large number of peer-reviewed papers. It is used by the UK and European governments to inform policy and identify action required, such as the creation of new protected areas for vulnerable species, assessing the conservation status of individual species and how their distribution changes over time and location.