ORCA surveying offers people from all walks of life the opportunity to actively participate in whale and dolphin conservation.

ORCA OceanWatchers is our citizen science monitoring programme, centered around our whale and dolphin surveying app.

We’ve designed ORCA OceanWatchers to enable everyone to collect data in a flexible way and will enable you to contribute to our conservation work.

The ORCA OceanWatchers online training course, along with a bespoke app (available on iPhone and Android) will enable everyone to collect effort-based data about whales, dolphins and porpoises. This data can be collected at any time, anywhere that you can see the sea, no matter the platform you're on or the people you're with, whether that’s from your local beach, on holiday at the coast, scanning the seas from a cruise ship, working on an offshore platform, traveling via ferry, or from your own boat.

Download the OceanWatchers app

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The flexible ORCA OceanWatchers survey methodology and easy-to-use app will enable many people to get involved with our vital monitoring work, and collect data more regularly.

To take part in the ORCA OceanWatchers programme, you will need to:

  • Complete the ‘Introduction to Whale and Dolphin Identification’ training course - this is an introductory-level course which will give you the skills to confidently identify a wide range of whale, dolphin and porpoise species. This course is a prerequisite for progressing onto our OceanWatchers course

  • Attend an ORCA OceanWatchers training course - This is an online, self-led course hosted on our e-learning platform, which takes around 4 hours to complete

  • Become a member of ORCA - The best way to enjoy the ORCA OceanWatchers course is to follow along using the app on your own device during the programme. To gain full access to the app, you need to be an active ORCA member

  • Download and log into the ORCA OceanWatchers app

  • Get out there to survey; wherever and whenever you like!

The ORCA OceanWatchers course will teach you everything you need to know about how to use the ORCA OceanWatchers surveying app.

All you need is a passion for whales and dolphins!

The ORCA OceanWatchers programme is designed to complement our two decades of data collection whilst allowing citizen scientists to collect data in new and exciting ways – both on land and at sea. OceanWatchers gives us the opportunity to further monitor important habitats so we can continue to drive policy and help create protected areas in UK and European waters.

Our training course Terms and Conditions can be found here.

Start your citizen scientist journey today...

You can book both the 'Introduction to Whale and Dolphin Identification' and 'OceanWatchers' courses on our e-learning platform today and you're all ready to get started!

Book a course today

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