THE latest National Whale and Dolphin Watch report shows there were two official sightings of cetaceans off the Dorset coast during the nine-day initiative last summer.

Volunteers spent around 20 hours watching from the Dorset coastline during July 29-August 6.

Nationally there were 1,529 hours of observation with 1,410 individual sightings reported.

These included long-finned pilot whales in the Moray Firth, striped dolphins near the Isles of Scilly, humpback whales in the north east and numerous killer whales in the north of Scotland.

Forty eight vessels were also involved with the event, from pleasure craft to ferries and cruise ships.

Sea Watch sightings officer Kathy James said: "It is so important for people to join in helping us to track whales, dolphins and porpoises in UK waters.

"The Sea Watch Foundation database holds hundreds of thousands of records which are used by scientists and governments to inform research and policy on these wonderful animals.

"By taking part, people are directly contributing to their conservation. The wonderful thing about watching for whales and dolphins in the UK is that you don’t necessarily have to get on a boat to see them."

Pods of dolphins are often spotted off Bournemouth Beach, in Poole Harbour and off the Purbeck coast.

Last year, for the first time, survey teams from the conservation charity ORCA were stationed aboard Brittany Ferries' Barfleur, as it travelled between Poole and Cherbourg.

The survey teams worked to monitor and record sightings of whales, dolphins and porpoises.

During the National Whale and Dolphin Watch eleven different cetacean species were seen in UK waters.

All in all, 29 species of cetacean have been recorded in UK waters although only fourteen are recorded regularly.

The Sea Watch Foundation wants volunteers to come forward to take part in the National Whale and Dolphin Watch 2018 this summer, which takes place July 28 – August 5.

Surveys can take place from your favourite or closest bit of coastline and boat-users are urged to get in touch too.

No experience is necessary as the team at Sea Watch will offer you training and advice on how to take part.

Visit for further details.