Course: Marine Mammal Surveyor Course


Oban, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton, London, Portsmouth
Various dates 02392 832565

Cost: £79

Sectors: marine conservation, conservation & wildlife, ecology

Our unique, participative volunteer scheme enables members of the public to collect scientific data about whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans). This gives you the opportunity to contribute directly to vital conservation work. This certificated, fun and interesting course will give you all of the skills required to competently identify cetaceans at sea and take part in ORCA’s scientifically recognised surveys.

ORCA’s Marine Mammal Surveyor training course incorporates theoretical and practical training on marine mammal identification, organising and completing line-transect surveys as part of a team. With an international network of research vessels, ferries and cruise ships donating spaces to ORCA volunteers, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to participate in future whale and dolphin surveys. Please note that this is a classroom based course.

Why complete the MMS training course?

ORCA relies on a large and dedicated team of volunteer observers to carry out its research, but to achieve the standard required we request that they first complete an ORCA MMS training course. In return, ORCA provides its volunteers with a wide range of opportunities to take part in our surveys, experience life at sea, encounter whales and dolphins as well as gain a greater understanding of ocean ecosystems and the threats to marine life. But, even if you don’t plan to get involved with ORCA in the long-term this training course is designed as an excellent introduction to conducting wildlife surveys that are of scientific value and improve your species identification skills.

Courses are £79 per person and open to over 16s (though please note that you must be 18 to participate in a ferry survey and 21 to participate in a cruise survey). Once you have completed the course and become an ORCA member (starting at £5 per month or £60 per annum), our offshore surveys (ferry tickets and cabins where applicable) are provided free of charge

Further details

Please follow the ‘More information’ link below for further information on dates and course venues. 


We still have spaces on the following courses: 

Oban - Saturday 13th October 2018

Newcastle - Saturday 17th November 2018

Plymouth - Saturday 24th November 2018

Southampton - Sunday 2nd December 2018

London - Thursday 24th January 2019

Portsmouth - Saturday 26th January 2019

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