Course: Marine Mammal Surveyor Training Course


Oban, Newcastle, Plymouth, Southampton, Portsmouth and London 02392832565

Cost: £79

Sectors: marine conservation, conservation & wildlife, ecology

ORCA are one of the UK’s leading whale and dolphin conservation charities.

Marine Mammal Surveyors are the backbone of all of ORCA’s research and our surveying offers people from all walks of life the opportunity to actively participate in whale and dolphin conservation. These dedicated volunteers help our work by donating their valuable time so that important marine mammal habitats can be studied and monitored. Survey teams board ferries and cruise ships leaving ports across the UK to conduct scientific surveys to record the species seen, where they are and what they are doing.

All you need is a passion for whales and dolphins, a reasonable level of fitness and to take an ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor course, which will teach you everything you need to know to become a citizen scientist. These one day, classroom based courses take place all over the UK and will give you all of the skills you need to identify and record whales, dolphins and porpoises during offshore surveys.

During our one day Marine Mammal Surveyor training courses you will:

  • Learn how to identify and record whales, dolphins and porpoises during offshore surveys and how to interpret their behaviour
  • Find out about the species you may encounter in European waters
  • Understand ORCA’s distance sampling survey protocol preparing you for travel at sea

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), you will then have the opportunity to apply for our offshore surveys (ferry tickets and cabins where applicable) are provided free of charge.

Dates and locations for our 2019/2020 can be found below: 

  • Oban -  Saturday 12th October 2019 9:30AM-4:30PM (SAMS, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban, Argyll, PA37 1QA)
  • Newcastle -  Saturday 9th November 2019 9:30AM - 4:30PM  (Life Science Centre, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4EP)
  • Plymouth - Saturday 23rd November 2019 9:30AM - 4:30PM  (Marine Station, University of Plymouth, Artillery Place, Plymouth , PL4 0LU)
  • Southampton - Sunday 1st December 9:30AM - 4:30PM (National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton, SO14 3ZH)
  • London - January 2020 (Date and location TBC)
  • Portsmouth - January 2020 (Date and location TBC)

To find out more and book your place visit

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