Have you spotted these rare dolphins along Dorset's coast?

Have you spotted these rare dolphins along Dorset's coast?

Published by George Sharpe at 6:31am 21st January 2020.

You might spot this rare breed of Dolphins along Dorset's coastline.

A population of White-beaked Dolphins is thought to have made their home in Lyme Bay but they've been spotted from Dorset and all the way down to Cornwall.

The breed typically live in the Northern and Central parts of the North Sea, but appear to have nested 650km away in Lyme Bay.

MARINElife first became aware of the population in 2007 and they've been spotted every year since.

They're building up a picture using photo-identification to recognise individual dolphins by small scale physical damage to their bodies, captured in photographs, but they need more.

So far, there's been 142 sightings of 62 identifiable animals, with encounters from 33 different pods. 

It's thought the South West could be home to as many as 140 white-beaked dolphins.

MARINElife is asking us to snap any pictures we can of the dolphins and send them in through their new website devoted to building up a bigger picture of them. 

Professor Tom Brereton, Research Director for MARINElife said:

"We are calling on anyone who spots and photographs dolphins when out at sea to submit their images via the new website.  Just one picture can provide a surprisingly large amount of information that will be vital for conservation efforts of this iconic dolphin of south west waters."

"We decided to partner with Digital Detox because of their emphasis on solving environmental challenges with problem-solving and technology, and upon realising combining an easy-access website with this technique of monitoring would be the best way to get the public involved."