GALLERY: Pod of 30 dolphins spotted off the coast of Prestatyn

Reporter:

Suzanne Jordan

THERE was lot of fins to be seen when a playful pod of dolphins leaping and bow-riding were spotted off the coast of Prestatyn.

About 30 dolphins including two juveniles and three calves were spotted by Sea Watch Foundation volunteers, who have been combing the North Wales coast as part of a project to learn more about dolphin habitat use and movements.

The Foundation ran a photo-identification survey off the North Coast of Wales, funded by the charity Sea-Changers, to find and photograph bottlenose dolphins that had been sighted off Llandudno and Rhos-on-Sea last month.

The results of the survey will allow experts to categorise mammals seen swimming in waters across the North Wales Coast.

Katrin Lohrengel, Wales development officer at Sea Watch Foundation, said: “We encountered about 30 dolphins offshore Prestatyn including at least two juveniles and three calves, one of which was a very young animal, probably born this year.

"There was a good number of large well marked males breaching right in front of the boat which was obviously a great experience in itself, but they fact that they were well marked will make it a lot easier to identify and match them to the catalogue.

“We still have funding for another survey so we welcome any sightings submitted by the public as it will help us time the next one.”

Ms Lohrengel added there was still of “lack of knowledge” concerning cetacean populations in the area.

“An increased understanding of their movements around North Wales is vital to long-term conservation efforts,” she said.

“We can only adequately protect them if we know how they use the area and how important it is to their survival.”

The Welsh Sea Watchers Project is appealing for volunteers visit: www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/welsh-sea-watchers-project

Residents can also submit a sighting by visiting the website.

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