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We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...

The Life of Riley, A WDC Shorewatch dog; Orcawatch by Steve Truluck

‘ORCA!!!!’ That was the new command billowing from my human during our visit to Duncansby Head, Caithness, Scotland.

We’ve done lots of training together including closing doors and bringing his slippers, but I’d never heard this command before!? Funnily enough though, all of the humans that were there did know this command. They would instantly jump up from their seats in a mad panic, look through their binoculars or telescopes and start shouting and squealing with joy. This was apparently because the humans were seeing the black and white dolphins – Orca.  

Years ago, a really nice human called Colin, had spotted a pattern of Orcas coming to Scotland every year. By using photo identification of saddle patches and dorsal fins, it has been confirmed that a few pods of orca travel all the way from Iceland and arrive in Caithness at the end of May in time to meet up with the local seals. Colin told his friends at Sea Watch Foundation and they told their friends at Whale and Dolphin Conservation and now everyone goes together to ‘Orcawatch.’

It was such a great week. Everyone was having fun in the sun together. I had lots of people throwing sticks for me and Peter and Rachel even let me sleep in their campervan. There were Seawatchers on the ferry all week and  BookFace was also providing lots of updates of Orca sightings in Orkney and around Scotland. We even got filmed for Newsround! It was all very, very exciting while we waited for someone to shout the command.

Fortunately, my human regularly shouted ‘Orca’ and made lots of humans happy. One time, the Orca came right over to see us at Duncansby Head. Most of the humans took photos to try and identify the creatures,but my human put a little boy called Finn on his shoulders to see them instead. I sat and watched as everyone then went crazy and ran around the cliff to try and get more photos. There was stuff going everywhere in the excitement!

So now I know what to do when my human shouts  ‘Orca!’ I will just sit and watch all the craziness happening around me. It’s incredible what an effect seeing whales and dolphins wild and free has on humans. I hope I don’t have to wait too long to see lots of humans so happy. Worst case scenario it’ll only be until next year during Orcawatch 2018.