More warm sea dolphins heading to north-east England

Sailors in the north-east are being asked to report any dolphins that they see.

The North East Cetacean Project (NECP) has reported an increase off England’s north-east coast of common (pictured), bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins, which are all species usually found in warmer waters.

There have also been fewer sightings of white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises – species that prefer colder water.

Dr Tom Brereton, who analysed the findings, said: ‘This research adds to the growing body of evidence that some species of whales and dolphins are showing shifts in distribution, possibly as a result of increasing sea temperatures.

‘For example, common dolphins have been spreading north in recent years, presumably due to warming sea temperatures.

‘This is a potential cause of concern because studies in other regions have shown that the arrival of common dolphins coincides with a corresponding disappearance of white-beaked dolphins.

‘White-beaked dolphins have a much narrower habitat requirement and are associated with colder sea conditions.’

The NECP wants the region’s yachtsmen to help it with its research by getting in touch with any offshore sightings. To submit a sighting click here.

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