Marine Biology Section ©  2020

Marine Biology Société Jersiaise

How Can I Report Dolphin/Seal Sightings?

This is the most frequently asked question we receive from boat owners.

Attempts at encouraging people to use websites/paper forms to report retrospective sightings have been only moderately successful and so we have developed a smartphone app that can be used to report a sighting while it is happening. It takes about 30 seconds to make a report.

The app uses Epicollect5 which has to be downloaded onto your Apple or Android phone or tablet and the SJ Dolphin Watch project installed. When you see a dolphin, open Epicollect5 and add a record to the SJ Dolphin Watch app. The app is free.

Full instructions can be downloaded here

The app uses your phone/tablet to get a GPS position, date and time and then asks you a few simple questions about the species and number of animals you can see. (NB when getting a GPS position please check that the accuracy is below 200 metres - it can take some phones 10 to 60 seconds to get a position when activated from sleep mode.)

This is a project that covers the whole of the Channel Islands with the data being shared amongst the various natural history groups. The records are open access and can be viewed/downloaded by anyone so be wary of putting personal details in reports.

These sightings are extremely valuable and form a cornerstone of Channel Islands’ cetacean research. We are grateful to the many people that have already downloaded the app and for the 700 sightings that have been made in its first year of operation.

Are you an individual business that is likely to make a lot of sightings?

If you are a likely to make a lot of dolphin/seal sightings then we can add your boat/business name to the app so your records can be identified. We can then make bespoke interactive maps that can be used for publicity and other purposes. Contact the Marine Bio Section for more details.