Sea Trust runs a variety of activities throughout the year, aimed primarily at surveying cetaceans in the seas around Pembrokeshire. We also strive to involve the local community and encourage people to take care of their marine wildlife. We rely on volunteers to help us carry out our activities; If you would like to volunteer please email us from the Contact page.
Strumble Head Porpoise Surveys
For many years Sea Trust Volunteers have recorded Porpoises from Strumble Head both systematically and casually. The abundance of porpoises at this site and its vunerability was largely responsible for Sea Trust coming into being. Strumble Head attracts very large numbers of Porpoises, including mothers with calves all year round. Although we have great difficulty in estimating numbers of animals, slow scan counts have produced accurate minimum counts of over 100 in peak season and over 50 in the depths of winter. Sea Trust believes this area should be protected from destructive fishing practices or industrial exploitation although we recognise lobster/crab pot fishing in this area is a traditional and mostly benign activity. Apart from Porpoises, several other species have been recorded. Surprisingly, Risso’s are seen several times a year particularly around the Christmas period. Other occasional visitors include Basking Sharks and Sunfish whilst Fin, Humpback , Minke Whale and Orca have all been recorded. Despite being present in good numbers to the North Bottlenose Dolphins are rare visitors to Strumble.
Celtic Wildcat & Cartlett Lady Surveys
We conduct surveys from the “Celtic Wildcat” and the "Cartlett Lady" in the seas south and west of Pembrokeshire going as far as 25 miles out into the Celtic Deep. These waters are rich in marine life and attract large numbers of Common Dolphins. Our surveys have shown that Pembrokeshire’s waters are used as a nursery area by the Dolphins with many calves being born here. On rare occasions the separate pods in the area form up into “superpods” and as many as 1500 to 2000 Common Dolphins have been seen together! Minke Whales are also occasionally seen as well as Fin Whales which are thought to frequent these waters on a regular basis each August. In the past we have had the help of limited funding from Environment Wales (A Welsh Assembly initiative) and the Countryside Council for Wales. As funding diminishes, however, these surveys are dependent of selling places on the surveys to the general public. Click on “Boat Trips” for further details.
Stena Europe Surveys
With the fantastically generous support and help of Stena Line, Fishguard, Sea Trust undertakes regular Cetacean surveys from the “Stena Europe” ferry that daily plies the St Georges Channel. This is a good sea area for Common Dolphins and the ferry probably offers the best chance of seeing Risso’s Dolphins anywhere in the UK, with regular sightings during the summer months. Minke Whales are occasionally seen and in 2010 we added Fin Whales. The ferry surveys take place at least once a month and as weather conditions must be calm to make them worthwhile they are usually arranged at short notice. We try and give volunteers a chance to join us on these, but our annual week long Dolphin-othon autumn event is the best chance to take part. Click here for further details. We are also working with the ARC partners the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group who also conduct similar surveys on the Irish Sea.