A fantastic season in the North Sea for ORCA Wildlife Officers

18th Oct 2017

DFDS King Seaways, home to the ORCA Wildlife Centre

The North Sea Wildlife Officer programme celebrated ten years of the ORCA-DFDS partnership in style with one of the most memorable programmes ever.

The team spent six months working aboard the King Seaways on the route between Newcastle and Ijmuiden, working out of the ORCA Wildlife Centre. During trips they delivered talks and activities to passengers from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, showcasing some of the wonderful wildlife to be seen across the North Sea.

The team recorded almost 400 animals in total, with five different species of whale, dolphin and porpoise seen during the season. As well as minke whales, harbour porpoises and white-beaked dolphins, they also saw grey seals and dozens of species of seabird to boot. We were also able to speak to more than 22,000 passenger during 2017, a new record for the programme.

There was added excitement in 2017 with the season kicking off with our North Sea Lectures, which featured an appearance by wildlife presenter Michaela Strachan. There was also a memorable April Fool's prank about a northern tusked porpoise, and another great visit to the Sunderland Air Show via ship was amongst the highlights too.

We want to send a huge thank you to the entire DFDS team for supporting us for yet another superb year and we are all looking forward to 2018!

- A map of sightings from the DFDS King Seaways by our Wildlife Officers in 2017

-Michaela Strachan with the ORCA team and local Brownies on board the DFDS King Seaways in the ORCA Wildlife Centre